What to Expect
Get ready to plan your spring and summer projects! We will have over 44,000 square feet of exhibitors showing the newest innovations in home design
remodeling ideas! All aspects of building and remodeling will be on display!
HBAO member benefits
Through the Home Builders Association of Owensboro
• monthly meetings on topics of current interest
• informal conversations and an opportunity to meet with peers
• regular monthly publication with articles of interest
• directory of all members
• Home Expo, an annual exhibition of products & services
• Parade of Homes – a scattered-site showing of new homes
• customer referral service – direct consumer request to members
• workers compensation program, a self-insured fund with tremendous savings
• health and major medical, life and disability insurance
• exclusive advertising privileges in association publications
• monitoring of local regulations and legislations
• research and statistics – aids in solving zoning and development problems
• forms, including limited warranty, contracts, logos and decals
Through affiliation with the Home Builders Association of Kentucky
• full-time staff and lobbyist in Frankfort
• heavy involvement in legislative matters
• KY Builder Magazine
Through affiliation with the National Association of Home Builders
• top national lobby on Capitol Hill
• seminars and workshops
• Builder Magazine
• spokesperson for the private sector of the construction industry
• largest housing library in the world
Shedding some light on home solar
Consumers shopping around for home improvement projects may be leaning toward overhauls that can reduce energy consumption and save them money in the long run. This is a driving factor behind a growing number of homeowners investigating solar energy for their residences.
HOW DOES SOLAR POWER WORK?
Solar power harnesses the sun’s energy and converts it into electricity that can be used in homes. Many people are familiar with photovoltaics (PV), which are the panels that absorb sunlight and create an electric field across their layers. Another solar technology, known as concentrating solar power, is primarily used in large power plants and is not appropriate for residential use, according to Energy.gov.
According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, hundreds of thousands of solar panels have been put in use across the United States since 2008 .
COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH SOLAR
The upfront expense of solar panels is significant, costing anywhere from $10,000 to $14,000 for initial installation. However, comparatively speaking,
homeowners can spend $1,500 or more per year on electricity, so solar panels will pay for themselves over time. Keep in mind that costs may vary depending on energy needs and how many panels will be required to service the system.
HOW MUCH ELECTRICITY CAN I EXPECT?
The Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Advice says that the amount of power generated from a solar energy system depends on a few factors:
1. The average number of hours of direct, unshaded sunlight your roof gets each year;
2. The pitch (angle), age and condition of your roof, and the compass direction it faces;
3. The size and strength of your system; and
4. Environmental factors such as snow, dust or shade that may cover the system.
SAVE EVEN MORE MONEY
Consumers can contact their utility companies to find out if they provide homeowners who produce solar power with “net metering.” This program pays the homeowner money or gives credit for excess power the system produces and returns to the electric grid. Individuals also may be eligible for energy tax credits or other benefits.
Guide to OUTDOOR LIGHTINGBY METRO CREATIVE
Lighting is an essential component of interior and exterior home design. Not only does lighting add style and make spaces more appealing, when done correctly, it also makes a home safer and more functional.
Homeowners who plan to utilize outdoor spaces like backyards, front porches and walkways to the fullest should think carefully about lighting. These guidelines can assist with selecting outdoor lighting fixtures.
Flood lights and security lights are a good investment for those who want to beef up visibility and security around the home. These lights are high-intensity and designed to illuminate large areas. The brightness and reach can serve as a preventive measure to keep animals and even criminals away. Motion-sensor lights will immediately engage if something crosses the path of the sensor. Some lights will remain on from dusk until dawn. Lowes Home Improvement suggests using the correct wattage on outdoor security lights so they flood an area thoroughly without affecting neighboring properties.
WALL, POST AND CEILING LIGHTS
Outdoor lighting fixtures beyond security options come in a variety of styles, according to Lamps USA. Wall lights are mounted to the outdoor wall of the home. These typically flank doorways or the garage. Post lights are often installed on the posts of decks and porches, or are free-standing on properties, providing visibility but also style. Ceiling-mounted lights may be above doorways or installed in any structure that has an overhead area. Warm-colored temperature bulbs in these fixtures can
create an inviting atmosphere that is not too bright and jarring, especially when multiple lighting fixtures are working together. When selecting lighting for wall-mounted fixtures, experts suggest sizing up if you are not sure of the size to pick, as lights will look much smaller in scale from a distance.
ACCENT AND LANDSCAPE LIGHTING
A bevy of accent lighting choices are available. Accent lighting is designed to enhance the mood and appearance of certain elements of a landscape. Accent lighting is not intended to add bright light. For example, upward-directed lights can be cast on trees or shrubs to accentuate their shapes. Accent lighting also may call out a structure, such as a garden or a fountain. While accent lighting may be hard-wired, homeowners who want the luxury of changing lighting can opt for solar fixtures, which are more mobile but not as bright.
When shopping for bulbs, consider the number of lumens. A standard 100-watt bulb produces around 1,600 lumens. Security lights should range from 700 to 1,300 lumens for optimal brightness. Other lights needn’t be so bright.
Furthermore, ensure that any fixtures that are being used are safety-rated for outdoors. Wet-rated fixtures are designed to withstand direct exposure to outdoor elements, advises the design experts at Schoolhouse, a lighting and lifestyle goods company. Damp-rated fixtures are built for outdoor locations protected from harsh weather. Look for the product details or work with an electrician to choose the right lighting choices.
Lowes Home Improvement suggests using the correct wattage on outdoor security lights so they flood an area thoroughly without affecting neighboring properties.
5 signs it’s time to renovate
Signs of water, storm or structural damage should be addressed as soon as possible. Any deterioration should be a strong indicator that it’s time to renovate.
Some homeowners scratch their heads when faced with awkward floor plan layouts. While one may live with the inconvenience for some time, typically a floor plan that isn’t working for the homeowner is a major driver of renovations.
Escalating utility bills could be indicative of an inefficient home. Homeowners can conduct energy audits and then improve the areas where energy loss may be occurring, such as windows, doors, siding and insulation.
A home can look dated even if it is a relatively recent build. That’s because trends change quickly. For example, dark, cherry cabinets that were popular just a little while ago have now been replaced by lighter color palettes. Homeowners whose homes do not match the looks emulated in design magazines may consider a change, particularly if they’re planning to sell soon.
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7 characteristics of
MODERN HOUSESBY METRO CREATIVE
Homes contain a variety of components that appeal to homeowners with different ideas about the perfect place to call home. That starts with the style of a home. Buildings are classified according to share components. A Craftsman style home will have a covered porch with a set of wide base columns, while a Cape Cod home is often defined by a gabled roof and dormer windows. Modern houses, which are sometimes called contemporary homes even though the terms are not interchangeable, will have their own sets of unique characteristics. Here’s a look at seven features that make modern homes unique.
1. Minimalist approach: Contemporary and modern homes both employ an approach that leans toward minimalism, including clean design lines. Spaces are open and airy without the clutter of too many ornate architectural details. While modern homes may have some curvature to their design, contemporary ones are all about an angular look.
2. Neutral color palette: Modern homes tend to utilize a neutral color palette. Modern homes may use “earthy” elements, such as wood and brick, in ways that do not look rustic. Contemporary homes rely on a color palette of black and white with shades of gray or other neutral colors.
3. Geometric shapes: Modern homes have strong horizontal and vertical elements that showcase geo-
metric shapes in their designs. Contemporary homes often have flat roofs, while modern homes may not.
4. Large, unadorned windows: Most modern homes showcase a lot of natural light by utilizing large windows that are not covered up by heavy window treatments or elements like shutters and thick trims. Large windows are the focus of the interior and shift attention to the view outdoors.
5. Open floor concept: A hallmark of modern interior design, the open concept floor plan removes many of the walls that tend to separate common areas of a home. This helps to foster the spread of natural light and maintains the emphasis on simplicity of design.
6. Smart elements: Thanks to the proliferation of smart technology, smart homes are cropping up with greater frequency. While smart devices can be included in any home style, they tend to feel like they were designed specifically for modern homes. In a similar vein, modern homes may include environmentally friendly elements, such as solar panels, upcycled materials, added insulation, and energy efficient lighting.
7. Updated kitchen spaces: The clean lines and attention to technology and open space generally extends to modern kitchens. Modern kitchens tend to feature efficient, top-tier appliances with additional storage and space amenities that keep the room from feeling cluttered.
SPRING CLEANING POINTERS
Spring is a season of renewal. When the flowers are blooming and the trees are budding and the weather is pleasantly warm, people often feel inspired to make changes around their homes. Work may begin with culling belongings and organizing essentials.
Spring cleaning is still a ritual for many today. As people embark on their plans to tidy up, these tips can help them along.
TACKLE ONE BIG TASK A DAY
Who hasn’t started one project only to be distracted into moving along to another room? This often occurs when people discover something out of place in one space and then move that item where it belongs, only to find a new cleaning task at hand in that space. Inefficiency can make you give up on spring cleaning prematurely. Agree to address one room/task a day. Keep a basket or box handy to store errant items until you move on to the next room.
STOCK UP ON SUPPLIES
Prepare all of the cleaning supplies in advance. Put together a tool kit of sorts with the equipment you need, including mops, brooms, rags, cleansers, and the like. Organization can keep you on course.
HARNESS YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
Some people clean because they are stressed or angry, others do so to avoid other tasks. Keep personality in mind
when establishing a cleaning schedule. For example, clean at night if you’re a night owl, or wait until you are feeling antsy before embarking on a “calm down cleaning.”
TACKLE SEASONAL CHORES FIRST
Some tasks need to get done to prepare for the spring and summer season. These may include cleaning the grill and sorting through outdoor furniture and decor. Spring cleaning may involve readying the pool for another year of use, or cleaning out rain gutters to prepare for spring storms. Tackle time-dependent tasks first and then move on to others that are less timesensitive.
SPREAD OUT THE WORK
Some people like to devote full weekends to spring cleaning, but that can be overwhelming for others. Breaking down cleaning tasks into 15- to 30-minute intervals each day can make the job more tolerable.
How to create more privacy ON YOUR PROPERTYBY METRO CREATIVE
An inviting backyard can serve as a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life. After a long day at the office or an exhausting day spent transporting kids to and fro, it’s hard to resist the allure of a peaceful outdoor space in which to unwind.
Privacy is a key component of any backyard oasis. Some homes may be so remote that privacy isn’t an issue. But many suburban homeowners recognize they might need to tweak their landscapes if they hope to create a private oasis outside.
FENCING OR PLANTING?
Most homeowners looking to create more privacy on their property will have to choose between fencing and planting. Fencing provides immediate privacy because, once it’s installed, no one can see into the yard. Fencing also doesn’t require watering or other immediate upkeep, which will be necessary when planting to ensure tree roots can establish themselves.
But planting has its benefits as well. Planting for privacy is essentially creating a living fence that can grow over time and provide even more privacy as trees reach maturity. Plants also tend to be less costly than fencing. The home renovation
experts at BobVila.com estimate that fencing projects typically cost between $1,667 and $4,075. However, fencing projects can cost considerably more than $4,000, especially for homeowners with large properties they want to enclose. Large, mature trees can be expensive, though it’s unlikely they will cost as much as fencing. In addition, fencing requires more maintenance and will potentially need to be replaced, while native trees won’t require much upkeep and can last for generations.
Homeowners who choose to plant for privacy will next have to decide which type of plants to add to their properties. Evergreens provide year-round privacy because they don’t shed their leaves, so these are the ones most often chosen when creating a living fence. A number of varieties of evergreen trees can do the job, but it’s important that homeowners consult with a landscape architect prior to choosing trees so they can ensure the trees will thrive when faced with the growing conditions on their properties. During such a consultation, homeowners may discuss the following popular privacy trees.
• Leyland cypress: The Arbor Day
Foundation® notes that the Leyland cypress is popular for hedges and boundaries, likely because a typical tree reaches a mature height of 60’-70’ and can spread as wide as 25’. The Leyland cypress grows fast, which may appeal to homeowners who don’t want to wait to establish privacy.
• Green Giant Arborvitae: There are different varieties of the arborvitae, but the Green Giant tends to be the go-to option for privacy. The ADF notes that Green Giants will grow up to three feet per year until they reach maturity, providing a fast-growing option for privacy planters. The Green Giant can spread as wide as 20 feet at maturity, which is another attribute that makes it so popular among homeowners desiring privacy.
• Eastern White Pine: The ADF notes that the eastern white pine, which can reach heights as high as 80 feet, is favored in spacious yards. That’s likely due to its height and its potential spread, which can reach 40 feet. Homeowners who choose the eastern white pine might like it for its resemblance to a Christmas tree, and in fact it is widely used for that purpose. The privacy provided by the eastern white pine is significant, but it might be best suited to especially large properties.
your gardenBY METRO CREATIVE
Homeowners enjoy gardening for many different reasons. In addition to adding beauty to a property, gardens can offset grocery costs by yielding tasty produce. They also offer important habitats and food sources for both insects and animals.
While growing a vegetable or flower garden can turn into a rewarding hobby, or even a passion, gardening also can be overwhelming — particularly when the results are less than stellar. Novice gardeners have scores of resources at their disposal, including the advice of gardeners who have made mistakes and learned from them. The following guidance can make home gardens that much more successful.
1. START SMALL
You may have visions of an expansive garden growing rows of crops or acres of flowers. But it is smart to start small and build on what you find successful, which includes plants that thrive in your lawn and garden.
This also is beneficial if you are unsure of vegetable yields. Several blooming plants producing bushels of crops
can be overwhelming, especially if you can’t get to harvesting or cooking them in a timely fashion.
2. ASSESS THE SOIL
Plants need nutrient-rich soil to encourage extensive root systems and produce strong, hardy plants, according to the gardening resource GrowVeg. Nourish soil with organic matter, such as manure, compost, shredded leaves, and natural mulch. Add this organic matter in the off-season to give it enough time to be incorporated into the ground before spring. You can have your soil tested for pH and other characteristics that make it friendly or averse to plants at a local garden center.
3. ARM YOURSELF WITH KNOWLEDGE
Do you know how deeply to plant seeds and how far apart to space plants? Are you aware of the sunlight needs of certain flowers or plants? If not, read the packaging and do your research so your plants have the best chance of not only sprouting, but also surviving. Many people prefer to start seedlings indoors in late winter and then transfer those plants outdoors when they are stronger and more established.
4. SIT IN YOUR YARD AND OBSERVE
Watch the way the sunlight dances over areas of your landscape. Take note of which areas get the most sun and shade. This will help you plan what to plant and where to plant it. Vegetable gardens tend to need ample sunlight to bear pick-worthy produce. You can give plants a leg up by growing them in optimal conditions.
5. CHOOSE HARDY VARIETIES
Certain plants have been bred to thrive in your climate, including heat-tolerant plants for climates with sweltering summer sun. Consult with a local gardening center to figure out which plant zone you are in and which plants will do best within that zone.
6. USE RAINWATER
Rainwater contains fewer contaminants and additives than tap water, which can benefit garden plants. Collect rainwater in rain barrels and use irrigation systems to deliver it to the garden.
Use this project tracker to keep important notes as you plan and budget for your next home renovation.
PROJECT NOTES START DATE DURATION BUDGET
SUPPLIES COST QTY $ QTY $ QTY $ QTY $ QTY $ QTY $ QTY $ QTY $ QTY $ QTY $ TOTAL $ START DATE DURATION BUDGET
How to prepare for drought in advance
CHECK YOUR WELL PUMP REGULARLY
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security urges homeowners who have a well pump on their properties to check them regularly for leaks. If the pump turns on and off while water is not being used, it has a leak. Addressing the leak promptly helps to conserve water, which is one of the most effective means to combatting drought.
PLANT NATIVE SPECIES
The U.S. Forest Service notes that native plants are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions. That means they will require less water and will be hardy enough to withstand heat waves in areas where especially high summer temperatures are the norm.
RAISE THE BLADES ON YOUR LAWN MOWER
The DHS notes that lawn mower blades raised to at least three inches encourage grass roots to grow deeper and hold soil moisture. That can help lawns survive drought without much intervention, including extra water during times when water restrictions are in place.
RESEED LAWNS WITH DROUGHT IN MIND
When reseeding a lawn, consider the potential for drought. The DHS recommends individuals in areas affected or likely to be affected by drought plant droughtresistant lawn seed. Drought-resistant grasses, which include Bermuda and Zoysia grass, can withstand prolonged periods without water. However, before reseeding, consult a local lawn and garden professional to ensure the grass will thrive in your area.
REVITALIZE YOUR LANDSCAPE ON A BUDGETBY METRO CREATIVE
Many homeowners think they have to spend tons of green to get green in their landscape, but that isn’t necessarily so. Homeowners can improve their landscapes without digging themselves into financial holes. These strategies can help anyone save some cash and still end up with attractive gardens and more.
• Use stones or gravel for a walkway. If commercially installed pavers or cement walkways are not within your budget, there are some affordable alternatives. Flagstone or individually purchased and spaced pavers and pea gravel can be used to create pathways. Some construction sites even offer free stones when asked. Soften the look with moss or other plants on the perimeter.
• Remove some lawn. Lawns can require hours of upkeep that may involve the application of expensive fertilizers and weed-killing products that are not always so eco-friendly. Reduce the size of a lawn by putting in a mixed planting bed of perennials or ornamental grasses, or use landscape fabric and mulch.
• Look for free mulch. Municipal recycling centers may offer residents access to free mulch made from grinding up leaves, branches and other plant debris collected throughout the town. Simply bring a few containers to the recycling center and spread the mulch for an ornamental look or to insulate landscapes over winter and protect against weeds.
• Repurpose old items into planters. Old wheelbarrows, barrels, watering cans, and other items can be repurposed into container gardening vessels. Figure out if items marked for the garbage bin can be incorporated into garden features instead.
• Invest in plants that are easy to propagate. Perennials are the gardener’s friend when it comes to saving money. These plants sprout anew each year, and many, such as sedum, catmint, ferns, hostas, and black-eyed Susans, can propagate by division. Figure out the best times of year to divide the plants and start growing them in individual containers before planting the sturdy new shoots in the ground. A single variety of plants grouped together in mass plantings is affordable and easy.
• Shop end-of season sales. Garden centers may begin to make room for holiday items come the fall. Take advantage of reduced costs on remaining plants and landscape accessories during this time of year. Plants can be covered or allowed to thrive indoors until they can be planted in the spring.
• Pool your resources. Homeowners planning on a big landscaping or revitalization project may want to speak with neighbors to see if they’re interested in doing the same. Contractors guaranteed business from a few homes in the same neighborhood may be willing to negotiate lower prices for the volume of work on things like driveway repaving, deck- or fence-building, or installation of paver patios.
Tips to pick the right plants for your landscapeBY METRO CREATIVE
Each year, gardening enthusiasts anxiously await the arrival of spring. Spring is a great season to plant new flowers, plants, grasses, and trees, making it a popular time of year to spend sunny days out in the yard.
Veteran gardeners may know their landscapes well and be able to pick the right plants on their own. Novices may need a little help as they look to give their landscapes a whole new look. The following are some helpful tips to help homeowners pick the right plants for their landscapes.
• Consider maintenance prior to planting. Maintenance is another variable gardeners must consider. Newly planted trees may require substantial watering until they’ve fully established their roots, and some homeowners may not have time for that. In addition, certain plants may require a considerable amount of pruning in order to create and maintain the look homeowners desire. Individuals must be
willing to invest the time and effort necessary to maintain new plantings that require such diligence. If not, look for plants that don’t require much maintenance while keeping in mind that even low-maintenance plants still require some effort and attention.
• Consider local wildlife. If your lawn is routinely visited by local wildlife, then look for plants that won’t look like a meal to these welcome, if uninvited, guests. For example, if you routinely see deer lounging around in your backyard, look for deer-resistant plants. This is a good way to protect your investment, of both time and money, and ensure minimal wildlife traffic through your newly landscaped yard.
• Look at more than looks. Aesthetic appeal might be what homeowners most desire from their landscapes, but that appeal is only achieved when the right plants are chosen for a space. If the wrong plants are chosen, they’re unlikely to thrive or they could threaten existing vegetation, thus compromising the overall appeal of the property.
KEEP IN MIND
• Newly-planted trees may require substantial watering until they’ve fully established their roots, and some homeowners may not have time for that.
• Where plants will be planted is a significant variable that must be considered before homeowners choose what to plant.
• If your lawn is routinely visited by local wildlife, then look for plants that won’t look like a meal to these welcome, if uninvited, guests.
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