Category : Home Remodeling

Bathroom Makeovers That You Can Do Cheaply… Over The Weekend

Bathroom makeovers can be finished over a weekend for a few hundred dollars – and will completely transform the look and feel of your hardest working room. Nowhere else in the home can you get such high impact makeovers for a comparably low cost. Whenever you’re seized with the desire for bathroom makeovers, you can get an inexpensive project completed in a day or two.

Let’s explore some small bathroom makeover ideas ranging from paint and counter renovations, to floor tiles and ceiling decor. Try out some of them. If you don’t like the new bathroom design, it’s relatively simple and cheap to just paint or paper over the modifications – and try a different idea next week!

Bathroom Makeovers With Ceiling Wallpaper

A simple and fast way to renovate an old fashioned bathroom ceiling made of tin is to paper it over with textured material. Paintable wallpaper from Lowes can give your bathroom an appearance that’s just like embossed plaster. This is suitable even for older buildings, and can be a quick-fix project that’s finished in a few hours.

Pre-pasted wallpaper combined with a re-painting job can alter the look of a small bathroom dramatically. Choose contrasting bathroom designs and patterns from the floor, in order to draw the eye away towards the roof. Most interior decorators recommend using deep colors for bathroom makeovers, and suggest continuing them over onto the ceiling.

Cheap Bathroom Makeovers By Painting Over The Floor

If you have vinyl flooring and are tired of the old design, you can transform your bathroom’s appearance by painting it over. Use a coat of specialty primer as the first layer, and then get creative by making a tile pattern or designing an attractive border with the help of stencils. Coating this with four to six layers of polyurethane can serve as a plastic lining.

Bathroom makeovers that modify the floor don’t have to be expensive or complex. Here’s an interesting idea. Stick irregularly shaped bits of paper (such as from brown paper bags) to the floor. Over it, paint four to six layers of polyurethane. When the coatings dry, your floor will have the appearance of leather or stone – and what’s even better is that you can stain it in the color of your choice!

Inexpensive Bathroom Makeovers Using Art

Interior designers like to frame prints or photographs from various sources like books, catalogs or even collections by professional photographers or artists. But you don’t have to go for such expensive solutions. Simple artwork that your kids create, or art replicas downloaded and printed from websites like can be just as suitable – and attractive – for your bathroom makeovers.

An important factor to keep in mind is the material you print the artwork on. Be sure it won’t get damaged if it becomes damp. You’ll find canvas shower curtains that can be machine washed from various online sources like for $50 to $100.

Shower Curtains For Simple Bathroom Makeovers

Maybe you thought custom designed shower curtains would be too costly to consider for your bathroom makeovers. Well, here’s some good news for you. You can go the ‘do it yourself’ route and save money while achieving comparable results. Choose your own fabric, measure your bathroom, and then get the hemming done locally (or even do it yourself). Most material for bathroom renovations are resistant to mold and fungus.

By adding a beadboard or wainscoating to the bathroom walls, you can lend a rich look and feel to the renovated room. Your costs will, of course, be driven by the kind of material you pick and the tools you have access to, but will be a fraction of what custom designs will be.

Complete Bathroom Makeovers – Comprehensive Interior Decoration

If you are on a tight budget, but still want to achieve some remarkable bathroom makeovers, you can fit it in through smart selection of affordable materials. Cotton and polyester fabric for stitching shower-curtains with matching valances will be cheap, attractive and durable. With a virtual explosion in choices of bathroom material available, you can get many stylish and attractive designs that are also resistant to mold and mildew.

Other ways to enhance the appearance of your small bathroom are by getting some nice new hardware like bathtubs, vanity countertops and sinks, or even resurfacing old ones. Here also, material is available that looks almost as nice as more expensive alternatives. For instance, Granitclad is only half as thick as a regular granite countertop, but costs a fraction of granite sheets.

You can find a fabricator who will handle the difficult work of cutting the material to the right shape and size, and then do the resurfacing job yourself. In these ways, even on a shoestring budget, you will be able to manage extensive bathroom makeovers that give your home a chic and sleek appearance – without breaking the bank!

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Solar Energy Business – A Success Story Just Waiting To Happen

Solar energy business is a boom area in recent times, and this explosive growth has accelerated thanks to the flurry of incentives, rebates and grants offered to both consumers and researchers in the field. If you have been thinking about starting a solar energy business, you probably were confused by the plethora of options available, or put off by the fierce competition in many of them.

But it doesn’t have to worry you, because opportunities are cropping up in the solar energy business space literally every day. Let’s take a look at some innovative ways green energy business is tapping into this frantic demand for solar energy and renewable power for homes and offices.

Solar Thermal Technology

A solar energy business that’s importing technology from Israel to generate power in Souther California is BrightSource Energy, an Oakland, CA firm. By using mirrors in arrays that are structured in a way that concentrates the sun’s rays, the start up solar energy business generates electricity which will be distributed through Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric companies. The technology is sound and investors are so confident in the future potential that they have contracted for 14 such solar thermal energy plants to be build in the next 6 years.

Solar Inverters

Solar energy business has been hampered by one limitation of solar panels. Home solar panels generate direct current which cannot directly be used for household purposes. It needs to first be converted into alternating current (AC), which requires an expensive inverter.

But a smart solar energy business called Enphase Energy has shrunk the size (and the price) of inverters to the extent that they can fit within the solar panel itself! Not only does the cost of solar panel installations drop, this solar energy business has helped boost overall power output and can allow quicker identification of any problem panels.

Automating Energy Exchange Data

While home solar panels are popular today, the biggest early adopters of solar energy were commercial enterprises and businesses. They were the earliest to buy and install solar energy panels and other clean energy sources. The downside for these relatively bigger installations is the lack of granular and reliable data about performance of the devices.

A smart solar energy business has stepped in to fill this gap. Fat Spaniel Technologies offers sensors and software that allow businesses to manage their solar energy use, and even offers a service to automate it all. Not only can this help monitor performance, it also lets the data be exchanged and shared with relevant third parties like energy utilities and carbon credit programs.

Managing Multiple Devices

The typical solar energy business today sells a slew of devices that are installed into the home and provide clean energy. Solar panels may generate electricity. Solar water heaters may heat the home and provide water needs. And a myriad of other devices power many other appliances and utilities around the household.

GridPoint is a solar energy business startup that has created a software platform to help manage these various devices that generate and utilize power. For the right prospect, this can be an enormously valuable service, and is one more way solar energy business owners can tap into this hot and growing market.

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Renewable Energy Business Opportunities – How To Seize Them & Profit

Renewable energy business opportunities are exploding, with new avenues opening up literally every day. Thousands of companies are innovatively stepping up to the challenge, creating exciting products and services that serve the needs of their clients in an environmentally friendly way.

If you’re an entrepreneur seeking entry into the renewable energy space, you’ve got your work cut out. The first step is to research how others are using the technology in this space, and in this article we will look at a few options that are already in the works and looking to enter the market shortly.

Converting Coal Into Gas

Traditional approaches to generating natural gas from coal are both energy intensive and generate green house gases including carbon dioxide. GreatPoint Energy is a Massachusetts based business that grabbed one of the obvious renewable energy business opportunities – and came up with a proprietary catalyst that did this at a fraction of power expenditure, and in a way that isolates the CO2 emissions, allowing the gas to be stored underground.

The natural gas generated is of extremely high quality regardless of the coal, and that’s why the interest in this technology has peaked. A industrial scale plant is scheduled to begin operations in China shortly.

Harnessing Nights For Your Days

Here’s another of those exciting renewable energy business opportunities. Ice Energy, a Colorado based start up, is taking advantage of the cheap and plentiful supply of electricity at night to store ‘cold’ for later use next day!

The Ice Bear is a tank that freezes water at night outside buildings. Then, during the day when air conditioners are working full blast and energy consumption peaks, the Ice Bear runs the coolant from the AC machine through the ice blocks, cooling them effectively and lowering the energy needs of the machine during the day. Most renewable energy business opportunities are so simple and sweet – you just need to be looking out for them!

Green Incinerators?

Or take a look at this renewable energy business opportunity. Waste disposal is an old business. But transforming waste into clean fuel or electricity is not. It’s new – and InEnTec is at the forefront of this technology. By using ultra-hot plasma, this green energy business is converting medical, industrial and even radioactive waste into diesel or ethanol, which can be used as fuel.

Green Devices Get Online

The company behind this renewable energy business opportunity is called the “Cisco of the smart grid”. Silver Springs Networks developed technology that gives every energy saving device an Internet address! This means the device can be controlled and managed remotely by occupants of the building, as well as utility owners. This helps maximize efficiency. The technology is so exciting that major investors include the biggest electric companies like GE and PG & E.

Renewable energy business opportunities abound. There are a limitless range of options that any smart green energy entrepreneur can tap into. All it takes is a little creativity, bold activity and a willingness to take some small risks for big gains.

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Green Energy Franchise – Innovative Models of the Future

What is a green energy franchise? The words “energy company” conjure up the image of a global oil conglomerate like Exxon or a regional power utility that supplies your town or city with conventional energy through power lines. But the green energy revolution is well and truly upon us, and green energy franchise operations are cropping up everywhere.

It’s like living through the exciting period of innovation and development in mobile technology. The explosion of green energy franchise operations and green technology has given birth to a stunning (and often confusing) array of start ups with big dreams and ambitions. Clean, renewable energy businesses are coming out with ground-breaking products and services that will totally revamp the way we think about power and consume energy in the future.

What’s amazing is that green energy franchise growth has come in the face of the deepest economic recession in decades! Part of the reason may be the funding from federal sources to the tune of 96 BILLION dollars over the last 10 years that sped and encouraged the research and development leading to green energy franchises.

If you’re stopped and asked today to list the top green energy franchise businesses, you’d be hard pressed to come up with a short list. Let’s look at some of the up and coming green energy business operations you’ve probably never heard about before – but soon will. These are technologies that have started to gain traction. They have innovative products, services and business models. And these green energy franchise operations have secured meaningful venture capital funding to fuel their growth ahead.

Clean Diesel Power

Achates Power in San Diego is soon licencing a diesel engine to auto manufacturers. What’s unique about Achates’ engine is that while traditional engines have one piston per cylinder, the clean-burning diesel engine has two. This makes the engine far more powerful, without occupying proportionately more space. The mileage of vehicles is also boosted to 100 miles per gallon, making this among the most effective green fuel innovations in recent times.

Geothermal Energy

Another green energy franchise is carrying out boring operations across the U.S., digging wells that are as much as 4 miles deep! Why such deep wells? AltaRock Energy is trying to harness geothermal energy from anywhere in the country, not only in volcanic activity-prone parts of it. The toughest hurdle to get around is whether they can drill in seismologically active parts of the world without provoking earthquakes.

Fuel Conversion

A green energy franchise that extracts oil-laden sludge filtered out of sewage systems, industrial waste and poulty/meat processing factories and then converts it into odorless diesel is BioFuel Box. What’s amazing is how this company can manage the complex task with a portable micro-refinery loaded on the back of a truck! Imagine potato peel turned into bio-fuel – that’s the potential of this renewable energy business.

Green energy franchises are doing all these innovative things and more. Green energy business is set for a massive boom, and this is a truly exciting space to watch and benefit from.

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Green Energy Business Ideas You Can Take To The Bank

Green energy business ideas are plentiful and limited more by your imagination and enterprise than any other constraints. In a world seized by an increasing concern about renewable energy sources, there are abundant opportunities for smart entrepreneurs looking to set up a green energy business.

Already there are a flurry of green energy business ideas being set into motion and crafted into profitable ventures, thanks to support and financing from governments and VC investors. Considering that many green energy ventures qualify for subsidies, grants and rebates both for businesses and consumers, this is the best time to enter the arena and stake your claim. Let’s look at some green energy business ideas that you can model or improve upon.

Linked Electric Meters

Green energy business ideas don’t always have to be directly concerned with energy generation or distribution. SmartSynch from Missouri is offering a way to streamline power management and billing services and helping out utilities service their commercial clients. By designing smart electric meters that are linked to the company’s servers via public cell phone networks and cheap chipsets, they have caught the attention of global majors like AT&T with this solution.

Leasing Solar Panels

Let’s say your clients balk at the thought of investing cash upfront to set up solar energy solutions for their home or office building. An innovative green energy business idea helped SolarCity in California corner a hitherto untapped market.

They allow home owners or businesses to lease solar panels for 15 years – with no cash down. All the processes are handled by the company, including permits and tax incentives. SolarCity even arranges financing for the lease through a tie up with banks. All this is backed by a guarantee that their service will help customers save money on utilities. Talk about creative green energy business ideas!

Germs Creating Clean Fuels

Imagine marine micro-organisms that help manufacture clean fuels and chemicals – in a sustainable fashion. That’s what Solazyme has managed to come up with. An interesting green energy business idea, for sure. Their algae based jet fuel will permit entry into a profitable market – with a unique positioning statement that they provide clean, green jet fuel.

Cylindrical Solar Panels

Gone are the days when home solar panels were just flat sheets nailed to rooftops. Solyndra came up with an interesting green energy business idea based on cylindrical solar panels. The panels, shaped like fluorescent tube, help collect light from many different directions. Also, their lighter weight reduces installation expenses. Both these features give Solyndra a competitive edge in a brutally over-crowded market.

Tiny Wind Turbines

We’re familiar with giant windmills that generate megawatts of power from wind. But Southwest Windpowers has come up with a concept of micro-turbines that are barely a yard wide. This makes them easy to place on roofs and along highways. With over half a million units sold, this provided of ‘backyard windmills’ is on to a hot green energy business idea.

These are just a tiny sample of what is possible by way of green energy business. Put on your thinking cap and come up with some innovations of your own – and corner the market, or secure venture capital to change the world!

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Go Green Business – Simple Ideas To Change The World

So you want to go green business – but don’t know where to start? There are so many options, you may easily get confused unless you stay focused and do your research carefully and well. Green business is exploding in all directions, thanks to the generous grants and steep subsidies offered by government programs for home owners and businesses alike that initiate environment friendly changes.

Another reason it’s appealing for entrepreneurs to go green business is the incentives and grants offered to research and development in renewable energy fields. Over 96 billion dollars have been spent by federal and state programs on green energy research over the last decade, and this shows no sign of slowing down in the future. Indeed, corporations are stepping in to fund projects where VCs and governments were the only players.

Before you decide to go green business, let’s explore some options and see what other entrepreneurs who chose to go green have done so far.

Green Lighting Solutions

Imagine a light bulb that can give illumination equivalent to a 60 watt conventional bulb, but can do it at a fraction of energy cost, last for years, and cost less than $10. That’s what LED lights powered by an embedded chip with white light emitting diodes can do. And Bridgelux is the go green business that innovated this solution which is about to hit the market with a bang.

Water Energy to Electricity

Green and renewable energy sources are not only on land, they also exist in water. Think of underwater turbines that are turned by currents in the ocean that are set up by changing tides. This is converted into electricity by Clean Current Power Systems, a Vancouver based go green business. The technology is so promising that it has been purchased by a French power plant manufacturer for commercialization. The prototype will be set up in Nova Scotia next year, in a place where tides are so strong that water levels rise and fall by nearly fifty feet.

Own a Battery Powered Car?

If you drive a battery powered car in Europe or the United States, then this go green business has a product of interest… a curb side recharger that your car can plug into. Everything happens under the driver’s control, who manages the process with a custom key fob. Coulomb Technologies in California is the innovator of this green technology that offers an all-in-one solution which handles billing, utilities, and even helps you locate a nearby charging station through your mobile phone or tablet!

Smart Energy Meters

A smart go green business is one that skirts the edges of the actual green technology – yet integrates beautifully with it! eMeter from San Mateo, California, manufacture ‘smart meters’ that hook into existing utilities at homes, offices, businesses and other buildings, integrating them with older billing and operations or maintenance systems.

As an entrepreneur looking to go green business, these stories may give you some ideas about how best to tap into the boom area of green energy business and green technology.

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Alternative Energy – Types Of Alternate Power Sources

The search for alternative energy has become an urgent necessity as the world grapples with the twin problems of global warming and dwindling fossil fuels. Conventional sources of energy that have powered the rapid strides we have made in the last 150 years are fast dwindling. At the present rates of consumption the world will soon run out of oil and gas in another 50 years. Coal is available but it is very polluting energy resource and is a leading cause for global warming.

High Costs Of Alternate Energy

There are plenty of ways to generate alternative energy resources. But, the technologies available to exploit them for commercial use were not as cost-effective as they are for the fossil fuels. The cost of producing one megawatt power from alternates like wind energy and solar energy is much more than for producing the same amount of electricity using coal and gas. This is one of main reasons why renewable energies are lagging far behind the conventional sources. Else, the technology and know-how for producing electricity from sun, wind and oceans has been around for several decades.

As cost of producing electricity using coal and gas become unacceptably high due to the ill-effects of pollution and rising prices of these precious resources more attention is being focussed on better and efficient ways of making energy out of essentially free resources like the sun and the wind. Several countries in Europe and Asia have started to make tremendous investments in these alternative energy technologies to reduced their dependence on the traditional ways of making electricity.

Investing In A Green Tomorrow

Countries like Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Germany, Japan and newer economies like China, India and Brazil are making massive investments into alternative energy. Several of these countries are generating significant chunks of their energy needs from alternate energy sources like wind, sun and the oceans.

Nuclear power is also another alternate energy but since, it is highly difficult to dispose off the radio active nuclear wastes generated by these power plants they are losing a lot of public support. The major disaster that followed the destruction of Fukushima Nuclear Reactor due to Tsunami waves in early 2011 has not boded well for this power source. More and more people are turning wary of trusting a power over which we have very little control once it gets out of hand as demonstrated by the Fukushima plant.

Germany in a surprise move decided to shut down all its nuclear plants in a phased manner as the facilities were all very old and the government did not want a repeat of what happened in Japan on their soil. It has to be noted that Germany has invested a lot of money into solar power and most houses in the country are now generating enough solar energy to power at least part of their needs.

Nuclear power once the darling alternate energy because of its clean nature with no emission of green house gases as become a pariah overnight though it is not really the end of the road for nuclear energy. In reality nuclear power can be safely generated if all precautions and safeguards are correctly followed. But, it would be an uphill task to convince the general population.

Overcoming Prejudice And Opposition

The adoption of alternative energy like wind and solar power has been steadily increasing but there is some amount of opposition from traditional power companies. It is natural as they feel threatened that their very existence is at stake. But, the smarter companies are ploughing back their profits into alternative energy and hooking up their power plants to be able to supply this generated power to the households and industries. They are also offering to take the excess power you generate from your solar panels and put it back into their grid to be used elsewhere. This is called net metering. They give you credit for this excess power which can be used when you draw electricity from the grid. It’s win-win situation for the both the power company and the end consumer.

Another, advantage is the the electricity cables that supplies power to you and which has been laid out at great expense to the power company can be effectively utilized by the above system of net metering. In the western world almost every home is less than 50 feet away from a power outlet. That’s a tremendous resource which we take for granted but is a invaluable in terms how much we have benefitted from it and how much more benefit it can give us in the future.

As we look towards the future it is important to start embracing alternative energy in a big way as it is only method through which we can tackle the undesirable effects of global warming and our march towards self-reliance in the field of energy.

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