More Fun Household Tricks

Here are a few quick tricks to make home maintenance and organization easy.  Among the tricks on this video, you will find an easy way to differentiate your keys, how to deal with stripped screws, how to catch drill hole dust without making a mess, and how to use a shoe organizer creatively.

If you haven’t seen our first Gold Key Fun Household Tricks video, go to our RESOURCE tab on our website and click on the VIDEOS selection of our drop down menu.  Let us know what you think!

The first  Gold Key Fun Household Tricks Video made available last year.

The first Gold Key Fun Household Tricks Video made available last year.

 

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If no comment has been made yet, you will find a “no comments” link in the upper right corner of the blog. Click on it to leave a comment.  Each blog has its own comment area.

 

What are you doing to advance your business?

The Emyth RevisitedIn the book, The E-Myth Revisited, the author, Michael Gerber, states that all business owners have 3 parts to our makeup:  the entrepreneur, the manager, and the technician. Some of us have strengths in each of these categories. The entrepreneur dreams big and has a lot of creativity, the manager develops organized systems to facilitate the best way to run the business, and the technician work in the business, doing the labor involved with building market share, etc.

Too much emphasis on one will hurt the others, and avoiding one will adversely affect the necessary but painful parts of successfully growing a business. I am primarily a manager/technician, and would rather work in my comfort zone of inspecting homes and doing things in an organized way. Meeting new people, expanding boundaries, starting new programs, and launching systematized follow up programs are all crucial to growing a business, but do not cater to my strengths or desires.

Networking with co-workers, gleaning information from success coaches, and leaning on employees that complement your strengths and weaknesses are all ways to help balance what may be a dominant trait in your personality that hinders your business growth.

What are you proactively doing to energize your business? What steps have you taken to force your real estate adventure into a business that works for you and doesn’t consume your life? Are you satisfied with the results and if not, what can you do to take it to the next level? Let us know what type of effort you are making to exist outside of your comfort zone and propel your business to heights you previously thought impossible to obtain.

The Winter Chill and Insulation Considerations for Your Home

How well is your home insulated against "old man winter"?As the teeth of colder temperatures begin to sink in, any areas of your home that lack proper insulation will make themselves apparent. It may be a drafty area around doors, windows, or outlets. Sometimes walls in certain rooms will feel cold to the touch. Insulating a house properly and consistently can be a tricky proposition.

There are many “out of sight” areas that are difficult to insulate to keep cold air from infiltrating. The areas most commonly referred to when insulating are the exterior walls and above the ceiling (attics in most homes). Standards for insulating these areas vary somewhat according to location and building codes. In new construction, attics are insulated to an R-value of at least 50. Walls are typically at least R19. The R-value represents the insulating resistance to thermal transfer. As a general rule, the R value can be determined by multiplying inches of insulations by 3. For example, if you have 10 inches of insulation in the attic, the R-value is approximately 30. The actual R-value will depend on the type of insulation. Loose fill blown cellulose or fiberglass has slightly different values than fiberglass batts or rigid board insulation. It is more important to choose the right type of insulation for the application than to worry about which type has the highest R-value.

The insulating factor also depends on the amount of trapped air in the insulation. If you compress it by storing items on it, the insulating value is reduced. A type of insulation used, especially in exterior walls, is sprayed on foam. This is sprayed on exterior walls about 1 inch thick to effectively seal even the smallest gaps in the structure. It also provides additional strength to the framing of the house. Fiberglass batts are then installed over the foam to complete the insulating of the wall.

It is also important to have a correctly installed vapor barrier on in these areas. The vapor barrier allows air to pass though it, but resists water vapor. It is usually polyethylene film, aluminum foil, or Kraft paper. The purpose is to prevent moisture problems in exterior walls, ceilings, or floors that face unheated areas. This occurs when cold air mixes with warm air and condenses as it passes through the wall or ceiling cavity. This can lead to mold or ineffective insulation. It is important to remember that the vapor barrier should always face the heated side of the building.

Proper weather-stripping and caulking are an important finishing step in any insulation application as they seal the tiny cracks and crevices that larger materials cannot. You may also want to consider upgrading the houses’ windows, especially if they are single pane.

You will want to get a cost estimate from on the potential savings of any application from walls to windows to attics before spending the money to upgrade. The long term savings may not be enough in some applications to justify the higher initial cost.