Designing Spaces: Tips for Protecting Your Home

Today, we’ll show you how to keep the temperature
in your home comfortable and energy efficient. We’re going to introduce you to new home thermostats
that will actually learn what you like and help lower your energy costs at the same time.
We’ll also take you through the oftentimes confusing world of homeowner’s insurance.
We’ll tell you how the right insurance can protect your home in ways you might not have
thought of, and how you can know for sure if you have enough insurance for your home.
Ever consider installing solar power in your home? It’s a great way to go green and it’s
sure to cut down on those costly utility bills. On today’s program, we’ll give you a home
solar tutorial and show you just how easy it is to install solar panels onto your home.
(music). The digital world is all around us, and is
becoming more of our lives than ever before. Today, every home is becoming a connected
home where thermostats learn what you like and help lower energy costs, where security
cameras let you keep an eye on your home from a world away, and where nearly every kitchen
appliance from refrigerators to toasters have computers inside that allow them to network
with each other, making the home of tomorrow available today. In addition to protecting
your identity and safe guarding you online, Frontier Secure offers services to help protect
and get the most out of your connected home. (music).
We’re in Rocky Hill, Connecticut with Designing Spaces visiting the home of Roger Gantenbein,
a U.S. Navy Veteran along with Mavish Sandhu to take a look at the latest products and
services offered by Frontier Secure to create a connected home.
Frontier values the relationship they build with their customers. When the opportunity
to have a connected home was available and have all my devices talk to each other, I
can monitor them from where ever I want, I can access them, it really reached out to
me being a military veteran and just knowing the benefits of having a connected home from
my experience serving in the submarine service. Mavish, I want to talk to you about one common
problem that a lot of people have and that’s the fear of technology, especially with innovative
products that are connected to the internet. You know, they’re afraid they might not use
them properly or they can’t install them themselves. How do you deal with this because to some
it’s intimidating? Technology can be intimidating, but it doesn’t
have to be. At Frontier Secure, we’re bringing innovative devices as part of our Connected
Home Portfolio that actually make your home more efficient, enjoyable, and secure.
So, let’s take a look at some of the products that create a connected home.
Sure, so Roger actually has three wifi connected devices, and I’ll share a little bit about
each so you can really see how convenient they are and how they also contribute to a
safer more efficient home. So, the Nest Learning Thermostat, it actually learns from you to
program itself, turning itself down when you’re away and saving you energy while no one’s
at home. We’ve actually, on average, seen 10% – 12% savings on your heating bill and
about 15% on your cooling bill. The Nest Cam is really great in that it actually lets you
keep a pulse on things even when you’re away from home. So, it helps keep you safer but
also alerts you when something is happening. And one of the cool things about it is it
also lets you capture great moments in your home like your baby’s first steps or your
dog living large when no one’s around. The Nest Protect is really the first of its kind,
very innovative device. It does more than just sound an alarm. It actually speaks to
you telling you what and where the problem is. Not only does it monitor smoke in the
home, but it also alerts you if there’s a carbon monoxide leak within your home, which
is an invisible gas. So, how can Roger access his Nest Cam and
monitor his Nest Protect and even adjust his Nest Thermostat?
One of the beautiful things about the Nest devices, not only do they work great independently,
but they also work seamlessly together. So, if your Nest Protect detects smoke or carbon
monoxide in the home, it will actually talk to your Nest thermostat letting it know to
turn down so that the issue doesn’t spread within the home. And your Nest Cam can actually
help by capturing that footage, so you know what actually happened.
I recommend Frontier products of the connected home to my family and friends for the ease
of mind it gives a parent, the ease of mind it gives a home owner, and just knowing that
you have that comfort of having between the thermostat and between all the other different
products within itself and from with wifi extender that it’s the simple and straightforward
to install. It’s not like putting together a kid’s bicycle. It’s straightforward. You
can put it in, it’s easy to use, and it gives a comfort level that I definitely recommend
to family, friends, and just if anybody came up to topic talking about a protected house.
So, where can someone go to find out more information about Frontier Secure Connected
Home services and products? That’s a great question. We actually have
customer’s nationwide. You can learn more at
Thank you. For more information, go to DesigningSpaces.TV and click on the appropriate video to see
this portion of the show again. In Rocky Hill, Connecticut, I’m Marisa Hunter for Designing
Spaces. (music). (music).
You have your home and you’ve put a lot into it, both time and money, but are you protecting
your investment. Home owner’s insurance can protect you in ways that are obvious and ways
that you may not have thought of. The bottom line, how do you know you have proper coverage?
Home owner’s insurance is a policy that provides financial protection for you and your home
in the event of loss. Designing Spaces got together with Kimberlee
Furcht from Westwood Insurance to find out exactly how homeowner’s insurance works and
how to determine what type of coverage is right for you. In this home, there are many
art objects collected from around the world. I’ve been fortunate to visit some of the world’s
most interesting and exotic destinations, and during my travel, I’ve acquired some wonderful
artwork and accessories for this house. Home owner’s insurance is really important to me.
Why is it important to have home owner’s insurance? Life happens, things happen, and unfortunately
accidents happen. Your home owner’s insurance is designed to provide coverage for your home
in the event of loss as well as providing coverage if there were to be an accident either
in your home or on your property. Why is it important to have adequate coverage?
In the event of a total loss, you have the financial protection you’ll need to rebuild
your home. You’ll also have the protection you need for your possessions so that you
can replace them with items of equal value. A great way to know you have adequate coverage
is to touch base with your agent. Let them know if you’ve made any upgrades to your home,
have made any changes to your home, or if you’ve purchased anything of high value recently.
A great time to do this is at your policy renewal.
What is the difference between market value and replacement costs?
Market value is the worth of a home when buying or selling. Replacement cost takes into account
the amount of money it would cost to rebuild your home if it were to be destroyed or damaged.
What coverages are included in the standard home owner’s policy?
Included in a standard home owner’s policy, you have coverage for your dwelling which
is really just a fancy word for the home itself. You also have other structures coverage which
provides coverage for fences, a shed, or like Scott’s beautiful pool outside. There’s also
coverage for personal property which would be the possessions in your home. Your policy
also provides coverage for the cost of additional living expenses while your home is being repaired
or rebuilt. And last but not least, there’s liability coverage as well as medical payments
coverage under your home owner’s insurance policy.
So, Nancy and I are on a trip and we’re in Venice. We came upon this vase. It was magnificent.
We loved it, we bought it. It’s got great value, and therefore insurance is vital.
What are some other options available? Some options that are available in your homeowner’s
policy, you can increase your coverages for your personal property to provide additional
protection, you can also schedule items under your insurance policy. So, if you’ve got high
valued items like jewelry, fine art, Scott’s art collection, a coin collection, you can
schedule that under your homeowner’s insurance policy. One thing you also might want to look
into is flood coverage. It’s not included under your homeowner’s policy, but a lot of
people find comfort in knowing that they have that protection.
What is liability coverage and is it built into a standard policy?
Liability coverage is afforded under the standard homeowner’s insurance policy. Your liability
coverage provides you financial protection against bodily injury and property damage
sustained by others while either in your home or on your property.
I know that it’s important to keep a record of all of the important items I have insured
in my home. Not being a master at paperwork, what I’ve done is taken photographs. This
way in the event, God forbid, there is a loss or a damage, I’ve got proof of what I have.
Could you explain the term claims readiness? Claims readiness simply means being ready
in the event of loss. There are a couple things you can do to insure thing. One, take inventory
of the items in your home periodically. Two, take pictures along with serial numbers. And
third, and lastly, keep receipts for any items over $200 in a safe place. If you have any
questions or feel you may need additional coverage, please contact your local insurance
agent. To see this portion of the show again, go
to DesigningSpaces.TV where you’ll find a link to the Westwood Insurance website.
(music). (music).
Winter is here. With snow on the ground and no doubt there are more storms not far away,
we’ll need ice-melt products to keep our driveways, pathways, and sidewalks safe. Designing Spaces
got together with Emily Arthurs from Morton Salt to get tips on choosing the right ice-melt
products for specific needs, and to learn how to best apply them to concrete surfaces.
Before buying ice-melt this winter, it’s important to consider the needs of your family, your
pets, your property, and even your neighbors. (music).
Salted sidewalks and streets can be hard on pets’ paws. For safer melting for our four-legged
friends, look for ice-melt products that are salt and chloride free. You should also try
to avoid ice-melt products that are jagged or irregular in shape, which can cut or get
stuck in paw pads. Veterinarian recommended Morton Safety Pet ice-melt is a safer choice
for pets. It was developed with veterinarians to be safer for pets’ paws than plain salt.
Watch out for ice-melt products that claim to be salt-free but still contain other chlorides
such as magnesium chloride or potassium chloride because those ingredients can still cause
irritation to pet paws. Morton Safety Pet is a blue product that helps
you spot how much you’ve used on your sidewalks. If you have neighbors with dogs, this is a
great product to consider. (music).
If you’re concerned about the concrete surfaces around your home, you will want to choose
a product that is specifically designed to minimize costly concrete damage. Morton Safety
Plus is specifically designed to utilize advanced technology to help prevent water and grime
from seeping into porous concrete preventing the damage called spalling when refreezing
occurs. Sub zero temperatures call for a heavy-duty ice-melt product that contains calcium chloride
such as Morton Safety Power, which is specifically designed to burrow through thick ice that
may have built up over time. It really makes a difference to use the right ice-melt product
that was designed for a specific temperature range. Morton makes it easy by showing you
what temperature the product works best. Make sure to read the label and understand in what
temperatures the product is most effective. Before you go out and apply ice-melt, make
sure you have the right product for the job. Be leery of ice-melt products that contain
mysterious ingredients. I would personally avoid any ice-melt product that has chemicals
with complicated names that I cannot pronounce. In preparation for a winter snow event, we
recommend that you pre-apply ice-melt products to your walking surfaces. This will help prevent
ice and snow from bonding to your pavement making it easier for shoveling. Once again,
choosing the right ice-melter will help you save time and money and also help prevent
painful slips and falls. (music).
You should only use ice-melters on properly formulated cured air-entrained concrete that
is at least one-year old. Due to expansion of liquid after refreezing, it is not recommended
that you use any ice-melt products on porous surfaces, or pavers, or surfaces that have
areas where water can collect. Here are the steps you should take to maintain a clean
and clear sidewalk this winter season: Remove loose snow with a shovel.
Evenly sprinkle the appropriate ice-melt product over ice or snow packed surfaces. Use the
directions on the packaging to determine how much to apply. One half to one full cup of
product for every square yard depending on the product.
Make sure to remove the slush with a shovel once melting has occurred.
By choosing the right ice-melt products based on your needs, like those offered by Morton,
you’ll be on the right track for safer driveways and walkways this winter season.
To see this portion of the show again, go to DesigningSpaces.TV and click on the Morton
Salt video. You’ll also find a link to there. Join in the conversation on Facebook
at (music). (music).
A few months ago, Andy and Vivint Solar showed up at my house to give us a new solar energy
system. Well, my dad likes it because it’s been saving us money. My mom likes it because
we’re using that money to go on vacation. And I just think it’s interesting. So, Andy
invited me to Utah to find out exactly what’s going on with solar and his company. And wow,
it’s pretty here. Plus, he said they have a soda machine. Sold!
These take care of all of our different inventory needs that we have across the company. Here
at Vivint Solar, we’re changing the entire process of the way people get solar on their
homes. Not just the way they pay for it, but the way we install it, the way it gets designed,
and Jiovan is one of our managers for the digital team who’s working on an exciting
project that will make it easier for customers to get solar on their home.
Hey Andy. Hey Jiovan
Hi, it’s nice to meet you. Hey, how’s it going?
It’s good. Awesome. Residential solar is becoming so
big that google’s getting involved. Now, we’re working with them on a project to make solar
simpler than ever. Do you want to take a look? Sure.
So, you just type in your address like you would on google maps. And then you find your
house. There’s my house right here. And then right from here you can see if solar works
for your home, you can see how much money you can save every month just by going solar.
That’s so awesome. Once you see how much money solar can save
you, it’s time to get a system design, and that’s what I do. Let’s go check it out.
Okay. Thanks Jiovan.
Thanks for coming by. Bye. Thank you.
I want to introduce you to Zach. How you doing Zach? Zach, this is Millie.
Hi, it’s nice to meet you. Zach is one of our designers here at Vivint
Solar. What he does is he takes all of the information that we get on site at a customer’s
home and prepares an AutoCAD design. Every house has its own unique shape and requires
its own unique solar system, and that’s what Zach does. He’s building a custom design for
each customer. So, what he does is he takes an aerial image and copies the shape of the
rooflines onto the AutoCAD program. He then takes the information from our site survey
documents and makes sure that all of the right measurements are in place. So, here we can
see the maximum number of modules that we can place on a given roof section and the
production of those modules. What do you think? I think that is so cool.
Yeah. It really is. Thank you, Zach, for taking time to show us how this works.
Yes, thank you so much. I have someone I want you to meet. Do you
have a few more minutes? Yeah.
Alright, let’s go check it out. Okay, thank you.
Morning, Greg! Morning, Andy. How are you?
I’m doing well. I have a friend I’d like you to meet. This is Millie.
Hi, Millie. Welcome. This is so amazing here. Thank you so much.
Thanks for coming. Millie has a lot of questions for you. So,
I thought I’d introduce her to the CEO, or the head of the company. I have some things
I need to take care of. He’ll be able to answer anything you have questions on. So, I’ll catch
up with you guys a little later, okay? Perfect. Thanks, Andy.
Thanks guys. Do you want to have seat?
Sure. So, what’s the big deal with solar? Oh, there are so many things that are great
about solar. I think probably my favorite thing is we help people save money. Do you
know anybody that likes to pay their power bill?
No. I don’t either.
(Laughter). And so we help people save anywhere from 10%
– 40% on their power bill. One of the things I really like about solar is we give people
the ability to choose who they want to buy their power from. And so we give people energy
independence. That’s another really cool thing and something I like about solar energy and
what we do. So, how many houses do you put solar on every
year? Last year, we did about 35,000. This year,
we’re going to do 55,000. And next year, we’re going to do around 100,000 homes.
Wow. So, the company is growing really fast and
people really like solar and the value that it provides.
So, how did you get interested in solar? Well, I was actually retried and I got a call
from the founder of the company. And he said, “How would you like to join my company?” And
the funny thing is, a couple days before that my wife was tired of me being retired. She
says, “You need to go do something more productive with your life.”
(Laughter). And I said, “I want to go change the world.”
My wife and I have always been very environmentally conscientious, and so I got really excited
about it because we’re saving the environment. And I love technology.
That’s so great. That’s so cool. It’s cool, huh?
So, what is it that you like best about working here?
Probably my favorite thing in addition to the value we provide to our customers is I
like the people that I work with. We’ve got some amazing people. The work’s a lot of fun.
We work really hard. But it’s just a fun place and amazing people.
Hey, will you let me draw on some of those glass doors?
Sure. Any one you like. That’s what we like to do.
Thank you. So, Millie, what do you think?
I thought this was so nice to know more about Greg and to learn more about Vivint Solar.
Wonderful. Well, thanks Greg, for taking the time to chat with her. I know you’re a busy
man. Well, thank you. It was a pleasure to meet
you, and Andy thanks for bringing Millie in. Make sure he lets you write on whatever door
or window you want. Okay.
Thanks again for coming. No, thank you so much.
Alright. Have a great day. Thanks, Greg.
Thanks, Andy. So, you’ve seen a lot here today at Vivint
Solar. What do you think? I think that this is so incredible. What you
guys are doing is amazing. Awesome. Do you have any more questions for
us? Well, there is one more thing. And just like
that it was time to say goodbye. I came, I saw, I conquered, and they let me write on
the glass window. Overall, I learned that solar energy is more than just charging my
computer. These guys have some big ideas and they were pretty nice. To learn more, go to (music).
Making a space you can call home, living the lifestyle you
desire. It’s what we’re all about.
We are Designing Spaces. For more information about
anything you’ve seen on today’s show, or to find out how to be
part of the show, log onto
Follow us on Twitter at You can visit these websites to
learn more about the participants on this edition of
Designing Spaces. (music).

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