Tag Archives: Hudson Valley

An Investment with Instant Dividends

While September has been relatively kind to us this year, with more days featuring open windows and balmy breezes than the need to curl up in a warm blanket, October is usually our warning call: Winter’s coming – and Malcarne Contracting’s ready to help you be prepared for future frosty weather.

Now is the time to check on your heating equipment, before waking up to ice on your lawn. It’s critical to maintain your heating system – to have it serviced regularly and change filters – to keep it running at its best. Wondering if your equipment needs a tune up? One call to Malcarne can have you ready to fight back when those glacial temperatures finally arrive.

Investing in something new

But what if a tune up’s not going to cut it this year?

This fall, you may find yourself in the place where your heating system is ready to call it quits, whether it’s at the end of its life or simply is costing you more to run than to replace. In this case, your old system may be doing you a favor: Malcarne Contracting can connect your home with equipment that costs you less to operate.

Bottom line? Your investment in a new heating system can actually pay for itself with the money you save in monthly heating costs. It’s a purchase that literally puts cash back in your pocket.

A financial opportunity – and more

It’s also a prospect that can affect more than just your home. Choosing to switch from a fossil-fuel-burning heating system to a cleaner earth-friendly system is also an investment in the health of our planet.

Yes, bottom line, stepping away from fossil fuels will save you money, but there’s also a bigger profit margin on this one. By choosing another heating option, we also get to be shareholders in the future of our planet. We’ve only got one – let’s not experiment with it too much.

It’s truly a win-win-win: We’re taking care of our resources, our futures and our wallets, all with one phone call to Malcarne.

Seasonal surplus specials

When you’re talking about a yield this good, there’s no time like the present to dive in. In fact, Malcarne’s offering seasonal specials for our customers to get you comfortable and prepared for what’s right around the corner. Curious about what it would mean for you to step away from fossil fuels? We’d love to walk you through the process to making your house cleaner and more energy efficient – and working harder to stack up the savings.

Before fall’s cold fingers wrap around your home – and have you reaching for blankets number two and three – give us a call.

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Reduce, then produce: Our revolutionary approach to solar energy

Let’s face it: More often than not, our New Year’s resolutions rarely make it to January 2nd. But, as anyone looking back on the craziness of the holiday season would likely agree, it’s best not to judge our productivity by what we accomplish during the craziest few weeks of the year, either.

At Malcarne Contracting, we know that home improvements such as solar energy may be at the top of your to-do list for 2017 – and that they also may seem more daunting than that promise to lose 10 pounds in the new year. That’s why we’ve resolved – and kept our vow – to help harness this type of power and put it within our customers’ reach with Malcarne Solar, a branch of our company completely devoted to this source of renewable energy.

If you look around in the Hudson Valley, it’s not uncommon to see solar panels popping up on different buildings – but you may be unsure of how or if they make sense for your home. That’s where we come in: This year, we want to share our vision for making solar energy work in your specific home.

At Malcarne, simply slapping a few panels on a roof doesn’t cut it. To save the most money and energy, we combine solar energy – at the lowest rate we’ve ever been able to offer – with energy reduction strategies. Our method is the opposite of one-size-fits-all: We’ve spent years coming up with the best approach to manage each home as a unique entity, finding out ways to cut costs before we even begin to go solar.

“Our approach is, if you’re in a boat that’s taking on water, do you get a bigger bucket to empty the water, or do you patch the holes?” says company president Joseph Malcarne. “Our concept is reduce, then produce.” This recipe means you’re using significantly less energy in your home, which therefore means saving money is even easier than tossing out that week-old fruitcake left by your Christmas company.

And we’ll sweeten the deal even further: We guarantee that we can provide the best value package for solar energy than anyone. In fact, we’ll match and beat whatever deal any other company offers. We’re confident that our offer will produce more energy-saving reduction per watt than anyone in the area.

For the past 10 New Year’s Days, Malcarne Contracting has made advances in solar power in the mid-Hudson Valley area, while we’ve been honing our skills in energy-efficiency work for 15 years. Plus, with two decades’ worth of construction experience under our belt, now’s the perfect time to make your dream of saving money – and energy – a reality in your home.

While newspaper columnist Earl Wilson probably resonates with most of us with the saying he quoted in January of 1972, “May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions,” we want to encourage those who are resolving to make your dwelling a more comfortable, well-oiled machine: With help, any resolution is possible.

When it comes to your house, don’t make another empty promise this year. Let Malcarne Contracting show you how saving with solar energy can go from resolution to reality.

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Air Ducts: What’s in the air you’re breathing?

This September and October has been kind to us, with its brisk, sunny mornings, warm, summer-like afternoons, and cool, clear nights. But if you’re like many New Yorkers, your allergy symptoms have not been so kind – and it may not be the weather outside that’s making them so frightful.

As fall firmly takes hold of the state, now is the perfect time to do a little “autumn cleaning” in a space of your home you may never actually have seen: your air ducts.

It’s not quite time to pull out that snowsuit yet, but the chill in the October air is a great reminder that winter is indeed just around the corner – and that means making sure your heating equipment is ready for plunging temperatures. The experts at Malcarne Contracting suggest twice-yearly inspections: one on your cooling system in the spring, and, in the fall, for your heating gear. When that first frigid night arrives, the last thing you want is to flick the switch to “heat” – and not have any warm, fuzzy feelings afterwards.

Have oil-fired equipment? Each year, it’s critical to give it a check-up, and have the nozzle and filter changed to keep it running safely and effectively. Other heating systems also should be serviced and cleaned – especially including any filters, which should also be changed every three to six months for them to truly do their job well.

And those HVAC filters are just a starting point: They connect to a maze of ducts throughout your home – through which flows all the air you breathe when your windows are shut tight against those chilly winter squalls. Your house may be holiday-party ready, but chances are your ductwork would scare you more than any neighborhood Halloween decorations: Caked-on dirt and dust, and mice and their droppings, are typical air-duct discoveries – especially in homes 20 years old or older.

Along with changing your filters, having your ducts cleaned regularly by a professional can ensure that your air is clean and safe all year long. Particularly for those with asthma or allergy issues, simply breathing in air that flowed from clean ducts, through new filters, can make a huge difference in their symptoms. Malcarne Contracting is proud to offer this peace-of-mind service to keep customers healthy and safe.

Outside, the season is changing, but, for your home, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Even though many homeowners may never peek inside their ductwork, keeping it professionally cleaned can be critical to the health and safety of the home. We’ve all said “so long” to summer: Is your heating system ready to welcome fall?

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Need home-project financing? Look no further than Malcarne.

In a few short weeks, we’ll trade beach bags for backpacks, and, soon after, flip flops for flannel. But while fall is looming on the horizon, that won’t stop this last summer month’s parade of picnics, pool parties, and other activities that help us get outside, relax and enjoy the sun.

And while we’re not letting the inevitable fall and back-to-school store displays keep us from our warm-weather fun, our question this summer is this: What’s keeping you from completing those home-renovation projects on your to-do list? If cost makes you wary, now may be the time to reconsider. With new financing opportunities, Malcarne Contracting can help bridge the monetary gap between you and your home-project goals.

Finding financing through Malcarne

Whether it’s upgrading to a central-air system, finding out more about solar energy, or finally adding a deck to the back yard, it’s not difficult to dig up ideas that could make you more comfortable and build equity in your house. The major challenge? Most often, it’s funding these projects effectively.

Now, however, there’s no need to look further than Malcarne Contracting – even for financing. Malcarne currently has partnered with several financial institutions to offer options for all your renovation needs, meaning Malcarne’s truly a one-stop shop, from planning out your idea to enjoying it in real time.

Renovations that pay you back

This summer’s string of 90-degree days (and the likelihood of frigid nights this winter) can put a dent in your wallet after running an A/C unit or central air 24-7. If you’re looking for a home project that will not only increase your home’s value, but will actually put money back into your pocket, it may be time to go solar. Energy-saving solar makeovers are still in high demand – and there’s no doubt Malcarne Contracting’s the best in the business.

First off, homes of all types – new construction or older, and those built to use electricity, natural gas, propane, oil or a combination – start with an energy retrofit, meaning properly insulating the house and getting high-efficiency appliances and lighting, and end with watching your energy bills go down significantly from those small changes. The next step involves additions such as solar walls, geothermal heating pumps and solar electric panels, which can garner all the energy a home needs to operate free from utility bills.

No energy bills and a comfortable home? That’s a “net-zero energy retrofit,” and, in the long run, it’s an upgrade that, by saving you from traditional energy bills, pays for itself.

Maintenance, the smart way

If you’re looking for other ways to add equity and still save big bucks, consider projects such as changing the shingles on your roof, or the siding on your home. Any projects involving asphalt, a petroleum product, are experiencing much lower-than-average costs, as oil prices are currently down. Once oil prices rise – and you can bet they will – these upgrades will also cut into a bigger chunk of your bank account. Have 10 years or less left on your shingles? Now’s the time to take advantage of what will likely cost much more next year.

And while cosmetic improvements such as siding won’t pay for itself like solar energy will, it’s a great way to add in both curb appeal and energy-saving insulation. And that means your heat and air conditioning stays inside, where you paid to have it.

No need to go anywhere else

Being a homeowner is a financial investment – more often than not, a worthwhile one that’s both a present and future asset. But it’s not without costs, either. Still, with new financing options through Malcarne Contracting, we can help you make smart upgrades and upkeep choices that will save you money.

Whether you’re pining for solar energy that can erase utility bills and pay you back in time, or needing routine but necessary maintenance items like a new roof, Malcarne has the home know-how and, now, the financing options to help complete the project.

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A new addition to the Malcarne Contracting family

This summer’s a great time to kick back, relax, and even to soak in the glory of past and present athletes as the latest summer Olympics gets underway in just a few weeks. But, like those world-class Olympians, Malcarne Contracting’s not one to rest on our laurels.

At Malcarne, our goal is simple: increase our prowess, so we can continue to serve you better. This month, we’re proud to announce our recent partnership with Comfort Tech Heating and Cooling – another leader in the home-care community.

For nearly 10 years, Comfort Tech’s repertoire has included providing Greene, Ulster and Dutchess Counties with heating and cooling services, in both the commercial and residential realms. With its expertise – the company services all makes and models of air conditioning and heating equipment – the business is a natural fit to join forces with Malcarne’s team of specialists.

As you’re watching the athletes in Brazil sweating it out this summer, it’s also the perfect opportunity to update your home’s cooling system – now backed by the knowledge and experience of both Malcarne Contracting and Comfort Tech. If you’ve been suffering through warm seasons with the uneven cooling and noise of window air-conditioning units – or your electric bill makes turning on your current A/C system worse than overheating when indoors – it’s easy to upgrade to a system that will keep your family and your wallet cool.

In fact, one of Comfort Tech’s specialties includes ductless air conditioning, a quiet, energy-efficient system that, as its name suggests, doesn’t require ductwork to keep a home cool and cozy. Instead, small, permanent wall fixtures (Say goodbye to lugging window units into or out of the house each season!) can make a whole house comfortable. Plus, they save energy, keeping your most-used rooms comfortable. Need more proof that ductless gets the gold? This easy-to-install system provides heat, too, in the winter months!

Like your current air conditioning system? We can help you love it, for the long-term. Preventative maintenance is the best way to keep it – and your budget – happy. Similar to other appliances in your home, if your air conditioning system and furnace aren’t properly cared for, you run the risk of them not working properly, or giving up before the season’s out.

At Malcarne, our goal is to go for the gold, every time, with every home and customer. Lucky for us, we’re part of a team that now includes Comfort Tech, too. And that means, whether it’s a new roof, an addition, energy-smart improvements, or a much-needed heating and cooling system upgrade, your home gets the win, every time.

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Worn-out roof? Now’s the time to replace it – for less!

You’ve bought extra charcoal, mowed the lawn, and are currently waiting for that garden to finally grow to fruition. It’s officially summer: Time to plan those vacations, and, this year, you may not even cringe as much as you fill up your car’s tank to prepare for a much-needed getaway.

But that good old gas tank may also provide the perfect opportunity to reflect on one of the most important pieces of your house: the roof.

Like that annual summer retreat is to our mental health, current lower-than-average gas prices have given our wallets a much-needed respite, and that’s means great news for anyone in the market for a new roof. Simply put, since roof shingles are mostly composed of asphalt, a petroleum product, they’re currently less expensive – making now the perfect time to upgrade. As oil prices shift, so do the cost of those all-important shingles.

The good news? Summer and its sunny, long days are finally here – and oil prices are down just in time to plan for a new roof, a project that’s a painless two- to three-day task, done right the first time by Malcarne professionals. The bad news? Yes, oil prices are down – but they’re also rising again: Just use your next few car fill-ups as your barometer. But that means there’s no better time than now to cross this project off your list, and to save that spending money for your next long weekend away.

Curious as to how much time you have left with what’s currently overhead? Three-tab shingles are rated for 15 to 25 years, while architectural shingles last about 30-50 years. If you’ve got 10 years or less left on either, now’s the perfect time to call in Malcarne’s experts. And while a leaky roof is a definite sign to trade old shingles for new ones, kick the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” adage to the curb: The ideal time to replace a roof is when it’s not broken – not when you have a puddle in your living room.

While there, Malcarne professionals can also make your home more energy-efficient, adding insulation, sealing out the weather, and keeping your heat or air conditioning from escaping your home year-round. Plus, it’s easy to add style and design with shingles’ array of shades and colors – it’s an automatic curb-appeal facelift for your home.

Whether your roof is currently leaking, drafty or needing some love, or you’ve got a decade left on its 30-year lifetime, there’s no better time than now to take the plunge on this all-important project. It’s a guarantee that oil – and shingle – prices will rise in the next several years, meaning, like perfect summer weather, low costs for roofing materials will also be taking a vacation before we know it.

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Adding luxury – and equity – to your bathroom

For nearly every kid under the age of ten (and probably many teenage boys) a conversation revolving around the bathroom is likely met with a stern, “Let’s keep that kind of talk to a minimum.” But if you’ve ever tried to sell a house, or are shopping for one, “bathroom” just may be the most important word in your vocabulary.

Ask any home expert: Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses, regardless of the number of bedrooms, the size of the backyard, or even a home’s square footage. And for Malcarne Contracting, this past year pointed straight to the all-important restroom: Our most-requested work order was to overhaul our customers’ baths. In fact, even at the Hudson Valley’s most recent home show, the loo also tied with kitchens for first-place among homeowners as the most popular place to revamp – after all, everyone’s got to use it.

Thankfully, Malcarne’s experience allows you to get more than just a pretty privy. If an update’s on your to-do list, refreshing your bathroom may be as simple as installing new fixtures like a soothing rain showerhead or that trendy glass vessel sink. If your commode is stuck in the ’70s thanks to floral printed tile, boasts a leaky shower, or is – gasp! – carpeted, it may be time for a complete overhaul. A full gut allows you to choose a better layout for your bathroom, to install floor-to-ceiling tile in the shower, or to finally expand your formerly crowded vanity from one to two sinks.

And while a day at a pricy spa may be a splurge that’s just not worth busting the budget for, many homeowners get the same look and feel in their own homes – and they get to have it every day with a chic master bathroom. Malcarne can trade out that boring bathtub for the claw-foot or deep, jetted variety, give you more storage in your vanity, or even add a chandelier or frameless glass shower doors for both elegance and function.

Still, your lavatory may feel more like a latrine thanks to a small footprint – or perhaps your home lacks a master bathroom altogether. Investing in this addition adds serious home value, and Malcarne has the options and know-how to make it a reality. Whether it’s by expanding your home’s current walls, combining the current bath with a close-by closet, or even transforming a small bedroom into a bath, putting effort into an ensuite not only adds luxury, but equity as well.

Whether you’re hoping to move on to a new address or want to make your current one more comfortable, upgrading your bathrooms – from refreshing the look to a complete gut or even to an expansion of the room itself – makes both dollars and sense every time.

And that’s “potty talk” even Mom would approve of.

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Plan for home projects and renovations – and for spring – now!

For once, that silly groundhog was right.

When good old Punxsutawney Phil made his appearance back at the beginning of February, the majority of his followers likely laughed at the prospect of an early spring. But here we are in March, with Easter, gardening and vacations right around the corner, and Old Man Winter really didn’t put up much of a fuss this year.

And now that his reign is just weeks away from officially ending, it’s the perfect time to plan for those big home projects – maybe an addition, a deck perfect for outdoor entertaining, a kitchen renovation, or other major remodeling – that require a length of snow-free weather to complete.

 Also, spring’s a great time to take a home inventory: Maybe you noticed the drafts leaking in through your basement or windows. Or, you’ve decided to make those eco-friendly, energy-smart upgrades to your home, such as solar heating, after your utility bills were through the roof, even during a mild season.

If you’re considering a revamp such as these, planning time is crucial: It takes up to two to three months to meet with the experts at Malcarne, to get a game plan in place, and to put your ideas and home needs on paper. In addition, there’s often building permits to consider, which also can take time to obtain – and all of this is before the project even starts in your house.

If you’re hoping for that ensuite bathroom so you don’t have to share with the in-laws during their annual fall visit, or want to cook out on a new deck this Fourth of July, don’t let another lukewarm winter day pass by: Now’s the time to get that project in the works. Getting the ball in motion now means your house can blossom into your dream home this year, instead of waiting until spring rolls around yet again.

Sure, the winter of 2015-2016 didn’t leave the Hudson Valley rattled with Nor’easters this time – but don’t expect that to be the rule: Next year isn’t likely to do us the same favor. So rather than ignore these mild, well-above-freezing days, maybe they’re just the perfect reminder to focus on that season that inspires us to clean, turn over a new leaf, and to plan those home projects that have been wishful thinking for so long – just like a favorable prediction from fluffy old Phil.

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Get your Home Ready for the next Power Outage!

You’ve planned all year long: Your tablescape is a perfect combination of golds, reds and oranges, straight off the pages of HGTV Magazine. Your turkey, in the oven since the crack of dawn, would make Martha Stewart jealous. You’ve got two dozen of your closest friends and family on their way in a few short hours. And, thanks to a storm, your power just went out.

Sure, it sounds like an evening-before-Thanksgiving-Day nightmare, but especially if you’re living outside the city, power outages can hit pretty regularly, and for a longer period of time at least once a year. And it’s hard to forget last Thanksgiving’s major power failure in Dutchess County, thanks to the area’s first nor’easter of the year, which left thousands without electricity – and on the big feasting day itself!

That’s when it helps to call in the reinforcements, care of a back-up generator installed by Malcarne Contracting. Think of it as insurance: You may only need it sporadically, but, when you do, you’re not sure how you would have made it otherwise.

Whether it’s the biggest feasting day of the year or a typical cold Hudson Valley winter evening, what do you do when there’s a power failure? If you rewind time just a few short decades, a power failure may have been just a minor inconvenience. But with today’s high-tech toys and gadgets – all needing to be charged all at once, at the most inopportune time, of course – the need to work from home, and chest freezers full of stocked-up necessities, it can be a crisis. Plus, add in the fact that you need to keep the house from plummeting to the same temperature as that chest freezer.

A back-up generator means there’s always sunshine, regardless of the weather. Malcarne can offer several options, including the standard portable generator unit that can be stored in a garage and taken out, turned on manually, and used when the need arises. With this kind of unit, it’s important to remember that it must be maintained and operated regularly, and the gas drained and refilled, to keep it functioning well, or it may not work correctly – or at all.

Your best bet? A whole-house backup generator. Set up with an ATS – an automatic transfer switch – this type of generator needs no upkeep or fuss. After the power goes out, there’s a 10-second lapse before the ATS turns on the generator, restoring power and peace-of-mind to your family’s home. Running on propane, a whole-house generator can have a storage capacity of up to a week.

Best of all, when the power returns, it automatically switches off after two minutes – meaning life as you know it never has to miss a beat. Malcarne fits the generator to your house’s size, and can install it quickly – before those nor’easters start rearing their ugly heads.

All in all, it’s a minor change that will mean a major difference, whether you’re hosting a holiday or need to keep your house running status quo regardless of what the weather guys say. And that’s certainly one more thing to give thanks for this year.

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