Choosing New Shingles

Sep 02, 2021 Vincent Russo #WinWithVin #KWIntown #KWMerrimackValley

Modern shingles have been in use on homes for over 100 years, and it’s no wonder that they have become more or less a default for roofing choices. Shingles tend to be more budget-friendly than some other options such as metal roofing and tile, and they’re also available in a wide range of colors and styles. The main downside to shingles is that they can suffer wear over time or be damaged during inclement weather, necessitating repairs and occasional replacements. While you might not have to replace your shingles right away, the longer you put off these needed repairs then the more likely it is that your roof will develop some problems.

When the time comes to install a new shingle roof, you may find yourself facing kind of a big decision as you consider your options. If you aren’t sure what type of shingles to get, you’re not alone; many homeowners struggle with this same decision. Here are a few things to consider to make the decision easier and to help you find the perfect shingles for your home.

Choosing the Right Look

Obviously, there are a lot of color options available when it comes to shingles. This isn’t the only way that shingle manufacturers can customize the look of shingles, however. Different shingles may feature different shapes, creating a unique look that sets your home apart from other properties in your area. Granule shading can also play a big part in the look of shingles, creating an intentional emphasis on the cuts and overlaps of the shingles to really play up their 3D look. Some shingles may take this even farther, creating an alternating design of light and dark shingles that really makes your roof pop.

Depending on your budget, other shingle options may appeal to you as well. Some shingles are highly reflective, giving them a sheen while also helping to reduce your heating and cooling costs. Shingle patterns may also alter between larger and smaller tabs, creating a patterned effect on your roof that will really catch the eye. Other options may be available as well, allowing you to create a look that few other homes will be able to replicate.

Types of Shingles Available

In addition to a wide range of looks, there are also different types of shingles that offer their own unique benefits. These shingles may offer increased algae and mildew resistance, increased stain resistance, and even increased flexibility to make them more resilient against things like hail and other harsh storms. Shingles designed for use in high-wind zones are also available, significantly decreasing the likelihood of shingle damage during wind storms.
Other types of shingles may be available as well, helping you to both achieve a desired level of roof protection and creating some unique aesthetics. You can even choose from a few types of wooden shingles to complement your home’s aesthetic or so-called “solar shingles” that are made up of interlocking solar panels which provide roof coverage instead of a standard shingle roof. Depending on your unique needs, there may be other types of shingles available to you as well.

Getting Some Help

While installing shingles can be a DIY project, many homeowners choose to call in a pro to make sure that the shingles are installed correctly. If you’re considering bringing in a roofer anyway, feel free to ask for their recommendations if you’re unsure of what type of shingles you want or which shingle features would best benefit your home. These pros have plenty of experience and can help you find the shingles that are the best fit for your home.

If you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to finding the right roofing professional, consider HomeKeepr. Using the HomeKeepr app, you can connect with roofing pros in your area that will get the job done right. Creating an account is free, so sign up today to get started on the roofing renovation you require!

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What is an Electrostatic Filter?

Aug 30, 2021 Vincent Russo #WinWithVin #KWIntown #KWMerrimackValley

Air filters serve a wide range of purposes in your home. They remove dust and dander from the air, eliminate other allergens, keep some odors under control, and even reduce the wear and tear that your HVAC system experiences throughout the year. Depending on the filters you use, you may even be able to remove some viruses and bacteria from the air to keep the people in your house healthier. With all of the benefits that good air filters provide, the only real downside is that you have to replace them every few months to keep your home’s filtration system filtering at its best.

There are a few other options available when it comes to filter types, however. One air filter that’s increasingly popular with homeowners is the electrostatic filter, which not only provides excellent filtration but is also cleanable and reusable. If you’re not familiar with electrostatic filters or how they differ from the disposable filters that you’re used to, here’s the basics of what you need to know.

How Electrostatic Filters Work

Traditional air filters work by putting pleated material that’s made of a lot of material fibers in the way of air moving through your system, allowing the air itself to pass through but catching dust and other unwanted material on those fibers. It’s fairly effective, but if there aren’t any fibers in the way of any given particle then the particle will pass through without resistance. Electrostatic filters work differently, actually attracting those particles even if they would otherwise be able to pass through the filter unimpeded.

This attraction is caused by static electricity, which is the same thing that causes socks to stick to your clothes in the dryer and can make balloons stick to the wall if you rub them in your hair. These filters carry a slight static charge, allowing them to attract even microscopic particles that would normally be too small for a filter to stop. Particles passing through the filter become ionized, meaning that they pick up a charge themselves which causes them to have a natural attraction that pulls them toward a collecting layer in the filter. Once the particles are attracted to the filter, they become stuck, just like that proverbial sock or balloon.

Cleaning and Maintenance

One positive of traditional pleated filters is that they become more efficient as they build up more dust and other particles; because the stuff filtered out of the air clogs up holes that small particles could pass through in the filter, it becomes less likely that additional particles will pass through. Unfortunately, this isn’t an advantage that electrostatic filters share. As electrostatic filters attract dirt and other particles out of the air, the available attractive material becomes covered up and they actually become less efficient. The good news is that this can be taken care of simply by cleaning the filter.

Cleaning an electrostatic filter is a pretty straightforward process. After turning off the HVAC system and removing the filter, simply take it outdoors and spray it with a hose in the opposite direction that the air would normally flow. Keep rinsing until the water comes out clean, then allow the filter to air dry. Once it’s dried, simply reinstall the filter and it’s ready to start filtering fine particles out of the air again. Repeat this process once a month or whenever the filter appears dirty.

Should You Upgrade Your Home’s Filtration?

Though electrostatic filters cost more up front, the ability to clean them and the greater efficiency that they show when clean means that you can actually save money on filters in the long run. Making the switch is definitely worth considering, and might be worth discussing with an HVAC professional when you schedule a maintenance check before switching on the heat this winter. If you don’t have an HVAC check scheduled yet, HomeKeepr can help you find a pro to get the job done. Creating an account is free, so sign up today and get your HVAC inspection on the books.

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Considering Seamless Gutters?

Aug 26, 2021 Vincent Russo #WinWithVin #KellerWilliams #KWMerrimackValley #KWIntown

Gutters play a very important role on your home, and it’s one that not everyone realizes. Sure, they divert water so that you’re not flooded with runoff every time it rains, but that isn’t what makes them so important. Because gutters divert rainwater as it flows down the roof, they also help to prevent that water from seeping into the eaves and causing leaks or other damage. A good set of gutters can improve the life of your roof and home exterior while also adding to the look of your home and keeping the worst of the runoff at bay.

One problem with gutters is that they can start to wear out over time. This is especially evident around gutter seams, where rust, debris, and just the weight of water over time can cause damage. This damage can result in leaks, letting water get out of the gutter right at the roofline and potentially causing the very sort of damage that the gutters are supposed to prevent. This is big part of the reason that so many homeowners are turning to seamless gutters; if there aren’t any seams, then the seams can’t leak.

Understanding Gutter Seams

Gutter seams aren’t inherently a bad thing; by producing gutter in sections and joining them at seams, installers can better fit the gutter to the unique size and shape of your home while still preparing gutter sections beforehand. Most gutter seams aren’t overly obvious, so it seems like an understandable concession to make in order to get the best fit for premanufactured gutters.

The problem with gutter seams is that gutters end up being under a lot of stress throughout the year. Water is heavy, leaves and other debris can get wedged in seams, and pods or seeds can actually end up in backed-up gutters and start putting down roots. This stress adds up over time, and the seams become one of the most likely points of damage aside from mounting points. Gutter screens and regular cleaning can help, but this won’t eliminate gutter stress entirely.

How Seamless Gutters Work

Unlike traditional gutters that are made as smaller pieces and then assembled to match the sides of your home, seamless gutters are custom-built to match your home exactly. Roll-forming machines are brought to the jobsite and are fed sheet metal from a coiled roll, bending the metal to the exact shape of the gutters until the seamless gutter section matches the length of one of your roof sections. This single piece of gutter is capped on the ends and has supports attached as it comes out of the machine, ensuring that the final gutter section is a single piece of strong and structurally-sound gutter. It can then be mounted to your home with no seams that could rust or otherwise become damaged.

Installers take precise measurements to make sure that gutter sections match your home exactly, and mark the location of downspouts and supports precisely to make sure that everything is right where it needs to be for the most efficient gutter you can have on your home. The gutters are sealed and mounted securely to help ensure the longest possible life without leaks, though they will still need periodic cleaning and maintenance to make sure that they remain in good working condition. With that said, the lack of seams for leaves and other debris to snag on results in some seamless gutters clogging less often than their seamed counterparts.

Considering Going Seamless?

While seamless gutters may be more expensive due to the custom manufacturing involved, a lot of gutter installers are trending toward largely seamless installs. There are advantages to going seamless, and if you’re in need of new gutters it could be a great choice to make for your home. HomeKeepr can help you find a seamless gutter installer in your area. Just sign up for a free account today and you can connect with installers who can get you the exact gutter your home needs.

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Investigating Disaster Insurance

Aug 23, 2021 Vincent Russo #WinWithVin

Homeowner’s insurance plays an important role in protecting your home and everything within it. With any luck you’ll never actually need it, but it provides a nice safety net in case the worst comes to pass. But did you know that there are some things that can happen to your home that aren’t covered by homeowner’s insurance?

If your home is damaged by a natural disaster such as a flood, earthquake, or tornado, you may find that your existing insurance policy doesn’t cover these natural events. In some cases, even man-made disasters may not be covered if the damage was caused by something like an explosion or a riot. Regardless of the cause, recovering after a disaster can be very expensive. To help protect against these costs in the event of a disaster, you usually have the option to purchase additional disaster insurance that gives you additional coverage beyond what your standard homeowner’s policy provides.

The Limits of Homeowner’s Coverage

Some homeowners believe that their existing policies cover everything that could happen to their homes, only to find out at the worst possible time that they aren’t actually covered. This usually is the result of an exceedingly rare occurrence such as flood damage, earthquake, or wildfire. Even insurance policies that claim to cover “all” damage typically make exclusions for a few types of disasters since those disasters aren’t localized to one specific property or home.

If you aren’t sure what sort of disaster coverage your existing insurance has, take a moment to review your policy or contact your insurance agent. Within your policy you should find the specifics of your coverage, as well as any exceptions that the policy doesn’t cover. If you want protection from those uncovered instances, you’ll need to pick up additional coverage.

How Disaster Coverage Works

Depending on your insurer and the type of disaster coverage you want to get, there are a few different ways that you could get this additional coverage. You may be able to buy blanket disaster coverage that covers multiple disaster types, though even it may have a few exceptions built in. If this isn’t available or if you want coverage for specific types of disasters, you may be able to buy single-disaster policies that only cover individual disaster types. Depending on your insurer and policy availability, your disaster coverage may be available as separate policies, or it may simply be an addition to your existing homeowner’s insurance.

Once you’ve taken out your disaster coverage, it will function similarly to your existing insurance. Should a disaster occur, your claim will be filed against your disaster policy or any disaster add-ons you’ve purchased instead of your standard homeowner’s insurance. Depending on the type of disaster and any other damage that may have occurred, there may also be claims made against your health insurance, vehicle insurance, or other insurance types; disaster insurance won’t replace or supersede any applicable insurance, it just helps to close gaps that previously didn’t have coverage.

Do You Need Disaster Insurance?

Whether you want to pay the additional costs of disaster insurance largely comes down to personal preference. By their nature most disasters are pretty rare, though some areas are more prone to disaster than others. The more likely it is that you could wind up in a disaster, the more beneficial disaster insurance would be to you, but keep in mind that disasters can still strike in locations where they aren’t common. It is also worth noting that if you live in an area where occasional disasters are likely (such as a flood plain that has a track record of heavy flooding during certain seasons) then you may not be able to get some types of disaster insurance or may have to pay higher premiums.

If you think that disaster insurance would help your peace of mind, HomeKeepr can help you find an agent that can give you great rates on your coverage. Sign up for a free account today and get connected.

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Top Landscape Plants for Fall

Aug 19, 2021 Vincent Russo #WinWithVin

As the days are gradually getting shorter and the nights grow a little cooler, it’s a good time to start thinking about how you want to handle your fall landscaping. It’s possible that you’ve never really put much thought into what your fall landscaping will look like; after all, many people see fall as a time to start prepping for winter and let the look of their landscaping kind of fall by the wayside until spring. With a little bit of TLC, though, you can transform your landscaping and create a striking contrast between spring and fall without having to break the bank or spend all your time working in the yard.

One easy way to do this is to add some new plants to your landscape as the season change approaches. There are a wide range of autumn-hardy plants in both flowering and ornamental varieties, so you should be able to find some options that you like regardless of your preferences.

Flowering Plants

While many people think of flowers as a big part of spring, there are a number of flowering plants that absolutely flourish during the autumn. Many of these flowering plants are available in a wide range of colors, and some are even perennial, so you’ll get to enjoy them year after year. Here are just a few of the fall flowers you might add to your landscaping:

  • Autumn Crocus
  • Blue Mist Shrub
  • Shasta Daisy
  • Aster
  • Chrysanthemum

Many summer-blooming plants also have varieties that bloom into early fall as well. There may be other options that are available locally on top of these, so be sure to check with your local nurseries to see if they have any recommendations for autumn-blooming flowers that do well in your area.

Ornamental Plants

Flowers are always a welcome addition to landscaping, but there’s something to be said for colorful and hardy ornamental plants as well. Some of these do well throughout the fall and even into the chill of winter, making them favorites when it comes to building up landscaping that will survive colder nights and chilly autumn winds. While this is far from an exhaustive list, here are a few ornamental plants that you might consider for your fall landscaping revamp:

  • Chinese Lantern
  • Cotoneaster
  • Ornamental Kale
  • Purple Fountain Grass
  • Winterberry Holly

Many plants that work well as ornamental pieces in the fall will also produce beautiful flowers in the spring or early summer, making them staples of your landscaping year-round. Some also produce fruits that local wildlife can enjoy as temperatures drop and they start preparing for the winter. In most cases they can be planted either directly in the soil or in containers for an additionally striking look. As with flowering plants, be sure to check to see if there are additional options that grow well in your area and thrive in your climate zone.

Landscaping Redux

In addition to changing out the flowers in your yard, the fall can be a great time to make other changes to your landscaping as well. Everything from adding garden paths to installing outdoor lighting or planting and removing trees can be done as part of an autumn revamp to your overall landscaping. This can be done alongside floral and ornamental planting to get the most out of your autumn, and by starting in late summer or early fall you can be sure that everything is in good shape before freezing temperatures or other problems arrive.

If you think that a larger landscaping remodel sounds like a great idea alongside some fall planting, HomeKeepr is here to help. You can sign up for a HomeKeepr account for free and find landscaping pros in your area to get your fall project started. Sign up today and you’ll be well on your way to revamping your yard and making your fall look the envy of your neighborhood.

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Make Your Home Roomba Safe

Aug 16, 2021 Vincent Russo #WinWithVin

Robotic vacuum cleaners such as iRobot’s Roomba and Shark’s Ion Robot Vacuum make cleaning up around the house a lot easier. In most cases, these robotic vacuums run without issue and (depending on the model) may even empty themselves once they’re full. But there are some problems that your new Roomba might run into if you aren’t careful.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t get a Roomba or similar vacuum, of course; they can work just fine in most homes and will likely be a good addition to yours. Just like any new addition, though, you may have a little bit of prep to do before you bring it home and put it to work. While the specifics depend a lot on your home, here are a few basics that you will definitely need to consider to get the most out of your little robotic helper.

Consider Your Flooring

Given that your robotic vacuum will be tasked with keeping your floor clean, it makes sense that you’ll need to think about the condition of your floors to get the most out of it. While some models work just fine on any flooring type, others may struggle with deep carpet or certain textures. Loose rugs and some other flooring features may cause occasional issues as well.

While your flooring type is a big consideration when it comes to choosing the robotic vacuum model that works best in your home, floor features will also affect how well any model will work once it gets there. Rug grippers or other options that help keep rugs from slipping will be a big help, and large floor furnace intake grates or similar features you might find in older homes might cause problems with your robot’s navigation. Secure or cover as much as you can when it comes to prepping the floor, giving your vacuum some help in achieving full coverage of your floors.

Make a Clean Path

Clutter can be a big problem for anyone when trying to clean up, but it is especially troublesome for robotic vacuums that can only rely on sensors and programming to get around. Take the time to pick up before your Roomba runs so that it can fully clean the floor, and try to space furniture and other static objects in such a way that the vacuum can navigate around them or go under them for cleaning. This is especially important if you have features such as catty-cornered couches or other large objects with space behind them, as your robotic vacuum won’t be able to clean the area if it can’t get to it.

Along these same lines, make sure that there’s a clear way for your Roomba to get out of any area that it can get into. While this might sound like a no-brainer, it may be possible for it to access areas such as a sunken living room but not be able to easily get out the way it came in. This could lead to your robotic vacuum getting stuck and possibly running down its battery trying to get out of the area.

Roomba-Proofing Your Home

Most robotic vacuums have sensors to detect possible collisions, falls, and other dangers, but there’s only so much that these sensors can accomplish. Don’t be afraid to put up baby gates, place pool noodles on the floor, or take other precautions to keep your Roomba from accessing an area where a fall or other potential damage could occur. If you have a vacuum model that features app connectivity, you should also set up alerts so that your vacuum can message you in case it runs into any potential peril. Robotic vacuums are an investment, so it makes sense that you’d want to keep it safe.

If you really want to take things the extra mile, you might consider bringing in a decorator or other interior design pro to help you optimize your home for automated cleaning. HomeKeepr can help you find a pro in your area to help get the job done. Sign up for a free account today and you’ll be one step closer to being able to relax while your Roomba keeps your floors spotless.

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Give Your Garage Door a Lift!

Aug 12, 2021 – Vincent Russo #WinWithVin #KWMerrimackValley

Garage doors work hard to protect your vehicles and other possessions from inclement weather, theft, and other issues. Despite this, a lot of garage doors are pretty boring. Many garage doors are made up of nothing more than single-color panels with no decoration at all. Others have basic windows, but that’s it. While decoration certainly isn’t essential to a garage door’s function, sprucing up the look of your garage door can make a big impact on the overall impression your house makes.

Fortunately, you don’t have to completely replace a garage door in order to spruce it up with some additional decoration. There are a number of decorative kits that you can add to your garage doors to completely revitalize their look. The kits are often low cost and easy to install, making them perfect for a DIY project over the weekend that will have a significant effect on the look of your home.

Decorative Kits

There are several options available when it comes to choosing garage door decorations. You can install handles and faux hinges, corner straps, knockers, latches, floor bolts, and more. If your garage door has windows, you can even install window grill coverings to help replicate the look of old carriage houses. You can even affix fake windows to the front of a windowless garage door, making it look like you have tinted or blacked out windows, with relatively little effort.

If you want to create an even more rustic look, imitation nail heads can be added which makes the garage door look like it was assembled using hand-forged nails. There are also a variety of other decorations including shapes and figures that customize the look of your garage door. All of these options exist to help ensure that the look of your garage door matches with your own personal preferences.

Kit Installation

Depending on the type of kit that you buy, there are a few different options for installing the decorative pieces. In the event of imitation nail heads, many of these come attached to small pins so that you can simply press the nail head into the garage door material where you wish it to go. Screw-mounted decorative hardware requires a bit more work, as you’ll need to drill holes in the garage door to start the screws before attaching the handles or other hardware. Once the pieces are attached, though, they’re pretty firmly in place on your garage door.

For those who don’t want to make permanent changes to the garage door, a lot of decorative kits are available in magnetic forms as well. While these only work on metal garage doors, the installation is much simpler as you only need to place the decorative bits where you want them to be, and the magnets will hold them in place with no additional work. While the magnets are generally strong enough to hold your decorations in place without issue during normal garage door function, it’s important to keep in mind that they won’t hold against the hardware being pulled on or otherwise forcefully moved.

Garage Door Revamp

In some cases, you may decide that you want to upgrade your garage door and add decorative pieces at the same time. If using screw-on additions, you can often get the garage door installer to add the pieces before mounting the new door. Magnetic or push-pin accents are easy to add after the new door is installed, and you can either get the installer to add these accents or do it yourself after the fact.

If you are getting a new garage door installed, it’s important to find an installer that you can trust. Fortunately, HomeKeepr can help you with this. Once you sign up for a HomeKeepr account you can connect with garage door installers and other pros in your area directly from the HomeKeepr app. Best of all, it’s free to sign up. Join today and you’ll be one step closer to the garage doors of your dreams.

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Does My House Need Drip Edge?

#WinWithVin #KWMerrimackValley

Aug 09, 2021 – Vincent Russo

There’s a good chance that you don’t actually know what a drip edge is or how it relates to your roof, but it’s possible that you’ve at least heard the term before. If you’ve got a fairly new home, you probably have a drip edge installed on your roof already; in most places, it’s now required by building codes. For older homes, though, it’s entirely possible that your roof doesn’t have a drip edge.

Does your home need a drip edge if it doesn’t have one? Yes, absolutely. Drip edge flashing can solve a number of potential problems before they even occur and will quite likely increase the lifespan of your roof. With that said, it’s useful to understand what drip edge is and how it works so that you can get a better grasp of exactly how a little L-shaped piece of metal can make such a big difference for your home.

What Is Drip Edge?

Drip edge or drip edge flashing is a bent metal sheet that’s usually shaped like an “L” or a “T” that is installed along the edge of your roof. The drip edge lies underneath the end of the shingles and typically extends down a few inches from the rooftop. The drip edge is made from a non-corroding metal such as aluminum, though copper and galvanized steel are also sometimes used. In many cases the drip edge is colored to match the siding or paint of a home, though it may also be used as an accent to the rest of the home.

Drip edge gets its name from the fact that it helps water flowing down a roof to “drip” into the gutters instead of clinging to the shingles on the edge of the roof and soaking into the underlying wood. It also helps to protect this wood from wind-driven rain that might otherwise be blown up underneath the shingles. On top of this, it provides some defense against insects and other pests that might try to burrow into the wood that the drip edge covers and protects against damage caused by the expansion of ice that might otherwise form in the wood.

How a Drip Edge Works

A drip edge is designed to take advantage of the surface tension of water, featuring a slope that helps to divert the water away and letting gravity and surface tension pull it down to the gutters. Different drip edge types handle this in different ways, but regardless of the specific designs and angles used, the core idea is to keep water moving once it reaches the edge of the shingles so that it can’t cling to the shingle and work its way underneath or into the wood that the shingles rest on.

While this might not sound like such a big deal, water soaking into the wood beneath the shingles can create an ideal breeding ground for mold and mildew. This can in turn cause the wood to start rotting, weakening the foundation underneath the shingles and allowing water to penetrate deeper in the future. This can result in leaks, weakness in the roof, and over time may even cause some structural damage.

Drip Edge Installation

Because drip edge flashing goes underneath the edge of your shingles, it’s typically installed at the same time as a shingle roof installation. With that said, it may be possible to install drip edge under existing shingles provided that the shingles and the underlying wood are both in good shape. Drip edge installation differs depending on where on the roof it’s being installed, so it’s typically best to hire an experienced roofer to perform the installation.

Whether you’re just looking for a drip edge installation or you want to replace your shingles as well, HomeKeepr can help you find a roofer to meet your needs. You can connect with roofers and other pros in your area using the HomeKeepr app, and signing up for a new HomeKeepr account is free. Sign up today to make sure that your roof is properly protected.

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Smart Tags Help You Find the Missing Pieces

Aug 05, 2021 Vincent Russo

Day to day life has a lot of moving parts. Unfortunately, this sometimes makes it a little too easy to misplace some of those things that we use every day. This can be a real hassle, causing you to spend time looking for the various things you need instead of using them. Most smartphones come with a “find my phone” feature, so wouldn’t it be great if everything else had a similar function?

With the advent of smart tags, this is actually possible. These tags make it easy to locate lost items around the home and can even provide extra security against theft or loss while you’re out and about. The specific features and functions depend on the brand of smart tags that you use, but regardless of brand you’ll find that there are some features that are universal.

How Do Smart Tags Work?

Smart tags are small battery-powered devices that you can connect to with a phone or some other smart devices. When you’re looking for an item with a smart tag attached, the smart app can either show the location or cause the tag itself to make a noise to make it easier to find. Items with attached tags that are outside of Bluetooth range can still be tracked using the smart tag app as well. Many smart tags also feature GPS features, and even those that don’t tend to show their location the last time they were detected by the app so that you at least have a starting point in finding them.

Depending on the manufacturer and the specific model of smart tag you’re using, there are a few different ways that you can attach smart tags to items. Some tags are designed to attach to a keyring, carabiner clip, or similar attachment point, while others use adhesive backings to stick directly to objects. Specialized holders for smart tags can also be used to further customize your experience and keep track of the important things in your life.

Using Smart Tags in the Home

There are a wide range of items that you can use smart tags to keep track of around the home. Attaching smart tags to your keys seems like something of a no-brainer, saving you the time it takes to track them down when you’re already running late. Tablets, wireless home phones, remote controls, and purses are also good candidates for the smart tag treatment. Wallets featuring built-in smart tag holders or custom holders shaped like credit cards can make your wallet much easier to find as well.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to finding uses for smart tags in and around the home, however. Small tags can be attached to screwdrivers, hammers, or other tools that see frequent use around the home. Beloved toys can also have a tag attached, giving you an easy way to check that they aren’t left behind when traveling or visiting others on playdates. You can even attach a tag to your phone in case it’s lost, or for some models you can double-press a button on one of the tags and it will ring your phone to help you find it through the app. The usefulness of smart tags is limited only by your needs and your imagination.

Smart Tags to Organize Your Life

By making use of smart tags, you can ensure that items are easy to find and put back where they go. You can even use this as part of a larger overall organizational strategy, setting up specific places for various things and tagging them accordingly. If that sounds like a big task, there are pro organizers out there who can help you get it done. You can even use HomeKeepr to find them! Sign up for a free account today so you can start organizing and tagging your life tomorrow.

#WinWithVin #KWMerrimackValley #KellerWilliams

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Are Awnings Making a Comeback?

Aug 02, 2021 Vincent Russo

Awnings have been around for a long time; examples of awnings date back as far as ancient Egypt, and their use was common in the height of the Roman Empire. Despite their lasting popularity, modern awning use has really dropped off in recent years. Some blame gentrification, others think that it’s just a shift in design sensibilities, but whatever the reason, there haven’t been nearly as many awnings in use for a decade or more.

Is this a continuing trend, or is awning use starting to turn around? What are the reasons that people might want to get awnings? While a lot of the use of awnings comes down to personal preference, here are some of the reasons that awnings fell into disfavor… and why they just might be making a comeback.

Why the Awning Hate?

Once upon a time, awnings were all the rage. This peaked somewhere around the 1950s, where you just about couldn’t find a home or business that didn’t include awnings in any renovation plans that came up. This popularity actually played a large part in their falling out of fashion, however; awnings were so ubiquitous during this period that homes and other buildings that had awnings in place began to appear dated with a “1950’s look” that was contrary to more modern design sensibilities.

A big contributor to this was the way that many awnings of the time were made from either aluminum or fiberglass. Though the materials were popular at the time, they didn’t translate well to changing design aesthetics and ended up being synonymous with older and less popular design styles. More and more remodels opted to remove awnings as a way to update the look of buildings and make them appear more modern, resulting in a slow but steady decline in awning popularity.

Advantages of Awnings

Even though they were becoming less popular year after year, awnings still carried some significant advantages. They provide shade over windows and glass panels in doors, helping to cut back on cooling costs during the summer months. Awnings over doors also serve to block rain and other unwanted precipitation when coming or going or trying to lock or unlock the door. Despite the decreasing popularity of awnings, they also do serve a decorative purpose; much like decorative shutters, they provide a space for color or patterns on what might otherwise be a bland or single-colored wall.

Awnings can do more than protect a doorway or window, too. Larger awnings (especially retractable ones) can also be used to create shaded areas outdoors, covering a patio or otherwise giving you some added room outdoors to grill or lounge without the heat of the direct sun beating down. Some of these awnings may even have cloth screens attached to their supports, giving you a bug-free outdoor space that you can enter and exit easily.

Is It Time for an Awning Renaissance?

While some consider awnings to be a dated look, awnings themselves have actually come a long way since the era that caused so many people to dislike their appearance. A lot of awnings are made from waterproof canvas or other cloth materials these days, providing a more stylistic look that can be printed on or otherwise modified to better accent your home. Gone are the days when awnings were fading eyesores; modern awnings are intended to offer both style and substance, and many are created to be more easily updated or retracted than older versions.

If you want to be part of the awning renaissance, you’re going to need to find the right installer to hook you up with the perfect awnings for your abode. HomeKeepr can help with this; sign up for a free account today, then use the HomeKeepr app to find installers in your area who can hook you up with awnings and other accessories that will transform your home.

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