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

Five One-Minute Tricks to Help You Get Organized

May 20, 2015 12:48 am

If you seem to be surrounded by clutter at home, there may be no need to set aside a weekend to get organized. A panel of professional organizers and interior designers shared one-minute tips with Good Housekeeping magazine for clearing the clutter:

Spin away bathroom disorder – Stuff tends to disappear in the dark depths of that deep bathroom cabinet under the sink. Invest in a couple of lazy Susan turntables. A quick spin will put all those shampoos, cotton balls, cosmetics and more directly in your line of sight.

Unclutter the kitchen – Gain extra storage space under the kitchen sink by putting a few hooks inside the cabinet underneath. It’s a good way to get wet dishcloths, towels and gloves out of the way. Try the same trick under other low-level kitchen cabinets, making space to hang long-handled cooking utensils and de-clutter kitchen drawers.

Minimize playtime clutter – When your kids play with Legos, figurines, or other multi-piece toys, stage a play area first by laying out a large blanket or bed sheet. It gives the kids a more defined play area, and when it’s time to clean up, bring the ends of the blanket together and dump the toys back into their storage buckets.

Make better use of your car’s trunk – Keep a couple of small bins in your trunk. The bins can corral bungee cords, paper towels and basic cleaning supplies as well as small toys and books to keep your kids happy while you drive.

Control the sports gear – Tired of hearing, “Mom, where’s my helmet?” Find a used playpen and tuck it away in one corner of the garage. Now the kids have one spot where they can drop all their sports gear when they come home. No more searching at the last minute, and no sports gear cluttering bedrooms or the family room!

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Building in Radon Resistant Features

May 19, 2015 12:50 am

Looking beyond what may seem like a "band-aid" tactic of testing for radon, I went looking for information about how the building industry is responding to radon risks.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, many builders are adopting Radon Resistant New Construction (RRNC) features in some of their homes. The EPA suggests that new home buyers ask their builder about these features, and if not provided, to ask to include them in the new home.

If a home is tested after buyers move in and an elevated level of radon is discovered, the owners’ cost of fixing the problem can be much more. On the other hand, constructing with RRNC in new homes can add value by protecting health and reducing costs for customers.

According to the EPA, while techniques may vary for different house foundations and building site requirements, the five basic features that builders should include to prevent radon from entering a home are:

Gravel: Use a 4-inch layer of clean, coarse gravel below the “slab,”or foundation to allow soil gases, which includes radon, to move freely underneath the house. Builders call this the “air flow layer” or “gas permeable layer." In some regions of the country, alternatives are allowed, such as a perforated pipe or a collection mat.

Plastic Sheeting or Vapor Retarder:
Place heavy duty plastic sheeting (6 mil. polyethylene) or a vapor retarder on top of gravel to prevent soil gases from entering the house.

A Vent Pipe:
Run a 3-inch or 4-inch solid PVC Schedule 40 pipe vertically from the gravel layer (stubbed up when the slab is poured) through the house’s conditioned space and roof to safely vent radon and other soil gases outside above the house.

Sealing and Caulking: Seal all openings, cracks, and crevices in the concrete foundation floor including the slab perimeter crack and walls with polyurethane caulk to prevent radon and other soil gases from entering the home.

Junction Box: Install an electrical junction box outlet in the attic for use with a vent fan, should, after testing for radon, a more robust system be needed.

Visit the National Radon Proficiency Program, the National Radon Safety Board, or your state radon coordinator for service providers in your area.

Published with permission from RISMedia.