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    How to create secure access codes for Schlage smart locks.

    September 19, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, September 19, 2019

    Create secure access codes for smart locks | Schlage

    There’s more to high-quality locks than just a strong deadbolt latch. We’re sharing these tips for how to create secure access codes for smart locks.

     

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    There’s more to high-quality locks than just a strong deadbolt latch. That’s why we always encourage you to make sure your door jamb is structurally sound. It’s why Schlage smart locks feature fingerprint-resistant buttons that won’t show wear. And it’s why we’re sharing these tips for how to create secure access codes for smart locks.

    Don’t try this at home

    Steer clear of these codes. They’re easily guessed by potential intruders, so no matter how strong your lock is, your home won’t be as secure as it could be.
     

    • Don’t use your own birthday or anniversary.

    • Don’t use your house number.

    • Don’t use your own phone number.*

    • Don’t use 1-2-3-4. It’s the most common four-digit code out there.
       

    * You might use a phone number if you’re a rental property manager and assign user codes to guests. In this case, we recommend using the visitor’s last four digits of their phone number for their code. The code will change frequently, depending on who’s visiting, so there’s less risk than using your own digits.

    Nurse entering code on Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt

    Do program smart codes

    Now that we know what not to do, try these tips for creating a strong user code.
     

    • Spell a “numeric” word. Think back to the early days of texting when you had to punch the 2 three times to cycle around to the letter C. Maybe you choose 4663 (“HOME”) or 7246 (“RAIN”).

    • Use phone numbers you dial frequently but aren’t unique to you, like the one for your favorite pizza shop.

    • Choose the longest code possible. Some Schlage locks accept codes from four to eight digits long. Visit our How-To Center to learn how to change the code length.

    • Use a close friend’s birthday.

    Track your codes the smart way

    Especially if you create multiple access codes, you might need a way to remember what code belongs to whom.
     

    • If you have the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt or Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt, you can use the Schlage® Home app to track access codes. Visit the Access Code screen by tapping the people icon at the bottom of the home screen, then tap the name of the person whose code you need to look up. You can then change or delete codes as necessary from there.

    • Use a free online note-taking tool like Evernote that you can access from your phone or personal computer when you log in to your account. Try not to be too obvious when noting what the codes refer to, just in case in there are prying eyes.

    • Hide a user code in your phone’s directory. For example, you could create an entry for your housekeeper and hide their code within what looks to be a phone number. If the user code is 0649, you could list the phone number as (525) 406-4921. Make sure your phone is passcode protected for even more security in case of loss or theft.
    Housekeeper using Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt;

    Change Schlage smart lock user codes

    If you’re realizing that your code isn’t as strong as it could be, use the links below to learn how to change your Schlage smart lock access codes.
     

    Finally, if you think one of your access codes has been compromised but aren’t sure which one, you can complete a factory default reset. This will wipe the memory of all existing codes and you can begin from scratch, assigning new codes you know to be secure. Check out our How-To Center for instructions.

     

    Visit Schlage.com to learn more about products that can help keep your family safe. Or check out our blog for more helpful tips to get the most out of your home security.

     

    Modern comfort: Soft industrial style you’ll actually want to live in.

    September 16, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Monday, September 16, 2019

    Soft industrial style | Schlage

    Some designs are perfect in theory but don’t seem to fit real life. Industrial modern design might be one of those styles. There’s a solution for this, and it’s called soft industrial décor.

     

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    We’ve all done it. We look at pictures of other people’s homes and think, “That’s gorgeous … but has anyone ever actually cooked in that kitchen?” Some designs are perfect in theory but don’t seem to fit real life. Industrial modern design might be one of those styles. Concrete floors look chic but are cold on your feet, sharp furniture corners are a safety hazard for your toddling little one and you crave a bit more warmth. There’s a solution for this, and it’s called soft industrial décor.
    Soft industrial style inspiration

    What is soft industrial décor?

    Take everything you know about industrial modern and take the edge off. Iconic elements of industrial modern like steel bookcases are softened by replacing the shelf itself with wood while keeping the metal frame. Concrete floors get area rugs. Walls that would otherwise be bare or of exposed brick feature art work to ease away from industrial modern’s minimalist vibe and add color and personalization.

     

    In other words, instead of a house constructed of exposed, weathered, factory-inspired elements, soft industrialism strives for a more lived-in look. Haven describes it as “breezy.” Super Hit Ideas uses “earthy” and “ergonomic” to differentiate it from its style cousin. And Mormon Momma calls it “comfortable” and “warm” rather than antiseptic.

    How do I create it in my house?

    You don’t have to start with industrial to achieve soft industrial. Mormon Momma suggests creating that comforting (some might say feminine) room as your foundation, and then add your favorite industrial furniture and accessories from there.

     

    Pair hard objects with soft, says interior stylist Tina Hellberg. Taken literally, that could be a steel-framed bed with a luxurious comforter. Or more figuratively, dark concrete countertops with soft-hued shiplap walls. Mixing and matching materials – steel, wood, subway tile, fabrics, glass – allows you to play with textures so that your design remains industrial without looking like a converted factory.

    If the exterior of your home is contemporary, as is the case with this home spotlighted by Remodelista, carry that style indoors to maintain cohesiveness. Then alter it to your softer tastes by adding individual touches like artwork with personal significance, a favorite throw for the sleek-lined couch or your book collection on industrial-style shelving.
    Because much of industrial design is based in minimalism, neutral colors are still key. For soft industrial, look for grays with a homier blue undertone. Or gravitate toward earthy neutrals in the brown family. Aim for the lighter and airier end of the spectrum.

    What does it really look like?

    It’s time to get specific. Try incorporating these elements in your soft industrial home.
     

    • Flowing curtains, why so many describe soft industrial design as breezy, can take the edge off a décor filled with hard lines like a concrete countertop. The same goes for bedding, pillows and other fabrics. To keep styles from clashing, stick to neutral tones and avoid patterns. Remember the simplicity of minimalism.
    • Choose artwork with fluid or wavy lines, either in the paint or sculpturally. The goal is to pull away from the precise and straight.

    • Flowers and other plants can make a home feel more lived in, something that many find lacking in typical industrial modern. Your plants’ colors can also help soften the overall look of the room.

    • When choosing furniture, think about fabrics in lighter colors. A light gray, especially if it mimics the color of your walls, can help maintain the monochromatic scheme important to industrial style, but it keeps the room from feeling heavy.

    • How do you soften a bathroom, which is already filled with metal finishes and cold tile? Remember the importance of soft lines and choose bathtubs or sinks with curves. You can also lay tilework with an artistic flair that contrasts with – and tones down – the modern industrial pieces you do have.

    What about those doors?

    We wouldn’t be Schlage if we didn’t give some advice about entryway décor and interior door hardware. For your home’s exterior, a smart lock like the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt offers superior security and, in the Century trim in Matte Black finish, makes a perfect match for homes with modern architecture.

     

    Handlesets are another popular option when upgrading locks for your front door. Maintain the contemporary feel with a Schlage Century handleset. Or for that softer look, the Schlage Greenwich handleset might be the fit for you.

    Inside, many modern industrial spaces have open floor plans, mimicking factory layouts. That openness – and lack of privacy – can cause some people to feel uneasy. Sliding doors are a good option to add that privacy, and when installed with the right hardware, keep with the industrial vibe.

    Regardless of the type of door you have – pocket, sliding, traditional – choosing the right style and finish for your door hardware can go a long way toward achieving your desired level of industrial. You have two possible routes: make your door hardware a true modern industrial element or use it to help tone down the extreme feel. The Schlage Broadway lever or Bowery knob with the Collins trim or the Schlage Northbrook lever with the Upland trim capture a more modern look.

     

    For the soft industrial look, try the Schlage Sacramento lever with Collins trim for a taste of wavy curves.

    With each of these pairings, you can’t go wrong with a Matte Black, Satin Chrome, Satin Nickel or even Polished Nickel finish . These typically fall on the modern end of the finish spectrum because of how they complement neutral-colored and minimalist spaces. Depending on the rest of your décor, they have the ability to stand out and make a statement, or to blend seamlessly to let other elements really shine.

     

    No matter how much you commit to industrial style in your home, whether you lean closer to the modern or the soft, the important thing is that you make it your own. Have fun mixing and matching the elements that capture your unique style.

     

    Follow us on social media and explore more soft industrial style on Pinterest or Instagram. And don’t forget to share photos of your own design projects with us.

     

    12 vacation rental safety tips for your home’s exterior.

    September 13, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, September 13, 2019

    Vacation rental safety tips | Schlage

    Security for vacation rentals – it helps you protect your investment and it makes guests happier. Here are 12 upgrades you can make outside your vacation rental to make it more secure.

     

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    Security for vacation rentals – it helps you protect your investment and it makes guests happier. Happy guests means positive reviews. Positive reviews means more bookings. And more bookings means more money. We think those are pretty good reasons to invest in safety measures for your rental property. Here are 12 upgrades you can make outside your vacation rental to make it more secure.

    Start planting

    Everyone loves landscaping that is gorgeous and green. But did you know plants also play a key role in security?
     

    • Trim your trees and bushes to prevent falling limbs from damaging the house during a storm and limit hiding places for potential intruders.

    • Steer clear of plants that could be toxic or prickly, especially if you offer a family- or pet-friendly accommodations.

    • Incorporate outdoor lighting along walkways. It highlights the most beautiful parts of the yard as well as helps people safely find their way in the evenings.

    Curb appeal still counts

    Paying attention to the front entryway of your vacation rental is vital. It needs to look good – think about the attractive photos on Airbnb and VRBO – and be secure.
     

    • Install a Schlage smart lock. Your guests get keyless convenience. Think about the easy check-in and no hassle of carrying or losing keys. You also enjoy major convenience by being able to create and manage multiple user codes for visitors, monitor access history and check that the deadbolt is locked from anywhere, even if your guests have left. Use our Get Help Deciding Tool to determine which Schlage smart lock is right for you.

    • Replace your door with a solid wood or steel option that is more resistant to break-in attempts than some other, weaker materials. Also make sure the door frame is still strong and not warped or cracked, which can keep even the strongest deadbolt from being effective.

    • Pair your strong door and smart lock with exterior cameras or video doorbells to easily monitor activity around your entryway. The Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt is compatible with the Ring Video Doorbell when you set up your lock with the Key by Amazon app, allowing you to see who is at the door before granting guest access, all from your smartphone.

    • Sliding patio doors, because they don’t have traditional deadbolts and usually aren’t visible from the street, tend to be easy targets for potential thieves. But you can secure them more effectively simply by installing a security bar or even just a wooden rod in the tracks. These small details go a long way toward putting guests at ease, says Evolve Vacation Rental. “If the back door doesn’t lock securely, they’re going to spend their vacation worrying about it – and that’s not the experience you want to provide them."

    • Make sure all windows, even those not on the first floor have working locks.

    Practical upkeep is key

    There’s a lot to maintain outdoors, especially if you have the kind of rental property that encourages gathering on the patio or around a pool. There are lots of low-maintenance curb appeal hacks , but you still want to be diligent in your upkeep.
     

    • Decks need to be ready for bare feet. Repair loose boards or nails. Bonus tip: If you’re installing or replacing a deck, check out these suggestions from Family Handyman for low-maintenance decking materials that don’t need regular staining and won’t splinter.

    • Make sure any railings around the patio and stairs are secure, not just for helping people up and down the steps, but also to keep kids from taking a tumble over a ledge. You might also consider the spacing of railing posts so that kids don’t get their heads stuck while peeking through.

    • Maintain walkways to avoid cracks and uneven footing that could cause a guest to stumble. A well-maintained walkway, driveway and pavers look beautiful and function even better.

    • Don’t forget the fencing and cover for your pool and hot tub. Be sure to check your local regulations about pool fencing.

    It might be tempting to skimp on security for a rental property if you aren’t living there. But not giving it its due can have negative consequences on your house-sharing business and your peace of mind. By investing in high-quality locks and making sure all exterior areas of the house are well-maintained, you’re taking an important step toward happy guests and healthy profits. Share your rental security tips with us on Facebook and Twitter.

     

    Did you know? Door knobs through history.

    September 11, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, September 12, 2019

    History of door knobs | Schlage

    Today we have smart locks. Back then we had animal pelts. Whether or not you’ve ever wondered about the history of door knobs, their origin is more interesting than you might think.

     

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    Today we have smart locks. Back then we had animal pelts. Whether or not you’ve ever wondered about the history of door knobs, their origin is more interesting than you might think.

    Collection of old door knobs.

    When not even the nobles had knobs

    Schlage door knobs, levers and deadbolts today are all about superior style, security and innovation. But the earliest door hardware certainly wouldn’t be described as stylish, secure or innovative today. Dating back to ancient Egyptians about 5,000 years ago, people used animal hides and other textiles to serve as doors. Knobs obviously weren’t required in those instances, and it takes a surprisingly long time before they do become commonplace in homes. In the Middle Ages, families lived in one big room, making doors, and privacy, virtually nonexistent. To secure buildings and belongings, beams barricaded external wooden doors.

     

    In the late 1500s and beyond, we start seeing individual rooms, but only in palaces and the most stately homes. For example, when Louis XIV reigned France and built the Palace of Versailles, highly decorative and delicate door knobs were created both for the king and his courtiers. The purpose was more about displaying and opulence than achieving security, however.

     

    As individual rooms became common in more modest homes, a seemingly unusual trend began to develop – doors had locks but no handles. For people who could afford it, it was a metal lock and key somewhat similar to today. The poor, however, used a latch-string, a strap of leather threaded through a small hole in the door that could be used to lift and lower a wooden bar.

    Advancement through American innovation

    Door knobs and other door hardware finally became increasingly prevalent after the American Revolution when the United States began producing its own finished goods rather than importing many of those items from England. As American manufacturing developed and the Industrial Revolution picked up steam, so did homegrown innovation. (It didn’t hurt that doors became thicker to accommodate latches. Early Colonial homes typically had doors a mere 1/4 inch thick.) From 1830 to 1873, more than 100 U.S. patents were granted for door knobs.

     

    The earliest door knobs were made from a variety of materials and not all of them functioned with just a simple turn. From the start, pressed- and cut-glass door knobs were popular. China or ceramic knobs were mainly imported from France and England until the first U.S. patent was granted for making door knobs out of potter’s clay, and cast-metal knobs were introduced around 1846.

     

    Wooden knobs were common but were phased out as composite metal knobs were introduced. The main body of these new metal door knobs was made out of iron or steel and covered entirely or in part with a veneer of bronze or brass.

     

    Finally, decorative door hardware, including knobs, emerged after the Centennial Exposition of 1876 during the Victorian era. This was a time when ornate architecture was seeing a revival and so hardware was relied on for its functionality as well as its decorative potential.

     

    Speaking of functionality, the door knob has come a long way. As you can see in The Story Behind Von Duprin, a brand of Allegion, which is the parent company of Schlage, some early knobs were so complex that users required special training to know how to operate them. It’s clearly a far cry from some of today’s smart locks that need only a simple “Alexa, unlock the door” voice command, and evidence of how far we’ve come in making buildings and people safer through innovation.

    Updated style and security rooted in tradition

    Thankfully we have never reverted to the difficult-to-use hardware of the Iroquois Theatre, and innovation continues to be one of Schlage’s hallmarks. Our founder, Walter Schlage, patented a door lock that turned lights on and off in 1909. Since 1920, Schlage has been a major player in manufacturing quality door knobs and locks, continuously advancing door security.

     

    Schlage door locks are manufactured in zinc, stainless steel and brass, and are available in a variety of styles and finishes, many of which are reminiscent of some of those earliest efforts. You can see where the Schlage® Siena door knob has its roots in the first cast-metal knobs, particularly when it’s in an Aged Bronze finish. And the decadence of Victorian and Art Deco architecture not only continues to live strong in older homes but is enjoying a recent resurgence among renovations as well. The popularity of glass door knobs like Schlage® Alexandria and Hobson are shining examples of updated classics for today’s homeowners.

     

    Continuing a long history of door security, Schlage offers the best in quality materials and workmanship as well as styles to fit every décor from nearly any era (sorry, no animal hides, though). What will we come up with next? Only the future will tell.

     

    View the glass Schlage Alexandria and Hobson knobs, as well as our other styles, at Schlage.com.

     

    Avoid common home security mistakes with this checklist.

    September 10, 2019 9:15 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, September 10, 2019

     Avoid common home security mistakes with this checklist | Schlage

    Home security systems can protect your home. However, human error often undermines these practices.

     

     

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    Home security systems can protect your home. However, human error often undermines these practices. Here are a few common home security mistakes to avoid.
    Schlage Custom 3/4 trim on front door.

    checkbox Choose quality

    If you’re going to rely on a lock to protect your home and family, you want to invest in one with high quality. Schlage offers both mechanical and smart locks rated best in Security, Durability and Finish by independent experts, so you know you’re getting the best the industry has to offer.

    checkbox Repair or replace what’s broken

    It’s also a good idea not to delay replacing anything that’s broken or worn out. In addition to your locks, make sure your doors are made of quality material – metal and wood are stronger than hollow options – and that the door jamb is not warped or cracked. Make sure windows are not broken, and address any frames that might need to be resealed. Don’t forget fences and gates, either. Replace broken slats or latches.

    checkbox Use what you have

    Nearly one-third of break-ins in the U.S. happen due to unlocked entrances. Burglars use the front or rear doors most often, while the garage door is the next easiest way to break into a house. No matter what kind of lock you have on your home and regardless of where it is – front door, back door, garage, windows – if you don’t use it, it can’t protect your belongings or your family. Once you’ve installed high-quality locks, be sure to use them every day.

    Schlage house key.

    checkbox Hide spares wisely

    Burglars know to check places such as a lawn ornament, rock or chair. Even first-timers know to check under the doormat. If for some reason you need to leave a key outside for an emergency, hide it in a way that’s not obvious.

    checkbox Opt for smart locks

    Ditch the key altogether by opting for a Schlage smart lock, which lets you create and manage multiple user access codes. When you can gain access to your home through the touchscreen or with your phone, you’ll never need to hide or track down a spare key again. Not sure which smart lock is right for you? Try our Get Help Deciding Tool.

    checkbox Turn on technology

    Technology can be a great advantage when keeping your home safe. If you have an alarm system, make sure its settings are appropriate for your lifestyle and that you’re actually turning it on.

    Woman entering user code on Schlage Touch Keyless Touchscreen Deadbolt.

    checkbox Create strong user codes

    If you have smart lock, choose user codes that can’t be easily guessed. Just like when choosing a password for your bank account or laptop, avoid birthdays, anniversaries and your own house number.

    checkbox Automate lighting

    If lights are off inside and outside your home, it lets everyone know you’re away. Add automated lighting inside so lights come on even if you’re not around. Also, be sure to add motion sensor lights outside your home. It will help your electric bill as well as deter any would-be burglars approaching your home. Timers are also a good option, inside and out. You can set them to be on from dusk until dawn when extra illumination is needed.

    checkbox Keep vacation hush-hush

    Stay quiet on social media. Don’t post pictures of your toes in the sand with an ocean in the background. It’s too obvious that you aren’t home and likely won’t be for some time. If you want to be extra sneaky, you can always post fake updates. Instead of photos of gorgeous mountain views, think: Another day at the office #monday :(

     

    With mechanical locks, smart deadbolts and tons of tips, Schlage can help you secure your home and prepare for a variety of situations. Visit Schlage.com to learn more about our security solutions, or find more ideas on our blog.

     

    Green home improvement that’s easy on the eyes, environment and wallet.

    September 5, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, September 5, 2019

    Green home ideas | Schlage

    These eight green suggestions are not only kind to the environment, but they can also help enhance your home’s style and save you money.

     

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    Going eco-friendly is a win, no matter how you look at it. These eight green suggestions are not only kind to the environment, but they can also help enhance your home’s style and save you money without a major investment in time or funds.
    Mid-century modern living room with Schlage Custom door handle.

    Solar-powered lights

    If giant solar panels aren’t in the budget, you can still let the sun – the ultimate renewable energy source – power your walkway lighting. Outdoor lighting like this has added security benefits as well. A well-lit home is less of a target for intruders.

    Butterfly- and bee-friendly plants

    “Bee” kind to the environment. Pay attention to native plant species that bees and butterflies love when planting your garden. Because these insects are attracted by brighter colors, their favorite flowers make a striking addition to your yard while also playing an important role in restoring the ecosystem.

    Shade trees

    Your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard if your house isn’t taking a direct hit from the sun. Strategically placed shade trees can help keep your home cooler with less energy and less expense. Make sure you choose trees native to your area.

    Houseplants

    Houseplants are the epitome of natural home décor. Ferns and palms help purify the air, making them a win-win in the eco-friendly and style categories.

    Upcycled touches

    Can you reuse your own belongings or give new life to someone else’s? It’s a great way to show off your DIY skills and add some vintage touches to your home, regardless of whether your style is ultra-modern or classically traditional.

     

    Curbly.com has some DIY projects to get your home headed toward zero waste. We especially like creating a rain barrel for your garden, turning a bookshelf into a kitchen island and transforming empty food jars into storage containers. And speaking of storage …

    Good food storage

    When you have a good storage system, you know what you own and can use it wisely. This goes for anything – clothes, toys, crafting supplies – but it’s especially important for food. Food waste puts a huge strain on the environment. Did you know that an estimated 25% of all freshwater in the U.S. is used to produce food that is thrown away? When you can easily see what’s in your kitchen, you’re more likely to use it before it goes bad, so you’ll waste less produce and save more money.

    Smart homes

    Energy-efficient appliances – refrigerators, and other kitchen appliances, washers and dryers, water heaters – are a must if you want to make a big impact on the environment. How you manage those appliances as well as your HVAC system, lights and thermostats is equally important. When upgrading your home to be more eco-friendly, consider going smart. Choose a programmable thermostat for smart heating and cooling, easily control your lights with smart plugs and, because we’re Schlage, create the ultimate smart home automation system with smart locks for your door.

    Sustainable materials

    If you’re doing a bigger remodeling project, or even if you’re simply replacing furniture, be sure to choose sustainable materials. Look for wood that is FSC-certified and sustainably sourced for flooring, furniture and more. Also think about recycled glass and ceramic make for uniquely beautiful backsplashes, tabletops or other accents.

     

    How do you do your part for the environment? Share your eco-friendly décor solutions with us on Facebook or Instagram.

     

    Household items you can clean with just soap and water.

    September 3, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, September 3, 2019

    Household items you can clean with just soap and water | Schlage

    Here’s how you can clean your Schlage locks – and some other common household items – with just a bit of soap and water.

     

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    At Schlage, we like simple. That goes for everything we use daily in our homes, including locks. We aim for simplicity when we’re installing new technology, enhancing curb appeal or cleaning those hard-to-get spots in the kitchen we’d rather not even think about. So that’s why we love how easy it is to maintain the look and function of our locks. Here’s how you can clean your Schlage locks – and some other common household items – with just a bit of soap and water.

    Smart lock touchscreen

    All you need to install your smart lock is a screwdriver, and all you need to clean it is a bit of mild soap, such as a dishwashing liquid, and warm water. Use the mixture to rinse the touchscreen, then wipe it down with a damp, lukewarm cloth to remove any soap. We told you it was simple.

     

    Find more tips on cleaning your smart lock and earn which materials to avoid so you can keep your deadbolt in beautiful working order here.

    Deadbolts

    You can also use a mild dish soap and warm water to remote dirt and grime from the bolt of your deadbolt, whether you have a smart lock or a mechanical lock. This can help if your deadbolt is sticking or beginning to slow down.

    Marble countertops

    It’s tempting to use heavy duty cleaner on marble countertops given that they tend to be in germ-infested bathrooms or food-splattered kitchens. But to keep them looking great, it’s best to stick with simple soap and water. Acidic cleaners can leave etchings in the marble, causing them to lose their smoothness and shine. Check out Forbes’ detailed tips for cleaning your marble countertops and tile.

    Stainless steel appliances

    There are lots of ways to remove all those fingerprints and smudges on stainless steel appliances. One is a basic mixture of soap and water, followed by baby oil. Visit HGTV.com for more instructions and suggestions to get your stainless steel shining like new.

    Windows

    If you’re relying solely on glass cleaner to shine your windows, you’re missing out. When windows get especially grimy, start with a mixture of water and dishwashing liquid. Rinse away the suds. Then, if needed, break out the glass cleaner for extra gleam.

    Patio furniture

    Dishwashing liquid for your deck chairs? Absolutely! Scrub plastic or metal patio furniture with a nylon pad, soap and water, then hose it all down when you’re finished. Check out more sudsy outdoor cleaning suggestions from here.

    Carpet stains

    For those pesky stains that just won’t come out of the rug, it’s dishwashing liquid to the rescue again. The Spruce suggests one tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap added to two cups of warm water. Dab the stubborn spot with a clean towel moistened with your mixture, and repeat as often as necessary until the stain comes out.

     

    Do you have other quick and easy ways for removing dirt in your home? Share your cleaning and curb appeal tips with us on Facebook or Instagram.

     

    Kids moved out? 5 ways to update your empty nest.

    August 30, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, August 30, 2019

    Empty nest renovation ideas | Schlage

    For the first time in decades, you have the house to yourself! How can you turn your home into the retreat of your dreams when your children move out?

     

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    For the first time in decades, you have the house to yourself! How can you turn your home into the retreat of your dreams when your children move out? Here are five empty nest renovation ideas for after the kids fly the coop.
    Empty nest couple standing in front of home.

    1. Get your home in working order

    It’s not the glamorous part of remodeling, but you’ll be glad you did it. Before tackling cosmetic and style decisions, make sure your home is in perfect working order. Fix any foundational issues, take care of whatever’s causing the basement to be perpetually damp, replace weak or warped door frames, repave the driveway. If these projects still aren’t appealing to you, think about how they’ll improve the resale value of your home down the road.

    2. Plan for the future

    Whether you plan to stay in your home another five years or hope to age in place for decades to come, tackle your remodeling projects with that in mind. If your goals are more short-term, consider projects that improve your home’s value. If you’re aging in place, think how your renovations can make life easier when mobility and health will be a greater challenge. Walk-in showers instead of bathtubs, improved lighting and easy-to-grasp levers are great options.

    Empty nest couple sitting at laptop planning renovations.

    3. Right-size

    You always hear about people downsizing – moving into smaller homes or apartments – when their kids leave the house. But maybe you want more space. Upsize if you plan to have the grandkids stay with you more often, need to accommodate your out-of-town adult children during visits or want to entertain more often. It’s all about making your home, whatever its size, work for the kind of lifestyle you want in this new phase of life.

    4. Change a room

    The kids are gone, so you change their bedroom into a guest room. Or a craft room. What about thinking a bit more creatively? Take a cue from The Spruce and create the walk-in closet of your dreams, complete with a washer and dryer, or a small vanity.

     

    Plant an indoor garden. It’s an unusual option, we know. Go for potted herbs and flowers that would you normally grow inside anyway, ferns or other greenery you can hang from the ceiling. A vertical garden or living wall is unexpected, beautiful and environmentally friendly.

     

    And if you’re looking for something even more dramatic, don’t be afraid to get rid of that bedroom entirely, like we see on Houzz.com. Give yourself a bigger living room by knocking out a few walls and designing the perfect entertainment space. Whatever that new space becomes, it should be something that helps you connect to your interests and keeps you feeling excited about your new lifestyle.

    Empty nest couple sitting on back deck with dog.

    5. Get outside

    Gone are the days of treehouses and playsets. Improve your curb appeal or give yourself the backyard you’ve been wanting. NextAvenue.org suggests adding a garden – no stray balls to flatten the flowers – or a water feature like a pond or fountain, replacing or installing paved walkways, and building a deck or screened-in porch. Without kids’ busy schedules to contend with, you’ve got time to sit back and relax in your garden oasis.

     

    We also think this is a prime opportunity to upgrade your front door. Give it a new coat of paint and replace the door hardware to something that is both secure and as stylish as your updated home. Smart locks, like the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt, provide lots of aging-in-place benefits as well, such as remote access and guest codes so that trusted family can check on you and your home, even if you can’t get to the door.

     

    Empty nest doesn’t mean boring home. Visit Schlage.com or find us on Pinterest for tips and inspiration to update your home at any stage of life.

     

    Want more bookings? Try making your vacation rental safer.

    August 22, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, August 22, 2019

    Vacation rental safety tips | Schlage

    Try these 14 tips for making the interior of your vacation rental safe for everyone.

     

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    Everyone wants a secure vacation rental. As the property manager, you need to know that your investment is well-protected, and visitors need to be confident that they and their belongings will be safe. When your guests are happy, they come back and they leave good reviews. Those positive reviews can turn into more bookings and more income for you. If that sounds good, try these 14 tips for making the interior of your vacation rental safe for everyone.

    Take care of the basics

    Copy the safety measures you already take in your own home.
     

    • Working smoke detectors should be installed in every bedroom, common areas and anywhere else local regulations require them. Remember to check and replace the batteries on a regular basis.

    • Carbon monoxide detectors are also recommended by most house-sharing services and, in some cases, are required by local regulations. Like smoke alarms, make sure the batteries are working correctly.

    • Fire extinguishers should be available in the kitchen, garage and near any heat source, such as a fireplace. Some experts also recommend one in each bedroom. It’s a good idea to check these annually, if not more often, to ensure they are in good working condition.

    • Accidents will happen, and when they do, guests will be glad for a handy first aid kit. Place one in the kitchen where people may be more likely to need it, and in bathrooms, where they’re likely to look for it.

    Think family-friendly

    Having a family-friendly vacation rental can literally pay off. You just need to take a few enticing extra steps.
     

    • Add amenities like a crib, highchair and baby gate . Families aren’t likely to travel with them, and they will certainly appreciate the convenience and ability to rest easy knowing Baby has a safe place to sleep, eat and play.

    • Take the time to childproof the property. Choose coffee tables and other furniture with soft corners and install cordless blinds to reduce choking hazards. Check out these other childproofing tips ideal for any home, not just those you list on Airbnb and VRBO.

    Every detail counts

    There are tons of small details that we often don’t think about until it’s a problem. Protect yourself and visitors with these ideas.
     

    • Bigger Pockets suggests non-slip stickies in the tub and shower. Designs range from neutral to kid-friendly to themed to match the style of your rental.

    • Install a small safe for guests to secure their valuables during their stay, even if you’re located in a great neighborhood.

    • It’s a good idea to anchor larger furniture and flat screen TVs to the wall to avoid them tipping on guests, including small children, according to iProperty Management.

    • Replace light bulbs inside and out. A well-lit home is a safer home, not to mention a more convenient one when guests don’t have to go hunting for a replacement.

    • Consider technology like NoiseAware, a device that monitors sounds in the home and can alert you to increased noised levels such as during an exuberant party or with shattering glass during a break-in.

    Plan for vacancies

    For when you aren’t home and no one is staying in your rental, take advantage of home automation to help the house look like it’s occupied.
     

    • Set lights on a timer or take advantage of smart bulbs you can schedule to turn on and off. Also leave blinds slightly open so people se those lights and think someone is home.

    • Make smart lights part of a routine. For example, a “Vacant” routine in the Alexa app can simultaneously turn lights on and off, adjust the thermostat and play music to make it sound like someone’s in the house. That’s security and energy efficiency with a few simple taps on your smartphone.

    • Schlage smart locks can also be integrated into your smart home automation plan and controlled from anywhere on your smartphone. If your guests have left and the front door hasn’t been locked, simply lock it from anywhere for greater peace of mind. Also create and manage user codes remotely, a great solution if you need to grant access to house cleaners or maintenance prior to a new guest’s arrival.

    • If total automation is intimidating or a bigger investment than you’re ready to make, turn to smart plugs, which can add voice control and remote access on a more basic level to a variety of electronics in the house.

    Security inside and out is important for every home, even vacation homes. You can be confident that your investment is protected, while guests will appreciate the extra steps you’ve taken to make sure their stay is comfortable and worry-free. Share your rental security tips with us on Facebook and Twitter.

     

    What a Schlage Warranty means to you.

    August 20, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, August 20, 2019

    What a Schlage Warranty means to you.

    Whether you bought your Schlage lock last week or 10 years ago, we will continue to honor our warranties.

     

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    When we say Schlage locks and door hardware have “quality you can feel” and “premium metal construction,” we stake our reputation on it. Schlage stands behind its products – mechanical and electronic – and that’s another kind of peace of mind you can count on. We’ve been bringing you high-quality door hardware for more than 95 years and will continue to do so with a limited lifetime mechanical and finish warranty, and a three-year limited electronics warranty.
    Schlage Accent lever on bedroom door.

    Get the details

    Whether you bought your Schlage lock last week or 10 years ago, we will continue to honor our warranties. Our lawyers wanted us to share the finer details of the warranties with you here:

     

    Schlage Keypad lock in Aged Bronze on front door with lever.

    Make a warranty claim

    There are some actions that can void a warranty. These include applying harsh chemicals, paint and paint thinners, and solvents that can damage the finish. Using scrapers, squeegees or razors on your door hardware should also be avoided. For the warranty to remain valid, the door hardware or lock should also only be used for its intended residential purpose and should be properly stored, installed, maintained and operated.

     

    If none of these situations or others outlined in the warranty applies to your lock and you would like to submit a warranty claim, please send the information listed below to consumerschlage@allegion.com:

     

    1. Pictures of the front and back of defective lock. If it is an electronic or smart lock, please also include the programming sticker with the six-digit programming code. You can find the sticker on the backplate of the exterior side of the lock.
    2. Your mailing address. This must be a physical address and not a P.O. box.
    3. Your telephone number.
    4. A brief description of the issue, including the approximate age of the lock.
    Schlage Bowery knob on bathroom door.

    Learn more

    Part of keeping your locks and door hardware looking and working like new is proper maintenance. Don’t forget these tips for cleaning and caring for your electronic touchscreen deadbolt.

     

    If you have other questions, contact our Customer Care team online or call 888-805-9837. Be sure to have the following information ready to verify your warranty: proof of purchase, estimated installation date and model number.

     

    We’re glad you chose to be on of the more than 40 million homes that trust their security to Schlage.

     

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