RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

3 DIY Projects to Improve Energy-Efficiency

January 14, 2016 2:45 am

(BPT)—You don’t need to hire a professional to make your home more energy-efficient.

We’ll say it again: You don’t need to hire a professional to make your home more energy-efficient. In fact, with just a few tools, most homeowners can greatly reduce their monthly utility costs, as well as lessen their home’s carbon footprint, by DIY-ing energy-saving projects around the home. For example:

Replace Worn Weather Stripping – Replacing worn weather stripping on doors and windows not only prevents cold drafts in your home, but also helps save on heating costs. To remove old stripping, simply heat caulk with a hair dryer to loosen, and use a paint scraper to peel away the old layer.

Swap Furnace Filter – Before you turn on your furnace for the season, check the filter. If it looks dirty, it needs to be replaced—the average cost of a new filter is $10. Regularly changing the filters in your heating system can drastically improve both its longevity and efficiency. If using your heat daily, aim to replace the filter every four to six weeks.

Cover Bare Floorboards – Non-insulated floors cause up to 10 percent of a home's energy loss. If you have wooden floors, consider adding rugs to help reduce some of that loss. If you spot cracks or gaps in the floor, apply a silicone-based filler to seal.

Source: Bernzomatic

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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What Will Homes Look Like in 10 Years?

January 14, 2016 2:45 am

Accessibility. Automation. Conservation. Health. Safety. These themes are expected to shape the future of residential home design, according to a recent American Institute of Architects (AIA) report.

“Historically, the dominant factors in home design have been economic and demographic shifts,” says AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. “Residential architects are seeing these forces at play in their vision for the next decade, as well. Homeowners have indicated a strong preference for functionality, accessibility and sustainability over the last ten years, and architects expect that to accelerate, with increasing demand for healthy building materials and furnishings, along with designs that provide measures of resistance to weather-related calamities.”

The themes above will inform the following major design trends in the next 10 years:

1. Technological Integration – Technological integration will become more prevalent, with both dedicated support for personal devices and automated controls for temperature, security and lighting.

2. Non-Toxic Materials – Increased awareness about environmental health issues will lead to more widespread use of low- or no-volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for paint and composite wood, as well as natural fiber upholstery, carpets without polyvinyl chloride backing and air purification systems.

3. Disaster-Proof Design – There will be a growing demand for design that strengthens homes against natural disasters, including elevated residences, windows with impact glazing, dedicated safe rooms and backup power generation.

4. Energy-Efficiency – The next 10 years will see an increasing use of energy-efficient and other sustainable design elements and products, such as solar panels, water reclamation systems and tankless water heaters.

5. Aging-in-Place Plans – More homes will include aging-in-place and universal design elements to accommodate an aging population, including wider hallways, added handrails and one-level living spaces.

6. Open-Concept Living – Kitchens will continue to serve as the focal point of the home highlighted by open-design concepts.

7. Outdoor Space – The next 10 years in residential design will also include a heavy emphasis and investment in outdoor living spaces.

8. Home Offices – As employment situations evolve and workplace norms fall by the wayside, more households will require space devoted to home offices.

9. Infill Development – Infill development, or the process of developing vacant or under-used parcels of land within existing urban areas, will result in smaller, better-designed homes.

10. Urban Characteristics – There will be a strong preference for urban lifestyle qualities in communities, leading to higher-density developments that provide amenities to residents.

Source: AIA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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