Friday, August 28, 2009

Be prepared

No one wants to face a hurricane, but we are in the midst of hurricane season, and we ought to "be prepared". Here are some tips I thought were helpful. Remember the best preparation is building a solid, sound home when it's sunny so it will withstand the hurricane. This includes Cable-Tite, the BEST in hurricane tie-down systems for high-wind uplift protection!!!

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reminds residents in hurricane-prone areas to monitor weather reports and to take time to prepare as storm activity increases in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Now is the moment to take stock in determining what the needs are for your family and loved ones should conditions of these storms increase in intensity. Families should always have a disaster plan that includes kits with necessary supplies to last for at least three days. Weather systems such as the ones we are currently tracking can change their status quickly. It is just as important to stay informed about local weather conditions and pay attention to emergency information from state, local and tribal officials.

FEMA recommends taking these steps to prepare for hurricanes:
1. Develop a family disaster plan and know how to stay safe in a hurricane. Discuss what your family should do when a hurricane comes ashore and where you might go in an evacuation - to a shelter, hotel or to stay with family or friends. Don't forget about pets. Many shelters will not permit them, so plan in advance what to do with them.
2. Know and review your evacuation routes and never drive through high water.
3. Develop a family communication plan. Identify a friend or relative in another state or city to serve as a point of contact in case family members are separated.
4. Put together a disaster kit and store it in a portable container in case of evacuation. The kit should include:
At least a three-day supply of food and bottled water for each family member;
Battery-powered radio and flashlights with extra batteries;
First aid kit with family members' medications;
A manual can opener;
Emergency contact list and phone numbers;
Hygiene and personal care items;
Pet supplies;
Copies of important papers and
Emergency cash or credit card in the case of an evacuation with little notice.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Clipped to death!

Notice anything here????? Clips, straps, clips, straps, more clips, more straps. It's clipped to death. This house has so much metal it'll be destroyed in a magnet storm.

Notice the straps are bowed or buckled. Do you know why??? They were attached just after framing and prior to any accumulated compression, and either the nails become loose or the metal buckles when the weight of the house compresses and wood shrinks. You can imagine how "wonderful" the sheetrock looks!

There's a better way to have hurricane uplift protection. Cable-Tite. It's twice as robust, hidden in the walls, easy to install, sheetrock hangers love it, and holds up well in a heavy magnet storm.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What is an upgrade worth?

What's an upgrade worth???

I see builders advertising features about their homes, and I ask why they have added features that cost them money? For example, they offer a super-duper dishwasher, when they could buy the cheaper contractor dishwasher. Why?

Obviously, there is value to an "upgrade". There is a real value and a perceived value. The extra $50 spent on the dishwasher will add $200 to the asking price of the house. But who knows the perceived value. The home buyer sees this upgrade along with others and perceives that the builder is concerned about building a better house. When there's a decision between homes, the one with the better perception wins! And the builder knows that.

What's the difference in upgrading the hurricane and high-wind uplift protection with cable tie-downs. Is the thought that this is unseen so it's un-important. This is an added feature that the builder can use as an asset to the home. He could have installed a "good" system, but he installed the best system, Cable-tite. Chances are there are other "hidden" features to the construction that can also be mentioned.

Don't be afraid of costs. Features cost money. But they also reap rewards. Features add a ROI much greater than the cost, both in real dollars and in perceived value. Realtors tell me all the time that a home that is built better is easier to sell. Builders.....don't be afraid to build better than you need to.

Monday, August 10, 2009

THANKS, Houston

THANKS to everyone who made me feel so welcome in Houston Aug 3-7, and to all those who had such interest in our Cable-tite hurricane tie-down system. I had the opportunity to meet a number of builders, both large and small. And everyone had a welcome and nice word to say about our high-wind uplift protection. I also met engineers who loved our system because it ties the house to the foundation with the anchor bolts.

A huge thanks to Lisa and D'Nita at GHBA. They were so helpful with suggestions about how they could help through GHBA. By my second visit, I felt right at home. Thanks for introducing me to so many people in the Houston home building market. We have volunteered to help and donate for the Benefit House, and want to participate in the upcoming Product Expo.

We are anxious to get started with projects in Houston. We will work with the developers/home builders any way needed to move forward with Cable-tite.