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As a homeowner, it can sometimes be difficult to stay up-to-date on what's happening in the home improvement industry. Keeping your home in proper working order is important. Use our blog to stay current with new trends, upcoming sales and other important information you need to know.

 

5 Must-Do’s for Fall Home Maintenance

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Is it us, or did summer sprout wings and seriously fly by? In the last few weeks, you were probably busy doing everything but preparing your home for the impending seasons. Don’t worry, you’re not alone- we too went to the pool instead. But now it’s time to buckle down and get our beloved abodes  ready for temperatures (and leaves. and sn*w!) to drop. Below are 5 must-do’s for fall home maintenance, plus a life-changing way to use your Crock Pot.

1. Seal in that air!

high utility bills

Were your cooling bills outrageous this summer? Chances are, your heating bills will be too. Your home may be suffering from cracks, gaps or holes which let unwanted air in, confusing your heating or cooling system and making it work harder. In addition to infiltration, air is also escaping out of those same locations. That means all of that air you spent so much money on heating is well, out the window. If you’re not sure where your air leaks are, call for a free in-home energy assessment where one of our energy experts will identify them for you, and provide recommendations to remedy the issues.

 

2. See how your furnace has been holding up. 

It’s been awhile since that puppy has ran and it’s time for an annual checkup. Like, now.   An annual furnace service is relatively inexpensive (under $100 for most) and if there is a problem, you have time to come up with a solution in mid-range temperatures, instead of below freezing ones.

3. Take a look at the top. 

fall maintenance tips

..Of your house. Two things you don’t want to fail: your roof and your gutters. The weight that snow and ice put on a roof during winter months is not for the weak  or flimsy. Making sure yours can withstand the elements now will save you a lot more money than finding out later. As for gutters, if you don’t have a protection system that keeps those ever-so-beautiful leaves  out during autumn, the relationship with your ladder is about to get real. Ignoring build-up of debris (especially wet debris) in your gutters is not only cause for foundation problems,  it’s also a fire hazard. Think about all of your neighbors using their fire pits outside. Do you ever see little stray ashes that get carried away by a gust of wind? What if one finally settles into your cramped gutter, filled with dry leaves and sticks. Houston, you have a problem.

4. Check  your chimney.

We don’t recommend you  checking your chimney. This is work for the pros, who will come out and inspect the inside and outside as well as clean it out for around $100.  We suggest calling a pro sooner rather than later (while the weather is still on our side). It’d be a crime to be without a warm fire on a cold night just because you forgot to get it cleaned. And certainly do not light one if it hasn’t been checked! Not even the best cackling noise and homemade marshmallows can make up for a house fire.

5. Treat yourself to a new, fabulous lamp for your favorite reading/working room. 

This may not sound like a ‘must-do’, but you’d be surprised how a little light can go a long way. Due to the sun’s position during fall and winter, paired with the short amount of time it’s actually visible, bringing some extra light in with a snazzy new lamp can help brighten your day–get it? If your home feels dark and gloomy, it may start to rub off on you so pick a room you spend most of your time in and add one more lighting fixture. Really want to reward yourself? Buy a new throw or cozy pair of socks and get comfortable. Spring will be here before you know it.

*Our Favorite Pinterest Pick of the Week:

DIY: Apple Cinnamon Potpourri: (Courtesy of creeklinehouse)

Arguably the BEST part of the season, we don’t think you can be fully prepared for fall without filling your home with at lease one of its signature scents. We’re putting the candles aside this year and trying something new: a home-made apple cinnamon potpourri. The best part? If you make it in your Crock Pot, you can let it simmer all day without fear of flames! The second best part? This is the same homemade recipe for applesauce! Seriously, awesome.

fall homemade home scents

What you’ll need:

-8 apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
-1 tablespoon of cinnamon
-4 cups of water
-1 tablespoon of lemon juice
-2 tablespoons of sugar

What to do:

Combine all ingredients into a Crock Pot on low setting and enjoy!

 

 

 

5 Little-Known, Energy-Sucking Culprits

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We know that leaving the lights on in every room of your house, or running the air conditioner non-stop for an entire summer (and sometimes half of fall) is going to smack you in the face when your utility bills inevitably arrive. Most of us make a conscious effort to dial it down on the energy-usage meter in order  to protect ourselves from sticker shock next month, and it probably works. But are you missing some important areas of your home that are serious energy offenders? Below you’ll find a list of 5  little-known, energy-sucking culprits that are likely costing you money.

1. Your Chimney

energy saving tips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noticed a draft in your living room (or whichever room your fireplace is located)? It’s because your chimney lets cold air in during the winter and hot air in during the summer.. a lot of it. ( It’s a giant hole in your ceiling after all). What can you do to fix the unwanted air flow? Capping it will prevent any further air from coming in or out, but it will also prevent you from future use.  Why not try a chimney balloon which is designed to help block air flow, or a a fireplace shield that can be inserted and removed as you please.

 

2.  Small loads of laundry

energy saving tips        

Bigger is better. Wait until you have full load of laundry before you start that washing machine. Washing one full load as opposed to two smaller loads substantially cuts down on the energy used  not only to heat your water, but also to power your washing machine. Who woulda thought?

3. Space.

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No, not that kind of space. The other space. Like the kind between the door and the floor, or the window and the wall.   The more space there is, the more air there is getting in from outside. That unwanted air flow is going to change the temperature of your home, causing your air conditioner (or heater) to work harder. If you’re unsure about your space size– is it too big?– get a free energy evaluation from experts that know the answer to that question and will offer solutions.

4.  An empty attic.

energy saving tips

Don’t worry, we’re not going to make you clean out your attic. By empty, we mean without insulation. Non-insulated attics are robbing you – they’re guilty of letting energy and money escape right out from under your nose (and wallet)!

5. Bare windows.

   energy saving tips              

 

 

 

 

 

 

Window treatments like curtains or blinds absorb the temperature from outside, helping you feel more comfortable inside. That being said, window treatments aren’t going to single-handedly keep the weather out. If your windows aren’t made with solar technology and insulated frames, don’t be surprised if you don’t notice a different after hanging curtains. A bad window with a great curtain is still a bad window! Unsure if your window is a bad window? We can help.

August Shows, Fairs & Fests – IHR Tour Dates

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FESTIVAL 
improveit home remodeling locations

SEASON

Improveit Home Remodeling Cincinnati

ISN’T

Improveit Home Remodeling Dayton

OVER

Improveit Home Remodeling Louisville

YET!

 Call it a traveling show room, community engagement, or a just a chance to eat fair food with our neighbors. Wherever we go we have our experts in tow to help facilitate your home improvement needs. Into winning stuff for free? We also have an annual $45,000 Home Makeover Sweepstakes  you can enter to win in-person or online. (www.improveitusa.com/sweepstakes). See you later!

 

 

IHR To Give Away Ultimate Backyard Prize Pack at 2014 Ohio State Fair

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The Ohio State Fair, one of the largest state fairs in the country, is right around the corner (July 23rd – Aug 3rd) and we are officially announcing this year’s Grand Prize Giveaway!

Each year, one lucky fair go-er is the winner of a big grand prize. Past prizes have included a 52″ LCD  TV, or motorized scooter– but this year we’re going even bigger with a Backyard Prize Pack. Complete with a 4-burner gas grill, fire pit, cookware, cook books, picnic essentials and bbq tools & accessories, this prize pack has everything you need to celebrate summer in your own backyard.

 

fire pit and lightinglemonade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
The Ultimate Backyard Prize Pack includes: 

32 ” FIRE PIT & LIGHTING 4- BURNER GAS GRILL • 

10 PC. COOKWARE SETTOOLS & ACCESSORIESRECIPE BOOKS

PICNIC ESSENTIALS

and more!  

4 burner gas grill

cooking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homeowners can enter to win this incredible Backyard Prize Pack simply by stopping by our booth at any time during the duration of the Ohio State Fair and filling out an entry form. The only thing that’s better about how simple that is, is this: Entering to win our prize pack automatically enters you into our annual $45,000 Home Makeover Sweepstakes for a chance to win a home makeover of your choice! Long story short: 1 entry = a chance to win TWO amazing prizes! — We’ll see ya there.

*Can’t make it to The Fair this year? You can still enter to win our Sweepstakes @ www.improveitusa.com/sweepstakes

July Festivals Are Here! -IHR Tour Dates

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July Festivals mean a jam-packed month of fun with great people that make up the communities we serve! We’ve got a busy month ahead & we can’t wait! Check out the dates below and hopefully we’ll see you soon!
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