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Remodeling Contractors

Renovating Your Home – How To Avoid Common Mistakes

Home renovation comes to our lives like falling in love, getting married, having children. It’s something you can’t avoid. Maybe something you can put off, but sooner or later you’ll have to deal with it, and you better be prepared. Simply put, home renovation is no walk in the park. It’s a lot of work, and can be extremely satisfying when done right.
You have to put into consideration there’s about a million things that can go wrong during renovation. You can’t account for them all, but at least you can minimize mistakes.
Here’s a few examples of common renovation mistakes:
1. Safety is not top priority
Safety first. It’s something every safety engineer working in construction can’t stress enough. Sometimes the workers become too engrossed in their work they forget that safety should first and foremost be top priority. There’s nothing more important that ensuring the safety of the people working in your renovation.
Look at it this way. If you get seriously hurt, it’s going to set back your time table even more so than if you’d taken the time to do things safely, with the proper safety equipment.
2. Not planning the renovation in advance
You don’t underestimate home renovation. Never. It requires a tremendous amount of effort, resources and time, especially since as long as the renovation is on-going you’ll be living in an unfinished house. Some first-time homeowners don’t plan their renovation schedule. As a result, they end up spending more time and resources than they had to if only they’d planned it in advance.
You can look up home renovation tip videos online if you don’t know where to start. The internet is right at your fingertips. Use it to your advantage.
3. Not making the most of the home renovation process
This is why you must plan out your renovation project in advance. For instance, if you’re looking to install a new drywall, why not install it while the walls are open during renovation? Why not take advantage of the situation instead of patching up the wall, tearing it down again to install the drywall, and then putting it back up together. It’s a waste of time and money.
4. Getting just one estimate
Have you ever heard those rumors about always getting three estimates when it comes to renovation projects? Guess what: it’s true. Never settle for less, because you never know when you might be able to score a better deal with a much more capable contractor.
Remember the magic number – always get three estimates.
5. Relying too much on yourself
There’s a reason why some people are called “professionals” – they’re good at what they do, and they can work more efficiently than anybody without the same title.
It’s okay to do things yourself from time to time. But when it comes to renovation, sometimes it’s best to just leave it in the hands of someone who knows what he’s doing. He’ll do a better job, that’s for sure, and you’ll end up getting the better for it.
Home renovation is something you want to get right the first time. So follow these home renovation tips and avoid falling into the same pitfalls that had plagued many other families before.

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Basement Renovations

Can I Really Power My Home With Wind Energy?

The Federal Tax Credits currently available in the US for upgrades for residential energy efficiency are significant enough to have many people thinking about energy efficiency remodeling. There is much discussion around the cost benefits of installing solar energy systems and even geothermal heat pump systems. But many homeowners are still asking, “Can I really power my home with wind energy?” The answer is “Yes!”
When most of us think about wind energy, we flash on images of huge turbines lined up in mid-western or off-shore wind farms. We see pictures of turbines 150 yards in diameter that sit 3000 feet above sea level. But wind technology is advancing daily. In fact, turbine design is advancing so fast that some of the wind-energy web sites are having difficulty keeping up! 
 
Many farms and other residential and industrial facilities in rural areas have been using wind turbines for years to provide all power for their needs. But as interest in powering homes with wind energy grows, new technologies are producing quieter, more attractive, turbines that can be effective at lower elevations. In fact, there are new turbine designs that can be incorporated into landscaping design around homes. 
 
The economics of wind power depend on where you live, how much wind is available on a continuous basis at what elevation, and whether you plan to invest in batteries to store excess energy. The economics of wind power also depend on whether you plan to install a stand-alone system to provide all of your energy needs or you plan to connect to the electric grid serving your area and use a wind energy system to generate power that you supply to the electric company in exchange for free energy. Either way, a small wind system could provide all of the power your home needs with wind energy. 
 
You can now purchase a wind generator from and from several other online retailers. You can also purchase complete wind systems from the manufacturer. At the very least, you can do your homework online before you start talking with a local contractor. Most states currently require that wind power systems be professionally installed by certified contractors. Before you purchase any equipment from any source, you should discuss your options and what kind of systems are working for other homeowners in your area with your contractor.
 
Choices of turbines are generally based on the amount of wind power generated by the system. This is measured in kilowatts. For example, a 1.2kW turbine produces 1200 watts. A turbine of this size installed where there is an average wind speed of 12 mph will produce about 2000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The cost of a wind system usually ranges from $3,000 to $5,000 per kilowatt connected to the grid. The cost could be lower for an independent system not connected to the grid. Turbines are expected to last about 20 years. 
 
In most cases, the installation cost for a 10 kilowatt residential system will be about $35,000 to $40,000. In an energy efficient home, this system could meet all energy needs, eliminating the electric bill. The amount of time needed to recover the cost would depend on current average monthly electric bill (e.g., a home using $200 of electricity per month, would recover $2,400 of the cost each year) and the available purchase incentives. The incentives would begin with the current Federal Income Tax Credit of 30% of the cost of equipment and installation or $10,500 – $12,000. Many states also offer such incentives as investment tax credits, sales tax reductions, property tax reductions, and financing assistance. Many utility companies also offer a variety of incentives, including net metering, to wind system installation.
 
In short, it is entirely possible to completely meet the energy needs of an energy efficient home with a wind power system that could be expected to pay for itself in as little as 10 to 15 years.
Copyright 2009 by ABCD Publishing

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General Article

Green Building Materials

Green Building Materials

When it comes to “Green Building Materials” there are many options to choose from whether you want to go completely green all at once or gradually. These options are available to be utilized on the exterior or interior or both of any project. The outside materials are metal roofing, solar panels, and EcoClad siding. The inside materials are bamboo or cork flooring, recycled counter tops, and recycled wood planks, and insulation.

Exterior

Metal roofing is considered a green building material because it helps reduce heating and cooling costs and they last a very long time and are more resistant to damage from all weather conditions. Metal roof pricing range from $3.50 to $15.00 per square foot.

Solar panel are considered a green building material because they use renewable energy from the sun to generate electricity. Solar panels are made up of crystalline silicon and gallium arsenide. Solar panel prices are from $125.00 to $1500.00 per panel.

EcoClad siding is made from recycled paper, wood fibers, and bamboo fibers which is all mixed with a co-polymer resin base. This building material is used for exterior siding. The price range for this material is between $9.00 to $20.00 per square foot.

Interior

Bamboo flooring is considered a green building material because it only takes about 3 to 6 years to regrow. Floors made from bamboo look a lot like real hardwood floors but they last a lot longer. Bamboo flooring prices range from $2.00 to $8.00 per square foot.

Cork floor covering is made up from the bark of a tree called Cork Oak Tree and it is found in the Mediterranean. The bark from these trees are harvested every 9 years. The price for this kind of floor ranges from $4.00 to $10.00 per square foot. The fact that it’s harvested every 9 years makes it a relatively fast renewable resource.

When it comes to recycled counter tops there are also many options. One option is a recycled glass counter top and its price range is from $30.00 to $80.00 per square foot. Another one is made from bamboo and the price range for this one is about $20.00 to $30.00 per square foot. Next is a counter top made from recycled paper in a resin base and the price range for this one is about $20.00 to $40.00 per square foot. Last but not least is a recycled aluminum counter top and the price range for this one is about $30.00 to $100.00 per square foot.

There are also very many different kinds of recycled wood panels. These are Doug Fir panels, Medite II P panels, Skyblend panels, Kirei, Homasote. The price of these panels range from $15.00 to $150.00 per panel.

Recycled insulation is another green building material and it is called Ultra Touch Cotton Insulation. This insulation is made from denim waste products and the price range for this material is about $55.00 to $125.00 but it depends on the square footage ordered.

There are also many ideas on the internet for all kinds of little stuff that be done inside or outside the home to make it more green. Like compact fluorescent bulbs is one good thing.

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General Article

Bathroom Renovation – Thoughts for First Timers

Bathroom Renovation – Thoughts for First Timers

Your bathroom is the best reflection of your personality. Nowadays most home owners would prefer to design their own bathroom. Bathroom renovation is not an easy task and requires time and commitment in order to succeed. For someone who loves to do detailed work it can provide you the challenges you need and that sense of satisfaction of competition the job. DIY bathroom renovation is ideal for people who love to learn new things and has the patience and will to do finish a task.

Let me explain how DIY bathroom renovation works. First you need to consider certain factors like the size of your bathroom, the needs of your family, how many are using the bathroom, planning and design, the time it will take to finish the job, the cost and any planning and safety. Here are some more details about this exciting process.

Initial planning

First determine what type of work you are going to do undertake. Decide whether you are going to renovate the entire area or you just want to do a minor make over. Also consider if you have kids that will share the bathroom, you might want to add features that are suited for youngsters.

Proceed with planning the color, check if you need to replace the tiles and fillings. You can use computer software to help you with the overall design or ask someone who’s got at it to make one for you. Do not complete electrical or plumbing work without expert advice, they will help you in the development of your overall blue print plan for the renovation.

Duration of the Renovation

It actually depends on the amount of work involve. Usually it takes 1 to 2 weeks to get the job done. For major projects it could take you up to a month.

Legalities

If you are doing a minor bathroom renovation, consider asking the local authorities if you need to secure papers. You may need a council permit for major construction.

The Cost

For minor bathroom renovation it usually cost around $10,000 or less if you are going to hire a company. For medium to major renovation it plays around $15,000 to $20,000. Of course these figures will go down if you do it on your own.

Although to a beginner’s perspective, bathroom renovation can be done. But it actually requires experience, skills and on top of that motivation. It can provide you that sense of self-achievement every time you visit your bathroom. For those of you who wish to hire professionals, make sure that they have all the qualifications that you need before making a deal with them and talk to their previous customers. Checking references of your general contractor is very important and time well spent.

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Remodel Kitchen

Home Remodeling – Use Free Resources Before You Start

Many homeowners enjoy starting new projects that will improve their home. However, lots of home remodeling tasks require the help of someone experienced in this field, so use the resources that surround you before you start.
If you are thinking about home remodeling in order to get the house you have always wanted, there are a few places you can go for help in this endeavor. No matter how talented you are at planning or construction, you will probably need help or inspiration at some point. Find out the best places to go to get assistance with your projects.
Most home remodeling projects require certain materials and tools, many of which you might not have. This means that a trip to the local home improvement store is probably in order. While there, you should ask any questions you have of the sales staff, as many are trained to answer queries from homeowners. If they do not know the answer, they can usually point you in the direction of someone who does, or at least offer a manual with tips for completing your task.
You can also stay at your house and still get your questions answered, simply by doing an Internet search. There are various websites and free e-books that teach the steps for different projects. Some simply offer basic tips for getting started while others go in-depth so that you can start from scratch. Use the Internet as a free resource for completing the home remodeling tasks that you need to do.
One of the most popular ways to learn new things is reading a book. Check out your local bookstore or library to find helpful books on the task you want to complete. Just like Internet sites, you will probably find that some books teach every step for various projects, while others just give a general overview that lets you know whether you should even attempt the project you are considering. Reading a book is a great, inexpensive or even free way to ensure that you know what you are doing before you get started, possibly saving you the money of having to start an unsuccessful task all over.
You are probably excited to start modeling your house the way you want it, but planning a bit before you start is a smart move. Jumping into a project that ends up failing can cost you money, since both your materials and time will be wasted. Plan to succeed by researching as much as possible first, consulting the various free resources that you are surrounded by. Only then can you expect to get he results you want from your home remodeling project.