Pet-Friendly Home Remodeling

Home remodeling serves the purpose of making your home better and more comfortable for you and your family. If you’re a pet lover like us, you consider your pets a part of the family too. As a result, it’s only natural to consider remodeling ideas that will help make your home safe and comfortable for your pet.  Here are a few remodeling ideas that help make life easier for you and pet.

Bathing Station

Want to give your dog a bath a home instead of going to the groomers? A walk-in the shower will make it easier if you have a larger dog. Having a handheld showerhead will also make it easier to rinse off your dog. You can also have a bathing station installed outside, attached to your home for baths and rinse-offs on warmer days.

Pet Storage

Adding pet storage makes life easier for you too. It allows you to keep all your pet’s items in one location. Towels, clothes, leashes, toys and more can all be kept in here. You can build in various compartments to separate the various items. You can place the storage where it’s easily accessible. Additionally, you can have more than one in your home. You can have one near your home’s entrance for outdoor supplies. This will make it easier to just grab and go when taking your dog out.

Feeding Area

Keep food bowls out of the way by creating an area for it. You can create a space where food and water bowls can come out for meal times and then be concealed after meal time.  This helps keep bowls out of sight for a tidy space and you’ll be less likely to trip on bowls walking back and forth.

Enclosed Patio

Most pets like to catch some rays and enjoy a bit of fresh air. If you can’t trust your furry friend to run out and come back home, an enclosed patio or porch can come in handy. An enclosed patio allows them to perch and stretch around in the sun, it also allows you to enjoy your view all year round.

Ramps

Have an aging pet? As your pet ages it might be more difficult to navigate stairs. Building a ramp can help get up and down. They can also help your pet get up on the couch (if they are allowed), since jumping might be harder for them with age.

A comfortable and happy pet, helps keep you happy too.

The Credibility of Online Review Sites

The popularity of online review sites has risen hand in hand with the growth of the internet. They make it easier to gauge how good a company might be before you get their services. Whether it’s looking for a new restaurant or searching for a contractor to redo a deck, we’re inclined to go online to find out what past customers thought.
 
Unfortunately, like everything else related to the internet you can’t trust everything thing you read. Online reviews are usually left by honest customers looking to share their experience. Yet, the ease of posting reviews means disgruntled employees as well as competitors can leave untrue reviews on a company’s review page to drive down their ratings, despite the fact they may be worthy of your business.
 
The Good
Let’s take our company, for example, we have an A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with over a hundred reviews and thousands of customers. We hold a Top Rating with Angie’s List with a ton of reviews and award-winning customer service. We currently have 4.5 Stars on Google (out of 5).
 
The Bad
 
Now you’re thinking, what about Yelp? This brings me to the 2 review sites with unusual practices to say the least.
 
Yelp has a supposed algorithm that they claim filters out unreliable reviews while allowing what they claim are the real ones. As most business owners have come to find, this is untrue. They have filtered out all the 5-star reviews our customers have sent in. You can only see them when you click the link called unreliable reviews. Real people, real names and faces we have actually done business with, many of which are on our website giving testimonials in their own words.
 
Yet, Yelp’s algorithm allows the posting of reviews from people in states we’ve never worked in. There are reviews up there from people that we’ve never done business with. Sound suspicious?  We thought so too. Our company has contacted Yelp many times to complain and they have no interest in hearing any of it. They stand by their algorithm. Our CEO reached out recently and the representative hung up him on when he inquired about the reviews from people who aren’t customers.
Conclusively
As a result, if you go on Yelp, we are one star and the worst companies in the world. If you go on every other legitimate site, we are top rated. Now, Yelp calls us quite often to ask if we want to advertise. You can go online and google “Yelp scam” or any other similar description. You’ll see claims from countless businesses who say they’ve hurt, all throughout the country. Does that sound like a good way to vet a company? Nope.
 
Additionally, Rip-off report is another scam site that acts in a very similar manner as Yelp. The BBB is customer centered and doesn’t do it for the money. Home Advisor and Angie’s List are reliable and considered honest review sites. Google reviews are fair. The others ask for payment. Plain and simple.
 
Be aware. Here’s another thing to consider, if you put up a one star review on Yelp for a company, it shows up immediately. But a 5 star review gets taken down within a matter of a couple of days or doesn’t make post at all. Try it, let us know what happens.
 
Do you have any Yelp horror stories? Let us know in the comments below!

DIY Home Repairs

There are a lot of common home repairs out there that people often think only professionals can handle. Before calling up a professional and spending your money, take a look at our list of easy-to-fix DIY home repairs.

Clean faucet aerator

Water not coming out the way it’s supposed to? Your faucet’s aerator screen may be dirty or clogged. You don’t need a professional to clean out the screen. Make sure the sink’s drain plug is closed, then use a rag to screw the aerator open.

Unclog toilet

Nothing worse than a clogged toilet that you can’t unclog with the plunger. Before you grab the snake, grab some dish soap. Pour in about half a cup of liquid dish soap and let it sit. The soap will help everything slide through much easier when you flush[1].

Cover-up ceiling stain

Water stains on the ceiling can be tough to hide without painting the whole ceiling. If the stain is isolated, you can use a spray on product, Upshot by Kilz. This works by matching an aged ceiling and sprays vertically. This way you can just stand and spray up. Just make sure to cover up the walls with plastic and put a cloth on the floor.

You can also try to bleach water stains to reduce how prominent the stains look. Just make a bleach solution with water. Spray the spot and wait a few days for it to fade.

Loose shower head/pipe

Got an unsteady shower head or wobbly pipe? Easy fix, all you need is some expanding foam.

Sticky lock

Are your keys sticking in the lock? Don’t give up on it yet. You can fix it with a pencil. You can rub pencil graphite on the teeth of the key. When you insert the key it will distribute the coating on the lock. This will help the key glide much more smoothly.

Squeaky Door

A door that’s sticking or squeaking, when opened or closed, can be very annoying. An easy less messy way to get rid of the squeak is some petroleum jelly. Just rub some on the hinges and that should help with the squeak.

Do you have other DIY home repair tricks up your sleeve? Share them with us in the comments!

[1] https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/diy-home-improvement/10-minute-house-repair-and-home-maintenance-tips/view-all/

Home Improvement Scams to Avoid

Scams are unfortunately increasing over the years. We all know someone who has either been scammed or been targeted with a scam. The Better Business Bureau showed over 45,000 reported scams in 2018, and those are just the reported ones[1], there were likely many more that went unreported.  The home improvement industry is not immune to scams. Here are some common home improvement scams to look out for and avoid.

Storm Chasers

Not the storm chasers you’re thinking about. Unlike traditional storm chasers, the ones we’re talking about show up after a storm has hit. Home improvement storm chasers or disaster chasers, show up to areas affected by natural disaster to offer their services. These scammers show up and offer cheap and quick services to fix whatever damage your home suffered. After storms, reputable companies are probably very busy and have long lines, so they take advantage of your desperation to do shoddy work. They disappear before you even realize they’ve done more harm than good.

Free Mold Check

Someone shows up at your door and offers to give you a free mold check. Don’t let them in, unless you’ve consulted and specifically set an appointment for a mold check. What usually happens is they offer free mold testing and when you let them in, they always find some mold whether you actually have mold or not. They would offer to fix it for you immediately.  No homeowner wants to be living with mold so you’re more likely to agree to the same-day fix. These scam contractors usually will cause damage instead of actually fixing anything and then disappear with your check before you’re realized the damaged caused.

In some cases, the person is not a contractor at all but rather a burglar wanting to take a closer look into your home. So, remember to be cautious with this and only do a mold inspection with a reputable company that you set an appointment with.

Leftover supplies

These scam contractors show up at your house and claim they have some leftover supplies from a previous job in your neighborhood. They will offer you a discount on the labor and supplies to work on your home. Trusty companies and contractors usually don’t roam trying to find a customer to sell their extra supplies too. Additionally, most contractors know how much is needed for a job and order the right amount. Leftover supply contractors are more likely to do a shoddy job or just take your money and disappear.

Permit Avoidance

If a contractor or company ever suggests not getting a permit for a job that requires one, run. This is a big red flag. This means they don’t want anyone taking a closer look at the job they’re doing. Which means they might be doing a shoddy job. Never cut corners, don’t hire unlicensed or uninsured contractors. If you do, you’ll be paying a bigger price down the line.

Always get everything in writing. From the number of supplies, exact costs, liability, to timeline of the job, verbal agreements are never enough. Make sure you’re covered always, and always do your research before hiring a contractor. Read our blog for more on how to hire the right contractor for your project.

[1] https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker/us

Roofing Terms Simplified

Searching for a roofing contractor can be stressful enough on its own. Add in complicated roofing terms and it gets confusing. Confusion about the terms makes it difficult to understand what you’re getting. Aggregate? Weep holes? Not sure what any of these mean? No worries! That’s why we’re here. We’re going to simplify it all to make your search for a new roof easier.

Terms:

Aggregate – A roofing system surfacing that’s made from crushed stone or rocks or gravel.
 
Base Sheet – An asphalt or coated felt used as the base for a built-up roofing system.
 
Bitumen – A black sticky mixture, also known as asphalt.
 
Butyl – Rubber-like material used in making sealants, coatings, and adhesives for roofing[1].
 
Cap sheet – A waterproofing membrane added to the base sheet using an open flame.
 
Double Graveling – The application of two layers of gravel in hot bitumen.
 
Eaves – The part of the roof that hangs over the walls of your home. It is the edges of the roof. Gutters are generally installed on the edges of the eaves.
 
Rafters – Support frame attached to a roof deck.
 
Ridges – Where the roof lines intersect at the highest points. On the ridges you will find shingles.
 
Single-Ply Roofing – This is a roofing system with a single-ply membrane.
 
Soffit Ventilation – A vent that allows fresh air in through the attic. The eaves of the roof contain the soffit.
 
Underlayment – Your roof’s base layer that is between the roof deck and the shingles. It is usually waterproof or water resistant. This all depends on the quality and type of the underlayment[2].
 
Weep Holes – Found along the top ridge of the roof, these holes help get rid of any absorbed water.
 
Wind Uplift – Displacement of a roof’s shingles due to wind pressure.
 
 

Winter Home Survival Guide

Winter is finally here and snow is not too far away. Check out these tips to make sure your home pulls through the winter in one piece.

Gutter Cleaning

Ideally, your gutters should be cleaned out in the fall to avoid debris overflow. Before the first heavy snow hits it important to clean debris out of your gutters. When the snow melts it needs to go somewhere. A clean gutter allows the melted snow to flow easily. If your gutter is filled with debris, you risk melted snow and water running behind the gutters and leaking into your walls. Water leaking into your walls can lead to mold growth.

Proper Snow removal

Heavy snow can be overwhelming for a roof, especially when it piles on after many snow storms. It is only logical to try and remove some of that burden by getting rid of some of the snow yourself. However, when removing snow off your roof, it has to be done correctly or else you risk damaging your roof or possibly even hurting yourself.

You want to invest in a snow rake for this, they’re available in most hardware stores. When removing snow, take off a few inches at a time[1]. Don’t dive straight into trying to scrape the roof clean in one go. Remove icicles from the edge of the roof and make sure your gutters are clean. Avoid stepping on the roof if you can. If going on the roof can’t be avoided, hire a professional or always have another person with you as you work.

Attic Insulation to prevent Ice Dams

Before the winter hits its peak make sure your attic is properly insulated. You want it to be comfortable but you don’t want your attic getting too warm either. A really warm attic causes snow to melt at high points on your roof and freezing back up as icicles and ice dams. Ice dams can block your gutters and cause water damage to your home. If your attic is getting warm enough to melt snow in freezing temperatures then you’re probably losing heat and money. It’s important to have a professional take a look at your attic if this is the case.

These are just a few of many ways you can make sure your house makes it through the winter in one piece.

For more home improvement tips, check out our other blog posts.

[1] https://www.mass.gov/service-details/roof-collapse-and-snow-removal-safety-information

Things to consider before you put up holiday lights

It is that time of the year again. Holiday cheer is in the air, it’s the prime time for holiday decorations. But before you hang anything, here are some things to keep in mind.

Invest in LED

While you’re out shopping for holiday lights, search for lights with LED bulbs. They cost a little more up front compared to traditional bulbs but they last longer and save you on your energy bill. LEDs usually have more bulbs on a string than incandescent and they’re also stringed closer together.

Buy the Right Amount

Only the buy as many lights as you will need. Plan ahead, figure out where you’re going to be putting lights. Measure the spaces you plan on putting up lights so you know exactly how many to buy. You don’t want to buy less than you need or too much. Measuring is also important because it lets you know just how many extension cables you need for outdoor lights. You ideally don’t want to plug the lights directly into the outlet.

Powering Up

When buying your lights be sure to differentiate between outdoor and indoor lights. Not all lights are meant to be outdoors. Outdoor lights burn hotter than indoor lights so be sure not to mix the two up. Use ground-fault circuit and closed outlets. Additionally, don’t overload extension cords and outlets. Link a few strings of lights together before plugging into an outlet.  To save energy, don’t leave your lights on all day. If possible invest in lights that come with a timer so you can set how long they stay on for.

Are there any other tips you use when stringing up your holiday lights? Leave them in the comments!

For more home improvement tips, check out our other blog posts!

How Heat Mirror Helps with Climate Control

Comfort is what makes a house a home. Your home should be cool in the summer and warm in the winter. There are many factors that go into making your home cozy and warm. Energy efficient windows are one of the factors. The HR40 window system is one of the best windows on the market. Its heat mirror technology is one of the few things that differentiate it from the rest.

How does heat mirror help with your home’s comfort?

Heat Reflection

Heat Mirror film technology utilizes Nano-scale coatings of metal which reflects heat back to its source. This comes in handy in the winter because reflects heat back into your home and it helps in the summer because it reflects the heat from the sun out, helping keep a cool home.

UV protection

Heat mirror blocks up to 99.5% of the sun’s UV rays. The UV protection helps protect your furniture and plants from harmful UV rays. The clear glazing transmits photo-synthetically active radiation and controls temperature swings. This helps your plants flourish and avoids growth stunts.

Additionally, heat mirror keeps you and your family safe from UV radiation while you relax near your windows.

Energy Efficiency

HR40 Windows provide year round comfort for your home. By reflecting the sun’s heat in the summer and reflecting heat back in your house in the winter, it helps control your home’s internal temperature. As a result, you experience less heat loss in the winter.

Please note that for ultimate home comfort, your home should be probably insulated. Heat mirror and the HR40 windows are great for managing and reducing heat loss.

Home Improvement Projects You Shouldn’t Do Yourself

Everyone loves DIY, sometimes it’s in an effort to save money, sometimes it’s to add a personal touch to home improvement projects. As great as DIYs are, there are some projects you just shouldn’t do yourself. It might cost a bit more to hire a contractor but entrusting your project to professional is a good idea for these projects.

Plumbing Work

Small leaks can turn into big problems when it comes to plumbing. Unless you have the skill set to do it yourself, don’t DIY plumbing projects. Play it on the safe side and hire a professional. The financial risk is not worth it.

Replacing Your Roof

It might be tempting to want to install your new roof yourself but it’s harder than it looks. There are a lot of things that could go wrong. There is a potential for damage to the roof, your home, or even yourself as working on roofs can be dangerous. Attempting patchwork repairs can also lead to bigger problems down the way. To avoid having to spend more money, later on, hire a professional the first time around to make sure everything is done the right way.  DIY roof replacement or repair can also potentially void any warranties you have on your roof.

Knocking Down a Wall

If you’re a fan of home improvement shows it might seem really easy to just knock a wall down to expand a room. However, taking a sledgehammer to your wall may have unforeseen consequences. The wall you plan on taking down maybe a load bearing wall. You risk causing structural damage to your home. It is important that you leave this to a professional who knows what to look for before knocking down any walls.

Replacing your Windows

As tempting as it may be, this is one project you don’t want to DIY. Installing a window requires specialized knowledge, skills, and tools. Unless you’re trained in window installation, attempting to do it yourself might just cost you more in the long run. Doing it wrong means spending more than you initially would have in order to fix your mistakes.

At the end of the day, if it requires a permit, you should probably hire a professional. If you have a project you are thinking of doing such as replacing your windows or roof, click to schedule a consultation here.

Peoples Products Logo Alt

Knowing You Have the Right Company

A MUST READ

At Peoples Products, we understand that your peace of mind is the only real focus.

We know that satisfaction is the main objective for anyone considering trusting any company to do work for them.

In the days of old, you might simply ask a friend or a neighbor for a good referral. Even in the modern era, that is a practice that still brings many customers to our doorstep today. There is really no warmer way to meet a potential company than to be personally introduced by a friend.

Today’s world offers exciting products and services that are made more readily available through the internet.

 

Finding the right company now involves the internet. Social media, blog posts, direct mail, canvassers who knock on your door, show and event workers who introduce you to new ideas and new concepts are all good ways in which customers and companies could meet. At times, it can also seem like an assault of the senses when we see the many ways products are brought to our attention. A company could make a great product, but suffer from poorly written literature to properly represent it. The same is true in reverse; some less than stellar products come with some of the most professional-looking literature that makes it appear far better than what it should.

For you, the consumer, we know how confusing it all must be.

In our estimation, the best recommendation would come from either someone you know, or by hearing about the experience some of the company’s customers have had.

WHAT TO TRUST

Who is better to listen to about an experience with a company than its customers?

MEET OUR CUSTOMERS!

*Please see what our customers say*

The next step is to look into the company you are considering. Are they properly registered for business? Do they have the necessary insurances to protect you? Do they take care of their customers?

THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU

The Better Business Bureau is a serious, and official organization whose purpose is to rate a company, based on consumer experience. It cannot be unfairly abused by competitors or disgruntled ex-employees since they check out each claim for validity. That’s why it’s such a credible resource.

This information is available for your benefit.

THE NUMBER 1 MOST TRUSTED RESOURCE AVAILABLE TO ANY CONSUMER.

*Please see our BBB report*

BBB logo

The Better Business Bureau is the number 1 credible resource available to consumers today.

Angie's List certified logo

ANGIE’S LIST

Angie’s List is another very credible resource. They are especially so because they actually listen to what a customer and a company have to say. If a company was bad, they would never hold a top rating.

Check out our Angie’s List rating:

 Angie’s List Rating

Not all companies are good, and not all consumers are easily pleased. Keep in mind, all companies have inquiries and complaints or they aren’t really doing business. Both companies and consumers can at times be unreasonable. But a formal organization like the BBB deals in the big numbers.

So, let’s do the math. If a company had 30 inquiries/complaints in their backlog, however, they were tested by writing 12,000 agreements to do work, the math works like this:

30 / 12000 = a 99.75% satisfaction rating. While on the surface, 30 inquiries may sound like a lot, it would actually be quite small in the grand picture of experience. And not all inquiries or complaints are of high magnitude either. A 99.75% satisfaction rating would reflect a company who is both tried, and successful in their efforts to satisfy their customers, thus a good signal that they may be worthy of your business. We are proud of our longstanding business record.

 

WHAT TO AVOID

HOW COMPETITORS AND AN OCCASIONAL DISGRUNTLED EX-EMPLOYEE CAN DELIBERATELY MISUSE THE INTERNET TO HURT A COMPANY

It happens to nearly every company. If you google any company name with the words ripoff, problem, or anything else that sounds bad, you’ll usually find something. But is it true?

Unfortunately, there is a notorious side to the internet as well. There are websites, such as ripoff report, Yelp and others that allow anyone to post anything about anyone whether it’s true or not. They refuse to remove anything from their site, regardless of any facts to the contrary, that is, for some, unless money is exchanged.

The vetting process is further complicated by not knowing who to trust online.

It is quite controversial, as the video links below demonstrate.

Learn about RIPOFF REPORT

Ripoff Report Extorts Businesses That Don’t Pony-Up

What is Ripoff Report?

Learn about YELP!

Is Yelp Fair?

How Yelp really works

Yelp hurts businesses who don’t pay to advertise

Yelp is best known as a source for rating restaurants, however today it’s been weaponized by competitors as a tool to take down a company they have trouble competing with. A simple search forYelp Scam” is all it takes to learn how their practices are disingenuous to properly vetting a company.

We knew something was off when we received 5 poor reviews from people living in states we do not operate in. Obviously, something was off. We can only assume that someone made these reviews for less than honorable reasons. Yelp’s business model tries to decide if a review is real or fake, or so they say. So, they only let in reviews from people who are regular “Yelpers” and call all other reviews suspicious.

Take Peoples Products, we send out a Brand Ambassador to visit with each customer we’ve done business with at the 1 year, 5 years, and 10-year marks after installation. My guess is you would be hard-pressed to find another company who goes that far to ensure long-term customer satisfaction.

When we come out, we ask our customers about their level of satisfaction and if they wouldn’t mind reviewing us honesty online. We help to facilitate that review through the use of an iPad when it makes it easier for a customer. Yelp then states, many reviews come from the same I.P. address (the iPad) and calls it suspicious. Yelp discounts the customer’s review, yet they are real customers. Many of those same customers they call suspicious can be found on our website giving full video testimonials. Does that matter to Yelp? Apparently not. I would also add that Yelp has called our office and asked us to advertise with them; the undertone seems to be that they recognize their algorithm is hurting businesses and advertising with them might help. In our view, that’s morally reprehensible.

Competitors disguised as disgruntled customers aren’t serving your purpose of understanding the true merits of a company you may decide to entrust with your business either.

Our advice is to watch customer testimonials to see what people just like you had as an experience with our company.  Visit CREDIBLE websites like BBB and Angie’s List. Listen to a good presentation of product facts, and hear about how some products may differentiate themselves from others in the marketplace.

Hear about exclusive features and product lines you have available to you. Ask many questions to cut through to what you think is important. The right company will respect what you think is important, and I believe you’ll know when you are in their presence.

We hope we are your choice and we’ll work very hard to satisfy your trust in us!

Sincerely,

owner signature

Bill Wilson,

CEO/President,

Peoples Products, Inc.,

Evolutionary Home Energy Solutions, LLC,

Business 2 Consumer Network, LLC