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Home Improvement

What light bulb should I buy?

It can be very confusing these days when you go to the hardware store to buy a light bulb.  It used to be you just chose the wattage bulb you needed and put it in the fixture.  I hope the information below helps you find the best bulb for your application.

Read below to understand how each light bulb produces light and check out the table I created below to compare one bulb to the other.

How is the light produced?




An electric current passes through a tungsten filament, heating it to a temperature that produces light.









It is an advanced form of incandescent light. However, the tungsten filament is encased in a quartz envelop which is filled with a halogen gas.








CFL (Compact Fluorescent)
An electric current is driven through a tube containing argon and a small amount of mercury vapor. This generates invisible ultraviolet light that excites a fluorescent coating (called phosphor) on the inside of the tube, which then emits visible light.











LED (Light Emitting Diode)
An electrical current passes through a microchip, which illuminates the tiny light sources we call LEDs and the result is visible light.




Light Bulb Comparison Chart

*  Did you know that the original Easy Bake Oven used a 100 Watt incandescent bulb to produce the heat required to bake?


Repairs And Upgrades: How Much Will They Cost?

During the process of buying or selling a home, your clients often learn about recommended or required repairs and upgrades.  Of course, the first thing homeowners want to know is, “How much will that cost?”

Pillar to Post is pleased to offer their popular Residential Construction and Remodeling Estimates cost guide, which provides estimated cost ranges for repair and/or replacement of the major systems and components in a home. It also includes general guidelines for the life expectancy of those systems. This information can help you make informed decisions when considering home repairs or improvements. Below is just a sampling of a list of estimated costs for hundreds of repairs/upgrades.


Hardwood Floor Refinish      $3-$6 / sq. ft

Carpet-clean                             $125 / room

Ceramic Tile                             $6-$11 / sq. ft

Kitchen Renovation                $7,500 +

Kitchen counter – laminate    $45 / lin. ft

Kitchen counter – marble      $80 / lin. ft

Security System

Alarm System                            $2,500

Alarm Monitoring                    $35 / month


Pressure Treated                    $15-$30 /sq. ft

Custom Designed & Built      $55-$80 / sq. ft.


Skylight                                   $800 and up

Casement – replace                $50 / sq. ft.

These estimates reflect the average basic costs for supplies and installation of building materials in United States and Canada. Costs may vary depending on regions, upgrades, complexity, and disposal fees.

For complimentary copies of our Construction and Remodeling Estimates cost guide, please contact your local Pillar To Post office, or download  from:

Or download the pdf here   Repair & Upgrade Cost Guide

Tips for preventing a rat problem in and near your home.

Thanks to the city of Littleton, CO for providing this information.

Increase in Rat Activity

Post Date:02/10/2017 1:00 pm

Over the past several months, the City of Littleton has received calls from citizens who have noticed rats around the community.  Littleton Code Enforcement typically manages inquiries regarding rats.  If a property has a persistent rat issue, pest control companies can assist.  Rat issues are somewhat cyclical, based on the predator population.  Disease has decreased the number of coyotes in the southwest metro region in the past several years and rats have been reported on the increase in communities throughout the metro Denver area.  “Mange hit the fox and coyote populations pretty heavily and since they feed on mice, rats, and rabbits, it makes sense that their populations are on the rise,” said Littleton Humane Officer Terry Carr. 

The city’s building permitting process requires that all construction sites are kept free of trash and ensures routine scheduled pick up if there are dumpsters on-site.  Property owners and managers can also minimize rats from becoming a nuisance on their properties with a few simple tips:

  • Keep all garbage cans covered and do not accumulate trash
  • Weather-strip garage doors so they close tightly
  • Provide tight fitting covers for crawl spaces and compost bins
  • Keep garden sheds closed and check garage shelves and storage lofts regularly for evidence of rats
  • Seal all openings around pipes, cables and wires that enter walls and foundations
  • Repair damaged ventilation screens
  • Stack firewood off the ground and away from buildings and fences
  • Thin or remove dense vegetation such as ivy and harvest fruits/nuts regularly
  • Only feed birds, chickens and pets in a cleanable area and pick up pet droppings

    Tips for preventing a rat problem

Free Home Energy Efficiency Workshop

When: Wednesday, February 8, 7-8:30 p.m.
Where: Englewood Civic Center Community Room;
                1000 Englewood Parkway, Englewood 80110

RSVP by Monday, February 6 to Tim Aston at 303-738-7907 or


This time of year, the days are getting shorter and the temps are dropping, meaning that you could be wasting a lot of energy and money on inefficient lighting and heating in your home.

Join the cities of Littleton and Englewood, Colorado State University Extension, and Xcel Energy on Wednesday, February 8 for a free interactive workshop focused on making energy efficiency decisions and improvements in your home. Attendees receive a free LED bulb!

You will learn:

  • Tips and strategies to save energy and money at home;
  • How to take advantage of free energy advising and financial resources to see your projects through;
  • How to save up to money on energy efficiency measures through an Xcel Energy Home Energy Squad® visit.

Xcel Energy Home Energy Squad® Demonstration

A technician will walk through what a typical visit from the Home Energy Squad® is like and will be on hand to answer questions about your home. Workshop participants will be entered into a raffle for a free Home Energy Squad® visit.

The cities of Littleton and Englewood, CSU Extension, and Xcel Energy are pleased to work together to achieve our community energy goals.

How to install a dimmer switch

Safety First!

  • Be sure you have a dimmer switch that works with the type of light bulb you are using. CFL and LED light bulbs require special dimmer switches.
  • The light fixture wattage must not exceed the dimmer capacity.
  • Replace single pole switch with single pole dimmer and 3-way switch with 3-way dimmer.
  • Install only one dimmer in a 3-way circuit.
  • Wiring for your dimmer may not match the drawings below always verify with the manufacturer’s instructions.

NOTE: You will need to attach the dimmer leads using wire “nuts” or connectors.  The wires from a dimmer switch will appear different than the wires attached to your existing switch.  They are what are known as “stranded” wire.  Stranded wire is composed of a bundle of small – gauge wires wrapped in a single piece of insulation to make a larger conductor.  Stranded wire is more flexible than standard wire.


Single Pole Dimmer

Single Pole Dimmer

3-Way dimmer switch wiring

3-Way dimmer switch wiring

Step by Step Instructions:

  1. Identify the type of switch you are replacing and purchase the correct dimmer switch. a) Single Pole or 3-Way? b) incandescent, halogen or CFL, LED?
  2. Remove the existing switch.
  3. Attach your wires, using wire nuts, according to the drawings above and/or the instructions supplied with your dimmer switch.
  4. Be sure all connections are correct and secure.
  5. Tuck wires back into box and mount switch to box – don’t replace the cover plate yet!
  6. Return to Service panel and restore power by switching the breaker to the “on” position.
  7. Actuate switch to verify lighting works properly.
  8. Replace Cover Plate


Is it worth it to remodel?

Have you been thinking about remodeling and wondering whether or not it’s worth it?  First you might want to do a cost-benefit analysis. This analysis is simply a compilation of the costs of a project compared to the benefits you will receive once the project is complete.

The costs of a project are mostly objective, it’s the cost of the material and labor required to complete a project.  The benefits, however, are both objective; How much increase in value will my home see as a result of this remodel?, and subjective; How much will this remodel benefit me and my family in terms of convenience, enjoyment or comfort?

Only you can determine the subjective value of a remodeling project but the folks at Remodeling magazine have done a great analysis of the objective cost of a variety of projects for you.  You can download your copy of the Denver report here, Cost vs Value Report, for other areas of the country go here,

Here are a couple examples:

A remodeling project like replacing the siding on your home with cement fiberboard siding may not provide you or your family a big increase in comfort, convenience or enjoyment BUT according to the Remodeling 2014 Cost vs. Value Report (, it has a great return on investment.  If you choose to replace your existing siding with high quality cement fiberboard siding you will spend $13,250 and increase the value of your home by $13,560 which is a 102.3% return on investment!  So if your siding is in need of replacement this choice is easy.

Finishing your basement will likely provide you and your family a significant increase in enjoyment, convenience and comfort.  According to the Cost vs Value Report a basement remodel will cost you $62,131 and will increase the value of your home by $49,082 which is a 79% return on investment (for every $1 spent you get $0.79 in return).  If you’re planning on staying in your home for a while, need additional space to accommodate a growing family or want a more comfortable home, the decision to remodel the basement is likely a good one.  If you’re planning on putting your home on the market in 6 months, you might want to reconsider.

Check out the report to see how remodeling might benefit you.

“© 2014 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2014 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at”