6 Tips for Getting Settled into Franklin West Apartments

Whether it’s a career move or just to experience a new area, picking up and finding a new place to live can be a daunting task.

We’ve compiled a few must-do items to complete after you’ve found the place to call home. We get it. You’ve picked a nice apartment, paid the movers, and now you’re in your new living room staring at a ton of boxes wondering, “where in the world do I even begin?”

Wipe the sweat off your brow and let’s get to that checklist!

Settling-In checklist:

  1. If you haven’t done so already, complete and return the inspection report you received in your move-in packet. Not only does this document any cosmetic damages so that you won’t be held responsible upon move-out, Franklin West can schedule work orders for maintenance to stop by your apartment to do any needed repairs.
  2. If you haven’t done so already, set up your renters’ insurance coverage. Not only is renters’ insurance required in your Franklin West lease, it is both affordable and easy to do. Looking for the best rates? Consider “bundling” it with your car or homeowners’ insurance, if you or your parental co-signers own a home.
  3. Unpacking can be incredibly overwhelming when you’re doing it by yourself. Make things accomplishable. An easy place to start is focusing on unpacking one box a day. As you unpack, take pictures of your possessions too. This is also a great way to document your stuff from an insurance perspective.
  4. Moving becomes a prime opportunity to declutter and purge things you forgot you ever owned. If you didn’t do this when you were first packing up, definitely do it while you unpack. It’s an awesome way to hit the refresh button. Plus, your unwanted items may be another man’s treasure, so always try to donate!
  5. Ensure that your utility accounts were properly set up at the beginning of your lease. If you have questions about the utility responsibility for your apartment, please call the Franklin West office.
  6. If you did not do so prior to your move, set aside some time to visit your local U.S. Post Office. This visit is to make sure your new mailing address is correct or to update voter registration. This can actually be done online as well through USPS.

Bonus: We saved the niftiest trick for last. Furniture shopping for your new apartment can be tricky, especially if you’re on a budget. Here are a few apps you need to have to monitor product price drops or rebate options.

Shoptagr (a Google Chrome extension)

Ebates

Paribus

Are you a newbie to Shadyside neighborhood? Check out our Instagram feed for the best Shadyside has to offer from local shops to eateries, and seasonal events to things to do on a Friday night.

Welcome to Shadyside!

Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Apartment Cool this Summer

At Franklin West, apartment living is our bread and butter. We value making sure residents are able to comfortably call our apartments home.

Though occasionally, the sunny season throws a few curve balls in apartment life. Today, we’re arming you with convenient, easy, and life-changing tips so you can get back to enjoying Pittsburgh’s summer activities.

Curtain and Fan Tricks

Summertime in city apartments can get a little too roasty toasty for comfort. Your home should bring cool relief after working all day. We rounded up nifty little tricks to help you stay cool without having the AC on high.

  • Keep curtains closed during the day. Up to 30% of unwanted heat comes from your windows, simply closing and covering the windows can dramatically impact indoor temperatures.
  • Spray ice water on your curtains! When a breeze comes, your curtains become a homemade air conditioner.
  • Toss a water bottle or two in the freezer during the day so by bedtime, you have an ice pack to keep your bed chilled.  
  • Consider replacing your flannel sheets with lighter, cooler alternatives. Pillows, too, like natural buckwheat hull, are actually designed to keep heat away from your head while you sleep.
  • Place fans strategically around your apartment to circulate the air and create the perfect cross breeze. Go old school by placing a shallow bowl filled with ice in front of a fan for a nice cool mist.
  • If you have ceiling fans in your apartment, set them to rotate counter-clockwise during the summer. If you do not know how to do this or if they are out of your reach, please call our office and one of our maintenance technicians would be glad to do it for you.

Appliances that Generate Heat

  • Save on your electric bill by keeping lights turned off when not in use.
  • Your stove, oven, and dishwasher create more heat when in use. So, avoid using these during the day.
  • Do laundry in the evening. Generating a lot of heat and humidity, whether you have your own washer or dryer or shared laundry in the building, remember that heat rises. Your upper floors neighbors will thank you!
  • Exhaust fans aren’t just for smells. When cooking, use the exhaust fan to draw out excess steam and humidity. The same goes for the bathroom. Without it, all of the humidity that builds up will leak out making your apartment feel a lot warmer.  
  • Have an overabundance of electronics? Even when not in use, computers and televisions generate heat. When these items are not in use, consider unplugging them. Doing this will help your electric bill, too!
  • Close off the rooms/areas you are not using so that the cold air stays where you want it to be and doesn’t go where you don’t want it.

Air Conditioning Tips and Maintenance

  • If your apartment has central air conditioning, set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible. The more cooling you do with your central or room air conditioner, the higher your electric bill will be.
  • Setting the thermostat to a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner won’t cool things down any faster, and if you forget, you’ll end up paying for it when the bill comes.  
  • Also, don’t place large appliances near your thermostat. These emit heat and can cause your central AC to run longer than necessary.
  • If your apartment has wall-unit air conditioning, only turn it on in the room(s) you want to have cooled and turn it off if you are no longer using that room.
  • Whether you have central air-conditioning, wall-unit or window air conditioning, make sure that your registers and filters are clean and that they are not being blocked by furniture or other items.

We want to make sure our properties are a haven from the summer heat. Residents are encouraged to call right away if you find that your air conditioning unit is not functioning properly.

For best service, report air conditioning problems early in the workday. This way our maintenance technicians will have sufficient time to diagnose the problem, can purchase any parts that may be needed, and then fix the system for you.

 

There you have it. All the do it yourself tips and old school tricks to keep you and your family cooler than cucumbers. Besides, if all else fails, we hear homemade popsicles become a wonderful family activity and a perfect remedy for any summer heat!

10 Ways to Improve Apartment Life in Shadyside

Summer in Pittsburgh is in full swing bringing gorgeous sunny days. Here at Franklin West, we pride ourselves on providing a superior living. The best thing about apartment living is its cost-efficiency! We want to help you spruce things up in apartment living and maybe help take care of a few pesky issues.

Get Help From Nature

The movement of wall gardens and leafy centerpieces isn’t just a decor statement. Plants are extremely useful for repelling pests, cleaning the air, and everyday uses you didn’t even realize could help. Here’s our list of must-have plants.

  1. Lavender – repels moths, fleas, flies, and mosquitos
  2. Peppermint – repels spiders, mosquitos, and ants
  3. Peace Lily – can improve your home’s air quality.
  4. Snake plants – extremely effective at removing toxins in the air.
  5. Aloe – helps you out during sunny days at the pool

BONUS: Herbs – for cooking, of course.

As an added bonus, certain sun-seeking indoor plants help keep the air around them cool. Plants rely on photosynthesis in order to survive, a process in which they consume water and sunlight to create their own food. This process also causes plants to take in energy, in this case, heat.

Ease the Noisy Fanfare

From sounds of the streets to hearing your roommate’s sandals flopping on the hardwood floors in the other room, apartments are a little noisy. We rounded up a few ways to soundproof your apartment.

  • Easy to install yourself, use a draft blocker (DIY or store-bought) to keep out dust, bugs, drafts, moisture and most importantly, noise.
  • Stuck hearing outdoor racket when trying to sleep? Look into getting a white noise machine or shop around for different mobile apps.
  • Canvas art (home created or store-bought) can actually help soundproof your home, just don’t forget to attach acoustic tile to the back.  
  • Noise bounces off of glassware and ceramics, so tuck away these items.
  • Rugs are your friend. Use multiple, crazy patterned rugs or just one large one to absorb echoes and other loud noises. A thick carpet pad works well if you love the pattern of a fairly thin rug.

These tips are alternatives to minimal issues. If you’re experiencing major problems concerning the mentioned topics, reach out to our main office for assistance. Enjoy apartment living during any season!