Energy Saving Tips – 6 Conservation Ideas For Home Lighting

Consider these home energy saving tips and conservation ideas and lower your lighting costs and save electricity. According to the U.S department of Energy, the electricity used just for home lighting on average accounts for over 10% of the total household energy used. With a combination of proper techniques and new lighting technologies, any homeowner can make significant improvements and increase the energy efficiency of their indoor home lighting.

The most cost efficient way to reduce the amount of electricity used to light your home is to simply increase and maximize the amount of natural light that enters your home. The new age of home construction and interior design is maximizing natural lighting by placing heavy focus on spacious living spaces coupled with the right furnishing and the right window treatments.

With that said, you don’t have to take on an expensive remodel or hire a professional interior designer to get started. Maximizing natural light coupled with new energy efficient lighting will significantly reduce the cost of lighting in any home. Here are some home energy saving tips and conservation ideas that are sure to reduce your home lighting costs.  

Energy Saving Tips And Conservation Ideas For Home Lighting

  1. First and foremost, keep your windows as clean and clear as possible. Just cleaning your windows can improve transparency by as much as 20%.
  2. When decorating a room, take into consideration the direction of the room. South and west facing rooms receive plenty of natural light. So if you’re decorative taste calls for darker colored window treatments, paints and furnishings, consider these rooms first. Use lighter and more transparent colors in east and north facing rooms to further maximize on the limited amount of natural light these rooms receive. 
  3. In general avoid using dark and heavy curtains and drapes. Instead consider energy saving window treatments such as cellular or honeycomb shades. These treatments actually reduce costly heat loss and heat gain better and there considerably more transparent than dark curtains and drapes.
  4. Switch to energy star certified CFL light bulbs. Start with the most used light fixtures through out the house. Bedroom lamps and living room lamps generally make good choices.
  5. CFLs are not all the same. They come in different shapes and sizes, some types are designed for certain type of light fixtures. Knowing these differences will maximize the energy efficiency of your home lighting.
  6. CFL light bulbs are efficient because there designed to use considerably less electricity (measured in watts) to produce the same amount of light (measured in lumens). When making the switch this must be considered. In short replace a 60 watt traditional bulb with about a 13 watt CFL bulb.

Kohler Kitchen Faucets And Bath Fixtures Reviewed

Anybody that has ever shopped for a faucet has probably heard of Kohler. They are one of the leading companies for the production of faucets and fixtures. Kohler kitchen faucets are trusted by many contractors because of the way they are built and the warranty they provide. The mission of Kohler is “to improve your sense of gracious living in every experience you have with a Kohler product or service”.

That is a pretty strong mission and since 1873, they have been proving to customers that they provide the best products and service possible. From sustainable kitchen products to Kohler bath fixtures, you can get all the furnishing you need for a remodel project of your kitchen or your bathroom from Kohler.

The History of Kohler

John Michael Kohler came from America in 1854 because his father decided to move and purchase the majority interest of Union Iron and Steel Foundry. They settled in Sheboygan, Wisconsin where the company was located. After 19 years, Kohler Co. was founded right in the middle of a financial panic in the United States that had left many railroads bankrupt and many without jobs.

John Michael persisted as he made cast-iron implement for farmers, ornamental hitching posts, urns, benches, cemetery crosses and small castings for local furniture dealers. In 1883, he created an enamel powder, sprinkled it on a basin after heating it to 1700-degrees Fahrenheit and made this new ingestion the centerpiece of his catalog. Below the picture, it said, “Horse Trough/Hog Scalder – When furnished with four legs will serve as a bathtub”.

Not only did he start Kohler Co., but he was also elected as the mayor of Sheboygan and created the first opera house in the city. In 1899, however, he decided to his company four miles outside the city because he believed the city had become too congested. He moved the location to an intersection including a river and two Indian trails, which was four miles away from any of the utilities and labor force. The Sheboygan Press called this “Kohler’s Folly”.

Only days after the factor was completed John Michael died and the factory was actually burned to the ground three months later. He left four sons behind, which were able to resurrect the place, but five years later, the older two died. Luckily, one of his sons was gifted with unusual talents and was elected President of the company in 1905. He added bras and ceramic fixtures to help the growing bathroom product line and he started looking into the automatic power and light for farmers.

In 1929, Walter became the Governor of Wisconsin as he continued to serve as the president of the company. The company, as we know it today, would not exist if it were not for John Michael’s sons. Kohler has always been known as a hard working company and they still hold onto their roots today.

What you Get with a Kohler Faucet

When you decide you want a Kohler faucet for your bathroom or kitchen, you can be sure that you will get a quality built unit that will enhance the overall look and function of the area. Your house will be different because of these high-end faucets and you will get the newest technology, colors, finishes and materials.

Kohler carries a number of different collections to fit different styles. There are many finished to choose from including nickel, wrought iron, chrome, black iron, bronze, stainless steel, chrome and many varieties of these finishes. They have something that will fit with nearly any remodel and the styles include art deco, modern, contemporary and many others.

The main thing you get with a Kohler faucet is a dependable product that functions at a high level. The inner parts are all solid brass and zinc die-cast to give you a longer lasting faucet. They make sure that your faucet is protected against the minerals and water residue, so that you can enjoy it longer without needing to replace it.

Kohler also uses ceramic disc valves because they last longer and resist rust. They also permit efficient flow of water. The value found in a Kohler faucet will make it worth it and this is why many contractors trust these faucets. Most of their faucets are very affordable compared to other choices and they are a highly rated company by many in the home building industry.

Preliminary Notices and Mechanics Liens – A Contractor’s Right Can Be a Homeowner’s Plight

Every homeowner who embarks on a home remodeling or building project looks forward to their dream home beginning to take shape. They anticipate a flurry of activity at the beginning, first with demolition followed by the arrival of materials and subcontractors ready to work.

Shortly thereafter, certified letters requiring their signature arrive in the mail from suppliers and subcontractors. When they anxiously open the letters to read the words “Preliminary Notice” stating that someone is asserting lien rights against their property – they panic! But they shouldn’t – at least not at this point. The homeowner is simply being alerted to a commonly used legal instrument in construction that ensures payment for services, labor and materials provided for a home remodeling or building project.

The purpose of a Preliminary Notice, also know as “Right To Lien”, “Pre-Lien” or “20 days Notice”, is to notify the owner of the property that if the party providing the Preliminary Notice is not paid, then that party will have the right to record a Mechanics Lien against the owners’ property. The time frame within which the notices must be sent to the property owner varies from state to state. Some must be sent to the homeowner within 20 days the sub contractor begins work on the project or when a supplier delivers materials. Other States have less than 20 days and still others have up to 90 or 120 days.

As a general rule, every subcontractor and materials supplier furnishing labor, services, equipment or materials to a construction project without a direct contract with the owner of the project, must give a written Preliminary Notice to the property owner if they want to retain their lien rights. Accuracy is essential for a valid preliminary notice. Notices should be served by certified or registered mail or if delivered in person, proper documentation and signatures must accompany the preliminary notice. Finally, receiving a preliminary notice does not mean someone is going to file a Mechanics Lien against you. It simply ensures their right to lien you if the contractor doesn’t pay them.

It is the responsibility of any homeowner who remodels or builds a home to educate him or her self about the construction laws in their state. Understanding lien laws and pre-lien rights and learning how to protect yourself from having a Mechanics Lien filed against your property are key to having greater control over the project and your money. Obtaining Lien Releases and Waivers after each payment to the contractor is something homeowners need to educate themselves about. Once you understand this, you’ll avoid the surprise and justified anger that the money given to the contractor to pay the subs and suppliers never transpired, despite the fact that it is his/her responsibility to do so. A homeowner typically finds this out when they get slapped with a Mechanics Lien against their property for non-payment from a supplier or sub contractor.

So just what is a Mechanics Lien and what should a homeowner to do at this point?

A Mechanics Lien is a legal claim to real property until a debt has been paid. If you employ a trades person or contractor to work on your home and a dispute arises wherein you refuse to pay, the worker has a right to file a lien thus making the property responsible for payment. Mechanics’ Liens must be recorded with the County recorder where the property is located. Liens must be enforced by a lawsuit to foreclose on the property within a specific time frame (varies from state to state -usually 90 up to 180 days) of the date of recording or they automatically become null, void and unenforceable. If this time has elapsed and the contractor has not filed a lawsuit within the time period allowed, then demand that he execute a release of lien in writing. If he refuses to cooperate then the homeowner can petition the courts for a decree to release the lien. This usually requires hiring an attorney, as the process can be somewhat complicated.

It’s important to note that unethical contractors file the majority of liens and usually the liens become null and void based on the fact that the burden of proof lies with them. It’s costly, requires legal representation, proper documentation but more importantly they have to be 100% correct to win their case. Moreover, these contractors never intend to perfect the lien but instead use it as a tactic to either scare the homeowner into paying them more money, or to get back at the homeowner who has filed a legitimate complaint against the contractor. Ethical contractors use it only as a last resort and know they have a legitimate case.

Good contractors strive to maintain excellent customer relationships by working with their clients to resolve problems, perform quality work, always pay their subs, and conduct themselves professionally with the goal of building a successful business. Finding an ethical contractor takes some work on the part of the homeowner but by doing so ensures having less problems and a more positive outcome for both parties.