Published: November 18, 2009
Before you plug in and light up for the holidays, run your decorations through this quick safety check.
Inspect light strings. Discard any that are damaged. Frayed or cracked electrical cords or broken sockets are leading fire hazards.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for connecting multiple strings. The general limit is three strings. Light strings with stacked plugs can usually accommodate greater lengths than end-to-end connections.
Replace burned-out bulbs promptly. Empty sockets can cause the entire string to overheat.
Make sure outdoor lighting is UL-rated for exterior use. Exterior lights, unlike those used inside the house, need to be weather-resistant. The same goes for any extension cords used outdoors.
Don’t use outdoor lights indoors. They’re too hot for interior use. For the coolest bulbs and greatest energy efficiency, try LED lights, which come in a wide range of styles and colors.
Don’t attach light strings with nails or staples. They can cut through the wire insulation and create a fire hazard. Only use UL-approved hangers.
Take exterior lights down within 90 days. The longer they stay up, the more likely they are to suffer damage from weather and critters chewing on them.
Store lights safely. Tangled lights can lead to damaged cords and broken sockets. After the holidays, coil each string loosely around a stiff piece of cardboard, wrap it in paper or fabric to protect the bulbs, and store in a sturdy container until next year.
Pat Curry is a former senior editor at BUILDER, the official magazine of the National Association of Home Builders, and a frequent contributor to real estate and home-building publications.
Delmae Properties became a Gold Sponsor of I Survived Real Estate 2011 for the third consecutive year. The event is hosted by The Norris Group at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda. One hundred percent of the proceeds support the Susan G Komen For The Cure which funds breast cancer research and prevention.
In announcing the sponsorship Delmae Properties Vice President Michael Chouinard said “We’re proud to sponsor this event and are grateful to The Norris Group for hosting it. Foundations like Susan G Komen for the Cure would not exist to do the excellent work they do without donations. Hopefully, more people will recognize a need to get involved.”
We have had several potential business partners or “would-be” investors present us with this type of transaction as a business model. In each instance we politely explained that we can not participate due to the fact that we believe it is fraud. As we understand it the FBI has been monitoring double closing transactions and now our friends over at Mortgage Fraud Blog have provided the evidence.
If you do decide to participate in this type of transaction we would strongly encourage you to disclose, in writing, the details of the simultaneous escrow to all parties.
Add pull-out shelves to your existing base kitchen cabinets and you’ll stay organized, frustration-free, and never lose an item in the back of a cabinet again.
Pull-out shelf basics
The beauty of pull-out shelves is that you’ll bring the contents of the cabinet out into the light of day with one easy tug—a boon for anyone with limited mobility. Most pull-out shelves feature a shallow lip around the edge so that items don’t tumble off as the shelf glides in and out.
Pull-out shelves typically come with full-extension gliding hardware that supports up to 100 pounds. However, most manufacturers recommend keeping the load to 75 to 80 pounds maximum.
Retrofitting existing cabinets with pull-outs is usually easy—most cabinets have adjustable shelves that are easily removed. If your shelving is fixed in place, however, you’ll have to consult a woodworker to see if the shelves can be taken out.
Sizes and styles
Pull-out shelves come in standard or adjustable sizes to fit various cabinet interiors. They are available in three basic materials:
Solid wood (usually the most expensive and well-made).
Plywood sides combined with medium density fiber (MDF) bottoms.
Metal wire that’s lightweight and easy to install, but also the least substantial.
You’ll also find a variety of specialty options such as pull-out shelves with slots for storing trays, baking pans, or lids. Other options include bins that hold waste baskets and units that swing out from corner cabinets. Look for pull-out shelves at home centers, discount stores, and online.
Costs and caveats
Prices for individual shelves start at about $13 for a low-end wire or plywood and MDF unit, up to $745 for a solid wood specialty unit for a corner cabinet.
If you purchase the shelves yourself and hire out the installation, expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $600 for a full day’s labor. At about $20 each, for example, 24 shelves would cost about $730 to $1,200, installed.
If top-quality work is important to you, custom cabinetmakers will build and install pull-out shelves. Typical costs are $135 to $210 per shelf, installed. In an average-sized kitchen with 12 base cabinets and 24 shelves, expect to pay $3,240 to $5,040 for custom-made pull-out shelves.
Keep in mind that some cabinets aren’t as well-suited to pull-out shelves. Narrow shelves, for example, may require a pull-out that glides on hardware installed on an existing shelf. The pull-out will likely work best for spices or small items.