10 Tips to Reduce Your Heating Bill this Winter

petoskeyplastics DIY Advice, Home Improvement, Seasonal, White Page

Keeping a home warm in the winter can mean high heating bills, especially if your home isn’t winter ready. Heating bills can really take a toll on household budgets, more so for those living on a fixed income or on a tight budget. These tips will help you reduce your heating bill while still staying warm this winter! 

1. Lower the thermostat-This is an easy and free way to lower your winter heating costs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save an average of 10% per month on your heating bill if you lower the thermostat while you sleep.

2. Insulate your home better-Insulation helps keep warm air inside the house and the cold air stay outside. This will help your home stay warmer longer and cut down on heating costs. Depending on what type of insulation you use, it can actually be tax deductible. If you end up increasing the amount of insulation in your home, Steelcoat® Products are great for keeping the construction and surrounding areas clean and mess free. Check out our full product line here: http://www.steelcoatproducts.com/products/

3. Seal and insulate heating ducts-Most ducts actually have leaks that can let warm air escape, costing you more money.

4. Seal the leaks in your house-Make sure you also seal any other leaks in your house. The most common areas where air warm air can escape and let cold air in are doors, windows, attics, basements, where wires and cables enter your house, and electrical outlets.

5. Keep vents and radiators clean and clear-Keeping vents and radiators clean and clear of furniture or other objects allows the warm air flow freely into the room. Dust and furniture inhibit air flow which makes it harder to warm up a room.

6. Keep ventilation fans off when not in use-Ventilation fans for bathrooms and kitchens can suck out the warm air in your house. Make sure they are turned off when not in use.

7. Change your furnace filter-Changing the filter allows for a better air flow and can help extend the life of your furnace. It can also cut down on the amount of energy needed to circulate the air.

8. Run ceiling fan in reverse to circulate hot air-Did you know that you can use your fan to push the warm air that rises downward? This is a simple and free way to use heat that is already there to make your home feel warmer.

9. Install plastic window treatments-Plastic window treatments are an inexpensive way to reduce heat loss from drafty windows. Most are easy to install and can end up saving you a decent amount of money on your heating bill, especially if you have old or single pane windows.

10. Use insulated curtains on windows-Insulated curtains also help reduce heat loss from drafty windows. In addition, keeping the windows covered when its dark out helps keep cold air outside and warm air inside.

The majority of these tips require little time, money, and effort and are well worth the investment. Little changes can end up saving you a lot of money and energy, which is great for both your wallet and the environment.

Steelcoat® Products is a division of Petoskey Plastics serving multiple markets in the construction, home improvement, and retail industries with a variety of products. Our combination of innovative design and technology with specialized engineering makes our products some of the best in the market. Steelcoat® Products include painter’s plastic, plastic sheeting, contractor bags, trash bags, can and drum liners, and much more, in addition to private label solutions for our customers. Learn more at steelcoatproducts.com.

Your Easy Fall Lawn Care Checklist

petoskeyplastics DIY Advice, Seasonal, White Page

For many people, fall is an enjoyable time of the year filled with pumpkin patches, hay rides, and sports. It also happens to be when people need to get their lawn ready for the following year. Performing lawn maintenance in the fall is the best way to get a picture-perfect yard next spring and summer. Below are five lawn care tasks to take care of before winter comes.

  1. Pick up any debris and rake the lawn.

Fallen leaves, branches, and weeds can suffocate grass during winter months if not cleared properly before the cold weather. You can either shred leaves and other debris to use as mulch for young foliage or bag it up and recycle it. Strong, durable, and environmentally friendly, our Steelcoat® Lawn & Leaf bags are the perfect option to help you clear your yard before the snow falls.

  1. Prune trees and shrubs.

Fall is the time to trim any dead branches, shrubs, or other bushes. Cut back overgrown trees and foliage to ensure a clean start in the spring. It is also a good idea to prune and divide any perennials for next spring.

  1. Aerate and water the lawn.

Even during cooler weather, plants need water. That is why it is extremely important to keep watering your lawn up until freezing temperatures. Making sure that the lawn is aerated as well will help keep water from pooling at the top and ensure more nutrients will reach the roots of the plants.

  1. Mow the lawn one last time.

Your grass might not be growing much right now, but it is still something that needs to be done before winter. Keep mowing the lawn until winter arrives. This will help the soil and grass dry out faster once warmer weather arrives, and it also prevents snow mold from occurring.

  1. Protect the deck.

This last one may not directly be lawn related, but it still very important to do before winter. Give your deck a good wash and once it is dry apply a weatherproofing stain. This will protect it from moisture during the winter months and stave off mold and mildew.

Steelcoat® White Page: How to Prep for Painting Walls

petoskeyplastics DIY Advice, Home Improvement, Painter's Plastic, Painting, White Page

Painting walls is a fairly easy way to switch up the look and feel of a home. Some people paint their own walls, while others may hire a professional to get the job done. And some happen to be the professionals who do the painting. Whoever you might be, we have some basic tips for prepping walls before you begin the painting process.

First, you need to move the furniture away from the walls. You can either remove the furniture from the room entirely, or just move it to the center and cover it with a protective film like our Steelcoat® Painter’s Plastic or Masking Film.

Then you’ll want to clean the walls. For most rooms, dusting and wiping down the walls with a towel will do. If the room you’re painting is a bathroom or kitchen, you’ll want to use some sort of solution to clean and disinfect. Make sure to remove any chipped paint with a paint scraper and to use sandpaper to smooth away any imperfections or remaining bumps.

Next, you’ll want to have everything you’ll need in order to paint. This includes the paint, primer, paint can opener, stir sticks, paint brushes (make sure you have an angled paint brush for hard-to-get-at corners), paint rollers (with an extension pole if you need it), paint trays, gloves, goggles, drop cloths, and cleaning materials.

Now that you have everything that you need and the walls have been prepped, it’s time to start painting!

Steelcoat® Products is a division of Petoskey Plastics serving multiple markets in the construction, home improvement, and retail industries with a variety of products. Our combination of innovative design and technology with specialized engineering makes our products some of the best in the market. Steelcoat® Products include painter’s plastic, plastic sheeting, contractor bags, trash bags, can and drum liners, and much more, in addition to private label solutions for our customers. Learn more at steelcoatproducts.com.

Steelcoat White Page – Five Ways to Keep Your Job Site Clean

petoskeyplastics Home Improvement, Remodel, White Page

Despite the inherently untidy nature of construction and renovation jobs, a good contractor knows that keeping the job site clean is a priority. A construction site that lacks organization and regular clean up can not only look like a mess, but it can also be dangerous for workers and anyone else around the site. Making sure that a site is as clean as possible can make post-construction cleanup faster and prevent worker injuries.

  1. Clean up regularly– Cleaning up on a regular basis as you go along is the best way to ensure that your construction site is both clean and safe. Because of the nature of construction, things are going to get messy. However, taking a few minutes to clean up after one task before moving on to another means less cleanup at the end and the job site is more likely to be safe.
  2. Make safety a priority– If keeping a site clean and free of harmful materials is neglected, it can quickly become a dangerous area to work in. It isn’t safe to have nails, sharp tools, and hazardous debris just laying around, so it is important to take care of those things as you go. Each employee should know what their job is when it comes to cleanup time. It usually helps to have each employee clean up after themselves when they’ve completed a task in addition to having a specific employee on the site in charge of general cleanup that does not fall under the other employees’ scope.
  3. Cover furnishings and floors-If the construction site is inside a building, like an office or home, covering furniture and floors can prevent most renovation mishaps. For example, using our Steelcoat® Painter’s Plastic and Plastic Sheeting to cover surfaces like floors and furnishings can prevent paint and dust from getting onto them during the renovation. Plus, it will increase overall job satisfaction and make you look more professional.
  4. Have multiple, clearly labeled waste disposal areas-If the job site is small, like a one room renovation, then having several clearly marked containers for waste would be sufficient. If the job site is much larger than that though, making sure that you have multiple, clearly labeled waste disposal containers and disposal areas all over the construction site is an important step in keeping the job site clean. It should be easy for employees to know where to put the recycling, the trash, the scrap material, etc. and they should not have to walk all the way across the job site to dispose of the waste from their tasks. Convenience and simplicity are key when it comes to keeping waste taken care of at job sites.
  5. Hire a reputable contractor -If you aren’t the contractor and instead are the one hiring the contractor, make sure you hire a responsible and professional one. Any good contractor will know and understand how important a clean job site is. It is generally good advice to research your contractors and shop around a little so you can pick the best one for your job.

Steelcoat® Products is a division of Petoskey Plastics serving multiple markets in the construction, home improvement, and retail industries with a variety of products. Our combination of innovative design and technology with specialized engineering makes our products some of the best in the market. Steelcoat® Products include painter’s plastic, plastic sheeting, contractor bags, trash bags, can and drum liners, and much more, in addition to private label solutions for our customers. Learn more at steelcoatproducts.com.

Benefits of Multilayer Painter’s Plastic Over Monolayer

petoskeyplastics Home Improvement, Painter's Plastic, Painting

Is there really a difference in performance between multilayer painter’s plastic and monolayer? The answer is yes, there is. Multilayer painter’s plastic has added benefits over monolayer and performs better overall.

Our Steelcoat® painter’s plastic is unique in that it has three layers of high density plastic that give it superior properties, such as added strength and easier clean up. Using a multilayer design instead of a monolayer creates a product with increased flexibility while maximizing strength and performance.

The multiple layers in our painter’s plastic allows each layer to have its own distinctive characteristics. Made with Grip-N-Guard® technology, the superior cling properties on the inside layer help keep it in place with little taping required. It also makes it easier for one person to unfold and install. The outside layer acts like a vacuum, pulling peat, dust, and paint out of the air and onto the plastic rather than on the floor or other uncovered areas.

In addition, our painter’s plastic is flake resistant. That means once the paint dries on the plastic, it won’t flake off when it comes time to take the plastic off the walls, furniture, and floors, which ultimately means less clean up time.

In summary, yes, multilayer painter’s plastic is actually better than monolayer. Our Steelcoat® painter’s plastic in particular means less cleanup time, lower costs, and higher profits. Its ease of use and unique product characteristics appeal to both the DIY consumer and professional contractors.

Steelcoat® Products is a division of Petoskey Plastics serving multiple markets in the construction, home improvement, and retail industries with a variety of products. Our combination of innovative design and technology with specialized engineering makes our products some of the best in the market. Steelcoat® Products include painter’s plastic, plastic sheeting, contractor bags, trash bags, can and drum liners, and much more, in addition to private label solutions for our customers. Learn more at steelcoatproducts.com.

New Year, New Home Improvement Projects

petoskeyplastics DIY Advice, Home Improvement, Remodel, Seasonal

Whether you’ve been putting off that honey do list for way too long or you’re a professional in the construction and home improvement field, the beginning of the new year is a great time to start some much needed home improvement projects! Here are our top five new year home improvement projects!
  1. Clean and de-clutter.

    This first one may be more of a spring cleaning project rather than a home improvement, but de-cluttering the house is an important task that needs to be done every once in a while. It is an easy way to instantly make your home feel bigger and nicer. Plus, the extra space makes it easier to do other home improvement projects.

  2. Install an organization system.

    This, in addition to getting rid of the extra clutter, will help open up space and make the home appear cleaner and more finished. Areas that usually need some extra organization are the bathroom, kitchen, and playroom.

  3. Pick a room to paint.

    Something as simple as changing up the color of a room can make it seem more open, more cheerful, or even more fun. It is a cheap way to change up the style of one of your rooms in your house. Don’t know what color to pick? Grab a couple of sample colors from the store and paint some swatches on your wall. That way you can see what the color looks like when it dries and in different types of light.

  4. Replace old windows and doors.

    This can make your home more energy efficient, thus lowering your utility bills. Replacing old windows and doors with ones that have better seals will not only give your home a fresh look, but it will also save you money throughout the year since it is more energy efficient.

  5. Renovate your bathroom or kitchen.

    Chances are one of those rooms could use an update. If you’re a DIYer but this is beyond your capabilities, hiring a professional will save you a lot of time and frustration. It will most likely look a lot better as well. Kitchens and bathrooms are important features of a home so updating them will not only increase the value of your home, but it will help it feel more luxurious as well.

  6. Whether you’re a DIY guru or a professional in the home improvement industry, projects like this always create some sort of mess. Make sure to check out our full line of Steelcoat® products before you jump into any home improvement project to help keep your home clean and protected while you work.

Here’s to a great new year!

Steelcoat® Products is a division of Petoskey Plastics serving multiple markets in the construction, home improvement, and retail industries with a variety of products. Our combination of innovative design and technology with specialized engineering makes our products some of the best in the market. Steelcoat® Products include painter’s plastic, plastic sheeting, contractor bags, trash bags, can and drum liners, and much more, in addition to private label solutions for our customers.

Learn more at steelcoatproducts.com.

 

Petoskey Plastics, Steelcoat’s manufacturer, named finalist for Plastics News® Processor of the Year 2017

petoskeyplastics Awards, Industry, Media

This award honors companies with superior achievement among plastics processors.

Petoskey, MI:  Petoskey Plastics was named one of four finalists for the Plastics News Processor of the Year Award for 2017, which is sponsored by the Plastics Industry Association.  Plastics News announced the finalists in their January 8th edition.  Petoskey Plastics was named a finalist in 2016 as well and is once again the only blown film company among the finalists.

A processor is defined as a manufacturer that forms finished plastics parts.  For a private or  public company or corporate operating division to qualify for the award, they must be engaged in North American plastics processing for at least the past five years.  Candidates were then evaluated on the following criteria by members of the Plastics News’ editorial staff:

  • Financial Performance
  • Quality
  • Customer Relations
  • Employee Relations
  • Environmental Performance
  • Industry/Public Service
  • Technological
  • Innovation

The Plastics News article announcing the finalists’ states, “Environmental performance is Petoskey’s strongest category in the Processor of the Year hunt.  But judges also have high marks for financial performance and the other five categories.”

One customer reference remarked about Petoskey Plastics, “Everyone is very accessible, all the way to top management.”

Petoskey Plastics hosted Plastics News editor Donald Loepp and senior reporter Bill Bregar at their Hartford City, Indiana plant on January 11th for the final round of the Processor of the Year selection process to show the recycling lines and newest technology.  The winner will be announced on March 7th at the Plastics News Executive Forum in Naples, FL.

Plastics News is a weekly, 46,000-circulation trade newspaper delivering global news to a primarily North American market. Founded by Crain Communications Inc. in Akron, Ohio, in 1989, it covers the business of the global plastics industry.

Petoskey Plastics is an environmentally focused recycler and plastic film, bag and resin manufacturer providing superior products and solutions. Headquartered in Petoskey, Michigan, the company provides products and engineered solutions for a variety of industries including automotive, industrial, institutional, retail, construction and home improvement.

Petoskey Plastics has facilities in Michigan, Indiana and Tennessee.  Learn more at www.petoskeyplastics.com.

 

Broadcasted on 9&10 News: http://www.9and10news.com/2018/01/16/petoskey-plastics-nominated-2017-top-plastic-processor/ 

Accent Walls: Annoying or Amazing?

petoskeyplastics DIY Advice, Painting, Remodel

Accent walls have been a prevalent focal point of home design for the last few years. Some designers adore the idea while others aren’t sold. Where do you stand on this topic? Personally, I’m a fan. Accent walls are great opportunities to add an extra fingerprint of your own sense of style. Could it go too far? Absolutely! However, that’s why it’s important to take a few things into account before moving forward.

The first item to consider is what is going to be on your accent wall. As soon as you add a brilliant color, the focus will shift to it. Before deciding which wall, you will definitely want to have something of interest to fill it. The options are endless. If the accent is in your main family space, photos and maybe your television could be an option. Any sort of art would be a great option as well.

Another thing you’ll want to make sure of is that the colors don’t clash. Everyone knows that when you get two similar shades of the same color next to each other it can look bad. If you’re going for the accent wall, go big or don’t go at all. Luckily color swatches and other items exist to help prevent this issue, but don’t be afraid to take a small step outside your comfort zone.

Last thing: don’t be afraid to explore patterns. Sometimes a wallpaper or painted pattern can bring enough attention to the wall to break it up without the extreme measure of an entire wall. I did just say to make sure to be bold and this is doing so but in a different way. Although the colors might be a bit more muted, the pattern opportunities available can help provide an ambiance that one solid color would not.

No matter what wall or room you paint, you need to prepare for the mess that will follow. Steelcoat® carries products that will meet any need you may have during a painting project. Head on over to our website steelcoatproducts.com to see our entire line!

 

Selecting the Right Subway Tile

petoskeyplastics DIY Advice, Remodel

 

Although it isn’t the focal point that granite countertops or stainless steel appliances may be, subway tile placed in the correct manner can upgrade the atmosphere of a room. One thing is for sure though, nothing could have prepared me for how many options there are when selecting how to outfit a backsplash.

Color:

There are many options when it comes to tones of the tile being placed in your home. From the classic white to metallic hues, the spectrum is endless. One facet that must be taken into account though is the grout. What type of accent would you like to achieve? For example, if you choose to have a simple look with white tile in a straight pattern, do you want the tile to blend into the background with a white grout attaining a clean design or would you rather achieve a level of contrast with a dark grey? Each has its own unique flavor.

Size and Shape:

This aspect could determine a lot about your layout. Subway tiles come in more shapes and sizes than you can imagine: squares, rectangles, octagons, hexagons. They’re all available if you desire them!

Pattern:

Your choice for size and shape will help determine your pattern. I was absolutely blown away with the patterns that can be used when creating the backdrop for a room. Check out this picture from bloglovin.com that shows 9 of the most popular patterns.

The last thing I wanted to touch on has less to do with the tiles themselves and more with the overall layout of your kitchen. If you decide to use subway tile, do me one favor. Think about the tile would look taking up the area between your counter top and cabinets, which is the more familiar layout and then also think about what it would look like if it extended all the way to your ceiling. Depending on the patterns and colors chosen, this may cause the room to get a bit busy. However, trying something like this could create an incredible aesthetic completely different from what was originally planned.

Once you’ve made the decision to makeover your backsplash make sure you’re prepared for the demo process. If you’re removing previously placed tile or another substance designate a location to place that discarded material. When adding the new tile, you’ll also need to protect any areas in danger of a possible grout mess. Steelcoat® offers both contractor bags and plastic sheeting for these types of situations. Check out our product flyer page for more information on these products!

Great Ways to Increase your Home’s ROI

petoskeyplastics DIY Advice, Remodel

It’s safe to say that remodeling parts of a home has been a steady trend in the real estate sector. Since the renaissance of the DIYer, revamping a room and upgrading houses to get more bang for your buck has been a rather large part of the industry. Based off of media opinion, the hot spots for performing these makeovers seem to focus on the kitchen and bathroom. Nothing grabs the attention at an open house like a subway tile back splash or brand new dual vanity. However, what would you say if I told you that there were other updates that may actually bring you a larger amount of ROI? Remodeling magazine actually takes a look at some of these figures in their 2016 Cost vs. Value Report. Follow the link to see the entire report, or check out my highlights below.

Did you know that the most valuable item in your home that can be upgraded is in your attic? I’ll give you a chance to guess what it could be. It’s actually insulation. According to the cost and value report the cost recovered from performing a task for this nationwide would be 116.9% on average nationwide.

Following insulation is stone veneer which averages a 92.9% ROI. Coming in third is a mid-sized garage door replacement with a 91.9% return. Rounding out the top five are the addition of a steel entry door and an upscale garage door replacement at 91.5% and 91.1% respectively.

As you can see from this list, cosmetic upgrades are important, however that seems to apply more to the idea of curb appeal than the inside of a home.

Whether you’re a professional in this industry or not, remodel projects always yield some sort of mess. Make sure to check out the Steelcoat® line of products before you jump into to any home improvement endeavor to help keep your workspace clean and protected!