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Ask The Contractors
53 minutes | 20 days ago
Podcast: Covid Housing, New Project Home, Questions.
Are you thinking about starting a project? The housing economy is still on fire and a lot of people are going to be remodeling their homes in the next year. So that’s why you want to go to my website. I’m your host Todd Bird. How’s everyone doing today? This is where we cut through it all in nail things down. I do remodeling... additions... kitchens… and bathrooms... I do all that fun stuff, and when you need help doing those projects go right to AskTheContractors.com. Request information from our Trusted Home Improvement Pros that we endorsed by searching our Directory of Contractors. Only the best get on our website… “The people on our website are the Pros that I have trusted for over 30 years. They’re the people that have helped me be successful.”Todd Bird, Host of AskTheContractors.com And, I have great people on there, like LL Flooring. They understand your floor is the foundation of your home’s style. That’s why they offer over 400 floors, at the best value. Visit www.LLFllooring.com/Pro. These are the floors homes are built on. This Show Is All About You… Of course, I want to give you the best advice possible for your next renovation project. I don’t mind telling you what I’ve been doing. I’ve got kitchens and bathrooms coming out of my ears right now. Housing renovations are on fire and the reason is low-interest rates. 4:00 As always, I love starting off with news… COVID-19 Has Impacted Home Purchasing Plans Data from the National Association of Home Builders shows the covid-19 crisis has impacted Americans’ eagerness to want to buy homes. 5:20 Las Vegas Housing Market ‘Going Nuts’ One housing market that is on fire right now is Las Vegas. Despite the pandemic, Las Vegas house prices are on a month-long streak of record highs. Homebuilders have ramped up construction plans all while the coronavirus economy limps along at first glance. 7:00 Okay, I’m going to have some potty talk. Just kidding… I’m going to keep it decent. This is really interesting. Duravit USA has unveiled its latest shower/toilet collaboration. The SensoWash technology functions are fully integrated within the Ceramic body. 9:20 Home Builder Demolishes Home Built Too Close to Neighbors Ashton Woods home builders have elected to tear down a home that was accidentally built too close to its neighbors. 12:20 Couple Hospitalized After Rescue from House Blown Off its Stilts in Hurricane When in doubt, get out and keep yourself safe. Hey folks, This is Your Source for Home Improvement Pros. We help you cut through it all and nail things down. I enjoy the questions that you ask me, and I always tell people… when you send me a question, and I answer it on the air through my podcast, 25 or 30, or a hundred people have that same question. I get questions from all over the country, and in fact all over the world. I want to talk to you. Again, people are flooding my website with questions and getting information for their next Home Improvement project. Go to AskTheContractors.com. 17:25 I answer your questions right here, like these… George asks… “I have a one-acre lot that is full of weeds. I need to clean the land and plant grass. What should I do first?” Kenny wants to know… “I have a rotten Rim Joist beam framing studs sheathing on one side of my roof under the gutter. I’ve had contractors come out and quote me between $3,200 and $4,000 in materials and $10,000 in labor. What is a responsible price that I should pay for this type of work?” Haley has this question. “I need to make an outdoor space to put about 30 backpacks, but I don’t know how to make it or what to buy?” Here’s a question from Toby. “I’d like to know how to cover a glass vanity top with something black from the inside so that I can’t see through. What material would you use to do this?” Let’s answer more of your questions… Let’s dig into another question; this one from Tom. “Does it matter what type of wood I use for a fence gate? I’m just going to paint it after I install it. Can I just use Douglas Fir?” I’m really excited because we have a question from Merle. I live in a pre-war rental. I’m looking for an easy way to install air diverter so air would blow off to the side. Mark sent me a question. This is a pretty tricky one. This is filled with a lot of loops… “During an excavation of my foundation, I discovered it was pushed inward in two locations; splitting the studs and pushing it past the top plate by about 2 to 3 inches. What should we do?” Okay, we have a question here from Alex. “I’m putting laminate flooring over high-ply carpet. What type of underlayment do I need?” Thanks for sending me that question to AskTheContractors.com. If you have a question, send it to me. It can be about upgrades or housing. I’m going to answer it right here on my podcast. Go to my website to check out all the valuable information I have for you for your next project. Also, send me pictures; send me questions. 44:45 I’d like to help you with your next home improvement project. I’d love to give you a bid. All my information is on my website. Again, I’m a contractor for well over 30 years licensed in 37 different trades. I can help you out. Okay, you know, I also I want to give advice to you about bathrooms. 49:30 “Maybe you can’t afford that $20,000 bathroom right now.” Here are a couple of tips that you can do in your bathroom to make it feel new. In fact, we’re going to go through a new project home in a couple of minutes here in California. I’m going to walk through and we’re going to tour. We’re going to gut the inside after applying for permits and preparing our plans. So, let’s take a walk through this project. You are going to love it. I want to thank everyone for being here on the show with me. AskTheContractors.com. I want to thank my sponsor LL flooring. Thanks for sponsoring me – LL flooring. These are the floors homes are built on. Visit their housing experts at your local store or go to LL flooring.com/Pro to learn more. I’ve been your host Todd bird. Thanks for tuning in. Send me your questions. Have a great day and we’ll talk soon. More AskTheContractors.com Content Podcast: Covid Housing, New Project Home, Questions. Simple Bathroom Upgrades To Make Your Washroom Feel New Again Question: Can you Suggest the Best Stone Backing Above a Fireplace? Question: Can I specify Retrofit Windows for an Existing Mobile Home? Question: Where Can I Replace This Odd Plumbing Faucet?
5 minutes | 5 months ago
Question: Can you Suggest the Best Stone Backing Above a Fireplace?
I am trying to install a faux stone veneer around a TV Mount and a Fireplace on an interior drywall wall. Here is the question from Sara: What kind of Stone should I use for this project? This is a very common question we receive with interior remodels. I am going to answer it right here with the help of our friend, Mike Dawson with Rustic Brick. (more…)
7 minutes | 5 months ago
Question: Can I specify Retrofit Windows for an Existing Mobile Home?
Question from Janet: Can you install regular windows (like the ones sold at “Big Box Stores”) in a manufactured home? Well, you know what? I am not exactly sure of the answer to that question. That’s why I rely on my website AskTheContractors.com for reliable subcontractors and contractors. (more…)
5 minutes | 5 months ago
Question: Where Can I Replace This Odd Plumbing Faucet?
“My outside faucet knob broke off and when I removed the broken knob, I notice that it fit into a piece that was flat on the top and on the bottom but rounded on each side, kind of like in parentheses. I can’t find the replacement at my hardware store since they all fit circular stems.Here is the Question from Mark: What are those stems called? And where can I find them? That’s a great question. And if you go to the website, you can actually see a picture posted of this faucet that has broken off. (more…)
12 minutes | 5 months ago
Question: Do I Need Housing for New, Recessed LED Lights?
I’m specifying recessed lighting for a home remodel using led lights that don’t have housing. They’re RAB 4″ gimbal lights and are IC-rated and have a driver box. Our electrician says we need lights with housings to pass inspections. I’m guessing he normally uses housings with exposed studs to indicate where the lights will go.Question from RyanFor these lights without a housing, can he just mount the driver box to show location for inspections and leave the connector (Romex cable with twist lock connector) dangling?If that works, what’s a good way to show the drywall guys where to cut the holes for the lights? Thanks! LED Lighting projects are very popular because they add so much to your home. (more…)
4 minutes | 6 months ago
Question: How can I fix my cracked Tongue & Groove ceiling board?
I have a Tongue and Groove ceiling and there is a crack in one of the boards. Question from Josh: Can I fix this? Should I be concerned? This is a really, really good question. And a very important question. Josh actually sent me a picture and showed me exactly what was going on. (more…)
9 minutes | 6 months ago
Question: Which are the Best Insulation and Vapor Barrier Upgrades?
“We are converting our garage into a heated space family room, the area that we are closing off in front of the door is 26′ x 8 1/2′. Here is the Question from Rachel“Can you tell me what type and number insulation would I need to buy for Georgia and how much do I need to buy?” So Rachel. This is a great question. A lot of people want to put insulation in the walls. But how do you figure it out? Well, it’s really simple. (more…)
4 minutes | 7 months ago
Question: Can I Convert Copper To Pex without creating Electrolysis?
Matt’s remodeling his bathroom, and he wants to know how to convert from copper to plastic piping, better known as Pex. He puts it as PVC, but it’s called Pex. (more…)
3 minutes | 7 months ago
Question: I Need to Bid out New Construction. How should I measure?
Question from Angela:How do I Measure Exterior Square Footage for Billing Purpose? Getting an accurate measurement of a new or existing home is very important… (more…)
8 minutes | 9 months ago
Question: Replacing and Repairing Dry Rot Damaged Rim Joist
I have some sections of rim joists that need replacing and repairing at my home. The sill plate appears to be fine in all locations. James is here with his Question: Can a 4-foot section of rotten rim joist be fixed by simply using blocks? And, if I need to contact a contractor, how much do jobs like this usually cost? Let me ask you a couple of questions first… You say you have the rim plate. You’re talking about the top, flat-area of the top of the wall… (more…)
9 minutes | 9 months ago
Question: Sealing to Protect Granite and Quartz Countertops
I have a Quartz countertop installed in a bathroom. It is a solid surface product, so I was not expecting an unfinished underside, much like granite. This is the Question: Can you explain why the underside would be finished this way? Is there anything I could do to clean Granite and Quartz to prevent dust & dirt from getting onto it? When you have a countertop installed, the underside is unfinished. The upside, the top side is buffed out and polished and it looks just so beautiful. But not on the underside, where the edge is. (more…)
40 minutes | 10 months ago
Podcast: New Housing, New in 2020 & New Questions/Answers for You
Welcome to Askthecontractors.com. It’s a new show and a New Year, with lots of exciting projects coming up around your home. I want to hear all about them. Send me your details of what you’re doing around your home. I know others want to hear about it too. “That’s what this show is all about. It’s about keeping your home in prime condition. And in order to keep it in prime condition, you’ll need help doing it.” Todd Bird, Host of Ask The Contractors You may need a new roof, siding, or windows. Or, you may need some sheetrock repair, and new flooring. You name it. We talk about that on this show. This is where we cut through it all and nail things down. I am your host Todd Bird. In fact, later in the show… Are you thinking about doing a kitchen or bathroom this year? We’re going to talk about the top trends in kitchens and bathrooms in 2020. Sacramento Commons Housing Development Speaking of great shows, we are broadcasting from the Sacramento Commons project in Sacramento, California. This project includes two high rise residential buildings, a pair of mid-rise residential buildings, and a mixed-use building. More on that coming up… Now what’s interesting about this is, it ties in with the affordable housing conversation we are going to have later in the show. So, stay with us. We have a wonderful show lined up for you today. And as always, I like to dig into some 2020 Housing News from Around the Country. With the interest rates being as low as they are, and the housing market being where it is, 2020 should be prosperous for all of us. That’s great news. So let’s have a good year as mortgage rates remain stable to start in 2020. Does that mean an early start to spring home buying? We will see… A National Association of Homebuilders forecasts gains in single-family starts. That’s amazing. That’s incredible. And forecasts indicate small monthly gains and housing starts in the month ahead. I’ll tell you why that’s good. We want things to gradually go up. And speaking of Affordable Housing, new revisions to a California regulation designed to pave the way for passage of landmark housing bill, SB 50, is dead. State Senator Scott Wiener was seeking to raise height limits around transit lines, which means taller buildings so that more people can stay closer to public transit, allowing denser development and high-income areas. It would have also streamlined permitting for multiple, multiple-family housing developments. The case for more Mass Timber Construction The possibilities offered by using engineered wood in the construction industry is enticing builders and dividing environmentalists. And a funny little news story which could be very, very serious. Las Vegas Fire & Rescue teams discovered an illegal gas station in a home. This is one of the most dangerous things you can do. Folks, do not hoard gas! “Do you see a ding dong crime story in the construction trades? I’d like to hear about it. I’d like to know what ding dong things people are doing out there.” My favorite part of the show: Question of the Week. How Much Weight Can I Hang from my Rafters? Those of you who send me a question, I like to talk about them. Now, this is a follow-up to a question we had earlier on Askthecontractors.com. The question goes, I’m looking to build a climbing wall in my garage, with Leslie on the phone line. I Want To Help You With Your Projects It could be a kitchen remodel, it could be a bathroom remodel, it could be hanging gutters or your roof repair, or shutters, or sheetrock, or electrical, or plumbing. I’m an active contractor here in Northern California for over 30 years, and I primarily do room additions. I do bathrooms, and I do kitchens. What are the New Trends for 2020? Well, guess what? We have the latest kitchens and bathroom trends. 2020 Kitchen and Bathroom Trends Do you have some trends going on in your kitchen, or your bath? What are some thoughts that you have? Send them to me. We are on Facebook, @askthecontractors. Or our podcast for the show on-demand: iTunes Google Play iHeartRadio App Stitcher, Spotify and everywhere else you get your podcasts. You can watch us on Instagram. Check us out and tell us what you think about our show. You can hear us all over the world, and all over the country, so send us your comments. Check us out at Toddco Builders. That’s my company. I specialize in kitchens and bathrooms. I would love to talk to you about your project. You can catch all my information on our website, askthecontractors.com, and so many others who helped me on that webpage to make my life successful as a contractor. These are the people I rely on. Go to askthecontractors.com. Give me your thoughts. More AskTheContractors.com Articles: In Hot Market, ‘Full House’ Home in San Francisco Sells for Less Than Asking New Buyers Feel They Can Afford More. Here’s Why. Good News for Homeowners; Home Prices Rocket in Third Quarter Podcast: Covid Housing, New Project Home, Questions. COVID-19 Has Impacted Home Purchasing Plans. This is How…
8 minutes | 10 months ago
Question: What is involved in Building on a Vacant Lot?
There is a lot that we are considering for purchase. It is between many houses and down a private road. It does not have utilities. This is the Question: How much extra can I expect in permits, planning, and contracting to install water, power, and sewer? To help answer that question, I’ve brought on Nicole Anderson from the Anderson Group at Coldwell Banker. (more…)
8 minutes | a year ago
Question: How much weight can I hang from my Rafters?
This is the Question from Leslie: I’m looking to build a climbing wall in my garage. Basically an 8ft wide x 12ft tall wall, slanted at a 45-degree angle. I need to anchor the top part of the wall to something, like the rafters. Is this a good idea? How much extra weight can I hang off the rafters? If not, what would be a good way to do so? One thought Leslie has is adding a 2′ x 6′ beam to join the two or three rafters off the roofline, and then anchoring the top of her wall to the top rafters. (more…)
41 minutes | a year ago
Podcast: Homeowners True Feelings; Stockton’s Hot Market; Stuff we Find in Walls
It makes me feel good that I’m able to help homeowners with projects that could be considered challenging. Renovations can be trying on a family. It can even be trying on your pet dog. It’s a big disruption when you do a renovation so we want to help you do it the right way. We want you to have good memories and say this renovation was exciting and fun. We learned a lot. I get sad when I hear people saying, “I’ll never renovate again because we didn’t expect this or that…” No !! AskTheContractors.com is your source for local Home Improvement Pros. This is where we cut through it all and nail things down. I’m your host, Todd Bird. What’s new in the world? New roofing for a client. Next week we start a bathroom remodel. New kitchens. We have new addition projects coming up. It’s going to be a very good year. We’re in November but I think the year is going to end with a bang, and then start off with a bang. As always, I love bringing you the latest homeowners’ news. By the way, our news articles are unbelievable. California homes become more affordable in the third quarter. (3:25) The housing market is affordable despite the fact that the taxes here in California are killing people. The last I looked, they still want more money out of our pockets… It’s a shame. Move over Dallas, L.A. Homebuyers are Moving In. (5:30) New data from Zillow shows that more than 30% of the people looking for new homes in Texas are current dwellers of L.A., New York, and Chicago. And more are coming. Home Renovation Spending Forecast to Fall Despite Strong Market. (6:30) Keep in mind that we’re going into an election year which I think does affect the housing market, and the economy is based around remodels. I have more on this in the show… All of us, at one point, have been a first-time buyer. I was a first time buyer years ago. You’ve been a first-time buyer, and if you’re not a first-time buyer at one point when you desire to have a house, guess what, you’re going to become a first-time buyer. So, What’s on the First-Time Home Buyers Wish List? You may be surprised. (10:30) I love news reports like this… (15:00) Family Finds 1940’s Newspaper During Home Renovation. I’m not trying to be a Topper, but I do want to tell you a story of what I found in the walls of an old home. 1920’s Sacramento Union Newspaper Plates – Click to Zoom In It’s exciting to find cool stuff between the walls of a home. Did You know… Stockton housing market is one of the hottest in the country in November? (21:00) That wasn’t so a couple of years ago, but it’s making a comeback. Evan Reciti, Executive Vice President for Reality Hop joins us. I’m one of those who have not bought into the High-Tech Home yet. It scares me and I’m a contractor. I can see that Connected Kitchens are slow-in-coming. So I’ll share Homeowners True Feelings about High-Tech Kitchens ( 30:00) But I do have an idea for a High-Tech Appliance. Click to listen and I’ll tell you about it. Lastly, This is my Favorite Part of the Show I love it when you sending me your Home Renovation questions. This question from Robin. “I have a large family and we are looking into building a house. How do we go about creating a site plan?” A preliminary set of plans can be used to get some bids off from, count two-by-fours, count square footage, and start a budget. We’ll answer Robin’s question to help her get an idea of how much materials and labor it will take to get this project done. I’ll also give Robin some homework to help her save some money on her building plans. Every penny counts! If you’re a homeowner starting a home improvement project or need an estimate, we know great people on the website. Including… Masonry Design Brick and Stone Gutterdome Gutter Guards EcoGuard Pest Management Rustic Brick and Fireplace Medich Electric Prestige Flooring CBS Bonds and Insurance DR Design & Remodel Myesha Perry, if you are looking to buy or sell your home… And me, Todd Co Builders Plus, so many more on the website. We help homeowners get your next project done, and done right. Check us out on our Facebook Page/ AsktheContractors.com Subscribe to our podcast for the show on-demand: iTunes Google Play iHeartRadio App Stitcher, Spotify and everywhere else you get your podcasts. Join our trusted Home Improvement Pros on our website.
8 minutes | a year ago
Question: Where do we start our Building Plans for a remodel?
Question from Robin:“I have a large family of 10 people. We are looking into building a house. Who do we contact to have house plans created into a site plan?” Okay. This is a good question because this starts with preparation. [Click and follow along with the Full Transcript] (more…)
25 minutes | a year ago
ATC Podcast: The Fall Season and Lots of Millennials News
Are you getting ready for winter? Do you feel the chill out there? I do. It’s one of my favorite times of the year, and that’s Fall. Everything in the garden is starting to die off and look kinda creepy out there. It’s spooky and I really love that. And then of course, right after that turkey dinner we bring out the lights. Up goes the trees and before you know it, Christmas will be here. 2019 will be in the history books, so that’s kind of sad. But for 2019, I think it’s been a really good year for home improvement. At least a lot of remodeling is going on out there. People are busy. I know it’s very difficult to find good contractors right now. We can help you out though. Go to AskTheContractors.com and I think you’re going to find an easy path to using one of our local Home Improvement Pros. Like DR Design & Remodel. Medich Electric. Prestige Floors. CBS Bonds and Insurance. How about Todd Bird and Toddco Builders? So, if you’re thinking about doing a project, check out how much information you can find on our website. We’re not just contractors but you learn from things in the news you’ll hear on the show. We’re talking about Millennials news on home buyers today They rank the Top 10 Community features and what they desire in a neighborhood. Then to flip that. We also have the Top 10 Features not wanted by Millennials. It’s always interesting to follow them and get their feedback. As always, we start with some news… (3:15) U.S. Foreclosure Rates reach 20-year low thanks to the housing boom. California Housing Bill introduced to speed up the home building in the Golden State. (4:50) New housing legislation signed by Governor Gavin Newsom aims at boosting home building by slashing the development approval time and banning local governments from imposing building restrictions. When you do build your new home think about building a home that’s going to survive mother nature. (7:00) “Those of you who live in the Sacramento Valley, with three rivers, we are put in a position to have a 1% chance of experiencing a 100-year flood each year. That’s pretty high.”Todd Bird, Host of Ask The Contractors In fact, if you ever see the construction of new buildings in downtown Sacramento you can see the original city underneath the sidewalks. The sunken city is 12 – 15 feet below the street level to prevent epic flooding. Millennials are not good at home projects, (10:00) according to a Harris Poll survey. Despite the popularity of home improvement shows. World’s tallest residential skyscraper reaches its height. This is really impressive. (12:00) The Central Park Tower as it’s known is currently under construction in New York City 1550 ft high, making it more than a quarter of a mile tall. Here is a home I don’t think I could buy. The former home of John Wayne Gacy is for sale. (13:00) This guy was a serial killer in the 70s. The old property where bodies were found could be yours. The bodies have been taken off so you don’t have to worry about that. “I posted all these news stories on my website AskTheContractors.com, or you can send me your question. If you have a question, then hundreds of people out there probably have the same question. I would love to answer it here.” I make fun of them. They’re kind of quirky. So, let’s give you more Millennials News. (18:00) It’s interesting to watch the young trendsetters of society migrate through life. So we’re watching millennial homebuyers rank the Top 10 things they like in a new suburb. Then we go through the list of Top 10 amenities Millenials don’t want in a new suburb. We’re here for you. You have no idea how much information that we have on AskTheContractors.com, and how much information I can give you to make sure your next project goes well. Thanks for the support from Real Estate Agent Myesha Perry, Reeves Construction, Superior Shower Door & More the company, Rustic Brick & Fireplace, and so many more. Like us on Facebook/AskTheContractors Subscribe to our podcast for a show on-demand from iTunes, Google Play, the iHeartRadio app, Spotify, Stitcher, and everywhere you can get your podcasts. Become a sponsor of Ask The Contractors. Connect with me for inclusion in the Contractor’s Directory, and then I’ll have another Soldier to add to our Army of people to help you remodel your home. We are askthecontractors.com. We’re getting that job done and done right the first time. Finally, I’m Todd Bird, the host. Thanks so much, everyone. Leave us your thoughts… Do you have a news tip for our Show Prep on AsktheContractors.com? Send us a comment on the home page. More, most recent Blog Posts In Hot Market, ‘Full House’ Home in San Francisco Sells for Less Than Asking New Buyers Feel They Can Afford More. Here’s Why. Good News for Homeowners; Home Prices Rocket in Third Quarter Podcast: Covid Housing, New Project Home, Questions. COVID-19 Has Impacted Home Purchasing Plans. This is How…
10 minutes | a year ago
Question: Best Quality Paint for High Traffic Areas
Question from Mimi: We installed factory painted doors that have one panel with an embedded trim of molding around the panel. Since the molding protrudes, it has become very scratched up and chipped. I understand how to fill the chips, but I want to paint the moldings with the strongest paint to endure the wear and tear it may get. The doors are painted with a glossy matte. This is the Question: Which paint type would you suggest that has the finest look and the strongest effect? Guess what? I’m hanging out at Home Depot today and they have a lot of quality paint types to choose from, so let’s figure this out for Mimi. In fact, Home Depot my favorite place in the world even if I’m not stocking up for a project. I come over here and I get great ideas. [Click and Follow along with the full transcript] (more…)
8 minutes | a year ago
Question: Tile Installation, which Tile Board is best?
Question from JonThe contractor doing my bathroom renovation has used gold bond Purple XP (a water-resistant drywall) as a backer for the tile in my shower. This is the Question: Is this an accepted practice or should I be concerned? To help answer this question we’re bringing on ATC contractor, Paul Reeves with Reeves Construction. [Click to Follow along with the full Transcript] (more…)
11 minutes | a year ago
Smart Home Technology Best Practices and Safeguards
A lot is happening out there with smart technology. Now, I’m not a high-tech kind of guy. I need my 10-year old granddaughter to figure out a new phone whenever I get one, so that’s where I’m at in life. I’m your host Todd Bird. This is AskTheContractors.com. Your source for local Home Improvement Pros. We cut through it all and nail things down. Smart home devices are taking center stage this season, but there are so many choices to consider. Ira Victor, Digital Forensic Analyst with Discovery Technician joins me to help figure this out. I see Alexis, and Google Assistant and it is amazing technology. The truth is, manufacturers of technology devices are looking to home automation as the next big thing to juice their bottom line. In other words, they want to sell lots of this stuff. Smartphone sales are leveling off. Keep in mind this is just software and hardware, with all of the flaws, and security, and privacy issues go along with our computers. Ira explains some of the pitfalls “I help people who are being sued over digital information. This information in all these home automation systems is ending up in court. Even if you did nothing wrong, the lawsuits are flying around everywhere. In fact, the insurance company will pay the claim when someone is damaged by technology. Then the insurance company starts looking around for people to get some of their money back.” Smart Home Technology benefits us, and it’s here to stay “You can get sued when a party suffers damage, and when they know that someone else has digital information it can cost a lot of money. Some examples include people buying a home. Buyers and sellers get together with all sorts of people involved; Home Inspections and Real Estate folks, and Bankers, mortgage brokers, and repair business, etc.” “Somewhere in the transaction the fraudsters slip in, and the money that was supposed to go between the buyer to the seller ends up getting rerouted by cyber-criminals to an overseas bank.” How prepared are escrow companies to deal with this? “Some of the people involved in a real estate transaction are a little prepared, and many of them are not prepared at all. They think, why are criminals targeting me? Similarly, they’re targeting the trades involved in the transaction to get enough information to do a crime. Many times the other parties are just innocent bystanders, but the attorneys or the insurance companies that’s damaged will start naming defendants.” “This goes back to home automation. The home automation system can get in snarled in litigation, it’s time-consuming, and often very costly.” How do we protect ourselves against this? Think about what you’re buying. Are you buying something you really need? Are you buying something you want? Think about the risks. Ira Victor, Digital Forensic Analyst with Discovery Technician “So, for example if you are buying a home automation system that has video, monitoring the video outside of your home or inside of your home. That data could very well end up in court. You may say okay, well I want this video surveillance around my house. That’s important to me. I’m willing to take the risk of litigation. Then, by all means, protect that data. I’ve seen these home automation systems that are connected up to home networks. They’re opening up significant security vulnerabilities in that home network, introducing more risk. If there’s an attack that damages somebody else, you could be liable.” “It’s a risk. Keep your eyes wide open when you’re bringing this level of technology into your home. You are introducing new risks, and you need to be aware of those risks. Take steps to minimize the risk that could hurt you How do these risks play into smart technology with our homes? I mean, people are connecting appliances, electronics, etc. Are those entry points for people being able to retrieve information through those devices? Todd Bird, Host of AskTheContractors.com “Absolutely. It’s not that criminals are retrieving your information through the devices. Many of these smart home or home digital systems are opening up your home network. That home network has your computers and your files. However, I’ve seen in people’s home network with home automation, they’ve got their taxes on that Network. Sensitive information will be stolen and used to hurt somebody. And when you add an online toaster or online device, you are potentially opening up your network too many vulnerabilities. “It’s not the bad guy hurting you, it’s using your network and data hurt others and that’s when you can feel the real impact when you get a lawsuit.“ This technology is hitting us left and right, and we do have to protect ourselves. I encourage you to contact Ira Victor. He’s a great resource to help people if you are going through these issues. Certainly, great advice. If you have smart technology in your home, you have to protect ourselves. There are some smart thermostats out there that will make your life easier and help you save money. All of them connect wirelessly to the internet and feature remote sensors to adjust your home heating and cooling through a website or a mobile app. We like smart technology because it allows you to efficiently manager your energy and electric use. Do you have any thoughts on Smart Home Technology? Send me a message through AskTheContractors.com. Let me know what’s on your mind. By the way, my Trusted Pros will help you with your home improvement projects. Request a bid from my trusted partners for your next project. Do it by searching our Directory of Contractors. Get your home improvement projects done by using our Trusted Pros. Do you have a news tip for our Show Prep on AsktheContractors.com? Send us a comment on the home page. Recent Blog Posts Podcast: Covid Housing, New Project Home, Questions. Simple Bathroom Upgrades To Make Your Washroom Feel New Again Question: Can you Suggest the Best Stone Backing Above a Fireplace? Question: Can I specify Retrofit Windows for an Existing Mobile Home? Question: Where Can I Replace This Odd Plumbing Faucet?
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