4 Home Upgrades That Will Help Reduce Your Utility Bills

a girl on a budgetAs a responsible homeowner, you need to find ways on how to conserve energy. Unplugging your home appliances and other devices when not in use is a good place to start.

If you’re willing to go the extra mile, Rapid Repair Experts cites some home upgrades that can help you save on energy bills.

Reduce air and heat leakage

Having an efficient insulation system is one of the best solutions to reduce air and heat leakage. This allows you to control or maintain your home’s temperature without using too much energy. In addition, installing insulators can improve airflow and ventilation around the house.

Consider fixing or replacing the heating system as well. Look for a reputable company that offers heating repair services in your location. These professionals can even suggest the best option to reduce your utility bills.

Install timers in household equipment

Installing timers is one the most convenient and effective ways to minimize power wastage. Homeowners use these for outdoor and safety lights. They provide the basic lighting and security your home needs while conserving energy at the same time.

Install a programmable thermostat

A programmable thermostat is also effective at reducing power wastage. Advanced devices today allow you to link thermostats to other household equipment, such as heaters and air conditioners. Some models also feature a remote system, which is very useful when you are on vacation or returning earlier or later than expected.

Upgrade your lighting system

Switching to an energy-efficient lighting system can reduce your energy consumption. For outdoor lighting that you usually use for a long period, your best options are halogen incandescent, compact fluorescent lamps, or the LED floodlights. These lighting options are known for their efficiency and durability. You may also check Energy Star for recommended brands.

The key to cutting down on utility costs is to find a long-term solution to make your home more energy-efficient and reduce wastage. Be practical and make the right investment today.

Ways to Extend Your Living Space

a patioWhen the weather starts to get warmer, our thoughts turn to spending more time outside to bask in the sun. Putting up an umbrella on your lawn and removing it when cold weather comes just does not do it for some home-owners who wish to have an outdoor space that is well-designed and functional.

One option that lets you enjoy the outdoors during warmer days and protects your home during the colder months is to invest in a patio enclosure, which blocks moisture and limits exposure to the elements.

Placing a patio where you need it to be

A patio is commonly placed adjacent to the house for easy access, but you have the option to place it away from the house if you want a greater level of privacy for the space.

Creative a cohesive design

Before you start to actually design your outdoor area, consider the architectural style of your home and how you can extend that style to your yard. Stick to the dominant colour scheme of your indoor space and integrate that into the design of the exterior space.

It is important to stay consistent with the architectural design and colour scheme to be able to create a cohesive area outside. Do not worry because you can always find materials to match your interiors if you stick to using the same colour palette. You can also add plants as accessories to the area.

Layout and lighting

Just like indoor spaces, outdoor rooms have basic elements such as floors, ceilings, and walls. You need to refer to the layout of your outdoor space in planning the transition between the indoor and outdoor areas. Take note of any slopes and steep hills when measuring the outdoor space so you have a clear picture of its size and dimension.

When it comes to planning the lighting of your exterior living space, the goal is to create an ambience that encourages your family and friends to relax. For this purpose, you can use subtle down lighting. Attach lights to the trees outside and position them downward to achieve that moonlight effect.

Design an outdoor kitchen

An outdoor kitchen will allow you to bring the fun of cooking and grilling outside the home, and it will impress guests when you’re entertaining. What is great about bringing a kitchen outside is that you can be as creative as you want with the overall aesthetic of your cooking area. You can opt for a rustic look using wood and brick or a modern aesthetic using sleek stainless steel.

If you are looking to entertain guests and utilise the outdoor kitchen in warm weather, a fully equipped kitchen will be ideal for you.

These are just some possibilities that open when you install a patio in what otherwise may have been an unused space.

Don’t Go Cold: Why Getting the Furnace Serviced Regularly Is a Must

Man installs a furnace

Man installs a furnaceImagine you are in the middle of the cold winter months. You’re at home, and you start feeling cold. So you crank up the thermostat, but it doesn’t seem like it’s getting warmer. In fact, the whole house seems to be getting colder. That’s when you discover that your furnace has broken down.

It’s in moments like this that you regret not having regular furnace service. In Salt Lake City, there are reliable companies that offer such a service.

Aside from preventing the furnace from breaking down at the most inopportune moment, here are some other reasons it is important to get your furnace serviced on a regular basis.

Expensive Repair Costs

If you find your furnace not working, especially during the cold months, repair costs can be more expensive because maintenance specialists will be in high demand. By having your furnace serviced and maintained regularly, you can avoid sudden breakdowns and avoid expensive repairs. In worst-case scenarios, you might even have to replace your unit. That can be really expensive.

Not Using Your Furnace for Long Periods

Most people use heaters and furnaces only during the cold season, which is about 3–4 months a year. This means that you don’t use your furnace for extended periods of time and fall into damage.

Dust and dirt can build up in the vent system, rust can form in the metallic areas of the furnace, mechanisms may stop working, and even cracks and leaks can form. You can prevent all of this with regular checkups.

DIY-ing is Not an Option

It is never advisable to service or do maintenance work on a furnace on your own. In fact, warranties can be voided if a certified maintenance person does not handle it.

The following are just some of the things that you need to get checked and cleaned during a proper tune-up of your furnace. It will make sure there are no blockage or leakage and that every element and moving part is working according to specifications:

• Vent system
• Combustion gasses
• Blower access door
• Fresh air intake grills and louvers
• Heat exchanger
• Burners
• Drainage system (including the hoses internal to the furnace and the condensate drain and trap)
• Blower wheel
• Blower motor
• Wiring
• Filters

Regular furnace maintenance can save you money and the inconvenience and discomfort of having a cold house in the middle of winter.

Effective Removal and Prevention of Ice Dams on the Roof of American Homes

Ice dam in a house

Ice dam in a houseIn America alone, direct damage and problems from water leaks due to ice dams cause millions of dollars in repairs each year. Dislodged shingles and stained ceilings may not seem much, but sagging gutters and peeling paint adds to the cost. Unchecked damage leads to even bigger problems.

The first question you must ask to avoid high repair costs is, “Do you have an ice dam on the roof?” RTD Ice Dam Removal shares some information about this type of problem.

What are ice dams?

Some roofs are more prone to developing ice dams due to their orientation and angulation. Looking for signs of ice dams should be part of the routine maintenance checks every winter. Make it a habit to monitor ice formations on the edge of the roof. It is better to observe the formation at roof level and check whether there is a buildup of water behind the icicles hanging from the gutters.

Your initial concern may be whether the icicles hanging from the gutters are likely to fall onto someone’s head. Yet, it is also important to consider bigger problems, such as water damage.

Dealing with ice dams

Once the presence of ice dams is confirmed, you must deal with them effectively. The best thing to do is to keep your hand away from an ax or a hammer. Instead of trying to remove the stubborn ice formation, contact snow removal services and let the pros deal with the situation.

Preventing ice dams

It is never too late to learn how to prevent ice dams from forming. Before the next winter sets in, you must try to keep the problem from developing on your roof again. In terms of prevention, three of the most important areas to pay attention to are gutter maintenance, improving attic ventilation and insulation, and minimizing the sources of heat in the attic.

Freezing weather can cause ice dam formation on the roof. According to professionals, the best solution to this problem is prevention.

Conserving Energy Through a Blown-in Attic Insulation

attic insulationAs adults, we all have staggering amounts of bills to pay regularly. We would do everything in our power to be able to save up and thus, being wise with our spending and house bills is our main priority. You know what could help lower your energy bills? Blow-in attic insulations.

There are certain tips that you should follow to make sure that the bills go down in a couple of weeks or months and today, we are going to discuss what those are.

But before that, insulations expert A+ Insulation suggests you make sure to hire a certified and licensed professional to install your blow-in blanket system in Kansas City.

Seal the Air Leaks

Having holes and cracks in your ceiling can cost you hundreds of bucks. In fact, it might have already cost you some in the past. Having open gaps can make your attic insulation work twice as hard as it should be, leaving you with a huge bill every month.

Make sure to ask your contractor to cover any hole or crack and seal it tightly.

Install Vents

The air from your insulation needs to move properly at the eaves to remove any remaining moisture during winter and heat during summer. Without the vents, you won’t be getting what you should be from your vents, and you’d only end up paying more than you should be.

Insulate the Access Doors

Ask your contractor to have the attic access doors sealed tightly. This will keep the blown-in insulation from falling through your attic hatch opening, which can be dangerous when not done properly.

This is exactly one of the reasons you should consider hiring a certified and licensed professional regarding home renovations, installations, and repairs.

Use a Blown-In Attic Insulation

Blown-in attic insulations are known to be more energy-efficient than regular  fiberglass insulation. Blown-in attic insulations have a “loose-fill” type of insulation, which usually performs 22 percent better than fiberglass. Blower machines are typically heavy though, so make sure to ask help from a professional.

You will see the cost-effective benefits of your new blown-in insulation after a few weeks or months.

Average Costs of a Kitchen Remodel Project in 2018

A home kitchen

A home kitchenYou could make plans and learn new trends for a great kitchen remodel project in your Salt Lake City home, but you will most likely think about cost more than anything. The cost might be the single most limiting element in a remodel.

Your plans will likely change based on what you can afford and what you want to prioritize in your kitchen. On the upside, you can focus on what you truly want, and you learn to be creative when you have a limited budget.

Small Kitchen Remodel

You can ballpark the cost of your remodel based on the size of your kitchen alone. Kitchens less than 200 square feet have average costs of $25,800 with a major remodel.

A major remodel involves a complete overhaul of the kitchen, including the cabinetry and appliances. A minor remodel project without changes to the former elements costs an average of $13,700.

Large Kitchen Remodel

With a kitchen of more than 200 square feet, you can look at costs at an average of $42,000 on a major remodel project. A minor one, on the other hand, will cost only an average of $22,000.

Of course, for more specific estimates, you have to factor in Utah material and labor costs, material choice, and quality, and more.

Plan Your Remodel Right

With the average costs based on kitchen size alone, however, you can already have a good idea of the costs of your kitchen remodel. Now, you can focus on planning your remodeling project and making the most out of your budget. You can even save on costs in ingenious ways.

Cost-Saving Tricks

For one, you can retain the same layout as your old kitchen. In this way, you can save on labor costs needed for relocating plumbing and electric and gas lines.

Secondly, you may consider opting for ready-to-assemble or stock cabinet models to save on customization. Finally, you can even do some of the remodeling work yourself.

A kitchen remodel will still considerably be expensive, but as long as you plan things right, you will be able to enjoy a substantial return on investment.

Aging Population Calls for Proper Mobility Aids

Doctor and nurse assisting elderly in wheelchairAs the world’s population continues to grow and life expectancy increases, many countries are now seeing a graying population. Many facilities and homeowners in Denver are now considering stairlifts and other improved access equipment, but many people still find it difficult to find the right mobility access equipment.

Technological advancements have ensured that more equipment are available to the general public, especially since the global elderly population is expected to grow to two billion by 2050. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the foremost cause of fatal injuries among seniors. Furthermore, an estimated $31 billion was expended in the treatment of fall-related injuries in 2014.

While these call for the use of the appropriate mobility aids, the choice of the best stairlifts still needs to be made. Is there a one-size-fits-all solution or are there parameters by which such decisions should be made for maximum efficiency and use? These four questions should help in deciding which is the best stairlift.

How is your staircase designed?

While staircases are typically straight or curved to suit the tastes of the homeowner, they play a role in determining the appropriate stairlift to be installed. The curved staircase would require a site survey as it demands special installation.

What are the features available in the stairlift?

The medical condition of the older adult must be considered. For example, if they have an arthritic condition, mobility will be an issue. This necessitates the presence of soft-touch or remote-control operations to make it easy to use.

Does the stairlift have safety features?

The stairlift needs to be designed for efficiency, efficacy, and safety of users. Additionally, the gear tracks must be adequately concealed to protect pets and children from accidental injuries.

Is the stairlift designed to carry those with above-average weight?

Some stairlifts may not be able to carry beyond average body weight, and this could affect how its engine works. It is important to purchase a stairlift that can carry more than the person’s weight.

Stairlifts can make a difference in reducing the number of senior citizens lost to accidental falls annually. For anyone in the Mile-High City looking for a stair lift, Denver offers loads of options to get the very best.

Get to Know the Three Common Types of Staircase

A wooden staircase

A wooden staircaseWhen planning a staircase installation, one would have to consider what the intended use is. For instance, is it supporting or front oriented? This is because the form and function have a direct effect on the practical usage of a staircase as well as the convenience it provides.

Clarity and precision are essential in staircase construction.  The space that you use to build it on will be used solely for that purpose and will not allow for any other activities. As such, you have the option to decide on the type of wooden steps in NZ that will work best for you with the available space.

Straight Staircase

If you want a simple basic design, these stairs are the best option. The stairs have one straight flight which does not exceed 16 steps. This category also includes half and quarter landing stairs. They are versatile as you can choose wooden materials, stainless steel or glass made panels.

Arched or Curved

If you want a contemporary style, then this elegant and graceful staircase will give you just that. It is placed in the entrance area to create a perfect first impression. This timeless classic staircase is built on a much larger radius but does not make a full circle. Additionally, it is easy to climb up and down these steps even for children.

Spiral

This staircase category features treads that compactly radiate around an established centre pole. They are mainly popular in areas where available staircase space is at a premium- especially on lofts, studios, and decks. Due to the centre pole aspect, spirals do not require extra supporting structures making them even more affordable. Moreover, they can be easily installed and are versatile about the material used for construction.

Combining style and function, staircases provide an endless opportunity to showcase class regardless of the material and design. Therefore, as you build your staircase, make this space as unique and attractive as you want it to be.

4 Easy Steps to Installing an Ornamental Fence

Gate fence nearby the poolTo add beauty to their homes, many homeowners install ornamental fences around their property. Of course, an added benefit to this kind of fencing is that it makes your home more secure. You may want to hire a professional to do the project for you, but if you have the time, it’s a task that’s fun to do yourself. Here are four easy steps while installing an ornamental fence.

Assemble materials

Greatfence.com shares that modern ornamental fencing can be done using various materials. You could decide to use wood, for instance, or opt to go with fence panels made of metal. If you choose to go with metal, choose between aluminum and wrought iron. Then buy other supplies you’ll need for the fence such as concrete, paint, and so on.

Break ground

Once the materials for the fence are ready, it’s now time to dig into the ground. Make sure that you already have a map of your property, so you don’t dig into your neighbor’s property. Holes should be dug in accordance with the size of the posts. Follow directions on the appropriate depth and spacing.

Anchor the posts

Mix concrete and add the appropriate amount to each hole. Eighty pounds of concrete should be enough per hole. Then place the metal posts inside and square them using a trowel and fence line. Create a slope for each post using the trowel to protect against rainwater. Leave the posts for at least a full day to become stable.

Attach the panels

Following the instruction manual for your metal fence, attach the panels to the posts. The manual usually gives directions as to what distance you need to observe between panels. Then check the entire fence for any weak points and fix them.

Giving your property a handsome appearance is easier than you may have imagined. You can start by installing an ornamental fence, a task that’s easy, affordable and effective.

4 Reasons to Install a Sliding Barn Door in Your Home

Wooden sliding barn doorAll homeowners want their house to look presentable, especially since the look and feel of it represents their personalities. Doors are among the things that never go unnoticed. This is why you should always invest when it comes to your doors.

One of the most popular household doors is the sliding barn door. You can find hundreds of unique and stylish sliding barn door hardware in Australia. Here are the benefits that you can get from installing one in your home:

The designs

Sliding barn doors have plenty of designs that you can choose from. It is very versatile and can fit any type of room, whether big or small. You can customise the design or have a ready-made one installed—it is totally up to you.

Space saver

Sliding barn doors are perfect for smaller rooms since they have a sliding mechanism. You do not have to think about it swinging open and close and you would not have to worry about it knocking something over.

Lightweight

Doors are often difficult to open and close since most of them are so heavy. This is not the case with a sliding barn door though, as it is very easy to operate. Just make sure that the tracks are always clean and oiled.

Scratch-free

Regular swinging doors tend to be pulled down over time, making it inevitable for the floor under it to be scratched whenever the door is opened or closed. With a sliding barn door, this will not happen, as all you have to do is slide it all the way to open and close it.

Having a sliding barn door will make your life easier and your home prettier. Go ahead and grab one (or more) today.