Stay on Budget and Keep the Holiday Jolly

The season to be jolly is fast approaching. However, even though the holiday season is filled with happiness and joyous moments, it comes with its fair share of challenges; the major one being overspending. You may be having a budget every year, but you are always unable to stick to it and hence find yourself having spent well over your budget at the end of the holiday season.

This year we want to help you change that by following these helpful and useful tips:

Tip 1: Make a Realistic Estimate of Your Holiday Expenses

It is unfortunate that when making a budget, most people underestimate their expenses. They only include certain costs such as gift and decoration purchases but they leave out plenty of other expenses. Consider other costs such as travel, food, alcohol, and special events. By doing so, you will have a more realistic idea of your total projected cash output. If your total projection seems out of reach, make a conscious decision on what to cut back. You do not have to host a lavish party to have fun. You can still spend less and have a great time with friends and family.

Tip 2: Start Shopping Early

There are less than 20 days left before Christmas. There is plenty of time to take advantage of the sales. Most people will wait until the last minute and end up getting caught in the last-minute rush to purchase gifts. Do not be that person. Start your gift shopping early preferably earlier in the year. This way, you can spread the costs so they do not hit you all at once. Looking for bargains on unique gift items not only saves you money but can also be fun. You should definitely try it.

Tip 3: Consider Gifts That Are Big On Thoughtfulness But Small On Cost

When most people hear homemade gifts, their minds quickly shift to ugly presents. This does not have to be the case. If you have a talent or a creative gift, put your creativity to work and save money this holiday season. If you love baking, try some new recipes and surprise your friends. Their taste buds will surely be grateful. Also,

think about the services you can offer. If you are good with kids, offer to give childcare which is a more meaningful gift than some electronic clock you would have bought.

Tip 4: Be an Educated Consumer

If you have a list of items you need to buy this season, this tip is for you. To save money on your budget, compare shop prices to make sure you buy from the cheapest store. In this internet era, you do not have to step foot in a shop. You can do it all on your laptop from the comfort of your home. Once you have found the best price for an item, go to the manufacturer’s website to look for coupons. If you wish to make an order online, search for free shipping offers. Once you combine the two, you will save loads of money on your gift purchases.

Getting through the holidays and sticking to your budget is an accomplishment you should be proud of. However, you should not beat yourself up if you went a little over the budget. You always have another chance to do it better next year.

— Please remember us when you or someone you know is in need of a home inspection. A referral from you would be our greatest compliment.

Green and Healthy Floor Refinishing – 5 Tips From the Pros

As many homeowners prioritize natural beauty and ease of maintenance in their living spaces, hardwood floors have become a popular flooring option. And for many consumers, that means refinishing existing wood floors that need a little help to regain their original luster.


If you’re considering sprucing up your floors, you may want to pay close attention to the environmental impact of your plans. It’s important to factor in the processes and products that will optimize your family’s health and wellness instead of exposing them to potentially harmful chemicals.


Happily, today’s new hardwood floor refinishing systems and products offer better options for a safe and efficient process. Here are five steps you can take to ensure your floor project ends with a gloriously lustrous, durable, beautiful floor that won’t adversely affect the inhabitants of your home.



(1) Choose A Credible Contractor.


Shop around for a professional who understands how to work with the specific floors you’ve installed without introducing toxicity into your home environment. The best alternative may be a Bona Certified Craftsman® who’s been trained on how to revive, recoat and refinish wood floors of all kinds without using potentially harmful chemicals.


(2) Make A Joint Plan.


Instead of simply handing the entire project over to your contractor, work with him or her to create a refinishing plan that specifies how, when and where the work will take place and what kinds of products will be used. One way to make that easier is by using Bona’s Floor Visualizer, a new online tool that can help you visualize how different flooring choices will look in various rooms of your home.


(3) Go Dustless.


Insist that your contractor use a certified dust containment system that will eliminate virtually all floating dust particles from the floor sanding process. OSHA advises that airborne wood dust is carcinogenic, which can lead to respiratory issues or even cancer.


(4) Opt For a Waterborne Finish.


While some contractors offer less expensive options such as acid-cured varnishes, conversion varnishes, or “Swedish” finishes, those varieties contain high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can adversely affect your home’s air quality. The formaldehyde in acid-cured finishes can agitate respiratory illnesses and/or cause nausea, dizziness, headaches and irritation of the eyes, nose, or throat. Another problem? Those harsh finishes can keep emitting problematic chemicals for up to 90 days as it cures.


In comparison, water-based finishes are lower in VOCs, emit minimal odor, dry much quicker, and are overall safer and more convenient for people, pets, and plants. Further, they’re durable, beautiful, and clear-drying on all kinds of hardwood floors.


(5) Know Best Practices for Maintenance.


Once your waterborne finish is cured, you can best maintain your new gorgeous wood floors by avoiding the use of vacuums, steam cleaners, vinegar-and-water solutions, oil soaps, paste waxes, furniture polishes, and other harsh cleaning products formulated for other surfaces. Instead, look for cleaning solutions like Bona’s Hardwood Floor Cleaning solutions that are developed for wood floors, are biodegradable, use plant-derived ingredients, and are Safer Choice certified.


With today’s technology, there’s no reason to settle for hardwood floor renovation techniques that are harmful to the environment and your home. Choose wisely when it comes to the health of your family. For more information on safe and environmentally sound care of your hardwood floors, visit

Gifts for the home are appreciated for years come.

If you’re like most people, you’ve spent more time at home in the last year and a half than ever before. While there are probably things you love about your house, spending so much time there makes you acutely aware of where upgrades are in order.


Fortunately, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on renovations to give your home a refresh. This holiday season treat yourself to these gifts for the home that will help you elevate favorite spaces so you can enjoy them for years to come:



Sing In the Shower


Imagine taking a soothing shower and as the warm water washes over you, you’re also surrounded by your favorite sounds. This immersive sensory experience is a great way to wake up in the morning or relax in the evening, thanks to the multifunctional Moxie showerhead.


Combining a luxurious spray with a high-quality audio speaker with sound by Harman Kardon, this wireless speaker elevates every shower. Whether you’re in the mood for a favorite podcast, rocking out to dance music or breathing deep to calming tunes, you can customize the experience by pairing it to your phone or other personal device. Plus, because it’s portable, you can bring it wherever you want to go, from the bathroom to the bedroom and beyond.


Ease Kitchen Cleanup


Whether you’re baking treats to spread some joy or cooking up a feast for friends and family, the kitchen becomes the hub of the home. This also means it can become mess central. With a Kohler Step Can garbage container, throwing away messes is simple with hands-free operation thanks to a sturdy foot pedal.



From slim 2.5-gallon trash cans to large 13-gallon options, there are sizes to fit any space. Clean lines and thoughtful designs allow it to be placed right against the wall or a cabinet for a flush fit. Made with a sleek stainless-steel fingerprint-proof finish, this can will stay cleaner longer, no matter how messy your kitchen adventures get.


Style The Bathroom


Bathroom countertops can become chaotic surfaces packed with grooming and wellness supplies. A touch of organization can transform the space with style similar to what you see in home magazines. Explore Bente collection accessory sets in a variety of colors to match your bathroom aesthetic, including ebony pearl, oyster pearl and herringbone.


These accessory sets hold favorite bathroom supplies, enhancing the beauty and organization of the bathroom countertop space. This helps you create a cohesive, elevated look that is especially appreciated if you’re hosting guests. Staying at someone else’s home? Bente sets come in a beautiful gift box and make a great hostess gift.


Create Mood with Light


When you update lighting, you not only add style to spaces, you make them more functional, too. Ambient lighting is typically overhead lighting that can be adjusted to brighten or dim the room to set the mood or enhance surrounding light. Adding task lighting designs, such as a lighted bathroom mirror with magnification or a decorative tabletop reading lamp, elevates the overall decor aesthetic, while also providing the perfect light for grooming to start your day or an intimate lighting source to help you tuck into that favorite book at night. Accent lighting can highlight architectural details and other decorative elements within a home. When all of these lighting types align, you can create a sophisticated atmosphere that is also intuitive to your personal taste and lifestyle.


No matter what your lighting needs, Kohler lighting is available in a wide range of styles and finishes for whole home solutions. From statement-making chandeliers and flush-mounts to pendants, sconces and bath bars that can be paired or grouped for dramatic effect, each piece is


expertly crafted using the finest materials and is quality tested to ensure the design remains beautiful for many years to come. Many of the Kohler Lighting designs also offer color-matched finishes to complement Kohler faucets and fixtures for seamless bathroom applications.


Whether it’s a gift for yourself or a gift for a loved one, these upgrades are high impact yet affordable. This makes spending time at home more enjoyable than ever. (BPT)

6 twists on foundations plantings

Foundation planting refers to the plants that directly border your home’s foundation. The right look can make your home more welcoming or even a tad more dramatic. Some people are born with a green thumb while others have a difficult time picturing what their home could be. Maybe you know what you like but aren’t certain what’s right for your home. For a few ideas that you may not have considered, consider the following twists on traditional foundation planting.


Skip The Structure


Foundational plantings sometimes look incredibly formal, forming stiff rows of color in front of the home. However, you may get better results if you have one or two focal-point plants around your home that you group colorful shrubs around. Azaleas, salvias, and spireas will all serve as excellent highlights for the main event.


Modern And Minimalist


As with a lot of things in life, less is more. Many contemporary homes will use just a few rush marches to get a little greenery in an otherwise stark environment. This style might not be great for a 4-bedroom Tudor, but it will look excellent on a sleek home with a high wall as a barrier. There are plenty of shrubs you can get, like pale rush, that don’t require a lot of maintenance. How’s that for simplifying things?


Wild And Wonderful


There’s no rule saying that your foundational plants can’t bring a touch of the wild to your home. There are plenty of plumes, grasses, and seeds that will bring the meadow from the forest to your home. Trim the foliage when winter comes along or leave it as is for a little more visual flair and texture (even when the rest of the neighborhood looks a touch barren.)


Drama In Tight Spaces


If you have a small patio or deck between your home and garage, then make it a lot more dramatic by giving the garage foundation and home the right plants. You might be surprised at how good larger plants (like elephant ears) look in such a tight space. Contrast greenery on one side with a different color on the other, such as dark purple or even bright orange. It may create a more inviting space to encourage people to use the deck more often.


A Different Take On Traditional


There’s nothing wrong with wanting the more traditional shrubs that tend to border a home, especially if that’s what you’re used to. Evergreens are usually the go-to for homeowners because they truly do look beautiful all year round. If you want a small twist, try breaking the greenery into different shapes (e.g., circles or geometrically correct squares.) Or use boxwoods (rectangular containers to hold a single specimen) to break up the shrubs and to add a little more color amongst all the dark green.


Pale Green And Silver


For a more Mediterranean look, consider using olive trees or muted rosemary shrubs to complement a stone home. The paler colors won’t draw a lot of attention, but they can make it appear more understated. You can think of this choice like using the minimalist style with just a little extra.



— We look forward to working with you on your next real estate transaction. A referral from you would be our greatest compliment.

3 Ways Credit Plays into Mortgage Refinancing

We found this article very informative and wanted to share it with you. Many people refinance their mortgage within the first 5-years and this information can help make the process go more smoothly.


If you’re thinking about refinancing your mortgage, there’s often a lot to consider. For instance, your decision to refinance may rely on current interest rates or your personal financial situation.


Your credit score also plays a role in the mortgage refinancing process. While it can certainly factor into your ability to refinance, the relationship between your mortgage and your credit score can be complicated. However, it doesn’t need to be.


What to Know About Credit Scores and Refinancing


Credit requirements can vary depending on the terms of your loan. But at the same time, many programs share similar traits. Here are a few you’ll want to know:


The Score You Need Can Depend on the Type of Loan You Have


According to NerdWallet, if you’re refinancing a VA or conventional loan, you’ll typically need a score between 620 and 720 to qualify. And if you have an FHA loan, you need a score between at least 500 and 580 to qualify.


Fortunately, lenders understand that life happens and are willing to work through different options if your credit score recently dropped below the requirements. For instance, there are different streamline financing options for VA loans, FHA loans and USDA loans that don’t require credit checks or score benchmarks.


A lot of people also choose to get home loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two of the largest home loan lenders in the country. Both typically require a minimum credit score of 620 to get approved.


Good Credit Isn’t the Only Thing You Need to Qualify


When you’re looking to refinance, having an excellent credit score can be beneficial. However, your score doesn’t automatically make you eligible. Lenders will look at a number of other things before they approve refinancing, such as your:


  • Debt-to-income ratio (DTI): The amount of debt you have compared to how much money you make.


  • Loan-to-value ratio (LTV): Allows lenders to assess the lending risk before approving a mortgage or a mortgage refinance. Loans that have a higher LTV are typically considered to be a higher risk.


If your lender says you have a high LTV ratio, that doesn’t automatically disqualify you. There are government-sponsored programs from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that are available for borrowers who have LTV ratios that are 97.01% or higher.


Refinancing Can Drop Your Score Temporarily


Like any changes to your installment accounts, refinancing your mortgage can lower your score. However, you don’t need to worry about this as much if your credit is already in good standing.


There are a couple of reasons why your score may drop. One is that lenders take what’s called a “hard inquiry,” or a detailed look, at your credit score. Such hard inquiries can cause your score to drop by a few points. The second is that the fact of refinancing itself can reduce your credit score. The third is a possible increase in your utilization ratio, which is calculated by comparing the amount you owe versus your total credit limit.


Start the Refinancing Process on the Right Foot


There’s a lot involved in the refinancing process. But when you know where your credit score is at before you begin, it can help you create a better plan for action.



If you’re thinking about refinancing your mortgage, here’s some good information to help you along the way.



— Please remember us when you or someone you know is in need of a home inspection. A referral from you would be a great compliment.

3 tips to boost your home design with energy-efficient LED bulbs

If you dream about transforming your home on a budget, chances are you’ve considered new paint, area rugs, or window treatments. While these updates can refresh rooms without breaking the bank, there’s a crucial and often overlooked design element that can truly transform a room – lighting.

The good news is, improving lighting doesn’t necessarily require all new fixtures. Simply swapping from standard to LED lightbulbs can upgrade the ambience of your home with stylish features and energy-saving benefits that can have a dramatic impact on your energy bill – and the look and feel of your overall space.

Lighting can alter the appearance of paint, furnishings, and decor, becoming even more important as seasons change. As the days get shorter and darker, brighten up your home with an elevated, energy-efficient home basic: LED lightbulbs.

Here are a few bright ideas to revamp rooms using the power of the humble lightbulb:

  1. Go LED For Cost Savings

Select LED bulbs reduce household energy costs over the course of their lifetime. An EcoSmart lightbulb saves $0.55-$2.65 on average per bulb over its 25,000-hour lifetime. New LED lightbulbs offer the latest innovation in lighting technology and are available in a wide assortment of wattage outputs, colors, base options, and shapes.

  1. Consider Function


LEDs are directional light sources, enabling them to cast light and use energy more efficiently. When choosing your ideal lightbulb style, consider the room’s purpose. A kitchen needs to be bright to aid food preparation, but

your bedroom should be a restful, cozy oasis. For a living room, you may want to switch from a game-and-puzzle center with focused lighting to a darkened home theater for movie night.

  • Kitchens need light to perform cooking tasks, as well as for entertaining. EcoSmart LED recessed and track lighting (BR) offer strong overhead illumination in enclosed fixtures.
  • Bathrooms need effective lighting, plus decorative style. Globe-shaped LED lightbulbs emit light in every direction, making them ideal for mirror and pendant lights.
  • Dining areas are a great place to show off decorative fixtures with candle bulbs. New, improved decorative bulbs feature a thinner, longer filament design – with options like fine bendy or horizontal – that combine authentic styles and 360-degree light output with low glare for high-quality lighting that doesn’t sacrifice style.
  • Bedrooms or living areas where ambience is paramount offer endless creative possibilities. Vintage is a look that never truly goes out of style and EcoSmart “Edison” bulbs give a more “true vintage look,” along with the benefits of LED technology. EcoSmart offers a dimmable option for these bulbs too, so you can choose exactly how much light you want.
  • Outdoor living spaces benefit from security lighting. Turn any fixture into a state-of-the-art security fixture with features like motion sensors, high output, and dusk-to-dawn. Look for lightbulbs compatible with floodlights, security, and landscape lighting (PAR).
  1. Choose “Color Temperature” To Change The Mood

Today’s LED bulbs offer a wide variety of color temperatures, empowering you to make the room feel warmer and cozier, or cooler and crisper.

Contrary to what you may think, the hotter the light source (measured in Kelvins), the cooler the “color temperature,” so lights with temperatures at 5,000 or more Kelvins look brighter, crisper and more bluish. However, light temperatures around 2,500-3,000 Kelvins emit an amber, yellowish or orange tinge which makes rooms feel warmer and cozier.

“Like choosing paint in cool or warm colors, picking the right color temperature for lighting can really transform a space,” said Sarah Fishburne, Director of Trend and Design for The Home Depot. “You can emphasize warm tones like yellows, reds and oranges using ‘warm’ colored lighting, or you can make a room feel lighter, brighter, and airier by choosing ‘cool’ temperature lighting.”

Experiment with different bulbs and settings to see what works best with your room. For the ultimate color selection, try an EcoSmart lightbulb with 5 CCT (Correlated Color Temperature) that lets you customize the color of light using an integrated switch. Bulbs equipped with DuoBright technology empower you to adjust the color temperature and brightness with your existing dimmer switch to meet your preferences at any time – emitting 5,000 Kelvins (Daylight) at full brightness and slowly transitioning to 2,000 Kelvins (Sunset Glow) when dimmed.

Change Your Lightbulbs, Change The World

The other good news about swapping out lightbulbs? You’re helping the environment, too. On average, an enhanced EcoSmart LED bulb uses 85% less energy than a traditional incandescent lightbulb.

Learn more about EcoSmart lightbulbs available exclusively in-store at The Home Depot or online at HomeDepot.

When we find good articles that can help around the home, we like to share them with our clients. We hope you enjoyed this article on LED bulbs.

— Please remember us when you or someone you know is in need of a home inspection. A referral from you would be our greatest compliment.

Enjoy home improvements without spending too much

Remodeling magazine reports the real test when investing in home improvements is choosing the right project. You will want to make sure your home improvement adds value to your home and nets the best return for your money. For instance, a major kitchen or bath remodel typically will not give you the return on investment as would new siding. A recent study reports that new siding recoups more than 92.8 percent of its cost.


Home improvements are essential, especially when you are attempting to maintain and increase your property’s value for resale purposes. However, rather than taking out a second mortgage or line of credit against your current mortgage, here are some tips for saving money when investing in improvements.


Choose to remodel things that will deliver the best return. Some projects are better choices than others. For instance, updating or replacing the garage door, investing in a manufactured stone veneer, adding a deck, or taking on a minor kitchen remodel are all better choices than some larger, more expensive projects such as a major kitchen remodel.


One top (and common) home update that pays off, is the minor bathroom remodel. Here are some tips to accomplish one for less. Get to know a handyman or re-caulk your tub yourself. If you can pipe icing on a cake, you’re qualified to caulk your tub– be sure to fill the tub afterward to make sure the caulk is stretched as it dries. Reglaze your old tub if it is too costly to replace it and take care of old wallpaper removing it, and damaged walls by adding a fresh coat of paint or spray-on texture. You can remove the doors of dated shower stalls or remove them to give the illusion of more space.


Consider your curb appeal. Landscaping adds a splash of color while adding to your home’s curb appeal. A unique focal point like a fountain or a walkway will also add major value to your property. Don’t overwhelm your door or front yard with greenery, but use mixed heights and colors of flowering


plants to add drama to your yard. For maximum effect, use a single color and keep the varying heights.


When your kitchen needs a minor cosmetic update versus a major floor plan change, by all means, do the minor remodel yourself, or hire a well-respected handyman to do the job. Some kitchen project ideas include: installing recessed lighting, resurfacing cabinets, and replacing the countertops. Your floors can be covered with vinyl over concrete floors and add decorator details like drapes and window molding.


Exterior improvements, including vinyl siding, updated front entry, or paint, will bring an average return at resale of 95.5 percent. Investing in projects like removing the old awnings from windows and doors will give your home an updated look. If you add a pergola and columns, you will be amazed at the dramatic makeover effect.


Staging and real estate brokers are great resources when you’re looking to enjoy home improvements for less. Small changes and updates can make a world of difference in this pursuit. For instance, you might want to change the outlet and light plate covers or paint your kitchen cabinets.


Have fun and enjoy your home updates even if you aren’t planning to sell!

3 Emerging design trends for today’s lifestyles

Events from the past year have all of us reconsidering what we want and need out of our homes. From work and play to wellness, our homes have become the epicenter of, well, everything – leading to an emergence of design trends focused on adapting to a new normal. The design experts at Wilsonart, a world-leading provider of engineered surfaces, have identified three new lifestyle trends that are affecting lasting design changes.


  1. Back to Nature


It’s no secret that nature has the power to inspire, invigorate, restore and refresh. Research has shown that interacting with nature can offer mental health benefits, including decreasing stress and relieving anxiety. Likewise, incorporating elements of nature into the home has been proven to improve happiness and well-being.


Whether as a room’s canvas or a pop of color on an accent wall, paint is an easy and affordable way to bring nature’s beauty into the home with colors that evoke a sense of calm and serenity. “Dark blue hues reminiscent of water and the sky are trending, along with lush greens that infuse spaces with the fresh essence of grass and foliage,” says designer Gwen Petter. “Earthy neutrals, such as tans and beiges, are also in high demand for their ability to ground us and surround us with soothing natural tones.”


Beyond color, 40% of people report that they want a connection to nature, particularly in their kitchens, according to a survey by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). Homeowners are choosing nature-inspired materials for focal areas like countertops, cabinets, and islands. Wilsonart® Home offers beautiful, on-trend options for virtually every surface in the home with performance features and price points to suit any lifestyle and


budget. The expertly curated collection includes environmentally sustainable materials such as high-pressure laminates and performance veneers that deliver the authentic looks of exotic woods, stone-inspired solid surface options, and non-porous engineered quartz.


  1. “Resi-mercial” and Rustic


Fueled by the drastic decline in domestic and international travel during the pandemic, homeowner interest in replicating the sophisticated style and comforts of an upscale hotel or luxury resort in their home has continued to grow. From plush towels and perfectly plump pillows to spa-worthy bathrooms and chef-quality kitchens, commercially inspired designs are increasingly crossing over into the residential arena.


Carrara marble continues to be one of the most sought-after surfaces to achieve this clean, sophisticated, “resi-mercial” look, but not everyone desires the cost and maintenance that comes with the natural stone. The Wilsonart® Solid Surface Crafted Collection combines nature’s beauty with cutting-edge design innovation to deliver the look of authentic marble in an ultra-durable acrylic solid surface. This series of movement designs capture the beauty and drama of marble typically only seen in natural materials like quartz and stone with virtually limitless design applications for the kitchen, bath, and beyond.


Scandi Noir is another “resi-mercial” design approach that is gaining traction, particularly in kitchens. This style features looser rules and is characterized by the use of dark cabinets combined with dark countertops or contrasting dark and light surfaces. “Kitchen cabinets are still predominantly white, but more homeowners are adding a pop of color with contrasting island cabinets. In fact, searches for black and navy kitchens are up significantly,” notes Petter.


  1. Sustainable Style


As our lives become increasingly home-centric, our homes need to perform on a level they may never have before, and this includes incorporating materials that work as hard as we do. “Today’s homeowners are seeking surfaces that will live up to the rigors of everyday life,” explains Petter. “There also is growing interest in sustainable alternatives to natural


products, which can contribute to deforestation and degraded air quality from sourcing and mining operations. Human-made composite materials offer appealing options that often outperform natural materials, delivering greater durability, less ongoing maintenance, and fewer harmful environmental impacts.”


Alternative materials like laminate, solid surface, and quartz mimic the best of Mother Nature without impacting the environment, offering appealing options for eco-conscious consumers. Many of these engineered surfaces are UL GREENGUARD Gold Certified to meet low chemical emissions limits for better air quality. Additionally, many laminate products are made with a combination of fibers from FSC-certified, fast-growing, sustainably managed woods and post-consumer recycled content (PCRC). For more information and inspiration, visit (BPT)



— Please remember us when you or someone you know is in need of a home inspection. A referral from you would be a great compliment.

How A Power Outage Can Impact Your Pocketbook

From the aging power grid to severe weather events, power outages lasting over an hour or two are increasing, no matter where you live. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, electricity customers experienced an average of eight hours of power outages in 2020, causing many to seek solutions like home standby generators.


“While storms have historically played a big part in the demand for home standby generators, things like aging grids, rolling brown-outs, and the work-from-home trend are just a few of the reasons that we continue to see significant sales growth in standby generators in recent years, and this growth is expected to continue,” said Michelle Gross, senior director, marketing of energy solutions at Briggs & Stratton.


During longer outages, what might have been inconvenient can become a real hazard. Virtually everything in a home today relies on electricity. Beyond the lights, HVAC and refrigerator, homes may also employ smart home technologies, security systems, and electric water pumps – all of which depend on electricity.


If you don’t have a home generator to keep your power on during an outage, what consequences could you face?


How A Power Outage Can Impact Your Pocketbook


Losing power creates problems you may not anticipate. This can include community-wide issues like disruptions to communication, transportation, and business as well as individual household issues that are a significant inconvenience to your family. An extended power outage could result in:


  • Food spoilage including meats, dairy, and eggs


  • No lights, heating, air conditioning, running water, or sewage pumps


  • Repairs due to flooding/frozen pipes


  • Mold and necessary removal


  • Risk of intrusion if your security system is inoperable


  • Interruptions to work/study


  • Cost of hotel stays for comfort and safety


As an outage extends from hour to hour, so does the strain on a family’s time, comfort, and finances. However, solutions exist to help you and your family mitigate – and even avoid – the impacts of a home outage.


How You Can Prepare For An Outage


Being proactive can help restore your peace of mind. Here are three steps to take so you’ll be ready for severe weather or other emergencies that could lead to a power outage:


  1. Create a home emergency kit.


Preparedness experts recommend using a waterproof container to store clean drinking water, non-perishable food, flashlights and batteries, a first aid kit and more to be prepared for any emergency. See recommendations at


  1. Assemble a ‘go bag’.


In some emergencies, evacuation is recommended or even required, so have a bag ready with items you’d need if you had to leave in a hurry. Some things will be similar to your emergency kit, plus personal hygiene items that you might need for staying in a shelter or hotel. It should be small enough that you can carry it.


  1. Protect your home with a standby generator.


Home standby generators differ from portable generators. Portable generators are designed for portable power needs, require manual set-up, do not turn on automatically, and must be monitored for refueling every few hours. However, a standby generator is permanently installed outside your home and connected to natural gas or liquid propane fuel source.


Unlike portable generators used for camping or tailgating, home standby generators are designed to supply power for your entire home. They include


an automatic transfer switch that seamlessly shifts your electrical circuits and appliances to the standby generator – within seconds of an outage.


With home standby generators, you don’t need to go outside or do anything to get it started. You don’t even have to be present, making them ideal for vacation homes or for those who travel frequently. They are set up to work automatically, day or night. (BPT)




City Home Inspectors,




— We look forward to working with you on your next real estate transaction. A referral from you would be our greatest compliment.

AC Water Drain

Why should I check air conditioner water drain? – By City Home Inspectors