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How to

2018 FALL EDITION A Special Supplement to


The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press

Learn How To... Choose a Memory Care Center

Choose an Assisted Living Center Choose Flooring and Window Coverings Choose a Real Estate Agent Choose a Solar Energy Company Choose Raingutters for Your Home

and more!


Window & Floors

How to Choose Flooring


hen we think of new flooring we are apt to tunein to popular decor trends. Beautifully showcased images are popular on design sites and in magazines, but are they right for your own home or office? It’s good to remember that these images are staged and your flooring focus needs to start with you. Before you purchase ask yourself these questions:

for my family? 3. How much direct sunlight does the room get - will it affect my floors? 4. What types of floors are best for pets? Kids? 5. How often do I change my decor, colors, theme?

Hardwood Floors:

Over the past few years Hardwood Floors have surpassed carpeting as the number one flooring choice. For a longer lasting floor, look to Hickory or Oak. Combine with area rugs to complement and designate your 1. Do I have heavy or light foot traf- space. fic? 100% Waterproof Vinyl Plank: 2. Is this space the center of activity The newest in floor covering! This

product is remarkable in its innovation for a worry-free, highly durable vinyl floor. Available in wood-look planks and natural stone.


Renown for its ability to withstand the heaviest trafficked areas, Tile is still the leader wherever bullet-proof flooring is needed.


When it comes to carpet, the possibilities are endless with the latest technology of stain resistance that is built right into the fibers.

How To Choose Window Coverings


ell designed window fashions do more than simply cover a window. Great design starts with your preferences creating practical solutions that are beautiful to live with. In The Bedroom design your way to a better night’s sleep with blackout shades. To achieve the best results layer the shades with drapery. Choose motorized shades to schedule a unique wake-up call.


Choose coverings that provide both privacy and light control with top-down/bottom-up or Duo-Lite controls. Shades will lower from the top to allow light while at the same


time the bottom portion stays covered Specialty Windows: for privacy. Uppers, arches, eyebrows, circles and bay windows can all be made to coordinate with the other windows in Kitchen: Are you wearing sunglasses while the room. Depending on the shape you cook? Block the glare with sun- most coverings will be stationary. screen shades available in a variety of colors and textures that are easy-to- Insulation: clean. Add your signature style with Opt for optimum insulating qualia valance. ties with honeycomb shades, shutters

Living Rooms:

Typically, the largest room in the home with the largest amount of windows. Select coverings that provide the same look in horizontal and vertical applications. Diffuse the light and keep your view-through to the outdoors. Tilt, draw, or lower - the choice is yours to control the light beautifully.

or drapery.

Keys to Success:

Just like we choose our well-appointed window coverings, you also need to choose local experts who are knowledgeable in this specialized design field.

Be Holiday Home Ready

With Knight’s Carpets & Interiors

Storewide Savings Event

September 15 to October 31

Hardwood Flooring, Drapery, Tile, Vinyl Plank, Carpeting, Window Coverings, Upholstery, Custom Bedding

(805) 237-1400 3320 Ramada Drive, Paso Robles A Publication of The Atascadero News & Paso Robles Press |



Memory Care

How to Choose a Memory Care Center


s the Baby Boomer generation ages, cases of Alzheimer’s and dementia are skyrocketing throughout the U.S. Millions of Americans are affected by these terrifying memory-robbing ailments every year. But the rise in prevalence of these diseases has also spurred an increase in alternative and traditional treatment options. If you or a loved one are suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, a memory care center is one such option that could prove a major help. Here’s what you need to know when picking a memory care facility.


The experience and attitude of the staff members is one of the most important considerations. They should treat all patients with kindness and respect. The center should also provide continuing education to employees to assure that everyone is up to date with the latest in memory loss research and care. Always visit a memory care center before admitting a loved one. Tour the facilities to make sure the building is clean and organized. The atmosphere


should be calm and relaxing. Consistency and stability are important to those suffering from memory loss. The center should have a low turnover rate among staff members. No memory care center should rely heavily on part-time workers. Ask about the ratio of staff to residents, as well as the backgrounds of any medical practitioners employed by the center. Your loved one needs personalized care and attention. It is vital that the center has enough workers on staff to provide quality care for your loved one.

idents. What kind of security features do they use? Note your general impressions of each center you visit.


Quality memory care centers have support services for residents and families. Symptoms from dementia can range from mild to extreme. The center should be equipped to handle all stages of dementia. The best centers have support groups for residents and family members. Secure, Comfortable You and your loved one should be comfortable with the memory care Setting Quality memory care centers center you choose. The best faciliwill resemble comfortable, inviting ties can give patients a much needed homes. They should not look like boost and improve their overall quality of life. hospitals. The facility should be clean and sanitary without appearing sterile. A center’s cleanliness is an indication of the dedication and price of everyone who works there. Ask questions about the activities offered to residents, how visits are handled and the types of therapies available. Because patients can sometimes forget where they are, it is important to ask how the center protects its res-

Lic. 405801611 Lic. 405801612

Monterey and Mission Lodge are located in Ada’s Vineyard, an actual working vineyard with 20 year old cabernet sauvignon vines. e seniors to feel a part of the plants, colorful fall foliage, and producing fruit trees to

Suites range in size from 333 to 355 square feet which allows for seating and activity space in each suite and have individually controlled heating and air conditioning to promote individual comfort.

All resident rooms have internet, telephone and television service.

5253 & 5255 Monterey Road in Paso Robles, California

Along with daily living assistance, long term care guests at Ada’s Lodges are encouraged to participate in container gardening during the spring and summer months. Using local fruits and vegetables is part of our senior care philosophy, and are used regularly in our meals.


A Publication of The Atascadero News & Paso Robles Press |



Assisted Living Centers

How to Choose an Assisted Living Center


ssisted living centers help patients continue to live an active lifestyle in comfortable, cost-effective settings that offer many conveniences and amenities. People often need extra care as they age. Some, particularly those confronting severe health challenges, need regular care that is significantly beyond the scope of what family members or close friends are able to provide. Some just need to be in an environment where someone is on hand to check on them throughout the day. Bottom line: all assisted care centers are not the same. Some assisted care centers double as full-time medical facilities and assisted living centers are popular options for people who need medical attention. In the past, long-term care could only be handled by a nursing home. Living in a hospital setting for an extended time was not a pleasant environment. When looking for an assisted care center, consider some of these factors.

cility that has park-like areas. Some centers have community-style gardens and walkways for residents. Just being able to see nature as it grows and changes with the seasons can be uplifting and soothing. An assisted living center with a manicured lawn and garden can make a huge difference in the quality of life for a loved one.

HOME AMENITIES Accommodations at these centers can range from luxurious, detached cottages to cozy condominiums. It all depends on what you are looking for, what you can afford, and what is available. As you visit the facilities, try to personalize each space. Imagine how your loved one’s belongings might fit into the area and where decorations will be placed. Does the atmosphere bring about a feeling of peace and tranquility? How are the rooms decorated? Are they tasteful and soothing, or do they remind you of a hospital setting? Look at the home amenities and consider how you would feel about GARDEN AND LANDSCAPING living there. Would you want your It’s a little known fact that the loved one living there? Is the facility landscaping of an assisted living cen- within your budget. ter will give you a good indication about the quality of the facility. Proper maintenance of the lawn and gar- RECREATION FACILITIES dens is a good sign. Game and meeting areas can help If the prospective resident enjoys the resident make new friends and spending time in nature, look for a fa- keep them from feeling alone and


lonely. Leaving the confines of their units is an important part of recovery. Make sure the center offers activities and space to occupy your loved one’s time. Quality facilities will have activities that match his or her hobbies. If your family member enjoys crafts, then look for a center with a designated craft area or classes for your loved one to enjoy. PERSONAL CARE Ask your loved one’s personal physician how much care is required to function safely. The doctor may even be able to guide you toward an appropriate facility. Be sure to seek advice on what qualifications and certifications you need to look for in the center’s staff. The center’s employees should be well-qualified to handle medical needs. If you monitor the medical care, you can avoid paying for extensive services that your loved one may not need. Understanding the care the person requires will help you find a center that is a good fit. Choosing an assisted living facility is about finding the right combination of medical services and amenities. With research and thought, you will find the perfect place to bring comfort and care to your loved one.

Annette Lodge Paso Roble’s newest assisted care facility is located downtown across the street from the transportation center, with public buses and the train making stops daily. Within walking distance there is a library, theater, restaurants, art galleries and wine tasting.

Rooms at Annette Lodge look out at landscaped courtyards and lanais, and the furnishings are in keeping with the historic theme of the facility. The colors in this facility reflect the surrounding landscape. Families of residents at Annette Lodge will be able to participate in facility activities as well as enjoy the beautiful downtown amenities of Paso Robles. Residents can tour the weekly farmers market, at the downtown park, and assist with fruit and vegetable choices in season.

725 Pine Street, Paso Robles Downtown | 805.226.9500

Lic. 405801955

A Publication of The Atascadero News & Paso Robles Press |



Private Schools

How to Choose a Private School


rivate schools can provide an excellent education alternative to public institutions. Class size and individualization of instruction is far improved when classes are 15 students or less. But added cost, as well as a different atmosphere for students, are things that parents may wish to carefully consider before settling on a school. If you’re looking at private schools for your children, here’s a little food for thought.

The Values

Shared values can be a powerful thing. So your first step may be to look for a private school that values the same things you do. Many parents prefer that their children receive instruction supported by their family’s specific values at school, as well as in the home. One of the reasons to send your children to private school is to reinforce those values — both from the educators and faculty members who teach them, and from the other students who attend school with your child. It will probably be important to know whether the school is associated with a certain religion or denomination, of course, but also look in depth at how much religious teaching is done at the school. Some private schools include religious classes and worship services as part of the curriculum; others are less formal about their religious affiliation, focusing on providing a very high-quality secular education and less on a specific church or belief. Some private schools aren’t affiliated with a religion at all. Remember that values cannot be judged by written statements alone. Look at the way the school’s employees and students live their lives — including the school’s reputation in the community — to make your decision.


The Staff

There is a lot of variation among private schools when it comes to their faculty and staff. Some have credential requirements that go above and beyond what public schools require; others have looser requirements for education and training. If it’s important to you, you should ask about the teaching staff’s credentials. Know where they went to college and what degrees they hold, along with whether they have any certificates and ongoing training on the courses they teach. Again, the school’s reputation will tell you a lot — perhaps even more than paper credentials ever will — so ask around to see what people in your community think of the school’s teachers and administrators.

The Students

Before you pick a private school, you should plan on making at least one in-person visit for a day. Sit in on a few classes and watch how the students behave and how the school’s staff deals with any discipline problems. Parents of current or former students should be able to give you the inside scoop about any concerns that exist among the student population, so ask around. No school has perfect students, obviously, but some do a better job dealing with problems than others. Whether the school uses a strict disciplinarian approach or a more laid-back style, you should be confident that your child will be in a safe, comfortable learning environment at all times. Watching how the students interact during and after school can give you some insights about it.

The Opportunities

If you’re thinking about sending your child to a private school, chances are it’s ultimately to give them more opportunities in life. The specific school you pick can have big implications on which opportunities will open up to your child later in life, from college entrance to extracurricular activities such as music and sports. Ask if the school has any data about the percentage of its students that are accepted into college. Some private schools have a long track record of preparing students for prestigious universities later in life. You should also pay close attention to both the extracurricular activities that are available now and the ones that will be available in the future. Additionally, co-curricular activities such as field trips and project-based learning bring learning to life and motivates students. Your third-grade child may not think much about athletics right now, for example, but a soccer, football or basketball team could become very important to them as they get older. A private school that offers a lot of well-run extracurricular activities will open up more options for your child in the middle-school and high-school years. By looking closely at the values, staff, students and opportunities that are offered, the choice for your child’s education should become clear.


NCCS is the only private school in North County featuring Preschool through 12th grade CHRISTIAN education! North County Christian School offers an excellent college-prep education in safe and small classes that provide individualized instruction. It equips and strengthens students by introducing them to the great thoughts, works, and dilemmas of Western civilization. Through this exceptional education the students will understand their place within the scope of Western civilization and Christian history, and their direction in light of that understanding. This prepares students for tomorrow. Even more importantly, NCCS educates its students for a caring and productive life including Christian service and leadership. All students’ instruction is immersed in the understanding of the Bible and its truths. These are intertwined across the curriculum.

6225 Atascadero Mall, Atascadero • 805-466-4457 • A Publication of The Atascadero News & Paso Robles Press |



Cremation Services

How to Choose Cremation Services


remation can be an emotional subject. In fact, some faiths frown on it. But for those who have no qualms about cremation, it presents a great opportunity to plan in advance. Making plans for your funeral is a tough subject. Most people would rather skip the subject or opt to have others plan their funerals. But the reality is procrastination or avoidance does not change reality. It is always best to take care of details in advance. Making decisions in advance about cremation services can take the burden off loved ones during a painful time. Otherwise, they will need to make tough choices while stressed and grieving. Cremation services are becoming more popular these days. They can be a cost-effective alternative to traditional burials. With cremation, the family doesn’t have to purchase an expensive casket. Loved ones may spend more money than they can afford in an effort to respect the memory of the de-


ceased. But a cremation service is an affordable way to respectfully memorialize a friend or family member. The service can be a peaceful time to grieve and remember. A funeral home may have a partnership or connection with a cremation center. They may have additional services, such as grief counseling or assistance with necessary paperwork. After the cremation, you will receive an urn. You can choose to bury the urn, keep it in your home or place it in a memorial building. When searching for a cremation center, check with your family or friends for referrals. If you cannot get an appropriate referral, you might be able to join a cremation society. For a small fee, you will receive upto-date information about your options and the process. Membership may also help you obtain a lower-cost on cremation services. These societies will provide assistance with many details connected to the service and disposition of remains.

The Internet Cremation Society and the Cremation Society of North America are sources of information about cremation societies. Once you have narrowed your choices, consider how you feel about the staff of the cremation center. You should feel comfortable asking questions. The employees should be knowledgeable, competent and pleasant. They should give you all of the details about price breakdowns, and their process of making ashes for the urn. By doing a little research and choosing wisely, you can make the process a little easier for loved ones during a difficult time. Discuss with your loved ones and family members their preference for when they pass. Talk with them and explain your own so that there will not be any misunderstandings or second-guessing after the fact. While it is not the most pleasant topic in the world, it will help ease some of the stress.

Blue Sky

CREMATION SERVICE Family Owned Old fashioned service is defined by old fashioned values like honesty, integrity, dignity, hard work and respect for people. It’s our privilege to provide you with old fashioned service. We provide simplicity, dignity and modest pricing in cremation arrangements. Arrangements may be made in the comfort of your home. We invite you to call for more information.

Lynn Nash & Tina Doxtater Cremation Specialists

Atascadero Office Phone 461-0835 Establishment FD# 1966

Paso Robles Office Phone 226-9478 Establishment FD# 1768

A Publication of The Atascadero News & Paso Robles Press |



Real Estate

How to Choose a Real Estate Agent


.he true value of a good Realtor is evident to anyone who’s been through the process of buying or selling a home. A good Realtor will become a true asset to people who want to get the very best from their transaction. Not only can a Realtor help you find or sell a home, these professionals are also trained to assist you with every step — no matter how tedious. But, as with any profession, some Realtors are better than others. Be sure you make the right choice when selecting a Realtor. The sale of a home is too momentous a decision to get wrong. Here are some tips that can help. Real Estate Agent vs. Realtor Realtors have solid knowledge of the real estate business and must follow a strict code of ethics. While a real estate agent may or may not also be a Realtor, all realtors are required to be licensed real estate agents. To become a Realtor, a real estate agent has to join the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This allows him or her to attend industry meetings, get NAR newsletters, and access software and educational tools. With their licenses and training comes an assurance that Realtors are well trained professionals, and that they will provide you with the best possible service.


Where to Start Looking Talk to people in your social network for referrals to find out the good Realtor in your market. Recommendations are one of the best ways to find a Realtor. In some cases, agents are good at helping clients to purchase homes, but they may not be as skilled at selling them. Remember this as you search for the right professional for your situation. Also consider getting in touch with local brokers or searching the NAR directory online. And no matter how you find them, always work with credible, responsible agents. It’s a waste of time to settle for anything less. Comfort Level When you have your first consultation with a prospective Realtor, focus on your comfort level while interacting with them. Do you get the feeling they are genuinely concerned about your needs? Or are they focused on their commission? Do they know the current housing market? Can they negotiate a contract? It is important that you feel comfortable with the Realtor. You must trust that this person can behave ethically and help you secure a good deal. Communication and Planning Your Realtor should be an effective communicator. If you are selling your home, your agent should

develop an effective marketing plan, explain it to you, and respond to any questions or concerns you have. The marketing plan will probably involve placing advertisements and creating a multi-photo visual tour of your property that clients can view online 24/7. If you are purchasing a home, the agent should listen to your guidelines and price range. Above all, your Realtor needs to provide updates on progress. Do not work with someone who does not return phone calls or emails. More Resources To get a better idea about the process of buying and selling a home, conduct some research on your own. Real estate magazines contain good information and can be a great way to start your research. There are also a lot of good resources on the Internet, such as www., which is associated with NAR and which contains free, useful information. You may find housing statistics, market forecasts and tips, but nothing beats the power of networking. You need to find people with similar interests who will help you in your endeavor. Upon successfully buying or selling your home, keep your Realtor’s contact information on hand. You may want to refer other people to him or her. You may also need their services again someday.

Whether you’re searching for a new home or selling your existing home, Greg and his team of professionals can help you! 7450 Morro Road Atascadero

5 Star Service!

Greg Malik, Realtor©/Broker 

Certified Real Estate Specialist

Senior Real Estate Specialist

Chamber of Commerce Businessman of the Year- 2013

Awarded Atascadero Realtor of the Year- 2016

Voted Best of North County Real Estate Agents- 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018

Proudly Helping North SLO County Residents Buy and Sell Their Homes since 1980

Visit:    


To view MLS Listings throughout SLO County To see Multiple Photos and Visual Tours of our Listings To receive on-line education on buying/selling a home To learn about our “Smart Seller” program offering

Flexible Commissions 2%-5%

DRE LICENSE 01460686

(805) 466-2540 Email:

A Publication of The Atascadero News & Paso Robles Press |



Solar Energy

How to Choose a Solar Energy Company S

olar panels can lower your home or business energy bills while helping the planet and adding val-

ue to your property. That’s why more Americans are turning to solar power. As a result, more companies are offering to install solar panels. So it is important to pick the product and installer that will result in the best long-term benefits for your situation. Here are some things to consider when choosing a solar company. REPUTATION In a fast-growing industry like solar energy, it’s especially important to know the reputation of the company you’re dealing with. New companies may be showing up in the marketplace, but that doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily offer the best service or be around long enough to support their product line years from now. Look for stability in your solar installer. You’ll want to find a company that has developed a great reputation over a number of years with a long track record of satisfied customers from projects similar in scope to yours. THE SYSTEM There are a wide range of solar panel systems on the market, and the technology itself is going to be a big part of your decision. Your solar system can be tied to the existing electrical grid or completely off the grid, for example, which will require different equipment and setups. No matter what system you decide on, the key thing you’ll be looking for is efficiency, and that means understanding


both the energy generated and the cost of doing so. Some solar systems generate power more efficiently than others, depending on their design and the type of materials they’re made from. And price efficiency can matter, too, because you don’t want to find yourself spending a whole lot more money for just a tiny increase in power. Likewise, if a slightly bigger investment can yield a large boost in energy generated, it can make sense to spend the extra money. Look closely at the math, and pick the system that gives you the best return for your money. Many solar systems will pay for themselves over a number of years, so choosing one to be installed by a well-regarded company can be a wise financial move. OTHER SERVICES Homeowners or commercial users will often want more than just solar panels installed. If you think that’s a possibility, you can look for a company that offers a range of services, such as radiant heat systems and solar thermal systems. And if you’re doing new construction that will have solar components, look for a solar company that can also serve as your general contractor. The bigger the project, the more important it is to have the solar systems integrated into the design and construction from start to finish, not added on as an afterthought by a contractor that doesn’t typically incorporate solar elements into their projects. If the company is familiar with construction methods that will increase the structure’s overall efficiency, too, that’s even better.

FINANCING OPTIONS Finally, a good solar company will present you with a wide range of options to help you pay for the upgrades. They should be familiar with all types of government incentive programs and willing to help walk you through the process of getting them. Federal programs are available to consumers who install solar panels on their homes, and additional state and local incentives are sometimes available. Make sure you thoroughly understand all these programs, though, because their requirements can be complex and important to follow exactly. In addition to the help from government programs, there are three ways buyers typically purchase their systems: — Paying cash: The simplest and most direct way of paying for your system, cash buyers may be eligible for a 30 percent tax credit from the federal government along with other rebates that can reduce the installation cost up to 50 percent in total. — Loans: Both home equity loans and unsecured solar loans may be available to help you purchase a solar system. Some solar companies offer loans for up to 20 years, while home equity loans may have the benefit of letting you deduct the interest from your income taxes. — Leases: You may also be able to lease your solar system with no down payment or upfront costs. A solar lease will let you make affordable monthly payments to pay for your system, perhaps even including a performance guarantee and scheduled maintenance services included in the monthly cost.

A Publication of The Atascadero News & Paso Robles Press |



Tax Professionals

How to Choose a Tax Professional


professional tax preparation service can help you file your quarterly or annual tax returns while also navigating increasingly complicated tax codes. Reliable tax preparer can also save you time and money while helping you avoid errors that get you in trouble with the IRS.. But finding experienced and responsible tax professionals requires research. The IRS urges caution in picking a tax preparation service because the use of the service does not absolve you of problems stemming from an incorrect tax return. There are many tax preparers who are honest. They provide excellent service to their clients. Others, unfortunately, are less than scrupulous. They cause their clients legal and financial nightmares. As of 2011, the IRS requires professional tax preparers to register, pass a competency test and meet continuing education requirements. This government agency also licenses its own Enrolled Agents who must meet the same standards. The Treasury Department authorizes these Enrolled Agents to aid taxpayers at all levels of an audit. Before hiring a tax preparer, verify that they will represent you if you


are audited by the IRS. Ask about the preparer’s audit rate. The person you are hiring must specialize in tax preparation. A certified public account might not be a tax specialist, and is no guarantee you will not be audited. The federal tax code changes every year. It is a challenge for tax professionals to stay current with the changes. A CPA specializing in taxation should have documentations of any continuing education classes completed in the past year. It is important to check on your preparer’s as well as the firm’s credentials. The Better Business Bureau will inform you if they have dubious reputations. For more verification, contact your state’s board of accountancy or your state bar association’s tax lawyers to research a preparer’s professional record. A legitimate and reputable professional tax preparer should have: • A relationship with an organization requiring continuing education • A fee schedule based on the complexity of your return • The willingness and ability to answer all of your questions • Availability extending beyond the preparation and filing of

• • •

your tax return Knowledge of your state’s tax laws Familiarity with any special circumstances that may apply to you A willingness to include an itemized list of any judgment calls it has made and attach it to your copy of the return A willingness to provide an in-person review of any expected refunds with the preparer.

Warning signs of a disreputable tax preparer may include: Claims that they can obtain larger refunds than their competitors Guarantees of a refund up front A request for your signature on a blank tax form An unwillingness to sign a return, known as “ghost” preparation. The best tax professional has a proven track record of competence, a stellar reputation and an attitude of respect for his clients. It is your financial and legal status at stake. The preparer should be ready and able to stand behind his work and beside you if you ever need to appear for an audit.

A Publication of The Atascadero News & Paso Robles Press |



Garage Doors

How to Choose Garage Doors


arage doors add an elegant or classy look to your home. They can add a huge wow factor to your home. If your garage faces the front of the house, a new door could dramatically improve your curb appeal and change the overall look of your home. And even if it’s facing the back, a good-looking door can be the perfect “welcome home” sign after a long day at work. Garage doors are also important for another key reason: security. If you’re thinking about installing a new garage door, you may be surprised at just how many options are on the market — and how affordably they can be installed.

different doors would look like — complete with color and material samples, and perhaps even software that will show a picture of what your home would look like. You should also pay close attention to the materials. Today’s garage doors can be made from expensive hardwoods, textured vinyl, fiberglass or basic aluminum, all of which will have a big impact on the look and longevity of your door. Pay close attention to the maintenance needs of whatever material you choose. Some will hold their color longer than others, and real wood doors can require regular staining and sealing every few years to keep them looking spectacular.

THE LOOK Simple sheet metal garage doors are still on the market, but they’re only a tiny slice of all the options available that can impact the look and safety of your home. In fact, garage doors have seen an explosion in styles, materials and colors that are designed to match the architecture of any home, from rural barns to craftsman bungalows or sleek urban getaways. While you may already have an idea of the exact type of garage door you want to see installed, some homeowners seek the advice of a designer to help make the decision to pick the right style and color combination. Some garage door retailers will be able to help you visualize what the

INSULATION Depending on your climate, the insulation of your garage door can be an important factor to help reduce your energy bills. Just like windows and insulation in your attic, garage doors come with an “R factor” rating that tells you how well they insulate your home from outside temperatures. This is especially important in heated garages. But even an insulated door on unheated garages can make a positive impact on your energy usage if it can keep the hot and cold weather away from the interior of your house. In general, the higher the “R value,” the better off you’ll be. It is a good idea to pay attention to this in extreme climates.


LOCAL REQUIREMENTS Before you make the purchase, you should also check to see if your city, county or homeowner’s association has any special requirements for garage doors. Homeowner’s associations, in particular, may have very picky requirements about what materials and styles can be used in your neighborhood. Make sure your choice meets with the approval of any local authorities or boards that control their use. SAFETY A garage door is typically the largest moving object installed in any home, and safety should be a consideration. Ask your garage door retailer about any special safety features on the door you select. It should have a design that won’t pinch your fingers or hurt small children if they get caught under it. Make sure it will be installed according to all applicable safety codes in your area. OPENER Finally, when you install a new garage door it’s usually a good idea to install a new opener, too. Make sure you factor this into the cost and explore all your options — including the latest models that can be closed remotely via smartphones and operate very quietly and efficiently.




RESIDENTIAL - COMMERCIAL Wood - Steel Insulated doors Carriage House Doors

“Work out at the Gym, not opening your garage door” GARAGE DOOR JAMMIN? TIME TO CALL HAMON 238-0524

Spring and Cable Replacement Automatic Opener Repair/Replacement Service On All Makes of Doors & Openers

Serving the Central Coast for 48 Years

(805) 238-0524 • Fax 238-9137

CALL TOLL FREE 1-800-243-8590 A Publication of The Atascadero News & Paso Robles Press |


How to Choose a Dentist




ven for routine procedures, you want to be sure you have a top-quality dentist. Picking the right dentist is essential to helping you maintain your health and appearance in addition to helping you avoid nasty dental problems down the road. No one wants to have a root canal redone because of shoddy work. Find a dentist who makes you feel comfortable and explains every procedure in an understandable way, and you’ll be in good hands. Finding a dentist near your home or workplace will help you make your appointments on time. When searching for a dentist, make sure the office hours work for your schedule. So how should you start your search? ASK AROUND First, ask your social network for recommendations. Friends, family and colleagues can be a great resource. Searching on the Internet for dental offices in your area will also help. Professionals often have their own websites, which include the backgrounds of those working there. The website may also tell you about how they handle procedures and appointments, as well as specialized services they offer. Your local newspaper will likely have


advertisements from local dentists. Oftentimes you can find specials and discounts. INTERVIEW DENTISTS Once you have gathered a list, begin calling each prospective dentist. You can talk to a receptionist or other staff person if the dentist is unavailable. Check to make sure the dentist earned the necessary degree from a reputable school and is current on all licensing and continuing educational requirements. Ideally, he will be familiar with the latest dental technologies and trends. Ask if the dental office provides emergency services. If you break a tooth or need to have a root canal done right away, you will want to use your chosen dentist. You don’t want to have to search for a dentist when you are in pain. Lead time for appointments is another consideration. Some offices might be able to see you right away, while others may have a three-week wait time. Your prospective dentist should accept your dental insurance. If don’t have dental insurance, inquire about payment plans. The office should give you an estimate before performing any work. OFFICE VISIT When someone meets all of your re-

quirements, visit the office. The staff should be professional and friendly. Every dentist should be willing to answer all of your questions. Some people are afraid of dentists or of pain. If you have any concerns, communicate with the staff and dentist. Many professionals are willing to go above and beyond to help you work through these issues. A basic oral health history should be taken by the dentist or staff. They should tell you about future treatment and prevention options. A quality dentist will help you feel comfortable during your visit. The best dentists offer friendly, happy dental experiences. Teeth are extremely important to your overall health. They can also help or hinder your appearance. Finding a good dentist is like finding a friend who consistently brings out your best smile.

NO INSURANCE — NO PROBLEM Ask about Our In-House Savings Plan

(805) 466-6998

8715 El Camino Real, Atascadero limited Friday hours now available ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS A Publication of The Atascadero News & Paso Robles Press |



Funeral Homes

How to Choose a Funeral Home


ooking to make funeral arrangements for you or your loved ones? For most people, that is an unpleasant thought. But planning ahead while you have a clear mind and are not in crisis mode can help you sail through that difficult time when it does come. Since most people don’t have much experience with planning funerals, they are hit with sticker shocker when they visit funeral homes. Not only can funerals be expensive, prices can also vary widely. Planning before your time of grief will help you make wise decisions under difficult circumstances. Here are some things to consider when selecting a funeral home. The first step is to find out if the deceased has made any funeral arrangements and whether these plans need to be changed. Sometimes weather may be an issue or other factors may get in the way of what has already been planned. If no arrangements were made, ask family and friends to see if the deceased made any specific wishes. If possible, respect those wishes. If pre-arrangements with a local company exist, then contact that company. Arrangements bought years ago may not cover the cost of the funeral or represent the latest wishes of the


deceased. If you are in this situation, Do not decide on a funeral home look around to see if another funer- right away. Think about it for a bit. al home has a better arrangement, or The decision should be made with make adjustments as necessary. clarity. To find the right funeral home, ask family, friends and pastors for a recommendation. It is a good way to focus on funeral homes with excellent reputations. You might also consider your own experiences at funeral homes in your city. If you cannot get referrals, look on the Internet. Select three or four funeral homes that might fit your needs. Visit each one with a close friend or relative. Budget is a major concern for most people. Inquire about basic fees. Ask about services the funeral home may offer and if payment arrangements can be made. Ask questions and take notes. Staff members should be patient with you. It is important to get written estimates for everything. Ask about hours for viewing, in-house versus off-site services, cremation services, additional fees and special requests. The Federal Trade Commission mandates that funeral homes must provide customers with a price list. If you believe the casket prices are too high at one funeral home, you can purchase the casket elsewhere without being subjected to additional charges.

After deciding on a funeral home and type of service, documentation is the next step. The funeral director can help you with the required forms and permits. You should have a copy of the death certificates and make the actual burial or cremation arrangements. When other relatives or friends are involved, it is best to find a funeral home that fits your family’s needs. Talk with them honestly and compare notes. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into additional services you don’t need or can’t afford. Stay within your budget. Talk to the funeral home and tell them who in the deceased’s family is authorized to make decisions. Be very detailed about your expectations and what kind of arrangements you want. Tell them if something is not being done according to your intentions. Good funeral homes will guide you through the process to ensure that the funeral runs smoothly for everyone. In your time of grief and hardship, preplanning can give you a small measure of comfort and peace.

Kuehl - Nicolay Funeral Home

“Paso’s First and Only Full Service Funeral Home Serving Our Community Since 1927” Lic.# FD68

Caring for People – Making a Difference The loss of a loved one affects us not only emotionally but economically. During these difficult times, allow us to assist you. Kuehl-Nicolay Funeral Home has been serving the families of OUR community for 86 of Paso’s 125 years. Our compassionate and professional staff are more than qualified to answer any questions you may have. Whether pre-planning or end of life arrangements, we are your Dignity Memorial provider.

• • • • • Pre-planning for your own funeral is truly one of the greatest gifts you can give to those you love.


Call us at (805) 238-4383

1703 Spring Street, Paso Robles, CA A Publication of The Atascadero News & Paso Robles Press |



Estate Liquidation

Estate liquidation Tips and Advice


s older family members pass away or move into assisted living facilities, they often leave behind houses full of valuable furniture and other priceless items. Many families in this position could benefit from an estate liquidation sale, but many do not know where to turn. The following tips can help anyone seeking assistance in handling estates liquidations.

Communication Is Key

Communicate with your family in general terms about your estate plan. Talking to them about what they can expect could head off estate disputes and heartache. Make sure it is understood that an estate liquidation sale is the desired path for the family to ensure it runs smooth.

First, find the right estate liquidation company, one that is bonded, licensed, and insured, to properly manage the estate sale. Next, make sure they have a good reputation in your community. A company that has been in business several years is sure to have clients who can back up their services. Finally, make sure they are knowledgable in estate sales and that they are accustomed to researching the value of your possessions in order to sell at the best price.

Meet In Person

Making a decision about your liquidation company can be tricky until you meet and become comfortable with them. Take the time to speak to them directly and get a good idea of what that specific estate liquidation company can do for you. Interview them face to face and discuss your concerns. Make a decision based on their experience, perFind A Certified Estate sonal integrity, and ability to help you Liquidator After a loved one passes on or affectively achieve your goals. moves away, it can be overwhelming to try to sell their belongings and Written Contracts If you find the company you want prepare their home for sale. Finding the right person to help organize and to work with, be sure to get a writorchestrate the estate sale and the sale ten contract. Never verbally agree to of their house can be a daunting task. an estate sale without one. Contracts


will vary from company to company, so be sure to read over it carefully before you agree to anything. Finding the right liquidation company may not be easy, but by following these sites, you can narrow down your options and rest assured when you find the right company.

Diane Cassidy

Experience Peace of Mind Seniors Real Estate Specialist

Parkside Real Estate

Mobile: 805-434-8300 • Office: 805-591-5224 711 12th St., Paso Robles, CA

Since 2003 • Lic # 01384413

A Publication of The Atascadero News & Paso Robles Press |



Insurance Agents

How to Select an Insurance Agent


he key to quality insurance lies in choosing the right Insurance Agent for your needs Choosing an insurance company can seem like a daunting task with so many to choose from. Getting the right insurance and agent for your needs will not only save you on time and money in the future, it will also leave you with peace of mind and satisfaction. Shopping for the right insurance agent can feel overwhelming. After all, there are plenty of things to consider. You need to find a company that offers the right mix of service, coverage and an affordable price. The challenge may simply be not knowing how to identify a reliable, reputable agent. Remember that everyone needs insurance coverage. An experienced agent can walk you through various options, keeping in mind your budget and lifestyle. Before choosing an insurance plan, you will need to identify an agent to guide you through the process. Your financial future depends on finding the right person to help you get insurance that will fit your needs. Your family, friends and colleagues have likely worked with insurance agents in the past. Ask people you trust for referrals. If you receive a recommendation, it is because that person has had a positive experience. There is a good likelihood that you will have similar results.


Successful agents understand that offering great service will keep them in business. Their careers depend on word-of-mouth. If you are happy with the service you receive, your insurance agent will appreciate your willingness to refer acquaintances to them in the future. If you do not have recommendations, begin researching your options. Begin by looking at local companies and brokers. Large insurers give all of their agents the same training. Each agent will be subject to the same company policies. In some ways, that can be comforting. However, agents at large companies may lack creativity and flexibility in how they handle their accounts. As you conduct your research, be thorough and critical. Buying a policy is similar to purchasing a new car or home. It is truly that important. Select a company that is highly regarded by consumers. Read reviews of each company to determine who has the most satisfied clients. Are they easy to work with? Have there been any problems with collecting on a policy? Also, check that any prospective agent has all necessary licenses and training. After narrowing your list of prospective agents, make an appointment to visit each one. Prepare a list of questions and concerns about your personal situation. Take notes during

your meeting. Remember that you must feel comfortable with the answers before purchasing a policy. If an agent tries to pressure you into making a decision right away, inform him that you need more time and cannot sign anything immediately. The right agent will let you take as much time as you need to understand the implications of each policy. They will give you useful information and not subject you to high-pressure sales techniques. Your agent should be available. The relationship doesn’t end once the sale is completed. Your dialogue should be continuous. The best agents are available in the event you have to file a claim. Agents who have been in business for many years likely have a good reputation and track record. They understand the policies and will even take extra care that you are properly protected. It is essential that you choose the right type and amount of insurance to adequately protect yourself and your financial future. The policy should be tailored to fit your specific needs. A seasoned, skilled insurance agent will be an invaluable resource for safeguarding your future.

A Publication of The Atascadero News & Paso Robles Press |


Outdoor Power Equipment. Wow, that does NOT sound like an exciting thing to talk about. Well, at least not until you need to use it. At Mid Coast Mower & Saw we are happy to talk with you about your equipment needs. We have a selection of everything from small, light-use trimmers to the larger professional brush-cutters for larger properties and commercial use. If you have a rather small area you are maintaining you may want to consider something that is battery powered. We have several selections starting at $139 for the homeowner. We also can offer lightuse gas powered trimmers starting at $169. Mid-range use for something around your lawns for edging, but still wanting something you can cut your perimeter areas with would


Lawn Equipment

How to choose Outdoor Power Equipment


start at $209. From there you move in to the more professional grade of trimmers starting at $279 and above. Brush-cutters, typically used for heavier grass and weeds start at $309 and the price goes up from there, based on how much power you want and how quickly you would like to accomplish your task. The same scenario carries through for our chainsaws, light-use battery powered start at $259 and moving through the prices, based on a customer’s needs. Gas –powered is still king for power and we offer chainsaws starting at $199 for the occasional user, mid-use typically around $350 to $400 and of course the professional user will jump up to and above $700. Mid Coast Mower & Saw proudly sells the following brands: Husqvarna, Stihl, Echo,

Shindaiwa and Toro. We repair and sell parts for all the brands we sell at this time. If you have a question regarding availability of parts for another brand of equipment, give us a call at 805-466-2323. We have a full-line of string trimmers, chainsaws, hand-held and back-pack blowers, walk behind and riding mowers, along with hedge trimmers and pole saws. We are well stocked year round and can also handle special orders if needed. Mid Coast Mower and Saw is located on the south end of Atascadero, between Curbaril Ave. and Santa Rosa Ave., at 8710 El Camino Real. Come by and see us, were happy to have a conversation about your equipment needs. Ph: 805-466-2323

From Left to Right: Rick, Margaret, Chris, Morgan. Front Row: Ashley

Mid Coast Mower & Saw, Inc. Sales • Service • Repair

Come and See Us for ALL Your Spring Equipment Needs! Serving Our Community for More Than 28 Years

Trimmers, chainsaws, riding mowers and more.

(805) 466-2323

8710 El Camino Real, Atascadero A Publication of The Atascadero News & Paso Robles Press |



Rain Gutters

How to Choose Gutters for Your Home


utters do more than simply collect leaves and debris. They are responsible for keeping rain water away from the foundation of your home. Standing water will cause severe damage to the exterior and interior of your house. A quality gutter system can divert water away from the foundation. Installing and maintaining this system will save your home from needless structural damage. Gutters consist of several types of materials, including steel, aluminum or copper. The materials you choose will depend on your budget and personal preference. Prior to shopping for gutters, inspect your home after a heavy rainstorm. Look at how rain runs from, or toward, the structure. Once you have determined the flow of water on your property, you can figure out how to position your gutters for optimal effect. Your observations will also help you choose which gutter materials are best suited for your needs. Each material has advantages and disadvantages, so examine each choice carefully before making a final decision.

mon type. Chances are, you already have this type of gutter installed on your home. Its strong material makes it an ideal choice. Steel can withstand a variety of extreme weather conditions that would be detrimental to the materials. One of the big disadvantages of this material is its tendency to rust. Without proper maintenance, steel gutters will look unsightly. They will also become porous and ineffective. Special sprays and applications will prevent rust. With regular maintenance, steel gutters will last for many years.

COPPER GUTTERS When you want your home to have a stylish, attractive appearance, install copper gutters. Copper gutters can carry water better than the more traditional steel option. They are also very strong. However, copper gutters can be expensive. They require regular work to maintain their color and luster. If left untreated, the material can dull with age, turning green and brown. But it will not destroy STEEL GUTTERS the integrity of the gutter. Steel gutters are the most comIf you prefer your gutters re-


main shiny and gold, proper maintenance is necessary. ALUMINUM GUTTERS The most inexpensive and lightweight choice is aluminum gutters. Do-it-yourselfers choose this type because they are so easy to install. Aluminum sometimes has difficulty standing up against the elements. The material is fairly weak. If you live in a climate that includes snow, ice, damaging winds or strong hail storms, your gutters will probably only last in the short term. Of course, there other considerations besides materials. Budget, average weather conditions, maintenance work and personal taste will all factor into your decision. Budget-conscious people might select aluminum gutters. People who care about aesthetics will likely opt for copper gutters. Homeowners who prefer longevity should pick steel gutters. Shop around for the best quality gutter system you can afford. If you are planning to use a professional for installation, gather reviews and opinions to ensure you receive excellent, quality service.

FIVE STAR RAIN GUTTERS, INC. Family Owned and Operated for Two Generations


Seamless Gutters

Aluminum & Copper Gutters In over 70 Colors Discounts to Contractors • Service & Maintenance 5-Year Work Warranty • Rain Chains Senior Citizen Discounts




Atascadero 805 461-3283




Los Osos 805 528-8922


Cambria 805 927-0709

3226 El Camino Real, Atascadero Lic.#876930 • Bonded & Insured

A Publication of The Atascadero News & Paso Robles Press |






Choose a Generator

In today’s hyper-connected world, power outages are a disaster. This can be especially true if you run a business, work from home or have medical devices which require electricity. If your home or business is hit by frequent power outages, you might want to consider getting a generator. Whether you’ve lost electricity due to the weather, a downed power line, fire, or some other occurrence, a generator will help you get back to business quickly by allowing you to produce enough electricity for your own needs on site. In areas prone to storms, hurricanes and tornadoes, generators can be a smart investment.

Getting The Most From Your Generator

It is important to pick a generator that can supply power to all the items you need in your house. Understand running and surge wattage. These two values inform you how much power your appliances need and the maximum amount of electricity they can handle. Prior to purchasing a generator, check the safety tags on your appliances for the correct wattage. The running and surge wattage on the generator needs to be high enough to satisfy the ratings of your most demanding appliances.

Honda Generator Line Ups

tures for construction and industrial use (GFCI). It is the #1 rated construction choice with Honda Exclusive performance with OSHA compliant features. EM Series; Most. This series has the most featured or fully featured including electric start. Designed for portable home backup with exclusive Honda features. EU Series; Ultimate. Fully featured, quietest, and the most fuel efficient with the most advanced technology. It has outstanding performance, leading technology and outstanding fuel efficiency. Don’t be caught wishing you had bought a generator the next time there’s a power outage.

There are a number of Honda Generators to choose from that provide voltage regulation to Portable generators are built to remain outside of your home. These mobile units are fu- ensure maximum performance. EG Series; Good. This series has no com- Glenn’s Repair & Rental eled by gasoline and manually operated. Exten5025 El Camino Real sion cords will make it easier to plug objects promise in quality and is the best value with Atascadero, CA 93422 reduced features. It is rugged, innovative, and directly into the generator. 805-466-2218 durable. Built for the Value Customer. EB Series; Best. This series has the best fea-

Portable Generators


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