Older Homes – More Energy Efficient Than You Think

Older homes tend to get a bad rap for being energy inefficient. The truth is, many older homes have built-in energy-efficient systems that a homeowner should learn to use and, if possible, enhance. Here are some fake rolex examples of what I mean:

A stone or brick home with thick walls will retain heat in the winter and cool in the summer by way of its mass. Often, the older home will also have small windows on the third floor or attic. These are meant not only to allow light into the house, but also to allow hot air out in summer. Opening these small windows creates negative pressure inside the house, which then draws cool air from the basement. This is natural cooling at work. That’s because a basement’s mean temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees in summer. Utilizing this cooling air convection, combined with the thermal mass of the brick or stone home, means many of these homes can go several days at a time during a heat wave and not require any artificial air conditioning or cooling.

Since it’s heating season, we should also focus on some “passive” methods for making and keeping an older home warm.

Sash locks — These are the small closures on your double-hung windows you turn to lock them shut. You probably think they are for security, but they are really there to push the two sashes tightly into the sash frame and also to pull the sashes tightly together. This small piece of hardware makes your older wooden windows much more efficient by creating a tighter seal. Many older double-hung windows have not been properly maintained over the decades. The top sash might be stuck with paint, or the sash frame may be “out of square.” Other common problems are weights and chains that have failed. All of these problems can be fixed with some TLC and good carpentry. Happy to help; just give us a call.

Taking Control of Your Home Reno Experience

When our company begins any new home renovation project with a client, I ask the homeowners what kind of remodeling experience they want to have. They always look at me blankly in response. Whether they’re planning major home overhauls or making minor improvements, they seem to think their renovation experience is out of their hands. They couldn’t be more wrong.

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We’re in The News!

Discussing modern day marketing and how we do it in :

Remodeling Magazine

We are moving to e marketing because it’s more sustainable than snail mail. E marketing doesn’t require little gas powered trucks driving all over to deliver cards with our contact info on them.

But in order for this to work we need your help. When you share our newsletters and other marketing materials with your friends and neighbors, you are helping all of us be more sustainable!

“Plumb Level Square” Does Not Always Apply

Plumb Level Square is a touch stone phrase carpenters and other craftsmen use to be sure their work is tidy. But it doesn’t always apply. Here is the proof. Enjoy the show!

These photos were taken at The Wooden Boat Show hosted by The Antique Boat Museum in Clayton NY. Its a fine museum with many open water slips and covered galleries where they show off amazing wooden craft of the Finger Lakes Region in NY.

Anyone who appreciates wooden construction methods will be blown away by the craftsmanship and engineering of these craft. It’s no easy task to make wood take these shapes!

Choosing a Contractor: The Inside Scoop

At our company, I field all the sales calls. This means I spend time on the phone with potential customers. This is where I learn about the projects they’re interested in. I ask a lot of questions. I ask about their intended project, problems or issues they might be having with their homes. I get general information from callers too, like address and contact information, age and condition of their home. I ask about their budget. Knowing that callers have a reasonable assumption about costs is important because without that, it’s going to be hard to help them. I will also ask if they have worked with another Design to Build general contractor before. I learn a lot about other construction companies and what ticks homeowners off about them from this part of my conversation.

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The Sweet Smell of Home Improvement

Most people don’t know that their houses smell new and much nicer after they renovate. It’s kind of like “new house smell” gets sprayed on their home.

The first week or two of construction is dusty and may not smell very good. In fact, it can uncover many BAD smells, like mildew, rot or sewer gases. It’s icky. No two ways about it.

But after that phase, NEW STUFF is installed. So you smell all the new pine lumber, plywood, drywall, primer and paint, adhesives and polishes. The new cabinets often still smell of varnish or paint. Floors can smell terrible during the varnishing process, but after that they smell fantastic. In fact, two of my favorite scents include new cement and fresh wax — a fine old-time finish.

The experience of finally being able to see, touch — and smell! — so many thousands of dollars of shiny, new, wonderful stuff you ordered 6 weeks or more beforehand can be a little overwhelming. Customers can’t keep from touching and playing with things. They “oooooh” and “aaaaah,” even though they selected the goodies themselves. But the excitement can also cause them to do naughty little things, like put their fingers into wet paint or step on wet tile floors. I myself have been guilty of doing both. It’s like sticking your finger in a birthday cake to taste it. You just can’t help yourself.

Home Changes, Life Changes

Many of our customers of replica handbags have older homes, in which large, complex or expensive projects have been delayed. Sometimes, the needed renovations are really overdue, but we are glad our customers waited until they found us to work on their homes.

Renovating a home is stressful. It costs money — sometimes a lot of it. Just to remind ourselves of these facts, we renovate our own homes from time to time.

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We’re On Vimeo! Take 2!

Check out this cool, new trailer about our team at Myers Constructs, Inc.

This is just another example of our efforts to market our business without polluting the earth in the process. We’ve found that we don’t have to rely so much on the postal service to deliver printed marketing materials when we get great results from the organic sharing of our messages. So, please share this clip with your circle of contacts … and stay tuned for more fun media soon!

Chestnut Hill Kitchen/Powder Room Reno

Today, we are beginning the construction portion of a small kitchen and powder room renovation in Chestnut Hill. This cute, Tudor-style twin is home to two adults, two kids, and a senior-age dog.

The kitchen was no longer functioning well for this family. Here is their wish list:

  • Better flow/space function/circulation
  • Better/more prep area
  • New location for the fridge, which is currently in the unheated shed area out back
  • Better storage
  • Better work surfaces
  • Better kitchen efficiency
  • Open plan kitchen/dining room to engage the whole family
  • Better venting of cooking area
  • Better lighting
  • A more discreet powder room
  • Better pantry use
  • Staging area for lunch boxes, keys and things that need charging
  • Better organization of the many doors in the room that access powder room, pantry and basement
  • Stay tuned for updates on how this project is coming along!

    A Stylish DIY Project

    Many people think of furnishing their home as a single expedition to a big-name supplier where they can buy a “set” of furniture to fill their rooms. They plop down their credit card and call their room “done.”

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