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3 Ways to “Go Green” at Home

On April 22, 1970 an event was created to demonstrate the support for environmental protection. That event was called Earth day. Every year since, it has been celebrated on that same day. In step with Earth day, many homeowners are making “Earth Day” everyday by becoming more environmentally conscious about their home. With recent speculation about environmental changes and dwindling natural resources, recycling and reusing materials for our planet’s sustainability has become common. Our culture has coined a phrase to represent these ideals– “Going Green.”

3 Ways to
Now more than ever, we are seeing trends of individuals remodeling their homes in order to be more ecological and environmentally friendly. While revamping your entire home to make it ecofriendly will require drastic changes, you should not feel overwhelmed. The positive influences these changes will make on both your budget and the environment will be worth it in the end. What was at one time an idea of the future [transitioning to the use of green materials] is now a conversation of the present. The time to make these constructive changes is right now; these are a few basics when it comes to remodeling your home:

Use Energy Efficient Designs

If you live in an extremely hot area such as the desert, poor insulation will cause the interior of your home to absorb that heat. This often results in all day use of AC units at lower set temperatures, which can rapidly increase your DWP bill. The great news is there are designs and materials to keep your house air-tight. Green homes are often built air-tight with heavy insulation to help with the presented issue. With less outside air infiltrating the home, this structural design makes indoor climate much easier to control. Cooling down the home in the summer will not take as long in a well-insulated home and conversely, heat will not escape in the cooler seasons. If your home was built decades ago and has not yet been remodeled, it might be time to consider redoing the insulation. High insulation standards have evolved for newly built homes in order to be more energy efficient globally. If you consider the long term savings you will earn from lower cost electric bills, you may see that the benefits of this update to your home outweigh the temporary cost of the remodel.

Change the Lights

Reflect on the current lighting fixtures and appliances in your home. Do you use LED lights? LED lights have revolutionized lighting today in using a fraction of the energy demanded by regular incandescent bulbs. They turn on immediately to full brightness, illuminate a great color, and do not give off extreme amounts of heat. Additionally, LED lights require less maintenance because they last roughly thirty to fifty times longer than incandescent lights, and three times longer than florescent lights. In recent news, a Nobel Prize was just awarded to the three scientists who co-created the blue LED. Energy Star appliances are certified to meet strict guidelines about how much electricity they require to operate. Simply buying new bulbs and installing them in already built-in incandescent or fluorescent light fixtures might not work. This type of renovation may actually require construction, but it is worth the hassle. The latest energy saving light fixtures offer superior quality than previously existing lighting technologies which is why it is time to make the switch to LED bulbs throughout your home if you have not already.

Reduce Water Consumption

California is in the midst of a record-breaking drought making water consumption a high alert issue. A great way to help with water conservation in your home is to have low-flow faucets, showers, and plumbing. People are often concerned with the idea of low-flowing technologies because no one wants to stand in the shower feeling as though the water pressure is not enough to rinse out your shampoo. However, today’s versions are as good — if not better — than the old water hogs. The incorporation of air into this process helps make a low-flow shower feel just as strong as the one using much more water. The smallest changes to your home sinks can result in very impactful advancements of water consumption.

These suggestions, while simple, can be very impactful on the environment and your budget. Consider this to be the perfect time to refine your home insulation to make it air-tight. Make the switch from regular bulbs to LED lights. Most importantly, think about how much water is wasted in the home due to high pressure faucets. With our population the highest it has ever been, consumption of our resources continually increases. Our planet relies on these changes of energy efficiency and wiser consumption before the resources run out. What positive changes are you going to make to your home to make it more “Green” friendly? Sea Pointe Construction can help you go green; click here to learn more.

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DIY: How to Craft the Perfect Haunted House

Halloween is a holiday known for creating long-lasting memories in children.  From trick-or-treating to dressing up as fright-filled characters, it’s the only time of the year where fear and fun go together.  Make this Halloween extra special by turning your home into a creepy-crawly haunted house. There are a few things that go into making the perfect haunted house for this Halloween season. Every haunted house needs a theme: slaughterhouse or meat shop, aliens, circus clowns, or labs are just a few great ideas. Then, you must decide where to set up your haunted house. Haunted houses can be set up inside your home, outside in the yard, in the garage, or along the side corridors of your house. You have to plan the path your guests will take to move through the space. Add the lighting, sounds, decorations, and characters to enhance the scare component.

hauntedhouseseapointe

© Casquenoir / Dollar Photo Club

The Set-Up Process:

1. Create the Space

Create your space by lining the walls, floor, and ground. You can do this by using dark sheets, black trash bags, rolls of Kraft paper, or other various fabrics. Also, divide the space in your path by adding road blocks or obstacles that require movement from your audience: Wood boards that make them duck, chairs or blocks in the aisle, tables they have to go around. Misters and fog machines allow for an extra eerie walk through.

2. Add Lighting

Lighting is important because while you want the haunted house to be scary, absolute darkness may interfere with your guests’ safety. To keep it still dark, use strobes, black lights, dimmers, and black bulbs. This way it is not too bright, but faint light can allow your guests to see where they are going.

3. Sounds

Sometimes silence can be deafening. However, scary sounds and soundtracks will surely haunt your guests. Some decorations make noise and the characters in your house can use their voices, but those sounds should be sporadic to catch guests off guard. To keep a consistent and mellow background murmur, play tunes from your computer or iPod through hidden speakers.

4. Decorate

Black walls are boring if they don’t have scary decorations to accompany them. This is where your theme comes into play. Decorate in accordance to the theme you are going for. Do not be afraid to craft your own decorations. Hang cob webs, spiders, and ghosts throughout. Place slimy items in your house and make your guests feel around. This texture addition will be sure to frighten them.

5. Ask Your Friends to Help

In addition to the decorations that haunt your visitors, using your friends or family as characters in your haunted house adds the live element. Their participation lets them sneak up or chase people. They can play with props or fake weapons. Live participants add surprise and shock when they pop out at you.

While they may be scary, haunted houses are amusing. We roam the streets on Halloween night hoping to find the busiest looking house, because busy houses are the exciting ones. They are the homes you hear laughing or screaming coming from when you are over a block away. In following these basic suggestions along with adding your own unique flare, your haunted house is sure to be the one everyone lines up for.

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When is it Time to Remodel?

When is it Time to Remodel?

As life goes on, adaptation is not only inevitable, but necessary. Sometimes, certain life events call for changes to your home. You can take advantage of these situations, big or small, as they tend to be the right times to start a home remodeling project.

When a Baby is on the Way

Is your family going to grow? Perhaps you have a decent sized home, but have not felt the need to convert your cluttered spare bedroom into a living space. Once a baby is one the way, it’s time! Babies need their own nurseries, and timing for constructing one is important. Plan for the remodel in the early months of pregnancy, so you are not overwhelmed when it is crunch time later on.

When your Child is Going Off to College

If you have always wanted a guest bedroom, there is no better time to make this happen than when one of your own leaves the nest to flock off to college. Transform your child’s old room into a lovely guest room for grandparents, aunt/uncles, or friends to stay when they visit. If your master bedroom shares a wall with a soon-to-be-empty room, perhaps you want to knock it down and expand your space. Give yourself that bigger bathroom you have always imagined, or that massive walk in closet.

When you Plan on Selling your Home

A perfect time to remodel is when you are planning to sell your home. While changing things up right before you leave might seem counterintuitive, the benefits will be obvious once you get prospective buyers. Some projects can be timely, but a successful remodel adds value to your home. If you redo a bathroom or kitchen before placing your home on the market, you can expect more potential buyers, since they won’t be inheriting any fix-it projects.

When High DWP Bills are Breaking Your Bank

Are you spending too much on AC, heating, and energy bills? It is probably because home is not well insulated. This is the case with many homes built in the sixties. The more conducive your home is to saving energy, the cheaper it will be to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

When your Income or Savings Has Increased

“Sweetie, I just got a raise!” Any increase in income is a joyous time for homeowners, because owning and maintaining a home is so costly. Each year, homeowners should apply the 1% rule: this rule of thumb tells you to spend 1% of your purchased cost back into your home every year. Small things like painting the interior and exterior are often forgotten because it is not as immediately important as fixing something that is broken. When you save a little extra cash, you are afforded the luxury to make some home improvements.

If you find yourself at any of these points in life, you might consider starting a remodeling project of some kind. Whether it is a revamped kitchen, an addition, or simple home maintenance, Sea Pointe Construction can help you adapt to this new chapter of your life with a home remodel. Visit our showroom in Orange County for inspiration, or give us a call for an in-home consultation.

 

Image: © artush/ Dollar Photo Club

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5 Things You Will Find in a Luxury Bathroom

Everyone needs to treat themselves once in a while, some more than others. In recent years, more homeowners are looking to create their own oasis by sprucing up their bathrooms and adding high end amenities. A luxury bathroom will have you feeling like royalty, living among the rich and famous. Here are five things you’ll find in the most upscale bathrooms.

Master bath with tub columns
1. Arched Bathtub Nook
This idea has become popular among bath junkies and Pinterest users alike. Having a sectioned alcove for your bathtub, perhaps with a large window overlooking a beautiful view, makes a soak in the tub feel extra special. It lets you tuck away even further into your relaxation oasis of a bathroom, and really escape from the outside world. Adding shelving or flat surface area around the tub is always a good idea, so that you can place scented candles, a stereo, or any other items to help enhance the calming ambiance.

2. Heated Floors
Stepping out of a warm tub onto cold tile? Not for the indulgent folk who appreciate a luxury bathroom! Heated floors will keep your zen mood afloat even after exiting the bath or shower… or even when you’re stepping into the bathroom first thing in the morning. Don’t be jolted awake by cold feet.

3. Rainfall Shower
It seems that the bigger the shower, the fancier it is. But of course, one small showerhead cannot cover the extra square feet in a true luxury shower. The new craze: rainfall showers. Installed into or just below the ceiling, rainfall showers deliver a vertical stream of water down onto you. They can cover more ground for larger, or shared, showers.

4. Sauna
If you have the extra room, a sauna is a must-have for anybody who appreciates a true spa-like feel to their bathroom. If you don’t have the room, then make some! A sauna is worth knocking down extra walls for. There will not be any need to run to your gym to break a sweat. Your own private sauna means no strangers (or their sweat), and complete privacy.

5. Fireplaces
Fireplaces are not just for the living room, anymore! Cozy up your bathroom by installing one right near your tub or vanity. Spruce your hearth up even further by adding a flat screen TV. Just imagine: a lighthearted movie paired with a glass of wine and a jet tub. Now that’s heaven.

Is splurging on a luxury bathroom worth it? If you lead a busy life and appreciate an indulgent night winding down, you will probably enjoy the investment. While it will take some work, the outcome will be rewarding.

Stop by the Sea Pointe Construction headquarters in Orange County for bathroom design ideas and to consult with our construction specialists. We can help you turn your home into your dream home… including a dream bathroom.

 

Image: © pics721 / Dollar Photo Club

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