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Snow Blower Safety

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: December 12, 2014

Snow Blower Safety from William Ryan Homes

Winter in Wisconsin means snow…and lots of it! Many find snow blowers to be very advantageous to dealing with the several inches of accumulation, but they do come with risks. Here are some tips to keep you safe when using a snow blower.

 

  • Follow all manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Always turn off the engine before clearing a clog at the auger or discharge chute. Use a clearing tool, never your hand or foot, to remove the clog.
  • Protect yourself from carbon-monoxide poisoning by starting and running any gas powered machine outside instead of in your garage, shed or warehouse.
  • Don’t wear loose pants, jackets, scarves or other clothing which could get caught in the various moving parts.
  •  Never refuel while the snow blower is running. If you have an electric model, use an outdoor extension cord and outlet with a ground-fault circuit interrupter protection. Be sure to keep the cord safely away from the spinning auger while working.
  • Take precautions for cold weather activities like stay hydrated, keep warm, dress in layers, cover your face and hands, take frequent breaks, and wear slip protection.

 

Madison home builder, William Ryan Homes is proud to build energy efficient homes from 13 flexible and timeless home designs with over 1,000,000 different finish options. Visit our models today to discover why at William Ryan Homes “We Make it Easy” to build your new home. Right now, sign a contract by January 1 and receive a free fireplace to keep you warm throughout these chilly Wisconsin winters.*

*Free fireplace includes Level 1 corner, side or rear fireplace with painted white OSB mantle and your color choice of granite facing.

Shoveling Snow Safely

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: December 5, 2014

12.5

In addition to the other safety considerations winter in Wisconsin creates, surprisingly shoveling snow has its own risks as well. Slips, exposure, muscle strain and heart attacks are just some of what we hear about every year. Whether at work or at home, if you have to clear snow, these tips may help you prevent injuries.

  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration is a stress to the heart. If you typically shovel in the morning, drink a couple glasses of water about 30 minutes before you start. Avoid caffeine and smoking right before shoveling which place stress on your heart.
  • Warm up. Shoveling is exercise. Stretch your muscles prior, as warm muscles work more efficiently and are less prone to injury. Dress in layers and strip off layers as you warm up.
  • Exposure. Frostbite can easily occur in sub-zero temps, especially to the extremities. Make sure your fingertips are fully covered with gloves, wear layered socks under your boots, and cover your nose and ears. Use sunscreen if the sun is out. Snow is very reflective and indirect exposure can cause sunburn.
  • Know your limits. In the cold, your body has to work hard to stay warm, so be careful not to work too hard outside. Some people are at more risk that others (smokers, those with a history of heart disease or high blood pressure, etc) so check with your doctor if you have any concerns.
  • Alternatives. Shoveling can be good exercise, but if you typically live an inactive lifestyle or possesses certain risk factors, consider using a snow blower or hiring a service company.
  • Proper technique. Lift with your legs, not your back. Keep the shovel close to your body and try to avoid any twisting motion. Invest in ergonomic shovels.
  • Snow is heavy. Only lift what you can with your capabilities. Use a small shovel to avoid lifting large amounts at one time.
  • Take a break. Don’t let your heart rate exceed 85% of its maximum. Take a break every 10 minutes and monitor your rate. Pace yourself.
  • Don’t ignore pain. If you feel tightness or pain in your chest, call for help immediately.

 

Madison home builder, William Ryan Homes is proud to build energy efficient homes from 13 flexible and timeless home designs with over 1,000,000 different finish options. Visit our models today to discover why at William Ryan Homes “We Make it Easy” to build your new home. Right now, sign a contract by January 1 and receive a free fireplace to keep you warm throughout these chilly Wisconsin winters.*

*Free fireplace includes Level 1 corner, side or rear fireplace with painted white OSB mantle and your color choice of granite facing.

Winter Maintenance for Your Home

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: December 2, 2014

12.2

Like it or not, Old Man Winter is here to stay for the next 5 months. Here are some maintenance tips to consider before you hibernate for the winter.

  • Most new homes are equipped with fans vented to the outside. While bathing, showering or cooking, use the fan to dilute the excess water vapor produced.
  • Condensation on glass during winter months is usually a cause of high humidity. Using your bath and kitchen fans help reduce this. Make sure there is enough space behind drapes for air to circulate. If you have blinds, keep them raised. Running a dehumidifier in your basement will help control humidity as well.
  • Make sure all air intake and exhaust ports are clear of obstructions including built up snow or ice.
  • Shut down your air conditioner by turning off the breaker in the main breaker box.
  • Make sure your lower air return is open.
  • Check the batteries in your thermostat.
  • Check gutters and roof for excessive ice/snow build up. Ice damming can cause roof leaks and may cause damage. Be careful when removing ice and snow with a broom or snow rake.

 

Madison home builder, William Ryan Homes is proud to build energy efficient homes from 13 flexible and timeless home designs with over 1,000,000 different finish options. Visit our models today to discover why at William Ryan Homes “We Make it Easy” to build your new home. Right now, sign a contract by January 1 and receive a free fireplace to keep you warm throughout these chilly Wisconsin winters.*

*Free fireplace includes Level 1 corner, side or rear fireplace with painted white OSB mantle and your color choice of granite facing.

Livability.com Names Madison the Best Place to Live in 2015

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: November 25, 2014

11.25

Look at this! Madison ranks #1 on Livability’s Top 100 Best Places to Live.

Madison home builder, William Ryan Homes is proud to build energy efficient homes from 13 flexible and timeless home designs with over 1,000,000 different finish options in and around this great city. Visit our new model today to discover why at William Ryan Homes “We Make it Easy” to build your new home in the Best Place to Live!

Most Talked About Centerpieces

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: November 21, 2014

11.21

Falling leaves and falling temperatures means winter is fast approaching and entertaining has moved indoors. Before the appetizer is even served, make a great first impression with these harvest inspired ideas for the dinner table.


  • Natural elements. Vases made from squash and pumpkins are simple to make and decorate beautifully. Attach acorn caps to a basic napkin ring. Pair sunflowers with warm autumnal colors. Create a runner made of twigs.
  • The vibrant color creates a rick backdrop for pumpkins, gourds and pinecones. Accent with mercury glass votives and gold-rimmed plates.
  • Pair high and low elements. Prop tea lights on birch bark coasters. Intertwine grape branches around tall candlestick holders. Create a runner made out of twigs.
  • Impressive place setting. It’s easier than you think! Start with a charger, followed by a dinner plate, top with a folder napkin and salad plate. Finish with a small trinket your guests can take home or a pinecone name holder. Knife and spoon on the right; fork on the left. Above the plate, wine and water glass to the right; bread plate on the left; dessert fork and spoon directly above.
  • Kids table. Set up a separate kids table to keep the little ones occupied with the adults enjoy conversation. Cover the table with brown craft paper (or use brown grocery bags!) and provide small containers with art supplies like crayons, wood beads and leather cording.
  • Rule of 3. Easiest decorating rule of all when creating balance. Pick an element (or color or shape or object) and repeat it three times.

 

Set the stage for your dining experience by starting with elegant granite countertops. Sign a contract with William Ryan Homes by December 1 to receive a free upgrade to granite countertops for the kitchen.*

 

*Granite countertop replaces laminate countertop in kitchen only. Free upgrade includes granite for any added island, morning room or chef kitchen structural option as well.

Winterize Your Lawnmower

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: November 17, 2014

11.17

The snowflakes have already started flying and it’s time to rotate from the lawnmower to the snow blower. Here are five things you should pay attention to before you store the mower for the next five months.

  1. Fuel. If possible, empty fuel from mower. This might be more difficult with a rider, so one option is to add a fuel stabilizer then top off the tank so there is no room for condensation.
  2. Battery. Most mowers do not have a charging system capable of fully recharging a low battery, so keep it fully charged, or at least periodically recharge it.
  3. Oil. Depending on how much you used your mower, at least check the oil and fill to “full” mark. If you can’t recall when you last changed the oil, change it now and replace any filters.
  4. Deck. Ideally, you would clean clippings from the deck after every mow. But if you have not done this all season, the clippings are probably heavily packed. Scrape them off by hand with a plastic putty knife. Remove blades and get them sharpened.
  5. Tires. Check the pressure and inflate if necessary. Inevitably, there will be some loss of tire pressure over the winter, so it won’t hurt to overinflate by a couple pounds.

Not enough room in your garage for all your yard tools and toys? Madison home builder, William Ryan Homes is proud to build energy efficient homes from 13 flexible and timeless home designs with 2-car, 3-car, 4-car, even 5-car garages, and over 1,000,000 different finish options. Visit the new model today to discover why at William Ryan Homes “We Make it Easy” to build your new home. Right now, sign a contract by December 1 and receive a free upgrade to granite countertops for the kitchen.*

 *Granite countertop replaces laminate countertop in kitchen only. Free upgrade includes granite for any added island, morning room or chef kitchen structural option as well.

A Guide to Getting Your First Mortgage

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: November 12, 2014

William Ryan Homes is different than most home builders in that a buyer doesn’t need a construction loan. With steady income, good credit and some savings, you’re likely able to quickly secure mortgage preapproval, making you closer than you think to building your dream home!

First time buyer? Take a look at this great article that we found to learn helpful tips on qualifying for your first mortgage.

A Guide to Getting Your First Mortgage

 


Madison home builder, William Ryan Homes is proud to build energy efficient homes from 13 flexible and timeless home designs with over 1,000,000 different finish options. Visit the new model today to discover why at William Ryan Homes “We Make it Easy” to build your new home. Right now, sign a contract by December 1 and receive a free upgrade to granite countertops for the kitchen.*

 

*Granite countertop replaces laminate countertop in kitchen only. Free upgrade includes granite for any added island, morning room or chef kitchen structural option as well.

Building Homes for Heroes!

Categories: New Homes Tampa | Posted: November 11, 2014

William Ryan Homes and Building Homes for Heroes are at it again!

Building Homes for Heroes, William Ryan Homes, New Homes in Tampa

William Ryan Homes Tampa is pleased to share that we are partnering, once again, with the Building Homes for Heroes organization to build a mortgage-free home for a true American Hero, Army Corporal Jesse Murphree and his family! On October 9, 2014, with local media present, we held a groundbreaking event in our Lago Del Rey community in Land O’ Lakes, FL to mark the start of building our beautiful Jensen floor plan home for this family!

In December of 2007, Army Corporal Jesse Murphree was serving near Ali Abad, Afghanistan when the vehicle he was riding in rolled over a Russian anti-tank mine that exploded. He was thrown down the side of a mountain in the middle of enemy territory, while the two sides engaged in a firefight. Unconscious, he was later pulled to safety by members of his unit and was transported back to base by Medevac. He had to be resuscitated twice during the flight. When he awoke on New Year’s Day he was in the U.S at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He suffered several injuries, including the loss of both of his legs above the knee, traumatic brain injury, nerve damage and PTSD. He has had to endure multiple surgeries since then. Through all of this he continues to face life head-on and with a positive attitude. After his return to the U.S. he reunited with his sweetheart Ashlee, they have since married and now have a precious two-year-old son, Brody.

Our first collaboration with Building Homes for Heroes was in 2011; we partnered to build a home in the New Tampa community of Grand Hampton for another amazing American hero, Joel Tavera. You can read more about Joel’s story by clicking here.

Building Homes for Heroes plans to build 50 homes for our American heroes in 2015! This is only the beginning for us as well; we plan on partnering with them to honor our heroes for many years to come! Follow our blog to see future posts about this family’s home as it progresses.

 

Lets Redesign the Bedroom!

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: November 7, 2014

11.7

 

Gone are the days of a big bedroom investment, complete with “his and hers” nightstands, giant armoire, mule chest and headboard in matching style and detail. Here are five hot design trends that in will make your bedroom style sizzle.

  1. Out with the Matchy-Matchy; in with coordinated furniture. Much like a living room, select furniture for your bedroom that coordinates, but doesn’t necessarily match exactly. Mix textures and colors and sizes for great affect.
  2. Out with perfectly painted; in with rustic naturals. Organic materials such as wood provide a cozy and chic, rustic feel. Layer the textures: think weathered barn-wood siding headboard with silky sheets and wool pillows.
  3. Out with coordinated bedding; in with neutral, warm colors. It might be easy and cost affective to pick up that “bed-in-a-bag” but luxurious bedding is where the bedroom splurge should be spent. Go for a layered look warm, neutral colors. Top with woven blankets and lush pillows in accent colors to give a little pop of color.
  4. Out with boring lighting; in with modern, statement lighting. Forget basic dome and can lights. Instead, consider creative overhead lighting with chandeliers, hanging fixtures and ceiling lights. Don’t think of it as just a statement piece. The right lighting can help you set the tone of a your bedroom by accenting all the fabrics, textures and colors.
  5. Out with just being a place to sleep; in with sitting rooms. Whether it comes in the form of a reading nook nestled between windows or a simple seating area in the corner, a multipurpose bedroom is a must. Have a small space? Decorate with multipurpose furniture with hidden storage or pullout trays.

 

Not crazy about today’s room trends? That’s ok! Ultimately, your master bedroom should reflect your tastes and styles. Building with William Ryan Homes will make it easy to get that master bedroom retreat of your dreams with 13 flexible and timeless home designs and over 1,000,000 different finish options. Visit our model today to discover why at William Ryan Homes “We Make it Easy” to build your new home. Right now, sign a contract by December 1 and receive a free upgrade to granite countertops for the kitchen.*

 

*Granite countertop replaces laminate countertop in kitchen only. Free upgrade includes granite for any added island, morning room or chef kitchen structural option as well.

Fall Maintenance Tips for Outside Your Home

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: November 4, 2014

11.4

 

Here are five simple exterior tasks that will help you enjoy more lazy, fall days.

  1. Store tools and equipment that were left outside during summer such as play equipment, lawn mowers, barbeques, gardening tools and hoses. If practical, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets.
  2. Check gutters and roof for excessive leaves and debris. Make sure gutters are clear and downspout extensions are in place and not damaged.
  3. Rake leaves into piles and scoop them into yard waste bags. Check with your city about regulations for burning leaves.
  4. Empty out unused fuel from any gas-powered equipment stored in the garage. Store gasoline in tanks out of children’s reach, but accessible for your snow blower or emergency generator.
  5. Check batteries in garage door remote and key pad. Replace any burnt out exterior lights.

Madison home builder, William Ryan Homes is proud to build energy efficient homes from 13 flexible and timeless home designs with over 1,000,000 different finish options. Visit the new model today to discover why at William Ryan Homes “We Make it Easy” to build your new home. Right now, sign a contract by December 1 and receive a free upgrade to granite countertops for the kitchen.*

 

*Granite countertop replaces laminate countertop in kitchen only. Free upgrade includes granite for any added island, morning room or chef kitchen structural option as well.
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