Monday, December 30, 2013

5 Smart Tips to Help You Cut Electricity Costs in Winter

Do you dread that time of the year when your electricity bills shoot through the roof? Yes, it's
winter; the season of piping hot coffee, fireplace warmth, room heaters and Christmas lights. And
to keep that tall order going you need energy too, after all you can't be just sitting at home
with your jaws freezing up.

So, what's the best way to cut those staggering electricity bills? Are there efficient ways to
reduce energy loss while making your homes, offices and other public utility areas safely warm?
You'd be surprised at how many simple ways there are in which you could efficiently save energy in
winter and cut down on your electricity bills. Let's see how!

1.    The Sun Is Your Savior

Have you ever wondered how the warmth and energy from the sun can help you in winter? This
powerful disk of golden rays is itself a ball of energy and can magnanimously reduce the chill
inside your rooms. You can keep the curtains and windows open and let the sun's rays naturally
heat your homes. You can also install solar panels if you can afford them.

2.    Cover Adequately And Save

Another very simple mechanism to conserve energy is to cover all those areas which invite the
chill from outside. For instance, there could be cracks in your doors and windows which need to be
sealed. Also, look out for any leaks or gaps in pipes, ceilings, cupboards, closets and chimneys
that could be letting cold drafts into the interiors. 

3.    Control Temperatures 

The thermostat might be a very handy utility tool, but you need to make careful use of this gadget
in winter. Firstly get yourself a programmable thermostat that can be adjusted, it will
effectively reduce energy consumption by 30%. Secondly, when you're at home, reduce its
temperature to a comfortable minimum. However, when you are away, increase the temperature to 10
or 15 degrees and see your electricity costs reducing remarkably. 
Water heaters when left at high temperatures for a considerable period of time consume a lot of
energy, often causing extensive damage as well. Try to maintain the setting in the heater to an
average 120 degrees Fahrenheit and see your heating costs reduce too.

4.    Heating Systems Require Maintenance

For any gadget to function optimally it is crucial to take care of it. The same holds true for
heaters, geysers and the other heating systems. Get them serviced timely to ensure that they
function well. For example, you should replace the furnace filter as required and clean the inside
of the heater thoroughly. Seek professional help to better understand the requirements for

5.    Get Judicious With Electricity

The simplest thing to do is to switch off lights and other electronic devices when they are not in
use. Start investing in energy saving gadgets like LED (light emitting diode) lights for Christmas
decorations. Similarly, instead of using warm water to wash clothes and utensils, select the
setting of these appliances to cold water. Also remember to shut the fireplace with an air-tight
door to stop air leaks. 

Energy saving during the winter is merely about judicious use of electronic devices and heating
systems. Learning its essentials will help you adequately save on those alarming electricity

For the past 15 years Blackstock Electric has been serving the North Metro Atlanta area. Call
1-770-365-5168 and fix an appointment or ask for a quote on an installation.

Posted by Blackstock Electric

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Rooms In Your Home That Would Look Great With Refacing Or New Cabinets

Do the cabinets in your home need to have refacing done or do you want to have all new ones
installed in your home, but you are not sure what rooms this can be done in? This is a problem
that many people have and the answer is very simple.

Any room in your home that has a cabinet can be have new ones put in or they can have refacing
done. Here are a few of the more common rooms where people have something done to bring the
cabinet back to life. 

1. Kitchen - This is the most common room in the home to have refacing done or to have complete
new ones built. Before you decide what you want done in this room you need to know what your
budget is. 

You also need to consider all of the design options that are available for you. Take time to get
online and check out your options so that when it comes time to get this job done you will know
exactly what you want and how you want your kitchen to look. 

It is also smart to consider how long you can be without a kitchen. Getting complete new ones in
will take a few days to a few weeks, depending on the company you hire to do the job. Refacing
them will be a much shorter time frame because there is not as much work required to complete the

2. Bathroom - Every bathroom has cabinets in them and sometimes they look great as is, but many
times you want to replace or reface them so that you get the exact look you want for each bathroom
in your home. 

Again, what is done in the bathroom is completely up to you, but really consider everything before
making your decision on how to redo them. Also, take time to consider the decor of the bathroom so
that you can choose the design that fits it best. 

3. Laundry room - This is not a room that many people think about having a cabinet replaced or
refacing done, but if the laundry room has them in there already then it can be done. Many times
there are none in the laundry room, but you would like there to be. 

If that is the case then it is very easy to get complete new ones installed in this room as long
as you have the extra space needed for them. 

There are also a few other places that you can have them redone. 

- Wall units

- Built in closets

- Tables

- Islands

- Entertainment centers

- Bench seating

The options are unlimited in any home. As long as there are cabinets in any room in your home you
can have refacing done or you can opt for brand new ones to be built for you. The key thing to
remember is that what is done to any cabinet in your home is completely up to you and your budget.
If you enjoyed this article by Les Wilson please visit our Seattle cabinets website today. You
will find helpful information and a free consultation on kitchen remodel Seattle for your home.

Posted by Blackstock Electric

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thinking Of Renovating Your Homes Floors? Go Hardwood Flooring

Are you thinking of renovating your home? Or maybe you're sick and tired of having to soak stains
out of your carpet and want a more practical option? Maybe you or one of your loved ones has
allergies and you want to go for a sympathetic option? If this sounds like you then you should
consider the virtues of hardwood flooring for your floor renovation project.

This article is designed to give you an idea of what advantages a hardwood floor could have for
your home or business. Below is a list of some of the things to consider.

1. Hardwood floors give any home a look of elegance and style.

2. Hardwood flooring is very easy to maintain and clean. No longer will you have to deal with the
agony of cleaning stains and dirt out of your carpet. Hardwood is a great material for keeping
clean with minimum upkeep; stains and dirt are only trapped on the surface and can easily be
removed with a wipe from a mop or broom.

3. Colour longevity. Carpets will fade over time, becoming mere shadows of their former
brilliance, with a hardwood floor the colour remains rich and vibrant for far longer than any
other flooring material.

4. Every hardwood floor is unique. Just like the natural material from which it is made, with
hardwood floors there are never two that are exactly alike. And the best thing is if you want to
change the pattern of your floor you can sand it back and enjoy brand new patterns and colours!

5. Hardwood flooring is perfect for people who suffer from allergies. Pollen and dust are easily
swept aside, not trapped in the fibres of the floor as happens with carpeted floors.

6. Hardwood floors will increase the value of your home. Hardwood floors are very sought after in
the property market and will give a significant return on your investment.

If you're thinking of renovating your floor then keep these helpful tips in mind.

What do I look for from a hardwood flooring installation company?

If you do decide to go with the smart choice and invest in hardwood flooring for your home then
here are a couple of things to think about when choosing your installer.

1. Always go with authorised installers.

2. Family owned usually offer more personal services.

3. Experience is important.

4. Listen to your friends and family, word of mouth is a powerful indicator of quality.

5. Go with a flooring specialist.
Queensland Parquetry, Cork and Timber Floors (QPCF) incorporating Contract
Floor Sanding and Comflor Commercial Floor Coverings, operates throughout Brisbane and the rest of
Queensland and has the team qualifications and experience to turn any floor into an ageless

Posted by Blackstock Electric

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Tips On Finding The Perfect Windows For Your Home

Are you considering building our first home? Or maybe you're renovating your existing home and
need some tips on what will work best for you and your property? There are many different options
when it comes to installing windows in your home and quite a few things to consider so this
article aims to provide you with some information on the different types of windows available on
the market today.

What style of windows should I go for?

Choosing what style of window to go for is one of the more daunting tasks that you will be faced
with when starting the search for your dream windows. Here are some of the main styles of windows
and some of the features that each have.

1. Awning Windows- Awning windows are a traditional favourite and with the latest retractable
flyscreen options there is no reason why you should overlook the humble awning window as far as
pest protection goes. Awning windows have an elegant look and are easily operated.

2. Casement Windows- Casement windows were created to allow a higher ventilation rate than other
windows by being able to open the window to a fully perpendicular position and allow a greater
flow of air into your home. Casement windows are great for showing off big pieces of glass that
can easily be rotated to allow maximum airflow.

3. Sliding Windows- Sliding windows are the practical option of choice. Sliders use rollers that
offer smooth and effortless operation with the security and versatility of multiple locking
points, sliding windows are a great option for the security conscious consumer.

4. Tilt and Turn Windows- Tilt and turn window opens in two directions, when tilt-opens from the
top, it can let in fresh air and prevent dust, rain, and intruders.

The advantages of double glazed windows

When thinking of windows you will undoubtedly come to the point where you will ask yourself; "Do
I want double glazed windows?" Quite simply; yes you do.

Double glazed windows have a range of benefits over their competitors and here is a quick list of
just some of the benefits they offer;

1. Superior insulation properties

2. Reduction in ambient noise

3. Superior security than traditional windows

What is U-PVC?

The "u" in UPVC stands for "unplasticised", meaning that it is a rigid form of PVC that lasts for
a long time. UPVC windows can withstand heat, cold, wind, rain, and snow without corroding,
peeling, chipping, or flaking. Because the UPVC is so stable and inert, you will never need to
paint the window. They are virtually maintenance free. UPVC windows do not rot, have great
flexibility in terms of design, and are priced competitive.
EuroTech Windows specializes in manufacturing and installing uPVC,
double glazed windows and doors. Our windows are low maintenance, energy efficient, provide great
noise reduction and security features. u-PVC used in our products is non-corrosive and
non-flammable. Our windows also provide excellent weather sealing, keeping the cold out in winter
and heat out in summer.

Posted by Blackstock Electric

Burst Pipe - How To Avoid Them

Pipes are an important installment in your house and it is therefore important to know all the
factors that will affect their proper functioning. Varying temperatures may cause serious harm to
your pipes. When water freezes, it usually occupies more volume than when it is in liquid form.
Therefore, when temperatures fall during the winter season, the chances of a burst pipe increase
significantly. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to prolong the life of your


As the cold season approaches, you need to take some steps to protect your pipes from the
destruction of cold weather. First of all, take note of all the rooms in your home that usually
remain unheated. If they have pipes running through them, you might save yourself a lot of trouble
by simply wrapping them with padding material that is specially designed for this. Next,
disconnect all the pipes connected to taps. This will help prevent any water running through the
pipes undetected and freezing during the winter.

You should also allow water to run through your pipes at regular intervals in the cold months. Hot
water will be an additional benefit as it unfreezes any frozen water that may be accumulating in
your pipes. Additionally, you could also heat up the entire house. Since you may not be aware of
all the places that the pipes pass through, ensuring the entire house is warm will get the job

One last thing you should consider if you are unwilling to heat the entire house is to either
install lamps or space heaters along the pipes in rooms that you do not use. This will keep the
pipes from experiencing extreme temperature drops during the cold months. You don't ever want to
have to deal with a burst pipe, so make sure you take all the necessary prevention measures. 


If you suspect that you may have a burst pipe, the first step you should take is to shut off all
your water devices, and then listen for any hissing sound. You may have a burst pipe if you hear
such a sound. In addition, check your meter to see if it is running even when all your water
devices are shut. If it is, then you may have a situation that may require the services of a
professional plumber.

In case the burst pipe is not caused by temperature changes, then it is advisable to always have
some tools ready for an emergency intervention. A clamp is one of them. Learn to use it before
disaster strikes, so you are able to remedy the situation to some extent in case a pipe actually
bursts. You should shut off the water supply to the pipe and then disconnect it from the rest of
the system to prevent unnecessary water loss.
Burst pipes can be difficult to deal with when you have no idea what you're doing. For more
information about dealing with burst pipes, visit .

Posted by Blackstock Electric

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Factors That Can Decrease Your Home's Value

If you are thinking about selling a home now or in the near future you will need to have a good
assessment of your property and what it is worth. This will help when you need to create a listing
price for your home to go on the market. This can be a pretty straightforward process if you look
at comparable homes in the area, run an analysis and determine a fair market value for your home,
but what happens when there are factors you can't control? Sometimes there are things beyond your
control that happen that can affect how much your home is worth. Let's take a look at some of
those things that can decrease your property value.

1. The location of the home.

If you moved into a great up and coming neighborhood years ago, you may have taken the time out to
be sure it would be a safe place for you and your family to grow. This is always the goal when
selling, but over the years what happens to the neighborhood is something that is out of your
hands. One unsavory neighbor can attract crime and other activities that may make your location a
less than desirable one and cause your area to decline. Once people start to abandon the area the
vacant and shuttered home can cause a further decrease in property values in your area.

2. Seasons

The weather patterns have a  tendency to change over time.  Areas that were once safe from
accidents and natural disasters are now experiences these things each and every year.  These
events and the damage they do to the area can cause the houses to look less attractive to someone
that is trying to find a nice safe place to settle down in.  when people are selling a home in an
area like this they may also be selling very cheaply just to get out of the area.

3. The noise level of the area

Most people want to live in an area that they are not going to be disturbed in.  If you live near
railroad tracks, an airport, or any other loud area it can have a negative impact on your property
value.  Some other places that might have excessive noise that you might not think about are a
fire station, police station, or even a hospital.  Homes that are in and around high traffic area
can also have excessive noise levels that some might not like.  Although you can still sell your
house quickly in these areas you should expect to get a lower price then if the home was in a
quieter neighborhood. 

4. Foreclosures around your area

If your home is in a area that was unfortunately included in the economic crisis over the past few
years many of your neighbors may have not been able or given up on paying their mortgages. Once
this happens a number of properties go into foreclosure bringing down property values all around.
Research indicates that living within 250 feet of a foreclosed property can decrease your property
value by at least 1% per foreclosure in the area.

5. The number of sex offenders in the area

Sex offenders are now required to register themselves with their local authorities when they move
into an area.  This information is all public knowledge and something that anyone with kids, or
planning to have them, will want to know about.  The larger the number of sex offenders, and the
closer you are to them, the more it will effect your property value for the people who buy houses
and have children.

Knowing these things when selling a home, or even when you are looking to buy, can help you be
realistic about the value of your home when you go to sell.  If your house has one or more of
these factors working against it be prepared to lower your offer.
Is it time for you to put your house up for sale?  Make sure you dot all your i's and cross all
your t's if you are at that point.  Most buyers want someone that is serious about selling their
home.  Visit our blog to find out if you are ready to put your home on the market.

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Saba 1500mm Freestanding Solid Stone Bath - How To Choose The Best Bath

Freestanding stone baths come in a variety of colors, shapes, designs and styles. There is so much
to choose from and finding the right one can be a daunting task. The Saba 1500mm freestanding
solid stone bath makes a perfect addition to your bathroom. However, there are several factors you
need to consider before you bring it home. When it comes to bath tub installation, you have to
ensure that you get it right the first time, because redoing it can be very expensive and time
consuming. The following are considerations you need to make when choosing freestanding baths.

Available space

You must carefully plan out the space available prior to purchasing a bath. You must decide on the
shape and size, of course, based on the size of your bathroom. Again, remember that your bathroom
should not be crowded, so choose a tub that will help you achieve a balanced look. Check to ensure
that the bath can pass through all openings and stair cases. The flooring must also be assessed by
a qualified plumber or contractor to ensure that it can support the bath tub, especially because
stone is very heavy.

Choice of material

Freestanding baths are readily available in a wide array of materials. Your choice will largely
depend on your budget. You can get long lasting and resistant material to last a long time.
Available materials include: acrylic, cast iron, copper, stone, stainless or a combination of some
of these materials. Installing tubs involves more that just the tub. There are several fixtures
and fittings used in the process. You must ensure that the products used are of superior quality
and this means using the services of a reputable contractor. Investing in a good quality tub is
better than going for a cheaper one that will need replacement after a short period of time.

Choice of style

The style you choose for your bathroom should reflect your character and personality. Indeed there
are several designs to choose from ranging from classic to contemporary. However, you can still
personalize your bathroom by having it custom made to suit your own unique style. You can get
ideas online or by consulting with your installer. Ensure that you discuss your ideas with a
professional to achieve a great look. Remember that it is very hard to have to re-do your
bathroom, so ensure that it is done right the very first time.

When you live in a home for several years, many of the things start to appear monotonous and
repetitive. The good thing is that you can give your bathroom a brand new look. Homeowners who
wish to increase the resale value of their homes can remodel their bathrooms by having the Saba
1500mm freestanding solid stone bath installed. You can also add other fixtures such a shower for
use when you need to take a quick bath or when there is a water shortage. You can also get
matching tiles and other bathroom accessories.
You can treat your bathroom to a complete makeover by installing a Saba 1500mm freestanding solid
stone bath, for more details on freestanding stone baths visit .

Posted by Blackstock Electric

Monday, September 16, 2013

New Energy Efficient HVAC Systems

HVAC systems have seen a significant improvement in recent times and unlike previous years when
control system was more complex and difficult these days the new systems are capable of combining
and controlling various cooling and heating units with relative ease without compromising on the

Cost of energy is continuously on a rise and owners of both residential and commercial buildings
are constantly on the look out for more economical and if possible free sources of energy like the
solar thermal power. To minimise wastage of electricity most of them are opting for automated
controls for their buildings.

Having HVAC system in your building is one of the most efficient ways to reduce your energy
consumption apart from utilising solar energy to power your homes.

Most homes are opting for automated systems for controlling lighting and other electrical
appliances with a web enabled phone. Appliances that regulate the temperature inside the homes can
also be controled in the same manner.

Heating and cooling are highly energy intensive systems and using energy efficient appliances is
truly essential to bring down energy consumption. Using energy efficient devices at home is a sure
shot way of bringing down your energy bills? Most of the latest heat pumps and air conditioners
and others like furnaces and boilers that are stamped with an 'Energy Star' logo run more
effectively and are energy efficient too.

And powering your HVAC system with solar energy is really a great way of conserving energy. Of
course this needs a little bit of investment to get the solar panels fixed but in the long run you
are surely going to benefit out of it and on top of everything else you will be able to reduce
your dependence on fossil fuels. 

And the extra energy can be stored and used on cloudy days. And the latest concept in solar power
is most governments are allowing the power companies to buy the excess solar power generated in
your building, and this is surely a great idea!

Having high efficiency HVAC systems installed in your homes is going to be of great benefit to
you, you want to know how? Having a high efficiency HVAC system might qualify for a federal tax
credit and this is one great reason why you should think of replacing your old system with one
that consumes lesser energy.

Governments must take appropriate steps to motivate people to conserve energy as much as possible
by taking necessary steps like offering subsidies for energy efficient homes. They must stand as
an example by reducing the power consumption in government buildings and installing renewable
sources of energy like solar energy to power their offices. A lot more research should be
conducted focusing on energy efficient techniques and all such endeavors have to be financially

To be a part of this global phenomenon of energy conservation you must replace your old system and
get an energy efficient HVAC system for your home and contribute your bit towards this endeavor.
For more information on HVAC Cottage Grove visit

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Sunday, September 1, 2013

What You Need To Know About General Home Improvement

You may need repairs done in your home, but have no idea where to begin. Does this sound
familiar?Many people procrastinate about home repairs because they feel under-qualified. This
article has shared tips that can help you how to get the job done now.

New floors can update the look and feel of any room in your house.

Think about your improvments before you do it.A plan will help you remain on budget and on a
successful project. Contractors will also be happier if you know what it is you want.

When you are considering home improvement, be creative and think about what you aim to accomplish.
Inspiration can come from anywhere: home improvement shows on TV, such as in the pages of your
favorite decorating magazine, or even features that you notice in your friends' houses.

You only need PVC cement and PVC primer to attach a pair of PVC pipes. You need to use products
made for this type of material. Make sure the PVC pipes have no water on their surfaces.

You need to determine how much paint your walls need before beginning any painting projects in
your home. Do some research and find out how much paint you'll need.

Making pillows more decorative in a teen's bedroom can be easy. This will spruce up your teen's
bedroom and lighten the mood in a young teenager's private space.

A good thing to consider is to ask a professional opinion before you ever try to fix anything
serious on your own. A professional may have simple advice from an expert can steer you that saves
both time and money. You may make costly mistakes if you don't consult with a professional first.

If your home has low ceilings that leave you feeling closed in, you can strategically position
certain window treatments to make the ceilings seem higher while making an area a bit more
colorful in the process. You can make your ceilings seem higher by raising your window treatment a
good distance above the windows.

Get an electrician to install an outlet in a cabinet that is above where your microwave will be.
This will make it easy to plug your microwave in without having a visible cord. A small project
such as this prevents a cord dangling overhead.

Does your flooring look old? You can lay down wood flooring after pulling up the old floor. Some
might see this as an ugly option, but it can be acceptable. Also, sticky wood flooring is so easy
to install, many people can do this without assistance.

Don't overcrowd you room with excessive furnishings. Too much furniture will make a room look
small. You may like all your furniture, but people interested in buying your home are more
concerned with available living space. Less furniture will give the room appear larger.

You should drain the water out of the hot water heater in your home at least every six months. A
properly maintained hot water heater will have greater longevity and run more efficiently too.
Just attach a hose to the drain value and release the spigot.

To maintain hot water while traveling through pipes during the winter, don't forget to insulate
your pipes to keep the lines from freezing. You can purchase various types of insulation to
install around your plumbing lines. The tape plugs into your pipes above the freezing point.

You should never underestimate the project that you are doing. This will allow you deal with
problems more efficiently.

A good way to improve the look of your landscaping is to plant fully grown flowers. Mature plants
add a quick pop of color and texture to the exterior of your home and boost curb appeal instantly.
It may take a while for seedlings to grow in order to provide similar benefits. You want potential
home buyers to not have the house buyer to know that there's no need to do extra work in making
the yard look good.

Make your home's entrance look great by adding new paint and purchasing a stylish welcome mat.
Your entrance creates an important first impression of your house.

Painting your walls will give your house a room a fresh look quickly and easily. Visit your local
home improvement store to study a variety of paint chips. Look for ones and get them!You could
always paint over it if you don't like it.

A professional is trained to do it.You may create problems if you try to do the work yourself.

You should know where your water shutoffs are, and turn them off when necessary so you don't have
any flooding.

Vacuum your cabinets before you clean out the interiors. This way you can remove all loose dirt
and debris from the interior. Use a gentle mix of soap solution to clean off the shelves. Start at
the highest point and work downward when cleaning them. This is the ideal time to replace old
cabinet liners and fix sagging shelves.

An easy way to improve your home improvement job is installing a new mailbox. A new mailbox will
add curb appeal to your house.Make sure you adhere to all city regulations when installing a
mailbox. This is a quick job that can take you a few hours at most.

Home improvement should not be a difficult chore. The advice in this article is designed to assist
you from start to finish with any home improvement plans you have in mind, whether it's a DIY
project or a task for a professional contractor.
For more information on paint contractor atlanta check out our newest article, found here, . I know you will like it!

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