Show Notes: Got Attic leaks and Ugly Doors? – On the House

Show Notes: Got Attic leaks and Ugly Doors?

By on October 15, 2017
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With cooler wet  weather and the holidays fast approaching we are still pursing our fall check list. Have your ever inspected your attic for insulation, air leaks or water leaks? Now is the time! Have you got ugly doors that need  replacing before the holiday guest arrive? Now is the time, get those new doors fast tracked. You will need some time for ordering, hanging and painting, so let’s get started.  


Thank you to our guest, Jeremy Berger, Fire and Life Safety Educator for the Saint Paul Fire Department. We all need to know how to be safe in a fire situation. Here are a few tips:

“Every Second Counts, Plan Two Ways Out” 

  • 2 ways out of every room
  • Have a plan
  • Practice your plan at least twice a year

 Smoke Alarms

  • Check monthly or per manufactures recommendations
  • Replace the battery yearly
  • Replace the alarm every 10 years         

Cooking Fire Safety

  • Nearly half of all fires start in the kitchen
  • Most of these fires are preventable if you remember one simple rule “Stay and look, when you cook”
  • Stovetop Fire Stops

For more fire safety information please visit:


Let The Fur Fly: What Are The Best Cities For Dog Lovers And For Cat Lovers?

 Which side are you on?  America is bitterly divided into two warring groups these days. One is welcome in your home and considered family. The other is despicable and makes your blood boil.

So cough it up: Are you a you dog person or a cat person? And don’t give us that independent voter nonsense—we know you have a preference. Everyone does.

Catios or dog runs? Aloof cuddliness or goofy rambunctiousness? Automated litter boxes or hands-free, app-controlled pooper-scoopers?

“The best cities for pet lovers really take into account the human-animal bond,” says Gina DiNardo, executive secretary of the American Kennel Club. So where should dog or cat lovers go to forge those ties?

We took the 150 largest metros and then analyzed a wide variety of pet data. We only included one metro per state, for geographic diversity.

#1 Austin, Texas   Dog Ownership 44%

#2 Reno, Nevada   Dog Ownership 37.1%

#3 Salinas, California   Dog Ownership 32.8%

# 4 Denver, Colorado   Dog Ownership 42.5%

#5 Portland, Oregon   Dog Ownership 38.8%

Rounding out the top 10 best metros for dog lovers were Seattle, WA; Oklahoma City, OK; Tucson, AZ; Ann Arbor, MI; and Raleigh, NC.

OK, now let’s take a tour of the best municipalities for mousers.

#1 Albany, New York   Cat Ownership 29.1%

#2 Eugene, Oregon Cat Ownership 40.2%

#3 Seattle, Washington Cat Ownership 39%

#4 Portland, Maine Cat Ownership 46.4%

#5 Manchester New Hampshire Cat Ownership 34.2%

The rest of the top 10 metros for cat obsessives are Oklahoma City, OK; Stockton, CA; Austin, TX; Reno, NV; and Lexington, KY.



Update Your Home With New Interior Doors

 Interior doors are an important part of your home’s overall look and significantly impact its inner “curb appeal.” While it’s often easy to overlook these doors as just part of a home’s background appearance and focus, replacing interior doors not only helps tie a space together visually, but offers other benefits.

Reasons to replace interior doors

First, consider replacing or upgrading your interior doors if they are of differing types and colors. If doors in the same area of a home — kitchen, living room, upstairs bedroom, and basement — don’t match, the entire space loses cohesion. Older homes that have been through several renovations may have a hodge-podge of door types on their main and upper levels; replacing all the doors on the same level with those of a consistent look or theme can improve the house’s visual flow.

It’s also worth replacing interior doors if they’ve become damaged or no longer sit properly in their frames. Hollow core-doors are especially vulnerable to damage from bumps and kicks. Minor damage to solid wood doors can be more easily corrected by sanding and then staining or painting again, but these heavier doors are also more prone to moving out of alignment with their frame. A wood door that won’t close properly and has significant damage may be better used elsewhere in a home or repurposed by a craftsman.

Types of interior doors

There are a large number of interior door types to choose from, including:

  • solid wood doors
  • faux wood doors
  • engineered wood doors
  • bifold doors
  • fire-resistant doors
  • pocket doors
  • accordion doors
  • French doors

Each type of interior door offers its own benefits. Solid wood doors, for example, are an excellent choice if you want to stop sound transmission from room to room. Fire-resistant doors can offer up to a half-hour of protection in the event of a house fire and are a great choice for bedrooms. Pocket doors slide into walls rather than swinging open and are an good choice for a smaller space.

Changing interior door trim

One simple way to update the look of an interior door without replacing the entire door is to change the door trim. Removing and replacing door trim can typically be done in the space of an afternoon. You’ll need a pry bar and some patience to remove the old trim, and new trim to replace what you’re removing.

There are many trim types available, from flat, easy-paint options to larger, flared crown molding. You can also find decorative corner blocks or lintels to match your tastes — just make sure they match the rest of your trim.

Replacing interior doors

If you choose to replace some or all of your existing interior doors, you’ll discover they come in two varieties: pre-hung and “replacement”. Pre-hung doors have their jambs pre-attached, and space in the wall was made to accommodate door and jamb together. Replacement doors are crafted to fit into a jamb already set in the wall.

Hiring a contractor to install interior doors

While it’s possible to install new pre-hung and repacement interior doors in your home yourself, you’re often better served by hiring a professional contractor, door installer or handyman to do the work. Not only can they do the work more quickly and with a far lower chance of mistakes (making sure the door swings the right way, for example), they can often recommend what type of door will work best in your home.



Quick Fall Tip

 Drain your water heater: You can improve your water heater’s efficiency by as much as 50 percent by draining sediment buildup from the water heater holding tank. So while you’re checking your plumbing, drain and flush your water heater to make it last longer and work more efficiently.



What the Heck Does a Humidifier Do and Why Do I need One? 

As the temperatures fall, you need to think ahead about your winter HVAC needs. As the air cools off, it will carry less water, meaning your indoor humidity levels will plummet. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the ideal levels of humidity for a home should be less than 60% in the summer and 25 – 40% during the winter.

This is what a humidifier can do for you and your home:

 Keep Your Skin Healthy
Dry air will leach the moisture from your skin. In past winters, you may have noticed problems with your skin chapping, cracking, feeling tight, or flaking. These are all the results of low humidity levels.

While you can’t change Colorado’s outside humidity, you can change the humidity levels in your house. If you get a humidifier, your skin can get a break from the harsh, dry outdoor air and recover. You’ll notice that your skin is softer, more vibrant, and healthier than it was last winter.

Reduce Your Risk of Disease
When the air dries out, germs have a better chance of thriving in it. If your home has low humidity levels, germs will have an easier time traveling and getting passed to you.

You already risk getting sick if you interact with sick coworkers or go to public places that people with colds have also visited. But you don’t need to make your home an infection zone as well. If one of your family members gets sick, you’ll have a better chance of stopping the cold or flu virus with him or her if your humidity levels are optimal.

Soothe Your Airways
When you breathe air that is too dry, your throat and sinuses can get irritated just like your skin does when exposed to very dry air. They may feel tight or scratchy. If you keep a humidifier running, or at least run the device while you sleep, your airways will feel much better.

If you do get sick, a humidifier will ease your suffering. The extra moisture will keep your airways lubricated, which will speed up the healing process and soothe your throat in the meantime, especially if you have a dry cough. People who suffer from asthma can also feel relief from symptoms when they use a humidifier.

As a bonus, sleeping with a humidifier running can help in two other ways: (1) you can reduce the volume of your snoring, and (2) you can prevent some nosebleeds. When your throat and nose are dried out, you are more likely to make a lot of noise when y

Reduce Your Heating Bill
If you’ve visited a hot, humid place before, you’ll know that humidity makes the air seem warmer than it actually is. You can reap this benefit in your home by using a humidifier in the winter. If the air is at a comfortable humidity level, then you won’t have to turn your thermostat up as much to feel warm. You’ll save on your power bill.

Protect Your Furniture
If you have wood furniture or even wood doors or paneling, dry air can harm them. You may see the wood crack or split, which means that you’ll have to either live with the damage, repair it, or replace the wood. For very expensive items, such as a wood piano, the costs can be very high.

Prevent the damage by using a humidifier. The moisture in the air will keep the wood in peak condition, and the device will save you money in the long run.

Prevent Static Electricity
When the air is dry, you may find that you get shocked by static electricity more often. Petting your cat or dog, wearing socks on the carpet, and grabbing a fuzzy blanket can all give you a jolt. To save your sanity (and your pet’s sanity), get a humidifier. You’ll see and feel fewer blue sparks

Keep Your Plants Healthy
In the winter, you may love to keep houseplants thriving to give you some greenery while everything outside sleeps. However, if your air is very dry, your plants might not be as happy. The dry air will quickly leach moisture from the plants’ leaves and the potting soil. Keep your plants happy by taking care of their air.
If you get a humidifier, look for one that comes with a built-in hygrometer, or a device that measures the indoor humidity. If your humidity levels get about 25 to 40 percent in the winter, you’ll have too much moisture, which can cause mold and encourage insect infestations. But if you keep your humidity at the right levels and take care of your humidifier, you’ll reap all the benefits listed above.



Don’t Forget Your Fall Attic Inspection

If you have a leaky, poorly insulated attic those energy dollars are slipping up, up and away. What can you do? Grab a flashlight, a tape measure and a pair of gloves. Head up to your attic and find ways to bring your utility bills back down to earth.

Look at your insulation

Adding attic insulation is one of the most effective ways to reduce heating and cooling costs, but how do you know if you have the right amount? If there’s no insulation up there, that’s a no brainer. Call a qualified contractor right away.

If you do have insulation, you’ll have to find out what type you have and how much. Most attics have batt insulation or loose-fill. Batt insulation is that fuzzy stuff that comes in rolls with brown paper on back. Insulation level is measured in R-value, which should be listed on the brown paper.

If you have loose-fill insulation, calculating the R-value is a little trickier. Shove a ruler or tape measure down into the insulation at several places in the attic to measure the depth. Loose-fill comes in different types (fiberglass, rock wool), each requiring a different depth to meet the R-value you need. Check your insulation R-value against recommended levels for your climate zone. If you fall short, you’re losing energy and money.  

Adding insulation to your attic is a cost-effective way to save energy and a project you can do yourself.

Sealing in savings

You’ve got the right level of insulation and it’s installed correctly. You’re good to go, right? Well…not so fast. All of that extra insulation won’t do much good if there’s a lot of air escaping through gaps or holes in your attic.

Locate all ceiling fans, recessed lighting fixtures and electrical outlets in the ceiling below your attic. Each of these is a potential source of air leakage. From the attic, pull back the insulation to find the cutouts and seal them with caulk or expandable foam. Check for and seal gaps around plumbing vents, furnace flues and ductwork. Also, seal the attic door or access with weatherstripping.







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