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Supplement to the Federal Way Mirror, Auburn Reporter, Covington | Maple Valley | Black Diamond Reporter and Kent Reporter






Complete Bathroom Remodel

• Vanity including granite top (up to 36”) and mirror • Kohler standard bathtub (5’) / toilet • Vinyl flooring • Delta plumbing fixtures • Tile surround over tub • Two tone paint ceiling / walls

Complete Kitchen Remodel • Cabinets • Countertops (selected styles of granite) • Standard plumbing / appliance hookup • 6” backsplash



(*Appliances not included. Garbage disposal not included)

CALL TODAY FOR INFO: 425-777-6576


* Structural Damage/Rot additional. Based on an average bathroom size 9’x5’ / average kitchen size 12’x6’ L-shape or galley. Additional upgrades may include additional charges. Lighting fixtures not included.



Today’s Home


Choosing poor-quality vinyl windows is a mistake mistake.

Our Fibrex® material is


Choosing the proper window material is everything.


Even in moderate temperature swings, poor-quality vinyl windows can warp, lose whatever energy efficiency they once had, and invite drafts and leaks. Significant home improvements are supposed to last, but can you imagine the expense and frustration of replacing your windows a second time, after just a couple of years? We custom-build our windows from our own patented Fibrex® material. Why did we make our Fibrex® material twice as strong as vinyl?* To serve homeowners who only want to replace their windows once.*

Call before July 27th!


40% OFF









Minimum purchase of 4 or more. Interest accrues from date of purchase, but is waived if paid in full within 12 months.

Call for your FREE Window Diagnosis


Offer not available in all areas. Cannot be combined with other offers. Buy one window, get the second window, of equal or lesser value, 40% off. Discount applied by retailer representative at time of contract execution and applies to purchase of 3 or more windows and/or patio doors. Discount applied to lowest priced window and/or door products in purchase. As part of the Instant Product Rewards Plan, all homeowners must be present and must purchase during the initial visit to qualify. To qualify for discount offer, initial contact for a free Window Diagnosis must be made and documented on or before 7/27/14 with the appointment then occurring no more than 10 days after the initial contact. 0% APR for 12 months available to well qualified buyers on approved credit only. Not all customers may qualify. Higher rates apply for customer with lower credit ratings. Financing not valid with other offers or prior purchases. No Finance Charges will be assessed if promo balance is paid in full in 12 months. Renewal by Andersen retailers are independently owned and operated retailers, and are neither brokers nor lenders. Any finance terms advertised are estimates only, and all financing is provided by third-party lenders unaffiliated with Renewal by Andersen retailers, under terms and conditions arranged directly between the customer and such lender, all subject to credit requirements. Renewal by Andersen retailers do not assist with, counsel or negotiate financing, other than providing customers an introduction to lenders interested in financing. “Renewal by Andersen” and all other marks where denoted are marks of Andersen Corporation. ©2014 Andersen Corporation. All rights reserved. ©2014 Lead Surge LLC. All rights reserved. *See limited warranty for details.



Today’s Home


Sleep Tips from The Sleep Firm Lack of quality sleep is one of the leading causes of health issues and loss of productivity in our country. When was the last was time your checked email, watched television, or used a cell phone/handheld game before bed? All of these things… along with over-consumption of caffeine and other stimulants too closely to bed time can dramatically affect your quality of sleep and ultimately your overall health, wellness and productivity. Often times, we’ll have people visit The Sleep Firm mattress stores looking for the EXACT mattress that they slept on while vacationing… they’ll often take pictures of the tag, write the name down or even call the hotel’s office to find out exactly what they were sleeping on. Interestingly enough, the mattress is usually just one small part of the quality sleep equation. Most hotel rooms have very good light blocking shades. Our bodies are photo-sensitive, meaning that they are sensitive to light. By blocking out the morning sun (As early as 5:15 am in the Puget Sound!)… you are allowing your body to stay in the deepest, most restorative sleep cycle as long as possible. The other element in hotel rooms that can improve the quality of your sleep is the generation of “white noise” by either a mini-refrigerator or air conditioning unit. This background noise can make falling asleep much easier, by “turning off the tape” in your head or just allowing your brain to relax and begin the process of entering the sleep cycle. Try putting a small oscillating fan in your room, away from your bed, for a few nights. You might be surprised with the results! Choosing the perfect mattress is as much an art as it is science. Generally, a back sleeper will enjoy a slightly firm or slightly plush mattress with cushioning on top. A side sleeper will do best on a soft, plusher feeling model that allows their shoulder and hip to contour into the bed, while maintaining proper spinal alignment and a stomach sleeper will do best on a firm bed that has enough cushioning to allow for their elbows, shoulders and knees to rest comfortably. Often times, when the support of a mattress is worn out, a person’s body will fight to find a restful, neutral position all night long. Using pillows or blankets to compensate for the lack of support and cushioning in your mattress is a sign that it’s time for a new one! Prior to shopping for a mattress, I always recommend wearing a supportive pair of shoes (skip the flip-flops!). While standing up, take note of your body’s natural posture. You’ll notice that your legs have a slight flex to them… your lower back has a natural arch and that your shoulders also have a curved shape to them. A good mattress should be able to maintain this general alignment and posture while lying down on your side or back. A poorly constructed mattress will most definitely cause all of these reference points to become out of alignment, causing you to toss and turn all night long. I am constantly amazed at how many customers I speak with who visit a chiropractor weekly are sleeping on a mattress that is simply worn out, and in some cases over 20 years old! Just like a favorite pair of shoes… mattresses DO wear out.


We always recommend trying mattresses out on your back first, even if you are a side sleeper. Focus on the way that your backside sets into the bed. If it’s too soft, you might notice that your legs are beginning to over-straighten and “lock out” due to the fact that your body’s core is resting too far down into the mattress. If the mattress is too firm, you’ll feel pressure on your backside and even a feeling that your pelvis is being rolled forward while you are lying on your back. If you are able to closely mimic the posture that you had while standing in supportive shoes, you’re on the right track. When you roll to your side, you should be looking for the mattress to cradle your hip area and hold your body up in a manner that keeps nearly straight alignment from shoulders to hips. When you are out of alignment, your larger muscle groups (leg muscles, etc.) will still relax as you fall asleep. Unfortunately, your smaller posture muscles will begin to tense and strain, fighting to get your body into a comfortable neutral position, ALL NIGHT LONG. Quite often restless leg syndrome is caused by a mattress that is no longer adequately supporting your body’s weight. Adjustable “ergonomic” powered bed bases have become very popular in the past few years. By adding the option of elevating your head and legs independently, you are guaranteed a comfortable night’s sleep. Prices have never been better and now start as low as $799 for a quality built adjustable base. Once you’ve found mattresses that supports you correctly, you can make your final choice based entirely on personal comfort preference, some mattresses are quilted with a lot of fluffy fiber on top… some place denser foam right at the surface of the bed. There is no right or wrong, only what you find to be most comfortable. Mattresses have a come a long ways in the last five years and you might be surprised by just how hightech they’ve become. It is now common for beds to contain comfort foams that have suspended gel support beads, heat dissipating graphite and even phase-changing materials that actively pull excess heat away from your body. Some premium mattress sets like iSeries by Serta actually go so far as to have a firmer set of support coils embedded inside of soft outer comfort coils, ensuring an unbeatable combination of comfort and support. Shopping for a mattress shouldn’t be intimidating. Trust your instinct when it comes to comfort. While it’s a good idea to do some research online when shopping for a mattress, nothing beats the actual experience of lying down on beds in a showroom for comparison. Just because brand “A” may have 800 coils in a queen size and brand “B” may as well, it doesn’t mean that they are of equal quality or comfort. A good mattress store or department store mattress section should have a wide enough range of comforts and prices for any budget or sleeping style. The Sleep Firm has store locations in Auburn, Enumclaw and Kent to make shopping for a new mattress easy, affordable and LOCAL! We are a Serta retailer and offer a full selection of iComfort by Serta, iSeries by Serta and Serta Perfect Sleeper. Today’s Home

Sleep Tips from Serta & the National Sleep Foundation According to the National Sleep Foundation, most sleep experts recommend a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night. Even so, many Americans find themselves feeling sleep deprived due to busy work and family schedules, stress and simply not putting enough importance on their quality of sleep. These simple sleep tips from Serta and the National Sleep Foundation can help you get on the right track to better sleep, so you can have the energy needed to get the most from your busy days:

Ten Sleep Tips

1. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it. It is normal to experience an adjustment period after switching to a new mattress, especially if you had been sleeping on your last mattress for a long time. You should allow up to 1 week for your body to adjust to a new level of comfort and support. 2. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Small rituals such as a warm bath, a cup of hot tea or gentle yoga can help relax the body and mind so you can fall asleep faster. 3. Invest in a comfortable, quality mattress that will give you enough support and room for sleep. If you haven’t purchased a new mattress in several years, or if your current mattress is uncomfortable, it’s time to upgrade to a better quality mattress that meets the unique comfort needs of you and your sleep partner. Check out Serta’s Mattress Selector to find out which Serta mattress may be right for you. 4. Make your bedroom a sanctuary from the stresses of the day by keeping work and other distractions out. It’s important to shut down electronics and relax your mind as you wind down for sleep. 5. Keep your bedroom cool, dark and quiet. Creating the right bedroom environment can help promote better sleep by helping you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Check out Serta’s Sleep Tips video for more helpful advice. 6. Get out of bed if you are not sleepy, returning when you are sleepy. If you can’t fall asleep right away, don’t stress yourself out. Step away and try doing something to relax your mind, such as reading a book or listening to soft music until your feel ready to go to sleep. 7. Exercise daily. The National Sleep Foundation’s 2013 Sleep in America® Poll finds that daily exercise can help improve sleep quality. Whether you like to exercise vigorously with cardio and weights, or prefer lighter exercise such as daily walks, sticking to a routine can improve how you sleep. 8. Keep naps to under an hour and before 3 pm. We all love a good nap, but napping for too long or too late in the day can make falling asleep at night difficult. By establishing good bedtime habits, you are more likely to get good sleep every night so you won’t have to nap as often. 9. Get exposure to morning sun and 30 minutes of sunlight daily. Not only does exposure to daylight help to improve your mood, it helps your body adjust to a full daily routine, including your sleep routine at night. 10. Dim your lights in the evening to tell your body that it is time for sleep. SUMMER 2014

“Only the rich can afford poor windows,” says Matt Gonzalez, quoting Hans Andersen, who founded Andersen Windows in 1903. “You can replace your windows and patio doors once with a highly-engineered product and never have to do it again, or you can replace them several times with a low-end product and end up paying more in the long run,” says Matt, the local owner of Renewal by Andersen, the replacement window division of Andersen Windows. “Just to give you an example of the strength of our win-


dow, we custom-build, install and warrant a replacement window that has been tested to withstand temperatures from 180 degrees to minus 20. Not only will our window save you money on your energy bills—it’s beautiful too.” The quality of the Renewal by Andersen window starts with its exclusive Fibrex material. “There is a misconception that vinyl is a good choice for windows; we won’t even sell a vinyl window. Our window material was researched and developed for 30 years, and as a result,

Today’s Home

it’s two times stronger than vinyl,” Matt says. “Fibrex is a wood and polymer composite that expands and contracts very little and doesn’t warp, peel or corrode. It has the strength, durability and beauty of wood and the low maintenance aspects of vinyl. Fibrex is so strong, our window seals stay intact and you won’t get drafts.” No other window company in the world has Fibrex. “The process starts with a free Window Diagnosis,” explains Matt. “We’ll assess your current windows, answer all questions, and then after you choose your style, color and hardware options, we’ll give you a downto-the-penny exact price quote—not an estimate—that is valid for a full year.” “Our installers are factory-trained professionals, and most of them have been installing our windows for over ten years,” Matt says. “When the job is done, a rock-solid warranty will cover both your windows and installation.”


Why Customers Choose ProTect Painters? We are ProTect Painters, a full-service, interior and exterior painting company. We believe in helping others fully realize the pride and joy of home ownership. We, not only treat our customers like family, ProTect Painters treats your home like it was our own, by finding the right color that represents you and your space. We’re professional painters that never cut corners in delivering unparalleled quality - YOUR home is our showcase. What makes ProTect Painters different? We always do what we say we are going to do! We’re proud of the Top 5 reasons why customers choose ProTect Painters:

1. Gift of Time: ProTect Painters manages the entire project from beginning to end. 2. Upfront Pricing: A detailed plan. No hidden costs. 3. Color Consult: Our painting professionals provide the right color for your surroundings. 4. Flexible and Reliable: Experienced in working with your schedule. 5. Communication: Always knowing what’s happening and when.

Terry & Jeanette Koubele

ProTect Painters of Federal Way & NE Tacoma 253-561-8493

Chuck Reger

ProTect Painters of Covington 253-200-3272

Exterior Painting Preparation Tips for Home Owners Prep and Painting You can make prep work go quickly and smoothly by doing some prep of your own. The following is a helpful checklist to follow to ensure your home’s exterior is ready prior to the ProTect Painters professionals arriving at your home.

Pressure Washing

• Trim back landscaping to allow painters close access to siding and trim • Move items, such as potted plants and/or lawn furniture, to allow close access to siding and trim • Make sure water spigots are in good working order for pressure washing • Close your windows on pressure washing days • Check window sills for water after pressure washing is completed

Transform your home with a new coat of paint!

e When you hir ou , rs y ProTect Painte wing can relax kno ing be your home is able li cared for by re ls! professiona

• Have paint colors selected approximately one week prior to scheduled painting • Move items, such as potted plants and/or lawn furniture, to allow close access to siding and trim • Ensure that the painters will have access to electrical outlets • Designate a safe area where the crew can leave their ladders and miscellaneous equipment • Coordinate your painting plans with other potential tradespeople working on your project • Reschedule lawn service and turn off sprinklers while your house is being painted • Unlock windows on the days they are painted – it is necessary to open and shut • Ensure access to doors that will need to be painted, as they may need to be open for several hours on the day they are painted Call TODAY for your free estimate!


Our Dedication To Complete Satisfaction Is Unsurpassed!

• Top Quality Materials • Written Warranty • Environmentally Friendly • Exterior/Interior • Dependable Scheduling •100% Fully Insured

Call today for a free estimate 6


1-866-885-2334 ProTectPainters.com Today’s Home


Renting Your Home without Stress Today’s real estate market is great. But is it great enough for you? Many home owners are still not able to take advantage of the market due to their loan balance exceeding the home value. The rental option provides you with time to allow the market to catch-up to you and maybe provide you with a profit. How does it work? The first step is to hire a qualified property manager. Property managers are real estate brokers who specialize in rental property management. The manager comes with a company that provides 50% of the service, so select both carefully. Your property manager will help you determine the best rental range and market your property in a variety of ways to find the best group of renters possible. Once you have an interested potential tenant, your manager will have them carefully screened. We look at their credit and criminal history. We also verify their employment and rental history. Next, a lease is prepared and signed. A careful inspection of the property is completed to document the condition. A good property manager will stay in touch with both the tenant and owner on a frequent basis to make sure everything is taken care of with the property. Good communication is the basis for a great relationship. Our managers drive by the property each month to check on landscaping and other items. Once every six months we inspect the interior of the unit and prepare a report. Following is a comparison check-list to help select a property manager and property management company: Coldwell Banker Company A Company B • Track record of management with over 800 units under management? H _________ _________ • Managers located near properties managed? H _________ _________ • Guarantee of service? H _________ _________ • Pay owners by 7 business days? H _________ _________ • Home warrantee included in fee? H _________ _________ • Nationally known and trusted name? H _________ _________ • 24 Hour Emergency Line? H _________ _________ • Professional and respected? H _________ _________ • Ethical and trained? H _________ _________ • Member of IREM & BOMA Management H _________ _________ • Organizations? H _________ _________ The property management process concerns many owners. They are reluctant to have a stranger in their home and are concerned about potential damage and other issues. A well-qualified property manager can help reduce the probability of these issues by selecting tenants carefully. Our managers use a two-page rental qualification system to make sure each tenant is qualified. We would be happy to share this with you, just ask. Once your tenant has moved into the property, you manager and management company will be available to: • Make sure rent is collected on the first day of each month. • Pay bills authorized by you. • Drive by the property to make sure the lawn is maintained. • Inspect the interior of the property twice a year. • Be available for questions or concerns from you are the tenant. • Report all financial and other activity each month. What does it cost to have a property managed? Each property is unique and there are different types of property: Condominiums, Houses, Apartments, Home Owner Associations, Commercial Property. Coldwell Banker Danforth Property Management will offer you a competitive rate on all types of property. Just as important, Coldwell Banker has been in business since 1906 and Coldwell Banker Danforth has served the South Puget Sound area for over 20 years. Now is the time for a complimentary consultation for your property. Call me and I will select a qualified property manager to meet with you for a rental analysis and to review our program. How soon should you start the process? You will want to meet with us 2 months ahead of the time you will have your property available. Most of our properties rent in under 30 days. We market our properties 30 different way to find the best tenant in the least amount of time. We look forward to working with you!

Free One-Year Home Warranty with our Property Management Service!

Byron K. Hiller 800-260-0522


Property Management



Big Sky Construction can transform your home. SPECIALIZING IN CUSTOM KITCHENS & UPSCALE BATHROOM REMODELING, ROOM ADDITIONS, INTERIOR UPGRADES, DECKS, LIGHT COMMERCIAL REMODELING & TENANT IMPROVEMENTS. WE ALSO REPLACE DOORS AND ALL TYPES OF WINDOWS. WE HAVE ADDED CUSTOM HOME BUILDING TO OUR LIST OF SERVICES STARTING IN 2010. CUSTOM HOMES - Let us help you build the custom homes of your dreams. MAJOR ADDITIONS - Big Sky Construction has decades of construction experience and has the ability to handle any addition or remodel regardless of size or scope. We have overseen the completion of countless projects large and small - from the smallest tool shed addition to the largest crawlspace conversion or second story addition. If you can imagine it, we can build it. SUMMER 2014

CUSTOM KITCHENS - What we do best! The kitchen is the most important space in a home, and as our past clients will attest – an upgraded kitchen from Big Sky Construction will improve storage space, functionality and design elements on the center piece of your home. From our use of only the finest custom or modular cabinets to our innovative lighting designs and beautiful solid surface options, this will be the upgrade for which you’ve been waiting. UNIQUE BATHS - A well crafted and beautifully designed master or guest bathroom can be the gem of your home. At Big Sky Construction, we specialize in taking your design ideas to the next level to create a bathroom that flawlessly blends form and function. From the everyday to the extraordinary, our long resume of completed bathroom projects will convince you to consider us for your remodeling needs.

Previous Awards 2012, 2010

E WORKING IN YOUR R ’ E W NEIGHBORHOOD First In-Home Design Consultation Free. (Up to $300 value.)

Remodeling the South Sound Since 1987 • Custom Kitchens • Decks • Unique Baths • Finished Basements • Additions

Today’s Home



FIND YOUR PERSONAL PARADISE Stress at work, stuck in traffic, bills to pay, reports to write, appointments to keep. Our lives are filled with hundreds of demands and stressors every day. We all find ourselves dreaming of a secret place to escape to. YOUR ESCAPE TO PARADISE MAY BE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK. Don‘t settle for one or two weeks in Hawaii. The staff at BRANCHES GARDEN CENTER is ready to help you transform your home and outdoor living space into your personal retreat and paradise regardless of size. We can help you create a paradise to be enjoyed by all the senses. SIGHT: Flowers and plants bring life and joy into our living space. Many do not require a green thumb or lots of attention. A well placed picture, a colorful vase, or even a brightly colored pillow can also lift our mood and make the day better. At Branches we have hundreds of plants to bring life and color to your yard and garden. We can show you how it is possible to have flowers blooming in your yard 12 months out of the year. Well placed plants look beautiful but they also add value to our homes. Moving indoors, maybe you want to choose from our wide selection of pictures and wall art to bring color to your home. We even have canvas art that can be enjoyed outdoors in our northwest sun and rain. Gorgeous pillows, vibrant pottery, and a wide array of unique home décor can be found in our large gift shop. SMELL: Nothing smells better than fresh air. Add the soft aroma of a honey suckle in bloom, the scent of fresh herbs in the garden, or seasoned steaks on the barbeque and yes, you are in paradise. Plants, both indoors and out, help to purify our air and plants in our homes have been clinically proven to keep us healthier. When you visit Branches Garden Center be sure to breath in deep to take in all the freshness, and sweet aromas around you. In addition to flowers, choose from wonderful potpourris, lotions and soaps as well as a great selection of fragrant herbs. TASTE: What is paradise without food? Nothing tastes better than fresh, organic fruits and vegetables harvested from your back yard. Even the smallest outdoor living space can enjoy raspberries, blueberries, herbs, and vegetables grown in pots. Only have room for one tree in your small yard. Make that tree a fruit tree with 4 different kinds of apples on one tree. Also




choose from 4 way cherries and pears. At Branches we can show you how to make your yard both beautiful and productive and healthy. Be sure to check out our gourmet food section when you visit our store. Choose from a great selection of easy to prepare desserts, dips, soups, seasonings, and sauces. HEARING: The soft sounds of moving water, a wind chime, or birds singing add a great deal to your enjoyment and relaxation in the garden.   Fountains give the sense of a distant stream or babbling brook while also having the effect of helping us feel cooler. There is something psychological in the sounds of running water.  The size of fountain does not matter as these effects can be hand in even the smallest water feature. We have a wonderful selection of indoor and outdoor fountains in a wide range of sizes and styles. A wind chime can bring refreshment with just a gentle breeze.  Wind chimes can be soft or dramatic, spiritual and soothing. They can also bring a tropical feeling to the garden depending on the style.  Don’t forget about the ‘garden choir’.  Our many northwest native birds are always in a good mood, especially in the early mornings.  Their positive attitude can be contagious.  You can encourage them to sing in your garden by providing shelter, housing, water and food.  NEED HELP creating your personal paradise? At Branches Garden Center we are ready to help. On site consultation services, professional landscape design, installation, and yard maintenance are all available through Branches. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is always ready to assist you in any way we can to select the perfect plants or home décor items for your paradise. Your success is our goal. Branches Garden Center has the largest and most complete gift shop, including home décor, and stylish boutique in South King County. We have over 5,000 square feet of gorgeous merchandise for your indoor paradise. You will also find a fantastic selection of plants and outdoor yard décor for your outdoor living space. We look forward to seeing you soon at Branches Garden Center. YOUR PERSONAL PARADISE IS WAITING!







320th & Military Rd., Federal Way, WA 253.941.7705 • Federal Way Commons Mall (Next to Starbucks Coffee) 253-736-4644 • branchesgardencenter.com


Today’s Home


Microwave Ovens Can Be Dangerous As parents we probably have gotten a call at work from one of our kids asking us what they can eat. We may be parents who have no choice but to have the kids at home to fend for themselves for a couple of hours. It’s a reality for many and it can create a dangerous situation. When we get that call a common suggestion is to heat a snack up in the microwave. After all, microwaves are easy to use, even for our young kids, and many snack options are already microwave packaged. It seems logical, we’re busy and they’re hungry, but don’t assume they know the proper way to cook with a microwave. Inform them of the dangers and teach them the proper cooking methods. Two big dangers come from steam and actual explosions of liquids. When discussing prepackaged food, bags of microwave popcorn come to mind. Most microwaves are programmed to cook popcorn at the push of a button, so it is easy even for young children. The popcorn is cooked in a sealed container trapping steam created as the kernels pop. When the bag is opened the steam is quickly released. Another danger from steam is when leftovers are reheated in containers covered by plastic wrap or sealable lids. Steam may become trapped and then released in a blast. Heating liquids, such as water for hot chocolate may be considered the most dangerous use of a microwave. Microwaves heat very quickly and can superheat liquids beyond boiling temperature without bubbling or off gassing. The smoother the containers surface the greater the likelihood of super heating occurring. The lack of bubbling does not mean the energy created while heating the liquid is not present. It simply means the

energy has been unable to break the bonds of the surface tension allowing it to dissipate. This is a very dangerous situation. When the superheated liquid is disturbed, by moving it for example, it can literally explode onto the user with devastating results. Yes the risks are real. Luckily most are preventable. 9 Simple Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe 1. Never place a tightly covered container into a microwave. Leave a vent to limit pressure from building up while cooking. 2. Do not open heated containers towards yourself. Even when vented steam may still discharged when opened. 3. Never remove a heated container from a microwave if you cannot see into it. This includes OTRs, OTCs and counter top microwaves if being used by a small child. 4. Let heated items stand for one or two minutes after heating. It helps food to cook evenly and it gives steam a chance to escape. 5. Put something like a wooden stir stick into liquids that are going to be heated. It will help prevent super heating. 6. Make a rule that liquids are never heated for more than 2 minutes. 7. Never reheat a liquid that has been forgotten in the microwave and is still warm. It is much easier for super heating to occur during the second heating cycle! 8. Review the cooking instructions on all microwave ready packaged foods that you keep in your kitchen with your kids. Make an agreement with them on a list of the foods they can prepare. 9. Have your kids cook with you. This is the best way to teach safe practices.

Are you working with a REALTOR® or a real estate agent? When you’re buying or selling a home, you are probably working with a real estate agent. That person may be a REALTOR® or not. Though the terms are similar, they mean different things, and that difference is important for you to understand in the purchase or sale of your home. A real estate agent is someone who has earned a real estate license in his or her state. Everyone who earns a real estate license must take a minimum number of required classes and pass a test. (In WA State these licensed agents are not called “brokers”.)   A  REALTOR®  is a real estate broker who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. Through that association, the REALTOR® has agreed to uphold the standards of the

NAR and its code of ethics. As a member of the NAR, the REALTOR® has access to additional training and education and has the privilege of posting listings on REALTOR.com, one of the most visited real estate listing websites. In fact, one in three visitors to REALTOR.com is a serious buyer. The site helps REALTORS® sell homes, and it can also help buyers and sellers find the right REALTOR® for their needs.   All REALTORS® are real estate broker, but not all real estate brokers are REALTORS®.  Make sure you know which one your broker is and decide what type of professional you want to work with – someone who holds a real estate license, or someone with a real estate license who has pledged to uphold the NAR’s standards and code of ethics.

Marti Reeder REALTOR®, Broker, CRS

Your full-time, full-service, South Sound residential real estate broker

Award Winning!

19411 66th Ave South Kent, WA 98032 253-395-6670 inquiry@cascadecabinetryllc.com


Showroom Hours: Mon thru Fri 10:00 am - 4:00 pm


CasCade Cabinetry LLC

Today’s Home


marti-realtor.com 9

A Lifetime Solution To Gutter Problems While climbing the ladder to clean out your debris-filled gutters over and over again can be a tedious and stressful task, one cannot express the importance of having clog-free gutters while living in the Northwest. Leaves, pinecones, fir needles, and so many other things can get backed up in the gutters protecting your home, causing a big mess. And what about that section of the gutter that has started to pull away from your roof, taking the shingles with it? Wouldn’t it be nice if your gutters could function on their own without your assistance—no clogs, no roof damage, no messes? Luckily, there is a solution to this problem. With the only one-piece, leaf and debris shedding gutter protection system, you will never have to worry again. This gutter system works on the scientific principle of liquid adhesion. The gutter’s special curved design allows rainwater to travel down, around, and into the gutter’s trough while deflecting leaves and debris. Another advantage of this particular gutter system is the way it attaches to a house. A bracket attaches from the

inside to the fascia board, rather than to the roof itself. Because of this method, the gutter will never pull away from the house due to water weight or accumulated debris. Each system is custom-fitted for every installation. They are constructed of .032 aluminum, which is more than 20% thicker than the average materials used for standard gutters. Also, you will never have to worry about rusting or corrosion. It has a scratch guard enamel finish that is available in 14 different colors to suit your home’s exterior appearance, and will not chip, peel, or crack for as long as you own your home. LeafGuard® gutter protection systems from Englert, Inc. are truly a superior solution to old home rain gutter problems, guaranteeing free-flowing gutters for as long as you own your home as well as a transferable warranty. In the unlikely event you’re your LeafGuard system clogs or pulls away from your home (even from snow or ice), the professionals at LeafGuard NW will clean or replace it for free. For more information, you can call LeafGuard NW at 253-250-4546 or visit us at www.GuttersSeattle.com

85% OFF installation $

300 Card


Works with Fir AND Pine Needles!


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If your LeafGuard gutter system ever becomes clogged, LeafGuard will clean them out FREE FOR LIFE GUARANTEED.

• Guaranteed never to Clog for life • Guaranteed never to fall off your home for life • Guaranteed paint finish never to chip, crack or peel for life

253-250-4546 Contractor License LEAFGN1044MN


OFFER ENDS July 31st, 2014


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Blackberry Removal

Is Your Gas Fireplace Safe?

Garage Door Service Special 9900 Garage Door Annual Maintenance Expires July 31, 2014

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While anyone can inadvertently come in contact with a hot glass front, children and the elderly are most susceptible. Educate everyone in your home about the danger of hot glass and never leave a child unattended in a room with an unprotected fireplace. Besides the safety that factory equipped barrier screens provide there are other benefits as well. For instance, barrier screens help to cut the reflective glare from the glass and actually enhance the beauty of the flame. It also adds realism to a gas fireplace. Most burn systems in gas fireplaces and inserts are designed and engineered to imitate a wood burning fire as closely as possible. If you think about it, all wood burning fireplaces have some sort of screen on the front to protect from popping sparks and embers. The barrier screen on a gas fireplace or insert simply adds to the realism. Be sure to keep the factory installed barrier screen on your gas fireplace or insert and if it didn’t come with one, contact the manufacturer of your fireplace or insert to see if one is available. Jim Rau Fireside Home Solutions 1-800-732-1569 www.firesidehomesolutions.com

Fireplace Service Special


plus 10% off any parts if necessary.



The vast majority of today’s gas fireplaces and gas fireplace inserts are designed as a sealed system known as “direct vent”. Direct vent fireplaces bring 100% of the air needed for the fire from outside the home and exhaust all of the combustion by-products outside the home as well. The result is a balanced system that increases efficiency, provides optimal heat, conserves energy and ensures a clean healthy indoor air quality. A direct vent gas fireplace or fireplace insert has a sealed piece of tempered or ceramic glass on the face of the fireplace. As a result of normal operation of these fireplace products, the glass front will become very hot. It is not unusual for the glass to reach sustained temperatures of over 475° Fahrenheit. These high temperatures on the glass will cause severe burns if touched. While it may be evident that the glass is hot when the fireplace or fireplace insert is on, the unforeseen danger is when it is off. It’s easy for someone to enter a room when the fireplace is off not knowing it was recently burning. This is especially true if it is controlled by a thermostat. The glass can remain dangerously hot for up to an hour after the fireplace or fireplace insert has been turned off. As a result, ANSI (American National Standards Institute) has revised the standards to which these products are manufactured requiring that they be equipped with a safety barrier to keep consumers from coming in contact with the glass. All direct vent gas fireplaces and fireplace inserts with a glass temperature exceeding 172° Fahrenheit manufactured on or after January 1st 2015 must comply with these revised standards. That’s great for the future but what about your gas fireplace or insert now? One manufacturer has been providing safety screens on all of their direct vent products since 2003 and others have started providing safety screens as an option. If your fireplace came equipped with a safety barrier screen, don’t take it off. If it didn’t, there are some options available that can help. One choice is to purchase a standing screen to place in front of your fireplace. These screens come in a variety of styles and sizes and are available at most retail hearth stores. Another option is to place a barrier in front of your fireplace or insert. These are products that are like a fence or gate and are usually made of multiple hinged steel frames so they stand on their own in front of the fireplace or insert. Standing screens and barriers can help but because of their portable nature they can be moved away from the glass and there goes your safety. The best protection remains a factory installed barrier. That’s why it is now in the process of becoming mandatory.

15900 Fireplace Annual Maintenance


Ask your service advisor about adding a safety screen to your fireplace.

plus 10% off any parts if necessary. Expires July 31, 2014

Fireside Home Solutions is the leading supplier and service provider of fireplaces and garage doors in Washington state and Oregon. Let us help you discover new ways to add warmth, style and efficiency to your home.

KENT LOCATION 21402 84th Ave S. Kent, WA 98032

BELLEVUE LOCATION 13200 NE 20th St #100 Bellevue, WA 98005

www.firesidehomesolutions.com • 425-214-4366 1075458


Today’s Home


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Tom Jacobs Branch Manager

Today’s Home


On the left, Mike Gain, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate and Earl Lee, CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC on the right.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Named Real Estate Agency Brand of the Year in 2014

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Fastest Growing Real Estate Franchise in America

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the new real estate brokerage network operated by HSF Affiliates LLC, was named “Real Estate Agency Brand of the Year” in the 26th annual Harris Poll EquiTrend® study. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices received the highest ranking in the Real Estate Agency category based on consumers’ perception of its brand familiarity, quality and purchasing consideration, among other qualifying elements. The study was based on opinions of more than 40,000 U.S. consumers surveyed online earlier this year.  “We are delighted to be recognized by consumers in the venerable Harris Poll EquiTrend® study,” said Earl Lee, CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC, which operates Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. “This terrific honor by consumers is a tribute to our powerful brand – whose namesake is the world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway Inc. – and the top-quality affiliates and agents who represent it.”  Added Mike Gain, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the fastest growing real estate franchise in America, is represented by seven local offices in the greater Puget Sound area. The local affiliate, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate, was the ninth company to become part of the new franchise. Formerly Prudential Northwest Realty, they made the change in November 2013. With offices located throughout the greater Puget Sound area, they service buyers and sellers in every community. In South King County, offices are located in Kent and Federal Way, with further north offices in Burien, West Seattle, Bellevue and Lynnwood. There is also an office in Gig Harbor with a commitment to expand into Puyallup and beyond. Currently, the national franchise has 800 offices across the United States with over 30,000 agents. Real estate companies across America continue to become part of the new brand. “We are thrilled to be a part of this new franchise. It is better than we could have ever imagined. Our name opens doors and our tools get results. The

HomeServices Northwest Real Estate, “We are thrilled, particularly since our brand was not even a year old at the time of the study. We feel very fortunate to be a part of this new brand.” The brand received the highest numerical Equity Score among large real estate brands included in the 2014 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study, which measures and compares the brand health of more than 1,500 brands across 170 categories from airlines and apparel to retailers and real estate. Consumers responded with their brand perceptions, gauging their emotional connection to the brand, plus brand awareness, influence and familiarity. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, based in Irvine, CA, is a brand-new real estate brokerage network built for a new era in residential real estate. The network, among the few organizations entrusted to use the world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway name, brings to the real estate market a definitive mark of trust, integrity, stability and longevity.

power and respect that comes with the Berkshire Hathaway name is beyond compare. Sellers are calling us to list their homes and agents want to work for this prestigious brand,” said Susie Horan, manager and marketing director. The timing is fortuitous since the market has bounced back. “According to statistics from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, at the end of the first quarter of 2014, in South King County areas, prices had increased from 5% to as high as 26% over the 12 prior months,” shared managing broker, Charlotte Carper. Sellers can sell their homes now and use cash equity to purchase their next home at extremely low interest rates. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate has a 60-page Marketing Plan with a 30-point guarantee to ensure maximum exposure for their sellers. With the strength of the new brand, local and national marketing is seamless. Currently there is a shortage of listings so the pendulum has swung back to being a seller’s market. Now is a great time to list.

Seattle School of Real Estate Supports “Success! The Berkshire Hatha “Way” The new Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate training curriculum has been met with huge success. Aptly named, SUCCESS! Training — Learning— Succeeding—The Berkshire Hatha’WAY’, the program includes live training, with national and local trainers, as well as online training, webinars and videos. And with the company-owned Seattle School of Real Estate, most classes offer free clock hours to the company brokers. Tom Jacobs, managing broker and school administrator says “Today’s real estate licensee wants high-quality training at their convenience and we offer it all. With our Seattle School of Real Estate we cover current and compelling topics with free clock hours included. We also have an excellent pre-license class for those who want to get their real estate license.” Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate has regular Career Nights at all of their office locations for those who want to learn more about joining this growing industry or transitioning to Berkshire Hathaway. Dates and times can be found on their website atwww.realrealestatecareer.org or just call a local office.


Today’s Home


Hot Tub or Spa Buying Tips The Hot Tub

With the additional expenses of support equipment and installation, you can expect a wooden hot tub to cost between $4,000 and $6,000. While it is possible to cut cost by using wood of lesser quality than heartwoods, you risk the possibility of splintering and leaks.

The original hot tub was an old wooden wine cask. Today, hot tubs are constructed in a similar fashion with constant soaking of the wood keeping the tub watertight without use of nails. The most popular wood used in the tub construction is redwood. Vertical grained all-heart redwood is strong, watertight, aesthetically pleasing and if properly maintained, will last for 15 years. Other durable and usable hardwoods include cedar, cypress, oak and teak. The main characteristics that differentiate these woods are: Redwood is extremely resistant to decay, does not splinter, and swells easily to watertightness. Cedar comes close to resistant on all counts, except it may not be as long-lasting. Cypress is very durable and resistant to alkalis, acids and other chemicals. Oak, a hardwood, is extremely durable if maintained properly. Teak is the most durable and decay-resistant of all, and has a natural oily smoothness. However, high price and availability may present drawbacks. Hot tubs are usually four feet deep. While most are five to six feet in diameter, they can be as small as 3 1/2 feet in diameter or as long as 12 feet or more. A standard 5’ x 4’ tub holds 500 gallons of water and is generally comfortable for four adults. A 6’ x 4’ tub holds 700 gallons of water and is generally comfortable for six adults. Prices of a redwood or cypress tub alone can range between $1,500 and $1,900. Cedar tubs cost about $200 less, and oak can cost almost double. Teak is more expensive with prices depending on location and availability of wood.

The Spa

Various materials ranging from concrete to hard plastics have been used in constructing spas. Each material has its own characteristics in terms of spa shape, size, color and durability.

Gunite (air-blown concrete)

Traditional, older spas and those built adjacent to swimming pools are frequently made of cement or gunite. In gunite construction, a webbing of steel reinforcing rods is used to conform to almost any shape or size of the spa. Most concrete and gunite spas have a band of ceramic tile rimming the spa at the water line to make cleaning easier. Some are completely lined with tile. The price of concrete and gunite spas depends on the size, location and difficulty of installation. Keep in mind that concrete and gunite spas must be custom designed and individually constructed and therefore are more time consuming and expensive to build. Also, note that installation is almost always included in the total price quoted by the contractor.


Used mainly as a backing to strengthen acrylic and gelcoat spas, fiberglass can be either bonded or sprayed on the back of molded acrylic or gelcoat spa shells.


A polymer resin sprayed onto a spa shell is allowed to

thing e V e ry a n C e lear




harden then removed from the shell and sprayed with fiberglass for strength. Gelcoat fiberglass spas cost slightly less than acrylic fiberglass but are considered less durable. Gelcoat generally requires more routine maintenance and often needs resurfacing after about five years.

Acrylic Dense and non-porous, acrylic constructed spas provide a very hard, scratch-resistant surface that maintains its color and faith. Acrylic is available in various colors. However, because acrylic is not strong enough to stand on its own, it also requires fiberglass reinforcement.

Thermoplastics Tough, sturdy and resistant to sun and chemical damages, and extreme temperatures, thermoplastic spas are noted for their strength, resistance to scratching and retention of colors. They are thicker and more resilient than acrylic and do not require fiberglass reinforcement. These plastics are also available in many colors as well as simulated marble.

Choosing The Hot Tub Or Spa Site Whether indoors or outdoors, the sitting of a hot tub or spa is a highly personal decision based on your intended use and the existing features of your home and property. If your home has a scenic view of a secluded grove of trees, for example, you may wish to create a special area in which your hot tub or spa enhances this environment. For an indoor spa, you might have to enlarge an existing room or build an addition. This increases the total cost, but should also add to the value of your home. If you already own a swimming pool, you may be able to make use of some existing plumbing and heating equipment by locating the tub or spa next to the pool.

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A How-To for Homeowners

In many ways, your home is a reflection of you. It shows off your unique personality and individual style. That’s why it’s important to invest in an attractive, durable, custom-designed exterior. Use the following tips to help you identify the right kind of solutions for your home and make sense of the events that give you the chance to see many home-improvement products in person.

How to Select High-Quality Windows

Windows make a huge difference in the appearance and energy efficiency of your home. Old, outdated windows can ruin the look of your home from the street, lowering your home’s value. On the inside, your home is less comfortable than it would be if you were to replace the old windows with modern, custom-manufactured windows. Your energy bills are likely way higher than they should be. In addition, older windows can also be harder for you to clean. So it may be time to stop these problems before they start. Or, maybe you’re already fed up with your old windows, and you have thought about replacing them, but you’re worried that a big change to your home will be costly or inconvenient. You may be unsure who you can trust to get the job done right. You might wonder who will take care of them down the line if there is a problem. Have your windows custom made. Unlike prefabricated ones, they will fit exactly to your home, ensuring that no excess heat, cold, or water seeps in around them. Your custom-made windows will save you money and make your home more comfortable and valuable. In addition, several attractive options are available for custom-designed windows. For example, you can select from a variety of grid patterns to give the windows added appeal. To really ensure you’re saving energy and money, look for the ENERGY STAR® rating. High-quality glass will block most of the UV rays that can fade your furniture and drapes. Choose a window company that offers a variety of styles and frame colors. You’ll want them to match your décor on the inside and the style of your home on the outside, increasing your home’s curb appeal. Keep in mind that high-quality, insulated windows will often have the lowest temperature of any interior surface of the house, which means condensation will occur there first. Humidity, or moisture levels, in your home can vary. The moisture content of the inside air is the cause of and the cure for window condensation. Remember, cooler air (air that comes into contact with the window surface) can hold less water, which causes condensation to appear on the window. You may see condensation in cooler months, when you run the heat in your home. The excess moisture will dissipate as your furnace runs. You may see the same thing when you run the air conditioner in the warmer months. Dew points, humidity, and glass temperature can all be factors in summer condensation. Exterior condensation is temporary and usually evaporates as the days wear on. It will not affect the interior of your home. Seeing exterior condensation on those rare days should be a reassurance that your windows are doing their job: keeping your heating and cooling in your home where it belongs, and saving you money. If you’ve recently remodeled your home or have completed some new construction, be aware that a lot of moisture can remain in the wood, plaster, and other building materials. When you begin using your heat, this moisture will gradually flow out into the air in the home, causing the humidity level to rise and condensation to occur. When this moisture is gone, condensation will disappear. Other contributors to condensation include cooking food, using the sink, running the dishwasher, using showers (or hot tubs or spas), washers and indoor-vented dryers, and moisture in basements and crawlspaces.

How to Select Premium Siding

Repainting your home is time consuming and difficult; climbing ladders, scraping, getting to those hard-to-reach places. If you’ve done it, you know, and you’re probably sick of it. Maintaining the outside of your home can be a daunting job. You may be battling water and pest damage, too. Siding can make a huge difference in the appearance of your home. When you come home from a long day, you want to arrive at an attractive, welcoming home. With quality vinyl siding, you will find yourself arriving at a better-looking home, where you and your family stay better protected from the elements. It will also protect from potential water damage and unwanted pests. Plus, you’ll save energy—that’s good for your wallet and good for the environment. Take the time to choose the siding that’s right for you. It can come in a variety of colors to suit your taste and style, with a wide array of trim features. The final look of your siding will be completely unique. If it is well designed and made from a reputable company, it will provide all the beauty of a wood exterior. Selecting and buying your new vinyl siding will go smoothly if you select a one-stop shop for design, installation, and warranty. Most companies don’t guarantee their siding and its installation. Do you know that if you hire a contractor, there is an 80% chance they will be out of business two and a half years from now? Go with a company that has a solid his-


tory—one that’s part of your community and makes its products here in the U.S.A. Ask whether they adhere to the Vinyl Siding Institute’s approved installation methods. You’ll also want to know that they’ll still be around should you ever have any issues.

How to Select a Sunroom

A sunroom expands your living space, allows you to enjoy the best of the outdoors without worrying about the weather, enhances your home’s curb appeal, and increases your property’s resale value. A four-season, or all-season, sunroom keeps the elements out and resists conducting heat and cold, so it can be enjoyed any time of year. A threeseason room can be used most of the time. Or, maybe, you just want to go with a simple patio enclosure. There is a sunroom style for any budget. A sunroom is an excellent lifestyle investment, so be sure to choose your new sunroom to fit your family’s needs and personal taste. Your sunroom can be built on an existing code-compliant deck or slab, or from the ground up. Vinyl is the ideal choice, since vinyl has excellent insulating capabilities. It’s easy to clean, naturally insect resistant, and always maintenance-free. A custom-built sunroom—one that’s designed as a system—offers the best fit, finish, and performance. By custom designing your sunroom to your home, the manufacturer will ensure that each component fits properly with the next. In contrast, some manufacturers use a cookie-cutter approach and force parts to operate together that were not engineered to do so. This results in leaks and seal damage. You will also want high-quality glass to keep heat or air conditioning in, and outside weather out. Remember, the sun’s UV rays are not only harmful to you and your family, but they can also fade carpets, drapes, and furniture. Now, let’s review some sunroom terminology. Codes: Codes protect safety and health. They essentially are rules that specify the minimum acceptable level of safety for buildings, non-building structures, and other constructed objects. For example, building codes in some areas permit the use of shingles with a gabled roof. Another example: An existing, code-compliant deck or slab can be used as the foundation on which a custom sunroom is built. The contractor you select should be willing and able to pull all permits related to the construction of the sunroom, thereby making the project more convenient for you. Gabled: A dualsloped roof that supports shingling (where permitted by code) and allows for a higher ceiling and more light. This design blends nicely with most home styles. Studio: A single, sloped roof. This configuration complements the architectural style of most homes. Three-Season or All-Season: The primary difference between the three-season and all-season sunroom is the wall thickness and material and the glass. A three-season room typically features slightly thinner walls, while an all-season room features thicker, insulated walls, as well as insulated windows and doors. Vinyl: Vinyl has excellent insulating capabilities. It’s easy to clean, naturally insect resistant, and maintenance-free.

How to Select a Durable Roof

As a homeowner, you’ll likely have to deal with replacing your house’s roof. Most elect to not tackle the work themselves, because—let’s face it—the experience, equipment, tools, supplies, and components necessary to do the job properly all make for a really big project. Any missteps in the process can lead to disastrous results for the home. Unfortunately, hiring a roofer isn’t without its pitfalls. Hiring a roofer doesn’t always mean that you will have an expertly designed and installed roof. When evaluating contractors, be sure to ask how they take measurements, how the roofing components they use will work together to protect your home, and whether they guarantee their work so that you can have peace of mind. Let’s take a look at some of the common problems associated with roof replacement and how a professional approach to roof design, manufacturing, and installation solves them. Measurements: Inaccuracy leads to overages (wasted money) and shortages (an incomplete roof). The use of aerial photos of the home ensures that all measurements are precise and that the roof-replacement project is managed properly from start to finish. Existing roofs: Working on top of an existing roof can lead to untreated problems, unfortunate surprises, and voided warranties. Removing the existing roof completely before the new roof is installed reveals unseen problems that can be remedied. Roof-deck inspection: Failure to inspect the existing roof deck before roof replacement can lead to premature failure, uneven appearance, poor anchoring, and other costly issues. Performing a complete roof-deck inspection is the only way to be certain that a proper nailing surface exists before replacing the roof. Components: The use of cheap drip edges, leak barriers, starter strips, fastening hardware, and roof-deck protection can lead to all sorts of costly problems: rot in the roofing plywood, rotting fascia and gutter board, soil erosion, leaks and ice dams, flying shingles and debris, nail pops, property damage, and more. Some roofers neglect to use some these components entirely! Using premium components, all of which are installed as part of a complete roofing system, prevents expensive surprises. Rain flow: Failure to effectively divert rain flow leads to leaks at transi-

Today’s Home

tions, masonry deterioration, and voided warranties. The use of oversized flashing, step flashing, and crickets (water-diverting structures) provides maximum protection in the roof’s most leak-prone places. Ventilation: Improperly vented attic spaces lead to ice dams, damage from thermal cycling, increased energy costs, premature roof failure, voided manufacturer warranties, and more. Install ridge vents that are designed for the roofing system so that a perfect, gap-free fit is established for optimum exhaust and continuous air flow.

How to Select an Entry Door

The entry door to your home often gives visitors their first impression about where you live. A custom-manufactured entry door is a great way to make that early impression a good one. Whether you choose a fiberglass or steel entry door is mostly a matter of personal preference, but there are some architectural considerations that will influence your decision, such as the direction in which the door will face and how much roof overhang is available. Whichever type you select, a custom-designed and custom-made entry door means no sacrifice in quality or performance. Fiberglass: Fiberglass is far superior to wood in strength, weatherability, and durability. It offers the genuine look and feel of a wood door, so be sure to look for one that features a stainable surface. Fiberglass also accommodates four times more insulation than wood. A double-bulb and blade weather sweep helps eliminate air and water infiltration and is not affected by temperature extremes. A full thermal break ensures the best protection available. Steel: A sturdy door of this type is made of 22-gauge steel—that’s at least 33% more steel than you’ll find in standard steel doors. This ensures a more dent-resistant, durable, and longer lasting door. In addition, allsteel construction means no exposed wood to warp, rot, bow, or splinter. A fully insulated steel door should include an inner core of polyurethane foam. Outfitting the door with double-bulb and blade sweep provides a tighter seal than traditional fin weather strips, and compression weather stripping ensures a strong hold that keeps the elements out and prevents air and water infiltration. Stainable steel should feature an embossed wood grain with an architecturally correct stile-and-rail grain pattern. Options: Look for premium options to give your entry door a special finishing touch. These include handmade-glass elements—plain or decorative, custom colors or stains, quality hardware (kickplates, knockers, mail slots, and lock sets), a pet door, and more. Consider all of the possibilities when combining colors, hardware, and other options. Thousands of design possibilities are waiting for you!

How to Survive Home and Garden Shows

Home and garden shows are great for checking out the latest in home improvement and beautification. Whether you’re looking for ways to enhance your home’s efficiency, comfort, and curb appeal, or you just want to see what the pros are doing to make properties prettier, there are some important steps you should take to make the most of the experience. Jot down your project needs and related questions. You’ll kick yourself later for forgetting to ask that one important question or neglecting to bring up a critical detail in your discussion. Take a moment at home to put your questions, concerns, and requirements in writing. No detail is too small, and every project-specific question is important. Bring photos. Detailed, high-quality images are always best. You can print them or store them on your mobile device. Take photos of your project site (replacement windows, siding, sunrooms, doors, and roofs). Include photos of project examples that you like. All of these pictures will help vendors create designs that fit your needs. Take measurements. Document your project’s measurements to the best of your ability. Establish a budget. Know what you can spend before you get to the home and garden show. Vendors sometimes offer discounts that are tied to these special events. If you have a vendor in mind, make contact before the show to find out whether a promotional offer will be in play. Take advantage of the savings! And while we’re on the subject of specials and sales, some vendors also award prizes, so bring pre-printed return-address labels so that you can easily get your contact information on prize entries and productinformation requests without having to do any writing. Ask questions. The home-improvement industry is saturated with contractors. Posing the right questions will help you identify the good ones. • Who designs your products? • What makes you different from your competition? • Who builds your products, and where are they made? • Who installs your projects? • What is your guarantee? Does your guarantee include installation? • How long is the guarantee, and is the warranty transferable? • Who will I contact for service or if there’s a problem? • How many years have you been in business? Dress for comfort and security. Wear shoes that will allow you to stay on your feet for extended periods of time. Consider using a backpack or other bag that will keep your hands free to takes notes and photos. Dress in layers. Wear clothing that has deep pockets so that you can keep your mobile device, project checklist, and other materials secure. Also, be sure to stay hydrated.






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Today’s Home


Profile for Sound Publishing

Today's Home - Summer 2014  


Today's Home - Summer 2014