Expert Remodeling Tips
Remodeling tips for homeowners
Article: 10 Things you you can do to save energy in Maryland
Energy saving tips: save you money and save the planet!
wasted energy is wasted money – and the penalty increases as energy prices rise.
- Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and save 75% off lighting costs. New LED bulbs use a fraction of the power and product a bright blueish light.
- Unplug electronics, battery chargers and other equipment when not in use. Taken together, these small items can use as much power as your refrigerator.
- Installing faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads will cut water heating costs by 50% and save up to $300 per year. It will also cut water use by up to 50%. As much as 19% of California electricity is used to pump, transport and treat water.
- Setting your air conditioner 5° higher will save up to 20% on cooling costs. Make sure you properly maintain your heating and cooling systems and change the filters regularly.
- Reduce air conditioning costs by using fans, keeping windows and doors shut and closing shades during the day. Most ceiling fans use less energy than a light bulb.
- Enable “power management” on all computers and make sure to turn them off at night. A laptop computer uses up to 90% less energy than bigger desktop models.
- When possible, wash clothes in cold water. About 90% of the energy used in a clothes washer goes to water heating. Better detergents make it possible to get clothes cleaner on cold settings.
- Run your dishwasher and clothes washer only when fully loaded. Fewer loads reduce energy and water use. Running appliances at night is another good idea as demand for power is lower.
- Make sure your dryer’s outside vent is clear and clean the lint filter after every load. When shopping for a new dryer look for one with a moisture sensor that automatically shuts off when clothes are dry.
- Replace and recycle your old refrigerator and purchase energy-efficient models. Pull it out twice a year and check for leaks and make sure there is proper air flow for the appliance.
- Insulate ceilings to R-30 standards if your attic has less than R-19. Radiant barriers, blown-in insulation and fiberglass are just a few of the options.
- Caulk windows, doors and anywhere air leaks in or out. Do not caulk around water heater and furnace exhaust pipes.Weatherstrip around windows and doors.
- Replace old windows with energy efficient vinyl replacement windows. Leaky doors can also be replace making your home more secure and more beautiful.
- Wrap heating and cooling ducts with duct wrap, or use mastic sealant. Check yearly.
- Install energy-saver shower-heads or on-demand hot water heating units. If your hot water heater is more than 8 years old consider buying a newer energy efficient model.
Just to remind you: We do all these types of home repair and maintenance to protect your investment and so you can enjoy lower bills and a more energy efficient home!
One advantage to considering vinyl replacement doors and windowsis, you don’t have to cut the window existing opening bigger to accommodate a larger window or patch the inside walls and siding because the new window is smaller than the old opening. Since the new replacement windows will be built to fit your existing openings, no other major alterations need to happen. Usually, a little caulking and some minor touch-up painting is all that’s necessary.
Some other important advantages of installing new vinyl replacement windows are also inviting. You can expect some energy savings on your fuel bill because of the better insulating properties of thermo pane glass. The glass can also be tinted to reflect heat or to block UV rays. You’ll love the tilt-in panes for easy cleaning.
No more risky trips up the ladder. Newer windows usually have fewer problems with condensation in winter time because of the better insulating properties of the newer glass panes.
Bathroom remodeling options
Get some extra towel racks and install them so that there is a towel holder within easy reach of almost anywhere in the bathroom. Extra towel holders mean that even used towels can have a spot to be hung up instead of just left lying over the tub or shower stall door.
- The flooring. If you don’t like what you see, change it. Fortunately, most bathroom floor spaces are fairly small and so not much material is needed. There are several options that you can choose from including vinyl sheets, ceramic tile, or vinyl tile squares.
- Buy some new towels for the bathroom. Get some great new colors and designs that are eye-catching and pleasing. Again, not much money invested for lots of return in visual appeal.
- Change out the door knobs on your vanity and closet, and change the shower curtain and rings if you have one.Just a few of theseinexpensive choices in a bathroom remodel can go a long way.
One of the easiest and most cost efficient ways to spruce up a bathroom is to replace the faucets. Home Improvements like this have a huge impact on the functional and aesthetic value of the space. You can create an entirely new theme for your bathroom — such as contemporary, old world, or European — based on the design of your faucet, and remember – we can help!
Kitchen remodeling improves the usefulness of the home and adds value and equity to both older and newer homes. Almost every kitchen has a design flaw or something that can be changed to make the space more workable.
With kitchens increasingly becoming the center of social and functional activities, kitchen remodeling has gained importance in the life of many families. Kitchen remodeling becomes challenging if you are on a tight budget or faced with space restrictions.
There are three basic kitchen functions to consider and arrange to create an ideal kitchen: storage, preparation and cleanup. Counter space, storage, built-ins, rollout pantry and sinks are the important elements of a kitchen. The functionality of a kitchen depends largely on these elements.
When choosing new kitchen cabinets it is important to pay attention to type of wood used and the quality of the construction. The look of your kitchen cabinets will also be reflected in the hardware you choose from the hinges to the knobs. Once you finish all the choices and have them in place you will enjoy them for years to come.
To make your kitchen a visually appealing space, you can add counter tops that complement or match the cabinetry, floor, or walls. Your counter tops could be of granite, marble, wood, or stainless steel. To bring in more light into the kitchen, you can place a large ceiling fixture in the center of the kitchen, with track lights near the sink, range, and counter tops.
You can also use warm colors for the kitchen walls and floor, add recessed lights and dimmers, and highlight your cabinets. You can use tiles, laminates, and hardwoods as flooring. Your custom cabinets can complement or match the colors used in the walls and flooring. You can even use stained glass panels for kitchen cabinets.
Adding an island is one of the most common ways to have multiple work centers into a kitchen. A kitchen island creates two to four small work stations along the perimeter of a kitchen. These stations can become major work centers if a second sink is added.
A well-thought-out, detailed plan is a must for any kitchen remodeling project. Formulating a plan is the first step, whether you design the kitchen yourself or work with a licenced remodeling contactor.
Installing a shower in your bathroom
If you are thinking of remodeling your bathroom and redoing or adding showers to them, consider all of your choices. The age we live in has allowed us many choices in what we want in our homes. We can choose from high end, high quality items to comfortable old favorites. When looking to redo or install a shower in your bathroom, you have many things to consider.
Start by knowing the size of the area you wish to install the shower. Or, if you have a previous shower already installed, removing the old will tell you whether any of the existing elements there will need to be repaired or replaced. Consider where the drains are located and how stable the flooring is. Once this information is obtained, you can move onto the design stages.
Shapes and sizes
Taking a trip to the nearest home improvement store will give you many ideas. Don’t want to leave the house? Check online stores and even specialty stores that can give you many, many choices. Bathroom showers come in many shapes and sizes and are made from different qualities of materials. Consider whether you want to have an open area surrounded by walls or more of a bathroom shower stall which is more enclosed with a door.
Some very nice ones can be made out of stone and ceramic tile. Others, more commonly used, are made from steal or plastics. Finding what suits you needs and tastes is important.
Shower heads add pizazz
Unique shower heads and shower systems continue to grow in popularity and can also bring a bit of customization to your bathroom. Watch for fun and interesting shower head styles such as spinning shower heads, ceiling mounts, large 10-inch downpour shower heads and stylish hand-held personal showers. Again, keep the styling and finish compatible with other fixtures in the room whenever possible.