A Homeowner’s Guide to the Different Types of Energy Efficient Windows – Bell Brothers

When it comes to saving money on your utility bills by making your home as energy efficient as possible, most folks that I talk to tend to focus on their air conditioners and furnaces, asking me all kinds of questions about things like smart or programmable thermostats. Those things are all very important, to be sure. There is, however, a whole other way to make your home more energy efficient, and to lower your utility bills while you’re at it. That way is pretty simple, too: your windows.

I think some folks who don’t know all that much about windows tend to think that they’re all created equal—but that is just not the case. There are actually many different types of energy efficient options to choose from if you are installing new windows for your home, some of which will ultimately fit your home and your family’s individual needs better than the other models might.

That’s actually what I’d like to talk about with you here today: The many types of energy efficient windows that may be a fit for your Sacramento area home, and why you should know as much as you can about them—and how to get help to pay for them. I think it’s just something that all homeowners should know a little bit more about, even if you don’t expect to need new windows any time soon. Let’s take a look!

The One Thing You Must Know About the Different Types of Energy Efficient Windows

The variety in the window market can be overwhelming for the untrained homeowner, but there’s one decision you can make right away that will simplify things. When it comes to browsing types of energy efficient windows, you should only consider double pane windows—never single pane. Simply put, double pane windows are in all likelihood going to be your best option. The challenge then becomes become the brand, frame, and other specifications.

When it comes to browsing types of energy efficient windows, you should only consider double pane windows—never single pane.

guide to the different types of energy efficient windowsFor those who don’t know, energy efficient-certified double pane windows are made up of two panes of glass, either tempered or laminated, held in a single frame. But rather than sitting tight against one another, the panes are separated. This cavity between them, which is created by spacers, is either a sealed vacuum or is filled with a non-toxic gas like argon. The size of this cavity depends on the crafting of the window, but typically ranges from a quarter to three-quarters of an inch thick.

Now, in terms of finding the right double pane windows to make your home more energy efficient, that’s where I highly recommend calling in a local window company with experience doing custom work. They’ll have all the answers you need to get a perfect fit for your home.

The Benefits of Energy Efficient Windows—Regardless of the Type

The next thing that all homeowners should know is how all of the different types of energy efficient windows benefit their homes, specifically as it applies to double pane windows. The most immediate and obvious benefit of investing in double pane windows is increased temperature regulation. Many of the homeowners I talk with who go this route just cannot get over the difference. They’re used to wearing several layers of clothing in the winter and living in front of the fan in the summer months because of uneven heating or cooling, so being comfortable at home year round is something totally new.

The most immediate and obvious benefit of investing in double pane windows is increased temperature regulation.

While you may think that having two panes of glass instead of one is more effective at keeping out the winter chill or heat of the summer, the cavity between the two panes is actually responsible for this. This vacuum or gas-filled space actually slows the transfer of heat, keeping the warm air out in the summer months and preventing it from escaping in the chilly winter. It’s a huge difference, one with big benefits for both your budget and your comfort.

Financing Options for All Types of Energy Efficient Windows

Now, we’ve talked in the past about whether or not homeowners in our area can get help paying for new, energy efficient windows, and the answer is a resounding yes. In Northern California, there are multiple financing options available to help homeowners who would like to make investments in energy efficient home upgrades, like double pane windows.

An experienced local window contractor in our area will be able to not only help you navigate applying for these programs, but then also help you get the work done right.

Now, you may have heard of some of these programs, like HERO financing, PACE financing, SMUD, Ygrene energy efficiency, and California First. They’re all similar in that they allow you to take out an interest-free loan that you pay back through your taxes in order to make energy efficiency upgrades. But, they also all have small differences that you need to be aware of. An experienced local window contractor in our area will be able to not only help you navigate applying for these programs, but then also help you get the work done right. I highly recommend working with a contractor on your new window project from day one.

So, there you have it… everything you need to know about the different types of energy efficient windows for your home. There’s really only one crucial option for you to go with, though—dual pane windows. But once you get into the project, you’ll have to make individual choices about everything from the brand to the material in the frame. That’s where an experienced custom window installation expert comes in.

Here at Bell Brothers, we’ve been helping homeowners just like you pick out new windows in the Sacramento area for many years. We can help answer any other questions you might have about energy efficient window choices, and we can also help you navigate the sometimes tricky world of financing options available to you.

At Bell Brothers, our trained installation professionals would be delighted to help you select and install all the different types of energy efficient windows that can improve your home’s energy efficiency. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and to get answers to your questions about custom replacement windows cost.

Image courtesy bildlove

This content was originally published here.

How to Remove a Single Piece of Hardwood Flooring.

Hardwood Flooring

O.K., so you have tongue and groove hardwood floors and you need to remove one piece.  How do you do it?  Like this …

Please enjoy the strained, pretend blog smile I use on the outside when I’m a home renovation mess on the inside.

The reasons for needing to pull up a single piece of tongue and groove flooring are varied. You might want to see what the floor underneath is like.  Your cat may have peed on it and you want to replace a section without wrecking all the floor around it.  Or maybe,  just maybe, you do it for no reason at all, other than your undiagnosed home renovating mental illness known as You Might as Well Trychosis.

I’m not sure if you know this or not but I’m in the midst of a design decision.  Whether to rip up my old floors to go down to the older floors, or whether to just let everything be. This is where Trychosis gets me in trouble every time.

My floor refinisher pulled up a small piece of my hardwood oak flooring while he was here assessing what my flooring options were.  He cut out a small portion of my floor in such a way that if I wanted to put the piece back no one would ever EVER know it had been removed.

I wanted to try.

How to Lift a Floor Board

  1. Pick the board you want to remove.  The shorter the board, the easier it will be to lift.
  2. Slowly run a sharp box cutter along the cracks on either side of the board.
  3. Continue cutting with the box cutter getting progressively deeper into the tongue underneath.
  4. When you feel no resistance you’re through the tongue.
  5. Gently lift the board, using a pry bar if needed.

So I did. And now I’ll show you how to do it in case you want to try it.  Due to your Trychosis.

The reason I couldn’t lift up a piece of this hardwood flooring easily is because of how tightly it is laid down.  If the floor has spaces in between the boards you can get a saw in there to cut between the boards.  Not so when it’s so tight.

The first thing I had to do was knock down a couple of finishing nails that were sticking up. If you have any any nail sticking up just using a nail punch and a hammer to hammer it down.  If you do any DIY and you don’t have a nail punch I’m gonna let you know right now your disorder isn’t nearly as bad as  you think.  Also you should buy a nail punch.

Your second step to removing a single piece of tongue and groove hardwood is to run a box cutter down the seam between two boards.  Just gently pull it through.  Keep doing that, going deeper and deeper until you can feel you’ve cut through the entire tongue of the hardwood.

This is not a fast process.  It probably took me 45 minutes to cut through both sides of one 2′ board.  You have to go carefully so you don’t cut yourself or slip and cut the hardwood.

The sharper your boxcutter, the easier this will be.


Don’t pull towards any part of your body. Make sure your hands, legs and feet are out of the way in case you slip.

Once you’ve cut through the tongue there may still be nails holding the strip down. Gently pry it up with a prybar or hammer.

Once it gives loose pull your board out.

This technique cuts through both tongues on either side of the board you removed.

You can now take a moment to stare at whatever is underneath the floor you removed.  If your lucky it will be money. You’ll be staring down at gobs and gobs of money.  Or a hidden Renaissance painting.  Me? I was staring down at another floor.

Once you’ve satisfied your Trychosis, simply wipe the sawdust and shavings away and place the board back down.  If it’s going down for good, just drizzle the back with some wood glue before you put the wood back in place.

You can’t tell at all that one of those floorboards was removed and put back down.

If your floors are up against built in cabinets or baseboards use a multisaw to cut through the end of the board.

The reason you wouldn’t use this to cut through the sides of the flooring also is because even though the cut it makes is very thin, it’s still thicker than the seams between the boards.  In other words, if you put the flooring back, the cuts wouldn’t be invisible like they are if you use a boxcutter.

Again, if you’re a DIYer and you don’t own one of these tools you really should. Mine is the Dremel Multi-Max, but there are a few different makes of them.

So now that I’ve seen another section of the pine flooring  under my dining room floor am I closer to making a decision about whether to pull the floors up?

Yes.  Yes I am.

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Cat pee on your hardwood?  One board mangled after an axe throwing party mishap?  Here's how to lift a single board from your tongue and groove flooring without wrecking the board or any of the boards around it.

This content was originally published here.

Dreaming About Spring at the Suburban Indy Home & Outdoor Living Spring Show

outdoor living

Are you in need of some home and garden inspiration? It’s not too early to start planning your garden and home improvements now. Head to Grand Park Events Center in Westfield for the Suburban Indy Home & Outdoor Living Spring Show, which is happening Feb. 8 through Feb. 11. Browse from over 200 exhibitors and connect with local, suburban business to discuss landscape, home improvements and home building needs, as well as sample and purchase local food and shop from local artists. You can also check out some local garden businesses to get ideas for your garden (gardening season isn’t that far away!), and see what the trends are for the spring.

The main area is where you can find vendors for all areas of home improvement, including roofing, flooring, deck repair, painting and kitchen remodels. There are also vendors who sell the more fun stuff, like ponds and waterfalls, hummingbird feeders and outdoor fire pits. All around the center are gazebos, mini rooms and patio displays that you can walk into and sit down. You can really get a sense of what your remodeled home or garden would look like! It’s nice to dream, if only for a few minutes.

The Neighborhoods Marketplace, which is situated around the main area, is great to browse and see local artists and vendors showcasing their art and unique, handmade, artisan products. It’s also a good place to much on samples of delicious, Indiana-made food and treats. On our visit, we picked up some samples of flavored popcorn, fudge (yum, pumpkin spice fudge) and beef jerky.

The last day of the home show (Feb. 11) is Kid’s Day, and will include an all-day schedule of fun for little ones. Families can enjoy performances and meet-and-greets by princesses and superheroes (think Spider-Man, Batgirl and Wonder Woman). There will also be magic shows, crafts, and face painting. Kids 12 and under are free to all days of the show, including on Kid’s Day.

One of the nice things about visiting the Suburban Indy home show is that 10% of the price of your ticket benefits the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville. The money that is raised will go toward providing science kits and scholarships to attend camp. Your ticket is a win-win for everyone: You get some ideas for your home, and kids in need get a helping hand!

The Suburban Indy Home & Outdoor Living Spring Show is held at Grand Park Events Center (19000 Grand Park Blvd., Westfield). The show runs from Feb. 8-11, 2018, and show hours are Thursday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 when purchased at the door. Tickets purchased online are $5 and buy one get one free. Kids 12 and under are free. For more info and to purchase tickets, visit https://suburbanindyshows.com/spring. Use the PROMO CODE: Indyschild, for a 20% discount!

Nicole Sipe is a freelance writer and editor in Indianapolis. A Southern California native, she enjoys exploring Indy with her husband and two sons.

The post Dreaming About Spring at the Suburban Indy Home & Outdoor Living Spring Show appeared first on Indy’s Child Parenting Magazine.

This content was originally published here.

Choosing the Best Replacement Windows for Texas Homes

New windows can provide great energy efficiency benefits for your home, assuming you purchase the right models for where you live. For instance, homes in warm climates will have different needs than homes in cold climates. If you own a home in Texas, therefore, you’ll want to be sure that the new windows you’re investing in are designed for a warmer climate. Otherwise, you could overspend on windows that are decked out with additional features intended for a colder climate and that won’t necessarily benefit your home.

Replacement Window Features That Work Best for Texas Homes

When shopping for replacement windows for your home in Dallas, San Antonio, or elsewhere in Texas, look for the following features:

  • Glass that is insulated on the outside – Given the nearly year-round warm temperatures of the region, it makes more sense for the glass inside your windows to be insulated on the outside so that it reflects the heat away from your home. Glass that is insulated on the inside, conversely, works better for colder climates as it keeps heat inside the home.
  • Double panes of glass – A great way to improve insulation is with multiple panes of glass. However, in Texas, there really isn’t a need for more than two panes of glass. Triple-pane windows are great for cold climates, but for Texas homes, two panes will suffice, so there’s no need to overspend on anything more.
  • Moisture-resistant features – New replacement windows should not only boost your home’s energy efficiency, they should also prevent any moisture from leaking in. Considering the rainy season in Texas, you’ll want to make sure your new windows are capable of preventing all that moisture from entering your home.

Beldon® – The Premier Window Specialist Serving the Great State of Texas

If you have questions about which replacement windows will work best for your Texas home, just reach out to Beldon. We install energy-efficient windows with double panes of insulated glass and frames that contain internal chambers, all of which work together to keep the heat out and lessen the workload of your HVAC system, potentially reducing your monthly energy bills. Plus, our windows have a sloped sill that diverts water runoff, protecting your home from moisture infiltration. To speak with a representative about how our replacement windows can improve your home, contact Beldon today.

The post Choosing the Best Replacement Windows for Texas Homes appeared first on Beldon.

This content was originally published here.

Corner Lot New-Construction Home Ideas – Home Bunch Interior Design Ideas

Hardwood Flooring

Built and designed by Veranda Estate Homes Inc., this custom home was designed to take advantage of the unique raised corner lot that it sits on. Every side of this home had large scale windows to take advantage of the raised elevation off the street which gives it total privacy and walls of green trees once summer decides to show its face in Calgary. Since the home was a spec home, meaning the builder was building it without specific clients in mind, they were able to push the envelope with the overall plan and interior selections.

While each space is unique and individual, they kept the theme of black, white, and natural color wood elements consistent throughout the home. There are a lot of elements in this home that the designer, Melissa Manzardo Hryszko, gets asked about often. One is the staircase railing, which is a design she came up with for another home about 7 years ago. While it is certainly not cost effective, she felt it was a great investment for the space as it certainly demands attention. The staircase is a combination of custom iron post in a matte black finish, 10 mm glass panels, & a 1/4 sawn oak handrail. It goes perfectly with the black stringers and natural finish hardwood treads.

The other feature people love are the dividers that she incorporated into the informal dining area. This space is viewed right when you walk into the home so she knew they had to somehow make this space special and define it in some way. The industrial feel that these dividers add was the perfect touch to define the space.

The counters are another thing people loved when viewing this home, you can’t help but touch them! They are a leathered Angola Black granite, simple and clean but the leathered finish takes these up a level!

Enjoy the tour, everyone!

Corner Lot New-Construction Home Ideas

The smooth stucco color is Benjamin Moore Pashmina AF-100.

Exterior trim paint color is Benjamin Moore Seapearl OC-19.

Side Garage

The house features a side entry oversized attached garage with 8’ tall cedar stained garage door.

Home Style: West Coast Contemporary style exterior c/w low pitched roofs, 3’ overhangs, metal roof accents, cedar siding sections, and timber post detailing.

House Size: 3,733 Sq. Ft. custom built 2-storey home.

Front Door

The custom-made 9’ tall front doors are White Oak – stained Back with glass inserts – Similar font doors: here, here & here.

Exterior Stone, Milwaukee Limestone.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is finished on site 3” & 5” alternating boards in 1/4 & rift cut white oak finished with a custom stain and Bona Traffic in a matte finish applied.

Door Hardware: 3’ tall custom pulls with deadbolt – Modern Entry Door Sets: here, here, here, here, here & here.

Trim, Ceilings, Walls throughout is Benjamin Moore White Dove OC-17.

Patio Doors

8’ tall sliding Terrace doors leading to the patio from the nook.

Main Floor Ceiling Height: 10’

This kitchen feels dramatic, modern and unapologetic. I love the layout and the raised kitchen island.

All of the cabinets throughout are custom and built-on-site in the home. The designer/builder went with a 1/4 Sawn White Oak for all of the back stained cabinetry.

Raised Countertop

Raised marble counter in the kitchen is polished Statuario marble with mitered waterfall detailing.

Dark Stained Cabinetry

All black stained windows & cabinetry is a custom blended black stain and it was shaded to create the depth that you see in the images. Any painted cabinets are created with MDF and paint grade woods.

Range: 48” Wolf gas range – Similar here, here & here.

Kitchen Island Dimension

Kitchen Island Dimension: 9’ wide x 2’ deep + the marble raised section which adds another 18” of depth for this island.

The island features built-in microwave drawer & Bosch dishwasher w/ paneled front.

Kitchen Desk

The kitchen also features a built-in command center wired for computer and phone.

Cabinetry Sheen

All cabinets and trim have a low sheen lacquer applied in 20 degrees.

Refrigerator: Paneled 42” Sub Zero refrigerator – Similar here.

Backsplash is a Cotswold or Lancaster (goes by both names) 3×6 white tile – similar here.

Kitchen Sink Cabinetry

The kitchen sink wall features built-on-site 1⁄4 Sawn Oak kitchen cabinetry with extensive drawer detailing, pull out trash cans and cabinets to the ceiling.

Perimeter Countertop

Kitchen cabinets are all custom pulls from Colonial Hardware – similar here, here, here & here.

The kitchen has “miles” of countertop… isn’t it dreamy?! I’d love to cook in here!

Floating Shelves

A door opens to an extensive pantry with lower cabinets, pull-out baskets and open floating shelves.

Countertop and shelves are stained Hickory.

Butler’s Pantry

This home features a large butler’s pantry with custom 1⁄4 sawn oak cabinets with under counter lighting.

Countertop is Leathered Angola Black Granite.

Backsplash is a Cotswold or Lancaster (goes by both names) 3×6 white tile – similar here.

Dining Room

The kitchen opens to a bright dining room painted in Benjamin Moore White Dove OC-17. Double French terrace doors leads to a private courtyard.

Create a Beautiful Dining Room:

Great Room

This bright Great Room features 8’ tall  black sliding patio doors and high vaulted ceiling.

Sofa is Article Cube Sofa – Beautiful Sectional Sofa: Here.

Vaulted Ceiling Height: 18′ with 23’ vaulted.

Metal side tables are Dovetail – similar here.

Fireplace Details: Clear view single sided 70” gas fireplace with solid marble slab surround and driftwood log set in the interior.

The staircase is a combination of custom iron post in a matte black finish, 10 mm glass panels, & a 1/4 sawn square Oak handrail. It goes perfectly with the black stringers and natural finish hardwood treads.

Home Office

The home office carries the same custom 1⁄4 sawn oak cabinetry. Note the floor plug under desk. Handy!

Corner chair is from HomeSense – Other Chairs (different colors & fabrics) here, here, here, here, here, here & here.

Desk & Chair

The dark cabinetry looks great with the black windows and the light hardwood flooring.

Desk is Sunpan.

This modern farmhouse-style bathroom features 4×16 white subway tile in a horizontal stack pattern on walls and 4×16 black subway tile in a stack pattern on floors.

Cabinet is Hickory with a custom stain.

Mirror: Custom round mirror – similar here.

Main Bathroom

The main bathroom features heated 8” x 8” black and white cement tiles and custom vanity.

Cabinet Hardware: Atlas.

The basement bathroom features heated 8” matte hexagon black tiles and leathered Black Granite countertop.

Wall tile is 3×12 vertical stacked subway tile on walls in white gloss.

Vanity: 1/4 sawn white oak with a custom milky stain applied.

Barn Door Paint Color

The barn door paint color is Benjamin Moore Midnight Dream 2129-10.

Bathroom Flooring: Master Bathroom flooring is heated 4×24 Carrara in a herringbone pattern.

Master Bathroom

The master bathroom is spacious and it features a very inspiring layout.

Bathroom also features ‘His’ & ‘Hers’ custom 1⁄4 sawn oak vanities with granite vanity tops.

Shower Tile

The master bathroom shower features 3×12 Cotswold white tile for walls and ceiling (steam unit), solid Statuario marble bench, Carrara long octagon mosaic for the shower base.

Walk-in Closet

Wallpaper in the master closet is from Cole & Sons – similar here – Other Beautiful Wallpaper Choices: here, here & here.

Closet Details

This oversized walk-in closet has extensive shelving, shoe area, seating bench, full length framed mirror and over 15 built-in drawers.

Laundry Room

What a stunning laundry room! I am loving these warm tan cabinets and the herringbone flooring. Flooring is heated Olympia Regal series in various sizes. Cabinet paint color is Pratt and Lambert Ventana.

Laundry Room Layout

Large laundry room with fixed hickory shelving & lacquered cabinets to the ceiling and hanging rod above the washer & dryer.

Washer & Dryer: Samsung Washer & Dryer.

Downstairs Mudroom

Laundry Room and lower level mud room cabinets are also in Pratt & Lambert Ventana 11-25.

Cabinet features built-on-site lacquered lockers with Hickory bench top.

Basement Bar: Custom built-on-site 1⁄4 sawn oak wet bar with granite countertop.

Barstools are Sunpan – similar here.

Ceiling Height: 9’ lower level.

Wine Room

Wine Enclosure: Wood & glass walls with glass door leads to the wine room.

Custom designed 1⁄4 sawn oak wine room c/w accent lighting.

The main level mudroom features custom built-on-site 1⁄4 sawn oak lockers and shelves for shoe storage. Flooring is an oversized porcelain tile in a herringbone pattern.

Lighting: Visual Comfort.

Outside is full of surprises as the interiors are! This large exposed aggregate patio features a wood burning fireplace with natural stone surround.

Stone Sill: Buff Limestone with pitched edges.

Soffits are stained cedar in Cloverdale Chocolate, one coat.

Windows, fascia, downspouts are all Black.

Windows: Oversized Aluminum Clad windows with Low ‘E’ throughout.

Outdoor furniture is from HomeSense – similar here.

Wayfair: Up to 70% OFF – Huge Sales on Decor, Furniture & Rugs!!

Serena & Lily: Enjoy 20% off. Use Code: SUMMERDAYS

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Lead me in Light and Love”.

Have a wonderful day, my friends and we’ll talk again tomorrow.”

Contact Luciane

“For your shopping convenience, this post might contain links to retailers where you can purchase the products (or similar) featured. I make a small commission if you use these links to make your purchase so thank you for your support!”

This content was originally published here.

Multislide doors create indoor-outdoor living – Las Vegas Review-Journal

outdoor living

With the newest Toll Brothers community in The Cliffs in Summerlin, homeowners are getting a front-row seat to its namesake at Granite Heights.

The private gated community is at its closest point to the Spring Mountains with a background of picturesque cliffs and ridgelines along with views of the Strip.

It’s the essence of indoor and outdoor living with three, one-story models with open floor plans designed for entertaining.

Michele Tancredi, the sales manager for Granite Heights, said The Cliffs is taking shape on the area’s terraced landscape, which she said has set the tone for the village’s look blending with the environment.

“It’s an exclusive, beautiful community and enclave of homes up against the Spring Mountains, and it’s quite spectacular,” Tancredi said. “It’s a nice location. It’s 10.5 miles from the airport and the same distance to the center of the Strip. You have Bishop Gorman here, which is a pretty sought-after school and Downtown Summerlin nearby.”

Granite Heights opened a year ago as part of a sister community and has 85 lots with base homes prices starting at $803,995. Some of the homes exceed $1 million for upgrades that can include design and structural options.

The sister community is Ironwood, a single-story enclave of 77 lots that’s just below Granite Heights.

While Ironwood has homes between 2,500 and 2,800 square feet and has prices in the $500,000s, Granite Heights has larger homes between 3,156 and 3,291 square feet with a three-car garage as standard.

The models at Granite Heights offer three to five bedrooms and from three to five baths. Ceiling heights ranges from 10 feet to 16 feet.

“They all have private courtyards because indoor-outdoor living is what we’re going for with these designs,” Tancredi said. “These are brand new plans for Toll, and we’re proud to roll them out. The trend is modern contemporary at the moment, and these homes were thoughtfully designed keeping in mind that we’re at the base of the Spring Mountains.

Just being nestled and cocooned in this beautiful enclave is something that lends itself to these plans.”

The three models are single-story as part of a theme of open flow and multislide pocket doors provide that indoor/outdoor living experience, and private courtyards are an extension of the living space and giving a sanctuary feel, Tancredi said.

“Our homes suit everyone’s needs,” Tancredi said. “We’re family-suited. If you’re family of four, five or six, we can accommodate those needs and if you’re coming in from out of town it’s a second home for you, we can accommodate that as well. Our homes are very transitional in that sense.”

The largest of the three models at 3,291 square feet is the Quartz floor plan. It is modeled as three bedrooms, but can have four bedrooms or a pocket office option.

It features expansive sliding glass doors that open up the great room to a covered patio. The master bedroom features a master bath and king-sized walk-in closet, while secondary bedrooms each include walk-in closets and full baths.

A gourmet kitchen has a waterfall island opening to the wet bar.

“The Quartz plan is open and thoughtfully designed,” Tancredi said. “The gourmet kitchen is very special about this plan. You have a really large open island here and state-of- the-art built-in appliances. We feature high-end finishes in our homes, and you have lot of beautiful cabinetry. It lends itself to family gatherings and entertaining. The wet bar is something you can choose for home, and if you don’t, you can have a secondary dining area almost the same size as the formal dining area. There’s really multiple choices of entertaining spots around the house. Even outside in covered (patio), you can have your flat-panel screen mounted to watch Sunday football games or music playing out there for a barbecue with family and friends.”

There are multislide pocket doors that are structurally engineered and designed for the house inside a pocket of the interior of the home. There’s a complete and open space as the doors disappear into the wall.

The Quartz is the lone model with a corner pocket door with two sides opening instead of one in the other models, Tancredi said.

“It’s a forward contemporary look,” Tancredi said. “The thought is to open up the indoor and outdoor flow. In Las Vegas, we have sunshine nine to 12 months a year and temperatures cool down in the wintertime, but at least eight months a year these doors are open and people are enjoying indoor and outdoor living.”

The Topaz floor plan spans 3,238 square feet for three to five bedrooms and features an impressive sliding door system that unifies the main living areas with outdoor living spaces, including a covered patio. The master bedroom is complete with a sitting area, dual walk-in closets, a luxurious master bath and covered patio access.

A guest suite overlooks the interior courtyard that can also be a sitting room, workout room, bedroom or office, Tancredi said.

The Onyx floor plan, the smallest of three, is centered around an intimate entry courtyard and offers a den that functions well as a home office, Tancredi said. It spans 3,156 square feet with access to a covered patio, he said. It has three to five bedrooms. There is an option for a multigenerational living area and a courtyard-entry casita with a kitchenette.

“So many people right now have parents who are coming to live or live-in help or older kids coming and going,” Tancredi said. “It has its own living room and attached to bedroom with walk-in closet and full bath.

The cool thing is that it has a sink. You can add some appliances with a refrigerator and dishwasher, and there’s cabinetry. It is really important for families right now.”

The model homes show what people have the ability to do on their own after they close the sale. There could be a spa, barbecue, bar, sitting area and fire pit.

This content was originally published here.

Ann Arbor Windows from 1-800-HANSONS are the Best Replacement Windows You Can Buy

Windows Ann Arbor, Michigan

Also serving the Ypsilanti, Canton and Novi surrounding areas

Our high-efficiency replacement windows will keep your Ann Arbor home warmer at a much lower price, while at the same time, they will make your home in to the showcase you want it to be.

Replacing your old drafty windows is one of the most effective methods of reducing your monthly energy costs. Heat loss from poorly insulated windows can represent a significant portion of your bill. Let a 1-800-HANSONS replacement window expert show you just how much of your energy budget is literally flying out the window, before this year’s winter season begins!

We know that everyone is looking for the best discount they can find for their replacement windows in Ann Arbor, and that’s why Hansons offers window lines to fit within any budget. Yes, you can get the best quality at a low price, when you choose 1-800-HANSONS to Get It Done!

What Our Ann Arbor Customers Are Saying

Replacement windows in Ann Arbor:
“We had a great experience with Hansons. We first replaced just two bedrooms after the quality and service we were given, decided to replace the rest of our windows. The guys that came out to do the install were great, respectful and quick. They cleaned up everything, not a sign they were even there except new windows.”

Replacement Window Installation

Date published: 6/6/2018

5 / 5 stars

Window Styles in Ann Arbor, Michigan

1-800-HANSONS offers many types of

Ann Arbor, Michigan Office

1-800-HANSONS of Ann Arbor

Office Hours Are:

Monday 7AM – 10:30PM
Tuesday 7AM – 10:30PM
Wednesday 7AM – 10:30PM
Thursday 7AM – 10:30PM
Friday 7AM – 10:30PM
Saturday 7AM – 10:30PM
Sunday 7AM – 10:30PM

At Home with 1-800-HANSONS

Homeowners in Ann Arbor looking for windows, roofing, siding, gutter guards or insulation, or another way to add value and beauty to their homes can turn to 1-800-HANSONS. At Hansons, we take the utmost pride in making your home improvement project as quick and easy as possible. Our products are the very definition of innovation – featuring a number of different styles, colors, and more outstanding features that help set us apart from the competition.

This content was originally published here.

Interior Design Ideas: Small Lot Family Home – Home Bunch Interior Design Ideas

Hardwood Flooring

Hello, my dear friends! How GREAT it is to have you here! Are you having a good week so far? Are you ready for Christmas? I really can’t believe it’s almost Christmas already. This year flew by! But I am not complaining, in fact, I am looking forward to slowing down a little, spending more time just relaxing with my kids, baking, cooking and watching Christmas movies with hot cocoa at the end of the day. We need to learn to slow down and seize life, seize the moments we spend with our loved ones… and talk more looking into their eyes instead of a screen.

I am truly happy to end this week sharing this small lot family home built by M House Development (previously featured here, here, here & here – you guys need to see these house tours!). This is a sweet home that would be perfect for a young growing family that needs to live close to the city for work. Take notes on the many great ideas this small lot home offers, especially if you’re planning on building.

I honestly hope you can have a relaxing time on Home Bunch, my friends. Have fun dreaming and pinning this inspiring home!

Interior Design Ideas: Small Lot Family Home

Pendant Lighting: Rejuvenation.

Roof: Pewter Gray Timberline HD shingles & Weathered Zinc Pac Clad metal roofing.

Although located on a small lot, this home feels very bright and it offers a great layout.

Lighting: Hinkley – Other Beautiful Pendants: here, here & here.

Interior Paint Color

This kitchen was really well-designed. Adding a peninsula between the kitchen and dining area adds more storage and counter space.

Affordable Kitchen Essentials:

(Thank you for shopping through Home Bunch. Please, always remember to check dimensions. 🙂 )

Kitchen Island Dimensions: 67″x48″

Kitchen Island Color

The kitchen island features a custom stain color. Note the shiplap on the sides.

Kitchen cabinetry is Maple, shaker-style. Island features custom shiplap on both ends.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is site-finished 4″ White Oak floors with Pickled Oak stain.

Similar Runners: here, here & here (large).

A custom cabinet is located on a hall that leads to the mudroom and pantry area.

Wet Bar Cabinet

A wet bar, also painted in BM Silver Chain, completes this beautiful kitchen.

Breakfast Room

A cozy breakfast room is located on the other side of the kitchen peninsula. Paint color is SW Site White 7070.

This home wasn’t furnished when the pictures were taken. 🙂

This one deserves a pin!!! Isn’t this shiplap accent wall/fireplace incredible?! The shiplap was purchased pre-stained. It’s from a company called Empire and the color is Rustic Cottage – similar here.

Windows are Sherwin Williams Iron Ore SW 7069.

Flex Room

This flex room can be used as a formal dining room or home office. Paint color is Sherwin Williams Site White SW 7070 on top, Sherwin Williams Cyberspace SW 7076 on the bottom.

Powder Room Cabinet Paint Color: Sherwin Williams Anchors Aweigh SW 9179.

The staircase features White Oak treads and handrails. Wall paint color continues to be Site White by Sherwin Williams.

Windows are also painted Sherwin Williams Extra White. They’re Pella Windows.

Blush Pink Bedroom Paint Color

This girl’s bedroom is painted in a soft blush pink paint color; Sherwin Williams SW 6560 Venus Pink.

Jack & Jill Bathroom

The bedroom opens to a practical Jack & Jill bathroom.

Tile: Field tile hex 1×1 mounted 12×24 – custom blend – similar here (in black & white).

Shower Faucet

Shower Faucet: Adding a lower hand shower to a bathtub is a great idea, especially if you have small children.

Shower Faucets: Mirabelle.

The boy’s bedroom is painted in Benjamin Moore Hale Navy HC-154 on accent wall. Remaining walls are Sherwin Williams Site White.

Boy’s Bathroom

The boy’s bathroom feels more masculine. I especially love the tile combination.

Hardware: Top Knobs.

Paint color is Sherwin Williams Passive SW 7064.

Countertop: White Carrara marble.

Master Bathroom

The master bathroom is full of inspiring ideas. I really like the warmth the wooden cabinetry brings to the space.

Floor Tile: Cream Taupe Marble 4×12 Tile – similar here.

This gorgeous vanity is custom and it’s made out of of clear Walnut.

Basement Bar

The basement features a grey wet bar with Carrara Marble countertop. Cabinetry is custom, similar paint color is Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray.

Basement Luxury Vinyl Flooring: Duchateau – similar here.

Cabinet Paint Color: Sherwin Williams Shade Grown SW 6188.

Countertop is Arabescato Venato marble.

Spa Floor Tile: Slab rectified natural 24×24 black – similar here.

Laundry Room

This adorable laundry room features a practical layout – keeping your washer & dryer side-by-side instead of placing a sink between the two, is always more convenient. Keep it in mind! Countertop is White Carrara marble. Paint color is Sherwin Williams Eider White SW 7014.

Faucet: Delta.

The mudroom is spacious and opens to the patio, which leads to a detached garage.

Mudroom Door Paint Color: Sherwin Williams Granite Peak SW 6250.

Paint Color

Paint color is Sherwin Williams Extra White SW7006. Bench seat is a custom stain.

3 Season Room

Windows are painted in Extra White SW 7006 by Sherwin Williams.

Many thanks to the builder and Lindsay for sharing the details above.

Exciting Holiday Sales!

Thank you for shopping through Home Bunch. I would be happy to assist you if you have any questions or are looking for something in particular. Feel free to contact me and always make sure to check dimensions before ordering. Happy shopping!

Lead me in Light and Love”.

Have a wonderful day, my friends and we’ll talk again tomorrow.”

Contact Luciane

“For your shopping convenience, this post might contain links to retailers where you can purchase the products (or similar) featured. I make a small commission if you use these links to make your purchase so thank you for your support!”

This content was originally published here.

Energy-Efficient Windows Market Analysis, Size, Share, Trends, Key players, Drivers and Forecast 2022

May 30, 2018: Heraldkeeper.com: Energy-efficient windows provide space heating and lighting to home. The increasing need for replacement of existing conventional windows to energy-efficient windows is fuelling the growth of this market. Additionally, the growing popularity of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) applications are also driving the growth of this market. Factors such as reduced noise and dust and improved thermal insulation, increase the popularity of this windows, which ultimately propel the demand of the market.

Market research future published a raw research report on Global Energy-Efficient Windows Market that contains the information from 2016 to 2022. Global energy-efficient windows market is expected to grow with the CAGR of approximately 8% from 2016 to 2022.

Receive Sample Copy @ https://www.marketresearchfuture.com/sample_request/2516

The report has been analyzed based on materials, glazing types, components, applications, and regions. On the basis of glazing types, global energy-efficient windows market is segmented into double, triple low-e and others. Out of them, double glazing segment had the largest share. The increasing need to maintain room temperature in residential and commercial buildings by restricting outside heat flows may stimulate the demand. However, triple low-e glazing is expected to grow at the fastest pace during the forecast period. This is mainly due to the initiatives such as Energy Star to reduce energy consumption particularly in buildings.

Global energy-efficient windows market is expected to grow at CAGR of 8% during the forecast period.

Ask for your specific company profile and country level customization on reports.

Ø  Saint Gobain S.A. (France)

Ø  Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. (Japan)

Ø  Nippon Sheet Glass Co. Ltd. (Japan)

Ø  SCHOTT AG (Germany)

Ø  Central Glass Co. Ltd. (Japan)

Ø  Masco Corporation (U.S.)

Ø  Builders FirstSource, Inc. (U.S.)

Ø  Jeld-Wen Holding, Inc. (U.S.)

Ø  YKK AP, Inc. (Japan)

Ø  Ply Gem Holdings, Inc. (U.S.)

Do Enquiry and Ask for Discount @ https://www.marketresearchfuture.com/check-discount/2516

Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing market

On the basis of regions, global Energy-efficient windows market is segmented as North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and RoW. European region dominates the global energy-efficient windows market mainly due to government initiatives regarding energy saving.

However, Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing region. Rapid growth in construction sector is the primary driving factor of energy-efficient windows market in Asia-Pacific region. Additionally, the rising consumer awareness on energy conservation is also fueling the demand of this market.

North America is also expected to contribute significantly to the global energy-efficient windows market and this is mainly due to the government support for promoting energy efficient products. The U.S government has initiated Building Technologies Program (BTP) which increases energy efficiency, and minimizes carbon emissions in buildings.

This research report has provides the insights, on various levels of analyses such industry analysis, market share analysis leading market players and their profiles. This report also helps in studying the target segments by providing views on emerging & high-growth segments and market conclusion. Together the market data comprise and discuss with the basic assessments on the competitive scenarios & strategies, of the energy-efficient windows market, including the high-growth regions, countries and their political, economic and technological environments. Furthermore the project report also provides the views over the historical market values as well as, pricing and cost analysis of the same.

Source: http://www.heraldkeeper.com/market/energy-efficient-windows-market-2022-trends-growth-segmentation-key-companies-67519.html

This content was originally published here.

New-Construction Farmhouse with Front Porch – Home Bunch Interior Design Ideas

Hardwood Flooring

Located in Western Springs, Illinois, and recently completed by Timber Trails Development Company, this new-construction farmhouse has a white exterior, black front door and an inviting front porch.
Timber Trails Western Springs is well-known for creating a new subdivision with new-construction homes that are far from being cookie cutter.

With the help of interior designer Julie Howard, these homes, which includes the farmhouse I am sharing with you today, feature a lot of custom details, from custom cabinetry to high ceilings and plenty of shiplap.

This home also features a large mudroom, a large open kitchen and inspiring home decor. I hope this inspires you.

New-construction Farmhouse with Front Porch

Modern Farmhouse Board and Batten, Siding and Trim: Hardie Arctic White.

Black Windows: Andersen.

Black Door Paint Color: Benjamin Moore Black.

House also features black metal roof and half round gutters.

The rug is from Walter E Smithe and is actually the same as the living room rug. Inspiring Rugs: Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here & Here.

Wallpaper is Thibaut Summer House in Pearl. In person, the wallpaper looks like a water color mural – it’s really beautiful!

Black Wainscoting Paint Color: Iron Mountain by Benjamin Moore 2134-30.

Desks in Both Offices – were made by Cabinet Maker @PalosFineCarpentry and topped with Caesarstone. Desk is stained Benjamin Moore Classic Grey.

A chic hall with wainscotting leads to the main rooms of the house.

This ebony console table brings personality and some contrast against the white paneling.

Console Table: 610 home -Similar Console Table: Here & Here.

Dining Room

The formal dining room is currently being used as a home office. Notice the beautiful wallpaper and coffered ceiling.

Wallpaper is Thibaut Greenwood “Marantha Arrowroot in Black”.

Desk is painted Benjamin Moore Black.

Trim Paint Color (Throughout the House): Benjamin Moore Simply White.

This custom buffet serves as a “butler’s pantry” between the kitchen and the formal dining room. A slightly similar buffet can be found here.

Buffet paint color is Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain – The Grey Buffet actually is the same color as the Kitchen island. The kitchen pictures do a better job of actually showing the true color – it shows how lighting can change the color of something in a photo.

The mirror is from Pottery Barn.

The rug is an antique found on Etsy – Similar Rug: Here, Here, Here & Here.

Hardwood flooring is set in a herringbone pattern.

Kitchen features white perimeter cabinets and a charcoal island.

I love the contrast of white kitchen with black windows. It looks even better with matte black hardware and rubbed oil bronze lighting.

Breakfast Nook

Breakfast nook  features black windows with leaded glass. Isn’t it beautiful?!

Table was from RH (discontinued).

According to the designer, the styling items throughout the house were found mostly at HomeGoods, Target and 610 Home (local store). They are all obtainable and affordable.

Daybed: 610 home – Similar Daybed: Here.

Pillows are all custom made with fabrics from Calico Corners.

Floor Lamps: Restoration Hardware French Column Glass Floor Lamp.

Ozark Shadows by Benjamin Moore AC-26.

“The window above is actually leaded glass even though you can’t tell in the pictures. The sconces are Visual Comfort and are huge. I’ve always wanted a space to use them and they work perfectly here. We had a full length mirror made for the back of the door since there isn’t a traditional mirror over the sink. For a powder room I think it’s perfect and actually better to have a full length option. The vanity is 6′ long and the toilet and door are on the opposite wall.” – Designer Julie Howard.

Sconces: Visual Comfort.

Sink & Backsplash

“We like to have our countertop fabricator cut interesting shapes on backsplashes. I think people forget to ask for this. We often bevel just the edges or make a backsplash taller like 6″ or 8″. The vessel sink is marble. A vessel sink was imperative because the corbels were desk height 30″ and we wanted our sink to be at 36”. “

Similar Marble Vessel Sink: Here.

The base corbels were from RH (they don’t sell them anymore) and were meant to hold a piece of glass as a desk. The designer turned the corbels sideways so you could enjoy the beauty of the carving. The top is a slab of Caesarstone in Raw Concrete which perfectly matches the wall color.

Tray: Target – similar here.

Mudroom cubbies are painted in Benjamin Moore OC-117 Simply White.

Mudroom Rug

Mudroom runner  is one of a kind from Turkey – The designer, Julie Howard, find them usually on Etsy. Similar Rug: Here

Grey Laundry Room Cabinet

Wainscoting paint color is Benjamin Moore Simply White.

Barn Door
A white barn door, painted in BM Simply White, leads to the ensuite

A white barn door, painted in BM Simply White, leads to the ensuite.

Chairs are from Ikea – they were black and the designer painted them white. STORSELE Armchair IKEA.

Similar Mirrors: CB2.

Blush Pink Nursery

A grey hallway, painted in Benjamin Moore Classic Gray, leads to a blush pink nursery.

Walls: Benjamin Moore Classic Grey.

Notice the nightstand decor – The lamp and decor are placed on the tray.

Whole House Flooring – Red Oak, Job Finished, 50/50 mix of Ebony and Espresso.

Benjamin Moore Newburyport Blue HC-155.

Navy & White Pillow Fabric: Kate Spade Maxime Navy.

The master bedroom also features a separated sitting area/office area.

Flooring is herringbone white marble tile.

Rug: Vintage. Similar Here.

“Benjamin Moore Classic Grey” is one of the best neutral colors for any space, including bathrooms.

The freestanding bathtub is tucked into a cozy nook with window.

The nook features white marble wainscoting tile.

A staircase with shiplap leads to the basement. Notice the reading nook under the staircase. Sconce is by Visual Comfort.

The basement features a large black bar with white countertop and ceiling beams.

This farmhouse dining area features a window-seat banquette flanked by bookcases.

Dining table is discontinued – similar here.

Basement has Bella Beams in Slate (factory made rustic looking beams – they are awesome and easy to install)

Family Room

The basement family room feels masculine and it has plenty of personality.

The fireplace features a grey natural stone and rustic beam mantel.

This bathroom features patterned wall tile and large hex floor tile.

Cabinet: Maple cabinets with custom mixed stain.

Pottery Barn: President’s Day Weekend Sale – Up to 70% Off!!!

Horchow: 30% Off Entire Site!

Pier 1: President’s Day Sale 15 to 20% Off Purchase.

Lead me in Light and Love”.

Have a wonderful day, my friends and we’ll talk again tomorrow.”

Contact Luciane

“For your shopping convenience, this post might contain links to retailers where you can purchase the products (or similar) featured. I make a small commission if you use these links to make your purchase so thank you for your support!”

This content was originally published here.

Do Energy Efficient Windows Make a Difference in Ann Arbor?

The answer to whether energy efficient windows make a difference can be found in the question, itself. It is a pretty well-known fact that homes lose most of their energy through their windows and doors. Windows that do not have energy efficient treatments on them can waste up to a whopping 50% of a home’s heating and cooling-related energy. When it comes to Ann Arbor and the surrounding areas, in particular, this is particularly important.

As some of us know, glass is not a great insulator. As a result, a lot of heat will escape through them in the winter while in the summertime, outside heat will radiate inside. But with energy efficient window treatments, this process is greatly reduced, also reducing your overall energy consumption, save you on your utility bills and provide for a more comfortable, indoor atmosphere.

What to Look for in Energy Efficient Windows?

Energy efficient windows need to comply with your local energy code. You should look for models that have an ENERGY STAR certification as these often meet or even exceed local requirements. To determine whether any specific window complies with your local requirements,  check its National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label. It will display the window’s energy properties as follows:

U-Factor – This rates the heat loss of the non-solar heat loss. The lower this number, the higher it’s insulating value.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – The SHGC is the fraction of incident solar radiation that passes through the window. The lower this coefficient is, the less solar heat it transmits. Depending on the climate, the house-window orientation, shade, etc., a higher or lower SHGC is desirable.

Visible Transmittance (VT) – The VT measures the amount of daylight that enters your home. The higher the number, the more light is realized. It will save you on your lighting bills.

Air Leakage (AL) – The air leakage is expressed in cubic feet and represents the amount of air passing through the window area. It means that with a low AL, less air will pass through the cracks.

Condensation Resistance (CR) – CR represents how well as particular window will resist the formation of condensation on its surface. The higher the number, the better.

The Benefits of Energy Efficient Windows

Like we’ve mentioned in the beginning, energy efficient windows will play a significant role in mitigating unwanted heat loss in winter and will keep your home cooler in summer. It also means that there will be less strain on your HVAC system, increasing their lifespan. These windows will also allow you to take full advantage of daylight, without having to turn on the light prematurely.

They will also increase the comfort of your home. In winter, for instance, the traditional glass surface cools significantly, creating uncomfortable drafts around the room. It will no longer be the case with energy efficient windows. It’s also good to take into account the condensation level. As the interior surface of these windows is much higher than other windows, condensation is substantially reduced or even eliminated.

They can also reduce the amount of UV radiation that comes into the home, thus increasing the life of your fabrics and furnishings. Last but not least, these windows will also decrease the amount of noise coming from the outside, making your home even more comfortable, in the process.

1-800-HANSONS will be at your service with any window replacement work that you may need. We provide single or double hungcasementsliderbaybowpicture or garden windows in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, glass, vents, etc. If you live in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Canton, and Novi, contact us today for a FREE estimate.

This content was originally published here.

Indoor/outdoor living abounds at foot of Mount Tamalpais in Mill Valley

outdoor living

Twice a week, The Chronicle features a home on the market that caught our eye for its architecture, history or character. More photos: www.sfgate.com/columns/walkthrough Address: 880 Edgewood Ave., Mill Valley Asking price: $4.75 million Description: Set on a 7.24-acre double lot 20 minutes from Stinson Beach, this three-bedroom contemporary home with dramatic proportions is perfect for an indoor/outdoor lifestyle. A 17-foot ceiling crowns a living room that opens to a tile patio with a gas fire pit.

This content was originally published here.

Energy Efficient Windows Houston TX – Houston Window Experts

Energy Efficient Windows Houston, TX

This may not be a viable solution for everyone, but if your units are already in need of renewal, why not give energy efficient windows for Houston, TX homes a look?

Energy efficiency comes in many forms. These days, everyone seems to be doing what they can to reduce their carbon footprint. Homeowners are finding more and more ways to improve the efficiency of their homes and reduce their utility costs. One way of doing this is by replacing your existing windows with more efficient panes.

Glass Options for Energy Efficient Windows for Houston, TX Homes

Since 80% of a window is made of glass, therefore glass performance is vital in heating and cooling costs. There are many ways to improve the function of the panes. Glazing, coatings, and gas fills are a few of the options available. Glazes can provide insulation for the sun, and Low-E coatings deflect the heat from the sun. Gas fills also provide an extra layer of protection in between the layers of glass by slowing the transfer of heat. Also, you need to consider how much natural light you want your panes to allow. Some options can reduce the heat from the sun, but still let the sunlight to come shining through.

Energy Efficient Windows in Houston, TX Have Frame Options

Frame materials are also very important consideration when selecting energy efficient windows. Whether you choose wood, vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, or even a combination, you need to know how the frames will perform in your climate. Vinyl windows are easy to maintain and insulate well, but because changes in temperature can cause them to expand and contract, they may have a higher air leakage value. Fiberglass is low maintenance and stable, but can be costly. Wood has a great classic look that attracts many homeowners, however, like vinyl, it may be affected by moisture and temperature changes. Wood also needs regular care. Aluminum is lightweight and resistant to change, however it conducts heat very easily and may not be the most efficient choice for you.

Houston TX can get hot in the summer! The energy efficiency of your windows is something to take seriously.

Selecting the type of frame and the options for the energy efficient windows for your Houston, TX home, is now easier than ever! Houston Window Experts has a professional design team that is ready to help you pick the perfect panes for your home. And we even have a great installation crew that is specially trained for the windows you choose. It just doesn’t get much better than that! Call us today at Houston Window Experts and together we will make your home the envy of the neighborhood!

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This content was originally published here.

Outdoor Living and Prepping Skills

outdoor living

Outdoor Living and Prepping Skills

Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that if you choose to make a purchase SHTFPreparedness may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

We all need to spend more time outside. There is a nationwide Vitamin D deficiency and that is because we get most of it from the big yellow ball in the sky.

Fluorescent lights don’t make Vitamin D but we spend all our time under those. There have actually been studies about the damaging effects of those lights on our minds and bodies.

Its the reality of how we live.

Now more than ever people are looking to figure out how they can spend more time outside. What can be done to assure they have more time to be under that sun in an enjoyable way. Much of it has to do with the idea of outdoor living. Creating outdoor living spaces or just getting out and camping more often.

Outdoor Living Spaces

When you spend time outside cooking over a fire or looking around nature you can easily start to bolster your prepping skills. This is very easy. Mastering fire just means that you can start playing with different fire starting methods. Trade in the matches for a flint and steel. See what you got.

You can also take note of the trees and plants that are in your area. These could be food, medicine our both!

Camping is a test of your outdoor survival skills, if you do it right. You are going to want to have some comfort items for when you camp but you should mostly focus on living light and using nature to teach you. From land navigation to bushcrafting the camping life gives you all the options.

The time has come for humans to take back their planet and start spending more time outdoors. We need to value our wild places. If we do not put serious value in these wild places they will disappear. They will go to the highest bidder.

After watching recent events unfold and speaking to family and friends, my wife and I decided to start prepping. Preparedness is a big part of our lives now and I would be honored to share some knowledge with you. Here at SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central we gather the best prepping, survival, homesteading and DIY articles from around the web.
– “Those who prepare today will survive tomorrow.”

Permanent link to this article: https://www.shtfpreparedness.com/outdoor-living-and-prepping-skills/

This content was originally published here.

Pet-Friendly Home Updates for Home Sellers and Landlords

Hardwood Flooring

The Content is Sponsored by our friends at MilitaryByOwner.com, sponsors of MilSpouseFest events

Pets and real estate have a complicated relationship. The hard line used to be to hide away any sign of a pet living in a home that was being sold in hopes of attracting all types of buyers, pet owners and otherwise.

This absolutely holds true today when it comes to cleanliness and odors, but because the majority of people in the U.S. own a pet, there’s been some wiggle room when it comes to finding the next buyer or renter, especially when it comes to showing off pet-friendly amenities in the home.

All Those Pet Owners Need Homes Too

Take a look at his statistic from a Realtor.com survey describing Millennial home buying: 75% of home buyers with pets would pass on a perfect home if it didn’t meet the needs of their pets.

This is a significant stat for home sellers and landlords to ponder. 75% percent of those pet owners would walk away from a property that didn’t inherently work for their pet’s lifestyle. That’s a lot of people who really, really, love their pets.

As a military homeowner, what changes can you implement to attract the best and most reliable pet owners who want to buy or rent your house? If you’re a home seller or a landlord, keep these updates in mind; they might just bring in some extra cash.

Customized Mud and Laundry Rooms

Not every house has the benefit of a dedicated mudroom, but most have laundry spaces that could accommodate a lifestyle with pets. Large utility sinks outfitted with handheld showers makes bathing small pets easy. Adding accessible storage shelves to hold bathing necessities like shampoo and towels is an inexpensive way to expand organization capacity, not just for pet owners, but for anyone who seeks “plenty of storage space,” which includes most home shoppers.

For the ultimate in pet bathing, however, relatively small walk-in showers or washing stations are ideal for bigger pets. The cleanup is much easier inside tiled walls instead of chasing a wet hound through the living room while he rubs his soaked fur on the furniture.

Even if your mudroom can’t accommodate plumbing, the opportunity to have a pet friendly space exists. Many families choose to have their animals eat in a room separate from human dining rooms and kitchens. Creating a dedicated space for food and water bowls keeps these pet messes from the main part of the house. Food drawers can be built to tuck away site unseen until feeding time, if you’ve got a little DIY background.

Built-in crates, racks to hang leashes, perches under windows, and plenty of storage for food and accessories are all are options to customize a utility space for pets. Pet loving buyers and renters will find it hard to turn down these time and money saving options in the home.

Easy to Clean Flooring and Paint

Hardwood flooring remains the most requested flooring type among home buyers, and the trend appears stronger than ever. It’s a safe bet it’s going to remain popular long enough to get your return on investment. Sure, there are reasons to have some comfy carpet, but many buyers and renters would much rather deal with the clean-up pets require on solid floors.

True hardwood floors are expensive and can be finicky in their maintenance. Very dark floors show dirt and pet hair immediately, and some highly finished wood planks scratch under the normal circumstances of everyday life that could include the dog chasing a ball through the house.

Faux wood flooring in all of its variations (even tile!), high end to low cost, have improved exponentially over the years. Affordability, water resistance, hard-to-damage coating, and a variety of fashionable finishes make the option hard to ignore. Remember, the choices that are pet mess resistant are also kid mess resistant!

Renters and buyers, more times than not, are going to be thrilled not to have to inherit the previous family’s invisible and–no matter how many times you try to clean—always there messes. Not to mention the germs and odors that permanently lurk in cheap carpeting bought at the big home improvement store.

The micro technology found in today’s paint choices are similar to the qualities found in wood flooring as related to durability. The best brands offer low odor and environmentally safe options, but also sell formulas sturdy enough to scrub dog drool and pet water splashes from walls and trim. Those tricked out, pet-friendly mud and laundry rooms could use a coat or two as a finishing touch!

More Pet-Friendly Amenities

A new mudroom or floor are two worthwhile ways to attract pet owners, but there are many other projects that would please potential buyers and renters.





There is so much that goes into preparing your home for sale or for rent. Given the fact that more than half of the population owns a dog or cat, upgrading to attract the best pet owner/buyer/renter is a wise idea, . Updating your home with one of these options is likely a win-win situation because they are desirable not only for animal lovers, but non-pet owners too.

This content was originally published here.

Residential Energy Credits | Energy-Efficient Windows | Energy Tax Credits

As much of the country prepares for the upcoming winter season, it is a great time to take advantage of the residential energy tax credits that are available.  One of these credits is set to expire at the end of 2013, so get it before it is gone.

There are two residential energy credits that are currently available: the residential energy property credit (Sec. 25C); and the residential energy efficiency property credit (Sec. 25D).  Currently, the Sec. 25C credit expires at the end of this year, while the Sec. 25D credit is available through 2016.

Property that qualifies for the Sec. 25C credit includes certain insulation, energy-efficient exterior windows/doors and energy-efficient HVAC systems, among others.  Examples of property that qualifies for the Sec. 25D credit include solar water heaters, geothermal heat pumps and wind turbines, among others.  The qualified property for both credits must be purchased, not leased.

Both of the credits are nonrefundable personal tax credits and can offset both regular tax and AMT.  Only the Sec. 25C credit can be carried forward to future tax years.  The Sec. 25C credit is 10% of the amount paid or incurred for the qualified energy improvements installed during the year.  The Sec. 25D credit is 30% of the amount paid for the qualified energy-efficient property during the year.  Keep in mind that the Sec. 25C credit does have a lifetime limitation of $500 (of which only $200 may be attributable to windows). 

IRS Notices 2009-41, 2009-53 and 2013-70 have additional details about both credits and explain what property qualifies for each.

Interested in learning more tax tips? Contact Eric Ingalls, a Schneider Downs Tax Manager, at eingalls@schneiderdowns.com.

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