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Amazing Solar Powered Homes

One of the first things that I did when I moved into my new home was start looking into my options for solar power. I’m a big believer in reducing dependence on natural resources that are unsustainable, and one of the best ways to do that is by using natural resources that are sustainable, like sunlight. I was thrilled to have my own home that I could customize with solar power. I found that there were all kinds of options for solar power besides those big clunky solar panels. I eventually settled on solar shingles for my roof, and I’m looking into solar powered windows, too. I started this blog to share more information about solar trends with people who are as interested in sustainable energy as I am. I hope to help you understand how contractors can help with these large projects!


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Four Hidden Costs During Renovations

During a renovation, it is tough to stay on budget and finish on time. This is partly because it is difficult to plan for every contingency. Hidden costs come up for a number of reasons, one of which is failing to plan thoroughly. This particular reason, however, can be eliminated with a bit of know-how. Here are four common hidden costs that people often overlook during renovations. 

Trim and Baseboards

Windows, doors, and walls need trim and baseboards to make them look finished. You can often reuse the old trim or baseboard, but it is difficult to remove them in a way that allows you to save them. If you install the trim yourself, expect to pay between $1 and $3 per linear foot for the material. The cost will depend greatly on the type of trim and where you get it. Try online retailers for cheaper prices.

Screws, Nails, and Fasteners

Fasteners such as screws, nails, and even adhesives can creep up on you too. Screws and nails usually come in 1 pound, 5 pound, or 20 pound packs and cost between $5 and $50, depending on quantity and type of fastener. If you are installing drywall, you can estimate around 300 screws for 500 square feet. Nail prices are comparable to screws, but are used more for framing jobs. 

Grout and Thin-Set

If you are installing tile or back splash in a kitchen or bathroom, you will probably factor in the cost of the tile. What you may not estimate is the cost of the thin-set to put up the tile and the grout for the gaps. Luckily these two items don't cost too much money when compared to the tile, but it is enough to put you over budget. A good rule of thumb is to factor in 10 or 15% of the cost of the tile for thin-set mortar and grout. 

Brushes and Drop cloths

When painting, brushes, rollers, drop cloths, and other small items may be required. If you are especially good at taking care of these items, you may not need to purchase anything. But keeping them clean is a big task, so you might need a few things. Depending on the quality of brush or roller you get, replacements will cost a few dollars each. Drop cloths can vary greatly depending on the material. A professional may use a canvas drop cloth, but you can probably get away with using a cheap plastic drop cloth. 

No matter what project you are doing, try to plan out everything in your head before you start. Go through every step of each job and try to anticipate exactly what you will need, and always include an overage factor. Hopefully you can eliminate going over budget this way. Contact professionals, such as those from Git-R-Done Builders LLC, for further information.