Posts by Roberts

Home Improvement – Lighting Automatio...

Home lighting is very important as this is a means of illuminating both the interior and the exterior of the home.  What most people are not aware of is that home lighting is actually much more.  Aside from the usual dimmers that you can have installed, there is also the aspect of lighting control system which is crucial if you are looking to or have plans in running a home automation system.  Keep in mind that when it comes doing home automation as part of your home improvement project, it is the whole home’s lighting system is the best place to start.

When setting up a lighting system, integration of your lighting circuitries is very important.  This is essentially your overall control system on your home’s lighting where you can turn on, off, dim, or even trigger them automatically or from a remote location.


Inside-HomeHere is a list of components of a complete lighting control system you may need:

  1. Controller(s) – this component is often referred to as the brain of your lighting system that connects and integrates different appliances and devices together. Older systems have a handset where you can control many of the controller’s function. More modern systems have a controller unit that is hooked up to the home’s Wi-Fi connection along with a smartphone app that you can use to interact with the controller system.
  2. Wire-in Dimmers – connecting your lights to controllers come in different ways. Of course, one of the tried-and-tested ways is through wire-in dimmers which is essentially a small unit connected to your lighting fixture. The wire-in dimmer serves as both your light dimmer as well as connection between your controller and the lamp.
  3. Plug-in Dimmers – these are essentially dimmers and control switches that are installed between wall sockets and lamp plugs. Plug-in dimmers are mostly used for table lamps, lampshades, and other lighting component around the home that requires to be plugged into an outlet to get electricity. However, instead of being plugged directly into outlets, the lighting’s plug is plugged first into the plug-in dimmer and then the dimmer is then plugged into an outlet.
  4. Custom Bulbs – one of the easiest ways to connect a lighting system is to use these types of bulbs. Basically, what you do is replace your regular bulbs with these bulbs that are equipped wireless connectivity and can connect to your controller system. What makes this type of system very easy to setup is that you do not even need to use any screwdrivers as it is all a matter of replacing your old regular bulbs with fancy ones that have wireless connectivity.  The problem with these though is that they are not flexible and can be costly when replacing worn-out bulbs.
  5. Wireless Switches – while this may look like a regular light switch fixture installed on the wall, it does not have any physical connections to the electrical system of the home. Unlike a normal switch that will be associated with a particular light fixture, a wireless switch connects to your lighting system’s main controller and can be used as a control fob to control to wirelessly connect and control some parts of your lighting system. More often, wireless switches are used and programmed to control and set ‘scenes’ within a room.  Additionally, they can be used to switch off all lightings in one room.
  6. Light Level Sensors – instead of using timers to turn on and off lightings inside a room, light level sensors provide the ability to turn on and off the lights inside an area depending on the amount of ambient lighting available.
  7. Motion Sensors – these automated switches are not just for security systems as they can also be used effectively on home lighting automations systems. When you enter a room, the motion sensors will detect you and thus turn on the lights in that room. Whereas when you leave the room, the sensors will detect that no one is inside the room and thus turn off the lights.  More advanced motion sensors have sensitivity adjustments and can be adjusted according to preference.

What To Know Before You Hire A Custom...

Everybody dreams of having a home, particularly their dream home.  However, not everybody will have the opportunity to fulfill such dreams.  Nevertheless, there are at least plenty of people who will have the chance of getting their home built from the ground up through the help of custom home builders.  A custom home build can essentially be called a dream home as you have the capacity to control and customize certain aspects of it.  Unlike cookie-cutter homes that you usually see in suburban areas, custom homes are very much catered to the client who has ordered the home to be built.

If you have worked hard enough to save money, or managed to maintain a good credit score and have gotten a loan, you will have the opportunity to have your dream home built.  While it may not be exactly the fantasy home that you have always imagined since you have to be realistic when it comes to having your home built, it is at least a home that you can call your own and properly customized to suit your needs.  This is the very essence of a dream home as things are tailored to suit you accordingly – even budget-wise.

Once you have the money or that your loan has been approved, the thing to do next in making your dreams come true is finding a custom home builder contractor.  Of course, when it comes to hiring a contractor, you need to make sure that you are hiring the right one because hiring the wrong one can easily make your dream into a nightmare.  For this reason, it is in your best of best interest to research upon different potential contractors that you have on your list.  But before you even call a contractor, make sure that you have already decided in what you want.  Being indecisive means contractors can make you make certain adjustments from what you really want or need that may be off from your intended budget.

Before setting up an appointment with different contractors, make sure that you know that scope that you want.  The scale of the project determines the type of contractor you will be contacting, which, in this case are custom home builders.  If you do not have any plans yet drafted by an architect, a design/build contractor can create drawings and blueprints for you to see.  This will allow you to make necessary adjustments on the designs when needed so that everything is properly laid out before construction process begins.

Normally, the best way to find contractors or custom home builders will be to ask around.  You can ask your architect, friends, relatives, or colleagues.  In fact, if you have made a mortgage loan for the custom home you are planning the have built, you can even ask your banker about it.  Since your banker deals with mortgage loans all the time, they are likely to know several legitimate and reputable contractors within your area.

Once you have a handful of names of potential contractors to hire, it is now time to setup an appointment with them.  Make sure to collect bids from at least three or four contractors for the same type of project.  It is important not to be lazy when it comes to this and thinking that two bids will do.  You will never know what the third one might have in store for you, which is why it is always a good idea to have bids from three or four contractors.  Before you try to meet with your potential contractors though, make sure to practice describing what you want first as this will greatly help in lessening the time describing when you meet up with any potential contractors.

Upon collecting at least three estimates or bids from contractors, make sure to compare the estimates.  It may be wise to go to a large flat area like the living room floor or your bed and lay all the estimates flat so you can see all of them.  You will begin to notice that each one of the estimates provided is unique so try to see the specifics within the given estimates.  While you do know what you want and have described it properly, it does not mean you will always be on the same page and this certain difference will be obvious on the drafts provided to you by the bidding contractor.  In this case, if you asked for a particular bathroom or number of bathroom, make sure that you are getting what you have described.  Always try to figure out what the variation in the estimates are so you can figure out properly which contractor is most suitable in building your custom home.…

Home Builders – What To Know Before Y...

When it comes to building homes, home builders are the ones you can rely on.  While carpenters have skills in carpentry and handymen are skilled in many aspects, they are not exactly home builders.  Although the initial person you hire is a home building contractor, it is the contractor’s group of people who are skilled in particular areas of construction that allows them to build better homes.  This is why if you are going to have a home built, make sure it is built by qualified home builders.

The truth is that not everybody will get to experience having their homes built from the ground up.  This is because not all people will have the money to have one built or that they are simply content with renting apartments all their life.  However, if you are one of those who would like to have a house of your own, since this will most likely be the biggest investment you will ever make, it is vital that you get things right by hiring a good home builder.  Since the house you will have built will most likely be the place where you will raise your kids and grow old, it is in your best interest that your home is structurally strong so that it can last long.

inside-home-good-design-1-on-othersWhen it comes to hiring home builders, there are certain pointers that you need to remember.  Aside from just choosing a good home builder, it is important that the home builder you hire is highly reputable and have skills and experience to back it up.

Reputation – this is actually a crucial factor when it comes to hiring home builders as you would not want to hire one that has very poor reputation.  Although reputation is not a matter of skill or experience that a home builder brings to his repertoire of what they are capable of, it is nevertheless a matter of trustworthiness and reliability.  Highly reputable contractors gain their good and solid reputation through their work ethics.  If they meet everything within the contract such as budget, timeframe, and overall client satisfaction, then it is likely that this home builder contractor will get a good reputation.

Experience & Skills – these two always go hand in hand.  The more experienced the crew of a home builder has, the more skill they will have developed.  Experience and skill are very important in the art of home building.  Since not all home builds are the same, it is likely that they will encounter certain issues with some home builds.  However, if they are experienced, there is a possibility that they will have encountered such an issue before and thus will take them very little time in solving the problem.

Professionalism – a home builder and his crew should practice professionalism, both in ethics and workmanship.  This means they need to be reliable and trustworthy and will not take things from the construction site.  Additionally, their workmanship should also be outstanding and not do things half-heartedly as this results in poor quality.  After all, the home they will be building is a costly and lifelong investment of their client so it is important that they practice find workmanship and ensure they do what needs to be done in the construction work and not just for the purpose of getting paid.…

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