Saturday, August 17, 2013

Five Home Improvements for the Love of Spring

    FORT MILL, SC, August 03, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Improved value, curb appeal and livability are the benchmarks for any smart home improvement. But some upgrades you do for the sheer joy of it. The best home improvements deliver all those smart qualities and speak to your heart at the same time.

With spring home improvement season approaching, here are five home improvements that you can do for the love of spring - and the love of your biggest investment:

Replace or add a skylight

Abundant natural light and fresh air are among the joys of spring, and replacing an old, energy-inefficient skylight, or adding a modern unit where none existed before, is a great way to welcome sunlight and spring breezes into your home. Sunlight's positive effect on mood is well documented, and adding a skylight, which vents to the outside, offers additional benefits. Opt for an energy saving no leak solar powered fresh-air skylight and you can enjoy the benefits of passive ventilation to reduce humidity and stale air in your home along with more healthful natural light.

From a practical standpoint, installing an Energy Star-qualified no leak fresh air skylight like those made by VELUX America ( can help you control heating, cooling and lighting costs in your home. Adding this latest model, which includes a rain sensor that closes the unit automatically, can ensure your home stays protected from spring showers. You can also choose solar powered blinds for even more energy efficiency, and both products, as well as the installation, are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit. To learn more about skylights, visit or

Add/improve a deck

The trend toward outdoor living spaces continues, with decks being one of the most sought-after amenities among homebuyers. In fact, adding a wooden deck can recoup more than 77 percent of the deck's cost when you sell your home, according to Remodeling Magazine's Cost Vs. Value Report.

If you don't already have a deck, adding one - whether wood or composite - not only enhances your home value, it will be a great place to celebrate the arrival of spring. If you already have a deck, consider value-enhancing upgrades like new balusters, lighted post caps, built-in seating and even planters.

Install a kitchen backsplash

Spring brings a bright, colorful feel to the world and you can easily incorporate that sentiment into your kitchen by adding a backsplash. A project easily within the capabilities of most do-it-yourselfers, backsplashes are both functional and decorative. Granite, ceramic or glass tile protects the wall behind the range or cook top from splatters of food or grease while brightening valuable workspace and serving as a visual focal point for the room.

Great kitchens sell homes, and the room is one of the most-used in any home. Upgrading your kitchen is almost always a good investment, one that improves resale value and your enjoyment of your home.

Upgrade bathroom floors

Bathroom renovations are also popular and a minor bathroom remodel can return more than 65 percent of the cost at the time of resale, according to the Cost vs. Value Report. While replacing countertops and fixtures are common remodeling tasks in a bathroom, don't overlook the biggest surface in the room - the floor.

Many modern builders install vinyl floors in bathrooms because they are durable and cheap. Switching out this common material for stone or ceramic tile is a great way to brighten the room and give your bath a whole new look.

Improve your entryway

Your front door and entryway are the first impression visitors have of your home's decor. A welcoming entry invites guests in and gives you a mood boost every time you walk through it.

This year, celebrate spring by replacing an old worn wooden door with a sturdy, decorative steel door - an improvement that recoups nearly 85 percent of its cost when you sell, according to Remodeling Magazine. To really celebrate spring, add a screen door. You'll be able to let in fresh air and spring breezes while keeping insects out. Plus, a screen door is essential Americana, creating a welcoming openness that epitomizes the joy of spring.

Media Contact:
Keith Hobbs - Business Services Associates, Inc. - 9413 Greenfield Drive -
Raleigh, NC 27615-2306 - Phone - 919.844.0064 - E-mail -

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Careful Moving, A National Van Lines Agency, Launches New Website

    EASTON, MA, August 05, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Careful Movers, a National Van Lines agency, today announced the release of their new and improved web site, designed by Dallas SEO experts at Advice Interactive Group. The new site helps local Easton homeowners and businesses find the right moving and storage company for their local, national, and international moves.

"For more than 35 years, residents and businesses in Easton and Eastern Massachusetts have called Careful Moving for their moving and storage needs," said Wayne Edwards, owner. "We're proud that our hard work and commitment to customer satisfaction has made Careful Moving the 7th largest moving company in Massachusetts."

The Easton moving and storage company's offices are located at:
Careful Moving
28 Renker Dr
Easton, MA 02375
Phone: 508-238-0330

Careful Moving provides the residents of Easton, Boston, Attleboro, Brookline, Newton, and the rest of Eastern Massachusetts with the following professional moving services; residential moves, commercial moves, national moves, and international moves. They also provide storage services for both temporary and long-term customers.

Through the new Careful Moving website, residents and businesses can access extensive information about all of the services provided by the Easton movers. The site is easy to navigate and puts online service request forms, Careful Moving's social media pages and other helpful tips from their blog just a click away. Visit the new website the next time you need a mover.

About Careful Moving
Careful Moving has served Easton residents and businesses since 1974. They are a full service moving and storage company that offers the best service in local, national and international moves, both residential and commercial. They live by their motto, "Don't make a move without us," because they know they provide the most professional movers who are 100% committed to customer satisfaction.

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Nicholls Auction Marketing Group announces the Absolute Auction of 25 Wooded Acres of Valuable King George VA Real Estate

    FREDERICKSBURG, VA, August 09, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- This property offers new owners a great opportunity to own or invest in property that will meet their current or future needs, according to John Nicholls, president of the company. Make plans now to purchase this great investment property.

"The property will sell off site at 1058 Shore Drive, Colonial Beach, VA, at 11 am on August 16, 2013, and is located across from Lee Funeral Home approximately 1.5 miles north of the Rt. 301 and Rt. 3 interchange in King George, VA," said Nicholls.

"The property is zoned A-2 and is minutes from downtown King George, the MD state line, and NSWC Dahlgren," said Mr. Kelly Strauss, NAMG Auction Coordinator.

The real estate auction is open to the public. Broker participation is encouraged and pre-registration is required.

For more information, call Mr. Kelly Strauss at 540/226-1279 or visit

Nicholls Auction Marketing Group, Inc., with over 4 decades of auction superiority and over 100 years of combined experience, has been synonymous with excellence and success in the auction marketing and sale of real estate.

About Nicholls Auction Marketing Group, Inc.

Nicholls Auction Marketing Group, Inc., is a professional accelerated marketing firm specializing in the promotion and sale of real estate via the auction method of marketing. Headquartered in Fredericksburg, VA, NAMG has been serving the needs of the Mid-Atlantic region since 1968. The Nicholls team comprises world and state champion auctioneers, an award winning marketing staff, and sales percentages unmatched in the industry. For more information about Nicholls Auction Marketing Group, Inc., visit or call 540-898-0971.

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Ben Franklin Plumbing New Britain Launches New Website

    NEW BRITAIN, PA, August 07, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Benjamin Franklin Plumbing New Britain, the Punctual Plumbers, today announced the release of their new and improved web site, designed by Dallas SEO experts at Advice Interactive Group. The new site will help local homeowners and commercial building managers find the right contractor for their plumbing repair services.

"For more than 25 years, we have proudly served the residents of Bucks and Montgomery County, providing the best, on-time plumbing professionals in the business," said Kathy Vogel, owner. "Our motto, If there's any delay it's you we pay, means we are confident that we're sending only the best plumbers to serve your needs."

The New Britain plumbing company's offices are located at:
Ben Franklin Plumbing
108B West Butler Ave
New Britain, PA 18901
Phone: 215-822-7741

Ben Franklin Plumbing New Britain provides the residents of New Britain, Doylestown, Warrington, and the rest of Bucks and Montgomery Counties with on-time, professional plumbing services in the following areas; leak detection and repair, conventional and tankless water heaters, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, water filtration, and water softeners.

Through the new website, homeowners have access to extensive information about the services provided by Ben Franklin Plumbing New Britain, and online service request forms, Ben Franklin Plumbing's social media presence and other helpful tips from their blog are just a click away. Visit the new website the next time you need a plumber.

About Ben Franklin Plumbing New Britain
Ben Franklin Plumbing New Britain has served New Britain residents for more than 25 years. They are a full service plumber that offers the best warranties and guarantees in the business. They strive to please every customer, and believe the job is not finished until the customer is 100% satisfied.

Ben Franklin New Britain on Facebook
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Governor Mark Carney from the Bank of England to Set New Plans

    OXFORD, ENGLAND, August 09, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- In what is perhaps viewed as his most important announcement since being inducted as the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney is set to reveal new plans with regards to setting interest rates and attempting to convince local businesses, consumers and global financial markets of a positive move related to lending costs in the UK. This was in response to unfavorable judgment from critics saying that the Bank of England has failed to produce solutions for economic growth immediately after the 2008 global recession. Carney is set to announce his thorough plans for the BoE during a televised press conference on Wednesday that will likely give insight on his five-year position as governor.

Carney also happens to be the chairman of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the BoE, which is responsible for setting the interest rates in order to keep the inflation at low levels. Financial analysts are already making predictions as to how Carney's big announcement on Wednesday will turn out and have come up with five possible outcomes:

The MPC will lean more towards the status quo and will reject forward guidance, which Carney favours.
If forward guidance is seen as a key need, the MPC will only agree if there is a link to raise interest rates.
They will mimic the strategies of the US Federal Reserve and focus on improving unemployment rates.
The MPC will do a variation on improving unemployment with a link to a minimum growth in the GDP.
Worst case scenario: the MPC is prepared to spike interest rates if unemployment fails to improve.

The likelihood of any of these options can go either way, provided that Carney will be able to have thorough discussions with the members of the MPC regarding top issues that the BoE needs to address. George Osborne requested that Carney should review the BoE's remit, which should reflect a maintained inflation rate of 2 per cent. He added that Carney must consider if a broader set of criteria would allow for more active flexibility by the MPC when setting the interest rates.

Regardless of how the MPC will make their decision, Carney intends to make a similar stance with his American contemporary, Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve in the United States, whose actions have significantly saved the US from further economic ruin. Such a move might not be agreeable to some members of the MPE according to several financial analysts closely monitoring the situation, but until Carney's public announcement, such things will remain a speculation until further notice.

About Us: is an international company that offers high-quality workspaces to small and large businesses around the world. Among their offerings are virtual offices, flexible workspaces, meeting facilities, and workplace recovery.

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Telephone: +44 0800 756 2563

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Save Money with an 'Enlightened' Roof - and Decorate Too

    FORT MILL, SC, August 03, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Enlightenment isn't just a state of mind - it can also be an important energy-saving state of being for your home's roof.

By "enlightening" your roof, you can use less energy, save money, and dress up the interior of your home at the same time.

All roofs protect us, and the interiors of our homes, but they can do so much more. They can be the collection and distribution point for an inexhaustible supply of free natural light and energy.

A roof with Energy Star qualified no leak solar powered fresh air skylights for instance, admits healthful natural light while providing passive ventilation through the natural "chimney or stack effect" of rising air when the units are open. This is not an insignificant consideration, especially in kitchens and baths, which have higher moisture and humidity levels than other areas of the home.

Both the solar powered skylights and installation, as well as solar powered blinds, are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit meaning that homeowners can receive an average of $850 of federal tax credit eligibility, making the whole fresh air skylight package very affordable.

"In some cases," says Ross Vandermark, national product manager for skylight manufacturer VELUX America, "it can actually be less expensive, when the tax credit eligibility is considered, for a homeowner to have a no leak solar powered fresh air skylight installed rather than a fixed, manual venting or electric venting model. They can gain the benefits of daylighting, ventilation, and all the upgrades and automatic features of a top-of-the-line model for less, or for a negligible increase in cost.

"Solar powered blinds, in decor enhancing colors and patterns, which also are eligible for the tax credit, can be added," Vandermark says. "This combination will provide homeowners with the ultimate skylight package for energy efficient natural light control, a passive fresh air source, and decorating."

For details and access to an easy-to-use federal tax credit estimator for new construction or replacement installations, homeowners can visit

Another kitchen- and bath-specific issue that skylights address is privacy. Many modern homes are built on small lots, in very close proximity to neighboring houses. "Light from windows is rarely enough, especially in places where lot sizes are small," says Jennifer Powers of design firm Scott-Ulmann.

Areas of the home where traditional skylights might not work - such as hallways, closets and small, interior baths - can still admit natural light through less expensive Sun Tunnel tubular skylights. And optional light kits turn these units into 24-hour sources of light.

Low-profile flat glass models that blend unobtrusively with the roof, as well as domed models, all offer a fast, easy, less expensive way to transform a home with natural light. And light controlling blind disks are available for the units, as well.

In addition to light and ventilation from above, if you add an Energy Star qualified solar water heating system (link to: your roof will work even harder for you. And, in addition to monthly power bill savings, these solar thermal systems qualify for tax credits and other savings that significantly reduce the payback time it takes to recover the initial cost.

Solar power attic fans are also a cost-effective roof addition that help to reduce mechanical cooling costs while removing damaging moisture from the home.

In addition to the functional qualities these and other roof improvements offer, there are also aesthetic considerations.

Skylights offer room-changing drama and decorating flair while adding natural light from above. And skylight blinds, in colors and pattern choices to mix and match with room decor, give homeowners another interior design tool. Blinds not only dress up a room but also provide light control while increasing the energy efficiency and usefulness of skylights.

According to Velux America, the addition of blinds can increase the overall energy efficiency of the units by 37 percent. They recommend closing the blinds on high heat/sun days in the summer to reduce potential solar heat gain and, on cold winter nights, closing them to provide an extra layer of thermal insulation to keep warm air indoors. Skylight blinds, as well as the units themselves, can be controlled manually or with a remote.

Modern, low profile skylights are unobtrusive and as dependable as vertical windows. Information about units with a 10-year no-leak installation warranty, plus an installer locator, is available at There's also a free mobile phone app there to help homeowners see how skylights and blinds would look in rooms in their own homes.

The Velux Skylight Planner App (link to: is available for iPhones, iPods, iPads and Android devices.

For government information on window and skylight energy efficiency visit, and for independent agency information visit or For remodeling information visit or

Media Contact:
Keith Hobbs - Business Services Associates, Inc. - 9413 Greenfield Drive -
Raleigh, NC 27615-2306 - Phone - 919.844.0064 - E-mail -

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Safeguard Notes Functionality of Wheelchair-Accessible Showers and Tubs Combos for the Disabled

    NORCROSS, GA, August 07, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- When you are bound to a wheelchair, it is next to impossible to use a traditional tub or shower to clean yourself without assistance. Fortunately, Safeguard Tubs has created a line of bathtubs for the handicapped that remove the difficulties of standard tubs and showers, giving you your well-deserved independence.

California's premier supplier of handicap bathtubs, Safeguard Tubs, has listened to customers' needs and created easily accessible tubs for wheelchair users. These tubs are usually combined with an easy-to-reach handheld, wall mounted showerhead to make showering convenient and comfortable. Handicapped individuals can choose to use either the shower feature or the bathtub as they like.

This user-oriented functionality differentiates Safeguard Tubs' walk-in tub shower combos from their competitors' combos. Safeguard Tubs further distinguishes itself by creating customized tubs for each of its customers. Every tub Safeguard installs starts with a free in-home consultation that helps to determine the unique needs of each customer. The tub is then designed around these requirements, creating the perfect walk-in or roll-in tub for each individual customer.

"We want to ensure that each of our customers' unique needs are easily met with their customized Safeguard Tub," says an employee of Safeguard Tubs. "Wheelchair-bound individuals should be able to have the freedom and ease of taking a shower or a bath without having to rely on others, and our tub and shower combinations have made that possible for them."

To learn more about creating your own customized wheelchair accessible showers and bathtubs, visit Safeguard Tubs online at

About Safeguard Tubs:

Safeguard walk-in tubs were first developed to provide comfortable, safe and easy bathing solutions for the elderly and physically challenged. Safeguard has remained committed to being the best and most reliable company in the U.S., focusing on their customers and their overall quality of life.

To learn more, go to

For all media inquiries, please contact:

Allie Petit
Content Manager
Cardinal Web Solutions

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Cummings & Middlebrooks Share New Changes on Atlanta Workers' Compensation BenefitsCoffee Espresso Suppliers, J. Martinez, Featuring Vintage Demitasse Spoons from Birmingham, EnglandJ. Martinez Has Two Types of Gourmet Coffee in Men's Health Magazine's Top Five Brews for the SummerProject Management Software Company, Steelray, Discusses Their Referral ProgramAtlanta Moving Company, A.C. White, is a Member of NFCC with Pete White on the Board of DirectorsSteelray is Always Looking for the Next Best Product Management SoftwareCardinal Web Solutions Wins 2013 Silver Medal for Best Individual Corporate BlogAtlanta Pest Control Company, North Fulton Pest Solutions, Discusses Periodic 17 Year CicadasExperts in Document Shredding in Atlanta, A Shred Ahead, Discuss Top Items You Should Shred NowAtlanta Shredding Pros, A Shred Ahead, Remind You to Shred Our Old Paperwork before You Move Homes

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The Finest Homes are Adorned with Plantation Shutters, Notes Eclipse Shutters

    NORCROSS, GA, August 09, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The plantation shutters provider, Eclipse shutters, notes that the products they sell are featured on some of the most stunning properties in the world. Traditional and elegant, plantation shutters originated on sprawling plantations in the south during the early years of the United States. Since people living back in these days did not have the luxury of modern air conditioning and artificial lighting, plantation shutters provided home owners with the best of both worlds. They are large and can be fully extended outward to let light and breezes in. Today, they are regarded as a timeless classic and have an aesthetic charm that is simply unmatched by modern window treatments, notes the indoor shutters supplier.

Homeowners looking for a functional yet stylish solution for their window covering needs will be pleasantly surprised with the fine collection Eclipse Shutters offers. According to Shannon Hodges, Director of Marketing for the plantation interior shutters manufacturer, "There is just something about the wide louvered design of plantation shutters that makes them so irresistible. They definitely make quite an impression no matter the room they are installed in, although in my opinion, they look particularly beautiful in kitchens and family areas, rooms where homeowners typically want a lot of natural light." The indoor shutters dealer also notes these window treatments are an excellent choice for people who want to save on heating and cooling costs. These shutters can be custom-made to fit the exact size and shape of any window in your home, which makes them incredibly energy-efficient.

Eclipse Shutters sells a complete line of indoor shutters. To learn more about their products and services, please visit

About Eclipse Shutters:
Eclipse Shutters is an Atlanta-based custom shutter provider with a network of licensed fabricators around the country. Their company has grown to become one of the largest manufacturers of tailor-made plantation shutters in North America. Eclipse Shutters was established in 1992 and offers customers fast delivery and a 25-year warranty.

For more information, visit

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Allie Petit
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The deVere Group Announces a New Partnership with Real Estate Advisory, IP Global

    BIRKIRKARA, MALTA, August 03, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- IP Global, the full service real estate investment company, and deVere Group, the world's largest independent international financial consultancy, have announced a landmark global partnership. The tie-up between two industry-leaders will see IP Global provide real estate investment services and advisory to up to 70,000 of deVere's high net worth clients around the world.

The agreement is a first in the financial consultancy sector and comes at a time of growing investor interest in real estate investment. The deVere Group operates in 70 offices around the world, and the new partnership will provide deVere's clients, who currently have US$9 billion of funds under management, with access to strategic property investments in high-value real estate markets for the first time.

The new partnership will expand IP Global's international reach by giving the company a platform to offer its end-to-end real estate investment service in a variety of new markets.

Tim Murphy, CEO, IP Global, said: "We are delighted that IP Global will be providing property investments for the deVere Group. Our team of experts ensure we deliver the high standards and satisfactory returns our clients expect, plus our end-to-end service to manage all aspects of the investment process. This will complement deVere Group's existing investment offering and open up this high-potential investment sector for its clients.

With over US$1 billion invested alongside our clients in 19 markets throughout the world since 2005 and over GBP 100 million invested in London this year alone, this partnership will further enhance IP Global's offerings to investors globally. This is a testament to the expertise and reputation IP Global has developed for providing credible, independent real estate investment advice."

Nigel Green, chief executive of the deVere Group, said: "We have seen growing demand from our clients around the world for real estate investment services and products, and this partnership will help them develop their wealth portfolios further, with access to expert advice and support from a leading real estate investment company". "We have been consistently impressed by the knowledge and service delivered by IP Global, and we look forward to expanding together as a result of this partnership."

The IP Global model supports the needs of IFAs' wealth management clients by offering property as a key asset class and managing the end-to-end investment process. The company will continue to work with a range of IFA partners around the world to identify the right real estate investment solutions for their clients.

IP Global aims to provide investors with an increasing range of property investment opportunities and will expand its teams and operations to support the growth generated by the partnership with deVere Group.

About IP Global Ltd
IP Global is a property investment company that researches and sources prime investment opportunities in high-value markets and invests alongside its clients, sharing the same risk and rewards. It supports investors throughout the purchase, ownership, leasing and resale of their property investment, including financing and legal assistance, providing a uniquely unified, end-to-end service. Established in Hong Kong in 2005 and with a worldwide presence through offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, China, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and London, IP Global provides unique property investment opportunities for its multimarket client base. It has successfully invested in more than 19 markets globally, with total assets under management exceeding USD1 billion.

About deVere Group
The deVere Group is the World's Largest Independent International Financial Consultancy. International investors and expatriates employ us to find financial services products that suit their medium to long term requirements for investments, savings and pensions. With in excess of US$9 billion of funds under administration and management, deVere has more than 70,000 clients in over 100 countries. Our independence and ability to offer financial products that are tailor-made to fit an individual's needs are behind our success.

For media enquiries and more information, please contact Cohn & Wolfe-impactasia:
Louise Huckfield -
Nellie Chan -
Tel: +852 3665 1000

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Atlanta Pest Control Company, North Fulton Pest Solutions, Discusses Periodic 17 Year Cicadas

    NORCROSS, GA, August 05, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Atlanta pest control specialists, North Fulton Pest Solutions, would like to take a moment to talk about cicadas. Residents along the east coast have recently experienced or are currently experiencing the buzzing melody this orchestra of insects puts on display, notes the Atlanta pest control firm. It may be hard to believe, but cicadas live underground for nearly their entire lives, waiting for the precise moment before they die to mate and prolong their species. Timing is very precious for these creatures, as they must quickly come to the surface and find a mate. According to the Atlanta pest control company, this is why we hear that loud buzzing. The males vibrate their bodies in order to attract females. The ritual becomes that much more astounding when realizing that it only occurs once every 13 to 17 years for the periodical cicada that recently made their presence known along the east coast.

The periodic 17 year cicada differs from the annual cicada that many are more familiar with here in Atlanta. The annual cicada is larger in comparison to the periodic cicada and green bodied. The periodical cicada is black bodied and red eyed making it quite easy to distinguish from its annual counterpart.

Many people may find the cicada chorus annoying, due largely to the fact that the sheer number of bugs that participate in the musical event can create an extremely loud and repetitive noise. However, the Atlanta pest control business says it is a unique opportunity to witness one of Mother Nature's most interesting occurrences. According to Blake Edwards, Vice President of North Fulton Pest Solutions, "periodic cicadas have a tough life. They have a very short period in which to find a mate, and many of them fall victim to predators or are unsuccessful in this regard. For those lucky enough to hear the sounds of the 17 year cicada, just know it's a phenomenon nearly two decades in the making. It's really quite astounding when you think about it!"

North Fulton Pest Solutions is a leading Atlanta pest control agency. To learn more about the services they offer including mosquito, termite, and wildlife control, please visit

About North Fulton Pest Solutions:
Founded in 1970, North Fulton Pest Solutions is a family-owned and operated pest control company in Atlanta, Ga. With an A+ rating and zero complaints with the Better Business Bureau, North Fulton Pest Solutions is Atlanta's most trusted source for pest control, termite treatments, mosquito control and wildlife removal.

For more information, please visit

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Miller Homes' Summer of Sport Initiative Off to a Flying Start

    EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND, August 08, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Miller Homes' fantastic Summer of Sport initiative is now well underway, and clubs and teams across the country have been coming forward in their droves for a chance to win GBP500.

On the back of a successful pilot scheme run last summer, the leading UK house builder is urging local clubs and organisations within its eight regional areas to enter the contest by collecting an application form from their local Miller Homes development.

To be in with a chance of winning, entrants have to say in no more than 200 words why their sports club deserves to win the money, how it will benefit the club and what it will be spent on. Closing date for entries is Sunday 1st September, and Sunday 15th September for Scotland.

Chris Endsor, Chief Executive of Miller Homes, said: "When it comes to supporting local communities, we are always keen to get involved - particularly if our support will provide opportunities for education, sport or development. Building great communities is at the heart of our ethos, and we believe that initiatives such as our Summer of Sport campaign go a long way towards nurturing these.

"Our judges will be looking for examples of how the sporting clubs in our communities will make the most out of our donation, for details of how it will directly support the learning and fitness for its members and examples of what new equipment they will be able to buy.

"We strongly encourage anyone with an affiliation to a sports team or club to have a go, and wish all entrants the very best of luck."

Details of the initiative have been distributed at a local level among sports clubs and associations; however community leaders and club managers can still pick up an entry form at any one of Miller Homes' marketing suites across the country.

Miller Homes operates in the following eight regional areas: North West of England, North East of England, Yorkshire, East Midlands, West Midlands, Southern, Scotland East and Scotland West.

To find your nearest Miller Homes development, please visit the Miller Homes website.

About Miller Homes:

- Miller Homes is part of The Miller Group. Since it was established in 1934, Miller Homes has built more than 100,000 homes across the UK, providing a variety of properties to meet the needs of a wide range of purchasers at all stages of the property ladder.
- Miller Homes operates in eight regions across the UK - Scotland East, Scotland West, North West, Yorkshire, North East, East Midlands, West Midlands and Southern.
- Miller Homes offers a variety of incentives, including government-backed schemes and its own schemes, to assist homebuyers in purchasing a new home.
- In 2013 Miller Homes was awarded five star rating in the National Home Builders Federation New Home Customer Satisfaction Survey and the results of independent research highlighted that 97% of its own customers would recommend Miller Homes to their best friend.
- Further information is available by visiting

For more information, please contact:

Marie Dunsmuir - Group Communications Manager
The Miller Group Ltd.
Tel: 0870 336 5084

Lesley Weir - Group Communications Officer
The Miller Group Ltd.
Tel: 0870 336 5010

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Amanda Day Joins Blue Skye Lending in Lakewood Ranch, Florida

    LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL, August 08, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Amanda Day has joined Blue Skye Lending as a Mortgage Loan Originator in the Lakewood Ranch office. A native of Bradenton, she brings 13 years of experience in residential and commercial lending, including serving as a mortgage consultant for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and AIM Mortgage, both in Bradenton.

Before joining Blue Skye Lending, Day was a partner in Latitude 27 Financial Inc. in Bradenton and owned a loan processing business, Day Processing Services LLC, which served companies throughout the state of Florida.

"Amanda's focus on customer service and her professional relationships with a network of attorneys, financial planners and Realtors have earned her a strong foundation of repeat and referral business," said Leslie Swart, one of the Managing Partners of Blue Skye Lending. "We are proud to welcome her to our team."

Blue Skye Lending offers expertise in every area of mortgage lending, serving the needs of real estate professionals, builders and individual homebuyers throughout Florida. Consultation is free and there are no application fees. Blue Skye Lending's main office is located at 8130 Lakewood Main St., Suite 205, Lakewood Ranch, FL. Telephone: (941) 256-8420. Website:

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United Real Estate Partners with Kaplan to Offer Premier Discounted Licensing Program

    KANSAS CITY, MO, August 09, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- United Real Estate, a fast-growing urban-centric real estate and franchise operation company, today announced its partnership with Kaplan Professional Schools, to offer potential United agents a discounted (15%) cost for signing up for the real estate licensing program. Kaplan Professional Schools, United's Education Partner of Choice, owns and operates one of the largest groups of real estate schools in the U.S. and is bringing their premier licensing, exam preparation and continuing education programs to potential United Real Estate agents.

From pre-licensing to exam prep courses, Kaplan helps students easily and quickly acquire sales and/or broker licenses, as well as continuing education courses that ensure students are up-to-date on needed qualifications. Kaplan's new On Demand Real Estate Licensing and Exam Prep courses combine the benefits of expert instruction with the convenience of studying anytime, anywhere. In addition, the courses allow potential United Real Estate agents, with the completed required education, obtain a license by simply registering for the licensing success package, applying for the exam/license application, and taking the exam. And since no two students' schedules are exactly alike, Kaplan offers three unique course delivery formats.

United's relationship with Kaplan could not have come at a more pivotal time for the real estate industry. Since the market's peak in 2006, memberships in the National Association of Realtors were on a steady decline as a result of a decrease in transaction volume, economic stagnation and significant housing down turn. With the continuing recovery of the real estate market across the United States, the National Association of REALTORS' has once again reached over 1,000,000 members, ending the five-year decline. As the real estate market continues to have increased transaction volume each month, the United/Kaplan partnership will be the ideal solution for potential agents.

"Historically any time there is growth and confidence in the residential real estate market, it is followed by an increase of new real estate agents joining the profession. We view our relationship with Kaplan and forming the United Real Estate licensing school combined with the United success program as a key strategic direction that will give our United company owned and franchised offices a large advantage in recruiting the next generation of real estate agents." Peter Giese President United Real Estate"

To sign up for this program visit or call 1-800-314- 5262 for more information.

For more information on the United Real Estate/Kaplan partnership please visit

A Closer Look at United Real Estate

Launched in 2011, United Real Estate has been successful in establishing rapid growth real estate companies in five of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States. United Real Estate now operates company-owned real estate brokerages in the metropolitan cities of Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. Additionally, United began franchising its business model in April 2013 with the addition of three franchised offices, one in Kansas City, one in Lexington and the other in Louisville, with plans to aggressively expand nationally and internationally. United Real Estate offices have been recognized as being among the fastest growing real estate companies in their individual markets. United Real Estate was recently highlighted in one of the real estate industries most respected publications, the Swanepoel TRENDS Report for 2013, as a "frontrunner" in rolling out the real estate office of the future. The United Real Estate system is currently being rolled out nationwide through a comprehensive franchise solution for real estate brokers in urban markets.

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The dangers of West Virginia's road construction work zones

    August 09, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Summer's road construction season is in full swing in West Virginia and across much of the country. Local, state and federal governments alike wait impatiently through the winter months for the warm temperatures and bright sun conditions that will allow them to fix worn road surfaces, make other repairs and begin projects to better control traffic flow.

While it is true that road construction is inevitable and it is indeed in the best interests of the state and its citizens, it can cause quite a headache. Obviously, delays are inherent with construction projects and if detours are necessary, an already-long commute can seem unbearable.

Construction can also result in lives being lost if passing vehicles crash into work zones. These dangers are magnified when construction projects occur on already dangerous roads like West Virginia's "Corridor G" area and the Interstates around the Charleston area.

The facts

A survey recently released by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA) reveals that 38 percent of highway construction workers report having a nearby vehicle accidentally enter their work area. Nearly 50 percent of those have endured the frightening experience three or more times in a single construction season.

Interestingly, the AGCA found that the rate of injury is much higher for vehicle occupants who crash into work zones than for the laborers themselves. Car and truck drivers and passengers were injured in nearly half of the work zone auto accidents, while construction workers were hurt roughly 18 percent of the time.


When compared to the overall traffic accident rate in the country, road construction work zones happen relatively infrequently. That being said, workers and vehicle occupants are both at high risk for injury when they do occur, so all parties have a responsibility to do what they can to help prevent accidents.

Vehicle operators can:
- Avoid distracted driving in work zones
- Lower their speed when approaching and passing through construction areas
- Pay close attention to the road ahead instead of watching construction activities or equipment happening alongside the vehicle
- Prepare in advance for delays that might be caused by road work, thus removing the temptation to speed through the area to make up "lost time" (current road construction project information is available on the West Virginia Department of Transportation's website or by calling the Department's traffic information line at 511)

Road construction workers can:
- Always wear a hardhat on the job site
- Wear bright or reflective clothing (or reflective tape on their hardhats) to ensure that drivers can see them
- Clearly mark construction zones with adequate signage and traffic control devices like barriers, barrels, traffic cones, lights or weighted sawhorses
- Remaining safely inside the marked perimeters of the zone at all times when traffic is present

Regardless of whether you are a motorist or a road worker, you have a responsibility to behave as safely as possible in road construction zones. Staying alert could mean staying alive. If you or a loved one was injured in a road construction work zone accident, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to learn more about your legal rights and options you may have to hold the parties responsible for your injuries accountable.

Article provided by Akers Law Offices, PLLC
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Simple Ways to Freshen Up That Stuffy Bathroom or Kitchen

    FORT MILL, SC, August 03, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- If there's one room in the house that cries out for fresh air, it's the kitchen. And if there's a second room that can benefit from Mother Nature's sweet breath, it's the bathroom. When humidity and odors build up in a room, a host of disagreeable results arises, from mold and mildew to dank, unpleasant air.

Exhausting stale indoor air and replacing it with fresh outside air is the best way to ensure continuous indoor air quality, the Home Ventilating Institute says. Modern construction, however, makes it virtually impossible to achieve sufficient exchange of air without mechanical assistance. Fortunately, from venting skylights to high-tech exhaust fans, there are plenty of ways to ensure ventilation in the kitchen and bath without sacrificing a comfortable atmosphere.

Become a fan of fans
Few rooms are as prone to moisture buildup as the bathroom. Since this room is often also one of the most-used in any home, keeping it fresh and comfortable can be a challenge. Venting fans are a must for full bathrooms where bathing occurs, and a comfort-enhancing plus in half baths and powder rooms.

If your bathroom lacks an exhaust fan, installing one is often within the abilities of a savvy do-it-yourselfer. It's important for your fan to vent outdoors. "Exhaust" fans that do not vent outdoors simply recirculate stale, damp air within the room, or shunt it to another area of the home - such as the attic - where moisture can lead to mildew. Consider installing a timer to help ensure your fan runs for an adequate amount of time after every shower or bath.

Skylighten up your life
Thanks to resources like, you may already know that a properly installed, energy-efficient skylight can help you control heating, cooling and lighting costs. Skylights can also be an excellent source of passive ventilation.

"Solar-powered fresh air skylights admit healthful natural light while providing passive ventilation," says Ross Vandermark of VELUX America, ( makers of Energy Star-qualified no leak skylights. "Passive ventilation gives homeowners the benefit of fresh air without adding to their utility bills. Due to its "chimney or stack" effect, a skylight doesn't need to draw electricity to move air the way a ventilation fan does. What's more, skylights can be equipped with solar blinds for additional light control and energy efficiency. And both the no leak solar-powered fresh air skylight and solar-powered blind, as well as the installation, are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit as a green home improvement."

Venting skylights in kitchens passively exhaust hot air, moisture and odors while admitting additional light for more pleasant cooking, dining and entertaining. And skylights, along with fashionable accessories including decor-enhancing blinds in colors and patterns, can be controlled manually or by remote control.

The same applies in baths, where humidity levels are often high and the need for ventilation is constant. Skylights also add a big plus in baths with the privacy they afford as opposed to vertical windows. The same holds true in bedrooms. Plus, gazing at the nighttime sky from your bed is sometimes a nice option.

You can learn more about energy-efficient skylights and calculate your tax credit for a new or replacement model at

Win with windows
Cold weather makes most of us close windows tight until temperatures warm. But as soon as the cold breaks, windows again become a great way to welcome fresh air into our homes.

It's possible to maximize the benefit your home receives from opening the windows. Whenever possible, create a cross-breeze by opening windows on opposite sides of the room or opposite ends of the house. Having two open windows will help maximize airflow.

Avoid blocking windows with furniture or heavy drapes that can block the movement of air. Ensure windows always have screens and keep screens clean and free of debris. Screens should always have locks, especially on second and third-floor windows and in homes where small children and pets are present.

For information on natural light and fresh air through passive ventilation, visit You'll also find a skylight planner app on the site for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices that allows homeowners to see exactly how various skylight and blind combinations would look in their own homes. For window and skylight energy efficiency information, visit,, or

Media Contact:
Keith Hobbs - Business Services Associates, Inc. - 9413 Greenfield Drive -
Raleigh, NC 27615-2306 - Phone - 919.844.0064 - E-mail -

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Shea Homes to Open Five New Home Communities in San Diego

    SAN DIEGO, CA, August 04, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Working aggressively to help meet the market demand for new homes in San Diego, Shea Homes has five new home communities in the construction pipeline. From contemporary urban townhomes to larger, coastal single-family detached homes, Shea's new line-up of San Diego communities will begin to roll out later this year and continue through spring 2014.

Here is an overview of Shea Homes San Diego's upcoming neighborhoods:

? Frame + Focus at Civita in San Diego's Mission Valley: 64 attached townhomes [Frame] and 76 two-story attached row homes [Focus] reflecting contemporary urban architecture in the heart of the Civita master-planned community off Friars Road. With appeal to first time and first time move-up home buyers, homes at Frame range from 1,306 to 1,599 square feet, with larger square footages available at Frame (1,584 to 1,983 square feet). Scheduled to open in Fall 2013.

? Beach House at Coral Cove in Encinitas, CA: 39 single family detached homes reflecting California Craftsman and California Spanish architecture, ranging from 2,520 to 3,041 square feet. Scheduled to open in Winter 2013.

? Cabanas at Coral Cove in Encinitas, CA: 30 two-story attached homes (including eight designated affordable units) ranging from 1,276 to 1,575 square feet in California Craftsman and California Spanish style architecture. Scheduled to open in Winter 2013.

? Lucent at Civita in Mission Valley includes two distinctive urban homes: (1) 54 multi-family flats ranging from 1,467 to 2,078 square feet, comprised of single level homes and two-story penthouses with rooftop decks; and (2) five 3- or 4-story Manhattan style lofts from 1,547 to 1,760 square feet. Scheduled to open in Winter 2013.

? 1 Channel Island in Encinitas, CA: 69 single family detached homes styled in New Zealand/Hawaiian architecture, ranging from 1,955 to 4,052 square feet. Scheduled to open in Spring 2014.

1 Channel Island and Beach House at Coral Cove will be designed around Shea Homes newest product series Shea3D. This all-new, patent-pending way of building homes provides home buyers with a decision that they've never had before - the opportunity to choose from a variety of interchangeable lifestyle-driven spaces.

"It's exciting to be able to offer so many choices in location, architecture and lifestyle options," said Vanessa Linn, vice president of sales and marketing for Shea Homes San Diego. "With the real estate market rebounding, we've been able to give so much more freedom to our teams of planners, landscapers, architects, designers and technology professionals. It's going to be fun to unveil the results of this pent-up creativity."

To join our interest list and for more information, call 866-OWN-SHEA (866-696-7432) or visit

Shea Homes San Diego is currently marketing homes at the following locations:

? Aria at Bella Lago in Chula Vista, where three model homes will soon be released for sale.

? Mandolin at Del Sur, which will soon release five model homes for sale.

? Mosaic at Lomas Verdes in Chula Vista, where 2-3 bedroom attached homes are priced from the high $200,000s.

? Origen skyLoft at Civita, recently honored as the nation's Neighborhood of the Year, skyLoft at Civita represents a new wave of urban architecture with townhomes priced from the low $500,000s.

? Origen socialGarden at Civita, the sister community to Origen skyLoft offers slightly larger courtyard style townhomes, priced from the low $500,000s.

? Seaside in Encinitas, where one 1,922-square-foot home is currently available, priced at $1,030,000.

? Voscana in Carlsbad, where three and four bedroom condominiums range from the high $400,000s.

Shea Homes is one of the largest private homebuilding firms in the nation, having built more than 90,000 homes since the company was founded in 1968. Shea Homes is recognized as an industry leader in customer satisfaction with a reputation for design, quality and customer service. The family-owned homebuilder is now marketing new homes in California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Washington, North Carolina, Florida and Texas.

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Jennifer Kelly Inducted into Worldwide Who's Who for Excellence in Real Estate

..    FORT COLLINS, CO, August 12, 2013 /Worldwide Who's Who/ -- Jennifer Kelly, Realtor of ERA Herman Group, has been recognized by Worldwide Who's Who for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in real estate.

Ms. Kelly has seven years of experience in real estate, with two years as a realtor of the ERA Herman Group. She specializes in residential, distressed, investment and luxury homes, as well as corporate relocation. In the course of her duties, she is responsible for handling residential corporate relocation short sales, and investment properties. Ms. Kelly attributes her success to hard work and negotiating. She became involved in her profession because she purchased her own investment property, and others soon expressed an interest in wanting her help in purchasing real estate.

Ms. Kelly received a Master of Education in adult education from Colorado State University in 1994. She is a certified distress property expert and a certified investor agent specialist. Jennifer Kelly is a top producing agent in Northern Colorado and is in the top 1% nationally in sales. To give back to others, she contributes to the Special Olympics, Turning Point Youth Center and gives back to Emergency First Responders. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and camping. In years to come, Ms. Kelly will continue to bring quality service to real estate buyers and sellers.

For more information about ERA Herman Group, visit

About Worldwide Who's Who
With over 500,000 members representing every major industry, Worldwide Who's Who is a powerful networking resource that enables professionals to outshine their competition, in part through effective branding and marketing. Worldwide Who's Who employs similar public relations techniques to those utilized by Fortune 500 companies, making them cost-effective for members who seek to take advantage of its career enhancement and business advancement services.

Worldwide Who's Who membership provides individuals with a valuable third-party endorsement of their accomplishments, and gives them the tools needed to brand themselves and their businesses effectively. In addition to publishing biographies in print and electronic form, it offers an online networking platform where members can establish new professional relationships.

For more information, please visit

Ellen Campbell
Director, Media Relations

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

TradeMark Properties Welcomes Kyle Gross As Real Estate Advisor

    RALEIGH, NC, August 11, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Billie Redmond, CEO of TradeMark Properties (, has announced that Kyle Gross has joined the firm as a real estate advisor. In his new position, Gross will counsel investors on making financially sound and profitable real estate investments, as well as develop individualized real estate plans to benefit and effectively guide clients.

Prior to joining the TradeMark Properties team, Gross established Discount ATV's, a motorsport distribution company, where he was highly involved in all aspects of the business, including purchasing, sales, vendor management, invoicing, accounting, networking and logistics. A Raleigh native, Gross is a licensed North Carolina real estate broker. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from East Carolina University.

"We are excited to welcome Kyle to TradeMark Properties as a real estate advisor," said Redmond. "His proficiency in working with multifamily, office and industrial properties makes him an ideal candidate for this position. We are confident Kyle will provide new opportunities for our firm as we continue to grow throughout the Triangle community."

TradeMark Properties offers a full range of real estate and investment advisory services. From acquisition evaluation and due diligence tasks, through value enhancement and disposition strategies, TradeMark guides its clients through every phase of real estate investment opportunities. Partnering with strategic alliances, TradeMark offers coordination of services such as equity development, financing, credit management, architectural and engineering services, development or project management oversight, and relocation services. TradeMark is organized around advisory services, such as sales, leasing, and asset management, including facility management and maintenance services. Its advisors are market experts in their areas of industry specialization, which include commercial, residential, retail, industrial, multi-family and investment property sales. The executive management team of TradeMark Properties has more than 200 years of combined real estate experience. For the past four years, Triangle Business Journal has ranked the firm as the No.1 Commercial Real Estate Company in the Triangle, and the same publication has named the firm among the area's Best Places to Work. TradeMark is also recognized as one of the Top 25 Women-Owned Businesses in North Carolina. For more information, please call (919) 782-5552 or visit

Kathleen Donnelly
MMI Public Relations
(919) 233-6600

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Atlanta Tinting Experts, The Tint Guy, Opens New Retail Store in Jasper August 31st

    NORCROSS, GA, August 05, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Tint Guy is throwing a celebration for the opening of their second retail store in Georgia. The Grand Opening Celebration will include food, drinks, 3M window film demos, raffles, prizes, giveaways, and much more on August 31, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The new store is located at 4077-D Camp Road in Jasper, Ga. The Tint Guy's original retail location is on Main Street in Woodstock.

The Tint Guy specializes in residential and commercial window tinting in Jasper. Their Jasper window tinting experts sell and install the complete line of 3M window films, which are available in a wide range of protection levels. The film is durable yet so clear that it is undetectable.

Sun and UV Protection
Window tinting in Jasper and surrounding areas is especially important because of the region's strong sun and heat. For customers looking for protection against the sun, 3M offers Sun Control Window Films that protect homes and offices from nearly 100 percent of UV rays. These harmful rays can damage skin as well as furniture. While 3M quality window films protect from UV exposure, they still allow in up to 70 percent of the sun's light. The tints also keep interiors cool, cut glare and decrease energy costs.

Weather, Vandalism and Graffiti Protection
For stronger protection against severe weather that people in the southeast know all too well, The Tint Guy offers 3M Safety and Security Window Films. They help protect windows against damage from storms and even hurricanes. They also protect your home or office building if it is the target of vandalism by keeping the glass in place even if it is broken. That also means that burglars are less likely to enter your business even if they succeed in breaking the glass. The Tint Guy even carries an anti-graffiti series that protects glass surfaces from all forms of graffiti, including scratches, acid-etching, and gouges.

Chris Robinson, Owner of the Jasper window tinting company, The Tint Guy, says, "We are happy to open this second location for the convenience of our customers further north of Atlanta. We're also excited to host a Grand Opening Celebration for our new and returning customers. Folks can check out our Jasper location on our Facebook page at They can also give us a call at 706- 622-6681."

For more information on the full line of products and services offered by these Jasper tinting professionals, visit their site at For more information about the Grand Opening Celebration, please visit

About The Tint Guy:
The Tint Guy is a Jasper window tinting company. They specialize in residential, commercial and automotive tinting. Founded in 1986, the company now has two locations in the metro-Atlanta area. The Tint Guy is the only full-service 3M window film dealer in Georgia, providing expert sales and installations of the complete line of 3M window films.

For more information, visit

For all media inquiries, please contact:

Allie Petit
Content Manager
Cardinal Web Solutions

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Eclipse Shutters Notes Advantages of Having Faux Shutters that are Always in the Sun

    NORCROSS, GA, August 12, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The indoor shutters dealer, Eclipse Shutters, would like to take a moment to talk about the benefits of installing faux shutters on your windows. Fading is the biggest problem people have with installing real wood window treatments, especially those which are exposed to the sun for long periods of time. While this issue does not pose a problem immediately, it can lead to cracking of the paint and overall deterioration of the material's surface quality over time. Chances are that homeowners who buy indoor shutters do so for their appearance as well as functionality. If left untreated, the fading and discoloration that will occur as a result of UV ray exposure can be a real eyesore.

On the other hand, notes the indoor shutters dealer, with faux shutters you don't have to worry about a thing. According to Shannon Hodges, Director of Marketing for the plantation shutters manufacturer, "Faux shutters are essentially a 'set and forget' type of product. They are extremely low-maintenance and look just as good as their real counterparts. Homeowners won't need to worry about or hassle with having to repaint them later on, which saves time and money." They also note that the composite material faux shutters are made from is durable and long-lasting; these shutters will easily last many years without fail. Is it any wonder why nearly half of all the shutters sold in the country are faux?

Eclipse Shutters has been a premiere dealer of indoor shutters for over 20 years. To learn more about the faux shutters they sell, feel free to visit

About Eclipse Shutters:
Eclipse Shutters is an Atlanta-based custom shutter provider with a network of licensed fabricators around the country. Their company has grown to become one of the largest manufacturers of tailor-made plantation shutters in North America. Eclipse Shutters was established in 1992 and offers customers fast delivery and a 25-year warranty.

For more information, visit

For all media inquiries, please contact:

Allie Petit
Content Manager
Cardinal Web Solutions

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Past Interior Home Styles Make a Return, Grand Homes Reviews Popular Design Concepts

    PHILADELPHIA, PA, August 12, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Grand Homes reviews every nuance of a property that today's homeowner wants to have in his or her "dream house." While the size and location of a property continue to play important roles when a buyer is selecting a home to purchase--or construct--this Dallas-based homebuilder notes that style still remains one of the most important factors when its clients are designing a house. As a company that has been around for more than 25 years, it has witnessed a lot of shifts in exterior and interior home styles--according to a recent Yahoo Finance article, many of those trends may be coming back.

Yahoo Finance explains, "Avocado-colored appliances and shag carpet were probably a few home trends you happily filed under the label 'done.' And they may be. But plenty of looks once considered passe are making a huge comeback in homes. They're features buyers covet and sellers are incorporating in their properties."

In a recent press statement, Grand Homes reviews this observation, "It is not a surprise that consumers are opting for antiquated styles. Some may particularly enjoy the wide array of trends that have been utilized in home design throughout the years, while others may seek to place them in their homes to capture a sense of nostalgia. While home design trends are cyclical, they are often updated to fit the unique profile of the modern family. As such, we always encourage our buyers to focus on design elements that are more timeless than a short-term trend. Opting for a 'passe' feature could be one way to capture such timelessness."

Although the actual structure of a home plays a major part in the mood and atmosphere of the overall design, Grand Homes reviews the many options consumers have to make an abode distinctive. For instance, Yahoo Finance highlights the attention that older, yet modern furniture is getting in the home design world. Citing New York Modern Spaces luxury realtor Bari Lynn, the article reveals, "The look is mixing old with new. For a long-time, Lynn says people were clamoring for sleek and modern home furnishings. She says that is done. Now everyone wants vintage pieces and reclaimed wood looks mixed with modern pieces. At retail, Lynn says Restoration Hardware has become the destination."

"Reclaiming and repurposing furniture and such elements is also on trend with the green movement--a taste that has proven increasingly popular among our buyers. It is so interesting to see how a social movement has transformed to integrate style and art. We are excited to see where these trends will take homes in the near future," Grand Homes reviews in its conclusion.


Grand Homes reviews the needs of today's homeowner and has made sure to reflect these requirements in the impressive work it produces. For more than 25 years, Grand Homes has served as a leading homebuilder in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, region and has expanded a great deal since its creation. Offering a wide range of semi-custom home options to prospective homeowners, Grand Homes has grown immensely and currently is recognized for building approximately 400 homes a year in 35 established communities in the area. Staffed with nearly 200 talented and dedicated employees, this homebuilder has gained increased attention as an award-winning contracting company.

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Word of Mouth is Still the Best Way People Find Rented Property

    ESSEX, ENGLAND, August 10, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The tops three ways of finding a property to rent have been revealed by landlord insurance specialists Cover4LetProperty (, who carried out an independent survey* to find out about renters' habits.

The study highlighted how:

- nearly a fifth (18%) of people found rented accommodation via friends and family;
- 14% found a property using letting agents;
- 12% used a website to find their rented home;
- male renters were nearly four times more likely to choose a property based on a recommendation from friends and family, compared to female renters (23% vs 6%);
- overall, 18% of those questioned rented the second property they saw;
- 24% of male renters were most likely to view two, or more than four, properties before they found one they liked;
- over one in ten of their female counterparts (12%) picked the first home they viewed with the rest viewing two or three properties before they found one they wished to rent;
- 36% of respondents who rented the first property they saw are in the 30-39 age band.

Richard Burgess, Director at Cover4LetProperty, commented: "In this modern era of technology, it is very surprising that people looking for rental property are still finding it on the grapevine first, rather than online. And when it came to trust, it seems that blokes still tend to trust their mates more as opposed to our female counterparts. Conversely, when it came to being picky, men did look at more property than the women did before choosing."

*Independent study carried out for Cover4LetProperty July 2013 by Usurv

About Cover4LetProperty

With roots going back to 1946, our clients can benefit from 66 years' of experience in the landlord insurance marketplace. We are award-winning independent intermediaries and act on behalf of our clients in arranging their buy to let and unoccupied property insurances. Our service includes advising clients on their insurance needs, arranging insurance cover with insurers to meet those requirements and help with any ongoing changes that have to be made to their landlords insurance policies.

In 2011 we were proud to beat off some stiff competition for the award for Best Landlord Insurer in the prestigious The Money Awards.

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Top Kitchen Upgrades That Blend Beauty and Value

    FORT MILL, SC, August 03, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Nowhere else in the home must design and function marry as harmoniously as in the kitchen. The most-used room in the house is also the one where we spend the most work and leisure time, the one that gets the most scrutiny from potential buyers and the spot where most renovation dollars are spent.

A minor kitchen remodel costs around $21,000 and has the potential to recoup nearly 73 percent of that expense at the time of resale, according to Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value Report. A major job averages around $58,000 and can recoup about 68 percent of the renovation costs.

"When you're spending that kind of money on a remodel, you want to choose upgrades that accomplish multiple objectives, including improving efficiency, functionality and beauty," says Ross Vandermark, national product manager with skylight manufacturer Velux America ( "Sometimes that type of upgrade will warrant a greater expenditure, but others are easy and relatively low-cost to make."

So what are some of the top kitchen upgrades that provide the most beauty and functionality for your investment? Here are five:

1. Countertops
In any kitchen, the countertops are both a significant design element and a functional necessity. Countertops act as work and storage areas, provide staging and serving space, and have a major impact on the overall look of the room. Replacing lower-cost countertops such as laminate with higher-end materials like granite can enhance the usability and look of your work surface. Even if you opt to replace older laminate with the same material, your kitchen can benefit from a fresh face and improved material quality.

2. Lighting and ventilation
Illumination and fresh air in a kitchen not only allow you to appreciate the beauty of the room, it ensures a safer, more comfortable work environment. Under-cabinet task lighting, pendants over a breakfast bar and upgrading an old box-style florescent with a more attractive, energy-efficient style can enhance the usability and look of a kitchen.

Adding Energy Star-qualified Velux no leak solar powered fresh air skylights can also boost the appearance, appeal and efficiency of a kitchen.

When you choose no leak solar powered fresh air skylights, their natural "chimney or stack effect" aids in air exchange, helping to vent hot air, moisture and odors while admitting additional natural light and fresh air. Accessories like solar powered decorator blinds, which work with the same remote control as the skylights, ensure you can adjust the amount of light that enters your kitchen from a skylight while dressing up your decor with designer colors and patterns. And both the skylights and blinds, as well as installation costs, are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit.

If a traditional skylight isn't right for your needs, you can still enhance the room with natural light; tubular models like Velux's Sun Tunnel skylights use reflective tunnels to deliver light from above and are less expensive to purchase and install. Add an optional light kit and the units provide light at night as well as during the day.

Visit for an app that will enable you to see how skylights will look in your own home plus a tax credit calculator that will show you how much you can save on a replacement skylight or new unit installation.

3. Cabinets
Improving cabinets can be a costly prospect, but one worth the investment since they are not only a major design element in the kitchen, but essential to the room's efficiency and usability. You can find a range of options for upgrading cabinets, from total replacement with custom-made cabinetry to simply resurfacing or repainting existing cabinets.

4. Hardware and fixtures
Think of cabinet hardware and faucets as the jewelry of your kitchen. Swapping out dated or worn hardware - including knobs, handles and hinges - is a fast, easy and cost-effective way to change the look of the entire room. Plus, you can improve functionality by choosing larger handles that are easier to grasp and replacing old-style hinges with modern varieties that close silently and smoothly or are completely hidden behind the cabinet door. Replacing the kitchen faucet is also an easy, relatively low-cost upgrade. Opt for a pullout spray head or touch-free model and you can also enhance the usability of this key kitchen feature.

5. Appliances
Your car couldn't function without tires and a steering wheel and no kitchen can serve its purpose without the right appliances. If your appliances are more than 10 years old, chances are they're starting to look worn and dated. They're also likely less energy efficient than newer models, many of which are now made to meet Energy Star standards (visit Appliances account for nearly 20 percent of the energy consumed by an average home, according to

Upgrading a kitchen is a great way to enhance the value and your enjoyment of the most-used room in your house. Choosing improvements that add beauty and efficiency can help ensure you get the most for your renovation dollars.

Media Contact:
Keith Hobbs - Business Services Associates, Inc. - 9413 Greenfield Drive -
Raleigh, NC 27615-2306 - Phone - 919.844.0064 - E-mail -

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Champia Shares Why You Should Test for Radon in Atlanta

    NORCROSS, GA, August 12, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Radon is an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas that is produced by the decay of uranium in soil and water. It can be hazardous when found in highly-concentrated areas in homes and other buildings. Atlanta home inspectors, Champia Real Estate Inspections, discuss why it is essential to know the level of radon in your home.

Why is Radon Dangerous?
Statistics reported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicate that radon is the leading cause of lung cancer around the world aside from smoking. The chances of smokers contracting lung cancer from radon are significantly higher than for non-smokers because of the combined impact of the two.

Radon Levels in Atlanta and Throughout Georgia
Nearly one out of every 15 homes in this country has an elevated radon level. You cannot predict radon levels based on local measurements or even on levels in neighboring homes. Homes that are next to each other can have different radon levels.

Levels of radon in Atlanta are particularly high. According to the EPA, Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett, and DeKalb counties around Atlanta have a predicted average indoor radon level in the elevated or "red zone" level with a predicted average indoor radon screening level greater than 4 pCi/L--higher than any other area in the state.

When and How Often Should You Test for Radon?
You should definitely have a home you are considering purchasing tested. However, there are a number of times when testing is warranted. Radon levels can change with the seasons. That's why some experts recommend testing seasonally. The EPA also recommends testing before you do any construction so that if there is a problem, you can use radon-resistant techniques.

Getting a Qualified Radon Tester
There are low-cost "do-it-yourself" radon test kits available online and in hardware stores. If you are buying a home, however, you should hire a qualified radon tester. Do not just accept the seller's test. Radon testing in Atlanta, GA should be done by qualified professionals. Champia's inspectors are certified with the highest industry standard certifications, including American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), International Code Council (ICC), and National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP).

What to Do if High Radon Levels are Found
If elevated levels are found during the inspection, the EPA recommends that it be mitigated. The buyer should request that the seller mitigate to below the necessary threshold. The cost of making repairs to reduce radon levels depends on how the home was built among other factors.

Bill Compton, President and CEO of Champia Real Estate Inspections says, "Our qualified inspectors can do a radon test along with the home inspection and other inspections, including termite and mold inspections. It will allow you the chance to work out the cost of fixing it with the seller, just as with any other repairs that are needed. Most importantly, with Atlanta radon levels being so high, it will give you peace of mind for your family and yourself."

For more information on Champia's services, and to schedule testing and an Atlanta home inspection, visit

About Champia:
Champia Real Estate Inspections has been providing comprehensive home inspections in Atlanta and the surrounding area since 1987. Their services are available 24/7 and cover new properties to older historic properties. They also involve a range of services from radon testing to termite inspections.

For more information, visit

For all media inquiries, please contact:

Allie Petit
Content Manager
Cardinal Web Solutions

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Champia Wants You to Know How to Get the Most Value Out of Your Home Inspection in Atlanta

    NORCROSS, GA, August 09, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- With the real estate market rebounding, more people are able to sell their home and move into a new one than at any other time in recent years. An essential part of the home purchase process is the inspection. Atlanta home inspectors Champia Real Estate Inspections offers some important tips for getting the most value out of the home inspection.

What is a Home Inspection?
When a seller accepts the potential buyer's offer, it is wise for the buyer to hire a professional home inspector before closing. A qualified home inspector will conduct a visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation, inside and out. They will then provide a detailed written report listing all items that need to be fixed or where repair is recommended.

Find a Credentialed Inspector
State-mandated credentials for inspectors vary. In many states, an inspector does not need any formal training and may not even have to be licensed or bonded. Champia's home inspectors in Atlanta, GA have the highest industry standard certifications from the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), International Code Council (ICC), and National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP).

Attend the Inspection
Many buyers let their realtor handle the process and are not present during the inspection. However, Champia recommends that potential buyers be there for the inspection. Since a good inspection will take a few hours, this will give you an opportunity to look at the home carefully for yourself without being rushed.

Negotiate Repairs with the Seller
Once you have the inspection report, decide whether you want to have the repairs done yourself or have the seller take care of them. Many buyers prefer to handle them. They are more likely to be done the way you want. For the items that need to be repaired, get an estimate from a reputable contractor.

What is Included in a Champia Inspection?
Champia's Atlanta home inspections are thorough and detailed. Outside, they evaluate the structural integrity of the house, and inspect the exterior areas, including the garage, chimney, driveway, and retaining walls. Inside, they inspect the electrical system, heating and air conditioning, and plumbing, just to name a few things. Their report includes pictures of any issues and recommended repairs.

Champia advises customers to bundle in additional inspections that can be crucial, depending on where the house is located. For example, in Atlanta, termite inspection is important because infestations are common. Radon testing in Atlanta is also strongly recommended because the city has the highest radon concentration in the state. They can also test for mold and do a water certification if required in your county.

About the importance of home inspections, Bill Compton, President and CEO of Champia Real Estate Inspections says, "Your home is likely the most expensive thing you will ever buy. You want to know what you are getting, and what needs to be repaired either immediately or down the line before you have costly and possibly irreparable damage."

For more information about Atlanta home inspections, please visit

About Champia:
Champia Real Estate Inspections has been providing comprehensive home inspections in Atlanta and the surrounding area since 1987. Their services are available 24/7 and cover new properties to older historic properties. They also involve a range of services from radon testing to termite inspections.

For more information, visit

For all media inquiries, please contact:

Allie Petit
Content Manager
Cardinal Web Solutions

View the original article here

Taylor Morrison Aims to Collect School Supplies for Local Students

    AUSTIN, TX, August 09, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Taylor Morrison is sponsoring a school supply drive aimed at providing back-to-school essentials for more than 2,700 children throughout the Austin area. Open to both Taylor Morrison employees and the community at large, the drive will run through August 19th and will accept all manner of new supplies, from pencils, crayons and markers to notebooks, folders and backpacks. Donations bins have been established in Taylor Morrison model homes in Crystal Falls, Steiner Ranch, Reunion Ranch, Ladera and Sweetwater. Donations will also be accepted at the company's Austin headquarters, located at 11200 Lakeline Boulevard, Suite 150A.

For more information about Taylor Morrison communities in the Austin market, call 512-845-7350 or visit online at

About Taylor Morrison
Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, Taylor Morrison Home Corporation operates in the U.S. under the Taylor Morrison and Darling Homes brands and in Canada under the Monarch brand. Taylor Morrison is a builder and developer of single-family detached and attached homes serving a wide array of customers including first-time, move-up, luxury and active adult customers. Taylor Morrison divisions operate in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida and Texas. Darling Homes serves move-up and luxury homebuyers in Texas. Monarch, Canada's oldest homebuilder builds homes for first-time and move-up buyers in Toronto and Ottawa as well as high rise condominiums in Toronto. For more information about Taylor Morrison, Darling Homes or Monarch, please visit, and

For more information about Taylor Morrison communities in Austin, call 512-845-7350 or visit

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The Design Element That Can Add Drama and Save Cash

    FORT MILL, SC, August 03, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- While drama may be unattractive in other aspects of your life, a dash of it can be just what your home's decor needs to spice things up. Fortunately, you don't have to choose between drama and cents. At least one popular design element can deliver positive impact on your decor and your wallet: skylights.

Interior designers, architects, decorators and homeowners have been relying on skylights to add beauty, warmth, natural light and passive ventilation to interior designs for decades. Fortunately, advances in skylight design make them a cost-effective, green design element as well.

"Skylights ... enliven a home dramatically while cutting down the need for artificial light," notes the website ( "They brighten up dark corners and let in lots of warmth. They can also provide much-needed ventilation."

Less dependence on artificial light sources or powered ventilation can mean lower electric bills in summer. Plus, warm sun entering the home through a skylight in winter can reduce your heating bills, as well. In fact, says that installing Energy Star-qualified skylights, windows and doors can shrink your home's energy bill - and carbon footprint - by 7 to 15 percent over non-qualified products.

"Skylights convey drama, yet they're a surprisingly cost-effective home improvement," says Ross Vandermark, national product manager of Velux America, manufacturers of the Energy Star-qualified "No-Leak Skylight." "Installing the latest no leak solar powered fresh air skylights can be less costly than buying a new piece of furniture or putting in new carpet. Plus, if your interior design cries out for natural light, it's more practical and cost-effective to place skylights overhead than to add windows to a wall."

You can add a solar powered blind to the package and both the solar powered skylight and blind, as well as the installation costs, are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit.

Aesthetic benefits
By opening a room to the sky, skylights add a touch of drama to the interior design. They're also an appealing solution for rooms where a traditional window might be problematic.

For example, in a bath, a skylight that opens makes it possible to enjoy natural light and passive ventilation without sacrificing privacy. No leak solar powered fresh air models are also popular in kitchens to remove cooking odors and excess heat while brightening much-used workspaces. And solar powered blinds can be added in designer colors and patterns that make a fashion statement in addition to their functionality.

In other areas of the home, affordable tubular like Velux's Sun Tunnel products make it possible to easily and inexpensively introduce natural light to hallways, closets, and other smaller or confined spaces. With the addition of a light kit, twenty-four hour illumination is available.

Overall, skylights are less limiting to a room's design than a traditional window - all while admitting much more natural light. Many people completely overlook or underutilize the design potential of a ceiling. Skylights can turn that blank slate into a design statement that is both functional and beautiful.

At there's an app that enables homeowners to see how skylights will look in their own homes plus a tax credit calculator that shows you how much can be saved on a replacement skylight or new unit installation.

Practical value
Fresh air skylights can also offer a low-cost way to address indoor air quality by removing humidity, fumes and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from homes through their natural chimney effect. In addition to helping improve indoor air quality, skylights allow you to turn off electric lights and save money on power bills.

Accessorizing with solar-powered, remote-operated blinds that qualify for tax breaks, allows homeowners to further incorporate skylights into a design theme. Plus, the blinds, which are available in a range of colors and patterns, enhance the efficiency of skylights by allowing control of the amount of light or heat that enters or leaves a room.

"Few home improvements marry the dramatic design impact and energy saving boost that you get from adding no leak solar powered fresh air skylights and solar powered blinds," says Vandermark. "When it comes to redesigning a room, they're truly the touch that elevates the look and feel of your decor."

You can learn more about window and skylight energy efficiency at, and for independent agency information visit or

Media Contact:
Keith Hobbs - Business Services Associates, Inc. - 9413 Greenfield Drive -
Raleigh, NC 27615-2306 - Phone - 919.844.0064 - E-mail -

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Popularity of Plantation Shutters Continues to Rise, Notes Eclipse Shutters

    NORCROSS, GA, August 07, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Eclipse Shutters, one of North America's largest manufacturers of custom made indoor shutters, is pleased to have found that plantation-style shutters are more popular than ever and have become a requested amenity in homes available for sale.

Indoor shutters for windows have been a popular addition to the home since they became fashionable in the court of King Louis XIV of France. Their timeless beauty and effortless functionality have made this centuries old trend a lasting one.

Modern homeowners understand that having plantation shutters installed on their windows improves their home in several ways. The most obvious way is that they increase the beauty of the home, both inside and outside. These interior shutters provide a classic grace that merges well with nearly any personal aesthetic. Less obvious is the way that plantation shutters save homeowners money on heating and cooling costs by insulating their home during summer and winter.

These benefits have made plantation interior shutters a desirable commodity in the strongly buyer-friendly housing market. Buyers are insisting on having these popular shutters installed in potential purchase properties, and sellers are quick to oblige since plantation shutters boost their property's value.

"It's been wonderful to see plantation shutters growing more and more popular," says Shannon Hodges, Director of Marketing at Eclipse Shutters. "We believe they are a fantastic addition to any home, and we love that so many homeowners and home buyers agree."

To get custom made plantation shutters for your home or property, visit Eclipse Shutters online at

About Eclipse Shutters:

Eclipse Shutters is an Atlanta-based custom shutter provider with a network of licensed fabricators around the country. Their company has grown to become one of the largest manufacturers of tailor-made plantation shutters in North America. Eclipse Shutters was established in 1992 and offers customers fast delivery and a 25-year warranty.

For more information, visit

For all media inquiries, please contact:

Allie Petit
Content Manager
Cardinal Web Solutions

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