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Great Tips to Gain More Value When Building Your Home

Posted on April 13, 2018 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (0)


Building your own home gives you the incredible opportunity to customize the space exactly to your specifications from day one. While you understandably want the house to look amazing, it is also essential for it to be fully functional for all of your needs and desires. You can add real value to your home and improve your quality of life when you think about Installing useful technology during the construction process.

Sound System Wiring

Regardless of whether you have a dedicated media room, a man cave or a basic family room, you want the sound system in these gathering places to be amazing. You can install wiring for a quality sound system when the rest of the installation is finished. The smart idea is to incorporate sound system wiring throughout the entire home and even in the garage and on the patio. This can improve your quality of life dramatically and can make your home more valuable when you decide to sell it in the future.

Smart Home Technology

Smart home technology is more than a fad, it is changing lives by adding convenience and function to homes. Some smart home features are decorative or plug-in, in nature. However, others are more permanent. For example, you can connect smart home technology to your automatic blinds, your HVAC system, your light fixtures, your doorbell and more. Your home automation system should include garage door monitoring as well for more comprehensive benefits. Another idea is to connect your home's built-in sound system to the smart home controls.

An Automated Security System

Installing a security system after the construction is completed can cost a fortune, so it makes sense to add a system during the construction process. Choose a smart technology system so that you can arm or disarm the system from any location. Connect this automated system to your flood sensors, fire sensors, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Think about installing video cameras that you can monitor remotely and even speakers so that you can speak directly to intruders. According to ADT, “monitored home security systems are an efficient way to alert law enforcement and emergency services that you or your home is in need of assistance.”


Through automation, you will benefit from convenient and immediate control over all aspects of home security.

Choosing thoughtful features to add to your home during the construction phase requires careful research and planning. It is much easier to add these thoughtful features to your home before the construction is complete, and these features can add value to your property and convenience to your life in numerous ways. Examine the various features available for these technologies before you finalize your plans.


5 Reasons Security Systems are so Beneficial to Your Overall Health

Posted on March 27, 2018 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)


Safety. Peace. A sense of protection. These are all examples of how adding a security system to your home can help your overall health. We all want to feel safe and secure in our homes. We want to be able to sleep peacefully at night knowing we are protected. We also want to have the peace of mind that comes from knowing our families are protected. There are numerous ways to accomplish this task, and in this article, we go over just a few.

Automation

Augment your home automation setup with security and monitoring. You can monitor your home while you are away. You can set the temperatures in your home. You can unlock doors with the touch of a button or set your alarm if necessary. As a parent, there are times when you need a night out. An automated security system allows you to check on your home to see who might be in it and how your children and babysitter are doing right from your mobile device. By monitoring your security cameras every so often, you can rest assured that your children are safe and your home protected. This peace of mind allows you to relax and enjoy your evening away. This is also a great asset when you are away from your home for any length of time.  Having your security system set up to notify you and record when movement happens can help in case of a burglary and can also ensure that whomever you have checking on your home is doing so on a regular basis.

Lighting

Lighting in the home can impact a person’s well-being on several levels. Homeowners with smart lighting integrated into the home security system have the option to regulate lighting in the home while away for an added sense of security.  The right lighting can also have a positive physiological effect since the human body requires lighting for a certain amount of time on a daily basis. According to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, exposure to varied levels of lighting can affect a person’s risk of getting type 2 diabetes, cancer or high blood pressure. 

Peace of Mind

In having security monitoring in the home, people will find that they will enjoy greater peace of mind. You are far less likely to be stressed with a security system especially from a reputable service provider. You can sleep better at night with a home monitoring system protecting your residence whether you are home or away.

Vulnerability

A home monitoring system with carbon monoxide monitoring prevents your home from being vulnerable to accidental poisoning due to a gas leak. From 2010 and 2015, 2,200 deaths were reported as a result of unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning. Some of the systems alert the authorities automatically if there is some carbon monoxide issue.  Additionally, having a system that can monitor humidity levels can reduce your vulnerability to home damage due to mold while you are away.

Sleep Habits

Better sleep is another benefit of having a security system for your home. You can control your light settings using automation. This automation helps you regulate your sleeping schedule so that you can sleep peacefully. You can upgrade your system to alternate between different light settings. As the evening winds down, you can program the light settings to adjust accordingly. You can achieve a much more restful night with such a system, and improve both your mental health, memory, and concentration capabilities.

Alternative Health Benefits

You can reduce your chances of getting the cold or the flu by better controlling the temperatures in your home. Some security monitoring systems allow you to program the temperature settings. The system can alert you to fluctuations in temperature, warning you if they fall above or below a certain level.

A 2007 study led by New York’s Mount Sinai Medical School found that that optimal temperatures improve your respiratory system’s ability to eliminate toxins. Lower temperatures cause the respiratory to work harder and lose its ability to remove contaminants from the system correctly. This is why some people have a harder time recovering from colds and respiratory illnesses.

In taking advantage of the programmable settings, your mental health and overall well-being can be positively impacted. You can automate settings within your security monitoring system and derive multiple benefits in doing so.

Sources

https://www.protectyourhome.com/home-security-equipment" target="_blank">Protect Your Home

Microbiology Bytes

Streetdirectory.com

https://www.safety.com/the-benefits-of-a-wireless-home-alarm-system/#gref" target="_blank">Safety.com


5 Ways to Keep Your Home Totally Secure

Posted on March 24, 2018 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

It’s important to take steps to keep your home secure. Not only do you want to protect your possessions, but you also need to trust that your family will be safe inside and that you won’t come back to a disaster after spending time away from your home. While you can’t predict every event, there are some things you can do to make your home incredibly secure.

Buy an Advanced Security System

It is advisable to invest in an advanced security system to safeguard your home. However, before installing a security system, you should evaluate and assess the needs of your region. Some of the basic things that you need to consider when purchasing your security system include alarms, cameras, motion detectors, and smoke detectors.

Light Up Your Landscape at Night

If you keep your landscape well-lit during the night, you will be much less likely to have intruders. If you want to save money, install motion-activated lights. They will turn on only when there is movement, which means you won’t be spending money on your power bill that you won’t need, and you are more likely to startle any unwelcome guests. You also won’t have to fumble for a light switch if you need to step outside after dark.

Install Secure Doors and Windows

You need to make sure your home has durable and secure doors and windows. Although these types of doors and windows are expensive, they are worth the investment because they are hard to break. If you are considering upgrading your windows, look into Hurricane Windows so that you can get the benefit of the security as well as the peace of mind that your windows will hold up during a storm. You should also make sure your door and window frames are solid. It is not worth spending the money on high-quality windows and doors if they can be easily dislodged.

Choose a Safe Place

This is a little redundant if you aren’t moving soon, but if you are, make sure you research your new neighborhood. There are multiple apps and tools you can use to find a safe neighborhood. If you aren’t moving, you can still use these tools to find out how safe your neighborhood is. Forewarned is forearmed, and this knowledge will let you take the proper precautions.

Have Someone Monitor Your Home

If you are going to be out of town for an extended period and you are worried about your home, it is a good idea to have someone check on it periodically. If you have a close family member or friend that you completely trust, you can ask them to housesit for you, but it may be a better idea to get a home watch company. They will check on your home and make sure that everything is taken care of properly.

Keeping your home secure does not mean you need to be paranoid. You can take the proper steps without driving yourself crazy. Just do the little things every day, and you will be just fine.

 

What Type of Fencing Should You Build Around Your Yard?

Posted on March 7, 2018 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

The type of fence you choose for your property depends on its purpose. You may be looking to keep pets in and creatures like deer and coyotes out. Perhaps you are wanting privacy or something to add beauty and charm to your home choice. The following characteristics of common fences can help you decide the right fence for your home.


Chain Link Fences


Source: https://www.thespruce.com/chain-link-fences-make-for-the-best-security-fencing-2130908" target="_blank">The Spruce

Chain link fences are perfect for keeping pets and children safe and for keeping unwanted intruders from trampling the landscaping. They are the cheapest to install and require almost no maintenance. You won't be hiding your plush lawn and rose bushes, but a chain link fence won't provide any privacy either.


Wood Fences


Source: https://www.fixr.com/comparisons/wood-vs-chainlink-fence" target="_blank">Fixr

Popular for centuries, wooden fencing is still the choice of many homeowners. You will get the advantages of a chain link fence while adding cottage-style charm to your home. Wood is good for building tall privacy fences, and neighbors sometimes share the cost of installing them.

Depending on the type of wood you select, a wooden fence should last without significant overhauling for around 20 years. A wooden fence will need ongoing staining or painting, and damaged pieces will need replacing.


Vinyl Fences


Source: https://diyvinylproducts.com/" target="_blank">DIY Vinyl Fence

Vinyl or "plastic lumber" fences became in vogue during the 1980s. A white vinyl fence can add all the beauty of a wooden fence with less upkeep. They are available in many models from picket fences to privacy fences. Instead of coats of fresh paint, you can simply wash them with soap and a hose for a continuous brand new look.


Aluminum Fences

Aluminum Fence

Source: Superior Aluminum

Aluminum fences are fairly maintenance free and are not as pricey as wrought iron or steel. You can paint them to look like virtually any other kind of fence. If you live in an area that gets lots of extreme weather, aluminum fencing is not a good choice, as it is damaged more easily than other types.


Wrought Iron Fencing

Wrought Iron Designs|Driveway gates|Railings|Gate Hardware

Source: Fencing Blog

Wrought iron fences can be a work of art and are the choice of homeowners who want both security and beauty. They are more expensive and need to be repainted every two or three years.


Living Fences


Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbB-BBsHJuw" target="_blank">YouTube

Some properties may do well with a "fence" that is a barrier made of hedges and shrubs. If you choose the right plants, they can add some privacy and will be sure to add plenty of beauty. Good choices are evergreens such as juniper or arborvitae.


No matter which type of fencing you choose, be sure to properly maintain it. An attractive fence can add quite a bit of resale value to your home.

5 Ways a Security System Can Improve Your Home

Posted on January 22, 2018 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)


Why should you install a home security system? Cost aside, there are many reasons, not least of which is the peace of mind you'll enjoy knowing that your home is as safe and secure as possible. Here are just a few of the benefits you should consider, all of which far outweigh the initial price tag.

1. It protects your valuables

Beginning with the most obvious, it is just a good idea to keep your most valued possessions safe -- and your home should indeed be counted among these, as it is likely the most significant investment you've ever made.

That beautiful necklace your husband bought for your anniversary is something you treasure. A security system will help keep it safe. The big-screen TV, the priceless flatware, and the confidence that comes from being secure are essential reasons to have a security system.

2. It helps keep crime rates low

Home security systems can prevent burglars and other criminals from achieving their ends, which translates into a lower crime rate for the neighborhood at large. This lower crime rate, in turn, makes the area seem more desirable for potential buyers, thereby increasing the value of your home.

Plus, you want your children to be able to play in the yard or at the park in safety. It is about protecting your family as they are what is most important. That security system can provide that sense of security that you are seeking.

3. It lowers your overall costs

Indeed, it costs money to install a security system. But most insurance companies provide lower premiums when a home has additional security, as this means the homeowners are less likely to make a claim. The reason they are less likely to make a claim is the risk that lead to claims is reduced with a security system. The security system protects you from burglars and potential vandalism or violence. It also can warn you of any flooding issues or a possible fire with that smoke detector.

4. It keeps you informed in case of emergency

Essential security devices such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are required in any home on the market. But other systems can alert residents to issues that aren't supported by primary insurance, such as water damage. While flood insurance is rarely required unless the home is located in a hazardous zone, flood sensors are for more than just flood detection. If the line breaks on your fridge water dispenser, the sensors will let you know before the water reaches a destructive level.

5. You can keep a closer eye on the kids

A surveillance camera allows you to not only keep an eye on what the kids are up to but also keep tabs on the babysitters. While young ones are likely to complain about an invasion of privacy, parents can rest easy knowing that their offspring are far less likely to engage in dangerous or reckless behavior if they know they're being monitored.

These are compelling reasons to protect your home, but they're only the beginning. Keep your most significant investment safe with the minimal additional cost of a home security system.

Don't stop at a security system when protecting your home.

In addition to having a security system in your home, we highly recomend having a Home Watch company that can respond to emergencies when the alarm is triggered.  Of course, first responders should always be the first people to report to an emergency and make sure the area is safe and secure, but if you are away and a break-in is discovered, they police will expect you to have the ability to secure the broken window, or whatever other actions are required.  Short of getting on a plane yourself, having a Home Watch Professional on retainer will allow the issue to be addressed and corrected quickly.  Keep in mind, first responders only respond to emergencies and a burst pipe in your home may not qualify as an emergency in their book.  Having a Home Watch professional on your side also means helping to mitigate any additional damage that can occur from a minor water leak that can turn into a major repair very quickly.

Don't wait, contact us for your Home Watch needs today!

Sources

https://www.protectyourhome.com/adt-home-security-install-locations/arkansas" target="_blank">Protect Your Home

https://www.landmarkhw.com/resources/home-warranty-education/use-a-home-security-system-to-protect-your-family/10/263" target="_blank">Landmark Home Warranty

https://www.digitaltrends.com/home/sens8-smart-security-system/" target="_blank">Digital Trends

Peace of House

 

How to Feel More At-Home in a New House

Posted on January 9, 2018 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)


Moving into a new home can be a daunting task! For some, it may be their first time moving and for others they may have moved multiple times, but even if you had a good system, there is still lots to be done. However, there are a few things that you can implement to make yourself feel right at home when moving into a new house. Today, we'll break down five of those things.


Organize Your Closet First

When moving, items can get a little disorganized. The last thing you want is to wake up and have to find what you're going to wear for the day. By organizing your closet first, you can easily find exactly what you want to wear and start your day. This creates less hassle in the mornings, clearing your mind and letting you transition to other important things that need to be done in the house. Plus, organizing your closet can help make the house more personalized.


Create a Daily Routine

This step can be especially useful to hoeowners with more than one property because it is location-neutral which means it can be done anywhere at anytime. When moving into your new home, try to mimic the routine you had before you moved. This means you should try to wake up, eat breakfast, dress, shower, and so on around the same time each day. Having a specific routine that is the same regardless of where you are at will save you a lot of time, allowing you to use that time on other things that need to be done in the house.


Install a Home Security System

By installing a home security system, you'll ensure that your family is safe and secure in their new environment. Moving to a new neighborhood can be tough for families, especially if they don't know their surroundings. Installing a system will create less worry for your family and will ultimately be a good investment for the time you spend in your home and while you are away.


Unpack Favorites First

By unpacking your favorite items first, you'll instantly create a better bond with your new home. This is because your favorites give your home a more personal touch and will help you settle in more quickly. Prioritize unbreakable items, since you don't want to break your favorite decorative things later in the unpacking process.

Overall, these are four great tips to implement if you want to feel more at home in a new house. Some work better than others, but I would try all of them.


Resources

http://www.organizationdirect.com/2016/08/29/7-benefits-organized-closet/

https://www.protectyourhome.com/security-system-installation 

https://experiencelife.com/article/how-to-handle-a-move/" target="_blank">http://experiencelife.com/article/how-to-handle-a-move/ 

5 Things to Remember When You Go on Vacation

Posted on January 3, 2018 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Going away for a vacation can be exciting, but, before letting the trip go to your head, there are some things you'll want to do to prepare. Beyond packing and making reservations, you want to make sure your home is safe, your travel documents are in order, and a long list of precautions have been taken. Here's a short list of the most important points to consider, before leaving town.


Take Pictures of Important Items

It's impossible to foresee everything and the chances are good that you'll either forget or lose something. If that something is important, you may find yourself in some very big legal or medical trouble. To avoid this, use your smartphone to take pictures of important documents like your passport, birth certificate, and driver's license. Additionally, take pictures of medication labels and other health-related documents that may be useful in the case of an emergency. Give a copy of these photos to someone at home just in case you lose or can't get access to your copy in an emergency.


Fortify Your Home

The key to keeping your home safe is to take steps to prevent others from knowing you're away. While having a custom alarm system is essential if you want to be fully protected, there are also things you can do to make it appear as though nothing is out of the ordinary. Stop your mail, so it doesn't pile up in front of your door and arrange a timer to turn lights on and off at uneven intervals. If you can’t do this, consider having someone come to your home to take care of these things. They can pick up your mail, keep your home up to date, and give the appearance that someone is currently living there, which will deter criminals. 


Contact Your Credit Card Companies

Credit card companies are more concerned than ever about safeguarding their customers from unauthorized access to their accounts. In addition to security features like the newly implemented RFID chip, they also monitor accounts for abnormal behavior. You are likely planning to use debit or credit cards on your vacation, so it may be wise to contact the card providers and let them know to expect this type of unusual activity. This way, they won't place a frustrating block on your account.


Unplug Electronics

Even when they are powered down, electronics can put a drain on your electricity. Unplugging everything can avoid this problem. It can also reduce the chances of an electrical fire while you are away and prevent damage in the case of a power outage.


Turn Off the Water

Here is another way to save on resources and reduce the risk of damage to your home.  It is highly recomended you shut off the water to your home to reduce the chances of a broken pipe or other leak.  If you elect to leave the main water shut off valve open because of pool or landscaping requirements, turning off water on the dishwasher, ice makers, washing machine, and toilet can eliminate the chances of water waste and water damage. Itncan also prevent any accidental flooding if plumbing problems develop while you are gone. If you will be gone for an extended period of time, be sure to cover your toilets and drains to reduce evaporation from the bowl and drain traps that can lead to sewer gas and possible pest intrusion.


These are just a few key points to consider when preparing for your vacation. By taking a handful of simple precautions, you'll be better able to relax and enjoy your time away from the daily grind. Follow these suggestions to be safe and secure, while away from your home.


References:

Home Watch Services

Prep Your Home for Vacation

Protect Your Home

Vacation Home Prep Checklist

Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years

Posted on October 10, 2016 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (0)

The National Fire Prevention Association has announced that October 9 - 15, 2016 is Fire Prevention Week.  This year the focus is on educating people about their smoke detectors.  A recent study showed that "only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced."

 

Here is a reminder for you:  

  • Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
  • Make sure you know how old all the smoke alarms are in your home.
  • To find out how old a smoke alarm is, look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm; the alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date.

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To learn more from the NFPA, check out the NFPA Journal

To learn more about how J&M Home Management can help keep your home safe while you are away, Contact us today.


Proper Air Conditioner Settings & Mold Prevention

Posted on August 11, 2015 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Proper Air Conditioner Settings Mold Prevention while you are away


Earlier this week I was performing a bi-weekly Homewatch check for one of my clients when I immediately noticed that the house was extremely warm. Upon checking the thermostat I saw the display was out which can be a big problem. When the temperature is not being read by the thermostat, it does not triggering the air conditioner to kick on automatically. The fix was to simply replace the batteries, but had they not had someone checking on their home this could have easily turned into a much bigger problem.


Especially in Florida, a broken air conditioner means it cannot do its job of pulling the humidity from the air, which can quickly lead to mold in the home. If left unchecked this problem can grow and require professional abatement. This is a good reminder of why it is so important to have someone check on your house when you are gone.


Avoid Air Conditioner and Mold nightmares by following these tips:


1) Have your AC serviced before you leave.


Annual Maintenance ensures the system is running correctly and can catch any minor issues before they become a larger problem. Be sure that the tech cleans the coils, checks that the condensate drain line is working properly and that the drain pan has no mold.


2) Change your filter


A clean filter allows your AC unit to work more efficiently, saving you money and reducing the risk of breakdowns. If you plan to be gone for more than 3 months be sure to leave a spare filter for someone so they can change it out if the filter gets too dirty.


3) Set your thermostat between 77 - 82


This temperature is warm enough that it will keep your electric bill down, but still cool enough that the AC will kick on and pull the humidity from the air.


*FPL recommends setting your thermostat 72 degrees on a timer which kicks on during the early morning for a couple of hours and then at 88 degrees for the rest of the day. This will reduce your power bill and will effectively pull the humidity out of the air that causes mold. 

In my opinion this also increases the risk of failure because you have now added a timer to the mix that could potentially fail or not turn on if incorrectly set. This also means that the person checking on your house will experience warm temperatures and it may take longer for them to realize there is a problem if the air conditioner has failed.


4) Confirm your insurance policy still covers you while you are away


Be sure to check with your insurance carrier regarding vacant or unoccupied homeowner policies before you leave for an extended period of time. You may find that repairs for water intrusion/mold are not be covered by your insurance if you do not report them in a timely manner. Some policies also offer discount if you can prove you had regular home checks while you were away.


5) Enlist someone to check on your home regularly


This is important not just for air conditioner concerns, but also to make sure there are no leaks, pests, or home invasions. The last thing you want after an extended stay away from your home is to have to spend your first days or even weeks back fixing a problem. This can also get very expensive.


If you would like further information on any of the above or would like to enlist our home watch services, please contact us at 727-368-6589.


FPL Website: https://www.fpl.com/save/lower-bill/seasonal-residents.html?cid=aliasseasonal ;