Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On-Bill Recovery Financing Program: Use Your Utility Bills to Borrow Money for Home Improvement Projects

Starting today, January 31, 2012, “homeowners can use their utility bills to borrow money to help pay for new air conditions, boilers, hot water heaters and other home improvements that will save energy over time,” (Syracuse.com). 

The program, known as the “on-bill recovery financing program,” allows homeowners to borrow up to $25,000 over 15 years at 2.99% interest to make approved home improvements and appliance purchases. “The amount borrow will be paid back on National Grid or other utility bills,” (Syracuse.com). 

Besides convenience, the new option may offer lower costs as well. Additionally, because the loan installments are included on the utility bill, and carry the same penalties for nonpayment, including service termination, the on-bill loans are considered less risky.

Homeowners can start applying for the program today, regardless of their income. There is no income requirement to be approved for the program. The payback doesn’t kick in until May 31st and no interest will be charged to qualifying homeowners before then. 

Homeowners must apply for the loans through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

For more information on how to apply for the On-Bill Recovery Loan Program, click HERE.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Benefits of Tempered Glass

Tempered glass is four to five times stronger than standard glass and does not break into sharp shard when it falls. Tempered glass is manufactured through a process of extreme heating and rapid cooling, making it harder than normal glass.

Tempered glass is safer than regular glass. The brittle nature of tempered glass causes it to shatter into small pebbles when broken rather than shards. This eliminates the danger of sharp edges. Due to this property, along with its strength, tempered glass is often referred to as “safe glass”.

Pieces of glass that are to be tempered are precut and drilled before undergoing the tempering process, because they cannot be drilled afterwards. 

Tempered glass is a very popular glass used when constructing shower door enclosures. For more information, visit LighthouseShowerDoors.com

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Do's and Don'ts of Home Renovations in a Troubled Real Estate Market

In today’s troubled real estate market, one bad move could cost you a sale! Before you consider any home improvement projects, you may want to hear what Joe Scarp, owner/broker of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Phoenician Properties has to say about home improvement do’s and don’ts. 

Kitchen and bathroom renovations are at the top of the list, with the most return on investment and biggest increase to the value of your home. Scarp says “kitchen and bath upgrades can only help you.” 

Other safe renovations that are sure to increase your property value and secure a sale, “new appliances and quality furnishings are also good ideas,” says Scarp. 

As for the “don’ts”, avoid anything too custom like “converting garages into rooms, sports courts in your backyard and build outs’ are among the no-no’s,” he suggests.

“When buyers are looking to purchase a home, some of the things they consider are paint, windows, doors, flooring and the garage. This means as a seller, you should also consider how these areas will be perceived by a potential buyer,” (abc15.com). 

Are you looking to renovate your bathroom? Contact Lighthouse Shower Doors for all your shower essentials, including installation and repair. For more information, visit LighthouseShowerDoors.com and LIKE us on Facebook!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Home Remodeling Industry Trending Up Later This Year

The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University released positive information for the home remodeling industry today. 

The center released a statement today in addition to its latest data from its Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity survey,  saying “home improvement spending should accelerate from a slow start and trend up later this year, a sign that the housing market is finally starting its slow recovery,” (BostonGlobe.com). 

If momentum continues to build during the second half of the year, “remodeling activity is on course to end 2012 on a positive note,” the center said (BostonGlobe.com).

In a statement, Kermit Baker, the director of the center’s Remodeling Futures Program, said: “Sales of existing homes have been increasing in recent months, offering more opportunities for home improvement projects.  As lending institutions become less fearful of the real estate sector, financing will become more readily available to owners looking to undertake remodeling,” (BostonGlobe.com).

If you’re looking for a place to start with your home renovations, look no further than your bathroom. Bathroom renovations increase the value of your house and can be done so at reasonable costs. Contact Lighthouse Shower Doors for more information at 516-543-8672 or LighthouseShowerDoors.com.

Friday, January 13, 2012

It's National Bath Safety Month! A few helpful tips to keep you and your children safe when bathing...

January is acknowledged as National Bath Safety Month. 

It only takes a few seconds for someone to become injured or drown from a bathroom related accident, so taking the proper safety precautions is vital for all ages to remain safe while bathing.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports, on average, 370 people of all ages suffer from bathtub or shower-related injuries each day in the United States! “Drowning is the leading cause for unintentional injury deaths of children age 4 and younger, and in children 14 and younger, drowning is the second leading cause for unintentional injury fatalities,” (MGH.ORG).

Here are a few Bathroom Safety Tips to keep in mind, not just throughout National Bath Safety Month, but year-round, provided by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. 

Keep bathroom doors closed and secure toilet lids with lid locks.
Never leave small children alone around any container of water. This includes toilets, tubs, wading pools, spas, aquariums, and buckets.
Safeguard bathtubs and sinks used for bathing by using faucet covers and nonskid mats or decals.
Before bathing children, gather the soap, shampoo, toys, towel, diaper, clothing, and any other needed items you might need before running the bath water. Place these items so you can easily reach them.
After running bath water, check the water temperature before placing the child in the bath water.
Some people who are elderly may have less sensation in their hands and therefore may misjudge water temperature. If you have a loved one who is elderly, check the water temperature in their home to avoid scalding injuries.
Once your child is in the bath, don’t leave for any reason. Children can drown in just a small amount of water. They can easily topple into the tub or toilet. It only takes a few seconds for a drowning to happen.
If you must leave the room for the telephone or door, take the child with you after taking the child out of the water and wrapping him in a towel.
To avoid falls and slipping under the water, always keep one hand firmly around the child when bathing him and keep the child sitting.
For people who are elderly or have disabilities, consider installing grab bars on walls around the tub and beside the toilet and a portable, hand-held shower head.