Choose One Of The Kitchen Remodeling Contractors Up To Date On Energy Efficiency

So, you’re excited about remodeling and updating your kitchen. Congratulations! Using one of the top kitchen remodeling contractors to complete a kitchen remodel can be one of the most gratifying investments in your home. At the same time, it offers potential energy savings that can really add up over time. Finally, a kitchen remodel is one of the top-rated home improvement projects for ‘return on investment’ (ROI). That is, a large portion of the cost can often be recovered at a later time when the house is sold.

New appliances are often a part of the effort to update a kitchen. The good news is that major gains in energy efficiency are now possible with contemporary kitchen appliances.

Refrigeration

The first and most obvious place to look for savings is the refrigerator. This is one appliance that operates 24/7. Both energy waste and efficiency quickly multiply.

At the federal government’s Energy Star website, one can quickly estimate annual energy savings generated by the replacement or removal of a refrigerator and/or freezer. Estimates are even more accurate if you take a moment to check the cost per kilowatt hour that your local utility charges for electricity. This figure is easily found on your monthly utility bill.

The potential savings can be persuasive. For example, the replacement of a twenty year-old, 22 cu ft refrigerator/freezer with an new Energy Star-rated replacement can save over $500 over five years. That’s based on a national average cost of $0.11 per kilowatt hour for electricity.

The Edison Energy Institute (EEI) advises improving your savings over time by vacuuming the compressor coils every three months or so. Avoid storing open liquids in the refrigerator. Let heated foods cool off before refrigerating them.

Maintain a temperature of 37-40 degrees F in the refrigerator and 5 degrees F in the freezer. Don’t overfill the refrigerator to the point that air cannot properly circulate.

Cooking

Although cooking with a stove or oven is an infrequent activity, energy use adds up because cooking is much more energy-intensive than cooling. Annually, such an appliance can require a third to a half of the energy required by the refrigerator. Today, cooking by convection, induction, or light energy can inject new levels of energy efficiency into the kitchen.

In a convection oven, a fan circulates hot air to speed cooking time by about a third. Induction cooking utilizes magnetic friction to transmit heat through a stove’s coils to the pots and pans. The stove’s ceramic surface stays cool while the food gets hot. Cooking via induction is very energy efficient. Finally, light energy ovens combine microwave technology with tungsten/halogen lamps to offer energy savings as high as 66-75 percent, according to the EEI. The introduction of the right cooking technology into your new kitchen can save hundreds of dollars over a five-year period.

Please Contact Us

At B & R Construction, we specialize in doing kitchen remodels with integrity, creativity, and an eye toward long-term value. For personalized and expert assistance, please contact us.

Kitchen And Home Improvement Ideas Include Creative Use Of LEDs

When looking at kitchen remodeling contractors in LA, consider one that can work with you to achieve both stylish and energy efficient results. Popular kitchen design trends in 2013 range from retro to modernistic, and from art deco to classic. Innovations in LED lighting can help one to carry out a creative vision while simultaneously cutting electricity costs.

Kitchens can get warm, and LEDs virtually eliminate the heat typically generated by halogens, incandescents, and fluorescents. Dimmable LED lights can be brightened for food preparation and then later dimmed for mood. LED rope and/or tape lights offer beautiful accent lighting under cabinets, behind crown moldings, and in coves. Such lighting is offered in cool whites, warm whites, and in many colors. It can therefore be readily integrated into almost any design concept from vintage to ultra-modern.

LED light patterns can be extremely varied. Light can be broadly and evenly dispersed when desired. Such light will typically be less ‘spotty’ than that which it replaces. This feature is particularly welcome in kitchens, where detailed activities benefit from even lighting. At the same time, spot and accent lighting can be focused exactly where it is wanted. One can essentially ‘paint with light.’

Energy costs have steadily risen in southern California since the start of the 21st century, and LEDs perfectly address this issue. A conversion to LED lighting can reduce energy costs by 50-90 percent. In fact, Southern California Edison (SCE) cites energy savings as high as 98 percent compared to some incandescents. SCE also sees other LED advantages.  Tungsten and glass are not required because there is no filament. Toxic elements like mercury and lead are not present.

At B & R Construction, we are very active in all types of home improvement. As a result, we can offer our clients the latest in creative and energy-saving ideas. Please contact us today.

Home Remodeling That Will Enable You To “Age In Place”

As our population continues to age and reach retirement, more families are considering the best way to find a beneficial lifestyle that works for everyone involved.  For many this can mean a skilled nursing facility if there are health concerns and for others a retirement community may be the best choice.

There is another alternative arrangement that is fast gaining in popularity as it can be a great option for the independent senior who is happiest in their current home.  By making some home remodeling improvements with safety and mobility in mind, it is possible for anyone to “age in place”.

The Best Floor Plan

Ideally, the family can sit down together and discuss the necessary projects and those that can be consider a “wish list” item.  You can draw a floor plan or just make notes about where you need to make changes. Don’t forget to consider which materials you want to use in your remodel plan.

Kitchen Focus

This is commonly an important area in which to focus on safety and upgrades.  Keep in mind the possibility of mobility problems in the future and make sure the kitchen area is open enough to accommodate wheelchair access and counters are low enough to be functional.  Think about cabinet height and even something as simple as specialized drawer pulls for arthritic fingers.

Bathroom Focus

Safety is the No. 1 priority for the “age in place” bathroom.  Today the options for shower and bath accessibility are many and often very stylish.  A bathroom on the main floor of the living space can be one of the best investments you can make for the senior.  In the shower area grab bars are a prerequisite and a bench can be an important convenience.

These are just a few of the areas to think about, the National Association of Home Builders has a comprehensive remodeling checklist to reference in order to help you with your design.  The upgrades you make, when done with an eye toward style, can mean a great boost to home values as the accessibility can be appreciated no matter what the age.

We would love the opportunity to discuss your plan and the ways we can work to make your vision a reality.  Contact us today and let’s get started!

Reputable Home Remodeling in the Los Angeles Area

Fly-by-night scam artists posing as legitimate builders or remodelers have been plaguing the Los Angeles area for years. They will approach a homeowner with unsolicited offers of work at bargain prices, but as soon as they have the victim’s cash, they will literally take the money and run, leaving behind shoddy, incomplete work.

The National Association of Home Builders has publicized these warning signs that someone offering you quick, cheap work may be a scam artist:

  • He insists that a contract is unnecessary because he trusts you.
  • He asks to be paid for the entire job up front, or in cash, since you’re getting such a bargain with his services.
  • He makes insinuations or threats–“You never can tell what may happen to your roof if you don’t let me fix it today.”
  • He tells you that your home has been chosen as a demo project, which explains the very low price you’re paying for the work.
  • He insists the special low price is good only for today.
  • Whatever references he gives you can’t be checked.
  • His business address is a mailbox or a blind.

Since opening shop in 1989, B&R Construction, Inc., has built a reputation for honesty and craftsmanship in our home remodeling construction services throughout the greater Los Angeles area. We are licensed and bonded, and carry liability insurance and workman’s compensation. Furthermore, we have a long line of satisfied customers.  One recent customer said:

“Roberto was always on top of things and when any questions arose he took care of them immediately if not sooner. He is truly a jewel and if I were to go back into business he would be my first employee. . . .  If we ever need some work done in the future, and you know my wife, you will certainly be the ones we call. Without exception. Thank you Thank you Thank you!”

If you have a home remodeling project in mind, please contact us for a free estimate today.