Monthly Archives: May 2013

Efficient Living: How Going Green In Your Home Can Keep the Green In Your Pocket.

Efficient Living!

How Going Green In Your Home Can Keep the Green In Your Pocket.

Whether it’s an unwavering commitment to the planet or a common sense approach to saving money, the idea of going “green” in the home continues to make headway as more Americans turn to higher efficiency living post economic downturn world, while consequently delivering a win-win situation for the consumer pockets and ecologically motivated sustainable living.

Eco Friendly

So you want to go green in your home? Then you’re not alone. According to several recent studies, in upwards of 90 percent of buyers want to buy green. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently issued a study outlining home buyer preferences, from kitchen and bath to designs and layouts, to technology, energy efficiency and everything in between. According to the study, What Home Buyers Really Want, a staggering nine out of ten home buyers would rather buy a home with energy-efficient features and permanently lower utility bills than one without those features that costs 2 percent to 3 percent less.

In a 2013 consumer survey by Green Builder magazine, 59.6 percent of respondents say they were living a “green life” while 40.4 percent said no. Of those that said no, 90.4 percent said they would like to live a more sustainable life. 85 percent of respondents also believed that highlighting energy efficiency features of a home would help it sell faster.

But what is “green”, really? Honestly for some, including people, groups and corporations, it is an opportunity to brag about being ecologically aware while over-promising environmental stewardship and sustainability. But for the rest of us, it is a brilliant and simple way to improve our way and quality of living, save on expenses, and in the process, do our small part to deliver positive impact to the environment.

Energy management and resource conservation in your home is the best way to reduce wasteful spending on monthly expenses, while taking a small step toward environmental responsibility.
From the light bulbs you use to the insulation in your ceiling, there are several ways to start chipping away at your utility bills. Some cost effective For example, adding ceiling insulation to your home can help your air conditioning system reduce its workload by keeping unwanted heat out of home, or air sealing your home around areas such as windows to keep the cold in. On the higher end, the same heat deflecting properties can also be found in reflective or cement based energy saving roofs and Energy-Star qualified windows, if you’re currently looking to replace your current one.

Living spaces are also a good place to start looking for cost cutting measures. Updating your kitchen to Energy-Star rated appliances or changing to higher efficiency air conditioning unit, programmable thermostats or home automation systems can also assist you in trimming down your energy consumption. Water conservation through low flow or dual flush toilets and water flow reducing water faucets can also help you with your water company.

But, if the budget isn’t currently there, free, common sense energy saving practices can get you moving in the right direction. Raising the temperature of your A/C unit when you leave to work and making sure all your lights and appliances are off or cutting long shower times down to a minimum are all great ways to kick off an environmentally aware, cost saving campaign in your home.

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Quick! What’s Trending in Kitchens for 2013? Here are is our top 4 likes for the first half of the year!

Kitchen Trends 2013

Quick! What’s Trending in Kitchens for 2013? Here are is our top 4 likes for the first half of the year!

New Colors: Kitchens are once again breaking tradition and continue to move away from the long standing wood based colors, such as Cherry and Traditional Browns. Although Espresso colors remain extremely popular, many of the younger homeowners seem to be gradually trending towards cutting edge high gloss finishes in whites, reds, greens and other unusual designs and patterns. Color combos in also seem to be making their way into the kitchen. These are definitely not your mother’s kitchen.

New Hardware: The nuts and bolts in kitchen cabinets are transforming the way we use our kitchen. Hardwar manufacturer Blum is coming up with some innovative hinges that offer push to open, which allows customers to eliminate the handles, and innovative opening designs that combine functionality with that “WOW!” factor.

New Sinks: From the green apron-front sink by Kohler to stainless steel farmers sinks to seamless quartz sinks from Silestone, sinks are quickly shifting from functional to eye catching art.

And don’t forget, new High Tech Faucets: Welcome to the future! Touch to start or sensor driven kitchen faucets are helping those hands by allowing us to initiating the flow by with a simply touch. Great for those dirty hands!

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Kitchen and Bath Cabinets Take Off in 2013, As Real Estate Bounces Back to Life Across the Country.

An improving housing market, and hopes of a better economy, seems to be motivating consumers back into home remodeling, with cabinet sales seeing a strong double digit increase at the beginning of 2013.

Do an internet search on home sales, and one can see a significant turnaround from the bad news we had become accustomed to over the past several years. Now it seems the same could be said about the cabinetry business, with recent stats showing double digit improvements, year over year, for the first 2 months of 2013. Even CEO’s from major cabinet brands are seeing a significant uptick in business driven by new home construction and an improving home remodeling market.

According to Tom O’Grady, one of the head guys at National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), “Homeowners are tired of waiting to make improvements—many have chosen to stay put—and better financial positioning has them actively approaching professionals to get work done and enhance long-term livability of the home.”

Tom O’Grady made the mention when NARI stated in its first-quarter Remodeling Business Pulse (RBP), overall current business conditions have seen steady increases since March of 2012. In the press release, he also went on to say, “Remodelers nationwide are not only experiencing increased activity right now, but many have a backlog of projects well into the fall”

In addition to this, the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) said members of its monthly Trend of Business Survey reported cabinet sales for February 2013 increased +14.1 percent compared to sales for February 2012, year-to-date sales show an increase of +15.7 percent. This is a stellar improvement from the prior year, where by May 2012, year-to-date sales showed a dismal increase of +2.7 percent from the previous year. All eyes will be on a continued improvement in housing and the overall economy to support not the cabinetry markets, but home improvement overall.

But although consumers are now stepping back into the home improvement market, no industry professional can lose sight of the fact that it’s not the same market we experienced a decade ago when the real estate bubble was building and folks we’re using second mortgages to fund major products. After an economic turmoil like the one we’re trying to pull out of, many people are minding their wallets and competitive pricing will be at the front lines of most decisions. One can also expect customers to trend to more affordable solutions. According to the February data from (KCMA), year-to-date sales showed that stock sales up +23.1 percent, semi-custom sales up +8.7 percent, and custom sales up +14.5 percent.

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