Page 1

WINTER 2014

Holiday Gift Guide 2014

DO-IT-YOURSELF HOME UPGRADES You Can’t Live Without

Reign in CHRISTMAS CHAOS Helpful Holiday Apps


CONTENTS

WINTER 2014

6 Ask The Expert: Holiday Lights All Is Bright

8 Holiday Spirit

The Season For Giving Holiday Recipes

18 Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide 2014

23 Tech

Reign in Christmas Chaos

12 Parade of Homes

24 Homeowner Advice

4 Home Upgrades You Can’t Live Without

People’s Choice Winners

How to Spot a Contractor Scam

16 Do-It-Yourself

Winter Wonderland

Emergency Preparation Tips: Document Organization

IN EVERY ISSUE 4

If you are interested in subscribing to At Home in York Magazine, please visit www.athomeinyork.com for more information. Or contact Katie Dennis directly. Katie@yorkbuilders.com • 717.767.2444 ext 15

Letter From The Editor


WINTER 2014

LETTER FROM THE Editor At Home in York Magazine is owned by the York Builders Association.

A

EDITOR & ART DIRECTOR Katie Dennis Katie@yorkbuilders.com

THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS: Chris Tait, HandyPro Cathy Warner, York Builders Association Laurie Lourie, York Builders Association Melissa Longenberger, York Builders Association Molly L. Ramos, RKL

CONTACT US: York Builders Association 540 Greenbriar Rd York, PA 17404 www.YorkBuilders.com www.AtHomeinYork.com 717.767.2444 Fax: 717.764.9395 SUBSCRIPTIONS: For new subscriptions, changes of address or questions about subscriptions, call 717.767.2444 ext15, or visit www.AtHomeinYork.com. Annual Subscriptions are $10. Digital subscriptions delivered to your email inbox are FREE: sign up on our website: www.AtHomeinYork.com EDITORIAL: Send your comments, story ideas, and suggestions to: Editor At Home in York 540 Greenbriar Rd York, PA 17404 Or email: Katie@yorkbuilders.com

FOR ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES:

Kay Shuey 717.454.9179

Kay@HoffPubs.com

s we all hunker down against the winter chill, keep in mind that home improvement is a year-long          adventure. Now that you have more time to focus on the interior of your home, take the occasion to ferret out your home’s problem areas. Don’t wait till the new year to get organized—start now! You’ll thank yourself once the holiday guests, and their clutter, fill your space. For our staffers, winter is the time to catch up on the things nicer weather convinces us can wait another day —which is why we included several articles to help you prepare. To spot a shady contractor when you’re in dire need of repairs, to organize important documents in case of emergencies—these are things we often don’t consider till we’re rushed, or it’s too late. Last winter brought heavy snow and ice storms, causing lots of damage to York County residences. We want you to stay informed as you weather the cold. But that doesn’t mean this issue is dreary: there’s plenty of Holiday Cheer to keep you celebrating. Our Christmas recipes, DIY holiday decorating tutorial, and Holiday Gift Guide will get you in the spirit. There are so many local businesses with unique, handcrafted, one of a kind offerings you can’t find anywhere else—and we’ve compiled a lengthy list. We’ve also included a photo gallery of York County’s award winning contractors—honored with the People’s Choice Award at the York Builders Association’s Parade of Homes Event in September. If you missed out on the chance to tour any of the 21 homes on display—you’re in luck. The Association’s Home Show happens in February, and many of the same businesses will be showcasing their project portfolios and expert knowledge. While we’re inundated with how-tos and tips on how best to approach buying a home, selling a home, and general home improvement over the web, there is nothing that compares to speaking to a professional face-to-face about the things you need to create your happiest living space. Our retreat from work, our safe place to sleep deserves that kind of careful research, don’t you think?

Katie Dennis

Editor & Art Director, At Home in York Magazine

Communications & Social Media Director at York Builders Association

The written and visual contents of this magazine are protected by copyright. Reproduction of print or digital articles without written permission from Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc., and/or the York Builders Association is forbidden. The placement of paid advertisements does not imply endorsement by York Builders Association. Publisher: Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc. 610.685.0914 2921 Windmill Road, Suite 4, Sinking Spring, PA 19608 ADVERTISING For Media Kit: Visit www.AtHomeinYork.com, email Katie@yorkbuilders.com, or call 717.767.2444 ext 15


ASK THE EXPERT: Holiday Lights

All is Bright N

ATHOMEINYORK.COM

othing announces Christmas quite like a neighborhood full of glittering lights. But before you climb the roof to install your glowing plastic rendition of Santa and his sleigh, make sure you follow a few handy man rules—or you could find yourself with a medical bill in addition to an extra high electricity bill. Below are some safe and smart ways from Chris Tait of HandyPro, to keep your home brightly lit for the holidays.

6

“First and foremost you need to ensure the outdoor outlet is properly grounded. This can be done using a simple inexpensive 120VAC tester. They can be found for less than $10 at most hardware stores. Preferably you would want a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet. But many older homes do not have one.”

“If you need to use an extension cord, you must use one that is UL approved for outdoor use.”

“You may find a need for additional outlets. In this case you’ll want to find a suitable outdoor multi-outlet power source. There are many on the market. Regardless of what brand you choose, it should have a protective cover and its own internal circuit breaker. Multi-outlet stakes keep the power center off the ground and reduce chances of shorting out in heavy rains.”


“When using extension cords outside, you should create what is called a “drip loop.” This is basically a loop in the cord 6 to 12 inches away from the plug that allows water to drip off the cord rather than running down the cord to the outlet and causing a potential fault/short.”

Plug in Outlet Rainwater runs down drip loop

ABOUT HANDYPRO Chris has a passion for home projects and modifications, and he also knows how difficult it is to find a trusted, high quality repairman. He’s a graduate of the University of Maryland and holds a CEAC certification as an Ease of Access Consultant. Chris has always worked on his own home projects and has developed a wide background in every aspect of home repairs. His own home was featured on HGTV’s “If Walls Could Talk.” He also specializes in mobility challenges and independent living solutions for seniors and the disabled.

Drip Loop Kitchen and Bath Showroom

Water falls from drip loop

Located at... 2474 N. George St. York, 17406

Phone: 717-858-4797 w ww . k i t c h en a n d b a t h y o r k . c om

“Lastly, DO NOT OVERLOAD your power source. All UL approved lights have a wattage listing; they also usually provide instructions on the maximum number of strings that can be connected together. Follow manufacturer instructions for those types of lights. You never want to exceed 80 percent of the wattage allotted on any given circuit. That is 1440 watts on a 15 amp circuit. Keep in mind there may be other areas of the house on the same circuit. If you have been using the same holiday lights for years, consider rewarding yourself with new low energy options that are now available. Holiday lighting continues to improve in quality, brightness, and reduced energy usage. Use the extra money you save for presents! There are new ways of hanging holiday lights available as well. There are plastic gutter anchors for icicle lights, light nets for bushes and small trees, and many more options than there were just a few years ago. Good luck, be safe, and enjoy the holidays.”

WINTER 2014 AT HOME IN YORK

From Concept...To Creation

7


HOLIDAY SPIRIT

The Season For Giving Volunteer or donate to your favorite York County charity as part of your family’s celebrations.

I

n the rush to complete shopping, baking, wrapping, and planning, many families find that volunteering for a charity organization or raising money for one, helps to keep thanksgiving and gratitude at the forefront of their holiday celebrations.

Children’s Advocacy Center The mission of the York County Children’s Advocacy center is to reduce the trauma of child abuse investigations; foster professional collaboration and cooperation; and provide education and advocacy regarding the prevention of child abuse within the community. 28 S. Queen St.,York, PA 17403 717.718.4253 www.yorkcac.org

SOAR

Not everyone gets to enjoy a safe, warm holiday with their loved ones, for many reasons. We compiled a list of our favorite York County organizations that welcome volunteers, fundraising, and donations for those who could use a helping hand.

(Support Our American Recruits)

Support Our American Recruits, Inc. (SOAR) is a non-profit military support organization, striving to make a positive difference in the lives of United States troops and veterans by organizing fundraisers to provide goods and services for our fighting men and women and their families. 1366 Hollywood Dr.,York, PA 17403 Email: kile@lovely.com www.supportouramericanrecuits.com

York County Food Bank

The York County Food Bank’s mission is to eliminate hunger in York County, serve member agencies so they can help people in need, and encourage others to partner with them by donating and volunteering. 254 W Princess St.,York, PA 17401 717.846.6435 www.yorkfoodbank.org

York Rescue Mission

ATHOMEINYORK.COM

Servants

8

Servants’ Home Helps program helps to meet the needs of residents in York County by providing maintenance and repairs to homes of people who, for whatever reason, are unable to do the work themselves, or are not able to pay professionals to do the work for them. Their primary focus are seniors, single parent households, and people with disabilities. 100 Redco Ave., Suite C-0 Red Lion, PA 17356 717.378.0036 www.servants.org

The Gates Project

The 2007 pilot program funded grant requests from neighborhood groups for breezeway gates and street and porch lights. According to residents and the York City Police Department, the gates were very effective in deterring criminal behavior. The Gates Project is always looking for volunteers to install gates, donations, and tools. To become part of their email list for calls to action, or to make a donation, email Katie@yorkbuilders.com. http://yorkcity.org/gatesproject

For over 52 years the York Rescue Mission has been offering food, clothing, shelter, and spiritual guidance to the poor and needy of York County. 367 W Market St.,York, PA 17401 717.845.7662 www.yorkrescuemission.org

YWCA Camp Cann-Edi-On Camp Cann-Edi-On provides children an experience that will empower them and provide skills that will shape them for years to come.

320 E Market St.,York, PA 17403 717.845.2631 www.ywcayork.org/campcannedion


Olivia’s House Specializing in bereavement therapy, recognizing the needs of children and their families during the difficult time after the death of a loved one.

Is My Charitable Contribution Going to a Worthy Organization?

York Location 830 S. George St.,York, PA 17403 717.699.1133

By Molly L. Ramos, CPA, RKL

NEW Hanover Location 101 Baltimore St., Hanover, PA 17331 717.698.3586 www.oliviashouse.org

Giving to charity not only results in a federal tax deduction, but it also helps to support organizations that are involved in issues important to the donor. But how does one know which organizations are legitimate and effectively using contributions to further a worthy cause? The first step would be to search Publication 78 to find out if the IRS has granted the organization tax exempt status. Second, review previously filed Form 990 on Guidestar.org to get a feel for the types of programs for which the donations are being used.

SKILLS of Central PA SKILLS assists individuals with disabilities in acquiring gainful employment in local business and industry. SKILLS staff continues to demonstrate that, with the right supports, everyone, including those with disabilities, can live in the community and enjoy a high quality of life.

Contributed by Molly L. Ramos, CPA, a manager in RKL’s Tax Services Group (www.rklcpa.com/services/ tax-services/). Molly has more than 12 year’s experience in tax services, specializing in individual tax, trusts, estates, gifts and not-for-profit organizations.

600 Linden Ave., Hanover, PA 17331 717.630.2455 www.skillsofcentralpa.org

How do I get started? Call us to discuss your project. Here’s a summary of what we will talk about during our initial phone consultation.

! Thank You BATH!

U Type of Project U What is your budget range for this project? U What planning have you done to date? U When would you like to have your project completed?

D E S IG N

U

B U ILD

U

RE MO D EL

At the conclusion of our phone consultation, we will schedule the initial meeting to discuss and see your project in person. We provide you with peace of mind and handle everything from the initial design to the final finishes.

717-843-8000

RFHager.com Find us’ S Con P EOPLE HOICE A WARD 2012

Rob and Brenda Hager and their team have been remodeling homes for the past 28 years. Rob’s construction knowledge and attention to detail are a perfect combination with Brenda’s gift for combining colors and textures. It’s been said by their clients, “they take the pain away!”

P R O U D T O B E PA R T N E R E D W I T H AWA R D - W I N N I N G R E M O D E L I N G

V OTED P EOPLE ’ S C HOICE A WARD F AVORITE B ATH 2013

Visit us at: RFHager.com (717) 843-8000 PA 1 4 7 1 1

PA 14711

WINTER 2014 AT HOME IN YORK

2014 FAVORITE

Ê Ê Ê Ê

PA14711

9


HOLIDAY SPIRIT

Holiday Recipes Go-to Holiday recipes chosen by our staff, as they prep for their family holiday celebrations.

F

uzzy sweaters, hot drinks to warm the bones, roaring flames in the fireplace, and freshly made family recipes are the stuff Christmas is made of. We’re sharing our favorite holiday recipes with you.

Corn Bread Pudding Laurie’s Favorite INGREDIENTS: 1 (16 oz) can creamed corn 1 (16 oz) can kernel corn 1 (8 oz) sour cream 1 stick melted butter 1 package Jiffy Cornmeal Muffin mix DIRECTIONS:

ATHOMEINYORK.COM

• Mix all ingredients together until well blended. • Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 pan. • Bake for 1 hour on 375° or until golden brown. • Let cool and cut into squares.

10


Cranberry Sauce Melissa’s Favorite INGREDIENTS: 1 bag fresh cranberries 1 cup white sugar 1 cup water (or orange juice) DIRECTIONS: • Dissolve sugar into liquid and bring to a boil. • Add cranberries and cook until just starting to pop (about 10–15 minutes). • Cool before serving, will thicken as it cools.

Katie’s Favorite INGREDIENTS: 1 c. butter (softened) 1 ½ c. sugar 2 eggs 2 ¾ c. flour 2 tsp. cream of tartar 1 tsp. baking soda ½ tsp. salt 2 Tbsp. sugar 1 tsp. cinnamon DIRECTIONS: • Mix together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside. • Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs and blend well. • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well. • Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. • Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. • Bake for 8–10 minutes at 350°. (Makes about 4 dozen cookies)

Specializing in Custom Railings, Stairs, Fences & Gates 27 E. Lancaster St. Red Lion, PA www.hessiron.com 717.927.9160 • 717.495.2810 HIC: PA077075

߶߶߶߶߶߶ß

WINTER 2014 AT HOME IN YORK

Snickerdoodles

߶߶߶߶߶߶߶߶ß

Other ingredients you could add to make it your own— orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg

11


PARADE OF HOMES

PEOPLE’S CHOICE

WINNERS I

n September, York County builders, remodelers, and landscapers opened the doors to 21 homes, showcasing their craftsmanship and artistry. Kitchens, bathrooms, expansions, restorations, event spaces, and a backyard paradise were all presented. The residents of York County voted on their favorites—and of the 18 companies that participated, here are the projects you voted for!

Raffy’s Remodeling

ATHOMEINYORK.COM

717.880.4754 www.raffysremod.com

12


RF Hager Con

struction

ing

Kruszon Remodel 717.848.9380 .com www.kruszonremodeling

WINTER 2014 AT HOME IN YORK

717.843.8000 www.rfhager.com

13


PARADE OF HOMES

mes Aiello’s Custom Ho 717.451.3910 www.aielloscustom.com

Hively Landscap

es

717.292.5696 www.hivelylandscapes.c

ATHOMEINYORK.COM

om

14


FREE DIGITAL EDITION

Join our email list to instantly receive At Home in York as soon as it’s released. You’ll also be notified of At Home in York Events where you’ll receive special VIP treatment as a subscriber.

PRINT EDITION

Sign up to receive printed editions in your mailbox for only $10 a year. Each issue is chock full of Home Improvement & Lifestyle tips you can utilize right away. To sign up for either method, go to AtHomeinYork.com – or complete this section and mail back to us.

Name: Address: Zip: Email:

Phone:

Please complete all sections of the form so we can make sure we have your information correct.

( ) I would like the Free Digital Edition ( ) I would like the $10 Yearly Subscription

(Please enclose a check for $10 before mailing)

Mailing Address:

At Home in York Magazine, 540 Greenbriar Rd, York, PA 17404

Chefs on Parade, held on September 18th, was the kick off to the Parade of Homes weekend. Five homes teamed with local restaurants to create a special evening of tasting and touring. Winners of this year’s Chefs on Parade and Parade of Homes People’s Choice are:

Chef George

at Victor’s Italian Restaurant

Favorite Kitchen

For future contest details and to keep informed of all York Builders Association events including the Parade of Homes and the Home Show, visit www.yorkbuilders.com or like their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/YorkBuildersAssociation. You can view the winning projects and find a contractor for your dream home by visiting www.yorkbuilders.com, or by visiting the York Builders Association Facebook page.

WINTER 2014 AT HOME IN YORK

Raffy’s Remodeling

15


ATHOMEINYORK.COM

Easily create this landscape of bare trees & snowdrifts for your table centerpiece with a few inexpensive items and nature’s abundance of branches.

16


DO-IT-YOURSELF

Prep your area by covering your table with newspaper, and dishing out loose glitter into a bowl. Pour about ½ -1 cup of Mod Podge or Elmers glue into bowl, add 2 teaspoons of water, and stir with the paintbrush.

You’ll Need: Branches from your backyard (look for wider branches with many offshoots instead of straight ones) Glitter (we chose white iridescent) Spray glitter (optional) (we chose one with white frost flecks) Mod Podge or Elmer’s Glue A cheap paintbrush you won’t mind ruining Newspaper An outdoor or ventilated space to spray paint Disposable bowls for glitter and Glue 2 teaspoons of water Vases Enough salt to fill vases

Lay one branch as flat as possible on one side onto the newspaper and begin brushing the glue on all sides of the branch that face you. Work in 1 foot sections. For a more subtle “highlight” look, use a smaller brush and apply glue in long strokes, skipping sections. Dust glitter by hand over the glue to apply. Repeat until the side facing you is completed and allow to dry. Flip and repeat with the other side of the branch. Allow to dry. Once dry, shake the branches over the newspaper to remove excess glitter. To help seal the glitter that remains on the branches, take the branches outside and apply spray glitter on all sides of the branches. Allow to dry. Fill vases with salt, and push the base of each branch (or a few branches) into the snowdrift.

WINTER 2014 AT HOME IN YORK

S

parkly, frosted, crystal covered branches are a winter décor staple, simple to make, and so easy to personalize with your own style. There are a variety of products out there you can choose for your project, but we wanted an over-the-top sparkle and snow look for our branches. If you want something more rustic, natural or icy looking, use tiny clear beads instead of glitter. You can also consider painting the branches a frosty color like white, light blue, or gray before glittering. We loved how the salt in clear vases imitated soft snow.

17


Holiday Gift Guide ATHOMEINYORK.COM

2014

18

Our favorite local boutiques with items you can’t find anywhere else!


2014

1 Glass Yuletide pine, $  54.95

GIFT GUIDE

2 Quilled paper ornaments (bird & star design), $  8.95 ea 3 Star of Bethlehem glass ornaments, $17.95 ea

Kimman’s

4 Silver spindle ornament, $11.95 5 Carpenter Santa, $14 6 Round Santa glass ornament, $14.95

325 S. Belmont St., York, PA 17405 717.849.5310

7 Ice pine, $24.95

2

www.kimmans.com

8 Frosted ice pine, $59

Holiday Hours: (Nov–Dec 24) Mon–Thurs: 10–5 Fri: 10–7 Sat: 9–4 Sun: 11–3 Black Friday: 7–4

3 4

5 8

6 1 Photo by Hayman Studios Commercial Photography + Video

WINTER 2014 AT HOME IN YORK

7

19


Make Your House a Home for a Lifetime

More Boutiques & Unique Locations to Visit While You’re Out:

REDEUX Marketplace

113 South Duke St., York, PA 17401 redeuxmarketplace.com

SPECIALIZING IN HOME MODIFICATIONS TO HELP PEOPLE STAY IN THEIR HOMES LONGER.

Indigo Bleu

Bathroom & Kitchen Modifications, Stair Lifts, Grab Bars, Ramps, Elevators & General Home Improvements.

39 W. Philadelphia St., York, PA 17401 indigobleufashion.com

REFINDINGS: York’s Architectural Warehouse

Pro.com HandyPro.com Call Today for a FREE Estimate

800.942.6394

465 Prospect St., York PA 17403 refindings.com

Central Market

34 West Philadelphia St., York, PA 17401 centralmarketyork.com

A VIEW designed FOR YOU Serving York County for over 25 years

Miss Lucy’s Dog Treats

5241 N. Salem Church Rd., Dover, PA 17315 misslucysdogtreats.com

Cheri Anne

48 West Philadelphia St., York, PA 17404 cherieannedesigns.com

The Carriage House Market

117 Frederick St., Hanover, PA 17331 carriagehousemarket.net

ATHOMEINYORK.COM

Treasures

20

Kitchens  Sunrooms  Bathrooms  Additions Clubrooms  Windows  Doors  Home Repairs

Red Oak Remodeling 717.244.4711 785 Dietz Rd. York, PA 17402 RedOakRemodeling.com

PA Contractor License #001609

1 York St., Hanover, PA 17331


2014

GIFT GUIDE

The Frame Shop & Gallery 22 Baltimore St., Hanover, PA 17331 717.632.6398

Jewelry, pottery, local art, prints, home decor, vinyl albums, custom framing. Tue–Thurs: 10–6, Fri: 10–5, Sat: 10–3

1 2

3 4

8

6

7 1 Glass and ceramic bowl, Kerry Brooks/Dock 6 Pottery, $    65 2 Gold Maple Leaf convertible necklace/pin, Nature’s Creations, $    42 3 Verdigris Fern Leaf convertible necklace/pin, Nature’s Creations, $36 4 Pewter lily pad wine stoppers, La Contessa, $17 5 Metal print earrings, Pinderella, $25 6 Lime floret ring, La Contessa, $58

Photo by Hayman Studios Commercial Photography + Video

7 Quilted clay earrings, Pinderella, $24 8 Harry Potter book purse, $25

WINTER 2014 AT HOME IN YORK

5

21


2014

GIFT GUIDE

4

3

2 5

York Wallcoverings Factory Store

6

201 Carlisle Ave., York, PA 17404 717.854.4285 www.yorkwallstore.com

Wallpaper, wallpaper tools, fabric, window treatments, window shades, accessories, gifts, lighting.

1

Mon–Fri: 9:30–5:00, Sat: 9:30–4:00

1 Bare tree ceramic vase, $22 gold sparkle twigs, $13 2 Mistletoe Kissing Crystal, $9

ATHOMEINYORK.COM

3 Foil wrapped Santa, $17.99

22

7

4 Mistletoe Kissing Ball, $16.99 5 Glitter sprigs, gold $8.99 & green $12 6 Silver & Gold sparkle ornaments, $8.99 ea 7 Beaded garland, $13.50

Photo by Hayman Studios Commercial Photography + Video


TECH Reign in

Christmas Chaos These handy smart device applications will make your holiday task list so much more manageable, so you can enjoy the spirit of the season.

GIFT APPS

SHIPPING NOTIFICATIONS

Santa’s Bag

Delivery Status

The ultimate gift list organizer. Wishlists, shopping lists, and the ability to import contacts. Set budgets and track your progress as the countdown ticks towards the holiday.

If your Christmas shopping happens online, it’s easy to forget an order in the onslaught of confirmation emails and tracking numbers. Delivery Status accommodates more than 30 shipping services, with status updates and the ability to add estimated delivery dates to your calendar among other features.

Gift Professor

Let’s face it, you might take pride in your ability to find the perfect gifts for all the people on your list, but it’d be nice to have a little help. Gift Professor is a “gift matching system” with over 2000 merchants. The app asks a few questions and helps discover options for even your toughest characters.

KIDS How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The classic Christmas story narrated with interactive original illustrations for modern tech-savvy youngsters. You can even create your own narration, meaning you can record your special rendition of the story, or allow your kids to participate and listen to their creation.

SALE/COUPON APPS Red Laser

TRAVEL Flight Track

Whether you’re travelling or hosting the travelers at your home, Flight Track 5 alerts you with live tracking. Predict problems with flights, share flight statuses by email, facebook, text message, Twitter, or Airdrop with those waiting for you, add flights to your calendar, and organize groups of flights—especially helpful if your family is scattered all across the planet.

WINTER 2014 AT HOME IN YORK

If finding the best price for your gifts is part of your strategy, use this “shopping assistant” to scan barcodes and search online and locally for the greatest deal. Everything you need about a store is listed, including hours, maps, and coupons to make your marathon shopping excursions that much more productive. It even includes the ability to scan and digitize store loyalty cards and share them with friends and family. Rack up those reward points!

23


HOMEOWNER ADVICE

Home Upgrades You Can’t Live Without The best part? You don’t have to hire a contractor, because they’re all do-it-yourself projects. HOME UPGRADE #1: USB Wall Ports Zipping around the house in search of a charger for your phone or tablet is a huge pain, particularly when you’re in a rush. Enter the USB wall port. Simple to install (even with little to no electrical knowledge) and extremely handy to have, USB wall ports are a must-have. Most USB wall ports are designed to replace ordinary AC sockets, and some even feature both so you don’t have to sacrifice your outlet space.

ATHOMEINYORK.COM

HOME UPGRADE #2: Under-Cabinet LED Lighting

24

bulbs provide, while bright white LEDs create that big-box-retailer glare. If you’re installing under-cabinet LED lights, choose a bulb with a color temperature ranging between 2,700 and 3,500 Kelvins.

Lights beneath your cabinetry in the kitchen or in bathrooms can add a warm, welcoming element that’s tough to replicate with other décor. It’s no secret that incandescent bulbs have a dim future, and you don’t HOME UPGRADE #3: have many other options, either; you could Smart Locks opt for fluorescent lighting, which casts a sickly glow around your house, or you could How many times have you received a franaim for halogen bulbs, which burn hot and tic phone call from one of your kids, who’s have the potential to shatter if they’re exposed trapped on the front porch with a pile of to the oils from your hands. homework and a growling stomach? What LEDs are an entirely different story, though. about your spouse? Maybe it’s even happened They’re cool to the touch, thanks to a heat to you: you stepped out to check the mail sink in every bulb, and they even come in and the front door locked behind you, leaving ready-to-mount strips that make them incred- you to rack your brain for ways to break into ibly easy to install beneath cabinets. your own house. Choosing warm white LED bulbs will give Smart locks can prevent all of that. You you the same soft glow that incandescent can control the locks on your home with


your phone or from a remote device that’s connected to the Internet. (That means you can head to the neighbor’s house, strike a few computer keys and go home to put that mail away.)

Some smart locks even come with programming capability. You can give your housekeeper access for a few hours each week, track who comes and goes, and monitor the status of your locks while you’re on vacation.

Our modern schedules are hectic—leave technology to adjust the thermostat at the most economically effective settings. New technology in thermostat designs can detect when people leave the home or return to adjust temperature settings—this concept, known as “geofencing,” means you don’t have to think about your thermostat once your temperature preferences are inputted. Most of these devices are accessible by smartphone app, where you can make adjustments on the go, or adjust the sensitivity of your comings and goings to pick up in a certain mile radius—meaning your home can be nice and cozy before you step foot inside. Some can turn lighting and other appliances off and on within the same application.

WHY UPGRADE?

Aside from making your life more convenient, the right upgrades can significantly increase the value of your home. Even if you don’t plan to sell in the near future, you can enjoy the aesthetic benefits and the simplicity of living in a house that works with you, not against you.

WINTER 2014 AT HOME IN YORK

HOME UPGRADE #4: Wi Fi Thermostat

25


HOMEOWNER ADVICE

How to Spot a

CONTRACTOR

T

here are thousands of legitimate, ethical contractors in business around the country. Unfortunately, there are also scam artists looking to cheat you out of your money who pose as legitimate contractors. These “fly-by-night” operators often show up in communities impacted by natural disasters to try to scam distressed home owners into paying for shoddy repairs or work that they will never show up to perform. Here are some warning signs to look out for: Doesn’t have license & insurance. All professional contractors should be insured and able to show their certificate proving such insurance. Although all states do not require licensing, contractors in states requiring licenses should have it and be able to provide a copy. Asks you to sign anything before you’ve hired them. If they want you to sign an “estimate” or “authorization” before you’ve made the decision to hire the contractor, look out. They may be trying to get you to sign what is an actual binding contract.


The York Builders Association was established 50 years ago to provide a comprehensive resource for all homeowners in York County (and beyond!). Our contractor members are backed by a Consumer Assurance Program and earn certifications through the National Association of Home Builders.

Doesn’t write contracts. Professionals have clear contracts that outline the job, process, the cost, and helps clarify how problems will be managed. If you don’t have a contract, you are not protected when something goes wrong. Don’t hire anyone who tells you a contract “won’t be necessary.” Requires cash or payment in full before starting the job. Shady contractors demand cash and then run with the money. Many home owners have been stranded by paying in full up front. A deposit towards materials is common, but only pay it once you have a contract signed by both you and the contractor. It’s also suspect if you’re asked to pay cash to a salesperson instead of a check or money order to a company.

But there are plenty of other businesses who support the York Builders Association—you can find attorneys, plumbers, photographers, personal insurance providers, restaurants, and all kinds of businesses who know that together we are a stronger community. Check out our Membership Directory at www.yorkbuilders.com to find the answer to your next project. You can count on us to get the job done right.

Vastly underbids all other contractors. They may have the best price, but that doesn’t guarantee the best work. Such contractors may cut costs on quality, which can end up costing you more when you have to have the substandard work redone. Offers “special” pricing. You’re told you’ve been “chosen” as a demonstration project at a special, low price, or you’re told a low price is good only if you sign a contract today.

Call for more information & a guided tour FA R M E V E N T S

717.244.9900 • www.wyndridge.com/events 885 S. Pleasant Avenue, Dallastown, PA 17313

Cannot provide customer references. Professional contractors should have current references they can provide from current and past clients—and you should be able to reach those references, not just an answering machine. Difficulty contacting the contractor. Professionals have a physical office, mailing address, phone, and email. They should respond to your queries in a timely manner. Make sure you can verify the contractor’s business address. If they only have a p.o. box, be wary.

Your best bet is to take your time, do your research and choose someone you feel completely comfortable with. Pennsylvania requires contractors to be licensed—look them up on the state licensing website, www.attorneygeneral.gov, even if you’ve seen a piece of paper that looks like a license. Make sure they don’t have a record of consumer complaints logged with your local Better Business Bureau. You can also contact the York Builders Association for a list of reputable contractors in your area. For more information about this item, please contact Erika Boyce at 800-368-5242 x8061 or via email at eboyce@nahb.org.

Serving the York Building Industry

3

GENERATIONS

for 42 years.

Keeping it in the family

STRINES.COM

HIC# is PA005217

717.755.4127

WINTER 2014 AT HOME IN YORK

Tells you to obtain the building or remodeling permits. Professional contractors go to the county or state offices and get permits for their work themselves. Asking the home owner to do it is a sign that they are not a legitimate contractor.

27


HOMEOWNER ADVICE

Emergency Preparation Tips: Document Organization Last winter, York County was hit with a number of storms that brought more ice and snow than the region had seen in a long time. Many homes suffered from winter damage that caused broken pipes, lack of heating, and other issues that required some homeowners to evacuate their houses temporarily.

ATHOMEINYORK.COM

I

28

n these cases it’s always reassuring to know that everything you need to start fixing your problems is in one safe place. The National Association of Home Builders tells us how we can prepare for disasters with a little foresight. Natural or man-made disasters can hit any family at any time. Ensuring the personal safety of you and your loved ones is your number one priority. But being prepared for the aftermath by organizing your critical documents and communicating their location to designated individuals can save you many problems later should the unexpected occur. Could you locate all your family’s important documents quickly in the event of an accident, evacuation or disaster? Or could they find them should you be incapacitated or become separated from each other? If not, here are some important steps to take. It’s a good idea to keep document originals in one location, with backup copies stored in at least one additional, equally secure place. A fire- and waterproof box that can be locked and is small enough to carry is a good way to keep documents nearby, but safe from damage or theft. A safe deposit box at a bank is another secure location. Copies can also be stored with a family member or friend. Critical documents that you should be able to quickly access include:

• Passports, birth certificates and social security cards. • List of insurance policies, policy numbers and contact information. • Copies of wills, living wills, power of attorneys and healthcare proxies. • List of bank, retirement and investment accounts, account numbers and contact information. • Titles to your car or home and sales receipts or proof of ownership of other high-value items. • List of loan or debt obligations such as mortgages or credit cards, account numbers, balances and contact information.


Other documents to think about collecting, making copies of and storing in a central location include medical histories, physicians’ contact information, dental records, past years’ tax filings, and Internet account user IDs and passwords. While paper copies may take up a lot of space, scanning originals and saving them on a portable storage device such as a memory stick or CD-ROM is a convenient alternative.

A videotape—also copied and stored in multiple locations—is a good way to record your material possessions, and will help you remember everything and prove ownership for insurance claims if your property is destroyed. Be sure to get close-ups of serial numbers, and talk about the purchase date and price of each item as you record. Finally, it is especially important to let a trusted family member or friend know where your important documents are so that they can access them and take action should you be unable to temporarily, or in the worst case, permanently. While no one likes to think about the implications of a personal or community disaster, taking these steps will help you minimize the impact.

For other disaster preparedness tips, go to www.ready.gov. For more information about this item, please contact Erika Boyce at 800-368-5242 x8061 or via email at eboyce@nahb.org.

C O

N

S T

R

U

C T

I

O

N

Since 1952

All of your Remodeling Needs New Homes • Additions Roofing • Siding • Windows • Doors

717.792.1655

WINTER 2014 AT HOME IN YORK

ELWOOD G. BAHN & SONS

29


Yo r k B u i l d e r s . c o m Utz Arena | York Expo Center

FEB. 6–8, 2015

Get your Spring issue of At Home in York before anyone else at the York Builders Association Home Show! The event showcases local contractors, remodelers, builders, HVAC specialists, suppliers, flooring specialists, furniture & décor, and so much more—absolutely everything you could possibly need for your home’s interior & exterior. ■ ■ ■ ■

Present this coupon at the Home Show to receive

2.00off

$

Wine Tasting Friday Night Jack Hubley brings his animal friends on Sunday Plenty of activities & seminars in between Kid’s Lego Contest Giveaways

Bring your magazine clippings & photo inspirations to show vendors at our event. You can speak with trusted contractors and find the builder you’ve been looking for. All budgets, styles, and project needs welcome!

admission for one

Find out more at yorkbuilders.com

coupon code: #AHIY

ADDITIONS | CUSTOM HOMES | REMODELING

ATHOMEINYORK.COM

KITCHENS • BATHROOMS • SUN ROOMS • DECKS • PORCHES • BASEMENTS

30

Backed by 30+ years of experience, our designers create a custom project

JUST FOR YOU!

717.633.5133 // www.lllawrence.com // homes@lllawrence.com


Want to be an Advertiser in the next issue? Connect Your Products & Services to the Right Target Audience

WINTER 2014

FALL 2014

H o l i d a y r ape P n r e d o M Gift Guide ger A Game-chan

ome Décor

for Modern H

2014

2014

Chefs on

Parade DO-IT-YOURSE LF HOME UPGRAD ES You Can’t Live With

out

ar ds Re m od el in g Aw ce en ll ce ex Of W in ne rs An

Reign in CHRISTMAS CH AOS

no un ce d!

Helpful Holiday Apps

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION & OPPORTUNITIES CONTACT:

Publishing Group HoffmannPublishing.com

Kay Shuey Kay@HoffPubs.com • 717.454.9179


At Home in York Winter 2014  
At Home in York Winter 2014