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Showing posts from 2015

Understanding Home Automation (Part–1)

A generation ago, home automation meant a remote control device used to open your garage door. Today, home automation is very high-tech and the essential foundation of a ‘smart home.’ There are three components to the smart home: Home automation, the first, is where electrical devices are hooked up to a central system that automates actions based on user input – for example, the window shades can come down at a predetermined time every day; The second is a system of connected devices that uses the internet and sensors to anticipate the user's needs – for example, the GPS in your car can tell your home when you will arrive, so that the lights and air conditioner will be on when you open the door; The final component is the ’Internet of Things’ (IoT) which uses internet, systems, sensors and processors to allow devices to interact and work in complete automation, with almost no user input. When you do need to control the systems, you can do it all with a smart phone. Wha

How You can Benefit from Design/Build Remodeling

Home remodeling can mean many things. It could simply be repainting a wall or replacing broken tiles. These are things you could do yourself. Or it could mean making major changes in a room, building an additional room, or upgrading your home with automation features. For big jobs, a remodeling contractor is a safe bet. Obviously, when looking for a contractor you want the best – someone who has got a good reputation, is experienced enough and has the right certifications. But there is another important factor to consider – is the contractor equipped to do design/build projects? What Is design/build? In the past, major home remodeling meant many things: seeking the service of an architect or a designer to plan the remodel, finding a contractor (and often subcontractors) for the actual construction, coordinating between them on budgets, timeframes, and workflow and so on. Then there were issues of misunderstanding, miscommunications, disagreements etc., which could aff

How You can Plan the Addition of a Room

More space is always welcome in any home. The best way for you to get it is by the addition of a room. The planning process is important to ensure that you get the extent of space you want without any damage done to the look of your home, and that the new structure is sound in all respects. Your planning can be in five basic stages and if you work through each of them, you will be able to get the new room the way you want it. 1. Identify your objectives   Adding a room will give you more space. But what kind of space do you want? Is it a family room, an entertainment area or one that will just ease congestion? The type of room you add, and its location will depend on what the room is to be used for. The room you need for additional storage space and the one to accommodate a new family member are two completely different things. Trying to convert an addition to another use a few years down the road could involve a major expenditure. 2. Do your research Spend time going through hom

Remodeling Your Home for Sale

If you are thinking of remodeling your home, there is one very important question you have to ask yourself before you begin. Are you remodeling to make the home more comfortable for your family? Or are you remodeling to enhance its value for sale in the future?  The answer is important because it will guide you how to go about it. If it is for future sale, there are five remodels that will give you a good return on your investment when you sell. The kitchen The kitchen is the heart of the home and one of the main things that buyers look at. If you are doing it for yourself, go ahead and tear out walls, change the size and shape, move the plumbing and appliances to suit your needs. But if you are doing them all with the sale of the house in mind, spending this amount of money will not get you the returns you want. Instead, have the painting done, and the cabinets replaced or refurbished, put in new lights and veneers and think about linoleum floorin

Pet Friendly Home Remodeling

According to the American Humane Society, there are over 160 million cats and dogs living in homes across the country. They are there because they are loved as much a part of the family as everyone else is. So why don’t you spend a little time thinking about making your pet more comfortable when you plan your home remodel? You don’t have to do much, of course!  You know your pet well and what makes him (and you) happy very well. Talk to your remodeling contractor about what you would like to do. He may have some ideas of his own to complement yours and the two of you together can create a home that is friendly to both humans and pets. That being said, here are few common ideas you could consider. An indoor pet retreat: This is a small room , usually located outside the back of the home with an access door that allows your pet to go in and out directly from the house. It has a lockable exterior door for safety. It can be designed to have an automatic fee

Home Remodeling: Current Trends You Need to Know

Trends can be useful. They tell you what other people are thinking and doing. They give you ideas which you can use in your own life. They are also dangerous – if you blindly follow what others say and do, you are in the soup.  Nowhere is this truer than in the matter of home remodeling. This is something that you do once or maybe twice in your lifetime. You want your home to be the best it can ever be, so you look for the best and brightest concepts and samples toadopt. But remember, the most popular ideas and features may not work for your home or family. With that in mind, here are a few fresh popular concepts that can be adapted to suit most homes. The Healthy Home It is so obvious that it may sound ridiculous even to mention these small things. But a healthy home is more than just one that does use zero-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint. Consider these other often overlooked issues: Are all the rooms well ventilated? If you live in an are

Remodeling For Your Retirement: 4 Essential Preparations You Need to Know

Are you an average American homeowner? If so, you are in your mid-30s and retirement is a long way off. It’s not something you think about when you plan to remodel your home. But remodeling is not something you can afford to do every few years. The sooner you start thinking about it the better. If you are approaching your 60s, the urgency is much greater. Observing Homes of Seniors to Get Ideas This doesn’t mean visiting a retirement home. Drop in and spend some time with the seniors you know. Talk to them about the challenges they face in their homes due to structural features which if available would make life much easier for them. Not everything may appeal to you nor may be right for you, but the more ideas you get the better prepared you will be. You don’t have to incorporate everything immediately. Making provision for it is enough. For example, remodeling a staircase with the option of installing a stair lift at a later date will make installation easier when it n

10 Remodeling Don’ts

When planning a home remodel most people spend a lot of time researching all the things they have to do before, during and after the project. Not being prepared or leaving out something important can ruin the remodel and destroy the plan for a dream home. However, it’s equally important to know what not to do – there are a lot of common mistakes that homeowners make. It’s your home and because you want the best for it, your intentions are good. But you know what they say about good intentions and where they lead. Here are a few things you should not do when remodeling your home.  Do not postpone making major decisions till after the work starts. A good contractor will walk you through all the possible scenarios so that when an issue arises, the plan for dealing with it is in place. Delays caused by the time taken to make decisions add to the time and cost of the project and can have unintended consequences. Finding out halfway through the remodel that some aspects of

Think Of Solar Energy When You Remodel

This steady increase in energy costs is making the use of solar energy in homes increasingly attractive. With everything in the home, from washing to cleaning, cooking, climate control, entertainment etc. all dependent on electricity, and new appliances becoming available every day, the demand for electricity will only increase. And while the demand increases, so do the costs. The price of electricity has been steadily increasing over the years and this trend will continue. Solar power for the home is the wave of the future to reduce utility costs, provide some degrees of insulation from grid power outages and to reduce a home's carbon footprint. The best time to add solar power to a home is during a remodel because the installation of the solar panels, wiring and other aspects of the conversion can be integrated into the remodel, saving of money and time. The Advantages Of A Solar Powered Home Solar energy is an excellent long term investment offeri

Creating a Family Friendly Kitchen

Having a kitchen that dishes out gourmet meals easily or facilitates entertaining is always a welcome feature in any home. But in most cases the kitchen is more of a family room than anything else. Remodeling your kitchen to give yourself the space and features you want does not mean that it cannot also be a room that everyone in the home can enjoy. Here are a few ideas that can help you create a truly family friendly kitchen. What is the Kitchen Used For? It’s not just for cooking. Make a list of who uses the kitchen and what they use it for. Do the kids do their homework there? Is this where you have a cup of coffee with friends? Does Dad create one of his “gourmet” meals on Sundays? Do the pets eat here? List out everything that is done in the kitchen and you will find that room is used by more people for more things than anywhere else in the home. The next step is to list out the special requirements of each activity. Do the kids need a large table for their homewor