Category Archives: Green Home Improvements

Top 10 Home Improvements to Increase Home Value

Planning to Sell or Refinance? Improve Your Home First!

Some people will do home improvements because they want to live in a nicer home. Others will complete them so that they can sell their home for a more. Still others want to refinance, and need to increase the value to get rid of that pesky PMI. And there are even those that are seeking a reverse mortgage soon, and they want to make sure their monthly checks are large enough.

No matter your reason, you don’t want to dump a bunch of time and money into little improvements that won’t affect the value of your house very much. You want to focus on the top improvements to increase your home’s value. Here are a few things that you can do.

1. Paint the Walls

via Gacek Design Group

Paint is still the easiest, and cheapest, way to take your home from drab to wow. Getting rid of the boring “off-white” is a sure way to make things look fresh. Touching up that paint that has been marred, chipped, scraped, and scuffed over the years makes the home feel new. Just don’t get too crazy, an orange, yellow, and green living room is probably too much for potential buyers. 😉

Cost: $3.00 to $6.00 per sq. ft. on average, depending on the paint quality, amount of prep work required, and overall size of the project. A typical interior remodeling painting project for the whole house may cost between $3,000 and $6,000 on average.

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Roof Insulation Basics: Upgrading Roof Insulation – DIY Tips

There are two reasons homeowners want to make their homes greener; some people want to go green to protect the environment. Others will go green because it results in more green dollar bills in their wallet.

Fortunately, the two don’t have to be exclusive; you can protect the environment and save money at the same time. A big way to do so is to make sure that you have adequate insulation and ventilation for your roof and the attic space.

Heat rises, and that means the majority of the heat loss from your home goes out the top of the house. This is especially true if you don’t have adequate insulation. To make sure your home is as comfortable as possible, to ensure minimal heat loss, to save money on your heating bills, and to help protect the environment, an upgrade in your insulation is in order.

A Wide Variety of Insulation Options

Making the decision to improve your roofing insulation is the easy part. The hard part, however, is determining what type of insulation to use, and where to put it.

Attic Insulation

The easiest (unless you’re having a new roof put on the house), and most effective, way to boost the insulation in your home is to insulate the attic. Many homes have at least some access to this space, and because of the size attics can hold quite a bit of insulation. But where you put the insulation, and what type, can vary even inside the space.

Between the Joists – If you have an unfinished attic space, the most common area to insulate is between the ceiling joists, but leaving the area between rafters uninsulated. This provides for maximum air flow through the attic while keeping the living space insulated.

Most commonly the spaces between the joists are filled with blow-in fiberglass insulation. However, the do-it-yourselfer may want to lay down fiberglass batting as it’s easier to work with and there is no special equipment needed. How much should you have? It’s recommended that the R value be at least R-38; or 10-14 inches of insulation.

Between the Rafters – Many homes have increased their living space by finishing the attic. But without insulating the ceiling, the space would be largely uninhabitable most of the year. If this is the case, then you want to insulate between the rafters.

Before you slap up insulation, however, you have to remember that the house needs room to “breathe.” If your insulation is pressed tightly against the bottom of the roof decking, there’s nowhere for the air to go, and you can end up with major problems. To counter these problems, baffles are installed to keep a small space between the insulation and the roof deck. As the air in the baffles heats up, it can flow to the peak and out the roof vent.

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20 Benefits and Advantages of Strip LED Lights for Homes

When deciding to make the switch from conventional incandescent lighting to an Eco-friendly alternative, don’t limit yourself to CFLs or LED bulbs. Instead, consider using LED strip lights. They are an excellent choice for functionality, as well as for a variety of decorative uses.

And thanks to their overall durability and longevity, range of colors, and LED strip lights can be used almost anywhere. Here are more reasons why you should consider them:

1. Easy Installation

Most LED light strips come with adhesive on the back that allows you to “peel and stick” them wherever you like to place the strips.

led-tape-under-cabinet-lighting-installation

2. Energy Efficient

LED lights use up to 75 percent less energy than incandescent lights and up to 50 percent less than CFLs, making them a superior lighting source for energy efficiency.

3. Flexibility

The central feature of LED strip lights is their flexibility. Unlike bulbs, they can be attached to curved surfaces, corners or molded into almost any shape.

4. Non-Toxic

Unlike fluorescents, LED lights do not contain mercury or other harsh chemicals. Therefore, they don’t require special disposal or pose a health risk if dropped.

5. Durable

LED lights are built with durable components that are made to withstand harsh conditions. They are designed to hold up to heavy vibrations, outside elements and external impacts.

6. Cost Effective

Although the initial cost of LED lights is more than their counterparts, their long-life, durability and energy-efficiency make them more cost effective.

If the sticker shock is still holding you back, LED light strips may be the best way to begin. Most will be less expensive than LED bulbs and a great way to see the value before making a complete switch. You will also save money on maintenance, tools and lighting fixtures.

7. Environmentally-friendly

LED lights can be recycled since they have no harsh chemicals. Plus, their longevity and low energy use make them the ideal solution to Eco-friendly lighting.

8. Low Temperature

Conventional bulbs use 90 percent of their energy as heat and CFL’s use 80 percent, whereas LED’s stay completely cool. This makes LED’s excellent to use in children, pet and heat sensitive areas.

9. Waterproof

Strip LED lights are available in waterproof tubes or ribbons. They are excellent to use in fish tanks, on vehicles and in outdoor areas.

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