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Archive for March 2014

In the exploding world of innovation, what is just around the corner for homes?

*Energy & Water Efficient
Homes that will save the homeowner money through energy & water efficiency will continue.
A long time ago, toilets used to use 5 gallons of water per flush.  Today, you can find new toilets that are using 1-1.5 gallons per flush.
Energy efficiency through better technology in furnaces as well as solar panels.  While rooftop solar continues to grow rapidly, a company this year might be introducing a “solar canopy”.  This solar canopy is gazebo like and is a modular kit.  It would enable homes to go off the grid or provide back-up energy if the grid goes down.

*Home Automation
With the leap in hand held devices and apps, more homes will start to be programmable through a touch of a button on your phone.
From using your phone to change the home’s temperature, to starting a lode of laundry, to turning lights on everything is just a click away.
Taking the thermostat as an example.  Left home for a few days on a family trip but left the temperature at 70?  Jump online and quickly change your temperature and then shortly before you arrive back home, change it again before you arrive back home.  Teach a thermostat your routine and it will program itself.  Check out www.nest.com for an example.

*Magnets=Efficiency?
In ~5 years, fridges and air conditioners could be revolutionized by replacing the decades old use of refrigerants by using a new material that cools when demagnetized.  This new technology has the potential to be 25-30% more efficient.

*Smart Windows
The US Department of Energy just recently announced that it designed a new material.   This new material is a thin coating of nanocrystals embedded in glass that can alter sunlight as it passes through the glass.  When used as a window coating, it can control both the visible and heat-producing infrared light so those inside the home/office/building can enjoy the natural light without the unwanted heat.

*Bio-Walls/Living Walls
Actually bring the outdoors into your home through wall and shelving products for growing plants.
More and more living walls and bio-walls (between 200-500sq.ft)  could begin to inch it’s way into the home market.  Check out what  a bio-wall is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DP8130SQw_8

 

 

 

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Looking to add a little pizzazz to your curb appeal with a limited budget?  Here are a few tips to get you going and enhance your curb appeal.

1) Add a Flower/Planter Box
Flower boxes are typically cheap and combined with going to your local nursery, the new colorful flowers that you add should be an instant hit.

2) Plant a Flowering Tree, Bush, Tree…
Like the flower boxes, let nature shine through as you walk up to your front door. For the finishing touch add some decorative mulch or some xeriscaping.

3) Install New House Numbers
If your house numbers are old and tired, head down to your local building supply store to find some new modern ones.

4) New Exterior Light Fixtures
Modern light fixtures can provide a new look and hopefully some added light to your front entry way.  Make sure you look at your old mounting system as if you can find an exterior light fixture you like with the same mounting system, you will have saved yourself some installation time.    Also, look into outdoor stainless steel solar lights.  If you are in an area of lots of sun, these would look great at night as they illuminated the pathway up to your front door.

5) New Mailbox
Look online, a thrift store or your local bldg. store to see if you can find a fun, decorative new mailbox.

6) Paint
Paint is relatively inexpensive yet makes a world of difference.  Consider painting your door & window trim, shutters and front door (if it can be painted).  Painting whether inside or outside is typically money well spent.
While you should paint to your tastes also consider checking with a local paint store to see what they recommend for the latest color trends.

7) Decorative Fence
The fence may not have to be big or keep anyone out for that matter but a fence, even a small decorative fence even a foot high helps establish boundaries and gives a mental sense of separation from the sidewalk/road to your personal property & home.

 

 

 

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A state law that went into place back on July 1, 2009 could require you to have a carbon monoxide alarm in your property or rental property.  IF your property is heated with fossil fuels (fuel includes kerosene, coal, oil, gas and wood), has a fossil-fuel appliance, has a fireplace or has an attached garage then the property is required to have a carbon monoxide alarm within 15 feet of the entrance to each sleeping bedroom or other room lawfully used for sleeping purposes.  When the law was written, it did not apply to commercial buildings.  This law does apply to homes & multi-family homes (example: a condo).

This rule applies to every home that is sold, remodeled, repaired, or leased to a new tenant after July 1, 2009.

For a more details about the Carbon Monoxide detector rule, you can visit the following link: http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheadername1=Content-Disposition&blobheadername2=Content-Type&blobheadervalue1=inline%3B+filename%3D%22Frequently+Asked+Questions+-+Carbon+Monoxide+Alarm+Law+-+Colorado+House+Bill+1091.pdf%22&blobheadervalue2=application%2Fpdf&blobkey=id&blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobwhere=1251811662754&ssbinary=true

 

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