Congrats to Creative Floors for participating in a Military Home Makeover

13709882_10206953941951883_3182608948319751377_nCreative Floors partnered with Armstrong to participate in the Military Home Makeover! We are installing Vivero vinyl plank! I to ace laminate and vinyl installers were being filmed installing the floor. This flooring was selected because we had to find something we could install over ceramic tile, something that would install relatively quickly and people could walk on it right away. There are so many crews working in the house simultaneously and only three days to do the complete makeover, this floor made the perfect choice!

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Home Improvement Referral Services may ruin more than your day

bewareCharlie DePari, the host of WFLA’s Home Improvement Show is always cautioning home owners to do their homework and to make sure you hire a licensed contractor that is properly insured with employees that are FULLY background checked. It is also why ASK THE SEAL is an important part of WFLA’s Home Improvement Show. Ask The Seal is FREE to homeowners and they go above and beyond to only work with pros that meet their high standards.

WFTV recently did an investigative report that called out Home Advisers and Thumbtack who claim to vet the contractors they list, but it appears to be just marketing talk and no real vetting is going on. They seem to be just collecting fees from any so-called-contractor willing to pay for home improvement leads.

Click here to see WFTV’s video report here.

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Hurricane Season, be prepared

State of Florida Guide June 4, 2016

The Essential Guide to Hurricane Preparedness

hurricanereadyThe Hurricane Season began June 1st. Knowing the essentials of how to prepare could truly be a life saver.

Hurricane Knowledge

First, know your hurricane facts and understand common terms used during hurricane forecasts. Storm conditions can vary on the intensity, size and even the angle which the tropical cyclone approaches your area, so it is vital you understand what the forecasters and news reporters are telling you.

Tropical Depressions are cyclones with winds of 38 mph. Tropical Storms vary in wind speeds from 39-73 mph while Hurricanes have winds 74 mph and greater. Typically the upper right quadrant of the storm (the center wrapping around the eye) is the most intense portion of the storm. The greatest threats are damaging winds, storm surge and flooding. This is in part why Hurricane Katrina was so catastrophic when bringing up to 28 foot storm surges onto the Louisiana and Mississippi coastlines.

Here are some important terms you may hear:

  • Tropical Storm Watch: Tropical storm conditions are possible in the area.
  • Hurricane Watch: Hurricane conditions are possible in the area.
    Watches are issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical storm force winds.
  • Tropical Storm Warning: Tropical storm conditions are expected in the area.
  • Hurricane Warning: Hurricane conditions are expected in the area.
    Warnings are issued 36 hours in advance of tropical storm force winds.
  • Eye: Clear, sometimes well-defined center of the storm with calmer conditions.
  • Eye Wall: Surrounding the eye, contains some of the most severe weather of the storm with the highest wind speed and largest precipitation.
  • Rain Bands: Bands coming off the cyclone that produce severe weather conditions such as heavy rain, wind and tornadoes.
  • Storm Surge: An often underestimated and deadly result of ocean water swelling as a result of a landfalling storm, and quickly flooding coastal and sometimes areas further inland.

During a watch, prepare your home and evacuation plan in case a warning is issued. During a warning, carefully follow the directions of officials, and immediately leave the area if they advise it. In the event of an Extreme Wind Warning/Advisory, which means that extreme sustained winds of 115 mph or greater are expected to begin within an hour, immediately take shelter in the interior portion of a well-built structure.

Hurricane Forecasts

Predicting a tropical cyclone’s path can be challenging; there are many global and local factors that come into play. The storm’s size and path can directly influence what sort of wind patterns guide, enhance or hinder its growth, and vice versa! Forecasters have computers that take huge amounts of data and try to predict where the storm will go and usually can calculate 2-3 days out fairly accurately. This is where you hear the terms computer models and spaghetti models being used. Generally the forecast track or path is given with the average consensus of these models. The National Hurricane Center has the most up-to-date information on tropical cyclone developments, forecasts and weather alerts, discussions analyzing the data and more. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

Hurricane Names

Hurricane names are picked randomly, then rotated and recycled every 6 years. If a hurricane was catastrophic or severely deadly and costly (i.e. Charlie, Katrina, Irene) it is officially retired since use is not appropriate and can be confusing when naming current storms. To view the current list of tropical cyclone names click here: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames.shtml

Hurricane Kits

It is important to create a kit of supplies that you could take with you if you are forced to evacuate. This kit will also be useful if you are able to stay in your home, but are still affected by the storm, such as through the loss of power. One common trend seen when hurricanes are approaching is a wide-spread panic. When this happens, people rush in large numbers to get all the supplies they think they need. However, if you prepare your kit ahead of time, you can alleviate a lot of the potential stress of a very chaotic situation. You should create your kit in a bag that you can easily take with you. Some recommended items to include are:

  • Non-perishable food (enough to last at least 3 days)
  • Water (enough to last at least 3 days)
  • First-aid kit (include any prescription medication you may need)
  • Personal hygiene items and sanitation items
  • Flashlights (have extra batteries on hand)
  • Battery operated radio (again, have extra batteries)
  • Waterproof container with cash and important documents
  • Manual can opener
  • Lighter or matches
  • Books, magazines, games for recreation
  • Special needs items: pet supplies and baby supplies if applicable
  • Cooler and ice packs
  • A plan for evacuation and for if family members are separated

Securing Your Home

Know how to secure your home in the event of damaging winds, storm surge and flooding.

  • Cover all of your windows, either with hurricane shutters or wood.
  • Although tape can prevent glass from shattering everywhere, be warned that tape does not prevent the window from breaking.
  • If possible, secure straps or clips to securely fasten your roof to the structure of your home.
  • Make sure all trees and shrubs are trimmed and clear rain gutters.
  • Reinforce your garage doors.
  • Bring in all outdoor furniture, garbage cans, decorations, and anything else that is not tied down.
  • If winds become strong, stay away from windows and doors and close, secure and brace internal doors.

Power Outages

In the event a storm should leave you without power, there are a few things to consider and help you be ready and stay safe outside of your normal hurricane preparedness.

  • Gas: Make sure your tank is full far in advance of an approaching storm. Most people wait until the last minute, rush to get extra gas for cars and generators, and subsequently gas stations can run out early.
  • ATMS: Have extra cash on hand in the event no ATMS in your area are accessible or working.
  • Cell Phones: Charge your cell phone and limit use after power is out.
  • A/C: This can be the most uncomfortable side effect of losing power during a storm. Try to prevent as much light from entering and warming the house by covering up your windows on the inside. If you have back-up or battery operated fans, don’t run them unless you are in the room. Fans create a difference in perceived temperature but do not cool the room; instead they create a cooling effect by dispersing the heat off your skin. It is said they can actually add heat to a room just by running.
  • Water: Fill bathtub and large containers with water for washing and flushing only.
  • Food: Turn your fridge temperature down and/or freeze any food or drinking water that can be frozen if you expect a power outage. Here is a guide on freezing food: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FactSheets/Focus_On_Freezing/index.asp. Have a cooler with ice packs prepared to cool your drinks and snacks after power has been out for more than 4 hours. And importantly, check out this food safety guide for when to discard your perishable food: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/refridg_food.html
  • Health/Safety: The CDC has a great guide on how to stay safe in the event of a power outage: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/poweroutage/

Remember, any severe storm can be deadly and destructive. If you’ve survived a landfilling cyclone, you know the inconvenience and distress it can cause. One of the best tips to be prepared is knowing the cycle of a cyclone – Approach, Arrival & Aftermath. Prepare ahead of time and listen to the directions of officials for the approach. Secure your home, or find a safe shelter for its arrival, and know how to proceed safely during the aftermath.

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Welcome our new sponsor – Baxter Windows and Doors

WFLA’s Home Improvement Show welcomes our new door and window experts

logo_baxter-windows-hi-res.png-e1379881025962

407-930-1599

Showroom open Monday – Friday: 9:00am – 5:00pm – Call Ahead to Schedule a Visit

102 Drennen Road Suite B11 & B12, Orlando, FL

Visit Baxter Windows online. Click here.

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A little laughter in anticipation of April Fools Day, Home Improvement Style

Check out these creative Mail Boxes–let us know if you have a favorite.

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2016 Federal Income Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency

Take advantage of the tax credits available to homeowners in 2016–even retroactive for 2015 purchases

energystar-logoA number of tax credits for residential energy efficiency have been renewed.  These tax credits are available for purchases made in 2016, as well as retroactive to purchases made in 2015.  ENERGY STAR products eligible for tax credits are independently certified to save energy, save money and protect the environment.  Use up to 30% less energy in your home by outfitting it with ENERGY STAR products available across more than 70 categories.

Learn more here.

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Saving Money on Energy this year

Duke Energy March 2016remodeling costs

With cooling systems working harder to handle rising temperatures, summer is the ideal time to focus on ways to save energy, and save money on cooling.

  • Set your thermostat on the highest comfortable setting. If you’re leaving for the day, turn it up a couple of degrees. Don’t turn your cooling system off unless you’ll be gone for an extended period of time.
  • Clean or change your filters monthly. Dirty filters can increase operating costs.
  • Use a ceiling fan or portable fan to supplement your air conditioning. A fan can make you feel three to four degrees cooler so you can set your thermostat a few degrees higher and save on cooling costs. Use in occupied rooms since fans cool people, not rooms.
  • Switch your central air conditioning to “auto” for better cooling and humidity control and costs you less than keeping the system switched “on” continuously.
  • Close blinds, drapes and shades during the hottest part of the day to keep the sun’s rays from heating your house.
  • Choose a high-efficiency AC with a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 14 or greater. Not only will your AC be more efficient, you could also be eligible for a rebate up to $350.
  • Closely monitor older air conditioning equipment – especially temperature settings, hours of operation and filter condition.
  • Sign up for EnergyWise Home℠, a free program that can pay you over $147 a year to help manage Florida’s energy use.
  • Properly insulate your home. In existing homes, wall insulation may be too expensive to install, so concentrate on attic and floor insulation. In Florida aim for the following insulation levels:
    • Ceiling: R-19 or R-30
    • Wall: R-11 in frame wall, R-5 in CBS walls
    • Floor: R-11 (suspended frame only)
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