Show Notes: Taxes, Codes and Titles
Owning a home is more than just home maintenance. There is a legal side to homeownership. Consider how you hold title to your home. And, of course, there are taxes and what if anything, is tax deductible. How about building codes for home improvement DIYers? Then there is getting ready for the spring thaw, will you be ready?
Thank you to Joan Grimes, Attorney at Law, for joining James and Morris and sharing her knowledge of home ownership title with our listeners.
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Residential Energy Tax Credits 2014
The energy tax credits for common residential energy efficiency improvements were restored at the last minute for the 2014 year through the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, much like they were extended in the prior year. This is ultimately great news if you made a qualified high-efficiency upgrade (specifics highlighted below) in 2014.
This includes tax credits equal to 10% of cost up to $500, or a specific amount from $50–$300 for the following eligible items:
- HVAC Air Circulating Fan
- Central Air Conditioning
- Gas, propane, or hot water boiler
- Natural gas, propane, or oil furnace
- Gas, Oil, or Propane Hot Water Heater
- Electric Heat Pump Water Heater
- Windows, Doors & Skylights
More on those requirements can be found on the Energy Star Energy Tax Credit site.
If you are interested in Building Codes for Homeowners:
Black And Decker Codes For Homeowners 3rd Edition
Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing And Building Current With 2015 – 2017 Codes
By Bruce A. Barker
CODES FOR HOMEOWNERS by Black + Decker
Whether it’s a simple repair or a major renovation, once you’ve decided to tackle a home improvement it’s important to brush up on the subject before beginning. Such literature has never been more available than now. Books and magazines on the subject abound and the Internet is an amazing resource. One can find a “how-to” on just about every conceivable task.
There are two important types of research that must be studied before performing a home improvement: 1) review step by step “how to do it” information, and 2) find out what the code requires. The “code” refers to the building code or the electric code or the plumbing code or the mechanical code – whichever applies the project at hand. Codes are all designed for health and safety and should be followed to the letter in every project.
Most home improvement literature is written in conjunction with the appropriate code, but does not detail or clarify what code is being applied. A new book from Black + Decker entitled CODES FOR HOMEOWNERS is a perfect blend of “how to” and “code” information. Like most DIY publications the book’s paperback cover envelops projects tiny and tall with great graphics and step-by-step how to information. But B+D takes each project one step further by including applicable code information enhanced by vibrant graphics and simple to read reference tables.
“Codes for Homeowners” is superb blend of how to information and supporting codes.
Most importantly, cover-to-cover, Codes is an easy read.
Get Ready For a Dry Basement
Warm weather is coming and the snow and ice will melt. Will you be ready for the spring thaw?
The best plan to help avoid a potential disaster is through visual inspection and routine maintenance. Here is an easy checklist for you to follow:
- Check sump pump operation each spring. Manually lift the float assembly to verify operation.
- Check basement walls for cracks or defects that could allow water in.
- Verify that basement floor drains are open and not covered or plugged.
- A battery operated back up system will protect against a power or pump failure. These can be installed yourself
- Place a carbon monoxide detector next to gas appliances in the basement to alert you to leaks.
- Learn where your main water shut off valve is in your home and show others how to use it. Exercise this valve on a regular basis to ensure you can turn it off easily in an emergency
- Plumbing experts also recommend shutting the main water supply off every time you leave on vacation to prevent undetected leaks.
- Check down spouts for blockage and position away from house to prevent foundation leakage.
- Consider the use of rain barrels to protect against erosion and to instill conservation practices.
- Check hose bibs for leaks by turning on full blast and then checking basement for leaks.
- Verify proper landscaping is in place so the water is routed away from your foundation.
Been sick? Do this
Wash Your Bedding – be sure to add a little vinegar in the rinse to really freshen your linens.
Clean Your Countertops – Give your kitchen and bath countertops a cleaning with a disinfecting product to kill any lingering germs
Disinfect shared items – Start with things that have been in heavy use like the TV remote, light switches, faucet handles, door knobs and refrigerator handles.
How to Clean Outdoor Furniture:
Clean Your Cultured Marble:
ERV or HRV For Your Heating: