How Open Floor Plans Improve the Energy-Efficiency of Your Home

An open floor plan is a layout that has few or no walls. The open layout allows more natural light to enter the room and makes the space seem much more extensive. People can easily interact with each other, which can help reduce stress levels at the same time.

When it comes to energy saving, the open floor plan is an excellent way to make your home more energy efficient because it allows you to keep the temperature of each room at a constant level without having to adjust it individually.

Why are energy-efficient homes significant?

Energy-efficient homes are more environmentally friendly and cost-effective. They save on heating and cooling costs and also reduce your carbon footprint.

You can do this with the core of good planning solidified by your team’s use of tools such as design software for contractors to ensure that everyone is on the same page and you’ve organized everything well.

You can also achieve it by making a few lifestyle changes and installing new products in your home.

There are many benefits to going green with your home, but one of the biggest is that it will lower the use of electricity and gas, saving you money on utility bills in the long run.

Now that you know the importance of energy-efficient homes, here are the different ways open floor plans can help make your home more energy efficient.

Maximizing air circulation

The kitchen, dining, and living area are one large room in an open floor plan. This layout is excellent for entertaining and socializing with guests but can also cause a few problems.

Open floor plans expose more of your home to the outside air, making you less likely to have a problem with drafts or cold spots. At the same time, this layout can make it challenging to maintain a consistent temperature in your home.

Open floor plans allow you to use all the space in a room instead of dividing it into different rooms. This way, you can use your windows and doors to let air flow freely through your house, which is a great way to keep it cool during the summer months.

Conserving room heat

An open floor plan is a design with the living spaces, such as the kitchen and living room, connected.

Open floor plans are becoming the norm in many new homes. Open floor plans make it easier to heat the entire house with one heating source.

In an open floor plan, a large living room and kitchen area typically encompass most of the space in the house. This design makes it easy to heat all rooms with one central heating system.

Less square footage is needed.

One of the most popular reasons is that it reduces the amount of square footage needed in a home, which saves money on expensive materials like lumber and concrete.

It also allows you to make your space as flexible as possible with furniture and other items you can move around quickly. Even if you’re working with smaller floor space, you can have less square footage when you have an open floor plan, which is why many studio units are available.

Providing more natural light

The most crucial benefit of this type of design is that it provides natural light throughout the day. This access means no dark spaces in the home, making people feel more depressed and anxious. It also means that you don’t have to use as much artificial light, saving you money on your monthly electricity bill.

More space with a smaller footprint

The walls are removed and replaced with windows in an open floor plan. This layout creates a more spacious and open space for the home.

Open floor plans are often associated with the idea of spaciousness. In reality, achieving a sense of spaciousness in your home can be challenging.

Avoid “dead zones” in the space to make your home look more spacious. A dead zone is an area that doesn’t have any activity or furniture in it. This space creates a visual barrier and can make the room feel smaller.

Easier to clean

Floor
A woman is cleaning the home floor

This design makes it easier for homeowners to clean their homes because they don’t have to move furniture around or use ladders to reach high places.

This trend has been made possible by several factors, including the invention of better cleaning supplies and equipment, the rise in “green” cleaning products, and a general shift in society’s views on work-life balance.

Open floor plans make it easier to clean up messes quickly because there are no walls or closed doors to hide behind so that you can see all the messes in your living room from one spot in the kitchen or bedroom.

Open floor plans also help with energy efficiency because there’s less surface area for heat to escape from your home through walls and windows.

Conclusion

Now that you know more about what open floors can do to help make your home more energy-efficient, that should help you realize what an open floor plan layout can give you. These benefits should help you better understand what an open floor plan can offer. Thus, making it easier for you to decide, so if you’re planning on improving your home, you might want to consider converting it into an open floor plan.

8 Common Types of Mold that may be Lurking in Your Home after Water Damage

Water damage is a significant problem. It can happen from a leaky pipe, flooding, or a natural disaster. If you have water damage in your home, many challenges come with it, and fixing them cannot be easy.

The first challenge is that you need to find the source of the leak as soon as possible. You will also need to dry out the area where the water has been for at least 24 hours before you start cleaning up any of the mess. If you don’t dry it out enough, mold will grow, making things worse than they already are.

The next challenge is figuring out what type of mold has grown and how much there is so that you can get rid of it correctly without making things worse than they already are.

If your home suffered water damage, then mold might not be far behind. Here are eight common types of mold you should be concerned about that might be in your home after water damage.

1. Stachybotrys Chartarum

Stachybotrys Chartarum is a species of mold that you can find in water-damaged buildings. It is often in the form of dark blackish green patches on the surface of walls, ceilings, and other surfaces.

Stachybotrys Chartarum can cause serious health effects if inhaled or ingested by humans or animals. It can be challenging to test for the presence of this mold in the body once you start showing symptoms, so it’s best to identify it in your home first and get rid of it as soon as possible.

Stachybotrys Chartarum can grow on organic materials, including wood products (such as plywood), paper products (such as cardboard), insulation materials (such as fiberglass), and other building materials (such as drywall).

2. Aspergillus

Aspergillus is a mold that can grow on surfaces with water damage. You can find it in homes with water damage or mold issues. You can find it on surfaces with water exposure for long periods, such as in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. They’re also abundant after a house has flooded.

The Aspergillus fungus can also be in the air, and people can inhale it when breathing. When people inhale Aspergillus spores, it can cause an allergic reaction or infection. Aspergillosis is the term for when you get an infection from Aspergillus.

3. Chaetomium

Chaetomium is a mold genus that produces many spores that can lead to allergic reactions among humans. These spores are toxic to humans and animals, as well as insects.

Chaetomium spores are tiny, so they can enter your home through any opening or crack in the foundation. The spores can move by air currents and will be deposited on other surfaces as they settle out of the air once they mature.

You can find this unusual type of mold in a lot of buildings or homes that have had water damage in them. The most efficient way to eliminate this is by removing the material it’s growing on to stop the spread and continued growth.

4. Serpula Lacrymans

Serpula Lacrymans is not technically a type of mold, but it’s another infestation that can happen to your home, especially any coniferous timber, after water damage.

This fungus can cause allergic reactions, such as coughing and sneezing.

Getting rid of this mold is essential as it can cause respiratory problems for people with allergies or asthma. This distinctive brown-colored rot can spread a lot once there, but it’s particularly vicious towards timber items in a building. Thus, if your home has a lot of timber, then this particular water damage effect can be pretty dangerous.

5. Ulocladium

Ulocladium is a type of mold that is also a genus of fungi, and you can also find them in many water-damaged homes.

The most common way to find Ulocladium is by smelling the air and looking for black or greenish-black spots on porous materials, such as wood, paper, or carpeting. You can expect this to cause several health issues if you leave them unattended in your home.

The key to getting rid of this mold is to ensure that you know where the source of moisture is that’s feeding the continued growth of this mold.

6. Cladosporium

Cladosporium is a type of fungus that is in moist environments. It can grow on surfaces like wood, tile, and carpet.

Cladosporium is a fungus that can grow on different surfaces like wood, tile, and carpet. It is in moist environments, and it can be harmful to your health. You can find it in soil, decaying organic matter, and water-damaged buildings. It produces spores carried by air currents into the home and causes respiratory problems for those with allergies to the spores.

It can be challenging to identify this in your home without professional help, but they’re usually brown, black, or green.

7. Alternaria

Alternaria is a mold that grows on wet materials, such as wood, paper, and carpeting. It’s a significant sign that there is water damage in your home. It can also grow in the air when it has been released from infected materials by drying or heating. It’s velvety in texture as well.

Alternaria is a type of mold that can cause a variety of health effects.

It can be found in your home and can cause various health effects. It’s essential to know the signs of Alternaria, so you can take care of it before it becomes a bigger problem.

8. Penicillin

Penicillin mold is a common type of mold that you can find in homes that have water damage. You can find it in damp areas such as bathrooms, basements, and kitchens. The Penicillin mold is usually dark green or black.

One of the most dangerous aspects of Penicillin mold is that it can cause allergic reactions. These reactions include a runny nose, red eyes, and skin irritation.

Get rid of mold naturally

Mold
Mold is deep incorporated into the walls of the bathroom

According to Fast Affordable Restoration water damage restoration Del Mar service providers, getting a professional is one of the best ways to get rid of mold in your house. However, if you think that the mold in your home is more manageable, you might find natural solutions that can help you get rid of them.

You can get rid of mold naturally by using household items. Natural products like vinegar, baking soda, tea tree oil, and lemon juice are some of the best natural mold removers. They are safe for use around children and pets, and they won’t harm your surfaces or leave behind any toxic residue.

These common mold types may lurk in your home if you have recently suffered from water damage. Therefore, ensure you get rid of them as soon as possible. Sometimes, multiple types of mold can grow from water damage, so the best course of action is to get professionals to help you as soon as you find them.

How to Renovate a Home to Make it Simultaneously Eco-Friendly and Stylish

Renovating your home is one of the best investments that could definitely pay off quite fast. However, the environment is in a pretty dire state, so it is essential to make sure that your home is also eco-friendly. Now whenever the word “eco-friendly” gets mentioned, people have images of things that aren’t glamorous nor stylish. In reality, it’s entirely possible to combine these two and create something stunning. Hence, here are some helpful tips that will show you how to simultaneously make your home stylish and green, while doing renovation works.

Don’t overbuy 

Constant shopping promotes consumerism, which also leads to pollution. Of course, renovating your home will require you to buy certain materials or other items, yet, it’s essential to do so carefully. If you’re buying new furniture, then it’s best to ensure they’re all ethically made. Even better, feel free to buy used furniture pieces as that promotes a circular economy and drastically reduces waste. For example, you can also repaint your old kitchen cabinets instead of buying new ones.

Consider installing a low-flow toilet

Those who are living in an area with long-term water shortages, such as California, will immensely benefit from installing a low-flow toilet. This type of toilet is the best asset in an eco-friendly household, as it’s tremendously valuable when it comes to conserving water. Also, there’s no need to worry, as you’ll still have the option to flush water as usual, except this one will conserve water as well. Water conservation is an important issue that will be even more prominent in the future, so be sure to start focusing on that right now. 

Use non-toxic and safe colors

Low-VOC paint actually reduces the number of contaminants in the ozone layer, but also landfills and groundwater, which is hugely beneficial to the environment. Such colors are, therefore, far less toxic and should be used instead of the ones that cause issues both to people and the environment. Certain countries such as Australia, pay a lot of attention to the well-being of their citizens, which is why they invest a lot of effort to educate the people about this topic. Hence, hiring painters on Central Coast is a great idea, as they use non-toxic paint for their work. Paints are a crucial part of one’s household, which is why you should check their safety before you decide to use them.

A living room is nicely decorated

Include natural elements in your home

Humans and nature have been in perfect harmony for centuries. The modern life we live tends to make that harmony much more difficult to achieve. So if possible, spending time outdoors is a great way to rekindle this relationship. And if that’s not doable, then including natural elements in your home is a perfect idea. Reclaimed wood, stone, and of course, potted plants are an excellent way to make your home more aligned with the beauty of nature.  

Install solar panels

If you’re aiming to make your home more energy-efficient, then solar panels are the best investment. As you probably know, the sun is a renewable source of energy so using its potential to keep your household up and running will help the environment. However, it’s important to mention that it takes about 8 years for them to pay off, but once that happens, you’ll be happy that you’ve made the decision to use them. This will help the environment by saving energy, plus you’ll save a lot on energy bills.  

Get energy-efficient appliances

Replacing an old appliance can often be a big strain on one’s budget. Also, if you’re planning to make your home more eco-friendly, then energy-efficient appliances should be your priority. Therefore, be sure to focus on getting the appliances such as fridges, air conditioners, and microwaves that are both environmentally friendly and energy-conserving in design. If you’re worried about the aesthetics, the good news is that the latest models often come in retro design, which will surely make your home look more stylish. 

Final thoughts

It’s possible to renovate a home to make it look both stylish and eco-friendly. These tips will help you start this new journey of creating a sustainable, healthy, and above all, stylish home. As long as you curb your spending, use non-toxic paint and materials and focus on energy-efficient solutions, you’ll be able to enjoy your eco-friendly home to the fullest. 

15 Clever Home Cleaning Hacks to Add in Your Bag of Tricks

Cleaning your house can be time-consuming. However, being busy should be an excuse to keep your home’s pristine condition. After all, there are cleaning hacks that you can do to keep your house clean.

Here are 15 cleaning hacks that you can bring out from your bag of tricks while cleaning:

Sanitize garbage disposal with lemons

Lemons are acidic, which means they will help break down the food particles accumulated in your garbage disposal.

Fill your sink with hot water and add a cup of lemon juice. Put the disposal stopper in the drain and turn on the cold water to fill the sink. Once complete, turn off the cold water and let it sit for a few minutes before turning on the hot water again.

This will help loosen up any gunk that may be stuck in your pipes, as well as cleanout your garbage disposal. Turn off both hot and cold water once you are done with this step.

Add a cup of baking soda to the drain and a cup of white vinegar, which will help balance out any excess acidity from using lemons.

Clean mirrors using vinegar and newspaper

There are many ways to clean mirrors. However, vinegar and newspaper are the best way to do it when cleaning mirrors.

First, take a cup of vinegar and pour it on the mirror. Next, take a paper towel or newspaper and wipe the mirror until it’s clean. You can also use a cloth or sponge, but a paper towel or newspaper is better for this task because they don’t have anything on it that can scratch the mirrors.

Aside from that, it doesn’t separate in a way that leaves behind lint on the mirror glass.

Microwave your sponges

Using sponges is a great way to clean up messes in the kitchen, but they can also harbor bacteria. This is why it’s important to disinfect them periodically.

A microwave is a straightforward way to disinfect sponges.

Put the sponge in a microwave-safe dish with about 2 cups of water. Cook for 2 minutes on high or until the water boils, then cool before using.

The microwave is a great way to clean and disinfect your sponges because it’s quick and easy.

Unclog your sink with baking soda

Baking soda is a household item that you can use for multiple things, such as cleaning and baking. For this, we will be using baking soda for a cleaning hack or task such as unclogging your sink.

The process is simple.

  1. In your kitchen sink, pour one cup of baking soda into the drain and wait for a few minutes.
  2.  Next, pour one cup of vinegar and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Next, pour down boiling water and flush it with more hot water.
  3. Leave it overnight and let the water run through in your sink the next day. This is to ensure no more clogs in the pipes.

Clean your oven with salt

Using salt is one of the most popular and inexpensive methods to clean an over.

You can use a damp rag and salt. Sprinkle some salt on the wet cloth and scrub the oven. The mixture of water and salt will form a paste that will help remove grease, grime, and any other food residue stuck on the oven’s surface.

Salt is one of the most effective cleaning agents because it’s inexpensive, readily available, and safe for all surfaces. It also doesn’t cause any damage to your appliances or leave behind any unpleasant odors like vinegar or lemon juice can do.

Keep in mind that this method is unsuitable for all ovens.

Some ovens have a self-cleaning cycle where you can put in salt and let it do its job. But if your oven doesn’t have this feature, follow the steps above.

Remove burned-on food from pans with dryer sheets

It is a common problem that we often find burnt-on food on the bottom of our pans. You can use dryer sheets to remove this burnt food from your pan. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. 1. Put a dryer sheet in the pan and put it on low heat for about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the dryer sheet and scrub with a spatula or dish brush.
  3. Rinse off any remaining residue with hot water and soap, then wipe it down with a clean towel.

Deodorize your cutting board with lemon and salt

Cutting boards can be a breeding ground for bacteria. To prevent cross-contamination, it is essential to clean them out regularly.

To clean the board, scrub it with baking soda and water paste. After you finish scrubbing, you should sprinkle salt over the board and add some lemon juice to the mix.

After a few minutes, wipe it with a cloth moistened in hot water and dish soap, and then let it dry.

Buff any stainless steel item with olive oil

We should never use chemicals when polishing our stainless steel items, even if the label says that it’s safe. Chemicals can be a health risk, and we should always look for a natural alternative.

There are various ways to clean and polish stainless steel items, but it is imperative to know what you’re doing and only use safe methods.

One of the common ways to clean and polish stainless steel is olive oil. This solution offers a cheap and easy way to restore the lustrous surface of chrome and stainless steel items.

You can use a paper towel damped with olive oil to wipe down the entire surface of the stainless steel item that you need to buff. Use a dry towel to wipe it away afterward.

Use a potato to scrub your cast iron skillet

Potatoes
Potatoes are displayed next to the pot

Cast iron skillets are beautiful and functional, but they come with a few downsides: They can be heavy and difficult to clean. Surprisingly, a potato can help you out.

Cut off the ends of the raw potato, put them in the skillet, and scrub away at all of those hard-to-reach crevices.

Potatoes are great for sticky or oily messes, and you can use them to scrub any material, not just your cast iron skillet. The skin helps clean away stubborn food residue and grease.

Wipe LCD screens with coffee filters

Coffee filters are a great way to clean your LCD screen without damaging it. They are soft, lint-free, and work well on screens of all types. Use it to wipe and add water when wiping again.

The coffee filters are also reusable, so they don’t need to be thrown away after one use.

This method is effective because the coffee filters will not leave any residue behind, and you can also use them to clean other surfaces.

Make your laundry brighter and cleaner with baking soda

Laundry detergents are expensive and can cause skin irritation. Baking soda is a cheap alternative to help you make your laundry bright and clean.

This technique is not new, but it has gained popularity recently because of the environmental benefits.

Mix the baking soda in a bucket of water and pour it into the washing machine before doing your laundry. Make sure to add some fabric softener too.

Fight mold and mildew with vodka

Vodka is a great way to remove mold and mildew from various surfaces.

First, you need to mix the vodka with water in a spray bottle. Then, spray the mixture on the surface that has mold and mildew.

Leave it for 10 minutes before wiping or scrubbing it off with a sponge or cloth.

Run your can opener over wax paper

You can also use wax paper to clean your can opener.

Run your can opener over one edge of the wax paper, and you’ll see food residue and debris get out of the can opener. At the same time, it will lubricate your can opener due to the wax.

Remove water stains from wood furniture using mayo

Mayonnaise is an excellent tool for removing water stains from wood furniture. It is an affordable and effective way to remove water stains without harming the furniture.

There are many ways to remove water stains from wood furniture, but they all require elbow grease.

How does it work? The oil in the mayonnaise helps break down the water stain and emulsifies it, making it easier to wipe off with a dry cloth or paper towel.

It’s essential to use creamy mayonnaise and not a low-fat variety. That’s because low-fat mayo will just spread the stain around without removing it.

Remove hair on carpet using a squeegee

A squeegee is a device that is used for cleaning windows and mirrors. It has a rubber blade mounted on a handle and can be pulled or pushed across the object’s surface being cleaned.

You can also use a squeegee to rid your carpets, upholstery, and clothing of fallen hair. To do so, one needs to apply pressure with the blade to create enough friction between the carpet and the rubber blade to pull out any hairs embedded in it.

These home cleaning hacks will help you cleverly sanitize and clean your home using easy-to-access household items. Try these out for yourself when you need easy fixes for specific household cleaning remedies, and your home will be a sparkling palace after.

About the Author:

Jacky Xu is the Chief Operating Officer at Maid Sailors. Maid Sailors takes pride in providing

unparalleled cleaning services at affordable prices and will help transform your house into a home.

How to Sell a Home During the Holiday Season

While it is often considered one of the worst times to list your home, the holiday season that runs from mid-November until the beginning of January does come with its advantages. There is less competition with fewer homes marketed actively during this time, and buyers are more serious. If you need to sell your home during the festive season, here are a few things you should do to help make it happen. 

1. Avoid Using Too Many Decorations 

Using some decorations is okay but avoid using too many. Decorations that are large and bulky can make your house look crowded and distract potential buyers. Instead, choose decorations that follow a winter theme instead of an overly religious one to ensure that you don’t offend any buyers. Think of an evergreen wreath, a bowl of large pine cones, and a pot of hot cider brewing on the stove. This will create a festive and warm feeling without going overboard on decorations. 

2. Make Sure That the Real Estate Agent Is Available 

Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s are special holidays that many real estate agents will want to spend with their families. You’ll need to look for a listing agent that can work during these times and is 100% committed to getting your house sold. It may seem like a daunting task at first, but some agents don’t have family nearby and would embrace the opportunity to work during the holidays. 

3. Use Fantastic Photos 

Most buyers will be looking through the Internet to find the house of their dreams and will be attracted to professional real estate photos. The photos you choose will form the first impression of your home, so make sure that they are top-notch. If you have any pictures available of your house as it appears during the spring or summer seasons, you should add them as well. A blossoming flower bed and a tree with all of the leaves on it will highlight the curb appeal of your home. 

4. Look for Motivated Buyers 

People looking for homes at this particular time of the year must have a solid reason behind their searches. Look for buyers that have a deadline for purchasing a property. This may include people relocating to the area as a career move and needing to get a place as soon as possible. 

5. Accentuate Your Home’s Positive Features 

Indoor
Plants are placed inside the home

While too many decorative items can act as a distraction to buyers, small decorations can be used to bring out the best features in your home. Look for classy decor items that won’t look like clutter but will accentuate and draw a buyer’s eyes towards your home’s unique features. 

If you are selling a home in the New Orleans area and desperately need to sell your home quickly, look for trusted home buyers in New Orleans that will offer cash for your home. In some cases, a house must be sold very fast, which is one way to make sure it happens. 

How Does an Indoor Garden Work?

If you plan on having a garden inside the home, there are so many things you need to consider. While the garden looks so good, a lot goes into it to ensure it looks and works as well as it does. If you are not careful, your plants might die. Here are the main things you need to know about the garden and make it work.

The Location

The first thing you need to consider about your indoor garden is the location. Often you will find that the garden cannot stay in your living room because it does not have optimal light and temperatures to grow. Whenever you plan out the garden for your home, ensure you consider where you will put it. Most people put their plants by the window or the balcony to get some air.

The Plants

Once you have settled on the location, the next thing you need to keep in mind is the type of plants. Not all plants will work well indoors as some plants can be used for food while some are for aesthetics. Figure out the kind of garden you want to have before you decide to set it up. Many people prefer to put fruits and vegetables in an indoor garden, which you can try out. As long as the plants do not spread around the whole house, you are good to go.

The Care

Another vital thing you have to consider when getting indoor plants for your garden is how to care for them. Just like the plants in your outside garden, they will need to be watered and put in place where they can get enough light. You also need to figure out whether they need fertilizer and get the fertilizer into the house. If you have children, you have to figure out how you will use fertilizer without putting the lives of your family at risk since most of them can be dangerous.

Seasons

Plants
Inside the room, plenty of cacti are placed next to the window

The other thing you need to consider when you are planting your indoor plans is the most convenient weather for you. You often find that you can only grow in a certain season, and planting them when it is off-season will mean more work for you that produces less yield. You can get more resilient herbs to harsh winters and hot summers, or you could choose to plant your vegetables in rotation. That way, you will have vegetables in your home all year.

Create a Planting Calendar

While your garden might start small, you might choose to get a bigger place and set up a more elaborate garden indoors. For this reason, you will get to a point where you are planting so much and can lose track of everything. The best way to deal with this is to have a planting calendar. Make a list of the past you want to have in your garden and their seasons. That way, you can always switch up to new plants based on the type of vegetables you have. They will also help you remember to add fertilizer to them and weed them where need be. A planning calendar can also come in handy if you plan on using your product in your kitchen. You can plan your meals around the harvest times.

Final Thoughts

Having a garden indoors is a great way for you to spend time with your children doing something together. It also helps, especially now that there have been so many lockdowns going on. It also ensures you have fresh produce whenever you need it in your kitchen.

Being Energy Efficient This Winter: a Guide for the Eco-Conscious

Making our money go further is something that is important to us all, now more than ever. Following an incredibly challenging eighteen months, we feel confident there will be some people reading this and beyond who have felt the financial brunt of the pandemic in some way or another. It has not been easy. 

As we gradually emerge from the grips of the pandemic, there will undoubtedly be some people who are remaining mindful of their spending and overall budgets and want to continue maximizing their money wherever possible. The winter months can be some of the costliest times of year for some people. From the holiday season through to the increased need for heating in bitterly cold weather, there is no doubt this causes worry for some people. 

While that is the case, there are things you can do to bring your energy costs down without compromising on your comfort in any way. Interested in being energy efficient this winter but unsure where to start? You have found yourself in the right place at the right time. 

Detailed below, you will find our top tips for being energy efficient. No matter where you live or the size of your property, read on for more! 

Tackle Gaps and Draughts

Cold winds entering your home are sure to counteract the efforts you are making to heat up the property. While we have no doubt you would ensure that doors and windows are shut during the colder months, as a means of trapping the warm air indoors, it is easy to forget about the smaller gaps. While some people might turn a blind eye to these, there are other gaps in the foundations of your home that can be hard to notice.

Dealing with these gaps in the run-up to the colder months will ensure that you are preventing any cold air from getting into your home. Draught excluders are ideal for putting across gaps under doors should you have them. Blankets make an excellent replacement should you struggle to locat4e draught excluders for your property. 

Silicon-based sealants are best suited to fill in any gaps that you have surrounding windows and doors. Giving your home the once over before the winter months arrive will greatly reduce your heating costs and ensure you are as energy-efficient as possible. 

Switch To Energy-Saving Products

Energy saving lamp
Energy-saving led bulb is represented schematically

It goes without saying, but when wanting to save energy in your home, the first step would be to swap to energy-saving products. While that is undoubtedly the case, we understand it can be unclear where best to start when switching to energy-saving products. With so many out there on the market, it can be hard to know where to start, but the first step is to make the all-important decision to swap to energy-saving products. 

Exploring what products are out there and the energy-saving rates they offer is also recommended. From here, you can establish how much you should expect to save over time. LED light bulbs, for example, are an incredibly common swap that people make nowadays and one that is effective. 

There is also a range of resources out there detailing precisely how much you can save by making a swap like this, both now and in the future. If you are interested in finding out more about LED light bulb savings, check out the helpful guides from reputable companies like Carbon Switch. Go forth knowing that the swaps you are making are having a positive impact on your energy efficiency and bank balance alike. 

Use Natural Resources 

Heating your home in the winter and maintaining a comfortable temperature can be challenging at the best of times. While nothing stops you from relying on the heating system in your property, this could result in your energy costs being higher than you would have hoped, which is what you want to avoid, after all.

While that could be the case, there are ways that you can use natural resources to keep your energy costs low while also ensuring that your home is at a comfortable temperature. This includes the likes of using the sun’s warmth and rays to heat your property. Keeping curtains and blinds open to allow the natural sunlight into your home will naturally heat the room. To maximize this, ensure that you close your curtains and blinds when the sun starts to set to ensure the heat is trapped and remains where you want it. 

We recognize these are but some of the ways you can be energy efficient this winter and that there are a variety of other techniques you could also use alongside them. Regardless of which methods you choose to implement in the coming weeks and months, we hope your efforts pay off and emerge into the spring with a lower energy bill than usual! 

Go Green: Ideas for an Eco-friendly Dining Room

Renovating and updating the style of your home is always a thrilling and amazing experience where you can show your style and make a few changes. In the last decade, people started paying more attention to the environment and sustainability, and eco-friendly style is now a huge part of most renovations. Just like any other room in the house, a dining room can also be sustainable which doesn’t mean you’ll have to lower your expectations when it comes to the design and appearance. Beautiful natural materials are a great addition to any home, regardless of the style in other parts of your home.

Lighting

This is one of the most important things that need to be done right at the start of the renovation process. If you want to make sure your new dining room is properly lit, you need to think about, all the space that needs light, so you can make changes before doing anything else.

Of course, the table should be the center of the room so this is where you’ll want to add the most light. Many modern wood chandeliers could also be combined with natural materials such as metal and glass to add more style. Use LED bulbs to make sure you’re paying attention to the sustainability factor, but also to create a nice and soft light in this room.

Natural materials

Dining room
A dining room is very nicely designed

Anything from a rug to different types of tapestry or a macrame wall hanging can be made from sustainable materials to keep the eco-friendly vibe going. No matter what style you have in your home, there are many ways to use these items to boost the aesthetics of your dining room.

When it comes to boho and vintage interiors, a nice macrame wall hanging on a piece of a branch could be a nice way to decorate your walls and add an interesting piece to the overall design. In addition to that, you can always use a rug made from jute or any other sustainable material that’s easy to clean and maintain but still looks amazing.

Dining room furniture

Furniture is the center of the dining room and when it comes to finding the best option, going for a durable wood set is the safest way to go if you want to have a dining room that lasts for decades and decades. Many homeowners value the art of handcrafted pieces which is why they opt for timeless Amish dining room furniture that’s known for being the perfect balance between design and comfort.

This will allow you to create a special place where you’ll be able to host dinners, enjoy meals with your family and always have that special piece of furniture that’s long-lasting and visually appealing.

Accessories and additions

Whether you’re using your dining room every single day or not, you need to add accessories and things you can use for your meals. When searching for different things to boost the appeal of your dining room, make sure to always find items made from sustainable materials.

Candles, vases, plates, and different types of glasses are the most common items people keep in their dining room built-ins so make sure they’re all made from durable and eco-friendly materials. From different types of wood, stone, and glass to fabrics that will follow that same style, there are many options to choose from, so be as creative as you want.

Flooring

Dining room
A dining room is well decorated in eco-friendly manner

There are two types of people when it comes to, choosing floors for the dining room – those who like carpets and those who prefer hardwood. The first group likes to have carpets to keep the same style they have in other parts of their home.

On the other hand, these can be hard to clean and maintain, so hardwood floors are usually a safer option. You have a lot of natural materials to choose from – from bamboo to natural wood that’s a bit more expensive, but also a great investment for any space you’re renovating.

If you take some time to plan, you can create a welcoming dining room that’s also sustainable and can become a great place for creating new memories. Just because you want to take care of the environment doesn’t mean you should give up the modern and sophisticated interior, so use these ideas and start turning them into reality!

Renovating Your Home Cost-Effectively

Whether it’s getting people together for the holidays or just any old event at the house, having the space available is critical. The need to have a space for gatherings and events means that a renovation or upgrade may be in place. 

If you’re looking for eco-friendly ideas for a dining room, kitchen, or other room, setting a budget and timeline for your renovation is crucial to getting it done on time for your next gathering. 

The first thing to do is set up a budget for your renovation, gather some data, and adjust the budget accordingly. 

Before you start your renovation for a room, space, or the entire home, the steps you take are the same process. 

The key is to gather as much data and information as possible to set a budget and confidence in the desired project and timeline. 

There are five significant steps in your renovation project to stay within budget and time:

Define The Renovation Goals And Space

What exactly are your renovation goals, and how much space do you plan to have work done is the first consideration. Whether you are looking for a bathroom makeover to a full-on kitchen remodel, deciding the scope of the work wanted to be performed will help you shape the questions you have before hiring a contractor to complete the work. 

Talk With Neighbors And Others For Suggestions

Once you decide the size and scope of your home renovation, ask around with neighbors, friends, and family for suggestions of potential contractors. Word-of-mouth can provide some lesser-known but professional services that may not have the profile or size of other contractors. These may come at a discount for their services, as a result, all without sacrificing the quality of craftsmanship. 

Utilize Online Review Sites

Review sites exist for one reason. No, it’s not trolling other people online. It’s to give proof of ability and get an assessment from others who have utilized the services. 

There are varying degrees to which online reviews matter. Some argue it’s as low as 60%. However, other professional marketing and sales claim that up to 90% of people using online tools say online reviews matter before making a purchasing decision.  

Interview A Few Contractors And Get A Quote

Now that you’ve received recommendations and done the research, the next step is to schedule an interview with select contractors. There is no set number of interviews you conduct, but keep in mind that each interview takes time and is a precious commodity in-and-of-itself. 

Each interview aims to get recommendations and suggestions about the type of services they can offer, the materials they may suggest, and the timeline that works could be expected to be completed.  

At the end of each interview, request a quote from the contractor outlining the cost and time expected to be provided for your project. 

After all the interviews are conducted, you have enough data to sift through to help guide your budgetary and contractor decisions. 

Decide On Materials And Days For Renovation

After your interviews are conducted, you have all the information you may need to re-establish your budget and make a more informed decision about the scope of the renovation. 

These guidelines should next be used in choosing the type of materials you want to be used in your renovation, from eco-friendly products to design spaces and more.

For example, choosing outside natural stone to complement the patio and built-in grill makes the outside patio renovation “pop” for your next outdoor gathering. Through some research, you can find the materials you want to suggest once you hire a contractor for the work.

Hire A Contractor

Constructor
A custom home is built according to the quality construction plan

The final step in your renovation project is to hire the contractor you found to be the most trustworthy, at a cost you can afford, and is available for hire to work the timeline you need the work completed.

Of course, there are always contingencies that come up during renovation and construction, so take into account an additional 10% above what you thought to budget as well as added days (maybe weeks depending on the type of project) and settle on a contractor to begin the work.

Why You Should Choose the Custom Home Builders for Your Dream Home

If you want to build your own home with your own personal touches don’t wait to call custom home builders. Personalize your home with your thoughts, emotions, memories, and everything you want both inside and outside. Plan everything with the help of a custom home builder starting from the front to back door, from the living room to your Kitchen. The home builder customizes your home as per your requirements at the best affordable price. 

Defining What Custom Home Builders Are. 

Instead of building a home and then selling it, a custom home builder creates one-of-a-kind residences based on the client’s specifications. Clients make many of the design decisions when working with a custom home builder. That is what distinguishes them from homes in a housing complex, where those decisions are made by the developer. 

Clients can either commission the builder to design the home or supply their own floor plan, and custom builders build homes on their land. Many custom builders handle both design and building, while others solely construct homes and need the client to engage with an architect on the design.  

Is Building a Custom Home Worth It? 

For people who wish to build their dream home, bespoke homes are an excellent option. The custom house builders will include all of the features, floor plans, and other styles you choose into your home. Choosing the type of home you want is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. You can construct your own home rather than renting one. Custom and production homes are the two main forms of residential residences. 

Benefits of Building a Custom Home 

The convenience of having your own unique home isn’t the only advantage. You’ll also be able to create your perfect home in your ideal location, complete with personalized features such as energy-efficient appliances and seclusion. You may even save money in the long run if you have fewer repairs or renovation jobs than if you live in an older property. 

Here are A Few Other Advantages of Working with a Custom Home Builder: 

  • If you have a property that you adore, a custom house builder will go to great lengths to ensure that your ideal home is built. Before you start building, check with your realtor and builder to be sure your dream lot has all it needs. 
  • New appliances are frequently included in the purchase of a new home. Almost all current appliances are energy efficient, saving both energy and money over time. If you’re buying new appliances, search for the Energy Star emblem to be sure you’re getting a decent deal. 
  • Because bespoke homes are spanking new, they will require less upkeep in the first 10 to 20 years! There will be less things to watch out for, such as old water heaters, chipped bathroom tiles, or uneven foundations, than there would be in an older property. 
  • Imagine living in a home that was specifically designed and built for you. Give new meaning to the expression “Home Sweet Home” by having a home that will make you feel welcome and at ease no matter how far you travel. 
  • You can protect your and your family’s privacy. You’ll feel like you’re in your own world if you choose the proper piece of property, hidden behind a grove of trees or placed beyond a hill. You pick the greatest location for you, make sure to visit and discuss each available lot with the builder. Your contractor can also show you different types of fences to preserve your privacy. 

Not only that, but there are a variety of other advantages to building your own home. It may be costly depending on your idea, or you can locate a builder that fits your budget and can build your ideal home for a reasonable price. 

Conclusion: 

Because custom houses are frequently built on undeveloped ground, customers must first check zoning laws and building codes to ensure they are permitted to construct there. They could have to develop the site and put in amenities as well. Modern custom home builders, on the other hand, often charge more than traditional builders, who build first and sell later, utilizing their own floor plans rather than a client’s.