Is It Time To Update Your Bathroom?

Posted on
bathroom remodel

While the bathroom may be the smallest room in your home, it is probably the most important. It can be your own personal haven where one can shut the door and relax or pamper yourself at the conclusion of a long, tiring day. If it’s been a while since you last upgraded your bathroom, there are methods that you can make it more enjoyable and pleasant to be. It is also a significant room in terms of the value of your home and a great bathroom generally is a massive selling point for your property. Creating the right feel in the bathroom is therefore vital. As always, we need to consider the environmental impact of the bathroom upgrade and consciously make decisions that are environmentally sound.

bathroom remodel
There are a lot of things to consider before deciding to makeover a bathroom.

 A worst case scenario would be to do a major overhaul that includes updating the bath, shower, toilet and wash basin. Any old or shabby appliances will stand out as these form the basis of the room. There are plenty of designs that you can decide upon your bathroom, from modern to classic, from simple to baroque. You will need to have a budget so that you don’t have the cost to upgrade going through the roof. Top of the range bathrooms are available from companies creating bespoke designs. But more budget conscious set ups can be easily found at high street stores or online. Besides the design, you need to include the fitting costs into your budget. If it is too large of a task to install your bathroom components yourself, you could have the companies you bought them from install it for you. Be sure to seek out products that were manufactured in environmentally sound methods and Energy Star rated.

 If your budget does not run to replacing the whole suite there are many inexpensive options to consider. One option is to replace all the old knobs and taps on your wash basin or bathtub with something more modern which can change the look of your bathroom. You might also replace the old and moldy shower curtain with a clear screen to make your bathroom look more clean. These options are very affordable and very easy to upgrade. Before you toss those old knobs into the landfill, look online for the countless ways you can repurpose them and help keep your bathroom remodel green.

bathroom, showerhead
Bathroom fixtures can be beautiful but be sure to understand how much water they consume.

You could also replace the tiles on the wall or floor making your bathroom look even cleaner. Make sure that whatever flooring you buy should be able to hold up to the humidity in your bathroom. This can be a very expensive project and adds lots of material into your local landfill. A more environmentally friendly option would be to employ a bathtub, tile, cabinet, and countertop refinishing expert like Raleigh, NC based company Specialized Refinishing. Companies like Specialized Refinishing can give your bathroom a complete makeover for a fraction of the cost of an entire remodel and even more importantly you can keep thousands of pounds of material out of the landfill. Refinishing your Raleigh bathroom truly gives you the most bang for your bathroom remodeling buck.

 Apart from the main appliances in the bathroom there are numerous other ways to create a fresh new look. You can consider what kind of color would match the mood of your bathroom. You could easily enhance the bathroom with bath mats, curtains, blinds or nice fluffy towels. There are too many to choose from, so take your time and enjoy figuring out your new look. It’s also possible to add some color to the bathroom by adding pictures and paintings or you can create a focal point like potted plants or scented candles. Candles can not only provide color but it can also enhance the aroma of your bathroom. It’s also possible to do other inexpensive yet effective changes like adding a new toilet roll holder, a new soap dispenser or a toilet brush. Hit your local thrift store to find decorative items instead of buying brand new if at all possible to keep them carbon footprint of your remodel down.


A bathroom refinishing job can look better than a remodel and keeps tons of material out of the landfill.

Hopefully this quick tutorial will help you decide if it is time for a bathroom upgrade. As always, please consider the environmental impact of each of your remodel decisions.



Which Indoor Lighting Options are Best?

Posted on

Selecting the proper indoor lighting is important for several reasons. One of which is that lighting can create the ambience you are wanting in your home. Another important aspect of picking the proper lighting is the related electricity costs and the requisite additional use of energy and its impact on the environment. While energy prices around Raleigh are not as high as many other places around the country, it is still important to make educated decisions when choosing the correct lighting for our Raleigh homes.

One of the most time consuming and difficult tasks that you will face as you work to decorate and illuminate your home is deciding upon the best indoor lighting options. When it comes to lighting up the inside of your home, there are many different things you will need to take into consideration. If you can conceive the notion, there is a lot more to lighting up your home than simply picking up a couple inexpensive lamps. You can tell a lot about you and your family, by the way you have chosen to light up your house. So what are your options? When you determining your options, here are some things you can bear in mind.

Keep in mind that any additions or upgrades to your indoor lighting is probably going to require some professional attention. There are many excellent examples of a Raleigh electricians that specializes in not only electrical repair, but they will preform an entire electrical system assessment of your home to insure it is optimized to function efficiently.

Take some time to research the different lighting types that you can pick from. A few focus on overhead lighting. Or area lamps and soft light also have a nice touch. A popular choice for kitchens is becoming track lighting. An option that is somewhat older are fluorescent bulbs for lighting in kitchens and bathrooms. Your lighting plays a large role in how your room will look in the room. Track lighting looks a lot different than simple overhead lights or lamps. What is the size of the space that you need to light? Large rooms need more light than small rooms. A small 10X10 room probably only needs a lamp or two. More than on source, however, is needed for a larger room especially if you want to make sure that the entire room can be seen. If your main concern is only a small area, you can use a focal light. If you want to light the whole room you could choose to use some overhead lights or some very powerful floor lamps.

Don’t forget to leave room in your budget for redoing the lighting in your kitchen. You are no longer limited to incandescent of fluorescent bulbs in your kitchen. More and more, people are choosing track lighting for their kitchen illumination.

Track lighting is prettier to look at and illuminates the kitchen just as well. They are also easy to install if you want to save money by installing the lights yourself. Why should you settle for something ugly when there are better options available? There are just too many interior lighting options out there that are better.

There are so many different indoor lighting options out there. Trying to pick between them can be bothersome, which is why it is a great idea to come up with a plan for each and every room before you begin your shopping. One way to boil down the options is to choose only Energy Star rated options. The earlier you begin making plans, the simpler it will be to determine a lighting theme for your home. An indoor lighting upgrade can not only increase the value of your Raleigh home, but can save you lots of money on your electric bill and contribute to a positive relationship with our environment as well.


How To Get Long Term Energy Savings Out Of Your Next Green Home Improvement Project

Posted on

While new Raleigh area homes are 100 percent more energy efficient today than those built three decades ago, most people are not familiar with how to actually design energy savings into the infrastructure of their home.

Here are a few ways to save energy in your home:

* Windows and doors: Today’s architecture takes advantage of increased window space and elaborate entry systems. This style enhancement certainly adds to the appeal of a home, but it increases the importance of having energy-efficient windows and doors.

On average, a household spends nearly 50 percent of its annual energy costs in heating and cooling. You can reduce this expense by up to 15 percent by using energy-efficient windows and doors, which help decrease the transfer of heat. Start by looking for products that have the Energy Star label. This label identifies products that meet the strictenergy-efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Many of the homes in and around Raleigh are older and in need of window replacement. Coyote Siding and Windows is a great example of a reputable window replacement company that operates in and around Raleigh, offers excellent service, and great prices.

* Construction materials: Wood or vinyl (for windows) and steel (for doors) offer high energy efficiency. For windows, dual-pane insulating glass units and low-emissivity glass also increase the products’ energy efficiency. For steel doors, look for a polystyrene core, which helps the door retain its energy-saving properties longer than steel doors with a polyurethane core.

Rest assured, however, that you will not have to forgo style and beauty when seeking energy efficiency. Many manufacturers, such as Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors, offer a variety of Energy Star-qualified products that are attractive, durable and provide superior performance. In fact, upgrading windows and doors is a great way to buildenergy savings into your current home.

* Insulating your Raleigh home: In addition to diminishing heat transfer through windows and doors, you can ensure even temperatures in the home by selecting proper insulation. Well-insulated homes can save up to 30 percent on heating and cooling costs. Pay attention to the R-values used to rate the energy efficiency of insulation – a higher R-value indicates a better ability to resist heat flow, meaning that it is more energy efficient.

* Heating and cooling engines: Installing oversized heating or cooling equipment is a common practice to provide customers with immediate results. However, oversized equipment is not necessary if your home is designed to conserve energy; it will only add to the growth of your energy bill.

Visit a local home improvement center to learn more about heating and cooling options.