The right energy saving measures taken in your home can easily reduce your current utility bills by as much as 50%. Of all measures available, radiant barrier insulation stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Most of us have been educated on the need and purpose of insulation inside of our homes. Insulation forms a barrier that keeps heat away from the occupied or cooled sections of your home. This barrier can be in your floor and/or your walls, but in addition to these, the most effective place for insulation is above your head in your attic.

Radiant barriers are materials used for the purpose of home insulation. They are effective at stopping the transfer of radiant energy from the outside of the home to the inside during the summer months. The barriers are typically installed in the attics of homes in order to reduce heat gain during the summer months, with the result being lower energy bills.

3 Ways for Heat to Transfer

From a physics perspective, heat transfer takes three forms: conduction, radiation and convection.

Most types of insulation used in homes and office buildings – such as fiberglass blankets – are effective vis-a-vis conduction and convection types of heat transfer. However, they are ineffective at preventing radiant heat transfer.

This is where radiant barriers come in. They are a type of aluminum product which can be used in conjunction with other types of insulation materials to protect the home against high energy bills.

These barriers are installed in both commercial and residential buildings.

Types of Radiant Barrier Application

One way to apply this technology in residential situations is to spray a coat of radiant barrier # 85 inside the attic along the roof. This solution is made of insulating ceramic microspheres and pure metal (aluminum) pigment – and yet with no flammable or volatile solvents. This method can reduce radiant heat by up to 70%.

Another option is to install a barrier of aluminum foil in a way that covers the existing, traditional insulation such as fiberglass blankets, foam, or concrete blocks. The foil type of insulation is even more effective than is the spray type, reducing radiant energy by up to 97%.

Radiant barrier and energy savings go hand-in-hand. When installed properly, they can greatly contribute to reduced energy costs by saving in cooling/air conditioning costs during the summer months in a way that traditional insulation materials cannot accomplish on their own.

major home appliances

These days, everyone is looking to cut costs in any way they can.

Lots of people are doing more do it yourself type of home projects instead of hiring people to do it for them and spending money to have it done. There are some things that you should avoid doing yourself and instead hire a professional to do it for you. One of these things is appliance repair. Keep reading to learn why you should hire a professional repairman instead of doing it yourself.

Household appliances are very expensive to replace.

Instead of risking further problems with your residential appliance because you worked on it yourself, hire a service technician. Trying to do it yourself can cause more problems and you may end up having to completely replace your electronic appliance if you break it. By taking the simple step and hiring someone to do it, you can save on having to buy a new major appliance.

If you don’t know what you are doing when it comes to appliance repair, you can hurt yourself. It is not worth the money you are going to save if you do get injured. Avoid getting hurt and instead hire someone to do it for you. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it, but it does mean you are being smart about getting it fixed.

There are some things you just shouldn’t fix yourself.

Appliances are something that should be fixed by a professional service company only. Don’t risk hurting yourself or breaking your appliance any further. Both of these things can cost you more money. If you hire a repairman to fix it from the start you can avoid both of these things happening. Your appliance will be just like new once you hire a professional repairman to fix it for you.

Should you be concerned about mold in your home?

mold-in-home

What if indoor mold growth is extensive?

Mold can cause very high and persistent airborne spore exposures, that is why mold removal nyc is so important.

People exposed to high spore levels can become sensitized.

And develop allergies to mold or other health problems.

Mold growth can also damage your furnishings, such as carpets, sofas and cabinets.

Clothes and shoes in damp closets can become soiled.

In time, unchecked mold growth can cause serious damage to structure of your home.

What symptoms are commonly seen with mold exposure?

Exposure to large amounts of mold can cause health effects through inflammation, allergic response and in
some case studies infections.

Allergic reactions are often referred to as flu or hay fever like symptoms.

These are the most common health problems reported by mold exposure.

Common symptoms a person exposed to mold include:

Breathing problems, wheezing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
Stuffy nose or sinus congestion (runny nose, sneezing, headaches, nosebleeds)
Eye irritation (burning, watery, reddened eyes)
Throat irritation (fever, dry itchy sore throat, dry persistent hacking cough)
Skin rashes, red inflammations, itchy skin
Memory loss and retention problems
Changes in behavior, mood swings
Body stiffness, muscle aches, joint pains

Truth is when it comes to mold the causes are still not fully understood.

How much mold exposure can make you sick?

It really depends because for some people even a small amount of mold spores can trigger reactions from an
asthma attack or other health related problems.

Other people the symptoms may occur only when exposure levels are much higher.

The point is you really don’t know what is considered a safe level for you.

Overall indoor mold growth is unsanitary and undesirable.

When you can see or smell mold inside your home, take steps to identify and eliminate excess moisture.

Take action to cleanup and remove mold.

mold-in-kitchen

Are some molds more hazardous than others?

People with a history of allergies have different levels of sensitivity to molds.

Then there is exposure time frame, amount and types of mold which can cause people to feel ill.

The fact is mold spores are able to cause allergies.

Now certain species of molds, such as Stachybotrys chartarum may produce compounds with toxic properties,
which are called mycotoxins.

Mycotoxins are not always produced.

Whether a mold produces mycotoxins while growing in your home depends on environmental conditions.

And what the mold is growing on as well as temperature, humidity and other unknown factors.

When mycotoxins are produced they are in found in living and dead mold spores.

And may be in materials in which mold has grown.

When stachybotrys chartarum and other types of molds are growing, they have a wet slime layer which covers
the spores, which temparily stops spores from becoming airborne.

When mold dies and dries up, indoor air or physical handling can cause spores to become airborne.

Spores are easily released when moldy materials dry out, so it is better to remove mold as soon as possible.

Concrete Pathways

Posted by Mary Broomfield | Home Renovation

concrete pathway

Concrete paths and walkways can make your home feel more welcoming to visitors. It is a direct path from the sidewalk to your front door, or into your backyard. It is important to focus on every aspect of your home and make it feel like a welcoming place for others. Luckily, the right concrete contractor can implement a high quality concrete path in your front or backyard and turn what you were imagining into a reality.

These paths are easy to build and even easier to maintain. Many people chose to add a walkway to their lawn in order to give direction and decoration to their property. As a top quality concrete contractor service, we specialize in a wide range of services and can help you turn your home into what you want it to be.

Why Have a Path Installed On Your Property?

– it will make your property look more “complete”
If there is simply a lawn and then your home, with nothing else to fill up all of the green space, it will appear as though there is something missing from your home. A nice walkway will make your home look like it is part of the neighborhood and that you have taken the time to fill up the space you have access to.

– it welcomes others to your door
Having a path that leads from the street to your front step is definitely welcoming and will make you feel like you are part of thee neighborhood.

– it offers opportunities for decorating
Whether you use twinkly lights, lanterns or flowers to decorate the edges of your walkway, this will greatly transform the look of your property. It allows you to add something special to your property and give others a sense of who you are. The way a front lawn is decorated and maintained speaks volumes about the people living inside the home. However, if you would prefer not to decorate, a simple path still looks beautiful on any property.

AAA Concreting offers a variety of concrete contract services including paths and walkways:

– different types of concrete so that you get a unique addition to your property; modern concrete, high-strength concrete, etc. we will help you make the best, informed decision
– sealed or unsealed concrete
– finished or unfinished concrete
– full installation with the proper tools and knowledge
– minimal noise while installing and quick and efficient service.

Additional services

– concrete break and removal
– excavation
– structural reinforcing
– waterproofing
– concrete place and finish

If you are looking for a new concrete pathway, I highly recommend AAA Concreting in Sacramento. Give them a call on (916) 312-4166 to book a consultation.

Installing a garage door can be a very simple procedure if you have the proper tools and some experience, at least with handiwork around your home. There are many different components to a garage door, and if you are taking out an existing one, this can also be a time-consuming process. Most people will choose to use a professional to help them install one simply because it’s easier to use a company that does this for a living. However, if you would like to save money and attempt to do this on your own, there are a few things that you need to know on how to install garage door, simple tips that can help you get this done.

 

Reasons To Install A New Garage Door

 

There are many reasons that people choose to put in a new garage door. For example, their existing one could be quite old and is no longer functioning as it once did. If it is not closing or opening all of the way, or if it is getting stuck, it is possible that you may need to replace the existing one that you have because it is simply too old to operate. You will want to take measurements of the garage door, the garage door opening, and then go to your local home improvement store to choose one that can be delivered. Once you have it, you will have to remove the existing garage door which is actually a very simple process.

 

Removing The Existing Garage Door

 

This can be difficult, and slightly dangerous, and almost always requires someone to help you remove it safely. You will need to remove the extension springs first, and is the initial step that must be done so that the tension on the springs is eliminated. This will require you to completely open the door, lock it into place using locking pliers, affixing it to each garage door track. You will then remove the cables, take off the springs, and released the pliers and move the garage door into the closed position. The torsion springs will then be removed, along with the winding bar, and then finally the tracks and the door. If there is an overhead motorized component, that will be the final step so that you can install the new garage door.

Capture3

Installing The New Garage Door

 

To install the new garage door, you are essentially doing the reverse of what was accomplished when you removed the existing door. You will want to assemble the garage door tracks, and then the rollers and existing brackets. You will need to fasten the hinges, and always use a power drill because it will be faster and allow you to firmly secure everything into the wood. Jamb brackets are added next, followed by actually installing the horizontal tracks and finally the garage door itself.

 

This basic overview of how to remove an existing garage door, and how to install garage door quickly, should give you a general idea of what needs to be done. The one that you purchase will have instructions, sometimes even including a link to a video that you can watch, so that you can follow the step-by-step procedure watching a professional do this job. However, if you would prefer using a professional to do this for you without having to worry about the dangers of working with extension and torsion springs, there is always going to be a garage door company in your area that can quickly remove an existing garage door, and replace it with a new one, for an affordable price.

Alright, I have to admit, I skipped out on a project. This wasn’t just any project however, this was a flooring installation. Before I get started, I want to say thanks for the great service to The Flooring Pro Guys and their team. These hardwood floors couldn’t look better. And boy am I glad that I went with real hardwood.

Here is a sample of what I had installed:

wood

Let me tell you, when you see this spread across a large dining room, it is BEAUTIFUL! I love it more everyday I see it.

First off, I don’t know if you have studied much about installing wood floors, but I will tell you right now, it is HARD. Not only that, but moving all the furniture out of the way is back breaking type of work that I just can’t do anymore.

This is exactly the type of project that I warn you about. If your time is worth more than a project will take, sometimes it is worth it to hire out. Plus this is not a cheap project. If I mess up the install through the learning curve, the materials are not cheap. This is not a project where I want to learn from my mistakes. I do not even want to risk making the mistakes!

So that is why I found The Flooring Pro Guys to do this work. A friend recommended them originally. Their website has some good information on it if you want to find out more about them. I wholeheartedly recommend them and their team. When I called them up, they set up an appointment to do a walk through my home and give me a quote on an installation cost. The price was right so I went ahead and scheduled the installation appointment with them. It wasn’t easy picking out the type of wood we wanted. I had an idea in my mind from using Pinterest. However, because I wasn’t sure exactly what look I had in mind, I ended up going through almost all of the samples they had and still felt uneasy about my choice. Luckily, The Flooring Pro Guys were very understanding of my indecision because this is such a big investment for me. However, now that it is installed, I love it!

I am so glad that I chose real hardwood. Nothing can compete with the glorious sheen and rich texture of hardwood. I did see a few samples that were laminate that I really liked, but they don’t compare to the floor I have now. Of course I love making a bold statement when it is appropriate, but this floor blends in until someone takes a moment to stop and admire it. Then they realize the depth and beauty of hardwood. The textures, the patterns, the color, it is hard to reproduce.

As far as the installation, everything went smoothly. I highly recommend this company. If it were any easier, I would be afraid that I might have tried it myself. I don’t feel bad about hiring this team though. The quality of the installation is superb. I can walk across this floor and just admire the beauty of it all. It’s been a relief not having to do something all on my own. I was able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!

If you have been thinking about getting new floors, do it! It can totally change the whole feel of the room. If you don’t have much budget, you can go for a cheaper alternative like laminate or engineered wood, and still have the place feeling like new.

The High Cost of High Value

Posted by Mary Broomfield | Home Renovation

Let’s face it, home remodeling is expensive. According to Houzz.com, a whole house remodel can cost, on average, around $200,000 to complete. The lower third of people spent about $30,000 remodeling their home, the middle third spent about $100,000 remodeling their home, and the upper third spent about $450,000 remodeling their home. These numbers kind of set you back in your seat right?

But these are just averages. These people may not have been shopping smart. That’s okay, you are not going to fall into that same trap. You need to be vigilant about controlling costs. Do what you can yourself, but realize that sometimes its smarter to hire someone else to do it. If your time is worth more than what a project costs, its probably wiser for you to hire the job out.

Realize that home improvement is an expensive hobby. When it comes to our homes, and the areas we live in, we can be pretty particular about what we want. What shade of a color we want, or whether we want stainless steel, or maybe the brand new technological gadget integration that just came out, these things add up. Not only do we have a lot of expensive choices to decide between, we also want it done right. We don’t want someone using duct tape and superglue to build our home. We want to build it right, the first time.

Remember to always keep a budget. If you don’t have a budget, your costs can spiral out of control. It is the same reason that credit card debt can get out of control. We as humans, tend to not notice the small changes adding up. We need to be strict about our budget, so that we don’t get our expectations up for a project. Don’t start looking at things outside of your budget, this will only invoke jealousy and envy. You won’t be satisfied with what you can afford, and will feel like you had to settle, which is never satisfying.

How much have you spent remodeling so far? That will be an interesting number to look at. Mine is way more than I would like to admit. However, I have reduced the cost significantly by performing the projects myself, and learning along the way. Remember, keep it fun and you will always enjoy your work!

There is nothing like breaking off a fresh leaf of mint in the morning. Have you ever tried growing your own herbs? It can be relatively easy, and incredibly simple. Herbs don’t need a lot of care or special maintenance. What could be better? Well, how about having that herb garden in your kitchen!

Okay, so let’s face it: Growing anything isn’t easy. It takes mindfulness to water them everyday, you have to be sure they get enough sunlight, etc etc. But you can do it! It’s worth it to have fresh basil you can throw in your next marinara sauce. Or fresh chives on a baked potato.

Alright, are you ready to give it a go? Let me give you some tips to help you be successful as you start this journey.

  1. Find out where you will put your plants.
    This is the most important step as this will determine whether or not you can even start this project! The plants will need sun, and you will need to be able to reach them easily enough that this doesn’t turn into a nuisance. The amount of space you have will also determine how many herbs you can grow.
  2. Decide which types to grow
    Do you have a specific herb that you use all of the time in almost everything you cook? Good, start with that one and look up the growing conditions it needs. If you can’t think of one, here are a few easy to grow suggestions: Bay Tree, Chive, Kaffir Lime Tree, Lemongrass, Mint, Parsley, Vietnamese Coriander
  3. Buy the materials
    Get the plants, pots, building materials, and assemble this thing! You will want the plant starts, not the seeds. Be sure you know the growing requirements for each herb. Also, if you need additional lights, CFL, or Compact Fluorescent Lights, will help your plants grow.
  4. Structure a routine
    You will need a solid routine to make sure you never forget to take care of your herbs. Remember, your plants can’t grow without the right amount of water and light. Your plants will also need to be rotated once a week to keep them from leaning.

See? Its simple. Okay, I actually left out a lot of details, but this is the gist of it! Get started, and pretty soon you will have a green thumb. Don’t get discouraged if your plants die. Sometimes things happen that are out of our control, and sometimes we just mess up. Good luck and remember to have fun!

Pinterest Interests

Posted by Mary Broomfield | House Projects

Does anyone not use Pinterest for projects these days? Lately, I find it is all I have to look at, and I am overloaded with ideas for my next project. Today, I am going to post a few of those projects up here on this blog. If it inspires you, do it! And then send me an email letting me know how it went, and include some pictures! I love home remodeling pictures! It feeds my idea generation machine.

Whether you DIY, or hire out, these will leave your home looking awesome! Here are four projects ranging from easy, do it today projects, to serious construction projects:

If you are new to DIY(Do it Yourself), start with something easy, like a pillow.

  1. A pillow that says hello:

maxresdefault

This simple project will get you in the DIY spirit! It is easy enough that you could accomplish it in one day, from sourcing the materials, to finished project. If you want to start small, do something like this. But maybe you are not a fan of pillows…

2. A frame that says wow:

maxresdefaultframe

Another simple project to keep you going! This frame really had a great makeover. It adds some flair to the bland room. While a frame may not be the center piece of your room, remember, the devil is in the details! This project will help keep your DIY spirit alive and keep you on a roll. But now onto something quite a bit different, but still involving paint…

3. A themed room:

maxresdefaultroom

This room really brings a whole new meaning to someone who says they like the color red. It looks great, but can take a lot of planning. Don’t worry, that is a good thing. Because this can help bone up your planning skills for bigger projects! Since there is no construction taking place, you can start to figure out what type of work pace is comfortable for you. This will help you to estimate the time cost of bigger projects and give you an appreciation for the work that goes into them. This project can also be pieced together as your budget allows, meaning it will keep scratching that DIY itch! But now, it is time for a serious project…

4. Under stairwell lounge/storage

maxresdefaultunderstairs

How can you not love something like this? I fall for these cozy types of projects every time. Not only is it an efficient use of space, it adds some major cool points to your home! However, this is a serious project meant only for experts. You will be cutting into sheetrock, and working around structural pieces. Do not attempt this if you do not know what you are doing. You can possibly hurt yourself or someone else. But keep working on projects and some day you will be ready!

I hope you were able to try at least one project in this article. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments!

When it comes time to remodel a home, there are many different options you can choose form. It can be overwhelming at times, and the budget can get overwhelmed too if you let it. What you really need to drill down are your priorities. You need to decide what is most important to you, and accomplish that. If you hate the 40 year old wallpaper that you walk in and see everyday, but you really would like a bigger closet, change the wallpaper. While the bigger closet would be nice, by changing the wallpaper first, you will see a bigger improvement in your contentedness of your home.

I love shopping as you know, so I have never minded the task of sorting through the options. The biggest problem for me is letting my budget creep. If I see the improvements that a more expensive piece will bring, it is hard to settle for the lower priced item. So I suggest setting your budget, and only looking at items in that price range.

Check out the National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s site for more tips here. They can help you really narrow down and define your priorities. They also have a list of contractors that they recommend, which is similar to what you will find in my other articles.

What I am really looking forward to is getting my floor replaced. I think that will make the biggest difference in my home. My home currently has old, old hardwood floors. I really would love to replace them soon. Of course, this is not a cheap project, and one that must be budgeted for properly. The biggest challenge will be finding the right contractor to actually install the floors. If you know of a good one in Dallas, please shoot me an email. Otherwise, I will just have to Google one, and give it a shot. Either way, I will let you know how my experience went and give you an update on my hardwood flooring installation. I will try to give a full review of the whole process, from initial dream, to researching flooring materials, to finding a contractor, to the installation experience, to post-installation joy. Wish me luck! It should be quite the experience, and I have even heard that a lot of installations only take 2 days now.

Home remodeling

Hopefully my home will look like this one day!

After I get new flooring installed, my next priority is getting my air conditioning back in top shape. While my current system still runs and does the job, it seems to be expensive. I will call out a company and find out if I need air conditioning repair or if I need to replace the entire system. These Texas summers are not getting any cooler, and my electricity bill isn’t getting any cheaper. I will let you know when about this process when it happens. If you know about a good HVAC contractor, shoot me an email so I can do a review of them. I will also document this project so you can follow along and experience it all with me!

Thanks for joining me on this adventure!