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How To Create an Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Kitchen

Environmentally friendly and sustainable lifestyles offer a range of benefits to both you and the planet. An eco-friendly lifestyle helps reduce waste production, pollution, and the use of natural resources, creating healthier living conditions. If you’re looking to implement and live a more sustainable and eco-conscious life, improving your home with an eco-friendly upgrade makes the transition easier and more attainable. One of the best places to start an environmentally friendly renovation is the kitchen. Here is how to create an eco-friendly and sustainable kitchen to help you transition into a more environmentally conscious way of living.

Sustainably Sourced Floors

Set the groundwork for your eco upgrade with sustainable floors. Engineered hardwood reigns as one of the most sustainable flooring options available. Under their gorgeous veneer of solid hardwood, their core consists of compressed recycled wood scraps and fibers, reducing the number of trees needed to be cut down and the amount of waste in landfills. On top of their sustainable production process, engineered wood also holds the desirable qualities that make up the best flooring solution for your kitchen needs.

Recycled and Repurposed Materials

Out with the new and in with the old. Many items and materials can be repurposed and made “like new” again. From your countertops to your cabinets and backsplash, various design features of your kitchen can consist of repurposed and recycled materials without compromising functionality or appearance.

Energy Efficient Appliances

Not all items in a sustainable kitchen need to be old or recycled. A majority of the latest technology consists of updated features that allow gadgets to function more efficiently and sustainably than older versions. Energy-efficient appliances like energy-saving fridges, dishwashers, and induction stovetops use less energy and water while still operating optimally, producing high-quality results. Adding specialized eco-friendly technology with other solutions to make your home more energy-efficient reduces not only your energy consumption but also your energy bills.

Compost and Recycle Bins

Including compost and recycle bins in your eco-friendly kitchen remodel helps you practice and implement sustainable conventions in your daily routine. Many fear that adding a compost bin will stink up the kitchen. However, numerous high-tech compost bins are specifically designed to seal smells and operate to their full potential. There are also various ways to use the compost you create, from at-home fertilization to local garden donations.

Creating an eco-friendly and sustainable kitchen takes into account the items used and future lifestyle changes you’ll make from living a more environmentally conscious life. As long as you stick to the three main concepts of environmentalism—reduce, reuse, and recycle—you can transform any room into a more sustainable space.

Tips for Vetting and Hiring a Top-Tier Painting Contractor

Tips for Vetting and Hiring a Top-Tier Painting Contractor

Whether you’re hiring a paint company to revive your home’s exterior or your kitchen cabinets need a fresh coat of paint, hiring the best people for the job is essential. With so many different painting contractors claiming the gold standard, it’s challenging to know if you’re getting the best work for your money. Check out these tips to help you through the process of vetting and hiring an excellent painting contractor.

Select a Handful of Contractors

The first step in finding a top-tier painting contractor is getting out there and looking at all your available options. Of course, when you do this, you want to ensure that you’re searching for contractors that can accommodate your unique situation. Perhaps all you need is a fresh coat of paint for your bathroom and kitchen cabinets. If so, look into painting companies that specialize in cabinet painting projects.

On the other hand, you might need someone to handle the cabinets, walls, and exterior siding so that you can upgrade your home before selling. In this case, you’d want to seek out contractors who offer those service packages. Additionally, it’s best to select a handful of prospective contractors you might like to work with.

That way, you’re not stuck with just one or two options. Instead, you’ll have a wide variety of contractors to learn more about. Then, when the time comes to make the final pick, you can feel confident that you made the best choice.

Interview, Verify, and Vet

Of course, there is no discussing hiring and vetting qualified painters without mentioning the all-important interviewing element. Remember, the contractor you hire will be responsible for painting your home, and professional painting services don’t come cheap. Ask them questions about past services, verify their licensing, and ask for customer referrals.

Moreover, try to get an initial read on their personality and disposition. You’re going to be working with this person for an extended period and need to get along with them.

Once you finish the interview and verification stages, it’s time to narrow down your options and start vetting them. Take the time to make sure the contractors you’re interested in are legit. Check out their website, look for online service reviews, and see if they offer warranties for service. Trust us; you’ll be glad you put in the extra effort to hire the right person!

Get It in Writing

Lastly, once you select your ideal contractor, you must get everything in writing. Make sure you have a contract that clearly defines:

  • The scope of the project
  • The materials and pricing for the project
  • The anticipated start and end dates for the project
  • The work schedule for the project

Include every detail of the project in the contract between you and the painter you hire. Having a clear and detailed agreement will ensure that both parties get what they need from the transaction. Plus, it’ll protect you, your home, and the contractor you’re working with.

Things To Know Before Hiring a Water Treatment Expert

Things To Know Before Hiring a Water Treatment Expert

There’re many options to choose from when it comes to finding the right water treatment specialist for your home. So, what should you know before hiring a water treatment expert? We’ll argue that the process isn’t as difficult as you think. Before we start, it might be ideal to get the lay of the land by defining what they do and how they can help you. Check out our points regarding what you need to know to get the right water treatment specialist.

Why Should You Hire One?

There’s nothing wrong with getting professional help. Working on the plumbing when you aren’t properly trained can be disastrous. You won’t have to check on things yourself if you hire a professional. They can let you know what the problem is directly. They also have better equipment with the newest technologies to install whatever they need quickly and efficiently. A water treatment expert will have the experience necessary to do the job, so you’ll feel like you’re in good hands.

When Should You Hire One?

There are a couple of reasons you would want to hire a water treatment specialist. If you see any of the following signs, it might be time to look for professional help:

  • If you smell a foul odor in your water—particularly a “rotten eggs smell”—you need a professional because your water might contain sulfides and other contaminants. At high levels, sulfur can lead to diarrhea and the opposite of what you would want for your water—

dehydration. It might also make your water taste bitter or like medicine.

  • If you consistently see streaks on your dishes, this might be a sign of hard water, which contains calcium and magnesium deposits. This is one of many terms you need to understand before your appointment with your specialist.
  • There could be any number of contaminants in the water. We already mentioned sulfur, but chlorine and harmful bacteria could also enter your water system, and a funny taste might be a sign that they’re present in your water.

What Should You Know Ahead of Time?

You need to know a few things before you hire the proper water treatment expert for you. You want to make sure you ask all the right questions, including:

  • Are you insured? Even though you’ll be dealing with an expert, accidents happen. If an accident happens, you won’t have to foot the bill for any damages. Even the best installers make mistakes, so make sure you know if they have insurance ahead of time.
  • Are you licensed? All water treatment companies need to have a license to operate. Are they up to state regulations? If the company walks you in circles about this, it may not be an ideal company. If they aren’t licensed, they shouldn’t be in business.
  • What is the process? They should walk you through everything they’re going to do. They should volunteer this information, and if they even go as far as having a preliminary consultation to understand your needs better, this is a great sign.

As we’ve seen, getting a water treatment expert to help you doesn’t have to be hard. All you need are a few tips to get you started. If you heed the points above, you’ll have clean water.

Questions To Ask Yourself Before Choosing Kitchen Cabinets

Questions To Ask Yourself Before Choosing Kitchen Cabinets

If you’re remodeling or building a new kitchen for your home, choosing cabinetry is one of the most critical decisions you must make. The wrong choice can throw off the entire kitchen, so we’ve put together some questions to ask before choosing kitchen cabinets so you can narrow down your options and come away with the ideal cabinets!

What Style Is My Kitchen?

You should first ask yourself what kind of style your kitchen is that your cabinets will have to fit into and enhance. Do you want a modern and minimalist feel or something more traditional and vintage?

If you’re looking to go modern, full-overlay cabinets with flush slab doors provide a smooth and sleek appearance with clean lines. Or, if you like the retro look, inset cabinets are trendy again, especially for white farmhouse kitchens that remind you of the old days.

What Is My Kitchen’s Color Palette?

Choosing your kitchen’s style includes selecting the color palette. Some wood grains and cabinets look better with darker colors and others with lighter ones, so it’s good to decide what colors you want before choosing cabinets instead of the other way around.

For instance, modern kitchen designs typically include eye-popping colors on their cabinets to make them stand out or use the natural color of the raw materials. In contrast, traditional kitchens are more likely to go with muted and neutral colors that blend in more than stand out.

What Is My Budget for New Cabinets?

In an ideal world, we could all get our favorite cabinets for the kitchen, but our budgets always come into the decision-making process. Some cabinets are more expensive than others, like inset or frameless ones, but one of the advantages of buying wholesale cabinets directly from the manufacturer instead of a big-box store is that they’re more cost-effective.

Wholesale kitchen cabinets cut out the middleman retailer, which means more money in your pocket and a bigger budget for your new cabinets!

How Much Space Do I Have?

The layout and size of your kitchen will also influence your decision when it comes to the cabinets. You’ll probably want to consider cabinets that work well in smaller spaces and offer more storage if your kitchen is smaller.

Frameless cabinets, for instance, have a few more inches on the margins than framed cabinetry. It may not seem like much, but a few inches here and there can make a big difference when storage is a priority!

These are just a few questions to ask yourself before choosing kitchen cabinets, but there are many more. Whatever type of cabinet you choose, ensure that it’s one you love because, after all, you’re the one who will be looking at them every day!

Tips for Maintaining Your Home’s Exterior

Tips for Maintaining Your Home’s Exterior

There are many reasons why you should maintain your home’s exterior. For one, you want your house to look great from a street view. This also helps if you plan on selling the home later on in life. Moreover, the structures that make up your home are vital for keeping it standing, so maintaining them is essential for your house’s health and safety.

Power Wash Siding, Patios, Driveways, Etc.

Over time and throughout the change of seasons, dirt and grime make their mark on the home’s siding, patios and decks, and even the driveway. A strong power washer will effectively blast off the dirt. It’s surprising how clean some of these items can be after a quick power wash, and it makes a world of a difference.

Inspect the Chimney

If your home has a fireplace and a chimney, this is extremely important to check. Verify that there isn’t cracking in the brick and mortar, water damage, or harmful buildup of creosote and soot. Additionally, check on the chimney’s structure and learn about the damages that can happen, such as what a tilting chimney means. This way, you know how to fix the problem right away.

Examine the Roof

Your roof may not always need repairing, but it’s essential to check for damages. Typically, an asphalt shingle roof can last up to 25 years. However, familiarize yourself with knowing when to replace your roof so that you can prepare when the time comes or when you need to replace a portion of the roof.

Clean Out Gutters

Leaves, twigs, and debris will inevitably find their way into your gutter, and leaving these unattended will allow the residue to clog the drainage spout and rot. To ensure rainwater is draining correctly, clean out your gutters twice a year. If you live in an area with more foliage, you may need to do the cleaning more than twice a year.

Inspect the Foundation

The foundation is one of the more critical components for keeping your home standing. Check for cracks and deteriorations. Not repairing this type of damage can become a serious problem for you. If you notice issues with your foundation, call a professional right away to keep your home safe and livable.

These tips for maintaining your home’s exterior should be on your priority list. If the house’s structure isn’t sound, it won’t be safe for your family to live there. You don’t have to make a whole day of cleaning and repairs. Create a list and go through it once a weekend to make the work more manageable. It will also save you money in the long run if you catch any damage before deteriorations become worse.

Unique Ways To Personalize Your Garage Door

Unique Ways To Personalize Your Garage Door

Automated garage doors are mostly the same across the board, unlike the past’s manual, wooden garage doors. Those doors were all uniquely designed and could be hand-carved in different patterns to suit your desires. There are a few unique ways to personalize your garage door. If you happen to own an automated version, here is the list of what you could find.

Vertical and Horizontal Columns

If you’re looking to add more light to your garage space, this is a wise move. You can let the light in without all the weather, bugs, and neighbors in your driveway. You could use it as an office space or even a greenhouse. You could make an additional lounge or den out of it. The possibilities are endless.

Centered and Off-Centered

If you only want one pane of glass or multiples for additional strength and weather-tight sealing, you could make that addition. Or, if you wanted one pane centered on your door, like what you might find on a front door for viewing outside the house, then you could do that. You can even choose to have it off-centered if another spot is better for you overall.

Clear or Obscured Glass

If you wanted, you could even use tinted glass so that the light could be easy on your eyes. Or, if you wanted to get funky, you could use different types of obscured glass like stained glass for a more artistic feel. This is why your decisions are important when choosing the right materials to construct your garage door. You’re looking out for your needs and wants.

There are several unique ways to personalize your garage door, but that doesn’t mean that they will all be a good fit. Make sure you’re doing your research on what you want, the type of garage door you have, and what the compatibility of those materials.

Finding the Best Window Treatments for Your Home

Finding the Best Window Treatments for Your Home

There are multiple things to consider when redecorating your home. Essential elements like furniture styles, wall colors, and lighting fixtures all matter, but what about your window treatments? There are so many different options and styles that finding the best window treatments for your home can be challenging. Fortunately, we have a few tips to help narrow things down.

Trying Out Blinds

Blinds are an excellent treatment option for controlling how much light and privacy you let in through your window. Blinds come in various materials, such as wood, vinyl, or even metal. They’re customizable through features like motorized window treatments. You can also choose between horizontal or vertical blinds.

Blinds are best for their multiple styles and ease of access when controlling light in your room. Whether you prefer Venetian-style or panel blinds, you’re sure to find something for your home décor.

Varieties of Shades

Window shades are a good treatment option when looking to cover a window completely. Unlike blinds, which raise or decline and open specific parts, shades focus more on blocking light by going up or down. Shades come in various materials like woven wood or other thin fabrics to control the amount of light. The most common shade types are roller shades that roll up into a big tube or pleated shades that fold up like an accordion.

Don’t Forget About Drapes

When finding the best window treatments for your home, you’ll want to look at drapes. Drapes are multiple layers of fabric that create a structured shape. The main advantage of drapes is they’re the most decorative treatment options and are incredibly easy to swap out. While best suited for longer windows or sliding glass doors, drapes work with any décor or season. Their versatility, coupled with their style, makes them ideal for homeowners looking to add a touch of class to their houses.

3 Ways To Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient

3 Ways To Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient

Modern homes use a lot of energy, which costs homeowners money. By making changes to how you consume energy, you can greatly decrease your power bill.

Fortunately, you don’t have to live uncomfortably to achieve this goal! Save yourself money and help save the environment with these three ways to make your home more energy-efficient.

Hang-Dry Clothes

Hanging some of your clothes to air-dry can save you a lot of money. Dryers are one of the most energy-intensive home appliances, so using your dryer less often can decrease your energy bill. Since this method is gentle, your clothes will look better and last longer.

You don’t need a sunny day to air-dry your clothes. Try an indoor clothesline or drying rack if you can’t hang your clothes outside. Drying racks add functionality to your laundry room, and are easy to store when not in use.

Popular drying racks have vertical frames that slide into and out of cabinetry. These racks are a great way to make your home more energy-efficient because they save space while working with your laundry room’s design.

Insulate Your Crawl Space

Heating and cooling systems account for more than half the total energy consumption in most American households. That’s why fixing your HVAC is one of the best ways to prepare your house for summer.

To lessen the strain on your HVAC, make sure your home is well insulated. Since you don’t visit your home’s crawl space often, this area is often overlooked. However, by insulating your crawl space, you can drastically improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Uninsulated crawl spaces can be a significant source of energy loss. Insulating your crawl space provides many benefits, such as improving indoor air quality and saving money. After proper insulation, the rooms above your crawlspace will feel more comfortable.

Use A Programmable Thermostat

Using a programmable thermostat will save money on your monthly energy bill. Program the thermostat to your temperature preferences while you are home. When you’re out of the house, lower your heating or cooling system so that your HVAC works less. A programmable thermostat makes this optimization easy.

You don’t have to sacrifice your comfort to have a sustainable household. Hang-drying your clothes, insulating your crawl space, and using a programmable thermostat can make your home energy efficient. You’ll enjoy simpler living with these reliable, green methods.

Choosing the Best Stove, Oven, or Range for Your Home

Choosing the Best Stove, Oven, or Range for Your Home

Ovens, stoves, and ranges are the same thing to most people, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Each of them has particular purposes that assist with everyday cooking. If you’re not aware of the differences, you might waste your time and money. This article is a guide for choosing the best stove, oven, or range for your home.

What’s the Difference?

An oven can use either gas or electricity to cook your food and uses a chamber to do so. There are wall ovens, home ovens, and industrial ovens, but everyday homes use either home or wall ovens.

A stove has a chamber to cook with as an oven does. However, it also has a stovetop for multi-purpose cooking. All stoves and ranges have an oven chamber combined with a stovetop. However, a range will typically have more burners than a stove. For example, while a stove will have about four burners, a range will have six, eight, or even 10.

Oven: Pros and Cons

It is becoming more and more popular to stack wall ovens on top of each other in our current time. These multi chambers allow for easier access to food without having to bend over, and they come with the benefit of being able to cook multiple meals at once. This is great if you have a large family or entertain guests often.

However, an oven on its own isn’t enough for most people, and stacked wall ovens are expensive. So, while it may be worth it if you cook a lot of food, stacked ovens usually aren’t a viable option for the everyday person.

Stove: Pros and Cons

Stoves are generally the most economical option for the everyday homeowner, as stoves combines a stovetop and an oven into one appliance. You can still cook multiple foods simultaneously without having to prioritize one over the other.

Unfortunately, you may find yourself running around to make space if you’re cooking for multiple people, so you’ll have to plan and prioritize cook times as well as what needs to come out first. While this is the cheapest option, it simply isn’t enough for some families.

Range: Pros and Cons

Ranges are the most expensive option, as they come with the largest oven and the most burners. However, they are beautiful appliances, as they can be seamlessly installed into countertops. Cooking for a large crowd or family is easy with a range. You don’t have to worry about stovetop space or stacking any ovens.

Ultimately, it is an excellent long-term investment if you have the budget for it.

Hopefully, choosing the best stove, oven, or range for your home will become a little bit easier for you. Just remember to consider your budget, how much you cook, and how many people need to be served. Whichever appliance you choose to cook your meals, make it with love, and make it delicious!

Reasons You Should Have a Range Hood in Your Kitchen

Reasons You Should Have a Range Hood in Your Kitchen

Remodeling is a great time to consider the appliances you actually use in your kitchen. You may have discovered that you never use the panini press you got at your housewarming party and decide to get rid of it. Or you may have become a baking fiend and decide you want double ovens. An appliance that you may not already have but should consider adding during a kitchen remodel is a range hood. Keep reading to learn the beneficial reasons you should have a range hood in your kitchen.

Improved Safety

Perhaps the biggest reason to have a range hood is the improved safety. Instead of smoke and steam filling your kitchen as you cook, your range hood will whisk all the fumes away, allowing you to see and breathe easier. This will keep you and everyone else in the kitchen safer and healthier. If you cook with a gas stove, a range hood will be extra beneficial since it can help clean carbon monoxide and other dangerous gases out of the air.

Better Surface Protection

A range hood won’t just whisk smells away; it’ll help get rid of grease and other cooking residues that would normally dirty up your kitchen surfaces. You may not think that’s much of a benefit since you clean up after you cook anyway, but absorbing grease is about more than normal cleaning. If the grease gets onto the sides of your cabinets, then it can soak into the wood. Scrubbing wood is a time-consuming and damaging process if you do it wrong. So if you invest in a range hood at the start, then the grease will get pulled into the appliance instead of your cabinets.

Pleasing Aesthetics

While safety for people and protection for your kitchen surfaces are the most important benefits of having a range hood, you probably have a certain aesthetic in mind for a remodel. A range hood can complement that, too. There are many different types of range hoods, each with a different look. Therefore, you can find one that fits well in your space. You can choose a wall-mounted range hood as a statement piece, hide an under-cabinet range hood for a lower profile, or choose another option that works best with your kitchen aesthetics and layout.

Improved safety, better surface protection, and pleasing aesthetics are three reasons you should have a range hood in your kitchen. You may want to see and breathe easier, avoid deep cleaning your cabinets, and have a unique statement piece in your cooking area. If so, you should get a range hood. It’s an excellent appliance for you to add during a remodel.