Get Your Mind In The Gutter!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
Boosting Business Without Facebook!
Chances are if you’ve been in business for more than a couple years you’ve experienced your share of ups and downs.
Good news is congratulations: if you’ve hung in this long you’re ahead of most businesses already. But times are tough, the economy still isn’t what it could be, and even for experienced business owners it can be hard to find the motivation to keep momentum going in the right direction.
Of course, there’s always social media…the global platform that allows you to communication with audiences of millions at the speed of light with the click of a button…maybe you’ve heard of it?
Many business owners deny any usefulness of platforms like Facebook, citing difficulty in use, it being a “time-suck”, as well as a lack of return on investment – so here are some tips to breathe some new life into the old routine without the help of pesky hipster technology…
Build Your List.
You wouldn’t go to the store without a list so why are you trying to run your business without one?! Of course, in this case, we’re talking about an EMAIL list. And if you haven’t been using one so far it’s sort of surprising that you’ve lasted this long.
Fact is businesses thrive on repeat customers, so even if it’s just sending out a holiday message or a quarterly reminder to your past clients, email is a great way to keep your name in the forefront of people’s minds. If you aren’t actively building and using your list you are literally throwing money out the window.
Small businesses are struggling everywhere and most of them are as anxious to connect with others to help share their marketing load as you are. Find great local, like-minded business owners who are willing to work with you. Notice I said LIKE-MINDED, not like-services…you generally won’t gain much from trying to partner up with someone in the same exact industry as you, so look for complimentary companies. If you’re a wedding planner a florist would be an obvious match, or if you’re a roofer a gutter service would be ideal. This kind of team up might be a referral discount, or even just card swapping. Cold calling can be scary, but making money isn’t, so buck up and make some calls or even hit the street and see if you can find some synergy out there.
People will stalk your business long before they ever pick up the phone. One way they gain valuable information is from the testimonials left by your past clients on social media. It would be good then to consider getting as many great reviews online as possible. The easiest way is just to ask the customer to leave you a review when you do a job. You can make it even easier by providing a SASE or pre-paid-postage card with each job so they can mail their review into you directly.
Serve the Community.
There’s no better way to get your name out there than to be active in your local community. It’s really just that simple – you want local results you’ve got to get out there and make them happen! Whether it be just being part of a local fundraiser, car wash, or cookie sale or if you’re on the board for every rotary kiwanis in the state you simply can not beat the kind of one-on-one referrals that will come from being a part of the community you live in and serving the people there.
I hope these tips have helped you get some new ideas for breathing life into your business this year, and hey you didn’t give Zuckerberg a dime! If you have more questions about how to build better visibility for your business – or heavens forbid how to get more out of social media talk to the masterminds at Geeks Worldwide LLC. They are a local, Boise based development and consulting company with a focus on brand awareness.
Idaho: Is Your Home Ready for Winter?
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!
Featured Boise Home Pro: 2 Thumbs Up Plumbing
Summer in Boise is in full swing and it’s a great time to get on top of those project you’ve been putting off or to tackle something new! The good news is we have a full roster of some of the best home service providers in the Treasure Valley today!
This month we are featuring Joe Corcoran of 2 Thumbs Up Plumbing and Remodeling!
With over 12 years of experience serving here in Idaho 2 Thumbs Up has the skills and experience to get the job done!
Insured and licensed they provide top quality work with competitive pricing, and excellent level of skill.
Their services include, but are not limited to:
Drain cleaning, Sewer cleaning, water softeners, water heaters, bathroom repair, sink repair, sink installation, bath tubs, toilets, showers, and everything in between!
No matter what the problem with your plumbing or remodeling project 2 Thumbs Up can help! Contact them today and let them know the BBG sent ya!
Boise: Are You Set for Success?
2013 rang in bright and cold here in the Treasure Valley and we here at the Boise Builders Group are excited at the prospects of an exciting new year!
You know, nearly half of us make a New Year’s resolution each year, and sadly about 75% of those resolutions are likely to fall flat before Spring thaw. But it doesn’t have to be that way! We’ve put together a few tips to help you increase the odds of great success in the coming year! Do these simple things to power boost all your other resolutions!
Sweat a Little
No, not by worrying, by being more active! Studies have shown that more physical activity can help relieve stress and also has countless cardiovascular benefits! An easy way to get in a little extra exercise is to do just a few squats, push-ups, or even a little yoga during commercial breaks while watching tv.
Reject the Negative
This goes for yourself and your business: don’t hold on to things that aren’t doing you any good – or that are even actually doing you harm. When negativity comes your way acknowledge it, look at the opposite and positive alternative, and move past the problem with a solution.
Look at your schedule. Don’t have one? Maybe that should be a start. By better arranging your day to flow more efficiently to the way you work, or to the particular needs of your industry you may be surprised to find more time available for the things that make the day really worth while. When you find that time enjoy it to it’s fullest – don’t have that time? Make it!
Don’t Open Your Emails
Well, not first thing anyhow. Studies have shown that the top successful people in the world do not answer emails first thing when they get in. Instead, start your day by making a list of everything you need to do first. Next, take the smallest fastest task to accomplish and make it and at least one other larger task your focus for the day. By having your day laid out you can not only better see what needs to be done but can also in most cases tick a lot more tasks off the list.
One of the biggest services we provide our members and community is by sharing these types of encouraging tips and ideas – we hope you find them useful and enjoy visiting our website! Want even more great Boise area event news and homeowner help? Visit us on Facebook!
Boise Builders Group: Good for Us is Good for YOU
The Boise Builders Group is a little bit different than most other business groups in the valley. We aren’t solely focused on leads or hard marketing, we don’t believe in high pressure sales, or pushing a product the customer doesn’t really need. While we’ve adopted the advantages the technological age has provided we have not forgotten what real world experience has taught us.
One of the things that includes is that as a group we invest a lot of time in gaining an understanding of each members business and who they are in character as well – because we know we can’t give a valid referral otherwise.
How does this benefit you, the homeowner?
Our association has a core foundation based on a close knit group of skilled Idaho professionals. As we’ve grown, we have hand chosen each of our new affiliates to provide their specialized services for you based on their exceptional qualities and reputations. They have a proven and sterling track record in their industries; operate from backgrounds of seasoned experience in Idaho – insuring the services you receive will be the very best.
What does this mean to our members?
The BBG offers a constant flow of online and real world support for each of our affiliates by harnessing the power of the internet through today’s most popular social networks, blogs, and news sources.
Members also enjoy monthly brainstorming meetings with a well developed group of partners, as well as benefit from informative guest speakers and business marketing training sessions.
We proudly serve Treasure Valley residents and business with today’s best home services.Please enjoy browsing our website and be sure to visit us on Facebook as well! We love connecting with other area people and organizations; believe our unity is from where we can draw our biggest strength!
See a service we don’t offer? The Boise Builders Group is always looking for new members! We’d love to learn more about your own business or hear YOUR local area suggestions for other great service providers!
Summer Energy Saving Tips
Summer time Summer time sum-sum-summer time! It’s here in full force!
While this is many people’s favorite time of year, a time of long warm days and relaxing evenings shared with friends higher energy bills are something homeowners don’t look forward to during this time. Extra energy costs can come from running the air conditioning, or even just electric fans, but there are ways you can help keep energy costs down.
Check out these 10 Summer Time Energy Saving Tips from our Home Warranty Authority Lori Apodaca from Home Warranty of America!
1.Close shades, drapes and blinds during the day, especially on the east and west ends of your home.
2. Don’t choose a lower thermostat temperature when you first turn your A/C on. It won’t cool faster; it will always run as fast as it can. It will only cool longer, not faster.
3.Use fans when weather is cooler instead of turning on your cooling system.
4. Light up your outdoor grill. The stove or over can raise the temperature in your kitchen as much as 10 degrees!
5. Use clothes lines – they are a great alternative to using your clothing dryer.
6. Air-dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s heat cycle.
7. Take shorter showers. They use less hot water than a bath!
8. Plant shaded trees. Shade on the east and west is most important. Outside shade can actually reduce air conditioning costs up to 30%.
9. Delay heat producing chores such as laundry and dish washing until the end of the day.
10. Spend more time outside. Spending time outside of your home will help curb your energy consumption.
Did you know that another great way to not only save money but to also protect your home investment is through a home warranty? Home warranties can save you a lot of headaches and hassles when it comes time for repairs to your home, or for those unexpected accidents. Home Warranty of America offers one of the countries best home warranty plans – contact Lori Apodaca ( 208-761-1666 ) today to find out more about how they can help you!
New Homeowner Tips: Maintenace
Being a new homeowner is an exciting time in your life
; getting your new home in order is without a doubt one of your biggest focuses after the paperwork and moving is done. Getting the furniture in place and decorating, hanging photos, all these things will no doubt create a whirlwind of energy around you as you settle in.
But it shouldn’t stop there – although it may be less thrilling, it is also up to you to have a plan in mind for your new homes routine maintenance in the coming months.Besides the usual cleaning and taking care of things like carpets and dusting there are a number of things you can do to help maintain your home for years of comfort to come.
Here are some good maintenance tips to keep in mind:
• In late summer or early fall give all your systems( air condiditioning, heating, plumbing) a good inspection.
• Be sure to change air filters at least every three months.(maybe more if you are in the more dusty parts of Idaho!)
• Clean the filters and dust screens on any freezers or refridgerators frequently.
• If you have a gas furnace, keep your pilot light burning during the summer to help keep the furnace dry and prevent corrosion.
• If there is a noise, there could be a problem. Worn washers or loose parts in your faucets can be the source of noisy pipes. It’s good to make sure all washers and parts are tight and in good working order to help reduce vibration that can lead to leaks later on.
• Every four to six years, paint gutters that are not made of aluminum or vinyl to help prevent rust.
• Remove firewood stored near the home. Firewood should be stored at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from the structure to cut back on pest problems.
• Have a qualified heating and cooling contractor clean and service the outside unit of the air conditioning system. An annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels.
• Vacuum the clothes dryer’s exhaust duct at least once a year. If the duct is plastic, replace it. Rigid sheet-metal ducting is best.
These are just a few suggestions. Our experienced home service professionals are more than glad to answer any questions you might have about specific parts of your home. Don’t hesitate to drop us a line here or join us on Facebook to get answers to your home maintenance questions and see what the Boise Builders Group can do for you!
Get Your Home in Boise Ready for Old Man Winter
Now is the time of year to start thinking about preparing your home for winter, because as temperatures begin to dip, your home will require maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape through the winter.
Here are some good things to think about in getting ready for the long cold winter ahead!
1) Furnace Inspection
- Call an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace and clean ducts.
- Stock up on furnace filters and change them monthly.
- Consider switching out your thermostat for a programmable thermostat.
- If your home is heated by a hot-water radiator, bleed the valves by opening them slightly and when water appears, close them.
- Remove all flammable material from the area surrounding your furnace.
2) Get the Fireplace Ready
- Cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds.
- If the chimney hasn’t been cleaned for a while, call a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote.
- Buy firewood or chop wood. Store it in a dry place away from the exterior of your home.
- Inspect the fireplace damper for proper opening and closing.
- Check the mortar between bricks and tuckpoint, if necessary.
3) Prevent Plumbing Freezes
- Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency.
- Drain all garden hoses.
- Insulate exposed plumbing pipes.
- Drain air conditioner pipes and, if your AC has a water shut-off valve, turn it off.
- If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees.
- Have any problem areas looked at by a quality Boise Plumber.
These things may seem like common knowledge, but you know what they say about an ounce of prevention…
Still have questions or concerns? Take a look at our directory of Boise home service experts to find the right home professional to fit your specific need! All of our members are trusted and experienced service providers for all household needs big or small!
Boise Air Conditioning Services
Just because summer time is drawing to a close doesn’t mean that you don’t need to take care of that trusty A/C unit! Get ready for winter by having your air conditioner serviced or repaired. The Treasure Valley air conditioning experts at Airpro can make sure that your air conditioning is running properly and ready for the long cold winter ahead.
Speaking of winter – now is the best time to make sure your home heating is ready for the chilly months ahead! Airpro also offers the best Boise area home heating service and installation. We can make sure that you’re nice and cozy warm throughout the Idaho winter season. Our prices are great and our trained and experienced technicians have the skills to get the job done right.
Contact AIRPRO in Boise today for all of your home cooling and heating needs in Idaho! We specialize in installation, repair, and servicing cooling and heating equipment as well as home air quality issues!
Call Airpro: 208-853-6556
Serving The Treasure Valley for Over a Decade!