The “R” Factor

Wow. Christmas and New Year’s is upon us already…We would like to wish a prosperous New Year, a warm Christmas and Holiday season to our friends and clients, our family and co-workers.

This time of year, we’re thinking about the “R” factor, where R stands for Recognition. For instance, Santa is the star and the elves and others behind the scenes do all the work. Of course, Santa has to stay up all night and he has a big job to do, so kudos to the Claus man. But the elves, Mrs. Claus, and a certain talented group of “sleigh-pullers” should get some credit too, we think.

It’s like that with houses too. Let’s say you’re house hunting. You’re attracted to the house that gets all the buyer attention, the charming bungalow with the mature trees within walking distance to Sunshine Elementary. But you make an offer on the less flashy house a neighborhood over, the one with impeccable grading, a new GAF roof and excellent siding that you know will deliver years of low energy bills.

Or you’re hosting a holiday celebration in your Southeast Michigan home and the guests are charmed by your décor, pleased as punch with the canapés, and captivated by your scintillating personality. (Come on, you know it’s true.) But you smile to yourself, because you know your guests are warm as toast because your windows are Michigan made. You congratulate yourself because the fancy pâté on their crackers and bubbly in their glasses was made possible by energy savings realized from your Restorations Windows.

Maybe this is a bit of a stretch—but who doesn’t need to stretch a bit this time of year with all that present wrapping and cookie baking we’re doing?—But just like Santa’s “R” factor—the reindeer—good windows, siding and roofing products don’t get much attention, but they’re responsible for making an energy efficient, cozy home possible.

So here’s a toast to the “R” factor, wherever you find it: To Rudolph and all the reindeer. May they find you all snug in your beds with visions of sugarplums…And to Restorations Windows and other Energy Star “workhorses” that make things cozy. Cheers!

Thanksgiving Weekend – Prep the Garage Door, Clean the Firebox

It’s been warmer than usual, but a look at the weather map tells us that the cold north wind is already picking up even as we sit down to turkey and stuffing. Here at the store, when we’re not doing last-minute window installations of made-for-Michigan windows, we’re doing what everyone else in Southeast Michigan is doing: winterizing! You know your home best, but I thought I’d make a short list of some places to check if you find yourself with some get-up-and-go and some free time this weekend:

• Exterior doors – How’s the weather-stripping? Air leaks can cost plenty this time of year.

• Windows – Last chance to clean the windows (including the tracks and screens) before Old Man Winter takes over the neighborhood.

• Sliding glass doors – Give some attention to the tracks and adjust any parts that are getting contentious.

• Automatic garage door – Clean and lubricate moving parts; avoid applying anything to the tracks. Detroit winters are much nicer without the moan and groan of a cranky garage door.

• Gutters – Repair or replace damaged guttering and remove all debris, making sure that downspout extensions will direct the Spring Thaw away from the house.

• Furnace – Change the filter and examine the belts for wear. Call for annual servicing if needed. We love to go on about saving energy, and this simple task can yield a nice payoff in energy savings.

• Fireplace – If you have a fireplace and you haven’t done so yet this year, you may want to have the chimney swept by a professional (that way, you can keep your football-watching clothes clean). Also, tend to the firebox and make sure you have some dry wood ready for those long winter nights.

• Patio – Santa may appreciate “settin’ a spell” on your snow-covered patio furniture while the reindeer have a snack, but your patio furniture prefers to be out of the weather. Santa will have to catnap in the sleigh this year.

• Light timers – Check your light timer to make sure the exterior lighting pops on when darkness has begun to settle in (earlier as we near the winter solstice). It’s easy to forget in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, but a little illumination goes a long way when the sidewalks are icy.

Well, there you go. Just a few ideas. If you have any others to add to the list, we’d sure like to hear about it. Post your comments or stop in and see us. Meanwhile, the best of Thanksgiving to you and yours from the folks at Kearns Brothers.

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