Mariam Ellman, a senior scientist with the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) says, “People have a knee jerk reaction, when first spotting an [insect] pest. Often, they reach for the poison, without considering the fallout.” Since the end of World War II, common household insecticides have grown into a one billion dollar plus annual business. There are poisons on the market to control everything from ants, to bees, all the way down to termites. Though, in recent years, we’ve learned that not only are insecticides dangerous for a home’s occupants, (the average American has 43 different poisons in their bloodstream, according to NRDC) they often aren’t as effective as previously thought. (more…)
In 2010, Builder magazine set-out to design and build, the home for the new economy. They recognized that economic changes within the U.S., had led to disinterest in McMansions and monstrous homes, that were both expensive to build, and to maintain. They also realized that the building industry was undergoing a shift toward green, energy efficient designs, along with environmentally friendly building. Both people building their first home, on up to those building a vacation getaway, were interested in smaller, versatile spaces. These were homes where each room maximized multiple potentials, and could be easily changed and repurposed. (more…)
Often air quality is overlooked, as long as the temperature and humidity of indoor air remains comfortable and consistent. The reality is that indoor air quality is complex, and it varies from location to location, and even home to home. Within a home, a host of complex systems are available to ensure air quality is safe, and within acceptable parameters. Air quality changes with the seasons, as humidity drops in winter months, and pollen increases in spring, summer and fall. (more…)
For most of us the roof is an afterthought — at least until it starts to leak. Then we realize how critical that surface of our house’s exterior really is. Yet, as well as keeping the house dry, the roof contributes greatly to the look of the house, so when building a new house, adding on, or re-roofing, it may pay to consider the options. Right now there are more options in the marketplace than ever, so choosing one is tough. At HomeWorks, we often complete multiple roofing projects per year and sometimes use different products on each one. The choices range from asphalt shingles to wood shakes and clay tiles, from steel panels to rubber lookalike slate. The most important trend to note, however, is that as with home-construction materials in general, there is an increasing move towards engineered roofing materials. This change is being driven by a few different factors. One is simply the high cost of wood. The second is that in many cases, codes now mandate the use of fireproof construction materials. And third, people understandably want to build with materials that not only look good but also are very long-lived. (more…)
Due to elevation (roughly 2,600 ft.) Deep Creek Lake’s weather is notoriously hard to predict. Many of our clients are always looking for accurate, real-time weather data about the area. This information is used to plan visits and decide what activities to take part in, while visiting Deep Creek Lake. In order to offer our clients (and the general public) the best on the ground weather data, HomeWorks recently installed a Bloomsky weather station at our office. Our office is located within the Lake Residential area, and using our location the Bloomsky can calculate current data, and predict the future forecast based on recorded trends, and up to the minutes changes in pressure, temperature, humidity and ultraviolet light penetration. (more…)
A power outage that lasts a few hours is often nothing more than an inconvenience, requiring some flashlights and a little patience. But when a major storm knocks out electricity for days, life without a generator can become real bleak, real fast. Food spoils, mold grows, and basements prone to flooding are robbed of their working sump pump and begin to take on water. Extended power outages in the winter can be even more dangerous. Plummeting temperatures and a home without heat can be a deadly combination, especially to the oldest and youngest residents in the home. In these situations, a backup power solution can literally be a lifesaver. (more…)
You’re getting ready to leave your house to run errands. As you walk down the hall, the lights automatically dim. The fan whirling slowly above your head comes to a stop, and a camera notices you approaching the door and begins arming your alarm. As you leave the house, the door locks behind you and the lights dim, eventually turning off. That night, as it approaches 10:00 p.m., your mattress pad starts cooling down to 70 degrees, because it knows that soon you’ll be going to sleep. When you’re away, a camera within your home updates you via iPhone anytime there is motion in the house. It won’t bother you if it’s just your wife, kids or family dog moving around, since it uses facial recognition software to remember them. This level of automated living is available today, all part of the growing list of consumer products that fall under the “smart home” category. Ranging from thermostats that automatically adjust a home’s temperature based on outdoor conditions, or allow users to log in remotely and make manual changes, on up to security systems that recognize a home’s occupants and make on the fly decisions about when to arm and disarm a system, or to notify police and rescue. Future apps the use the Apple watch’s ability to measure heart rate have been considered, capable of alerting your alarm system in the event your heart rate goes way outside normal parameters. In the event of a heart attack, your home could automatically notify rescue personnel the minute your watch realizes something is wrong.
Setting out to create a smart home can be daunting. There are a myriad of products, from light bulbs to air conditioners. One thing that all smart home products have in common is that they use your home’s wi-fi internet to communicate with each other and you. By accessing the internet they have a direct line of communication, right up to your personal smart phone. So where to start when setting up a smart home, and what considerations can greatly affect how a smart home functions? (more…)
Planning For Rebuilding –
Adding Energy Efficiency
Building Shell Issues
Rebuilding a flooded house can be very expensive, so it is important to understand which items you must replace, which items you can salvage, and seek help managing and planning for the multitude of contractors needed to put your home back together.
First, you need to estimate your building construction and technical skills and determine what type of contractors you will need. This is where a service such as ours, can manage the entire renovation effort for you, organizing and aiding the entire scope of repairs.
Second, you need to collect information on the extent of damage, how you would like to rebuild, and your financial resources. Rebuilding is an opportunity for homeowners not only to rebuild, but to upgrade their houses in the process. (more…)
During winter around Deep Creek Lake, ice damming is a common problem that allows water to infiltrate the home. In winter, pipes can burst, flooding the home and any number of potential scenarios can lead to water infiltration. In the event that a large quantity of water unexpectedly enters your home, water clean-up is an important process that can effect the long-term quality of life your home can provide. For many reasons, it’s best left to professionals.
Water cleanup is one of the most important aspects of water damage in your home that you must deal with after a fire or flood. If you fail to address water cleanup immediately, mold and mildew can begin growing in your home within 24 hours of a flood or fire, and this can further damage your home and result in serious health issues for you and your family. When dealing with water cleanup, you should always contact a professional restoration company to handle the cleaning, repair, and restoration process for you, as this ensures the safety of you, your family, and your home. To fully understand why water cleanup is so important after a fire or flood, it can be helpful to know the extent of the damage water can cause to your home. (more…)
But don’t run to Home Depot just yet.
Whether you’re looking to spruce up your abode for personal satisfaction—or to up your home’s value for selling—we tapped two renovation experts to weigh in on just how worth it six common springtime improvement projects are, given their typically hefty price tags.
As it turns out, many of them aren’t worth the investment or headache—and in some cases, you can get the same effect by shelling out a lot less with these alternative renovation hacks. (more…)