Julianconstruction.com Increasing Energy Efficiency With Solar Panels

Solar panels make homes more energy efficient. The electricity that is generated by the panels is not only good for the environment, it can reduce your energy costs. The amount of money you can save by installing solar electrical systems is determined by how much electricity is used in your home.

Another benefit of installing solar panels is net metering, a term used to describe the policy of contributing any unused electricity back to the utility grid. Net metering was implemented to promote private investment in renewable energy. In California, it is a special billing arrangement that provides credits to customers with solar PV systems. How does net metering work? Solar panel systems generate most of their electricity during the middle of the day when the sun is shining. If your home produces more electricity than what is required, it goes back to the main utility grid. Homeowners receive credits at full retail rates for this excess electricity.

In addition to energy savings, installing a solar electric system helps reduce CO2, NOX and SO2 emissions. In a poll conducted by USA Today, 91% of survey respondents preferred solar power compared to other sources of power.

Solar panels do not make any noise and require very little maintenance. They can be installed when a home is being re-roofed and will add significant value to the property. The state and federal government also offers homeowners special tax benefits and rebates for using clean energy solutions. For example, California residents (and business owners) will receive cash back incentives under the states Go Solar program.

Do you want to know more about your current energy usage? The EPA has several tools that can help homeowners evaluate their energy usage and find out the best way to become more energy efficient. These EPA tools include the Home Energy Yardstick:
https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=home_energy_yardstick.showgetstarted

and Home Energy Advisor:
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=home_energy_advisor.showGetInput&__utma=172919287.1213405742.1380054400.1380054400.1380054400.1&__utmb=172919287.8.9.1380055517445&__utmc=172919287&__utmx=-&__utmz=172919287.1380054400.1.1.utmcsr=google|utmccn

The Home Energy Yardstick is an assessment of how much energy your home used during the past 12 months compared to similar types of homes. The data that is used to conduct the assessment comes from your utility bill. The tool uses an algorithm based on the size of your home, number of occupants and the weather in your area. Scoring is on a 1 to 10 scale. A home that scores 10 is performing well compared to other similar homes, while a home that scores 1 is performing poorly when compared to similar types of residences. To use the tool, you will need to provide your zip code, the square footage of your house, the number of occupants and utility bill data for the past 12 months.

The Home Energy Advisor is an online service that gives you free advice on improvements that can increase the energy efficiency of your home. To receive your recommendations, you will need to provide your zip code, data on how your home is cooled and heated, and information on the type of water heater that you use.

If you want to decrease energy costs and are considering installing solar panels, general contractors with experience in solar panel installations should be contacted to discuss your specific needs and options.

Bar Height Patio Furniture – Today’s Chic Trend In Outdoor Living Spaces

Bar Height Patio Furniture – Today’s Chic Trend in Outdoor Living Spaces

If you want to be considered fashionable by your friends and neighbors, you’ll want to make sure you take a good look at today’s bar height patio furniture.

Bar Height Patio Furniture is Stylish

I recently went to my friend Sheila’s house. She was so excited about her bar height patio furniture that she had to show me! Sheila had just furnished her deck with new patio furniture, and she wanted my opinion.

Sheila had chosen a bar height table with four chairs and an attractive bar height bistro set with two additional chairs. Both sets matched, and best of all, they were not expensive.

Bar height patio furniture is today’s newest trend in outdoor living spaces, be it patio, deck or even lawn furniture. By “bar height,” this furniture is taller than average, similar to bar stool height.

There are several materials that bar height patio furniture is made from, including wicker, rattan, pewter, aluminum, teak or metal, with some plastic pieces (called “resin”) also being manufactured. Some chairs include removable padded seats and backs, while others are designed to be used without cushions.

When you take outdoor furniture into consideration, you’ll want to remember to look for furniture that will be weather resistant and last a long time.

Even though you may not spend a lot on your outdoor furnishings, you certainly don’t want to be replacing them each year!

Bar Height Patio Furniture is Affordable

Many of the local big box stores like Walmart and Target are carrying bar height patio furniture, but you can also shop online as well as at other local shops. Garden centers, home improvement stores like The Home Depot and Menards, and even some specialty stores may carry this type of outdoor furnishings.

Prices can vary widely, starting at about $219 for a bar height bistro set with table and two chairs.

Online retailers can be more expensive. You’ll want to shop carefully since some retailers are looking to sell to those who want a patio set that is unique or one-of-a-kind. For example, the aluminum Tropitone Windsor Bar Height 3 piece Dining Set retails for about $2700.

Patio tables and chairs made from resin seem to be among the more inexpensive deck furniture.

Of course, you may also be able to find “deals” online, since retailers are working hard to encourage spending. Watch for specials and coupons, and don’t be afraid to call the company and ask if there are any additional discounts available.

Check for Weather Resistant Finishes

Bar height patio furniture can come in a number of weather resistant finishes. This is something you’ll want to research before your purchase. You’ll want to make sure that your bar height patio furniture doesn’t rust.

In addition, check the warranty on any chair cushions. See if the manufacturer is offering a warranty against the cushions fading.

Bar height tables will typically stand at about 40 inches, with chairs that fit the table comfortably.

Current styles include a table set with several chairs, a bistro set with a smaller table and two chairs, and a bar with stools. New styles are coming out shortly, so if you’re on the watch for the most up-to-date look, you’ll want to check back online and at your local stores.

I told Sheila that her deck furniture was beautiful!

It made me want to hurry home to shop for my own bar height patio furniture.

Energy Efficiency And Solar Power Systems Help San Diego Homeowners Cut Energy Costs

When it comes to balancing comfort and savings, industry experts recommend combining cost-effective energy efficiency measures with smaller solar power systems. The powerful benefit of solar power systems to create electricity added to reducing energy loss not only saves money, but also costs San Diego homeowners far less in the long run.

Electricity bills have skyrocketed lately everywhere, and San Diego is no exception to the trend. The average electricity consumption rate for a single family detached home in San Diego County is about 675 kWh per month. In June of 1999, that meant an electric bill of $71 but now, thanks to rising costs, that same consumption will result in an electric bill of $150.

For many San Diego homeowners, solar power systems have provided at least some relief from astronomical electricity costs. While the systems require an upfront investment, most solar panels come with a substantial warranty and will produce electricity for up to 40 years at practically no operating cost. The savings on electric bills from a solar power system will cover the investment in 6-8 years for most homeowners, leaving them with free electricity for another 20-30 years.

For example, a homeowner with a $150 average electricity bill today can either buy a solar power system for $17,500 after state and federal incentives or pay $150,000 over the next 30 years for the same amount of electricity. Over the last five years, more than 8,000 homeowners in San Diego have installed solar power systems. New financing options, such as third-party Power Purchasing agreements, allow homeowners to install solar power systems with little or no money down.

While solar power systems yield moderate savings for San Diego homeowners, a combination of solar power and energy efficiency can lead to even better results. By focusing on basic adjustments like insulation, duct sealing and LED bulbs, consumers can drastically cut the amount of energy wasted on heating, cooling and lighting. All it takes is a custom energy audit to figure out the right efficiency improvements. San Diego homeowners can invest 10-40% less than what is needed to install an average solar power system into energy efficiency measures and smaller-scale solar installations and reap the benefits of bigger financial savings and better energy efficiency for many years to come.

Each home uses energy differently and there are no generic solutions that are cost effective for everyone. But with the help of an expert energy auditor, homeowners can identify the custom solution that combines the right energy efficiency measures and solar power system size.

Get The Best Brushed And Oiled Oak Flooring For Your Home

Many people tend to forget that the floor of a house is as important as the roofing and the walls. People are more worried on the size of the compound and the size of the rooms. They are worried whether these rooms are big enough to accommodate all their belongings. They are more concern on their TV sets and the space to put them. However, when it comes to worrying about the floor coating there are several things to think about.

The type of flooring depends much on the texture and your style. There are different kinds of flooring which you may choose from. Each flooring has a different way of maintaining it. Therefore the treatment you give to your floor will determine its lifespan. Taking good care of the floor will help you save on the maintenance and other costs that might be brought about by not taking care of it.

Whereas other people may risk taking a new kind of flooring, several others would want to stick to oak flooring. If you want your floor to be much beautiful and perverted then go for the real oak flooring. Its texture offers different colours so it is ideal for you if you want something stylish. More importantly, another reason why it is loved by many is that it is durable and long lasting.

Many people believe that oak wood flooring is best used only in places where there is less activity in the house, but with the presence of engineered oak flooring, it can be used anywhere in the house, even in the bathroom. Generally speaking oak wood flooring is just a marvelous way to add worldliness to your house. It is a necessity for anybody who loves exchanging the spirit of the rooms.

Before you decide on the kind of oak flooring you want, you must first understand the different types of oak flooring. Solid oak flooring requires a high level of DIY so you have to look for a qualified fitter to avoid damaging the floor. Most manufacturing companies have installation instructions therefore you have to follow the condition laid down properly.

In the other hand lacquered oak flooring are well furnished therefore cleaning it isn’t much work. The only problem with this type is the scratches but most people regard this as another form of decoration. In the recent past brushed and oiled oak flooring is gaining popularity among many home owners. However, oiling of this floor should be done on a regular basis to maintain its texture.

Kitchen Cabinets- Creating Contrast By Combining Two Cabinet Colors

A growing trend in kitchen design is using two different style cabinets or two different color kitchen cabinets. If you are accustomed to the traditional uniform look in a kitchen, than this may be a new concept to you. There are a wide range of looks you can create by combining different cabinet styles, so I have pointed out a couple of the most common reasons below.

Creating a vintage or old-world kitchen look – when trying to create a vintage look in any room of your home, it is often common to mix antiques and new pieces to give the impression that items were accummulated over time. The same look can be achieved in the kitchen by using different style cabinets. A really good way to use two different styles is to use one color for the island and another for the cabinets. You can also use one color for the wall cabinets and one for the base cabinets. By simply choosing a two different style cabinets and adding some custom accessories, you can create the illusion that your kitchen was assembled over time

Adding a focal point to your kitchen – by using a different style cabinet on a specific wall, or over the cooktop, you can add a splash of color and create a focal point for the room. This is a great way to add some personality to your kitchen, and can be a great way to experiment with a color that may be too bold for the entire room.

Creating separate work spaces- Using two different cabinet styles in your kitchen is also a great way to create separate work areas in your kitchen. This can be used when there is a desk area in your kitchen, or when you simply want to separate the cook top area from the prep station.

The most common combination when using two different cabinet styles is picking a neutral cream color painted kitchen cabinet and a darker stained wood cabinet. Don’t be afraid to experiment with two different shades of stain on the same style cabinet. Good luck with your kitchen remodel.

How To Select Wooden Flooring

Wooden Flooring is gaining popularity nowadays because of its appearance and easy maintenance if selecting from among the new hard finished varieties. One should consider certain parameters before choosing a particular type. One should keep in mind the quantity of Wooden Flooring required, the kind of subfloor and the warranty period offered by the manufacturer. There a number of finishes and stains, types of Wood, and different methods of laying the floor – all of which needs to be taken into consideration. A few pointers to consider in the matter of Selection are listed below:

Factors To Consider When Selecting Wooden Flooring

Wood Type: Oak is the most common variety of Wood. By virtue of being a hardwood, it offers resistance to scratches and dents. The lesser used Woods comprise teak and maple.

Finishes and Stains: The Wooden finishes range from unfinished to wire brush finishing while the Stain colour ranges from light shades to darker ones. Unfinished Wood Floors wear out more rapidly as compared to finished ones. There are Natural Wood Floor Finishes which exude the appearance of natural wood and resist moisture. Plastic finishes provide hardness and durability.

Patterns: Wood Flooring is offered in parquet and planks. Planks are available in various lengths, widths and along with butterfly keys or pegs. Parquet units are combined to give out a geometrical design. They are bound together first and then to the subfloor using an adhesive.

Layers and Thicknesses: Wood Flooring comes either in solid or laminated forms. Laminated Wood Flooring combines a number of layers of hardwood and can be used in both below or above grade installation. Solid Wood Floors use a single Wood all through and are used only in high-grade applications.

Methods of Attaching to the Floor: If you want to nail down the Wood, it should have groove edges and a tongue in order to cover the nails. There is no need for groove edges and tongue if the Flooring requires only gluing down. The correct adhesive and appropriately sized trowels are also essential considerations.

Stepfast Flooring is a prominent supplier of Flooring in Perth, Australia. Its range of offerings includes Bamboo Flooring, Engineered Timber Flooring, Prefinished Hardwood Flooring, Artificial Grass, Laminate Wood Flooring, Laminated Timber Flooring, Compressed Wood Flooring and WPC Decking. It is known for its top quality Laminate Wood Flooring. It is one of the best Cheap Hardwood Flooring Suppliers Perth. To gain more information on its Flooring varieties, log on to its website

The Future Is Bright For High Density Polyethylene Outdoor Furniture

Furniture made from recycled plastics is gaining prominence in the outdoor furniture industry. Recent advancements in manufacturing the material have made it a feasible alternative to what is traditionally used.

High density polyethylene or HDPE is a material derived from the number 2 type of recycled plastic. The most common container is the gallon milk jug. They are those semi-white jugs that you can see through a little. They are not the material used for solid white containers or the clear 2-liter bottles.

One form of HDPE that has come onto the market is called Polywood. It essentially is plastic lumber produced from type 2 waste recovered from recycling centers. Polywood is actually heavier and stronger than lumber cut from wood. First, the recycled plastic is crushed into pellets and then melted in a pot. Next, ultra-violet substances and color are added. This gives HDPE a huge advantage over traditional wood lumber. The liquid is then cured in molds shaped to normal sizes of lumber. The final product has a grain finish instead of having a smooth polished feel. I expect this material will soon be sold side by side with wood lumber in the home improvement chain stores.

The advantages of high density polyethylene furniture are numerous. First off, this recycled material is environmental friendly. No new plastic material has been introduced to the environment. The plastic has been saved from dumping into the ground and trees are saved from being cut down to make this furniture. Green alternative technologies are becoming a staple in many industries.

HDPE can handle the outdoor elements over time better than wood furniture. Sun, rain, and snow do not degrade high density polyethylene lumber. Insects and termites cannot eat away Polywood lumber. This furniture handles water over time without rotting and mildewing. Polywood furniture is an excellent choice for pool furniture at hotels and homes. In summary, high density polyethylene furniture will last a lot longer than wooden furniture.

Since Polywood lumber has solid color throughout, there is never a need to paint or stain it. The ultra-violet protection added will not allow the furniture to fade from sun exposure over the years. Polywood furniture needs only wipe down cleaning. It is very easy maintenance.

Finally, a great advantage to HDPE lumber is its high tensile strength. It is heavier and stronger than wood yet because it is plastic, there is a slight flexibility to it that makes it more comfortable than wood. Even though wood is somewhat flexible, it tends to warp permanently in one direction or another. Polywood flexes to the shape of a person’s body but springs back when they rise for sitting on it. Wood will crack, splinter, and shear much easier as well.

Next time you are in the market for outdoor furniture, consider buying high density polyethylene pieces. Do not mistake it for the cheap plastic furniture currently prevalent in the stores. HDPE is high quality plastic furniture and one day soon may take over as the top selling material for outdoor use.

The Stylish Kitchen Valance What You Need to Know

If you are tired of looking at your drab kitchen curtains or aging pull-down blinds then replacing them with a colorful trendy kitchen valance may be the answer and a good option for many homeowners.

Because a kitchen valance basically only covers the top third of the window, it does not require much fabric so is generally inexpensive to make and install, although that would depend on the quality of fabric, whether it was made to measure or was the less expensive ready-made option.

The first step is to decide whether you are going to retain your existing color scheme in the kitchen. For example, if you intend to redecorate by painting the kitchen walls a different color then that will have a bearing on what color fabric you choose. Whatever you decide It is important to make the color of the fabric you choose does not clash with the existing or proposed kitchen dcor.

These days, consumers can have stylish kitchen valances tailor made-to-order in an elegant fabric from classy silks to beautiful satins and laces, polyester, gingham and jacquard materials. With a wide variety of trendy colors, patterns, stripes, prints and checks to select from, a new classy valance will give any kitchen a bright and fresh look when fitted.

If you only want a very basic valance and not all that concerned about the quality of fabric, then you also have the option of buying a ready-made valance. Most curtain retailers and some of the large furniture stores stock ready-made valances in a multitude of modern colors and styles.

Because kitchen valances in some kitchens are fitted to the top part of a window, they may not provide sufficient privacy for the homeowner. In this type of situation, a caf style curtain that is designed to cover only the bottom half of the window may be a better option.

Lastly, some people may find it difficult or dont have the time to visit a curtain store or may prefer to seek out the advice of an interior decorator or curtain specialist. In this regard, a mobile curtain supplier (if available in the area you reside) may be able to assist, although this service may be more expensive. Some of these mobile services generally have a wide selection of fabric samples and material for consumers to view. They also provide free quotes (confirm first) and can measure, supply and install the completed product which can be very convenient for many busy homeowners.

Bca 2012 Changes – Energy Efficiency – Section J & 6-star

There are only minor changes to the energy efficiency provisions in the newly released BCA 2012, volumes 1 and 2. Mostly the changes are to terminology and explanatory information, intended to clarify several of the provisions. There has been one change to Table J1.3a in Section J which is of particular note; the required R-Value for roof and ceiling construction in climate zones 4 and 5 have been amended to align with climate zones 1, 2 and 3.
See below for a full list of changes.

BCA 2012 Volume 1 “” Section J:

J0.2(a)(ii) – The reference to the 2006 edition of the ABCB Protocol for House Energy Rating Software Version has been removed. The deletion is a consequence of the recognition of NatHERS as the appropriate accreditation scheme for house energy rating software.

Table J1.3a – Climate zones 4 and 5 have been amended to align with climate zones 1, 2 and 3 for the required R-Value for roof and ceiling construction.

Table J1.3b – The table has been expanded to include values for when the minimum R-Value of ceiling insulation required to satisfy J1.3(a) is less than R2.5.

Table J2.4c – The heat shading multiplier figure for climate zone 8 South orientation sector, where the G value is more than 100 mm but not more than 500 mm and has a P/H value of two, has been amended from 0.75 to 0.50.

J5.2(a)(vii) – The specific examples of applications described that could attain an exemption for an outdoor air economy cycle have been replaced with the generic term of ‘process related applications’, with the existing examples now referenced in the Guide to Volume One.

J5.2(b)(ii) – The defined term ‘outdoor air’ has been included in the provision for clarification.

J5.2(b)(iii)(B) – Minimum ventilation requirements when an atmospheric contaminant monitoring system is installed in a carpark have been relocated to the more appropriate location of F4.11(b) and revised to include a more practical control strategy.

J5.2(d)(iv) – A new sub-clause has been included to exempt a Class 8 electricity network substation from complying with the power for mechanical ventilation requirements of J5.2(b)(iii).

J5.3(b)(iii) – A new sub-clause has been included to exempt a Class 8 electricity network substation from complying with the time switch requirements of J5.3.

J5.5(b)(iv) – A new sub-clause has been included to exempt a Class 8 electricity network substation from the miscellaneous exhaust system requirement of J5.5(a).

J6.1 – The application of part has been reinstated to exempt a Class 8 electricity network substation from compliance with J6.2, J6.3 and J6.5(a)(ii).

Table J6.2a Note – Note 4 to the table has been amended to clarify that a control device which is required by J6.3 is not an allowable adjustment factor under Table J6.2b.

J6.3(d)(ii)(A) – Clarification has been added that a security key card reader must register a person entering and leaving the building.

J8.1 – The application of part has been amended to exempt a Class 8 electricity network substation from compliance with the requirements of Part J8.

Specification J5.4 – Note 2 has been amended to cover applications where local clearances Table 2a adjoining plant do not allow for the installation of insulation.

BCA 2012 Volume 2 “” Part 3.12:

3.12 – A new defined term “house energy rating software” has been included to nominate the acceptable accrediting national scheme for software used to assess the thermal efficiency of a dwelling envelope.

3.12 Explanatory Information – New explanatory information has been included to explain the purpose of the NatHERS scheme.

3.12 – As a consequence of changes to the Australian Government’s Renewable Energy Target scheme the defined term “Renewable Energy Certificate” has been deleted and replaced by a new defined term ‘Small-scale Technology Certificate’.

3.12.0 Explanatory Information – The explanatory information regarding the two options for complying with 3.12.1 to 3.12.4 has been amended to clarify the delineation between the Energy Rating and the Elemental Provisions options.

3.12.0.1 – Reference to the ABCB Protocol for House Energy Rating Software has been removed. The deletion is a consequence of the recognition of NatHERS as the appropriate accreditation scheme for house energy rating software.

3.12.1.2 Explanatory Information – The explanatory information has been amended to correct the terminology used and to align with the solar absorptance values of Table 3.12.1.1a.

Table 3.12.1.1b – The table has been expanded to include values for when the minimum R-Value of ceiling insulation required to satisfy 3.12.1.2(a) is less than R2.5.

Table 3.12.2.1 Note 2 – Note 2 has been amended to clarify the relationship of ventilation opening area and the presence of ceiling fans or evaporative coolers in determining if a habitable room has High air movement.

Table 3.12.2.1 Explanatory Information – Note 4 of the explanatory information has been simplified to a tabular example demonstrating the relationship of ventilation opening area and the presence of ceiling fans.

3.12.4.1(b)(iii) – The term ‘area of floor’ has been replaced with the defined term “floor area” for consistency with Part 3.8.5 and Part 3.12.2.

Table 3.12.4.1 – The term “area of floor” has been replaced with the defined term ‘floor area’ for consistency with Part 3.8.5 and Part 3.12.2.

3.12.5.5(a)(iii) – Clarification has been added that the lighting provisions for a Class 10a building only apply to Class 10a buildings associated with a Class 1 building.

3.12.5.6(b) – Reference to the defined term “Renewable Energy Certificate” has been deleted and replaced by “Small-scale Technology Certificate” as a consequence of changes made to the Australian Government’s Renewable Energy Target scheme.

How To Transform Your Kitchen Into A Bright Modular Kitchen Design

Modular kitchen is increasingly becoming popular and has become a vital part of the modern kitchen design. Kitchen is undeniably the heart of the house where you cook, eat, chat, greet your morning and end your evening. With recent trends in designing it is outgrowing the dull and dreary image linked with only store and oven. Modern kitchen designs are conceived and applied to transform your kitchen into a bright, lively and spacious place where you would love to cook and spend time as well. It also ensures that the kitchen facilitates your working and storing besides being easy to maintain and clean. An unorganized and untidy kitchen could spoil the picture of even the most tastefully done house.

Modular kitchen comprises of modules and sections of cabinets, shelves, work top and other hardware allowing ample storing space. It also includes an array of fixtures like dish washer, chimney and various other kitchen appliances to enhance efficiency and comfort. It is termed as modular because it consists of various modules assembled together to offer maximum manageability and accessibility to your kitchen items. Modern kitchen designs are conceived keeping in consideration all the aspects from storage to appliances and washing space to looks, everything is well thought of and planned. Cabinets are the primary storage space in a modular kitchen and their designs are selected to optimize the available space and sort out the storage of kitchen items as per their use and sizes. Fridge, microwave, cooking range food processor etc are various appliances which are now found in nearly every kitchen.

Modern kitchen designs allocate specific places for each gadget, sorting out power switches, electric wiring and space issues .The big appliances like fridge, microwave and dishwasher require ample space where as gadgets like mixers and gas burner ought to be easily accessible. Kitchen work tops are also a crucial part of kitchen and are chosen on the basis of sturdiness as well as the texture and color blending well with the kitchen theme.

The current trend favors granite tops amidst the vast array of acrylic counter tops, designed stones, wooden counter tops with laminations and stainless steel tops. Where the kitchen counter tops are small an island can be introduced to complement the top, at the same time enhancing the storage area. Flooring, whether ceramic tiles or wooden with laminates also play an integral part in the entire set up of the kitchen. Tiles are also employed in the back lash highlighting the entire kitchen. The color of the tiles or the laminates is thus selected to further enrich the chosen theme and enliven a sense of unity.

Modular kitchen besides organizing and updating also facilitate by its unique capacity of being taken apart and easy re assembling in an instance of relocation. The modules could also be done one at a time, bliss for the budget conscious people.