Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Making our Homes Green As Can Be

Improving our homes making them truly our's is always an interesting subject. It is also important to consider our world by going as green as can be. Next time you make a home-improvement, think about your grandchildren and the world that they will be living in. Make your choices based on their future lives. Above, is the river across the road and our "curb appeal" front entrance that hopefully says "Welcome"

Klamath Falls, Ore./April 3, 2007/ — Homeowners are turning their attention toward improving overall energy efficiency and boosting their homes' curb appeal, according to a recent home improvement study commissioned by Jeld-Wen, a leading manufacturer of windows and doors.

The new "Perfect Home Survey" is an inside look at current homeowner attitudes toward their houses, remodeling activity, and windows and doors. Independent research firm Knowledge Wave International conducted the nationwide online study.

Managing energy costs is going to be a priority for homeowners, especially those with older homes. The survey found that nearly a quarter of respondents have windows (22.6 percent) and doors (23.6 percent) that are drafty and inefficient. Using the same percentages, roughly 13 million single-family homes in the United States are wasting energy resources. We were so excited when Home Depot finally came close to us. It used to be 100 miles away and now we have one in Crescent City, CA; which is only 25 miles from us. We plan to buy our windows a few at a time. My husband can do anything when he sees the vision (it's my job to put the vision in front of him). By next year, we should have the front windows replaced in our 1970's ranch.

Now to get him to see the vision of river rock facing on the fireplace, maybe along the front deck and ........ my mind is racing faster than he can keep up with!

That's no surprise, according to Rod Clark, a product marketing manager at Jeld-Wen, due to the fact that the average age of U.S. homes is 32 years old.

"Energy efficiency is going to be a big topic in 2007 as fuel costs continue to rise and homes continue to get older," said Clark. "Our survey shows that many homes would benefit from energy efficient windows and doors, which can save homeowners hundreds of dollars per year. Energy-efficiency technology has also come a long way since the 1970s."

According to the survey, it's likely that many homeowners will take action in 2007 to enhance the energy efficiency of their homes and take advantage of a federal tax credit for installing energy-efficient products, which expires at the end of the year. Fifty percent of respondents are aware of the tax credit, and 43.1 percent will either definitely or probably undertake projects to take advantage of the tax break before it ends. We should all take advantage of a tax credit! My son in Napa, CA, is replacing all of his windows and saved because California's tax credit for doing this. I think he said he is saving two thousand dollars! His feeling is that he cannot not do it. His home was built in the early 1980's.

Overall, 13 percent plan on upgrading windows and exterior doors in the next 12 months.
Wanted: curb appeal The survey also gauges other attitudes related to windows and doors. The study found that curb appeal is a hot topic among homeowners, and that they recognize the role that doors play in enhancing exterior appearance. More than 87 percent feel a new front door definitely or probably adds value to overall curb appeal, while slightly more than 70 percent say the same about garage doors.

Jeld-Wen discovered in the survey that most homeowners inherited their front door along with the house, and a majority says their current door does not reflect their personal style. When asked if they selected their front doors, an overwhelming 65 percent said they had not, and 58 percent said they would have chosen something different.

I found that simply giving our front door a new and interesting color did the trick. Our door went from the original white to a deep forest green that matched the new metal roof that we put on. Our home suddenly went from the 1970's ranch to the house that fits in better with the lodge, cabin woodsey look that we love.

"Owners want to be proud of how their homes look, and the survey clearly shows that front doors are a matter of personal taste," said Shane Meisel, product marketing manager at Jeld-Wen. "This finding is a great opportunity for builders and remodelers to reach out to homeowners and offer an upgraded front door that better reflects the buyer's personal style."
Other notable findings from the "Perfect Home Survey" include:

Rise of the ranch.Given a choice between eight architectural styles, 26.2 percent of respondents said ranch was the type of home in which they would most like to live. Contemporary (20 percent) was the second most popular style. Other choices, ranked in order, were Old World Mediterranean, craftsman, cottage, colonial and Victorian. Tudor was the least popular design.
Garage as most common entrance. When asked to identify which exterior door they use the most when entering the home, the garage door was the number one answer among both men (42 percent) and women (41 percent). The front door was close behind as the second-most -used entrance.

I am looking forward to improving our garage door. They do stick out for the world to see. We currently have the original very ugly fiberglass door that allows light to come in, but adds nothing to the look of the house! I can see a panel door with windows in that beautiful green of our front doors. (we have two)

Happy at home.The flurry of real estate activity driven by a hot market in the past couple of years seems to have helped homeowners land their dream homes and locations. The survey found that 79 percent of respondents currently love both their neighborhood and their house.
Making noise about noise. Noise is the number one neighborhood complaint in U.S. cities, according to the U.S. Census. The survey supports this finding as 49 percent of respondents say their home is not quiet and would benefit from sound-reducing products, including doors and windows.

If it isn't quiet enough where you live, consider the Southern Coast of Oregon! We have quiet. I lived in San Jose, CA for many years. I made my home a retreat even though it was on a busy street. English Gardens surrounded the home and somehow those gardens made the home appear to be quiet, welcoming and hidden away from the reality of where I lived. I had a green front door that confirmed that we lived in a garden, not a city.

Remodeling in 2007 While 51 percent of respondents have no plans to remodel in the next 12 months, 45 percent say they are going to change elements in their home within the same time frame. I find that small remodeling works for us. It makes me feel that forward motion of making my home belong to me. I want to reflect my love of the Pacific Northwest. A simple addition of a trellis just in the right place or a coat of paint to make the outside shed become a cabin, instead of the shed it really is, works!

The survey results also revealed a few interesting disparities between men and women when it comes to remodeling. Both genders agree that the kitchen is the one room they want to change the most; however men are almost three times as likely to want to remodel a child's room, while more women single out the master bedroom and small closets as top remodeling priorities. In addition, more than twice as many men as women say they are planning to change the garage door in the next 12 months. Yae! That makes me want to change it more!

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We blog about our rural area in the Pacific Northwest . This blog is all about my life and the places where my mind wonders from day to day. Have fun reading and looking at pictures. We welcome comments.

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We moved to our current home on the Wild River Coast of Southern Oregon from San Jose, CA. Our family consist of Jim and Karen, two dogs and two cats. Karen's passion is gardening. Jim's obsession is building electric powered fishing kayaks and fishing.