Consumer business by Denisha Maxey
WHEN CLOCKS “spring” forward an hour and the weather dawns warmer each day, something about the sunshine and flowers beginning to bloom sparks our interest in starting on home improvements, renovations or cleaning plans we have been putting off.
At this time of year, it is not uncommon to see people outside working in their yards, planting the perfect flowers, grooming bushes and trees and making repairs to their homes. If your to-do list is filled with springtime chores, here are some tips to help make sure you turn your plans into successful action.
Start your spring cleaning with the old going out and the new coming in. Packing away your winter clothing is the perfect time to get rid of apparel and other household items you no longer use. Start in your closets and work your way through each room in your home.
Clearing out junk and decluttering your home is a definite sign that spring has arrived. But do not simply throw out the old clothing or other household items, especially if they are still in good condition, because someone else could well prise some use out of them. You can donate the items to a local charity such as Goodwill or Salvation Army and you’ll be given a tax break for your donation, so do not forget to ask for a receipt.
Your spring cleaning continues with the deep cleaning of your entire house.
Inside, your appliances might need a little tender love and care. Clean out your refrigerator, dishwasher and oven as they can become extremely filthy with continuous use.
Do not forget to change your air-conditioner filters. You want your unit operating efficiently during the warmer weather.
Outside, you might need to power-wash your home’s exterior, driveway and deck or patio. With the arrival of spring, most of us like to spend as many days as possible enjoying the sunshine outside and your outdoor furniture might require a good scrubbing. You might even decide to replace it all together, updating your outdoor living space.
And don’t forget that this is also the perfect time to wash your windows, inside and out.
If you plan on hiring professionals to make necessary repairs around your home, make sure you do your research. Whether you need someone to inspect your roof, replace your guttering or perform maintenance on your air-conditioning unit, your first stop should be bbbhou.org.
That’s the Houston Better Business Bureau website, where you can view a business’ public profile. The profile has important information, such as the business’ contact information, its BBB rating and any complaints or customer reviews filed against it.
Do not be deterred unduly by negative customer reviews or complaints as there might have been circumstances beyond the business’ control that led to them. However, do pay attention to the way the business responds. If it replies to the complaints or reviews, review its statements to see how it rectifies its customers’ issues. No responses to complaints are a definite bad sign to run for the hills!
Denisha Maxey is director of dispute resolution at Houston Better Business Bureau.