Pierre C. Rumpf's Blog
Downsizing appears to be a common theme among Baby Boomers as they transition from family life and professional pursuits to retirement. Not all members of this generation are willing to give up the spacious and beautiful homes to which they've grown accustomed, however. As some downsize, others are on the hunt for upgrades that will make their lives more convenient while also infusing every day with additional elements of luxury. Whether these upgrades are incorporated in existing homes undergoing renovation or sought out in new purchases, they can make a real difference in the lives of active Baby Boomers. The following are among the most commonly pursued upgrades:
Clever Storage And Shelving Solutions
Aging homeowners are not particularly enthused about straining or bending over to reach essentials in kitchens or other practical spaces. The storage solutions they were willing to abide by in the past may no longer cut it. Thankfully, modern storage options now take limited mobility and other concerns into account.
Solutions such as slide-out shelving allow for easier access. Likewise, the Lazy Susan is in the midst of a much-deserved revival. Adjustments to cabinet and counter height can also make a huge difference in the lives of senior homeowners.
Walk-In Showers or Tubs
Bathroom layouts that once seemed reasonable now strike many Baby Boomers as highly impractical. Many hope that this space will serve as a peaceful retreat, in which they can enjoy their own personal oasis. This spa-like feeling is impossible to accomplish if the mere act of getting in and out of the shower requires extensive effort. Hence, the current popularity of accessible showers and tubs, which remove steps or curbs that might otherwise get in the way.
Modern tubs and showers often include non-slip flooring, railing, or built-in seats. Even if not currently needed, these features provide valuable peace of mind to Baby Boomers who worry about navigating their homes in the event of illness or injury.
Some Baby Boomers prefer to trade in their large family homes for smaller residences. Others, however, recognize that they can still make use of extra space — and that their need for several rooms may return in the near future.
Flex spaces allow Boomers to use extra rooms as they see fit, while also providing the possibility of a swift change, should the need arise. Homeowners may use these rooms to pursue hobbies or kick back with friends, but they also enjoy the solace of knowing that such spaces can become guest rooms, offices, or other essentials when warranted.
While Baby Boomers appreciate sleek and sophisticated finishes, they are most interested in the convenient arrangements that will allow them to make the most of homeownership in years to come. Those who think beyond traditional retirement housing solutions can enjoy a wonderful way of life during their golden years.
The benefits of having an outdoor heater cannot be over-emphasized as it significantly impacts the amount of time you spend enjoying your outdoor space during colder weather. There are critical factors to consider when choosing the right outdoor heater.
The Location of The Outdoor Heater
To determine which type of outdoor heating you need, first, decide where you plan to use the heater. Will it be stationary or moved around your property? With this information in hand, you can choose the outdoor heating that best suits your expectations and your criteria.
For example, if you want an outdoor heater installed on the terrace of your garden, patio, gazebo, or other fixed places and don’t plan to move it often, consider opting for an inline gas patio heater. If you like the flames of a gas unit but need it to be portable, opt for a freestanding LP unit. These are heavier and more stable.
If you are looking for a light, space-saving, easily transportable and CO2-free outdoor heating system, then choosing an electric patio heater, an electric heating parasol or a fire pit is best.
The Power of Outdoor Heating
It is crucial to consider the power source of the outdoor heater and its manufacturing material. Be aware that outdoor gas heaters generally produce more heat than electric heaters but are slower in rising in temperature. On the other hand, electric outdoor heaters heat up nearly instantly. For materials, choose stainless steel if you live near the sea or in the mountains to protect against corrosion. Also, note that vertical heat tends to provide more comfort than horizontal units.
Radiation of Outdoor Heating
Different outdoor heaters have a specific range or heating area for which they. Let the surface or area you want to heat influence the choice of your outdoor heating: small garden furniture, dining terrace, large garden furniture, and so forth. For example, an outdoor gas heater is more suitable if the area to be heated is large. Guarantee your outdoor enjoyment by having a professional review your needs to see if a permanent installation (gas or electric) or a mobile option will better meet your needs.
Always remember to protect your outdoor heater from moisture, dust, rain, or ice. Visit your local patio or outdoor living specialty store to explore your options. If outdoor living is important to you, make sure to let your agent know so that homes with exterior entertainment space take priority in your viewing schedule.
If you have the opportunity to design and build your own home, you have the freedom to compile the features you desire and join them together into the perfect house. As you work together with a builder or architect, you may find that some details need to be cut from your plan to stay within budget. Even if you’re unable to complete everything immediately, it is wise to lay the groundwork for future improvements. Here are two major features you should plan for during the building process.
You may not be able to finish your basement as a game room or den right away. If your builder knows how you plan to use the space in the future, they can build in components that will make that transition easier to work through. If you are planning a walk-out basement, build the framing for an exterior door. If you plan to add a washing machine, utility sink or bathroom to your basement, running electricity and plumbing during initial construction can get you set up for success.
Installing solar panels will help you save on home utility costs over time, but the initial purchase can be a considerable expense. If you know you will add solar paneling to your home at some point, prepare for it by running electrical in your attic and roofing now. Invest in a solid roof structure so you can manage minimal upkeep and keep your roof in shape for adding in the panels when you’re ready.
If you can’t afford some of the home features you desire during your initial build don’t just forget about them completely. Always speak to your builder about what you want and get their advice on cost-saving measures you can take now to set yourself up for augmenting your home after the build is complete.
Your dishwasher is one of the best appliances that you own. It saves you tons of time and aggravation from hand-washing all of the dishes each and every night after dinner. It’s not an appliance that we replace often, so you need to make sure that we maintain it correctly in order to get a good lifespan out of your investment. Taking good care of your appliances can also help to keep up the value of your home when you go to sell it. Homebuyers prefer to have appliances that are updated and well maintained. Below, you’ll find some tips for extending the life of your dishwasher. You may not think that an item that cleans needs to be cleaned itself, but there’s plenty of things that you can do to keep your dishwasher clean and working well in order to have sparkling dishes.
Load It And Use It
This may seem obvious, but it’s important to actually use your dishwasher. Running cycles regularly can help you to keep the machine running smoothly and keep away debris and food particles. If you don’t have a full load, try and run the dishwasher at least every other day. You’ll save money and energy if you wait to run the washer on a full load, so don’t overdo it. You just don’t want to go a week or more without running the dishwasher, as it will allow a lot of buildup to occur, making the dishwasher work harder to clean the dishes that are loaded in it.
To keep the washer running effectively, you’ll want to always load it correctly according to the guidelines for your particular dishwasher. For a thorough clean, use a commercial dishwasher cleaner from time to time when you run the washer on its own without any dishes in it. This will keep a stench from building up and allow your dishes to clean more thoroughly.
Scrape Food Debris
Although your dishwasher and the detergent are equipped to get rid of food debris, scraping food off of plates prior to loading them into the dishwasher can help to prevent damage and maintain proper drainage from the washer itself. The dishes will also come out of the cycle a bit cleaner than if you have left a ton of food and sauce debris on your plates. Scraping the food rather than pre-rinsing the dishes also is a good way to conserve water. While pre-rinsing your dishes may seem like a good idea, over the life of your dishwasher, you can save tens of thousands of gallons of water.
When everyday people take out a homeowners' insurance policy, there is an expectation that you enjoy secure coverage in the event of a loss. That sigh of relief many people experience when signing off on a policy may be an illusion, to some extent. That’s because not every severe weather event is covered in standard policies.
If you are not mindful of what losses are covered, as well as those that are not, you could find yourself paying to repair catastrophic damage out-of-pocket. In order to avoid a personal financial tragedy on top of a damaged home, consider the following facts about severe weather damage, and promptly check your policy.
1: Severe Wind Damage Usually Covered
Standard homeowners policies generally cover damage caused by high winds. This may include tornadoes and hurricanes in many areas of the country. Policies often include structural damage, such as roofs and siding, among others. And, most will pay for losses such as personal items, fencing and even automobiles if you bundle your insurance. The caveat is that areas prone to hurricanes and tornadoes, such as the Gulf Coast and Southwest, frequently charge a premium to include a severe wind rider.
2: Damage From Hail Can Be Tricky
Although the majority of policies routinely cover hail damage, it’s not unusual to have an additional deductible on such claims. That’s because hail damage to roofs, automobiles and others rank among the most prevalent claims. Insurance companies are acutely aware of profits and losses.
3: Lightning Strikes Tend To Be Standard
Although the odds of you personally being struck by lightning are approximately 1 in 280,000, the chances of your home being hit are far greater. Upwards of 25 million lightning strokes touch ground in the U.S. each year, from about 100,000 thunderstorms. According to some math whizzes, the calculable odds come in at 1 in 200 homes annually. In reality, a reported 77,898 claims were filed in 2018, averaging $11,668 in losses. The good news is that insurance overwhelming covers lightning hits and any fire damage that ensues.
4: Consider “Flood Insurance” A Catch-All Phrase
If you live in a flood plain or nearby one, adding a flood insurance rider can be a significant additional expense. Even policies for homes outside a flood-prone area generally do not cover such damage without a rider. But what’s unique about flood insurance is that it may be lumped in with damage caused by water pipes that burst in your home. In terms of the way people generally think about “floods,” that is not a common understanding. It’s also important to note that insurance adjusters may reject such claims if they find evidence that proper upkeep measures were not taken.
5: Sewer Backups Caused By Heavy Rain May Not Be Fully Covered
Although plenty of policies cover the damage caused by the sewer backing up, they often do not cover replacing sewer lines and other items associated with the system. Replacing a sewer can routinely cost upwards of $20,000. It may be in your best interest to review that area of your policy and increase coverage.
Obviously, severe weather coverage can be complicated, and it’s difficult for the average homeowner to wade through the technical language used in today’s policies. Yes, they are widely written by attorneys and rife with legal jargon. But it’s crucial to your home, family and financial future to have the secure severe weather coverage you deserve. It may be time to dive into that policy and ask questions about what’s in it and what’s not. After that, you may genuinely be able to enjoy that sigh of relief.