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Health & Safety

home security

Do home security systems really protect your home?

Many breeds of home security systems have emerged over the years. They range from motion detectors that can easily be installed by a weekend DIY warrior to professional systems that require trained specialists for installation and monitoring. Even more, some systems allow the homeowner to monitor their home from afar via their cell phone. All of these options are appearing for good reason. According to the The Chicago Tribune, 80 percent of homeowners with alarms rated their systems as effective in protecting their homes. But with so many options readily available, choosing an effective security system becomes all the more …

polluted air

How can homeowners improve air quality in their homes?

You could have a chronic problem in your home and not even know about it. Poor indoor air quality. This pollution can cause significant health concerns for you and your family. The potential for air pollution lives in about every room of your home. Outdoor pollutants can enter your home and join forces with indoor irritants. These irritants can include mold, household dust, allergens from pet dander, and fumes from gas appliances. Water heaters, ovens, stoves, furnaces, fireplaces, ranges, and space heaters all release gas and particulates into the air. Poor air quality can cause symptoms like coughing, tightening of …

building codes

How should homeowners handle building codes?

Above all, building permits are meant to keep people safe. No city officials want their residents living in a house with a disintegrating foundation, or where the electrical system is a sparking, fire-starting disaster waiting to happen. But many homeowners find that those efforts to keep them safe often only serve to frustrate them. If you’re planning a new home improvement project, make sure you get the lowdown on how to comply with your area’s building codes and construction laws. Responsibility Responsibility is a tricky issue when it comes to building codes. Many homeowners who hire contractors feel that it …

Winterize

Winterize Your Home

Getting your home ready for winter is important no matter where you live, whether you need to prepare for heavy rains and wind storms or freezing temperatures and feet of snow. Keeping your home safe and comfortable for your family is made easier by paying attention to key features that are susceptible to winter weather changes. When the storms and foul weather of winter arrive, you’ll want to know that your home is prepped to meet any challenge.   Winterizing Your Home When the storms and foul weather of winter arrive, you’ll want to know that your home is prepped …

winterize article

How do you winterize a home?

Last week, we asked our panel of home improvement experts about the best projects to prepare your home for the coming winter. We got a fantastic response that highlights winterization projects for the coldest regions of the country, but also for more temperate regions that may not get frozen but can definitely benefit from some cold season preparation. We’ve compiled as short list of our favorite tips below. Because we got such a good response, we’ve decided to make a winterization project infographic due for release late next week, so stay tuned! Protecting Pipes Freezing pipes are a nightmare for …

green certification

What is the value of green certifications?

In today’s home improvement and construction market, the word green seems to mean everything and nothing at the same time. Nearly all products, repairs, upgrades and new projects are attempting to take advantage of the green industry. While the industry’s intentions are good, the market is so saturated that homeowners are often left in the fog about what green changes are worth their money. While helping the environment is a noble pursuit, it doesn’t always turn people to action. However, if those green changes come with some big savings, then people will line up to sign up. One of the …

save energy

4 Reasons to Smarten Up Your Home

This time we’re not talking about making it look better—although we think that’s also a great goal to pursue. We’re talking about adopting smart technology for the home. The use of new home technologies is sometimes greeted with doubt, but when the benefits are this useful for individuals as well as the environment, we think everyone should get an run-down of the topic.

kid construction

The Best Ways to Keep a Renovation Kid-Friendly

There are a lot of things to think of when you decide to start in on a home improvement project, and sometimes details can get lost in the shuffle. So we’re here to help you with one of the most important considerations-how to keep your renovation kid-friendly! Whether you’re planning on having kids in the future, you’re a parent, or they’re just occasional guests, our list of kid-friendly considerations will give you ideas for how to incorporate their needs into your home.

natural disaster

A Homeowner’s Guide to Natural Disasters

We always hope our homes will never be struck by a natural disaster. However, with all the recent earthquakes and hurricanes, we say it’s better to be safe than sorry! So we’re bringing you a comprehensive guide to preparing your home from natural disasters. With luck you won’t need them, but just in case, read on… Earthquakes • Repair cracks that are long and deep in ceiling, foundations, and driveways. • Remove heavy objects from high areas. • There are special construction options available, like shear walls or horizontally reinforcing walls. • Check and restore your roof; seek a professional …

plumbing design

Incorporating Plumbing and Electrical Work into Design

Welcome to eLocal’s inaugural Blog-Off article! If you missed reading about what the Blog-Off is and our mission to unite the home improvement industry, you can read more about it in our Blog-Off series announcement. For this first Blog-Off article, we asked the experts when in the design process homeowners should make plumbing and electrical decisions. If you are considering or starting a remodel, this is a must-read!