NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor contributes to the community conversation on housing issues through a weekly column in the Daily World titled "Nailing it Down."

 

 Since 1999, the "Nailing it Down"articles have been published in the Daily World and other countywide weekly newspapers. NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor County has collaborated with local newspapers, elected officials and local experts to publish articles covering hundreds of topics.

 

 

Nailing It Down

the blog

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December 29, 2019

We hope you’ve enjoyed your Christmas celebrations and that you have some fun – and responsible – plans for Tuesday night and New Year’s Day. All of us here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor wish you a safe, happy, healthy 2020!

  

REMINDERS FOR NEW YEAR’S

Here are a few safety reminders for your New Year’s festivities:

  • If it still is up, go water that Christmas tree right now, (and plan on taking it down soon). Don’t plan on burning it. Instead, recycle it for safety’s sake.

  • Do you have candles as part of your party?  Keep a close eye on them. (New Year’s Day is the third most frequent day that residence fires are started by a candle.)

  • Hectic kitchens can be a concern. Keep handles of pots on the stove and counters turned in away from traffic and kids, along with electric cords attached to cookers and fry pans.

  • When the bubbly is flowing, judgment gets weaker, so plan ahead to have a safe environment.

  • Make sure as you move furniture to accommodate guests for yo...

December 23, 2019

Can it be that Christmas is already upon us again? To help you through both Christmas and New Year’s safely, we have a few more safety reminders to keep you, your loved ones and your home safe this holiday season.

      

FLICKERING CANDLES IGNITE EASILY

As we’ve mentioned before, candles are high on the list of holiday house fire starters. Many firefighters recommend that you don’t use lit candles in your decorating at all. However, if you do use them, minimize their use and enjoy them with common sense.

For instance, make sure all candles are in stable holders. Ensure they are away from flammable materials such as curtains, decorations, your table’s centerpiece boughs and things like that.  It isn’t just adults that are intrigued with the candles; pets and little children are attracted to them like moths to a glowing light. Kids want to get close and then their little fingers play in the wax and then, the dog wants to play too spills the hot wax which catches fire! The...

December 15, 2019

Do you have an impossible person to buy for on your Christmas shopping list? Or perhaps you’re looking for a crowd pleaser gift for an upcoming gift exchange. 

We here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor are the experts in most things housing – not necessarily in gift giving. However, we do have some gift ideas that fit right in with our goal to encourage home ownership and safe, affordable housing for all.

Many folks derail their budgets at Christmastime. We gave some tips in our last blog on how to avoid that. The following gift suggestions vary in price and are mostly in the “practical but thoughtful” category.

Perhaps you don’t have a hard-to-buy-for person, but YOU are that person. Maybe you will want to add one of the following to your wish list!

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GIFTS THAT ENCOURAGE SAFETY

We think these gifts express that you want your loved ones safe, warm and well in the New Year!

  • An All Hazard Weather Radio. They can be purchased at local hardware stores, box stores and online and have a...

December 10, 2019

With Thanksgiving falling later this year and December well underway, we hope we’re not too late with this warning: Don’t blow your household budget at Christmas! Even if you did spend your wad during the Black Friday sales, take a deep breath now and assess your financial situation.

Generosity is great! However, if you give at the detriment of your financial stability, in the end that’s no gift to anyone! We see it time and again the negative affects of overspending at Christmas. It leads to unpaid mortgages, rents, heating bills, credit card bills and car loans come January. That’s why we want to encourage everyone to be wise with their money and to also shop locally whenever possible.

While shopping online is quick and easy, going to local stores and sellers can provide unique gifts and often superior customer service! Think creative and local!

For instance, what about buying someone a gift certificate to a local restaurant? Someone else on your list might appreciate a service such as...

December 6, 2019

Many households on Grays Harbor got a skiff of snow over the Thanksgiving weekend. White or not outside, the mercury has definitely dipped and even if it’s not officially winter yet, it sure feels like it!

We’re not sure what’s in store for the next few weeks and months, but there’s nothing like a cold snap to focus our attention on making homes more weather resistant!

It’s not too late to make yourself more comfortable and your house tighter in this cold. Here are some common questions for cold-proofing your house.

Q. Can I close my foundation vents to prevent heat loss?

A.  Yes. Are you surprised? We’re strong advocates of ventilating your house to keep moisture at bay.  However, we do recommend closing your foundation vents as long as the temperature remains below freezing. It will keep the house more comfortable and save on your heating bill. (Just make sure to open them up again when the weather gets a bit warmer!)

 Q. Can my pipes freeze when the temperature is at or below 32 deg...

December 3, 2019

For much of the celebrations from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, the kitchen takes center stage. We want you to enjoy your holidays keeping you, your loved ones and your house safe! That’s why we want you to take just a minute to consider what steps you can take to do so.

USE CAUTION BY THE STOVE

The very things we love about the holidays – lots of people, special foods, decorations, hub bub and maybe even some bubbly – can combine to make a house fire a possibility.

So, for starters, whenever you cook – be it Christmas cookies with the grandkids or your Thanksgiving turkey, always make sure you roll up your sleeves and tuck in loose clothing.

Also, always stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn the stove off or get some help to monitor whatever is cooking.

If you are simmering, baking or roasting, check the food regularly, remain in the home while the food is cooking and use a timer to help remind you w...

December 1, 2019

Don’t you love how cities and towns can transform with a few sparkling lights this time of year?

The Downtown Aberdeen Association is busily preparing for Winterfest, Dec. 7 and 8. And, the folks in Montesano are industriously lighting their homes and businesses in preparation for Montesano’s Festival of Lights, Dec. 13-15.

Those festivals and beautifully lit buildings make things merry and bright and give pride to our communities.

This year, when the hardworking folks from the Hoquiam Beautification Committee looked into storage to examine their holiday decorations, what they found was in “pretty sad shape,” said Lynn Ogren, organizer.

“The wreaths, candy canes and lanterns are some 20 years old and are dirty and missing lights,” Lynn said.

The Beautification Committee, which is responsible for some amazing transformations of Hoquiam this summer by weeding and planting flower beds, creating new planters and updating signs and gardens, also wants to make the city sparkle in the winter.

“We l...

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