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special section of THE HAMPTON CHRONICLE


									   From how-to tips to budgeting
   advice, our section covers every
   aspect of fall home improvement.
   Plus, find helpful advertising and
   offers from local home improvement

a special section of
Page 2 • Section B
Wednesday, October 26, 2011                                    Fall Home Improvement                                                                                        Hampton

Funding Your Next Improvement
  Maintenance is an inevi-      known as a second mort-        by subtracting the unpaid       nomic downturn. There-         like they are using a credit      spend and need creative fi-
table part of home owner-       gage. Homeowners borrow        mortgage balance and other      fore, homeowners should        card linked to their home’s       nancing methods to pay off
ship. Beyond routine fixes,     money by leveraging the eq-    debts on the home from          do their homework prior to     value. Borrowers are pre-         outstanding debt.
many homeowners aspire          uity in their homes. Equity    the property’s fair market      starting any improvements      approved for a set amount           Using a home equity loan
toward larger projects such     is the amount of ownership     value. It’s important to note   to determine if a home eq-     against which they can bor-       to make a home improve-
as room expansion or a new      value a homeowner has in       that some home values de-       uity loan is a good idea.      row. Monthly payments             ment should be done care-
roof or siding. Funding for     a property. It is calculated   crease during times of eco-        There are two main types    may vary and the interest         fully. Financial experts say
these projects may a loan                                                                      of home equity loans: A        rate is based on the current      that the loan should only be
from the bank.                                                                                 fixed-rate loan or a home      interest rate, meaning it can     taken if the renovation will
  A home equity loan or                                                                        equity line of credit.         fluctuate.                        add value to the home. Cos-
line of credit are common                                                                         With a fixed-rate loan, a     Home equity loans typi-         metic changes and personal
ways to pay for home reno-                                                                     lump sum is provided to the    cally offer interest rates that   additions, such as a swim-
vations. A home equity loan                                                                    homeowner, which is then       are lower than those linked       ming pool, may not justify
can be used for a number of                                                                    repaid over a set period of    to credit cards or offered        the cost of the loan.
things, including paying ed-                                                                   time with a fixed interest     with other types of loans.          Individuals can talk with
ucation expenses or buying                                                                     rate that is agreed upon by    The interest paid on these        a personal savings bank, the
luxury items. Oftentimes, a                                                                    the lender and the lendee.     loans also may be tax-de-         company that holds their
homeowner chooses to bor-                                                                      The payment and interest       ductible. Home equity loans       mortgage, a credit union, or
row against the equity in the                                                                  rate remain the same for the   are a good choice for re-         another financial institution
homes to make improve-                                                                         life of the loan.              sponsible homeowners who          to determine if a home eq-
ments that will increase the    Home equity loans are common ways to pay for home                 When          homeowners    have the means to repay the       uity loan is the right choice
value of the property.          improvements.                                                  choose a home equity line      loan. They can be a pitfall       in this current market.
  A home equity loan is also                                                                   of credit, or HELOC, it is     for borrowers who over-

Eco Stats To Consider
 Think it takes a lot to improve the environment? Think again. Here are some facts to ponder that show just how it easy it can be to make a positive impact on the
world in which we live.
 * By turning down your central heating thermostat one degree, fuel consumption is cut by as much as 10 percent.
 * Replacing all the 75-watt incandescent light bulbs to energy-efficient CFLs and LEDs can reduce carbon dioxide in the air by one ton.
 * Insulating the attic reduces energy usage by up to 20 percent in most homes.
 * 848 pieces of junk mail are delivered to each household per year in the U.S. Opting for e-mail promotions can help reduce junk mail.
 * According to the Enivronmental Protection Agency, in the past 50 years humans have consumed more resources than in all previous history.

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     Chronicle                                                        Fall Home Improvement                                                                                 Section B • Page 3
                                                                                                                                                                 Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Home Building News
Concrete Upholds Newest ‘Building Code’ Demands
   Building codes are en-           ly and others cumulatively,        continued. “Built like Lego,
forcing ‘energy efficiency’         year after year.                   the pre-assembled, inter-
in many parts of the world.            “Replacing wood, for ex-        locking blocks assure ad-
A legally enforced build-           ample, has so many spin off        herence to building code
ing code specifies the com-         benefits,” says Todd Blyth at      requirements; the ICFs
munity’s acceptable level           Nudura, the manufacturers          require less shipping space
of safety, function, and            of an advanced version of          and manpower than other
comfort -- and some ju-             the insulated concrete form        methods; and the construc-
risdictions have mandated           (ICF). “By building a house        tion time is much faster
a requirement of 35 to 40           with concrete instead of           than building with wood.
percent improvement.                wood framing you could             Busy builders and eager
   Many states are also             immediately benefit by             homeowners benefit equal-
steadily improving their            lower energy bills. You’d get      ly from this efficiency.”
‘sustainable practises’ with        to live in a stronger, more
advancements in insula-             comfortable home, build               How It Works
tion, air infiltration, and         equity for resale value, and          The forms are designed
window daylighting. Of              throughout your lifetime,          with monolithic concrete
equal value, the construc-          make a significant contri-         sandwiched between two
tion industry is now pro-           bution to the good health          continuous layers of ex-
ducing materials and meth-          of the planet.”                    panded polystyrene (EPS)
ods that are even more                 The Nudura system is            foam.                            ment. This faster method of      vides greater safety, offers

                                                                                                                                                                         Having a
efficient than mandated. So         highly rated due to its abili-        “The foam material iso-       construction creates a solid     greater sound resistance --
if you’re building or reno-         ty to deliver both energy ef-      lates the concrete and sig-      concrete wall.                   and would be far less prone

                                                                                                                                                                        Fund Raiser?
vating, be sure to follow the       ficiency and occupant com-         nificantly reduces the flow         “As a result, you will need   to mould, cold spots and
guidelines in your munici-          fort, this Nudura system for       of heat through the wall,”       less energy for mechanical
                                                                                                                                         drafts. Insulated concrete
pal building code.                  building concrete walls is         Blyth explained. “It stabiliz-   heating and cooling, deliv-
   A savvy homeowner                in high demand across the          es the internal temperature      ering cost savings through-      forms (
today knows that eco-re-            United States and Canada.          from day to night fluctua-       out the year. A home built       are an option, so be sure to
sponsibility pays dividends,           “Builders receive work-         tions and provides a largely     with this concrete system        discuss this method with

some of them pretty quick-          place benefits too,” Blyth         self-regulating     environ-     stands to be stronger, pro-      your builder.

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Page 4 • Section B
Wednesday, October 26, 2011                                Fall Home Improvement                                                                                  Hampton

Embracing Color on Your Home
  The growing trend of       homeowners are taking         “With the realization that    style. They are seeking out
homeowners staying in        steps to express their per-   they’re going to be stay-     both a noticeable change
their existing houses lon-   sonalities by adding color    ing in their current houses   and an improvement from
ger due to economic chal-    to everything from their      longer comes the commit-      existing products on the
lenges has had a colorful    roofs to their entry doors    ment by people to truly       home. The ability to add a
effect on homes. People      to their window frames.       personalize their homes.      creative element, personal
are taking the opportu-        “Today’s homeowners are     This has resulted in eye-     touch or signature color
nity to personalize their    looking beyond variations     catching neighborhoods.       tends to ‘bond’ home-
homes more with color-       of whites and beiges to set     “As homeowners replace      owners even more closely
ful exterior accents and     off the key accent points     major components of their     with their living spaces.”
they’re not stopping with    of their homes, such as       homes they place greater        According to Smith, one
just a splash of paint.      louvers, trim and window      value on finding prod-        of the hottest trends for
  According to national      frames,” says Smith, presi-   ucts with a long life span,   exterior enhancements is
color expert Kate Smith,     dent of Sensational Colors.   lower maintenance and         to select vinyl windows
                                                                                         with exterior color frames     Brick red vinyl window frames provide the perfect accent
                                                                                         that complement the            color on this home.
 INSTANT REBATES UP TO $1,400 ON QUALIFYING EQUIPMENT                                    overall look of the home.      green, bronze, driftwood       dows so homeowners can
                                                                                         She cites the Decorum by       and chocolate that per-        build with color confi-
          Save 25% with a                                                                Simonton product line as                                      dence right from the start.
                                                                                                                        fectly match up with the
     Spring & Fall “1st Call Plan”                                                       one that offers everything     earthy colors homeowners         “A window is like a two-
    Maintenance Inspection $9000                                                         consumers are looking for      gravitate to for their home    sided canvas,” says Smith.
                                                                                         -- color, energy efficiency,   exteriors. These same col-     “The colors on the frame
                                                                                         style and low maintenance.     ors can be drawn out fur-      exteriors enhance the
                                                                                           “With their minds on         ther on trim elements of       home’s overall appear-
                                                                                         sustainability and their       the home along with be-        ance from the street. And
                                                                                         eye on good design, many       ing component colors of        then when you get inside
           ALDEN & IOWA FALLS                                                            homeowners are investing       the roof and entry door.”      and select stylish wood-
                                                                                         in color as a way to express     Along with offering col-     grain frame interiors and
             641-648-6549                                                                themselves and reinvent                                       premium hardware fin-
                                                                                                                        orful exteriors on their re-
                                                                                         their current homes,” says     placement window frame         ishes, you’re adding beau-
     214 S. River Street • Iowa Falls                                                    Smith. “Simonton offers                                       ty to the room settings.
                                                                                                                        exteriors, Simonton also
  Serving Franklin, Hardin, Butler, Wright, Hamilton and Grundy Counties.                exterior window frame          offers the same colors on      That’s a ‘win-win’ experi-
                                                                                         colors of brick red, pine      new construction win-          ence for any homeowner.”

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    Construction, LLC
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                               641-456-5259                                                      Main Street, Dumont                              Phone (641) 857-3842
                      Chronicle                                                                 Fall Home Improvement                                                                                       Section B • Page 5
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Hidden Cost of Convenience
   With so many different                                      if just as a secondary TV in     ies power all of our portable      efficient and costs less over     self-discharge (meaning that        favorite portable devices. We
devices deemed necessary                                       the bedroom, it still may be     devices, and without them,         time. Rechargeable battery        it holds its charge for a long      know rechargeable batteries
these days, people often are                                   consuming more energy than       we are powerless to use them       technology has improved in        period of time), they are more      are convenient for our cell
unaware of the amount of                                       you think. A study done by       -- quite literally. Standard       the last five years that gets     appealing and more cost-ef-         phones, music players and
energy used and the costs as-                                  Cornell University found that    alkaline batteries may last a      rid of many of the ques-          fective than ever before. If they   readers, but we don’t usu-
sociated with keeping these                                                                                                        tions of using rechargeables.     are able to meet the demands        ally stop to think about them
devices running. While there                                                                                                          One example of these bat-      of our remotes and alarm            for other everyday items.
has been a lot of discussion                                                                                                       teries is the ‘eneloop,’ a pre-   clocks, the only thing that            When we become aware of
on “vampire” devices, elec-                                                                                                        charged rechargeable battery      holds us back is either not ac-     hidden costs and how they
tronics that continue to con-                                                                                                      that you can use out of the       knowledging the hidden costs        affect our pocketbooks over
sumer power even when in                                                                                                           package and recharge up to        associated with our portable        time, we become smarter con-
the stand-by position, it seems                                                                                                    1,500 times, made by SANYO.       power needs or our lack of          sumers and realize that a little
that many other everyday hid-                                                                                                      It also keeps its charge, up to   awareness of the new technol-       up front investment can often
den costs are overlooked.                                                                                                          85 percent after two years of     ogy that could save us money        mean less money paid out over
   Take a refrigerator that                                                                                                        non-use. Because the eneloop      in the long run and lower the       time, saving us more money
was purchased ten or more                                                                                                          is ready to use and has low       total cost of ownership of our      to buy the things we want.
years ago. It may still be run-
ning today just as strong,
and appear that is does not
need replacing. But did you                                                                                                                                                  27 years! banking experience
know that the refrigerator
technology has improved en-                                                                                                                                                     Rates are low! Refinance now!
ergy efficiency features and                                   a similar size LCD monitor       long time, but we constantly                                                          • Home loans
offer better performing mo-                                    compared to a CRT moni-          need a supply of them on                                                              • Home equity loans
tors to help save electricity?                                 tor used nearly 69 percent       hand and they can be expen-                                                           • Home equity lines of credit
According to the California                                    less energy (25 watts (LCD)      sive. When you stop to add
Energy Commission (www.                                        vs. 80 watts (CRT)), includ-     up how many AA or AAA                                                     Charlie Willms is your home loan expert.,                                     ing 40 percent less when in      batteries a standard home                                                             Call him today at
older refrigerators could                                      stand-by mode. With the          uses (all those remote con-                                                  641-456-2559 or 800-749-6209
be costing you up to $280 a                                    energy difference in mind,       trols, wireless keyboards,
year in electricity. A newer,                                  it might be the last evidence    mice and game controllers,
more efficient model could                                     you need to justify buying       not to mention the loud toys
pay for itself in a year or two.                               a new TV for the bedroom.        for the little ones), the hidden
   Similarly, if you have an                                      A more everyday example       cost of replacement batter-
older television with the clas-                                that might not be considered     ies can surprise you. Luckily,
sic cathode-ray tube in it, even                               as often is batteries. Batter-   there’s a solution that’s more                       100 1st St. NW • Hampton, Iowa 50441 •               Member FDIC

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Page 6 • Section B
Wednesday, October 26, 2011                                          Fall Home Improvement                                                                               Hampton

Savings Corner
Simple ways to reduce home heating costs
 The return of winter             leaky win-                                                                                                    clean-      In fact, the on-board com-
weather marks the return of       dows      and                                                                                                 i n g .     puter continuously moni-
many things, including win-       doorways                                                                                                      Prod-       tors boiler performance
ter coats, mornings spent         are destined                                                                                                  u c t s     while employing a predic-
shoveling snow and, for           to produce                                                                                                    like the    tive control to ensure con-
many homeowners, higher           high home                                                                                                     Green-      sistent and reliable boiler
utility bills.                    heating bills.                                                                                                wood        operation, helping home-
 Home heating costs have          Cold        air                                                                                               Fron-       owners rest easy that their
a long history of being the       that enters                                                                                                   t i e r     boiler is working smarter to
enemy of homeowners who           the     home                                                                                                  Series      save them money all winter
want to keep their homes          through                                                                                                       Wo o d      long.
warm in the winter. Over          such leaks,                                                                                                   Gasifi-       “I could be completely off
the course of a typical win-      creates drafts                                                                                                cation      of gas or oil if I want to be”
ter, homeowners can expect        that is costly                                                                                                Boiler      says homeowner Ken D.
to spend as much as $2,000        as the home-                                                                                                  are spe-    from Michigan. “I could be
to keep their families warm,      owner turns                                                                                                   cifically   totally wood sufficient. I de-
and unfortunately, there’s        up the ther-                                                                                                  d e -       creased my heating bill from
no guarantee those costs          mostat       to                                                                                               signed      $500/month to $30/month.”
won’t increase this winter.       get rid of the                                                                                                w i t h       * Take advantage of re-
Fortunately, there are sev-       chill. Before                                                                                                 families    bates and tax credits. Keep
                                                  Homeowners can take steps to drastically reduce their home heating costs this winter.
eral ways homeowners can          winter ar-                                                                                                    in mind     your eyes open, as there
easily reduce home heating        rives, seal any               once did, requiring more energy costs.                                          to im-      are many state, federal and
costs no matter how harsh         existing drafts around win- energy and fuel to get the          * Consider renewable en- prove heat efficiency to save    utility company programs
the weather becomes this          dows and doors, using caulk job done; causing a spike in ergy heating appliances. homeowners money.                       and tax incentives which of-
winter.                           or weather-proof tape. More utility costs along the way. Today’s solar and biomass/            Helping homeowners trim    fer homeowners incentives
 * Address those leaks be-        information about discov- However, today’s Energy wood heating appliances are more than 70 percent from                   to install a programmable
fore it’s too late. Fall is an    ering and fixing air leaks is Star appliances are required a far cry from those available their home heating costs,       thermostat, a renewable
ideal time to get around          available at www.greenwoo- to have a high performance as recently as three years the Greenwood Frontier                   heating appliance or to up-
to all those pesky home                 with up to 15 percent great- ago. These products may Series boiler converts up to           grade an existing appliance.
improvements you didn’t             * Replace old appliances. er energy efficiency than offer automated operation 89 percent of the energy in                 More information is avail-
have a chance to get to this      Older appliances might not their predecessors, signifi- with wood pellets or other wood fuel to warm, usable              able at www.GreenwoodU-
summer. If not addressed,         work as efficiently as they cantly reducing your home convenient features like self- heat throughout the home.  

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     Chronicle                                                     Fall Home Improvement                                      Section B • Page 7
                                                                                                                   Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cut Costs On Your Next Home Improvement Project
   With the economy still         improvement projects are         contractors should submit
on the mend, homeowners           best left to the profession-     competitive offers and be

must monitor their spend-         als. However, much of the        flexible. Flexibility might
ing carefully. Such frugal-       cost of such projects goes       come with a few conditions,
ity is necessary across the       toward labor, including          such as more time to com-
board, even when it comes         preparation before the proj-     plete the project, but those
to home improvement.              ect and cleanup once it’s fin-   conditions might be worth
   While it’s important not       ished. When interviewing         it if it means saving money.
to cut too many corners
when it comes to home im-
provement projects, there
                                  contractors, ask if there is
                                  any prep work you can do
                                  to reduce labor costs and
                                                                      * Make sacrifices in other
                                                                   areas. Safety and quality
                                                                   should always trump cost
                                                                                                    from dreams to reality …
are ways homeowners can           if there’s a way to handle       when it comes to home
save money without sacri-         cleanup yourself. Cleanup        improvement projects. If
ficing safety and quality.        might be somewhat tricky,        there aren’t too many ways
   * Scale things down. A         as certain materials might       to save money on a given
full-scale kitchen remodel        need to be disposed of in        project, make sacrifices in
might be a dream project,         accordance to local laws.        other areas and factor those
but homeowners wary of            But prep work might be eas-      sacrifices into the budget
committing too much mon-          ily handled by homeowners        for the project. Instead of
ey to a project might want        and garner substantial sav-      a summer vacation at a re-
to consider a smaller scale       ings.                            sort, visit a nearby hotspot
project. For example, in-            * Shop around. In the cur-    that provides the same R&R
stead of revamping the en-        rent market, homeowners          but for a fraction of the cost
tire kitchen, address a single    looking to make improve-         of a more expensive resort.
part of the kitchen, such as      ments must recognize the         Such sacrifices don’t have to
replacing vinyl flooring or       market benefits them. Shop       be permanent, but they can
refacing the cabinets. Such       around for a contractor and      help weather the financial
projects don’t require the        get some competitive of-         storm until the project is
financial commitment of a         fers. While it’s not always      successfully completed.
full-scale remodel but can        best to choose the contrac-
                                                                       See News?
give the kitchen a whole          tor who submits the lowest
new look.                         estimate, the nature of the          Call us at
   * Chip in. Many home           current market suggests all          456-2585!

      From Ceiling to Floor and a whole lot more.
                      Come Check Out Our
                       Lighting Center with
                Design Professional Darlene Crabb

           1631 4th St. SW • Willowbrook Mall • Mason City, Iowa
                 641-423-2721 •

                                 Kevin Craighton - owner
                                 Licensed & Insured

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                  Installation & Repair
         New Home Wiring • Remodeling
                  Grain Bins & Dryers
      Trenching and Boom Truck Service.

        Phone 641-892-8038                               Cell 641-425-2606
Page 8 • Section B
Wednesday, October 26, 2011                    Fall Home Improvement                                                        Hampton

    Your Complete Kitchen & Laundry Appliance Center
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