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

 

 





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.





Happy Holidays from Tashman Home Center

28 12 2014

In the days of old our ancestors huddled around fires in caves or Geothermal Energy in the depths of winter as it was the most uncomfortable time of the years. The warming rays of the ancient sun were cut down as the orbit shifted to the winter solstice and our prehistoric predecessors gathered the food accumulated during the fruitful months in the hope of making it through the long winter. In order to alleviate depression and stave off cabin fever, the cavemen created celebrations marking the turn of the season. Today we continue these traditions whose basic elements reflect back to the last ice-age.

The Pope kisses a woody Jesus

Kwanzaa

Norse God Odin rides his silly horse

Hey look it’s that uncle you don’t like.





Aqua-life Paint

27 12 2014
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Wood, Metal, Masonry
  • Residential, Commercial
  • Low VOC
  • Extreme Low Odor
  • Easy to Apply
  • Water Clean Up
  • Water Thinnable
  • Sandable

Life Paint’s Aqua-Life products were developed to replace traditional oil based alkyd-type resin technology. With today’s stringent VOC regulations, and the limited low VOC solvents available, Life Paint researched a resin technology that has been used for over ten years successfuly in Europe. This resin type allowed for extremely low VOC manufacturing, very low ordor, and it’s application resembles that of traditional oil based products. In fact, once the product is cured, the coating left is just as a traditional alkyd is. The main difference between old traditional, oil-based, alkyd resin paints and Life Paint’s Aqua-Life is the subsitution of smelly petroleum based solvents for water. So go ahead, breathe easy, and take the plunge into water. It’s more refreshing.

    





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





Shower doors have gotten fancy!

1 08 2014
Recent Tashman Home Center installation.

Recent Tashman Home Center installation.

When I first started in the business there were two kinds; swinging and sliding. Generally only one color and type of glass would be available just like a Ford Model T

Take it or leave it.

Take it or leave it.

 

Today, the shower is the center piece of your bathroom.

Just like any remodeling project, your shower must be planned ahead of time and there are a lot of choices to consider…

Where are the valves going? How high is the head going to be?

How many body sprays? What shape is the shower? Is there a seat?

Maybe a steam shower, that would be nice.shower door 12.20.13

 

When designing your shower enclosure, one of the most important elements to decide on is the door you install.

You have spent a small fortune on tile, plumbing fixtures, and labor so don’t make the mistake of making the shower doors the afterthought of your project.

When designing the shower doors, think of access into and out of the shower.

Consider hinge direction, color of hardware, type of hardware. Are you going to have a handle? Towel bar? Knob? All of the above?

The color of your hardware is important too, so as to match existing fixtures.

There are many styles of glass to check out. starphire-comparopattern glass

In southern California Diamond Seal is a great product that will make it easier to keep your glass clean and show less hard water spots.

 

Most shower doors that are installed today are frameless.  3/8″ glass is fine for most in line doors, or doors that are not very prominent in the bathroom.

1/2″ glass has a richer more elegant feel. It costs a little more but if the door is the focal point in the bath, I would recommend you spend the extra, it will look great!

Hardware is how your door stays in place. Some installers use U channels, which are great if you need to cover old holes, or have heavy use, like in a gym.u-channel-shower

At Tashmans we use clamps more often, clamps look cool, and there are lots of shapes and finishes too.Glass-Door-Clamp The handles are also varied in shape and size, we recommend you stay with one that is consistent with your plumbing design.

Come by our show room and play with the doors. See all the finishes, types of hardware, and all the glass too.

 

Remember that while buying great hardware and glass is important, it is also important to have the best installers. The measurements are the key to any job.

At Tashmans we send out an expert to measure your walls and no matter how crooked they are we will make your doors look great as well as functional. At the end of the day if your door is made wrong it will leak. Tashman Home Center is licensed, insured, and has years and years of experience. We also warranty all our work.

-Kenny Tashman





Faye Dunaway’s Hollywood Home Window Remodel

29 07 2014





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