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Mar 24 2015

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Saving Money on Home Landscaping

MulchWhether you have a new home with minimal landscaping or an existing one in need of a landscaping “do-over”, here are some tips to help you save cash on keeping it green.

  1. Research – Carpenters say, “Measure twice, cut once.” Avoid making costly mistakes. Learn from books, magazines and websites. Talk to friends and neighbors to find out what worked and what didn’t work for them. There are lots of free resources to explore like county extension agents, local clubs and community gardens, and horticulturists at local universities or botanical gardens.
  2. Compare – There are a lot of choices out there and online, too. Sometimes we assume that our local mega-mart has the best deal, but don’t limit yourself. You may not only benefit financially from one of the local nurseries but also from their advice and expertise, and if you’re doing this to renovate your old house, you can also get a mortgage with the help of information from sites as Top 10 TN to have more resources for your garden. Don’t forget to compare pricing from unexpected places, too, like the small local hardware store, the farmer’s market or even the grocery store.
  3. Co-op – Pool your purchases with friends and neighbors. Bought in bulk, a truckload of mulch can be quite a bit cheaper than buying by the bag, as can bulk purchases of grass seed or bulbs. Consider pooling online purchases to share shipping costs. Meet minimums on free deliveries like lumber or pavers by combining orders with neighbors. Share the rental of big equipment like tillers or cement mixers.
  4. Fair Trade – Use your imagination and trade for what you need. You can save on plants by trading for seeds, bulbs, or plant divisions. Barter your skills and expertise in exchange for the same from friends and neighbors.
  5. Buy Used – Lots of bargains can be found on tools, supplies and even plants at auctions, estate sales, yard sales and flea markets, many of the homes for sale daytona beach fl were built while keeping things luxurious but cheap. Don’t forget to check online. You may just find what you need, free for the hauling.
  6. Compost – “Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice.” Once when you cut it and twice when you burn it. Creating your own compost is the same. Save on having your leaves, grass cuttings, garden refuse and kitchen waste hauled away. Save on building up your soil year after year by creating your own compost. Again, do your research. A compost pile managed correctly doesn’t have to smell bad or be invaded by varmints. Plus, you can pat yourself on the back for recycling and reusing.

This article brought to you by The HousePlanShop, LLC, the home of the best selling house plans from the best designers!

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Feb 02 2011

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

6 Tips to Save Time and Money on Laundry

Filed under Miscellaneous

Washer and Dryer  Plan 025H-0151Nobody loves to do laundry, but we all have to do it. The House Plan Shop recommends these six laundering tips for your next load saving you time and money. We’ve even include a few tips to help keep laundry chores a little more earth-friendly.

 

1.    Clip coupons – It is easy to find discounts on laundry detergent, stain removers and dryer sheets in the weekly coupon circulars. Check out the website of your favorite detergent company for online coupons.

2.    Stop over-laundering – Your clothes only need to be cleaned when they look, feel or smell dirty. Get double use out of your clothes before you wash them. Air out barely worn garments on a hanger and then return them to your closet for another wear.

3.    Measure detergent – Most laundry detergent companies have begun using highly-concentrated formulas for regular and high-efficiency detergents so you may need less detergent than you are used to using. Read the label and carefully measure the detergent for your next load of clothes. Not only does using too much detergent per load waste money, but all the extra detergent leaves a residue on your clothes and washing machine.

4.    Use cold water – When it comes to energy use, most of the energy consumed in laundering is used to heat the water. Many leading detergent companies now produce a cold water formula that does not require the use of hot or warm water for washing. Heavily soiled items as well as bedding and clothing used when sick often require hot or warm water for washing, but they can always be rinsed in cold water. Are you looking for a great washing machines bargain? Then check out today’s top deals below. Or to read our guide and tips on buying washing machines, please click here.

5.    Select a shorter wash cycle – Slightly soiled garments will only require a short wash cycle to get them clean. This uses less energy and water resulting in lower utility bills.

6.    Do not over-dry – Consider air-drying dark colored clothes. This keeps them looking vibrant, preserves elasticity in stretchy clothes and cuts energy costs. When you use the dryer, use automated settings. Today’s machines have sensors that eliminate over-drying, which can cause garments to shrink and cloth fibers to become brittle.

Home Site

  • Choose a site that is well situated to take advantage of mass transit for long distances and sidewalks for short trips allowing you to walk or ride a bike.
  • Protect and retain existing landscaping and natural features. Preserve as much natural vegetation as possible including many of the site’s trees. Also, refrain from clearing or grading your land during wet weather helping to prevent erosion.

Materials Efficiency

  • Choose materials with high recyclability, durability, longevity and local production.
  • Select materials with zero or low “off-gassing” of harmful air emissions like VOCs or those with zero or low toxicity.
  • Use material efficient strategies such as dimensional planning. For example, plan to have 8-foot ceilings and room dimensions that are at least 8 feet and divisible by two because lumber is manufactured in 2-foot increments. This leaves little or no waste. Or, design rooms with widths and lengths of 4-foot multiples, the standard size of sheets of plywood.
  • Build new while incorporating materials from old building and demolition sites such as lumber from wall and roof systems, wooden beams and flooring. For instance, one builder often uses lumber from old barns for wood flooring and built-in cabinets in new homes.
  • Plan to recycle any leftover materials or donate them to another building project rather than sending them to the land fill. One remodeler donates his time and left over 2x4s and plywood to area preschools and children’s programs by sanding and cutting the wood remnants into building blocks for the kids to play and build with.
  • Water Efficiency
    • Install low-flush or dual flush toilets, low flow shower heads and aerators in your faucets to minimize water consumption.
    • Collect rain water from downspouts for watering the flower or vegetable garden later.
    • Install a solar powered hot water system allowing the sun to heat 80-100% of your water, find out more about the Solahart’s latest solar offers from our business Solahart Newcastle.
    • Select a dishwasher and a clothes washer that are Energy Star rated.

Energy Efficiency

  • Use natural lighting whenever possible. If you plan to do a lot of reading in the study, plan to have a large window filling the room with light and eliminating the need for daytime use of a lamp. In a similar manner, a skylight over the kitchen island offers overhead task lighting without flipping the switch.
  • Use energy efficient, compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Install high-efficiency lighting systems and lighting controls such as dimmer switches and motion sensors.
  • Consult a professional to select a properly sized heating/cooling system for your home. If the system isn’t large enough to suit the size of your home it will run more frequently resulting in inefficiency.
  • Create a thermally efficient building shell using high R-value ceiling and wall insulation.
  • Avoid extensive use of glass on the east and west sides of the home.
  • Install energy efficient windows such as those filled with argon gas or triple-pane windows. Also select vinyl or wood frames instead of the traditional aluminum frames, as these two materials make better insulators against outside air temperatures and.
  • Choose appliances, such as the refrigerator and clothes dryer that are Energy Star rated.

 

From clipping coupons to washing in cold water and air drying your laundry, these helpful laundering tips are sure to help save time, money and energy.

This article brought to you by The HousePlanShop, LLC, the home of the best selling house plans from the best designers!

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