"Homeowners struggling to cool their homes on a budget should consider turning off lights and electronics when not needed. Seldom-used home electronics should be unplugged from the wall or shut off with a power strip, as items like DVD players and VCR's use 40 percent of their energy while in the "off" position to power functions like clocks and remote controls.
A Energy Star qualified programmable thermostat allows homeowners to automatically adjust to a more comfortable temperature while at home. While away, the temperature can be set to use less cooling energy. For each degree an air conditioner is turned up from 72 degrees, a homeowner can save 3 percent on energy costs."
Taken from New York Energy Research and Development Authority
Lofts became popular with the trend to reclaim industrial spaces for residential use. It's very cool to be downtown where all the action is, but you'll pay a premium for walking access to restaurants and clubs.
The ones who make out the best on lofts are the developers. "Yeah, we could've given you a private bedroom, but by hanging your bedroom over your living area, we were able to sell more units and make more money."
Living like you're crammed into overpopulated cities like New York and Hong Kong is one thing, but if you're in Dallas, San Diego, or somewhere with room to spread out, you'll definitely overpay for this kind of urban renewal.
Magazines like Elle Décor celebrate the concept of minimalism - a few well-curated pieces of furniture, accessories and art that show off clean architectural lines. These homes may look great in theory, but aren't necessarily user-friendly.
Imagine Fisher-Price plastic toys spread out all over your Mies van der Rohe concrete floors, or peanut butter and jelly fingerprints on the wall of glass in your living room.
No place to play, no collections, nothing on the tabletops? Are you really that OCD? Sounds more like the lobby of a commercial building than a home.
Interior designers are dying to break our addiction to granite, but unless you're in a Los Angeles or New York City, you shouldn't pay extra for quartz, resin, concrete or stainless countertops. Why?
Granite may be made of stone, but it has an elegance and warmth that can't be achieved with concrete or stainless. If you want to get edgy, try granite on the main countertops and an alternative product like stainless on the island.
Moroccan prints and gourd lamps
In the 1960s, bamboo-trellis wallpaper and parquet-patterned floors were the rage. Now we're being inundated with variations on the Moroccan trellis on walls, upholstery, and rugs. The patterns are pleasant and colorful, but they're suddenly everywhere you look.
A close second in things that are now being overdone and oversold are gourd lamps. The lamps we're talking about aren't really made of gourds, they just echo the rounded shapes of gourds. The problem with them is that you could pay a lot for these lamps that are now being knocked off for pennies and that just shows their moment is already over.
HGTV Budget Decorating
When you start out on a budget, resources like HGTV are fantastic. You get great ideas, but if you follow too much of their advice, your home is going to look more like a loud daycare center than a home. HGTV can go a little over the top with too many bright colors, flea market bargains, and do-it-yourself projects that you're bound to screw up.
Do you really have the time to paint stripes on your walls or renovate an old cabinet with ombre drawers? And wasn't ombre over two years ago?
Fifty shades of grey
Neutrals like beiges, whites and greys are necessary in decorating, because they're relaxing and easy to decorate around. For example, you can dress up a neutral couch with orange or hot pink or turquoise pillows.
Grey is the current go-to neutral, but it's like the metallics of the disco era, a little on the cold side. Grey is an industrial business-like color that's difficult to soften. While it looks newer than beige and it's less glaring than white, that doesn't mean it's the right neutral for your home. If you're going to use grey, make sure you warm it up with accents like yellow, orange and golden or red woods.
We'll leave you with this thought. Anything that's a trend now is going to be dated later. If you like trends, that's fine, but just know that change is always in the wind.
End of Article
Advice from Susan Young: You just never know when that old lava lamp might come back in style so I wouldn't send it to the flea market quite yet. But you might want to keep it in the closet for now if you're getting ready to sell your home.
It is easy for homeowners to get caught up in the world of do-it-yourself blogs and Pinterest. While unique, custom projects can be a great way to personalize or spruce up your home, some projects are just better left to professional contractors. Next time a friend or client has a brilliant idea to attempt one of these projects on their own, let them know why some things are best when left in the hands of pros!
2. Pool Repair or Installation
Both above and in-ground pools are difficult to repair without special tools and products. While simple projects around the pool are fine to do yourself, repairing cracks in the foundation or re-modeling your pool is something that a professional is better equipped for. The same goes for pool installation. You may think that you are saving money by installing a swimming pool by yourself, but installing a vinyl or fiberglass pool is a very big job.
4. Removing a Wall
It may seem like a great idea to knock down a small wall on a rainy weekend at your home, but it is not as easy as it appears. Who hasn't thought about knocking down that kitchen wall to create a bigger living room space????? If any wall is load-bearing or supports any part of the house, or it holds electrical or plumbing, you could cause serious damage to the structure of your home.
Popular Mechanics( should be underlined) recommends consulting with a building engineer before attempting to knock down a wall. A building engineer can give you advice on the best way to remove the wall and let you know if any special permits are needed. If you are going to try it yourself be sure to go through this checklist http://www.wikihow.com/Tell-if-a-Wall-is-Load-Bearing
I would be happy to recommend professionals to do any of these jobs in the Lake George area.
The lake was originally named the Andia-ta-roc-te, by local Native Americans. James Fenimore Cooper in his narrative Last of the Mohicans called it the Horican, after a tribe which may have lived there, because he felt the original name was too hard to pronounce.
The first European visitor to the area, Samuel de Champlain, noted the lake in his journal on July 3, 1609, but did not name it. In 1646, the French Canadian Jesuit missionary Isaac Jogues, the first European to view the lake, named it Lac du Saint-Sacrement, and its exit stream, La Chute (the fall).
On August 28, 1755, William Johnson led British colonial forces to occupy the area in the French and Indian War. He renamed the lake as Lake George for King George II and built a protecting fortification at its southern end. The fort was named Fort William Henry after the King's grandson Prince William Henry, a younger brother of the later King George III. On September 8, 1755 the Battle of Lake Georgewas fought between the forces of Britain and France resulting in a strategic victory for the British and their Iroquois allies.
In September, the French responded by beginning construction of Fort Carillon, later called Fort Ticonderoga, on a point where La Chute enters Lake Champlain. These fortifications controlled the easy water route between Canada and colonial New York.
On March 13, 1758, an attempted attack on that fort by irregular forces led by Robert Rogers was one of the most daring raids of that war. The unorthodox (to Europeans) tactics of Rogers' Rangers are seen as the inspiring the later creation of similar special forces in later conflicts—including the United States Army Rangers.
Lake George's key position on the Montreal–New York water route made possession of the forts at either end—particularly Ticonderoga—strategically crucial during the American Revolution.
Later in the war, British General John Burgoyne's decision to bypass the easy water route to the Hudson River that Lake George offered and, instead, attempt to reach the Hudson though the marshes and forests at the southern end of Lake Champlain, led to the British defeat at Saratoga.
On May 31, 1791, Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to his daughter, "Lake George is without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw; formed by a contour of mountains into a basin... finely interspersed with islands, its water limpid as crystal, and the mountain sides covered with rich groves... down to the water-edge: here and there precipices of rock to checker the scene and save it from monotony."
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Lake George was a common spot sought out by well known artists, including Martin Johnson Heade, John F. Kensett, E. Charlton Fortune, Frank Vincent DuMond and Georgia O'Keeffe.
Susan K. Young
14007 State Route 22
Post Office Box 51
Clemons, NY 12819