Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Defense.gov News Article: Family Matters Blog: Show Seeks Families for Home Makeover

Defense.gov News Article: Family Matters Blog: Show Seeks Families for Home Makeover

From the American Forces Press Service:

WASHINGTON, April 19, 2011 – I’m excited to share new information about an amazing opportunity for deserving military families.

The producers of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” are seeking people involved in the military whose home deserves an extreme makeover.

The producers are looking for people with “amazing strength of character and who put their own needs aside to help others,” a press release said. “Whether it’s a soldier, a mom, a teacher or a fireman, we think deserving families are families who inspire those around them.”

Additionally, the show’s producers are seeking families whose houses need major alterations or repair – “homes that present serious problems for the family and affect the family’s quality of life.”

To be eligible, families must own their single family home and be able to demonstrate how a makeover will make a difference in their lives.

Interested military families or people who wish to nominate a military family should e-mail a short description of the family’s story to emheusa@gmail.com. The e-mail should include the names and ages of household members, a description of the family’s challenges, an explanation of why the family is deserving of a makeover or is a positive role model in the community, photos of the family and their home, and contact numbers.

The deadline for nominations is May 30, but people should send submissions early, the release said. Only up to 25 families are selected each season.

For more information on the application process, visit
http://abc.go.com/primetime/xtremehome/index?pn=apply.

Please pass this information on to deserving military families. I hope to see a few on “Home Edition” next season.

For more on Family Matters, visit the blog or check out Family Matters on Facebook or Twitter.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May Is National Home Improvement Month!

Smart remodeling adds value to your home
Start planning for your summer remodel during Home Improvement Month
Des Plaines, Illinois, May 2, 2011—Spring is in the air, and homeowners are starting to plan their dream home remodeling projects. To commemorate May as National Home Improvement Month, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) offers homeowners a few words of advice for getting the most value out of your remodeling investment.
More Americans are staying in their homes rather than moving. According to Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey released in November 2010, 85 percent of the general population believed it was a bad time to sell their home. There’s a lot more to be gained through remodeling besides increased functionality, new appliances, efficient systems, updated d├ęcor, additional space or the pure enjoyment of making your home your own. There’s also the increased value your home receives when you make improvements.
With so many options available today, NARI offers a few considerations for homeowners who want to get the most out of their remodels.
  • Curb appeal goes a long way. Exterior home improvements such as roofing, siding, windows and doors are subject to the elements and usually need to be replaced after a number of years. In terms of re-sale value, updated exteriors give sellers an edge over buyers who are attracted to your home before entering.
  • According to Energy Star, half of a home’s energy use is dedicated to heating and cooling. If a system is more than 10 years old, it may be time to replace it. New, energy-efficient systems are not only more cost-effective but are also better quality.
  • All homes benefit from increased insulation and sealing, regardless of climate. Older homes are traditionally under-insulated compared to new homes. And recent insulation innovations like spray foam or cellulose increase the ability to trap air inside. Proper insulation evens temperature flows, reduces energy use and has long-term benefits.
  • Kitchen and bath renovations are still popular—and for good reason. Homeowners continue to see the value in updating areas of the home that are used frequently and are high functioning. Universal design concepts are commonly incorporated into kitchen and bath areas to accommodate people of all sizes and abilities and conveniences for long-term residents.
Most homeowners can handle routine maintenance projects and cosmetic touch-ups, but it’s recommended they consult with qualified professionals for larger remodeling jobs and major changes to the home’s structure.
Homeowners that need to make several updates to their homes but cannot afford a complete overhaul may be interested in phased remodeling. In this instance, remodeling projects are broken into phases over time, for a long-term project plan. This also lessens the burden of remodeling to the homeowner as they remain in the home as work is being done.
As of April 22, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed new regulations for contractors working in homes built before 1978. The Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rule mandates that remodelers who intend to work in pre-1978 homes to register their company and complete an 8-hour training and certification course with an accredited trainer. The course teaches remodelers how to safely contain lead in a home as it is being disturbed and reduce exposure to residents and workers. Homeowners should be aware that this new rule is enforced and should be skeptical of any contractors who choose not to follow the law. Visit www.nari.org to find a Certified Lead Renovator in your area.
NARI members represent a select group from the approximately 800,000 companies and individuals in the U.S. identifying themselves as professional remodelers.
The NARI Wall of Fame is a collection before and after photos of all of the 2011 CotY award recipients. To see winners from this year’s awards program, visit http://bit.ly/walloffame2011.
NARI is a professional association whose members voluntarily subscribe to a strict code of ethics. Consumers may wish to search www.nariremodelers.com to find a qualified professional who is a member of NARI. For the latest information on green remodeling, visit www.GreenRemodeling.org.
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About NARI: The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is the only trade association dedicated solely to the remodeling industry. The Association, which represents more 63,000 remodeling industry professionals — is “The Voice of the Remodeling Industry.”™ To locate a local NARI chapter or a remodeling professional, visit NARI’s Web site at www.NARIremodelers.com, or contact the national headquarters, based in Des Plaines, Illinois, at 800-611-NARI.