In many parts of the country people are experiencing drought conditions. This is leading to moderate to severe restrictions on water use, as well as kick-starting ideas to use and manage water resources better. New and novel ideas to recycle wastewater are being considered and implemented, but all conservation starts with using a little less water than we used to use in the past. Builders and Remodelers have been using water saving fixtures for years. Early on- the water saving was achieved simply by the manufacturer installing flow restrictors in the faucets and shower heads. These didn’t work very well and we were routinely asked to remove the devices by our customers. But, with the advent of 3-D modeling and flow studies, these manufacturers have done a really good job lowering the amount of water necessary to deliver a superb customer experience. They have brought this technology to plumbing fixtures as well as appliances and landscape irrigation systems. So, using less water can mean the day we have to drink recycled water, as in the attached story, is put off farther into the future-
The more things change, the more they stay the same! https://www.sciencenews.org/blog/science-ticker/lead-levels-ancient-rome%E2%80%99s-water-were-high-not-toxic
This morning I was called in for a consult on a home recently purchased by a person who was originally interested in a new home. The discussion we had reminded me of the ongoing debate of “new vs. used” and when it’s a good idea to buy and remodel and when it isn’t. When you buy an older home with an eye towards updating it or adapting it, it is crucial to keep in mind that the history of what has already been done in and with the home is going to severely limit your reasonable (note the term “reasonable”- we can do anything when there’s an unlimited budget!) options for making your changes. How plumbing was run, beams, ductwork, electrical wiring,framing, and finishes will all have an impact- and none of those things were installed thinking about what YOU might want, way after they were installed. When we design and build you a new home, we design and build it around what YOU want-not someone else. You get what YOU want right off the bat- not the adopted compromise based on what we might be able to wrangle out of a pre-existing set of conditions. So, if you really want that older home, but are thinking of making significant changes to it-talk to you builder first about what might be involved, and how feasible your changes are relative to your budget. It’s no fun finding out after you’ve bought something that features you really want or even need are going to cost a lot more than you bargained for!
So digital apps are the rage. Everything has to have an app. But, does it really make our life better? I’ll admit that some apps definitely do- checking the weather- getting news and things like that. Do I really need to navigate an IPhone or android app to turn on my stove? I’d rather the manufacturers make the controls on the stove so easy even a caveman can roast a turkey- don’t need it on a phone. Anyway, these thoughts bubbled up when I saw this article-http://www.proremodeler.com/kb-digital-integration-trends-0?eid=216498577&bid=836449 . Docking stations might be good, but building anything into your home that smacks of digital is a big gamble because these things change all the time. Music in the shower, maybe. I’ll still stick with a little peace and quiet for now…How about you?
Solar panels are definitely gaining ground in the US. The technology is evolving and getting better and cheaper per KW generated, and many companies are working on creating better batteries to store electricity generated and not used right away. The last few years there have been great programs from the State of Ohio and the US government to help defray the cost of deployment, but even with those programs being curtailed, solar generation is something that you might consider investing in-especially when power outages are becoming more and more prevalent. States like California and Hawaii are actually requiring solar cell installations on new homes-and while our sunny days are far too limited in OH, they aren’t zero-so keep on the lookout for the tipping point where cost meets value- it’s definitely coming our way!