In this blog I will do my best to describe the process I went through in turning my 1957 Ranch-style house into a 2006 Craftsman house as inspired by the Gamble House in Pasadena. Please feel free to comment on anything I write and ask questions as it is the only way we learn.

Note: Since completion of the house I have also decided to allow guest bloggers to post articles related to remodeling. This continues the education process.


TIMELINE
Architect Selection - December 2002 through January 2003
Getting a Permit - January 2003 through November 2004
Construction - November 2004 through September 2006
Post Construction - October 2006 through ???



5 Energy Efficient Home Renovations

If you’re looking to remodel your home, you might want to consider an energy-efficient design. A green remodel can make your home more efficient and save you a considerable amount of money in energy costs. Aside from the money-saving benefit, green designs minimize your impact on the environment by creating fewer emissions and using renewable resources.

Before you get started, you may want to consider scheduling an energy audit. It is a great way to see where your home needs energy-efficient improvements. Once you know where you need to make improvements, there are a variety of eco-friendly options to make your home run more efficiently and have a smaller impact on the environment.

Buy energy-efficient appliances
If your renovations include upgrading your appliances, consider purchasing ENERGY STAR appliances, which meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. They will significantly reduce your energy use and could save you up to a third on your energy bill. Finding these efficient appliances is easy since many appliances now come backed by ENERGY STAR.

Insulate
A renovation is a great time to beef up the insulation in your home. Keeping a well-insulated home slows the rate that heat and air conditioning escape, reducing the energy required to keep the house at a comfortable temperature. Many older homes typically have less insulation than newly built homes, however, adding insulation to any home could significantly reduce your energy costs.

Think solar
As you are renovating your home, think of areas where you can use solar energy. Why not buy a hot water heater with a solar panel? It could reduce your energy usage and ultimately reduce your energy bill. Installing solar panels on your roof is another energy-efficient option. By using this alternative energy source you could eliminate or significantly reduce your energy bill.

If installing solar panels is not in the budget, consider switching to a green energy supplier. Green energy is generated from renewable resources, such as solar energy. Some suppliers allow you to purchase up to 100% renewable energy. While it may not save you money, it's certainly good for the environment. For example, if you live in Texas you can visit Energy Providers Texas to see if there is a green energy provider in your area.

Replace windows
A typical home can lose up to 25 percent of its heating or cooling through windows. A great way to increase your home's efficiency is to replace your old windows with double-pane, energy-efficient models. ENERGY STAR windows are said to be twice as efficient as older windows. As an added bonus, some energy-efficient windows are eligible for a federal tax credit.

Buy a programmable thermostat
Whether you are doing a big remodel or some simple fixes, be sure to save room in the budget for a programmable thermostat. Your air conditioner or heater has to work hard to keep your home at a constant temperature. This causes the unit to use more energy and cost you more money. Fortunately there are many types of programmable thermostats that can help you take control of your energy use. A basic model allows you to program your thermostat to turn on or off at certain times, and it is relatively inexpensive. Some more advanced models allow you to control the temperature in your home through a computer or smartphone. So if you are at work and need to stay later than you anticipated, you could reduce the temperature with the click of a few buttons.

If you want to go really high-tech, there are even models that can learn your heating and cooling habits. For example, if you go to work every day from 8 to 5, the system would learn this pattern and cool your home accordingly. When you leave for the day, the thermostat will turn itself off and before you return home, it will return the house to your usual, comfortable temperature.
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Breaking Down Break-Ins

A break-in is every homeowner’s nightmare. Luckily, you can protect your home with just a little knowledge and foresight. Here’s what you need to know to stop even the most conniving criminal.

Turn off your landline ringer – it’s a giveaway that no one is home. Put lights on timers so that they turn on and off throughout the evening. Ask your neighbors to use your trash bins while you’re on vacation. Discontinue newspaper delivery, or have a neighbor pick up the mail.

Yard
Plant trees away from the home because they offer concealment and access to second story windows and balconies. Hide spare keys in a combination-lock key box instead of under doormats, planters and in gutters. Put security signage up around your home, to remind potential burglars that you’re not an easy target.

Windows
Use window locks and re-enforced glass to prevent easy smash and grabs. Use multi-paneled windows because they are harder to break and harder to see through. Drip solder on installation screws to prevent thieves from simply unscrewing whole windows and removing them. This can be as a retrofit or during new construction.

Doors
Use a deadbolt on all exterior doors because they can’t be opened with a credit card like spring latches (a technique called “loiding”). Seal any gaps in your door to prevent a burglar from prying it open. Install door hinges on the inside where a burglar can’t unlatch them. Replace sliding glass doors with French doors or at least update them with re-enforced glass.

Garage
Place a C-clamp on your garage door track to prevent a burglar from manually lifting it. Keep the garage door closed at all times. Frost garage windows to stop burglars from seeing whether a car is inside, allowing them to determine if anyone is home.

Breaking Down Break-Ins
Source: eLocal.com
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Next Page

Be sure to browse the 2,000 picture Photo Gallery for more step-by-step construction details.