Posts Tagged ‘home improvement’

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.

Green-Home

 

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.

Buying in a Good School District: The Ultimate Guide

Monday, July 17th, 2017

Buying a home involves a long checklist of questions to answer, especially when moving into a new city or neighborhood. Whether your children are just starting school or already thinking about college, finding a good school district is essential for your family. Follow these tips to find a home in the school district that’s right for you.

best-school-districts

1. Do Your Research

Before making any decisions in the home buying process, it’s important to research local school districts to get an idea of your ideal area. Your real estate agent should be able to provide information on local schools, but if you want to do some digging yourself, try online resources like GreatSchools.org or the National Center for Education Statistics to find the best school systems near you.

2. Narrow Your Priorities

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.

How To Store Your Winter Clothes For The Summer Season

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Storing winter clothes for the summer As the weather turns warmer and the days grow longer, it’s time to pack away your winter clothes to make room for spring and summer things — just make sure to store your cold-weather clothes properly.  They’ll look better, wear longer, and will be ready to go when winter rolls around again next year.

Here’s what to do.

First, you’ll want to launder your winter clothes before you pack them up — even if they were never worn and/or don’t appear to be soiled. Clothes can sometimes have spots or stains that aren’t readily visible. Use unscented detergents, and skip fabric softeners and other additives that could attract insects.

Take items that can’t be washed to the dry cleaner.  Next, you’ll put your clothes into storage containers. Ideally, use bags or boxes that won’t degrade and will seal out dirt, dust, insects and moisture.  Fold clothing neatly before adding it to the container and pack “loosely”, allowing air to circulate.  Tuck a lavender or cedar sachet into each container to help repel bugs.  Both lavender and cedar are safer for use than mothballs and they smell much better.

What’s The First Thing You Should Do After A Home Purchase?

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Change your locks when you buy a new homeDid you remember to handle the most basic safety precaution for your new home?

When people buy homes , there’s a tendency to think “Big Picture” on home improvements.  Flooring, painting and furniture are common “just-moved-in” purchases, as are cable television and utilities packages.

The most important move-in purchase, though, may also be the least expensive — deadbolts for your doors.  Every home has at least one — and sometimes up to dozen — keyed points of entry.   And, until you change those locks, there’s no telling just how many people may have access to your home.

For example, your home’s prior owners may have shared house keys with any/all of the following people :

  • Real estate agents
  • Neighbors and friends
  • Parents, brothers and sisters
  • Home cleaning service
  • Dog walkers and pet sitters

Home Improvement Projects : How Much Equity Will You Build?

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Is that next home remodel worth it?

Home improvement projects are booming, expected to cross $110 billion in total volume this quarter.  Unlike in recent years, however, the projects aren’t helping to create much new home equity.

According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs Value Report 2011-2012, for each home improvement dollar spent in 2012, homeowners can expect to recoup just 58 cents in home equity. This figure is down sharply from 2005, when the cost-to-value ratio was 87 percent. 

Today’s Colorado homeowners get a much smaller payoff on their home improvement projects.  If you’re planning to remodel/update in preparation for sale, consider the following projects, each of which carries a high cost-to-value ratio. From Remodeling Magazine’s “Mid-Range Project” list :

  • Steel Entry Door Replacement:  Cost, $1,238; Recoup, 73.0%
  • Attic Bedroom:  Cost, $50,184; Recoup, 72.5%
  • Minor Kitchen Remodel:  Cost, $19,588; Recoup, 72.1%
  • Garage Door Replacement:  Cost, $1,512; Recoup, 71.9%
  • Wood Deck Addition:  Cost, $10,350; Recoup 70.1%

Green Remodeling Tips

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

According to the Sierra Club, as the average U.S. home size increases, demanding more energy and materials, living smaller is a surefire way to reduce your ecological footprint.  It’s also an opportunity to enjoy thoughtful design and a simpler lifestyle.   To see more tips for making the transitionhttp://sierraclub.org/tips/home-garden.aspx

 

Lower Your Fall/Winter Energy Bill With Ceiling Fans

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Ceiling fans for all 4 seasonsNovember is here and many parts of the country are already feeling the chill. This weekend, a nor’easter dropped up to 20 inches of snow in cities along the eastern seaboard  — a reminder that winter is coming.

No matter where you live, though, the seasonal change in temperature throughout Colorado serves as an excellent reminder to reset the blades on your home’s ceiling fans.

Ceiling fans don’t warm or cool air, specifically. Instead, they circulate air that can have the effect of making a room feel warmer in the winter months, and cooler in the summer months.

When it’s cold outside, ceiling fans push warm air down from the ceiling, balancing the heat within a room. This can make a room feel 4-6 degrees warmer. Then, during warmer months, ceiling fans push a room’s cold air back into circulation, which creates a windchill effect, of sorts.  This can change a room’s temperature 4-6 degrees.

Time to Sell, Now What?

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

The minute you know it’s time to sell your home, start thinking value.  Which home improvements will yield the highest price and which aesthetic staging will make potential homebuyers fall in love?  Value is determined when buyers weigh the work and cost they’ll have to invest after purchase against the ready-made improvements they’ll enjoy upon taking possession.  Value is also found in the buyer’s ability to see themselves in your home.  The following value-added pointers can be your guideline.

Downsize Personal Clutter Buyers will have a hard time picturing themselves in the house, if they only see remnants of you in your home.  Take down photographs, kid’s drawings, personal taste décor, and sentimental knick knacks.  This will allow the buyer to visualize a new reality, one where he pays you to take over your home.  Additionally, removing your personal affects gives you time to detach and let go of your space.  Make it easier to say good-bye as you hand over the keys.

Kitchen is Heart

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Benjamin Franklin said, “A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.”  In his time, fire was the only cooking option and heated debates were conducted in the heart of the home.  Kitchens have evolved from the days of wood burning stoves, but there’s no mistaking the home’s heart is in the kitchen.  Hearty winter soup, sweet chocolate cookies, and the morning aromas fill our hearts through our noses.  Kitchen is for family, friends and neighbors.  It is around the table where we learn about others and share ourselves as we pass the potatoes. Also, recall that the kitchen is where potential homebuyers find the pulse of possibility.

As you prepare your home for sale, the kitchen is a worthwhile investment.  Consider these small updating ideas:

Update Hardware With a plethora of choices, cabinet knobs, handles, and pulls can tie the kitchen together while giving it a newer look — even splurging on the best is still affordable.