16Feb/14

Landscaping Design Ideas That Reduce Your A/C Expenses

Landscaping Design Ideas That Reduce Your A/C Expenses

This summer you might be in for a bit of a shock when you see your energy bill after a month of blasting the air conditioner. Yes, energy is expensive, especially when you need it the most. In general, a utilities provider doesn’t really care how uncomfortably hot you are, they just want to increase their profit margins and keep their stockholders happy.

However, if you want to take revenge, there are a number of ways to landscape around your home that can actually save you money. This is a little known secret by penny-pinching homeowners that has proven results. Here are some landscaping design ideas that reduce your A/C expenses.

One of the best ideas is to plant hedges. Hedges provide natural shading for a house, but they can also serve as a barrier against warm winds. The taller the hedges the better, because what you want to do is make the height of your home the limit to provide the best protection.

Hedges protect against warm winds, because the air that passes through them is cooled down and serves as a natural air conditioner of sorts. In fact, planting hedges on the south side of your home can have the same effect as multiple air conditioning units working at once.

Another landscaping idea is to plant a tree that will grow tall enough to provide shade for the top of your home. The roof of our homes is usually what absorbs the most heat, especially on dry, hot summer days. However, planting a tree on the side of your home will act a little bit like a sun umbrella and can end up saving you up to 60% on your air conditioning bills.

If you don’t want to wait 30 years for a tree to grow to the height of your home, you can always have a landscape company transplant a tree from another location. In fact, palm trees are easy to transport and can provide lots of shade to your home from the summer sun.

You could also plant bushes or large leaved plants to cover your ductless outdoor air conditioning unit. What is ductless air conditioning? Ductless air conditioning is one of the most energy efficient ways to cool your home without all the mess of having air ducts, but you can make them even more energy efficient by planting various wide-coverage plants to insulate them.

Sometimes, when it gets too hot outside, it can cause a ductless unit to not work to the best of its capabilities, but having them insulated will solved the problem and make the unit more effectual, which will end up saving you a small fortune on your next energy bill.

Lastly, planting vines are a great landscaping choice that will save you money. Vines grow quickly and can provide a cooling barrier of sorts around your home that will prevent warm wind from entering. Moreover, the heat that is captured in the vines will be released as moisture, which can have even more cooling powers for your home. It is important, though, that you find a genus of vine that won’t be too heavy for your home, which can end up doing more harm than good.

13Feb/14

Getting Your Budget Ready for Home or Business Improvements

Getting Your Budget Ready for Home or Business Improvements

Every penny counts when you are making improvements to your home or business. These projects can come with a hefty price tag if you are not careful to budget accordingly and take bids well before the work gets underway.

If you are new to vetting bids or if you want to make the entire process a lot simpler, you may find that the Internet can be your greatest resource for this task. Using the website as it is designed, you may find the contractor in your local area, who has the most expertise and is willing to do the work at a price you can afford.

To get started, you must first click on the state in which you live or do business. All 50 states are listed on the front page of the website. After you click your state, you will then be prompted to put in your zip code.

You can then click on Continue and be taken to a form that asks for your bidding range, your name, and address, and other required information for the job at hand. You can then click on submit to get instant information like renovation estimates for the work you want done.

The website is also set up to allow you to find out what contractors in your area are ready to handle any job you have in mind. You can filter your search on the site to choose contractors based on the type of work you need done.

For example, if you need your kitchen upgraded, you would click on the link for home interior. If you want your bathroom gutted and rebuilt, you would click on kitchen and bathroom. The links are self-explanatory and easy to use. You can filter your search for the ideal contractor in this manner if you choose not to select the state in which you live or do business.

Another factor of using the website involves having the discretion of hiring only ecologically-minded contractors. If you want to make sure that your renovation project has no ill effect on the environment, you can use the green remodeling tab, which is one of the newest features of the site. You can find like-minded businesses that use green technology to upgrade your home or repair fixtures throughout your business without harming the ground, the water, or the air.

18Jan/14

Home’s Exterior Painting Tips

Home’s Exterior Painting Tips

Exterior coatings can freshen up home’s exterior look and make it beautiful. However, special attention must be given to color selection and surface preparation for better outcome.

Paintings can provide durability to home’s exterior and protect it from severe weather conditions, dirt, algae, termites, chalking, flaking, mold, and mildew. In addition, you can also increase the value of your property through attractive coatings, and make your house cool with reflective paints on roofs.

However, you should carry few necessary preparations for getting the best result from your color scheme. Planning and Preparing are two necessary steps for obtaining desired outcome from exterior painting.

Planning

There are wide varieties of colors available in the market. All colors have their own beauty and charm. If you are finding it difficult to choose any particular paint color for your exterior, you can visit your neighborhood or other areas for a glimpse of painted houses to pick the right color.

Coatings on these houses can give you an idea regarding the color shades that will look good on your house. The other way for your color selection is color testing on a slab of foam core and putting it on the wall. You can also paint one foot by one foot inconspicuous area on the cleaned surface of the wall with different color samples for color selection.

There are painting supply companies like Kangaroo Paint Company and others, who can supply you quality and variety paints that meet all your coloring needs.

Once you choose the color shade, you must select the type of paint you should use. While deciding the color type, you should remember that the overall performance and durability of color is vital for your painting project. You should buy colors that have algae, mold, mildew, and moss resistance. It should provide better color finish, long lasting, and resist fading in a short time.

In addition, if you are not hiring any professional for painting, but painting on your own, you should get colors that are easy to apply. Weather also plays a role in painting because color performance can be affected by rains, moisture, just after rains or when it is hot.

Surface Preparation

The next step requires preparing the surface. This process is also vital for any exterior coating. You must first scrub the surface with a wire brush and scraper to make the surface smooth. You can use caulk, putty, and exterior masonry fillers to hide nails and screw holes, cracks, and imperfections.

You can also light sand the surface for better adhesion and color finish. Once you complete preparing the surface, you can apply a primer on the surface before coating. Primer can give you better adhesion, color finish, and durability.