Top Five Poway Home Additions for a Guaranteed Return on Investment

Top 5 Home Additions PowayLet’s outright say it, Poway is great. The climate, the lake, Blue Sky eco reserve… If you have ever lived here or visited for any length of time, you know it’s true. If you have a property here, you may consider yourself lucky. But what to do if your home becomes too small to accommodate all your needs? Leave? Sell your home, along with all the memories and familiarity of the neighborhood? There is an option of home additions in Poway, like in any other place.

If you are considering some home additions, it is possible you’ve already decided what to do, and how to do it. If not, if you’re still planning and considering, here’s a little top-five list of additions which are undoubtedly useful and well worth your time and money. And if you choose the right contractor, who uses green technologies and materials, these home additions will save you money on bills over time.

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Home Remodel In Poway: Top Improvements That Add Value

Have you been trying to sell your Poway home for some time now? No wonder, since the real estate market has been in a slump. While you are waiting, you might want to consider some home remodel ideas that will allow you to recoup the investment and add resale value to your home. These projects will also make your home more comfortable and enjoyable to your family.

Kitchen remodel in Poway

Is it still the cave genes? Kitchen is still regarded by so many of us as the heart of the home. A kitchen remodel can have 60 to 120% return on investment, but you should be careful not to make the kitchen decidedly fancier than the rest of the house. It’s also important not to go overboard in respect to the neighborhood. For this reason, one should be careful with deluxe updates.

You should consider some make-up changes like repainting. Maybe you could do it with paint that is low-VOC, which is better for the air and the health of your family. A repainting job can go a long way when it comes to making your kitchen look fresher.

A wise investment would be appliances with energy-star rating. Making eco-friendly and energy-efficient upgrades is smart and attractive to potential buyers, because they protect the environment and use less energy, meaning cut down the bills. Here you can find out when it’s the best time to buy kitchen appliances.

Bathroom remodel in Poway

If your home has only one bathroom, making an additional one is your best bet. Some estimates say you can recoup 80 to 130% of what you invest. If you think you don’t have space, think again. Are there any underutilized spaces or closets? What about the area under the stairs? Contact GGR Energy + Remodeling for more home remodel advice when it comes to squeezing in an additional bathroom.

Reinvent a room

Room additions are great, but the problem is it’s difficult to predict costs and they are usually on the high end. It’s not uncommon that the final costs end up twice the estimated home remodel budget. For that reason, you can consider reinventing an existing room and remember that buyers have been found to like versatile rooms.

Here is some food for thought. The basement can be converted into another living room, a game room or a living space for an aging family member. The attic can be turned into a bedroom or a play room for kids. The space over the garage can also be converted into a bedroom or space that you can rent out.

Energy-efficient windows

As we have said, energy-efficiency is highly appreciated these days for obvious reasons. Air leaks can be a significant energy drain, so energy-efficient windows can save you a few hundreds of dollars every year.

Good news is that you can use the benefits of rebates when installing these. Rebates can be available on the state level or your utility company might offer them. A 10% green-energy tax credit is available to those homeowners who get energy-star windows. To find out what rebates are available, visit Energy Star Rebate Finder.

Add a deck

Decks are highly sought after, especially if you live in Southern California where plentiful sunshine makes outdoor living a blessing. Deck projects can bring a return on investment in the range of 60 to 90% of the original cost. And the costs range wildly because there are so many options.

Some homeowners give serious thought to doing a DIY deck project, but bear in mind that not only could you get it wrong, but you could end up investing a lot more time. For the safest, most attractive results you cannot beat a professional home remodel contractor, who has the expertise, experience and equipment to carry out the project.

Insulate your home thoroughly

Home insulation plays a huge role in reducing the living and maintenance costs in a home. You can usually feel the leaking spots in winter or when the weather is especially windy. Attic hatches, basements, window and door areas, areas around sockets and switches and in recessed lighting are all prone to leaks. Also – any places where ducts and wires go outside the house.

Investing in insulation and maybe even a programmable thermostat is bound to give you and your future buyers bang for the buck. It’s more comfort plus lower utility bills. According to Energy Star, these thermostats can save homeowners around $180 on bills a year.

Routine maintenance

This is just plain common sense. Take good care of your home so that it stays solid and healthy for a long time to come. This home remodel checklist for top improvements is useless if you have mold raging somewhere in the house, if wood is rotting on your porch or if the roof is leaking. Taking care of everyday problems and keeping the home painted fresh is the first step to making your home attractive to buyers.

The Joy of a Green Kitchen

We’re into the second decade of 21st century and eco-friendly options are so much more viable and affordable than several years ago. These options include a myriad of materials, appliances and techniques that reduce pollution and fuel energy consumption like: green materials for cabinets, countertops and floors, green finishing, energy-efficient appliances and thorough insulation methods. If you would like to remodel your kitchen in a way that is more environmentally aware, these are some things to keep in mind.

Assess the situation

Why do you want to remodel exactly? Is the space cramped or too vast? Are there any problems with traffic? Are the appliances distributed in a way that makes it easy to prepare a meal and maintain cleanliness? Does the kitchen serve your needs? Size is an important consideration, because a smaller kitchen is more efficient. If you like working in the kitchen or having a large space for entertaining, that’s perfect – you should just make sure the space can accommodate these needs without imposing clutter. Is the kitchen too hot or cold? Basically, make a list of all the things you’d like to change paying attention to movement, efficiency and comfort.

Do any other remodeling needs affect the kitchen remodel?

This is mostly about air leakage. If your home is very leaky, it’ll be a tall order to make the kitchen energy-efficient. The kitchen remodel should be evaluated within the whole home.

Adding in is better than adding on

As we’ve already said, a smaller kitchen is more energy efficient than a huge one. Adding new attractive features like a larger fridge, a wine cooler or just another bulky modern appliance may be tempting, but do try to analyze the benefits of such a move against the space and the energy and water consumption. Storage would be a far more important consideration – maybe your space should be reorganized so that you can store groceries and kitchenware in a more economical way.

Make preparations for the future

If there are some retrofits and upgrades you’d like to do some time in the future, but cannot afford now, your remodel plan can at least prep your home for that. For example, pre-wiring for a photovoltaic system can be done so that it’s easier to install once you get to that. Pre-plumbing for graywater can also be carried out, so that saves you time and money in the future.

green remodelingThink about the future

How long do you plan on living in your home? If you’re planning to grow old in it, take that into account when it comes to the kitchen layout. Keep the cabinets accessible and the appliances should be distributed in such a way that they don’t require a lot of moving around. Having the timeframe in mind will also decide what materials to use – should you invest in those that will last you forever or can some more affordable ones do?

Efficient appliances and systems

The kitchen hood should take the air directly out of the house.

The general lighting should be airtight and there should be some task lighting like under-cabinet lights and fixtures over table all made from recycled and recyclable materials. The lighting should meet the state Title 24 standards for efficient lighting.

The dishwasher should have more energy stars than the minimum.

The water heater should be efficient – consider getting a tankless water heater.

Finishing

It would be ideal to have green finishes with zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The natural flooring is linoleum.

Furniture

Cabinetry made of bamboo is naturally low in VOC.

It would be great to have plywood and wood materials certified with Forest Stewardship Council, which will guarantee the wood comes from a responsible forest management.

Countertops can be coated with natural local wax.

 

If you live in San Diego County and are considering remodeling your kitchen, don’t hesitate to contact GGR Energy + Remodeling. We are a professional, award-winning remodeling service company which values integrity, sustainability and enjoyment of a perfect home. Our dynamic team of experienced designers is here to help you make a life-changing decision wisely and to your best interest.

What Should You Consider Before Remodeling?

You know those family meetings round the kitchen table when there’s a big decision to be made? When families discuss remodeling, the questions they most often consider (and fight about?) come down to the color of tiles and suchlike “make-up” changes. But the conversation should go deeper and ask questions that relate to your family’s lifestyle and plans.

The big question is – how do you want to live in your home? If you think carefully how you want to live, work, play – simply, be – in your home before the remodeling starts, you reduce the risk of unpleasant surprises and disappointments once the work is over.

Here are some guidelines on what you should consider with your family and remodeling contractor.

  • How long do you plan to live in your home? If you don’t think you’ll be in your home for many years to come, big changes are not advisable. But, if you want to live there for decades or even leave it to the future generations, forward thinking is in order. This affects the organization of space which should suit toddlers, adolescents, working people and elderly parents.

If you plan on staying, top quality materials will have the best return on investment. This includes durable materials for roofs and floors, isolation, stone exterior, solar panels, etc.

  • Are there any health issues to be considered? Do you have parents who plan to age at home? Then the rooms and spaces they use should be on one level. Avoiding stairs minimizes the risk of injury.

Or maybe you have a family member who is physically challenged? Adapting the main level so that the bedroom and the bathroom are on ground level will be most effective. This should also include ramps, reachable light switches, handles, and so on.

  • What’s the flow of your family life? Does your home feel cramped and crowded because you are all running into each other? Are you feeling stressed for being late every morning because everyone is getting in your way in the kitchen and the bathroom? Or maybe that big dining room is standing there deserted? Analyze the dynamics of your family – who uses what spaces and when.

Flow in the house can be improved without taking walls down and adding new ones. A better organization of rooms and storage spaces can bring a lot of order.

  • Are you energy-efficient? Energy upgrades are a great investment in your home and quality of living in general. Producing clean, renewable energy could save a great deal of money that can be put to much better use than paying utility bills. Plus, even if you decide to move in the future, energy upgrades increase the value of your property.
  • What is good about the home?  You like the community? The neighbors are fantastic? The garden is your haven from everyday stresses? It’s good to know what you like about your home and what you would like to stay the same.
  • Is remodeling better than moving?  This connects to the previous consideration. Moving has upfront costs like transportation, closing and broker commissions. The new home could also require redecorating and new furniture. Maybe there is major repair down the road or energy upgrades to be installed there. Make sure what pays off.

Similarly, you should be precise when talking with your remodeling contractor. They should know what your realistic budget is and they should be able to help you maximize the outcome at a cost that is affordable for you.

As a small preparation before meeting the contractor, we recommend you brainstorm your family’s current and foreseeable future needs. Comb the list and set priorities. What would be the crucial improvements to your life quality? Once you have these answers straight, it’s much more likely you’ll be happy and satisfied with the results.

 

Winter Olympics Go Green

For the Winter Olympics this year in Sochi, Russia pledged to go green. As part of the country’s bid to host the 2014 event, they committed to green building standards and promised not to create landfills as part of a “zero waste” policy. With a $51 billion budget — the biggest in Olympic history — the task to create the greenest Olympics yet seemed rather feasible. Using our many years of experience in green construction, we put Sochi to the test by evaluating how green they have actually gone.

 

Among Sochi’s plans for going green were LED lighting, thin-film photovoltaic cells, germicidal paint, air purification and decontamination systems, autonomous lighting points, and low emission glazing. According to the Sochi 2014 website, Russia promised to use “renewable sources of energy, waste minimization and recycling, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as sustainable water and energy use” in about 200 of their Olympic venues. A number of thermal and hydroelectric power stations were to be renovated as well. All of this was backed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Russian Federation, in addition to three of Russia’s opposing political parties.

 

These steps toward a greener Winter Olympics are encouraging and should serve as an example for future Olympics to come, but as is to be expected with any major production, something is bound to go wrong. At the Sochi Winter Olympics, a lot of things haven’t gone quite as well as expected due to missing funds and mishaps at the opening ceremony. Unfortunately, illegal landfills have also reportedly been used to dump construction waste and there have been thousands of acres of deforestation, wetlands damage, and a reduction in biodiversity. Despite these environmental complaints, Emmanuelle Moreau, the head of media relations for the IOC, explains that Sochi 2014 is the first Olympic games to reduce the carbon footprint of athletes and attendees and it’s the first international sports event in Russia to even consider sustainability and the environment.

While Sochi’s push to go green at the 2014 Winter Olympics didn’t fulfill 100% of it’s requirements, it’s a start. The recognition and awareness for a greener alternative to such large scaled events is crucial. There is no question there is still a lot to be done in the future, but at GGR Energy, we are glad to be at the forefront of green construction and energy conservation. You don’t need to host the major countries in the most notable sporting event in order to go green, go for the gold and start with your home!

Tips to Better Insulate your Home (and Wallet)!

Wallheating_pipes_on_bast_fiber_insulationAdding home insulation to an existing home will also increase sound control. Insulation creates a sound barrier, keeping unwanted sounds out and protecting your privacy by keeping the sounds from inside your home from being audible outside. Insulating your home also creates a moisture barrier, keeping unwanted moisture out of your house. Adding insulation to your home is a great way to increase the comfort of your living environment.

This will protect all of your possessions indoors and create a much more comfortable living environment inside. Another benefit of home insulation is keeping environmental pollutants and allergens out of your home. Home insulation creates an added barrier between you and the outside world, keeping your home environment regulated, healthy and comfortable.

Savings: Insulating your home also has cost benefits to you as homeowner. With added insulation your home will become much more energy efficient. Insulation will keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This will reduce the amount of heating and cooling appliances you need to use to keep your home comfortable. Because of this, home insulation will reduce your energy bills and the costs of cooling and heating your home.

Environmental Benefits: Another benefit of insulating your home is a reduced environmental impact. With an insulated home you will be using less energy for heating and cooling your home. This will reduce your carbon footprint, and also reduce the amount of chemicals released into the environment from air conditioning units.

Hire an Expert:  GGREnergy specializes in home insulation and other methods of green home remodeling that increase your comfort, benefit your health, reduce your energy bills and lessen your home’s environmental impact. Through our home performance audit, get green analysis and get green performance remodel, among our other services, we provide the expertise and experience you need to get the green home and comfort you and your family deserve.

Tips to Help Lower Your Energy Bill

Proper Insulation Tips to Help Lower Your Energy Bill

20081217-green-energyWhether you are a DIY (do it yourself) or a CAP (call a professional) homeowner, these tips on how to properly insulate your home will guide you in the right direction or help you hire the best professional.

Properly installing home insulation takes more than minor construction skills; there is a science behind turning your home into a healthy, comfortable, energy-efficient environment. Improperly installed insulation can result in health issues due to mold issues and inferior air quality inside your home. Making this one of those projects where bringing in a professional may actually save you time and money in the long run.

How to Properly Install Insulation

Ted’s energy tips  warn of the dangers of improper insulation and offers detailed tips on how to do the job right. If you decide to do the job yourself, read Ted’s tips on his site in detail at least 3 times before you begin. If you decide to hire a professional, be sure they are trained in all aspects of building science.

  1. Air seal and reduce moisture in the attic before insulating to avoid condensation, mold, and wood rot.
  2. Disconnect humidifiers in properly insulated homes. Moisture will always find a place to go; usually up to the attic. This can damage the roof.
  3.  Know your insulation products. All insulation products are not created equal. The material used in the attic, will not work in the basement for example. Using the wrong insulation will result in moisture issues and may not be compliant with building code regulations.
  4. Shut the refrigerator door. Picture your house like a refrigerator. When the door is closed, it completely closes in the cold air and keeps out the warm air. If the door is left ajar, this concept goes, well, out the door. The same principle applies to your home. The more complex the design of your home the harder it will be to insulate it correctly to avoid gaps and ensure continuous protection.
  5. Packing it in. Ted often says “a house can never be too tight.” But even Ted admits this can be a huge mistake if fresh air and humidity are not taken into account and provided. Fresh air circulating throughout the home is a must to maintain a healthy atmosphere for your family.

Unless you are a contractor by trade and trained in the fine art of insulation installation, hiring a professional would be the wise choice. GGR Energy has been improving the energy efficiency, comfort, and safety of San Diego homes since 2008. Our project managers and home performance advisers are trained to incorporate building science into every project to ensure the job meets the highest standards.


The Benefits of HVAC

How HVAC can Benefit you

HVACHeating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) has numerous benefits not only for your home or business, but your wallet as well. HVAC technology is designed for creating indoor comfort, whether it be your home, business or even you car. Most importantly though, HVAC is extremely efficient in larger industrial buildings with multiple offices like skyscrapers and temperature controlled areas like aquariums where the temperature must either be kept cool, or warm depending on the animal. The main thing to think about when purchasing or upgrading your HVAC system is energy efficiency, as it can and will save you a lot of money over time.

Installing a HVAC system in your home or business can truly change the environment from being simply miserable sometimes to being comfortable at the touch of a button. When it is 95 degrees outside with over 90% humidity and inside your home or business it is close to 90 degrees with the humidity it can be an awful feeling for you and your customers. Having an HVAC system can not only make your living or business areas more comfortable, but keep your family or customers happy. The main function of HVAC is to provide comfort with quality indoor air. The hidden benefits of HVAC are just as important as the obvious one. HVAC provides ventilation throughout ensuring that every room is how you want it. Using room air distribution, HVAC can not only deliver air to multiple rooms, but remove air as well when it is needed. People often function and work much better when they are comfortable and having HVAC will ensure that your family or employees are in a proper environment.

Besides making your home or business much more comfortable during extreme weather changes like high hot temperatures or low freezing temperatures, installing an energy efficient HVAC system will save you and your business money, especially if you know it will be running constantly. With the new energy efficient systems, the more they work the more money you save. Comparing last year’s monthly bills to the same month’s bill with the energy efficient HVAC, customers often save between 30-40% on the bill. Not including any kind of aid you can qualify for by choosing to go green and use energy efficient technology that is environmentally safer as well. Each state will often have state incentives for those who use renewable or energy efficient sources.

If your current HVAC system is over ten years old, you are considering one for your home or office or simply wanting to upgrade to an energy efficient HVAC system Get Green Remodeling (GGR) has a solution for you that will not only save you money, but help the environment as well. Contact us for a free consultation or more information.

Why you Should Go Solar in the Summer

Benefits of Going Solar in Summer

solarThere are many benefits to installing a solar power system to your home. It is a good thing to do at any time, but can be especially beneficial during the Summer months. Solar energy will save you money, reduce summer time blackouts and care for the environment and the future generations.

Save Money

One of the most significant benefits of going solar is saving money. You will dramatically reduce and possibly eliminate your current electrical bill. This is good for the present but also for the future. Switching to solar energy protects you and your family from the annual rising costs of electricity. It is predicted that monthly electric costs double approximately every 10 years, and with the current state of the energy economy, this rate could accelerate even faster. Save money for you and your family by going solar this summer!

Reduce Energy Use

Summer time months are notorious for rolling black outs because of all the air conditioner use. By going solar you will benefit not only your home but your city’s power grid by not contributing to the summer time air conditioner energy drain. By adding a solar system to your home you will no longer use as much, if any, of the city power and this will help the functioning of the whole system. In the Summer months there is abundant sunshine so your solar energy system will be plenty full to power all of your summer time energy needs. In the event of a city black out, your home will not be affected because you will have your own energy source.

Help the Environment

The best benefit of going solar is the benefit to the environment! By changing your power system to solar power you will reduce your carbon footprint and the pollution in the environment. This will help keep the air clean, reduce greenhouse gasses and positively impact the environment now and for future generations.

There are many more benefits to going solar in the Summer. Not only will it save you money, reduce energy use and help the environment, but it will also increase the value of your home! Contact GGR to help you harness the natural energy of the abundant summer time sun and switch to a solar energy system for your home.

The Benefits of Home Insulation

Insulating Your Home Secures Energy Savings From The Outside In

 There are many benefits of home insulation. Insulating your home will add to your comfort, create a healthier home environment, reduce your energy bills and have a positive environmental impact.

 Comfort of Home Insulation

The inside guide of home insulation.

The inside guide of home insulation.

Adding insulation to your home is a great way to increase the comfort of your living environment. Adding home insulation to an existing home will regulate the temperature, making your living environment more enjoyable, especially in places of extreme weather.

Adding home insulation to an existing home will also increase sound control. Insulation creates a sound barrier, keeping unwanted sounds out and protecting your privacy by keeping the sounds from inside your home from being audible outside. Insulating your home also creates a moisture barrier, keeping unwanted moisture out of your house.

This will protect all of your possessions indoors and create a much more comfortable living environment inside. Another benefit of home insulation is keeping environmental pollutants and allergens out of your home. Home insulation creates an added barrier between you and the outside world, keeping your home environment regulated, healthy and comfortable.

 Cost Benefits of Insulating Your Home

Insulating your home also has cost benefits to you as homeowner. With added insulation your home will become much more energy efficient. Insulation will keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This will reduce the amount of heating and cooling appliances you need to use to keep your home comfortable. Because of this, home insulation will reduce your energy bills and the costs of cooling and heating your home.

 Environmental Benefits of Home Insulation

Another benefit of insulating your home is a reduced environmental impact. With an insulated home you will be using less energy for heating and cooling your home. This will reduce your carbon footprint, and also reduce the amount of chemicals released into the environment from air conditioning units.

 At Get Green Remodeling, we specialize in home insulation and other methods of green home remodeling that increase your comfort, benefit your health, reduce your energy bills and lessen your home’s environmental impact. Through our home performance audit, get green analysis and get green performance remodel, among our other services, we provide the expertise and experience you need to get the green home and comfort you and your family deserve.