Making Your Home Maintenance A Bit Easier

pioneer (1)Hiring a home contractor with the help of one of those paid advertisements on TV, or the internet, is supposed to make your life easier by driving the cost lower since there are many companies and contractors competing for your project. But, is it true though?  There are many contractors listed is true, but they are listed on that site because they are paying to be advertised there. Their work, their credentials, and the safety of letting them come into your home, is not guaranteed.  Do your research beforehand. Prices, workmanship, and safety should be your top priority.

How Much Should You Tip Contractors, Landscapers, and Other Home Pros?

We all know that tipping a waiter is proper (and expected!) dining-out etiquette. But how much should you tip general contractors, landscapers, painters, and other professionals who help keep your home in tiptop shape. In fact, should you tip them at all?

The easiest way to clear up this question, of course, is to simply ask the company or contractor you’re using what is the tipping policy before you even agree to a deal. Yeah, it’s a bit awkward—but it’s nothing compared with getting it completely wrong. And since tipping customs can vary a lot by region—people in Bismarck, ND, may not tip the same as those on New York’s Upper East Side—you could get some community advice from people who live nearby.

Author and manners expert Amy Alkin suggests you play it straight and say: “I’m new in this neighborhood, and I want to do the right thing, and I’m wondering, do you know what people around here tip?”

Still looking for guidelines? Here’s your crash course on whom to tip, how much to give, and how to show your appreciation in other ways as well. No gratuity necessary!

10 Apps That Make Home Maintenance Easier Than Ever

What really runs the world? Well, apps, mostly. Apps call us cabs (Uber), help us slim down (Lose It), and can even find us people to randomly spoon with (try Cuddlr if you dare). It’s time to put some apps to work for you around the house and make life that much easier. Here we run down the top apps every homeowner should have within swiping distance.

Lose your house keys for good

Trade that annoying process of endlessly searching pockets for a tiny key for something a bit more 21st century: the Schlage Sense system, designed to work with Apple HomeKittechnology. Use the app to unlock your door or command Siri to “Open, sesame.” Your phone can also manage up to 30 access codes and even remotely check on lock status (and “Close, sesame” if you forgot to).

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