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Safe at home

As we enter the gift-giving season, now is a good time to consider your home security options. Unfortunately, there are too many people out there who will happily help themselves to whatever package is left on an unsuspecting homeowner’s doorstep. However, there are lots of options for new high-tech cameras that are currently on the market. Many can be installed as a DIY project. Surveillance cameras are an excellent deterrent for would-be thieves–especially if they know they are being recorded. Here are some good products:

The Kuna Smart Home Security System

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It replaces your existing porch light with one featuring a built-in video camera, a motion detector, a Wi-Fi adapter, and a two-way intercom. It connects to your home network and sends alerts to your smartphone when someone approaches your door. It will also record a downloadable video clip, and you can speak to the person in real time or play pre-recorded greetings. You can push a button to play three pre-recorded messages in a male voice: “Can I help you?” “I’m sorry, we’re not interested,” and “I’m sorry, we’re pretty busy right now.” If your unwanted visitor proves reluctant to leave, you can sound a 100dB klaxon that should do the trick. You can use the system as a stand-alone product, but it doesn’t permanently store the video feed. They do offer a subscription for monitoring for a monthly fee.

Nest Cam Outdoor
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This one has many of the same features as the Kuna (except the pre-recorded greetings) but this one just plugs into an outlet and you mount it on the house. It also offers a monthly subscription for monitoring if you want the video feed to be saved. Very easy to install yourself.

Ring
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The Ring Wifi enabled video camera is integrated into the doorbell. It is motion activated and you can access it through your smart phone. It can be hardwired or battery powered. You can also speak to whoever is at your door from anywhere in the world, providing you have cell data service. It can be paired to your computer, or for a monthly fee, the video feed will be uploaded to the cloud for storage.

Stay safe, and Happy Holidays from Green Tag Inspection Services.

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A smart idea!

Key rings have pretty much been the same since the invention of keys. This is a fantastic new idea for keeping your keys organized with the ingenuity of a Swiss pocket knife design.

Keysmart is a product that begun as a successful kick-starter project. Take a look at this video to see how it works:

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Need a lift?

Attic Lift
Sometimes I come across a clever new innovation that catches my attention while on an inspection. Recently, I was inspecting a house that had a lift system installed that will raise items into the attic of the home without having to carry anything up a ladder. It’s made by a company called Versa-Lift.
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A PSA for homeowners who have significant others…

portrait-loving-couple-smiling-front-their-house-cute-standing-home-laughing-47990268One way to ensure domestic bliss is to share the responsibilities of the adult world. One person might be in charge of paying bills and buying groceries, the other is in charge of home repair and doing the laundry. The problem is that when you get comfortable in your role, eventually you have no idea how to do the other person’s job.

I received a heart-breaking call today from a woman whose husband had recently passed away. She had just discovered a major termite infestation in her laundry room. “He always took care of things like this! I have no idea what to do.” I referred her to a pest control person that I trust and wished her good luck…but it got me thinking. How many other people out there are in the same situation?

If you are the person in your household who is NOT in charge of home repair, there are a few basic things you should familiarize yourself with, such as:
-How to shut off the water to the house if there is a major leak
-How to shut off the electricity to the house
-How to reset a breaker
-How and when to change the air filter

When it comes to the bigger things that require a professional, the best thing you can do is create a file that has information on repair people that have worked on your house in the past. Do you have a trusted plumber, electrician, exterminator? When did they last work for you and what did they do? Having all this information in one place can save some frustration down the road.

Or better yet, swap jobs every so often.

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Tax deductions for energy efficiency

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There are a lot of things you can do to make your home more energy efficient–having plenty of insulation, weatherstripping, installing energy efficient appliances, etc. All of these things can make you more comfortable in your home and save money on electricity and gas bills. But did you realize that certain home improvements are tax deductible if they are designed to improve energy efficiency?
Here is a great article that gives an overview of what is tax deductible:
https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/Home-Ownership/Which-Home-Improvements-Qualify-/INF12111.html
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Season’s Greetings from Green Tag Inspection Services!

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Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season. May the new year bring you health, happiness, and prosperity!

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Your handy tape measure just got handier!

Every good DIYer out there has a tape measure, but did you know that there are features on it that you may not know about? Take a look at this video for some handy tips:

Now if you want to advance to Expert Mode, see if you can master THESE tricks!

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Very Superstitious

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Halloween is steeped in superstition–like putting on costumes to trick evil spirits into thinking you’re someone else, or that black cats are Satan in disguise. But did you know that there are lots of superstitions about houses? Here are a few interesting ones:
mydesignchic-com11If you paint your porch blue, it will deter wasps from building nests. This one is widely believed here in the southern states; in fact I have been told this by more than one person. There may have actually been some truth to this at one time, due to the fact that people used to use a product that was known as milk paint. Milk paint had lye in it, which is a insect repellent. It also faded pretty quickly, which means you have to keep re-applying– keeping a fresh coat of lye on the area. There isn’t any real proof that the color is significant, but still, some people swear by it. Also, people used to believe if you paint your porch blue, it keeps away evil spirits because 1.–it gives the illusion that it’s still daylight out and 2.–ghosts can’t cross water.
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