Concrete is considered a highly useful construction material
, but some homeowners may have reservations when using it for a floor. Concrete floors have some limitations, but they also have many benefits that make them suitable for use in even high-end residential construction applications. Here is some background information on concrete floor installation and why you might want to choose this option:
- Concrete is very versatile: Concrete floors can be poured to accommodate almost any physical shape or size.
- Concrete is durable: The general strength of concrete makes it a good choice for long-term strength and durability.
- Concrete can be sustainable: Adding fly ash to concrete makes it a more sustainable choice for floors in a residential setting.
- Concrete can be colored: Colorants can be added to concrete to make multiple hues that complement indoor environments.
- Concrete coatings and sealants should have low VOCs: The waterproof coatings and sealants for a concrete floor should have low amounts of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, that can create unpleasant fumes and odors.
- Concrete improves indoor air quality: Concrete floors help improve indoor air quality because they minimize dust and do not have environments where moisture can accumulate and lead to problems such as mold growth.
- Concrete is relatively easy to maintain: Maintenance and cleaning practices should be designed to ensure no abrasion, scratching, or etching of concrete floors to attain long-term durability and performance.
- Concrete is relatively inexpensive: Concrete floors can cost from $2 to $30 per square foot, depending on quality and other characteristics.
Looking for a general contractor in Newton, MA? Sage Builders LLC
provides professional design/build and renovation services for residential customers throughout New England. Contact us today for more information on concrete floor installation and for help deciding if a concrete floor is the right choice for your home.
Your kitchen is one of the most energy-intensive areas of your home. Cooking stoves, ovens, appliances, kitchen gadgets, refrigerators, dishwashers–all of these devices consume significant amounts of energy and increase your monthly expenses. Green kitchen renovations
can help reduce these expenditures while creating a kitchen environment that is pleasant, effective, and productive.
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- Use energy-efficient appliances: Where possible, replace your existing kitchen appliances with energy-efficient models. These high-efficiency devices will significantly reduce the amount of energy used while still providing top-quality functionality. Look for Energy Star-certified appliances. Check EnergyGuide labels or other sources of information for detailed data on energy use and efficiency.
- Use efficient lighting: Install high-efficiency lighting systems for your kitchen. These can include LED lighting systems or other lighting designed to use less energy. Replace standard incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs.
- Use sustainable materials: Install sustainable kitchen cabinets built from wood or wood products from manufacturers that use certified sustainable forest management practices. The Forest Stewardship Council, for example, provides such certifications. Use green countertop material, such as recycled countertops, cement, recycled paper, recycled glass, and other reclaimed and sustainable material. Put in kitchen flooring of cork or other coverings made of sustainable materials.
- Apply active recycling: Take steps to make recycling an active and integral part of your kitchen activities. For example, install lower cabinets with pull-out recyling bins that are easy to access and use. Teach children how to recycle and what materials should be recycled and what should be thrown away.
is a general contractor in Newton, MA that works with residential design, construction, and renovation customers throughout all of New England. Contact us today for more information on green kitchen renovations and how a green kitchen can provide an excellent cooking facility while saving energy and money.
When a homeowner wants to keep sunlight out of the house, the traditional solution has been to pull the drapes or close the blinds. An amazing new eco-friendly home technology has the potential to eliminate the need for drapes and blinds
while providing the ability to keep out almost all sunlight and associated heat. Here is a brief introduction to smart glass and how it can be used in residential settings:
What is Smart Glass?
Smart glass is a new technology that offers users the ability to make window glass
darker or lighter as desired. It uses a specially designed insert or coating that grows darker when low-level electrical power is applied to it. When electrical power is turned off, the glass brightens and lets sunlight in. Depending on the amount of electricity applied, smart glass can also blur, become completely opaque, or darken slowly.
Smart Glass Applications
Depending on the type of smart glass
in use, it can block heat, sunlight, or both. This means that smart glass can prevent heat gain inside your home, which will reduce cooling costs and reduce wear on your cooling system. In the winter, you can have as much heat gain as you want to boost indoor heating.
The amount of electricity needed to power smart glass is minimal, usually much less than that required to power a single light bulb.
Smart glass has been more common in commercial applications, largely because of its cost, but it is gradually making its way into residential use.
Sage Builders LLC
is a general contractor in Newton, MA, providing top-quality residential design, construction, and renovation services for customers in and around Boston. Contact us today for more information on smart glass and other eco-friendly home technology that can reduce your energy use and monthly costs.
For residential construction or renovation projects, the ideal choice is often a material that combines toughness and durability with good visual appeal and green characteristics
. Fiber-cement siding is an outstanding option that provides all the benefits of eco-friendly home siding with the features that make it a good choice for long-term use.
is made from just a few materials:
- Wood pulp
- Fly Ash or silica sand
Water is used to dissolve the wood pulp and activate the cement. The wood pulp helps make the siding flexible and resilient, while the fly ash or sand serves as a filler. The cement holds all the ingredients together.
Benefits of Fiber-Cement Siding
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- Appealing finishes: Fiber-cement siding can provide multiple visual finishes that mimic wood, brick, and stone. It is a good alternative to painted wood clapboards or shingles as a siding.
- Resistance to the elements: Fiber-cement siding is very tough and resistant to effects of the elements. Rain, snow, heat, cold, dryness, moisture–fiber-cement siding can withstand them all with minimal effects.
- Resistance to rot and insects: Since this type of siding contains significant amounts of cement, it won’t rot like wood or be susceptible to damage from insects.
- Low maintenance needs: Fiber-cement siding is easy to maintain, requiring occasional spraying to remove dirt and other material. Any caulked joints or connections should be checked and upgraded every few years.
- Long-lasting: This type of siding will typically last 25 years or longer, often up to the lifetime of the house.
, a general contractor in Newton, MA, is a premier provider of design-build, construction, renovation, and associated consulting services in Boston and the surrounding New England communities. Contact us today for more information on eco-friendly home siding and how fiber-cement siding can meet your requirements.