Considering Energy Efficiency in Outdoor Decorating

Energy efficiency becomes an important thing for many people especially now that more people become more aware of environment. This is one very reason why there are so many products made to be efficient in the usage of energy. Searching for electronics or even other products such as vehicles with energy efficient label becomes an easier thing. Decorative items are no exception. How come the decorative items need to be energy efficient as well? The answer lies in the items themselves. Many of them are made to use electricity. Outdoor lights or even small fountain in the garden may need a check efficiency of energy consumption.

classic outdoor lamps

Lights and Other Outdoor Decorations

Lights in various forms such as lanterns as well as the other outdoor decorating items might need electricity to properly become beautiful and beautify the outdoor view of a home or any other building. The usage of lights outdoor is something very common and not unusual at all. Imagine a night’s scenery when a house has no lights. If a house has a spacious garden or yard, it’s easy to lose the will to go walking outside of home. The households themselves might reluctant to go outside. The surrounding of the house will become creepy.

On the contrary, a well lit house will look a lot better and more reassuring. For one, the home won’t look creepy as the lights will shine showing the path to home. The usage of lights will certainly need the proper supply of energy from time to time. The more lights available, the more energy will be needed. When there are a considerably large number of outdoor lights – not to mention the other outdoor decorations, energy efficiency will certainly needs to be calculated and considered. Ignoring this bit will mean that one needs to prepare to pay higher electricity bills.

Ways to Save Energy and be More Efficient

Fortunately, everyone can take control over the outdoor decorating items as well as lights those need sufficient energy supply. There are good ways can be used to help being more efficient in the usage of energy while keeping the lawn beautiful with the lights or other decorative items. The first and the most obvious way will be to choose the right items. There are good products labeled and certified for being the products with more efficient energy consumption. These products are good start to be chosen and can be found easily.

LED lights are the examples of the good an efficient in the usage of energy. The light bulbs of LED will be able to last for the longer time and won’t consume too much energy. Aside of that, the lights will be really bright with such small input. When talking about energy efficiency and ways to do it, many people will also consider using every electronic device wisely. Every individual has specific way in this case and one of them is to try to shorten the duration of items needing electricity. For example, a light can be turned on when the night has truly dark and then the light can be turned off before the sun even rising.

Home design can also be very helpful in the attempt of saving energy. For home interior, smartly plan the rooms to utilize more of sunlight is a really good thing. In case of outdoor decorating plan, it is a wise thing to place lights on the necessary paths only. Simply putting the light in every dark corner will not be a good thing and even will become awkward. Certainly, the lawn will be bright but it is not wise in the term of energy saving.

There are also people who try to utilize solar power and convert it to the needed electricity. This is also a good step of energy efficiency. It is possible to make the lights outside to use converted solar energy. Certainly, the home owner needs to have the solar system first or else this is not going to be good. Living life and using various items for decorations or daily needs can be done while also considering the effects to the environment. It is not a bad thing to be considered especially when considering the benefits in long term.


What to Prepare in Home Remodeling Projects

The best home remodeling plan is what you need to create a more beautiful and comfortable home. There are many ideas of home remodeling projects that you can choose to create your dream home. You can transform your basement into a game room. You can transform your living room into a more laid back and comfortable room. If interior redesigning projects are not enough for you, you can go for a bigger project such as adding an extra room. Building an extra room is a good idea if you want to have more living space. It is more costly though. That’s why you need to prepare the budget for it. Actually, there are many things to prepare and consider before you plan your home remodeling project. Here are some of them.

home interior

Defining the remodeling goal

Before you meet a contractor, you must decide what you really want. It is important for you to visualize your remodeling ideas. You can sketch it if you want to. You can also use home design software to visualize your project. Aside from defining the purpose of your project, you must also consider how your remodeling project affects your home. For example, you want to tear down the wall between the dining room and living room to create open space living area. You must consider how it will affect the structure of the building. If you want to add another room, you must make sure that you have enough space for it and your homes looks great from the outside.

When you are planning your remodeling project, you must also think about the future. You must consider how it affects the value of your home. You must make sure that your remodeling projects will not decrease the value of your home. To avoid it, you must choose high quality materials in creating your project. You must also make sure that it is professionally done. You must also think about whether you and your family will need this project for the long haul. You and your family may need different type of housing in the future.

Consider the budget

Once you plan your remodeling project, you must count the budget. When it comes to remodeling your home, you will likely spend more than your budget plan. That’s why it is important for you to have some amount of money ready. In consequence, when it is out of budget, you do not need to terminate the project in the middle of the process. If you do not have enough saving for it, you can apply for home remodeling loan. You must make sure that you lend the money from trusted money lender.

If you have no idea about how much the budget you need, you can ask for estimation from the contractor. After you plan your remodeling project, you had better talk to more than one contractor companies. Talking to them will enable you to compare estimation. It will also enable you to get to know the contractors better. In consequence, you can choose one who you can talk to comfortably.

Things to consider when hiring a contractor company

There are several things you must consider when you are hiring a contractor company. Aside from being able to communicate easily with the head of the remodeling team, you must also consider the quality of the contractor. Make sure that it has years of experience in performing various projects on home remodeling. You must also make sure that the team members are highly skilled, qualified, and certified. You must also make sure that they are insured.

Once you choose a contractor, you must negotiate a contract. It is important for you to have a written contract with the contractor. You must make sure that everyone agrees with all the points in the contracts. It includes how long the project will be done, types of materials, and payment.

Legal permit

When you are planning to renovate your home, you must have the permission from the local government. This permit will ensure that your project meet the safety regulation and local building codes. Most big contractor company will help you with the legal permit. However, some small companies may not offer you any assistance in acquiring it. Therefore, you will need to get the legal permit for your home remodeling plan on your own.


Benefits of Roof Flashing

Roof flashing is getting more popular these days. More and more residential and commercial building owners consider flashing their roof as an effort to protect their building from harmful weather conditions. It has become a clear fact that roof provides a protection to a building. However, roof is also vulnerable because it is always exposed to different weather. Among harmful weather elements, rain is the most difficult element to control. When it is on the roof, it can go anywhere and cause lots of bigger problems. To protect your building from water that may seep into the building, you need to add an additional feature to your roof. In this case, the best solution is flashing.

What Is Roof Flashing?

Basically, roof flashing is a piece of sheet metal that is placed over joints in roof and wall construction. It is also commonly placed around chimney and plumbing vent stacks. If you take a deeper look, these areas are the most vulnerable areas on the roof because water can easily go through them into the house. Water on the roof always goes to the lowest area. Because such joints are relatively lower than other parts of the roof, they are a favorite area for water. In fact, once the water seeps into your building, it can promote various problems including the development of mold and fungi. In most cases, it can cause leakage on the roof. By flashing the roof, homeowners can get rid of such worries. They can sleep soundly even though it is rain hard outside as they know that the flashing can combat the weather.

Why You Need Roof Flashing

The main reason why flashing the roof needs to be conducted is to protect your building from water. Roofing is not only about installing roof or choosing the right materials but also about giving full protection to the building. In this case, the piece that is placed over the joints will direct the water to the designated area on the roof. From this area, water will then be led to the ground. As a result, no water will seep into the house. This condition gives peace of mind to homeowners. They will not need to spend lots of money because they do not need to have their roof repaired. Water that seeps into the house certainly will cause a leak on the roof. If this happens, homeowners must have the roof repaired. Roof repair is definitely an expensive task because they need to hire a roofer and buy replacement roof. Then, they also will not need to worry about their building and furniture because no leak on the roof. Everything in their house will save so they don’t need to buy new furniture or have their wall repainted.

Choosing Materials for Roof Flashing

Even though roof flashing is intended to avoid water seeping into the house, it will not work effectively unless it meets the standards. Basically, an effective flashing is durable, weather resistant, low maintenance and able to accommodate movement. Durable flashing will not easily get damaged or broken. It can protect the building for a much longer period. Flashing should be able to protect building not only from water but also from other weathers including snow, high wings and heat. Low roof maintenance flashing enables homeowners to save time, energy and money. Expansion and contraction on the roof happens every day. If the flashing cannot accommodate them, it will not work.

In order to have flashing that meets those 4 criteria, homeowners must choose the right flashing materials. In the past, most homeowners chose lead sheet for their flashing because this material could be easily molded. These days, materials that are commonly used for flashing are stainless steel, copper, aluminum, rubber, plastic and waterproof impregnated paper. If homeowners choose flashing materials that can rust, they need to make sure that the materials are painted well. This is important to consider because rust can make the flashing prone to weather changes. In this case, homeowners need to hire a good roofer because flashing the roof requires special skills. There is a certain technique to perform flashing. A roofer must carefully perform the technique because flashing the roof is the one of the most difficult aspects of roofing.


Benefits of Window Blinds and How to Select Them

Window blinds are actually essential for your windows. Of course there are many reasons why they become such important items in your room. Let us take a look at those reasons plus some easy tips on how to select the best shades for the windows in your lovely house.


  • Curtain Replacement

A window blind is a window cover that is made of whole piece or strips of plastic, fabric, or paper which has a string to pull them up or down. It means that it functions almost exactly like a curtain and let us just say that they also have a similar purpose which is to cover windows.

However, some people actually find window shades to be more practical or effective than curtains. There are several reasons why a blind can be such a necessary item in your room.

First, installing blinds enable you to control the light that enters your room. It is because with blinds, you have the option to fully cover the windows or just part of them.

A window shade is made of some paper or plastic slats and you can set them apart to allow the light in or you can fit them tightly so that there is no light in at all. It will be ideal for a certain room like a recreation room that has a home theater in it.

Blinds sometimes offer more advantages than curtains do. For example, you are able enjoy complete privacy that is provided by a window shade but not a curtain. Using a curtain, you can only either fully close or open it, no in between.

However, with a window blind, you are still able to enjoy your privacy even when you want to also enjoy some natural light. A top-down shade will be a perfect choice for this because you only have to lower it from the top and allow the natural light in through it but the bottom part is still pretty much covered.

If you ask people which one, between a curtain and window blind, that is easier to maintain, the majority of them will probably choose a blind. Curtains usually require washing and drying but many window shades simply need a swift wipe and it will be done in a matter of minute.

All you have to do is finding a soft cloth, dampen it with water, and start wiping the slats with it. If it is possible, you should clean it regularly to avoid any buildup dust. You may also hire professionals to clean windows related problems.

Other than to cover the windows, blinds can also be used as decorative items, much like curtains. Shades come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and designs. They will allow you to create certain styles and moods in your rooms.

There are many types of blind you can choose from venetian blinds, roman blinds, vertical blinds, cordless blinds, to roller blinds. They also come in different types of material such as wood, bamboo, aluminum, plastic, and even paper.

  • Selecting Window Shades

Before you choose any shades, you should consider these four things. First, you should consider the lighting of the room. Is the room supposed to have good lighting or not? If it is not, a roman or roller blind will be your perfect choice.

Second, the humidity also needs to be considered as well. For a humid room, you cannot use materials like silk, wood, or linen. You can find about natural ventilating here. Third, the size of the blind is also important. Do you want it to fit inside or outside the window space?

Fourth, the maintenance is essential. You should remove the dust regularly by brushing, wiping, or vacuuming those window blinds.


Underfloor Heating: Is It Right for Your Home?

Nowadays, people are considering underfloor heating as the alternative of heating system. It is great option for traditional radiators or for hot-air. If you want to renovate your home, it costs rather affordable.

  • What is underfloor heating?

Underfloor heating can be described as the ‘wet’ or ‘dry’ system. ‘Wet’ system is when warm water is pumping through the pipes under the floor. While ‘dry’ system is when the electric coils are placed under the floor, actually the basic principle of underfloor heating is on the heat rising.

Here we will see the pros and cons of using underfloor heating and also things you should know about this type of heating.

  • The pros and cons of underfloor heating

For some people, they may think underfloor heating is something luxurious. Usually, hotels will have this heating system. They use underfloor heating for heating the room, the bathroom in the cold day.

Since underfloor heating is one of the best fitting for home, it is also placed hidden and cannot be seen. It is done with the mess of radiators. It is very effective choice for you to heat the room.

The radiators distribute the heat all around the room; the heat is quickly spread to all the room. Moreover, good underfloor heating can heat bigger space of room. The radiators work the best for you to get its benefits and effects of the heat.

The radiators need water to be always in high temperature so that it can work more effective. If not, underfloor heating can do on lower temperature. You can install the heating by yourself. Typically, the works are about the tiles and stone. It is so well-known for bathrooms.

The biggest problem as the cons of underfloor heating is on its cost. The system itself is not the problem, but the installation. You will spend much money as if you build new home or it will cost much if you have finish working with your floor.

If it is lower temperature, the underfloor heating will need more time to heat the room. So you also need a timer with it. Moreover, you should prepare specific space to place it in the floor since the system doesn’t work for all fittings and furniture.

  • Installing underfloor heating systems

As it said before, you can install it by yourself, of course not to waste too much money as well. Essentially, you should place the underfloor heating mats or cables over the insulation. If not, you will heat the ground.

You can choose the type in which go well with your floor. Different types will work with different floor too. However, for some people, they may not be confident enough to do by themselves. If you are one of them, you can ask for professional to help.

You should get the professional electrician as well for the electricity supply. The electrician will help you in connecting sensor to thermostat too. For water-based system, don’t install by yourself. This installation of underfloor heating need to lay the pipes, connect the boiler system and also raise the floor.


Problems that could Happen in Sprayed Foam Home Insulation

Sprayed foam home insulation is a popular insulation method rather than the conventional fiberglass batts. The method will provide bigger R-value compared with every inch of the conventional option. However, some problems could happen when sprayed foam insulation isn’t installed appropriately.

Sprayed insulation foam that has been insulated badly can bring problems of moisture, causing insect infestations and also cause irritations to the lungs of anyone who live inside the house.

  • Void Problems

Void is one of common problems happened because of the improper application and covering of sprayed foam home insulation. Ask the Builder stated that the void problems can decrease the R-value of per inch material in great number. Make sure the spray foam insulation is done perfectly without any empty space left.

To get proper application, you should choose professional and experienced contractor that will work well with proper equipment. Don’t try to apply the spray foam by yourself since you don’t have experiences that will possible some problems.

  • Deterioration Problems

This kind of problem commonly happens in older version of spray foam insulation like UFFI (Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation). Such older version can break down and crumble as the running of the time. The soft material of the foam is quite fragile and can be damaged easily during the normal activities in the house.

Besides, UFFI that isn’t integrated well can produce tiny airborne particles that irritate the homeowners’ respiratory. UFFI also could produce gases that are quote dangerous for those who have respiratory illnesses and chemical sensitiveness. However, the newer type of sprayed foam home insulation like Icynene doesn’t easily crumble and it is less hazard for the respiratory system.

  • Insects Problems

The increasing of insect problems like carpenter ants, termites, or other wood eating or boring insects could be the other problem of spray insulation and foam board. The insects can make tunnels easily through the foam materials, moreover if the materials combine with wooden elements for the frames.

To prevent the problem of insect infestation in foam insulation, you should install the physical or chemical insect barrier before the application of the foam. Today, many buildings with foam insulation come with termiticides, termite shields, and also regular maintenance works that will become anti-termite for the building. Those solutions will decrease the possibility of the problems.

  • Moisture Problems

The sprayed foam home insulation can trap the moisture if it isn’t installed correctly. As the result, it leads to molds problems and also encouraging rot. The even application of the foam sheets under the roof or other area can make the water routes eliminated so there are much water that can’t leave the house completely.

The trapped moisture can cause bigger problems after much time. It is better to install open-cell type of spray foam rather than the closed-cell. It will prevent the spray foam from water trapping from leak roof, roof sheathing, and also damaged materials of the frames.

Therefore, make sure you choose the best type and experienced professional to install sprayed foam home insulation.