Supplement to the Federal Way Mirror, Auburn Reporter, Covington Maple Valley Reporter and Kent Reporter
 March 18, 2016
Does Your Household Need a Generator? What to Consider
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(StatePoint) With increasingly volatile weather patterns and a growing reliance on technology, more people are becoming familiar with the benefits of having a back-up generator at home. But beyond the importance of immediate back-up power in the event of an outage, a generator can have many other benefits in your life -- at home and when you’re on-the-go. Given the lower prices of today’s models, generators are becoming a product more consumers choose to purchase. Here, Jason Sutton, vice president of Sales & Service at FIRMAN Power Equipment, offers tips for finding a suitable back-up generator for your household, and advice on getting the best use out of it. • Go Camping or Hunting: Take your campsite to the next level. Even if you’re roughing it, you’ll be happy to be able to charge the gadgets and keep the music going at your campsite. For ease of travel, consider a lightweight inverter generator designed for mobility. Inverters provide fuel efficiency, clean power for sensitive electronics, and a quiet motor that won’t bug fellow campers at neighboring campsites. • On the Water: A backup generator can make your next boating trip a more comfortable experience. Just be sure to follow safety precautions -- never operate your
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generator in an enclosed or wet space. • Tailgating: Cold pizza never hurt anybody, but you can do better than that at your next tailgate party. And a backup generator can assist you with this culinary effort. Whether you’re blending up a batch of margaritas, or keeping the chili steaming throughout the day, you’ll be glad to have a source of long-term power. • Shopping for a generator: When shopping for a generator, make an informed consumer decision with a little groundwork. First, determine your wattage requirements by listing the running watts and starting watts for each device you intend to power at once, and add them together. Other factors to consider are the type of fuel you prefer and what your generator’s primary use will be – whether that’s home emergencies, RV road trips or tailgate parties. To learn more about FIRMAN generators, which cost about half or less the price of other leading brands, visit www. shopfirman.com, to take advantage of a special price offer of 15 percent off by entering promo code “readers” at checkout. At home and on-the-road, sometimes power is critical. For peace of mind and happier trails, consider a backup generator for your family and household.
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March 18, 2016 
Yes, Home Prices Are Rising. No, a Griffis Heating and Air - Your Heating, New Housing Bubble is NOT Forming Ventilation and Air Conditioning Recently reported was that home According to the latest Existing Installation and Service Provider prices are continuing to rise across most of the nation. This has created concern in some pundits that a housing bubble, like we saw ten years ago, is forming again. I want to explain why these concerns are unfounded. The current increase in home values can be easily explained by the theory of supply and demand. Right now, the number of families looking to purchase a home is greater than the supply of homes on the market. Here is a chart that explains how the months’ supply of housing inventory impacts home values:
Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, there is currently a four-month supply of inventory. That puts us in the blue section of the above graphic. Home prices should be appreciating.
The difference in 2006… A decade ago, the demand for housing was artificially boosted by lending standards that were far too lenient. Today, the strength of the demand for housing is legitimate, as lending standards are nowhere near what they were a decade ago. The higher the number, the easier it was to get a mortgage. We can see that from June 2005 to June 2007, mortgage standards were much more lenient than they have been over the last nine years.
Bottom Line Today’s price increases, unlike those a decade ago, are the result of qualified buyer demand exceeding the current inventory of homes available for sale. Once the supply increases, prices will level out.
Griffis Heating and Air Incorporated is a family owned and operated company providing 100% customer satisfaction since 1983. Griffis Heating and Air specializes in furnace installation, air conditioning installation, heat pump and water tank installation and repair. We are continually growing and currently serve the Auburn, Seattle,Tacoma and surrounding Puget Sound areas in Washington. Our goal is to provide Heating, Cooling and Clean Air with our friendly staff and our certified technicians to your family. Griffis Heating offers free energy consultations, professional installation, service
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 March 18, 2016
Smart House: Five Ideas to Raise Your Home’s I.Q. (StatePoint) Remember the first time you met that “out of this world” family, the Jetsons? Fast forward to today, and it suddenly isn’t all that far-fetched. While we may not have flying cars or robot maids just yet, the idea of a “smart home” is real. These five upgrades can go a long way to boost the intelligence of your house.
High-Tech Hub The kitchen is the hub of the home and it sees much more than just meal prep and dinner time. From homework to casual conversation, your family expects more from this already hard-working space. In fact, the kitchen is the number one room where homeowners would like to incorporate technology, according to a recent research study by Moen. • One-third of homeowners charge devices in the kitchen, according to the Moen study. You can make this task simpler and cord-free with new countertops, such as the Corian line from DuPont, which features wireless chargers seamlessly embedded into its surface. Or install a docking and charging station with a built-in USB power strip to maximize the number of devices you can charge at once.
• At the top of consumers’ kitchen tech wish list is a hands-free faucet, for good reason. For the convenience of a faucet that senses what you’re trying to accomplish, and with a wave of your hand immediately responds to your needs, check out the slim and sleek new ST pulldown kitchen faucet from Moen with MotionSense. In addition to the traditional handle, you can activate the faucet by waving your hand over it to turn it on and off, or by placing your hands or an object under its spout. For more information, visit moen.com/motionsense.
Tech-Savvy Details • Worried about what your appliances are up to when you’re gone? Whirlpool Smart Appliances with 6th Sense Live technology now allows consumers to access appliances remotely. You can manage refrigerator temperature or lock the dishwasher control console and see when the washer cycle is complete, all from a connected application on a smart device. • Long gone are the days of shuttling a portable stereo from room to room. A smart system of HiFi wireless speakers and audio components can unite a digital music collection. With a Sonos speaker, for example, you can control what’s streaming from any device, and the music can be heard in any room. • You can transform the mood of a room at the touch of a button with new smart LED lightbulbs that allow you to change the color or brightness any time, even from your smartphone. Studies show that light can affect mood, productivity and eyestrain. By optimizing lighting for each activity, you can live better and enjoy your home more. Being among the first to embrace new technologies in your home can make it the smartest in the neighborhood.
Should You Sell or RENT Your Home? We have provided homeowners an alternative to selling for over 10 years. It is not always the “right” time to sell.
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Contact Byron Hiller: 206-212-2244 33313 1st Way S., Federal Way, WA 98063 • firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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!
March 18, 2016 
Welcome to Tile Linesâ€Ś What project are you working on? Weâ€™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 installationrelated questions. We stock many installation supplies, including thinset mortar and grout, as well as shower waterproofing kits such as Wedi and Schluter Kerdi.Â 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 whatâ€™s in store!
Over 1OO,OOO tile options, and weâ€™ll KHOS\RXÂžQGWKH perfect one. Our new retail showroom is open to homeowners, designers, and contractors.
We offer complimentary in-store design assistance and professional installation advice.
Stop by to see thousands of products: from durable lOORTILESTOSLEEKSHOWER tiles, from decorative accents FORKITCHENBACKSPLASHESTO beautiful granite, marble, and quartz for your countertops...
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Open Monâ€“Fri 7:30â€“5:30, Sat 9â€“5
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S 277th St
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.Â 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 canâ€™t I buy any products on your website? Tile and stone can look extremely different on a computer screen thanÂ they doÂ 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 youâ€™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. I found a tile/stone at another store. Can you order it for me? More often than not, yes!Â We work with over 30 different tile distributors, hundreds of tile manufacturers, and can orderÂ over 100,000Â tile and stone products. Contact us with the name of the product and when and where you saw it, and weâ€™ll be able to tell you if we can get it and how much it would cost.Â However, if a man-made product has been discontinued, is exclusive to another retailer (such as a Home Depot or Loweâ€™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 ifÂ Company A stopped carryingÂ a product, Company BÂ might still have it.Â We always recommendÂ seeing a sample of the current batchÂ ofÂ anyÂ natural stone material in person, due to the high variation inherent in the product. The stone sample you sawÂ three months ago might look very different from a current sample from the exact same company or quarry. I have a tile Iâ€™m trying to match, can you help? Weâ€™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, weâ€™ll let you know up front and recommend alternatives. Submitted by Darrell Helbling, owner of Tile Lines, website www.tilelines.com.
 March 18, 2016
Exterior Painting Preparation Tips for Home Owners 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.
Before ProTect Painters Pressure Wash Your Home: • 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
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.
Transform your home with a new coat of paint!
• 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
Before ProTect Painters Begin Prep and Painting: • 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
Terry & Jeanette Koubele
• 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 253-561-8494 TODAY for your free estimate!
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March 18, 2016 
I LOVE IT WHEN YOU TALK DIRT TO ME! Several years ago we were looking into buying a garden center. My wife was on board with the idea but wanted to make sure that I knew that “she did not do dirt!” I was the gardener in the family and it was going to stay that way. She did not do dirt! The truth is there are many people, gardeners and non-gardeners alike, who “don’t do dirt”. They think of soil as nothing more than an anchor that holds plants in the ground. It is dark and dusty and a place where critters crawl and it makes our hands and fingernails dirty. Many people think the successful garden is just about sunshine, water, fertilizer, and that illusive ‘green thumb’. True success in the garden starts at “ground level”. It is time to share the real Dirt on Soil! Maybe you can turn that dirty brown thumb into a green one! In the beginning God created dirt! “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the Lord God made the earth …. God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Genesis 2:4-7 niv Wow! It all started with dirt. Maybe the earth (soil) does deserve a little more attention than we have been giving it. It’s not just dirt! When you pick up one small handful of soil from your yard, you are holding billions and billions (yes, that is with a ‘b’) of different living organisms in your hand. Organisms ranging in size from microscopic up to small mammals include bacteria, fungi, earthworms and insects. All these good guys work together to make our soil healthy. Healthy plants are not a “Miracle”. It is a science. Some people think that feeding their plants with a blue liquid fertilizer makes for healthy plants. It is true that chemical fertilizers do feed the plants but they ignore the soil. Chemical fertilizers are like having your plants on ‘crack’. They provide a powerful boost but when the fertilizer is depleted nothing is left. Organic fertil-
izers, on the other hand, feed the soil and in turn the soil feeds the plant and build nutrient reserves. This healthy soil, with its rich microbial life also suppresses disease and harmful garden pests. Six Simple Tests to Determine Your Soil’s Health Rich, nutrient-dense soil is crucial to successful gardening. Signs of healthy soil include plenty of underground animal and plant activity, such as earthworms and fungi. Soil that is rich in organic matter tends to be darker and crumbles off of the roots of plants you pull up. A healthy, spread-out root system is also a sign of good soil. Here are 6 simple tests to determine your soil’s health. Do all the steps during spring growing season and use different spots in your garden for the best overall picture of your soil’s health. 1. Soil Organisms Healthy soil is full of animal life. • Dig a hole at least 6 inches deep. • Watch the interior of the hole for 4 minutes. • Count the number and different kinds of critters you see like spiders, ground beetles & centipedes. Anything less than 10 means your soil is low on animal life. A strong population of critters keeps down pests and disease, so “the more, the merrier.” Bugs are good. The good guys far outnumber the bad guys. 2. Earthworms Worms aerate the soil, allowing better circulation. They also eat organic material; so a big worm population means your soil is rich in nutrients. • Look for earthworm casts or burrows on the surface of damp soil. • Dig up a chunk of soil 6 inches deep. • Count the worms you find in the chunk. • Five is a good number, but three is still ok. Earthworm benefits go beyond aeration. These friendly critters leave behind secretions that improve tilth, as well as adding organic matter, bacteria, plant nutrients and enzymes via their casts.
3. Soil Structure/Tilth Tilth is the condition of tilled soil. • Dig a 6 – 10-inch deep hole in damp soil. • Remove a soup can-sized section intact. • Break it apart Healthy soil consists of different sized aggregates or chunks that retain their shape when slight pressure is applied. Rich, organic soil has rounder aggregates, allowing water and air to move more easily around plants’ roots. This results in healthier plants. If the aggregates are difficult to break apart, you have a hard soil problem. 4. Workability If your soil is hard to work or till and you get clods as a result, your soil has low workability. Workable soil is less likely to compact and allows better circulation of water and vital nutrients. 5. Compaction This is compressed, hard soil. • Stick a wire into the soil. • Mark the depth when the wire bends. Ideally, the wire will penetrate the soil by at least a foot or more before bending. Compacted soil restricts water and nutrient availability. It also prevents beneficial critters like earthworms from moving around plant roots. 6. Root Development Healthy root systems mean healthy plants and healthy soil. • Pick a plant to dig up, such as a weed. • Dig to root depth and pull up the plant. • Look at the root development. • White roots with fine strands are healthy, while brown, mushy roots are a sign of drainage issues. Roots depend on healthy soil, air and water to grow. Healthy root systems indicate healthy, well-aerated soil. Healthy soil = healthy plants = healthy people = healthy planet. Come see us today at Branches Garden Center. Our knowledgeable staff are ready to “talk dirt” with you. Let’s help you find that green thumb.
Branches Garden Center, Your Spring Organic Gardening Headquarters. • Organic veggie and herb starts • Seeds and seed starting supplies • Organic soil amendments • Organic fertilizers • Fruit trees • Blueberries • Grapes • Seed Potatoes • Onion sets and so much more.
6 TWO LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU: 320th & Military Rd., Federal Way 253.941.7705 Federal Way Commons Mall 253.839.1144
 March 18, 2016
57th ANNIVERSARY SAVINGS Since 1959 Greenbaum Home Furnishings has been providing the Pacific Northwest and beyond with beautiful furniture and great service. Our 44,000 square foot showroom displays a wide variety of furniture from brands you trust like Lexington, Stressless by Ekornes, Flexsteel, Palliser, Century, Hooker Furniture, Bradington Young, Tommy Bahama Home, and much more.
We are a family owned and operated retail store that takes pride in our community and continue to give back where we can. We are proud supporters of many local charities like Olive Crest, Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center and also The Pete Gross House. Not only do we carry over 50 major furniture lines, but we also have an award winning professional design staff ready to help you with wall and window coverings, lighting fixtures, color coordination, accessories, floor plans and more for every room in your home. We have a great selection of fine handmade rugs and also offer repair and restoration if needed. We offer complimentary in-store design service and we offer in-home design consultation, if needed.
Once you have purchased everything that you need for your home, our experienced delivery team will make sure that your furniture arrives to your home safe and damage free. We also have a wonderful customer service staff with an in-home service technician to help you with any repairs you may have. We also have a delivery and service center in Woodinville where we receive all our merchandise and have a full shop and spray booth to provide many repair and refinishing services in-house.
We are located at 929 118th Avenue SE in Bellevue Wa. Just off the SE 8th EXIT of I-405 in Bellevue. Greenbaum Home Furnishings has the quality furniture that you have been looking for and customer service you won’t find anywhere else. We invite you to come visit our showroom for some complimentary Starbucks coffee and Otis Spunkmeyer cookies (on the weekends) and discover why we’re different by design.