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Going Green in Advance

I have to admit I'm not an advocate of the necessity of going green and believe the so-called science to be full of holes and unsubstantiated claims. However, there is no denying the fact that we should all care about the planet and do whatever we can as good stewards of it. So with that in mind, I decided to share just a few things you might consider if you need to replace something anyway or if you're planning a build-out or remodel of any kind.

  • Install a tank-less hot water heater. Saves water and energy too.
  • Don't over build and use all space efficiently.
  • Recycle or donate all unusable material you are discarding.
  • Buy locally manufactured products to eliminate shipping costs and associated fuel costs.
  • Look for recycled materials and even furniture.
  • Bring in renewable bamboo or engineered wood to replace hardwoods that only deplete our forests.
  • Put an energy efficient fan in bathrooms. Reduces moisture and mold.
  • Seek dual-pane windows. They help reduce sun's rays and heat and that reduces energy consumption.
  • Look for appliances with the Energy Star rating.
  • Look for ways to cross ventilate rooms to reduce need for air conditioning.
Wall Fastener Guide

Since most homes have drywall, it can be challenging to know what the right fastener or hook you should use, especially if you can't find a stud. You always want to use fasteners that will hold your wall decor safely and securely.  So here is a brief run down on what's available at your local hardware store.

picture hangers, hooksLight Objects into Drywall

  • Picture hangers - check manufacturer's weight limit before buying. These can be small nails with a guard or hook or even a sewing needle.

Heavy Objects into Drywall

  • Plastic hollow wall anchor - this is a permanent fastener anchored by expanding wings behind the wall itself. Pre-drill a hole the same size as the anchor and push it through. It will open up on its own behind the wall.
  • plastic hollow anchorsHollow wall anchor - this is the metal version of the plastic one above.
  • E-Z anchor - this is metal and you'll need an electric drill or Phillips screwdriver to get it into the wall.


  • Plastic masonry anchor - you'll need a masonry drill bit to get it installed. Make hole the same size as anchor.
  • You should be able to countersink the anchor so it is flush with the wall.


  • toggle boltToggle bolt - use for walls that can be penetrated. Also ok on drywall or plaster. The wings expand once pushed through the wall.
  • Sleeve anchor - the anchor expands as you screw it into the wall. Tighten the screw with a wrench.
  • Lag screw and lead shield - you'll need this if the wall is thicker than the fastener. Drill hole same diameter as shield.

Bathroom Makeover Ideas

Bathrooms are no longer being neglected. Now they are a place that demands attention. And this trend is only going to develop as bathrooms are designed to be more spa-like environments and as more space is devoted to them in the overall home plan.

In an ideal world, there would be a bathroom for every bedroom, but we haven't gone that far yet. But here are some issues to think about:

  • Bathtubs - Watch your window placements to avoid drafts. Make sure you have privacy walls for any functions near windows. Don't put bathtubs too low as it will make it difficult to clean or to bathe small children.
  • Basins - Use the largest basins your bathroom will handle. Current counters are 33" high but consider making yours higher if possible, like 36". It will be more comfortable to use.
  • Water closets - Opt for quiet flushing and water saving features. Longer toilets from front to back are more body friendly to both sexes.
  • Bidets - Place a soap dish and towel close by. Longer from front to back is best size and shape.
  • Showers - Make large enough to get away from the water when soaping down. Seats or foot rests are really appreciated by women. Controls should be easily accessible from outside the shower. Grab bars are needed for safety.
  • Storage - don't forget this all important item. More is better than less. Utilize the height as well as available storage space, like above the water closet.
Fall Fashion

Watch these very entertaining videos on fall fashion by Spankie Valentine. You'll love the cool styles.

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