Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas that is produced when natural gas doesn’t burn completely. In a properly ventilated home and with properly working appliances, CO levels generally don’t usually reach dangerous levels.
A Carbon Monoxide (CO) monitor is an absolute necessity in any home that has Gas appliances or furnaces. Monitors are designed to sound an alarm if the CO levels in your home reach a level above what is considered safe. CO detectors or monitors are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at home repair stores and some grocery stores as well. The range in price from $15 to $60+ and have a range of features. Below is a list of some common features:
- Battery powered
- Hard wired
- Wall Powered
- Single function (CO only)
- Multi Function (CO and Smoke)
- Digital Display
This is not a complete list. If you are having a home built, your builder should have a plan to build these monitors in during production. If you are undergoing a remodeling project and don’t already have CO monitors built in, consider having your construction specialist include CO monitors in the project. Just like a smoke detector, CO monitors can save lives. Remember to test your smoke detectors and CO monitors monthly and replace the battery once a year.
If you have questions about CO monitors or other safety considerations in your construction project, contact us today.
We all want to be warm and comfortable in the winter, but the cost of heating your home might convince you to leave that thermostat alone. Here are some tips for saving on winter energy costs.
- Install a programmable thermostat – this will have a significant impact on your energy bill because you can set it to heat your space only when you’re actually home.
- Bundle up and save – lowering your thermostat by just one degree can save you up to 3%. Put on socks and throw an extra blanket on the bed for big savings.
- Keep your filters clean – the harder your unit has to work to heat your home, the more money it will cost you. Replace filters before turning on your unit for the first time each year and once a month during the cold months.
- Insulate – cold air can come in and warm air can escape through drafty areas like switch plate covers and windows. Add weather stripping to drafty windows and add insulation behind those switch plate covers.
- Add moisture to the air – dry air feels colder than warm air. Adding a humidifier during the winter not only makes it feel warmer in your home but can also help with dry skin and sinuses.
- Don’t heat unused space – seal rooms that are unused and close their vents to avoid piping in heat that would be better used elsewhere.
- Use the sun – During the day, open window coverings on South facing windows. Close all curtains at night to hold in that heat.
- Doors are big culprits – check all exterior doors for air leaks and seal with weather stripping for big savings.
- Close the fireplace damper – when the fireplace is not in use, a significant amount of warm air can escape.
For more money saving tips and ideas, call me today.
Building a home can be the beginning of a life story we pass on to our children and grandchildren. In our stories we share love, joy and memories.
When ABQ Home Builders creates your home design, we don’t just consider the structural features of your home. We also consider details like the size, shape and how you will live in your home. If a home theater is your style, we will design for that. If you spend a lot of time entertaining, we might focus more on the kitchen and living areas. An entrepreneur might need to focus budget on a great home office. Whatever your needs, our designers focus on how you will make use of the spaces in your home from day one.
ABQ Home Builder doesn’t just want to build just a space for you to live. We want to build you a place to live well.
- Site Prep – When it comes to preparing your lot for construction, you must be willing to spend what it takes to get the job done right. Skimping in this area can quickly lead to foundation, plumbing and framing issues.
- Plans – A great house begins with great plans. Without great plans, budgets can race out of control and the homeowner can end up with a final result different from what they wanted or intended.
- Involving a professional builder – There are many aspects to building a home. Your professional builder will walk you through the process and make sure none of the little details are missed.
- Insulation systems – Insulation is a key component to a well built home. The more you have the better off you are. This applies to your immediate level of comfort in your home and the long term cost of heating and cooling your home. This is one of the area of the home where most builders should recommend spending extra if it is available.
- Mechanical systems (Heating and cooling) – This one goes along with the previous one. When adding heating a cooling systems to your home, you want to buy the best models available within your budget. Energy efficiency and reliability are the two most important factors in selecting mechanical systems. You want to purchase a system that is adequate for the size of home you are building, choose brands that are known for their quality and types that are appropriate for the climate in which you are building.
ABQ Home Builder requires our trade partners and crews to keep the build site clean at all times. A clean work environment allows everyone working at the site to maintain the highest levels of efficiency. Materials are easy to locate, deliveries don’t get lost and safety is increased significantly. A clean work site looks more professional and leaves the impression that the job will be done with quality in mind.
Before any building takes place at your site, it’s important to have a system of standards well developed that will govern the process of building your home. Any good home builder will be able to easily explain their methods for maintaining quality throughout this process.
During construction, there are signs you can watch for that indicate that these standards are being maintained. These standards will be apparent throughout the building process but they really begin to appear during the framing stage. Quality features become most apparent during a client walk-through; things like abundant braces and fasteners, maintaining tight tolerances and quality building materials. Common sense tells us that strong materials and strategic bracing can reduce movement. This is something a good builder will plan for and put in place.
If your builder hasn’t already explained what systems he has in place to ensure quality, ask him about his materials and procedures that make his product better than the rest. If you don’t have confidence in his response, it may be time to shop around.
There is a new trend in kitchen cabinets; more drawers in the base cabinets. Doors are out, drawers are in. Large drawers can hold large items like cookware items. You can also add inserts so they can hold plates, bowls or other kitchen supplies.
Reaching up to a high cabinet or down into the back of a deep cupboard can be difficult. Drawers eliminate that issue, making it easier to get to the things you need.
Drawers are generally more expensive than open cabinet space. There are additional hardware, materials and labor costs involved. For many people, having the additional convenience built into their kitchen is well worth the money.
I saw a TV show recently about the new aircraft carriers being built today. One thing of special note was how they leave open space on the bridge for installation of technology that hasn’t yet been developed. When you consider that the building of such a ship is planned down to the last millimeter, it’s interesting to see this concept used.
It is no different when ABQ Homebuilders designs your new home. We consider every possibility for now and the future. Current trends dictate we make room for upcoming technology as well as existing.
Planning for advances in home tech can prove complicated. With things moving along so quickly these days, builders must be ready to make changes to keep up. In the 1980s a builder had to start thinking about putting a phone outlet in every room of the house. In the 1990s cabinets and countertops got extra electrical outlets to accommodate new home electronics. Beginning in the 2000s there was less focus on bedrooms and family and media rooms carried most of the electronic burden in a home. Now we’re making way for all of the wireless technology and while keeping pace isn’t always easy, it’s what we strive to do.
There is a new trend taking place in home technology. Automated home systems that control security, lighting comfort zones and entertainment are high on the list of requests by current homeowners. All of these items can now be controlled from a cell phone but it’s up to builders to make sure the home is prepared to accept this technology.
There are many subcontractors that offer these services. It is of the utmost importance that you check their policies and procedures and ensure they provide quality products and services. This is particularly true if your project is small and you are dealing directly with the vendors.
The technology we are seeing today can provide additional security and comforts if they are built into your home in such a way that allows for future expansion and upgrades. Allow your professional builder to provide you with their evaluation of what items best fit into your home now and in the future.
Deciding what aspects of your new home to spend most of your budget on can be difficult. Understanding your current habits and your desires for your new, home can help. We rarely have unlimited budgets to work with for new home construction, so this is a vital decision in the process.
If you enjoying cooking and entertaining, you’ll most likely invest a large portion of your budget into the kitchen. Upgraded appliances and ways to display cookware might be high priorities.
If home entertainment is more your thing, you might invest more in a home theater or family room, than in the kitchen. Imagine upgraded reclining seats, a built -in with all the electronics you need for the perfect movie night, all at your fingertips.
If you spend a lot of time at home and enjoy the conveniences of life, you might spend a little extra on a home automation system and audio system throughout the house.
Are you a small business owner? Perhaps a home office is an important aspect of your build. Whatever it is, your new home builder can ask you the important questions to figure out what you need most and what features will best suit your current and future way of life.
You’ve done your homework and interviewed and hired contractors to work on your home. You’ve asked the important questions and checked references. You asked about insurance, but did you get a copy of your contractor’s insurance certificate? Without a certified copy from a bona fide insurance agent, there is no guarantee your contractor’s insurance is valid. A photocopy of the front page of the policy from the contractor is not proof of a valid policy.
It may feel like you’re getting a great deal when you hire your friend or family member to handle home maintenance but that dream may quickly become a nightmare if they are not insured. If an uninsured contractor damages your home or gets injured while working on your home, many basic home owner policies don’t cover damages or medical expenses for hired help.
A solopreneur who claims they can’t get insurance or doesn’t need it is incorrect. Without this important coverage, they have no protection against injuries or damage, and neither do you. It may cost a little more to do business with a licensed and insured contractor, but the alternative is just not worth the risk.