Quick Tips for Finding a Good Contractor

Finding a good reliable contractor can take some legwork. While it’s tempting to save a little money on a job, cutting corners or pinching pennies can cost you later. It’s not to say that you should prepare to go big-ticket all the way, but you should certainly be prepared to find the best Florida licensed contractor that you can afford.

  1. Have some rough idea of what you want before calling the contractors. You need to have some idea of what you want to do, the materials that you will want to use, and the cash you have on hand. The more specific you are, the more accurate your estimate will be.
  2. Do not hire any contractor who pressures you for an immediate decision, will only accept cash, or wants you to pay everything up front. Also avoid any contractor who offers to “help” get you a construction loan from a lender that he recommends.
  3. Ask around the neighborhood. Talk to your coworkers. Check with relatives. Odds are someone you know has had to deal with the contractor. Sooner or later every homeowner does, and if they can’t tell you who you should hire, they will almost certainly tell you who to avoid.
  4. Ask lots of questions in the initial interview. Are they willing to provide references from suppliers as well as clients? What work will their subcontractors do, and how long have they worked with them? How many other projects do they have going right now? Do they have a portfolio of previous work with photographs?
  5. Check those references! Don’t just ask about the work, ask how the work was done. Did the workers keep the job site neat? Were they courteous […]
By |2018-06-09T09:47:49-04:00June 24th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments

Protips for Keeping Your Electric Bill Cool

It’s summer time in Florida and you know what that means. Lots of fun, lots of sun, swimming, sailing, tubing—and running the air conditioner when not even a dog would go outside. Unfortunately, with air conditioning you also have to expect the bill. However, there are ways to help keep your home cool, reduce your bill, and make your home more energy efficient, and even increase the value of your home.

  1. Set your thermostat the highest setting it which you are comfortable – try for 78 or 80°.
  2. Upgrade your insulation to a minimum of R-19 for ceilings, R–11 for floors and frame walls, and R-5 for concrete block.
  3. Clean your air conditioning filter monthly, and make sure that the airflow is not blocked by furniture or window treatments. Boost the airflow with strategically placed fans.
  4. If your HVAC unit is over 10 years old consider replacing it with a more efficient heat pump.
  5. If your air conditioning unit is older than 10 years, look into an air conditioner with a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio of 14 or better.
  6. Run your ceiling fan on the counterclockwise setting to create a cooling breeze and increase air circulation.
  7. Put your air conditioner on a timer. Whether with thermostat or a plug-in unit, using a timer to start your air conditioner ensures that you will come home to a cool house and healthy pets.
  8. Run heat producing appliances at night when the temperature is lower. Think about alternatives to using your stove and oven, which can raise the temperature inside the house. Microwaves, crockpots, and outdoor grills are all great alternatives.
  9. Weather-stripping and caulking are quick and cheap ways to prevent nice cool air from escaping from gaps around your doors and windows. […]
By |2018-06-09T09:47:49-04:00June 17th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments

Find Your New Home Here!

The new homes market in Fort Lauderdale is really opening up, there’s lots of new construction and something for everyone from small condos to, single-family developments, or a great place right on the water. The downtown Fort Lauderdale building boom is going strong with new developments springing up in neighborhoods like Wilton Manors, Las Olas, and Flagler Village. Even Hollywood is seeing what demand for the Fort Lauderdale beach lifestyle can bring with new construction in downtown Hollywood and at the beach as well. There’s something for everyone in Fort Lauderdale’s rising and thriving neighborhoods. Pallant Insurance knows the area well—we live here and love it—and our experienced local agents can help you with your new home’s insurance needs.

As with most places in America, all this new construction and infrastructure work is not without controversy, with such strong historic preservation communities scattered across the neighborhoods. The beautiful early 20th century architecture is very well represented in almost all of Fort Lauderdale’s neighborhoods. The 1920s beach town charm that originally drew so many to Fort Lauderdale is still strongly present and well preserved due to neighborhood associations and regulation. There are strong protections for architecturally significant houses, and a thriving community of renovators to take care of them. It’s possible that Lauderdalians felt much the same way in the 1920s as present day residents feel now as condominium towers and other developments spring up throughout the city to meet a growing population’s demand for living space. Finding a neighborhood that’s just the perfect fit isn’t hard in a diverse and growing city.

  • Wilton Manors is seeing significant growth with new construction, and new residents flocking to this LGBT friendly neighborhood.
  • Sailboat Bend […]
By |2015-06-11T12:00:46-04:00June 11th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments

Quick Tips to Protect Your Home While On Summer Vacation

Your vacation shouldn’t end with a police report. Keeping your home safe from burglars just takes a few simple steps to keep your trip worry free.

  1. Make sure to have good locks on your doors, windows, and sliding doors. The more difficult it is to gain entrance into a home less likely a burglar is to stick around.
  2. Stop the mail and all other deliveries to the house. A sure sign of absence is a pile of newspapers on the doorstep, and mail overflowing the mailbox.
  3. If you have a landline, set the phone’s ringer to low and have it pick up after the rings or turn it off entirely. And don’t forget to turn down the volume on your answering machine if you don’t have direct voicemail.
  4. Install motion detector lights on the exterior of the house. This way anyone approaching the house will get a blast of bright light when they’re relying on not being seen.
  5. Security cameras as part of a security system are always great investment, and many of them are Web-enabled. This means that video instead of going to a device in your house, is streamed to a cloud-based service for storage and viewing.
  6. Put at least two of your inside lights on timers, and put a timer on one television for a couple of weeks before you leave. This will establish a pattern that will make it seem you’re going about your regular daily life. You can even have neighbors park their car in your driveway from time to time.
  7. Pay someone keep the lawn mowed or to take the trash out to the curb, and bring the cans back.
  8. Professional house sitters and pet sitters are licensed and bonded, and presence can […]
By |2018-06-09T09:47:49-04:00June 4th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments