Category Archives: Home Improvement

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Artificial Turf Is The New Green Landscaping

Artificial turf isn’t just for mini golf and football stadiums anymore! It has become the go-to product for homeowners suffering through drought or trying to reduce their water consumption. Tanner Shepard, owner of LawnPop, an Austin, TX turf installation company, says that their brand has been growing at a rapid pace. “Synthetic grass was a…

Analyzing Exterior Deck Options

When asked what is a highly desired feature outside of the house, a good number of people will first select an exterior deck or porch. Here’s why: if done well, it makes an inviting place to visit with family or friends to enjoy summer cookouts, or simply as a great place to sit back, relax,…

Building Materials, Fossil Fuels’ Ugly Cousin

We still live in a time when we do plenty things that are very harmful to our planet. It seems we’re all aware that fossil fuels like oil and coal create a considerable portion of our greenhouse gas pollution. But many people don’t understand that we also do a lot of harm to our planet with…

Cellular Shades Offer Shade and Save Money, Too

Cellular shades

If you are looking to save money on your electric bill this year, cellular window shades can help insulate your home from high air conditioning and heating costs through all the seasons. Chris Lavertu, owner of San Diego Window Fashions states, “With cellular shades you will get a very attractive design that will look great…

A House Fire Cut One Family’s Energy Bills in Half

When an electrical fire struck their home in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, Keith and Jan Giezentanner never expected the repairs they made afterwards would save them over $1000 a year on their heating and energy bills! But, with the help of Garfield Clean Energy, they were able to learn about modern, energy efficient windows and doors and…

Light Bandit Brings Daylight to any Room in the House

Light Bandit

For those of us who are deep in the dark of winter, this is a great time to think about bringing sunlight into our homes.  The Light Bandit allows sunlight to be directed fiber-optically to any room in the house – even one with no windows! Like the luminous ceiling we covered back in 2010,…

State of the Art Cathouse Benefits Local Pet Charity

cat house

When you hear the word “cathouse”, you may or may not be thinking of well-designed, architecturally significant little shacks for your fluffy feline friends. That’s exactly what these are, however, and even though they don’t fit, 100%, into GBE’s stated mission of delivering the latest in “green”, passive, and sustainable architecture/home-improvement projects, these little cathouses…

Behold: the 100% Maintenance Free House

An experimental maintenance free house built in Denmark is exploring ways to eliminate one of the single biggest obstacles to home ownership: upkeep. Designed collaboratively by RealDaniaBYG and Arkitema Architects, the dwelling is patterned after a traditional Viking longhouse and features almost 1700 square feet of interior living space. The designers anticipate the house will need no…

Turning Old Beer Cans into a Shiny New Roof

Whether you’re building a backyard chicken coop or a DIY storage shed, you’ll want a roof that keeps your stuff out of the elements and that looks good, too. If you’re lucky, that new roof would even be made of something that was cheap and readily available. Even better: that new roof could be made…

Using Science to Get the Most Out of New Windows

Australia’s Sustainable Window Alliance (SWA) is using science to measure the properties of energy efficient windows for residential applications. The groups says that while windows represent only 8% of a home’s exterior surface, they can account for up to 60% of unwanted heat loss in winter and 91% of unwanted heat gain in summer … and that…

Indow Window Inserts Keep Heat In, Drafts Out

Sam Pardue, a former engineer at Intel, owns a 1906 Craftsman home in Portland, Oregon. “It has beautiful divided-light windows, with rippling glass,” says Pardue. “But I’m an environmentalist, and wanted energy efficiency at the same time.” To make his home more energy efficient while preserving the natural beauty of his original windows, he skipped installing…

Making an Existing Home More Energy Efficient

Matthew and Sue Seip recently purchased a house in Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania to be near family members who live in the Philadelphia area. Sue Seip, a professor at Philadelphia University, specializes in interior design, and Matt Seip has an architecture degree, so “we are very green-conscious, so to speak, and are both LEED-certified professionals,” she said. “Green building is…

An Energy Efficient Home Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive

make your home more energy efficient

40% of all the energy consumed in America every year is used for heating or cooling homes and commercial buildings. Modern insulation, fiberglass composite windows and draft reducing doors combined with passive solar design and the use of solar panels could cut that energy usage in half. So why aren’t more people insisting on higher energy…

Window Sweat: What Wet Windows Are Trying to Tell You

Condensation on the inside of your windows during the winter may indicate that you should look at upgrading your windows. More likely, however, water on the inside of your windows is a symptom of a completely different problem with your home.