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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 Outdated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.

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”!

UNTIL TOMORROW!

Blogging…Hopefully, sometime soon again!

We sure haven’t had the opportunity to post since February as we have been busy working on our new Cabin and making it livable. Having it positioned into place, the installation of plumbing, electrical, insulation and sheetrock, we have been super busy trying to get ready. With a couple more big projects to complete ( like flooring and add ons) I should be able to resume the blog and updates very soon. You can bet we will post about our progress with pictures and show you how far along we have come. In the meantime, we have added some new shopping features to the Homestead Store so be sure to check out the great buys we have for your Homestead including our TreeTribe link. For every purchase made of those Eco Friendly products Ten trees are planted and we get a little extra for selling them. It doesn’t cost you anymore than your purchase.

Many updates are normally posted on our Facebook Page of the same name so be sure to take a look and see what we have been up to. Also be sure to visit our sister Facebook page Shed to House Conversions A to Z and join us!

Until very soon!

We Finally Made the move….and then….

Finally, the Move ——-

After many months of planning and a  few delays we finally made our move from the suburbia of the Gulf Coast of Florida to our new homestead in the mountains of Tennessee.

What a ride it has been and one of many reasons why I haven’t been able to post an update since we moved.  Now that many rainy days have come it has given me the opportunity get Up-To-Date..

During the first week of January we rented a Penske truck and loaded all of the belongings that we wanted to take with us. In our attempts to be as minimal as possible we still ended up with a truck full.  Many of our  things we donated to Salvation Army and Goodwill that we really didn’t want or just decided against taking it with us.  We did have  things that time just didn’t give us the pleasure of doing anything with or getting rid of. With those things we made the decision to deal with it later, either by trying to sell it in Tennessee or donating to worthy causes.

With over 700 miles and a full day of traveling we finally made it to our rental cabin that we would be living in while we finished our own small cabin.   Between our efforts to settle in, arranging for mail delivery, our cabin shell delivery, frigid days and snowy nights it took a couple of weeks just to get the hang of things.  Our cabin shell was finally delivered at the end of January and we immediately began buying materials and starting  on the interior construction phase of our homesteading reality.

Our Cabin is FINALLY HERE……

We finally received that call from the delivery company that our building was ready and we scheduled the delivery date.  We had hoped to have a couple of dump truck loads of gravel delivered to make the driveway more solid and wait for the wet ground to somewhat dry up.  Unfortunately, the Dump Truck broke down and they were unable to deliver it before our cabin arrived.  We could only hope that the ground would dry up enough to get it setup without any issues. It seems that is it that time of the year in Tennessee for constant rain or snowfall.. The snow really hasn’t been that much, BUT THE RAIN!

With the mud, rain, and sometimes cold it hasn’t stopped us from working inside to start on framing, plumbing and wiring.  There were days when Cheri was able to work outside clearing brush, briars, vines, and small limbs hanging in the way.

 

And Now the Work Begins….

Once the cabin arrived, Cheri and I took the time to decide how the interior floor plan would work for us.  We started with sizing a bedroom  that would fit our furniture  and knowing where receptacles and storage would need to be.  After buying the needed materials the framing began.  At the same time we would need to measure for a bathroom to accommodate a shower, sink basin, toilet, and hot water heater.

Within the first three weeks we were able to get the interior framed, PEX Plumbing installed, and receptacle and light wiring installed.  Our main water line from the water meter at the road to the cabin is about 100 feet of 3/4 inch PEX.  We had that trenched in August along with the underground power line to the cabin.  We also installed a freeze proof in- line Yard Hydrant to give us a water source outdoors. The rest of the 3/4 goes into the cabin to provide us with  water. I really like to use PEX since it’s very easy to install and normally will not freeze and burst like PVC will.  PEX will also expand if frozen without rupturing..Who really wants to cut and replace broken water pipes?

You can see the Yard Hydrant and the Supply line we have going into the cabin. I have installed Pipe insulation on the PEX line going into the cabin for added protection during cold months.

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

Once the main water line was in, the interior framing begins for the bedroom and bathroom…

Bedroom framing begins. The 2×6 above the top plate will hold the rails for the sliding barn doors to be installed later.

And, then there is the beginning of a bathroom. Where to install our fixtures and designing how to run the plumbing was fairly simple since it was more convenient and cost effective to keep the plumbing and drains to the septic tank on one side.  We also chose to install a conventional hot water heater in one corner of the bathroom. As with any small building and limited space this was the most convenient place for us. We had also purchased a Rainfall Shower Head that we wanted to use. After a little research we did learn that with most rainfall shower heads we would need a conventional hot water heater instead of an on demand wall mounted model. It seems that due to the large volumes of water with the rainfall heads, the on demand heaters cant produce enough hot water to keep up with the heads unless you decide to take quick showers.  They do make  heaters that will produce that result, however, they run into the thousands of dollars and just not in our budget to do that.

Pex Manifolds for Hot and Cold Water

In the above photo you can see two 1 inch Copper PEX Manifolds or sometimes referred to as Headers.  For Convenience, our 3/4 inch water service line ends at the lower manifold with the Blue PEX  tubing ( cold water). The flexible hot water heater tubing will supply the hot water heater. In the main supply  line ( which you can’t see) I have also installed  two 3/4″ x 1/2″ Shark Bite Tees which will supply cold water to the bathroom sink basin and a secondary supply line to the toilet.  This will save us about 50 feet of tubing for other uses.  The two downward blue tubes will supply the shower and kitchen sink. The remaining valves i have capped for future use.    The Upper Manifold will supply hot water (Red) to the shower, bathroom sink basin, and the kitchen sink. Each Manifold is equipped with shut off valves for each line.  This allows easy access in case of a leak or problem and we can easily shut off a particular line without turning off water to the entire cabin.

I also decided instead of investing alot of money into shower mixing valves, I would build my own from copper tubing and fittings, PEX barbed fittings, and standard faucet valves. I will give the details on that project in a later edition.

Main 3″ Drain line to septic tank

As in the photo above I am installing a 3 inch pvc drain line to our 1000 gallon Lowboy septic system.  I had to remove part of the sub-flooring inside the bathroom to install the fittings and line them up with the inlet at the tank.  Raising the cabin  and piping from underneath would have been a suitable option, however,  the slope for the drain line would have been too high and ended with  exposed pipe above ground. Digging a trench and lowering the pipe will create better drainage into the tank.  I need one more fitting and adapter before i glue it and attach it to the tank.  When finished almost all of the drain line will be covered.

I hope to have the plumbing finished sometime next week and work on buying a water heater to finish it and test for leaks.  Next, we will start working on the wiring and trying to get it completed.

Our Advertisements…..

It is obvious during our build that I am using PEX plumbing products.  We also have many plumbing products and kits  FOR SALE in our Homestead Store. Be sure to take a moment to  browse and find something you may be interested in buying to complete your own project. We don’t make alot of money on our sales, but we do use any proceeds to help finish ours and make our Blogs available.  Also, any purchases you make through our Amazon Affiliates links get us a little bonus from Amazon and doesn’t cost you any extra in your purchases.  Be sure to visit our Store Here  

 

Guest Post – Cool Coffee Tables for your Home

About the Author:

This post is made by Mark who has a blog called Foosball Zone. On his blog, he has many articles about foosball in light of the fact that he needs to show to individuals around him all how astounding foosball is. For some intriguing foosball articles including the foosball table and coffee table, visit his blog on this link: http://www.foosballzone.com/foosball-coffee-table/

Cool coffee tables for your home

Coffee tables should be seen as main furniture part of each living room since they are where the entire family sits together. You don’t want to have ancient coffee tables which will impress your grandparents and not your guests in your living room right? To save you from the boring and ancient coffee tables I am suggesting you new, cool designs of coffee tables which will brighten your room completely.

Paper Table

This is 100% green table and the designer, Matt Gagnon, wanted to make sure that it is good for the environment. Now, this is not the only furniture piece he has done because he has made an entire line of eco-accommodating furniture. What makes this table so special is the fact that it is made from the laser-cut reused sheet paper and it looks fascinating. The table is extremely straightforward yet stylish and you can see from the photo it has openings and cuts. Those are really stockpiling for magazines which is pretty impressive.

Paper Table

 

 

Foosball coffee table

This end table has two purposes, it is a coffee table yet it is likewise a foosball table. A table may not end in a living room, especially if your wife is the designer, but it is a perfect piece for a man cave.  Produced using hardwood, the table has playing surface, poles, and safety glass over the field. It is an extraordinary table for foosers and it additionally has a storage room in the base region.

Chicago Gaming Table

Alburni Coffee Tables

The tables make a special connection between nature and building. As should be obvious from the photo, the table best is really a cross-segment of a real wood and the legs are made of steel. With this table, you have a piece of nature in your room, a section that fits flawlessly in the present day, eco-accommodating encompassing.

Alburni Coffee Tables

Concrete Coffee Table

Concrete is getting increasingly famous in furniture industry which makes this table a standout amongst the most needed pieces of lounge rooms. The table doesn’t have legs and it would appear that 3 solid sheets, however, it isn’t produced using concrete. As should be obvious from the plan, the table has much room for things on its 3 levels. That implies you can sort out remote controls, magazines, books, and mugs on the table and you will still have space for things on it.

Concrete or Slate Coffee Table

 

 

Stone Coffee Table

It doesn’t make a difference whether we are discussing marble, rock or some other sort, stone tables look stunning without fail. Today I have picked a roundabout stone table made with incredible steel legs which transform the table into a mechanical piece. A round stone is straightforward yet silver metal legs are in charge of the “bling” factor. The table best is produced using common stone which gives it enhancement in your living room.

Stone Coffee Table

Our progress and our Christmas Wishes — Thank you!

In lieu of our monthly homesteading update in the “How To” Department, I really wanted to share with you where we are and what we are up to these days –

Our goal for almost two years now is to find our land and begin work on our homestead and cabin. As we shared earlier this year, we finally found that place in the Cumberland Plateau of Middle Tennessee surrounded by nature and mountains. Over this past summer we had our land cleared, along with water, septic, and electrical installed.

We finally decided to take the plunge, rent a neighboring cabin for a few short months and work on our cabin….My wife has been working at a steady pace boxing up the things we want to take and leaving behind things we really don’t have room for.  Afterall, we are downsizing from a little over 2000 square feet to less than 600 square feet when it’s done.

For our family, our upcoming move in the next couple of weeks will make it so much easier to have the ability to work on our cabin and move in as soon as we can.  It’s just not possible while still living in Florida.  Shortly after our arrival at the rental we will begin the process of having the cabin shell delivered and start to work…..We plan to keep you updated as our work-in-progress continues  over the next few months.

On this quiet Christmas eve- eve,  Cheri and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for following both our blogs and hope you will continue to do so in the coming year…Once she has some time in her busy schedule she will update you at her Blog here

In the meantime please feel free to visit my Homesteading Store and make a purchase. While we don’t make much of a profit, any proceeds keeps our Blogs running and helps us with our Homestead needs.

Until later, We Wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous 2018.

Slow Moving but new things…

It seems like an eternity since my last post.  At times things seem to slow down and not move as fast as anyone would like.  With my line of business and in Florida, my work has rolled into our annual busy season. That’s the reason I haven’t been able to post as I should, or, would like to.  Work has just been keeping me busy!

In the near future, I plan to retire from my current business and began work with my wife on our future homestead.  We made the decision to move near our Property and rent a cabin from one of our future neighbors. As remote as the property is, we knew it would be a good idea to live close and pace ourselves to complete our cabin.  We are hoping for a smooth transition now that we have a septic tank, water, and electric service in place.

While we have also been planning our move.. we setup a Homesteading Store on the Blog. You can find some exciting Homestead items Here

Be sure to check out our Line of Mini-Split Systems or PEX plumbing supplies and Kits for Cabins and Tiny Houses.  Any and All profits will be used to maintain the Blogs and helps us to finish our cabin.

And, The Big Sky Saga continues…..Our Latest Homestead Adventure

Sometimes, crazy things get in the way and slow you down. Over the past couple of months we have experienced just that! Our goal has been to continue our dream of having our own little private place to call home in the mountains of Tennessee. We gave you the lowdown on our progress to get our land cleared and the septic tank installed. I had hoped (before now) to give you the latest on our water line and electric install, but, crazy things just get in the way.

While we were busy planning to move right along and hopefully have a home in place, that was not to be. We applied for the water meter installation at our local water utility and were met with little resistance on that end. The ELECTRIC was a completely different story. When we applied for electric service with the local Member owned electric co-op, we were informed that we needed to obtain easements from the adjoining property owners nearby. The end of line electric pole was on a neighbors right of way thus we needed to get his written permission for the electric company to install a separate pole on his property and to run the power line from his existing pole. While he initially agreed to give us an easement, we had to wait almost 90 days to FINALLY receive it.

Needless to say, and with some frustration on our part, we were forced to seek some legal intervention and a close look at the Electric Co-Op Bylaws. While an Attorney was busy trying to convince the neighbor to sign an easement, we found a section of the Bylaw which gives any new members automatic easement for themselves and any others wanting electric service. It took a phone call to the Electric Co-Op Attorney and even more to the Co-Op Management to finally get some much-needed progress. While they decided that we made our point, approval was finally taking place.

A ninety day delay really put us behind schedule in making some effort to move forward. In August we were finally able to make a return trip to our property and finish the utilities. It turned out to be an all-out effort to coordinate our contractors to finish up. We were able to get Tucker Farms LLC back to dig trenches for the underground Electric line from the pole to our pedestal and a water line from our water meter. We were also able to hire David Garrett, an electrician in Livingston Tennessee to install our electric service. I would happily provide you with some contact information but he doesn’t do email or websites.
I do have a phone number if interested! He and his crew do great work and are dependable and affordable.

Electric Pedestal Installed

Our Electric Company was able to come out that same morning and install the electric line through a 100 foot trench to our service pedestal in a trench of 30 inches deep and 18 inches wide. This is required in many areas per electric code and cannot be within the same trench as any other utility line such as water or sewer.

In a separate trench for our water line I decided to use underground 3/4 inch PEX tubing. PEX is so easy to work with and is great for colder climates. Unlike PVC piping, PEX will expand about five times its size if frozen without breaking. We buried it at 24 inches deep which is well below the freeze line for our area. During the water line install we placed a 3/4 inch Freeze-proof Yard Hydrant ( for outside watering needs) from our local Big Box Store. I also added a brass T and extended the PEX another 10 feet to allow for our cabin water supply and plumbing needs. Using SharkBite fittings is the way to go with plumbing these days. By the way, my wife and I got a great deal on that 300 Feet of PEX tubing.

PEX Water Line Install

After most of the day working at our property we were finally able to install our water line and turn on the water from our meter!

Running Water Finally!

We were happy that the electric and water line were both installed that day even if it took us a frustrating three months to get there. But, It doesn’t end there!

When we were just about ready to order our cabin and begin the work to be able to live in it, Hurricane Irma decided to pay us a visit in Florida. We had been following the forecasts for several days and it certainly looked like she would be a monster storm. We decided that our better option would be to evacuate out of the storm’s path and hope for the best. We had no idea what we would return to once it was over. Besides taking the essential clothing and bare necessities, we also packed up laptops, computers, and recently purchased products for our new homestead. We didn’t want to lose that too!

When it was over we came back to a partially downed fence and our tree across the neighbor’s roof. Fortunately, there was no significant damage and we were spared from much worse than we thought! It cost us from what we call our “Tennessee Fund” to remove the tree and evacuate two states north.

In the meantime, while trying to recoup and obligations of work, I was able to update our Homestead Store with some new and exciting products. We hope that you will take a look Homesteading Store and make a purchase from us. While we don’t make a lot of money on it all profits go towards our Blog Hosting and future Homestead in our Mountains of Tennessee! If you have any questions about our Products feel free to ask.

Until Next time!!

Our Latest Blog Delay and a New Homesteading Store

It seems that much has been happening that delayed our posting of our latest trip to our Property in Tennessee. Fortunately, we were able to get the utilities installed after some “glitches” were resolved. I’ll explain that one later! BUT, we do have a brand new “Homesteading Store” carrying Tanked and Tankless Water Heaters, Heating and Air Mini Split systems, and assorted PEX plumbing products and kits for your Tiny House, Cabin, or Homestead. Be sure to visit our Homesteading Store for your product needs.

See you soon with the latest in Tennessee