May / June Two Thousand and Ten
HOME RENOVATION T H E A F F LU E N T R E N O VAT I O N / D E S I G N M A G A Z I N E O F M E T R O P O L I TA N O R L A N D O
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CONTENTS M a y
J u n e
T w o
T H O U S A N D
A N D
T E N
HOME RENOVATION www.homerenovationmag.com
Pave the Way - to a Beautiful Driveway
The Home Energy Audit
You Can’t Avoid the Garage Door
Beat the Heat with Awnings and Shades
Turn the Heat Around
Make the Clear Choice...
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HOME RENOVATION THE AFFLUENT RENOVATION / DESIGN MAGAZINE OF METROPOLITAN ORLANDO
www.HomeRenovationMag.com PUBLISHER JOE ANDERSON ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER STEPHANIE ANDERSON CREATIVE DIRECTOR TIM MANSELL EDITORIAL DIRECTOR SHARON MILLIGAN MARKETING EXECUTIVES DONNA JOHME, KAREN MANDEL, JANET KERREBROCK, JESSICA WILLIS, MAURICIO CHERNACOV CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Holli Beckman, Tesa Fansler, Haley A. Wilhite, Brandy Fedewa CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Holli Beckman, Brandy Fedewa, Tesa Fansler COLUMNISTS Brad Lunas - Everything Solar Dan DeLong - Origins Residential Design Mark Bebermeyer - Gallery B Designs William A. Ockenden - WAO Builders, Inc. PHOTOGRAPHY fo’te’-graf ’-ix bGenesis, llc. Everett & Soule EDITORIAL INQUIRIES
ORLANDO STAIRCASE SPECIALISTS SINCE 1992 4455 DARDANELLE DRIVE • SUITE C ORLANDO, FLORIDA 32808 OFFICE:
www.stairmasterz.com MASTERZ INC. FAX:
Showroom: Monday – Friday 8am - 3:30pm
We invite letters, photos, renovation questions, article ideas and other contributions from readers. Please write to: HOME RENOVATION MAGAZINE 3117 Edgewater Drive, Suite 201 Orlando, Florida 32804 telephone: 407.425.0792 e-mail: email@example.com
HOME RENOVATION Home Renovation Magazine is published bi-monthly by Stayloe Publications, 3117 Edgewater Drive, Suite 201, Orlando, FL 32804. All contents, logos, photos, and stories are copyrighted materials and all rights reserved. Any reproduction in whole or in part without prior written permission of Stayloe Publications is prohibited. The publisher also reserves the right to refuse to accept any advertising materials for any reason deemed inappropriate by the publisher. Home Renovation is a registered trademark and all rights are reserved.
407.936.5487 PUBLISHED BY
NOTES FROM THE PUBLISHER Dear Readers,
Being in the publishing business, combined with constant bombardment of renovation concepts can seem like a “glass half empty” scenario at times…so many options and so many problems, all at the same time. Each issue serves to present you (and me) with the theme “of the season”, and I have to say, I never thought my own renovation list could grow faster than I could imagine! Yet when the glass is half empty, a simple twist of thinking makes it half full again, and I am thankful for the continued knowledge I gain from each issue we produce. “Enhancing Your Home’s Curb Appeal” is tricky. We have all seen the overly bright houses that seem to defy all the rules of design theory and the lawns that scream neglect. Even taking a look at our own homes tends to reveal little red flags of “deal with me!” areas. We can either deal with it, like our minds suggest, or we can ignore it and allow the chores to pile up to the point of “no way am I taking care of this!” Bottom line is this: if you saw it, then everyone else can see it as well. It’s all about first and lasting impressions, and none of us like when our neighbors drag our property values down! Driveways, exterior finishes, awning options and fast and easy curb appeal boosting concepts are just a quick mention of what we cover in this issue of Home Renovation Magazine. With absolutely no concern for being redundant (ha ha), I’ll be the broken record again: no matter what your renovation project is, plan, prepare, and start taking the steps towards achieving it. Waiting to accomplish it all at once is far more intimidating – and less likely to occur – than picking one thing and making it happen. That message is as much for me as it is for you! On an apologetic note, an error was made in previous issues concerning the use of photography with regards to Park Ave Kitchen and Bath and Phil Johnson Designs. Park Ave extends their apologies for the placement of photography owned by Phil Johnson Designs in Park Ave advertisements/editorials. Sincerely,
Joe Anderson Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org
STAYLOEPUBLICATIONS HOME RENOVATION
xperts Home Renovation Magazine’s Green Builder~WAO Builders, Inc.
GREEN William A. Ockenden ~WAO Builders, Inc.
We recently purchased an older home on a beautiful street and would like to make the front of our home more attractive. Can we accomplish this and still be green?
There are hundreds of exterior products that are eco-friendly and can add a lot of visual detail to your home. A new, well-sealed insulated fiberglass entry door can reduce your energy loss while enhancing curb appeal. You could also consider installing insulated low E windows for the front of the home. Several manufacturers make eco-friendly fiber cement, fiberglass, PVC, or vinyl architectural details such as columns, railing, and trim that can greatly enhance your curb appeal. These products reduce forest use and last much longer, ultimately reducing replacement costs and future material use.
BUILDINGS ACCOUNT FOR 39% OF U.S. CO2 EMMISSIONS. GREEN BUILDING CAN LOWER CO2 EMMISSIONS BY HALF.
Do you have any eco-friendly suggestions for improving the yard and driveway? Our plantings are overgrown and the driveway is cracked.
A: First you should consider a drought tolerant landscape.
Many nurseries and landscapers offer plants that require less water, eliminating the need for irrigation. Remember, water conservation is a big part of going green! In addition, rather than replacing your driveway with new concrete you could install pervious pavers manufactured with recycled materials. Pervious pavers are installed with a deeper bed under them and provide wider spacing between them so rain water can percolate back into the soil rather than run off.
Q:We are considering a whole house remodeling project. Can that
be done effectively as a green project?
Let’s remember that green can be broken into five major components: saving energy, conserving water, indoor air quality, using sustainable materials, and the best utilization of the site and plantings. The selection of the building components and methods will determine how green a project becomes. If you want to have your project certified as a green home, you will want to have a Certified Green Professional (CGP) involved from the earliest stages of design.
W A O
Custom Homes 407.221.8050 Commercial Construction 856 Mills Estate Place Remodeling Chuluota, FL 32766
CBC 1257295 BUILDERS INC www.WAOBuilders.com
William A. Ockenden CGP, CAPS
HOME RENOVATION President www.homerenovationmag.com 856 Mills Estate Place • Chuluota, FL 32766
W A O
407-221-8050 856 Mills Estate Place William A. Ockenden CGP Chuluota, FL 32766 President
www.WAOBuilders.com 856 Mills Estate Place • Chuluota, FL
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SOLAR ELECTRIC Made from a semi-conductor material with layers that are positively and negatively charged, light is absorbed by the negative layer of the material and electrons are freed, migrating to the positive layer. This creates a voltage difference similar to a household battery. When the two layers are connected to an external load the electrons flow through a circuit and create electricity. Due to the semi-conductor material the cells are made of and the unlimited resource of the sun, they can produce electricity for decades. Because of much lower price points and tax credits, there is a growing interest in generating oneâ€™s own electricity. This is a newer aspect in the solar field for most homeowners and some contractors as well. Be diligent in your conquest for knowledge, because it is evident that some contractors are entering into this field with little or no experience and can be learning at your expense. SOLAR POOL SYSTEMS Made of U.V. stabilized polypropylene, some are designed to allow for expansion and contraction while others simply are not. Some have attachments that adversely affect the integrity of the roof and cannot sustain hurricane conditions, but there are types that eliminate this concern altogether. Some have the potential for maintenance issues and others have a built-in design to overcome this. There are many characteristics to consider in the layout, sizing, penetrations, roofing materials, fasteners and preventive measures that should enhance your enjoyment over the life of your system. More often than not, there are small details missed that would have easily eliminated unnecessary problems. If swimming in a warmer pool each and every year is on your therapeutic checklist, the only thing you may regret is that you didnâ€™t look into this option sooner! SOLAR HOT WATER This type is made of materials that include copper, nickel and low-iron tempered glass with an encasement of an anodized aluminum frame. Hot water is relaxing, therapeutic, sanitary, cleansing and a necessary part of our daily living; however, the appliance that is responsible for generating our enjoyment of hot water, is one of the most expensive and inefficient operating devices in our homes today. It has been proven that a properly sized solar hot water system will reduce this on-going expense by nearly 80%. Limited time rebates and tax credits pay for nearly half of a properly sized system at todayâ€™s electricity rates, and there are many existing references in Orlando to verify this!
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Home Renovation Magazine’s Design Columnist~Gallery B Designs
REDESIGN YOUR By: Mark Bebermeyer Gallery B Designs The first thing touched when visiting a home is the front door knob. Make sure that it is of good quality, appropriate for the style of the house and provides excellent security. Once you’ve met those basic demands make sure the knob is clean and the finish is in good condition. Many come with lifetime warranties on the finish, so having a beaten-down knob is inexcusable! Your porch light and mailbox can be simple yet high-impact upgrades. You can replace these for an instant lift to the front of the house. If your entryway is donned with poor lighting, your family and guests will thank you for ‘brightening’ the way! This is a change that is readily noticeable due to proximity to the front door. Choose outdoor fixtures that complement your home’s style and go with energy-efficient bulbs to save your wallet from rising energy costs. A weathered mailbox on a farmhouse may be quaint, but on a newer or remodeled older home, that usually is not the case! With so many different styles to choose from, make sure your front door remains the focal point and the mailbox serves as an accessory to the home. Windows are like eyes to the soul of your home. If you can see right into your house, what’s on the inside is extremely important to overall curb appeal. You have cleaned and decluttered the rest of what you see from the curb, so do the same for the inside. If you can’t clean it, screen it! The same treatment on all the windows seen from the curb will unify and soften the appearance of the house. If you have existing drapes, they may look good from the inside but check the lining that is exposed to the sun and see how it’s holding up. Another way to address windows is with tinting. Available in clear through dark tints, tinting can diminish the world’s view of your home’s interior. Highly reflective finishes are rather flashy and thus, a design no-no! Regardless, most brands of tinting will not only cut the heat, they bock UV light to protect your colors and make furniture last longer. With the yard, house and interior addressed you instantly maximize the overall appeal of your home!
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HOME RENOVATION www.homerenovationmag.com
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Y O U R
Pave the way ... to a naturally beautiful driveway! THE DRIVEWAY IS ONE OF THE MOST monumental aspects of your home’s overall curb appeal. So when it comes to choosing the best material for your driveway, it’s no easy decision. There may be more to take into consideration than you think. Experts from the national development and consulting firm, The Green Builder®, say that deciding between asphalt and concrete or pavers primarily depends on these three components: Your landscape design | Type of soil | Individual aesthetic preferences
Once you have established the design of your landscape, the type of soil you’re dealing with, and your individual preferences… you’re ready to move forward. First, consider the natural approach. The first step to getting an environmentally-conscious driveway is to choose a porous material like pervious concrete or brick. This will ensure that water can seep through. When the runoff seeps into the soil, it can even benefit what’s growing nearby. Impervious surfaces like asphalt do not always allow seepage. This can result in additional construction costs as it may require the installation of gutters or other channels in order to drain excess water and keep pollutants, fertilizers and pesticides from seeping into local waterways. Second, consider the activities you have in mind. Take note of how the water drains in and around the area where you plan to install your driveway. Determine if you’ll need access to pipes or anything else beneath the surface for future home repair or maintenance. Be honest with yourself about the kind of installation that you can handle and what should be completed by a professional contractor. Now don’t forget to keep your home in mind. A material that shares some relationship with its surroundings will appear to be a more natural variation of the structures nearby. These commonalities create a pleasing sense of harmony.
HOME RENOVATION www.homerenovationmag.com
Finally, you’re ready to pick your material. Asphalt and concrete are durable, low maintenance, affordable and fair well in high-traffic areas. There are also porous options available. On the other hand, asphalt and concrete contain high levels of embodied energy and petroleum, they’re not entirely permeable, and they conjure heat. Pavers come in a myriad of beautiful finishes; some are even made entirely of recycled materials. They’re also porous, non-reflective, inexpensive, and they usually do not conduct unwanted heat. Minor downfalls include: they are difficult to self-install, can be easily damaged with heavy machinery, and may sometimes require a porous substrate such as sand. Deciding on a material may be a tough choice, but companies like Cornerstone Pavers, Inc. make the process worry-free. Cornerstone Pavers Inc. is an ICPI certified professional paver design and installation company that has been serving the central Florida area for nearly ten years. Cornerstone works on pool decks, coping, patios, driveways and walkways. Services include free estimates, full installation on jobs both big and small, repairs, demos, grading, clean-up and sealing. Your final result − when carefully contemplated and executed − will ensure satisfaction and provide a welcoming path to your humble abode. This editorial is sponsored by:
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THE HOME ENERGY AUDIT
By: Sharon Milligan
think green SAVE green
THE FLORIDA SUMMER HEAT IS knocking on the door and the question we ask now is “how prepared are we in keeping it outside where it belongs?” Two things we can be certain of: energy prices will only go up and our homes will only get older. That being said, staying ahead of the game requires adopting a proactive plan. We can easily assume much about the efficiency of our homes, but the truth is, the average homeowner has never even considered the immense benefits of conducting or having an energy audit done. Companies such as WellHome offer assessments on windows, insulation, air/duct tightness, ventilation, heating/cooling systems and more for a steal at $149. The benefit of having an energy audit conducted by a professional company is the education you gain from the experience. It is not enough to just “know” there is a problem, but to understand both the causes and effects of those issues in order to keep the beast of waste at bay. The small fee you spend for a professional assessment can be quickly recouped in savings, over and over again. If you are living in a newer home and are reluctant to hire a professional without finding the need first, there are several doit-yourself assessments you can tackle before making the call. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a simple but thorough walk-through of the home with a checklist in hand can help you prioritize the upgrades you can make to improve your overall energy efficiency. Here is what they recommend: FIND THE AIR LEAKS! If you can locate and eliminate those pesky drafts in the home,
2016| HOME RENOVATION | HOME RENOVATION
an annual savings ranging between 5-30% can be expected. Check the baseboards/flooring edge, wall/ceiling junctures, electrical outlets and switch plates, fireplace dampers, attic entry point, as well as the windows and door weather-stripping for air flow. Gaps around pipes, wires and even mail slots can be culprits. When it comes to leaky air, your options are: repair, replace, caulk, and weather-stripping… better yet, use a combination of all four to maximize your potential savings and overall comfort in your own home. Before you rush off and begin sealing in your home, have a ventilation specialist make sure you will not be locking in indoor air pollution or creating an oxygen-deprived environment for your combustible appliances (gas stoves, fireplaces, etc.) and exhaust fans to compete with. INSULATION, INSULATION, INSULATION! Inadequate insulation usually means huge energy waste and the older the home, the more inadequate the insulation will be. Point blank, the standards have changed. If you are not comfortable with the idea of clambering into your attic space to assess your insulation worth, this would be the time to bring in the professionals! However, if the tight space and heat are acceptable for a quick look-see, grab the flashlight and check for gaps around ductwork, wires, pipes and the access hatch (especially if over conditioned space). With expanding foam caulk in hand, attack those gaps to keep your bought air in the home! The recommended insulation value for Central Florida attic floors is R-30 to R-60. The R-value essentially is a measure of thermal resistance; the higher the R-value, the better. Keep in mind that the R-value is only as good as the installation, so you may not
want to tackle this project yourself! HVAC: HEATING, VENTILATING, AIR CONDITIONING Start with the air filter! If you aren’t changing this out monthly during the summer months, well, shame on you! The efficiency of your unit heavily depends on the ability for air to circulate through that filter, and if it’s clogged with dust, pet hair and other particulates, it’s like trying to suck cookie chunks through a straw! Well, maybe not THAT bad, but close… This is less of a do-it-yourself task, but rest easy, most HVAC manufacturers recommend an annual check-up and cleaning, which gives you time to plan ahead for the minor expense. If you have not kicked on the air conditioner yet, it would be wise to schedule said check-up and cleaning before you place your unit into service again for the summer. What can you do yourself? Check the ductwork for leaks – usually evident by streaking near the seams – and seal them up with duct mastic. If you’re HVAC system is rather dated, the savings in replacing it with a new, energy-efficient model could help your electric bill significantly. LESSEN THE LIGHTS… Sure, shutting them off when you leave the room helps, but we’re not talking about enduring light-deprivation here! If you have not taken the plunge into vetoing the old wasteful bulbs of the past and welcoming in the efficient wonders of today, please consider it. Take your last electric bill and calculate 10-20% of it – this is about how much your lighting usage amounts to. The first thing to do is check the wattage of all the bulbs you have in your home and opt to go with a lesser wattage. In most cases, a 25-30 watt reduction will not affect your visibility, but will help reduce your expenses. In areas where the lights spend most of their time ‘on’, consider replacing them with compact fluorescent
photo courtesy of energy audit Institute
lamps (CFLs), which are 4 times more efficient than incandescent lighting. This means that a 25 watt CFL has the same output as a 100 watt incandescent bulb, and it comes with the added benefit of a 5080% LESS energy demand. Energy is easy to take for granted; at least until the bill shows up! A properly conducted energy audit can help you get a better grip on the amount your household pays out each and every month. Taking steps to improving your home’s efficiency can easily be handled in stages, but the lesson here is to begin taking those steps. Better late than never!
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By: Sharon Milligan
YOU CAN’T AVOID THE GARAGE DOOR TAKING UP A LARGE PORTION OF YOUR home’s front elevation, the condition of the garage door can make or break first impressions instantly. While the function of garage doors is obvious, the condition, type and finish are often overlooked by homeowners. CONDITION: Ah, the condition…there are two things to consider when addressing this touchy area: cosmetic condition and functioning condition. While the cosmetic condition mainly falls to the finish, the functioning condition is ultimately the bread-and-butter of “having a garage door at all.” • Make sure your garage door opener is in good operating condition! If not, or if it is creeping toward the end of its life expectancy, go ahead and replace it. This also applies to the rails and springs. It doesn’t hurt to have a garage door product and service company like Doors-N-More come out for a maintenance visit to keep your garage door system in perfect working order. If your door is running on an old chain drive system, you may want to consider upgrading to a belt drive system for better noise reduction and smoother lift!
• Did you accidentally bump into and dent the garage door with the car? Are there hints of rust or other signs of aging? You may have learned to ignore these “flaws” over the years, but if you are planning to sell your home anytime soon, these flaws will be the first thing potential homebuyers will notice when pulling into your driveway. This means any visitors to your home will notice as well! • Plan ahead! If you have caught yourself thinking “it is time for a new garage door”, now is the time to start planning. Don’t under or over-estimate what such a purchase would cost, actually find out. Once the homework is done you will find it easier to adjust your budget to save for this purchase, before your existing door is out of commission. TYPE: What size garage do you have? What type of garage door(s) does your home currently have or what is it you would prefer? Better yet, ask yourself what a potential buyer would want before selecting a new one! • Garages tend to be naturally darker attachments to the home, designed with the sole purpose of keeping your car (continued on page 20)
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(Continueed from page 18)
(and tools) safe. Inviting more natural lighting in through windows in your garage door would reduce and possibly eliminate the need for power-hungry light fixtures during daylight hours. You may want to consider an insulated door if it happens to carry the burden of direct sun and afternoon heat on a westward facing home, especially if you plan on spending time in the garage working. • Plain or fancy? Wood or metal? All glass fronts or no windows? The most important consideration here is that the style of door should complement the home first and foremost. Consulting with an architect might not be an option, but consulting with a reputable garage door company like Doors-N-More will yield the same gratifying results. • Separating the opening of a two-car garage to support two separate garage doors seems to be the preference of many homeowners today. Not only do you reduce the “visible” size of the garage door itself, it does add something to the overall appearance of the home and better serves to create the illusion of separation of the garage space inside. FINISH: Next to the style of garage door, the finish is extremely important! Almost any finish can be duplicated onto garage doors, but the key point to remember is that the garage door should not overpower the focal point of the home: the front door. • When it comes to paint, the garage door is so much bigger than the front door and is therefore best complemented to the house color, not the front door color. The front door is the welcome point to the home, so your garage door should not reduce emphasis on it.
HOME RENOVATION www.homerenovationmag.com
• Natural is in and everything from woods to metals and glass are prized. If the façade of your home holds true to nature, your garage door should reflect the architectural style and materials of your home. If you are faced with siding on your home, remember to make a selection that tonally “blends” together; that is, make sure the front door holds greater attention than the garage door. • See the big picture! If you own a computer and any basic photo-editing software, it can be extremely fun to play with the front of your home. Take a walk out to the street with your trusty camera and get a full shot of your home and yard. With an infinite selection of photos online you can crop and paste virtually ANY feature onto your home to “test” your curb appeal options. The garage door is no exception! What better way to see any style or color of garage door on your home instantly before you commit to a look you may not have wanted. This editorial is sponsored by:
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By: Holli Beckman
Beat the Heat with Awnings and Shades!
WE SPEND A LOT OF TIME dressing up our windows on the interior with treatments, but what’s the best way to continue our design outdoors? Awnings and shades are the preferred outdoor window treatments. These charming canopies can offer shade without obstructing the view and if they overhang a patio or balcony, they can create a feel of an airy outdoor room. Don’t let their stylish good looks fool you – these treatments do more than just give your house great curb appeal! Awnings can help home sellers improve their home’s appearance effectively with eye-catching yet inexpensive retractable awnings. There are countless options when it comes to choosing awnings for your home. • Stationary units are a permanent part of your home’s exterior. You can count on stationary awnings to be sturdy, simple to operate and virtually maintenance-free. • Retractable canvas window awnings are the convertibles of the house. They can quickly roll up when not needed or they can just as quickly be reinstated to create shade for your window or an enclosure for your porch. If you’re not a big fan of cranking back and forth, some retractable models can be motorized for your convenience. With a simple touch of a button the awnings will close themselves, relieving you of the chore. Window awnings are a cost-effective and excellent addition to give the home extra charm, elegance, value and functionality. Before buying, you may want to check out the different size, shape and style varieties that are available: • Size: First off, you need to decide where it will be installed – just the windows, or the entryway and patio too? Measure your window or entryway: the projection of the window awning should be half the height of the windowpane.
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• Style: You’ll find that awnings are available in a variety of materials. Metal framing is sturdy but it can get hot and rusty. Canvas is durable and flexible, but make sure it’s tightly woven and taut. You can get them in any design, but it is good to remember with the hot Florida sun that lighter colors tend to reflect more light. Sunshades Awning Co., Inc. can help you select the right materials for your particular application, as well as ensure a proper fit with expert installation. • Shape: You can choose between sloped, rounded, straight or domed. Hooded models provide optimal blockage from the sun by having shades on the sides. Venetian units are considered more vulnerable without the sides, but are able to adjust at any pitch. Awnings allow people to enjoy outdoor activities, avoid excessive heat, sun exposure and rain. The sun can heat up doorways or filter through windowpanes, significantly warming up a house. This is why window awnings are such a functional addition to any exterior. Awnings block harmful UV rays which can fade furniture, drapes, carpets and even paint. According to a study commissioned by the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association, retractable awnings can save as much as $250 per year on electrical usage, decrease air conditioning use by 25%, and lower indoor temperatures by 8 to 15 degrees. Energy savings from retractable awnings can increase the value of a home as much as $3500! This editorial is sponsored by:
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By: Brandy Fedewa
Turn the Heat Around WHETHER YOU ARE TRYING TO GIVE YOUR HOME a spring face lift or are looking to sell, here are some quick tips and plant suggestions that may help you get the biggest bang for your buck. As you are wandering through your local nursery, take heed that “full sun” means something a little different in our climate! Translated, morning sun only and “partial shade” mean “no direct sunlight”. Although you may be a sun-loving Floridian, your plants may not be; unless you stick with native plants such as bougainvilleas, daylilies and portulaca – which can literally take the heat – you will be the one in the hot seat! Bougainvillea has served as Florida’s unofficial floral ambassador for many years and will be sure to add the pizzazz your yard may be looking for. Whether grown as a large, mounding shrub, rambling up the side of the house and over an arbor or cascading from a hanging basket, bougainvillea provides a variety of color choices that may fit your needs. Not only sun loving and beautiful, this climber by nature can be used as a focal point on a trellis, a fast growing border along a fence line, and may only need cutting back once a year as maintenance. Cross Vine and Passion Vine are other exceptional growers for making unwanted spaces worthy of awe. Daylilies are another magnificent and versatile quick fix. They will survive in many types of landscapes with very little care and ranges in height and color will help you plan for where they will look best. In our climate these beauties can be planted virtually anywhere that receives 6 hours of sun and they make exceptionally textured border plants that when planted, will come back for years to come. Blackberry lily is also a great choice for planting where other plants have failed. The Moss Rose – aka Portulaca – loves sun and is a great addition for creating eye-catching life to rock gardens, walkways, or simply in planters. Unlike many annuals, the moss rose is drought-resistant and can spread in width to three times its 6 inch growing height! These rose-like flowers provide instant gratification with their rainbow of shades. Verbena and Pentas are also great choices that offer much guaranteed variety.
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A crash course in landscape curb appeal will tell you to concentrate on directing the eye to focal points using symmetry, border elements, curved lines and paying attention to scale. Using vines such as bougainvillea for a focal point and medium scaled plants such as daylilies are great for borders and can add a curved and natural look. Smaller scale plants such as the moss rose can accent sidewalks and walkways as well as provide a symmetrical focus on your entryway via planters. If this all seems extremely overwhelming, consider working with a landscaping firm to lessen your stress. Full-service companies like John Madison Landscape, Inc. – as seen on HGTV’s Ground Breakers – offer the benefits of skilled artistic design and intense horticultural experience that guarantee every phase of your project begins right and ends in complete satisfaction. When all is said and done, proportional and exceptionally well-suited flora can increase the real estate value of your home, not to mention, take the heat off you and put it back on your yard! This editorial is sponsored by:
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Y O U R
Make the clear choice… for naturally beautiful windows YOU’VE UPDATED the landscaping, added a fresh coat of paint, and made all the necessary improvements to get your home exterior into tip-top shape. So why does it still seem like something is missing? You may need to take a closer look at your windows and doors. In the case of some historic homes, it might be more appropriate to keep existing windows intact to retain value and originality. On the other hand, if your home is still sporting old, dingy or inoperable windows, replacing them will raise the value and dramatically enhance curb appeal. Although you have many options when it comes to windows, the eco-friendly approach can lower your home’s energy consumption…and there may also be a nice tax credit in it for you. Begin by evaluating these three main details in order to achieve the highest level of efficiency:
• NUMBER OF WINDOW PANES.
Statistics show that switching from a single-pane window to a double-pane window can reduce your heating bills by as much as 15 percent. Even more efficient panes are available, but it’s a tradeoff between how much more efficient they are in comparison to the added cost.
to light and unwanted heat. The most popular green option is called “Low-E”. Low-emissivity windows are coated with thin, transparent layers of metallic oxide that block summer heat, hold in winter warmth and reflect those pesky ultraviolet rays. Low-E glass is sold by a myriad of major retailers – you just need the right professional to assist you with the job. Local Orlando retailer, European Quality, Inc. carries top quality windows and doors from trusted manufacturers such as Schüco®, Peachtree® and SilverLine® by Andersen. For eight years, European Quality, Inc. has been installing windows and doors on residential and commercial properties all over Central Florida. Every job is tackled with true professionalism, care and courtesy. Full service installation includes everything from the removal, to the install, to the final coat of paint. This editorial is sponsored by:
• WINDOW FRAMES.
Some window frames are more energy-efficient than others as well. Good choices include wood, fiberglass and vinyl window frames. You may be able to choose insulated frames, which will result in an even tighter seal.
• TYPE OF COATING.
Eco-friendly window coatings are all about providing resistance
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By: Tesa Fansler
HURRICANE SEASON IS RAPIDLY APPROACHING and now is the time to be making preparations for the onslaught of these dangerous storms. Whether you are building, renovating, or reinforcing your home or business there are many factors to consider in order to remain safe during the storm season. www. FloridaDisaster.org has an abundance of information. From an online tool to help you gather supplies and create a disaster plan to a section devoted entirely to tips to reinforce your home, this site can literally help you secure the safety of your home and family. Reinforcing and strengthening your home will not only increase your safety, but it will also save you money on your homeownerâ€™s insurance and increase the value of your home. When considering home renovations, the savvy homeowner will consider adding a safe room or storm closet to their home. When creating a safe room, consult an expert â€“ safety is no place to skimp. You should also select quality materials. Greenblock Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) are stay-inplace polystyrene foam forms for steel-reinforced, solid-poured concrete walls. ICFs create high-performance walls that are super energy-efficient while providing maximum protection from the damaging effects of hurricanes and tornados. The concrete core of a typical ICF wall varies in thickness from 4-8 inches and they are used for both residential and commercial structures. ICFs are an excellent choice for safe rooms due to their impenetrable nature. It is important to know the safest possible location in your home during a hurricane. Make sure to stay away from doors and windows. Listen to the radio for storm updates and be sure
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that it is safe to leave before anyone ventures outside. For those who should go to a shelter during a hurricane (anyone with health issues, the elderly, etc.) keep in mind the following: take important papers and survival items with you, have a main route to the shelter planned, and do not forget about pets. Pets may need to go to a separate shelter, so keep this in mind when doing your planning. Once you and your family have a plan for where to go during a hurricane, you should prepare your emergency supplies. Supplies will vary from family to family based on personal needs. Common items are: water, non-perishable food, blankets/pillows, clothing, first aid kit, medications, flashlights, batteries, radio, telephone, cash, pet care items, and important documents. Bear in mind that your family members may have different needs; keep any supplies for special needs, the very young, and the elderly on hand. This will help to eliminate undue stress during an already stressful time. This editorial is sponsored by:
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Easy, Breezy Living! THE CONCEPT OF the screen is simple and amazing; you can see through it, feel the breeze moving in and out of it, and the bugs stay where they should – on the other side of it. Then the screen evolved into an entire room, giving the family a larger space to enjoy the shade, the breeze, and best of all, no pesky bugs to swat at. Breezy Living Screen Solutions’ system is a serious upgrade to the concept of screening in a room. As the garage has evolved into something more than just “shade for the cars” – workshops, laundry centers, play space for the kids, etc. – the need to shelter it from bugs and reduce the stifling heat of keeping the door down seemed challenging. Breezy Living Screen Solutions took into consideration the priorities of screening systems: air flow, ease of use, impervious to bugs, and convenience. Then they combated the problems found in other systems: elimination of zippers that quickly breakdown, degree of permanence of the system, incompatibility with certain types of doors, and entry/exit concerns. Breezy Living Screen Solutions’ system (BLSS) does not interfere or obstruct your actual garage door, meaning it is completely out of the way and independent of that system. Supported by its own track, the BLSS is manually operated; two straps for lifting or lowering the system. Unlike other systems that tend to trap you in the garage when the screen is in use, the BLSS features a unique door-in-door design; a sliding screened door for easy egress is built into the garage screen door system itself. It can even accommodate commercial door applications and most wind-loaded doors. Best of all, the affordable
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BLSS is made of high quality materials that are assembled in the USA. Call 877.285.7253 or visit www.BreezyLivingScreens.com to learn more about this cool, innovative screen system!
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hardscapes~ NUMBER ONE BRICK PAVERS Old concrete is easy to ignore if you stare at it long enough, but the impression sets so much deeper when you catch those rare glimpses of it. It’s not so much “out of sight, out of mind” as it is a matter of choosing not to see it! In the case of this featured project, the homeowners recognized the negative effect their driveway had on the overall curb appeal of their home. Between the cracks of aging and the stains of heavy activity, they had enough. That’s when they called Number One Brick Pavers. After a consultation and product selection phase, Number One Brick Pavers created a design that complemented the home’s color scheme and appearance, taking care to incorporate the wishes and ideas of the homeowners. Number One completed the demolition and removal of the existing driveway, subsurface/ soil preparation, paver installation, clean-up and trash removal. This beautiful transformation was completed in a mere 4 days, all to the complete satisfaction of the homeowners. In fact, the homeowners were so pleased with the attention and care their entire project received from Number One Brick Pavers, they are happy to serve as a reference for the company’s work.
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Like the homeowners in this featured showcase, so many homeowners have enjoyed the experience of working with this local family owned and operated company. Number One Brick Pavers has been providing and installing pavers for patios, pool decks, walkways, driveways and lanais throughout Central Florida for almost 4 years. All work is completely guaranteed and is accompanied by a two-year warranty. Number One’s philosophy is to help you actualize the vision of enhanced curb appeal through quality product selection and installation, bringing you a more enjoyable space in a responsible and timely manner. Whether your paver project is simple or extensive, Number One Brick Pavers would like the opportunity to earn your trust. Give them a call today to explore the possibilities of paver applications for your home!
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