TIP OF THE WEEK
In the last 10 years, televisions have become flatter, video rental stores have nearly disappeared and phones have become devices that are more like a computer than a phone.
There’s good reason that when most people think about changes in technology, they tend to think about the digital world. After all, with the news full of reports of driverless cars, it’s easy to forget that some of the most important technological advancements are happening around us in ways we may not be aware of - namely - in our homes.
From drywall to windows to insulation, home building materials have developed in a way that might seem like something from a science fiction movie. But as more homeowners are getting accustomed to living with these comforts, they wonder how they ever did without them. Here are five of the most exciting innovations.
A new lease on lumber - Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a material made by gluing together smaller pieces of timber to create large slabs that serve as an alternative to steel and concrete. As strong as steel, and in many ways even more fireproof, CLT allows for contractors to put up incredibly durable buildings incredibly fast.
Quartz, an engineering miracle - While granite countertops and marble bathtubs may be at the top of everyone’s list, the cost can be prohibitive. Quartz, which is a name for stone that has been engineered by grinding quartz with resins, polymers and coloring, has emerged as a substitute that outperforms granite and marble, for a fraction of a price.
Bio concrete - Though it’s the world’s most common building material, concrete ages quickly. Changes in temperature, the shifting of the earth, weather and chemicals all contribute to the inevitable cracks and deterioration. Several years ago, scientists in the Netherlands developed a kind of concrete that can repair itself by integrating limestone-creating bacteria that “heal” cracks.
De-personalize your house
Whether you’ve live in your home for decades or just a few years, you’ve probably personalized your home with family pictures, memorabilia or personal collections. But if you’re now selling that home, your personal touches could cost you a sale. The more personal items in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living in your house. A general rule is to get rid of a third of your personal things by putting them in storage or using a storage pod. Removing family pictures, memorabilia and keepsakes helps a potential buyer “visualize” their own things in your house. This also helps you get a head-start on packing.
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Window trims an overlooked opportunity
Other than cleaning them every once in a while, many of us don’t think much of the inside trim around our windows. However, giving your window trims a splash of color can enhance a room and also showcase your personal style. Painting the trim green can bring the outdoors in as the color will blend into the landscape or painting the trim black can turn strips separating glass invisible when the sun goes down.
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Keep those cute critters out of your veggies
With their long ears and fluffy tails, it’s hard to imagine rabbits as pests, but those cute critters can destroy your vegetable garden in no time. One of the easiest ways to keep rabbits out is to purchase chicken wire fencing with 1-inch or smaller mesh and it should be at least 3-feet tall. Also be sure to bury the wire and bend back the wire six inches to keep rabbits from crawling under the fence. Another inexpensive method to deter rabbits (and other furry pests) is to grate Irish Spring soap around your plants.
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