Home, cosy home: The Best Energy Efficient Roofing Options

Your home is your castle, your haven, your oasis of peace and comfort. In this rushed, busy world we all need to find ways to step back and to relax. Our homes should serve as safe places that help us recharge our energies and go out and enjoy the world. But, does this come at a price?

We use up a lot of energy, we consume huge amounts of natural resources. But there are always options. One option that can minimize the negative impact we have on the environment is energy efficient roofing options. The long-term benefits contain the best of both worlds – doing a good thing for nature, and helping out your budget.

Roofs and energy efficiency

If you’re wondering how roofs help your environment and help your general energy efficiency, it’s because of several factors. First, they decrease your air conditioning needs, and makes the roof more resistant to harsh weather. This, in turn, reduces your energy consumption. Furthermore, at a communal level you will reduce the urban heat island effect, and will minimize power plant emissions. Second, they either require minimal repairs and maintenance, wasting fewer resources, or the materials used are recyclable.

Before you continue, do note that energy efficiency and roofing depends on two things. First, your geographic location (i.e. the weather you face on a regular basis) and how the materials are set up. Properly processed asphalt shingles can be a godsend in one area, while regular asphalt shingles can make your life living hell in another.

Coatings

The first option you can try out is getting a coating on your roof. These coatings are usually some sort of white or other reflective pigments. These deflect sunlight coming directly on your roof, instead of absorbing the heat. These also protect your roof from UV light and other damage. These are the most varied option out there, and you can find some for basically every roofing type and material.

Shingles and tiles

The first two options you can try out are shingle and tile roofs. First, shingle roofs are made from overlapping panels. These panels are usually made from a type of fibreglass asphalt, wood, polymers, metals, slate, etc. Tiles are simple plates placed on your roof, and can be made from similar materials shingles are made of. What makes these options energy efficient form the start is that these are green, recyclable materials. They are also beautiful items that will last for a long time. For example, if you do need to have some slate roof restoration done, know that it’s enough to get it fixed up once every couple of years.

Now, to make them greener and energy efficient, you have a couple of options. Getting special types of materials, like asphalt coated in solar reflective granules, or having tiles glazed with waterproof coats. These are enough to prolong their lifespan, and improve their reflective capacities.

Metal roofs

Metal roofs are efficient in that they have low heat absorption, which makes them perfect for warmer regions. Most often they naturally reflect the sun’s rays, and are even great with rainwater and snowfall. Namely, snow and rain just slide off of them. However, you can improve their effectiveness even more by adding extra reflector coatings, as well as simply just painting it.

Green roofs

An interesting option is trying out a green roof. Also known as living roofs, this type means that you have living vegetation on your actual home. This is a beautiful and timeless option, but can be quite expensive due to both its initial cost, and the upcoming maintenance expenses. They can be anything, from simple moss covering, to a full-on garden for flat roofs.

They are very good at managing rainfall, and are of course beautiful. However, these also provide fantastic insulation, and help you with both heating and cooling your home. You will avoid the aforementioned urban heat island effect as well.

Artificial materials

You can always go with specific roofs made from artificial materials. Things like single-ply membrane setups, built-up roofs, and modified bitumen sheet membranes are interesting options that are pretty cost effective and energy efficient. However, these are not the most recyclable of materials out there.

All of these are basically set up from several layers of materials, reinforced with various fabrics or adhesives. They can all be made energy efficient by dishing out money for special, reflective and cooling materials. Furthermore, adding reflective mineral granules, or get marble chips and grey slag ballasts will add to their effectiveness.

Conclusion

And there you have it folks, a way to keep your home as energy efficient as possible. Going green has never been so easy, especially when you know you can save some money while doing it. So, think about the materials you are supposed to use, and how you can improve them. Metals are great because of their low heat absorption, but can they be made better? Shingles and tiles are usually recyclable, but how about coating them with something reflective and durable? And if you can afford it, getting a literally living roof may just be the thing you need and want.

3 Tricks to Save Money on the Nursery That Won’t Make It Look Cheap

Becoming a parent is a joy that cannot be put into words. However, the cost of baby products can put some damper on this unbridled happiness. Of course, you want to ensure your baby gets the best of everything. But if you are living on a budget, you’ll have to find creative ways to save some money. Using a baby cost calculator will help you get some idea of what to expect. Armed with those numbers, you can start looking for ways to reduce it.

How to Save Money When Setting up a Nursery: 3 Tips

1. Try DIY furniture renovation or customization

The easiest way to cut down the costs of a nursery is buying pre-owned and beaten furniture and fixing it up yourself. Depending on your level of skills and luck, you might be able to score some fantastic pieces up to and including antiques.

However, if your woodworking skill isn’t the greatest, you can consider paying a bit more for new but cheap furniture. You can revamp it completely using simple decoration techniques, like decoupage. Pinterest is brimming with ideas you can use for inspiration and the technique is so easy, anyone can do it. With the help of simple DIY customization, you can turn the cheapest furniture pieces into exclusive artworks fit for a home interior magazine.

2. Lose the crib

It might seem that a crib is the one item you can’t do without in a nursery. But if you are limited in either space or budget, you should consider getting a more ‘efficient’ crib alternative. The alternative is a pack-n-play, which can double as a place to sleep as well as a playard.

This particular option allows you to save money because you’ll need a playard anyway and buying one that can be a comfy crib for the baby makes it cheaper in the long run. It’s also the best choice for families who need to move around a lot or who live in tiny rooms. If you lack space, replacing a crib with a pack-n-play might be the only option you have. That’s because you’ll be able to remove and set it back up easily, which will allow you to free some space.

When your baby becomes a toddler, you can switch from your sturdy pack-n-play for a twin bed. If absolutely necessary, you can make some DIY handrails to help protect your little one. But that shouldn’t be necessary. In fact, sleeping in a twin bed from early on will help make the child’s transition into a ‘big kid bed’ a bit easier.

3. Swap a changing table with a dresser

Changing tables are convenient, but you won’t be using one for too long. A dresser, on the other hand, is an essential piece of furniture, which your child will need more and more as they grow. Therefore, it makes a smart investment.

Place a padded changing mat atop of the dresser and you’ll get a very near approximation of a changing table. You might also be more comfortable changing your baby on the floor (with the mat!), especially as they get older and start rolling over and squiggling a lot.

Slash Maintenance Costs on Electricity with Credible Solar Panels Sydney Experts

Maintaining a house financially can be draining if the bills are high. It is here that homeowners search for alternate ways to enjoy the same benefits at a lesser cost. Electricity is one area where homeowners pay a lot of money on bills, especially in the summer and winter months. No matter how much they try to save on electricity consumption and power, the bills do not reduce at all.

The advantages of solar panels for electricity

Most homeowners in Sydney are now discovering the joys of solar power for their homes. These solar power systems use solar panels for generating electricity from sunlight. These solar panels have solar cells located next to one another. A glass sheet covers these cells. The efficiency of a solar cell depends upon the amount of sunlight it can capture and convert it into electric energy.

Every solar panel has a solar inverter. This inverter converts DC power into AC power. This power can be used for electricity. The technology that controls these inverters are digital, and their task is to generate maximum power efficiency for electrical appliances to function.

Solar power is a source of renewable energy

Homeowners should note that solar power is a natural source of renewable energy. This means you will never run out of sunlight to power your home. Solar power systems can also be embraced by businesses and large commercial establishments as well. Experts from esteemed company Beyond Solar Sydney says that when it comes to the provision of electricity to a home or a business enterprise, the size of the solar panel is very important. This is why it is prudent for you to consult professional and credible companies in the field to help you choose the correct solar panel for the premises.

Costs of installation of solar panels

Experts in the field of solar power state that the initial costs of setting up the solar panels in the right spots in the premise are higher. However, if you compare these costs in the long run, you will find they are much cheaper as you pay zero costs on electricity bills. You must ensure that the solar panels get sufficient sunlight every day and the solar batteries are full. This power will give you electricity during the night as well as days when there is rain, and the sky is cloudy.

Speak to professionals in the field of solar power today

If you really wish to reduce the maintenance costs of your house and save on energy bills, choosing solar power is one of the smartest choices you can make. Moreover, you also do the environment a favor as you use a natural source of energy for your home. You will never run out of sunlight, and you can set an example to others in the neighborhood to follow suit.

Therefore, from the above, it is evident that solar power systems can help you reduce maintenance and electricity costs with success alleviating financial stress to a large extent!

7 Ways To Save Money On A Home Renovation

It Can Be Done

Renovating a home can do a world of good, but it doesn’t come cheap. The cost of home improvements and renovations can sometimes break the bank, so how can one save money? Perhaps you own a home already, you’re looking to sell a second property or you’re ready to make some other transformation? Whatever the case may be, this guide provides 7 simple ways that you can make a difference without splashing out on too much cash. You need not worry, you don’t need to apply for any home renovation grants – there are ways it can all be done.

1. Stop Spending, Start Saving

Set up your own dedicated savings pot in the form of a separate account. In this way, it will cement goals into your mind as well as getting you to better keep track of any progress. Have you ever felt naughty dipping into a savings account? With a virtual pot that is dedicated to your renovation it can prevent you from temptation to take money out for something unrelated.

2. Strategize on how to Save

There are numerous ways that you can go about saving, but it’s best to have a strategy in place. Go about this by first estimating how much it would cost to undertake all of your changes, then you can divide this figure into saving chunks per month that are realistic. Make sure that you’re not too ambitious with your targets and have a saving period that reflects the price of potential renovation. In no time you’ll find that you can save a small fortune with ease for the fixtures of your dreams.

3. Commitment To Saving

Some people may think this goes without saying but you’ll be surprised how often a commitment can be compromised. The key to saving is to stay focused and commit – certainly avoid taking out any additional loans for home renovation. A great way of helping to solidify this is to put any working bonus or money gift you receive straight into your dedicated account – this will serve as a reminder of the importance.

4. Avoid Temptation

Often when people undertake renovations they can get carried away and start spending like there’s no tomorrow. It’s important to stick to your original plan and budget, avoiding any temptation to overspend. The worst thing is to put too much into your investment and then not be able to recoup the expenses later. Remember that not all home renovation ideas are applicable on a tight budget.

5. DIY When You Can

Whilst undertaking your project in order to carry out remodeling on a budget, you can learn some vital DIY skills in order to do some jobs for cheap yourself. Easy to learn tasks such as painting can be mastered in minutes and will save you a great deal instead of paying for costly professional home renovation services. Once your DIY skills improve, you’ll discover a whole ways you can save. Choose tasks that are going to be enjoyable for you to learn and keep an open mind about undertaking tasks. You may discover a whole new hobby in the process.

6. Cut Back on Other Costs

Saving can be a tough and lengthy process, so in order to speed up the ordeal, cut out some unnecessary expenses. Make savings on your bills by switching to cheaper providers, cut out luxury goods and even amalgamate bills between your house and another you’re working on. There are definitely ways to get creative here, so it’s down to you to figure out what you could do without for the time being.

 

7. Keep Costs In Mind

A problem that a lot of new home renovators have is that they underestimate the costs. All the professional fees, building materials, architectural plans, the cost of remodeling bathroom fixtures – these are all expenses that don’t come cheap. Even kitchen remodeling designers typically earn way above the median income for their services. If you’ve got your costs in mind at all times and you’ve planned effectively, you’ll be able to avoid any associated problems with overspending.

Final Remarks

Everybody goes through life working hard to want the best home for themselves. Home improvements and renovations can make an ordinary home into a dream one, but it comes at a price and some buying guides. Hopefully after having considered the information above, you’ll know how to finance home renovation and understand the ways to make improvements that are smart, cost effective and satisfying in the long run.

 

Are you a homeowner that has had some success in your renovation endeavors? It would be great to hear any tips and info you might have. Feel free to share your ideas and comments with us below.

Creating a Calm Space: Several Ways to Go Green in Your Bedroom

When it comes to creating an eco-friendly home, most people first think about waste management and installing separate bins in the kitchen. The bedroom is actually the last room in the house that anyone would think can be made green. In fact, many people take the concept too literally and just paint the bedroom green, which is a hilarious move. There are so many methods that you can use to turn the bedroom into an oasis of peace that is ecologically friendly. In the long run, this will ensure you sleep soundly and that your physical and mental health is not disturbed in any way. A calm sleeping space has never been closer.

Source: Unsplash

The bed area

You needn’t guess twice which piece of furniture is at the center of any bedroom. The bed is also the place where the change in your room will start. It is all about the material it’s made from, so a wooden frame should be the standard. The type of wood can even be bamboo, while you should look for companies that do not contribute to deforestation. They are responsible in the way that for each tree they cut down, they plant another one, so you know your bed did not destroy the environment in an irreversible way.

Speaking of the materials other parts of the bed are made from, latex is an excellent solution for your bed as it is renewable and it doesn’t impact the environment as other materials. In general, any modern material used for making the bed is acceptable as the manufacturers took care of the environment while making it. That is why memory foam mattresses are suitable both for nature and your body support while sleeping.

Second-hand furniture

Apart from the bed, there are bound to be other pieces of furniture inside your bedroom, like chairs, night tables or wardrobes. We are speaking about a lot of wood and you can’t always count on sustainable timber sources.  One way to protect the forests is to buy used furniture that is in good shape. Many people do this as excellent second-hand furniture is easy to find both are specialized stores and in online ads. Most of it is in pretty decent shape, so after some polishing, it will look as good as new.

Source: Unsplash

The lighting

The light bulb is the part of every room’s décor that people tend to skip while redecorating the room. They simply forget that the ceiling is the place where they can save a lot of energy by replacing the old incandescent bulbs. They are so inefficient that 95% of the energy they receive is used for emitting heat and only 5% for light. The energy-saving LED lights that are commonly used as replacements use different math, wasting only 5% of energy for heat and the rest for light. Furthermore, if you have a solid light source above your head, you won’t need any additional lamps around the bed or on the desk, so that’s another save of energy. Remember, minimalism goes well with eco-friendliness.

Introducing plants

You are fighting the battle to protect the lungs of the world by conscientious shopping but have you ever considered creating a forest of your own inside the bedroom? You need fresh air when you sleep and a small garden is better than an open window in winter. Instead of freezing under the sheets for the sake of fresh air, you can bring in some potted plants inside. Plants will do their thing (called photosynthesis) and pump in oxygen straight into the bedroom. Just make sure they have enough nutrients and that they are near a light source like the window. Depending on the type of houseplants you decide to introduce, they are going to be watered regularly. The best method for this is the use of a durable water spray gun that will disperse the water evenly around the entire pot, so the plant’s root system soaks it up gradually.

Source: Pexels

The walls and the floors

We might have been joshing about the color of the bedroom in the introduction but in reality, it is not all the same which color you use on the walls of the bedroom. We are not referring to the hue that much but rather to the chemical composition of the paint. There are many colors that have a high content of toxic chemicals that destroy the environment and your health. Try to avoid these by buying colors that are made from natural ingredients.

Pretty much the same goes for the floors. If you have a wooden floor in your bedroom, like parquet, then use epoxies and other chemicals that do not harm the environment. It might seem silly to take care of such unimportant matters but any toxic chemicals that get used in the house eventually find their way into the environment. That is why you have to prevent your house from becoming a source of such poisoning of nature outside. In addition, the therapeutical effects of eco-friendly material can be a real rehab for depression.

The smell of eco-friendliness

Unless you plant flowers in your provisional bedroom garden, your bedroom is going to require some pleasant scents inside. People recklessly buy those aerosols canisters that they use to spray the room with but these are highly detrimental for the environment. Instead of piling up tin cans that add to house waste as well, use essential oils to create the ideal atmosphere for sleeping. Lavender, chamomile, and even lemon oil are all ideal substances to freshen up the room without harming the environment. The best thing is that essential oils are cost-effective because their dosage is a single drop which is enough to make the entire room smell nice.

As you have seen from the methods listed above, your bedroom could be transformed into a hub of positive vibes that will not only help you fall asleep but protect the environment as well. You don’t need to spend a whole bunch of green bills to go green in your house.

The Green Kitchen: Can it Exist?

It sounds like the name of a quirky restaurant, but today’s article is about anything but this topic. Instead, it’s about green in the eco-sense of the word, and just how you can implement these principles into your kitchen.

Sound interesting? Let’s take a look at some of the best ways you can introduce this to your home.

There’s a reason behind the energy efficiency ratings

On first glance, it might sound like marketing spiel. However, if one were to conduct research on the modern appliances, it would soon become clear that they save significant amounts of energy in comparison to those which are years old.

It means that if you haven’t got such a device, try and opt for an A+++ version (that’s right, these do exist). Or, if yours is somewhat neglected, consider looking at reputable services such as Service Force tumble dryer repairs to help you out.

The beauty of the modern-day microwave

Staying on the subject of appliances, let’s turn our attention to a slightly smaller one. Sure, microwaves might get something of a bad name courtesy of the quick meals that you can conjure up in there, but from a green perspective, they are a Godsend.

It’s understood that your energy usage can drop by 80% if you use a microwave as against cooking in the oven and suffice to say, this is a number worth taking note of.

Your cooking techniques matter as well

Of course, it’s not all about splashing vast sums of money on the latest and greatest devices. Sometimes, staying green might just relate to your own cooking techniques.

For example, the next time you boil water on the hob, consider placing a lid on the pan. This might seem like a small course of action, but by covering this pan you are keeping the heat in it. The result? Your energy usage will drop considerably as the pan won’t be losing any of its heat.

The perils of non-stick pans

For some of us, non-stick pans have been an absolute savior. After all, the days of that fried egg sticking to your pan are long gone.

Unfortunately, this comes at a price. Studies have been conducted which show that when these products are produced, a substance called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is produced. This is something that can’t break down, meaning that it stays in the air indefinitely. With further research showing that this is likely to be a human carcinogen, try and turn to metal pans the next time you deck out your kitchen.

Cleaning products are even affected

Finally, let’s end proceedings on cleaning products. A lot of people don’t realize that most of the standard products are full of all sorts of chemicals, most of which are toxic and don’t degrade. It means that simply cleaning your kitchen can do great damage to your kitchen.

Fortunately, help is at hand. It’s now possible to buy biodegradable products, some which might be made of plants, so it’s much better for the environment.

Bathroom Lighting: Choosing the Suitable Lighting Fixture for Your Bathroom

Image Source

The bathroom, as one of the essential rooms in the house, should at least have the most suitable lighting fixture. Homeowners may take it for granted, but lighting plays a vital role inside the bathroom, especially when you need to check yourself in the mirror and do your daily routine.

There are a wide variety of designs and finishes of light fixtures that you can choose for your bathroom. If you decided to remodel your bathroom, don’t forget to upgrade your lighting as it can make your bathroom brighter and more welcoming.

No matter how you look at it, bathroom lighting is an essential fixture to start your day. Always keep in mind that the more your lighting matches your decor, the more it’ll be worth to upgrade. Here’s a list of light fixtures that you may want to install.

Bathroom Light Fixtures Guide

If it’s time to replace your bathroom light, some homeowners try to change it with the same style. Some of them recommend that you have to stick with the design you had before. For this reason, they think it’s much easier to install as you have the same style and design with the previous one.

However, if you try to remodel your bathroom, there’s no reason to stick with the same type of light fixture as you can go to whatever type that suits best your bathroom design.

Ceiling Lighting

Image Source

Ceiling lighting is one of the most common lighting fixtures for bathrooms. It can provide overall illumination to an area. Also known as ambient lighting, this type of light radiates a suitable level of brightness and ambiance that enables everyone to see and walk safely.

So, how to make the bathroom safe? It should have good general illumination. Installing ceiling lighting fixture could provide you safety and the safety of the people who’ll use it. Keep in mind that it’s essential to size the lighting according to the space of the bathroom as you don’t want to have a big chandelier on your small bathroom right?

Make a Good Use of Natural Light

The easiest and natural way of providing light into your bathroom is to install more windows and let the sunlight hit your bathroom floor. The best thing you can do is to provide natural light inside your bathroom.

If you decided to renovate or upgrade your bathroom, the perfect way to do it is to build your bathroom facing the north side. In this way, you’ll have a northern exposure, creating a mild, and dispersed light.

Install Lighting Sconces

Lighting sconces are a familiar lighting fixture for outdoor use. It’s famous among hallways, patio areas, and porches. But this type of lighting fixture is also suitable indoors, especially in the bathroom.

Most sconces are ideal for outdoors, but there are certain lighting sconces that you will be able to install indoors. You can install lighting sconces just about anywhere on the walls of the bathroom area. But the ideal place to mount it will depend on the layout of your bathroom.

This type of lighting fixture have various styles and designs and can go with any theme in your bathroom decoration. There are vast choices and options that you can find in any home improvement stores.

Pendant Lights

Image Source

Pendant lights are one of the most decorative lighting fixtures that you can install in your bathroom. This type of light hangs down from the ceiling with the use of a cord or chain. The usual place of installation for pendant lights is on either side of the mirror. Most homeowners install two or more pendant lights inside the bathroom.

A quick reminder with pendant lights is to check the height correctly. Make sure to install them on the appropriate level and with the right length. It is to ensure that nothing will be caught up by the cord that may cause an accident.

Conclusion

Bathroom lighting fixtures are essential to have a safe and visible area. Consider these four favorite lighting styles to make your bathroom more elegant, comfortable, and welcoming. The brighter the room, the livelier it is. Upgrade your bathroom to the most suitable style of your choice and make sure to install your lighting correctly to avoid electrical problems.

Author Bio

Phoebe Jones is a full-time mom with three beautiful kids. She has a thing for art, and she likes to paint for extra income. On her free time, Phoebe loves to take her kids for a stroll in the park.