Erie Construction Co., Erie Construction Mid West
Month: June, 2012
Easy Ways To Go Green And Save Energy
| June 25, 2012 | 12:32 PM | Green Lifestyle | No comments

Energy experts say Americans waste the most energy of any other country! Bigger homes, bigger cars, you get the picture. The good news is that in this down economy there are easy ways to go green, and save energy!

  • Each degree you turn down the heat saves 3 percent of heating costs, while each degree you raise the temperature of your air conditioner saves 3-4 percent of cooling costs.
  • It’s summer stop cooking with your oven! Instead, cook with a slow cooker or a toaster oven (or even a solar oven!) to reduce electrical use from kitchen appliances. Or even better, fire up the grill outside.
  • Switch to a laptop instead of using a desktop computer and cut three-quarters off your electrical use. Turn off the laptop at the end of the day.
  • Switch to cold water washing and save 80 percent on energy used for laundry and save an estimated $60 a year.
  • Stop using heat-producing halogen lamps (they can also be fire hazards).
    Install occupancy or motion sensors on outdoor lights.
  • Switch to compact fluorescent from regular incandescent bulbs and use 60 percent less energy per bulb.
  • Keep your tires inflated to improve gas mileage by 3 percent.

Going green doesn’t mean you have to follow every single tip, but experts say if you can follow some of them you’ll notice a difference in your energy bills!

How To Clean Clogged Drains
| June 18, 2012 | 12:00 AM | Plumbing | No comments

If you have a clogged drain, whether in a kitchen or a bathroom, you don’t need to spend big bucks hiring a plumber. Experts say, plumbers want you to think there is more to the job than there actually is. Here are a few tips that will help you the next time you have a clog.

Dealing with Clogs:

  • Clearing a sink may involve nothing more than removing the strainer or stopper from the bowl’s drain opening, a job that is fast and easy! Bits of soap, hair, food, or other debris can be the culprit. Kitchen sink strainer baskets simply lift out. Some bathroom stoppers do too. Keep in mind, some may require a slight turn before lifting, and others may need you to reach under the sink and remove a pivot rod.
  • A plunger uses water pressure to blast out obstructions. This means its rubber cup must seal tightly around the drain opening before you begin working the handle up and down. (Water in the bowl helps create this seal.)
  • If plunging doesn’t work, fit an auger down the drain. Cranking its handle rotates a stiff spring that bores through a stubborn blockage.
  • If this doesn’t get results, dismantle the trap and auger the drainpipe that goes into the wall or floor.

Good luck!

3 Ways to Turn your Outdoor Space into a Vacation Spot
| June 11, 2012 | 12:39 PM | Home Design | No comments

If you want your outdoor area to get your guests attention, designers say lighting is key! Forget typical ceiling fans and create different levels of lighting with gas sconces, chandeliers and table lamps. Designers say, nothing flickers like real flame in a gas lantern. If you really want to make a statement, how about a gorgeous chandelier made of iron, crystal or blown glass as a sophisticated accent piece for covered outdoor rooms?

Water features are another way to make your outdoor space feel like you‘re on vacation all year round! An artistic water feature or beautiful pottery placed carefully in the landscape can bring the surrounding plants and hardscape to life. Depending on the color scheme and style of the garden, picking up one accent color used elsewhere in the design is a great way to tie in the decorative elements with the rest of your outdoor space.

Oh and designers say if you really want a space you never want to leave, don‘t cheap out. In other words, don’t skimp on the furniture just because it’s for the outside. Never cut corners when buying what will probably end up being a focal point of your space. Designers say, cheap furniture can really destroy the look of a carefully planned outdoor retreat.

Outdoor Fireplaces
| June 4, 2012 | 12:37 PM | Home Design | No comments

If you’re trying to spruce up your backyard but don’t know how to–we’ve got the perfect solution! Nothing does a better job of anchoring an outdoor living room than an authentic outdoor fireplace. Nowadays, more and more people are opting to go on a “staycation” you know staying at home versus shelling out big bucks on an expensive vacation. The big reason, gas prices and the down economy.

Outdoor fireplaces continue to grow in popularity with the outdoor room boom fueling the fire. Many people don’t want to spend big money on an expensive vacation, but they want their home to feel like they’re on vacation year round!

Homeowners are now demanding fire places, not just fire pits in their outdoor living rooms. There is a certain romantic ambiance that surrounds an outdoor fireplace. The glow of the flickering flame invites guests to sit down, relax and enjoy life. Properly designed fire features encourage conversation and sooth the soul. Many home improvement stores hold classes that teach homeowners how to build the outdoor fireplace of their dreams. If this intimidates you, hire a good contractor and make sure you get references, and get a written estimate up front!