RE/MAX 440
Tina Guerrieri

Tina Guerrieri
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  267-250-7649
Office:  215-643-3200
Fax:  267-354-6913

My Blog

Finally! How to Get and Keep an Organized Garage

November 5, 2015 2:40 am

When’s the last time you parked your car in your garage? For most homeowners, garages are catch-alls for everything from outdoor furniture to bulk grocery items. In fact, according to a recent Gladiator® GarageWorks survey, one-fourth of Americans can’t fit even one car in their garage.

“The garage can be the forgotten room of the home, but it can be such a useful resource for homeowners,” says Karl Champley, master builder and home improvement television and radio personality.

To make the most of the space in your garage, Champley recommends the following organizational tips:

1. Have a Game Plan

The garage can be many different things to different homeowners, so it’s important to determine what purpose the garage needs to serve. While the majority of homeowners use it for parking the car and household storage, many people use their garage for hobbies and personal projects.

Try dividing your garage into "zones" with specific areas for lawn and garden equipment, sporting goods, tools and other hobbies. Once a plan is established, it is much easier to begin the organization process.

2. Eliminate the Waste

Garage too cluttered? Holding a garage sale or dropping off boxes of donated items to a community donation center are two great ways to recycle unused items. Homeowners should remember that disposing of old paint containers or automotive fluids should be done properly. Bottom line: get as many unused items out of the garage as possible.

3. Maximize the Space

Three out of four homeowners surveyed said they wish their garage was better organized. One way is to have a garage storage solution that takes advantage of the wall space that garages provide.

"Getting items like boxes and bikes off of the garage floor with modular hooks and shelving is a big plus for homeowners," says Champley. "It frees up significant floor space for cars and other items."

4. Take Pride in the Garage

An ideal garage organization system grows with homeowners as they grow, while providing functional, flexible storage options for a number of different products.

"Some people take great pride in the brand of car they drive, the brand of lawnmower they ride or the tools they own, but may not put that same amount of pride into how they store those expensive items," says Champley. "You really want to make sure you take the same pride in garage storage as you do with the items you are storing."

Source: Gladiator® GarageWorks

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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5 Maintenance Tips to Fireproof Your Home

November 5, 2015 2:40 am

Regular maintenance of your home’s systems and appliances not only prolongs their lifespan, but also helps prevent accidental fire. To keep your family and home safe from disaster, follow these maintenance guidelines, courtesy of the National Home Service Contract Association (NHSCA).

Clothes Dryer
According to the National Fire Protection Association, clothes dryers and washing machines were involved in one out of every 22 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments between 2006 and 2010.

Most of those involved dryers, and many of them were due to buildup of dust and lint in the clothes dryer exhaust duct. Make sure to not only clean out the lint trap with each use, but also occasionally clean the dryer exhaust duct and behind and under the appliance as well. The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires was a failure to clean.

Electrical System
Have a licensed electrician review your home every 10 years. Small upgrades and simple safety checks, like making sure outdoor grounds and connections are secure, can prevent larger problems.

It is also a good idea to do a visual inspection of anything electrical to be sure there are no frayed cords or wires and any exposed wiring.

Look in the attic and crawl spaces for wiring which appears to have been damaged by pests or insects. Some old wiring is insulated with material insects eat or chew on, and squirrels or other rodents will often chew the insulation off.

Warning signs that may indicate a potential problem with your homes electrical system include frequently blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers, dim or flickering lights, overheated plugs, cords, or switches, and bulbs that wear out too fast.

Fire Detectors
Test your fire detectors to make sure they work and refresh the batteries. Take the time to check all of the detectors in the home. If you feel specific rooms that do not have a fire detector may need one, now is a good time to add them.

Furnace
Your furnace should be cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified HVAC technician. The older the furnace, the more important this service is. Newer gas furnaces are equipped with many features that shut the furnace off when a problem is detected.

If you perceive a dusty or burnt smell when turning on your furnace for the season, there is likely no need for concern. The majority of the time it’s just burning the dust out of the combustion chamber due to lack of use. Changing your furnace air filter may help, but if the odor persists, call a technician.

If you think you are saving money by closing vents in rooms not utilized during colder months, think again. Blocking vents actually causes the system to work harder, and if you close off more than 20 percent of the registers in your house, it can cause high resistance and unnecessary heat buildup in the furnace.

Change your furnace filter at least once every three months. If you plan to have any remodeling work done in your home, be sure to change the filter once it’s completed as dust, dry wall debris and other byproducts of such work can clog the filter much more quickly.

Water Heater
The most common problem with water heaters is failure that causes flooding, but water heaters can also cause house fires. Take the time to inspect your water heater at least once a year. Remove paper, accumulated dust or other combustibles from the heater enclosure.

Many experts suggest keeping boxes and other storage items at least three feet away from the furnace or water heater.

If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, like California, water heaters must be properly strapped so that they don’t fall over during an earthquake. Water heaters weigh several hundred pounds when full, so a proper seismic strapping kit must be installed.

Home service contracts cover service, repair or replacement of the major systems and appliances in your home that fail due to normal wear and tear. Heating and electrical systems as well as appliances including oven/range, water heater, kitchen refrigerator, dishwasher, garbage disposal, trash compactor and specialty items such as built-in bathtub whirlpool, and central vacuum systems are items generally covered in a home service contract. Optional coverage is also available, and varies by state.

Source: NHSCA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Maintenance, Proper Use Key to Efficient Home Heating

November 4, 2015 2:40 pm

Homeowners should consider how to make the most of their home heating budgets before cooler weather sets in. “Learning how to operate your home heating appliances and then taking care of them through routine maintenance are two of the best things a homeowner can do to save money on heating this season,” says Ashley Eldridge, director of Education for the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

Since most homeowners operate their heating appliances for only a season or two, it’s important to dust off installation and operation manuals and review the basics. If you are unsure about how to operate your home heating appliance and the owner’s manual cannot be found or does not make sense, call a qualified chimney professional that can show you not only how the heating and venting systems work, but also how to do your part for the environment when heating your home.

Annual inspections by a professional can also help you identify potential issues with your chimney, which may need to be addressed, including creosote buildup, obstructions like bird nests, or cracks which may cause noxious gases to be released inside the home. A good rule of thumb is that your chimney needs to be swept when there is an eighth of a inch of accumulated creosote in the system.

Source: CSIA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Greener Homes Start with ENERGY STAR

November 4, 2015 2:40 pm

Want to save money at home without sacrificing comfort or convenience? Start with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® program, the world’s most widely recognized symbol for energy efficiency that saves families and businesses $300 billion on utility bills while reducing carbon pollution by two billion metric tons.

Even something as simple as a new light bulb can help save money and energy—in fact, an ENERGY STAR light bulb consumes up to 90 percent less energy over its lifetime, saving between $30 and $80.

You can reduce your impact even further by choosing a clean energy resource to power your home. Many areas offer electricity options that include generating sources that emit no or negligible air emissions, such as from wind or solar power. As the price of these energy sources continues to fall, you can start saving even more money on your electricity bills while reducing your carbon footprint. To find out which options are available in your area, consult EPA’s Green Power Locator (1.usa.gov/1S6vsGI).

Source: EPA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Is a 'Failure to Launch' Eating Your Household Budget?

November 4, 2015 2:40 pm

As more multigenerational living arrangements take hold in American homes, many homeowners find themselves providing financial support for their adult children. In fact, more than half of those polled in a recent American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) survey report they are footing some of the bills for at least one child over age 24—the most common of which is housing.

“Parenting doesn’t end when your children reach age 18 and, for many people, neither does the financial responsibility of supporting them,” says Steve Trumble, president and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Setting aside the often crushing burden of student loan debt, everyday expenses for adult children are something parents are trying to manage every day.”

Respondents to the survey also report supporting their adult children with household bills, providing transportation and covering medical expenses, despite the fact that 65 percent of those adult children are employed.

Over 25 percent of those polled say they’re providing over $250 a month in financial support to their adult children; nearly 15 percent are spending over $500 a month. More than three-quarters of respondents believe providing that support is hindering their ability to save.

ACCC is a national nonprofit that helps consumers with budgeting, financial education and debt management.

Source: ACCC

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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5 Disaster Preparedness Tips for Seniors

November 4, 2015 2:40 pm

They say with age comes wisdom—and when it comes to weathering disasters like fire, flood or hurricane, older individuals and their caregivers would be wise to prepare, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

Older individuals are particularly vulnerable to disaster, as they may have special needs, and seniors may also have trouble keeping up with the routine maintenance necessary for protecting their home. To be prepared, the I.I.I. suggests the following tips:

1. Have a disaster kit on hand with the supplies you need if you have to evacuate or manage on your own for a period after a disaster. For a full list of disaster supply items, visit Ready.gov.

2. Keep an up-to-date file of medical history including doctors, prescriptions and dosages. Include a copy in your disaster kit.

3. Plan for an evacuation by first learning if you are in an evacuation zone. Your local county government or municipality can provide this information.

4. Keep your homeowners insurance up-to-date, and continue to insure your home even if it is paid off. To ease the claims filing process, keep an up-to-date home inventory.

5. Consider flood and earthquake coverage as neither are provided under standard homeowners and renters policies. Flood insurance is available from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Source: I.I.I.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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4 Maintenance Tasks to Complete when Daylight Savings Ends

November 4, 2015 2:40 pm

With Daylight Saving Time at an end, now is a good time to tick the boxes on this home maintenance checklist, courtesy of the Mister Sparky® experts.

Test your smoke alarms.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends testing your smoke alarms each month and replacing the batteries at least once a year. They also recommend replacing all smoke alarms every 10 years.

Check outdoor lighting.
Inspect all the wiring and light bulbs on your outdoor lighting. With less daylight, proper lighting outside can help ensure safety and security. There are new, LED, outdoor lighting options that can help save energy.

Check your timers.
Outdoor lighting timers, pool pumps and yard sprinklers need to be seasonally adjusted. Pools in the cooler seasons only need to be on an hour or two to circulate chemicals.

Save energy.
According to the Department of Energy,  upgrading to energy-efficient light bulbs and motion-sensing light switches in places like walk-in closets, dim pantries and hallways consumes 25-80 percent less energy than traditional light bulbs, saving you money on your monthly utility bills.

Source: Mister Sparky® Electricians

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Winter Improvements Add Value, Appraisers Say

November 4, 2015 2:40 pm

Did you know winterizing your home has the potential to increase its value? According to the Appraisal Institute, making specific improvements ahead of colder months is often well worth the investment.

“Fall is an ideal time for homeowners to take stock and make the appropriate updates for the cold months ahead,” says Appraisal Institute President M. Lance Coyle.  “Routine improvements can make a winter indoors more enjoyable and, in some cases, increase the value of a home.”

Home improvements with the highest cost-to-value ratio include steel entry door replacement, mid-range and upscale garage door replacement and wood window replacement, according to a recent Hanley Wood Cost vs. Value Report. Replacement projects tend to generate higher returns on value than major room remodels, including those of kitchens and baths. At the time of resale, for instance, a bathroom remodel recoups 70 percent of its cost, but a steel entry door replacement recoups almost 102 percent.

Along with making these improvements, homeowners can winterize with some simple, energy- and cost-efficient measures:

• Check for air leaks around walls, ceilings, doors, lighting and plumbing fixtures, switches and electrical outlets.

• Look for ways to use controls such as sensors, dimmers and timers to reduce lighting use.

• Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators as needed; make sure they are not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes.

• Install aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads.

• Close curtains and shades at night to protect against cold drafts; open them during the day to let in the warming sunlight.

Additionally, taking steps to winterize outside of the home can protect investments in landscaping, a deck or roof, all of which can potentially add to property values. Consult with an appraiser before making decisions on which outdoor winterization projects to undertake.

Source: Appraisal Institute

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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3 Questions Every Job Candidate Should Be Prepared to Answer

November 2, 2015 2:12 am

In a less-than-flourishing employment market, job-seekers have to compete for positions. One good way to improve your chances is to sharpen up your interview skills.

“There are three things I look for in every candidate, Lori Senecal, CEO of the CPM Partner Network, told Adam Bryant of the New York Times. “I always ask three questions to determine which job-seekers can deliver.”

Savvy candidates would do well to address the issues behind Senecal’s three main questions—whether or not they are specifically asked – at some point during the interview:

What have you invented? – This doesn’t mean you have to have built a robot that brings beer from the fridge, explained Senecal. It’s to establish that you have a creative mindset and an ability to find fresh solutions – a new, more efficient way of doing something…or filing something…or approaching something. What in your school years or a previous job moved you to solve a problem?

What is your greatest achievement? – This may be less to learn about your achievement (which has probably been answered with question one) than to test your willingness to be part of a team. Senecal finds an ‘I/we’ mindset more significant than an ‘I/me’ perspective. Think about a time when you worked with a team to achieve a positive outcome.

Have you ever had to stick your neck out for the greater good of a mission? – "I want people who are willing to take bold action to move the mission forward," Senecal said. She looks for talent that embodies original thinking, passion and dedication, and a spirit of collaboration—traits it will most likely take to excel in a creative work environment. Was there a time when you bucked the established view in order to get something done?

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Space-Saving Tricks to Open Up a Small Kitchen

November 2, 2015 2:12 am

A well-designed kitchen should offer minimum clutter and maximum efficiency. Whether you are redecorating or totally remodeling, check out these space-saving ideas shared by noted kitchen designers with House Beautiful editors:

Re-think the design – If your kitchen is not wide enough to add an island, rethink your existing counter. Jutting a small counter piece out from the wall to form an L-shape can up the available workspace by a lot.
Smart cabinets – For more accessible pantry space, think about slide-out shelves in upper kitchen cabinets that can slide out over countertops.

Tucked-away seating – When not in use, backless stools can be slipped under the breakfast counter or even under a kitchen island to save space, while offering seating when you need it.

Open shelving – Think about replacing upper cabinets with open shelving, which can hold more and make a small kitchen look larger than it really is.

Go lighter – a small kitchen can look larger just by replacing or refinishing dark wood cabinets and/or backsplash tiles in a much lighter color.

Hang pots and pans – An antique pot rack on one wall keeps pots and pans within easy reach and frees up lots of cupboard space.

Hanging knife rack – A knife block is nice, but it takes up lots of space. Free that counter space by hanging a knife rack on the wall.

Add mirrors – It’s a trick of the eye, but using antiqued mirrored glass in place if regular glass in your cabinet doors will enlarge the look of a small kitchen.

Roll with it – If you have someplace to tuck it away when not in use, a moveable rolling cart – even a folding cart – offers a great way to gain needed counter space while you are working in the kitchen.

Conquer the corners – Try a lazy Susan solution to turn that smidgen of unusable cabinet space in the corner of your kitchen into a useful bit of extra storage space.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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