Archives for Boise Home Services

Boise: GOT JUNK? Get Rid Of It!!

Posted by Boise Home Helper on May 4, 2016

Commercial and Residential CleanupOk Treasure Valley, the temperatures are getting down right unseasonably warm ( Scott Dorval said so! ) and that means Spring cleaning is quickly becoming Summer Scrambling in order to get everything tidied up before the busy hot months ahead. Soccer games, football, dance, and then heaven forbid you have company – you don’t want them seeing the actual conditions you live in! – when are you ever going to find time to get rid of all the stuff that’s been piling up over Winter?!

Don’t Panic! Just Holler!

Junk Holler is 100% Boise Builders Group approved! Whether you just have a lot of stuff that needs hauled away, have old appliances to remove, or even have things to recycle or donate to charity Junk Holler can help! They do more than just grab and trash your stuff – they offer recycling and donation services for all the items they pick up so you can be sure that you’re being conscientious about your disposal. See all the items they take here!

Here are just a few of their residential junk removal services:

Attic Cleanout
Barn & Shed Cleanout
Basement Cleanout
Estate Cleanout
Garage Cleanout
Garage & Yard Sale Cleanup
Hoarding Cleanout
Senior Services
Storage Unit Cleanout

Their helpful crew will do all the work to remove your unwanted items, while you sit back and watch your piles of junk disappear. We will not only do all the heavy lifting and loading but also leave no mess behind. You can feel good knowing that we apply environmentally responsible practices that recycle or donate your unwanted items whenever possible.
Schedule your pickup online or by calling (208) 899-4000.

Boise Video Production: It’s About Time!

Posted by Boise Home Helper on April 6, 2016

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One of the things that’s great about being part of such a diverse group of home service providers
is that you get the opportunity to be exposed to a number of interesting industries, their little unique quirks, and the people that work hard to make those industries great. As almost all businesses need some kind of advertising this also means that we get to learn about any number of inventive ways to market your business – and that means getting to meet the people that make that magic happen.

 

One such person is Jake from Tick Tock Media Productions! We were recently privileged to meet this young man and learn more about what his company does to help other businesses put their best foot forward when stepping out in front of their audience. Jake himself has worked in video production for over10 years, has history as producer with a local news channel, but knew that he wanted to do more and have more creative control.

 

Tick Tock Media Productions was the solution! In business now for 4 years they’ve already done work with the travel channel and ESPN; also specialize in audio production and motion graphics.

 

“We know people are tired of the same old advertising…”, he said in a recent talk with our group. “We want to make videos that are FUN and get people excited!”

 

Not sold on video for your business? Consider these benefits of video:
Video can tell your story in an interesting and eye catching way.
Video helps keep people on your site or social media profile.
Video stands out online – being one of the most viewed forms of media.

 

Ready to take your advertising to the next level?
Talk to Tick Tock Media Productions! They provide great ideas, production, and direction for videos so don’t worry if you know you need video but don’t know what to shoot.

 

Find them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TickTockMediaProduction
Visit their website to see their work! http://ticktockmp.com/

BOISE: Winter is Coming!

Posted by Boise Home Helper on November 2, 2015

home winterization in boiseThe Winter heating season is already underway; for many in the Northwest this year means even higher energy costs. Heating costs can make up 45% of your Winter energy bill. Hefty energy bills don’t have to dampen your holiday season however! Here are some great tips to help you save on staying warm during the cold months.

First, do an energy audit. You can do this yourself by taking a look at your energy bill and thinking of ways that you can cut back on non-heat related costs. This may be as simple as unplugging electronics that aren’t in use, or turning off lights in rooms that you’re not going to be using.

Set the thermostat at 68 when you are home; even lower if you are not going to be home. Don’t let it slip below 58 degrees if you live in a really cold area. By just setting the temperature a little lower for a few hours a day you can save over 10% on your bill in most cases.

Set the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees to cut back on heat lost to the environment. Heating water can account up to 18% of your energy bill so it’s good to insulate your water heater and also any pipes that carry hot water as well.

Seal up air leaks. Use a candle to test windows for drafts. If you find a draft you can seal the edges of windows with caulking or spray foam depending on the size of the leak. Also consider under door sweeps for exterior doors.

Window glass can be a big reason your home loses heat. Clear windows on the South side of your home to let as much natural light and heat in as possible. If you don’t have double paned windows, you can also keep drapes closed or use a window insulation kit to help keep cold air from coming in from the outside.

Don’t hesitate to contact a local handyman or home service provider to ask them for advice on improving your home efficiency, in some cases they will have tips that can help, or you can even hire them to come and fix the issues for you.

Saving pennies can make sense in the long run! Don’t get all heated up over high energy bills this Winter!

Get Your Mind In The Gutter!

Posted by Boise Home Helper on September 1, 2015

gutters
They are easy to forget.
They’re just kind of “there” on your house, up high, where you don’t really give them much mind, and since we don’t get a lot of rain here in Idaho they are even easier to not think about.

Truth be told however your gutters provide an important function when it comes to keeping your home safe from the elements. Gutters serve two main purposes: to keep water from gathering on your roof and to divert water away from the foundation of your home – and if they are clogged or not in working order you could be looking at some costly repairs later on.

Possible consequences of poorly function gutters include:

Foundation Damage
When water accumulates around the base of your home it can cause foundation and even structural damage. As water sits around your foundation, especially over the seasons, it can cause cracks to form in the foundation, and if not remedied even cause the concrete to crumble. This could not only cause flooding in basements and crawlspaces but could even cause structural damage to the house, costing thousands.

Mold Growth
Clogged gutters can cause water to accumulate and moisture to stay close to the eaves of your home and attic spaces, making prime conditions for mold growth to take hold. Fungi and other growth can weakened not only shingles but even the roof itself, causing leaks and allowing mold to penetrate your roof space to grow inside your home. Mold is difficult to deal with once it takes hold and may require you to hire a professional.

Roof Repairs
When gutters aren’t clear and working properly water has no place to go and can accumulate on your roof. If neglected long enough water accumulation can cause surface decay as well as damage to shingles and structure. It’s easy to overlook with such long dry seasons here in Idaho, but a clogged gutter can lead to a much more costly repair – even a roof replacement – if left unchecked long enough.

Landscape Damage
Erosion is one of the biggest, most frequent kinds of damage you will see from a non-functioning gutter. If a gutter is clogged it can overrun, or if the downspouts are not open or connected, water can dump down with a lot of force eroding the ground. This problem can lead to large puddles in the corners of your home, standing water rife for mosquito breeding, and even loss of lawn or other decorative plants. Make sure your gutters drain properly or install water spout catches to disperse water over an area rather than letting it drill into the ground digging a hole.

Gutter guards can help cut down on how often you need to clean your gutters but the best bet is to get them serviced regularly as the seasons change. All Valley Window Cleaning does more than keep your windows sparkling clean – they also offer pressure washing services for your home or business as well as great gutter cleaning and maintenance! Contact Kevin at All Valley Window Cleaning 208-323-6187 today!

Bugs in Boise?

Posted by Boise Home Helper on June 22, 2015

bugban
Yep! It’s Summer time in Idaho, people!
And while be close to nature is something most locals love as part of living in our great state that appreciation ends when the outdoors find their way IN!

 

Nobody likes bugs in their home! And with a somewhat wet Spring and early warm temperatures the creepy crawlies are out in full force! So, you can spend a lot of money and try to do it yourself – using all kinds of chemicals that really don’t tell you how hazardous they can be to your family and pets – and STILL maybe have problems with bugs all year…or you can just call Bob.

 

Bob Mitchell is the owner of Capitol Pest Management in Boise; they have been fighting the bugs for nearly two decade here in Idaho. They can help you rid your home or business of pests quickly; even offer on-going maintenance programs to help keep those nasties from coming back. They understand the equipment and solutions they use so you don’t have to worry about your kids and pets!

 

No matter what your type of problem may be Capitol Pest Management knows more about bugs than you will ever want to – including how to get rid of them.

 

boise pest control

Capitol Pest Management
(208)368.9855
www.capitolpest.net

Retire In Boise?

Posted by Boise Home Helper on March 2, 2015

502438_29751262Baby Boomers have always had a big impact on American culture no matter what stage in their lives they are at; it’s not likely that will change any time soon – even as they move into retirement age.

That being the case many seniors today are changing the way they retire, and where they retire too. More and more frequently we’re seeing people looking to retire not to the sleepy little one stop light towns as they had in previous generations, but instead there has been an explosion in those looking for more amenities in bigger cities.

 

This shift in living is expected to continue with city life becoming even more appealing as we approach the next decade, especially considering the number of Americans over age 50 is expected to triple in the next ten years. Before long it won’t be seniors that are adapting to city life, but rather cities adapting to how seniors want to live! Even today there are a number of reasons why a little bigger city might be appealing, for instance:

 

Educational Opportunity
The Baby Boomer generation is big on keeping boredom at bay, and one way to do that is by keeping your mental facilities strong and growing. Larger metro areas definitely offer more opportunities to take courses just for learning sake, or for those who missed their chance earlier in life to complete their greater education.

 

Public Transportation
In many cases seniors living in more rural areas may lose their ability to drive and become more dependent on family or others to take care of themselves. Even if physical issues aren’t a problem the cost of owning a vehicle and keeping it running well are often daunting if you are on a fixed income. With more access to city provided transportation seniors can regain some of that lost independence and also save travel costs.

 

Better Health
Many larger cities will be able to provide a larger selection of health care providers, including specialists, and a greater number of therapy options. Should you have a medical emergency you can also count on a faster response in the city than you might if you were far out in the wilds.

 

Shopping shopping shopping!
Cities obviously will have a larger number of businesses to choose from no matter what you might be shopping for; let’s be honest, sometimes we aren’t shopping for anything except to see what there is! Whether it’s a chic boutique, or something so simple as your daily groceries, chances are if you are in the city you will be closer to the source for whatever kind of goods you may need.

 

Staying Social
Establishing a good circle of friends and social resources is crucial to a satisfying retirement life. Staying active, and interacting with others can help prevent depression, loss of health, and generally promotes a greater enjoyment of living. City life not only offers more social activities like theaters, plays, and get togethers but it is also usually much easier to grow your social circle and meet new friends when there is a larger community of individuals to mingle with.

 

Housing
Without a doubt there are more homes to choose from in the city. Whereas most rural communities have not only a limited type and number of living spaces they also generally have fewer rental homes and retirement living centers as well. More metro areas will have not only more places to choose from on the whole but most of those places will offer more features as well like property management, so maintaining your new home won’t be an added hassle.

 

Have you considered retiring in Boise? It is a wonderful place to live, work, and play! Not so big of a city to be intimidating, and not so small of a town that you have to worry about doing without, the City of Tree’s has an endless number of great resources for today’s active senior.

A-Max Hardwood : Featured Boise Pro!

Posted by Boise Home Helper on February 2, 2015

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This month we are showcasing A-max Hardwood Floors as our featured Boise pro!
They provide a number of flooring maintenance, repair, and installation services throughout the Treasure Valley; excel through their attention to detail and quality.

For instance, more than just basic hardwood refinishing they have an innovative method that keeps your home much cleaner during and after the work is done – and even provide an additional separate “dust free” cleaning service. They also use a superior three coat finish and offer greener, more eco-friendly options as well.

We were impressed recently to learn more about their new UV floor curing method that according to them can not only shorten the overall curing time but also make it a much more efficient process. Here is a quote of some of the advantages direct from their Boise Hardwood Floor website:

Ultra Violet floor coatings for hardwood have a few main features that put the other acid cure, waterbased, polys, or oil finishes behind in the race. These qualities are:

  • Instantly cured to be walk on and used
  • 2-3x lifespan of water based products
  • 100% healthy with no toxicity after it is UV cured
  • Very low VOC on application (40-50 VOC!)
  • Very clear to allow you to see the grain of the wood as intended

 

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the A-max team and encourage you to get in touch with them for all your hardwood needs.

 

Contact A-Max Hardwood
Allan Jerman, Owner: 208-724-3827
www.a-maxhardwood.com
email address: info@a-maxhardwood.com

Winter Driving Safety in Idaho

Posted by Boise Home Helper on November 15, 2014

Winter Driving Safety

Winter has arrived here in our valley a bit earlier than expected! The first big storm of the season has already left a surprising amount of snow on the ground and local ski escapes like Bogus Basin are looking at opening earlier than they have in almost 50 years!

With holiday trips to see friends and family as well as outings to take care of the Christmas shopping being things most of us won’t be able to avoid – not to mention just getting around in the day to day and going to work – driver safety is a very important item to consider.

Here are a few tips to help you be prepared:

Stay Home
Easier said than done at times, but if the weather is bad you may really need to think twice as to whether going out is truly necessary. Sometimes just staying at home is the best, safest, way to avoid trouble.

Keep It Serviced
If your car needs repairs get them done now rather than later. Breaking down in the warm months is no big deal; you can walk to get help or just wait for help to come. In Winter this may not be possible and may even be a danger in and of itself. It’s a good idea to have your vehicle winterized and to make sure the battery and electrical systems are all working properly.

Some good general maintenance tips include:
Making sure your windshield wipers are in good condition and working.

Making sure your windshield wiper fluid is full ( of fluid, NOT water ).

Making sure your gas tank is at minimum half full at all times.

Keep a bag of sand or cat litter in your trunk – this is good not only for if you get stuck but also to add a little extra weight to your vehicle.

Always keep a blanket or two as well as some clean drinking water and snacks in the vehicle in case you do get stranded somewhere for an extended time.

Go Slow
If you absolutely can not avoid going out the best thing to do is go slow. Four wheel drive is great for keeping you on the road while you are moving but does absolutely nothing to help if you are stopping on the ice. Slow down, plan ahead for even short trips to take a lot longer, and leave early if need be.

Living in the Northwest can be challenging over the long Winter, but it’s one of the things we endure to enjoy the rugged beauty of our state. If you take precautions and stay prepared there is no reason why the snowy months can’t be safe and enjoyable.

Idaho: Is Your Home Ready for Winter?

Posted by Boise Home Helper on September 12, 2014

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Fall in Idaho and Washington are beautiful things!
The firey touch of color in the hills, the cool crisp mornings. But it won’t be long before the really cold weather start’s rolling in; so it’s important to get your home ready for the long chilly months that are on their way!

We’ve put together a quick checklist to help you keep your heating bills down this winter and also make your home warmer and safer for your loved ones. Check out these ideas!

Things for Indoors:

Saving energy is good, but make sure the temperature doesn’t get below 55 in the house, even when you are not home. This will help keep pipes from freezing and also save you the cost of re-warming the house when you get in.

It doesn’t hurt to leave the cupboard under a sink open in extremely cold tempatures – this lets warm air get in to keep water going. Though wasteful of water you can also leaving the faucet just dripping or trickling a little too.

Change the heating/air filters monthly – this can make a big difference in heating costs!

Make sure any attic access is closed and has a good seal.

Things for Outdoors:

Make sure all foundation vents are closed long before the snow flies!

Keep gutters cleaned – if they are clogged with leaves water can freeze and overflow or the extra weight can cause them to weaken.

Take a look at the seals around your windows and doors. Keep warm air in and cold air out can save you a bundle!

And of course: wrap or insulated outside pipes and hose bibs.

Do you have your Fall/Winter checklist all ready to go?
Got more items on that list than you can handle? We can help! Take a look at our Idaho Home Service Providers to find the home professional that’s right for you! From Window Cleaning to Carpet Installation, Heating and Cooling and more – we’ve got the experts you need to get the job done!

Boise Home Help: Water Stain Removal

Posted by Boise Home Helper on April 7, 2014

All ValleyBy Kevin Kelso of All Valley Window Cleaning
BoiseNampaWindowCleaning.com

There are many ways to ruin your windows. Every year I am called to try to remedy window cleaning problems due to a lack of knowledge by the homeowner.

One common problem I run into are homes in which the homeowner took it upon himself to clean his windows by hosing them down. He has seen window cleaning companies who pressure wash windows, so he figures he can save some money by doing the same.

What he does not know is that window cleaning companies who pressure wash windows use specially treated water that has no hard solids in it. The water is usually treated by running it through de-ionization tanks or by reverse osmosis. Tap water in the Treasure Valley is laden with iron and calcium carbonate and other solids that will dry on your windows, leaving a milky appearance.

Other homeowners are simply plagued by sprinklers leaving hard water residue when the wind blows sprinkler water onto the glass.

However the stain gets there, it is important to get it off as soon as possible. The longer the stain is left on the glass the more time it has to actually react with the glass and cause etching. Once glass is etched, it is difficult and time consuming to restore clarity. Full clarity may not be possible.

brickHomeRemoving hard water stains can be a real chore, and is usually not a pleasant task. Most window cleaners I know say they “hate water stain removal”. However, it does account for a significant amount of work for us, putting groceries on the table.

In the old days, window cleaners commonly used very harsh water stain removal chemicals containing hydrofluoric acid. Twenty years ago many window cleaning companies discontinued the use of hydrofluoric acid because it was revealed to be one of the most dangerous chemicals know to man. I do not recommend hydrofluoric acid to anyone for this reason.

One window cleaner I know told me a story of when he stored a little hydrofluoric acid in a coffee can over the weekend in his van. When he went to work on Monday morning, he discovered the bottom of the coffee can burnt completely through, then where the can was setting, the hole continued through the floor of his van. When he looked into the hole, he saw that the tail pipe was burnt completely through, then there was a white line on the concrete where the acid had run, followed by an 18 inch diameter circle of asphalt that had turned into gravel. My guess is that it is probably still burning a hole through the center of the earth and out the other side today.

There are safer products on the market today. Most of them seem to work ok on water stain that has not been on the glass for a long time. However, the longer the stain has been there, the more difficult it is to remove. I suggest trying a paste such as “A-Maze”. Put it on a white pad or a piece of “0000” steel wool. Wear nitrile or neoprene gloves. If it does not work, you may have to resort to an electric polisher with a white pad. Put the past on the white pad and try polishing the water stain off. Remember to use safety glasses when polishing.

It is important to determine if the product you are using is compatible with the glass. I received a call one day from a homeowner whose windows had a cloudy appearance he after he used a water stain removal product on all of his brand new windows. The windows had been lightly water stained from sprinklers, and the product was applied without first testing for compatibility. Little did the homeowner know, there was a low-e coating on the outside of the glass that the product reacted with, producing very cloudy looking windows. I was later called to see if there was anything that could be done and was able eventually to restore clarity to the windows, but only by removing all the exterior low-e coating.

Water stain removal is not a fun job to say the least. Many professional window cleaners are prepared with other chemicals and techniques in their arsenal against water stain removal. We may not be able to always remove 100% of the stain, but most of the time we are able to get most of it off, to where what is left is hardly noticeable.