Staging Your Home is an Investment, Not an Expense

You've decided to place your house on the market to sell and you know it needs some updating, but you think that the buyer will come in and make allowances for the changes that it needs. You may be leery of spending money on Home Staging or updating. You may think that the buyer will want to choose their own fixtures and colors, so you'll leave the property as it is. That could be a big mistake.

Sunshine + LEDs + Colorful Paper or Plastic = Green Lighting

We love it when someone takes two easy to understand technologies and produces a fun and practical item that anyone can buy for less than $20. That someone is IKEA and their new line of Solar-Operated Lighting is called SOLIG. It's presence in the market place and its ease of use may be just what many people need to get their arms around a green energy future.

Look, no power cords!

Problems with Chinese Manufactured Drywall

There are hundreds of details that homeowners have to worry about when remodeling or building a brand new home. But honestly, we never thought that you would have to be concerned with drywall. Seems like home owners and builders in some States like Florida and 47 other States do. Specifically, Knauf brand drywall is now at the center of several lawsuits alleging that it emits gases that harm household systems and may be dangerous to your health. American drywall manufacturers are USG and National Gypsum are also named in the lawsuite.

Affordable Drainwater Heat Recovery System

 We use quite a bit of hot water mostly for showers and baths, and to wash our dishes and clothes. Unfortunately, 80-90 percent of the energy used to heat that water goes right down the drain. Now for less than $500-$700 plus installation costs, owners of single family and multifamily homes can install a drain heat recovery system to recover that heat. That means longer hot showers, saving electricity or natural gas and of course money. The payback time is about 2-3 years.

Use Ceiling Fans to cut Heating Bills

Most people think "summer"  when it comes to ceiling fans. However, using your ceiling fan properly during winter can reduce your heating bills. This is especially true in homes with cathedral and tray ceilings.

Todays ceiling fans are very efficient in moving air around. They are really meant to be used all year though in the dead of winter and the heat of summer. They key to using your ceiling fan properly is to adjust the rotation of the fan blades. Most ceiling blades allow this.

Green Building Materials are catching on

In 2008 the U.S. market for 'green' building materials generated sales of almost $57 billion, according to a study from the Freedonia Group, Inc.," and "this market is projected to expand 7.2% annually to over $80 billion in 2013. Recycled concrete, certified lumber, water efficient plumbing, energy efficient lighting, and green flooring have been the most popular.

Paint Test Boards- are they really worth it?

Choosing paint colors is always a hassle. We found that Paint Test Boards by Tru-Hue make it much easier and can be used to select not only paint colors, but also your home furnishings as well.

Tru-Hue asked us to try their test boards out since we have written several articles about choosing paint colors. Our review is totally independent and we are not being compensated. Nor has Tru-Hue been given a copy of our review prior to posting this.

Remodeling Contractor Shams

Choosing a general contractor or a plumber, electrician, mason, or HVAC specialist these days requires that you really do your homework and research. The economy has really hurt remodeling contractors across the board. Many companies are  striving to retain seasoned workers and meet payroll. We point out ten contractor scams and what you can do to protect yourself.

Ten Common Scams and How to Beat Them

1) You can't verify whether the contractor is licensed to do work in your State nor their name, address, phone number or license number.

When the Architectural Design does not follow Function

Architecture and web design have a lot in common. Both professions can produce dazzling designs, but in reality they may not be very usable. That's why you have an obligation to scrutinize construction drawings closely to make sure that the spaces are really livable. Don't have the time? Then have an interior designer look at the plans.
 
Examples of Tweaking that Design
Here are several examples the kind of trouble you can get into if you do not review your construction drawings or have someone else review them thoroughly:

Putting the Recesssion in Perspective

If you are like me you are worried about your home, your job and your future. I sometimes turn off the news because by nature I am pretty positive and I get weary of all this bad news. I ask myself constantly "how bad are things and how does it compare to the Great Depression in 1933. I found a great article today that will help you put things in perspective.

Do It Yourself Bathroom Remodeling Tips

Remodeling your bathroom yourself is a viable option for many home owners who are on a budget. Take your time and plan ahead and have everything you need on the job site before you begin. Also shop the Internet to compare prices and buy items.

The following tips will help you avoid common mistakes and make your friends think that you actually hired a bathroom designer.

Why aren't there more Ed Begleys and Bill Nyes?

High energy prices and the threat of green house gases should have galvanized millions of Americans to follow Bill Nyes' and Ed Begley's excellent examples when it comes to controlling energy costs and going green. Most have not and that includes the Facebook crowd and fans of President Obama. Instead, we're still relying on government or an enlightened Obama Administration to solve the problem. What if they don't!

Tips on Converting your Basement into a Rental Unit

Remodeling your basement and renting it out may be a good way of supplementing your income. Of course that assumes it's legal to begin with. Basements are the most ignored spaces in your home so the hidden costs should be adequatedly considered before hand. Also don't bother creating that basement apartment unless you plan to do it really well.

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