How to Keep Your Home Energy Efficient

One of the concerns among homeowners lately is making their homes as energy efficient as possible. Doing so is not only good for the environment by conserving our natural resources, but it can lower your heating and cooling bills as well. Here are a few things you can do to keep your home as energy efficient as possible.

Improve your lighting. Skylights are placed on your home’s ceilings to allow natural light into your room. This allows you to use less artificial lighting, which will save you money on your electric bill and save energy as well. Another option in regards to lighting is to replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. These save ¾ of the electricity used by the regular bulbs and last much longer, too.

Improve your water system. There are a few ways to improve the hot water situation in your home. Installing low-flow, energy efficient fixtures in your shower or bath is a very simple upgrade. You can also turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting. Lastly, insulating your water lines will prevent them from cooling down as quickly between uses.

Practice proper ventilation. It’s commonly known that hot air rises, so in warmer months opening a few windows will release the heat and cool down your home without the use of air conditioning or central air.

Install the proper insulation. To keep your home warm during colder months and cooler during warmer months, it’s important to have quality insulation. Insulation slows the rate that heat flows in and out of your house. Speak to a professional about which type will work best for your home and watch as you have to use your heating units less and less.

Try solar heating. Although it’s certainly not for everyone, solar heating is an eco-friendly option. The solar heating panels collect the sun’s heat and transfer it to a collector or directly into your home. This is a great way to take advantage of sunny weather and reduce your carbon footprint.

Check doors and windows. Old windows and doors may need to be replaced if they are old or leaky. There are a variety of more energy-efficient windows on the market today if you are looking to completely replace them. If not, checking for any cracks or gaps can help prevent air from coming in and out. The same goes for your doors- make sure to check the bottom, top and sides for any drafts. Any open spots should be caulked so they are airtight.

Change filters. Something that is often forgotten about is changing the filters. You should periodically change the filters on your furnace and air conditioner, for example. This will keep the machines clean and running smoothly and more efficiently.

Prepare Your Home for the Winter Season

Fall is the perfect time to start planning and preparing your home for the upcoming winter season. With winter comes significantly cooler temperatures and poor weather conditions (snow, ice and freezing rain). This affects your water systems, heating systems and your home’s energy efficiency. Preparing a few months ahead of time is the best way to plan for a disaster before it happens and keep your home and family safe. Here are a few ways you can prepare your home for the winter season.

Update your water systems. Winterizing your water systems is an important task that most homes require in some form. These water systems that should be dealt with include faucets, sprinkler systems and pools. A home in a mild climate may not need their faucets to be dealt with, however colder regions may need some attention. In this case, shut off the water system and then pull off any attachments. Open up drain valve and leave the faucet in the open position for the winter season. For your sprinkler system, turn off the automatic timers first. Then open the pressure valves and drain out water from any section that might freeze. Lastly, if you have a pool you will need to do a few things. This includes removing any loose parts, lowering the water level and draining the pumping system.

Check windows and doors for drafts. In order to keep your heating bill from going off the charts, it’s important to check your windows and doors for drafts. Make sure that the edges of windows and doors are properly sealed and that the caulking has no cracks, gaps or holes. If they do, seal them with new caulking.

Inspect and clean your fireplace. In the warmer months, fireplaces are rarely used. Once winter rolls around and the temperatures begin to cool down, it becomes a frequently-used item in the home. During the fall, you should inspect and clean out your fireplace to make sure there is no build-up of debris. This debris, creosote, builds up and could start a chimney fire when you least expect it. Wood and gas fireplaces should also be swept once a year before winter and inspected as a precaution. This is also a great time to check for any cracks in the brick or mantle and have those repaired as well. Lastly, clean up any smoke marks or discoloration for a nice and clean appearance.

Inspect your furnace. Having a professional come in to service your furnace before winter is a very smart idea. They will clean various parts, check for carbon monoxide leaks and make sure that everything is running smoothly. Every few months you should change the air filters to keep the furnace clean year-round.

The Murphy Door

What better way to utilize space and add some character to your home than with an easy-to-install door? The Murphy Door, also referred to as “the amazing bi-fold Hide-A-Door” or the bookshelf closet door, does just that.

The Murphy Door is essentially a set of bookshelves with unique hardware that turns them into a closet door. The outside of the door looks like a regular bookshelf, but with a simple tug on the center columns, it glides open to reveal a hidden room or closet.

The Murphy Door is easily customizable. You can choose from MDF (usually in black or white) or popular wood types (such as oak or maple) so your door will match the style and look of your home. The universal hardware fits 4’, 5’ and 6’ doors, and you can choose the door opening width of your choice.

The door is also very versatile. It adds function and style to any room in your home, including your bedroom, family room, a guest room, your home office or even in your kitchen as a way to hide your pantry. It also can hide unattractive rooms like the laundry room or a cluttered closet. It turns old or boring closet doors into an exciting place to display and store whatever you desire- books, collectibles, home goods or pantry items. The innovative and quality construction of these doors allows them to easily hold over 300 pounds. When the doors open, nothing will fall off of the shelves due to the unique hardware.

The Murphy Door bookshelf kit comes with everything you need to assemble your own hidden door- including the hardware, parts and pieces for the valance. The common tools that are required for the installation are a hammer, finish nails or brad nailer, a hack saw, a drill or screwdriver, a tape measure and a level. For a semi-skilled carpenter, the process will take about 1 ½ to 2 hours, while for a novice it may take around 3. Instructions with 3D drawings make this door easy to install.

 

Blacksmith Dan Nauman

It is rare to find someone these days who is as dedicated and passionate about their craft as Dan Nauman is. Master blacksmith Dan Nauman practices his work at Bighorn Forge- his shop that is located in Kewaskum, Wisconsin. Nauman began forging in 1979 and has since opened up other shops and become a full-time forger. He has taught, demonstrated and lectured about forging at a variety of institutions and locations across the country, sharing his wealth of knowledge and exceptional work of his craft with others. You can sign up for a forging workshop or blacksmith class here.

Nauman designs and makes a variety of work, including door hardware (handles, hinges, latches, door knockers), fences, railings, gates, fireplace tools, lighting (chandeliers, candelabras and wall sconces), sculptures and window hardware (curtain rods, grilles and false balconies). His variety of work can be seen in homes, businesses and institutions alike.

His work varies widely, but always features the highest of quality and most imaginative of details. His works often feature flowing forms, different types of metal and intricate designs. He is often inspired by the natural world and the teachings of Jesus Christ. He takes materials most people would consider to be junk or antiques and uses them as tools to create beautiful art. His methods are based on controlled use of the hammer, using accepted forging discipline.

Nauman has won two international awards for his design and workmanship from the “National Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metals Association” (NOMMA) for a chandelier made for the “Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion” in Milwaukee, WI, and for a sculptural gate made for a private party residing in Port Washington, WI. He has also received two grants to study and promote famed metal master Cyril Colnik’s work through a video documentary. Later on, he had the opportunity to redesign the Cyril Colnik galleries at the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum.

CS Hardware is excited to feature some of Nauman’s beautiful work on the hand forged iron pieces on their rolling barn door. You can purchase these indoor rolling doors at CS Hardware’s website and see the different roller strap styles he created. To learn more about Nauman, you can visit his website or blog.

Mullion Cabinet Doors

 

Changing the look of your cabinets is one of the easiest ways to update the look of your kitchen. Whether you are painting the door fronts, adding some new hardware like knobs or refacing them, cabinets can easily be altered to fit your aesthetic. One option to give your cabinets a more high-end look is to insert mullion glass doors.

Mullion doors replace your solid door cabinets with glass. They feature a horizontal and vertical lined frame that is reminiscent of a window pane. Thin strips of wood are inserted between the panes of glass to divide the door into separate sections, sometimes referred to as grids. These doors make the content of your cabinets visible, which adds depth and beauty to your kitchen. It allows you to show some of your personality by displaying your favorite items that would otherwise be concealed by a solid cabinet door. The openness of the glass also can make your kitchen appear larger and more inviting.

Mullion doors casino online can be installed on almost any cabinet type, but it’s important to do some research beforehand. Take a look at what you will be storing in the particular cabinets. Items such as paper goods or medicines should be stored in regular cabinets. Dishes, glasses, decorative pieces and collectibles are ideal for mullion doors. Since you can see the contents through the glass, make sure the items are kept tidy and organized in a neat manner. A common option is to just make the corner cabinet into a mullion door for the special glassware (also known as an accent cabinet).

Another aspect to look at before installing your mullion doors is that the type of glass matches with the door style and wood type. Decorative door styles will look nice with a more intricate glass door, but contemporary kitchens look best with plain glass doors. The glass used in these doors is detachable so they can be cleaned as needed. The three common types of glass that are used in mullion doors include annealed, tempered and laminated glass.

Mullion glass doors are a simple way to change the look of your kitchen without a complete remodel. They allow you to customize the look of your cabinets to your liking. You can choose the size and design of the grids to add depth and beauty to your kitchen. Popular styles include a simple grid shape, an “X” style, a crisscross style and circular shapes.  The options are endless when you decide to change the look of your kitchen cabinets with mullion doors.

Different Styles of Cabinet Doors

The doors of your cabinets are one of the first things people see when they walk into your kitchen or bathroom. Doors not only add function to your cabinets, but add beauty as well. There are a wide variety of styles, colors and types of doors available when remodeling your home. Here are a few of the most popular styles of cabinet doors.

Shaker- Shaker style cabinet doorsfocus on simplicity and tradition. They are characterized by raised square-paneled door fronts with matching square corners. The edges are sharp and defined with no fancy curves or details. The square doors lay flat against the cabinets for a clean look.

Full overlay- Full overlay cabinet doors are designed so that the door and drawer fronts completely cover the face frames. When they are closed, no part of the frame is exposed, including the hinges. There is usually no more than 1/8” space between the doors and drawers, so knobs and pulls are required to open the cabinets. This type of cabinet door gives a contemporary look to your space.

Half overlay- This type of door isalso commonly referred to as a regular, traditional, standard or partial overlay door. A half overlay door covers approximately ½” over the framework of the cabinet door. The hardware is therefore exposed on the exterior framework. It is an inexpensive option since less material is used, which adds to the popularity of the style.

Framed- In this type of cabinet door, a wood frame is attached to the inside of the cabinet box. This provides support for the cabinet and is very sturdy. Framed cabinet doors give a more traditional look to your kitchen or bathroom.

Mullion- Mullion cabinet fronts feature glass doors with a horizontal and vertical lined frame which replaces the solid door. It is reminiscent of a window pane. The panel is divided into separate sections, sometimes referred to as grids. These doors make the contents of your cabinets visible, adding depth and beauty to your cabinets.

Raised panel- On this type of door,the panel protrudes slightly and is often accompanied with a matching raised panel around the door’s perimeter. Raised panel cabinet fronts require high quality craftsmanship to ensure that the doors are integrated into the cabinet box. A popular type of raised panel door is the cathedral style. This door stylegives an elegant look with their Neo Gothic design. They feature an exaggerated arch at the top of the raised panel, which is usually used on the upper cabinets.

Recessed panel- On this type of door, the panel is sunk back into the cabinet door, which creates a sunken lip around the door’s perimeter. Recessed panel cabinet doors add more depth to your room and will give your cabinets another dimension.

Slab- Slab doors are constructed from a single flat piece of material- usually wood, laminate or steel. There are no raised or recessed parts, which provides a simple design with clean lines to blend with your home’s style. This type of cabinet door adds a contemporary look to your room.

Rolling Barn Doors

If you’re looking for a way to save space and add an attractive element to your home, you’ll love rolling barn doors. These functional doors provide an easy solution to the space problem that faces many homeowners each and every day. These doors also can be an unexpected design element indoors, since this style of door is typically seen on outdoor barns or garages.

Perks of rolling barn doors include no door swing- which ultimately saves you a few feet of space that typical doors use when opening and closing. You can even reuse old doors or reclaimed wood to save money and resources.

Rolling barn doors serve many different purposes. They can be used to hide a laundry nook, a personal office or a kid’s playroom. Larger rooms can be separated in half with a rolling barn door, creating two separate spaces. These doors are also a great option for a pantry or closet, since they attractively conceal your storage in small spaces. An innovative way to use these doors is to conceal your media center- including your TV or stereo system. If you just want to add a new twist on your room’s aesthetic, these doors make great art pieces and conversation starters when you have company over.

You can also customize the look of your rolling barn door in other ways that just the wood type and color. Choose from your favorite barn door roller straps, which are available in a variety of shapes and finishes. Whether you’re looking for something with a classic/rustic look or a more contemporary style, there are roller straps just for you. Popular finishes include black, oil-rubbed bronze and satin nickel. Some companies even make custom hardware for your barn doors, allowing you get the look you’ve always dreamed of in your home.

If you’re worried about your door sliding or bumping into a wall, you can install a center floor guide can keep the door from swinging and provides a precise stopping position.

The last steps in your rolling door process is to mount your door on a rail (it’s usually best for a professional to do so). The time and money put into your rolling barn door will pay off in the beauty and functionality of your home for many years to come.

3 Common Uses for Hidden Doors

p>One way to add storage, privacy and some interest to your home is to install a hidden door. Sometimes referred to as an invisible door or secret bookcase door, this innovative home structure is becoming more and more popular in homes over the past few years. Hidden doors are usually installed in place of interior doors or are sometimes built into a wall where there is something to conceal. Here are three of the most common uses for installing hidden doors in your home.

 

Storage- A common complaint amongst homeowners is the lack of storage space. Hidden doors are an excellent option to add a closet or even a full room for all your items. Common storage uses include a pantry or linen closet, your own private wine cellar or an entryway to an attic.

 

Privacy- Sometimes you just need to get away from everything- and a space hidden behind a secret door can provide just that. This private retreat can be a home office, a room for your hobbies, a panic room, a place to safely store your pricey valuables, a home gym or even a secret playroom for your children.

 

Aesthetic- Hidden doors can conceal something that would otherwise make your home look cluttered or messy. Examples of this include a hidden mechanical room, a room for the furnace, a laundry room or gun storage.  These doors also can create a beautiful space in your home to display your trinkets, prized possessions or collections. Even if you don’t have a secret room to conceal, these doors will add a designer’s touch to your home.

So whether you decide to show off your hidden door to house guests or keep it a secret all to yourself, this home renovation will bring years of enjoyment and function.

 

*all images are from Houzz

The First High Quality, Production Hidden Door Bookcase

Every house needs more shelving; every house has seldom-used doors. Great minds think alike!

Hidden doors are not just for old horror movies. They are often the perfect solution for homeowners looking for unique shelving options – and with Custom Service Hardware’s InvisiDoor, the look of a custom woodwork addition has never been more reasonably priced or easier to install. Continue reading “The First High Quality, Production Hidden Door Bookcase”