Painting Mistakes to Avoid During Home Improvement Projects

Taking on your next painting project? Avoid the following painting mistakes in your DIY home improvement projects:

Skipping the Tape

To get straight lines around the woodwork, window sills and door frames, always remember to use the painter’s tape and get the nice, clean edges you want.

Painting Without Primer

A primer gives paint a good surface to adhere to and brings out the true color of the shade. Going without it can lead to poor results.

Impatience

You took the time to fix every imperfection with patching compound. Wait. Make sure it’s completely dry before you sand and prime. Otherwise, all that patching was a waste of time.

Paint Buildup on Pad Edge

When using edge pads around ceiling edges and corners, make sure to wipe off excess paint frequently to avoid marking the surface.

Brushing When You Should be Rolling

For a large interior area, a roller will do a better job in less time. Select the right nap roller for your sheen of paint and try to avoid pushing the roller into the wall when you paint.

Underestimating How Much Paint is Needed

Plan ahead and you can avoid running back and forth to the store with a paint swatch in your hand.

Assuming Walls are Clean

Paint looks much better when it has a good, clean surface to stick to. Wash your walls before painting and get professional results. Likewise, patch up holes and rough surfaces.

Painting When Humidity is High

When the air is full of moisture, water-based paint takes longer to dry. If the weather winds up more humid than expected, take the day off and wait for a dry day.

Paintbrush Abuse

When using latex paint, wet your brush bristles with water and shake the brush dry before you dip it in paint. The brush will hold more paint and deliver better results.

Buying Any Paintbrush

When you’re choosing paintbrushes to use with latex-based paint, nylon or polyester blends produce the best results.

Painting with Furniture in the Room

Getting paint off your furniture is a lot of work. If you can’t move it out of the room, at least make sure it’s completely covered with a drop cloth.

Failure to Protect the Floor

Before you pop the can open, make sure you have a drop cloth over everything and the edges are taped.

Unprotected Doorknobs

Unless you like the look of splattered paint, we recommend that you slip plastic bags over your doorknobs and tape the edge to avoid unsightly paint splatter.

Painting the Wall Plates

Take five minutes to remove the wall plates and tape around your light switches and electrical outlets.

Comments Off

Cutting Down on Your Electricity Bill through Home Solar Power

Electricity rates will always go up. This is inevitable. The pressure on resource scarcity coupled with a changing political environment is said to be the cause of such rate increases. Energy experts and research shows the inevitable rise in electricity rates due to the dependence of electrical producers on fossil fuel. While North America is starting to delve into alternative energy resources, energy prices will still surge up to 64%, or $120 a year. Some say the increase may be as high as 5% annually. One thing is certain, electricity prices will increase.

Can anything be done about it?

You can either tighten your belt more or find a cost effective way to free yourself from the rising cost of energy while at the same time promote a more sustainable environment. You will experience more financial opportunities if you choose solar power.

A cost effective solution

Solar power is a renewable form of energy since the source of energy is from the sun’s heat and nothing else. It plays a large part in the world’s movement for a green agenda since it reduces carbon emission. Solar power even minimizes or eliminates the use of nonrenewable resources. One way to combine solar power with the electricity grid in your home is to use solar panels. These solar panels are a collection of solar cells that works together to collect solar energy and converts it into storable electricity.

With innovative solar panel and power cell installation, you will be able to save money while at the same time reduce your carbon footprint and the damaging effects of global warming. In actual fact, the solar panels can generate a “return” through rebates and incentives. Since you are using renewable energy produced by solar panels, it can help you save money on electricity bills.  Studies have shown that by using home solar panels, you can save up to 80% on your electricity and other utility bills. This could be a big help especially during these challenging economic times.

Solar panels and solar power cells do not need human intervention to work because they require only minimal maintenance. Home solar panels do require some cleaning once every 6 to 12 months. Sometimes, a strong downpour is all it takes to do the trick. However, it would still be wise to clean out the panels in order to just check up on them.

Comments Off

Lighting Retrofits are Proven for Increased Energy Efficiency in Home Improvements

Many people still are not comfortable with the concept of lighting retrofitting. As they say though, people fear what they do not understand. Can lighting retrofits really improve energy efficiency? Most certainly, and retrofitting is practically achievable. What people should be concerned about is the manner and quality of retrofitting that will be done by any professional electrician. Homeowners must always be aware of the lighting quality and quantity, realistic energy savings, and room lighting and illumination. The right choice of a professional electrician means that they should do a good job with research.

This includes careful planning, analysis of personnel and facility needs, and other available options. One of the main factors to consider is the quality and quantity of lighting. While lighting retrofitting technology today means increased energy savings and efficiency, lighting quality should either be maintained or improved; never should lighting quality deteriorate. A truly professional electrical contractor should make sure that lighting quality must never be sacrificed for any room in the home. For example, when replacing incandescent lighting with florescent lamps, while energy spending may be cut in half, lighting quality might suffer by up to 80 percent.

Another factor to consider is increasing energy efficiency by doing quality lighting retrofitting. For instance, while it is true that incandescent lamp and ballast technology has improved in leaps and bounds during the last decade, it is best to find out the longevity of certain lighting facilities and when they were installed.  If house lighting was installed 10 or more years ago, they may not be as energy efficient as they were before and will need to be replaced. Many lamps and ballasts manufactured today are also more energy conservative than those made years before. Consider also inspecting parabolic luminaries.

These fixtures are energy efficient at 60 percent when newly installed but, may not be after 3 to 5 years. Also, at 60 percent, parabolic-style fixtures are obsolete next to more modern fixtures that can give from 85 to 90 percent energy savings. Florescent and ballast lamps are also getting smaller and more energy efficient. They last a lot longer and the lighting color is stable. The only drawback to florescent lamps is the replacement and installation of the ballast fixtures that can add to the total cost. Otherwise, they make good lighting standbys and corridor lighting fixtures.

Since home corridors don’t need much lighting, florescent and ballast lamps make good corridor lighting because they are bright enough to light up to 20 to 30 feet. Another prime importance especially in terms of room lighting and illumination is the spacing and upgrading of lighting retrofits. The main goal here is to reduce the number of fixtures and upgrade others for better light quality. Not all lighting retrofits mean a one-on-one replacement.

Comments Off