Before winter hits in full force, there’s still time to get your house ready with these nine steps that can save you on your utility bills and protect against unnecessary damage.
Save money on heating and cooling bills and save on your 2009 taxes by making energy efficient improvements to your house. EnergyStar.gov has got the lowdown on how you can get tax credits by installing new windows, doors, roofs, insulation, HVAC, and non-solar water heaters. Unfortunately, upgrades made during 2008 are not eligible, but with this info you can get going for this year. For a breakdown of all the tax credits, Consumer Reports Home & Garden blog has a good post.
Contractor scams are some of the most heartbreaking because of the potential for the scammer to obtain large amounts of money from the victim. About two weeks ago, the NY Attorney General’s office announced the arrest of a Western New York home improvement contractor for “repeatedly pressuring an 88-year-old widow into paying more than $80,000 for home improvements that were never done”, or were so poorly done as to be worthless.
Looking to spruce up the ol’ nest? Home Depot announced a big sale today, with temporary pricecuts of 5-50%, with 400 items being announced each Thursday for the next three weeks.
Sick of prostitutes and their customers infesting their communities, Oklahomans are videobusting them and posting the results on YouTube. This one catches a Lowe’s delivery driver picking up a hooker in a residential neighborhood and retiring to the back of his truck for a playdate. It’s the work of a one man citizen journalism campaign by Brian Bates, who’s been at it in OK since 1996. It seems in the 12 year he’s been at it, he hasn’t run out of material. Full vid inside.
The smartest advice I ever got [CNN Money] “40 great minds share the best money lessons they ever learned.”
Reader Scott really wanted to give Lowe’s some money to install a new door in his house, but, sadly they were just too incompetent to actually do it. After a month and a half of incorrect orders, botched installations, and having to cancel his credit card because an employee from Lowe’s called him up to ask for his mother’s maiden name, Scott finally got a refund and vowed never to do business with Lowe’s again.
Our friends at Consumer Reports tell us that even though the price of exterior paints and stains has gone up a few dollars per gallon on average from last year (due to price hikes for many of the petrochemicals that go into paint), big box stores are keeping consumers isolated from manufacturers who would love to be passing on those added costs. It may be tempting to cut costs by buying a lower quality product, but CR warns against using crappy paint. Specifically, CR suggested Behr (sold at Home Depot), Valspar (Lowe’s), and Kilz (Wal-Mart) as competitively priced paints that “ranked among the top performers.”
Kitchen Distributors Of America Closes All Chicagoland Stores Right After You Tear Out Your Cabinets
Representatives with KDA and its owner, Design Ventures, were not available for comment Thursday. A regional manager for KDA said he couldn’t comment on the store closings or the status of customer orders.
Peter noticed that several of the 25 Lutron Maestro dimmers he installed three years ago while renovating his 120 year-old home had started to fail. The dimmers were expensive, $30 a pop, so Peter sent them back to Lutron expecting some sort of response. Soon after, one of Lutron’s product managers called with a seemingly innocuous question…
The email address for the CEO of Home Depot is Frank_Blake@homedepot.com. The corporate email address format for Home Depot generally follows the format firstname.lastname@example.org. Good for when you’ve tried the basic customer service lines but you still find your home improvement customer service needs improving.
Here’s a probable answer for that reader who complained Friday that HomeDepot.com won’t let you use gift cards, forcing him to drive 20 miles away to get his tool fix. It’s probably better than driving all the way there, only to find his gift card was empty. If you recall, last year there was a big problem with thieves stealing git cards….
Scary man tools will be replaced by decorative trinkets and stylish furniture at the new Home Depot pilot store designed to attract women. Tragically dubbed “Her Depot,” the store will abandon Home Depot’s warehouse aesthetic in favor of shorter, “cleaner” aisles that emphasize home organization and interior design.
“There is a showroom of doors and windows unlike any other we’ve ever tried,” Feldman said.
How one blogger found a kitchen-remodel contractor he’s very happy with. [All Financial Matters]
So I’m in Lowes for some project materials and I pass by their appliance section. I need a new coffee maker as my $19.99 Mr. Coffee from Target isn’t getting the caffeine elixir hot enough anymore. I check out their array of coffee makers. I shouldn’t be, but I’m shocked at how many of them are the same plastic pieces of crap, just with varying degrees of unnecessary features.
There are times when you should do things yourself and times when you would be better off if you hired someone. How can you tell the difference?
The home improvement you’ll recoup the most from from is replacing siding with fiber cement, according to the 2006 RemodelingOnline report. They say you can expect to get 88% from your investment.
Despite the crummy real estate market and generally listing economy, now is a good time to go furniture shopping, apparently. That’s partly because consolidation and increased competition has squeezed out everyone except for discount-happy big box retailers in some cities, and partly because business is down overall this year so everyone is trying to attract more customers with markdowns.