Fall leaf collection is in full swing in communities like Madison. While Fall leaf collection officially started on October 4, we are nearing the peak of the season, and most homeowners are knee deep in leaves throughout their yards!
Find out the ins and outs of city leaf collection by clicking here. You will also find tips for proper collection and green tips for compost and getting the nutrients from leaves into your lawn.
As the coolness and crispness of Autumn begin to settle in here in Wisconsin, we thought we would share an article that recently ran in the Appleton, WI newspaper about the rising popularity of radiant in-floor heating in new homes and as a home improvement. A toasty warm floor on a chilly morning – sounds pretty good!
Capitol West condominium homes are a site to behold in both design and location. Just three blocks away from the Capitol Square, State Street and the Overture Center for the Arts, this urban community is within walking distance of all things Madison. Whether you are interested in 309 W.Washington, Capitol Court Townhomes + Washington Rowhouses or Broom Street Lofts, you will find a variety of floor plans, finishes and price points to consider.
The model is open daily and we will happily arrange a private showing upon request by emailing Heidi at email@example.com. We look forward to welcoming YOU to the Capitol West community soon!
With a stymied economy and a slow housing market, many people are electing to stay put in their existing homes – with a little help from home improvement. Spending on remodeling is expected to rise this year and we have a few tips to hold down expenses and still get the updates you want.
Create a budget and plan and stick with it. Do a some research on the types of improvements you want and get a feel for both labor and materials costs. Use those numbers to create a basic budget that you know you can comfortably afford and then design a simple plan for making that happen. It will help your contractor understand your vision better and should keep you on track to stay within your spending limits.
Choose contractors wisely. Get at least three bids and check references. There are also online resources, like Angie’s List, that can be used to screen potential contractors. The low bid may not necessarily be the best bid – get your estimates in writing and line them up against your preliminary plan.
Do the demo and prep work yourself. If you have the ability to do some basic demo, such as removing old appliances or fixtures, wallpaper, or popcorn ceilings, you can save money and focus your contractor on specialized skills like carpentry and electrical. Disposing of used materials and trash yourself will also help keep your costs down.
Use recycled materials. It may make sense to use recycled lumber and other materials – even recycled hardware can add a unique touch and may be much less expensive (and greener) than new.
Make selections quickly and stay with them. Time is money to your contractor and any delays you insert into the process by delaying or changing your selections can layer cost on without you even realizing it. Look for the types of materials and the color selections you prefer during your planning phase and don’t change your mind mid-stream.
Updating your home can be a relatively simple and affordable process that can make your home more livable for you and more desirable for resale down the road. If you follow some basic strategies, you are sure to be pleased with the improvements and save money in the process.
Homeowners who are concerned about the environment as well as saving money have many options when making upgrades to their home. One of the lastest in eco-friendly, efficient, and economical appliances are tankless water heaters. The Department of Energy or DOE tells us that hot water usage, specifically heating the water, is the 3rd largest day to day expense in the home. If you are looking to be more energy efficient and cut back on utility expenses, you may want to consider purchasing a tankless water heater.
If you are unfmailar on conventional water heaters work, they will keep your water hot 24/7, while an on-demand system, using the tankless approach, only heats water when you need it. An efficient gas burner quickly heats cold water traveling through the system to a preset temperature.
There are several common manufacturers of tankless water heaters – check out www.smarterhotwater.com, sponsored by Rheem. They tell us that annual costs for conventional water heating and storage (average) can be as much as $285, where the costs for tankless are more than $100 less per year on average.
So why haven’t we all converted? Tankless water heaters cost more up front – sometimes as much as twice more than traditional water systems. But adoption is growing as consumers become more and more concerned with efficiency and long term value for their dollars. Here’s a few reasons to consider going tankless:
1. Energy friendly and efficient. On demand systems can reduce energy costs as much as 25%. 2. Reliable and convenient. You get a continuous supply – imagine never running out of hot water! 3. Sleek and small. No more bulky tanks taking up valuable storage. Typical tankless heaters aren’t much bigger than a small suitcase. 4. Life expectancy. Tankless water eaters are built to last – 20 + years or more. 5. Versatility. It’s size and operating system allow you to place nearly anywhere in your home that is convenient for you.
Tankless water heaters are expensive, as noted and can be expensive to retrofit. If you are purchasing a new home that you plan to say in for a long time, the savings and benefits are worth the expense. If you are in a short term arrangement, the conventional water heaters may still be all you need for now. Also, avoid electric style tankless heaters – the gas units are much more efficient and affordable.