Ways to save energy in the home that you didn’t think of

28 02 2015

There are a lot of articles, blogs, podcasts, paper airplanes and the like talking about saving energy in the home but most have the same common sense content. Turn the lights off when not in use, don’t run the water when brushing teeth…are people really not aware of these simple ways to conserve.

There are some other ways to conserve that you may not have thought of.

-Boil water with the lid on.

-Wash clothes with cold water detergent. Hot water contributes to up to 20% of home energy use.

-Keep the fridge full.

-Get a dual flush toilet, a button for #1 and a button for #2.

-Put insulating foil behind radiators.

-Make sure thermostats are away from windows and sunlight to ensure and accurate reading.

-Children have a high metabolism so make them wear sweatshirts instead of turning the heat up.

calvin calvin2 calvin3calvin-hobbes-cold

 

That was pretty much how it was growing up in Boston.

To visualize what home improvement projects will add the most value to your home, refer to the chart below.

cost value homecvh2

 

 





Best Gadgets of 2014

21 02 2015

This is a Leatherman that is also a bracelet or watch. Very Cool because you can take it through airport security.

This a new design for the standard ratcheting wrench and it looks pretty cool.

This is a toolbox with a surge protector. It makes so much sense I’m surprised no one thought of it before.

Seek-Thermal-Camera-for-Android

This is a thermal imaging attachment for your smart phone. Using a thermal camera can help homeowners see the lost heat energy. We can see in the picture below that this house needs weatherstripping around the doors and windows.

A-thermal-image-showing-h-001

 

This is a flip out cordless screwdriver. The advantage is that it will fit in lots of places other screwdrivers can not.

 

 





Color, Temperature, and Urban Heat Islands

13 02 2015

White reflects and black absorbs.

It’s a simple statement with massive ramifications if our society decides to use the science of color to fight global warming. For centuries cities in places like North Africa and the Mediterranean have been painting everything bright white to keep cool. White reflects the heat radiation back into space while darker colors absorb heat radiation and would therefore increase the temperature in and around the house.

moracco

Moracco

 

Why did we abandon this simple technique that seems like a no brainer in places like Los Angeles? The answer is that it is much cheaper to use dark building materials. Asphalt and tar are two of the most ubiquitous building materials we use to construct cities and roads. The detrimental effect of building like that is referred to as the “Urban Heat Island” effect. This is why cities are generally much hotter than the surrounding countryside.

In cities with ample precipitation, the best solution involves plants on places like rooftops and vacant lots. The city of Boston buried it’s largest highway and built a giant park in it’s place. The “Big Dig” was a disaster as far as construction projects go but the original concept was great. (When I was ten years old, the Major of Boston told me the Big Dig would be done in five years…I am now thirty and they just finished.)

big-dig-before-after-photo

The problem with this approach in Los Angeles is the complete lack of rain. No one should be watering large lawns because it’s just downright irresponsible. Replacing lawns with fake grass actually contributes to the Urban Heat Island and also destroys whatever ecosystem existed there before. Residents of Los Angeles can enroll in a rebate turf removal program whereby you replace the grass with drought resistant plants and get money back from the city.

turf_res_before2

turf_res_after2

Of course if you can’t get people to vaccinate their children, the concept of deadly irresponsibility may not be salient for the residents of greater Los Angeles.

If you want to be a responsable member of society, however, paint white and tear up all that thirsty grass.





Kenny’s home installation tips

9 08 2014

Over the years I have worked on thousands of projects, all in various trades and scopes.

Time after time I see Homeowners, Property Management Companies, and Contractors make costly mistakes that could have been avoided or easily minimized had they only known a few simple things.

Recent Tashman home installation of windows in Faye Dunaway's house

Recent Tashman home installation of windows in Faye Dunaway’s house

 

The Plan

Every job or project needs a plan and the best way to start is by drawing out your ideas and developing goals for the job. When first meeting with a client about an installation, I ask them “What is your goal?” Some common goals are beauty, energy efficiency, or noise reduction.

Often there is no clear plan or expert guiding you or involved in the project and this is why clients come to us.  We work with your budget so as to maximize efficiency and cost effectiveness. Most people renovate on average every 8-10 years so planning is so important, because this is something you will be living with for a long while.

 

Trust

Finding a trustworthy and reliable contractor can be a challenge and could make or break the project. Everyone thinks we (contactors) are out to steal from them so remember you are not picking a person who is just doing a job. They are working on your valuable property and they will hopefully be a resource for you for many years and projects to come.

Kenny donating to Habitat for humanity

Kenny donating to Habitat for humanity

There are no shortages of horror stories about hiring a cheap and unreliable contractor or handyman. There are certainly people who are dishonest and lazy but often it is a simple problem of getting an accurate estimate up front. Often people will come to Tashmans to finish or fix a poorly done job and it is truly sad to see the original budget swirling down the drain. Tashman home center is insured, licensed, bonded and we stand behind all of our work. We have been here since 1961 and we make every possible effort to ensure the customers complete satisfaction.

Installing a 200 pound piece of glass

Installing a 200 pound piece of glass, not a job for a cheap handyman.

 

Getting it all in writing

When I first started to do contracting, a hand shake was the normal way to close a business deal. In todays more litigious world, this is absolutely the wrong way to do home improvement. Make sure all of your contracts are clearly written, describing the work to be done and how much everything will cost. Some important questions that need answers include the length of the job, the finish date, and the primary person to call if you have questions.

Often people neglect to get concrete answers and give too much money to a contractor who then absconds with the cash, never to be seen again. Most contractors do not have a store front so you can not go see them when you have a concern or question. Tashman Home Center has maintained a store for 54 years you will always know where we are and you will always get it in writing what we are doing for you.

Three Generations of Tashman (Kenny, Charles, Mark)

Three Generations of Tashman (Kenny, Charles, Mark)

 

Quality installations

Buying the right product at the best price is half the battle and installing what you want is even more important. No matter how fancy and expensive the product is, the installation part of the job can not be done on the cheap. A poor installation job will make whatever you have bought look bad, buyer’s remorse will set in and you will not want to purchase new materials.

There are some simple things to look for when your installation is being done and cleanliness and organization count for a lot. The installers should set up a clean area for all the materials and tools. They should cover your property well, using plastic, paper, drop cloths, shop-vacs, trash cans, and bags, even the type of tape used is important so as to not leave marks or goo on your floor or furniture.

The right tools make a huge difference in the quality of the job. If the installer shows up with only a hammer and a chisel, you might want to go with someone owning high quality power tools. Having a properly equipped crew is not only going to give you a better looking job, but a faster completion time as well.

Safe and Organized

Safe and Organized





Faye Dunaway’s Hollywood Home Window Remodel

29 07 2014




Cool Flashlights and succulent plants

7 03 2014

We have some new stuff here at Tashmans this week so everybody should come over and go on a shopping spree!

Some really cool flashlights and tools came in from a company called NEBO.

larry lightzoom 130bendbrite

 

All of the flashlights above will blind you if you look directly into the light. Ironically people who get blinded usually buy the flashlight.

And we also have a bunch a of amazing succulent plants, perfect for our current drought condition as they do not require a lot of water and don’t wilt in the harsh southern California sun.

plants 1plants 2





Happy Hanukkah and Thanksgiving!

30 11 2013

The next time Hanukkah and Thanksgiving fall on the same day will be in about 80,000 years.

So Happy Holidays and check out some gift ideas from Tashmans, we promise you are in no danger of being trampled trying to make a purchase.

We have just stocked up on power tools and are currently offering 50 % off vinyl Milgard windows.

We have also just started carrying the Milgard Essence Series Windows.

Strong, beautiful, long lasting and durable,  Milgard® windows and doors are designed with stunning architectural style and superior performance.

Soon Christmas lighting and decorations will arrive  and we at Tashmans urge you to have a safe holiday. Make sure your lights are plugged into a grounded outlet or surge protector, most holidays decoration s are very flammable.

christmas tree on fire

Also be careful using a ladder when decorating, particularly after a few glasses of wine. Have someone support the bottom and keep your center of gravity. The image below if how NOT to use a ladder.

ladder-un-safely-525x600

If you have an older space heater, make sure the automatic shut off is in working order. All new space heaters must shut off in they fall over so if you need a new heater come check out our wide selection. And never put anything on a space heater.

space heater






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