Roof insulation makes your home more comfortable


If you are considering taking the plunge and having your home insulated, you may want to consider roof insulation. Just what is roof insulation? It is a product that lives up to its name, and could be called the hidden insulation, because many people do not even know that an outdoors form of it exists- they do research about the best kind of insulation for their home, and make a choice without becoming informed about roof insulation.

Roof insulation works silently to make your living space more comfortable. It has been tested and found to reduce the overall cost of heating your house by an astonishing 13%! This type of insulation can also help to keep your house a great deal cooler during the summer months. That can add up to a nice amount of money in a few years time, perhaps even enough to pay for your roof insulation and installation!

There are two types of roof insulation. One of these types goes on the outside of your home in the area between the roof’s shingles or tiles, and the sheathing used on top of the rafters as a place for the roofing. Normally, a type of foam board is stapled to the sheathing, and the roofing material is then installed on top of the foam board. This gives you a layer of protection from hot and cold air drifting into your home’s attic and then into your living space. Rigid fiberglass insulation can also be used for this purpose. It is a lot easier to install this type of insulation when you are also replacing your roof shingles or tiles, but it can definitely be used on a roof that is already in place or a flat roof as well.

It may only be necessary to place roof insulation in your attic space, which some contractors will call loft insulation. This is the more common type of roof insulation, and you will find that more people have heard of this alternative. Rafter vents are needed to keep any build up of moisture from getting the insulation wet. Once this has been accomplished, the space between the rafters can then be filled with insulation.

Spray foam insulation is one choice that the homeowner has for roof insulation in their attic space. A smaller attic, such as one you cannot stand up in, is a good candidate for this type of insulation. Professionals spray the foam into all the spaces, cracks, and crevices, and it does an excellent job of keeping out air.

Another type of attic roof insulation is that familiar pink colored roll that looks a bit like a huge roll of carpet. These are known as batts, and are usually made of fiberglass, but can also be made from rock wool. The pink batts are flexible, and it is easy to cut and fit them into the needed spaces. It is best to leave this type of installation to a professional, for fiberglass can be rather tricky to work with. It is easy to get some of the fibers embedded into your skin, or even in your eyes. As you might imagine, this is quite painful, and potentially dangerous to your eyesight. There is also the risk of breathing in the glass fibers.

The various types of roof insulation that are available will make your home a comfortable place to live, whether it is winter or summer.

 by: Simon Shannon

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_3754.shtml

Escape from reality by creating at-home getaways

Life is hectic. And although technology has made our lives easier to multitask and stay connected, it also means that no matter where you go, it’s hard to fully escape. While traveling to a remote island to get away for peace and relaxation would be a wonderful retreat, you can easily avoid the hustle and bustle of your daily routine by creating peaceful escapes throughout your own home.

Say “Spaah”

The bathroom is the only place where you can shut the door and have complete “you time” with little to no interruptions. With 54 percent of respondents to a recent Moen survey of showering behaviors saying they have children living at home, a shower means a bit of precious alone time, and people take full advantage of the peace to think about the day, their lives and more.

To add a bit of bliss in the bath, add a spa-like shower with multiple spray settings to meet every mood. The Moen Caldwell Shower Combination offers a spa of multiple sprays and a variety of spray patterns – creating the perfect shower retreat. The collection features an incredible selection of options – both a five-setting wallmount shower head and a five-setting handheld shower head with five unique spray settings. And the best part is it won’t cost a fortune.

It’s time to truly enjoy your shower and create the ultimate getaway. After all, you deserve it. And the multiple spray settings of the Caldwell collection are perfect for everyone in the house.

Zen in the Den

The TV is blaring, the phone is ringing off the hook, and power cords from everything from the Blu-ray, to the Wii, to the table lamp are refusing to stay neatly tucked away. Your den area might be a go-to hangout place, but it’s still easy to create peace among the chaos.

De-cluttering is one of the simplest things you can do to create order and a sense of calm. Remove items that haven’t been used in months and get rid of furniture that serves little to no function. The less clutter your den has, the better you’ll feel. It’s also important to open the windows whenever possible. Less mess and fresh air can easily change the outlook of a room.

Courtesy of Newscanada

Bring your house up to date


It’s amazing how quickly our homes can start to look dated. Even if they were once the height of fashion, they can easily start to feel stuck in the past, and for many people it is enough to make them consider moving, unaware that it is simply the fact that things feel stale that is giving them such wanderlust.

There is plenty that can be done, easily and cheaply, to make a house feel more modern though. A change of paint is always a great way to start. Finding out the colors that are currently in vogue is a great way to instantly transform a room. On top that, interesting and modern artwork and contemporary knick knacks will also instantly bring a room up to date.

Home lighting is also a surprisingly date-specific kind of thing. Older light fittings will instantly date any room, and changing glaring halogens to more subtle accent lighting can instantly change the feel of a room without anything else being needed. Altering home lighting is also easy to research and cheap to achieve, making one of the perfect places to start if a house is starting to feel jaded. The more you can spend on lighting, the better.

Wooden floors are also a great way to stay modern. On top of this, utilizing a wooden floor gives you great scope to include under-floor heating, an investment that will almost certainly pay for itself in terms of how much money can be saved on energy bills. Under-floor heating also helps you remove what are usually unsightly radiators and give rooms more space – another way to make any room feel more modern.

If you can, make as much space as possible, knocking down walls to create more space if it is appropriate. Space and lighting combined will make even the dullest room feel fresh and new.

By: Allision Kraft

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_7221.shtml

Lower summer energy costs and get a facelift for your home


Lower%20summer%20energy%20costs
During summer, many of us look forward to fun-filled days at the pool or beach, but we definitely don’t look forward to exorbitantly high cooling bills during the heat of the season.

A typical single-family home shells out $2,200 in annual energy costs, according a recent study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. And according to the Laboratory’s website, if a house has central air conditioning, even though the system is only used a few months out of the year, it is most likely the single biggest consumer of electricity, driving annual air conditioning costs that can exceed a shocking $1,000.

However, there are a number of ways you can improve the energy-efficient aspects of your home and save on electricity costs.

Seal the deal

According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one of the most cost-effective ways to improve energy efficiency in homes is to seal and insulate windows and doors. Often, this means replacing old, leaky, sticky, poorly performing windows and doors. A typical home that replaces its single-paned, clear glass windows with energy-efficient windows can realize up to $494 in annual savings, according to the EPA.
“Windows are a wonderful source of natural light, but if they are old, they can act as giant heat lamps in the summer, allowing the sun’s heat into a home,” says David Harrison, chief marketing office of Champion Windows, one of the nation’s leading home improvement companies. “By installing our Comfort 365 Replacement Windows, homeowners can help shrink their cooling bills. Champion’s Double hung replacement windows exceed ENERGY STAR rating requirements by an average of 42 percent for Solar Heat Gain, which is the measure of the sun’s heat that comes through your window. Champion windows also help keep the cool air in and still let in natural sunlight – without the heat.”
For more energy saving window tips check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s website or Champion Window’s Energy Efficient Replacement Windows.
On the side
Another great way to cut costs is to increase insulation by installing energy-efficient siding. Vinyl siding and energy-efficient underlayment can increase a home’s R-value, a measure of insulation’s ability to resist heat traveling through it. The higher the R-value, the better the thermal performance of the insulation. By increasing the R-value, homeowners can save more than 20 percent on their electricity bills, according to energysavers.gov.
“Installing an energy-efficient siding system, including ENERGY STAR rated insulation board, can help insulate your home against the heat, reduce the amount of air flow into your house, making it easier to keep cool air in during the summer,” says Harrison. “At Champion, our customers have told us they were pleasantly surprised to see a decrease in their energy bills after their siding installation.”
Other ways to improve energy efficiency and lower summer electric bills include:
* Increasing insulation in attics
* Making sure you have proper roof ventilation
* Sealing air conditioner ducts
* Keeping your blinds closed when the sun is shining in
* Using a programmable thermostat
By making a few of these changes, you won’t cringe when you open those utility bills, and you might even be able to reap benefits beyond the summer.
“If homes are not properly insulated or sealed, cool air is leaking out and homeowners are throwing money out of the window,” says Harrison. “By making a few energy-efficient changes to your home, you can help keep electric bills in check and even increase the value of your home.”

Courtesy of BPT

Five renovations to make an even bigger splash with your backyard pool

Five%20renovations%20to%20make%20an%20even%20bigger%20splash%20with%20your%20backyard%20poolIf you added a pool to your home in the past few years, or moved into a house with an existing pool, you may wonder what more you can do to enhance the value and enjoyment your pool brings to your home and family. You may even think there’s not much you can do beyond keeping it clean and well maintained.

“Pools are a great investment, and the vast majority of owners say their pool is a great place to entertain,” says Bill Weber, president and CEO of the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP). “Fortunately, some simple upgrades and renovations can help pool owners enjoy their investment even more.”

APSP points to five renovations that can offer homeowners the most satisfaction and value for their investment. The Association suggests homeowners consult with and hire an APSP-certified professional for the best possible results from any of these renovations:

1. Resurfacing – If your in-ground pool is made from concrete, time and use can cause the surface to deteriorate and become rough or even cracked. Resurfacing can restore the beauty and comfort of the pool and extend its functional life. Choose options that provide durability, and consider multiple manufacturers’ products to ensure the best selection. For pools with a vinyl interior, a host of new patterns, available for replacement liners, can transform the appearance of the pool overnight. Fiberglass pool owners also have several resurfacing options. Consult with an APSP-certified professional to determine the best product to make your fiberglass pool look like new.

2. New tile – Just as a kitchen backsplash can transform the overall look of the room, tile can set the tone for how your pool looks. Pool tile options are vast, and changing the tile is one of the most dramatic improvements you can make; it will give you the biggest bang for your buck in terms of appearance.

3. Change the look of the pool deck – The current design trend is to extend the look of interior flooring out into the pool area to create the effect of an outdoor family room. Deck choices range from man-made and natural materials to staining existing concrete. Know that old concrete does not necessarily need to be removed. Often you can fix unsightly cracks and dated concrete decks with a thick overlay and new finish.

Most%20renovations%20are%20quite%20affordable4. Add a water feature – Installing a waterfall or fountain is a great way to bring the sound and beauty of moving water to your outdoor environment. Water features also create a strong focal point for the pool. A dramatic spillover or sheer water feature can be dynamic additions to an ordinary pool.

5. Lighting – While safety is a primary function of lights, today’s pool lighting also adds touches of beauty and pizzazz. Standard incandescent and halogen pool lights are functional staples, and fiber optic lighting can add striking color to a nighttime poolscape. Fiber optics are especially great around pools and landscaping because there’s no electrical current to worry about. Long-lasting LED replacement lights can typically be installed with little or no modification to the existing pool. The colored LED lights can create an entirely new mood around your pool while providing energy savings at the same time.

“Of course, there are many more renovations and improvements to consider,” Weber says. “Digital controls make operating pool equipment easier than ever, allowing you to control lighting, heating and cleaning with the touch of the button. And upgrades like adding a salt chlorinator system, solar cover and heater can improve the functionality and efficiency of a pool.”

Keep in mind, you don’t have to do everything at once. Pool renovations can be done over several seasons, allowing you to make the improvements and fund your investment at a pace that works for you. Of course, to ensure you get the most for your money, you’ll want to hire an experienced pool contractor. You can find an APSP certified building or service professional through the organization’s website, www.apsp.org. APSP-certified professionals are required to demonstrate proven knowledge of design, construction and service, follow a strict code of ethics, and must engage in continuing education to maintain their certification.

“Most renovations are quite affordable, and can dramatically change the look of your backyard,” Weber says. “It’s important to ensure your project is performed by a certified professional who can help you turn your vision into reality safely, efficiently and cost-effectively.”

Courtesy of BPT