A Homeowner’s Guide to Saving the Planet

Humans are amazing. This past century, we have discovered many, many things. We are modernising the world itself. Our ways of living have improved so much in just a short span of time. But the humans’ rapid breakthroughs in technology had its consequences.

Yes, we made amazing discoveries to improve our day-to-day lives, we made life much more convenient, and we made the world a lot smaller by communications technology. But it came with a dire price. In the process of modernisation, we also did grievous damages to Mother Nature.

We have altered Nature’s landscape, and we have destroyed the habitats of some animals. We polluted our atmosphere and our lakes. We dumped toxic chemicals in bodies of water, which killed valuable marine animals, and we’ve created cars, which emitted harmful gas compounds that made holes in our ozone.

We enjoyed the luxuries of our modern technology and neglected the destruction we caused to our world. Fortunately, we humans have realised our dreadful error sometime in the last decade, and have made reasonable efforts in reversing the damage.

As denizens of our beloved Earth, we must not dismiss the efforts of our brethren in saving the environment. Everything we do counts.

As homeowners, we can start helping the Earth by altering some of the things we do to, and in, our home.

Plant some greens

We destroyed many trees and forests to build our huge cities. We burned extravagant amounts of fossil fuels in our factories and transportation, filling our atmosphere with carbon dioxide and other dangerous gases. And there aren’t enough trees to absorb the massive amounts of carbon dioxide.

By building a garden, whether outside or inside your home, you are actively helping in diminishing air pollution. And you’ll also receive oxygen and fruits from the plants.

Reduce energy consumption

We use electricity in our daily lives. In generating electricity, we consume fossil fuels. The method is relatively cheap, but it causes severe damage and pollution to our planet.

By conserving energy, we are reducing the harm done to Mother Nature. It is obvious that we can’t just stop our use of electricity, so what can we do? Avoid energy waste and be more energy efficient.

Here are some things you can do to be more efficient in energy consumption:

  • Insulating your roof

If you live in cold areas, you probably use heaters so you can stay warm. But the heat it generates eventually escapes to the roof. To make your home more energy efficient, insulate your roof so that the warm air will stay inside. You can also convert your loft while you’re at it. You can find more information on this at Fulhamlofts.co.uk.

  • Replace old appliances

Ten years ago, we used appliances, but we didn’t know that it consumed significant amounts of electricity to function. But because of the advancement in technology, energy efficient appliances are now available.  These appliances are two to ten times more effective than their old counterparts.

By doing these things, you will help save our planet, you will enhance your home’s beauty, and you will be saving money on your energy bills. So, what’s not to love?

Striving for an eco-friendly home: How-to tips

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A lot of projects elevate your home and also enhance your family’s way of living. You can enjoy these projects’ advantages and updates if you work on these. And once you have done these developments and make environment-friendly upgrades, you can begin earning from your investments through green energy technologies.

Kitchen Renovation

cl2As to a lot of people, they consider the kitchen the heart of homes. That’s why upgrading the kitchen will benefit you. Studies show that you can get your investments back for 60%-120% on remodelling your kitchen. But don’t overdo it. Your kitchen shouldn’t outshine any other part of the house or your neighbourhood.

Effectiveness of Paint

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If we’re talking about the expenses of renovating your kitchen, it can range from $5,000 up to $75,000 or even more. You can definitely see your money’s worth by considering your kitchen’s colour. Having a vibrant paint and a fresh look of colours can improve how your kitchen looks. And another is, paint can cost you less.

Use Appliances that are Energy-Efficient

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Use appliances that are energy-efficient and replace your old ones. These type of appliances are environment-friendly and since they use less energy, it will help you save your money. In looking for new homes, buyers will consider those ones that can save them money.

Adding Bathrooms

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If you want to build an extra space for a bathroom, look for any unused rooms or spaces in the house. These spaces may be closets or those spaces under the staircase. The space requirement varies depending on which kind of bathroom you want. It will require around 18 square feet for a half-bath, 30 square feet for a full bath with a shower, and 35 square feet if you want to include a bathtub.

Adding bathrooms can cost you a lot, depending on the additional accessories you like and other add-ons you want. It would be best if you check constantly on different home depots since they often have great discounts on their toilets or sinks.

Renewing a Room

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It will be an extremely expensive project to add more area to your house for a new room. Yes, you can earn your investment back on putting up a new room, but the 50% to 83% of that can be uncontrollable. You can see examples of this in TV shows. Their house remodelling begins with a $15,000 budget and ends up to $30,000 or even greater when they encounter problems during the remodelling.

Instead of building a new room, recreate an existing one to save money like turning your attic (see Mansard loft) into a bedroom, or have a basement. A lot of people also adds small rooms in their garages for renting.

Home improvements can come with a lot of expenses, but it can also bring a positive way of living. With better appliances that will cost you less, in the long run, being creative and resourceful towards the designs and efficiency of your rooms. All of this can help add up to your happiness and satisfaction within the four corners of your home.

Planning permission rules for loft conversions 2016

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Are you thinking to extend your livable space in your home? Maybe add some external extensions to the side or back of your home? Or maybe even converting your dusty, useless loft above your ceiling and turning it into a useful asset?

I tell you, converting your loft is the best option for extending your usable space in your home. It adds a great deal of property value and is a less expensive option than adding external extensions. It also recycles your supposedly unusable space in your attic.

If you are planning on converting your loft into a habitable space, you may not be considering it to be subject to some building restraints like those typical house extension projects than is normally attached to the front, side, or back of your home.

Yes, a loft conversion for your home is usually considered by authorities to be a permitted development, meaning it does not require an application for planning permissions. But certain conditions and limits must be met.

Like any other new buildings, any changes in your loft require building regulations to make sure that you follow safety measures. These building regulations are what they call Parts L, K, B, and P.

Part L demands that every loft should have insulation. Part K requires minimum headroom of 2m in all escape routes like stairs to prevent anyone from accidents like falling. Part B is all about fire safety. Lastly, Part P calls for electrical safety and that means you need to hire a professional to make sure that everything is under control.

And also, adding of up to fifty (50) cubic meters, or forty (40) cubic meters for terraced homes, fall under permitted development. But if you are living in some places like in a conservation area or a listed building, you will need to secure a planning permission. You will also need a planning permission if you are considering on altering your roof height or shape.

Roof lights and dormer lofts can also be considered to be permitted developments and it must not be sitting forward of the roof plane on your home on the principal elevation. They also must not be higher than the highest part of your existing roof.

Here are also some conditions from planningportal.co.uk that homeowners should meet for any loft conversions:

  • A volume allowance of 40 cubic metres additional roof space for terraced houses*
  • A volume allowance of 50 cubic metres additional roof space for detached and semi-detached houses*
  • No extension beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the principal elevation that fronts the highway
  • No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof
  • Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms
  • Side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor
  • Roof extensions not to be permitted development in designated areas**
  • Roof extensions, apart from hip to gable ones, to be set back, as far as practicable, at least 20cm from the original eaves
  • The roof enlargement cannot overhang the outer face of the wall of the original house.

So before anything else, homeowners should ensure that everything is under control to avoid violating laws or rules or even accidents caused by lack of safety measures in your homes. At the end, safety is all that matters.

Home tips: 4 things you can do to help save Mother Earth

The Earth, the planet we live in, as we know it is slowly dying. That is an undeniable fact. And for centuries, we humans have done nothing to prevent or even to slow down the inevitable.

The technology we have is becoming more and more advanced and with it comes even more destructive substances for Mother Earth. But slowly and steadily, we have come to know and admit our mistake. People are now advocating for a more “green” environment.

We should do our part in helping stave off our world’s demise. It is the least we could do considering all Mother Earth has done for us.

Now, eco-friendly projects are being launched. Engineers are now discovering ways for their machines and infrastructures to be more environmentally sound.

So we, as citizens and as the only intelligent race of the planet, should also lend our help in saving Mother Earth.

Now we can do a lot to help. Every little thing counts. As homeowners, we can help by tweaking and changing little bits in our home.

Here are 4 things you can do to help save Mother Earth:

  1. Replace all your old light bulbs

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Yes. I told you, even little things count. Those old light bulbs waste a lot of energy and that essentially means a lot of Mother Earth’s resources are wasted.

They use up about 90% of energy to convert to heat and light. Not to mention it only produces a meagerly annoying light. Now, think about all the energy wasted. Buying LED bulbs and fluorescent lamps can significantly lower down your energy bills.

      2. Insulate your roof

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It is a reality that our home tends to be either too cold or too hot. We get uncomfortable so we spend a lot of money on temperature altering appliances.

These devices emit loads of destructive elements like CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) that can harm our atmosphere.

Here’s a thought. Why not insulate your roof?

Insulating your roof causes heat to get trapped inside your home making it a great deal warmer inside. You won’t have to rely on heaters and other similar appliances anymore.

Companies like Chiswick loft conversions specialises in turning dusty old lofts to purposeful new rooms which come with roof insulation. 

       3. Replace your old appliances

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Saving energy means saving the Earth. Old appliances are very inefficient and use up a lot of energy. Take for example an old refrigerator. It consumes about three times more energy than a new one. If you replace your old appliances for new ones, you will not only be saving a lot of money on energy bills, you will be decreasing your overall energy consumption thus helping to save our planet.

       4. Go for green

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What better way to save Mother Nature than by placing nature all around you? By planting or placing trees and plants around your house, you will be decreasing the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide content. And your house will look very enchanting with all the greenery around.

Let us all help save the earth in our ways. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you do big or small things, it all counts.

Renovating a Home Smartly

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A lasting home restoration could range from updating windows and insulation to switching out the floor covering with eco-friendly products. The initial tenet of environment-friendly structure is to save energy in every method you could: via the course of the restoration and in your daily living, the means your home uses and saves energy will identify simply exactly how lasting your home has actually come to be.

When refurbishing, you must utilize products that have actually been recycled, re-purposed or harvested from a sustainable resource, yet a genuinely environment-friendly living atmosphere should take some various other points into factor to consider. The electricity and products that go into recycling, production and shipping can negate the ecological concern that went into the item style, so you’ll need to go shopping with some background understanding and a cautious eye.

Insightful Designs for a Greener Home

If you’re making a few little upgrades, decide on wisely when switching out each kind of design, installation or framework. Low-flow plumbing components, no-VOC paint, recycled timber flooring slabs and tight installation, reduced electricity replacement windows are all much better options compared to their typical counterparts. Whichever material you make a decision on, ensure to look a little much deeper than the neologism on the tag: supporting severe chemicals, nonessential packaging and firms that are simply cycling the green building wave without living up to their manufacturing responsibilities will counteract your ideal intents.

Is Wood a Wasteful or Prudent Choice?

You’ll probably require an excellent amount of wood if you’re preparing a big renovation like an addition or an overhaul of the inside. While new wood can be ecologically harmful, some timber is really a really sustainable choice: products made from farmed timber are commonly much more eco-friendly, as several of these companies will plant a tree for each one that they take from the ground. You could choose for a wood replacement like engineered timber, cork or bamboo that has actually been increased organically in order to gain the rewards of timber without the adverse environmental impacts.

Sustaining environmentally-sound tree farming is a step in the right direction, yet there is a more lasting wood source readily available. Reclaimed lumber is increasing in popularity, and permanently factor: not just is old lumber sturdy, special and rustic, yet taking it from riverbeds, old barns and discovered furniture has practically zero impact on brand-new growth and the land around you. If you’re having trouble locating the wood you require, why not check out a construction site where they will certainly cast aside flawlessly usable pieces, or else visit a farm and ask about any kind of aged barns or sheds that have actually been dismantled. A little looking can go a long means, so commit time now to take pleasure in a greener house in the future.