Relaxing at Home
By Sheryl Long
It’s a simple fact that people are spending more time at home and there are many reasons why. Some are directly related to a downturn in the economy. Some are simply the results of people realizing the benefits their immediate surroundings can bring to their life. Cocooning and nesting are terms used in the past for this phenomenon. And in 2009, “staycation” actually made it into the Miriam Webster Dictionary. Whatever you name it, the opportunity is there to promote and sell the amenities that enhance this trend, many of which natural gas can provide.
Entertaining at home lets people enjoy the company of friends and family without driving to a destination. It’s easier to mingle and talk when not confined to a restaurant table. Whether it’s a Sunday morning brunch for four or a cookout for 20, cooking at home keeps the cost dining together manageable so folks can do it more often.
Vacations spent at home let families truly enjoy all that their home and surroundings have to offer. Swimming in the pool every day, taking long hot soaks in the tub, reading a book, and visiting the local zoo and art museum are just some of the many available pastimes. Foregoing a pleasure destination can be the result of a shortage of money or a just a desire to make life simpler, but it doesn’t mean giving up a relaxing and fun vacation time.
Whatever the reason, trends of staying put have homeowners expanding their current space and/or updating kitchens, baths and patio areas, turning their homes into refuges where they want to spend more time. They get to immediately enjoy the comforts of these improvements, and if and when they eventually decide to sell their home, their property value has been increased.
Coach your staff on how to sell this idea of at-home comfort, and you can increase your revenue stream. The opportunities are endless.
In any home, a peaceful, serene bathroom can be a haven. A spa-like atmosphere can be accomplished with large tubs with jets and rain showers. Towel warmers, mirror defoggers and underfloor heat all add to a restful, luxurious retreat.
Natural gas adds a major comfort factor in all of these applications. “Having enough hot water to fill an extra large tub or last through a long shower with a sunflower showerhead is a snap with a natural gas tankless water heater” said Larry Jackson, manager of Partner Development for TECO Peoples Gas. “With a tankless unit there will always be enough hot water. Many homeowners don’t realize their standard water heater won’t suffice.” Also, natural gas hydro-heat systems can be piped to provide radiant heating of tile floors, mirror defogging and towel warming, adding even more comforts for the client and more revenue for your business.
Nothing says cozy and homey more than a fireplace in the fall and winter months. Visions of family and friends gathered before a blazing fireplace in the living or family room conjure up good times and memories. However, fireplaces can lend ambience and warmth to any room of the home. A new trend is adding a fireplace in a master bedroom or master bathroom for the ultimate in luxury.
Nowadays, it’s easier than ever for homeowners to get this cozy addition into their house. Natural gas fireplaces offer downhome comfort all at the touch of a button, plus cleanliness and efficiency as well. Stand alone units range from European modern to traditional in style. The new cyclone flames are a look that can make a showcase of any home. Traditional gas fire logs are also available to make converting an existing wood fireplace a simpler project. Vented and vent-free fireplace and log models are available. Look for these additional fireplace opportunities when making service calls. When you calculate the number feet of pipe needed, plus necessary connections and your markup on the unit and installation, the margin adds up quickly.
For people who love to cook and entertain, the stove or range is almost always at the heart of their kitchen. Upgrading to a professional grade natural gas range can be a dream come true for a serious cook. Other improvement opportunities include adding a built-in natural gas oven or a special water faucet over the stove for conveniently filling large pasta pots, etc. Kitchen remodel piping and appliance sales can boost your bottom line.
Particularly in states like Florida where the weather is agreeable most of the year, entertaining outside continues to grow in popularity. Homeowners are building decks and stone patios with outdoor kitchens complete with large, permanently-installed grills, refrigerators and work areas. They’re installing luxurious outdoor fireplaces or firepits to extend the season and adding ambient outdoor lighting to extend the evening. They’re even installing televisions, stereos and artwork specially made to be weather-proof. And don’t forget hot tubs, spas and swimming pools.
Once again, outdoor living provides many opportunities to install piping, connections and appliances. Natural gas products have many benefits for your customers. Grills and cooktops are clean, dependable and fast and easy to use. Outdoor lighting adds a warm soft glow without attracting insects. Patio heaters, fire pits, spa and pool heaters let homeowners enjoy the outdoors year round.
Consider the opportunity for revenue on a summer kitchen. It can include approximately 50 feet of piping to a grill, the gas connection and 75-100 feet of water pipe to the sink. Add a small tankless water heater that’s easily added in an outside installation. Your mark up on these materials and labor can be substantial.
However your customers decide to relax, natural gas amenities can play a part. Don’t forget about the gas piping, appliance installations and connections that can result.
Join the conversation: