Residential Solar Electric Power Systems - What They Are September 4, 2009Posted by katybugarin in : Spray Insulation , comments closed
This is a question you probably have a vague answer to. While you may have known or heard about solar, in most parts of the world, it is still rarely used to supply electricity to homes.
Basically, such an energy system makes use of the earth’s natural resource, the sun to provide the necessary power to meet the needs of your home. Whether it is to run the TV, fridge, washing machine, dish washer or any electrical appliances, you will need a source of electricity. A solar electric power system that is customized for your residence is up to the task.
Every solar panel system is powered by the sun naturally by using the inherent ability of photovoltaic cells to capture the energy. Once captured, they then convert it into electricity which is either used to instantly run the household appliances or stored in batteries for later use.
Residential solar electric power systems are often grouped into 2 types, namely grid-tied or off-grid. Grid-tied simply means that your system is interconnected with the local utility grid in the neighborhood. This allows your home to have all the necessary electricity to meet your daily demands 24 hours round the clock.
In times of maintenance of your residential renewable energy plant, your household appliances will draw power from the grid. This can happen also when there is a surge in demands at home which effectively exceeds the existing reserves. The only disadvantage is that you have to continue to pay your electric bills. That said, for states that have a net metering policy, utility companies will actually pay you for whatever electricity you supplied to the neighborhood.
The other is the off-grid residential solar electric power system. This as you can guess by now is a standalone one. What this simply means is that you are totally on your own. The biggest advantage is that you do not need to rely on the utility company and hence pay them zero bills. You also do not have to suffer the outages which can be quite frequent in certain states and cities.
Living off-grid is a model of green living. However, during times of winter or cloudy days, your family will have to rely purely on reserves which were previously stored. This can be quite a crunch which may require you to exercise great prudence in usage.
By now, you have a much better understanding of residential solar electric power systems than most people do. So, are you considering one for the home?
Tired of high electric bills? Discover how thousands of families are using homemade solar power systems to power their homes!
Spray in Foam Insulation, Inc, Foam Insulation Contractor that specializes in open cell foam, closed cell foam and hybrid foam systems.
DIY Spray Foam Insulation at Better Foam
Low cost supplier of DIY spray foam insulation kits, refillable spray foam systems, foam insulation safety equipment and accessories.
The Future in Spray Foam Insulation Our 10th Anniversary celebration is as much about the future as the past. In the past decade, we have been honored as an industry leader for
YouTube - Spray Foam Insulation - The Intelligent Choice
Spray Foam Insulation is the most energy efficient product you can install in your home, allowing you to lower your heating & cooling energy usage by 50-60%, compared to
Spray Foam Insulation Utah UT - Foam Insulation & Roofing Contractors
Spray Foam Utah UT Wall Foam Insulation, Equipment and Suppliers - Local SPF Installers and Contractors
Your house walls may not be as protective as you d like to think. You will not be protected against pests, sound, and weather without some other form of help. This requires a barrier. Insulation can be found in most homes, but they are not always equal. Insulation made of fiberglass was used often in homes that were built many years ago. Fiberglass insulation may be inexpensive to install but it also doesn t work that well and contributes to high heating bills. In addition, being exposed to f
Useful Bits Of Tips To Follow When Selecting Attic Insulation
When buying attic insulation , first figure out what type of R value you need for your area. It s most often the case that the insulation with a high R value is heavy and thick. The climatic condition of your locality will be a major decisive factor in arriving at your R value. The R value rating will vary as much as the different types of insulation that are available. Before purchasing insulation, it would be wise to research the type of insulation that will have the R value needed for the
Build Green For the Environment September 3, 2009Posted by katybugarin in : Spray Insulation , comments closed
Sustainable, or green building, is a structure that is designed, built, renovated, operated, or reused in an ecological and resource-efficient manner. Green building plans are designed to meet certain objectives and use key resources such as using materials, energy, water, and other resources more efficiently while reducing the overall impact to the environment. By utilizing more natural light, better air quality, wind turbines, solar panels, insulation alternatives, and water storage tanks, a well designed home will contribute to improved efficiency, health, and comfort in your home.
Green Building Financial Benefits
Typically, a green building will cost more up front, but saves through lower energy costs over the life of the building. The up-front expenditure will be absorbed over time by the project life cycle cost analysis. The benefits include energy and water savings, reduced waste, and lower operation and maintenance costs.
These and other cost savings can only be fully realized when they are incorporated at the project’s conceptual design phase with the assistance of an integrated team of professionals. The integrated systems approach ensures that the building is designed as one system rather than a collection of stand-alone systems.
Even with a tight budget you can incorporate many green building measures which can be incorporated with minimal or zero increased up-front costs and they can yield enormous savings over the project life.
Start by selecting a site well suited to take advantage of solar exposure, and suitable area for the size of building proposed to minimize disturbance of the environment to protect and retain existing landscaping and natural features. A custom home plan can be set partially into the ground which helps to cool the building in the summer, and in the winter once you get below the frost line the temperature is constant year-round and tends to be warmer than the air outside. Protect and retain existing landscaping and natural features. Select plants that have low water and pesticide needs, and generate minimum plant trimmings. Use compost and mulches. This will save water and time. Water can be collected from the roof in cisterns for landscape irrigation.
Reducing Energy Consumption
Buildings have the potential to reach energy efficiency levels exceeding far beyond California Title 24 standards, yet most only strive to meet the standard due to upfront costs.
Passive design strategies can dramatically affect building energy performance. These measures include window placement, building placement and orientation, passive solar design, and the use of natural lighting. By orienting a building toward the south(running it east-west), and creating significant southern exposure , you can take advantage of the sun’s energy to heat a building in the winter. When sunlight hits a buildings mass or enters through the windows it passively heats the building and the air inside by not using mechanical means such as solar panels.
Install high-efficiency lighting systems with advanced lighting controls. Include motion sensors tied to dimmable lighting controls. Task lighting reduces general overhead light levels.
Use a properly sized and energy-efficient heat/cooling system in conjunction with a thermally efficient building shell. Maximize light colors for roofing and wall finish materials; install high R-value wall and ceiling insulation such as spray-in foam; and use minimal glass on east and west exposures.
Consider alternative energy sources such as photovoltaics and fuel cells that are now available in new products and applications. Geothermal heating and cooling is the most energy efficient and cost effective way to heat and cool your building, and it can take care of all your domestic hot water needs at the same time. Geothermal systems use the heat of the earth underground to heat water that is in turn used to heat the building, or in the summer to dump the heat from a building underground to cool it.
Select sustainable construction materials and products by evaluating several characteristics such as reused and recycled content, zero or low off gassing of harmful air emissions, zero or low toxicity, sustainably harvested materials, high recyclability, durability, longevity, and local production.
It is fairly easy to implement simple systems for recycling and reusing water on your own property, drastically decreasing the demands on shared supplies, and in turn, reducing your water bill.
Design for dual plumbing to use recycled water for toilet flushing or a gray water system that recovers rainwater or other nonpotable water for site irrigation.
Minimize wastewater by using ultra low-flush toilets, low-flow shower heads, and other water conserving fixtures. Use re-circulating systems for centralized hot water distribution and install point-of-use hot water heating systems for more distant locations.
Kenneth Wittels is a successful Engineer and Building Designer, primarily focused on structural design of homes in mountainous areas with heavy snow loading and seismic concerns. To view more projects related to this subject visit:
If you have partially impaired hearing and are searching for a good hearing aid price you must know first hand that the most lavish and expensive choice will not necessarily be the best for you. On the flipside of this the cheapest does not mean you are getting a low quality product either.
Single, Doubled Or Multi Storied Town Homes September 3, 2009Posted by katybugarin in : Spray Insulation , comments closed
Town homes also go by the name of row houses. Single storied town homes and double storied or multi storied town homes are seen in a row. It is because of this the term row houses have been coined.
Typically a town home is attached with other dwellings in the row, with common walls. The open space in the front and back is also shared. This of course means that privacy is somewhat hampered, but the pros of town homes outnumber the cons. It is now easy to under stand what exactly is a town home: it is a house which is attached to the neighbouring houses of similar nature.
Town homes offer a sense of freedom. With highly populated cities in the world small condominiums and smaller apartments have become the norm for people to live in. Bigger apartments have prohibitive cost without the benefits of town homes. This does not mean that town homes are cheaper. These houses can be double and multiple storied in a small unit, or be a part of a huge town house complex.
The owners have to contribute to the maintenance of the common spaces, but it ensures the usage of those spaces by all. Town homes are very secure, at least, more secure than individual apartments. Being in close proximity with one s neighbour is the key to such security.
Small complexes of town homes do not have luxury items, like swimming pool or indoor play ground, bigger complexes offer these facilities. As mentioned earlier town homes may not offer complete privacy to the owner. There can be restrictions on decorating the exteriors or the garden.
The architecture of town homes vary from having a very modern look, or traditional. These homes can be rented. Ideal for small families or just couples, one can rent a town home in suitable locations. Details about available homes can be had from agencies. It is better to see a couple of town homes before deciding to rent one. The amenities are the same for both the owners and persons renting a home.
It is generally noticed that this type of dwellings are situated away from the heart of a city. Pure and sylvan surroundings make the stay in a town home very pleasurable. Open spaces in and around the house add to the general feeling of wellbeing and being one with nature. This is a privilege city dwellers always miss.
Master Pack is an industrial chemical specialist focusing on urethane foam and epoxies. They specialize in spray foam insulation, custom foam packaging and floral applications.
Affordable Spray Foam Insulation | affordablesprayfoaminsulation.com
Affordable Spray Foam Insulation & Coatings is the leader in low-cost, high quality spray foam insulation. Equipped with the latest technology and a wide assortment of spray foam
Spray Foam Insulation Massachusetts MA - Foam Insulation & Roofing
Spray Foam Massachusetts MA Wall Foam Insulation, Equipment and Suppliers - Local SPF Installers and Contractors
DIY Spray Foam Insulation at Better Foam
Low cost supplier of DIY spray foam insulation kits, refillable spray foam systems, foam insulation safety equipment and accessories.
SprayFoam.comGuardian Building Products Announces Spray Foam Alliance with …SprayFoam.comGuardian's spray foam products consist of GuardFoam 55, a closed cell and open cell spray insulation. Both systems meet Class I credentials and will …
Weatherization Project Using Spray Foam Insulation Benefits Kids … - SprayFoam.com
Weatherization Project Using Spray Foam Insulation Benefits Kids …SprayFoam.comThe project called for, and Tridon Industries installed, 2 of closed-cell spray polyurethane foam insulation to approx. 15000 sq. ft. of interior space and …Tridon Industries Prospers Despite Recession Woes and Expands …Emediawire (press release)all 2 news articles »
California Couple Constructs Rainforest Exhibit Out of Spray Foam - SprayFoam.com
SprayFoam.comCalifornia Couple Constructs Rainforest Exhibit Out of Spray FoamSprayFoam.comAlthough these kits are usually used for residential or commercial insulation, one was recently used for a more unique purpose. Clayton and Elaine Everett …
Helping Elders With Home Improvement Projects - Money, Skills, Decisions, and Teamwork August 31, 2009Posted by katybugarin in : Spray Insulation , comments closed
Extended family can be of great help when facing bigger situations. And rebuilding the Home Team is just an excellent way to start the New Year. You can be part of her extended Home Team, and other relatives may join in too.
You can start by talking with your own partner and see what time and resources are available within your means. Then you can approach your Aunt’s own children to see how your offer might fit in with their help plans. Then you can take the resulting help package to your Aunt to see how she likes the picture. Doing the talking stepwise first will build harmony in your extended Home Team and will also help keep things realistic.
So - Auntie may need cellar work, yard help, and roof situations fixed. Likely an older house has both necessary maintenance as well as a wish list of modernizations. You will want to start with the necessities and see what can be done first to make sure she is safe and warm for the winter. You can learn about wider priorities as you involve yourself and start a list of projects that could be tackled later that would maintain or improve the property.
In an extended Home Team, people may be reluctant to jump in out of fear. Fear of getting hurt, of spending too much money, of being depended upon. These can be dealt with by the Home Team by talking together about methods and plans.
An elderly person often has limited funds and many house needs. Many times the danger for novice DIY work must be balanced with available money for hiring a professional. What can you do if you are not competent to do the repairs safely yourself? There are plenty of options. You can carefully assess the situation and do preparation work so that the pro can have an easier shot at the project. You can also offer to help the pro or take up the low skill portions of the task like debris disposal or clearing the worksite.
You can also find someone on your Home Team to handle some of the different tasks of interacting with a pro. Perhaps one person can call to find available contractors and check their references. Another knowledgeable adult can do the interactions with the pro to set the terms and scope of the task. That one can follow through with all contractor communications and make sure things are finished within agreed upon terms. This can be a great help to an elder person who might not be current with the terms and technology in use today.
So what about the stuff you do want to tackle your self? I’ve got to emphasize that talking with the extended Home Team will build good will, while jumping into projects at your Aunt’s without that step can cause turmoil in the family. So, how about a weeknight meal or coffee to go over the needs and possibilities? Some members may have money, others skill, and others neither. Well, everybody has something to offer, even if it is cookies and good will. All ingredients help the team move forward.
Some of the less handy folks can do preparation or hospitality work for the project. Vacuuming a cobweb filled cellar takes little skill, just determination and coveralls - ooh, especially the head. Getting literature for available materials from local suppliers, planning hospitality to feed a crew on work day - all are helpful and move the team along.
The knowledgeable team members may need a little pow-wow time themselves to plan the intricacies of the job. Providing the time, space and food for that meeting is a help. Taking notes for them, making calls, looking things up as they need it, can promote forward momentum.
Communicating with your Aunt is important, giving her choices and options, finding out about her budget, and assuring her that she need not feel guilty accepting help, since she has helped you all so many ways over the years.
You may end up having some tough conversations with either your Aunt or her children about what the future may bring for her life and her home situation. Since the real tough parts rest with them, you can still be of help in being understanding and gently realistic in your discussions. They will appreciate your supportive attitude now, and even later if they have to face awkward moves along the way.
You may get a call from your cousin to bounce ideas off you they are contemplating. Don’t worry; they just want to hear your realistic and loving perspective. It will not be up to you to rescue, but to listen. That builds comfort for them and confidence in how they can handle things. The extended Home Team provides a comfortable light for the members to see loving and realistic solutions. Dr Debi says, “Enjoy your extended family and Happy Home Team!”
Dr Debi Warner is a Clinical Psychologist with a lifetime of home renovating in her toolbelt. Dr Warner invented RenovationPsychology to help renovators. With three decades of family practice, Dr Debi saw many situations gone awry, so she focused her expertise on developing the skills and teamwork that will help people fully enjoy their home projects, for true home improvement. See more about how to harmonize your Home Team at http://www.RenovationPsychology.com
One of the prizewinning membranes acquirable to protect your concern is Calif. spray foam…. All the newborn and matured houses are substantially armored with Calif. spray sparkle different older… and innocuous as another detachment spray foams. That crapper protect you from every category of defy conditions. These spray foams essentially turn the expiration of modify from the antiquity thusly making… a blockade in between intrinsic and outmost walls of our house. Actually this Calif. spray sparkle contains
The Building Envelope August 31, 2009Posted by katybugarin in : Spray Insulation , comments closed
What is a Building Envelope?
A building envelope is the separation between the interior and the exterior environments of a building. It serves as the outer shell to protect the indoor environment as well as to facilitate its climate control. Building envelope design is a specialized area of architectural and engineering practice that draws from all areas of building science and indoor climate control.
Building envelope design includes four major performance objectives:
- Structural integrity
- Moisture control
- Temperature control
- Control of air pressure boundaries of sorts
Control of air includes air movement through the components of the building envelope (interstitial) itself, as well as into and out of the interior space, which affects building insulation greatly.
The physical components of the envelope include the foundation, roof, walls, doors and windows. The dimensions, performance and compatibility of materials, fabrication process and details, their connections and interactions are the main factors that determine the effectiveness and durability of the building enclosure system.
Common measures of the effectiveness of a building envelope include physical protection from weather and climate (comfort), indoor air quality (hygiene and public health), durability and energy efficiency. In order to achieve these objectives, all building enclosure systems must include a solid structure, a drainage plane, an air barrier, a thermal barrier, and may include a vapor barrier. Moisture control is essential in cold climates.
What is a Vapour Barrier?
A vapour barrier is an impermeable membrane that blocks the flow of air through the building envelope. A vapor barrier is an essential part of the building envelope. Because the purpose of a vapor barrier is not obvious, this important component is often omitted or installed incorrectly. The main purpose of a vapor barrier is preventing the passage of the water vapor that is contained in air. Vapor barriers and the insulation affect each other. They must both be installed so that they interact beneficially rather than harmfully.
In Orillia, the climate is cold, so the vapour barrier is installed on the interior of the house. This prevents moisture from entering the wall cavity, passing through the insulation where it meets the cold wall. Moist warm air, when coming into contact with cold, will create moisture, this is the Dew Point. The vapour barrier, 6 mm in Ontario, is required to prevent moisture in your walls where mould and moisture damage will take place. In tropical climates the reverse would be true. You would want to prevent moist warm air coming into your wall cavity from the exterior and contacting air conditioned cool air, creating moisture in your insulation.
House Wrap - What it Does
House wrap is a breathable membrane installed directly over your home’s plywood or OSB (oriented strand board) sheathing, underneath the exterior finish.
House wrap has been around for over 30 years - since the 1970s energy crisis. It became a hot commodity back when R-2000 homes were introduced to the market in Canada in the 1980s and is now required by code in many cities.
The most commonly used house wraps are made of threads of vinyl on the inside surface of a synthetic sheet. There are also newer types, in a spray-on elastomeric version, that aren’t as common in use.
House wrap works in several important ways. The membrane stops direct moisture, like rainwater from penetrating the plywood or OSB sheathing on the outside of your home, yet allows water vapour from within to migrate outside. Don’t forget, we create a lot of moisture inside by living in the house - breathing, showering, doing the laundry, cooking. Moisture vapour that gets into your wall cavities must be allowed to escape back out through the house wrap, or it will rot the studs and wood inside and lead to mould.
House wrap also stops outside air from penetrating the home. But it is not airtight: It is a breathable membrane. House wrap has no insulation value, but it improves energy efficiency by preventing air leakage. So, it helps retain heat in winter and retains cool, air-conditioned air in summer.
The synthetic house-wrap system replaces the old-fashioned tarpaper membrane used on some older homes, though many older homes only had sheathing without tar paper. Wrap is much more effective and durable and comes in larger rolls than tar paper, making this step of the building process much more cost-effective for a builder.
House wrap comes in a nine-foot-long roll, which helps to avoid seams and gives you a continuous sheet with minimal seams and overlaps. It takes two men less than a day to wrap a small house, with only a stapler and a roll of Tuck Tape. But it isn’t a job for just anyone. It takes experienced contractors to do the job properly and efficiently.
There must be a minimum six-inch to 12-inch overlap at all joints. Every - and I mean every - hole and overlap is sealed tight with tape. If the taping isn’t done properly, the system won’t be effective and you will have air movement and the possibility of water damage.
Details like wrapping the membrane around window and door openings are important, too. Taking the membrane into the inside edge of the frame, which will be covered by window and door trim, guarantees an airtight envelope - providing your contractor does a good job of spraying foam insulation around all windows and doors. The same applies for any accidental tears or holes.
Let’s face it, on a busy construction site, accidents happen.
Don’t let your contractor start covering the house wrap with the external sheathing until you are satisfied every opening is taped over.
Once the house is properly wrapped up in its new windbreaker, it’s all right to apply the finishing layer, the outside coat.
Without this breathable membrane, moisture would collect on the underside of your wood, brick, vinyl or metal siding, as well as on the outside surface of the plywood. In time, this can lead to mould and wood rot, and very expensive repairs.
Buildings using foamed insulation are not required to have vapour barriers installed as the foam is considered to meet the requirements of the Ontario Building Code.
Problems with Building Envelope
The majority of water intrusion through the envelope occurs at material transitions and changes-in-plane. Doors, windows, skylights, electrical boxes, plumbing penetrations, HVAC penetrations and sloppy workmanship are all common causes of breakdowns in your building envelope.
Written by Roger Frost
Roger Frost is a professional home inspector who has been a registered builder with HUDAC and is also a member of the Ontario Building Officials Association. He has obtained all five building certification courses for Part 9, the House, which covers every aspect of building a home and also has some Part 3 Code courses for Commercial inspections. The Barrie Home inspector also offers Free Wett certification with every inspection. Call 705-795-8255 anytime 24/7 to book your “Risk Free” home inspection
Title: Spray Foam Insulation For Existing Homes, Category: Home Management, Author: Andrew Stratton, PubDate: 2009-07-24.Spray Insulation , comments closed
A long time ago, before the invention of the smoke detector by Swiss scientists back in the 1940 era, the best protection from smoke or fire was either a cat or dog. These friends of ours are very sensitive to smoke and will either bark or meow loudly while running back and forth in the home. Some didn’t with dire consequences.
There are two types of smoke detectors in use today. One is an optical detector that detects large particles of debris from a slowly burning or smoldering fire. The second type is the ionization detector which detects minute particles form fast burning blazes.
Either type may be powered by battery or electric current. It is a good idea to have both set up in your home and you should have at least one installed on each level of your home. Better yet, place one in every room. They are inexpensive sentinels that can save you life and those of your family.
Visit your local hardware store and you will be amazed at the variety of detectors offered and on display. The big question is, how do you know which is best. Probably your best source of information on this subject will come form review sites. Take some time to check the reviews before purchasing.
Recently a friend told me about an apartment fire in his building. The fire began when a heavy drapery was installed above an electric baseboard heater. The drape was too long and covered most of the heater. A small capillary switch became confused by the thermostat calling for more heat and the heaters inability to dispense the heat properly. It did this switching on and off rapidly for 14 hours before sparks began when the insulation burned off from the heat. The sparks started a fire on the drape and the rest is history.
Following the fire management checked the rest of the apartments in the building and found that over 30 percent had their batteries disconnected. Further inquiries found that each renter had replaced the battery in his/her unit during the past few months. The question then was, why did the detectors not work when checked?
Everyone had the same story. They had checked their detectors, found the batteries were dead and replaced them. They opened the detector cover, placed the new battery in the space provided, the detector beeped a few times. They closed the covers and went to bed secure in their belief that they were safe. Little did they know they were totally without protection from smoke.
Anyone who has ever placed a 9V battery in any apparatus will have discovered that the batteries do not simply slide into the leads but must be squeezed onto the leads with quite a bit of force otherwise they will not make a good connection.
Through trial and error, management found that because of the confined area within the small detectors a finger could not be inserted to hold the battery lead while trying to push the battery onto the leads. Because of this the battery would touch the leads at first, causing the alarm to sound. The cover was then closed but the connection was still not made.
Management then made the effort to educate all of the residents so that they would be safe in the future. Play it safe. If you are not sure your smoke detector works properly, ask anyone for assistance. Don’t take a chance with your life.
Joe and Irma Mac Millan have enjoyed the Whistler Mountain and valley area of British Columbia for many years. They have camped, hiked and skied the mountains and fished and kayaked the rivers and lakes. Their website is a must for anyone considering a trip to Whistler as well as the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. They invite one and all to take a look.
It pays to be energy efficient. That’s what the town is discovering as it prepares to receive a $90,000 grant from the Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE) for its work on Rodeo Place Phase 1.
Ten Green Home Improvement Resolutions You Must Make Now
When January 1 rolls around every year, we all make some great resolutions to improve ourselves.
Tridon Industries Prospers Despite Recession Woes and Expands Installation Services
Since 1998, Tridon has made a name for itself installing masonry foam and spray polyurethane insulation in commercial and residential buildings.
Five Tips For Buying a Home August 30, 2009Posted by katybugarin in : Spray Insulation , comments closed
There is probably no better way to become aware of the condition of a home than to have your home inspected by a licensed inspector. However, there are several considerations on which only you, as the purchaser, can decide. And, as I’ve said in other articles, it’s my belief there are some things you must do yourself: Manage your money. Raise your children. And, also… purchase your home!
1. Location, location, location…
Probably the most important factor is that your new neighborhood is a good fit. Take some time to drive around the area and make sure you like it. Check out the traffic at rush hour - if the home you like is on a main street, make sure the traffic noise won’t be a problem for you.
Additional location considerations might include: Where are the closest schools? Having schools nearby can be great if you have young children yourself. It can be rather annoying with noise or traffic, if you don’t! Does the lot back to a wash? If you have cats or a small dog, they might be at risk to urban coyotes and other wildlife. Is there an alley? Alleys have both positive and negative features. They provide a buffer between you and the back neighbor, but they also give opportunities for clandestine behavior since they are relatively private.
You might want to check the crime statistics for the area, something you can find by googling “neighborhood crime data” along with the community of your choice. You may also go to the county sex offender registry and make sure you are comfortable with your neighbors. In the Phoenix area, this information is on the Sheriff’s web site at http://www.mcso.org.
Check into nearby vacant lots. You never know when the lot your kids play on will be developed into something you might not want to have as a neighbor. You can find out who owns lots through the tax assessor web site; for Maricopa County it is http://www.maricopa.gov/assessor/
You can find your assessor using google or your favorite search engine. Usually there is a way to search by map, and you might enter the address of the property you are interested in purchasing, then use the map to see what zoning and who the owners are of vacant lots. Generally your Realtor will do these things for you, if you ask.
You can even ask your Realtor to speak with your potential new neighbors. Find out if there is any unreported crime; ask if there is a rock band that practices all afternoon. Find out if there is a problem neighbor at whose address the police have a reserved parking spot. Ask the immediate neighbors if they plan any major remodeling or additions. This could lead to a year of construction vehicles and noise from sunrise to sunset. A few minutes of due diligence can prevent an unhappy ownership situation.
Make sure the lot has good features; i.e. not located in a flood area, and not the lowest lot in the area (sure to be 3 inches deep in water every time it rains). Generally this is not a big issue because most municipalities will not give a building permit for such areas.
2. What do I really need…?
The home you pick should meet whatever needs you or your family have. Think about the future. Having kids? Already have kids? Kids leaving? Getting married? How big a home do you need, how many bedrooms and bathrooms? For later resale, the most popular single family home is a 3 bedroom 2 bath home. Homes with only 1 bathroom or only 2 bedrooms are more difficult to sell than the more standard 3/2.
Take the family and spend a little time in the home. Spend a couple hours, especially during the morning or afternoon rush hour. Make sure the noise and activity levels are acceptable, and make sure the home has all the conveniences you like.
When I purchased my latest home, I replaced all the built-in appliances; they were more than 10 years old. I also like a gas stove, and our property has no gas, so I had a gas stove installed with a small propane tank outside. A 3 gallon tank lasts a year. This total expense was around $5,000 including having the line and tank professionally installed for the propane. The convenience of new appliances and a gas stove makes a huge difference in the utility and resale value of the home, at a modest cost.
Is a pool important? Somewhere to relax on those hot summer weekends? Be sure to inspect the pool closely, using a professional inspector. Pool maintenance can be quite expensive and time consuming. I personally do not have a pool service, instead I have an automatic chlorinator and an automatic pool sweeper. These items are a significant up front expense, but can yield years of virtually maintenance free pool enjoyment. Insist that all pool equipment be in excellent working condition.
3. Last year’s remodel… this year’s nightmare?
Many older homes may have been converted from a one bath to a two-bath home. You can usually tell. Make a careful inspection and see if this was done.
Sometimes a master bath has been divided and made into two bathrooms. If the remodel was done well and permitted (a permit was obtained from the municipality), this is a better situation than a poorly done, unpermitted change. You can often find permit information at the city planning office.
Sometimes additional square footage has been added to a home, either by converting the garage into a bedroom or office, or by enclosing the patio. Telltale signs of this might be: No garage, or a garage door that is still there but has no purpose; a slanting floor (garage floors and patios often slant to provide drainage); unusually low ceilings in one room; no air conditioning vents in the room; an outdoor carriage light on the wall of the room; a room with one cinderblock wall and 3 wood frame walls.
Some homes built with a carport have had the carport enclosed. This is an inexpensive and useful remodel, provided it was done correctly and with the proper permits. Things to check for: A window from the house into the garage; garage door is not self closing and/or is not a solid core door; one garage wall is block, the other walls frame; no power outlets on the garage walls except on the back wall.
Look at the flooring in the home. Flooring is an upgrade many homeowners attempt on their own, but without sufficient skills. Often before selling, owners will rip out old carpeting and install laminate wood flooring. Look for the seams in the laminate; one of the more difficult things for the unskilled installer is to plan the job appropriately so that the seams in the flooring come out right, with no gaps. Further, many installations run right up to the baseboard - sometimes there are two baseboards, the old original and then the new baseboard to cover the gaps from the flooring!
The proper installation is generally to remove the old baseboards so that the flooring is seamless from wall to wall and only a single baseboard is installed. New baseboards should be installed - this minor step costs little and makes a big difference. You can often see a discoloration at the bottom of the old baseboard where the carpet used to be. And, most do-it-yourselfers are not good at mitering the corners and fitting the baseboards perfectly. Just look at the joints and the corners - you will be able to tell, easily, whether the installation was done well.
Tile is another homeowner do-it-yourself favorite, and again, without the proper skills, the job can look terrible close up. Uneven levels in the tiles, grout lines that are not straight, and poorly done corners are just a few examples. Just look at the work, you will be able to tell whether it was done professionally or not.
Finally, look for additions. This is often evidenced by one part of the home leaning away from another part - look at where outside walls meet. Look at joints in the outside walls and see if they are pulling away from each other. Look at the flooring in the home at the same point; if there is carpeting, it is harder to tell, but sometimes the addition will have a different slope from the main part of the house.
For information about remodel work, trust your home inspector. This sort of thing is often more cosmetic, but might make a big difference upon resale.
4. Who built the ark? OR….
How is the home constructed? Some older homes are slump block (in the Phoenix area), and this is a wonderful thing, as the utility bills will be substantially less than for a frame house. These homes stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
While my personal favorite construction is slump block, a close second would be block homes. With these homes, you may find the cable TV companies complain when they have to drill through the block to add an outlet! Block or brick, or some form of masonry, can provide a strong, stable framework that has inherently good insulating qualities.
For some time, homes were literally built by framing the home, wrapping it with insulation and chicken wire, and then using a gunite machine to spray stucco on the outside. I know I am not characterizing this very well, but it is probably the bargain basement construction method. Unless this process is completed carefully, the stucco can develop cracks. Newer homes are built with framing, then engineered wood (plywood or particle board), then insulation and stucco. This is much more stable than chicken wire over framing!
Any of these construction methods, done properly, are acceptable. My opinion is that the risk of problems is lower with masonry of some sort, although most homes in the Phoenix are frame/wood construction.
When I bought my most recent home, I did not check any of the electrical outlets. The inspector verified that they worked, but the brand used by the contractor must have been the very cheapest, because none of them will hold onto a plug - the spring action is so weak that the plug literally falls out of the outlets. I spent a day changing almost every outlet in the house.
Similarly, look at the valves under the sink and toilet. Make sure the lines are copper and not galvanized. Galvanized pipe, installed in the 70’s, will almost surely be rusty and possibly leaking now, 35-40 years later. Insist on a repipe to copper at the seller’s expense. Have your inspector make sure the plumbing is copper.
I like to make sure the inspector checks the shut off valves under the sinks and toilets, because in older homes, they are often frozen and impossible to use. If there is any evidence of leaking, have the seller replace them with new, preferably 90 degree cut off valves, which are less prone to freezing. When you have to have your sink or toilet worked on, you won’t have to shut off water to the entire house for half a day.
5. Rules, rules and more rules…
Your Realtor should make sure you get a copy of any Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions commonly known as CC&Rs These are rules associated with a property which are part of the deed and run with the land. You should also request a copy of the HomeOwner’s Association or HOA rules which govern your property. Some HOAs restrict the color and type of plants you have in pots on your patio. Some only care that your driveway be free of grease stains. Regardless, make sure you understand every rule. Is renting allowed? Are pets allowed? Can you park on the street in front of your home? Can you keep a boat in the back yard? Are evaporative coolers permitted? All these things and more can be regulated by the HOA or by the CC&Rs.
HOA information is provided either by the homeowner (in smaller communities) or by the association (in larger communities). CCR information is recorded, at the public recorder’s office, and should be made available to you either by your Realtor or by the title/escrow company.
Either way, your Realtor should make sure you understand exactly what they say, what your obligations are for living in the property. These are just 5 quick tips of many, many more things that might be important to you when you buy a home. Other things to think about (this list is by no means complete):
- Cost of homeowner’s insurance
- Utility costs
- Garbage pickup / bulk pickup
- Neighborhood watch
- Internet service
- Cable TV
- Street condition, paving
- Security system
- Paint condition
- Driveway condition
- Roof condition
- Age of air conditioners
- Septic or sewer?
- Age of faucets and other fixtures and their condition
- Type of electrical wiring (aluminum, copper?), electrical panel, breakers
- Condition of shower enclosure and tub area (mold?)
- Insurance claims history
- Street utility manhole in front of house?
- Distance to fire hydrant?
- Water pressure?
- Condition of watering system for grass, shrubs?
Finding the perfect home for you and your family should be an enjoyable experience. I hope these guidelines will help you in your search and home buying experience!
Patrick Harvey is an Associate Broker with Century 21 Premier in Mesa, Arizona. Mr. Harvey is an experienced foreclosure and short sale Realtor. For more info, see http://www.azshortsales.biz
In addition to short sales, Mr. Harvey also works as a buyer’s agent, at no charge to the buyer, and additionally provides Real Estate consulting services. Contact Mr. Harvey at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (480) 390-7369
How to Remove Popcorn Ceiling Texture? (Residential) August 29, 2009Posted by katybugarin in : Spray Insulation , comments closed
Removing popcorn ceiling texture can be less of a chore with the proper tools and techniques. You can also save a decent amount of money if you plan to do-it-yourself. This article describes the proper procedures required to remove popcorn texture as well as getting the ceiling prepared for a new texture or a smooth finish.
Required Tools & Materials:
Eye Protection such as goggles
Pump Sprayer bottle: Typically found in the lawn and garden department at your local home improvement store. ($15-$30ea)
Plastic Sheeting: To be placed over floors and furniture as necessary ($10-$30)
8″ or 10″ Drywall taping knife: Located in the drywall section of your home improvement store.
Lightweight Drywall Joint Compound (It’s typically in a box and is ready to use out of the box):
Located in the drywall section of your home improvement store. ($5-$9 ea.)
Popcorn Texture Removal:
Step 1 - Lay plastic sheeting over all flooring, furniture, and cover all doorways to help prevent the spread of dust. This is an extremely dusty and messy project. No matter how much plastic sheeting you lay down or hang in doorways, the dust will still travel throughout the house. So, your goal is to contain as much as possible. It is highly recommended that you remove as much furniture and belongings from the work area as possible because they will get dusty.
Step 2 - Fill your pump sprayer with water and spray the ceiling starting with about a 6′x6′ area. Let the water penetrate the texture for several minutes. NOTE: if the ceiling was painted with a semi-gloss or gloss paint, spraying water on it will not work sense it will not be able to penetrate the texture. In this situation, you will have to dry scrape as much of the texture off as possible and float (or skim coat) the entire ceiling with a drywall mud compound to smooth it out.
Step 3 - After the popcorn texture has absorbed the water, use your 8″ or 10″ drywall knife and scrape the texture off letting it fall to the floor on your plastic sheeting. All of the texture may not come off. This is normal. But, you should be able to get a majority of it removed.
Step 4 - Once all or most of the texture has been removed, use your drywall knife and some lightweight drywall joint compound to spread a thin (1/16″ to 1/8″) skim coat over any rough spots or areas on the ceiling that may need to be smoothed out. Let the compound dry which can take several hours to 24 hours depending on how thick it is applied as well as the room temperature. The colder it is, the longer it will take to dry.
Step 5 - Once the drywall compound fully dries, sand smooth all areas where you applied the compound. Apply additional skim coats and sand as necessary to obtain a smooth finish.
Step 6 - You can leave the ceiling smooth after completing your skim coats and begin painting. Or you can have the ceiling textured by a Professional. I would recommend you have a Professional take over from here since it requires various texture spraying equipment (i.e. compressor, texture hopper, & texture gun) and someone experienced in spraying or applying textures.
Safety First: Please note that there are some safety concerns when performing this work.
1) Some drywall muds and textures installed in buildings built before 1980 may contain asbestos and buildings built before 1978 may have paint that contains lead. Removing popcorn ceiling texture creates a very dusty work environment, and when the ceiling texture is removed, these lead and asbestos materials will be released in the air. Please consult with your local licensed lead and asbestos abatement contractor prior to starting the work, for testing and/or for abatement.
2) For additional questions regarding lead exposure, please review the “Renovate Right” pamphlet produced by the EPA. epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovaterightbrochure.pdf
3) A dust mask does not qualify as approved personal protective equipment when removing drywall mud and/or textures that contain lead and asbestos.
4) Additionally, do not attempt to remove the popcorn texture if young children or pregnant women are present or living in the house if lead and/or asbestos is a concern.
Spray Foam Nevada NV Wall Foam Insulation, Equipment and Suppliers - Local SPF Installers and Contractors
Spray on insulation for thermal, moisture, sound - Sprefix
Sprefix is spray on insulation material, which is intended for sound absorption, condensation, moisture control, fire protection and thermal insulation.
Spray Foam Insulation Connecticut CT - Foam Home Insulation & Roofing
Spray Foam Connecticut CT Foam Insulation, Equipment and Suppliers - Local SPF Installers and Contractors. Commercial roofing and insulation for attics, walls, floors, basements
YouTube - Spray Foam Insulation - The Intelligent Choice
Spray Foam Insulation is the most energy efficient product you can install in your home, allowing you to lower your heating & cooling energy usage by 50-60%, compared to
Equipment and services for the insulation professional.
Best Practices : Insulation : Spray Foam Insulation: Installation, Tips …
A large percentage of heat escapes through the attic and the walls of a home. However, spray foam insulation can make a big difference.
Blown and Sprayed Insulation
Blown and Sprayed Insulation - Blown-in insulation claims to increase the insulation value of homes by filling voids better than roll or batt insulati
Guardian Energy Technologies
Maker of Foam It Green spray foam insulation kits for residential and commercial projects.
Manufacturers of an environmentally-friendly spray foam insulation that seals the building envelope for energy efficiency.
Uses of Asbestos August 29, 2009Posted by katybugarin in : Spray Insulation , comments closed
Throughout time, asbestos has been used in a variety of contexts. The fiber was originally used by the Greeks who loved it as a fire-proof table cloth that could be tossed in the fire for cleaning whenever it got dirty. Since then, the use of asbestos has expanded into a variety of areas. At the peak of its use and through the late 1980s, asbestos was used in more than 3,000 products in homes.
A large number of products using asbestos are used in construction products. Asbestos is used in various construction components because it is both fireproof and provides insulation. It is excellent for insulating against sound from other room as well as insulating against heat.
Some products in buildings that contain asbestos include:
- Floor tiles and sheet flooring
- Construction putties and mastics
- Decorative plaster or artex
- Acoustic plaster
- Textured paints
- Spray coatings
- Pipework lagging
- Water tanks
- Roofs, gutters, downpipes
- Wall panels
- Door linings
- Floors and walls
- Loft insulation
Asbestos is also used in a variety of industrial compounds and parts of cars. Brake pads, clutch cables, and a number of other items that are subject to heat in cars all have been known to include asbestos. Other items that include asbestos are:
- Lift shaft linings
- Soffits/fascia boards
- Brake linings
- Bituminous felts
- Fire safes/filing cabinets
- Thermal taping compounds
- Packing materials
- Ventilation system linings/laggings
- School blackboards
The prevalence of asbestos in such a wide variety of products that are used in such a wide variety of areas means that almost anyone can be at risk of exposure. Some of the most commonly affected individuals include contractors, car mechanics, shipworkers, firefighters, clean-up crews, and numerous other groups.
Due to the risk of asbestos, individuals should be careful to take any and all precautions possible for avoiding the inhalation of the deadly fiber. While the fiber has numerous uses in the construction and industrial world, it is deadly for human beings. So far, asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma, a deadly cancer, and asbestosis, a lung disease.
Asbestos fibers do not immediately trigger disease and cancer. It usually takes more than one exposure to the fiber to trigger or result in asbestosis or mesothelioma.
For more information on the uses of asbestos or the individuals at risk of exposure, please visit http://www.mesolawsuit.com.
gulaazad Ranked 3.16 / 5 | 224 views | 0 comments Click here to watch the video (00:34) Submitted By: Gulaazad Tags: Spray Foam Insulation Polyurethane Closed Cell Enviro Categories: People & Stories
Flame Retardant Test - New Orleans Insulating Foam
http://www.EnviroGreenInsulation.com/ New Orleans based Foam Insulation Company EnviroGreen contractor Jeff Haag does a demonstration to show which polyurethane spray foam is more flame retardant. … Ranked 2.96 / 5 | 356 views | 0 comments Click here to watch the video (04:31) Submitted By: NOLAENviroGreen Tags: New Orleans Foam Insulation New Orleans Insulating Foam New Orleans Cellulose Insulation New Orleans Attic Insulation New Orleans Residential Foam Insulation Foam Insulation New Orleans New Orleans Polyurethane Insulation Categories: How To Science & Tech
What is a Fair Hearing Aid Price?
People who are suffering from hearing loss all have different deficiencies that are sorted out on a case by case basis. Not all hearing loss is one underlying condition so finding a quality device for a good hearing aid price should be on top of your priorities in terms of tackling this issue.
Carbon Footprint - Eco Friendly Home Can Be Yours August 28, 2009Posted by katybugarin in : Spray Insulation , comments closed
The next few years are going to be tough for a lot of the people in the modern western world and we are going have to take the lead in the way we use energy more efficiently. At present we are burning up are fossil fuel reserves like there is no tomorrow and we should be planning to a better way of life for us and our children.
Renewable energy is the key to our survival and although a lot of people believe in the new safer nuclear reactors the upshot is they put off a problem of dealing with the waste for future generations.
We need to invest in building more energy efficient homes with solar panels and also with the use of wind turbines. These homes would able us to survive power cuts. With the current reserves of electricity within the UK for example we used to have 20% reserve electricity power generation at present we have almost none and depend heavily on the French to supply us in the event of an emergency.
There is also the problem that recently that the energy companies are dependent on shareholders because of this they are subject to being to take over and therefore would also put the shareholders first over customers. We need to equip our homes with solar power to provide us with heating of our homes with the relative warm climate we enjoy.
Wind power would also be a great advantage if we can supply even a fraction of the percentage energy we use in our homes. This energy even a small amount would allow us to power to run for an example a fridge which if it could sustain the fridge over a blackout would save vital food from going off.
Solar power technology has increased its efficiency in recent times and now we can often see road signs powered by solar power cells. Solar panels are becoming more relatively cheap and finding that all new developments should be looking to use this technology to increase our homes value in terms of being eco - friendly.
Reducing our carbon footprint is essential for making our environment a better place to live it is incredibly selfish for us to just to live for ourselves and not think of our future generations.
Making local wind farms are going to be a great method of reducing and using one of the earth’s greatest natural renewable energy. It is always possible for us to reduce our energy wastage and improve our lifestyle I always think of how when I visit parts of the world like some parts of Australia that how clean the air is and how lucky they are to have a better climate.
Where I currently reside there is are shipments of scrap metal at the port where I live and that produces metal dust in the air so from this we have a large amount of bad cases of lung problems. If we used energy more efficiently and there was legislation to force us to do something about these problems we would all enjoy a better climate.
Going green should be one of the first things we should learn at school and carry forward the lessons to be learnt from wasting water to burning of our precious fossil fuel to how to learn to invest in the creating the technology for us to survive like solar power, wind farms and hydrogen generation.
In recent years, everyone has started to focus on energy conservation, and getting the most out of reusable products. Apex s spray foam insulation offers multiple features for
KTB Foam Insulation and Roofing - Chicago, Illinois - KTBFoam.com
Spray Foam Insulation, Equipment and Suppliers - Local SPF Installers and Contractors - SprayFoam.cc
Spray Foam Insulation | Foam It
Save up to 50% on your monthly energy bills by having Foam-It install Spray Foam Insulation in your home!!
Welcome to Spray Insulation Components!
Mailing List: Subscribe to our Newsletter. Enter your Email address below and press the GO button. Subscribe: Unsubscribe
Spray Foam Insulation California CA - Foam Insulation & Roofing
California Spray Foam - CA Wall Foam Insulation, Roofing, Equipment and Suppliers - Local SPF Installers and Contractors
Equipment and services for the insulation professional.
BioBased Spray Foam Insulation
BioBased Spray Foam Insulation is an award-winning manufacturer of bio-based … BioBased Insulation markets spray foam insulation products that allow …