Give Yourself A Lift With Storage

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It’s that time of the year, when we annually resolve to: (A) lose something, (B) to quit doing something or conversely (C) to start doing something. Unfortunately, many (or most) of these resolutions will inevitably fall by the wayside in very short order as day-to-day life overtakes good and wishful thinking.

However, we have a super suggestion that can easily change that once and for all. This year, resolve to give yourself a lift – and by that, we mean, actually “give yourself a lift.”

Okay, let’s back up just a bit. Remember a few weeks ago, when it was time to decorate the house and yard for the holidays? We are sure you do. If was anything like the annual chores at our house, it meant numerous trips up to the attic and back down – via the pull down attic ladder – with everything from outdoor lights and yard stuff to retrieving the artificial Christmas tree and boxes of gift wrap, ribbons and bows. Of course, that was only after we put away the all Halloween and Thanksgiving stuff.

Now, if you are anything like us, this also meant a few “oops,” with dropped items, and “ouches” that included a few scrapes and a lingering sore back.

After repeating this cycle for the umpteenth time, and as the holidays wind down and we are again faced with taking everything down and putting everything back upstairs, this year things are going to be different. As of now, hauling items up to or down from the attic will be easy and effortless because (as we are suggesting for you) we decided to give ourselves a lift – a Versa Lift.

The Versa Lift is powerful electric lift that literally takes home organization and storage items to the next level. It installs into a framed opening in the ceiling, similar to the opening for a folding attic ladder, and eliminates the risk of serious personal injury inherent in carrying storage items up steep, shaky ladders. Instead, with Versa Lift, you simply press a button on the hand-held remote to move heavy loads to or from the attic in seconds! The standard remote is corded and features a locking switch with removable key for child safety. A model with a wireless remote is also offered. You know how we guys love remotes!

Besides the convenience hauling various “traditional” items up and down from the attic, you can also easily keep lots of items that clutter your garage out of sight in your attic as well with the push of a button. Bulky, occasional use items (like ice chests, camping gear and luggage) don’t have to take up valuable floor space. Just send them up and away when not in use, get them back down in seconds when you need them!

Versa Lift exclusive features include: Auto-Stop - The lifting platform stops automatically when it reaches the full-up or full-down position; Auto-Close - When the lift is not is use, the ceiling opening is automatically closed with a door panel; and Level-Up - The lifting platform automatically stops level with the upstairs floor, regardless of joist height, for easy loading and unloading. Two systems are available; the standard Model 24 with 200 lb. lifting capacity and the heavier duty Model 32 that handles up to 250 lbs. and either one is a great way to organize your home and garage by giving you easy access to your valuable attic space without heavy lifting or the risk of injury.

Once you’re up there, you also want to be safe and you may want to consider adding a second item, the “Versa Rail” – which is an attic ladder safety railing – like we did. The Versa Rail simply surrounds the pull-down ladder opening with waist height grab rails, giving you something to hold onto when entering and exiting and prevents accidentally falling through the dangerous opening in the attic floor. It is adjustable for different size openings and install quickly with just a few ordinary tools.

The “Versa” in the Versa Lift attic storage system also stands for versatility, as it is not only great for attics, but for many other applications such as in two-story and split-level floor plans or homes with a basement.

So, if you’re ready to make a New Year’s resolution that really lasts and pays off, this year do what we did. Just give yourself a lift – a “Versa Lift” by BPG. Although at first blush the starting price of the Versa Lift at just under $1,200 may appear to be a bit pricey. However, when compared to constructing and maintaining a stand-alone storage shed, adding on or the cost of off-site storage, it may be the most cost effective alternative. At $159, the cost of the Versa Rail seems like a small price to pay to prevent a nasty fall. For more information visit www.bpghome.com.

For more home improvement tips and information visit our web site at www.onthehouse.com.

Question and Answer

Contacting one

Question - On your radio show you mentioned that it isn’t always wise to do a project yourself. That sometimes it is better to hire someone. We want to power wash our roof because you said that it can save a lot of money and make it last longer. Is this a task we can do or should we hire someone.

Ann

Answer - Nothing could be more cost efficient than for you to do the job yourself. Hiring this job done could cost five times as much as renting the equipment and doing it yourself. But, working on a sloped roof can be very dangerous; especially when it’s wet. And unless you are, strong, agile and well coordinated, it may not be a wise task for you to perform. It can be difficult to decide on whether to do-it-yourself or hire a contractor. Here are a few ideas that may help in the decision making process.

Projects that are labor intense (where labor costs far exceed the value of the replacement part and/or equipment costs), and that do not expose the family to danger or inconvenience, are prime candidates for big savings by a do-it-yourselfer. Examples: hiring a plumber to replace a 30-cent gasket can end up costing over $100; hiring an electrician to install a $9 dimmer switch can cost over $100; hiring a painter to perform a pressure washing of the exterior (water and do-it-yourself rental equipment cost approximately $200) can cost over $2,000.

Even though labor intense, for less experienced do-it-yourselfers, working on gas lines and major electrical wiring are projects that are wisely left to professionals. Done improperly, they can result in fires or explosions.

Hiring a contractor to do small repairs or alterations can be expensive. In addition to expertise, part of the price they charge pays for the time that it takes to get from their shop to your home, having the proper tools, going to the store to purchase the part (or the cost to keep it in stock), the cost to do the paperwork for the project (for you, themselves and Uncle Sam), a contingency cost in case something goes wrong and the cost to maintain a warranty.

Jobs where material costs are equal to, or exceed, the value of the installation cost, or that expose the family to unsafe conditions or major disruption, may not be cost-effective as do-it-yourself projects. For example: if a countertop manufacturer will charge $150 to install a $500 countertop, hiring the manufacturer to do the installation makes sense. This is because the person that both supplies and installs a product is usually liable for its replacement if it is damaged during installation. In this case, saving $150 might not be worth the risk of having to purchase the $500 countertop a second time. On the other hand, mixing responsibilities (hiring a contractor to install something you supply) might prove to be a problem.

A contractor may not agree to accept liability for damage caused during installation of a product that you supply. For example: you have purchased a light fixture and want an electrician to install it. The fixture is scratched during installation and you want the electrician to replace the fixture. This is where it is important to read the contract before you sign it; to insure that such a waiver doesn’t exist.

James and Morris Carey

Tip

Contractor Credit Check

When you borrow money, the lender wants to know a lot about your personal history. You know, if you’ve promptly paid back money that you borrowed in the past, and if you currently earn enough money to pay back the loan. It doesn’t make any difference whether you want to borrow $500, $5,000 or even $500,000 – the lender always wants to know every detail about you and your life history before the loan is made. On the other hand, you meet a contractor, agree to have him perform $500, $5,000 or even $500,000 dollars worth of work – and you don’t bother to perform a thorough credit check. Ever wonder why banks always make so much money and why consumers are frequently ripped off by contractors? Think about it! All you have to do is borrow a blank credit application from your local banker, fill it out, get it signed and have a mortgage broker run it for you – cost $15 – a small price to pay — wouldn’t you say?

And that’s the On The House tip.

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