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Sponsor Spotlight: RenovationFind

Oct 03, 2019

We're thrilled to have RenovationFind as a sponsor of the 2019 Edmonton Fall Home Show. Before you visit this inventive company at the Edmonton Expo Centre over the October 18-20 weekend, please enjoy our brief interview with the RenovationFind team below.

RenovationFind

Q: How does your service work?

“RenovationFind helps protect homeowners by offering them a free online directory of reputable, trustworthy and ethical home renovation and trade companies. All companies listed on the directory have gone through and passed a comprehensive certification process. We use a third-party organization to run extensive background checks on seven criteria that we find the most important when hiring a contractor. Those criteria include legal background checks, credit background checks, monitoring for customer complaints, checking for proof of a valid business license and insurance, as well as WCB coverage. If the company is a member of the Better Business Bureau, they will receive a higher ranking on the directory. It doesn’t end there. We continually monitor the companies based on these criteria to ensure they’re keeping up to standard.

RenovationFind provides homeowners with legitimate, reputable and trustworthy companies. It also existed to help promote those good companies so we can improve the reputation of the home renovation industry. We help the consumer and we also help those worthy companies.”

Q: What can we look forward to from you at the Edmonton Fall Home Show?

"At every show we have a booth where homeowners can come meet our team and learn more about what RenovationFind does. We also give them the chance to post a project they might have. For example, if they want to renovate the basement, we will get them three quotes from RenovationFind Certified companies that focus on basement development in Edmonton. It’s a great way for them to get started on their home renovation project.

Visitors to the booth can also sign up for a RenovationFind Membership. Our members get exclusive pricing and special deals from select RenovationFind partner companies. We want to grow our membership, so we are entering everyone who signs up in a draw for a $1,000 and an iPad at our booth at the show.”

Q: What advice do you have for homeowners?

"Before you hire any contractor, do as much research as possible! Make sure you get all estimates and contracts on paper, so it’s documented, signed and legally executable. Ask for and check references, ask to see documentation of their credentials such as a prepaid contractor’s license, liability insurance, WCB coverage, permits pulled for your job and a detailed breakdown of your project.

As a homeowner, it is within your right to ask for these things so don’t be shy to do so.

A tip when asking for references: I recommend asking for the last three jobs and contact the references to verify the information. Request the contractor provide you with a valid invoice or documentation to prove the customer was real. By asking for the last three jobs, the contractor can’t pick and choose the jobs they know will only give a good reference. You wouldn’t provide a bad reference during a job interview, and neither will they."

Q: What inspires your services?

"I have worked in the renovation industry for many years. Through my own granite company K & J’s Custom Granite, I kept hearing stories about people getting taken advantage of. Since granite is one of the last things to go into a house during a renovation, we’d hear about the plumber who took a deposit and didn’t show up or a cabinet company that went out of business part way through the job. No one knew how to find a trustworthy, quality contractor. I saw the problem and started thinking about a way to connect homeowners with trusted trades.”

RenovationFind

Q: What is your favourite part of the Edmonton Fall Home Show?

"I love the home renovation industry and love seeing homeowners getting excited about their home transformations through renovations. I also am passionate about promoting the companies in our directory. If we can connect a seeking homeowner with a trustworthy company, we can help both out. This is our goal at home shows.”

Q: What design or decor trends are you loving in 2019 or anticipating for 2020?

"We talk to a lot of homeowners during these home and renovation shows, and we often conduct surveys. We’ve learned that most homeowners are more interested in renovating the home they have rather than buying a new home and moving. People are renovating to improve the home they love, or to accommodate their changing needs. It seems more people are interested in staying rooted in their communities and home renovations allows them to do that.”

Q: Are there any success stories you'd like to share?

"Homeowners have been pleased with the RenovationFind directory. Consumer feedback has told us that having a list of pre-screen and continually monitored contractors really takes a lot of stress out of the renovation process. For the companies, we can market their business to an engaged and interested target demographic. The companies on our site have seen increased business from quality leads generated from their listing and content posted on RenovationFind.com."

RenovationFind

Q: What can folks expect when they work with you?

"If you are a homeowner, you can expect honest, unbiased advice on hiring a renovation contractor or trades company. They can trust that we are doing our due diligence screening and constantly monitoring all the companies on the website. For those who sign up for a RenovationFind Membership, they can expect exclusive and discounted pricing and promotions from select renovation and home improvement companies in your city. They’ll find a huge list of categories including general contractors, concrete contractors, Edmonton painting contractors, siding contractors, HVAC contractors, electrical companies in Edmonton and more.

For companies, we are committed to promoting them to homeowners in the geographical market they serve. We send out promotional content to our vast membership via blog postings, social media marketing, email campaigns and search engine optimization targeting. We want to see these companies succeed and work hard to promote them and providing quality leads for their business.”

The Edmonton Fall Home Show is your source for trusted home experts, like RenovationFind. Join us at the Edmonton Expo Centre October 18-20 to get great ideas for your space and see HGTV Canada Celebrity Contractor Bryan Baeumler (appearing Friday and Saturday). We can't wait to see you at the show!

Sponsor Spotlight: RenovationFind

Oct 03, 2019

We're excited to have RenovationFind as a sponsor of the 2019 Vancouver Fall Home Show. Before you visit this unique company at the Vancouver Convention Centre - West over the October 24-27 weekend, please enjoy our brief interview with the RenovationFind team below.

RenovationFind

 

Q: How does your service work?

"RenovationFind provides homeowners with a listing of pre-screened, ethical and trustworthy contractors, certified trades and home improvement companies. Every company listed on www.renovationfind.com has gone through a stringent screening and certification process. We use a third-party organization to run background checks on what we believe are the seven most important criteria in the industry. Those criteria include legal background checks, credit background checks, monitoring for customer complaints, checking for proof of a valid business license and insurance, as well as WCB coverage. Companies who are a member of the Better Business Bureau receive a higher ranking on the directory. Using that third-party, we can continually monitor the companies on the directory to ensure every company listed is up to standard.

RenovationFind is focused on protecting homeowners from getting ripped off by contractors and renovation companies. The second part of our business is to promote the good, worthy companies, and to help create a positive reputation for our industry. We want to see success for both the homeowner and the contractor involved in the home renovation.”

Q: What can we look forward to from you at the Vancouver Fall Home Show?

"Visitors will find us at our booth and learn more about what RenovationFind does. Our mission at these shows is to help connect homeowners with reputable contractors, so we allow homeowners to post their projects on a tablet at our booth. Then we provide them with three quotes from contractors on our directory for that project. For example, if they are looking to completely renovate the main floor of their house, we can connect them with general contractors in Vancouver, and give them actual quotes for their project.

We also invite visitors to the show to sign up for a RenovationFind Membership. RenovationFind Members receive exclusive, discounted pricing from a select list of partnering businesses in their city. This can help them save money on future home renovations. As an incentive to sign up, visitors can enter to win an iPad and $1000 cash at our booth at the Vancouver Fall Home Show.”

 RenovationFind

 

Q: What advice do you have for homeowners?

"Research, research and more research. Before you hire anyone to work on your home, do extensive research on that company. First, check to see if they are on a third-party site like ours or the BBB. Then ask to see documentation of their credentials including insurance, WCB coverage and a prepaid contractor license. It is your right has a homeowner to see those things, so do not feel shy to ask.

You should also get everything on paper, including a detailed breakdown of your project and its costs as well as any permits pulled for your project. Make sure these hardcopy documents are signed and legally executable. When you are asking for references, I recommend asking for a reference on the last three jobs they’ve completed. Make sure they provide you with a valid invoice or other documentation that proves it was a real customer. If you ask for any three references, the contractor will always give you their three best, as we all would. By getting to speak with the last three projects, you’ll get a more accurate idea of the work they do and the overall customer experience.”

Q: What inspires your services?

"I met a lot of people through my granite countertop company that were being ripped off by contractors and companies in the industry. Because counters are one of the last things that go into the home, my company K & J’s Custom Granite often heard about all the bad experiences that happened before we got there. Contractors taking deposits and disappearing, or companies going out of business before completing the job. We heard so many bad stories it was getting ridiculous. I wanted to create a solution for homeowners. To connect them with the good, trustworthy companies I knew were out there. In doing this, I hoped to improve the home renovation experience for homeowners and improve the diminishing reputation of the renovation industry.”

Q: What is your favourite part of the Vancouver Fall Home Show?

"The best part about our participation in these shows is connecting homeowners with the companies on our directory. It’s win-win for all involved. A homeowner can feel at ease knowing they’re meeting a contractor that can be trusted to do good work and the companies we work with will get the business they deserve.”

 RenovationFind

 

Q: What design or decor trends are you loving in 2019 or anticipating for 2020?

"We talk to a lot of people at these shows and we often conduct surveys. We have found that more and more people are choosing to renovate rather than buy a new home and move. People are enjoying their neighbourhoods, they like their homes, they just need to renovate to meet their changing needs for both function and aesthetics. Whether it’s remodeling the basement or bathroom renovations in Vancouver, we’ve loved watching this trend of people improving their homes for a long-term stay.”

Q: Are there any success stories you'd like to share?

"Homeowners have been happy to have access to the RenovationFind directory. We’ve received feedback that our directory of pre-screened companies really takes the stress out of finding and hiring someone for a home renovation. Then knowing they are constantly monitored, makes the whole renovation process less stressful.

The companies listed on RenovationFind.com benefit from increased business. We work hard to market them to their target geographical market through their listing and content posted on RenovationFind’s marketing streams.”

Q: What can folks expect when they work with you?

"For homeowners, you can expect unbiased, down-to-earth and honest advice on hiring a certified trade or home renovation contractor. Homeowners can trust that we are doing our due diligence screening and continually monitoring all the companies on the website. If you become a RenovationFind Member, you will receive exclusive pricing and promotions from select renovation and home improvement companies in your city. They’ll find a huge list of categories including general contractors, Vancouver insulation companies, concrete contractors, painters, electricians, HVAC companies, siding contractors, window companies, roofers, and more!

For companies, we are committed to promoting them to homeowners in their city and target market. We broadcast their content and messaging to our vast membership through email campaigns, blog postings, social media marketing and search engine optimization targeting. We work hard to promote the companies on our site and celebrate when we see their business grow.”

The Vancouver Fall Home Show is your source for trusted home experts, like RenovationFind. Join us at the Vancouver Convention Centre-West October 24-27 to get great ideas for your space and see HGTV Canada Celebrity Contractor Bryan Baeumler (appearing Friday and Saturday). We can't wait to see you at the show!

Get Ready to Spark Joy

Oct 03, 2019

Minimalism has been a huge trend for a few years now. Experts are drawing connections between a tidy living space and many lifestyle benefits, including clarity of mind. Meet Elisa Albury, our very own local KonMari expert! What is KonMari? The KonMari Method™ is an approach to tidying up, created by tidying expert and best-selling expert Marie Kondo. The KonMari Method™ is different from most, in that it focuses on tidying by category, not location or room-to-room. KonMari places importance on being mindful, introspective and forward-looking. Elisa is one of three certified KonMari consultants in the state of Utah and she will be joining us this Fall on the Design Stage at the Deseret News Home Show.

6 Basic Rules of The KonMari Method™

1. Commit yourself to tidying up.

2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle.

3. Finish discarding first.

4. Tidy by category, not by location.

5. Follow the right order.

6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy.

Learn to “Spark Joy” this weekend with Elisa on the Design Stage:

- Friday, October 11th at 7pm

- Saturday, October 12th at 3pm

- Sunday, October 13th at 1pm

For ideas and consultations, follow Elisa on Instagram at @sparkjoymission. And be sure to follow us, too (@SLCHomeShow)!

What's Cooking at the Show

Oct 02, 2019

This fall at the Deseret News Home Show don’t miss Karen Folcik on the Kitchen Stage sharing delicious and family-friendly meals made easy. Karen is a wife, mother of two and a published cookbook author. Her book Happy Tummies: A Cookbook For New Mamas is full of delicious and nutritious meals for infants. Written for the busy and modern mom, with evidence-based research, this book is perfect for little ones moving towards solids. It was recently featured on MarthaStewart.com and Karen has made appearances on SirusXM radio, several magazines, and at local events.

Make your tummy happy, go cook with Karen Folcik at the Kitchen Stage, as she shares delicious and family-friendly meals made easy.

Join Karen on the Kitchen Stage:

- Make Ahead Fall Favorites: Saturday, October 12th at 2:30pm

- Feel Good Comfort Food: Sunday, October 13th at 1:30pm

Follow Karen on Instagram for quick ideas! @happytummiescookbook And be sure to follow us, too! @SLCHomeShow

For more family-friendly recipes, check out: Happy Tummies: A Cookbook For New Mamas. Available on Amazon. Read on to enjoy one of our favorite recipes from Karen, sweet potato banana muffins. Yum!

Sweet Potato Banana Muffins

These (flourless) sweet potato banana muffins are an easy and wholesome breakfast or snack for the whole family. You wouldn’t know it eating them, but they are made without butter, sugar, oil or flour! It comes together in a blender, and cooks in under 15 minutes, so it’s totally doable for a weekday morning or busy afternoon.

INGREDIENTS:

• 1 Cooked Sweet Potato

• 1 c Canned Sweet Potato Puree

• 2 Bananas

• 2 Eggs

• ¾ c Smooth Peanut Butter

• 2 t Pumpkin Pie Spice

• 2 t Baking Powder

• Cooking Spray

TOPPINGS:

• Chocolate Chips (maybe mini chocolate chips)

• Hemp Seeds

• Shredded Coconut

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin pan with butter cooking spray.

2. Place all the ingredients (except the baking powder) in a blender.

3. Blend on high until smooth. Then add the baking powder and pulse to combine.

4. Use a large cookie scoop to scoop the batter into muffin tins. Then add toppings if you want them.

5. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Get more delicious recipes and cooking tips at the Deseret News Home Show, October 11-13 at the Mountain America Expo Center. We can’t wait to see you at the show!

Top 5 Must See

Oct 01, 2019
design-room-blog-size

When the Downtown Raleigh Home Show returns to the Raleigh Convention Center October 4-6, there is so much to do a see. We’re helping to plan your day at the show by highlighting the top five not-to-be-missed features: 

 

1. Designer Rooms Curated by The Design Haus. The Design Haüs is hosting KNOW THE PRO - where show guests can visit with a team of designers while touring three fully furnished designer rooms curated by The Design Haüs. The designer rooms are full of the latest and greatest furniture, decor and design trends that will give your home the up-to-date look it deserves. 

2. Eye Candy At The Trend Gallery The home show experience is a great place to pick up lots of eye candy -- and one of the best places to catch it is at the Trend Gallery. Located at the show entrance, it’s a visual representation of the latest interior design and décor finishes, furniture, colors, textures and patterns, curated by local interior design one-stop-shop, Help Me Rhonda Interiors & Open Door Furniture and Accents. Stop by and enter to win a $200 gift card. 

 

 

3. Great Kitchen Giveaway. Need new kitchen backsplash, flooring, countertops, cabinets? Do you need a refresh or complete renovation? The GREAT KITCHEN GIVEAWAY is the answer! Enter to win these great prizes and see The Kitchen Giveaway at the Downtown Raleigh Home Show and meet with experts for each of these services.

4. Shop Local. Support local business and artisans at The Touch of Home Market, a shopping destination within the show. Check out this spot for the touches that make a house feel like a home: handmade items, home décor, pet products, gourmet gifts, and more. Located near the beginning of Aisle 100. 

5. The Great Outdoors. A fan favorite feature at the Downtown Raleigh Home Show are the large, lush displays of outdoor living. Luxury Living Scapes is building an Outdoor Oasis on aisle 1200 while RB Landscaping is spotlighting unique hardscapes, landscapes and outdoor living on the opposite aisle 100. 

 

Posted on: October 1, 2019

DIY Life

Oct 01, 2019

Meet Ronda Batchelor, the local DIY expert and home blogger taking over our Re-Design on a Dime feature. See the before and after of the dining area that Ronda created on just a $500 budget. With DIY, organization and interior design as her passions, Ronda is always working on another project. She uses a lot of second-hand materials to make her masterpieces come to life. Her projects have been featured in magazines including Better Homes and Gardens, This Old House Magazine, and Cottages and Bungalows.

Looking to add some glam to your fan? Ronda has just the thing in 3 easy steps!

Glam Your Fan

http://www.batchelorsway.com/2013/01/office-redo-custom-ceiling-fan-blades.html

1. Spray paint all the blades Krylon Classic Gray in gloss.

• ProTip: Gloss makes it easier to clean.

2. Find a great template! Print it out, trace it and cut it out of cardboard. Then trace the outline onto the fan blades.

• Ronda used one from Jones Design Company available here: https://jonesdesigncompany.com/decorate/painted-wallpaper-a-tutorial/

3. Then just paint the lines with a small craft brush and light gray craft paint.

Ta-da, a whole new look in just minutes!

Visit her blog for more DIY ideas. And find tons of home project inspiration at the Deseret News Home Show, October 11-13 at the Mountain America Expo Center. We can’t wait to see you there!

Designer Rooms

Sep 30, 2019

Are you always seeking the latest in design and home décor trends? We know we’ll see you at the Deseret News Home Show, ready to discover the latest styles. In addition to the local home experts you can expect to meet throughout the Mountain America Expo Center, be sure to tour our Designer Rooms display, brought to you by Down to Earth Home Furnishings and Accessories. You don’t want to miss this unique feature, trust us!

Located in Gardner Village, Down to Earth has something for everyone. They have a team of interior designers to assist and inspire you in creating your dream space. With a range of styles to select from, you could be ready to start your new bedroom, dining room, or living room by the time you leave the show. We’re talking furniture paradise, with an abundance of accessories and an impressive assortment of furnishings!

Are you a designer? Check out their Garden Mills Company Stores Designer Program, where you can apply to receive competitive to-the-trade pricing. https://www.gardnervillage.com/down-to-earth-designer-program

These Designer Rooms will be on display on Aisle #1800 all weekend at the Deseret News Home Show, October 11-13, 2019 at the Mountain America Exposition Center. Just another reason to attend the show!

Tried-and-True Tricks from Jeff Devlinâ˜ș

Sep 28, 2019

Home improvement fans will know Jeff Devlin for numerous appearances on HGTV and DIY Network shows including Stone House Revival, Smart Home, I Hate My Bath, Good, Better, Best…, Spice Up My Kitchen, Ellen’s Design Challenge and many others, totaling well over 200 episodes. 

Jeff’s professional foray into carpentry began over 20 years ago as an apprentice for a historic home remodeler, where he honed his skills in the trade and gained a deep appreciation for the character, craftsmanship and beauty of historic dwellings. 

Before he brings his tried-and-true, time tested tricks to the show, we got to know him a little better: 

Jeff Devlin profile pic

 

What tool should every homeowner own?  Kreg Pocket Hole Jig 

Wallpaper: love or hate? It does have its place but normally not a fan 

Are you a plant lover, or is your green thumb lacking?  Plant lover, however I can’t keep anything alive. 

What’s your favorite HGTV or DIY Network series?  BarnWood Builders 

What’s the biggest DIY fail you’ve seen?  I have seen so many but they all circle around not planning your project appropriately and setting your budget ahead of time.

Tell us about your pets. I have 9 chickens and a Saint Bernard named Gretel. My chickens are awesome as I have fresh scrambled eggs pretty much every morning. Gretel goes pretty much everywhere with me and is a great broom in the shop as all the sawdust sticks to her fur.

What’s your favorite paint color? Off White or Barn Red (Trim) 

Any simple tips for upgrading a small bathroom?  Keep it simple. Tile that is too busy can be jarring in a small space. 

What are you currently reading? “The Soul of a Tree” by George Nakashima 

Favorite room in your home? Family Room, We always seem to huddle around the fireplace even in the summer. 

Any furniture thrifting tips? Look for good quality solid wood furniture, Will last you forever and can be passed down for generations. 

 

Jeff appears at the show on Friday, October 4 at 3 p.m. ; Saturday, October 5 at 12 p.m.and 3 p.m. and Sunday, October 6 at 12 p.m. 

 

Date Posted: September 28, 2019

 

Dave Baker: Fix-it Guru

Sep 27, 2019

You hear him every Saturday morning dispensing home fix-it advice and sharing stories about projects gone awry.  Dave Baker’s home improvement expertise has earned him a weekly program on News 95.5 AM 750 WSB and thousands of loyal fans.  And, while he and his panel of trusted experts offer advice via the radio show and e-mail newsletter on a variety of subjects, there is one topic Dave returns to on a regular basis:

Dave Baker

 

What Every Homeowner Should Know

1)  Know how to shut off your water.  There’s a shut-off valve at your home as well as at the street.  Find them and learn how to shut them off.  This can save you a multitude of problems if you have a water issue. 

2)  Know where the shut-off switch is for your heating and air conditioning system.  It usually looks like a regular light switch.  If you have a fire and have time to get to it safely, turn the HVAC off.

3)  Know where the main breaker is for your home’s electricity.  It could be in the circuit box or located outside.  Older boxes may require turning off each breaker individually.  Know where your electric panel is and how it works.

4)  Know that you have working smoke detectors in every sleeping room, plus hallways and gathering rooms.  Dave recommends installing smoke detectors in mechanical rooms, too.  If yours are not hardwired into the home’s electrical system, change the batteries when you change your clocks to go on and off Daylight Savings Time.

5)  Know how to get out of your home in case of a fire.  Locate the nearest doors and windows from each bedroom and store rope ladders where needed.  Make a family plan and identify a location outside where everyone will meet once you have exited the home.

 

Walter Reeves: The Georgia Gardener

Sep 27, 2019

Whether you are an experienced gardener, or just getting started, there’s always something to learn from Walter Reeves, the Georgia Gardener.  With his decades of gardening know-how and his folksy style, it’s no wonder Walter has been a mainstay of Atlanta radio and TV for over 25 years.  He’ll broadcast “The Lawn and Garden Show” on News 95.5 AM 750 WSB live from the PMCPros Home Show Stage on Saturday morning, Sept. 28 from 6-9 a.m.  Arrive before 9 a.m. and say the password “PMCPros” for free admission to the broadcast and to the Home Show when it opens at 10 a.m.

Walter Reeves
 
As you might expect, after decades of taking gardening calls live on the radio, Walter has heard some unusual questions!  Here are just a few of the stranger questions he’s received.
 
Frequently, I have callers ask me if they can get rid of fire ants by sprinkling raw grits around the ant mound.  They’ve heard the ants will eat the grits, which will swell inside the insect, causing it to explode.  No, this does not work.  Fire ants only eat liquefied materials.
 
I also get a lot of questions about weed killers, often after the homeowner has sprayed the wrong plants with unintended results.  Always follow the directions on the label and don’t spray weed killers on a breezy day.  Each summer callers want to know why their tomato plants are twisted and the fruit is wrinkled.  The plants probably were damaged by weed killer that drifted over.  

Pink and Purple Tulips

As you might expect, people send me a lot of photos to illustrate their plant questions.  From time to time, I get photos of poop!  One listener recently sent me a poop photo asking if I knew what animal left it on the deck (probably a raccoon, based on the number of seeds in the waste).  Another listener wanted to know if his neighbor’s cat or dog was using his flowerbed as a bathroom.  A friend helped me identify the perpetrator as a dog, since the poop in the photo was an unusual color, known to be the result of eating a particular brand of dog food.
 
Of course, I enjoy answering more common questions about pruning, planting, growing vegetables and herbs, plant selections, healthy lawns and more, but the unusual questions keep me on my toes.
 

Home on the Road

Sep 27, 2019

An all new feature at the fall show is Home on the Road, where guests can tour the most tricked out homes on wheels from Creative RV and Gander RV and Gander RV/Camping World. Campers and RVs meant for full-time travel or just a family vacation will be on display with great glamping appeal.

For new or soon-to-be RVers, Gander has come up with a list of top 5 rookie RV mistakes people make:

So, you’re new to RVing and ready to hit the road on your first RV vacation. Congrats! RVing is fun for all ages and a fantastic way to bond with your family, yourself, and the great outdoors.

Before you head out on your grand voyage, there are a few things you might want to keep in mind. As with any new activity or skill, there is a bit of a learning curve to RVing. With your RV manual in hand, let’s cover 5 beginner RV mistakes and how to avoid them:

1. Not using a checklist Checklists are pretty important when it comes to RVing. You can use one for setting up your campsite, taking down your campsite, packing, and so much more. Consult your manual (hint – this will be mentioned a lot) for a checklist relating to your specific RV. You may want to also create your own checklist as you go.

What happens when you don’t use a checklist?

Well, you might forget to do important tasks. It’s easy to get into a routine and miss one teensy little extremely important task, such as:

  • Forgetting to put your tow vehicle in park before unhooking it
  • Forgetting to take down your awning, antenna, etc
  • Forgetting to unchock your wheels before driving off
  • Forgetting to test your trailer brakes (which could significantly impact your stopping distance)

How to avoid this beginner RV mistake Use a checklist. You can find some great RV and packing checklists here on the Good Sam website.

2. Overpacking. This beginner RV mistake is so easy to do. There are so many cabinets in an RV to fill! Suddenly, your RV can be filled with an abundance of clothes, cooking supplies, food, games, and more.

Why is overpacking a problem? For a few different reasons. A little overpacking can be okay. I mean… you might play those extra 5 board games and you never know when the weather might unexpectedly change, making it a smart move to pack an all-season wardrobe!

It’s the extreme overpacking where you start to have problems. One, it can be really stressful to be in an environment with packed cabinets and clutter, especially if you are in a small rig or have multiple people in your RV. Two, overpacking can lead to dangerous weight problems. Every RV has a weight restriction and a carrying capacity (see your manual!). If you go over this weight, it can really hurt your RV, your gas mileage, and cause dangerous driving conditions.

How to avoid this beginner RV mistake. Pack less and weigh your rig before you leave. Over time, you’ll start to understand your RV and it’s weight limitations, making it easier for you to pack for future adventures.

3. Not leveling your rig. Famous last words of an RV newbie, “I don’t need to level the RV. I’m not going to be parked here very long”. If that’s true, then you might be okay leaving your RV unleveled temporarily. However, it’s usually not true. Something comes up, you get distracted, or you find a hiking trail and stay a few hours longer than you expected.

Why is not leveling your RV a problem? Because it might kill your RV fridge. This is inconvenient and also can be expensive to fix. Another side inconvenience of not leveling your RV is that your tanks may not read properly. Think you have plenty of room in your black tank before dumping? Think again! It also can make dumping your RV very difficult if you are unlevel.

rv

 

How to avoid this beginner RV mistake In your RV manual (see how important this book is?), you may find a section about your RV fridge. It will tell you how many degrees off level your fridge can go before it fails. Always carry a level with you to make sure the fridge is within this range. If you know you will be unlevel for a length of time exceeding your manual’s specifications, turn the fridge off temporarily. Plan your travels accordingly.

Even if you are parking at a rest stop overnight, try to get as level as possible for your own sleeping comfort and RV care. This doesn’t always mean you have to pull out the leveling blocks, just look for more level areas of the parking lot.

4. Not making campground reservationsGoing on an RV vacation can take some logistical planning. It’s tempting to say “Let’s see how far we can drive today” or “We’ll just find a campground when we get there”. You may even be the spontaneous type who wants to have a flexible schedule. I totally get that. I like to have a flexible travel schedule myself when I’m on the road, but you should always at least have a reservation for tonight. If you’re on a short-term RV vacation, try to book as many trip reservations in advance as possible.

Why is booking reservations last minute a problem?

RV Parks and campgrounds can fill up really fast, especially in busy times during the year. If you don’t make reservations ahead of time, you can be left without a place to park. This is very stressful and very un-fun. Fun is our goal. Not un-fun.

How to avoid this beginner RV mistake. Plan your travels out ahead of time. Leave early enough each day to get where you need to go in the daytime. Driving in the dark and arriving at your campground in the dark is also un-fun.

5. Not checking the weather

Between packing the RV and planning out campground reservations, who has time to check the weather along the route? You do. Or you should if you want to have a fun and safe RV vacation.

Why is not checking the weather a problem?

Weather conditions can change your plans and potentially put you in risky situations. It’s best to be aware and prepared. Driving in rain or high winds can be dangerous and it’s also not so great on the gas mileage. Storms or even just wind can also damage your campsite and awning.

How to avoid this beginner RV mistake

Check the weather all along your route. Leave time in your schedule to be flexible with weather conditions. Don’t be in a hurry. Avoid bad weather if possible. Put away outdoor items (chairs, toys, etc) in high winds and put up your awning. Locate the nearest shelter if you have any sign of tornados (it’s usually a bathhouse or meeting space at a campground).

Bonus Mistake: Forgetting the manual

As you probably noticed from the rest of this article, your RV manual is fairly important. Don’t leave this one at home. Keep it somewhere you can easily reference if needed. Having it on board will give you peace of mind during your travels.

Be sure to visit the Home on the Road feature at the show. For more information, please visit www.jacksonvillefallhomeshow.com

5 EASY WAYS TO MAKE YOUR HOME MORE SUSTAINABLE

Sep 27, 2019

Want to make your household more eco-friendly, but aren’t sure where to start? Coughing up thousands of dollars to install solar panels isn’t the only way to make your home more sustainable. Here are five easy things you can do to help shrink your carbon footprint that might even save you some money.

 

  1. Start Composting: Instead of sending your food and yard waste off to a landfill where it’ll take up space and release potent methane gas, use it to help plants in your yard flourish. Adding compost to soil helps prevent plant diseases, reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, and aides in the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that turn organic matter into a nutrient-rich material. Take a look at the EPA’s guide to composting for step-by-step instructions on how to get started.
  2. Switch to Non-Toxic Household Cleaners: Many household cleaning products contain chemicals that could be harmful to both you and the environment. The manufacturing, packaging, use, and disposal of household cleaners can contribute to air pollution, water pollution, and ecosystem damages. Making your own household cleaners is a safe and cost-effective alternative. In fact, you probably have many of the ingredients you’ll need in your pantry already!
  3. Install a Low-Flow Shower Head: Did you know that up to 30 percent of the water you use at home comes out through your shower head? Making the switch to a low-flow shower head conserves water, energy, and money by reducing your household water consumption by at least 40 percent.
  4. Switch Off & Unplug: Get into the habit of turning the lights off when you leave a room, and unplugging electronics that you’re not using. These simple actions will reduce both your carbon footprint and your electricity bill — it’s a win-win!
  5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Reducing and reusing is just as important, if not more important, than recycling. Limit your use of single-use plastics such as plastic grocery bags, water bottles, and utensils by investing in reusable items instead. Also, try your hand at fixing or refurbishing broken tools and furniture instead of throwing it away.
  6. Go Fluorescent: Fluorescent lightbulbs are four to six times more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs because they don’t waste energy on producing heat in addition to light. Plus, they last much longer, which means fewer trips to your local hardware store!

 

Want to make your home more Earth-friendly? Come visit with more than 250 home improvement pros at the Richmond Home Show on October 11-13, 2019 at Richmond Raceway Complex. Order your tickets online today to save $2.

Exhibitor Spotlight: Love Path / Hempferu

Sep 27, 2019

The San Antonio Home & Garden Show is happening at the Alamodome this weekend! Your source for trusted home experts and everything you need to make your dream home a reality, guests can also shop Love Path / Hempferu in Booth #342. 

Please describe your products and services.

"Organic full spectrum CBD products. Tinctures, capsules, salves, hard candy, Vape cartridges, and maple syrup sticks!"

Visit the Love Path / Hempferu team in Booth #342 to learn more and shop for these unique products. 

The San Antonio Home & Garden Show starts today at 2pm. Doors are open until 7pm on Friday, from 10am until 7pm on Saturday and from 11am until 6pm on Sunday. Join us for home inspiration and project ideas. Plus, TLC's Trading Spaces and ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition star Ty Pennington will be appearing LIVE on Saturday. Don't miss it!

Mike Rowe Skilled Trades

Sep 26, 2019

All new for this year, the show is focusing on skilled trades - including the Skilled Trades Resource Center with everything about the latest apprenticeship program offerings, as well as information from show exhibitors that are hiring. In addition, the show is celebrating Trade Day on Thursday, September 26 with complimentary admission on to those in a skilled trade or students enrolled in a vocational school, with ID. 

It’s all part of the show’s recently launched partnership with skilled-trade advocate Mike Rowe, best known as the creator and host of Dirty Jobs

Rowe has partnered with Mike and his foundation, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation to help bring attention to a challenge facing the home improvement industry: the widening skills gap and need for more students to pursue a career in skilled trades. 

According to the Associated General Contractors of America, 75% of construction companies nationwide are having trouble finding qualified workers. “It was Mike Rowe’s work with his foundation and the fact that he has become an important voice in sounding the alarm around the skilled trade gap, that drew us to this partnership,” explained Tom Baugh, CEO of Marketplace Events.   

“Through the Foundation we are committed to supporting the local builders, remodelers, installers, repairmen, and all skilled tradespeople who do the jobs that most people are unable or untrained to do,” said Rowe. “There’s really not many places left like these local home shows where homeowners can meet with their local experts, get trusted advice, talk price, look them in the eye, shake their hand and decide for themselves, yes, I’m good with letting this company in my home.”  

As part of the show’s commitment to support local builders and skilled tradespeople, Trade Day is on Thursday, September 26 with complimentary admission on to those in a skilled trade or students enrolled in a vocational school, with ID.

 

Mike Rowe won’t be at the Jacksonville show, but we wanted to get to know our new partner a little better: 

Marketplace Events:  What does “home” mean to you?  
Mike Rowe:  Home is the place we start from. Every other place, no matter how homey, is just an address.  
 
Marketplace Events:  What project have you been most proud to work on? 
Mike Rowe:  Tough to beat Dirty Jobs. It was not only a hit, it transformed cable television, reinvigorated my career, and began as a tribute to my grandfather. That show checked a lot of boxes. Lately, I’m proud of Returning the Favor on Facebook, and a new book based on my podcast, called The Way I Heard It. I’d be a fool if I didn’t direct you to www.mikerowe.com/book.  According to my mother, it’s a “must read.”  
 
Marketplace Events:  What’s one thing you wish every homeowner knew?            
Mike Rowe:  I wish people understood how much they could save by making bi-weekly payments instead of monthly. It’s simple, and for most people doable. An easy way to save a small fortune. 
 
Marketplace Events:  What three items do you always keep in your pockets? 
Mike Rowe:  If you don’t count both hands, I’d go with keys, lifesavers, and poo-bags. (For the dog, not me.) 
  
Marketplace Events:  Most memorable career moment to date? 
Mike Rowe:  If by “memorable,” you mean, “impossible to forget,” I’m pleased to say the list is long, and tough to choose from. But I suppose I could tell you about the time I agreed to “field test” a chain mail “shark suit” for an episode of Shark Week. It didn’t occur to me that doing so would require me to wear the aforementioned steel suit, while a dozen reef sharks took turns biting me, shaking me, and dragging me to the bottom of the ocean in the midst of a blood-soaked feeding frenzy. But that’s precisely what happened, moments before I ran out of air, sixty feet below the surface. This was by no means my “favorite” moment, but, as the images online illustrate, a memorable one. 
  
Marketplace Events:  How were you discovered? 
Mike Rowe:  Well, my parents discovered me in a fairly traditional way, back in 1962, when I first entered the world on the 18th of March. After that, a lot of people encouraged me and ultimately convinced me that I could make a living in front of the camera and on stage. I guess the first break I got in the business, was an offer to sing in the Baltimore Opera. This opened a series of doors I didn’t know existed, and before long, I was auditioning for hundreds of different jobs, which eventually got me a steady gig on the QVC Cable Shopping Channel, selling God-knows what in the middle of the night on live television. If you’re really interested, I made an animated video that answers this question in detail, which you’re welcome to watch over here. https://www.mikeroweworks.org/sweat/   
(See Pledge #2. Heads up. It involves animated nudity.) 
  
Marketplace Events:  What’s mikeroweWORKS Foundation all about?  
Mike Rowe:  mikeroweWORKS began as PR initiative to help close America’s skills gap. I launched it ten years ago on Labor Day. Fans of Dirty Jobs helped me build an online Trade Resource Center, which generated a ton of great press, and got me in front of Congress on multiple occasions. Today, we’ve morphed into a scholarship fund that assists people looking to learn a skill or master a trade. Every year, we award a few hundred “Work Ethic Scholarships.” So far, about $5 million dollars worth. Additionally, I’ve become an annoyance to universities that charge obscene amounts for degrees that have left a generation with over $1.5 trillion of student debt, which I personally feel to be a scandal of monumental proportions. If you’re really interested, I made an animated video that answers this question in detail, which you’re welcome to watch over here. https://www.mikeroweworks.org/sweat/ 
 (See Pledge #5. Heads up. It involves animated outrage.) 
 
Marketplace Events:  Describe our Home Show(s) in one word.  
Mike Rowe:  I can’t find a word that combines elements of “pandemonium” as well as “delightful.” So let’s go with “pandelightful.” 
 
Marketplace Events:  You’ve been interviewed many times. What is the one question you always wish someone would ask?  
Mike Rowe:  Honestly, I don’t think I have one. If there’s something I really want to say, I’ll find a way to jam it into another answer. I can tell you however, that I’m awash in gratitude whenever an interview concludes, without being asked to describe my dirtiest job. Which is why this exchange has been much better than average. 
 

Hobbit Homes Bring Nature Back Home

Sep 26, 2019

Do you love the feeling that being out in nature provides? Enjoy the beauty and life of what is around you all from the comforts of your own home – your own hobbit home, that is. Now architects like Attie Jonker of Azzanarts are making fantasies into reality with the design and construction of hobbit homes. This latest building and housing craze combine the whimsical feelings of nature with the growing desire for many homeowners to downsize into tiny home concepts.

The beauty in the hobbit home concept is its simplicity to use a space’s existing landscape and build directly into them to maintain as much of the integrity of the greenspace while giving homeowners a unique feeling of living in and around nature. This type of design also gives people the ability to experience the tiny home trend, which looks to utilize every inch of space to minimize square footage and reduce a person’s environmental footprint. Since this type of structure is partially built into the landscape, it utilizes many resources that are eco-friendly, and uses less energy than traditional homes.

While many hobbit homes are on prominent display in New Zealand, which is where the trend began, there will be an exhibit right here in San Antonio at the Fall Home and Garden Show!

With this kid-sized, whimsical structure on display, architect Attie Jonker takes a backyard playhouse to a whole new level! Whether you are looking to make a big change in your living situation or just want to see this amazing display and the details on tiny home living, then make plans to come out this year to the San Antonio Fall Home and Garden Show. Live like -- and play like a hobbit this year!

Sherwin Williams 2020 Color Palette

Sep 26, 2019

Your forecast is officially in! Sherwin Williams has just released its Colormix Forecast 2020, which introduces 45 trend-setting colors that will be sure to set your home or office apart and provide you with a new outlook on the year. These colors have been separated into five amazing palettes so you can decide for yourself the tone, feeling and joy each one can bring to you. See for yourself how each palette appeals to you!

Mantra

Sherwin Williams describes this theme as an east meets west style. With soft, muted neutrals that shift from warm to cool tones, it embraces the simple and ordered elegance of Japanese  and Nordic aesthetics to create a calming environment. Use this palette to create a sanctuary at home that will spread a sense of serenity to you and all your guests!

Heart

Want that great mix of modernity with a unique boho vibe? Look no further than the Heart palette! This collection of colors looks to harmonize silky earth tones with fun pops of color to find that perfect balance. Get that modern design look and feel with a little bit of soul with this amazing palette.

Alive

Wake up the senses and give off a sense of positivity with this theme! With rich blues, vibrant oranges and ripe olive tones, there is a feeling of rejuvenation with these colors. Fill your space with optimism and authenticity, and get ready for a satisfying and comforting view on life!

Play

Everyone loves to play and let loose a little, and this palette is no different. Filled with energetic, fun colors, the Play palette lets you add a little humor and warmth into your space, which is sure to spread to you and your guests. We all still have that little child in us that wants to have fun, so let them free and brighten up your space and soul with these amazing colors.

Haven

Your home should be your safe haven, so make sure you get a color to complement that goal with this palette! These colors were inspired by Earth’s seasonal cycles and geography to bring the beauty all around you into your space. From its simplicity, you can transport yourself and your space to other parts of the world and give your home the comfort and safety that comes with a haven.

Want to check these palettes and colors out for yourself? All these colors will be displayed front and center at the San Antonio Fall Home and Garden Show! Make plans today to come out and see how these colors speak to you and can make 2020 a new and exciting year for you.

Want a Tiny Home? 5 Things to Consider

Sep 26, 2019

The Tiny House has become a movement across the country and continues to fascinate those interested in living a simpler life! Not only can you learn more about this trend at the San Antonio Fall Home & Garden Show, but we are here to give you a few tips on things to consider before going all-in on your very own tiny home.

  1. Think it Through – Whether it is for your primary home or a small (pun intended) vacation home, you need to make sure you, your partner, and family are prepared for this type of living. While they may be cute and whimsical, tiny homes are just like real homes with a lot less space for things. Make sure everyone is on board and ready to make this exciting transition.

  2. Find your Community – Everything is better when you have someone else going through the same thing. Meeting other tiny homeowners will give you a sense of community and others to rely upon during the good and bad times. Since tiny homes are so unique and interesting, expect to find like-minded individuals that will certainly make your new home or vacation exciting. Online resources and platforms such as Meetup are a good place to start.

  3. Taking Stock of Possessions – One of the biggest changes when moving into a Tiny Home or taking a vacation to one is the amount of space. Many of us are used to much more space in our homes, and with more space, many of us have possessions that fill it up. The whole point of tiny home living is to live with the bare essentials and make use with less. As a result, make sure you go through everything you own and confirm whether you can live without it or need it. Take your time with this step! Many families take months if not a year or two to declutter and confirm what is necessary before taking the plunge.

  4. Work with an Expert – When you are finally ready to start that new home or build your dream vacation oasis, find a design expert and map out your new place. Remember a tiny home may have less space but you should never feel cramped in your new home! Account for the heights for everyone living there and make sure there is a good flow in the home to ensure easy access and utilization.

  5. Budget Time – The final thing to consider is budget. The beauty of tiny homes is that they can be very cost-effective for those on a budget, but costs can balloon depending on the design and features. Many appliances will have to be special ordered because of the size, and like any house, it is always wise to budget 10-15% more than what you expect for materials.
So where are you in the process? Curious? Ready to Build? Let us know and we hope to see you at the San Antonio Fall Home and Garden Show where you can see a tiny home up close and personal with more than 100 Construction Careers Academy students participating in the construction of this house to show off its carpentry, plumbing, electrical, and architecture. 

Interior Design Students Compete at the Home & Garden Show

Sep 26, 2019

At this year’s San Antonio Fall Home & Garden Show, you can expect to see a little friendly competition in the Designer Rooms Showcase! This design contest featuring University of the Incarnate Word interior design students puts them to the test as they are challenged to utilize the Sherwin Williams 2020 Color Palette and create a space that showcases what they’ve learned and their unique aesthetic.

The UIW Interior Design Competition has narrowed the participating students in the department’s room design competition to three room finalists! These finalists have each designed a 10x20-foot vignette space, using the color palette, furniture from CORT furniture, plants from H-E-B and accessories and artwork from various suppliers. Check out the finalists and what they will be showcasing at the event:

-          Amber Donaldson will be creating a home office and will be using the Sherwin Williams’ PLAY color palette throughout her designs.

-          Kristin Medrano is designing a living room using the ALIVE theme from Sherwin Williams and is taking influence from her memories of Puerto Rico. The greens, blues and neutral browns from the palette will provide the sense of nature that is felt throughout the island.

-          Jennifer Salyer and Sylvia Halbeisen are teaming up to design a bedroom using the HAVEN theme from Sherwin Wiliams’ 2020 color palette. Their shared vision will draw you into the space for a much-needed rest with textured walls, low-lying furnishings and organic accessories. This organized, simplistic room that hopes to connect you with nature will encourage you to relax!

During the Fall Home & Garden Show, industry vendors who are participating in the show will vote on the three vignettes. The first place winner will receive $750, the second place winner will receive $500 and the third place winner will receive $300.

GO TEXAN

Sep 25, 2019

Everything Is Better in Texas – Even the Gardening

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything is bigger in Texas! From its food, culture, design, and landscapes, Texas is a tremendous inspiration to many across the country. Are you looking to Texas up your home, garden, deck and more? The San Antonio Fall Home and Garden Show has an entire “Go Texan” section that will inspire you to bring the Lone Star state into your space. Just to give you a taste of the action, here are three great seminars that will teach you tips that will help your garden thrive!

  1. Installation of Drip Irrigation - Whether you are from Texas or are just passing through, there is one thing we can all agree on – the weather is extreme and changing! From wet springs, hot summers, short falls, and sometimes blisteringly cold winters, gardeners have a lot on their plates to be successful. Luckily, the experts from Bexar County Master Gardeners have you covered when it comes to watering everything from your flowers to your vegetables. Particularly, they will discuss the advantages of installing a drip irrigation system, which they claim is the easiest, most efficient, and most reliable way to deliver water to your garden. Come check out how to keep your flowers growing and your fruits tasty during even the driest times in Texas.
  2. Succulents and Plant Care - We all know that succulents can be great plants in Texas because of their resilience to heat and water shortage, but how do we care for these and other plants in our gardens to make sure they remain healthy and beautiful in the long-term in our Texas climate? Knowing how to care for the plant life in your home or garden is a great way to save money and maintain beauty over a long period of time.
  3. Texas Gardening Tips - You can have a green thumb or just be getting ready to plant your first garden, but you must check out this seminar before you plant anything in Texas. Texas has a climate that is comparable to none and based on what part of Texas you live in; your climate will be different from a fellow Texan living on the other side of the state. Join a master gardener as she shares insight into the challenges caused by our tough climate and discusses ways to overcome them.

These talks and other exhibits are waiting for you – and get ready to shop and browse the Go Texan section of the San Antonio Garden Show for all things Texas that will be sure to spruce up your home and garden! Get ready for some fun and learn a little bit about what makes Texas so great and unique at this year’s show.

Opening Day & Much More

Sep 25, 2019

Friday, Sept. 27 is not only Opening Day for the 36th Annual Fall Atlanta Home Show, but it is also Hero Day, Trade Day, and Teacher Appreciation Day! 

We honor our First Responders and Military Personnel by offering them free admission to the Fall Atlanta Home Show all day Friday, Sept. 27.  This offer includes active military, veterans, fire fighters, police officers and first responders with valid ID. For your service and sacrifice we thank you. 

Hero Day

Thanks to PMC Pros, Sept. 27 is also Trade Day when members of the housing industry will be admitted for free by presenting their business cards at the box office. 

Tape measure and drill

Because during Cobb County’s Fall Break, this year we are offering free admission to Educators and School Employees on Friday, Sept. 27!  Present your ID at the Box Office on Friday to enjoy free admission to the Fall Atlanta Home Show with our thanks for all you do.

Colored Pencils

 

Please note, this offer does not extend to family members. One complimentary ticket per ID.