7 Components to Making Your Home Green

Monday, August 7th, 2017

We’ve all heard the easy tips for helping the environment—shorten your showers, recycle, and turn the lights off when you leave the room. But if you want to make a bigger impact in conserving your resources, there are some major ways to go green in your home. Try these seven fixes to make your home more environmentally friendly.



1. Replace Your Bulbs

This easy fix makes a bigger impact than you might think. Replace regular, incandescent bulbs in your home with energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs. You’ll be helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions while saving on your monthly electric bill, too.


2. Revamp the Floors

Whether you’re already planning to renovate or just want to make a big change in the name of going green, your floors are a great place to start. Adding carpet or rugs to your home can help reduce energy costs by 4-6 percent and help reduce emissions from your heating system. If you love the look of hardwood floors, opt for certified sustainable lumber or bamboo, which grows more quickly than traditional timber trees.

To Build or to Buy Your New Home… That is the Question

Monday, June 19th, 2017

It’s time to have your own home… in a market like Denver’s, there are plenty of wide open spaces to build and classic homes to make your own. But how to decide… Here are some of the pros and cons of both buying and building your future home.

build or buy a home

Building a Home-

The Pros:

  1. Customization – When building a home, you are beginning with a blank canvas that can be filled however you choose. From the windows to the moldings to the doorknobs, you can customize every tiny aspect of your new home.
  2. Location – New homes are often built in up-and-coming locations with high demand for new real estate, but building also means that you have more of a say in where you live. From the countryside to the foothills to the suburbs, buying a plot of land and building gives you the opportunity to choose the perfect location for your family.

Local Luxury: 5 Local Pros You Should Have on Speed Dial

Monday, October 17th, 2016

The first rule of selling your home is making sure you have a top-notch product to show potential buyers. Having a steady serviceman for your home is a great way to avoid having to deal with last minute projects. Here are five highly-rated local pros in the Front Range that you can count on to deliver a first-class product.


  1. Bear Creek Plumbing Inc.

Bear Creek has been in business for over 20 years servicing the entire Front Range. They firmly believe that a satisfied customer is a return customer, and their work is proof.  As an independently owned company, Bear Creek works to take care of the community they serve by offering environmentally conscious services that their competitors neglect.

  1. Karsten Electrical Services.

Karsten offers a wide variety of services, including: troubleshooting, lighting, design, engineering maintenance, phone, and cable installations. They are open 24 hours and have an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau. If you’re an industrial business owner, Karsten is fully capable of servicing your building as well.

Home Builder Confidence

Friday, October 30th, 2015


The Housing Market Index, which is based on a survey by the National Association of Home Builders, recently rose 1 point to 61, its highest level since November 2005. This Index is used by builders to determine when they should be building new homes. Given the unbelievable shortage of housing inventory, this is a good sign. We need more inventory. The current number of homes on the market is off by over 50%.

Builders were asked about current sales of new single-family houses, sales expectations for the next six months, and traffic of prospective buyers.

The answers:

  • Current sales are up.
  • Buyer traffic is up.
  • Sales expectations are unchanged.

Home builders’ biggest challenges are workers and finding land to build on. Also, the Colorado Construction Defects law is onerous for builders. This keeps many builders out of Colorado. Nonetheless, it has been nearly 10 years since home builders have been this confident about the housing market. We expect to see more homes being built in the months to come.

Solar Rewards Update

Monday, October 5th, 2015


Xcel Energy is adding nearly 30 megawatts of solar power to its Colorado operations via its Solar*Rewards Community program.

These projects are larger, commercial-sized solar power projects that allow individual businesses, nonprofits or people to buy or lease a portion of the project and get credit for the solar power on their monthly utility bills. The projects are designed for companies or people who can’t put solar power on their own roofs, such as if they live in an apartment or lease their office space.

The new projects will be built in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Conejos, Douglas, Garfield, Jefferson, Logan and Summit counties.

Due to a recent change in the program, Xcel customers can sign up for the solar power gardens located in their county or an adjacent county. Previously, the project had to be located in the same county where the customer lived.

Hidden Home Ownership Costs

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Silver house key lying on a contract for house sale

When compared nationally, the hidden costs of owning a home in Denver are relatively low.

Hidden costs are annual costs like homeowners insurance, property taxes, utilities, as well as outsourced maintenance costs, such as yard care and carpet cleaning.

According to a study conducted by Zillow, only Atlanta and Phoenix have cheaper annual hidden costs of owning a home than Denver.

In the Denver area, the hidden costs a homeowner will experience are $8,146 annually, which isn’t bad compared to the national average of $9,477.

Interestingly, of the 15 surveyed cities, Denver had the cheapest “annual optional maintenance costs,” at $2,782.

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Denver Signs Deal for New Solar Power Projects

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Solar panel installation

Did you know that Denver was the first in the nation to be designated as a “Solar Friendly Community”?

In the most recent solar news, Denver has signed a deal with SunShare LLC, a developer of community solar power projects, which will supply 400 kilowatts of solar power to 16 city facilities.

This will cover about 2 percent of the city and county government’s energy needs and is expected to save about $6 million in electricity bills over the 20-year agreement.

The solar power Denver is getting as part of the deal accounts for about 40 percent of the power produced from SunShare’s Denver County Solar Garden. Forty percent is the maximum amount that any one customer can get from a community solar power array.

sunshareCommunity solar power projects are larger arrays, typically up to 1 megawatt, that produce renewable energy for customers who can’t, or don’t want to put solar power panels on their own roofs. Only about 25 percent of all the homes in the United States are appropriate for solar power.

The Integration of Housing and Transportation

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Integrating housing and transportation, an affordable-housing transit-oriented development recently broke ground at Regional Transportation District’s Yale Station.

The 66-unit, four-story project is called Garden Court Yale Station and is located near the intersection of I-25 and Yale Avenue.

The apartments at Garden Court Yale Station will be workforce housing, or residences that are affordable to working adults in households earning up to 60 percent of the area median income.

Affordable housing benefits more than just occupants by serving the community at large through increased employment, spending, and smart land use. As far as the real estate market goes, affordable housing can actually have a positive impact on surrounding property values.

The units will range in size from 591 to 941 square feet and one RTD EcoPass is included in the rent for each unit.

Garden Court Yale Station is expected to be complete in March 2016.

RTD Eagle Update

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

The Regional Transportation District’s $2.2 billion Eagle project has hit significant milestones. The Eagle project is a portion of RTD’s sprawling FasTracks project to expand rail service across the metro area. Eagle includes lines from downtown to Denver International Airport, Arvada, and Westminser.

The Eagle projects’s first four passenger rail cars recently arrived at Denver Union Station, and the cars’ progress can be tracked at RTD’s website.

The last section of track has been laid in place on the East rail line between DIA and Denver Union Station, which is the first segment of the Eagle project, and is expected to open for passenger traffic in the second quarter of 2016.

Interested in Transit Oriented Development and other environmentally sustainable initiatives? Check out our Tumblr.

Alaris Properties, LLC

Imagine a Future without Utility Bills

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Alaris Properties, LLCWhat would it be like to not have to pay a utility bill ever again?

Net zero communities are communities that use power only from energy they produce through solar, wind, and underground geothermal systems on site, ending all dependence on electric and gas provided by utility companies. Fascinatingly, the largest net zero community in North America will be located here in Colorado.

The 25 acre development community is called Geos Neighborhood, located in Arvada, and will have 308 homes ranging from 750 square foot cottages to 2,700 square foot multi-family homes (priced $200,000 – $500,000). The upfront cost is a little higher, but the energy savings begin to pay off almost immediately. Homes are built to use 75% less energy and have many features to reduce the reliance on gas or electric to heat the home. Geos goes beyond just energy saving with edible landscaping, water conscious design, and a true community design for health and well being.