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…

Freeze Protection Tips

Potted plants Drag into the garage, or next to a wall. Water them. If located next to a wall, cover with a tarp, blanket, towel or a box. For very tender plants, add a work light. Make sure it is not touching either the cloth or box. Tender in-ground shrubs, perennials and annuals. Water them either the night before, or the morning before the freeze. Cover with a tarp, blanket, towel or a box. For very tender plants, add a work light. Make sure it is not touching either the cloth or box. Do not use plastic It translocates the cold – it's like you never covered the plant at all. Tra…

When to Replace Common Household Items

NOTHING lasts forever. That said, many items are less obvious than the spoiled milk in your fridge – there's no expiration date or other obvious signs they have outlived their use. So how long should you let your stuff linger before replacing it? We talked to the experts and nailed down a "best by" date for, well, just about everything: Air Filters Replace after: Six months Why: Filters become clogged with dirt and other particles, reducing the energy efficiency of your heating and cooling systems, says Rozanne Weissman, a spokeswoman for the Alliance to Save Energy. Computers Replace after: Four…

General Maintenance Checklist

This checklist covers some basic, necessary maintenance items for most homes. It is by no means all-inclusive. Some items may not be applicable for the type of home and home features you have. For full details, please consult all guides, warranties, and literature provided by Design Tech Homes, as well as the specific warranties and manuals for your home's various appliances. Monthly (on or around the first day of the month) Test and clean/dust smoke and carbon monoxide detectors Test GFCI/GFI receptacle/breaker and outlets Replace/clean heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) air return filters Ch…

Window Maintenance

Caulking to Prevent Water Leaks Often water leaks at a window result from a breakdown in the connection between the frame of the window and the frame of the house. To prevent leaks, the window should be caulked where its frame meets the exterior siding. If the window is surrounded by wood trim, all gaps between the trim and the siding (and the trim and the window frame) should be sealed with a high-grade polyurethane caulk. Take special care to seal the top side of the top piece of trim. Puddling water at this location causes many window leaks. Stopping Air Leaks A window that leaks air can also mean exce…

Home Design for All Ages

With an entire generation of Baby Boomers about to retire, homebuilders are adding touches to their home designs to suit an aging population. Even healthy Boomers will welcome thoughtful modifications if they choose to care for their aging parents at home or have frequent visits from grandchildren. Here are a few simple things you may want to consider to help create a safe and comfortable home for everyone. Planning for the Future In the planning stage, you should make sure hallways and door openings are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair. Along those hallways, tap-activated glow lights provide bette…

How You Can Save Water

In a country where limitless clean water is available at the turn of a tap, it's hard to believe that many parts of the world are at the losing end of a life and death struggle over water. Every year, drought and water-related diseases kill 5 million people around the globe. Blessedly, that's not the case in the United States or in our communities. Water conservation saves you money and makes an important contribution to a better future. Here's how to get started: Stop leaks. Check appliances and outdoor systems such as sprinklers for leaks. Get to know your water meter; it provides important information…

Identifying Common Insect Problems

Although they may be climbing on your plants, some insects can be beneficials hunting for their prey. Eliminate the beneficials and you'll inherit their jobs. If you can't identify the bug — bring it in to a local nursery for identification. Here are some typical insects found in and around the yard and garden and how to attempt to eliminate them: Aphids: Tiny, white, green or brown soft-bodied insects grouped in masses along stems and leaves, primarily on new plant growth. Leaves become stunted, discolored and curled. Aphids suck plant juices and excrete a honeydew that attracts ants and forms the…