Bringing the Past with You

Moving from one coast to another has been an interesting experience. I moved with my husband because he’s in the military. We’ve moved around a lot, but not to the west coast until now. I’ve missed all of the homes that we’ve been in, and all of the wonderful people that we’ve met along the way. In our last home before moving, there were these amazing wood shutters on the windows. The new home we moved into didn’t have them, so I had to find a company that would be able to install them.

I did some searching for local shutter companies and found one that would come to my home to do take some measurements and do some consulting for free.…

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How to Save Thermal Energy at Home

How to Save Thermal Energy at HomeHeating is one of the most important functions of our home energy. This is why the biggest proportion of energy bills is allocated to our heating. Just like other things in our homes, our ways of using heat can be improved to be more efficient for our homes and especially our money.

A major amount of things at home require quite a lot of funding to be made environmentally friendly and energy/money efficient – however, there is also a great number of things you can do to ensure the efficient use of your home energy that cost you absolutely nothing but a bit of time and patience. Why is it that our heating bills can be so much higher than, for example, our neighbors, even though our houses are roughly of the same size, and use the same amount of heat?

The answer to this is simple – bad insulation; unwanted heat escape. On the surface of things, it may seem that heating your home is nice and simple; that we turn on a switch and expect our home to be heated after a certain time. It escapes many of us that the amount of heat we actually need is usually much, much less than what we pay for, and this is normally due to 2 things: drafts (through cracks and holes) and poor insulation.

Let’s focus on each of these in a little more detail and look at how we can solve them. Research shows that cold air (drafts) coming into your home causes 20% of your heating to go to waste. From high-school physics, we know that heat travels from regions of higher temperature to regions of lower temperature – if your home’s walls have even the smallest of holes or cracks in them, you are automatically wasting …

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How To Get the Most From Your Interior Designer

How To Get the Most From Your Interior DesignerAs intuitive as one may be, it can often times be a challenge when trying to determine another’s taste and preferences. Interior designersAmay be half psychologist and half skilled professional but mind-readers, we are not.AThat’s why professional interior designers utilize specific tools at the beginning of a project with a new client, which support the communication and rapport-building process. Nonetheless, to get the most out of your experience with an interior designer, there are a few things that will make the process more successful and much more efficient.

Here’s a guide to help prepare yourself for the process of hiring an interior designer:

Where – Defining a space is a bit more difficult today than in years’ past. Open floor plans have created a dilemma with homeowners: where does one room end and another begin if there are no obvious boundaries?

What areas are being considered for remodel/re-design?

How are these areas used?

Who uses the areas? When? How often?

When – What is your timeline for the project?

If construction is necessary, how long can you manage theAupheaval?

Do you have an deadline in mind?

How soon do you wish to begin?

What –

What do you want to accomplish?

How do you wish the new space to feel and function?

What do you want the outcome to be?

Who – You must consider who will come into contact with the finished space. Everyone knows how pets and children can effect a rooms’ interior but you must also consider outside elements (natural sunlight), cooking smells, traffic patterns, etc.

Unless you can communicate with your designer exactly what your likes, dislikes and desires are, it’s unlikely they will be able assist you in accomplishing your goals. The best way to do this is with photos, whether from magazines or the …

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Did You Overlook Something in Your New Home Design?

DID YOU OVERLOOK SOMETHING IN YOUR NEW HOME DESIGN?There are quite a few details involved in designing a new house and it is very easy to overlook certain aspects of what will make that house a home. I have been a home designer for almost three decades now and have come up with a list of things that are often forgotten in the layout. Maybe that list can be of some help to you.

Number one on my list is storage space! Are you allowing for this? Chances are that if your home is cluttered now, you either have too much stuff accumulated or there is not enough storage space to store this stuff. If you overlook this in the design of your new home, you may be transferring one problem from your old dwelling to the new one.

The common lack of storage in homes are:

– Pantries for extra food stuffs like canned goods that would be overflowing from the kitchen cabinets.

– Clothes closets that are too small to handle the wardrobe of a family member for at least one season. Make sure they are large enough.

– Coat closets in the entryway of the home. When this omitted, the living room, kitchen or dining room starts becoming a catch all for winter coats.

– Linen closets are often overlooked also. This space is for sheets, pillow cases, washcloths, and towels. All too often, if a home does not have a linen closet, extra shelves have to be added to handle these.

– Attic or basement storage that is easily accessible to store Christmas lights and family keepsakes. When attic or basement storage is unavailable the garage fills up with all this stuff.

If the home is in an area that experiences more than usual rain or snow fall, is there a mud room for …

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How to Cut Costs When Building a House

HOW TO CUT COSTS WHEN BUILDING A HOUSEEveryone would like to save a little money when building a new house. After all, there are added expenses when building, such as repayments on the land and during the construction phase which often adds pressure on both the buyer and builder to have the house completed as fast as possible. These simple tips will help to cut costs even before you start building your new house.

  1. Choose a block that is already prepared – A new subdivision should have all your services in place and also have a nice sandy block ready to be built on. This will reduce the cost of your earthworks which can be significant. If you’re buying in an established area with the intention of knocking down and rebuilding, call the local council to find out what the conditions of the land are like in that area. They may be able to tell you the type of engineering detail that is common and if limestone or rock is prevalent.
  2. Ensure your home designer has a track record of bringing house designs in on budget – this is also such an important step as a poor house designer or architect can spend your money on poor construction details that provide no benefit to the home or the owners. Be sure to ask them how they have performed in the past. It’s their job to ensure that they deliver a home on budget, and not blame their clients for ‘changing their mind’.
  3. Make all your product and colour selections before construction starts – Most owners don’t understand why this is critical to cost savings. A builder will typically send out for quotes at the start of the project. If colours and product selections have been totally completed then the builder can receive quotes for the entire home.
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