Category Archives: Improve energy effiecientcy

How To Design A Kitchen Remodel

The design of a kitchen remodel is, for many people, the most satisfying and fun part of the process. While it is possible to design a beautiful, elegant kitchen by yourself, you may also want to consider hiring a professional to help you with your design. Your contractor is the best resource.He has knowledge others may not know or consider
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EXAMPLES:
1.He knows all of the latest Materials including Items made from recycled materials
2. He knows a bearing wall from a non bearing wall and the cost of a beam is needed
3.He knows the codes If while working he can bring you abode up to code. It could be something simple like not shut of valve under sink to rerouting electrical lines necessary with creating an open concept

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A professional contractor can give you many ideas and introduce you to new products while staying true to the spirit of your original design vision. Whether you decide to do all the design work yourself, or hire a professional, there are some things to consider that will get you launched on the right track for your kitchen remodel.

The art of kitchen design is intricately linked to how you will be using the space. The old saying, form follows function, has a lot of truth to it. Design is not only about how things look, but how things are used. And while most of us no doubt start our dreams of a new design for our kitchen with visions of a specific look in mind, space planning is equally important.

The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home, and many different activities take place there besides cooking. You may routinely linger with a cup of coffee and the morning newspaper, or feed your family breakfast before they dash out the door. Your children may like to do their homework while you cook in the evenings, or perhaps you and your spouse share cooking duties. Maybe you regularly host large gatherings, or cook for intimate dinner parties. All these various activities will affect your kitchen design, and it is important to consider them as you begin planning. You will also want to ponder storage space as you plot your design. Do you routinely have trouble finding space for all your pots and pans? Is there enough room for every family member to sit around the nook? All of these space-use issues and any other problems you have with your current kitchen design should be noted. You might want to talk to each member of the family and see what their concerns about using space are.

Once you’ve made a list of problems to correct in your new plan, the fun part of kitchen remodel design begins, as you make choices about cabinetry, flooring, counter-tops, and lighting. All of these design elements need to work together to create a coherent design, but that’s not difficult to accomplish with the huge variety of products available today.

There are a multitude of cabinet options, starting with your choice of wood or laminate. If you decide on wood, you’ll need to choose what kind-oak or cherry or birch? And then there are door styles-plain, curved, recessed panel, arched? With flooring you need to consider not only looks but durability and ease of cleaning. Counter-tops need to be sturdy and durable, and with the variety of natural and synthetic choices today, your design can pair beauty with easy maintenance. Lighting is also intimately paired with space issues in your design-are there places in your current kitchen where you need more light? Is the preparation area currently too dark? Perhaps you want recessed or track lighting to increase the brightness, or maybe you prefer an elegant chandelier. When considering lighting get LED lighting or fixtures that will use LED bulbs. The Kitchen has heavy use and the lights are on a larger portion of the day. By all means have the main light in the prep area with a remote control to dim the light at night for easy access in night time hours.

Begin with these considerations of space and use as you ponder your kitchen design and the rest will naturally fall into place. Your kitchen design will not only be a thing of beauty, it will also be a functional, efficient space.

Home Maintenance To Be Done While The Sun Shines

 

 

With the start of summer (Bing: When?) and warmer weather, you can focus most of your maintenance chores outdoors. First, however, attend to a couple of jobs that will help you stay comfortable and safe inside the house.

One 

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Switch ceiling fan blades Switch ceiling fans to push cool air down, where you’ll most enjoy it. Observe the fan while it’s running: In summer, you want the leading edge of the blades (the part that goes around first) higher than the trailing edge (the part that rotates last). Locate the fan’s switch on its outside body. When set correctly for summer, you can stand beneath it and feel the breeze. This should allow you to adjust your thermostat higher (or set the air conditioning lower), saving fuel while enjoying the cooling effect of the moving air.

Two

Clean dryer vents  Although you probably know to remove lint from your clothes dryer’s lint filter after each use (to prevent fires),

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You may not have heard that maintenance also includes cleaning the hose that pipes warm, moist air from the dryer to the outdoors.

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Use a long-handled brush, found in hardware stores (or search online for “dryer vent brush”). Also, clean the recess beneath the filter with a lint-trap brush. Make sure to purchase a brush that fits your dryer’s particular lint-trap type. Read the dryer’s manual for directions. Check vent hoses to ensure they fit tightly to each other, to the dryer and to the outside of the house. Pull out the dryer and vacuum accumulated lint under and around it.

Four 

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Air conditioning tune up  The number one priority for your summer home maintenance checklist is to have your air conditioning (AC) unit tuned up. As important as getting your car tuned, your AC needs to be tuned to inspect and prevent unwanted emergencies. The tune up is used to inspect refrigerant levels, which is important for your AC to keep running cool and keep your summer electric bills low, as well as to ensure your fan is functioning well, your coils are thoroughly cleaned and there are no potential fire hazards with faulty wiring.

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Homeowner tip: You can keep your AC bill running smoothly by changing out your air filters often. Experts advise changing them once a month when using your unit on a daily basis. 

Five 

Roof check  Your roof should be inspected annually to ensure that you don’t have any problems. Whether you have just ended your rainy season or are about to begin it, checking your roof regularly will assist in finding a small problem before it becomes a large, leaky one. Contingent on the type of roof, you may also want to clean your roof to avoid any permanent water damage.  Homeowner tip: If your home has gables for example a Victorian be sure to clean the valleys where the gables or dormers come into the main roof.

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Six 

Clean gutters  Cleaning gutters regularly will help prevent clogging and unnecessary leaks. It is recommended that gutters are cleaned twice a year: once at late fall/early winter, after all of the leaves have fallen and prior to the first snow-fall, and once at late spring/early summer after flowers, seeds and blossoms are done blowing off.

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Seven 

Window check  Ensure that the hot summer heat stays outside by checking and maintaining your home’s windows. One of the key items in window maintenance is routinely checking the sealants. Ensure that both inside and out are secured, and caulk any open areas in between. Also, check weather-stripping for any faults and replace it immediately if there is an issue. Taking care of windows will keep your home looking and feeling good.  Keep in mind that keeping the sealants in great condition on  windows and doors will prevent  water damage to  walls and floors and window trim inside the house.  Homeowner tip: Use a small paintbrush or toothbrush when cleaning windows to get to hard-to-reach areas.

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Eight 

Pressure wash the exterior  An important element of maintaining your home’s exterior is to routinely clean it, and the easiest way to do so is to pressure wash the walls. Do it to remove dirt, stains and mildew, especially prior to painting. Before you wash, just ensure that you cover plants, electrical outlets, windows and doors to avoid any Do It Yourself  mishaps.  Homeowner tip: For a step-by-step guide on how to pressure wash your home, check out this MSN Real Estate video.

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Nine 

Pool maintenance  Depending on where you live, it’s probably been a good six months since your pool has been used for swimming. Get it ready for summer by cleaning it up, leveling the water, ensuring that your pumps are working and balancing your chemicals. Start at least a week prior to swim season to ensure that the water and your new bathing suit are safe from chemical harm.  Homeowner tip: Look into an energy-efficient pool pump to help keep your electric bill down during the summer months.

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If you do not have the time or are unable to do the work contact us  to schedule an appointment for an estimate .  Call : 203-723-5328

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