Kid Safe Home Renovations

Does your home need a renovation? The renovation process is never an easy task, it can be quite dangerous and has many hazards that you may encounter along the way.

The wise choice would be to build a better home without neglecting your health as well as that of your family. This can be achieved by opting for less toxic building materials and taking extra caution during construction.

Take these tips into consideration for safer remodeling from start to finish:

1. Spot existing lead paint hazards – if your home was built before 1978, it was likely painted with lead paint. All contractors are required to make use of lead-safe work practice by law so as to protect the property owner from lead poisoning. Get to know more about renovations and lead paint here.

2. Inspect your house for asbestos before any renovations – Asbestos are found in many building materials such as popcorn ceilings, older vinyl flooring, and insulation. To test for asbestos, visit the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency website where you will get to learn more about safe handling, regulations, removal and testing of asbestos. The best thing to do would be to hire a certified Sydney asbestos abatement contractor.

3. Check for mold as well as moisture issues – Remodeling may bring to light hidden mold or maybe your remodeling project includes getting rid off water-damaged materials. If there are mold issues, the first thing to do would be to identify and eliminate the source of water penetration or the leak. If the affected area happens to be more than 10 square feet, it is recommended by the EPA that you should hire a professional mold removal contractor. When you are choosing the building materials, always remember to consider potential moisture issues to prevent future mold growth and damage. Basements are prone to water damage, ensure you take these factors into consideration when renovating the basement. Learn more about mold and moisture issues here.
4. Locate designers, suppliers and contractors who have direct experience in sustainable, healthy home building. Green building products are constantly being introduced on the market; that is why you need a professional to guide you through the most convenient choices for safer building materials.

5. Take safety precautions seriously – Beware of building products that claim to be safe for pets and children, they may still contain ingredients and chemicals that are hazardous. Even though these products may be safer than traditional products, safety precautions should never be ignored. Always make use of personal protection gear as recommended such as respirators, containment of dust and adequate ventilation.

6. Go for durable, low-maintenance building materials – If possible, avoid material that require frequent maintenance such as retreatment, painting and waterproofing that may involve harsh chemicals. Choose quality materials that will serve you for years without any maintenance since they are healthier and better for the environment.

7. When using second-hand building material, test them for lead paint and asbestos to be safe – Contact a local professional or test lab for instructions on how to safely gather the samples for testing. For lead test labs, search for “Laboratories-Analytical or Laboratories-Testing” and for asbestos testing, look for, under “Asbestos-Consulting and Testing.”


Which Home Renovations Have Great ROI

Home Improvement Projects That Add Value

The ability to realize returns on investment on home improvement projects is a major concern for many people. It is for this reason many homeowners do their research on what to remodel, strategies to implement and put into consideration factors that will help improve the home’s value. There are however many home improvement and renovation projects that do, and can help lower bills.

Although several factors do affect ROI, the home’s precise location, and current real estate market do have a significant influence on its effectiveness. While some neighborhoods are recording a rise in economy, there are those that are experiencing a decline in the same, which is the norm in an economy. With proper planning and determination, you should be able to improve your home’s value regardless of the current economic status. This is especially possible for anyone looking for a way to upgrade his/her home quickly and save more money in the long run.

Some of the items that can help improve your home’s value include:

1. Programmable Thermostats

This is a must-have for every home. Some of the top in the line programmable thermostat models cost about $150 while regular ones cost as little as $72. The reason why these devices are valuable in every home is that, they can be programmed to cool or heat your house automatically. The device is also capable of turning off automatically if no one is in the house, and turn on a few minutes before you come in the house. Research also shows that, a programmable thermostat can save for itself for at least 3 months, which can be translated to massive savings in the long run.

2. Whole House Fans

Whole house fans work in an almost similar way as car windows. It is much easier (and faster) to keep your car cool in the summer by rolling the windows down that turning on the AC. Whole house fans, on the other hand, help flush out hot/humid stagnant air from the house thus allowing cooler air to come in. These fans are 25% more efficient than having one or two fans to cool your home. Although many, they help save up to 25% of your energy bills that come from heating and cooling.

3. Energy Efficient Appliances

It is estimated that, more than 50% of every home’s energy consumption goes to heating water, dishwashing, baths, shower and washing clothes. Replacing all the appliances in your home with energy efficient ones can help save more than 50% of the energy used. These devices also contribute to reducing the amount of water used, which contributes to 35% less water. By reducing electricity and water use, your home will start recording lower energy bills. The next time you go shopping for electrical appliances, consider energy-star labeled devices.