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House Improvements

Four Cost-Saving Green Ideas For Homeowners

There is much discussion today on going “green” and saving the environment. Many businesses, both commercial and industrial, are adopting systems and policies in order to comply with the demands of the government and the overall world community to create “green” buildings and environmentally friendly processes. Many of the things that are being done in the business world can also be adopted very easily to residential properties as well. I am always watching for ways to apply these technologies simply and cost effectively as a means of not only helping our environment, but also as a way to save some money. Here are a few ideas of simple ways that we can do our part:

If you live in an area with modest rainfall, devise a means for collecting the rainwater that normally comes off the roof and down the gutter by installing a water storage tank. This water can be used for cleaning around the outside of the home and also for watering the lawn, flowers and garden.

Install solar panels for collecting the sun’s energy and use it to power your home. This can be done very efficiently and relatively easily with the right tools and does not have to cost a lot of money. This can be a huge money saver.

Insulate your hot water heater. There are insulating jackets on the market which will allow you to “wrap” the hot water heater and prevent heat loss thereby saving the energy needed to maintain the hot water temperature.

If you have plans to do any kind of bathroom remodeling that involves getting into the walls and/or floor as well as piping changes, consider a heat exchanger for collecting wasted heat from the shower. There are simple heat exchangers designed exclusively for this purpose in residential bathrooms. The heat collected can be used to return heat to the hot water heater and reduce the energy needed to provide hot water in the home.

These are just four ways that you can do your part to help the environment and at the same time reduce your household utility costs. With the right research, you can easily come up with many other ways as well. Follow the lead of big business and find out the ways that they are accomplishing these goals and then scale it down to see if it makes sense both economically as well as efficiently. I will do my part to share techniques as I am able to uncover them.

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Renovation Contractor

Insurance Restoration – Green Remodeling

In today’s news we are hearing more and more about “green building”. Since most American’s aren’t planning to build a new home to “green” standards, how might the majority of us become involved in the movement to make our homes more environmentally friendly and healthier for our families? Whether you are planning to remodel an existing space, or you suffer an insured loss to your home, you can “think green”!
What is a “green” remodel? It is an effort not only to make your home look better but also to make it work better. The goal is to make the home healthier, more efficient & easier to maintain, while lessening our homes affect on the environment. I believe that most people agree that those are worthwhile goals.
There are a lot of misconceptions concerning green building. Many people think that the costs are too high to consider, or that they do not want to live in a home that looks weird. The fact is, remodeling a home with “sustainable” (another word for “green”) products need not cost significantly more. And, with the savings that come with the use of such products, the costs may actually be less! It is a myth that a green home looks different when compared to a conventional home. Placed side-by-side, most folks would be hard pressed to tell the differences.
No matter what the circumstances are that have led you to think of remodeling, there are endless possibilities to be considered in planning to build “green”, whether a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or other living space. Manufacturers of building materials are spending millions of dollars to have their products certified “green”. From roofing materials to plumbing fixtures to wood products to flooring, the choices are becoming readily available to upgrade your project to a “green” space. Not to mention that a number of insurance companies are now offering “green upgrade” policies which will allow you to upgrade to “green” products in the event that your home suffers a loss. Be sure to ask your agent if such a policy is offered by your homeowners insurance company.
Americans spend billions of dollars each year remodeling their homes. Please take the time to explore the many ways that you can add value to your remodeling project by going “green”. Doing so will allow you to save money, enjoy a healthier home and reduce your homes impact on the environment.

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Renovation Costs

Choose Green Home Remodeling and Let the Sun’s Energy Power Your Home

When considering a green home remodeling project, think of the sun. Now is a perfect time to consider switching to a renewable energy source such as solar power. Many homeowners don’t consider solar because they think it too expensive, unreliable, or complicated. However, solar panels have improved greatly in the last 20 years. They are smaller, more efficient and reliable, less expensive, and easier to obtain.
Solar energy creates no pollution and it’s free. While solar panels themselves are not free, they’re a very effective long-term investment. A variety of local, federal and state tax credits and incentives can cut the expense by as much as 50 percent. If you generate more power than your home uses, you can try selling the extra power to your local utility. You can also rent your solar panels, reducing your initial cost, and letting you pay for the rental from energy savings.
Many homeowners erroneously believe that solar power will provide reduced power at certain times or will require expensive batteries. Solar systems can create power on cloudy days, although they generate more on sunny days. Because most solar panels are tied to the electrical grid, a process called net metering allows you to build up credit during the day – when your system is generating more power than you need – and draw on that credit at night. If your home is too isolated for a grid connection, you may want to consider a generator or a battery back up.
Before you sign on for solar there are a couple of considerations. First, check your utility bills; if they are already low for your area, solar panels might not be a good investment. Next, see how much sun hits your roof every day. If your roof is shaded for much of the day, you might not be a good candidate or you may need to trim some trees. Finally, see if your roof has a southern exposure. Other exposures work, but they may be somewhat less efficient or more expensive.
Good installers can evaluate your home’s potential for solar power and make estimates for costs. As with any green home improvement project, it pays to get bids from a number of contractors. Choose a company that is experienced and licensed.