Tag Archives: home improvement

Home Investment Ideas for an Energy Efficient Home

Insulation on a roofWe cannot live without using electricity for a day. Many of the things we use in the home alone depend on power, for lighting and heating or cooling.

Let us explore three ways that can help cut down on electricity consumption without sacrificing comfort.

Green Energy Equipment

We all know of the many things that the mighty sun can do for us. One of it is to provide us with usable energy that we can consume in the form of electricity. You can do this by using solar panels that soak up heat energy that it directly converts into electricity that can power up your home.

Though it requires investment and installation of equipment at first, you can recover the cost as it can dramatically reduce utility consumption, as you use it every day.

Natural Lighting Systems

There are certain areas in the home that you frequently use, and must have good lighting at all times. Instead of using lamps or ceiling lights, consider investing in daylighting systems. Depending on the design and illumination that you want, you can choose from skylights, roof lights, or roof windows.

All these allow natural lighting into your home, but with different installation procedures, and difference in materials and designs.

Insulation Products

We usually keep our homes warm or cool with the use of air heating and cooling devices. However, insulation expert Premier Insulation BOP states that as we run these devices for hours, we rack up bills, too.

Invest in insulation materials that prevent heat from flowing in and out of the house. So when you use the heater, it keeps the warm air in much longer. When you use the air conditioner, it keeps the cool air in much longer, too.

Investing in these home solutions can significantly cut down on energy consumption and even create a greener home for you and your family. Various companies within BOP offer installation of these at reasonable costs. So take that step today to go green and cut down on electricity bills.

Termite Pest Control: When Is It Necessary to Call for Help?

Termite infestationTermites use wood as a source of nourishment, and a home for their colonies. The problem is when they decide to use your home for that purpose.

It may betime for termite pest control in Indiana when they start to damage your furniture and floors. The first step is to search the humid areas of your house where there is wood around. Termites thrive in humid and dark environments.

Swarmers

Colonies with mature and well-establish nests produce winged adult termites called swarmers. These mature termites leave their nest to build new colonies. Swarming happens during the day. If you see swarmers outside your home, the nest may be in your yard, somewhere near a wood structure. If you see termites swarming inside your house, the infestation maybe indoors.

Termite Droppings

Drywood Termites produce specific pellet-like droppings called frass. These are then pushed out through small kick-out holes in their tunnel-like galleries. A good indicator of termite infestation is a pile of frass under the holes.

Mud Tunnels

See if there are mud tunnels in your foundation and wood beams. Subterranean termites make mud tunnels to bypass objects that they cannot eat through such as concrete. The tunnels indicate an infestation.

Wood Damage

This is not easy to spot because termites eat the wood’s inner parts. Sometimes, there are no visible marks outside. Visible external signs like blistering or discoloration will only appear after the damage has become severe. A good way to check for infestation is to poke the wood with a blunt object to find out if it will crumble. You can also tap on a suspected area and check for hollow sounds.

There are various methods you can use to eradicate termite infestation in your home. But, it can be difficult, not to mention hazardous. The safest and best way to control termite infestation is by allowing professional exterminators to do it for you.

The Psychology of Colors and How to Use Them on Your Home

Man painting the wallCan different colors affect your mood and behaviors? Some studies have shown the relationship between colors, light, and a person’s emotions — and therefore actions.

In a 2006 study, researchers observed more than 500 individuals in a real workplace environment. There was a huge variation of moods between people living near and far from the equator. But based on their findings, the workers’ mood seemed to improve in bright rooms. Then, it sank when it's darker.

In a more recent study, Harvard researchers learned that those who worked in offices with greeneries were more likely to perform better. This was in terms of cognition and productivity. They also reported fewer absences due to sickness and improved sleep.

What Colors to Use

The effects of colors, though, can differ significantly. Knowing where to incorporate them in your home is important. That is, if you want to maximize their positive effect on your behavior.

Black

It is the color of elegance and luxury. If you want to feel wealthy or successful, you may want to use a black metal fencing. Pick one that doesn’t rust, so its color remains vibrant for years.

Red

Being the color of passion, the color red fits the bedroom. But since it can also be the shade for anger, you should tone it down with blue, which is calming. Children’s rooms can have a hint of yellow, which is a happy color.

Green

Green is great in areas where you need to relax. It can be in your home office to counter the effects of work-related stress. It may also trigger a wealthy mindset since it’s the color of money. You can then mix that with white, which makes the area feel airy and clutter free.

The truth is, more research is needed to seal the connection between behavior and color. One thing is sure, though. The right colors can make your home cozier, more comfortable, and more pleasant to live in.

Easy Ways to Save on Your Next Electricity Bill

Electricity bill with graphSaving on your utility bills is not about one thing; it is a combination of different things around the house. It is also a product of your lifestyle. Once you are ready to forego a few creature comforts and decide to live a simpler life, you can truly get started on reducing your energy use.

Not only can this let you keep more money in your pocket, but it can also help reduce your effect on the environment. Here are some simple ways to lower your use of electricity.

Go for Natural Air in Your House

During summer, when the sun is at its hottest, it is tempting to use your air-conditioners on higher levels all the time. Instead of relying on your A/C to cool your home, try airing out your home once in a while. Open the windows and let stuffy air out and the breeze in.

Fix Broken Appliances

Did you know that appliances use more energy if they are not working at their best capacity? Instead of forcing your refrigerator to work harder and use up more electricity, for example, pay a technician for fridge service here in Salt Lake City.

You do not have to throw it out, especially if it is an ENERGY STAR-labeled appliance. Just have it fixed immediately before it becomes irreparable.

Unplug Your Devices

If you think your heating and cooling costs are your biggest, you’ll be surprised to find out that your various devices — smartphone, tablet, laptop, power bank, music player, computer — can easily overtake them. Set your devices to conserve more power, so you do not have to charge them as often.

Wash Your Dishes by Hand

Dishwashers are the biggest energy-wasters among your appliances. Instead of relying on your dishwasher, wash your dishes by hand, especially if you have a small family that uses fewer dishes and utensils.

Hang Your Clothes to Dry

During winter, you may not have an option but to use a dryer. In the summer, however, take advantage of the sun to dry your fresh laundry. An added benefit is the sun’s power to kill germs on clothes.

These may be simple pieces of advice, but try them all, and you will see how they come together to give you bigger savings over time.

Amazing Benefits of Installing a Patio Cover

Luxury house with a welcoming patioOne amazing thing about the Brisbane climate is that it offers lots of sunshine. But with this comes relentless heat that might just keep you from further enjoying your outdoor space. You need an effective solution to maintain a comfortable outdoor environment.

Patio covers are a great solution to make the most out of outdoor patio in Brisbane. There are different designs to fit whatever material or shape your patio has. Here are some of the benefits of doing this improvement project for your outdoor nook:

Providing Shade

With a properly constructed patio cover, you can surely enjoy fresh air even when the sun is high up. It also provides good protection during small gatherings, barbeque, or even a pool party.

Protecting Your Outdoor Furniture

The UV rays brought by the sunlight is not only harmful to your skin, but also to your outdoor furniture. A high-quality patio cover can protect them from the sun’s adverse effect and prevent fabrics from being damaged.

Keeping Your Patio Dry

Exposure to water can make metal accumulate rust and cause any wooden material on your patio to rot. A good patio cover allows you to style your space with any items you otherwise would not use because of the rain, such as rigs, coffee table books, and pillows. You can also relax outside during light rain because you will be completely protected.

Your patio is a great place for almost any activity, and you are sure to enjoy it more with a quality cover. With this, you will never have to worry about being exposed to too much heat or rain. Be sure to contact a reputable builder to ensure that you get your money’s worth. Experts recommend looking for the right style to compliment your home’s exterior design.

Factors That Make Aluminum Fencing a Popular Option

Durable construction fenceSince the early times, fences have been paramount for both mansions and normal homes. They were used mainly for security purposes. In a bid to have barriers that will provide them with much utility, people looked for the perfect fences and this brought about the discovery of aluminum fences.

Here are some of the factors that make this particular type of fence stand out:

Security

With safety being the main purpose of installing a fence, aluminum fences have proved to keep intruders away due to their ability to resist breach. The traditional wood fences could be scaled while chain link fences could be easily cut. Aluminum fences for commercial and residential properties have spear-topped pickets that prevent the intruders from getting over the fence once they find breaking through it a challenge.

Cost

Aluminum fences are known to be more cost-efficient when compared to the legacy wrought iron. The wrought iron fences have to be fabricated in shops using expensive metals, hence the high cost. This makes aluminum fences suitable for a person that is on a tight budget.

Maintenance

An aluminum fence has multiple protective coating, so there’s no need for extensive maintenance. Among the coating or finishing options available is powder paint, which can last a lifetime without being repainted. As an added advantage, aluminum fences are resistant to corrosion, so they are bound to retain their beauty for years.

Rackability

Most aluminum fences can be adjusted to align with the slope of the land. Fences that are not rackable are often not uniform at the top or leave spaces at the bottom, which can encourage easy breach into your compound. This problem might also affect the beauty of the fence.

With its many advantages over wooden or wrought iron fences, aluminum fencing acts is an ideal option for anyone who wants better home appearance, security, and privacy.

Upgrade Your Home and Increase Your Property’s Value

Exterior renovation and landscapingIt always pays to upgrade your home to increase its value and make the most out of your investment. Here are some techniques you can do to boost your property’s value.

Add Some Energy Efficient Installations

If you live in New Mexico, consider installing residential solar panels in your home. These panels will help you save energy and even the environment. Aside from this, your property’s value could increase approximately by $30,000. Even better, you can enjoy a significant decrease in your electric bill. The solar panel will essentially pay for itself through your savings.

Invent and Optimize Space

Don’t add new rooms since the cost won’t be equal to the added value of the house. Instead, invent a new room by optimizing the space.

One of the most popular techniques is using the space under the stairs as a reading nook, a place for books, or a storage space for toys or beverages. You can also add shelves and introduce compartments that promote additional space. Extensive cabinets, in particular, are a favorite and will increase your home value.

Keep the Main House Well Maintained

Homes are prone to depreciation – but you’ll be able to slow this down by maintaining the building well. Treat the wood for termites, care for the roof, maintain the insulation, cover the cracks, and make sure that the foundation holds.

Improve the Front Yard with Potted Plants

While a beautiful yard is always a big attraction, potted plants will also make your home appealing at a lower cost. These are easier to move around while a yard requires more labor to maintain. Not only does this give you room to plan and manoeuvre, but this also gives prospective buyers the option to change the area’s appearance.

People purchase homes with the idea of staying there for a long time. Like all assets, however, you should plan and make home improvements that will serve you well in the future.

Aluminum Fencing: Costs and Benefits

Aluminum Fence

Aluminum FenceThe current consumer trend is to pick aluminum fencing materials over wood and wrought iron. Even though aluminum fencing can cost double or three times that of a wood fence, demand for this material is still high.  Part of the reason is its durability and low maintenance.

DIY or Expert Installation

Unless you are an old hand at DIY installation, it is best to hire an expert to put in your new aluminum fence post. Letting an expert do it will get you better results, and they can ensure that they comply with regulations.

How to Calculate the Cost of Fencing

Metal fencing cost is on a per yard basis. A fencing company representative will come and measure your property and calculate how much fencing material you would need. They will then give you an estimate of the total charge. 

Aluminum fencing costs range between $30 and 50 per yard. Rates vary based on your location, how much fencing you need, and other factors. Sometimes the cost of the fencing will not include the posts and other materials needed for construction.

While the installer is preparing the estimate, make sure to ask what they include and get a comprehensive costing. Check if these providers will remove and haul away waste materials.  Doing this could involve an additional cost – ask them to give you a price for this service too.

Keep in mind that fencing contractors are not as busy in the fall or the early part of winter. You could get a great deal when you get a fence during these seasons.

Since the architectural styles of homes vary from state to state, look around and try to get a fence that suits your home and budget. Getting the right fence will add value to your property and pay big dividends when you have to sell the home.

Don’t be in a hurry to get a new fence.  Do your research and compare at least three providers before hiring a contractor to put in your new fence.

Why Roof Repairs are Important to your Home

Insurance.comThe roof is a vital part of your home, for it provides the first line of defence against the harsh elements. It protects your home from inclement weather conditions like rain, snow, extreme heat or storm. However, despite the significant role the roof plays in our house, the roof is usually the most neglected part of the house.

Even insurance companies view roofs as one of the most important parts of a house, and may or may not insure the roof depending on its condition. Here is where roof repairs come in, and the following are a few reasons it is vital for your home.

Longer roof life

A roof regularly maintained can extend the service life of a roof for more than 20 years. You protect your first line of defence against rust, corrosion or damage caused by the harsh environmental conditions.

Prevents extensive problems

Eventually, your roof can acquire holes, rust or crack and damage shingles. A regular roof inspection and repair can help fix this issue and avoid you from getting more problems in the future.

Prevents moulds, pests and water damage

When a roof undergoes regular inspection, repair and maintenance, you can evade the possibility of water leakage, mildew build-up and pest infestation. Water leakage may damage your walls, floors, ceilings and other properties.

Damaged roof may also increase the growth of moulds and entry of pests that may affect your family’s health

Saves on cost

A few routine roof repairs and maintenance is more practical than having to change and replace damaged, dilapidated roof. Moreover, most insurance companies may not insure a roof that is beyond 20 years of age

Roof repairs can help you secure your primary source of protection from the harsh environment. Regular roof maintenance would help keep your family safe and give you savings in the end.

The HVAC Industry After Variable Speed Technology

Heating and Cooling SystemsVariable speed technology has changed the entire HVAC industry. Today, variable speed has become an industry standard. Although non-variable speed options still exist, a bulk of HVAC sales includes products with this feature.

What is Variable Speed?

Variable speed technology involves a motor control drive connecting to the compressor of an HVAC system. A line power is then connected from the utility to the drive. Using frequency modulation, the motor control drive adjusts the power output of the compressor, ultimately controlling the speed of the motor depending on the HVAC load of an area.

Different Speeds at Different Times

With the varying compressor speeds allowed by variable speed technology, you can program your HVAC system to cool or heat your home at different temperatures throughout the day. For example, when no one is at home, you can program the HVAC to ease off on the heating or cooling to save on energy consumption.

More Energy Cost Savings

You can also enjoy significant savings when you have a unit with variable speed technology. It allows your HVAC system to run more efficiently. With more efficiency, you will be able to save up on energy costs at home. In fact, you could even save as much as forty percent of your typical annual energy costs.

Challenges to Variable Speed

Variable speed brings along with it challenges as well. For one, HVAC systems with variable speed are more expensive than one-speed systems. You could hesitate in purchasing a variable speed HVAC system because of this. However, variable speed entails you to have the knowledge to understand its maintenance and installation needs.

The Future of HVAC

In spite of the previous challenges, industry leaders predict that variable speed will only dominate the HVAC landscape all the more in the years to come. In fact, variable speed systems may be the only products available in the future.

As you pick an HVAC system in any city in Arkansas, such as Little Rock, the heating and air service unit you need to choose should be the one that fits your needs. However, with a variable speed unit, the features are worth the expense.