Archive for the ‘Home Building Tips’ Category

Building a Home with Solar Water Heating Pays Off Big

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Building a home with solar water heating system can save you money immediately and can pay off big.

Initially, installing a solar water heating system will cost you more than installing a standard water heating equipment, but the thermal system will save you money and in the long-term, you will get positive cash flow.

Since you are still building your home, you can save more because you can make your house design in a way that it will make solar thermal installation easier and that will feature other green building technologies.

Integrating green systems during your construction is definitely better and more cost-effective than making additions or revisions for green technology to an already finished house.

For instance, before building, you can analyze your geographic location and then see how you should orient your roofing so that your solar collectors can receive the most rays from the sun.

What you should do, according to Jim Cika of solar product manufacturer VELUX America, is to take a look at the different solar technologies available, their installation, costs and benefits before building a home. Look at solar photovoltaic, which uses solar heat to generate electricity, or solar thermal, which uses solar heat to heat water.

Look also at the requirements of the federal government’s Energy Star program for solar water heating systems so you can get your rebates up to $2,000. The rebate program reimburses 30 percent of your total system costs.

Cika said that the installation cost for a solar water heating system ranges from $8,000 to $12,000, depending on the water heating requirements of your household. He said that typically, two or three solar collector panels are installed on the rooftop and that solar hot water tanks are offered in 80-gallon or 120-gallon sizes.

According to Cika, you can reduce your water heating costs by up to 80 percent with the thermal heating system. This will result in a substantially reduced total energy bill because water heating accounts for up to one-fourth of total energy consumption in an average household, as calculated by the U.S. Energy Department.

In a new home construction, the installation cost of the thermal heating system can be added to the total cost of the house and to the home loan amount. The monthly energy savings you can get from the thermal heating system would exceed the increase in your resulting monthly amortization, according to Cika, so consider installing a solar water heating system before building a home.

Home Building: On Setting Up the Interior

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Prepare a perfect home interior and sell your home easily. Consider a house renovation or check out this categorical approach to make your house stand out:

    Repairs and Maintenance:

  • See to it that there is a functional lighting in your home.
  • Get rid of plumbing problems.
  • Replace damaged fixtures. Repair leaks and make sure everything inside works.
  • Control the climate. Get your furnace, air conditioner, etc. working like new.
  • Clean the walls and floor.
  • See to it that the security alarm system and the smoke and carbon dioxide detectors are in good working condition.
  • Repair sticking cabinets and loose knobs, as well as broken light switches and electrical outlets.
  • Organizing:

  • Make your home look spacious with big storage space.
  • Do a garage sale to dispose unnecessary items, or donate them to charity.
  • Recycle if possible. Keep storage areas tidy.
  • Room-to-Room Cleaning

  • Make your home spotless.
  • Glue back peeling wallpapers and throw out garbage.
  • Paint the trim, door, and walls way ahead of time.
  • Home Inspection

  • Bathrooms: Remove rust, mildew, etc. to make it sparkle. Replace old toilet seats and shower curtains.
  • Kitchens: Clean the cooking appliances. De-grease vents and exhaust fans. Clean garbage disposal to avoid bad odor. Clear the cabinets and counters of unnecessary items and replace old lights, handles, and door knobs.
  • Doors and windows: Polish hinges, knobs, and other fixtures, and make sure they work properly. Oil hinges and install secure locks and dead bolts. Clean windows.
  • Floors: Repair damaged tiles and wax the floors.
  • Ceilings: Fix imperfections and repaint if needed.
  • Bedrooms and living areas: Dust furniture and vacuum carpets. Make everything dust-free and bright.
  • Garage, workshop, utility rooms: Do a total clean-up. Keep tools and other items in wall units.
  • Stairways, entrances, exits: See to it that guardrails and handrails are secure.

Your spending on your home renovation can be returned once a buyer realizes the convenience it has provided.

Home Construction: Painting Made Easy

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Who says you cannot paint like a pro? Home painting is not as hard as what you think; it just requires patience, time, and attention to detail. Do this to save time and money since hiring someone to do it for you is expensive.

Follow these guidelines and you can do it like a pro:

  1. Purchase a large bucket and a paint screen. Buy a roller extension for convenience. Place the paint try in a plastic trash bag before pouring the paint for easy cleanup.
  2. Pour in some paint and put the screen in the bucket. Dip the roller to the paint and run it over the screen to take away excess paint. A “spongepaint” technique gives your walls a textured look.
  3. After painting, check the walls to see the need for touch-ups. Put leftover paint inside a plastic squeeze bottle and squeeze a little drop onto a paper towel and do a subtle touch-up. If there is still a leftover paint, put a label on it with what room is it for, and store it for future use.
  4. When the roller starts to fuzz, wait for the roller to dry up then run a coarse material brush or a wire over it to remove excess fuzz and result to a smoother surface so more paint can be absorbed.
  5. If you are to use the same paint the next day, just wrap it in aluminum foil and put it inside your freezer. The next day, take it out the freezer and position it under the sun. If you are to change the paint color, use a garden hose outdoor and wash it off. If you are completely done, wrap it in plastic wrap and keep it in a paper bag. Seal the cans of leftover paint and keep them upside down.

Not only was painting made cheap and easy but the home building process was made simpler as well.

Safety Tips on Home Building and Daily Practice to Avoid Home Break-ins

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

A national survey has revealed that out of ten Americans, nine are unaware that burglars’ main entry point is the front door. This makes houses at risk to break-ins. State Farm has conducted the said survey to come up with safety practices from home construction to the daily practice that would help families in protecting […]

Continue Reading: Safety Tips on Home Building and Daily Practice to Avoid Home Break-ins

Helpful Tips in Home Building

Monday, January 19th, 2009

In home building, a lot of decisions have to be made. A single mistake can ruin the house of your dreams so you better make the right decision. To build your house the way you envision it, follow these tips shared by an architect: Contract Comprehension Read and understand the contract before signing it. Do […]

Continue Reading: Helpful Tips in Home Building

Home Building 101: Protection with Fire-wise Landscape

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Homebuyers and homeowners should know that one of the ways you can protect your homes from wildfires is to have a landscape that is considered to be fire-wise. Whether you home home construction or home remodeling, you should take the following suggestions into consideration when it comes to landscape. The Right Plants There are actually […]

Continue Reading: Home Building 101: Protection with Fire-wise Landscape

How-To: Home Building Additions and Home Remodeling

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Making home building additions or changes can be a good investment. However, before you take any steps towards fulfilling your home remodeling plans, there are some important items that you should consider first: Financing Home market values in the area Home renovation costs Architectural plans and design Timetable for completion Commitment to the project If […]

Continue Reading: How-To: Home Building Additions and Home Remodeling