We’ve all heard about them, read about them, had the misfortune of seeing them or stepping on them. Yup, lanternflies—plant-hopping insects native to China, Vietnam, and east Asia—are taking over Pennsylvania. They’ve been invading since 2014 and are now officially established in Berks and Lehigh Counties. They’re nasty buggers that feed on woody plants, stunting their growth and even eventually killing them. They present a serious threat to our industries of grapes, fruit trees, and logging. [Those of you that enjoy wine should especially care since we need grapes to make wine.]
We are all enjoy seeing the transformation our homes undergo during spring time. The exterior comes alive with blossoms on the trees, colorful hanging baskets and perhaps a new welcome mat or wreath for the front door. Make sure this fresh look extends to your driveway and garage areas as well. A clean, continual look is not only aesthetically pleasing, but can also boost curb appeal if you are placing your home on the market this year. Here are a few suggestions to consider.
People all across the Valley are getting their homes ready for warmer weather by cracking open their windows to let the fresh air blow away the remains of winter. As you ready your house, it's a good time to review and apply these tips to make sure occupants, especially children, are safe around an open window.
It was a typical Friday at A.B.E. Doors and Windows… until we found ourselves kidnapped by the dastardly science teacher and infamous serial killer, Miles Fish. Fortunately for us, Miles had stepped out to cover his tracks and left us alone in his alchemy laboratory for precisely sixty minutes. That was all the time we had to put together clues from his previous victims and escape with our lives. The owners of A.B.E. Doors and Windows had booked a team-building experience with Captured Lehigh Valley, an Escape Room.
If you've made the decision to replace your home's windows—congratulations! You are on your way to saving energy, lower electric bills and an updated look for your home. If you hired a professional company to replace one or all of your windows, take some time to prepare your home for the workers arrival and the tasks that will be completed. Here are some tips to make this upgrade go as smoothly as possible.
Clear the Area
Making the area as accessible as possible is your first step. Move all furniture, tables, lamps, etc away from the window being replaced. Clear any clutter off of nearby floors and don't leave anything on staircases or steps. If your whole house is getting new windows, you may want to consider renting a small storage container that can be left on your property.
Outside your home, remove any décor you may have hanging on or around your windows. Clear away lawn furniture or decorative items like bird baths, flags or your favorite garden gnome. The company may need room for ladders and scaffolding if they are accessing a second story window.
We’ve all heard the legends of Saint Patrick. He was kidnapped from his home in Britain, sold as a slave, escaped, hitched his way home aboard a pirate ship, and returned to Ireland later to bring them Christianity. Interesting guy, right?
Come right in! Your front door is probably one of the most hard working features in your home. Greeting friends, opening to trick or treaters and getting shut quickly on solicitors are all situations your entry way will see over time. When the time comes to replace it, the choices may seem daunting. Lets break this process down into three areas you should focus on when choosing a new door.
Determine your budget with the following things in mind.
View this purchase as an investment. Replacing your front door is a home improvement that has a great return on investment ratio. That means the value you are adding to your home will be offset by the price of the door. If you see your family moving in the next 5 to 10 years, a quality front door will lend curb appeal as well as value to your home.
If you’re anything like me, you’re of the belief that Valentine’s Day was invented by candy companies and bored housewives. I personally camp out with all the beleaguered husbands and boyfriends, watching the weeping masses pass by the heart-frosted window panes. In the interest of giving my outlook some support, I investigated it this year.
Here at A.B.E. Doors and Windows, we have a pretty big age gap between our employees. Our youngest team member is twenty-one and our oldest, Jim Lett Sr who first started the company in 1974, ranks as our oldest. This leads to some comical ‘Back in my Day’ stories.
Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth.
“Put a sweater on!”…Was that ever your parents response when you told them you were cold? It's only now, as a seasoned homeowner, that I realize they kept the thermostat low so their monthly electric bill would not shock them when it arrived. Keeping those cold drafts from creeping into your home is a challenge this time of year. Let's explore some ways to keep the warmth in, so you don't have to wear 5 sweaters at one time!
About 25% of your heat escapes your home via the roof, so examining your attic or any crawl space is important. If you've had any water leaks or work done to your roof this past year, you should also check to make sure mold is not present in the insulation as well. As time progresses, insulation does settle and becomes less effective, even the foam type can condense as the years go by. A good rule of thumb is to have between 10 and 16 inches of insulation in these spaces. If your assessment comes up short, the do-it-yourself-er can head to the home store and purchase the additional material needed. If you don't feel confident walking around the rafters, see if a friend can recommend a company to assist you.
It’s that time of year again and A.B.E. Doors and Windows is of two very different minds. Ninety percent of our employees [and customers] are delighted to see the return of Girl Scout Cookies. Meanwhile, our office manager, Shannon is in mourning for the next nine weeks. Being a troop leader and with two children in Girl Scouts, Shannon looks at the time between January 17 and March 10 with dread. For her, it’s a time of freezing her buns off at cookie booths and making endless change for $4.00 boxes. For the rest of us, we’re delighted to see the return of our favorite flavors.
There’s nothing I like better than a tradition mixed with a little superstition. I personally can’t celebrate the incoming New Year without the memory of my grandfather’s voice proclaiming, “We have to have pork and sauerkraut or this year’s going to be an unlucky one.” As a kid, I had no idea what he was getting at, but the tradition has persisted in my family. After all, who doesn’t want the coming year to be a fortunate one?
It’s that time of year again. We’ve put up our tree, our wreath, our many [many] lights. The tree is lit, the house is lit, the whole neighborhood is lit. It’s nice to admire our beautiful handiwork from the front yard. It’s nice to come home after work to our beautiful well-lit house. It’s nice to—hold up… Why isn’t the garage door opening? Why isn’t the remote opening the door? Guess the universe wanted you to have a little more time to admire your beautiful decor.
“There's no place like home.”~~~Dorothy-The Wizard of Oz
According to AAA, the time between Christmas and New Year’s Eve will see the highest number of people traveling. Over 93 million people will be making their way to visit loved ones near and far. Unfortunately, this time of year also sees an increase in home break ins. Let's not let that information deter you from leaving your home. A little planning and common sense will ensure your home and your family stay safe during this busy time of year.
Although it may be tempting, don't broadcast your travel plans on social media. You never know who may be following your page. Let's not give any criminal a heads up to your activities. Those pictures of you and all the cousins wearing matching PJ's can wait till you return.
The use of lights on a timer inside the home is an excellent deterrent, as most burglars will look for signs of no one being home.