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Archive for the News Category

American-Made

American-Made

I came across an ABC news article about a man in Bozeman, Montana that caught my eye.  The article is about a man who is an Economist turned builder.  Now this story doesn’t seem that unique, however, upon reading further, the man’s selection of materials is.  He is constructing his houses entirely from American- Made products.  In other words everything that goes into this house, he has researched to make sure that the product was actually made in good old USA. This is something that other professional contractors, like me, should take note.  Now why is this so interesting?  He claims that if every builder bought just 5% more American- Made materials, it would create an additional 220,000 jobs!  I don’t know about you, but if someone told me that if I made a conscious effort to run my business by purchasing only 5% more American-Made products, the US economy could greatly benefit; I would say that’s a win-win opportunity.  The economy wins because this is a new job creator, and I win because it becomes an opportunity for me to educate clients that we are doing our part to help the economic recovery.  Wouldn’t you as a homeowner, thinking […]

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Do you have “Green Lighting” in your home?

Do you have “Green Lighting” in your home?

Pop quiz:  What technology in your home is 132 years old and yet is still being used today.  The answer is the incandescent light bulb.  It is hard to believe that with all the advances in the last 100 years and especially in the last 20 years that we still rely on a technology, invented by Thomas Edison, when our great grandparents were alive.  In the last few years however, the game has changed and we are now making significant advances on improving the good old light bulb. With everyone now thinking about real energy conservation, new technologies are moving with incredible speeds.  The inefficient light bulb is in the sights of conservationists, and industry is responding.  I must say that even everyday people like you and me are becoming aware that the way we currently think and act in our daily lives is unsustainable and our mindset needs to be changed.  No longer do we have the luxury to say that what we consume is plentiful and will never diminish. So what about the new “green” light bulbs.  There are basically two concurrent technologies attacking the problem. The first is the fluorescent bulb, or more precisely the compact fluorescent […]

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Basement Water Leakage Solutions

Basement Water Leakage Solutions

Now that we know what to look for to identify possible problem areas in our leaky basement, we will focus on what solutions are out there in the marketplace.  I have found that the solutions tend to be categorized into three divisions:  The exterior major surgery approach:  Some basement waterproofing companies feel that the best and only way to truly guarantee that a basement won’t leak is to perform major work to the exterior of the building.  The theory behind their thinking is to stop the water from ever having a chance to get into the basement.  This actually is a very sound approach to the problem.  It is very expensive.  For those who can afford this and can afford the construction consequences that go along with it, this is the right approach for them. What this solution entails is the digging up of the entire perimeter of the home; applying proper measures to the existing foundation wall (generally this is a patented system that each company is promoting as their exclusive cure all system); applying their waterproofing and  drainage system; and then refilling the trench with gravel and finally dirt.  The homeowners  are then left with reinstalling landscaping, walkways, […]

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How to create a GREEN kitchen

How to create a GREEN kitchen

Green is the buzz word of the millennium.  Everyone wants to be a part of the Green Movement, but most do not know how to do it.  So I am going to take the principles of green construction and apply it to the remodeling of a kitchen.  There is no such thing as getting a green certification for your kitchen unless it is part of a total house remodeling, but that shouldn’t deter you from applying some of the common sense principles.  Resource efficiency is an important part of building sustainability.  Think of your home as a major resource consumer.  Your home has and will consume resources.  This affects the environment by depleting natural resources, energy use, and increases in waste.  By using durable, renewable, responsibly produced materials, and managing building waste, you can positively affect the environment and achieve your own level of Green.  So what positive steps can you take in your remodeled kitchen:  RESOURCE EFFICIENCY: Recycle:  Create a built-in collection space.  This collection space encourages sustainable living for the occupants.  Recycling becomes convenient and a daily part of your life.  Collection spaces should be designed with odor and air quality in mind.  Your positive decision should not […]

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Winterizing Your Home

Winterizing Your Home

Today’s topic is winterizing your home. I know what you are thinking, this is middle of summer and it is not time to think about cold weather! Actually now is a very good time to start thinking about winterization. So many people wait till the last second, generally when the snow is on the ground, to react to winter. All I am saying is plan your work and start to make your checklist so when the time comes you will have already done your home work . Then all you have to do is work your plan. So what kinds of things should you have on your list: 1. Close vents to crawlspaces. Too many of our clients forget to do this. This can cause serious damage to pipes, and you need to consume much more energy to heat your rooms. 2. Add insulation to poorly insulated spaces. Once we get into moderate temperatures, go around your house and try and remember which were cool spots that could be addressed with additional insulation. Have your attic checked out to see if there is a minimum of R=30 insulation (and preferably R=38). 3. Verify that there is proper ventilation in your […]

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