by Sarah Steurer
Winter in the northwest can mean high power bills for most of us. Here are a few easy tips to help avoid getting sticker shock when the heating bill arrives!
Close the damper on your fireplace, when you are not burning
Even if the doors are closed, the damper being open can suck warm air up and out of the chimney
Seal windows with painter’s plastic
If you have older windows in the home, some find it helpful to cover them tightly with painter’s plastic to prevent leaks and drafts. If you don’t want to block your view out of the main windows, even covering windows in the basement could help do the trick
Change furnace filters
Putting fresh filters in your furnace will ensure the heat can flow thoroughly throughout your home. Furnace filters should be changed once every 1-2 months, especially in the winter
Adjust the temperature
When you are away at work most of the day and while sleeping, it is a smart idea to drop the temp in the house. Most thermostats are digital these days and will allow for temp changes at different times of the day. Cutting your heat back by 10 degrees while you are not home can save up to 10% a year on that power bill
Close the vents
By closing the door and vents in that guest room or other rooms not being used could easily cut 100 – 200 square feet off of your energy footprint
by Sarah Steurer
So, now that you have remodeled the house, what are you going to do with the old things you replaced? Perhaps, you changed out your 20 year old French Doors with some that don’t leak and let cold air in the house? Well, here are some ideas to reuse the old and create awesome new and functional art pieces for the house.
Old French Door = New picture frame and coat rack
A fresh coat of paint and a little sanding can help create this look on an old French door. First sand down the existing paint, which is probably chipped anyway, and simply re-paint with a color of your choice. Next, attach pictures into the glass window panes from the back. If you would like to make a coat rack, like the picture above, cabinet knobs from your local hardware store make perfect hooks at a low price. Overall, this is pretty simple way to recycle the old and show off your DIY skills.
Pallet left over from a remodel delivery = Herb garden
Don’t have much to do here with this left over pallet. Just find a flat spot in the yard or patio and fill it with dirt. The existing gaps in the pallet create perfect rows for planting herbs or vegies. For this great sample and more ideas go to www.themicrogardener.com.
Another great use for that wood pallet is to create a hidden and clean space for your garbage cans. Place one or two Pallets on the ground to keep cans out of the dirt and mud. Then attach another pallet with a couple of strong screws to create the “wall” which blocks the view of the cans.
You’ve decided to remodel. How exciting! Here are some tips to consider when remodeling you master bathroom.
First and foremost the space should function for your needs. Maybe you have a single vanity with two people trying to share it. Or, a separate garden tub that only collects dust and is a pain to clean.
Consider removing the tub, to make a larger walk in shower with a bench for convenience. Also, clearing out that corner tub can give you extra room to change that single vanity into a double.
Double vanities in the master bath are practically a must for resale these days. Also, storage is a biggie! If you do not have a built-in linen closet, consider getting a tall linen cabinet to match your vanity. This will help not only for storage, but create a cohesive finished look that was well thought out.
Tile is the number one surface used in bathrooms today. This is a semi- permanent choice for homeowners because of the durability, and fact that you don’t often need to replace it. Because of this, it is important to make tile selections that would appeal to all types of potential buyers. This does not mean you have to settle for a bland, beige colored bathroom. You can add personal style and color with your vanity, towels, rugs, window treatments, wall art and paint.
Whatever you choose, make it your own tranquil retreat.
The big game is only days away. Let’s take a look at one reason why the Super Bowl is so exciting. There is one player on each team that the world has their eyes on – the quarterback. Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning. He is the one player that the team and the coaching staff and the fans count on to carry the team to number one. The pressure is great and a quarterback’s ability goes far beyond his physical strength, and moves into the role of being a superior leader.
To be a successful leader of a business, large and small, is very similar. Take a look at these leadership qualities that are seen in any great quarterback and see how they can be applied to your role as a leader in the workplace.
Always Prepared. This is a must-have trait that is seen in the greatest quarterbacks—and outstanding managers. An elite quarterback will relentlessly prepare for practice as well as a game, know their teammates intimately and execute their plans meticulously. A leader in the business world must do the same thing and be prepared for the next opportunity that may be heading their way.
Always Aware. Just as a quarterback scans the field before making a play, a leader should evaluate a situation and act quickly to take advantage of an opportunity or to solve a challenge that is on the horizon. A great leader will learn their team’s strengths and weaknesses and have a strategy to highlight the strengths and minimize the weaknesses in order to keep on top of their “game.”
Always Ready For Feedback. A quarterback cannot win a game alone. He depends on coaches and teammates to help him get that ball down the field. Listening to feedback from teammates and coaches is a key to a quarterback perfecting his game and winning. A good leader will want feedback and will listen to the goals, aspirations, career plans, and talents of each team member to get better results.
Now that you have some helpful habits to put into place that can be pivotal for your own success, analyze these behaviors in action by the elite. Russell and Peyton in the big game ahead.
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