Consumer Real Estate News

    • Tips for Designing the Car Enthusiast's Dream Garage

      23 September 2020

      If you’re the type who enjoys collecting luxury automobiles, then chances are you spend a fair amount of time in the garage. Of course, extraordinary cars shouldn’t be kept in ordinary garages. A high-end space to park your fleet will help keep it in pristine condition and ensure you have everything you need when it’s time to do some work under the hood. Here are a few features that every car enthusiast will appreciate in their home garage. 

      Cooling and Heating
      Anyone who spends long hours in their garage knows that a heating and cooling system is essential. In addition to keeping you comfortable when doing work, you’ll also never have to wait for the car to heat up or cool down before heading out. Plus, freezing temperatures can damage your car battery. Radiant heat is another popular upgrade for luxury garages and it works great under porcelain floors, which are an ideal surface.

      Wash and Wax Area
      If you’re the type who regularly hand washes and waxes your cars, then you’ll want to have a designated station for doing so in your garage. A water source and proper drain system are essential for this and will allow you to keep your prized collection looking brand new without having to clean them in the driveway when it’s too hot or cold outside. 

      Hydraulic Lift
      Of course, if you’re going to be doing work on your vehicle’s undercarriage, then you may want to consider installing a professional-grade hydraulic lift. Sure, it will set you back a bit, but if cars are your passion then it’s absolutely worth it. After all, fitness fanatics have exercise rooms and cooks have gourmet kitchens, so what’s the difference?

      Kitchenette & Bathroom
      It’s no secret that garage work can get messy and you probably don’t want to run back into the house to use the bathroom or grab a snack. That’s why a bathroom and kitchenette are perfect additions to any garage that you plan to use for more than simply parking your cars. Lastly, you’ll also want to have ample cabinets and storage space for keeping your tools organized and easy to locate.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • The Right Way to Load Your Dishwasher

      23 September 2020

      As for home appliances, your dishwasher is one of the most hard working and utilized. When the cycle is finished, it’s nice to see your dishes, glasses and silverware sparkling clean. But in some cases, when the time comes to empty, residue is stuck and you’re left wondering how a plate, glass or pan is still dirty after an entire wash cycle.

      This can happen simply because the dishes weren't properly loaded. Here, you’ll find a guide to loading your dishwasher the right way to ensure the best clean. 

      Top Rack
      Designed for your smaller items, the top rack is perfect for glasses and cups, bowls and plastic containers. To ensure that plastics don’t get warped, keeping them on the top rack, away from direct heat is the safest bet. Don’t over fill, as it can cause dishes to break or limit the water and detergent from thoroughly washing. 

      Bottom Rack
      Larger items, like plates, serving bowls, pots and pans and cutting boards belong on the bottom rack of your dishwasher. Just make sure that the item isn’t too tall, as it can block water and detergent as well as cause the center spray arms to stop rotating. Remember to remove as much residue as you can before loading, especially on pots and pans. 

      Silverware Basket
      Most dishwashers have utensil baskets, however some have a rack above the top rack to lay down silverware. For baskets, place forks and spoons handle-side down, exposing the top where it’s mostly dirty. Knives should be placed handle-side up to avoid injury when unloading.

      Other Tips
      For larger utensils, like cutting knives or wooden spoons, it’s smart to lay them down on the top rack. In some dishwashers, they can catch the center spray arms and stop movement, disturbing the cycle for the rest of the load. 

      When loading bowls or large spoons, be sure to load them face down to avoid catching large pools of water. Also, always start with the bottom rack. If there is any residual water on items from the top rack, pulling it out first will spill water onto the dishes below.   

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Bring More Space Into Bathrooms

      23 September 2020

      (Family Features) Today’s designers, architects and builders are creating modern bathrooms that are practical, luxurious, comfortable and accommodating. They know homeowners and homebuyers desire – even demand – these features regardless of the bathroom’s size or layout. 

      Therein lies the challenge: How to create a feeling of spaciousness and openness without sacrificing valuable floor space, obstructing traffic flow or forfeiting storage space. Despite these impediments, building professionals can meet these bath-design challenges and even exceed them with an option like Johnson Pocket Door Frame Kits. 

      Pocket doors can be installed in virtually any room but are particularly well suited for use in bathrooms, where space is often at a premium. The typical hinged door requires up to 14 square feet of floor space to swing open. A pocket door, conversely, slides into the wall, leaving the space in front of and on either side of the doorway open and available. 

      Pocket doors are commonly installed at the entrances to bathrooms and can also be used to conceal linen closets and washers and dryers when the bathroom serves double duty as a laundry room.

      There’s also a growing bathroom remodeling trend of enclosing the toilet alcove to create a toilet “room” within the bathroom. However, space restrictions seldom allow for the installation of a swinging door, so remodelers often install pocket doors. 

      Pocket door frames also allow for items to be mounted on the pocket wall. For instance, when used with Johnson’s 151558PL Pocket Wall Reinforcement Clip Set and 5/8-inch thick plywood, the 1500SC Pocket Door Frame with all-steel split studs can support wall-mounted fixtures such as towel bars, shelves, framed mirrors or artwork. The pocket door frame kit comes equipped with soft-close hardware that allows doors up to 200 pounds to be opened and closed by the touch of a fingertip for less risk of pinched fingers and slammed doors.

      The frame also comes with self-tapping screws that work for both drywall and finish trim, and the smooth-rolling pocket door hardware and track exceed ANSI standards, meaning they can successfully complete 100,000 opening and closing cycles. 

      Another potentially unexpected benefit of using pocket doors in bathrooms is the free space gained can be used to install larger vanity cabinets, freestanding shelving units, bigger bathtubs and other fixtures that may have been squeezed out in order to accommodate swinging doors. 

      To find more ways to bring more space to your bathrooms, visit johnsonhardware.com or call 800-837-5664. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Do You Have High Enough Liability Coverage?

      22 September 2020

      Homeowners insurance includes several components. One is liability coverage, which can cover accidental injuries or property damage. Insurance companies offer a wide range of liability coverage limits. You may need more coverage than you currently have to fully protect your assets, such as your home, savings and investments.

      What Does Liability Insurance Cover?
      Your homeowners insurance policy’s liability coverage will pay for injuries or property damage if you or a member of your family is found liable for an accident. It will also cover injuries or property damage caused by your pet. 

      In many cases, a homeowners insurance company will settle a personal injury or property damage claim to avoid a lawsuit. If a case goes to court, your liability coverage will pay for legal fees, and any amount awarded, up to your policy’s limits.

      Liability coverage can protect both your current and future assets and earnings. If you didn’t have liability coverage and you were found responsible for injuries or property damage, your future wages could be garnished.

      Do You Need More Liability Coverage?
      Insurance companies define an “attractive nuisance” as a feature of a property that is both appealing and dangerous to children. Common examples include a pool, trampoline or treehouse. 

      If a child got injured or killed on your property by an attractive nuisance, you could face an expensive lawsuit for injuries or accidental death. You would be held liable for the accident even if a child trespassed on your property. If you have an attractive nuisance, you ask your insurance company if you have adequate liability coverage and if the company requires any safety measures, such as fencing, to keep children away and prevent injuries.

      How to Increase Your Liability Limits
      If you already have your homeowners insurance company’s maximum amount of available liability coverage, but don’t think it’s enough, you can get an umbrella or excess liability policy to provide coverage beyond your standard homeowners insurance policy limits. The extra coverage will kick in once you have exhausted the coverage provided by your homeowners insurance policy. 

      An umbrella or excess liability policy may offer coverage that is broader than the coverage from a standard policy. The premiums for an umbrella or excess insurance policy will be based on the amount of coverage under your homeowners insurance policy and your level of risk.

      Get Professional Advice on Your Homeowners Insurance Coverage 
      Many homeowners don’t have enough liability insurance to protect them from the financial repercussions of a large claim stemming from an accident. Talk to your insurance agent about your current liability coverage, risk, assets and whether you should increase your limits.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Building an Emergency Kit with Disability in Mind

      22 September 2020

      (Family Features) Creating a supply kit is part of being prepared for emergencies and disasters. Kits should include basic survival items but also things specific to your needs. Kits can have equipment to help with communication, things that reduce stress and more. 

      If you have a disability or health condition, your planning may be more complex. Consider these ideas from the

      Administration for Community Living while building your kit:

      Basic Supplies

      • At least a three-day supply of water (1 gallon per person per day) and non-perishable food
      • Manual can opener
      • Flashlight
      • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio 
      • Extra batteries
      • Cell phone with chargers and backup battery
      • First-aid kit
      • Whistle or other help signal
      • Matches in waterproof container
      • Dust mask for contaminated air
      • Two cloth face coverings for each person at least 2 years old
      • Sleeping bag or blanket
      • Complete change of clothing
      • Personal hygiene items
      • Prescription and over-the-counter medicines
      • Eyeglasses or contacts
      • Garbage bags
      • Duct tape
      • Local maps
      • Pen and paper
      • Cash
      • Documentation
      • Important documents (electronic or copies) such as insurance cards
      • List of all medications, dosages and allergies
      • List of assistive technology or other equipment, including brand, model, instructions and where the equipment came from
      • Contact information for health providers, caregivers and relatives
      • Vision, Hearing and Speech Items
      • Braille or large-print labels for supplies
      • Weather radio with text, shaking and flashing alerts
      • Extra hearing aid batteries
      • Communication equipment
      • Backup communication options such as laminated cards or pictograms
      Mobility Considerations
      • Information on size and weight of wheelchair 
      • Extra batteries for equipment
      • Lightweight manual wheelchair if usual chair is powered
      • Spare low-tech mobility devices such as a cane or walker
      • Portable air pump and tire patch kit
      • Work gloves
      • Extra seat cushions and other medical items
      • Sensory Sensitivities
      • Handheld electronic devices with movies and games saved locally
      • Spare chargers and batteries
      • Sheets and twine, small popup tent or other privacy devices
      • Sensory dampeners such as headphones, weighted vests, sunglasses and nose plugs
      • Comfort items like snacks, clothing and aromas
      Service Animal Supplies
      • A three-day supply of food and water
      • Medications
      • Animal first-aid kit
      • Proof of vaccinations and registration
      • A picture of you and your animal together to prove ownership
      • Collar or harness with ID and rabies tags
      • Microchip information
      • Leash
      • Crate or carrier
      • Sanitation items
      • Familiar items like toys and bedding
      Visit ACL.gov/emergencypreparedness for more tools and information.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.