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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!

The Primary Benefits of Using Marmoleum Flooring

Togo

Marmoleum is true Linoleum that is all natural – providing a healthy indoor environment. Marmoleum is a natural flooring material made with natural ingredients. It’s one of the few flooring products made almost entirely from natural raw materials – it’s composed of linseed oil (from flax seed), rosins (from pine) and wood flour (a waste produced by the lumber industry), all calendered onto a natural jute backing. The colors are made

Kitchen Remodel Must Do’s

Togo

When tackling a kitchen remodel it can be very overwhelming without the professionals to guide you through the steps needed for success. With all of the material choices and layout options possible many get burnt out on figuring out the best concept for the kitchen space before they even get truly started. A kitchen is the major heart of the home where family gatherings take place and entertaining is key!

Here are 7 Must Do’s for a Kitchen Remodel:

1. UPDATE PLUMBING AND ELECTRICAL

During any major remodel be sure to take care of any problems with the infrastructure issues within your electrical and plumbing areas. Add more outlets or change from a single fan layout to recessed lighting for additional lights. Fix the leaky pipes or even ready to go outdated piping systems to be sure you don’t have to deal with problems down the road giving you peace of mind and better resell value and inspection passing down the road at a resell.

2. LAYOUT

Open up the space if you can with your layout making the area a more practical and functioning space. Many older homes feel claustrophobic and are very uninviting. Be sure to take advantage of the remodel process and be sure to make the layout flow work best for any size family, adding more light, space and functionality.

3. FLOORING

Flooring in a kitchen remodel is key, especially since the kitchen is where most people congregate and preparing meals can be long and tedious where your legs will definitely feel it! When picking a flooring we highly suggest you consider flooring designed to provide cushioning and comfort for standing, easing the strain on backs and joints.

Cork, linoleum, bamboo and even rubber are surprising choices that will provide stylish looks as well as a softer, more resilient surface on which to stand and work.

4. APPLIANCES

Renovating a kitchen couldn’t be more fun when it comes to shopping for appliances. Although this task can be exhausting if doing alone, you will be able to make it through by simply mapping out a plan and narrowing down what you are truly looking for. When getting started you will want to ask your Contractor what sizes you have to work with within the layout plan of your design. After you map out the sizes I highly suggest you consider the energy efficiency of the appliances. You will want to get those that are energy star rated, have the space capacity that you are in need of for your family and those that look like they will stand the test of time within a resell value market. I tend to love the stainless steel appliances…they are a beautiful eye-catching piece that will stand the test of time.

5. NEW FAUCETS

The choice of styles, materials and finishes in faucets are nearly unlimited and what a blessing that is for homeowners wanting to put a little sizzle and style into their kitchen. Newer features such as high arc design, no touch operation and pull out spray add convenience and practicality to the kitchen sink that make a huge difference. Love the new styles that are out there with the Nickel finish. You can’t go wrong with Nickel for it tends to always be in style.

6. LIGHTING

Lighting, I can’t say enough about the importance of lighting in a kitchen! When deciding upon your lighting you want to make sure all of your counter spaces and eating area over the table offer a great deal of light. This is one of the things people tend to not plan for enough and they find themselves calling in an Electrician after the fact to install more lighting down the road. I suggest 5 to 6 recessed lights minimum on the ceiling on an average kitchen (10×10) along with pendent lights over any island or sink area space and under cabinet lights to easily display lighting on your work areas.

7. CABINETS AND COUNTERTOPS

Counters and cabinets in a kitchen remodel are key to really showing off the space. You will want to choose solid wood cabinets with a color choice that brightens up your kitchen as opposed to darkening it further, especially in tight spaces. With all of the choices out there you will be sure to find the right one for your taste. As to countertops granite is a choice to highly consider if your budget allows. The rich natural look and feel of granite make a major difference in any kitchen space. If your budget doesn’t allow for granite another nice option that is easy to clean and take care of is Quartz and/or Laminate. Be sure to choose the color scheme that brightens up the kitchen and doesn’t dull it down.

Even though a kitchen remodel can be overwhelming be sure to rely on the professionals you hire to help walk you through the choices. Here at Togo Custom Homes we can assist you in this area as we build your home or remodel your existing kitchen. We will help you make your space more functional and increase the marketability and value of your home.