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Posts Tagged: plumbing

3 ROI-friendly home upgrades for Puget Sound home sellers

Posted On: Filed Under: Doors, Windows No Comments on 3 ROI-friendly home upgrades for Puget Sound home sellers

Invest in new fixtures and hardware.

Perhaps one of the least expensive upgrades you can make, new fixtures add shine and newness to any room. An older bathroom sink can instantly be brought into the 21st century with a new faucet, which can quickly and inexpensively be replaced by Washington Energy Services. The same goes for a leaky or outdated bath faucet.

Updated hardware is also a quick and inexpensive way to upgrade your home. For example, doors with scratched brass doorknobs are given new life with modern brushed metal options. Changing or adding modern or classic cabinet hardware is also a way to upgrade the kitchen—an important and lucrative area when selling a home.

Open the door to higher offers.

The National Association of Realtors develops a report each year that compares remodeling cost versus value. This report rates home projects with the highest and lowest return on investment. Door replacement consistently ranks very high in terms of ROI. That’s because a front door—good or bad—makes a first impression. An old or damaged door screams cheap, while a new or well-maintained door says sophistication.

Door options from Washington Energy Services can replace your outdated or worn-out door with a classic, traditional, or modern option. If a new door isn’t in the budget, invest in a high-gloss paint and give your door a pop of color.

Make the move to vinyl windows.

Many older homes still have single pane or aluminum-framed windows. If you have a few (or more) of these in your home, consider replacing them with vinyl windows. The presence of single pane or aluminum-framed windows are a deterrent that are noticed by potential buyers, because they are less energy efficient, collect condensation, and can be drafty.

If a full window replacement isn’t an option for your home because of budget, pick a few of the more prominent or drafty windows to replace.

Just because it’s a seller’s market doesn’t mean your home shouldn’t stand out. Most homes can benefit from a few quick upgrades, and your bottom line can as well.

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The hidden costs of your new home

Posted On: Filed Under: Siding, Home energy audit No Comments on The hidden costs of your new home

Perhaps you’re ready to sit back and enjoy the granite counter tops and open layout. Maybe you purchased a fixer upper and you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and make it the home of your dreams. In any case, purchasing a home is filled with anticipation, excitement… and unforeseen expenses.

Particularly for prior renters, the extra responsibilities and costs associated with home ownership can come as a surprise. Lawn care, appliance purchases and maintenance, property taxes, and home furnishings add up quickly. This is in addition to the tweaks that make the house uniquely yours—fresh paint, new fixtures, hardware updates, and more.

Finally, there are the costs that haven’t happened yet, such as energy inefficiencies, plumbing issues, and safety failures that can arise in any home. Washington Energy Services can help curb these potential costs before they start with a Home Energy Audit or Plumbing Inspection.

Home energy audit

The home inspection you received when you purchased your home only told part of the story. The Home Energy Audit from Washington Energy Services tells you the rest. You’ll learn where energy is being wasted, how much it’s really costing you, and what you can do to improve the performance of your home to save money. In fact, we’ve saved our customers an average of 21% in energy usage following Home Energy Audits!

Here’s an at-a-glance look at what’s included in Home Energy Audit:

  • Blower Door Test
  • Infrared Imaging
  • GoPro Camera Inspection
  • Utility Bill Analysis
  • Plumbing Inspection
  • Insulation Inspection
  • Equipment Inspection (water heater, furnace, etc.)
  • Carbon Monoxide Tests
  • Flue Pipe Exhaust Inspection
  • Ventilation Inspection
  • Duct Leakage Test
  • Indoor Air Quality Test
  • Lighting Upgrade Inspection
  • Safety Tests

After the three-hour audit, you’ll receive a comprehensive 16-page report, which we’ll review with you in-person so you fully understand the findings and get your questions answered.

Plumbing

Plumbing issues are messy, frustrating, and costly. A thorough plumbing inspection by a certified, licensed plumber can make all the difference. Unlike a standard home inspection, which typically includes a simple visual check of the fixtures and water heater, a plumbing inspection from Washington Energy Services provides a video inspection of the entire plumbing system to spot major issues—potentially saving thousands of dollars down the road.

Furnace filters

Keep an eye on the “little things” like furnace filters, too. A dirty filter causes your system to work harder and could cause it to fail prematurely.

Exterior

Managing water is important here in the Northwest. Siding protects your home’s exterior while gutters help move all that rainwater from of your roof and away from your foundation. Old leaky and drafty windows also put a strain on your home’s systems. If you think your home is in need of new windows, one of our home specialists would be happy to evaluate your current situation. New windows now can mean energy savings in the long run and potentially preventing costly water damage should there be an existing leak.

But you don’t have to talk all of this alone! Sit back, enjoy those granite counter tops, and contact us. We’ll boost your home’s performance and energy savings so you can use that money for something awesome—like those new appliances you’ve been eyeing.

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Simple prep list for “northwest” winter

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Thinking about disaster is never fun, and it often hits the back burner, so if time is limited just start by taking this short list of basics to the store. Stock up yourself or use it to create a great holiday gift for someone you love.

Condition Prep List
Winter Driving Chains & instructions for putting them on*
Snow shovel and ice scraper in the car
with space blanket
Check tire tread. Consider winter radials if you travel over the passes.
Have your insurance card in the car, especially if you have emergency road service coverage.
Winter Sidewalks Rock salt is environmentally safe and melts ice on driveways, sidewalks and front steps.
Flooding
(non-river)
Check gutters to clear debris and ensure they direct water away from the foundation of the house.
Clear drains, a much city flooding comes from clogged drains.
Add weather stripping to doors to prevent water from coming in under them.
Test sump pump to ensure it is working.
Seal walls in basement with waterproofing compounds.
Power Outage Consider getting a gas powered standby generator or another alternate heating source.
Stockpile wood now for fireplace/stove.
Long burning safety candles
Batteries for the flashlight.
Keep car fueled up as power outages disable gas pumps.
Trim or remove trees on your property that could fall on your house or power lines.

Safety first! Never use portable generators or barbeques in the house – they produce lethal carbon monoxide. You can’t smell it and it can kill you.

Learn more about preparing for disasters at www.ready.gov. Washington Energy is here 365 days a year to help you stay warm and dry this winter. For more information on standby generators, or for plumbing and drain cleaning, give us a call at 800-398-4663.

*Note: chains are not recommended for use on some models of all wheel drive vehicles. Consult your auto maker.

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New technology provides a water leak rescue

Posted On: Filed Under: Uncategorized 2 Comments on New technology provides a water leak rescue

 

A property manager or homeowner can do a lot to prevent water issues by knowing the current condition of their appliances, fixtures and piping, and knowing who they can call and depend on to get the job done quickly and effectively when something does happen. By replacing key heavy use items such as water heaters and water lines proactively, you can avoid some risk. You probably do that today. What is new is that water emergencies and potential damage can be greatly reduced by applying new technology – a unique water leak protection and notification system called Plumber’s Choice. Sounds big but it’s a small device that can detect a leak, shut off your water and notify you by email.

Plumber’s Choice is manufactured by QMI, of Vancouver, BC, Canada. They’ve been making these products for years under the name Water Guardian, and now it’s available in the US. As soon as your water heater starts leaking, this product will sense the water, automatically shut it off and an audible alarm would sound. These systems can be installed for your dishwasher, water heater, washing machine, furnace, and plumbing fixtures. You name it they have it covered. They remotely shut off your main water or just your appliance water, depending on how you set it up. The device then wirelessly sends the homeowner, property manager or even a contractor an email message so you can react as quickly as possible and snub out any water damage.

The water leak protection system can benefit single family homes, but is an even greater value to apartment buildings and condominiums where one leak could affect multiple residences and property managers may not be on site. One of our customers told us this true story. She was a tenant on the 18th floor of an apartment building. At 2am the phone rang and it was the front desk in the lobby. Water was coming out into the lobby and did she have a leak? The surprised tenant stepped out of her bed onto a soaking carpet and quickly they summoned the manager on call. Her dishwasher was stuck mid-cycle and in just a few hours, water ran through every single apartment in the line below for all 18 floors before hitting the lobby. The tenant had no liability, as it was the building’s equipment and not user error. As you might guess, the rest of the story involved repairs and claims throughout the building. This could have been completely mitigated by the Plumber’s Choice products.

Washington Energy Services is the local representative for Plumber’s Choice and qualified to install these systems. For more information on multi-family applications contact Account Manager, Tyler Heagle at 425 766 2319. For single family home installations, please call our service center at 800-398-4663.

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