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Are you a homeowner who is searching for ways to make your home a bit more eco-friendly? Equipping your home with “green” improvements can save a substantial amount of energy and money, especially over the long term. In today’s post we’ll explore a few projects that handy do-it-yourselfers can undertake in order to make a home a bit friendlier to the local environment.
#1: Focus on the Windows

Depending upon the time of year, windows have an impact on both heating and cooling costs. In the summer, older windows can drastically heat up a home causing cooling costs to skyrocket. In the winter, older windows can leak cold air within the home and let out the heat, which causes the heating costs to rise as well.

A simple replacement of older windows can save a homeowner as much as 30 percent on annual energy costs, as newer windows are more efficient at insulating the home against the weather conditions outside. Combining a window upgrade with other energy-related changes can lead to even greater savings. For example, consider installing a ceiling fan in rooms that are generally occupied – such as the living room or family room – as these can circulate cool and warm air and help to reduce energy use.

During the colder months, use as much solar heating as possible. Open up curtains, and trim trees to allow for natural light to enter the home. The sun heats up the home through radiant heating, which is an effective and essentially free source of energy.

#2: Improve Your Insulation

A home that is properly insulated will help to preserve its heat and cool air. Heat can leak out from the home through cracks, but it can also occur through convection heating. The air within the home will eventually cool down from a steady decline of heat when the heat is transferred outside through the walls.

Beyond hot and cool air leaking out from the home, each room within the home can indirectly influence the temperature in adjoining rooms. This is especially true for the garage and any room that shares common walls. By using insulation in the garage, the home may cool down by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

#3: Install Smart Thermostats

Some green options simply mean a change in which type of appliances are used. In terms of a thermostat, a “smart” one like the Nest Thermostat can be installed. Use of one can cut energy costs by 20 percent, at minimum, by simply adjusting to the homeowners’ schedule.

We hope these little tips help you as you consider making your home a little more eco-friendly.  Check back with us here at Togo Custom Homes for ongoing energy-efficient tips, DIY projects and be sure to take a look at our new home build projects.  When you are ready to build or even renovate let us help create for you an eco-friendly home that reduces your carbon footprint, helps sustain our natural resources, and saves money on your energy bills…..a complete Win-Win for us all! Live life naturally!

To Buy and Renovate an Existing Home or To Build….What’s Your Vision

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To renovate or to build is a burning question for most people looking to make the right investment move for their future. This question really comes down to where you currently are in life and where you want to be.  Some people are seeing their money going out the door by renting and this is exactly what will happen, but if you do some soul-searching about what your true life goals are map out your vision you will easily come to a definitive answer as to which way you should go.

We all know a home is the single largest investment that a person makes.  Location, price, market trends, property specifics and the condition of the property are all factors to consider when deciding to dump more money into the home you own or when buying one on the market to renovate. In this case you will not only have to be practical and realistic as to your end-goal keeping in mind to think like an end-buyer and plan to upgrade to a market-friendly, breathtaking finished product that will last for years to come. Weighing all the costs and all of the soon to be future replacements that you may incur while you are still in the home like possibly a new roof, water tank or upgrade to air conditioning on the furnace…etc. compare these costs to a new build that will have essentially no headaches for years to come.

Yes, this seems a little overwhelming but let us help you break this down a little further so you can make an educated decision: