Monday, January 16, 2012
What would January be without our annual resolutions? Every year we resolve to improve our lives and ourselves starting in the New Year… Right after we finish that last piece of pie…
The challenge is, for all the resolve we have in January, without action we are no further ahead. We start off strong, but all too often by the time April or May rolls around, we find ourselves back in the same old rut, repeating the same patterns and producing the same results.
Here a few resolutions you might want to consider, and stay committed to, in 2012!
1. Believe in yourself. You have and are everything you need to be to succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
2. Fully commit to your goals. Many are interested in achieving their goals, but few are really committed.
3. In 2012, resolve to be the calming influence in all situations.
4. Find the positive when faced with a negative experience.
5. In 2012, refuse to accept anything less than your best work.
6. Inspire others rather than trying to impress; be interested rather than trying to be interesting.
7. Be open to everything and limited by nothing.
8. Spend less than you earn.
9. Eliminate all non-important and non-productive activities from each day.
10. Say what needs to be heard, not what wants to be heard. Tell the truth no matter what.
11. Embrace the challenges, struggles, and embrace work.
12. Get in the best shape of your life. You will love the way you feel physically but most importantly, mentally.
13. If you are in sales, focus on how many connections – not contacts – you make.
14. Replace a bad habit with a great habit every month.
15. Make 2012 the year of NO EXCUSES. We can’t produce results and excuses at the same time. Excuses only justify our lack of results.
16. Never stop believing.
17. Fall in love with your life first and work, second.
- Scott Askew
Posted in: Intown Living
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
The Holidays are over and the hum-drum winter months are upon us. Now is the time, however, not to let your senses go dormant. Allow your keen senses of sight and smell to give you and your clients early warning of home maintenance problems (if you can decode the symptoms).
Peeling exterior paint
Cause: Moisture is probably getting underneath the paint, perhaps from a leaking gutter overhead or from a steamy bathroom on the other side of the wall.
Cure: If you catch the problem right away, you might just need to address the moisture issue and then scrape off the loose paint, prime bare spots, and repaint that wall, for a total of a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars. Delay too long and the siding might rot.
To prevent a chronically steamy bathroom, consider installing a new ventilation fan with a humidity-sensing switch that automatically exhausts moisture-laden air.
Cause: If only a single bulb flickers, it might be loose in its socket or in need of replacement. If lights always dim when the refrigerator or other appliance turns on, the circuit might be overloaded. If groups of lights flicker, connections at the electrical panel or elsewhere might be loose, causing power to arc—or jump—over the gaps. Arcing is a serious problem; it starts fires.
Cure: Anyone can tighten a bulb. Handy homeowners can shut off circuits and tighten loose connections within switch boxes. If you’re not comfortable doing that, or if you suspect an overloaded circuit or loose connection at the panel box, call in a licensed electrician.
Cause: If the knocking occurs when you turn off water, you have “water hammer,” caused when fast-moving water comes to a sudden stop and there is no air chamber (a short, specially designed piece of pipe) to cushion the shock wave. If knocking occurs when your furnace switches on or off, metal ducts are expanding or contracting as temperature changes.
Cure: If water pipes are the issue and there is an air chamber near the faucet, it may be filled with water and needs to be drained. You might be able to do this yourself. If you’re not confident of tackling that or if there is no chamber, call a plumber. Those snapping ducts? Just get used to them.
A toilet tank that refills all on its own
Cause: Worn interior parts may be causing water to trickle through the toilet constantly, causing the water level in the tank to lower and eventually triggering the refill mechanism. A leaky toilet potentially wastes 1,500 gallons a month.
Cure: Untangle or loosen the chain—it may be too tight and preventing the flapper from seating fully, letting water leak out the flush valve. Or, try bending the tube connected to the float ball. If those don’t work, replace the valve and flapper inside the toilet tank.
Creaks and groans
Cause: All houses creak and groan a little as parts expand and contract with temperature fluctuations and with changes in levels of humidity.
Cure: None—it’s normal for house to make a few snaps and pops. But don’t ignore really loud groans when there’s been an unusual amount of snow or rain, especially if your house has a flat roof. There may be an excessive or even dangerous amount of weight on your roof. If you suspect that may be the case, be prudent: Get everyone out of the house and call in a professional to check the roof.
Cause: Mildew, a fungus, is growing because indoor air is humid enough to allow condensation to form on cold surfaces. Basements are favorite haunts for mildew.
Cure: Keep surfaces dry by one or more strategies: increase air movement with a fan; keep relative humidity below 50% in summer or 40% in winter by using a dehumidifier.
Cause: If items on tables and shelve jiggle and shimmy when you walk past, or if your floor feels like it gives under your weight, the floor joists might not be sturdy enough or past remodeling might have removed a support wall.
Cure: Have a structural engineer or experienced contractor see whether you can add more joists, bolster existing ones with an additional layer of plywood subflooring, or add a post to support the floor better.
Cause: If a ground-floor room seems drafty, air may be seeping in along the foundation or through an improperly sealed window or door. A drafty attic can make things worse, as warm air currents will rise naturally and exit through any gaps in the attic, pulling colder air in through lower-level cracks.
Cure: Starting in the attic and working your way down, seal all gaps.
- Scott Askew
Posted in: Intown Living
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