Archive for July 2016

We’ve come to take many standard household appliances for granted, but each one was thought of as a marvel and an ingenious innovation when it was first invented. Here’s a timeline of the invention of all the now common appliances that can be found in anyone’s dream kitchen.

Victorian cleaning servicePerhaps one of the oldest still-used appliances is the vacuum cleaner. That said, the first iteration of this common household helper would have been somewhat unrecognizable to the common man; British civil engineer H. Cecil Booth patented his first attempt at the vacuum cleaner in 1901, when it was engine-powered and meant to be mounted on a horse-drawn cart. The vacuum required teams of operators, who would reel the horses into buildings that needed to be cleaned up. A more practical vacuum engineered for domestic use wasn’t thought up until 1907, when a janitor in Ohio named James Spangler invented an “electric suction-sweeper” and ultimately sold the rights to his idea to William Hoover.

Two years after Hoover held the patent on vacuums, Frank Shailor of General Electric filed a patent application for the first ever commercially successful electric toaster. While the 1909 starting model was a bit of a death trap (it included a single heating element and no exterior casing, controls, working parts or sensors and necessitated that a piece of toast be turned by hand), it paved the way for the toasters of the future. By 1919, toasters could pop up their finished products just the way we like it.

1913 was an exciting year for home appliances; those were the years that both the electric refrigerator and the electric dishwasher were invented. With the invention of the dishwasher was simply a matter of convenience, refrigerators truly did made an enormous impact on the population’s ability to store food for longer and therefore lengthen their access to safe food. The fridge of 1913 consisted of a small unit that had to be mounted on top of a home’s icebox and therefore needed to be connected to external plumbing in order to function. In 1925, standalone refrigerators for the home that didn’t require plumbing connections became more common choices.

1927 was the year of the garbage disposal. An architect from Wisconsin by the name of John W. Hammes developed the invention in his basement in an effort to make kitchen cleanup work easier for his wide. The appliance was eventually sold by Emerson Electric Company under the nickname the “electric pig.”

washing machineThe first washing machine that could wash, rinse and extract water from clothes wasn’t invented until the 1930’s, when John W. Chamberlain of the Bendix Corporation invented the device. J. Ross Moore built the first oil-heated clothes dryer five years later in an effort to spare his mother from having to hang wet laundry out in the brutal North Dakota winter.

In 1952, the first automatic coffee pot was invented by Russell Hobbs. Much like the automatic coffee makers of today, its percolator regulated the strength of the coffee according to taste and a light flashed when the coffee was ready.

Most people who are in a position of home ownership are usually itching to find improvements for their homes that make it distinctly theirs and improve the value of their home. We are often tempted to renovate our bathrooms, kitchens or closets or home offices. Its true that these updates can increase the purchase appeal as well as add to your own quality of life, but its may be more likely the case that it doesn’t really add much value to your home, and the potential buyers will want to replace whatever you did to make it distinctly theirs, or it will be such a head ache through out that you will never enjoy it and lose a fair amount of money in the process.

The home improvement projects that will pay you back for a change are not most glamorous by any means, buy with all the money you save you can are going to feel pretty fancy when you look at that full bank account. Here are the five projects that will help you be balling on a budget, and get the home to work for you rather than the other way around. This is coming from the National Association of Remodeling Industry and Nation association of Realtors so trust us, we called the experts. 

First up is replacing your roof. I know what you’re thinking, ” I thought this was cheap improvements.” But you would be surprised that this large scale project is actually relatively inexpensive. But you can recoup 105% of the value of the job when you do decide to sell. The NARI has estimated that you’ll likely spend $7,600 to remove your old roof of a 2,640 square foot 2 level house and install a laminated architectural asphalt shingles. Just something to consider I suppose.

Up next is that your old hard wood floors. The home improvement projects with second highest return of investment is when you refinish your hardwood floors. This essentially transforms your dull scratched wood floors into shiny good as new flooring in a really cheap and exciting way. Homeowners can typically recoup 1005 of the expense so I say go for it, or should I say go floor it.

Another all function no fashion improvement is to upgrade your insulation. This as you could imagine is the third highest return of investment you can do and is expected to recoup 95%. This will probably run you about $2,100 when adding 10 inches of blown in cellulose insulation to your attic. This again is according to the NARI. This is a biggie because you are just going to think of the heat you are keeping in your home as pure cash given the huge energy costs we see today. 

Last buy not least is that you replace your garage door with a sleek automatic garage door opener. This is something that is low cost but has a big affect because it is the face of your home and is an upgrade everyone will see and serves and kind of the first impression we get on our homes.