Todayâ€™s Home FALL 2014
A Supplement to the Federal Way Mirror Auburn Reporter | Covington | Maple Valley Black Diamond Reporter | Kent Reporter
Marti Reeder REALTOR , Broker, CRS ÂŽ
What is a gas insert and why do I need one? Now that’s certainly a good question and not one that many people could answer. What is it? A fireplace insert, as its name implies, is an appliance that “inserts” into an existing wood burning fireplace. The existing fireplace can be solid masonry, masonry constructed around a steel shell or a pre-fabricated factory built wood burning fireplace. The key is that in order to install a gas insert it must be going into an existing wood burning fireplace. Gas inserts use the existing fireplace as a receptacle for the insert and the fireplace flue as the housing for the insert’s vent system. They “convert” the existing wood burning fireplace into a high efficiency gas heating appliance. Why do you need one? Traditional wood burning fireplace design has changed very little since the chimney was invented a little over a thousand years ago. Some significant changes came about with improved designs by Benjamin Franklin and Count Rumford in the 18th century. However, since then not much has changed. Over the last 100
years or so, open wood burning fireplaces have gradually ceased to be a source of heat for the home and in fact, can actually rob your home of heat. In order for a wood burning fireplace to function it must have oxygen to burn the fuel. The oxygen comes from the air inside your home; air that was probably just heated by your furnace system. (Which of course, you paid to heat!) Some of this air is used in the combustion process but even more of it is drawn up the chimney because of the draft created by the heat of the fire. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, every minute they burn, they can exhaust up to 300 cubic feet of air from your home. That’s 18,000 cubic feet of heated air an hour. In a 2,250 square foot home with 8 foot ceilings, that’s ALL of the air in your home every hour. That is if the fireplace can create a draft at all. Over the last few decades, homes have been built and remodeled to increasingly tighter construction standards and it has become very difficult for a traditional wood burning fireplace to establish a
draft. The result is difficulty lighting or maintaining a wood fire without smoke spilling into your home. All these reasons are “why” you need one. Today’s gas inserts are designed to burn either natural gas or propane. They have stylish designs and offer heating performance and moneysaving efficiency. Gas inserts provide heat in two ways. Radiant heat, through the glass and convective heat by drawing in room air at the bottom of the insert and circulating it around the firebox and out at the top; heating the air as it travels. This natural convection is enhanced by the use of fans which help circulate the heated air further into your room. Two of the latest developments in gas inserts are directvent and intermittent pilot ignition. Direct-vent means that the insert and vent are a sealed system. 100% of the air the fire needs for combustion comes from outside your home. The warm air inside your home stays in your home. The second development is that these inserts do not have a continuously burning pilot light. A
pilot light can use up to $15 dollars per month in natural gas and nearly twice that in propane. Intermittent pilot ignition or IPI is an ignition system that is “on demand”. When you turn on the insert a spark automatically lights the pilot and the pilot lights the fire. When you turn it off, all the gas is off; no more wasting energy and money! Gas inserts also add beauty to your room. Large glass viewing areas allow the yellow flames; glowing logs and embers set the mood for relaxation and comfort; while a variety of styles and metal finishes are available to complement any décor. At Fireside Home Solutions
we offer a wide choice of gas inserts with these highly efficient, money-saving features. You are certain to find one that fits your needs for style and performance. Gas inserts also cost less than you would expect. We have one of our most popular models starting at just $1999 installed after rebates. We are truly a one stop shopping experience for all of your hearth product needs. From start to finish, we will handle everything for you. Our factory trained installers, service and maintenance staff will make sure that you will get years of money saving performance, beauty and value from whatever hearth product you
choose. Visit us on the web at www. firesidehomesolutions.com, give us a call at 1-800-660-8845 in Washington or 1-800-7321569 in Oregon or visit one of our four showroom locations to see fully operational gas inserts in action. For over 30 years we have been providing efficiency and warmth for thousands of home owners throughout the Pacific Northwest. Now you know what a gas insert is and why you need one. Let us help you turn that drafty old heat-robbing fireplace into a beautiful, energy efficient focal point in your home that your family and friends will love to gather around.
Fall is coming and this year’s Northwest Heat Wave could mean a Cold Fall and Winter
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KENT LOCATION 21402 84th Ave S. Kent, WA 98032
BELLEVUE LOCATION 13200 NE 20th St #100 Bellevue, WA 98005
www.firesidehomesolutions.com | 425-251-9447 FALL 2014
Preparation Tips For Interior Painting Preparation Steps for Home Owners
You can make our 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 interior is ready prior to the ProTect Painters professionals arriving at your home. Please ensure that all small items and breakable items are moved out of rooms to be painted.
Prep and Painting
• Have paint colors selected approximately one week prior to scheduled painting • Move out all items, except large furniture (e.g. couch, bed) in rooms to be painted • Clean baseboards to remove dust, whether they are to be painted or not • Remove window treatments and rods in rooms to be painted • Remove blinds, if window frames and sills are to be painted • Remove all small countertop or cabinet top appliances • Crate or block pets from entering the rooms being painted
Full Interior Painting
•Some clients choose to rent a storage unit to be placed in their driveway to store items during the painting project. • Provide us with your preference to the order in which you would like the rooms painted.
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
Terry & Jeanette Koubele
ProTect Painters of Federal Way & NE Tacoma 253-561-8493
ProTect Painters of Covington 253-200-3272
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.
INTERIOR ♦ EXTERIOR ♦ RESIDENTIAL ♦ COMMERCIAL
Our Dedication To Complete Satisfaction Is Unsurpassed!
• Top Quality Materials • Environmentally Friendly • Exterior/Interior • Dependable Scheduling • 100% Fully Insured
Call today for a free estimate 3
LOC ALLY OWNED & OPERATED
1-888-497-2468 ProTectPainters.com Today’s Home
Every Room Tells a Story if You Set the Stage ine “The Great Gatsby” or “Sex and the City” filmed with bare walls behind them. Designers know that it’s trim and doors that create the character of a home. In addition to making a space look professionally styled and creating character, these architectural elements are also functional. Interior finishings can make walls seem taller, hide seams between windows and walls Interior finishings complete the look of your home. For inspi- and conceal flaws. When ration and design ideas, Metrie has created a library for each incorporated into plans early collection at Metrie.com/inspired-living. in the design process they Remember the last time flow of design throughout can also help save money. you walked into a profes- your home. They include The richness of finishings sionally designed home trim, interior doors, wall used on walls, ceilings and and marveled at its beauty? treatments, chair rails, ceil- doors lessens the need to fill Chances are, the designer ing treatments and mantels a room with furniture and carefully planned the inte- – and they all significant- accessories. However, in the past, findrior finishings – like crown ly impact the design of a mouldings and interior room. Because these prod- ing the right interior finishdoors. While trim and doors ucts are critical to a room’s ings was often difficult and have a major impact on inte- design, you will notice their uninspiring for homeownrior décor, few homeowners use in many movies or TV ers, builders and designers. select them with the same series, where sets are care- That is, until recently. “Gone are the days of care as their furnishings or fully designed using trim and doors – setting the rummaging through a chapaint. Interior finishings are stage for dramatic stories to otic selection of trim and decorative interior products unfold. It’s almost impos- doors,” says Jan Rutgers, who that create the look, feel and sible, for example, to imag- led the design of Metrie’s
(www.metrie.com) unique Then & Now Finishing Collections. According to Rutgers, the Metrie collections of coordinated and professionally designed trim and interior doors take the guesswork out of selecting finishings. Metrie’s collections are designed to blend with today’s home décor styles, are sized to fit together with ease and are coordinated so that trim and doors are harmonized in design and detailing. “Now interior finishing can be a simple threestep process: First, choose a Metrie collection that matches your style. Then select the elements you want. Finally, add personal touches like stains, paints or finishes for a cohesive, professional look and feel. In other words, finish before you start,” says Rutgers. For inspiration and design ideas, Metrie has created a library for each collection at Metrie.com/inspired-living. Source: NewsUSA
Americans Like Their Community Associations The vast majority of the 65 million Americans who live in condominiums and homeowners associations are satisfied with their communities, according to a national survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for the Foundation for Community Association Research. Ninety percent of community association residents rate their overall association experience as positive (64 percent) or neutral (26 percent), with only 10 percent expressing dissatisfaction. Key findings • 90 percent of residents say association board members serve the best interests of their communities. • 83 percent say they get along well with the immediate neighbors. • 83 percent say their community managers provide value and support to residents and their associations. • 70 percent of residents say their association rules protect and enhance property values; 4 percent say the rules harm property values. “This affirms that people who live in condominiums and homeowners associations are overwhelmingly pleased with their communities,” says Tom Skiba, CEO of Community Associations Institute (CAI). Room for improvement Skiba acknowledges that all associations do not function as well as they should. He says discontent can be caused by a number of factors, including unreasonable association boards, residents who disregard rules they have agreed to follow and difficult financial circumstances for the association and individual homeowners. Keys to success Skiba says the keys to successful associations are clear expectations, open communication between residents and association leaders, transparency in governance, strong professional management, dedicated volunteers and adherence to best practices for association governance and management. Many time-tested best practices are delineated in “From Good to Great,” a free, downloadable document that includes CAI’s Rights and Responsibilities for Better Communities and a model code of ethics for community association boards. Visit www.caionline.org/good2great. Source: NewsUSA. Complete survey results are at www.caionline.org/2014survey.
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Selecting the Right Lender – Choose Local Experience You Can Trust! Selecting a mortgage lender is one of the most important steps in the process of buying a home and an experienced lender can make the process much more comfortable. While you might focus initially on the interest rate of your loan, it can make a difference if the lender has local knowledge and presence. When you get a loan from a local company, you’ll benefit from the flexibility which comes with local decision-making. In other words, you won’t have some committee halfway across the country deciding whether or not your loan is approved. Another advantage of borrowing locally is the lender is likely to be familiar with the town or neighborhood you’re considering. This local knowledge is especially helpful if you’re looking at unique property. Of course, when you take out a mortgage with a local company, your loan helps to stimulate the local economy. In addition to the interest rate on the loan, you should also take a close look at the fees your lender will be assessing. These fees are often referred to as “closing costs” and can include various combinations of the following: • Origination fee • Discount fee • Underwriting fee • Processing fee
rate). This document will disclose your interest rate, as well as all of the loan and lender fees. When reviewing, be sure to look at the APR which discloses the combination of the interest rate and the fees. The closer APR is to the interest rate, the lower the upfront cost of the loan. For example, if the quoted interest rate is 5.5% and the APR is 6.625%, then you know you are paying upfront costs to obtain the interest rate of 5.5%.
Scott Leingang Mortgage Loan Consultant NMLS ID:284305 Allenmore Office 360.671.0839
Debbie Jumper Mortgage Loan Officer NMLS ID:708083 Canyon Road Office 253.864.3405
• Administrative fee • Loan Review fee When talking to your prospective lenders, ask them to provide you with a written estimate of your Rate/Fees and all Closing Costs that includes the APR (annual percentage
There are many factors that can affect your loan, interest rate and fees. These include: • Your credit score • Amount of down payment relative to total cost – also known as Loan to Value Ratio • Income vs. monthly debt – also known as Debt to Income Ratio • Property type – single family, duplex, condominium • Occupancy plans – owner occupied or rental Together, you and your lender will determine the best loan for you based on such factors as credit score, down payment, how long you plan to remain in the home, etc. Choosing a lender comes down to trust and education. Find someone you can communicate with, who asks you questions, honestly answers your questions and provides you with knowledgeable service. After all, a mortgage loan is more than likely to be the biggest financial obligation in your life.
Be ready with the SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile®
Should You Sell or RENT Your Home?
SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals help meet the real needs of insurers and property owners by supplying reliable and consistent service. The first steps taken in a disaster situation can mean the difference between recovery and total loss. National Preparedness Month is the perfect opportunity to share the benefits of having a readiness plan in place with your customers, business and family. The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) will help ensure you and your business are “Ready for whatever happens.” In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile®, can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including: Emergency Contact Information, Shut-off Valve Locations and Priority Areas. The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or tablet; download SERVPRO’s free Ready Plan app to access this information anytime using your smartphone or tablet.
The ERP establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 40 years experience and a System nearly 1,700 franchises strong, knowing what to do and who to call in advance is key to quick response and timely mitigation. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster. Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but now, you can plan for it. The ERP is a no cost assessment, all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save a lot of time in the future. Call your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional to establish your Emergency READY Profile®.
SERVPRO SERVPRO 1-800-SERVPRO ® ®
We have provided homeowners an alternative to selling for over 10 years. It is not always the “right” time to sell. For example, if the stock market dropped in September, would you sell your stock or wait for a recovery? Our business model is to offer both management and selling services, which allow you to decide what the best option is given today’s market. Our services include: • Finding you the most qualified and carefully screened tenant as possible. • Collecting rent and transferring funds directly to your bank account. • Inspecting the property on a regular basis. • Giving you peace of mind. We employee over 50 property managers across Western Washington; so, we are able to assign a local property manager to service your account. That means a property manager who knows your market and neighborhood. 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 Byron Hiller 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. A “no obligation” meeting with our manager is the first step in making the best decision for your property. Now is the time for a complimentary consultation for your property. Call Byron Hiller at 206-212-2244 and he will assess your needs and assign a manager to meet with you We look forward to working with you!
Free One-Year Home Warranty with our Property Management Service!
Byron K. Hiller 800-260-0522
Welcome to Tile Lines…
What project are you working on? We’re a family-owned retail tile and stone showroom located in Kent, Washington. We provide a wide range of quality products to homeowners, designers, and contractors from Seattle, Tacoma, Kent, Renton, Auburn, Federal Way, and the greater King County area. We have a great selection of porcelain tiles, granite and marble tile for floors and countertops, travertine tiles for showers, floors, and backsplash projects. We can help you order solid surface countertops in granite, marble, and quartz. We have many decorative glass, metal, and stone tile and mosaic options on display. In-store designers can assist with ideas and product selection and answer many installation-related questions. We stock many installation supplies, including thinset mortar and grout, as well as shower waterproofing kits such as Wedi and Schluter Kerdi. Unlike the big box home improvement stores, we deal exclusively with tile and tile products; so we have consistently better selection, better information, and better customer service. Stop by today and see what’s in store!
Start your Project & Get Inspired! Allow us to guide you through your next tile or countertop project! Whether you need a kitchen countertop with a coordinating backsplash or are replacing your bathtub with a walk-in shower, we can provide installation advice, design assistance, and one of the biggest selections of tile and stone in the Northwest. We offer complementary design assistance! Our talented staff can help you choose the right tiles, countertops, and decorative pieces to fit your style and your home. We also have numerous in-store design boards, product samples, and idea books that can help with the design process. Frequently Asked Questions about our Products: Why can’t I buy any products on your website? Tile and stone can look extremely different on a computer screen than they do in real life. We strongly recommend you see the color and feel the texture of a tile in person before buying. Choosing a product that you’ll live with for 10+ years without seeing it in person is like buying a new car without taking it for a test drive! We may, in the future, sell non-design items such as thinset and tools on our website and have them available for delivery or in-store pick-up. Subscribe to our quarterly email newsletter, to keep up to date on our latest website and product developments.
Submitted by Darrell Helbling, owner of Tile Lines, website www.tilelines.com.
We offer complimentary in-store design assistance and professional installation advice.
Stop by to see thousands of products: from durable floor tiles to sleek shower tiles, from decorative accents for kitchen backsplashes to beautiful granite, marble, and quartz for your countertops...
Whether you plan to install your new shower, floor, or backsplash yourself or if you’re just supervising, we have the experience and the knowledge to guide you through your project! Downtown Kent S Kent Des Moines Rd Willis St
253.872.0449 1531 Central Ave S Kent, WA 98032 Open Mon–Fri 7–6:30, Sat 9–5
S 277th St
Central Ave S / E Valley Hwy / 83rd Ave S
I have a tile I’m trying to match, can you help? We’ll certainly try! At least once a week, a homeowner comes to us with a broken piece of tile from a damaged shower or an old floor and asks if we can order it or something like it. Occasionally, we can track down the manufacturer and order more of the exact same tile. But if the tile is out of production or completely unavailable, we’ll let you know up front and recommend alternatives.
Our new retail showroom is open to homeowners, designers, and contractors.
I found a tile/stone at another store. Can you order it for me? More often than not, yes! We work with over 30 different tile distributors, hundreds of tile manufacturers, and can order over 100,000 tile and stone products. Contact us with the name of the product and when and where you saw it, and we’ll be able to tell you if we can get it and how much it would cost. However, if a man-made product has been discontinued, is exclusive to another retailer (such as a Home Depot or Lowe’s), or is unavailable in our region, we might not be able to order it. When looking for natural stone products from several different sources; so even if Company A stopped carrying a product, Company B might still have it. We always recommend seeing a sample of the current batch of any natural stone material in person, due to the high variation inherent in the product. The stone sample you saw three months ago might look very different from a current sample from the exact same company or quarry.
Over 1OO,OOO tile options, and we’ll help you find the perfect one.
Houzz.com/Pro/TileLines FALL 2014
Darlene Nguyen 206-288-9119
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Good to Know
Ron Nacinovich 206-948-0285
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LAKOTA – SOUND VIEW ......................$459,950 Lovely 5+ BR on an acre w/Snd & mtn. views. Skylts, covered parking for 5. New kitchen granite, master w/deck. 253-946-4000 Ad #200
KENT – CLOSE-IN 4 BR .........................$285,000 Beautiful 4 BR/3 BA home with a white picket fence, new roof & lg deck. Terrific location. Home warranty! 253-854-9400 Ad #310
PUYALLUP – ORIG CRAFTSMAN .........$189,000 Master on the main flr & original Craftsman style! Full bath with clawfoot tub. Hardwds, classic mantle, updated kitchen. 253-9464000 Ad #230
EDGEWOOD – 2.1 ACRES + MIL..........$349,000 Charming 4-BR/ 2.75 BA rustic home on 2.1 prvt. wooded acres. Accessible MIL unit, tons of storage, 2-story outbuilding. 253854-9400 Ad #193
SUMNER – 5 BRs +3 CAR GARAGE .....$415,000 3000+ sq ft of spotless home. Amazing kitchen. High-end finishes & more. Great location with great schools. 253-946-4000 Ad #210
AUBURN – LIKE NEW 4BR ...................$349,950 Like new! Impeccable 4 BR/2.25 BA in Willow Park! Beautifully updated isl kitchen and lg fenced backyd. 253-854-9400 Ad #311
NORTHWEST MORTGAGE ALLIANCE Local • Trustworthy • Fast
FREE Loan Pre-Qualification Starting at 0% Down CALL NOW TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH HOME YOU CAN BUY Kai Jensen 808-636-3138
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Tom Jacobs Branch Manager
David Knox, Keynote Speaker & Trainer
On the left, Mike Gain, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate and Earl Lee, CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC on the right.
David Knox Featured Speaker At Berkshire Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hathaway Fall Kick Off Meeting A Leader in the Industry
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate is kicking off their fall quarter with the renowned international real estate trainer and keynote speaker David Knox. He presents his seminars to over 20,000 sales people a year all over the world including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South America. On October 9 he will present a customized program to the local Berkshire Hathaway 350 sales associates at the Museum of Flight. “With home prices continuing to increase we are looking forward to a robust fall quarter and want our brokers to have top notch skills to serve their clients,” Said Mike Gain, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate. The morning will start with a welcome
breakfast in the dining room overlooking Boeing Field followed by the Knox presentation in the theater room. Knox’s unique ability to combine humor with education keeps audiences entertained while they learn. Berkshire Hathaway aligns with this learning style and has in fact given every agent in the company a personal subscription and password to all of David Knox’s training videos and corresponding worksheets. “Seeing David in person is the frosting on the cake,” said Susie Horan, Marketing Director. Knox has been a top rated presenter at 24 National Association of Realtor conventions and in 2011 received the RIS Media “On the Shoulders of Giants” award.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the fastest growing real estate franchise in the world, has come a long way in a short time. Newly formed in 2013, the franchise was name the “Real Estate Agency Brand of the Year” in the 26th annual Harris Poll EquiTrend study. The future continues to shine as the network’s leaders prepare to take the organization to an even broader scale. The brand has made a big statement inside and outside of the real estate industry. “Our success in the market has
clearly defined Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices as a viable real estate consumer brand,” says Earl Lee, CEO of Irvine, California based HSF Affiliates, LLC, parent company to the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, and Prudential Real Estate brokerage network. The network has caught the attention of industry professionals as affiliates lined up to convert to the new brand starting with Southern California giant Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties to recent conversions of leading companies Utah Properties (Park City) , Homesale Realty (Lancaster, PA), Alliance Real Estate and Select Properties (St Louis), New Jersey Properties (Somerset) and California Realty (Thousand Oaks), all now leading with their new franchise name. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate, formerly Prudential Northwest Realty, was the ninth company to transition over to the new franchise in November of 2013. In June the network received a Gold Stevie Award in the “Startup of the Year’ category quantifying US
Industries with the 12th annual American Business Awards and a month later the franchise was named a finalist in a competition for “Most Innovative Brokerage or Franchise.” “The Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand has tremendous appeal and we are honored to have been invited to join the franchise,” said Mike Gain, CEO of the local Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate company. The national franchise now has nearly 31,000 agents working in 907 offices across 46 states. Being part of the brand is a great privilege and there is the added benefit of working with top quality people and having current systems and resources for the brokers and managers. The brand has implemented a comprehensive technology suite, initiated an integrated social media strategy and launched a robust national marketing program. The past 12 months have definitely solidified Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices as a leader in the industry.
Why home sellers need a real estate broker to price their home
Asbestos testing for the Puget Sound region. Asbestos was used extensively in the building industry. The most common places you might find it are vinyl or tile flooring, popcorn ceilings, insulation, siding, roofing and wallboard. Undisturbed asbestos poses little risk. Pulling up a floor or scraping a ceiling causes the asbestos fibers to become airborne. Having an inspection BEFORE you begin the work is required. Our AHERA inspectors will come to your house. We provide full home inspections, or take samples in just the area you want to remodel. The NVLAP certification means our laboratory operates at the highest standard possible. Questions? Call us at (253) 941-4343, we can provide answers and resources to help.
Commercial & Residential Best-in-Class Lab We ensure your inspection will be done in a thorough and professional manner, and your results will be accurate. We provide our services directly to homeowners as well as construction and restoration companies.
All our analysts carry NIOSH 582, and AHERA Certification. Our NVLAP certification means we meet the rigorous standards of the National Institute of Science and Technology. All NVLAP labs undergo constant monitoring and oversite.
by Marti Reeder When selling your home, it is important to work with a licensed real estate broker to help you set an appropriate asking price. While sites like Zillow can provide you with an estimated market value, or a Zestimate®, that value is merely a starting point. It is not an appraisal, nor is it designed to be one, which means that it could be inaccurate. Similar models, called automated valuation modeling (AVM), take statistical data such as the sale prices of similarsized homes in your area into account when providing a value for your home. This is only a piece of the pricing puzzle. To price your home accurately requires qualitative data, not just quantitative information, such as: Getting a comparative market analysis (CMA) from your real estate agent OR obtaining a home appraisal from a professional appraiser [a would-be seller does not need both] as each of these professionals will visit the home to identify features that will add or subtract value from your home. As the seller, you should have a good understanding of where your real estate broker came up with his or her proposed pricing plan. Hopefully, it’s based upon recently sold comparables, called “comps,” so that both the buyers and their appraiser can hang their hat on
the reason for the pricing. The real estate broker sitting in front of you should be able to explain clearly where their pricing recommendation comes from. Don’t just “take the highest priced broker” who might be trying to get your listing at any cost, hoping that you’ll eventually come down in price so they can then sell it. The broker who says your house will sell for the highest price may not be the best broker for you and may not get you the “highest & best” sale. Working with a qualified, licensed real estate broker will give you the best opportunity to price your home fairly and in accordance with its true value in the current real estate marketplace. For more on this topic, talk to your real estate agent.
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Improve Your Outlook with Replacement Windows from Champion
By Ben P. Rosenfield You’ve made a serious investment in your home. It’s a special place that reflects your unique personality and sense of style. But when you look around your home, do you feel absolutely confident that there isn’t something missing—something that can make a huge difference in its look, feel, and value? Sure, the right furniture arrangement, paint colors, and fixtures can work wonders, but replacing outdated, drafty, and unattractive windows can bring you satisfaction in many different ways, from lower energy bills to a boost in resale price. Shouldn’t your home feel as good as it looks? Read on to find out how replacing your old windows with custom-manufactured replacement windows can completely change the way you enjoy your home. What’s wrong with old windows? Windows are often taken for granted—that is, until there’s a problem—but they actually play an integral role in your life. Many homeowners who decide to replace their existing windows with custom-manufactured windows cite two major reasons for taking action: expense and worry. High energy bills are at the forefront of the cost of old windows. Old or outdated windows just simply aren’t as efficient as insulated replacement windows. The older the window, the more frequent the maintenance. After all, components wear out over time. For example, a seal failure will leave you with foggy windows. Add to that a weak or non-existent warranty, and you have potentially huge expenses on your hands for repairs. If you have old windows, keep in mind that they’re costing you a lot of money in three big ways: high energy bills, expensive maintenance, and reduced home value. Leaky, drafty windows create discomfort. Old, heavy windows may also stick and be hard to operate. Minimal or outdated security hardware can leave them vulnerable to intruders. All of these factors create worry. Modern, vinyl replacement windows are designed to eliminate these concerns. Windows that are made to measure prevent leaks and drafts from coming in. They keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Tilt-in sashes are easy to operate and clean. Up-to-date security components work to keep these windows secure. All of these benefits of custom replacement windows provide peace of mind. “Windows can make the biggest difference in comfort,” says Tom Herron, senior manager of communications and marketing for the National Fenestration Rating Council (www.nfrc. org). “A lot of studies show that exposure to daylight has great benefits. For example, children learn more effectively. In addition, daylight improves the mood and encourages interaction.” Custom-made replacement windows are a big step up from conventional, prefabricated windows. They’re designed specifically for your home, which means fit and finish combine to deliver virtually maintenance-free performance.
The glass Insulated, double-pane, argon-injected glass makes today’s replacement windows so effective when it comes to lowering energy bills and offering protection from the elements. These windows are a smart investment in comfort. In addition, they are capable of blocking 95% of UV rays. As a result, they keep your home comfortable throughout the year, and they protect your furniture, window treatments, and carpeting from sun damage. They also muffle outside noise more than any old, single-pane window can. The frame A properly engineered window frame is strong, secure, and designed to give you maximum viewing area. A strong frame features fusion-welded construction. Its components are free of recycled materials, low-cost alloys, and impurities. A secure frame uses multiple locking systems, latches that can be used to allow for ventilation while preventing the window from being opened completely, and a deep-pocket sill to prevent prying. This combination of strength and security means
• Slider windows This style is very popular for smaller, horizontal window openings or with picture windows. Cleaning slider windows is simple. The windows can be easily lifted out of the sash for indoor cleaning of both sides of the glass. • Picture windows You’ll have a great view from this large, fixed window opening. If you’d prefer to create ventilation, you can choose to combine picture windows with sliding windows or casement windows. • Bay windows These are three-lite projection windows with a fixed picture window in the center and side windows that can be fixed or configured to operate with double-hung windows or casement windows. Bay windows feature a seat area that you can paint or stain to match your home’s decor.
the frame can be less intrusive, so you can actually have a better view from your windows. Why vinyl? Vinyl is a thermally efficient material. Vinyl has excellent insulating capabilities and is virtually maintenance-free. It is less likely to show wear and tear, and it won’t fade or powder with age. The use of non-recycled vinyl, also known as virgin vinyl, during manufacturing yields a strong and structurally sound replacement window. Hands off for homeowners Window replacement isn’t a DIY project for a vast majority of homeowners. The process involves a lot of variables, including taking accurate measurements, removing old windows safely,
“When you look around your home, do you feel absolutely confident that there isn’t something missing—something that can make a huge difference in its look, feel, and value?” installing the new windows properly, and more. Extreme care is required. Even the smallest mistake can end up being a really big inconvenience and expense. A company that designs and manufactures your replacement windows specifically for your home is one that should also be able to ensure that the windows are installed with maximum performance and reliability in mind. “The steps required to replace windows can be extremely challenging for even the handiest of homeowners,” says Mike Ludy, national product manager for Champion Home Exteriors (www.GetChampion.com). “Fortunately, you can rely on experienced, professional installers to make the entire project a hands-off proposition for you. And if you factor in the time you’re saving by leaving the design, manufacture, installation, and service to the pros, you’ll find that window replacement really is accessible.” What are my options? Plenty of design options are available when you choose to have your windows made to measure. Let’s take a look at some of the styles that await. • Double-hung windows These are probably the most common window today. They’re popular, because you can open both sashes for ventilation—and both tilt in for easy cleaning. • Casement windows These windows are easy to operate. They’re very popular for vertically oriented window openings, and they combine beautifully with picture, bay, or bow windows. Casement windows should open enough for access to both sides, which means you can clean them easily from inside your home.
• Bow windows These window units are made up of four to six windows in a graceful arc shape with a shallow, insulated seat. Bow windows typically have fixed center windows with operating casements on the ends. • Shaped windows Believe it or not, your windows can be one of your home’s architectural highlights. Common windows shapes include half round, round, ellipse, and trapezoid. Custom shapes are also worth a discussion. • Garden windows Enjoy an indoor garden as you turn a window into a living space for plants. These windows can be manufactured to fairly large sizes, so you can make your in-home garden as dramatic as you wish. • Upgrades If you’re not in the market for a traditional, white window, never fear. You can choose from a variety of upgrades to enhance the look of your replacement windows. • Grids These give the appearance of individual panes of glass. The colonial style, which is a series of repeating rectangles, is among the most popular. Several other patterns are available. • Colors White and tan are the most common colors for replacement windows. Some manufacturers offer glued-on laminate materials or adhesive-backed films to give windows a unique color or pattern. An applied finish that is actually bonded to the vinyl offers better durability and colorfastness. Veneers are susceptible to scratches and chips and can separate from the surfaces to which they’re glued. Furthermore, adhesive-backed finishes are essentially stickers and can peel, scratch, and completely fail over time. What to expect at installation If you’ve decided to make an important investment in comfort by replacing your windows, then you should anticipate the following during installation: • The careful removal of your old windows • The installation and finishing of your replacement windows, which involves placing, leveling, and insulating each unit • The installation of window trim on the exterior of your home • Clean-up and removal of all old window materials and debris at no additional charge. The installation team should treat your home and property, as well as those belonging to your neighbors, with the utmost care and respect. Any area affected by the window replacement should look better than when the installation team arrived. You can also play a part in making the installation go as smoothly as possible. For example, make sure the installers have a safe, accessible place to park and unload their vehicles. Also be certain to remove any obstacles that prevent easy, clear access to the existing windows. Finally, take extra care to move any valuables away from the work areas around your home.
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