Category Archives: Healthy House

Go Green With Environmentally Friendly Eco Toilets

People are slowly starting to realize that the world is not as it was 75, 50 or even 20 years ago. The grass is not quite as green as it once was. The water is not as sweet and pure as it was then.

With the addition of chemicals to almost every thing that we consume today, many people’s immune systems have become weak, and their ability to fight off germs has been compromised. With droughts becoming more and more frequent, everyone should begin to think of the environment, and how it affects us all.

One way to conserve water, help improve soil regeneration, and produce a biodegradable fuel, is to start using eco toilets. There are many different types of eco toilets. Two of these are the incinerating toilet and the compost toilet.

In the incinerating toilet, waste is burned up. No water is needed, and there is no smell. The remaining ash is simply thrown away with your other trash. This process does not produce any useful product.

Composting toilets compact the solid waste. The liquids and solids are separated to allow for decomposition in an efficient and natural manner. The composted solids may be used as fertilizer.

A squat toilet is basically a hole in the floor, over which you squat to do your business. The process is quite sanitary, since you do not need to touch the toilet in order to use it. And it is also quite easy to keep it sanitary.

There are several websites where you can get more information about these environmentally-friendly toilets:

1) EHow.com – Just search this site for “environmentally friendly toilets”. There are several articles that will explain what an eco toilet is, how it operates, its economical value, its impact on the environment, and how easy it is to install.

2) SexyGreenHouse.com – Despite the humorous name, this site discusses how past and present administrations are pushing us toward more environmental consciousness. While the eco toilet is not the solution to all of the environmental issues it will certainly be a step in the right direction.

Eco toilets help reduce germs, and convert waste into an alternate fuel. Little or no water is used in this process, depending on the type of toilet. And the good part is that by installing an eco toilet, you are helping to lead this country in the right environmental direction.

6 Reasons Why Living in Housing Societies Should Be Your Preferred Option

Humans are not meant to live in an isolated environment. However, the busy day-to-day schedule of people living in cities often becomes an inherently asocial experience. The last few years, as a result, have witnessed a paradigm shift: people are increasingly choosing to stay in housing societies as opposed to independent homes. In fact, even people who want to buy independent homes are opting for gated communities developed by the top housing architects.

Let us now take a look at some of the major reasons why living in housing societies should be your preferred option:

1. Security

Safety features such as CCTV surveillance systems, boom barriers, and intercom facilities, make modern housing societies more secure compared to independent homes in non-gated communities. Additionally, such societies usually employ manual security with many guards stationed at different gates.

2. Pocket-friendly

Managing an independent house can be hard on the pocket. Modern housing societies designed by the best sustainable design architects provide access to world-class facilities at a fraction of the cost. The amenities in gated communities are managed more efficiently as the resources are shared by everyone living in the society.

3. Social Life

Unlike independent homes, housing societies offer residents a better social life. From festival get-togethers to community events, living in such societies can help forge new ties by instilling a sense of bond among neighbors.

4. Contemporary Lifestyle

You no longer need to travel through city traffic to reach places of recreation. Modern gated communities provide a wide range of high-end recreational facilities such as swimming pools, gymnasiums, shopping complexes, outdoor sports areas, etc. This makes it possible for residents to engage in leisure activities within a healthy environment without long-distance travelling.

5. Better Environment

With segregated walkways, endless greenery, and ample space for unrestricted movement of kids, housing societies designed by the top landscape architects offer residents a stress-free experience.

6. Eco-friendly

Resource optimization systems such as rainwater harvesting, energy-efficient lighting fixtures, and CNG-based power backup, make modern housing societies an ideal place to live in. The practice of sustainable architecture creates happier living spaces for residents and contributes towards the health of the planet as well.

While it is true that living in modern gated communities is highly beneficial, it is extremely important to only opt for housing societies developed by the top architecture firms; architects who possess vast professional experience in the domain help make community living meet the expectations of all residents.

How to Successfully Install Wooden Shutters

Interior window shutters are installed for the purpose of decoration. However, they play other roles including offering protection against allergies, providing privacy and insulating the home. Installing Wooden Shutters requires meticulous considerations to ensure that they serve their purpose. It is not automatic that this purpose will be served. To successfully install these shutters, here are important considerations to make.

Do I need shutters in my house?

Each home and room is unique. The fact that you saw a beautiful house with or without shutters is not a reason for you to install or not install. The first decision you have to make is whether you need these shutters or not. Here are reasons why you should consider having shutters in your house.

Beauty- shutters are used to augment the aesthetics of a house. Wooden shutters add a flare of class when added inside or outside the house. The wood will fit into a traditional design because of its natural appeal as well as add a tone of class to modern designs. You will never get it wrong when you use wood for your shutters.

Privacy- the minute you close your wooden shutters, no one can see what is going on in your house. They are therefore perfect for town and even plantation houses. You will have full control over your life.

Value of the house- shutters are used to raise the value of a house. They give an impression of a meticulously built house. They also make the house to appear well cared for. This will drastically increase its value.

Protection against allergies- shutters are the best alternative to cloths and other materials used in manufacture of curtains. They do not trap dust and are easy to keep clean. They will therefore not expose your children to allergic reactions. You will never have to bring the curtains down every so often in order to clean them. They only require wiping periodically.

Long term- shutters are durable compared to curtains or other materials you might use. Wooden shutters will last for decades and even a lifetime without the need for replacement. This saves you money and makes them eco friendly.

Sound proofing- shutters are a perfect way to keep sound out of your room. Wood does not allow as much sound through as curtains would. This allows you to perform multiple functions with the same shutters.

What Type of Shutters do you need for your house?

Shutters will be customized for your house. Failure to consider the opening mechanism, size and functions of your windows will lead to trouble using the same window. Some shutters may prevent your windows from opening. Others may make it difficult to get light whenever you need it. The method of installation might also not fit the material you have used for your house. Seek the assistance of a specialist to assess your shutter needs and make a recommendation. The only way to get the shutters installed properly is by knowing the kind you need for your house.

Accurate Measurements

Each house and room has unique measurements. Before you order shutters for your house, request a technician to visit and take accurate measurements. This allows you to make considerations for opening as well as ensure that shutters do not interfere with lighting. Different brands might also capture different dimensions. Work with an experienced technician who understands the dynamics of successful installation of shutters.

Consider the Hinges

An allowance must be provided for hinges. This allows the shutters to open and get out of the way. You have two options when mounting. You may opt for frame mounting which is a straight forward technique where you utilize the shutter frame over the existing window. The frame of your window must have the requisite depth to accommodate fastening without affecting the amount of light coming into your room or its quantity. You may also opt for direct mounting where the hinge is attached directly on the frame. In either of the cases, a decision must be made whether they will be mounted around the opening or within the recess of the window.

Customized Shutter

The size and installation dynamics of the frame determine the design you will adapt for your wooden shutters. This explains why shutters are customized for each house. The type of wood you use will also determine the aesthetics of the shutters. Though they can be painted, clear varnishing gives them the enviable classical wooden feel. The quality of wood determines how beautiful the shutters will be. The accuracy of measurements must be maintained with necessary allowances being given for opening.

Professional Installation of Shutters

With customized shutters, installation should not be a huge challenge. Consider other features of the house like the need to match its architectural design, blending with the background color, corners or paths near the window, etc. Installation should not hinder lighting, the need to open these windows or other functions that must take place near the window.

Attachment to the existing window will determine how well the shutters will serve you. The window may be wooden or metallic, each calling for use of a different mechanism and attachment material. If the material is not compatible to the method use, the joints will weaken and cause trouble. If the shutters come with own frame, it must add to the aesthetics and functionality of the entire window. The shutters should be easy to open from the designed position. They must serve the purpose of protecting the window and interior which calls for professional design.

Professional design, construction and installation of wooden shutters will determine how well they serve you. Quality wood also has an effect on the durability of the shutters. Match the color and design in a way that they complement the entire house. Maintain the shutters appropriately to ensure that they serve the intended purpose and do not lead to extra expenses of repair and replacement. This is an accessory in the house that is both functional and aesthetic in nature.

Why Replace Your Roof?

Are there leaks coming down from your roof and into your home every time it rains? Does your home have cold air drafts in winter? Maybe your roof has not been providing the right coverage or insulation for your home. Whether you are looking to purchase a new home or trying to update your house, it is important to thoroughly inspect your house. Your house is your safety place and the saying “roof over your head” is not a light-hearted joke. It is a serious aspect of your home that you need to pay close attention to.

There are many options that one may want to consider before deciding to replace the roof. You can choose from metal roofs, stone coated steel roofs, and asphalt roofs. A new roof will not only provide the proper comfort for your home, but it can also greatly improve the value of your home.

Metal roofing is a great choice especially if you live in an area that has extreme weather condition. Metal roofing is one of the most durable and weather resistant roofing materials in the world today. Corrugated and copper metal roofs have the highest rating for fire, wind, and impact resistance. It is ideal for those that live around the beach and experience strong winds that constantly hit the house. The advantages are high in areas with extreme heat, wind, and humidity.

If you are looking to renovate your house, replacing your roof can enhance the overall design of your home. Stone coated steel roofing is great for an upscale design of dimensional shingle that offers a classic look with traditional and distinctive style, reinforced with the strength and longevity of metal. You can add color decorative tiles that bring your designs to life. Overall, the roofing can increase the value of the house.

Another great roofing option is slate roofing. The beauty of slate roofing is the no two pieces of slate are alike. It proves to be a beautiful overall aesthetically pleasing design for your home. It has a natural earth tone component with quality craftsmanship. It is the most architecturally beautiful design that has long-term durability quality. It is non-absorbent, it does not stain easily, and it is also eco-friendly.

Roofing should be a hassle in your house. Having a professional roofing company install the right quality piece for your roof is easy to maintain. The wide variety of roofing designs paired with quality service will save you time and money. It is safe and easy to maintain the home of your dreams with professional roofing installations whatever your reason is to replace your roof. Replacing your roof will protect you and your family and beautify your home.

Residential Garage Doors

Residential garage doors are no longer the plain looking white metal with a standard block design and a couple of windows at eye-level; they come in a variety of styles and custom fittings to accommodate every home, new or old and most are fashionable as well as functional.

Garages, often thought of as simply a place to park cars or coral excess junk from the house, are intricate parts of a house’s design, especially in the newer residential single family homes in which the garage is front and foremost what people see as they pull up to a house, many would say the house is ‘all garage’ from the front view.

Homeowners want their garage to look good, flow seamlessly into the rest of the house and be as ‘designer-looking’ as the rest of their large investment. Residential garages can be and should be functional as well as fashionable, they are the largest movable part on a house and typically used on a daily basis.

There are a number of residential doors to choose from when planning to remodel a house or build it from the ground up. There are insulated doors; steel doors; carriage style doors; sectional doors; Ranch style doors, bone yard doors and green or environmentally friendly doors.

Most homeowners, especially those who have attached garages, are interested in the insulated garage doors and the green garage doors. The insulated garage doors are typically made with a single type of metal which sandwiches thick foam of insulation material for greater draft protection in addition to keeping the elements out of the garage (sometimes known as steel + insulation + steel). This is nice because if the garage is attached to the main part of the house, cold air could seep in through the garage door and help to ‘jack up’ utility bills.

With green products – environmentally efficient products – sustainability is the name of the game and making a garage door green means making it long lasting and everything from design to manufacturing to hanging, every thing about the garage door is eco-friendly.

Homeowners who choose to purchase ‘green’ doors are looking to reduce their overall carbon footprint in addition to helping maintain a good looking door for a long period of time, usually 15 to 20 years of everyday use. A product like a ‘green’ garage door that will last a long time will reduce the need to manufacture more, reduce the amount of old doors in landfills in addition to fuel costs associated with the distribution of the new doors. All of these things factor into a ‘green’ door.

Some of the most popular doors are the composite carriage house and steel doors because of their high quality value, low maintenance, insulation and they won’t warp, rot, crack or fade so they need to be repaired, refurbished or replaced less often then traditional wood doors.

What Is a Green Home?

It doesn’t matter if you are a new home buyer or somebody looking to rent a green home, there are a few things that you should look for to make sure you are indeed getting a green house, The latest trend in the market today seems to be products which are energy efficient. Sustainable living is in fashion and this not only applies to a green building, but also with many things we use in our lives today. So the next big question is if you are in the market to buy a green home, how do you know it fulfills the necessary criteria to become an eco-friendly home? The following are some pointers to find a truly modern home.

Environmentally sustainable homes should not be too large in size. Obviously, a large home, say a 6000 square foot home will take more energy to live in, compared to a smaller 1500 or 2500 square foot home. Therefore, always go for smaller size if possible. However, even a large green house will leave behind a smaller carbon foot print compared to an ordinary or conventional home. Our American green architects are now capable of designing practically any size green building you need.

The next important part is the design of the house. It should be placed in such a way so that it takes advantage of the elements surrounding the house, for example sunlight. If the windows are designed and placed in a certain way, it will better be able to take advantage of outside light, which will help bring down energy consumption. This is because the dependency on electrical lights will go down. Another name for this is passive solar design.

Next we come to building materials. Materials used to make an home should be as environmentally friendly as possible. This includes renewable resources such as strawboard and bamboo. If wood is going to be used then it should be approved by the Forest Stewardship Council . This is to ensure that only cultivated woods such as pine or teak are being used. Materials that contain volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as sealants and paints should not be used.

Last but not least, location, location and location. The location of the house is almost as important as the house itself. This means not choosing environmentally sensitive locations such as wetlands, habitats where endangered species may be living and farmland.

Going green is all the rage whether in Hollywood or in the rural countryside. This is something that the environmentally conscious individual should take on, if for nothing else the benefits this sort of home profers to the environment.

Why Quartz Countertops Are More Eco-Friendly Than Granite

Quartz countertops have overtaken granite as the most popular kitchen countertop. According to House Logic, an online consumer publication of the National Association of Realtors®, quartz overtook granite in 2014 after tying in 2013. Offering many advantages as a work surface, quartz countertops are among the most eco-friendly materials to use.

Producing Quartz Countertops Is a Greener Process

Stone products such as granite often come under fire because mining, cutting, and transporting the stone uses extensive resources. While some granite is domestic, a large percentage comes from Italy, China, India, Africa, and Brazil and large quantities of fossil fuel are needed to get it to America. There is considerable waste generated in the quarrying process, especially as many slabs crack and are not useable. Additional waste that occurs in the fabrication and installation processes is not usually recycled.

Quartz is an engineered stone with a composition of 93% quartz (silicon dioxide (SiO2) and 7% resin and pigments. Much of the material comes from the U.S., which saves on mining and transport costs.

Producing quartz countertops is an environmentally sound process. Caesarstone, a major manufacturer of quartz products, claims that it recycles 97% of the water used in cutting and strives to use minimal resources for shipping, handling, processing, and production. This company also uses 42% post-consmer recycled material in its production. Other manufacturers such as Cambria boast similar statistics.

Why you’ll Love Quartz in your Kitchen

While you may appreciate the environmentally-friendly aspects of quartz, you may be more concerned about how it looks and performs in your home. The best thing to do is work with a local dealer and visit their showroom to get a hands-on introduction to the material and it’s many benefits, including:

– Quartz comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, including solids. You can get the look of granite and other natural stones if you want, but neutrals and high-intensity tones are in the palette as well. Unlike granite, which has variations from slab to slab, quartz has a consistent color and pattern.

– The product is naturally strong, which makes for durable countertops that are more resistant to chips, burns, or cracks. While you should treat all stone with care, quartz will hold up for years.

– Since quartz countertops are non-porous, they need no sealing like granite ones do. This makes them impervious to bacteria and mold, a big advantage for allergy sufferers. The product is also more stain resistant.

– Quartz countertops do not off-gas, or release volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) into the air, as some other manmade materials do, like laminate.

Choose an Experienced Installer

You can’t go wrong with the look, durability, or eco-friendly feature of quartz, which rivals granite in price and now exceeds it in popularity. How it looks greatly depends on the quality of the installation, so if you want to explore the benefits of quartz countertops, work with a supplier who offers top quality materials and experienced installers.

Choose The Best Window For Your House

Are you thinking to give a stylish and modern touch to your house using attractive windows? Make sure that you hunt for the style and design that not only best suit all your needs, but also suit best with the interiors of the rooms they are to be installed in. While hunting for the best window type for your house there are a lot of factors that you should take into account. Some of these factors are- control of light, privacy, the place, size, shape, and of course colour choice. Along with these factors, the louvers and tilt rods positioning also play a vital role in the selection of window types for your houses.

Which window to choose and which not, creates a huge confusion in the buyer’s mind. Therefore, a large number of designs have taken place in the market for the same. Every single pattern can be customised according to the taste and preference of the buyer. The most used windows can be classified into four categories, i.e. UPVC, aluminium, timber and secondary glazing.

There are a lot of benefits attached to all materials used in making windows for your house. Their advantages will narrow down your choices and will help you to select the best one for your house. Let us know the reasons why should a homeowner choose any one from these categories:

  1. UPVC: They are made up of polyvinyl chloride polymer along with different additives and stabilisers. These windows are aesthetically pleasing for every house type. You can choose them for your house because of the following reasons:

    • They’re made up of stable materials and therefore are water and pollution resistant.
    • They need regular cleaning as they do not rot or fades. They’re strong and durable and require less maintenance.
    • It works as a good insulator.
    • They are chemical proof, dust proof and sound proof.
    • They’re light weighted.
    • They’re also available in many designs and colour options.
  2. Aluminium: The aluminium windows are popular in the UK and are best suited for domestic, commercial and heritage use. They can become a perfect part of your house because of the below-listed advantages. Let’s have a look at a few of them:

    • Reduces carbon footprint.
    • Able to meet energy efficiency standards.
    • Available in a wide range of finishes including powder coating, anodising treatment and much more.
    • It is environmentally sustainable material and thus can be recycled.
  3. Timber: You must be looking for something best for your house, timber windows might be the one. There are many reasons to choose them, here are listed some:

    • The service life and warranties of these windows can be extended to a lifespan of over 60 years.
    • Timber is a natural substance, therefore, the furniture made using this are eco-friendly and naturally renewable.
    • It offers outstanding performance and comfort for you and your home.
    • It is carbon neutral and offers comprehensive warranties.
  4. Secondary Glazing: It is a supplementary glazing that is used inside of a single-glazed window to reduce noise and heat. It can be permanent but is often used as a temporary measure. These windows are used because of the following reasons:

    • The secondary glazing helps in reduction of noise.
    • It can reduce heat loss from the house.
    • It enhances the security of the house by offering an additional barrier to the windows.
    • It promotes a pleasant environment inside the house.
    • It is environmentally sound.

Tips For Finding Green Housing

Every day in the news we hear something about the environment. It might be scientists discussing climate change, or an animal care expert discussing habitat loss. Sometimes it’s something as simple as people wanting to know what they can do. When you’re looking for a home, you might have thought about buying a green house. Here are some tips to consider to help you find a green house.

One of the main things to consider is where the house is located. Part of being green is cutting back on your carbon footprint. Is your house close to shopping, schools, and work? If not, you’re spending a lot on fossil fuels getting to where you need to be.

You also should plan for a home that takes advantage of natural light where possible, so you can keep your electricity bill down. A green home will have landscaping that blots out the hot summer sun. The plants then lose their leaves in the winter to let in the winter light.

You should also find a home that has the ability to create cross-drafts to be able to take advantage of the cool night air. Few things are more refreshing after a hot day than that lovely evening breeze.

Choose a smaller home when you can. You’ll save resources since there is not as much material to go into construction. Plus, you’ll not have to heat as much in the winter or cool as much in the summer. This also means you should consider the floor plan. Does a two-story make sense, or should you go with a one-story ranch instead?

One of the current trends is the micro-home. These tiny houses are often smaller than most apartments, but they are still fully featured. Talk about cost savings! Many furniture makers are now crafting multi-purpose creations to go into these micro-homes, too.

You should also consider the types of construction materials used, like how solid the insulation is. The batting type of insulation with a high R rating is your best bet. Windows that are double pane are less likely to overheat a house in summer. Take a look for any deals on solar panels, and if your energy company gives rebates. Some customers can even sell excess energy back to the power company. Check around doors and windows for any leaks or drafts, too.

Should you decide to do any upgrades on the house, be sure to look for a green contractor. Explain that you would love to see as many materials recycled as possible. Your contractor can also help find natural wood instead of particleboard cabinets. He or she can also be creative in repurposing materials like countertops.

If you have the ability to find a green real estate agent, this person is more likely to be familiar with the home features you want. He or she will know the green builders and be able to guide you to a good green home.

You might think a green home is trendy, and won’t have any resale value down the road. In actuality, as more and more people become aware of the need to be green, they’ll only become more popular.

Top Ways To Build An Eco-Friendly Bathroom

One of the top trends for 2013 is to include eco-friendly features in bathroom remodels and new bathrooms. Many people however are looking for ways to have an entirely eco-friendly bathroom and not just a few items here or there. Here are the top ways to build an environmentally-friendly bathroom.

1. The first obviously is to be conscious of water flow. There are three areas in the bathroom that consume water: the toilet, the shower and the sink. Toilet water flow can be controlled with the European style low-flow flush toilets. There are two water flow options, one for low-flow and one for full-flow. Most shower nozzles come with a ring in them that reduces the water flow. Another way to make the bathroom eco-friendly is to have shower water drained into a tank that can be re-used to water lawns and flowerbeds. The same can be done with kitchen sink water. If you decide to go this way, be sure to use biodegradable soaps and shampoos. As for sinks, low-flow water devices are also available.

2. Use low or non-VOC paints. “Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency. This is especially important if children are using the bathrooms.

3. Incorporating natural elements doesn’t just allow a bathroom to feel relaxing; certain elements can also be environmentally friendly. The first is harnessing the sun’s natural energy. If you have a south-facing bathroom, larger windows will help naturally warm the room, cutting down on energy bills. Window treatments like double-cell shades can keep in warm air during the night or block the sun’s light during summer months, keeping the room cooler. Plants are also a great addition to a bathroom, but make sure they are tropical plants that thrive on humidity. Plants help clean the air of pollutants and give us oxygen.

4. Use recycled or reclaimed barnwood for cabinetry. Wood stands up well to time and can create a great rustic look for the bathroom.

5. Using repurposed tiles is a great way to create art in a bathroom. By searching for tiles that have been discarded, the homeowner can create an amazingly unique atmosphere by mixing and matching colors and textures for a fraction of the cost of new tiles.

There are many ways to make a new bathroom eco-friendly. Updating a bathroom can be done with just a few tweaks here and there. Remember, reuse, reduce and recycle apply to bathrooms as well as any other room in the house.