Green Bathroom Remodeling Tips

The average bathroom can be a bit of a green nightmare. All in all, it can be a pretty resource hungry room, which is obviously bad for the planet – but can also put a serious dent in your bank account!

Don’t worry though, because if it is time to remodel your bathroom then this is the perfect time to address any additional waste (and expense!) your bathroom may be generating.

So take a look at these tips and bear them in mind during the design phase and you could stop flushing money away.

(Get it? because the toilet is in the bathroom, and an old bathroom could be costing you lots of money? Come on, it’s a good joke!).

Stop Flushing Money Down the Drain

Ok, I still stand by that joke.

One of the ways that a new bathroom can be installed with some serious environmental credentials is to bear in mind the amount of water that is used in this room – and how much is wasted.

Yes, just as my hilarious joke suggests, the toilet can often use more water per flush then it really needs too – and that is not a joke. “Around 25% of all the water used in a home is simply flushed down the toilet – and that can be an environmental drain as well as a monetary one” says Derek with Kitchen & Bath Remodeling of Alexandria whom I’ve personally interviewed for this report.

Consider installing a new toilet with a smaller flush, and also a grey water collection system can be great, if you have the space. This will collect water from the shower and the taps and store it up to use as water to flush the toilet with.

For example, this is what The Fiscal Times recommend for kitchens:

See The Light

So many bathrooms are built with such poor window installations, they almost make it as if you have to turn the lights on no matter what time of day you go in there.

Then there are the bathrooms built with no widows at all!

Now, obviously it will depend on the placement of your bathroom. It if does not have an outside facing wall then of course you can’t have a window. However, if your current bathroom has a window and its tiny or tucked up out of the way then please consider installing a bigger window during the remodeling.

Not only could this save you some serious money in cutting back on your lighting bills, bathroom that is lit by natural light is a bathroom that is a pleasure to use.

Shower Power

Consider installing a standalone shower cubicle instead of – or in addition to – a bath in your new bathroom.

For one thing, baths are simply not very environmentally friendly. In fact, taking a bath will use around 70% more energy that would be used for shower.

At the same time, there is nothing quite like relaxing in a nice hot bath, is there? So it’s completely understandable why you want one on your newly renovated bathroom.

Just recognize though that you are probably not going to have a bath every single day are you? A standalone shower cubicle has a flat floor, which makes it safer to stand in for a shower then the smooth and curved base of a bathtub.…

Why Paving Contractors Recommend Sealcoating for Asphalt Driveways

It’s no mystery that proper and regular seal coating protects asphalt and extends the life of driveways, roads and parking lots all around us.

Asphalt paving is an economical way of creating a hard surface for your driveway, but it is also a surface that demands proper attention to its maintenance. A paving contractor who lays down your pavement might suggest that you periodically, at least once every two years, redo the seal coating on whichever paved surface you own.

Pavement can deteriorate over a period of time due to the sun beams, oxygen in the air and outdoor elements. The ultraviolet rays of the sun will cause asphalt to deteriorate. The oxygen in the air can result in oxidation that hardens the tar. It then becomes brittle and cracks, leaving its surface vulnerable to rainwater, a process that can lead to the weakening of the sub-base. Sealcoating can prevent both oxidation and the ill effects of UV rays.

Sealcoating is the final process in the laying of any asphalt paving and provides the asphalted surface with a protective shell. This coat prevents water getting into the body of the paving. Once water enters, it can form ice during cold weather, and the expansion of this ice can cause cracks in the pavement. Sealcoating can also act as a resistance to oil and gas spills, which are quite common on surfaces where vehicles are parked. The tar sealer used in the mix has additives that make it resistant to these spills.

“Most paving contractors will gladly take up any job which requires fresh sealcoating to be done whether a residential or commercial work, they are very similar, except for the size of course.” said Shane Small with Asphalt Paving & Sealing of Virginia Beach, a Virginia Beach based paving company. They also operate in cities like Leesburg, VA and Sterling, VA both of which are located in Northern Virginia. Shane also mentioned that sealant has to be properly mixed as per the specifications of the manufacturer in order to work correctly. Sealants are always applied in two coats, after completely cleaning the asphalt surface. Any damaged portions need to be properly repaired before the entire surface is coated. The application of the first coat is done with the help of a squeegee, as this helps to push in the sealing material into any cracks that may be there on the pavement. The second coat may then be sprayed on so that the entire asphalt surface is uniformly covered. Sealcoating materials have a drying time, and during this time, there must be no traffic on the driveway. It is more than likely that the contractor will ask you to leave the surface unused for an entire day so that there is sufficient time to prepare the surface, apply the first cat, allow it to dry and then finish the work with the second coat.

Sealcoating can help to minimize the repair work on asphalt paving surfaces. It gives the asphalt protection form the weather and the effects of sun, by preventing oxidation and reducing the effect of UV rays. It will also allow the surface to withstand any cleaning or damage from oil spills. Finally, a surface that has been newly seal coated will appear fresh and appealing and point to the pride that homeowner takes in his property and its surroundings. This process must be undertaken every two years and is best carried out by professional paving contractors who will have all the right equipment and expertise to carry out the necessary work.…


Things to Consider in Contractors

Contractors are the backbone of any building and development work, no matter how large-scale or small-scale. So there are naturally some things you should keep in mind when choosing a contractor. Try to be highly selective and assess the choices you have properly before making a final decision. Here are some steps you can follow:

Have a Choice Between a few Contractors

Sticking to the one, trustworthy contractor is fine if you have had prior experience when dealing with him. Otherwise, it is always important to have a couple of choices of contractors. Ask around about people’s experiences with them and have a few shortlisted on that basis. Assess the others very thoroughly.

Check for Insurance

Make sure the contractor you have in mind is covered for accidents and damage liability. This is because construction sites are potentially dangerous areas and many unforeseen events may occur. Thus, it is best that the insurance policy of your contractor covers for any such damage and you don’t have to go through that hassle.

Consider Their Experience

Make sure the contractor has had good experience in his line of work. Look out for potential red flags like prices that are too low or shady payment policies. Have the contractor talk to other people in your time to make sure he knows what he is talking about. Ask the contractor about his previous clients. If possible, talk to some of those clients about their experience with the contractor. Ask them if there are any possible concerns you must be wary about. If the contractor is an employee and not independent, you can talk to his employers about what to expect. Look up records if any are available.

Make Them Fill a Questionnaire

If you do have a choice between a few contractors, try to create a questionnaire. Make them fill out this questionnaire on their own or try to ask them the relevant questions on your own.


Assess Them in all Aspects

A good contractor must have all the relevant qualities.  Try to ready a team of people who will assess your potential contractors in different areas. For example, one person should assess them in their sense of aesthetics and architecture whereas another person should look up the contractor’s skill with handling his team and his sense of being a team player. Another quality a good contractor must have is that he must be able to handle mishaps. He should keep the team in perfect synchronization; if any mishaps or conflicts arise he should be able to resolve them efficiently without creating rifts between the concerned parties.

Get a few Decent Bids

Ask all the potential contractors to give you their bids. It goes without saying that you should choose the contractor with the most economical package. Even so, keep a lookout for contractors who are offering bids which are way below the normal market price; this shows inexperience. Also, make sure the payment procedure is straightforward and not shady.