Show Notes: Keeping it Fresh – On the House

Show Notes: Keeping it Fresh

By on July 27, 2019
fresh lemon produce

Keeping it fresh!

Whether that’s your electrical bill and carbon-footprint or your kitchen cabinet accessories, the Carey Brothers have the information you need to keep it fresh!

This week they cover the oh-so-fresh topics below!

  • Cost of solar panels in the SF Bay Area
  • When is it okay to pick your neighbors produce?
  • Expert drainage tips to save you money
  • Pros and cons of home warranty
  • Must-have accessories for kitchen cabinets
  • Recall

Want to keep on keeping it fresh? Check out some of these older articles.

Refresh Your Space

The Benefits of Breathing In Fresh Air

Summer Home Improvements That Cost Less Than a Smart Phone

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Cost of Solar Panels in San Francisco Bay Area 

 Is it worth the investment? 

 Solar Panels in the San Francisco Bay Area: An Overview 

 The average cost of 5kw solar power system 2019:  $3.75/watt before incentives 

 Average payback time: 6 years, 7 months  

Average lifetime savings: $69,064.00 

Levelized cost of solar energy:  $.07 kWh 


If you don’t get solar $.42 kWh The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years 

 Annual power production: 8621 kWh  


What rebates, solar tax credits, and other solar incentives are available in California: 

 The two main incentives to install solar in California are the 30% federal solar tax credit and the net metering law.  

Many upfront utility-based incentives that were established under the California Solar Initiative are now exhausted for residential customers and are nearly exhausted for commercial customers. 

However, the case for investing in solar has never been stronger due to reductions in the price of solar systems helping to compensate for the lack of some upfront rebates.  

Property tax exemption 

California homeowners can now save on their property taxes with the installation of residential solar systems. Typically, having a solar system on your property would increase your property taxes, however, The Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems exempts 100% of the assessed value of a solar system from residential property taxes. 


When Is It Okay To Pick Your Neighbor’s Produce?  

A surprising number of Bay Area people grow fruits and vegetables in their front yard where any passerby can easily help themselves. 

Also unsurprising is that people in the Bay Area have very divided opinions on when it is OK to take fruit that is grown in a neighbor’s yard. 

The divisiveness became clear recently after Nextdoor member wrote about a fruit poacher he came upon one night while walking near his home in Berkeley. And, with tomatoes, figs and other foods springing to life right now in Bay Area people’s yards, his post is especially germane both for those who grow and those of us tempted by all the items ripening in yards we pass every day. 

He wrote:

While taking a walk with my partner late last night I noticed a suspicious individual wearing knee pads, carrying a long stick and carrying a head lamp. They were climbing over someone’s fence and poaching fruit from their tree. 

I thought it may be the property owner but after I took a picture of them they sped off across the street and kept running. 

Just putting the community on alert, and if you have a tree in season, to be cautious.

While he may have thought he was offering a security-oriented alert to his neighbors, he was instead setting off a sometimes off-the-rails debate over the rights and wrongs of helping yourself to what your neighbor has grown. 

All in all, it appeared that the source for this discussion, a man sneaking around on a stepstool with a headlamp under cover of darkness, was generally not within most people’s idea of acceptable fruit poaching. 

 But then what is? Read more about the discussion at SF


Expert Drainage That Will Save You Money In The Long Run 

 Get your yard ready for winter rains………Don’t wait for the mud! 

 You make sure that all your indoor drains are clear, clean, and working properly. So why wouldn’t you give the same amount of thought to outdoor drainage? It’s easy to forget that your yard doesn’t take care of rainwater and snowmelt on its own. With a little pre-planning, you can avoid thousands of dollars worth of water damage to your foundation, siding, and landscaping. 

 Signs of Poor Drainage 

If you take the time to look, it’s easy to determine whether or not you have areas of poor drainage. Low spots in your yard can collect water from rain and sprinklers, which will drown the grass and other plants growing in those areas. In some places, you can see standing water. Other signs to look for include a chronically wet home exterior and water staining. 

 Poor Drainage Problems 

Of the eight most common drainage problems, the most common is from downspout runoff. Having all the water from your roof filter into one, focused spot next to your home is going to cause sitting water—where it can seep into your home’s foundation, no less. The worst-case scenario of poor drainage is that your foundation cracks. This can cause uneven home settling, mold and mildew, and flooding in the basement. Fixing a cracked foundation can cost you tens of thousands of dollars, depending on how extensive the damage is. 

The Ideal Drainage System 

The number one rule every homeowner should stick by is the 10-foot rule: with any drainage system, redirect water at least 10 feet away from your house. A few feet aren’t enough, especially when the snow melts quickly or if there is a big rainstorm. And angling drainage pipes downward and away from the home. 

When it comes to drainage systems, passive or gravity-driven systems are best. Your pump is going to fail eventually, and I can almost guarantee that it is going to fail during the storm, not when it’s bright and sunny out. One simple task you can do to help a system work to its full potential is to fill in low spots in the yard and around the home. So instead of collecting in divots in the grass, a majority of the runoff will be taken care of by the drainage system. 

 One of the best things about drainage solutions is that homeowners can do a lot of the work on their own—you just need to be willing to do a little digging. If you’re installing a large system in your yard, rent a larger tool for efficiency and ease. Anything that involves a concrete saw you should leave up to a contractor. Whether you’re needing to get under a walkway or into the foundation, it’s best to leave the heavy-duty structural jobs to the professionals. 

 Making sure your property is outfitted for efficient water drainage should be a priority for homeowners. You will save money, improve your landscape’s chance of success, and prevent irreparable damage to the structure of your home. Taking the time to identify and solve issues will make it so you don’t need to give Dr. Drainage a call. 


The Pros and Cons of Buying a Home Warranty 

Whether you’re getting ready to purchase your first home, are moving up in house, or are simply fed up with paying for expensive home repairs, you’ve probably heard about home warranty plans and wondered if they’re right for you. 

While there’s no clear-cut answer, this article will attempt to address some of the major pros and cons so that you can make the decision that makes the most sense. 


How Do Home Warranties Work?  

For those who are unfamiliar with home warranties, let’s start with the basics. A home warranty plan, also known as a home protection plan, is much like a standard warranty that you’d buy for a product in a store – except that it isn’t limited to a single product. 

Depending on the type of coverage you purchase, a home warranty may cover dozens of systems and appliances. 

Generally speaking, most home warranty plans cost just a few hundred dollars per year and are fairly easy to handle. They work like this: 

  • A home system or appliance breaks down or has an issue. 
  • The homeowner calls the home warranty company. 
  • The home warranty company calls one of their approved providers. 
  • The provider calls the homeowner and makes an appointment. 
  • The provider fixes the problem. 
  • The homeowner pays the provider a service fee (generally less than $100). 
  • The home warranty company pays the provider the difference. 

When you work with a home warranty company that’s known for reliability and customer service, this process is generally pretty smooth. 


The Pros of Home Warranties 

When deciding whether or not you want to purchase any sort of home warranty plan, it’s always best to make a list of pros and cons. Let’s start by analyzing some of the benefits: 

  1. Comparatively Inexpensive  

“They are fairly inexpensive, typically ranging from $300 to $500, depending on coverage,” real estate expert Elizabeth Weintraub explains. “Home warranty companies sometimes run special sales and either discount policy prices or offer additional coverage for the same price. The policies are prepaid for a year in advance, at which time they expire and can be renewed by the homeowner at a slightly higher fee.” 

While $500 might not sound cheap, it’s affordable when you consider what could go wrong. A single problem with one of your home’s main systems could easily cost $1,000 or more. Even if you don’t have a major problem, two or three minor problems over the course of a year could easily exceed the cost of the plan. 

  1. Easy to Manage 

Think about what happens when your furnace stops working in the middle of the winter and you don’t have a home warranty plan. You immediately head to Google and start researching. You try to figure out the problem and if you can fix it on your own. 

Once you realize that it’s something you probably can’t handle, you begin pricing out the repair. Then you research service providers in your area. Then you call multiple service providers to see who can come out and when. It’s a huge affair that takes an entire afternoon. 

With a home warranty, all you have to do is place a single phone call to your provider. They handle the rest and you don’t have to worry about a thing (except trying to stay warm). 

  1. Peace of Mind 

It’s hard to put a price tag on peace of mind. Even if you go through a year without needing your home warranty plan, the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re protected in a worst-case scenario situation is irreplaceable. This, in and of itself, will help you sleep better at night. 


The Cons of Home Warranties  

While there are clearly benefits to investing in a home warranty plan, you’ll also hear many people speak poorly about them. With that being said, there are some cons that you must recognize: 

  1. You May Not Need it 

As is the case with any warranty or insurance plan, you might not need the coverage you’re paying for. If you don’t file a single claim over the course of a year, you essentially flushed hundreds of dollars down the toilet. 

If your home is still fairly new – built in the last 5 to 7 years – there’s a good chance that you could go through an entire year without having a big problem. Take this into account and consider self-funding your repairs if you believe your risk level is low. 

  1. No Choice in Service Provider  

One of the biggest issues people have with home warranties is that they have no choice in who services their home. Home warranty providers already have pre-established relationships with service companies in your area and will dispatch accordingly. This might not be a problem for most people, but if you have companies that you like, you probably won’t be able to choose them (at least with 100 percent certainty). 

  1. Big Systems May Cost Extra 

The most expensive repairs involve HVAC systems, septic tanks, roofing, and foundation. If you’re purchasing a home warranty plan to prevent major costs associated with these systems, you may be disappointed. Many basic plans don’t cover big-ticket items. To get these things covered, you may have to spend considerably more to upgrade your warranty. At this point, maintaining a plan can be a considerable expense. If you are having problems with your septic tank, make sure to contact a septic tank repair specialist immediately.

Building an Emergency Fund 

If you choose not to go with a home warranty plan, make sure you’re at least building up an emergency fund of cash in a designated checking account. This will serve as “self-insurance” and prevent you from going into debt on home repairs and maintenance.


Must-Have Accessories For Kitchen Cabinets   

Maximizing your available kitchen cabinets storage space with add-on parts and accessories should be a primary goal for your kitchen remodel. Maintaining peak function in your cooking space is all about accessibility within yourwork zones, ease of use, and limiting how much you need to move around so that you can focus on what matters most: delicious meals and good company. 

We’ve done our research on what people are using in the kitchen. Check out the rundown of the most popular and must-see trends in available storage accessories around. 

Roll-Out Pantries & Beyond 

Pantries are out in full force in today’s kitchen remodel landscape. Having one designated region of your storage for cans, jars, and dry goods is a huge boost to storage efficiency. 

There are a variety of different pantry styles available: 

  • Chef’s Pantry:A typical chef’s pantry consists of numerous layered shelving units which swing out and permit you to arrange their contents with great efficiency. 
  • Wall Cabinet Pantry:Wall cabinet pantries combine a door shelf with interior shelving. 
  • Roll-Out Pantry:Ultra convenient to your perishable food storage in a fridge, roll-out pantries give you heightened versatility in the kitchen. 
  • Pull Out Pantry:Full height pull out pantries can be positioned close to appliances to maximize storage of cookware and food combined. 

Pullout Base Cabinet Storage 

If you have a smaller kitchen but still have the clearance in your cabinet row, the addition of pullout base cabinet storage can furnish the convenience of a “micro pantry” within easy reach of your cooking spaces. 

Pull Out Cabinet Step Stool 

Often the top of your a much needed pantry is only usable for the first 5 or 6″ of space; behind that is a no man’s land, inaccessible and out of sight. Who knows what spices or kitchen supplies are hiding back there after being unfortunately nudged during your search for ingredients? With the installation of apull out cabinet step stool, however, you unlock an additional 15″ of height in the search for kitchen necessities stored away. 

Mixer Storage Cabinet 

A stand mixer is a staple of many kitchens–possibly yours! Their increasing popularity has led to a demand for significant countertop space, unfortunately, due to their somewhat ungainly dimensions. Without sufficient ongoing space, you may need to constantly retrieve yours from a closet or pantry, and they’re not the lightest things to have to transport around. The problem is solved with specially designed storage base cabinets for mixers. A lifting hinge with storage drawer for attachments makes for incredibly easy mixing 

Kitchen Corner Cabinets 

In many cases, your kitchen corners provide insufficient space for a Lazy Susan, or the angle doesn’t provide good access for a rotating shelf. Fortunately, there are a fantastic variety of options for corner storage to cover your every need. 

Some popular options for corner kitchen storage include: 

  • Hinged corner turnout shelving:Corner turnout shelves shaped and sized to custom fit within a corner base cabinet can be attached with glides, allowing you to easily pull out their shelf to access contents. 
  • “Magic Corner” shelves:“Magic Corners” are hinged shelves on glides custom fitted to the space and gauged toward your storage needs. 
  • Blind corner pull out shelves:The blind corner pull out is an option for kitchens with space constraints, where the traditional lazy susan isn’t effective. 

Drawer Peg System 

If you’re the type of person who prefers all drawer bases for your kitchen cabinetry to the more traditional door/drawer combination, then the drawer peg system is a must-have for you. It comes with adjustable pegs that you can easily place wherever you need them so you can keep all your plates and bowls in their place without any kind of sliding around. 

The pots and pan peg board takes the drawer peg system accessory concept and applies it to pots and pans. It is ideal for customers who want organization without losing the contemporary feel. They include all kinds of options for accessories so you can ensure that all your pots and pans, from saucepans to lids to canister sets and more, stay organized and easily available when you need them. 

And don’t forget Pull Down Shelving for the vertically challenged  

Reach those top shelves in your kitchen without using a stool. Rev-A-Shelf’s chrome pull-down shelving unit can bring those top shelf items to your fingertips. The 5PD Series is available for wall 24 and 36 cabinets. Both sizes lower those hard to reach items 10″ while pulling out 14-3/4″ from the cabinet. Unique gas assisted lifting/lowering mechanism provides unparalleled stability through the entire range of motion. Side and bottom mount brackets are included. The pull-out locks into the down position for hands free accessibility. A great solution for kitchen cabinet organization! 

Libero Electronic Door Opener 

The Libero electronic and automatic door opener, designed for use with manufacturer Richelieu’s E-Cargo and Euro Cargo waste bin management systems, provides a hands-free opening system for cabinet-integrated waste bins.  

The low-voltage sensor device can be installed to the bottom of a base cabinet, and secured with only four screws. It is ideal for use with frameless base cabinets, according to the manufacturer, as well as top-mounted waste bins and common bottom drawers. It is activated via motion sensor; the drawer opens when the user waves their foot in front of the sensor in the kick board. 


Levolor Rcalls Custom Cellular Shades Due to Strangulation Hazard  

 The pull cords of the Levolor Two-Corded Custom Cellular Shades  are joined by a non-breakaway cord connector, which poses a strangulation hazard for small children.  About 30,000 were sold and consumers should immediately stop using the recalled shades and contact Levolor for a free repair kit. Levolor is contacting purchasers directly. As of yet, there are no reported injuries. Theyve been sold at Levolor dealers nationwide and online at from December 2018 through April 2019 for between $65 and $1,125. 

Mentioned Links:

Thank you~ 

A very special thank you to all of our callers! We live to answer your questions, so keep them coming! 

Thank you to our Technical Support: 

  • Danny Bringer – Chief Engineer  
  • Carol “Remodeling Babe” Carey – Executive Producer  
  • Sam Reed – Associate Producer 
  • Rico Figliolini – Digital Master 


Thank you for tuning in and keeping it fresh! And check in next week for more cool tips! 

“Keeping It Fresh” Show Notes for On The House with the Carey Brothers aired July 27, 2019. 

Missed our live show? Don’t worry! Because we have a podcast of the show. It’s the same thing we aired on the radio, but ready for you whenever and wherever you are! Check it out here. 


@careybros #homeimprovement #diy #radio 


Keep on keeping it fresh, like John Lemon.

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