WNC Homeowner's Guide Spring/Summer 2023

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LOOK INSIDE FOR Spring/Summer 2023 WNCHomeowners.com Kitchen Cabinets • Hardware & Garden • Electrical Generators Tile & Mosaics • Tree Removal • Plumbing • Landscaping Homeowner’s Insurance • Home Goods… and More!
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Create a Patio That You Love

Summertime Project

A few small touches are all it takes to turn a patio from a bare spot in the yard to a comfortable, private retreat from reality. These ideas can help you maximize what you already have to create a patio that you love.



The easiest and most versatile way to add plants to a patio is by using containers. Evergreen shrubs in containers can define areas of a patio, provide privacy and shade or serve as a windbreak. Smaller pots of perennials, annuals or bulbs can introduce seasonal color to a patio. One advantage to using containers is that they are portable, which means you can move the plants around to suit your mood and their needs. Just be sure that the containers match the style of the patio. Another alternative is to have built-in planting areas on the patio. This is best done when you design and build the patio: leave open spaces to act as in-ground containers that you can plant directly into. This method creates more protection from freezing temperatures, and plants need less irrigation than if they are grown in containers. It also allows you to grow low ground covers that help soften large expanses of paving.

If you include a built-in in-ground planter, it is vital that the planting hole drain adequately and the soil does not become too alkaline as a result of adjoining mortar.

Here’s how to get the best results: Once the patio is built, including the planting holes, excavate a hole at least 3 feet deep and fill the hole with water at least 12 inches deep. If the water does not drain within four hours, you’ll need to improve drainage or use containers or raised beds. If the hole passes the drainage test, line it with heavy plastic, make several large slits in the bottom of the plastic so water can drain, then fill the hole with good soil.


In the same way you would decorate a room inside the house, use yard art to accent and otherwise decorate your patio. If the patio can be seen readily from inside the house, the use of ornaments such as wire spheres, metal obelisks or topiary frames with or without plants can help link the indoors with the outdoors. A focal point that also has a practical function serves double duty.


Whether elaborate and built-in or simple and freestanding, water features are desirable amenities for a patio. Even a small pond can host a number of plants and/or fish. Or install a fountain to provide a bubbling soundtrack to your outdoor experiences and minimize sounds from neighbors or traffic.


The most common and useful amenity for a patio is furniture. It provides a place to sit, dine or otherwise enjoy the space. When choosing patio furniture, consider the style and how it matches the surroundings, as well as how comfortable and durable it is. Outdoor furniture that has to be protected or that stains easily when exposed to the elements will probably prove to be more trouble than it is worth.

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Hereʼs Help Getting Started

Buying a home is always an exciting process, but naturally it can be a bit overwhelming. And when youʼre a first time buyer, learning the ropes for the first time, the process can be even more stressful and seem even more complicated. Figuring out your down payment, shopping around for and obtaining the best interest rate, deciding exactly which house you want and moving quickly on it, are all none-to-easy tasks. However, take a deep breath, and follow these simple tips

Conduct research.

Even if you are working with a realtor, check out new listings and spread the word throughout your friends and professional network. You never know who might be about to list a home, and you can jump on it before it even hits the market.

Start the mortgage process/correct credit report mistakes.

If you have not done so in a while, go online a request your free copy of your credit report through your bank or various other free websites. It’s important to know your credit score and correct any errors on the report before you start the mortgage process. Your credit score and report will directly influence the terms of your mortgage and could affect which house you’re able to buy.

Run the numbers.

Understand how much home you can afford to buy and whether home ownership might preclude you from addressing other important financial issues in your life, like paying off debt or paying for other pressing needs. A financial planner can help you understand how your housing choices can support your overall financial plan.

Keep your emotions in check.

Even with limited supply, there are a lot of houses out there. Be careful not to blow through your budget, get caught in a bidding war, or buy more home than you need. And even worse, you don’t want to put yourself in a position where you own two homes.

Follow these tips and you’ll be well prepared to start your search and buy your first home.


Upgrades happen for all kinds of reasons, but one of the most common purposes of a home renovation is to make essential spaces like kitchens and bathrooms more modern.

Modernizing your spaces isn’t just about the aesthetic, although that is a major advantage, especially when it comes to resale value. Updating your kitchen and

bath is also an opportunity to introduce new technology and enhancements that improve the function of these high-traffic rooms.

Modern styles simplify everyday living and can make contemporary entertaining more enjoyable. The sleek lines of modern design lend themselves to a clean look, which is supported by hidden features that make organization easier.

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Although the idea of a connected home isn’t new, technology is steadily improving. This means smart features are now often more affordable, easily integrated into the rest of your home and available to help manage a wider range of household items. In the kitchen, you can add smart technology in numerous ways, from appliances and climate control to lighting and window treatments. For example, touch-to-open and push-to-open doors and drawers create a sleek, modern design while opening and closing with either a push or touch of a button for convenience.

Similar diversity is available in the bathroom, where you can incorporate connected health and fitness monitors, touchless toilets, mirrors that double as information centers, towel warmers and even showers that automatically adjust to your preferred temperature.


Changing the colors in a space is one of the most effective ways to transform the decor, but the walls aren’t the only place where paint can make a big impact, especially in rooms like the kitchen or bathroom, where the cabinetry can make a bold statement.

Black is a hallmark of modern design and installing cabinetry with a black finish can instantly upgrade a room. To create visual interest, consider incorporating accent cabinets in a coordinating finish. For example, you could pair Wellborn Cabinet’s Midtown wall cabinets finished in Matte Ebony with upper center cabinets finished in Putty Oak. An island in Bel-Air can incorporate both dark and light tones for a cohesive look.


An exposed range hood is a trendy look that can add sophistication to your kitchen. Treating this functional element as a statement piece gives you another place to showcase your style and create a sleek and modern look. If your hood is covered, consider making the cabinet door a focal point with a material such as back-painted glass.


While your sink has some obvious functions, you can upgrade the space for even more practical use. Some of the latest sink design innovations include built-in features such as cutting boards, colanders, bowls, drying racks and compost areas. In addition, motion activated wastebaskets with separate compost or recycling containers provide hands-free access to reduce unwanted messes.


Public restrooms aren’t the only places you can benefit from a touchless faucet. At home, the feature may come in handy when your hands are full or filthy. An automatic water flow is convenient and can help keep germs and grime under control. For the most ontrend, modern look, coordinate your faucets with other bathroom elements finished in gold hues, such as a laminate veneer vanity in a high-gloss gold finish.


A luxurious soaking tub is a top demand for many homeowners, and trends are moving toward free-standing options that create a focal point in an oasis-like bathroom. You may be envisioning an old-fashioned clawfoot style, but there are numerous modern takes on the traditional version that can fit seamlessly into your modern design scheme.

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When it comes to renovating your home, be it a kitchen remodel or a bathroom overhaul, you want to be sure you hire the right professional for the job. This is the person you are depending on to tear down your walls and spend your dollars wisely. Avoid a renovation nightmare by researching a few different contractors and setting up an interview with each of them. Here are seven interview questions to ask a potential contractor to ensure you hire the right pro!


Are you licensed, bonded and insured?

Most states require contractors and their employees to take and pass an exam, as well as attend annual education courses to maintain their license. If they are insured, so are their employees. This is vital when choosing a contractor, because if they are not insured and someone gets injured on your property, you will be liable and they can sue. Bonds, such as a surety bond, will ensure that if they go out of business mid-renovation or they do not finish the job for another reason, you are not liable for the additional costs to fix the job or pay their bill.


What is the cost breakdown?

Never settle for a general or overall price estimate. Asking for an itemized cost breakdown is a vital step in the interview process. This way, you can see what they are charging you for and decide on any changes before they start. Oftentimes, there are many hidden fees that a homeowner may never know about. With a cost breakdown, you can discuss your options, update plans and even consider more cost-effective materials for your project.


What is the anticipated timeline for this project?

After discussing the cost, you want to understand how much time your project will take. Of course, you will likely not be offered a set finish date, as weather and other incidents may change things. Remember that delays are common and unforeseen circumstances may end up changing the completion date. Work closely with the contractor to set an anticipated start and end date, and if you need the work finished by a specific date, be sure to mention this now rather than later.

4 How long have you worked in this area?

In order to build a good reputation in a city or community, contractors must perform at a high-quality standard. Understanding how long they have been in business and how long their employees have been working with them will give you a better idea of how the finished

product will look. If they have experience working in your area before, they will have a better understanding of permit regulations and any possible issues in your area, such as piping and electrical work, that you may not be privy to.

5 Can you share references from past customers?

Previous customers are your best source of information on how well a contractor performed. In addition to doing your own research and reading online reviews, ask them to share a few past customers for you to speak with. When you do reach out, ask questions such as, “Were deadlines and expectations met?” and “What were your best and worst experiences working with this contractor?” This will help you get a better understanding of the contractor’s communication skills, as well as the quality of work you are paying them for.

6 Will you obtain the correct permits?

Permits are almost always required for professional remodeling jobs. Make sure that your potential contractor understands the rules and guidelines for permits in your area, and that they will help to schedule a visit from an inspector. Once a building inspector reviews the project and approves it, your contractor will be issued a permit to start the work. Remember to ask for copies of any and all permits for your records. If a contractor tells you they do not need a permit, do not hire them!

7 Can we put everything in writing?

In addition to collecting copies of the required permits, you want to ensure everything is put in writing. Every detail should be included in a contract, such as payment schedules, cost breakdown, timetables, materials purchased and other essential information. Before you decide on a contractor, be sure contracts are complete and signed before any work is started. Do not trust a contractor who refuses to put things in writing or tries to talk you out of a contract.

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Select the RIGHT TREE for the RIGHT PLACE in Your Yard

It has been more than 140 years since the first Arbor Day was observed in Nebraska. It has since become a national observance that takes place on the last Friday in April in most states and recognizes the importance of trees as well as tree selection, planting, and care. A properly selected and planted tree can add beauty and energy efficiency to your landscape. A poorly selected and planted tree can become high maintenance, dangerous, and short-lived. The Energy Education Council has advice to help you select the tree that is best for your yard.


“This is an excellent time of year for tree planting,” says Molly Hall, executive director of the Energy Education Council. “With some research and preparation, your tree will be a healthy and beautiful addition to your home for years to come.”

One of the first considerations is the purpose of your tree. Will your tree be needed for shade, a windbreak, or beauty? These considerations will affect what tree is suitable for you, and where it should be planted. Dense evergreens provide a good wind block, while leafy deciduous trees provide shade in the summer.

No matter what purpose the trees will serve, it is always best to choose native trees. They require less maintenance and will live longer. You can get more information about native growing trees from a regional university Extension office or a state department of natural resources. In addition, the Arbor Day Foundation has a free tree wizard tool that will help you select the best tree for your needs. It is available at www. arborday.org/shopping/trees/treewizard/intro.cfm.

The next step is to decide where you will plant your tree. For a windbreak, plant trees to the north, northwest, and west. For shade, plant trees to the east and west of your home. Remember that fast-growing trees are more brittle and likely to be damaged in a storm. Plant these trees farther from your home to protect your home from damage.

If you live in an area that is prone to wildfires, there are additional considerations to help keep your home and community safe. It is recommended that you limit the flammable vegetation and material around your home for at least 30 feet on all sides. Contact your local fire department for more information.

Also be sure to select planting locations that will not interfere with your utility lines or power poles. Power outages or interruptions occur when trees and branches come into contact with overhead lines. Electrical arcing and sparking from a wire to a nearby branch can cause fires.

Tall growing trees with a mature height of greater than 40 feet should be planted 50 feet away to avoid future pruning. A mature height of less than 25 feet is recommended for trees planted near power lines. Keep in mind that trees should never be planted directly under power lines, near poles, or too close to electrical equipment.

Tall growing trees near power lines must be pruned to maintain a safe distance from the wires. If you have trees that are growing into power lines, contact your electric provider. Never try to prune them yourself.

Before planting, take proper precautions to stay safe. Be sure to call 8-1-1, the national “Call Before You Dig” number, a few business days before you want to plant. It is a free service that gets your public underground utilities located and marked, so you can dig safely away from them. Or, contact your local landscaping or lawn care company, and they will be able to help you plant your trees.

Source: Energy Education Council


One of the most important aspects of owning a home is increasing its value. This not only helps you gain equity in your property, but it also makes your home more attractive to potential buyers if you decide to sell in the future. While there are many ways to boost the value of your home, some home improvement projects are more effective than others. Here we share the best home improvement projects for increased home value.

Kitchen Remodel: The kitchen is the heart of the home, and upgrading it is one of the most effective ways to boost home value. A kitchen remodel can include anything from updating cabinets and countertops to adding new appliances and fixtures. The key is to create a functional and modern space that will appeal to potential buyers.

Bathroom Remodel: Similar to the kitchen, a bathroom remodel can have a significant impact on your home's value. Upgrading your bathroom with new fixtures, lighting, and tile can make the space more attractive and functional, which can lead to a higher resale value.

Outdoor Living Space: Outdoor living spaces have become increasingly popular in recent years. Adding a patio, deck, or outdoor kitchen can create a space for entertaining guests and relaxing outside. This type of upgrade can increase your home's value and appeal to potential buyers who prioritize outdoor living.

Energy-Efficient Upgrades: Making energy-efficient upgrades to your home can save you money on utilities and increase your home's value. Installing a new HVAC system, upgrading insulation, or adding solar panels can make your home more efficient and eco-friendly.

Curb Appeal: First impressions are crucial when it comes to selling a home, and curb appeal is one of the most important factors in creating a positive impression. Upgrading your landscaping, adding a fresh coat of paint, or replacing an old front door can make your home more attractive and increase its value.

Whether you're planning to sell your home soon or want to invest in your property for the long term, these upgrades can make your home more attractive, functional, and valuable. Consider consulting with a real estate agent to help you plan and prioritize your home improvement projects to ensure you get the best return on your investment.



Even when everything goes according to plan, moving is pretty much guaranteed to be a stressful process. If something gets lost or damaged, however, it’s only going to get worse. That’s why it’s important to make sure that certain luxury items are insured before they’re packed and transported to your new home.

While homeowners insurance will usually cover you in the event of a break-in or natural disaster, such as a fire or hurricane, you could still be liable for anything that happens while moving. Moving companies, on the other hand, can be held liable to replace or fix a damaged item if you purchase full-value protection, though you’re not guaranteed to receive full compensation because you’re usually only covered up to a certain amount. For items of extraordinary value, which are defined as being worth more than $100 per pound, it can be a good idea to purchase separate insurance to cover you while moving. Here are a few items that luxury homeowners frequently opt to add coverage to.


For a valuable art collection, it’s quite common to purchase property insurance in addition to your homeowners policy. Even if you’ve already done this, though, you’ll want to check and see if it covers moving, as it’s entirely possible that damage that occurs in the back of a truck is not included.


Perhaps the easiest item to “mysteriously disappear,” it’s always important to take proper precautions with your jewelry collection when moving. Be sure to have highvalue pieces appraised beforehand and, for items that are truly irreplaceable, you may want to hire a special jewelry shipping service, or carry it with you.


All it takes is a bump in the road or a slam on the brakes, and a rare bottle of wine could be lost to the move. Hopefully, you won’t find yourself unpacking any winesoaked boxes at your new home, but, given the fragile nature, it’s smart to insure a valuable collection.


A state-of-the-art home entertainment setup, complete with an ultra-high-definition television and high-fidelity audio system, can easily set you back tens of thousands of dollars. These items are far from indestructible, but they are replaceable. With insurance, you can enjoy peace of mind should anything happen en route to your new abode.

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Though the real estate market is booming and home prices are already at record highs, it can't hurt to maximize the value of your property, particularly if you're considering listing it for sale. One of the ways to accomplish this is by investing in a well-chosen landscaping project, one that impresses potential buyers and entices them to pay a bit more to close the deal.

"When it comes to getting the best price for your home, the power of landscaping to increase your home's value can't be overlooked," says Beatrice de Jong, broker and consumer trends expert for Opendoor. "First impressions are everything, and curb appeal is what potential buyers notice first. ... It will signal to buyers that they can expect the same from the interior and bones of the house."

Here are five landscaping projects that industry experts say are worth the investment to boost your home's value.

1. PLANT TREES. One word: trees. It's the landscaping project nearly every expert recommends for increasing a home's value.

"Trees can add up to $9,000 to your home's value, but you should grow them a distance from the septic system, driveways and the house itself to prevent any potential interferences," suggests Bryan McKenzie, co-founder of Bumper Crop Times. "Otherwise, the value of your home can be decreased as buyers may anticipate costly issues."

What he's referring to is potential root damage to the home's foundation, falling branches or more. Wisely placed trees, however, have consistently proven to be a smart investment, says Dan Beaulieu, real estate agent, contractor and founder of Burlington House Buyers.

2. SPRUCE UP THE FRONT WALKWAY. Your walkway is part of a potential buyer's first impression. So, spend some time making your walkway and entrance look pictureperfect. "If the walkway is well-decorated, it instantly creates a good ambiance for the house," says Dawn Templeton, owner and real estate broker with Idaho-based Templeton Real Estate Group. "Plant flowers by the two sides of the walkway, and keep the walkways illuminated properly. It will create a dramatic beauty."

3. INVEST IN A WELL-MAINTAINED LAWN Another major element of curb appeal you should never underestimate is the power of a well-cared-for-lawn or front yard. These have a huge impact on the overall desirability of your home. "My general rule for landscaping is that the home should look at least as nice as the neighboring homes," says de Jong. "At the very least, home sellers should have the lawn mowed, trees pruned, weeds pulled and garden spruced up with some colorful seasonal flowers, because curb appeal is essential to selling a home."

An unmaintained lawn, on the other hand, is not only a curb-appeal deterrent; it also sends a red flag to potential buyers that the home wasn't taken care of, de Jong adds.

4. CONSTRUCT A FIRE PIT. Fire pits soared in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic while we were all stuck at home, and they continue to be a major outdoor landscape attraction that increases property value. "A fire pit is an arguably universally beloved home feature, perfect for families, young couples and anyone who loves to host and entertain guests," says de Jong.

"When built using less expensive materials ... homeowners can increase the ROI of a fire pit to more than 80% and recoup 78% of the costs," adds de Jong.

©2022 Kathryn Weber. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


the home three years before, and Dr. Larsen and his wife trusted me. Little did they know, I had no clue how to build the three simple walls needed for the small new bathroom.

ust a half-mile from my home a new house is being built. I've yet to meet the new owners but I've been able to closely monitor the progress. The aroma of sawdust still invigorates me, and I must say I do miss wearing my tool belt rig all day long while building a new house. Three years ago I had the pleasure of doing this installing all the plumbing, radiant heating, and electric in my daughter's new home.

DJo you want to build a new wall inside your home? Perhaps you're trying to create a new small space for a home office or hobby room, or maybe you have a bigger appetite and are transforming a dank basement into a finished living space. But you have no idea where to start. I've been there. I've experienced your anxiety.

I survived with the help of a few phone calls to my boss. It was a humbling experience as I discovered you don't know what

You can't always do this in an existing home, especially if the ceilings in the room are finished with drywall or plaster. As you tilt the wall up, it binds against the ceiling. If you're challenged by a finished ceiling, you'll most likely have to install your top and bottom plates, making sure the plates are

As you might suspect, with nearly 50 years of hands-on building experience, I've accumulated quite a few intriguing hacks that should be in many homes – as well as a handful of fantasy hacks that you will only find in homes built by those that can afford them.

Every now and then it's interesting to go back in time. I clearly remember having to build my first partition wall inside a house. I was a soaking wet-behind-theears carpenter working for a small remodeling company. One of my college professors, Dr. Larsen, had asked me to install a half bathroom in his home. I had no idea what to do, so I told him that my boss could do the job.

garden. I built one of these years ago for a customer. Ever since I completed the punch list, I've always wanted one for myself.

you don't know. Keep in mind this was decades before the Internet and YouTube. You have no idea what an advantage you now have when you have to educate yourself about how to repair and build things around your home. Count your blessings!

Another really inexpensive hack is to install an outdoor frost-proof hose faucet that has both hot and cold water supply.

plumb in the same plane. You'll then cut each wall stud to fit snugly between the plates and toenail them in place. Drill angled pilot holes in the ends of the wall studs for the nails. Use no less than 3-inch-long 16d sinker nails to connect the wall studs to the plates.

people's laundry in the cage that hung from the ceiling in the basement. With people wanting convenience with laundry rooms – often on the same floor as the bedrooms – I don't think builders will get many requests for these.

Once the simple plans were drawn and the contract signed, I was sent to my professor's house to start the job. I had painted the outside of

Let's start on the outside of the house and work our way inside. I'm not an RV owner, but I got more than one suggestion to create a dump port 4-inch pipe that allowed the RV to discharge its sewage into a septic tank. As a master plumber, I can tell you it would take all of 15 extra minutes of work to do this as the piping is being installed from the house to the septic tank. What a great idea!

Another really inexpensive hack is to install an outdoor frost-proof hose faucet that has both hot and cold water supply. I did this in my daughter's garage so they can wash a filthy child or dog or clean a saltencrusted car in bitter-cold weather. Once again, it only takes a few extra minutes in most cases to install the hot water line to this faucet.

Generous roof overhangs, roofs over exterior doors, deep porches that offered shade on sunny days, and screened-in porches were features many wanted on their next home. A variation on the screened-in porch is an octagonal stand-alone structure that could be located in a lush shade

Building a new interior wall in an existing house can be much different from doing it on a new home job site. When we carpenters build a wall for a new home, we typically build it flat on the floor. Once all the studs are nailed to the bottom and top plates, we tilt the wall up and secure it so it doesn't fall over.

Many folks wanted to ditch their propane grill canisters. They want a pipe that extends out to their patio or deck that connects to the propane or natural gas lines that service their furnaces, water heaters and ranges. Guess what? I had this at the last house I built for my family. It took me just 30 minutes to install the tee fitting in the black-iron pipe line, cut and thread the short piece of pipe that went outdoors, and connect the shut-off valve and quick disconnect for the hose that extends to the grill.

Moving inside, right at the top of my son's wish list was hard-wired ethernet cables to all bedrooms and any room that might have a TV or monitor connected to the Internet. Many feel wireless is the way to go, but if you do your homework, you'll discover a hard-wired cable provides faster and more secure connections.

Quite a few people walked down memory lane and desired an oldfashioned laundry chute. These require a considerable amount of work and harken back to the day when someone in the house didn't mind sorting through different

If there is no ceiling, you can tilt the wall up so long as you orient the wall in the same direction as the floor joists above. You simply make sure the top of the wall rises up in between two parallel floor joists. Once the wall is vertical, you can then slide it into position under

Perhaps the most popular suggestions were practical ones about secret spaces to hide valuables. As you might suspect, I had thought of that and have one such place in my existing home. At the very least there are simple ways to do this in attached garages and basements using ordinary building materials and containers that would trick a sly burglar. If you do this, always plan for floods. You must make sure valuables can't be damaged by water.

Others wanted full-blown secret rooms with hidden entrances and exits. As for myself, I've always wanted secret staircases and passageways in a house. They'd work much like in the game of Clue where you enter a passageway in one room and exit into another room in a distant part of the house. Think of the possibilities! There are several companies that offer different doors that are disguised as bookcases, steps that lift up, and other ways to hide an entrance to a secret room. You can locate these companies with ease on the internet. YouTube has quite a few videos of clever ways to create secret doors.

opening you just My your it at rough measurements Measure of the where attached the door. measurement. of your much frame the door. be trimming when you want between the top You height just one-quarter the factory Trust install drywall gap between and the ©2021 Content

©2023 Tim Carter. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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Building a new interior wall in an existing house can be much different from doing it on a new home job site. When we carpenters build a wall for a new home, we typically build it flat on the floor.
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Take a drive around your neighborhood and chances are those solar panels that once seemed so futuristic are becoming a pretty common site. But, even if you’re not ready to make the plunge to full-out solar power (and pay the price that panels cost), here are four ways you can incorporate solar energy into your home, according to the American Home Shield Home Matters blog:

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These attractive lights can instantly spruce up any landscape as well as add security in needed spaces. Solar security lights, flood lights or accent lights use solar cells to convert sunlight into electricity, and then store this electricity in special batteries that power the lights, come nightfall. Be aware, both the units and separate solar cell panel units need to be placed in sunny locations, so if shade from trees or structures will prevent adequate sunlight from getting through, the light’s performance will be compromised.


Think about that tangle of wires on your desk or kitchen counter where your family charges their growing array of devices. Now imagine if those wires could be replaced by the sun! While it may not seem like big savings to charge personal devices with solar, they actually use more energy than you think. A solar-powered phone and tablet charger can be a simple, inexpensive and effective way to begin introducing the benefits of solar power to your family.


Powered by solar panels that heat the water and deliver it to the storage tank, solar water heaters can replace gas or electric models. You may even be able to take advantage of a specific federal tax credit for solar water heaters. Solar water heaters can be a reasonable alternative to conventional gas or electric-powered models.


Think of a solar cooker like a sunshine-powered crockpot. Angled reflectors direct solar energy into a special chamber, heating food at relatively low temperatures over the course of many hours (eight to 10, depending on the recipe), just like a traditional slow cooker.

So start harnessing the power of the sun in small ways and start to see the difference it makes both in your next energy bill and the long-term health of the planet.


If you’re selling your home, your to-do list is likely stacked: find a REALTOR®, get an inspection, make needed improvements, up your curb appeal, and the list goes on. Another important facet to keep in mind before listing is to make sure your plumbing is up-to-date.

“When selling a home, you’re going to find each buyer’s home inspector will examine some of the same items,” says Max Rose, owner of Four Seasons Plumbing. “It can be a worthwhile investment to make some repairs to strengthen a home’s appeal to potential buyers and give sellers more negotiating power.”


The water heater is one of the more common big-ticket repairs that can arise from a home inspection. If the water heater is on the older side, a buyer may request it be serviced and flushed, if not replaced entirely, as a condition of going through with the home purchase.


Some older homes are plumbed with piping and/or fittings that have been recalled or had class-action lawsuits filed against the manufacturer. If your home has these materials in them, there is a good chance a potential buyer will want it replaced.


If the home has a crawl space, it can be relatively easy to check for leaky plumbing. If there are leaky pipes, that could be a red flag for the seller. Depending on the age and material of the pipes, fixes may range from a patch to whole replacement.


One point of a home inspection is to check the water pressure. If the pressure comes back high, that can be indicative of a larger (and costlier) problem.

“Each buyer has their own deal breakers, but if you’re finding that the water heater is coming up as a common strike point on a requested repairs list, it might be worth it to install a new one,” Rose says. “Having these issues come up on a buyer’s home inspection is only going to add to the stress of selling your home.”

Before listing your home, reach out to your local, trusted plumber for a full inspection of your plumbing and water heating systems. They can help recommend what improvements to make now, and what can wait for the new owner. Talking to a plumber will also give you peace of mind before your home’s inspection.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2018. All rights reserved.
Rose recommends sellers evaluate the state of the following items:
Serving WNC with a full range of quality professional residential and commercial plumbing services Family Owned & Operated for over 40 years Hendersonville’s Oldest & Most Trusted Plumbing Company • Commercial construction / plumbing service • Residential construction / plumbing service • Water Heaters • Water Filters • Gas Piping • Fixture Installation • Bathroom & Kitchen Remodeling 828.693.1007 925 Greenville Highway Hendersonville NC 28792 www.summeyplumbing.com Ready To Respond To Your Plumbing Needs
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