Heating 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 … Read more
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 … Read more
Everyone 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.
- 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.
- 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’.
- 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.
… Read more
In many parts of the world, having a home office is a norm and Malaysia is no exception. The home office is sometimes used as a place for the kids to do their school work and it is also where parents do some last minute planning (in relation to their home, life and work) in a convenient and comfortable environment. Doing such work in a noisy living room is not always conducive.
Get your home office organized. The same way you need a bedroom to be comfortable and quiet, you need a home office that is regulated. A messy desk equals a messy head – and nobody can work well under such circumstances.
Suffice to say, a wall-mounted system is a product that can maximize your wall space without breaking your bank account. Each wall panel is affordable and fully customizable to suit your home. Accessories can be used to store stationery. If you are sharing the home office with the kids, help them organize their color pencils, pens and pencils, and other items easily and conveniently.
Easy cleaning and management. If you have a helper at home, this should be a breeze; but not everyone can afford one at the current economic climate. Hence, you might need to think of a wall-mounted shelving system that is easy to clean on a regular basis. It should not be too bulky to move around (if you have to move it to another place to have it cleaned).
Keeping things off the floor, kids not in danger. With kids running around, you have to seriously consider keeping things off the floor. They might trip, slip or injure themselves when they step on dangerous items. Even simple items like a pencil sharpener can be a choking hazard to a toddler.
There are other … Read more
There is a substantial population of people who do not want to hire an interior designer to oversee their home decorating projects. Often this is because they wish to be involved in each and every detail of redecorating their homes. For many this gives sense of satisfaction and achievement. Redecorating your home by yourself is much different from engaging an outsider to decorate your home. You know yourself better than anyone else. Therefore you are better suited to design a room according to your requirements and needs better than a professional decorator. This is true even if you are not a creative person.
You already know your favorite colors. You already know what helps you relax and what helps you feel energized. Most of all you know what the rooms in your home are used for and how often you use them. What you may not know is where to begin. If you find yourself at a loss for ideas begin by asking yourself a few simple questions.
Ask who and what each room is used for. This answer will tell you a lot about the kind of design you want. Make sure that the room shows the personality of those who use it and is functional. Next ask yourself what pieces of the room must stay and what can go. It would not be prudent to plan a décor for your dining area and then find you have no room for a table, but if you do not eat in your kitchen, having a table there may not be necessary. The third question you should ask is how much you can afford to spend. If your budget is limited you will need to find a way to decorate that is inexpensive. This is very possible and can still give … Read more