18 June 2018
Your Glass Is Grass
Your Glass Is Grass

 

 

It’s that time of year again. Lawn mowers are mowing, weed whackers are whacking, landscapers are landscaping, and glass is getting broken by all the flying debris. If this has happened to you, you have a few things to consider depending on the age and type of window you have.

The two most popular windows these days are vinyl and wood. Most of them have some way to replace the damaged glass without the need to replace the entire window, frame and all. Some wooden windows have a glazing compound that holds the glass in place. In that case, the old compound can be removed and a new piece of glass can be installed with fresh compound. Vinyl windows usually have a glazing bead that holds the glass into the window frame. When the glass breaks, the bead can be removed, a new piece of glass can be installed, and you can go on your merry way.

Glass is put together in a unit similar to a sandwich with the two panes of glass as bread on the outside and argon gas like the meat between them. If only the outside pane breaks, you would still need to replace the entire glass unit because the argon gas will have escaped. The gas is important because it increases the insulation value of your window. It’s kind of the most important part of the sandwich, just like the meat.

In some cases, you might notice that your window isn’t broken but appears to have moisture between the panes of glass. This is caused by seal failure which means the seal has broken down over time or has a small crack somewhere that has allowed the gas to escape and moisture to enter. Again, it’s time to replace the glass unit.

If your glass was broken in such a way that it damaged your window frame, you might be looking at replacing the sash or even the entire window. That’s where we come in. So, take a look at your situation and decide what you’re looking for. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

14 June 2018
Garage Door Safety
Garage Door Safety Month

 Garage Door Safety

June is Garage Door Safety Month.   Each year over 7000 people in the U.S. will suffer from minor accidents, like getting pinched, via the garage door.  Around 2200 people will be injured from the door falling onto their car or themselves.  We don't want to see you fall into these statistics.  Please make some time this week to check your garage door for potential hazards.   Follow our advice to make sure you and your home are safe. 

Keep yourself and others safe: 

*The summer months mean more activity in and around your home.  Make sure children know the dangers of placing fingers in or near the garage door.  Teach them not to go too close to a door that is rising or closing....no games to see who can get in last.  Children should not have access to remote controls or the panel inside the garage. 

*Everyone who does use the garage door should know how to operate the emergency release lever.  Hold a brief drill session and let everyone take turns releasing and then reattaching the lever. 

*Every month or after any adjustments to the door or operator are made, the safety reversal system should be tested.  The door should reverse on contact with any object that gets in the way of it's path.  There are two ways to test this function:

         ~ With the door fully open, place an object that can give under pressure in case the system should fail. A roll of paper towels is a smart choice.  Place this object in the center of the doors descending path.  Press the control push button to close the door.  The door should reverse when it makes contact with the paper towels.  If the door does not reverse, adjustments are required.

          ~ Open the door and then place a cardboard box large enough to block the path of the safety reversing sensors in the path of the garage door.  Press the control push button to close the door.  The door should not move more than an inch and the garage door opener lights will flash.  Again, if the door fails this test, your sensors need to be adjusted. 

Now is also a good time to clean the sensors with a damp cloth and remove any surrounding debris that may get in the beams line.  Hopefully your garage door passes both tests successfully.  If not, our skilled technicians are on call to make any repairs for you. 

 

*Always open your garage door before starting your car.  Carbon monoxide fumes can accumulate very quickly in an enclosed space.   If your garage is used for other things like a workshop or exercise area you may want to consider adding an exhaust fan to help circulate the air.  

 

 

*Mark your calendar to inspect your garage doors cables, springs and track as least once every three months.  If you find an area that needs repair, call a professional to fix the problem.  Do not try and make the repair yourself.  Many people have sustained injuries from cables and springs that have flown off unexpectedly. 

Keep Your Home Safe: 

*Don't be tempted to leave the garage door partially opened.  This is an open invite to critters or potential thieves to enter your home.  Even a brief summer shower can penetrate a small opening, soaking items that may be stored on the floor. 

 

*Don't leave your car remote in a visible place in your vehicle.  Stow it in a safe place or consider getting a key fob remote.

 

 

*Use your phone to its advantage and consider getting the MyQ app to monitor your garage door. Get notifications if your door has been left open or to see the doors activity, also convenient if someone is locked out of the house. 
 
*If a vacation is in your future, make sure a trusted neighbor knows you are gone and can alert you to any unusual activity around your door.   Deter thieves by disabling your automatic garage door opener by cutting the power while you are away. We do not recommend installing pad locks to the track.   You may forget they are there and end up opening the door upon coming home and ruining the entire system.  
 

 

We hope you will make some time this month to ensure your garage door is safe and sound. If we can be of any assistance in repairs, please call us. Have a safe and happy summer!

31 May 2018
Infrareds: Safety Is Smart
Infrareds: Safety Is Smart


We've all been there. You're leaving for work and you hit the button to close your garage door. It starts to go down a few inches, then suddenly reverses. The lights flash on the opener like there's a party you weren't invited to. You try again—same result. What the heck?

Here's the deal—safety is smart, flashing strobe lights and all. Your garage door is the largest moving object in your home and it can do some serious damage to you, your car, your kid, your trash can, or whatever else is underneath it when it closes. To avoid crushing deaths, infrareds became mandatory in 1992 under federal law.

Infrareds act like the bouncer at the club, watching the door and making sure it's safe to close. They're a pair of small boxes mounted a few inches above the floor, making constant eye contact with each other like a couple of co-dependents. If something comes between them or breaks the beam, they tell the opener that it isn't safe to close the door. That might seem silly until you remember that your door can weigh more than two-hundred pounds. You don't want that to come down on top of you, right?

Fortunately—or unfortunately, depending on your perspective—the infrareds are a little over-cautios. They can tell the opener that it isn't safe to close the door for a multitude of reasons. If anything, and I mean anything, obstructs the infrared beam, the door will not close. That could be something as big as a car or as small as a leaf. If you have an antique door from the 1800s, all the rattling during opening and closing can throw the infrareds out of alignment too. If you bump the infrared accidentally with a rake or a trash can, they don't automatically reset themselves and will remain out of alignment until you step in to straighten them out.

Once you've checked the perimeter and you can't find anything blocking your infrareds, it might be time to call in the professionals. However, if you've just gotten home from work or you need to leave, you can override the safety feature by holding down the inside wall button [not the button on your remote]. This tells the opener that you are physically standing there and that it's safe to close the door.

I hope I've told you something that can help you get to work on time or allowed you to head out for the weekend. Now, go forth with your new knowledge and new bodyguards. Remember, safety is smart and hurting yourself is not.

21 May 2018
Dress up Your Windows this Summer
Dress up Your Windows this Summer

 

Window box planters have been making appearances on houses since ancient times.  The Romans used terracotta versions for growing foods and plants for medicines. As window boxes made their way through Europe, they used such materials as wire & hay, wrought iron and tin.  The modern versions seen on homes today showcase beautiful blooms that delight the eye.  

Consider these guidelines when adding window boxes to your home. 

Your window box should match the length of your existing window and should not exceed 25% of your windows height.   Examine the area and make sure it can support the box you choose plus the weight of the dirt and flowers.  Consider the amount of sunlight this area receives, this will determine the type of flowers you plant. 

Window boxes come in a variety of materials, each with pros and cons to take into consideration.  

Metal - strong and durable, but can dent easily and rust.

Fiberglass - does not rot and can be painted to match your home, but is pricey.

Wood – easy to customize, but is susceptible to rot and insect damage.

Terracotta – readily available, not a good choice for colder climates.

Plastic – lightweight and inexpensive, less durable. 

If you are handy with your power tools, you may want to build your own planter.  Popular Mechanics has an easy to follow guide here: https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to/a12323/4318527/ 

If you want to think outside the “box”, an old drawer can be refashioned to hold flowers or several pails lined up make a sweet presentation. 

                                            

You have several options when it comes to installing your window box. 

 

Brackets are a smart choice for many different styles.  They are easy to install and convenient if you need to remove the box for cleaning or for winter storage. 

                                        

 

 

If the window box will be a permanent fixture to your home, utilizing a cleat system gives you more stability, plus the box can still be removed for cleaning or storage.  This video gives you easy step by step guidelines: 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji6jkO79C6M 

 

If you are renting your home, employing D-rings & hooks designed to go under vinyl siding is a great solution.   Attach the D-rings to your planter, position your hooks and your box is ready to hang and fill.  This method is best for light window boxes.

 

 

                         

 

 

When you choose your flowers, keep in mind the amount of sunlight they will be receiving. Start with younger plants that will root well. Zinnias and marigolds are very tolerant of the heat, while impatients and fuschia need shade. Pansies and petunias are a great all around choice. A composition of flowers or vines that trail over the edge makes for a pleasing display. Choose a potting mix that contains peat or other ingredients that help to maintain moisture. Arrange your plants 2 to 5 inches apart so there is room for growth. Water daily and prune plants as necessary.

An herb garden is a fun idea for a window near the kitchen. Fill it with herbs like rosemary, oregano, thyme or mini pepper plants that can be used in cooking over the summer.

                                              

Enjoy your window box and the pizzazz it brings to your home!

 

 

 

 

 

16 May 2018
Service Is Smart

 

Industrial equipment. Heavy machinery. 

When I hear those words, it's a callback to a bygone era—a time when people worked in terrible conditions and safety measures were lax. I also think of contruction—oil rigs, bulldozers, combine harvesters, and steam rollers. I don't think my day to day life involves heavy machinery or industrial equipment.

I leave for work or school or head out to run some errans just like every other day. I get in my car, push the button to open my garage door, back out, and push the button to close it. It's at that moment, watching it rumble down and settle against the concrete, that I realize what I use every single day that I leave my home—a steel door weighing on average two-hundred pounts and driven by a 1/2 horsepower motor. 

The garage door is the largest moving object in the home and the average household opens and closes it four times every single day. If you're anything like me, you didn't really think about that until just now either. Now, if you oversaw the use of a bulldozer or combine harvester or worked in a place that used industrial equipment to build skyscrapers, you would want every precaution to be taken to ensure no one got hurt, right? However, when was the last time you thought about your garage door?

Service is smart.

The garage door is made up of a lot of parts. Heavy springs are used to counter balance the door, hinges hold all the sections together, the track supports the door, the rollers keep the door in the track. Any of those parts can wear out and break down, just like the brakes on a bulldozer. Your garage door should be serviced at least once each year to keep everything in working order and—most of all—to keep it safe.

Here at A.B.E. Doors and Windows, we offer a discount on service in the form of a 20 Point Service Inspection all year round to keep your garage door in tip top shape. Give us a call and set something up.

 

Danielle Reeder
Inside Sales Consultant
610-398-2430 Ext 121

20 April 2018
Going Green in the Home
Celebrate Earth Day

 Going Green in the Home 

Do you recall celebrating Earth day in school?  There was usually a contest to design a poster encouraging you to be kind to our planet and perhaps you took home a small sapling to plant in your yard.  Since its inception in 1970 we have continued to become more aggressive in our mission to reduce landfill waste, keep our air clean and preserve our natural landscapes. In honor of Earth Day on April 22, we wanted to focus on ways to go green inside and outside of your home. 

 Zap your Electrical Usage

·       Switch to LED bulbs when an old bulb dies out.  They last 15X longer and use less energy.  An average bulb will only cost you $2 a year in electricity.  

·     When your old fridge finally stops humming, look into a replacement bulb that has earned the Energy Star rating.  A bit of research and you may find some models that have rebates or even give a credit on your taxes.   This tip extends to any major appliances in your home. 

·     If it glows, shut it off.  The charger for your phone, your laptop and the latest game console your kids got for Christmas all drain electricity when not in use.    The average family can save over $100 on their electric bill just by being mindful in unplugging when not in use.  Using a surge protecting power strip to plug all the household chargers into can easily be turned off and on with one flick. 

·     Installing dimmer switches is another great way to save energy and extend the life of your bulbs.  Along the same line, encourage family members to turn off lights as they leave the room.  

Waste Less Water 

·       You can save 5 gallons of water per person if you turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth.  That means a family of 4 can save over 7000 gallons of water a year (assuming they all brush their teeth once a day)!  That equals a much lower water bill and money in your pocket.

·     Drip-drip-drip----fixing that leaky faucet or running toilet means less water wasted.  The running toilet alone wastes up to 6000 gallons of water in a month. Fixing it can save you around $70 a month on your water bill. 

·     Fill-er-Up—whether it's your dish washer or washing machine, aim to run these appliances only when they are full.  Use cold water when you can or choose a short cycle for smaller loads. 

·     Invest in a great beverage container to cut down on buying cases of water. Keep a larger pitcher on hand in your fridge.  

 

 

Remodel the Right Way

                                 

Look for products that contain the Energy Star or are Green Seal Certified.  A.B.E. is proud to carry the Anderson and ProVia lines, which have both been recognized as industry leaders in the area of energy efficient products.  These types of windows and doors will help your entire home be more energy efficient over the years.

 

 

Outside the Home

·       Use durable bags or totes for all your grocery shopping purchases.

·     Bring a travel mug to your favorite coffee joint for your daily java.  Some places even give you a discount for helping them save a paper cup. 

·     Plant trees and shrubs strategically around your home. The shade in summer and wind resistance in winter will help cut down on your heating and cooling costs. 

·     Collect rainwater from a spout and use it for your plants, garden and bird baths. 

 Being Green is a Family Affair

Be a conscience role model for your children.  Encourage them to examine something before it gets thrown away and ask, “Can I recycle this?”  Plant an herb garden and watch it grow, then cook something together using them.  Spend some time outside appreciating nature or visit a local farmers market.   When we all work together, even the smallest changes can have a big impact. 

 

Happy Earth Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19 April 2018
Who's Who in Business
Door & Window Replacement

 

 Every year Lehigh Valley Style conducts a survey of local residents to determine which businesses are delivering the highest level of service, products and commitment to the consumers they serve. 

We are honored to have been chosen in this year’s Who's Who in Business, under the category of Door & Window Replacement. 

A.B.E. Doors and Windows is proud to be serving the Lehigh Valley area and beyond for over 40 years.  When we started this company, our philosophy was “Treat employees, customers, & business partners as you would want to be treated."   That principal is evident in every area of our business and is displayed by each member of our staff.  

 

We would like to thank you...our customers...for participating in this survey and for recognizing our business as a leader in the Lehigh Valley.  We value the personal and business relationships we have made over the years and appreciate your choosing A.B.E. for all your window and door needs.  

 

                   

12 April 2018
Energy Efficiency
Anderson and Provia

 

Every year the EPA & US Dept. of Energy recognize businesses that are national leaders in promoting energy efficiency.  These companies help America and the families that live here save energy, save money and strive to maintain a clean environment.  Among the 163 recipients of the Energy Star Partner of the Year awards, we are thrilled to announce they are honoring two of our suppliers: Provia and Anderson Corp.

 

 

 

The Anderson Corporation is located in Bayport, Minnesota.  The company prides itself in maintaining a long term commitment in the Energy Star program.  In 2017 they added 7 more models and now offer 328 styles of windows in various price points.  They have made several videos to help educate the public about the importance of reducing energy use and how that can save on utility bills.  Their core mission is to “build brands people value and trust”. 

 

 

 

Sugarcreek, Ohio is home to ProVia Doors and Windows.    Homeowners and distributors can choose from over 3600 Energy-Star certified products. The company is dedicated to the education of the public and offers tours of their facility.  They also participated in a camp in which they talked about the importance of quality and the impact it can have on your brand. 

 

We would like to congratulate these two companies for their effort to make products that promote a greener community with every window or door that gets placed in a home. We are proud to offer your products to our customers and appreciate the relationship that has developed over the years. 

 

02 April 2018
Window Safety Week: April 2nd -7th
Window Safety Week: April 2nd -7th

 

Homes all over the country are welcoming Spring and the warmer temperatures by opening windows and letting the fresh air in.  As you move about your home, getting it ready for the changes of the season, now is an excellent time to look over your windows for any issues that would make them unsafe for children and pets.

 

    If first floor windows are accessible to small children make sure to install window stoppers to limit a wide opening. Keep furniture far enough away from windows to limit the desire to climb near them. Make sure window locks align properly and are secure when they are closed. Second story windows in a child's room may benefit from easy to install bars that limit access, but still allow fresh air.

 

            Ensure all windows open and close easily, clean and lubricate if  necessary.  Check to make sure a

          window does not drop suddenly to avoid pinched fingers and hands.

      

    If you have cords that dangle, consider purchasing cord holders that help wind up the excess or switch to cordless blinds to prevent strangling. Never position a crib near a window that has long cords.

 

    Do not rely on a screen to prevent a fall. The weight of a child or pet pressing on a screen could cause it to pop out of the window.  Fix any holes or tears that could get worse over time. 

 

    If you have a safety escape plan that involves a window, check  that the window opens with ease. Keep clutter and furniture out of the way.  If the window is on a second floor make sure a fire escape ladder is available. 

 

Talk with your children about the potential hazards of an open window and go over guidelines to keep them safe.  A little maintenance and care can make all the difference in the life of a curious child. 

 

 

 

30 March 2018
What's the Deal on Curb Appeal?
What's the Deal on Curb Appeal?

Curb appeal is your home's opportunity to make a first impression on potential buyers. Don't you want it to be a good one? You probably thought to mow the lawn, wash the windows, and put away the toys on the patio, but did you consider the garage door? 

If your open house isn't gaining the attention you're seeking, take a step back and look at your home-from the outside. The garage door is the largest moving object in your home and it's how most people are going to come and go on a regular basis. The door you have on your home is the one that's been there for fifty years and not all "antiques" are desirable. 

You painted the inside of your home a nice neutral color because it helps boost resale value, right? However, Remodeling Magazine and the NAR (National Association of Realtors) state that replacing an outdated garage door has the highest return on investment. Garage doors add more curb appeal to your home which can increase it's value drastically.

Beyond the aesthetic appearance of a brand new door, you are also adding a layer of insulation between the outside world and the interior of your garage. If your garage is attached to your home, this can be quite a factor in heating your home. Replacing your existing door with better insulation and a great design might seem like a costly expense, but when you compare it to improving the curb appeal of your home, it's a no brainer.

Joe Luciano

Inside Sales Consultant

21 March 2018
What to do with Your Tax Return
Home Improvements

 April showers bring Mayflowers and hopefully a little extra change in your pocket from the Federal government.  The average family receives a refund of around $3000.  It may not be enough to completely transform the basement into the man-cave of your dreams, but it is enough to do a bit of home improvements that can improve your quality of life and lift the spirits.  

We've broken down improvements that will bring the best return in value for your home and divided them into monetary categories in case you have a little, a lot or the whole works to spend.  Before any home improvements you should ask yourself how long you will be staying in your current home.  That answer should factor into your decision making. 

$100 to $500 Budget

      Refresh cabinet hardware

   Service items in your home-hot water heater, HVAC & furnace. Regular cleanings can add up to 10 years of life to these products.

   Insulate the attic or other areas that are letting in cold air or are allowing hot air to escape. 

   Paint-whether it's one room or a whole floor, fresh paint can transform and give your space a brand new feel.

 

$600 to $2900 Budget

 

     • Replace an older front door. One of the easiest ways to give
       your exterior a new look. Up to date materials and better
       construction, combined with durability and better insulation will
       help save on energy bills over time.

        • Upgrade out dated appliances. New appliances in the kitchen
       are always a great way to boost value and encourage more
       family time. If you shop for Energy Star rated products, look for
       ones that may have rebates via the government. Double win for
       saving money in the short and long term.

         • Landscaping – First impressions do matter in housing. A well
       maintained yard and trim trees and shrubs can increase a homes
       value up to 20%. Curb appeal and an inviting presence are
       important factors if you feel your property may be for sale soon.
       Outdoor lighting may also be beneficial as it enhances your
       homes security.

Over $3000

 

      Replacing your garage door. With one of the best return on investments rates-coming in around 98%, a sturdy, eye appealing door is important to home owners. 

    Replace older windows. Another smart improvement that is worth the investment. A more energy efficient window will stop air leaks and condensation. Plus, if the window had cracked glass or loose encasing, you will be removing any safety issues.
 

    •   Upgrades to the kitchen or bathroom. A new tub and sink are
          safe bets for the bathroom. The kitchen will benefit from an
          upgraded sink/faucet and new counter-tops. Tile work in either
          room can transform walls and floors.


All home improvement projects can be a journey. If you are taking just a few steps or one big leap, we hope your finished venture is pleasing to the eye and improves your home and those that occupy it.

 

19 February 2018
Is Your Home as Smart as It Can Be?
Make your home smart

 

In 1962 the Jetson's cartoon imagined what our homes would look like in the year 2062.  Their future included conveyor belts in the home, automated breakfast stations, big screen TV's and video calling.  While some of these features have not been realized, it's fascinating to see the evolution of technology in the home.  

What does the term Smart Home mean?   In layman's terms, it is the ability to control lighting, heating and electronic devices remotely from a phone or computer.  If you have been thinking of adding some of these features to your home, let's explore the most common ones and the benefits they may add to your house and lifestyle. 

 

Programmable/Smart Thermostats

 

A programmable thermostat allows the home owner to regulate the heat or air conditioning of their home when they are not in it.  Utilizing this feature helps cut down on energy bills and in turn saves you money.  It also cuts down on human error, like when you are half way to work and realize you forgot to turn down the heat.  The ease of reading a digital display means you don't have to pull out a magnifying glass to see those small tick marks.  A smart thermostat usually pairs with an app that allows you to make changes remotely.  Some smart models learn as they go, memorizing your desired temperatures and can even alert you to needed maintenance.  

Alarm Systems/Security Cameras

Making sure your home is secure while you are away is a priority to every home owner. Monitors and cameras, coupled with an app, allow you view anyone that approaches your front door.  Imagine being able to alert a trusted neighbor to retrieve that latest Amazon order from your front porch!  Some apps can let you know if an alarm has been set off or can sense heat to alert you to a potential fire. Lighting can also be controlled to give the illusion you are home. Date nights become more enjoyable knowing the sitter and children are secure in the home. 

 

Garage Doors

 

One device that is gaining popularity in the smart tech arena is garage doors.
Most people use their garage door as a primary entrance to their home, that's a lot of opportunity to leave it open by accident.  Having the ability to check on it and close it remotely lessens the chance of theft and break-ins to the home.  If you have multiple car drivers in the family, this eliminates the need for extra remotes.  If a delivery needs to be made or a family member is locked out, a quick push on your phone allows for easy entry.   A.B.E. is excited to offer smart garage door openers and recommends the MyQ app.  Let us know if we can tell you more about these products.
 
Entertainment
The growing popularity of digital assistants in the home brings things like trivia, news, sports and music to life with a simple command.  When used together with music or movie streaming apps, one command can have you watching the latest episode of Stranger Things on your TV or keeping the party rocking with all your favorite BeeGee's hits.  These devices can also control audio systems, make a grocery list and set your morning alarm. 
 
 
Shop Smart

 

Do a bit of research to see what smart device would benefit you and your home the most.  The real estate market is just now weighing in on the impact of smart homes and resale value.  Employ a reputable company if you are doing a major upgrade.  The programming of these devices can be a bit complicated.  Once installed, these clever gadgets can help make your day a little less hectic and a lot more fun.   

18 January 2018
It's that time of year again!
Garage Organization - what to keep and what to get rid of

It's that time of year again!  The urge to purge takes over and we find ourselves looking over our homes to decide what needs organizing and revamping. As we sweep through each room, often times we look at the accumulated stuff and wonder...where am I going to put this now? Then the a-ha moment comes and the answer is “stick it in the garage.” While your garage is a great spot to store certain items, changes in temperature, exposure to the elements and a nosy critter can make it unsuitable for some belongings. Let's go over some of those items and offer a better storing solution.

                 Paint


Changes in temperature can lead to discoloration as well as clumping and possible separation. Plus, the moisture of a cement floor can encourage cans to rust. A better solution would be to transfer a portion of paint-for touch up purposes- into a tight sealed container with the color mix noted in case a full can is needed in the future. Store in a closet that maintains an even temp all year round. 

 

Canned Food

 

Again, varying temps in your garage can lead to a shorter shelf life and alter the taste of some foods.  In Winter, you risk the chance that a frozen can could explode.  Reexamine your pantry for areas where storage could be gained. Employ new shelving or an over the door rack that can accommodate cans. 

  

Paper Goods/Fabric

Storage of these items may encourage a family of mice to make your garage their home. Moths and other bugs love to nibble on certain types of fabrics. If you must keep these items in the garage, make sure they are placed in quality, air-tight containers. Keep them off the ground on a higher shelf if possible.

 

Propane Tank

No one wants to run out of propane during a back-yard barbecue. Keeping a spare in the garage is hazardous.  Tanks need to be kept in a well-ventilated area free from fumes or materials that could ignite it. Best to keep this item stored outside away from any structure.

 

A Refrigerator

 

 

 

It may be tempting to purchase a spare to keep drinks and stock up on frozen items but the unit will actually work harder trying to maintain an even temperature in the summer and winter months, thus increasing your electric bill. There are insulation and heating coil kits available, but do some math first to see what these will cost you over time. The price to store that great sale on frozen food may not be worth it.
 
Photos/Important Documents

 

That photo album you inherited from your grandparents, when exposed to fluctuating temperatures could grow mold over time and pages can get stuck together.  The same applies to any document that may be difficult to replace.  Set aside some time to scan important documents to your computer or invest in a fireproof box. Many stores offer photo-scanning services that compile all your cherished memories into one DVD. 
 
 
As you continue to freshen up your homes this year, take care where you store items in and around the house as well. If reorganizing your garage is in the future, refer back to our blog to learn all the best tips and tricks to reclaim that space for your car again! 
 

15 December 2017
Wrap it Up—Organizing & Storing Your Holiday Decor
Holiday Organization

 

We all enjoy the lights, ornaments and merry decorations that brighten up our homes during the holidays...until it's time to take it all down and store it for next year.  Let's help you store those items with ease so next year you won't be wrestling with a ball of lights. 

Before you begin, examine your storage materials that you currently have on hand.  Make sure boxes still have secure bottoms and handles that are strong. Ensure that you have enough containers in case you have purchased new lights or have received ornaments as gifts.  The end of the year is a great time to pick up new containers and bins, but you can easily store your treasures with items you already have on hand.

The key to storing lights is all in the wrapping.  Start with a heavy piece of cardboard and slowly wrap each strand around it.  Each piece can be then slid into a box for storage.  Another idea is to wrap them around a heavy duty hanger.  When finished, they can be hung in a spare closet or rack in the attic.  If you have extension cords that need to be stored, inserting them into a paper towel tube is a great organizing trick.  If you have an extensive outdoor light collection, investing in a storage spool is an option.  Spools can hold up to 200 feet of lights and are easy to carry and unwind.  

 

A clever alternative to wrapping each ornament in tissue paper is found by nestling them in a cardboard divider.  If you don't want to invest in a pre-made container, you can easily make one by using larger plastic cups with cardboard dividers in a storage bin.  Smaller trinkets can be stored in egg cartons or clear shoe boxes.  As you put away your ornaments, examine them to make sure they are not broken and make repairs if necessary.   Now is also a good time to assess your collection and pare down or donate items you have not used in a while. 

 

                                 

Wreathes and garland present an interesting challenge in that there is never a box quite big enough to store them nicely.  Think vertically on this one and utilize a garment bag.  Attach the wreath or garland to a sturdy hanger and slip it into the bag.  DIY with a hanger poked through a garbage bag and cinch it tight at the bottom. 

 

                             

Although they come out of the box with ease, getting your artificial tree back in the box is often a wrestling match. Pinterest user Time with Thea used an old bed-sheet as a way to wrap it up neatly. Once in the sheet, it is secured by tying the ends together. For larger trees a pillow case can come in handy to hold the top portion.

Before you stash all your trimmings away, take a look at your storage area.   Make sure it is clean, free from any potential water damage and not in an area that heat may damage any of your decorations. Stack heavy boxes on the bottom and allow some room to maneuver items with ease.  If you have the space, storing items on the floor they are used on can save time and avoid injuries from carrying boxes up and down stairs. 
 

 

Congrats!   You are all set for next year.  Reward yourself with a hot chocolate and don't skimp on the marshmallows.  

04 December 2017
An Individualized Touch That Can’t Be Purchased Online!
An Individualized Touch That Can’t Be Purchased Online!

The hustle and bustle of getting ready for the holiday season is upon us—the endless lists of things to do and limited amount of time to complete them.  Many of us seek the internet to solve our problems by saving time and money, but what you aren’t purchasing is an individualized touch.   

Throughout my experiences as the office manager, I have seen too many times a customer walk through our door needing assistance with a garage door or operator part.  They had purchased the part online that was listed on Amazon or Ebay to name a few common sites.  This seemed to be their “jackpot.”  Pay for the part online and have it shipped directly to them within 24 hours.  SOLD!    Only to receive the part and deal with the disappointment and frustration that it does not work.  Now what?  It’s not like you can call the internet and talk to a person to help you.

 

This is where we have an advantage over an online store.  The office staff can help you diagnose the problem and supply you with the correct part.  Garage door operator technology has changed so much in the past twenty years.  Manufacturers discontinue parts or replace them with universal models that accommodate many products.  The next time that you need help with a part, instead of reaching out to Google, call me directly at 610-398-2430, extension 115 or stop by the showroom location.  The staff is always available to offer you the “Gift of Giving.”

 

Happy Holidays, 

 

Shannon Seng

Office Manager 

 

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