Custom Barn Homes – Beautiful & Unique

Custom barn homes are more than just a unique living area. According to DC Builders, custom barn homes are quickly becoming one of the most sought after custom homes on the market. Stunning finishes, well-constructed timber framing, and outdoor living features are some of the selling points.

The Newnan Barn Home in Newnan, Georgia is modeled in this infographic. It features a gorgeous living area just above the barn. There’s cedar board and batten siding on the upper half with 2″ and 6″ tongue and groove on the bottom half. There’s two stalls on the bottom floor with concrete stamped to look like wood planks. Reclaimed wood was used to build the stalls with tongue and groove. The horses are nice and comfy with insulated stalls and a garage door for easy access.

There’s a full length outdoor shed with an outdoor fireplace and partially enclosed area for living space. There’s also an outdoor kitchen with stainless steel appliances with more concrete wood stamping on the floor.

The interior was designed with custom rustic elements that perfectly go with the theme of the home with reclaimed Douglas Fir beams and 8″ reclaimed wood floors.

There’s more to see. Take a look at this beautiful home in the infographic below.


How to Choose the Right Furnace For Your Home

Home purchases can be incredibly daunting. There’s so many factors to consider and options to evaluate. And when it comes to heating your home, there’s preferences, fuel types, efficiency and unit sizes to look at. Investing time to make an informed decision is necessary to ensuring that you’ll be happy with your choice. AAA Heating and Cooling has provided us with a wonderful resource to help figure out what furnace you want.

First, you need to decide what fuel type to use. There’s gas, oil or electricity that you can use to power your furnace. Some options are more popular for different areas. For example, in California, natural gas is often cheaper than electricity.

Next, you should look at efficiency. A heat pumps efficiency ratings will determine the cost of your heating bill, which if you live in a cold place, it’s no chump change. A furnace that is qualified as 80% efficient delivers 80% of the heat to your home while the rest goes up the chimney flue.

Unit size is the last option to consider. Calculate insulation and the size of your heating area to determine what unit size is best suited for your home. There’s no value in buying a unit that can heat more than your home needs and a unit too small won’t be able to keep up with your heating demands.

There’s much much more to know. Read on in the infographic below.


How to bleed your radiator

With winter fast approaching, taking care of your home heating system is a top priority. No one wants a cold night with no heat. According to Boiler Juice, many families will find cold spots on their radiator, providing them with less heat than they desperately need during the chilly months.

The easiest way to combat this is by bleeding your radiator. This removes the air in your system, making your heat more efficient and using less fuel to heat your home. While it might seem like a daunting task to undertake, it really isn’t that hard.

First, you’ll need a radiator key or a screwdriver and a cloth or towel. Start by turning on your system and making sure that the valves are switched on. Leave the heating on until it reaches a normal temperature. Next, identify which radiators need bleeding by checking for cold spots along the top of the radiator. Then turn off your system and allow the radiators to cool enough for you to touch them.

Now prepare the area by placing the cloth under the outer edge of the radiator to catch any drips. Insert your key or screwdriver in to the release valve and slowly turn it counter clockwise.

Keep reading in the infographic to find out how to bleed your radiator!


The new era of home security

Need a security system for your home? Our homes are our sanctuaries, our comfort, and our reprieve from the outside world. Protecting it and your possessions is something most, if not all, must do. Choose Home Security has given us a great resource to learn about how.

ADT Pulse, the new era of home security. It provides complete security automation, enhancing your home experience inside and out. You have full remote access from your smartphone and can wireless connect to your home devices using Z-wave technology. Whether you’re at the store, work, or on vacation, you have the ability to control your home using your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

It makes it easy to maximize your home security while reducing home energy costs. Heating and cooling make up most of your energy bill, taking up 29% and 17% respectively. Water heating, appliances, and lighting are the next highest energy costs, using up 14%, 13%, and 12% respectively. People spend 6%-12% of their salary on utilities, much of which is wasted.

Energy bills have risen by 37% in the past three years. One conventional lightbulb costs $21 to power during the year if you leave it on throughout the night.

Obviously you can control all of these costs more effectively if you can access it from anywhere. Read on in the infographic below.


French drains from the perspective of Portland landscapers

To those of you without a yard, you’ve managed to escape a relatively time-consuming maintenance project that doesn’t end. However, you’ve missed out on big backyard BBQs, throwing the ball for your dog, or playing catch with your son. And those of us concerned about slope and drainage are blessed by the invention of the French drain, a wonderful drainage construction that diverts away water unseen, leaving us with beautiful grass and no mucky puddles of standing water.

According to Landscape East & West, a French Drain is a buried perforated pipe within a gravel bed, buried perforated side down at a depth of 12-18 inches. Gravity draws water in to the system, preventing pooling and diverting the water as directed. Shallow drains divert surface water. They’re often built in to retaining walls to relieve pressure build-up on the wall. Deeper drains prevent water from seeping in to the foundation and an interior French Drain stops water where it enters the home or basement.

French drains are relatively low cost and easy to install. Maintenance is almost nothing, and should be checked once every 10 years. They can also be covered in pretty landscape so you don’t even know they’re there.

There’s lots more to read about Portland rain in the infographic below!


How a Mortgage Offset Saves You Money

The world of mortgages, home loans, interest rates and finance can be very confusing. With all of the sketchy tools and services available nowadays, it’s hard to trust anyone when it comes to a mortgage. According to a mortgage offset is a valuable option that can save you money on your home loan.

To calculate the interest you pay on your mortgage, the total in your mortgage offset is subtracted from the balance of your home loan and the interest is charged on the reduced amount. This means that you pay less interest and more of your money goes toward paying off your home loan.

So, if you have a balance of $200,000 on your home loan and $20,000 in your offset account, interest is only charged on the reduced amount, which means 200K – 20K = $180,000.

When you’re looking in to a home offset, make sure to check that it offers 100% offset and that there are absolutely no fees. You should also ensure that your interest is calculated daily.

Your salary is also used for the offset account. Make sure that your salary goes directly towards the offset account and establish a discipline of leaving your salary there as long as possible. This helps you get the maximum amount reduced on your home loan.

There’s plenty more to see, read on in the infographic below.


Home Security in Louisiana

We all love our stuff. Think about all the security measures we take to protect our prized possessions. Fortunately, a premier provider of ADT Home Security, Add Louisiana Security, has provided a resource that explains the state of affairs in Louisiana. If you live elsewhere in the US, there’s no reason why you can’t translate the statistics and see how important it is to protect your family and your home.

Each year, approximately 163,000 property crimes are committed and a burglary happens every 14 seconds. Currently, there’s about 4.6 million people living in Louisiana and of the top 100 most dangerous cities, there’s three in the state. The state also has the 5th highest rate of property crimes in the nation and there’s 35 crimes per square mile.

If you live in Louisiana, you have a one in 28 chance of being a victim of property crime (i.e. burglary). This costs an average of $2,200 per victimized home. I’m not sure about you, but these statistics are enough to convince me to take extra measures to protect my home.

The median crime in Louisiana is about seven times higher than the national average, and those with a security system (specifically an ADT monitored security system), you are three times less likely to become a victim.

Curious? Read more in the infographic below.


Dog versus carpet

Man’s best friend is more than a pet, they’re part of the family. Everyone loves to play with the dog, and they’re the type of company that always wants to be around you. Grumpy? The dog will be there. Angry? The dog will be there. Sick? The dog doesn’t care.

There is something in your home that doesn’t mix well with dogs though. Your carpet. According to ChemDry, dogs and carpet aren’t the most sanitary or best for your health. There’s several reasons for that, which we’ll cover next.

First, there’s a lot of things that your dog leaves on the carpet. Saliva is one of them. Dogs have at least 20 species of bacteria in their mouths. You don’t want that on your carpet. Pet waste is another one. There’s 23 million bacteria in a single gram of pet waste. Got a little one crawling? Yeah, that’s not good. Fleas are another big one. Americans spend about $9 billion controlling fleas. Pet dander isn’t good either. About 10% of the population is allergic to pets, with their dander being the main cause. Dirt is another big one. Dirt carries a ton of bacteria and a square foot of carpet can hold up to one pound of dirt.

So what does this mean for your family? Indoor air quality issues can lead to allergies, skin infections, stomach illness, or worsened asthma.

There’s ways to conquer this without getting rid of the most loving member of the family. Read on in the infographic below to find out more.

Craftsman House Plans: an inside look

According to Mascord Houseplans, the Craftsman style is one of the most popular types of home in America. Originating during the Arts & Crafts Movement, craftsman style rejected traditional Victorian ornate designs in favor of cleaner lines, natural design motifs and detailed craftsmanship.

Highlighting a specific plan, this infographic features extensive casework, unpainted wood finishes, box beams and colonnades, fireplace with tile hearth, copper and glass light fixtures, divided light casework windows, natural wood wainscot panels, and built in seating.

Let’s take a look at the Arts & Crafts Movement timeline. In the 1860’s, the Arts & Crafts Movement was launched in England. It rises in 1865 when the U.S. Civil War ended and reconstruction began.  The Arts & Crafts Exhibition Society formed in London in 1887 and later, the Central School of Arts & Crafts was founded. The US Arts & Crafts Society started in Chicago in 1897 and the first Craftsman magazine was published in 1901 by Gustav Stickley. In 1908, the Sears and Roebuck catalog offered the first craftsman bungalow homeplan for sale. Finally, in 1908 the model for all craftsman homes was constructed. It stands today in Pasadena, CA, named the Gamble House.

Interested in more? Read on in the infographic below.


How to be safe, no matter where you rent

With the ever rising cost of housing and expense of purchasing and maintaining a home, more people than ever are deciding to rent. However, renters are just as likely to be the victims of a burglar as homeowners. And if that happens, a home insurance policy won’t cover the cost of your stolen stuff.

Fortunately, Renters Alarm Co has provided a handy infographic to help us understand why we might need an alarm (or renter’s insurance). Let’s get started.

Of US households, 36.9% are renters. Currently, there are 38,864,600 total renter households and each year, the number of renters continues to go up by .67%.

As mentioned earlier, renters are just as likely to be the victim of property crime as homeowners. Homes without security alarms are 300% more likely to be broken in to.

Ever 14 seconds, a burglary happens. There are over 2,000,000 home invasions each year. Most home invasions happen when the owner isn’t home (97%) but what if the owner is home? That would be a scary and traumatic experience.

Every day, 4,457 homes are burglarized. Victims suffer an average loss of $1,725. Only 13% of these crimes are solved by the police (which means you don’t get paid back for your losses).

Curious to know more? See the infographic below.