RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

5 Safety Tips for Fireplaces, Wood Stoves and More

December 1, 2015 1:30 am

In winter, many homeowners rely on alternative sources for warmth to offset high heating costs, including fireplaces and wood and pellet stoves. While these methods are acceptable under safety standards, a lack of maintenance can render them unsafe for use, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

“We are raising the flag that if people have not yet had their chimney or vents inspected, now is the time to take this precautionary step,” says Mark McSweeney, executive director of the CSIA. “Most people who use their stoves or fireplaces on occasion don't realize that creosote buildup or blocked vents—due to leaves or animals nests—can cause dangerous problems, such as chimney fires and or carbon monoxide seeping back into a home. We want people to stay safe while they work hard to stay warm."

Aside from having your chimney and vents inspected annually, McSweeney and the experts at the CSIA also recommend:

• Making sure alternative heat sources are properly installed and operating correctly
• Using fuel specified for the alternative heat source (i.e., wood for wood stoves and pellet for pellet stoves)
• Installing a carbon monoxide detector
• Replacing smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries 

Source: CSIA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Homeowners: Have You Regretted a DIY Project?

December 1, 2015 1:30 am

Done correctly, do-it-yourself projects can improve the functionality and aesthetic of a home—even add value, in some cases. Unfortunately, according to a recent Zillow Digs® survey, nearly 40 percent of homeowners who have completed a DIY project wish they hadn’t.

"With seemingly endless DIY tips and how-to videos available today, home improvement projects appear easier and more accessible than ever before," says Kerrie Kelly, home design expert for Zillow Digs. "While some DIY projects can save you money, involving a professional for larger-scale projects, especially those that require specialized skills, can help eliminate headaches and costly mistakes."

The biggest regret? Attempting to add or expand a room in the home, such as a bedroom or bathroom, according to survey findings. Other DIY regrets cited in the survey include:

• Re-facing or refinishing kitchen or bathroom cabinetry
• Refinishing a basement or attic
• Replacing or reinstalling new carpeting
• Refinishing, or installing new, hardwood floors
• Installing new kitchen or bathroom cabinetry
• Retiling a floor or shower
• Adding or replacing a kitchen or bathroom backsplash
• Building or installing a deck
• Installing new kitchen or bathroom countertops

But DIYers shouldn’t throw in the towel altogether. The survey also ranked the least regretted projects, including:

• Replacing lighting fixtures
• Replacing kitchen or bathroom cabinet hardware
• Painting one or more rooms
• Installing new kitchen appliances
• Replacing plumbing fixtures for a bath, sink or toilet

Source: Zillow Digs®

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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