Energy Efficient Remodeling Solutions for the Home


As Spring approaches we all think about remodeling and we want to fix things up, clean things out, up grade, spruce up and generally make things better. We usually start with our homes, the place we live. How can we make it better, more special than it already is, an even nicer place to share with those we love? If money is not object, then it’s easy……..let’s just knock out a wall and add a wing. The reality is that is NOT where most of us live……counting our dimes is more like it for most of us.

So what can we who are on a budget do, to share in the excitement of a “new look” for our home? Let’s look at the things that we think can make the most difference. Most of the time, when you hear someone describe their home with which they are dissatisfied, it is in terms of “it’s so dark”, “it’s dull and depressing”, or I just want something to “brighten things up a bit.” IF this is what you are feeling, let me tell you about a way you can do all these things, and do it without breaking the budget.

Think about it, we have an ever present source of clean light every day in the sun. But how can we get it into our homes where it will do the most good for us? Of course, more windows is the obvious way, but they can cost LOTS and require major changes to walls, roofs and other parts of the house. But what about using something that would bring the sun inside WITHOUT all this mess and expense? That is where a Solar Tube comes into it’s own. It does all this and does it at a fraction of the cost of adding windows.

We have a bathroom in our home that has a very small window up high over the tub that let’s in some light but with the shower curtain closed to cover the tub, it does not do a very good job and you always felt as if you were entering some kind of dark, inner chamber that was NOT very inviting. We installed a simple Solar Tube and it has made a tremendous difference. Now, when
we come out of the bathroom during the day, for a long time, we would reach for the light switch to turn off the light…..which was not on! It is that bright! It almost feels like you are stepping into a “sun room”. Our home is all on one level so it is easy to add to any room but this would be more difficult if you are trying to do this in a two story house, but I’m sure a good contractor could help you find a solution to that. An additional “perk” for this type of passive lighting is that in some states you can actually receive a tax credit to help offset some of the cost since this is considered to be an alternative energy solution to reducing our energy needs. Many roofing companies in New Jersey offer a multitude of solar solutions for the home.

All in all, it is a great way to brighten up the dark rooms in your house at a low cost. And maybe best of all, after you get it installed, you will NEVER have another bill for the light that you are using making this project an instant moneysaver. offers green solutions for everything from roofing and siding installation at the Jersey Shore to building additions for the home.

Building an Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchens are for any and everyone who is looking to enjoy an outdoor oasis with food, family and friends. They just cannot be beat for relaxation and entertaining.

Outdoor fireplaces or fire pits can stretch the season of enjoyment and entertaining.

Now that you have the inspiration to create your own outdoor kitchen it’s time for the fun to begin. Selecting the things that will meet the needs and desires of you and your family should be a great experience.

Your outdoor kitchen project doesn’t have to be ultra expensive and planning is very important in this area.

Lots of people use their existing patio area for their outdoor kitchen. Whatever your choice, comfort and relaxation should be paramount.

The planning is the next step where you will research the plans that most nearly meet your vision and needs. Planning done thoughtfully and precisely can help to avoid many difficulties.

There is an abundance of magazines and books on the outdoor kitchen to get your creative juices flowing. And, don’t forget to use your internet for research as well.

When you have decided on your design, the next step is deciding on the components that make your outdoor kitchen function the best. Important answers as to which grill will be the best for your project and should I get a dishwasher and garbage compactor installed will need answers?

Decorators and designers will tell you it’s all in the details and that is what you will be dealing with next as you decide on the accessories.

Should I get outdoor curtains, lattice or other decorative materials? Should I get a table and chairs to go along with the bar stools? And, what about a misting system to help cool along with the ceiling fan? Should the lighting be recessed?

These are a few of the many decisions you will need to make and the process should not only be thoughtful but fun.

Constructing a Safe Room in Your Home

First of all, you think, why would anyone in a civilized country need a safe room?  There are many different reasons for needing a safe room.  The weather is one of the main reasons people in the southeastern and mid western parts of the US build safe rooms and feel that they are a good investment for them.

There are other valid reasons just as important as weather for building a safe room into your home.
With the increase of home invasions and the reduction in police personnel a safe room provides an extra layer of protection.
Also, there are more and more residences where women and small children are living alone.
One of the first things you can do to improve your security is to get an “outside” quality door in stalled in your inside room.  Also, install a quality lock; however, locks are only as strong as the quality of material surrounding
them.  Therefore, you will need to reinforce the door frame to withstand above average force applied.
For home invasion purposes some install more than one safe room in a home especially if there is more than one level in the home.
In deciding on what quality door need a door that can withstand the weight of a 180 lb. man constantly slamming himself into the door is imperative.  The sales person can help you with this decision.