Holiday Home Safety Tips

It’s a jolly time of year for most, filled with upbeat spirits, laughter, and celebrations. While we endure the hustle and bustle of shopping, wrapping gifts, cooking, baking, and preparing for the upcoming festivities, it’s important not to overlook safety. Read on to learn some common safety hazards that are often overlooked.    

  • Never leave cooking unattended. The most common cause of cooking fires is from the stovetop or fryer. Be sure to observe small children in the kitchen and remove any clutter near the cooktop that may ignite other flames. Clean built-up grease from the cooking area, including the hood vents.
  • Don’t leave lit candles unattended. December is the peak month for candle fires, and holiday decorations like festive greenery and wrapped presents increase the combustible hazards. Be sure to use sturdy candle holders on clear and steady surfaces. Do not allow candles to burn all the way down, especially if they are within a glass jar, as they can explode when the glass gets too hot.
  • Prepare for bad weather. Keep salt and snow shovels nearby to clear walkways as needed. Ensure that gutters are free of debris and ice dams to prevent water damage. If you own a generator, ensure it is in good working order and NEVER use it indoors or near an open window, as carbon monoxide fumes are incredibly toxic. Running generators should be at least 20 feet from the home, windows, or garage, and the exhaust must be pointed away from the home. 
  • Keep your chimney clean. If you have a fireplace or a wood-burning stove, it’s imperative to clean the chimney at least once a year. Creosote is the buildup of residue in chimneys and contributes to 25% of heating-related fires. Be sure to soak hot ashes and store them in a metal container until there are no embers. Also, keep objects at least three feet away from heat sources, including space heaters, which cause 43% of home heating fires. 
  • Don’t overload your electrical wires. Be sure to follow instructions on lighting equipment and your surge protector. Use clips, not nails, to secure lights and prevent damage to cords that can spark fires. Christmas tree fires often occur due to inaccurate electrical distribution. Keep them watered, away from heat sources, and get rid of them shortly after the season, as dry trees become extremely flammable.
  • Check your smoke detectors at least once per month, and replace the batteries every six months, even if they still hold a charge. The detector itself should be replaced every ten years. An easy reminder is during the fallback and spring-forward time changes, or at the end of the year and mid-year.

Happy Holidays from JFC Remodeling! Stay safe and call us if you’re in the market for some home remodeling.

JFC Remodeling is committed to providing top-quality home reconstruction services to clients throughout Livingston County. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, our licensed contractors create unique, individualized, and polished renovations. Whether the site requires improvement, repair, or is a new construction, you can trust our experts to deliver remarkable results. Call or email us to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Price of Lumber Plummets

Since the onset of the global Covid-19 pandemic, lumber prices have been tumultuous. As the world came to a screeching halt, wood prices collapsed. However, home sales and remodels skyrocketed by summer, as did lumber prices. From supply chain issues to labor shortages, lumber has been bundled with a hefty price tag these past few years.

The Wall Street Journal reported lumber prices are at their lowest level in over two years, down over 70 percent from the peak price only six months ago. The demand for lumber has lowered due to a decrease in home sales and housing starts, which are down 13 percent from their decade-high peak in April.

Back to where the price was before the pandemic, the collapse of lumber prices is viewed by some as an indicator of a sharp slowdown in construction and a decrease in inflation. 

Michael Goodman, director of Melville, NY-based lumber wholesaler Sherwood Lumber Corporation, said, “All of the urgency over the past two years – ‘give me everything you can’ – that’s basically over. Lumberyards are not scared of the price going up.”

As the housing and remodeling market boomed in 2021, supply-chain disruptions caused lumber prices to soar to a record of roughly $1,700 per 1K board feet. 

The government recently delivered a crimp on inflation, a 75-bps rate increase, which has also affected the price of lumber. 

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said, “We’ve had a time of a red-hot housing market all over the country. The deceleration in housing prices that we’re seeing should help bring prices more in line with rents and other housing-market fundamentals, and that’s a good thing. For the longer term, what we need is supply and demand to get better aligned, so that housing prices go up at a reasonable level, at a reasonable pace, and people can afford houses again. So, we probably in the housing market have to go through a correction to get back to that place.”

JFC Remodeling is committed to providing top-quality home reconstruction services to clients throughout Livingston County. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, our licensed contractors create unique, individualized, and polished renovations. Whether the site requires an improvement, repair, or is a new construction, you can trust our experts to deliver remarkable results. Call or email us to learn more.Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Ten Common Fall Home Remodeling/Maintenance Projects

The fall season is approaching; the time known as “not too hot nor too cold” for outdoor work. Familiarize yourself with ten common home projects best done in the fall.

Gutters

One of the most critical maintenance chores that usually fails to get done in a timely manner is cleaning your gutters from leaves and debris. Nothing is more annoying than finding your channels clogged during a rainstorm and water pouring overboard. Or worse, ice dams that can quickly damage your gutters and more. Ensure your gutter system is fastened securely to the house and pitched correctly. Short on time, hire a cleaning company or helper. The money spent can save you thousands down the road to repair damages.  

Roof

At least once a year, you should climb up to your roof for inspection. Check the state of your roof, vents, and chimney, and fix any minor repairs, like missing shingles or small leaks. Determine if it needs to be replaced. Roofing companies will give free estimates and can be hired to inspect and list essential and minor repairs.

Insulation

Adding more insulation to the attic will lower your energy costs. Over time, you will re-coop what you spent for insulation. Proper insulation within your attic will help keep the warmth in during the winter and the cool air in the summer. If you are hiring a roofing specialist, they can usually assist with replacing or adding more insulation. Be sure to ask when getting roofing estimates.

Fertilize the Lawn

Fertilizing can be done in the spring, summer, and fall, but if you have pets or young children, this task may better be left for the fall, when most outdoor activities have been completed. This job can be completed in an afternoon by yourself or by hiring a fertilizing company. Be sure to ask about safer organic applications for pets and children.

Refinish the Deck or Patio

The best time to refinish your deck or patio is in the fall, so you’re ready to sit and enjoy in the spring. If the area is small enough, power washing, cleaning, and re-staining the deck can be done within a day or two. If you hire the job out, ask to be placed on their yearly schedule if pleased with their work. This way, the company contacts you, and it’s one less thing on your to-do list.

Re-Stain, Paint, or Refinish Siding

If you are especially handy and want to take on this enormous task, fall is the best season to complete this project. Temperatures over 80 degrees or cooler than 50 degrees greatly affect the application drying. When your paint has faded, become discolored, or chipped, the fall season is the best time of the year to recoat your exterior.  

Interior Painting

Painting can make a room look new again. Even if you can’t redo the entire home, starting with one room at a time will eventually bring new life to your house. If you can’t paint a room or it doesn’t require a drastic change, consider painting the trim or the front door. Just changing up the color can impact the entire vibe of a space. For larger jobs, hire a professional painter if able, or take a weekend and roll up your shirt sleeves for single room or smaller projects.

Septic Tank Pumped

Most septic tanks require being pumped every 3 to 5 years. So, if you have a septic tank and your approaching the deadline, schedule to have it pumped before winter. Give yourself peace of mind knowing that you won’t have the extra burden of dealing with the winter elements. The number of bathrooms the home has and the number of occupants will help determine how often you need to empty the tank. Always call a professional to verify needs.

Replacing Windows

Is your furnace or central air working overtime? If it feels like they are constantly running, it may be time to replace the windows. Energy-efficient windows save you a ton on heating and cooling costs, plus your home actually stays warm in the winter and cool in summer. Planning a move? New windows increase the value of your home and help promote resale.

Winterization

Winterizing is a must for Michigan homeowners. Prevent costly repairs of busted pipes and such by proactively overseeing your underground sprinklers, exterior water spickets, hoses, and pool/filters/heaters. Also, inspect and caulk any exterior doors and windows that need it, and replace weather stripping.

For bigger jobs, call JFC Remodeling for professional, safe, and worry-free renovation.  

JFC Remodeling is committed to providing top-quality home reconstruction services to clients throughout Livingston County. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, our licensed contractors create unique, individualized, and polished renovations. Whether the site requires an improvement, repair, or is a new construction, you can trust our experts to deliver remarkable results. Call or email us to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Remodel Versus Renovation

The competitive real estate market is forcing homeowners to rethink a lot about their homes. Home improvements can seem daunting, especially if you work remotely, and the significant material delays and sky-high real estate prices don’t help. You’re not alone if you’ve decided to invest in your current home. A 2022 United States Houzz & Home Study showed that 55 percent of homeowners plan on renovating some part of their home this year. 

While people typically see the words “renovation” and “remodel” as synonymous, there’s actually a big difference between the two in the contractor, architectural, and designer world. 

Renovations
These projects are considered cosmetic improvements that do not require altering the space’s intended purpose. For example, renovation in a bathroom might include painting or replacing cabinets, upgrading countertops, installing new light fixtures, faucets, and more. These small changes will undoubtedly have a serious impact on your space, and even increase equity in your home. 

Remodels
These ventures are set out to drastically alter the overall function of a space, such as adding a bathroom to a bedroom or removing a wall between rooms. Major structural changes in a remodel will generally cost more than a renovation due to specialized, professional contractors, permits, and designers. Remodels are beneficial for customized houses, as well. 

Whether you are deciding on a remodel or a renovation, it’s imperative to consider your home’s end goals. If you’re looking to update that old 70s bathroom, go for a renovation. If you are interested in adding an entire room, a remodel is right for you. 

If a remodel will take your budget over the limit, consider renovating in the short-term, and focus on remodeling in the long-term. Consider re-doing floors, adding new fixtures, or updating countertops. 

Are you ready to remodel or renovate your home? Whichever you decide, ensure you entrust these large jobs to professionals. Contact the experts at JFC Remodeling today to achieve the dream home you’ve always desired. 

JFC Remodeling is committed to providing top-quality home reconstruction services to clients throughout Livingston County. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, our licensed contractors create unique, individualized, and polished renovations. Whether the site requires an improvement, repair, or is a new construction, you can trust our experts to deliver remarkable results. Call or email us to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/ 

Adding Sustainability Into Your Home

Want to reduce your environmental impact, reap financial benefits, improve the comfort in your home, and more? Make your home more sustainable with some ideas to make a big difference in your house’s energy use and longevity. Keep reading to learn how. 

Plants
Native plants can easily be incorporated into your landscape, where you can reap the environmental benefits. Plants naturally contribute to the larger ecosystem as a whole by providing food and shelter for wildlife and drawing in beneficial insects such as pollinators.

Lighting
When at all possible, opt for energy-efficient LED lights to lower electric bills and reduce your home’s overall energy consumption. These bulbs use between 25 percent and 80 percent less energy than incandescent. Additionally, adding switch dimmers can reduce energy usage. 

Off-gassing
Plant-based materials and low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are fantastic ways to improve indoor air quality. Off-gassing is the airborne release of a vapor chemical, especially from new products. These toxic vapors are detrimental to human health, causing many diseases. Instead, opt for products that are low in VOCs and do not off-gas for years to come. 

Local
Support local businesses and reduce your carbon footprint by purchasing materials sourced nearby. 

Recycle
Renewable resources are an easy way to add sustainability to your home. Aluminum roofing, for example, can be recycled entirely. Choose materials that are recyclable to maintain sustainability. 

Insulation
Ensure your windows and wall insulation are air-tight and not leaking air in or out of your home. By reducing leaks, you will naturally increase energy performance throughout the house. 

There are many ways to reduce your carbon footprint throughout your home while simultaneously reducing toxins throughout the premises, protecting you and your family from potential harm. 

JFC Remodeling is committed to providing top-quality home reconstruction services to clients throughout Livingston County. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, our licensed contractors create unique, individualized, and polished renovations. Whether the site requires an improvement, repair, or is a new construction, you can trust our experts to deliver remarkable results. Call or email us to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/