Corey Bashaw's Blog
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of your home. Each room in a house requires its own tone and brightness.
In the bathroom, you’ll want bright vanity lights to see what you’re doing in the mirror. In the kitchen, you’ll want plenty of natural light to work by in the morning, and lights bright enough to see at night. The home office is a matter of personal preference--some people like bright lighting to keep them awake and alert, whereas others like to work in a calming environment that is more dimly lit.
In addition to adding character to your home, lightning is also a matter of conserving energy. Homes that are using energy efficient lighting can save $75 a year on their utility bill by replacing old incandescent bulbs. Furthermore, energy efficient bulbs have a longer life span, so you’ll have to change fewer of them over the years.
In today’s article, we’re going to talk about energy efficient lighting for your home and which options will best suit your needs.
Traditional incandescent bulbs
Many people have gotten used to the tone and warmth of traditional incandescent bulbs. However, with these bulbs 90% of their energy is given off as heat. In terms of lighting your home, that is 90% wasted energy.
Furthermore, due to upgrades in technology, incandescent bulbs are no longer manufactured and difficult to find.
There are three main choices available for energy efficient bulbs. Halogen incandescent bulbs can be purchased in a range of shapes, colors, and sizes for your home. Although they meet energy ratings, the other two options are much more cost-efficient.
CFL or “compact fluorescent lamps,” are about 70% more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs and they also come in a range of sizes and colors. However, if you’ve ever noticed some lights that take time to brighten or “warm up” you were probably looking at a CFL bulb. For this reason, they aren’t the best choice for extremely dark areas, such as a basement, where you need a lot of light immediately to find your way around.
The third option is LED lights or “light emitting diodes.” The most energy efficient of the three, LEDs are brighter and longer lasting than the other options.
While they were once the most expensive bulbs on the market, reserved for small electronics displays, LEDs have become much cheaper in recent years. They are available in various sizes, colors, and are able to be dimmed. They’ll also use the least amount of electricity over a twenty-year timespan in your home, up to ten dollars less than CFLs.
Choosing the right bulb
Now that you know about the three types of energy efficient bulbs, you’ll be able to consider their benefits and drawbacks for each room in your home. LEDs will last longer, they reach their maximum brightness immediately, and they’re able to be dimmed, making them an excellent option for most rooms in your home. However, they are more expensive on average than CFL or halogen bulbs.
You probably know that in your home surface cleaning is much different than deep cleaning. Once you get the right spots down that need to be dusted, next, you need to vacuum up all of that dust and dirt. A well-vacuumed house is a happy house (and a dust bunny-free home!) The areas listed below are easy to miss, but once you get the hang of cleaning them, your home will be that much cleaner.
Between The Chair Cushions
Your kids may surf the couch cushions for extra change, but there’s another treasure to be had under there: plenty of crumbs and dirt. People eat on the couch and hang out there a lot. That means there’s dust, dirt, crumbs, hair, and more under those cushions of each chair in your home. Take the time to vacuum and get up all of the gunk.
You probably go up and down your stairs at least a dozen times a day, but do you always take the time to vacuum them? The problem is that it can be hard to find an outlet for the vacuum and it can be a pain to move the attachments in order to get in all of those nooks on the stairs. Your best bet is to use a separate vacuum all together on the stairs. Use a lightweight cordless unit to make your life easier.
Your windows and window treatments are most likely neglected. Take the time to vacuum these up the next time you have the vac unit out. Curtains and blinds can harbor a lot of dust that’s difficult to remove. Use the brush attachment to achieve squeaky clean windows.
You wipe your feet on it every time you come in the house, but o you remember to clean it? Start by shaking out the doormat outside to get loose debris off of it. You should take the time to vacuum up dirt and debris that collects around the doormat to keep anything leaves or dirt from entering further into your home.
This part of the house may be a less obvious place to vacuum. If your lampshade is dirty, the light won’t correctly shine through the lamp. Remove the lampshade then use a hose attachment to remove dust from the inner and outer portions of the lampshade.
The next time you change your bedding, flip your mattress, or the seasons change, take the time to vacuum your mattress. Dust mites and all kinds of things can be harbored in the mattress. It’s important to give your bed some TLC every once in a while.
If you plan to list your home, you may want to consider the buyer's perspective. That way, you can determine what differentiates your residence from others and promote your house to potential buyers accordingly.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you evaluate the buyer's perspective.
1. Assess Your House's Strengths and Weaknesses
Your home may be a wonderful option for many property buyers – you just need to be able to accentuate the key features of your residence to the right groups of prospective buyers.
Oftentimes, it helps to conduct a home inspection prior to listing a residence. A home inspection enables you to gain comprehensive insights into your house's strengths and weaknesses. Then, you can take the necessary steps to transform your home's weaknesses into strengths.
2. Consider Your Home's Location
Location plays an important role in a buyer's decision to purchase a house. Therefore, you need to think about where your home is located so you can price your residence competitively.
For example, a home in a small town may prove to be more affordable than a comparable residence in a big city. At the same time, a big city house likely provides convenient access to a broad range of notable landmarks and attractions.
You may want to check out the prices of comparable houses in your city or town too. With this housing market data in hand, you can boost the likelihood of setting a competitive initial asking price for your residence.
3. Craft an Engaging House Listing
A home listing offers a great opportunity to connect with a buyer. And if a buyer likes a house after reading a listing, he or she may be more inclined than ever before to set up a house showing.
Think about why a buyer may choose your house over others when you craft your home listing. By doing so, you may be able to find ways to help your home listing stand out to prospective buyers.
Furthermore, you should review your home listing closely before it is published. Because if your home listing is filled with grammatical errors or inaccuracies, buyers may shy away from your house.
As you look for ways to promote your residence to the right groups of buyers, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. In fact, if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive plenty of support as you navigate the property selling journey.
A real estate agent will help you list your residence, set a competitive initial asking price for it and set up home showings and open house events. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions during the property selling journey, you can receive expert responses from your real estate agent.
Ready to add your house to the real estate market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can consider the buyer's perspective and increase your chances of enjoying a quick, profitable house selling experience.
Flooring is a significant part of your home interior decor. It bears the brunt of your daily activities and is always the first surface to reflect wear and tear. With that in mind, consider installing high-end flooring that is durable, lasts longer, and of course, makes your home more appealing. Luxurious flooring can boost your home value tremendously when it is time to sell. Here are top luxury flooring options that are the perfect combination of affordable luxury:
Hardwood flooring has features that bring a natural flair of luxury into your home. Categories of top, quality, hardwood flooring are exotic hardwoods and reclaimed woods. Upgrading from carpeting to hardwoods adds value, decreases allergens and takes your home up a notch.
Reclaimed hardwoods: Reclaimed hardwood is recycled wood from old barns, industrial buildings, and other teardowns. They come in a plethora of species including: walnut, oak, pine, hickory and elm.
Exotic hardwoods: Exotic hardwoods are a great value because of the scarcity of the wood types in demand. Exotic wood comes from continents like South America and Africa, and the species of wood used include: Brazilian Tigerwood, Bloodwood and Cumaru.
Natural Stone Flooring
Natural stone flooring is an option that oozes beauty and adds class to your home. However, stone flooring is one of the most costly options on the market today due to the processes involved with quarrying and transporting the stones. Before you install natural stone flooring, it is important to remember that the harder and denser the stone, the more costly the floor will be per square foot. Also remember that the features of the stone tile influence a homeowner's buying decision. Such features include the color, rarity and, most importantly, the kind of stone used. With a dizzying world of options to choose from, you may want to start with some samples of natural stone flooring such as cobbled stone, Jerusalem stone marble and granite.
Luxury Vinyl Tile
Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) is one of the most popular options for many homeowners who want to have a taste of luxury but remain within the realm of affordability. LVT is durable and injects a feeling of affluence with its natural wood or stone look. It is resistant to dents, chips, moisture damage and heat. Luxury Vinyl Tile flooring is perfect for those who want high-end flooring at a guilt-free price.
Mosaic/Designer Ceramic Floor Tiles
Bring a touch of style and luxury into your home with mosaic floor tiles. This type of flooring comes in a wide range of options to choose from such as Italian tiles, antique reclaimed tiles, pebble mosaics, custom mosaics, glass tiles and handmade tiles.
Visit your professional flooring store and consult with a designer on some of the best flooring options to consider for your home and office space. If you plan to sell, check with your real estate agent to see what's going for top dollar in your current market.
Floating shelves offer your space a more streamlined look. Your walls seem less cluttered, which allows your focus pieces to take center stage.
Because floating shelves require less space than traditional shelves, you can put them anywhere all while maintaining your floor space below. They can be any length you choose -- within reason. You can even work around more permanent features like a fireplace, doorway, outlet or window.
You'll be surprised just how easy and affordable it is to install floating shelves and home much they'll delight guests and prospective homebuyers alike. You'd expect something this elegant to require specialized tools and a lot of engineering knowledge to avoid collapse. But follow these simple steps and you'll be enjoying your own in no time.
What you'll need
- Floating shelf brackets
- 20mm paddle drill bit
- Electric drill - *Pro Tip* Borrow. Don't buy unless you do projects like this frequently.
- Stain, poly & brushes
- Palm sander
- Your hardwood of choice - Poplar, oak, maple, walnut or cherry works great.
How to create floating shelves
Here's your step-by-step guide.
Measure your space
Determine how large to make your shelves. To achieve a floating effect, avoid stopping them right at the edge of other features. Give it some space.
*Pro tip* - Mom & Pop hardware and lumber stores will often cut the wood for you, so you don't have to worry about getting a saw.
Drill holes for brackets
Each bracket has two 6-inch steel rods. Measure the halfway point between them and mark the wood where it will be against the wall. Drill a 1" wide hole into each shelf edge, 7" deep.
Sand & stain
It's time to sand and stain. This process is very straight forward. But do this outside because sawdust will fly everywhere. Sanding not only smooths any rough spots. It also helps the shelves hold a more even stain for a flawless finish.
*Pro tip* Test your stain on an extra piece of the same wood. Stains can be unpredictable depending on the hue of the wood, how it absorbs the dye, etc. You may need to mix two stains to achieve the desired darkness and color.
Find the studs & install brackets
Install brackets directly into the studs, spaced apart to align with the holes that you drilled into your shelves so that the brackets slid easily into those holes.
Arrange your shelves
Place your shelves over the wall brackets. Because of their design, floating shelves can hold significant weight. But that defeats the purpose. Less is more on a floating shelf. So plan and arrange pieces that accentuate each other.
That's how to build a floating shelf. Follow our blog for more helpful home maintenance and design tips.