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What Truly Makes a House a Home?

Investing in a property is not only a massive financial undertaking, but it also involves committing yourself emotionally. Indeed, a dwelling should be a retreat from the world for you and your family and the one place where you can truly kick back and relax. It makes sense, therefore, to invest some time and money into making it a home, rather than just somewhere that you live. You will enjoy spending time with family and have fun being all together.

Renovations or major structural work can be expensive and time-consuming. However, you don’t have to knock down walls or add additions to change the way your house appears. In fact, applying some creativity to the decor doesn’t have to cost a million dollars and may even be fun! And, if done with careful consideration, you can even add long-term value to your property.

So, what can you do to turn your house into your home?

Before you begin slapping paint onto walls and throwing out furniture, it pays to plan. Consequently, you should start by ascertaining how much money you can afford to set aside for redecoration, including buying such items as paint or accessories. At this point, you should also consider how much time you want to dedicate to the project.

The next step involves evaluating your property to see which rooms could use some attention. Don’t be unrealistic in your goals, but instead look at the spaces where you perhaps don’t spend much time. Ask yourself why. Is it because the room is uninviting, or does it not have proper seating, etc.?

By identifying why it is you don’t use certain areas, it will be easier to come up with an appropriate solution. In reality, sometimes just adding a cozy blanket and some intimate lighting is enough to turn a previously unused room into your new sanctuary.

Choosing color schemes or accessories can be challenging. As a result, you should dedicate some time to researching different decorating styles or even reflecting on your personality and lifestyle. So, if you like jazz music, for example, why not draw some inspiration from that and use associated colors or imagery?

Although it is fun to involve yourself in the creative side of redecorating, it is also essential to consider the more practical elements of DIY. Therefore, before you undertake any decorative tasks, make sure you have adequate home insurance cover. Be careful to cover the carpet with dust sheets or to remove breakables out of the way; it is unfortunate but accidents in the home do happen. Not only that, but government statistics reveal that a third of people are not protected against accidental damage. If you are ever in doubt, give Rogers Builders a call and we will be more than happy to come out and help with any project you have going.

Rogers Builders specializes in new construction, remodeling, residential and commercial building projects, and more. We guarantee satisfaction and back our work with our years of experience in the business. We have small-town values with big-town quality. Give us a call and we’ll help you with your next project.

 

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Going Green: Trends in Environmentally Friendly Home Building

A long time ago, homes were made using materials that were environmentally friendly. From the Celts who used mud, straw and wattle to make their homes to the nomadic Mongolians who used felt and wooden yurts wagons to move from place to place. These catered for the shelter needs of the people who lived without harming the earth and making it unsafe for future generations.

With the advent of technology came many changes including in the construction of houses. Most of these were not environmentally friendly and are some of the reasons why global warming is on the rise. It is with concern in this regard that new homeowners are now demanding green homes. They are attempting to assist Mother Nature and make the earth a better place in which to live. Home builders are now tasked with making environmentally friendly homes. Here are just some of the measures they have put into place.

Saving Energy

To ensure that homes are using as little energy as possible, several measures have been put into place. The terms zero-carbon and zero-net energy homes have been adopted. Zero-net-energy homes are those that only use the energy they can produce whereas zero-carbon homes do not rely on fossil fuels for energy which produce greenhouse gases.

The methods that have been applied to achieve the aforementioned characteristics in homes include thick and insulated concrete walls that prevent heat loss or gain and V-shaped roofs among other measures.

Clean energy sources like solar power are now increasing in efficiency and popularity. Homeowners can now rely solely on solar energy to power their homes. Some even have additional power that they can then sell back to the power company for a profit. Installation of energy-efficient home appliances like washing machine, ovens, and refrigerators has a direct effect on the national grid. More energy is saved for future use. Green home builders are now encouraging homeowners to invest in only green appliances. A more environmentally friendly choice that homeowners can make is to use refrigerators that have hydrocarbon refrigerants.

Water Economy

Home builders and owners are encouraged to use as little water as possible. To add to this economy, home builders are now encouraging the inclusion of on-site water treatment stations at home. Water from the rain or snow may be tapped into tanks and treated for drinking whereas the gray water from the bathroom, sinks and laundry rooms may be treated and reused to flush toilets, for gardening and much more. This idea has been borrowed from the new technology that is treating waste water and converting it into drinking water. We see this happening all over the world, specifically in Singapore.

Green construction materials

Instead of building homes with traditional bricks, home builders have been advocating for the use of greener materials. Walls have been made from mycoform building blocks. These are recycled aluminum sheets with mycelium spores growing in them. The use of blocks made from plastic bottles has also been tried.  

The flooring options provided are also environmentally friendly home building materials. From bamboo floors to polyvinyl chlorides-free carpets to the latest earthened floors. In the latter, natural dirt is used as the preferred flooring. This is coated with beeswax and linseed oil making it look like coated concrete. This flooring, however does not work well in wet parts of the home like kitchens or bathrooms.

Rogers Builders specializes in new construction, remodeling, residential and commercial building projects, and more. We guarantee satisfaction and back our work with our years of experience in the business. We have small-town values with big-town quality. Give us a call and we’ll help you with your next project.

 

Senior male reaching up to open filter holder for air conditioning filter in ceiling

Keep Your Air Ducts Clean…or Else!

 

Keeping air ducts clean is an important routine task that any homeowner should take on. Whether you opt to clean them yourself or pay a professional, it is absolutely necessary that you make certain your ducting gets cleaned regularly. It may seem like a harrowing task but in the end, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Here are top reasons that clean ducts are necessary for a healthy home.

What Is That Smell?

No one likes for their home to smell. However, if you do not do routine cleaning of your system a smelly house is a high probability. These areas collect many forms of bacteria and mold as well as just general dust and pet dander from everyday use. This builds up and causes your home to smell old and musty. You will be unable to get rid of the smell, no matter what you try, unless you have your ducting properly cleaned.

Having Trouble Breathing?

We can all agree that having healthy air is important for everyone whether you are indoors or outdoors. Those same things that cause the smell in your home can also lead to health problems. Breathing in these harmful substances can initiate respiratory issues in even the healthiest individuals. A good cleaning can help prevent this. Everyone wants to know that the air they breathe in every day is safe and clean. You cannot control what is outside, but you have the final say in the air inside your home.

Allergies Acting Up?

For a person with allergies, the problems could be even worse. Not only are they breathing in toxins that are harmful to everyone, but they are also breathing in allergens that can flare up their already sensitive respiratory systems. This can lead to constant allergy related problems that can be debilitating for some individuals. Cleaning these ducting systems is an integral part of keeping your home allergen free for the allergy sufferer in your family.

Are You Cold?

If your health and the smell of your home are not enough, maybe the life of your actual heating system is. It is known that regular maintenance can extend the life of your system dramatically. So by cleaning it regularly, you are in essence protecting it and saving money in the long run on repairs.

Did Someone Mention Money?

As we mentioned, keeping your ducting clean will save you money. That build-up of dust and mold prevents your equipment from running properly. This costs you quite a bit more on your heating or cooling bill each month. If you eliminate the build-up, you will see your costs decrease substantially. This will place more money in your pocket for other things you may need. Opting to keep it clean could pay for itself in the end.

Fire!

Depending on the type of system you have, you may be creating a fire hazard by not following a cleaning routine. This is particularly the case in some older models. The built up particles become far more dangerous than respiratory problems and allergies. Many fires that start in a system are created by the lack of clean ducts.

While it may seem like an added expense you do not want to undertake or a task you do not wish to complete, it is important to maintain your duct work and keep it clean. Keep your family healthy and safe by having your ducting cleaned regularly.

Rogers Builders specializes in new construction, remodeling, residential and commercial building projects, and more. We guarantee satisfaction and back our work with our years of experience in the business. We have small-town values with big-town quality. Give us a call and we’ll help you with your next project.

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U.S. History’s Most Dangerous Construction Projects

Have you ever truly looked at some of the world’s most beautiful historical sites? Let’s talk about the history of the U.S. Some of the most dangerous construction projects in U.S. history also double as some of the most dangerous to construct. The projects are classified as dangerous due in part to the many lives that were lost during the building process. These are just a few of the most dangerous construction projects in our country’s history. You’ll be amazed.

Our first project was one that America was directly involved in; the building of the Panama Canal. The project was initially planned to be worked in conjunction with the French. During the 1880’s, over twenty thousand lives were lost at the building site. These were workers who were committed to seeing the success of the construction. In 1904 the United States took over the project. Even after this improvement which was thought to make the project more successful,  an additional five thousand lives were lost at the site. The construction was not easy, for it took the United States more than ten years to successfully complete the project.

Accidents were considered commonplace in many construction sites. We see this as we take a look at the Willow Island Disaster of 1978; one of the most dangerous construction projects in the history of the United States. In West Virginia, workers were building a cooling tower and the crane being used at the site crashed, causing several deaths. The workers were fast tracking the project to meet the deadline. The concrete that had been set at the site had not hardened and approximately 51 lives were lost in the disaster. This proved to be one very costly shortcut.

Chicago also had one of the most dangerous accidents in the United States. Our next disaster occurred in Lake Michigan and is known as the Lake Michigan water intake. A building was set offshore to help pump water to supply the city with fresh water. Tragedy struck when an explosion occurred in the store. Accessing the store was not easy due to the ice that now covered the lake. Even the rescue boat was not able to help much. More than fifty-three workers lost their lives.

Our next ultra-dangerous construction site involves the Twin Towers in New York City. During construction, one of the tallest towers in the word in the early 1970s caused the deaths of nearly 60 workers who were part of the construction team. There was initially some discrepancy in the exact number of workers killed, but a thorough investigation confirmed the number to be 60.  

In 1938 during the construction of the Fort Perk Dam in Montana the fate of most workers turned to death when they were buried in the dam. During the accident, 8 workers lost their lives and only two were recovered. In the entire construction of the dam, 43 additional workers were killed.

The construction of the famed Hoover Dam  was not without loss of lives. During the entire project, 112 lives were lost. In this case, it was not the falling walls but pneumonia due to exposure and machines and vehicles that were at the site and producing carbon monoxide.

Lastly, the building of the Erie Canal shocked the world with the extraordinary total number of deaths. More than 1000 lives were lost on the project. The cause of death was primarily malaria.

Even though these sites are all beautiful and most are still helpful to life as we know it today, their construction came with numerous challenges, namely, loss of life.

Rogers Builders specializes in new construction, remodeling, residential and commercial building projects, and more. We guarantee satisfaction and back our work with our years of experience in the business. We have small-town values with big-town quality. Give us a call and we’ll help you with your next project.

 

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After The Waters Subside: Steps to Take to Rebuild After a Flood

Nature can be a powerful force to be reckoned with as we saw recently with the devastating flooding in Baton Rouge. A flood can cause a minimal amount of damage or cause you to have to restore so much you feel as if you’re gutting your house completely; as if you’re starting from scratch with the building of your home. Unfortunately, no one can control the weather and the work has to be done, but the outcome will be well worth it once you and your family can move back home. You can also save in the process and – in the end – reward yourself for your hard work and sacrifice.

The first step in rebuilding after a flood like the one in Baton Rouge, is to guard repairable and undamaged items. There’s a chance that these items may become damaged after the flood has subsided. If mold and mildew have started accumulating in your home, they will grow until the house dries completely, and the proper steps are taken to remove these molds. Mildew will be the first to appear in the home; however, mildew is mold in the early stage. It only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold growths (or colonies) to start accumulating in a moist area. Once it has started to grow you shouldn’t use fans to dry a room. This will only cause the mold to spread. Remove all wet items in your home including carpeting as soon as possible.

The next step in rebuilding after a flood is to eliminate mold from clothing, bedding, and toys by cleaning and disinfecting the items. With clothes and bedding – add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to a load of laundry. Continue to wash in this manner until all traces of mold are gone, and clothes don’t have a moldy smell anymore. Complete this process by washing your clothes one more time with regular laundry detergent.

Any foods that had even a remote chance of getting damp should be discarded immediately. The only foods that should be saved are sealed, packaged foods that are still completely dry and canned goods that haven’t been dented or damaged. Remove labels on all cans. Wash sealed packages with a warm water/dishwashing liquid mix. For canned goods – scrub with a bristle brush in a strong detergent solution – then put them in a mix of 1 quart of warm water and two teaspoons of bleach for 15 minutes. Another solution is to boil for 10 minutes. It’s crucial to remove the labels since the paper can hold dangerous bacteria.

The sooner you can start cleaning the inside of your home the easier it will be to get rid of the mold and mildew growing in your walls, flooring, appliances, and ceilings. Make sure to wear gloves, a mask, and eye protection. You should have the area you’re working in at the time well ventilated. Disinfect all surfaces with a 10% bleach solution allowing the solution to sit for at least 10 minutes, then rinse with clean water. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to get rid of mold or mildew on wallboard, plaster, or paneling. The best way to handle this situation is to remove all that has been soaked by flood waters at least to the flood level. If your home has the blown-in cellulose type of insulation, it’s best to get rid of this as well since it holds water for such a long time. Styrofoam and fiberglass batts can be reused if hosed off and dried thoroughly.

For insurance purposes, it’s best to take plenty of before and after pictures. Keep a daily activity log including any and all calls made to your insurance company and conversations that took place. Make sure to keep all of the receipts used to purchase everything – right on down to the cleaning supplies. And don’t throw any damaged materials away until your insurance company gives you the go-ahead.

Rogers Builders specializes in new construction, remodeling, residential and commercial building projects, and more. We guarantee satisfaction and back our work with our years of experience in the business. We have small-town values with big-town quality. Give us a call and we’ll help you with your next project.