The emphasis on low cost products drives lower quality products. Poor quality means products have to be replaced more often. When you have to replace building materials frequently, they cost more when you include installation costs. Walmart focuses on consumable products, ones that aren’t expected to last a long time. They don’t sell cheap house … Read More
Electrical outlets are becoming more critical in our connected world. Home fixtures like lights are getting smarter and everyone in the family has a smart phone. So why aren’t we getting smarter about where we put our outlets?
Attic baffles play an important role keeping your home comfortable and safe. They keep space clear so fresh air can flow from the soffits under your roof eaves to the vents at or near the top of your roof, illustrated by the red arrow above.
Growing up, I often remember my grandmother marveling at all the “newfangled appliances” that were available to make household chores easier. She would tell tales of using a ringer washing machine where she fed clothes through rollers one piece at a time. Appliance designs were simpler and many times a homeowner would handle their own … Read More
You want your home to be well-insulated to reduce the cost of heating and air conditioning. Equally important is the need for proper ventilation to ensure that moisture and heat can escape from your attic to avoid problems with mold and/or ice dams. Ridge vents (also called roof vent systems), working in combination with soffit vents, are … Read More
We all love watching birds and get excited when they visit us at home. One instance where homeowners would rather not have birds is when woodpeckers look for bugs in their fascia boards, leaving ugly holes in the wood. What I can’t tell you is whether bird houses will prevent this damage (but I love … Read More
When picking a builder in Florida, I had the opportunity to ask the building supervisor questions. One of the most important questions was “… tell me the three best ways to make the house more energy efficient”. Based on this discussion, I agreed to pay a surcharge for a radiant barrier on the roof. While … Read More
Our houses are becoming more energy efficient thanks to building codes focused on driving down US energy consumption. Similar to Energy Star appliances you see at the store, building materials like wall insulation must also meet more stringent building codes. In Florida, there are different codes based on the type of construction and where the … Read More
If you’re hungry you’ll want to cook up some burgers on a grill (no e) in the backyard. You definitely won’t find much success trying to cook anything on the wooden grille shown below (right). This is a good example of how confusing home related words like registers and grilles that mean almost the same … Read More
Your home’s indoor air isn’t as clean as outdoor air. Home ventilation using the stack effect insures the air inside your home is exchanged with outside air. Here’s an example of the stack effect that’s easier to understand. You know when you light a fireplace smoke is created. The smoke goes up the chimney based … Read More