Archive for

Top 10 Tips For Energy Efficient Home Design

1. Insulation
Adequate insulation is integral to an energy efficient home. Exterior walls, basement walls, floors and attics should be properly insulated to increase energy efficiency and cut heating and cooling costs.

2. Window selection
Energy saving windows are becoming increasingly popular and more affordable. Both the number of windows and type of windows you use in your home will affect heating costs in winter and cooling costs in summer.

3. Window and door placement
Placement of windows and doors should be completed in a manner that takes advantage of natural sunlight. Solar screens can be used to diffuse direct sunlight.

4. Skylights
Well-placed skylights allow natural light to bathe the interior of your home, decreasing your need for artificial, electric lighting.

5. Storm water management
Proper management of storm water will allow you to reduce runoff and utilize the water for landscaping, reducing your need for water delivered to your home through pipes and electronic sprinkler systems.

6. Geo-thermal heat pumps
These energy efficient pumps help you maintain a comfortable interior climate with significantly lower energy usage and costs.

7. Solar panels
Incorporating solar panels into your home’s design will deliver a high rate of return and will allow you to run your home partly, or entirely, off-grid.

8. Exterior materials
Speak with your architect about using heat-reflective exterior materials, which will passively lower energy costs for the lifetime of your home.

9. Duct sealing
Ensure that all ducts are taped and sealed to prevent heat loss.

10. Landscaping
Energy efficiency does not end with the design of the structure. Landscaping design can be used to increase the energy efficiency of your home, such as strategically placing trees to provide shade in summer.

Incorporating energy efficient home design into a new or existing structure is a worthwhile endeavor that lowers the environmental impact of your home and will allow you to save money on energy costs for the lifetime of your home.

HGTV Home Design & Remodeling Suite Review

Advanced technology allows us to have more convenient. It gives us more opportunities to explore things, even in the area of home remodeling, redesigning and landscaping.

Many have the misconception that one has to be a professional to come up with great house plans that conforms to architectural rules and interior law of mix and match. But with the right software, you can turn any rugged home into a dream house, or a worn down landscape. One such software program is the HGTV Home Design & Remodeling Suite.

Complex yet complete

Those who have not encountered CAD (computer-aided design) may have a hard time using the program, but then investing time to learn this technology will be useful if you are planning to remodel your home. Unlike the other versions of CAD, this one is a simplified one.

This software has a 698-page manual, and if you are having a hard time online tutorials might do you some good. You will at least need 2-3 hours before you can get a good grasp of the program.

Mixed reviews are written regarding this software. Some claim that the mappings are vague and that it takes too long to adapt to the program. While some say that the software is just a waste of money, others claim that the programs installed are good for those who are learning to use computer-assisted designs (CAD) programs.

For those who have done it before, the program comes relatively easy and complete. It is also programmed for those who are already familiar with the way Ipod applications work. Basically, you will have to put some amount of time before you can get a good feel of the software.

Features and program requirements

You may visualize a brand new kitchen as it shows you how to set it up with cost-efficient appliances. You may also create your own digital images with easy editing options.

Its interface is wizard driven which makes it easy to learn. The software has both video and online tutorials that can teach you how to use the program with much ease. It also comes with a printed manual that basically tells you how to operate the software.

This program is capable of 3D rendering that makes images that you create more realistic. You can also have a virtual walk-through of your plan with all fixtures, appliances and furniture’s that you drag and drop from its database.

The software will work with Windows Vista and XP operating systems. Software costs around $50. You may buy online or directly from HGTV store.

Solid yet Disappointing

Many of those who have tried the program claim that while it has complete options, the program is very hard to use. Most customers are complaining that the software only leads to frustration and disappointment due to its complicated set up.

Many others have found out from personal experience that it was very limited. Like other home design program, HGTV Home Design & Remodeling Suite does not have adequate support to verify conformity with national land and local building codes.