Home Automation to Give You Energy Efficiency

When you consider the advantages of living in a smart home, convenience and luxury probably spring to mind. But did you know that one of the top benefits of home automation is energy efficiency? By enabling you to easily monitor your energy usage and remotely control it, home automation can significantly lower your electricity bills while keeping your home comfortable when occupied and giving you peace of mind. Home Automation Makes Energy Management Easy & Convenient In our busy daily lives, it's easy to forget to turn off the lights, TVs and other electronics before leaving home. Sometimes we just…

Aging in Place Home Design: Features for “Thriving in Place”

Aging in place home design features can be added to this beautiful one-story Spanish Courtyard home. Most Americans want to continue to live in their own homes and remain independent as they age, but without accessible or universal home design features for aging in place, their capability to successfully do so diminishes as years pass and their abilities change. While getting older is not something many people want to think about when building a home, aging in place home design today is about making smart enhancements for "thriving in place". Anyone, regardless of their age, would want to do that. What…

Building a Retirement Home for Aging in Place – Retirement Home Plans

This stunning one-story home can be custom designed for aging in place.With thousands of baby boomers reaching retirement age daily, the demand for universal design features to accommodate aging in place continues to grow. If you are interested in building a retirement home, make sure the house plan you select can include important age-in-place features. Those features make it possible for you to live in the home throughout your golden years without the need for remodeling. If building a home for aging in place does not sound very exciting, you will be pleased to discover that incorporating age-in-place f…

Change Color, Texture and Lighting to Give Any Room a Quick Update

Even the most well-designed rooms can use an update. No matter how well put together your place is, a small change can make a big impact. Whether you've just moved in, or you've lived in the same space for years, a few small changes are all you need to make you feel like you've updated your home without the expense of a remodel. If you're unsure of what to do to get a fresh look this year, take a deep breath and dive into these easy do-it-yourself updates. Start with the small things for a big visual payoff. Thinking about new ways of using color, texture and light can all make a room feel completely d…

Ditch Your Incandescent Bulbs for Home LED Lighting

It's hard to change. Innovations in technology often lead to resistance among shoppers, where long-formed habits are concerned. The notion of paying extra for a light bulb can also be a deterrent, but over the course of the lifespan of an LED bulb, mixed with the number of bulbs in your home, making the switch from incandescent to LED bulbs can be one of the best decisions you can make for your bottom line. Focus on Lumens, not Watts An often-told myth is how the amount of wattage of a bulb is a direct indicator of a bulb's brightness. Many of us have made decisions about illumination based solely on th…

Save Money by Making Earth Day an Everyday Activity at Home

If you own a home or just a couple of possessions in a small apartment, adopting an eco-friendly routine can help curb waste and pollutants from entering the environment around you and your neighbors, making the world a cleaner place to live with each passing day. But what if we told you that by taking an environmentally-sound approach, you could save considerable money in both the short and long-term? There are plenty of ways you can make every day Earth Day, especially if you look at the benefits of reducing the costs associated with the products and materials that many of us simply throw away or repl…

Eco-Friendly Lawn and Garden Care

They may look green, but a lot of lawns are anything but. American homeowners use a lot of toxic chemicals on their lawns - up to 10 pounds of pesticides per acre. When it rains, pesticides are flushed into local streams, rivers, and lakes, harming fish and plants along the way. Here are some tips to make sure your grass looks great - and is safe for pets, children, and other living things. Choosing the Right Mower Using a gas-powered mower for just one hour produces the same amount of air pollution that a car emits from driving 100 miles! Luckily, there are many low-energy, high-quality alternatives to c…

7-Day Plan to Organize Your Kitchen the Right Way

Have you noticed that the state of your kitchen can make a huge difference in how your entire home feels? When things aren't running as they should, the smallest tasks (making breakfast, putting away groceries) can feel like a hassle. Here is a helpful plan of attack from the editors of Houzz: "Set goals that make sense for you. Setting a goal that relates to how you want your kitchen to function better is more helpful than blindly tackling a long list of cleaning and decluttering jobs, so consider what you personally want to get out of this week. Want help getting through hectic mornings? You may want…

Tips for Organizing and Cleaning the Bathroom

Keep Your Bathroom Organized & Clean The Easy Way First, close your eyes and visualize your personal bathroom for a few seconds. Think about how the cabinets, sinks, and other utility areas are positioned, and reflect on how you feel when you're preparing for your day. Are your sanitary and hygiene needs nearby? Do you feel comfortable soaking in your bathtub or resting in the shower after a long day? If all of this sounds frightening or scary, this is where we come in to remind you that once upon a time, it wasn't like this. And getting it back will be easier than you think. Organize Right & Reclaim You…

Frequently Overlooked Issues to Consider When Building Your First Home

You've done it — you've decided to build your first home. Congratulations -- building your own home can be rewarding and exciting! But we've all heard the horror stories of first-time builders who neglected to consider key issues that later came back to haunt them. Don't let that happen to you! You want to avoid these painful — and often costly — regrets. So what should you be paying attention to as you put together your plans? Here are a few important considerations that can sometimes get lost in the excitement of building design…

Core Aeration Gets To The Root Of Hard Soil

During March and April, homeowner thoughts turn to the quality of their lawns. Lawn quality is measured in terms of color, density and uniformity. Soil conditions, fertilization, and watering are the factors that affect lawn quality. Of these, the condition of your lawn's soil and your fertilization schedule have the greatest impact. It's entirely possible that the grass will be unable to take up the nutrients provided by spring fertilization due to poor soil conditions. Is the soil beneath your grass hard and lumpy? Does water run off after the grass has been irrigated? Does it always seem "thirsty", i…

Painting Your Home’s Interior

Latex VS Oil Based Paints Latex paint is water-based, and it's probably the most common type of paint used today. Oil-based paint had its heyday; it was great for leaving a high-gloss finish and it had a lot of good qualities, but latex has come so far that it's now surpassed oil-based paints. Latexes are so much easier to clean up when you have it on your hands or on your brushes. They don't blister and peel like oil paints sometimes do. Plus there's not that odor when you're painting inside your house. So latex has a lot of great features, especially touch-up. If you touch up oil paint you can see where…

End Of Summer Lawn And Garden Tips

Plant Fall color such as mums, asters, marigolds, zinnias, and celosia. Fall-flowering bulbs such as spider lilies, fall crocus, and fall amaryllis. Finish warm-season vegetable plantings of beans, corn, cucumbers, melons, and squash. Cool-season vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, spinach, potatoes, lettuce, carrots, beets, radishes, and English peas. Finish planting warm-season lawn grasses: buffalo, Bermuda, St. Augustine, and zoysia. Wildflower seed. Water Water deeply and as infrequently as possible. Your garden and landscape will usually need more water this month…

Pool Safety Tips

Drowning accidents are the leading cause of injury/deaths among children under five. More than 80 percent of the drownings occur in residential backyard pools or spas. It can happen quickly, always without warning, without a splash, and without a cry for help. To help avoid such a tragedy, please read the following pool safety tips. Secure Pool Area A fence or barrier completely surrounding the pool can prevent many drowning accidents. Most children who drown or nearly drown were last seen in the yard, porch, or patio prior to the accident. Although a fence separating the pool and spa in the single most e…

Fall Lawn Preparation

Care of your lawn in the fall is as important as in spring and summer. Regular care is the key to an attractive and healthy lawn through the fall and winter months. Here are few things you can do to help your lawn survive the winter and recover vigorously in the spring. Fertilization — Fall fertilization is the key to prolonging fall color and promoting early spring recovery of the lawn. It helps produce a dense turf that resists winter weeds. Fertilizer used in the fall should be higher in nitrogen and potassium and lower in phosphorus. Grasses fertilized this way have shown greater survival during…