Browsing Category: "Home and Construction"

Save Money And Make Your Next Renovation Eco-Friendly

When it comes to protecting the environment, the benefits are a long way in the future, and the costs are immediate. That’s why, according to interior designer and TV personality George Clark, people aren’t going to change the way they live – at least not without some benefits in the here and now.

Rather than taking an ideological view on the climate, Clark is more pragmatic. He says that if people are going to change, they need some incentives other than another Al Gore presentation about the end of the world.

Fortunately, things have moved on quite a bit since the early days of eco-friendly design. It’s no longer such a compromise to renovate a house in an eco-friendly way. In fact, in some situations, it’s incredibly high tech.

For regular homeowners, this means both getting some benefits and saving money on gas and electricity bills. Living more sustainably and reducing utility costs go hand-in-hand, and it’s something that everybody can benefit from.

Governments have realised this too. In the UK, for instance, the government wants to fit solar panels to 800,000 “social houses” to reduce utility costs for low-income residents. When you compare gas and electricity prices before and after the change, there’s a large difference. And that’s the benefit of eco-living: it helps level the playing field. No longer do you need a substantial income to run a big house, just the right approach to energy usage.

Here are some renovations that are eco-friendly and could save you money in the long term.

Build Draught Excluders Into New Doors

wood floor window home curtain living room furniture room door modern interior design shutters hardwood plantation window blind colonial colonial shutters window covering window treatment sash window

If you’re planning on fitting new doors, you might be able to save a bit of money on your gas and electric at the same time. Rather than fitting draught excluders, which can look cumbersome and get dirty really easily, find ways to use the door itself to plug gaps between one room and another, especially exterior doors. The good news is that the majority of modern exterior doors come with draught-excluding seals which work much better than regular excluders. Find a door that fits the door frame perfectly and put an end to inch-thick gaps under your doors which let in all the cold air from outside.

Buy Furniture And Fittings Second-Hand

Most people think that the biggest energy cost involved in the delivery of goods comes at the shipping stage. But, in reality, it’s actually the manufacturing stage which involves the most energy use, especially for products which contain metal. As a result, even if you buy furniture locally, you may not be reducing the carbon footprint of your renovation.

It’s always better, therefore, to make use of old furniture: furniture that would otherwise have been thrown in a skip and dumped in a landfill. What’s more, second-hand furniture offers opportunities that new furniture doesn’t. Upcycling a piece of new furniture doesn’t make much sense. But taking something that is apparently past its best and making it new again can be a gratifying experience and something that’s well worth doing at least one.

Choose Low Electricity Appliances

When renovating a room, we rarely consider the type of appliances we choose. But it turns out that not only is the choice of appliances essential for eco-living, but it’s also important from a stylistic point of view.

Appliances, like radiators, aren’t just appliances anymore – something which many homeowners just hope will fade into the background. They’re fast becoming focal points for the room. There’s no longer any need to stick with your original cast-iron radiator and decorate the rest of the room around it. You can get different styles of radiators that can be made to suit any room and look good too.

A current favourite is tall, thin radiators that snake their way all the way up a wall to the ceiling. Gone are the ugly traditional column and cast iron radiators. Designer radiators are here to stay, and they look a heck of a lot better than their counterparts. Designer radiators come in chrome, stainless steel, and aluminium, as well as different colours.

Replace Your Drapes With Thicker Material

According to estimates, as much as 30 percent of all the heat lost from a home is lost through the windows. That represents a significant bump to your electricity and gas bill. But the good news is that you can stem the loss of heat through judicious investment in drapes.

Thin curtains might be all the rage right now, but thicker drapes can be made to work too, especially when paired with the perfect interior. You don’t want your drapes to look too heavy or overbearing, like something out of Wuthering Heights, but you do want something that will stop heat escaping, especially now winter is approaching.

Most professional drape suppliers will allow you to choose the tog of the material. Selecting a higher tog can help to keep small air pockets within the material, providing additional insulation and reducing heat loss.

Experiment With LED Lighting

LED lights were originally invented back in the 1990s. But, as with any new technology, they were extremely expensive, to begin with. Today that’s all changed, and the cost of LEDs has come down considerably. No, they’re not quite as cheap as old-fashioned incandescent bulbs just yet, but they’re well on their way. And, importantly, they provide greater bang for the buck: LED bulbs are able three times as expensive as regular bulbs, but they may last thirty times as long and use 10 percent of the energy.

There’s also another feature of LED lights that make them particularly appealing to homeowners: their versatility. It turns out that the underlying LED technology is a lot safer than traditional lighting technology and this means that LED lights can be arranged into all sorts of configurations which simply weren’t possible in the past. LEDs can be made so small and use up such little energy that they are now being fashioned into sources of light which mimic things in the natural world, like rushes and twigs. LEDs can also be placed in areas where it would previously have been difficult to put bulbs, again adding to their versatility. Lighting a space from multiple vectors, for instance, is easier with LED bulbs than other varieties.

branch white flower vase blue lighting twig art light fixture flower close up ikebana floral design still life photography centrepiece led lights flower arranging led flower ornaments led closeup crystal flower

Stick With Wood Frames

If all you cared about was looks, which would you choose? Factory-produced UPVC window frames or wood frames? In all likelihood, it’s the latter. And the reason? Factory-produced UPVC frames are generic, ugly and hard to repair if they get damaged. Wooden frames, on the other hand, can be sanded down, chiselled away and be replaced piece by piece if necessary.

But there’s another reason to stick with wooden frames whenever possible: plastic frames are just downright dangerous for the environment. According to health experts, UPVC frames emit a toxin which can harm your health as well as the rest of the environment. Wood frames covered in non-VOC paint don’t.

Fill Your Cavity Walls Before You Start The Decorating

If you’re stripping back your old decor and are looking to replace it with something new, it’s worth thinking about filling the spaces between your cavity walls before you start decorating. Homes which don’t make use of cavity wall insulation can see their gas and electric bills skyrocket. What’s more, halfway through a renovation is the opportune time to start injecting insulating material. It’s cheap, and it’s best to do it while the decorating is ongoing to minimise disruption.

Buy Furniture Made From Recycled Materials

Have you ever wondered where all your recycled plastic and metal goes? Most of it goes back into new packaging products, but a small chunk of it also goes to make furniture.

The great thing about recycled furniture today is that you would never have guessed it was, other than the fact that manufacturers tend to be very proud of the fact. It’s high quality and sometimes more durable than unsustainably sourced furniture, thanks to its high plastic content.

Scrap Radiators Entirely

Waiting the screed

[Photo courtesy of Bill Nichols/Geograph.org.uk]

As discussed, efforts have been made to redeem radiators. But no matter how hard designers try, they rarely fit into the design of a room. Plus, they’re also not particularly energy efficient according to Clark, which is why you should consider alternatives.

Fortunately, you don’t have to freeze in the winter to keep your home stylish: just choose underfloor heating. Not only does it keep radiators out of your living spaces, but it’s also more energy-efficient, slashing the cost of your gas and electric bills.

Use Local Materials For Renovation Works

Bamboo is often considered to be an eco-friendly material because it grows quickly and comes from bamboo farms. But bamboo is cultivated a long way from its target market. Buyers of bamboo are often people in rich countries in the northern hemisphere, whereas bamboo tends to be grown near to the equator. That means that there’s a lot of energy involved in shipping it to your house. You can bypass all of this, of course, by source sustainable materials locally.

[ Tagged In ] , , , , , , , , ,

Illuminate Your Life!: Roof Designs That Encourage More Natural Light

Have you been feeling a little down in the dumps lately? Perhaps you are getting plenty of sleep, but you are still tired. Did you know that if we aren’t getting enough natural light, then we can become sick and depressed! This isn’t good news to anyone who works from home or in an office all day. So while we can’t do much about your office set up, we can give you some great ideas for increasing your natural light at home!

blue, clouds, cloudy

[Photo courtesy of Skitterphoto/pexels.com]

A cool way to bring more light into the home is using solar tubes or tunnels.  These are tubes installed through the roof and directed into the darker rooms of your home. Such as bathrooms with no exterior wall. They are as efficient as windows, and in some cases even better and are perfect when natural light only comes in through an open door. It is possible that some of these tubes may need to be bent during installation which can reduce some of the light that is reflected in. However, it is still a better solution than using electric lighting. When the solar tube is short and straight the power of the natural light is intensified.  Solar lights don’t let you see outside, though, which might make them the last choice you want if you are trying to install better lighting. They are cheap though and more efficient than electric light.

Chatting to your local roofing specialist might help to understand how a solar tube works and there are lots of great companies out there who can help you get to grips with it, CLM Roofing could be a good source of information.

Roofline, Shingles, Architectural Style, Mansard

[Photo courtesy of JamesDeMers/pixabay.com]

The obvious way to bring more light in is to add more windows, and you have a variety of options to choose from. Installing new windows can be a very expensive move forward. However, a roof light is probably the cheapest way of achieving what you want.   You can easily install roof lights to improve the natural light within a dark space. Even on a dull, gray, damp day, the area is flooded with light, and your rooms will seem larger and happier. Of course, if you want to get dramatic then you could consider a glass roof, this is especially useful in the center of a home, although you will need to talk to a skilled architect to understand if it is possible. Sash windows are a great option, and you could even replace rear doors or part of a wall with patio doors. Bringing lots of natural light into your room and, when you need it, a good dose of fresh air!

Bringing more light into the home is imperative and you cannot underestimate how much of an impact light has on your health. If you really can’t find ways of bringing in the natural light then use a light lamp in your bedroom. You may find you feel better and sleep better too.

Let the light shine in!

[ Tagged In ] , , , , , ,

What Should I Look For In A Disaster Restoration Company?

If you want to keep your home in excellent condition, it’s important to ensure that you’ll know who to call if a disaster strikes on your residential property. Finding the ideal disaster restoration company is important because it ensures that your property and possessions can be recovered with skill and speed. To ensure that you can find the ideal company, look for the following attributes in the firm:

1. A Great Reputation.

One of the best ways to ensure that you’re working with the right disaster restoration company is by determining whether they have a great reputation. Luckily, the internet makes it easy to do the research necessary to determine whether you’re working with an ethical group of people who are known for getting the job done quickly and correctly. For example, you can type in a key phrase like “Fire Restoration Contractors Online Reviews” to see what former clients are saying about the professionals in question. You can also do research on the restoration company’s website to learn more about things like how long they’ve been operating and whether they’ve won any significant awards.

House Fire, Home, Fire, Danger, Fireman, Smoke

[Photo courtesy of paulbr75/pixabay.com]

2. Comprehensive Services.

In addition to seeking out a restoration company that has a great reputation, make sure that you look for a team of professionals who will be able to offer comprehensive services. These services empower you to ensure that all of your restoration needs can be taken care of from one company, thereby saving you the time and energy it would take to coordinate services from multiple firms. Companies like DKI are pleased to offer a wide range of services, some of which include:

  • Water Damage
  • Fire Damage
  • Storm Damage
  • Mold Remediation
  • Infectious Disease Control
  • Catastrophe Response
  • Personal Property Restoration
  • Building Restoration
  • Tree Removal

Bulldozer, Demolition, The Destruction Of, Construction

[Photo courtesy of olesya41/pixabay.com]

3. Fair Prices.

One final attribute you should look for in a disaster restoration company is fair prices. This trait is important because it ensures that you won’t have to pay unreasonable, astronomical prices for the restoration services you want. You can do internet research to see what the average asking rates are in your area before deciding which company to go with.

Don’t Delay: Find The Right Disaster Restoration Company Today!

If you want to keep your home in excellent condition, knowing who to call in case of a disaster is immensely important. To ensure that you can attain the high quality disaster restoration services you need and deserve, use the search techniques outlined in this quick reference guide!

[ Tagged In ] , , , , , , , , , , ,

Just a Few Examples of Eco-Friendly Construction Ideas

With billions of people now living on the planet and that number expected to continue increasing, our natural resources are becoming scarcer and it is more important than ever before that we change the way we live so that we can build a greener economy and preserve this amazing planet for future generations. From simple everyday acts, such as recycling or avoiding the use of plastic bags at the grocery store, to making major adjustments to construction plans in order to ensure that buildings are more eco-friendly, there are a variety of ways to live a greener life and contribute to a healthier planet.

Below are just a few of the many ways in which you can make your home greener from the inside out. Some of these are relatively inexpensive while others require a bit of an investment, but each one is more than worth your time and money for the great benefits they provide to both people and planet Earth.

The Interior Of The, Repair, Interior, Design, Sampler

[Photo courtesy of pozytywnewnetrza/pixabay.com]

Non-Toxic Paints

Typical interior and exterior paints contain a host of harmful toxins that actually continue to leak out into the air in and around your home for many years after the paint is applied. That is why many paint brands are now offering lines of eco-friendly paints that do not contain the same toxic chemicals and do not release the fumes either. These are not only healthier for the environment, they are also healthier for you and your family, including your pets. Without worrying about inhaling these toxic compounds, you can rest assured that your indoor air quality is safer for everyone.

Plant, Pot Plant, Sunbeams, Window

[Photo courtesy of Pexels/pixabay.com]

Properly Insulated Windows

Replacing your old windows with newer ones that are designed to keep the temperature just right, you can avoid drafts in the winter that require you to turn your heater up higher and you can also prevent heat from coming into your home in the middle of the summer, forcing you to turn your air conditioner up another notch. By lowering your heater and air conditioner, you will not only save money on your energy bill, you will also be conserving energy as well and you won’t be contributing to harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

Home Office, Notebook, Home, Couch, Sofa, Canapé

[Photo courtesy of Life-Of-Pix/pixabay.com]

Earth-Friendly Flooring

When it comes to flooring, there are many options available that are environmentally friendly. If you prefer carpets and rugs, you can purchase those made from recycle materials or those that do not contain harmful chemicals. Or if you prefer wood floors, choose those made from renewable resources, such as bamboo.

Eco-Friendly Building Materials

From long-lasting building materials to those that come from recycled parts, you can construct a durable and comfortable home in a much more eco-friendly fashion these days. If you are in the construction business or you bought a plot of land onto which you want build your dream home, working with a surveyor Christchurch who can properly assess the land and help you develop your construction plans will also ensure that you can work with someone who will build you an eco-friendly home.

[ Tagged In ] , , , , , , , , ,

error: Content is protected !!