Monthly Archives: July 2018

Guest Post- Conserving Energy at Home : What You Can Do!

This Guest Post is from Andrew Dang – Andrew is a DIY’er and founder of Simply Home Tips

He likes to share his experience through detailed guidelines with pictures on home improvement, Do- It- Yourself projects, around-the-house fixing, woodworking, etc.

Conserving Energy At Home – What You Can Do

People nowadays are constantly looking for new and improved ways to save energy everywhere they go. They frequently try to save energy at work. They frequently try
to save energy in the comfort of their own homes as well.
If you want to be an energy conservation champion in your residential space, these helpful
strategies can change your daily existence for the better.
Refrain from Dishwasher Use for Washing Your Dishes
If you want to save a pretty penny at home, you should refrain from using your
dishwasher to dry your dishes whenever possible.  Just say No to the drying cycle feature
that’s part of your household appliance. Take the hassle-free air drying route.
Wait Until You Have Plenty of Dirty Clothes Items and Dishes
If you want to save a significant amount of energy, you should avoid doing laundry
until you can fill your washing machine completely. Do the same with your dishwasher.
Steer clear of filling your dishwasher up halfway with a handful of plates, glasses and forks.
Switch Your Incandescent Lighting Off Any Time You Get The Chance
Be mindful of your presence in certain parts of your residential property. If you’re not present in a specific section of your home, switch all incandescent lighting off as soon
as possible. These Lights mostly release heat, after all.
Adjust Your Temperature at Home in a Gradual Manner
People who are serious about conserving energy should always tweak home temperatures in a gradual manner. Refrain from doing so rapidly and abruptly.  If do do so rapidly, that
changes the temperature of your heat pump speedily. This can encourage the associated strip to take action and employ significant amounts of energy as well.
Swap Out Any and All Household Appliances That Are Getting Too Old
If you have any household appliances that have been in your life for a long period of time,
consider swapping them out with new and fresh options as soon as possible. Outdated
household appliances tend to be nowhere near as energy  efficient as their new counterparts are. That’s the reason that operating them is generally alot more expensive.
Swap Out Your Furnace Filters on a Regular Basis
Replace or clean the filters that make up your furnace on a routine basis in order to keep things running smooth and easily. You should try to do these things in intervals of three months, if at all possible.
Filters that are soiled and full of debris have the ability to make the flow of air more
sluggish and can put alot of pressure on your system.
Focus on Your Curtains at Home
Open the drapes in your home in a manner that looks toward the sun during the daytime. Shut any and all blinds and curtains in your home in the evening when things are darker.
Depend on Central Heating
Central heating use tends to be an economical route in many situations. It can be a lot more economical than employing a gas fire to make a single part of your home warmer.
Assess the readings that are on your utility meter to confirm this.
Install a Dehumidifier
That’s because with a lower humidity can make you feel cooler, thus decrease the need
for cranking down on the thermostat. It also helps improve HVAC efficiency on older AC systems by removing extra moisture from the air and less load on the system itself.
Employ A Water Heater Timer
Invest in Water Heater installation as a means of reducing your costs. Timers have the
ability to shut water heaters off in the evening when people are sleeping. They are capable
of shutting these household appliances off when people are away from their residences, too.

Prioritize the Insulation of Hot Water Pipes
Hot water pipe insulation can go a long way for people who are looking to decrease their costs dramatically. This insulation can minimize the loss of heat greatly, first and foremost.
It can boost the temperatures of H2) considerably, too, and that can help people who wish
to decrease their water temperatures and lessen their expenses.
Test Out Pressure Cooker Use
Go for pressure cooker use in your kitchen any time you get the opportunity.   Using a pressure cooker tends to slash cooking duration by roughly 50 percent or so.  If you are
in the mood to enjoy a fast and tasty meal,  pressure cooker use can save you from wasting
energy and money.
Don’t Be Afraid to Unplug Things
Look around your home and concentrate on any and all household appliances and chargers you spot.  Switch them off if you are not employing them in any way, shape
or form.  These things can use precious energy at any time they are simply plugged into
the wall, believe it or not!
Dry Your Laundry Using the Air
You can aim to minimize dryer use after you do your laundry. You can save a lot of money simply by the air drying approach.  It’s a piece of cake, too.

PEX Plumbing Kit- My Personal Experience

When we were planning our Shed to House Conversion it was a necessity to have running water. We decided that we would use PEX Plumbing over conventional PVC for the ease of its use and affordability. While in the process of shopping for supplies and the items that we would need, I came across a Pex Plumbing Kit that gave me everything I wanted in one place without having to shop around for the various parts.

These kits were put together to be used in Tiny Houses, Cabins, or Shed Conversion projects such as ours. I began by purchasing a roll of 3/4 inch PEX I wanted to use as my main water line from the water meter to our cabin. It worked out perfect as the local water company installed a 3/4 inch meter at the roadway.

After we ordered and received the kit I couldn’t wait to start the installation. The day we received it I opened the box in anticipation of seeing what was inside. These kits included one hundred (100) feet each of Red and Blue PEX 1/2 inch rolls of tubing, Twenty (20) 1/2 inch brass elbows, Fifty (50) 1/2 inch metal crimp rings, Tubing cutter, a Crimping Tool for 1/2 inch and 3/4 Inch Metal Crimps, and Two (2) 1 Inch Copper Manifolds with 4 Valves. I still had some reservations if this Kit would be enough to plumb our 12 by 40 foot cabin. You can see in the image below the items included in each kit.

After I installed the main water line going to the cabin as you can see below, I began drilling holes in the studs to install the PEX tubing.

3/4 Inch PEX Water line into the cabin with Ball valve for shut off.

During the installation I found it much faster and easier to run the tubing to where i needed it to go. It’s flexible and very easy to put into place. One quick measure with my measuring tape and cut to the desired length with the provided Tubing Cutter, it went by pretty fast! No need for PVC saws, Couplings, Elbows, 45’s, or Glue and Cleaner.

For the remainder of the materials that were not included in the Kit, I visited our local Hardware Store and purchased SharkBite Brand Products. I found a couple of places that wouldn’t allow me to make connections with the elbows or crimping tool provided or the connections for the One (1) inch Manifolds to the water supply for hot and cold water. You can see below the Manifolds that I installed using Sharkbite Connectors from the Main Water Line and my Outlet to my Hot Water Heater.

Pex Manifolds for Hot and Cold water

By using the Manifolds with the four valves going to our shower, Bathroom sink, and kitchen sink I would be able to close any individual line going to an appliance without having to shut off the water at the main water source and make any necessary repairs. Another great thing that we have learned about PEX is that if it freezes it will expand to five (5) times the normal size of the tubing before it will rupture. PVC will rupture every time if not properly insulated. I would still recommend insulating PEX where possible for that added protection from freezing.

The installation of this particular kit took about two days to install considering I had other projects I was working on at the same time and my employment. Ideally, it would have been a one day project if I had worked in one day. Of Course, having a plan laid out speeds up the installation. I also had enough tubing, crimps, and elbows left over to install plumbing in another project.

Now that our Plumbing is installed, I became very impressed with this particular kit. After many searches I found this kit without having to spend my time and numerous searches locating each part that I would need.
A Complete Job-In-One Box shipped to my door!

In order to help my readers I decided to offer these PEX Plumbing Kits on my website for purchase. In case you are interested in giving them a try you can find them Here

Until Next Time – Happy Plumbing!!

Our Homestead – The Plumbing – Part I

In our planning we had to give much thought into where we wanted our water line to come into the cabin, where our bathroom shower, toilet and vanity would go, and particularly the kitchen. We built our interiors walls to allow for size and where we needed things to go. Not only for functionality but for ease in installing plumbing and drain lines. We also wanted it within a reasonable distance of our septic tank and leech field.

In August of 2017 we had a local contractor to clear the land and the same day install our new septic system. Since no public sewer exists in our area, we were required to seek approval and install a septic tank from the State.

Instead of repeating after myself, my prior Post from February will bring you up-to-date on the plumbing. You can read it Here

My wife also recently ordered this great little portable washer which should arrive in a few days. Once its here and working we will give a review and show you how we use it.

Stay Tuned for my next Post on the Electrical Installation.

Our Blog is Back, Now to Catch up!

Welcome Back!

What a long trip it’s been since my last post in February. It was my intention to keep you posted on my daily progress throughout our transition from Florida to our property in the mountains of Tennessee and our subsequent build to our Small Homestead cabin. For many reasons it just didn’t quite work out that way. It took a few weeks to adjust and get settled into our rental cabin and get organized.

I also decided before our move that I would semi retire and hopefully find something part-time to supplement our income and help pay for all this stuff. The retirement income was the easy part – The part-time gig took a little more time than I had hoped with the usual background checks, training and waiting.

Our special ordered cabin shell arrived from the factory about three (3) weeks after we arrived. We knew it would be better to take the plunge and try to live close by to finish the cabin and make it somewhat livable. We had about three (3) months to do just that! We were fortunate that great neighbors in these mountains knew somewhat of our plans and helped us find a rental cabin around the corner from the property we would call home.

While we had to balance paying rent and utilities along with funding our interior construction of our own place, we were finally able to get started. Dealing with delays from working that part-time job, the cold days, rain, and an occasional snowfall, we began with the interior framing for the master bedroom and bathroom. While cutting 2 x 4’s, measuring and nailing, my wife and I built walls that would make our rooms.

Bedroom framing begins

The Interior walls as you can see in the image are for the bathroom and entrance and the wall for the bedroom. We sourced most our materials from a local hardware/lumber supply yard. At this point we wanted to buy local and keep it local as much as we can. They have been great to work with and we ended up getting some great deals on many items that we needed. Our nearest big box stores are over an hour away from our place in the woods. It’s just not practical or economical for us, however, we did purchase some items from the Big Box store ( who i will leave nameless) that we really couldn’t get at the local store.

Once the framing was complete and we decided on our layout, the first step was installing the plumbing for our bathroom.

In my next Post I will fill you in on how the plumbing went and a few “How To’s”!