Monday, August 3, 2009

Looking to remodel or build? Why not create added income with your home.

A new addition...ahhh. Extra space, new bathroom, separation from teenagers, additional rental income - the reasons for building an addition are endless.

When considering a remodel or addition, think first about how the improvements will increase the livability of your home and how can it increase your property value. Many of us are not thinking about buying a home right now. Sorry Hayley! One way we can improve on the investment of our home is to do things that will increase its property value. If your home currently has 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, a bathroom addition would be a very smart choice. The additional bath would bring the home to a bedroom/bathroom 3/2 ratio that most home buyers are looking for. Or better yet, if that additional bathroom was for a Master Bedroom Suite addition. This would additionally create more value with a fabulous bathroom in a Master Suite, another home buyer desire.

When considering building on your property, consider the option to build an additional unit. Granny units, secondary dwellings or rental units as they are called, offer that option. Possible locations could be building over your garage, on your property or in your back yard. Secondary dwelling construction is on the rise because the secondary unit is seen as a possible future home for either your parents or your spouses parents, should the need arise. Also given the current high price of San Luis Obispo land, building a granny unit with the idea for renting it out is an attractive option. The rent checks received could pay the family's property taxes that year or help with little Johnnie’s college tuition. In this economy every bit of cash helps. Also because of the small size of most secondary units, 350-850 sq.ft., many of the designs can be sustainable, using passive cooling and heating ideas, keeping utility costs low.

Build Smart

  • You have the option to use sustainable products in your remodel, Do it!
  • When replacing appliances or lighting, think ENERGY STAR for everything. Why not save money on utilities too.
  • Don’t use cheep building products! Cheep is no longer cheep when you have to fork up the money to replace it.
  • Consider working with a designer and contractor that is thinking Green. They can steer your project sustainably with no added cost.

Whether you are building to have more room or building an additional room, consider using The Eco Guru.

For more tips and money saving ideas go to my blog, or join me on for tips and tricks. Please feel free to email me with comments and questions at I would love to hear your feedback.

Be Healthy!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Spending over $75 on your water bill? Why?

If you are spending over $75 or more on your monthly water bill, the eco guru is here to help! Consider the idea of doing a Home Evaluation Water Retrofit for your home.

There are numerous ways to reduce your water consumption without you even realizing you are. Some of these ideas you will be reading about will be brought to you from the water conservation days of the 70’s and some will be technologies that have popped up in recent years. All of these ideas are tride & true concepts that work and can save you lots of hard earned money.

One of the biggest wasters of water is waiting for the hot water in the shower to heat up. We turn on the shower, walk away & 5-10 min. later we get in. We all do it! A product that has popped up recently called the Evolve ShowerStart Low Flow Showerhead does 2 things. It is a low flow (1.59gpm) shower head, (most shower heads are 2.2gpm or higher) and it has “trickle trigger technology” (fun to say!). The shower head monitors the water temperature and triggers a trickle of water as soon as the water reaches 95° F. When you hear the trickle you turn the knob and begin your shower. Ahhh!

Another great idea is a shower timer. Most shower timers give you time for a 5 minute shower before they beep at you or flash lights. This is great for the ladies; men don’t seem to need this timer as much as we do. But even though ladies have more to do in there, if you’re in the mode of saving money, a little beeping to let you know that 5 min. has gone by can save your family dollars a minute.

This is one of the tride & true concepts from the 70’s; it’s called the “Toilet tank bank”. Warmly named this because, it saves you money with every flush. It is simply a bag that you fill up with up to 8oz of water & hang off the inside of your toilet tank. The water in the bag takes up space that would have other wise been taken up by water filling your tank. So every time you flush you save 8 oz of water. With a family flushing all day every day for #1& #2, it adds up to saving gallons & dollars. With this product you “set it and forget it!”

These are just 3 simple ways to save money on a daily basis for more tips and money saving ideas go to my blog, or join me on for daily tips and tricks. Please feel free to email me with comments and questions at I would love to hear your feedback.
Be Healthy!

Reduce your Carbon footprint for pennies…..

With all of the Greening out there, how can you do anything with out it costing you hundreds of up front dollars? I have 2 simple words for you, ClimateSmart™. Through our friends at PG&E you can offset the energy usage and carbon footprint your home uses.

“The ClimateSmart program , a first-of-its-kind, helps you to balance out your home's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through environmental conservation, restoration and protection projects. By adding a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to your monthly PG&E bill—around $5 a month for the typical home—you can join the fight against climate changes and reduce your carbon footprint.”
PG&E determines how much you are charged based on your monthly electrical bill. The monthly cost for ClimateSmart participation is $0.00254 per kilowatt-hour (for electricity) and $0.06528 per therm (for natural gas), or about $5 a month and makes your home carbon neutral. My electrical bill is about $26 a month (I practice what I preach) and I pay only 0.79 cents a month toward the ClimaeSmart program.

The best part is 100% of your payment is tax-deductible and supports projects that reduce or absorb GHG emissions by conserving and restoring native redwood forests or capturing methane gas from dairy farms and landfills. The local ClimateSmart rep for the Southern Region of California is Rebecca Weber,, you can contact her with questions and especially if you have a home based business and how your business can be Carbon Neutral. I did and I got this great certificate (see below). The best part is I get to put it up in my office and brag about my home & my business being Carbon Neutral.

For more tips and money saving ideas go to my blog, or join me on for daily tips and tricks. Please feel free to email me with comments and questions at I would love to hear your feedback.
Be Healthy!