Category Archives: Drafting Software

Solar-Powered Home Products

The ever-changing market of solar-powered home products has created some very interesting new solar powered products consumers should review. New panels, energy storage systems, and solar racking systems from LG, Panasonic, Sunflare, and more.

With solar energy systems in high demand across the country and California’s solar mandate set to start in 2020, the time is now to investigate the solar industry and what it has to offer, both for you and your customers. Below are a few of the market’s latest innovations in panels, mounting systems, and energy storage.

CAD Pro has helped thousands of homeowners, professional designers, builders and contractors plan and design all types of solar-powered home products and floor plan designs. CAD Pro is used by NARI professional remodelers and contractors and the NRCA roofing contractors. CAD Pro is also used by NHBA home builders and contractors as well as the National Association of Landscape professionals.

New Solar-Powered Home Products

Energy Efficient Solar-Powered Home Products

New Solar-Powered Home Products

Sunflare
The LiteMount series of rackless solar modules is designed to serve as an alternative to traditional silicon solar racks for metal roof placement. The modules integrate seamlessly with metal roof attaching systems and weigh less than 1 pound per square foot installed. These new solar powered products are rated to handle a wind-load of up to 42 pounds per square foot and are shatter-proof, as they have no glass coating. A bypass diode is included at every cell, which keeps the panel active in any level of sunlight, apart from full shade. sunflaresolar.com

LG
LG NeON R Ace is LG’s latest high-performance AC solar panel, set to be available for purchase later 2019. It delivers a direct current power output of up to 375W alongside an integrated 320W micro-inverter. According to the firm these solar-powered home products are fully integrated systems that save time, space, and money for homeowners and installers, and eliminates the need to install a separate inverter. The panel is compatible with EnerVu, an app-based monitoring service, through the EnerBox solar accessory. Users can monitor the system via the app and alert LG customer service if issues occur. lg.com

Solaria
Here’s a list of new solar powered products from Solaria. PowerXT 370 Wp, PowerXT 365-Wp-AC and PowerXT 440Wp are new, higher-powered editions of Solaria’s existing solar panel series. The updated panels offer over 20% efficiency, a design with no visible circuitry, and a 25-year warranty. They also allow users to maximize their power output from their roof layout in a way that does not compromise the home’s aesthetics, says the firm. The PowerXT 365-Wp-AC includes integrated microinverters that provide an increased energy harvest from the panels and a decrease in installation time and overhead. solaria.com

Liftmaster
Liftmaster is now offering solar-powered home products. The 12VDC Solar Residential Linear Actuator Package is a swing gate operator optimized for —and packaged with—a solar panel power source. The full kit includes the operator, control box, and a 12-volt solar panel, which provides up to 126 days of standby power to the gate operator. It is myQ enabled, allowing users to control and monitor the gate using the myQ app. The hardware includes a heavy-duty DC motor, offers smooth start/stop and mid-travel reversal, and provides industrial surge protection against strikes up to 50 feet away. liftmaster.com

Panasonic
Panasonic offers a modular design for new solar powered products. The EverVolt residential energy storage system features a modular design that may be scaled as low as 5.7 kilowatt-hours of energy storage or as high as 34.2kWh. It is available in AC- and DC- coupled editions, easy to install and field serviceable, and compatible with any solar system or inverter. Homeowners may shift between multiple operating modes using an associated smartphone app. na.panasonic.com

Sol-Ark
The Sol-Ark 8K programmable solar inverter is designed to manage grid, solar, battery, load, and generator power simultaneously. These solar-powered home products systems provide 120/240V split-phase power, mimicking grid power supply, may also be used in grid-connected, hybrid, or off-grid systems alike.

Each system order is customizable to a household’s individual power needs, depending on the home’s location, sun exposure, projected energy usage, and anticipated off-grid operation. A single system may support between five to 36 solar panels and zero to 32 solar batteries. An optional EMP, solar flare and lightning protection upgrade system is also available. sol-ark.com

Solar Stack
The Solar Stack solar panel mounting system is designed to attach to residential tile roofs using the same foam adhesive used to install roof tiles. No roof penetrations are required for installation, which reduces the risk of leaks associated with traditional solar racking penetrations, according to the manufacturer.

Each of these new solar powered products in the Solar Stack system is supported by a series of eight-inch titanium alloy pedestals, which are positioned in stacks of two between each panel. The system is UL-certified, and has been approved for use in High Velocity Hurricane Zones, including Miami-Dade County. solarstack.com

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Cad Pro is an affordable and easy alternative to other more expensive design software programs. Cad Pro is great for creating smart home designs, custom home plans, building plans, office plans, construction details, electrical drawings  and much more.

CAD Pro allows anyone to share their ideas and plans with clients, colleagues or professional remodeling contractors using Dropbox®, Google Drive™, OneDrive®, and SharePoint®. Export files to Microsoft Word®, Excel®, and PowerPoint® with a single click.

Net-Zero House Plans

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Predictive Analytics Transform Construction

Predictive analytics transform construction when contractors, architects and design partners embrace IoT, predictive analytics rapid change in the construction industry is gaining popularity while reducing cost.

The construction industry continues to lag behind others when it comes to the adoption of digital construction practices. How can the Fourth Industrial Revolution become reality without a fully digitized engineering, procurement and construction sector? As the foundation of infrastructure across the world, the construction industry has the opportunity to lead. When global construction leaders start to think predictive analytics transform construction first, our cities and industries will be propelled into the Industry 4.0 era.

Predictive Analytics Transform Construction Industry

New Predictive Analytics Transform Construction

Predictive Analytics Transform Construction Industry

The World Economic Forum, in a recent Shaping the Future of Construction report, encourages construction industry executives to think strategically about the future and take preparatory steps sooner for predictive analytics transform construction methods. In the report, several key imperatives are identified, including adopting advanced technology at scale and maximizing the use of data and digital models throughout construction processes.

So, what can technology, data and digital models bring to construction? It’s all about achieving on-time, on-budget projects with high quality and safety standards and a new level of real-time project transparency. Newer technologies such as building information modeling (BIM), prefabrication and 3D printing are already reshaping the industry. Industrial IoT (IIoT) is digitizing the construction field with numerous sensors that reports all types of data, location, speed, vibration, fuel levels, safety/environmental hazards, raw materials, finished goods, work in process without traditional manual/paper-based data acquisition. Edge computing, the ability to deploy intelligence anywhere in the field, is processing that raw sensor data into immediate project progress and quality status. Edge computing and IIoT applications can transform the industry by maximizing the use of data and leveraging digital models to address one of the biggest challenges in EPC – real-time project visibility.

Maximize Use of Data
An industrial construction site or fabrication yard holds many sources of data and opportunities for predictive analytics transform construction from the onboard devices in heavy equipment like cranes, bulldozers, trucks, and other moving vehicles to tools such as pumps, compressors, generators, welding machines. Yet, this data is typically in silos, available only by individual pieces of equipment or tools or proprietary to each equipment or tool vendor or the contractor using them on-board diagnostics, vibration, environmental and other sensors, or even third-party systems like weather. Additional sensors may be needed to digitize analog assets, such as analog meters made digital through visual analytics. Integrating all the different data from various sources that may utilize different data structures is an important first step.

Digital Modeling
Data alone is not enough. In order to be useful, data needs to be analyzed in real-time, in the context of construction or fabrication operations, to make is usable. Creating dynamic digital models of equipment and processes allows not only monitoring but, with artificial intelligence-based software, can also be used for predictive analytics. Does the speed and location of moving forklifts indicate an imminent collision? Is the vibration in a pipe-cutting machine excessive over a period of time such that it requires maintenance? Does moving equipment or tanks that supply oxygen or other gases require refueling, to avoid job disruption? These are all very important questions for predictive analytics transform construction methods and procedures.

By digitizing and modelling equipment and processes — a fabrication process with multiple steps — project owners and stakeholders gain real-time visibility on their projects. In contrast to manual data collection and processes often utilized today, digital construction prevents unplanned downtime, improves equipment productivity, allocation and health.

Advanced Technology
The WEF report also calls out an imperative of adopting advanced technology at scale. What are some of these advanced technologies that can be leveraged in digital construction? The advances in microcontrollers (MCUs) and System-on Chips (SoCs), which are compact and require very low power, have enabled edge computing at often remote and unconnected (or under-connected) construction sites, integrating data closest to the source. These edge computing devices are powerful enough to run operating stacks and software algorithms that incorporate artificial intelligence, so predictive analytics can be done at the pace of operations. There are certainly interesting applications in construction, such as drones with added edge computing and Industrial IoT software that can be used for inspection, safety, and location of materials or finished goods across a large construction or fabrication yard. By combining with new edge computing, software intelligence will help predictive analytics transform construction and an edge to cloud architecture (supporting enterprise data), a powerful and scalable architecture can be built with an investment into these new ideas.

Impact on Construction
Ultimately, data, digital models and advanced technology are enablers of delivering on-time, on-budget construction projects. Digital Construction projects using IIoT software and edge computing provide real-time visibility for key stakeholders. Digital construction can reduce project disruptions by increasing equipment uptime, quickly locating movable equipment, reducing idle time and decreasing unplanned downtime through predictive maintenance. It can reduce costs through predicting and leasing only the equipment required, reduce manual inaccuracies through automation, predict fuel or other consumables needs to decrease last minute ordering and surcharges and improve supply chain logistics. It can enhance worker safety and health through improved environmental monitoring.

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Cad Pro is an affordable and easy alternative to other more expensive construction design software programs. Cad Pro is great for creating custom home plans, building plans, office plans, construction details, and much more.

CAD Pro allows anyone to share their ideas and plans with clients, colleagues or professional contractors using Dropbox®, Google Drive™, OneDrive®, and SharePoint®. Export files to Microsoft Word®, Excel®, and PowerPoint® with a single click.

CAD Pro has helped thousands of homeowners, professional designers, builders and contractors plan and design all types construction projects. CAD Pro is used by NARI professional remodelers and contractors and the NRCA roofing contractors. CAD Pro is also used by NHBA home builders and contractors as well as the National Association of Landscape professionals.

Net-Zero Home Design

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Optimizing Net Zero Homes

Great ways for optimizing net zero homes that will help the environment. These Habitat for Humanity net zero homes in Colorado are helping to find solutions for the local utility’s power management problem.

CAD Pro has helped thousands of homeowners, professional designers, builders and contractors plan and design all types of net zero floor plans. CAD Pro is used by NARI professional remodelers and contractors and the NRCA roofing contractors. CAD Pro is also used by NHBA home builders and contractors as well as the National Association of Landscape professionals.

Optimizing Net Zero Homes

Designing and Optimizing Net-Zero Homes

Affordable to own, and affordable to operate: That’s the idea for the 27-unit Basalt Vista housing development under construction by Habitat for Humanity of the Roaring Fork Valley in Basalt, Colo., this year. Volunteer labor, generous donations of materials, and Habitat’s financing will help in optimizing net zero homes while keeping the cost of ownership down. Solar panels on the roof, paid for by a grant from local nonprofit Community Office for Resource Efficiency, will help the all-electric homes achieve zero net energy performance, offsetting the power consumption of the homes’ heat-pump heating and cooling systems and keeping utility bills low.

Plans for Optimizing Net Zero Homes

Project architects Erica and Brian Golden of 2757 Design Build in Carbondale, Colo., have been involved in the project since the start, beginning with site development planning. They designed the duplex and triplex buildings before net zero became part of the concept. Nevertheless, the site plan and house designs combined for easy adaptation to a PV-based energy package. Says Brian Golden, “The design was somewhat based on a simplicity of form and structure, but also giving this kind of simple split gable approach—simple shallow roof pitches that were volunteer-friendly.” The designers had been careful not to have the units shade one another. “The roofscape was already very well situated to get a lot of the optimization of the PV that we were looking for,” says Brian Golden.

By the same token, optimizing net zero homes didn’t aim to surpass the local energy code (based on the 2015 IECC). “These were not heroic buildings,” says Marty Treadway, program director at CORE. “They’re a simple design, they are code-compliant, and then there’s maybe a few tweaks that we’ve made, in this case, hybrid electric water heaters, heat recovery ventilators, and mini-splits for space heating.” All of the units have sealed conditioned crawlspaces, according to Erica Golden. Walls are basic 2×6 construction with R-23 blown-in fiberglass insulation, plus an inch of rigid insulation on the exterior. Truss roofs are insulated to R-49 with blown fiberglass.

“For these affordable projects we’ve tried to push increasing insulation a little bit here and there,” says Erica Golden, “and it didn’t really swing the scale on the amount of PV that we needed to get to net zero, or the energy consumption. So, we were starting to get to those diminishing returns for optimizing net zero homes”

Four of the planned 27 units are finished and occupied. And in those four, the project team is taking things a step further. Holy Cross Energy, the local electric utility co-op, is using the four units as a research project and test case for a comprehensive new approach to energy management. Each of the units has a storage battery that can capture the power generated by the rooftop solar panels. They’ve also got a sophisticated communication and control device called a “coordinator” that interfaces between the house and the utility’s dispatch center. Partnering with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Holy Cross is working on a concept that the utility hopes will help it reach its ambitious goal of 70% carbon-free energy by the year 2030.

The batteries can serve multiple aims. They can store power from the solar panels; they can supply power to the house; they can store power drawn from the grid; and they can supply power to the grid. All those functions are managed by the coordinator, which is also able to control other “distributed energy resources” in the house—the heat pumps, the heat pump water heater, and the electric vehicle charger—explains Chris Bilby, a research and programs engineer with Holy Cross. The idea is to harmonize the requirements of the house with the grid’s needed for optimal power flow and optimizing net zero homes.

Photovoltaics are a plentiful resource, but they come with drawbacks for the utility. According to Bilby, “net zero is really pretty easy to get to—we just put as much generation on our roof as we consume. And if those two match at the end of the year, we give each other high-fives: We were at net zero. That works great, except you’re using the grid as a battery. You generate during the day when you’re not home, the surplus feeds into the grid, and then when you come home at night, you pull from the grid. And that has dramatic impacts on the grid. PV produces most of the time when we don’t need the energy. And it doesn’t produce at nighttime at 9 o’clock when we do need the energy.”

When optimizing net zero homes, atteries change the equation, says Bilby. “At Basalt Vista we’re using the concept known as ‘delayed self-consumption.’ So the batteries are discharged at night as long as they can, and when the solar comes up the next morning, they fully charge back up. We just keep on cycling like that, and we look at the impacts that we would have had on the grid.”

Holy Cross can put the houses in three modes, Bilby explains. In “optimization mode,” the coordinator acts like an orchestra conductor, matching generation to load to try to reduce the member homeowner’s power bills. “There are algorithms that sit on each one of the controllers that send set-points to devices to try to optimize the house’s performance,” says Bilby. “The easiest thing for people to understand is that during certain times of the day or month it costs us more money to buy power.”

The second mode is “peak load management,” which enables the utility to “shave” loads during very high demand periods. Says Bilby: “I push a button in my dispatch, and it sends a signal out to the coordinator, and the coordinator then tells all the devices that the utility is calling for some power, what do you have? At this point I might un-curtail the PV all the way, to give me max kW; I might discharge the battery in sync; I might stop charging the EV charger; and I might delay any type of comfort.”

The third mode of optimizing net zero homes is called “storm watch,” during which the home is prepared for an outage. “This might just be a forecasted outage for maintenance, where we don’t want to blink the people’s lights and the homes can go into their own autonomous mode, or it might be an outage like we prepared for last year when we had a fire come through here,” Bilby says. “This mode would charge the battery, charge the EV, preheat the water—it’s almost the opposite of peak load management. We’re just trying to put as much energy as we can into things to prepare for an outage.”

The payoff for the co-op utility and its members comes when they avoid the high cost of power during the peak periods. “Our biggest costs come from energy use within a small window of time,” Bilby says. “This is called ‘coincidental peak.’ When all of us use the same electricity at the same time, one day a year when it’s hot outside and people come home and turn on their air conditioning and cook and do all their other things that use power. At some moment per month we decide to turn everything on, collectively, as a grid. And if we can modulate when that happens or flatten out our load curve so that that never happens, then we will be able to reduce costs across the whole system.”

Cad Pro is an affordable and easy alternative to other more expensive net zero home design software programs. Cad Pro is great for creating custom home plans, building plans, office plans, construction details, and much more.

CAD Pro allows anyone to share their ideas and plans with clients, colleagues or professional remodeling contractors using Dropbox®, Google Drive™, OneDrive®, and SharePoint®. Export files to Microsoft Word®, Excel®, and PowerPoint® with a single click.

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Moneymaking Home Interior Projects

Even small moneymaking home interior projects may require you to get a sign-off from an architect or engineer, particularly if your work involves altering load-bearing walls and structures. In this article we will provide home interior project cost details that will assist you with your new project.

It’s important that homeowners consult a pro early in the planning process when starting any of these moneymaking home interior projects. Whether you need an architect or engineer depends on the state and local codes of your jurisdiction. A lot of states give architects authority to design structures, but this industry is in transition concerning this issue. We’re seeing more states require a structural engineer to sign off on residential work. This is an important factor for home interior project cost details.

Any time you change, remove, modify or add structure, the building code is likely going to regulate you in some form. And engineers and architects are educated on how to do that properly.

Cad Pro is an affordable and easy alternative to other more expensive home design software programs. Cad Pro is great for any of these moneymaking home interior projects as well as custom home plans, building plans, office plans, construction details, and much more.

CAD Pro allows anyone to share their home interior project cost details and plans with clients, colleagues or professional remodeling contractors using Dropbox®, Google Drive™, OneDrive®, and SharePoint®. Export files to Microsoft Word®, Excel®, and PowerPoint® with a single click.

CAD Pro has helped thousands of homeowners, professional designers, builders and contractors plan and design all types of moneymaking home interior projects. CAD Pro is used by NARI professional remodelers and contractors and the NRCA roofing contractors. CAD Pro is also used by NHBA home builders and contractors as well as the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA).

money making home interior projects

Moneymaking Home Interior Projects Improve Home Value

Top Rated Moneymaking Home Interior Projects

ONE: Interior Painting
Homeowners typically spend: $975 – $2,800
Biggest cost driver: Size of job, type of walls and ceilings.

Painting is one of the quickest moneymaking home interior projects that will improve your home’s interior and give it a whole new look and sensation.

Here are two questions you need to consider. What color will you select? And what paint finish you will use? It’s worth taking the time in advance to consider your color palette, because it’s much easier to change your mind before the paint rollers get going. These questions will have an impact on your home interior project cost details. Your painting professional or paint store will be able to provide color swatches and samples to see how things will look. And you might also consider consulting with an interior decorator. Don’t forget how the floors, ceilings, baseboards and trim will interact with the new look. The finish plays a big role as well as your choices from matte to glossy. In addition to swatches, you can also apply paint samples to the wall. This way, you can see how the color interacts with the light and décor.

The scope and size of the job is an important cost indicator. Textured walls will take longer to paint, for example, and some paints dry more quickly than others, which lowers the labor cost.

Since a painter is already going to be paying close attention to your molding, baseboards and trim, this is an excellent time to inspect those areas for cracks, warps or other issues. Many painters can fix those items themselves which improve this moneymaking home interior project.

TWO: Kitchen Remodeling Costs
Homeowners typically spend: $12,700 – $34,500
Biggest cost driver: Appliances, cabinets

A kitchen remodel is one of the biggest and most expensive moneymaking home interior projects in short of an addition or whole-house remodel. Careful planning can help you realize the kitchen of your dreams, just as failure to plan can quickly devolve into a nightmare and become very costly.

This is a job in which you’ll have to be ready to grit your teeth and pay out serious money for things like cabinets, appliances and fixtures. It’s likely this will be a once-in-a-lifetime remodel for you, so it’s worth it to spend more to get it right. Using high-quality materials and going for the fixtures and appliances you really want will help ensure you’ll value and enjoy your kitchen for many years to come.

Important Consideration:
Consider remodeling your kitchen in the summertime so you can use your grill and outdoor eating area. You can also set up a backup kitchen complete with refrigerator, microwave and hot plate. This will help with your home interior project cost details. In any case, be prepared to eat more takeout than usual.

THREE: Bathroom Remodeling Costs
Homeowners typically spend: $5,900 – $14,500
Biggest cost driver: Plumbing, fixtures and countertops.

Be prepared for unexpected and costly infrastructure shifts on a bathroom remodel, because plumbing is expensive to move. If you can get away with remodeling without changing the layout of the plumbing. And if you move ahead with changing the layout, be aware that moving a toilet across the room will cost far more than the price of the toilet itself.

Moneymaking home interior projects such as bathroom remodels often involve the customization of some features, be ready for the timeframe to shift. You’re entirely at the mercy of the supplier’s schedule and inventory. If possible, select your components early on and wait until they’re delivered to start demolition. And if you do start without fixtures in hand, be ready with a backup plan for when (not if) something gets delayed.

In addition to the obvious plumbing concerns, many bathrooms have no windows. So, consider lighting and air circulation. Exhaust fans are highly recommended to prevent mold and keep air circulating. These items will impact your home interior project cost details.

FOUR: Flooring
Homeowners typically spend: $2,600 – $8,500 (wood), $1,600 – $4,200 (laminate)
Biggest cost driver: Materials and difficulty of installation.

Flooring is one of the most popular moneymaking home interior projects. Flooring work presents dangerous temptations to be penny-wise and pound-foolish. Take care with decisions where saving a few bucks may subtract years off the floor’s usable life. Flooring installation is best left to the professionals. If you blow it on a DIY job, you’ll often end up buying materials all over again. And take care to purchase high-quality materials; the dollars spent can translate into decades of floor life.

You especially don’t want your contractor to skimp on preparation. Experts say floors often fail because the contractor didn’t verify the subfloor’s flatness. These mistakes will have a big impact on your home interior project cost details.

Hardwood flooring costs range from $2 to $30 per square foot, depending on the specific wood. Pros say engineered hardwood makes an excellent compromise because of its affordability and durability, at around $8 per square foot. Laminate flooring costs less than wood, at between $0.70 and $2 per square foot. But laminate is not as durable as hardwood.

If you decide to add or replace windows to your kitchen or bathroom remodeling job. Here are a few we recommend; Renewal by Anderson , Pella Windows and Doors , Jeld Wen Windows and Doors , Home Depot and Lowes.

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Landscape Plans Add Value

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Net-Zero House Plans

Net-zero house plans and the opportunities of building a net-zero house in Phoenix, Arizona. The city will be happy to provide you with a full set of plans at no cost for building net-zero homes.

The offer is part of the city’s plan to see all new buildings net positive by 2050, according to an article posted at Architectural Record, and follows a design competition in 2017 challenging architects to develop net-zero house plans for the city’s hot, dry climate.

The winner of building net-zero homes was Marlene Imirzian & Associates Architects, which developed plans for a 2,185-square-foot, three-bedroom home. Home NZ, as it’s called, has a HERS score of 30, making it 70% more energy efficient than an average built-to-code home. With the addition of a modest solar array, the house would be net-zero.

Cad Pro is an affordable and easy alternative to other more expensive net-zero home design software programs. Cad Pro is great for creating custom home plans, building plans, office plans, construction details, and much more.

CAD Pro allows anyone to share their ideas and net-zero house plans with clients, colleagues or professional contractors using Dropbox®, Google Drive™, OneDrive®, and SharePoint®. Export files to Microsoft Word®, Excel®, and PowerPoint® with a single click.

CAD Pro has helped thousands of homeowners, professional designers, builders and contractors plan and design all types of net-zero house plans and designs. CAD Pro is used by NARI professional remodelers and contractors and the NRCA roofing contractors. CAD Pro is also used by NHBA home builders and contractors as well as the National Association of Landscape professionals.

Net-Zero House Plans and Features for Building Net-Zero Homes

Net-Zero House Plans and Features

Designing and Building Net-Zero House Plans

Building net-zero homes are estimated $344,000 (not including the contractor’s overhead), and is designed to fit on a 60-foot by 110-foot lot. The net-zero house plans are orientation neutral, meaning it would perform as intended no matter which way the building lot is oriented.

According to the description posted with the plans, the single-story house takes its design cues from mid-century modern residential architecture. It includes a large front porch and a built-in garage. Operable, exterior shades can be left open when the sun isn’t shining and closed when windows are in direct sunlight, reducing cooling loads. Shades are designed to prevent 95% of direct sunlight from reaching window glass.

Features for Net-Zero House Plans Include:

  • Structural insulated panels (SIPs) for the walls and roof. Wall panels are 9 1/2-inch thick (R-45), OSB over polyisocyanurate insulation. Roof panels are of the same construction, 11 1/4 inches thick (R-70).
  • A reflective cool roof to minimize heat absorption is an excellent feature for net-zero house plans.
  • Passive cooling by means of a solar chimney at the top of the house that can flush out stale air and introduce cooler, fresh air at night.
  • LED bulbs, a smart thermostat, and wi-fi enabled energy management.
  • Heating and cooling with a Carrier air-source heat pump. Whole-house ventilation with a Zehnder energy-recovery ventilator. The variable-speed air conditioner limits starts and stops for higher efficiency.
  • Double-pane windows.
  • When building net-zero homes the estimated annual energy costs include $286 in service charges, $240 for cooling, and $597 for lights and appliances.

These net-zero house plans are available free of charge, but they are provided without a warranty, and the homeowner assumes all liability. Also, the city requires that anyone taking the plans agrees to have them reviewed by a local professional architect and/or engineer as well as a licensed contractor before construction starts.

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Best Smart Home Products

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New Home Decking Cost

Putting up a new deck can improve both the function and look of your home and its future resale value. New home decking cost can vary significantly, however, depending on square footage, the type of materials used and whether you choose to hire a contractor or do it yourself will have an impact on home decking cost. So, what can you expect to pay for a new home deck?

CAD Pro has helped thousands of homeowners, professional designers, builders and contractors plan and design all types of deck plans. CAD Pro is used by NARI professional remodelers and contractors and the NRCA roofing contractors. CAD Pro is also used by NHBA home builders and contractors as well as the National Association of Landscape professionals.

Share your new home decking cost and plans with clients, builders or professional contractors using Dropbox®, Google Drive™, OneDrive®, and SharePoint®. Export files to Microsoft Word®, Excel®, and PowerPoint® with a single click.

new home decking cost and materials

Decking Cost and Materials

New Home Decking Cost and Materials

Deck Type and Size
The most important new home decking cost consideration is the size and type of deck you want. The bigger the square footage, the more you can expect to pay. The type of deck materials you use will also factor into your overall home decking cost.

Where you’re putting your deck also matters. If it’s low enough to the ground, you may be able to place the joists on four-way deck blocks rather than digging post holes. It’s possible to level the soil and place these directly on the ground, but most homeowners choose to add gravel or a large paving stone to help keep the structure from shifting.

The higher your deck is off the ground means you will need to pour concrete pilings for support pillars, and your city or town has rules about how high a deck can be before needing supports. Post holes will have to be augured and the posts set in place before any construction can begin.

Deck Materials are Important
The type of materials you choose will have a big impact on your new home decking cost. This is something you need to consider before starting your new deck. Researching the deck materials, you will use, is one of the most important tips we can offer. There are a lot of choices for decking materials, so find the one that’s right for you.

Pressure treated wood such as southern yellow pine, which has been chemically processed to resist rot and insects, will average from $8 to $20 per square foot.

It’s important to remember that a smaller, simpler deck that’s low to the ground is less expensive than a larger, taller deck.

The price also goes up if you use higher-quality wood.

Cedar, for example, is soft to the touch and doesn’t splinter or crack as much as pine. Decks built with cedar can cost between $11 and $26 per square foot.

Man-made or composite materials are among the most expensive materials available and will increase the new home decking cost, sometimes as much as $50 per square foot. Composite material is becoming increasingly popular, and sometimes replaces wood decks in homes before they’re put on the market.

These prices will also vary depending on what a contractor charges for both materials and labor.

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Cad Pro is an affordable and easy alternative to other more expensive deck design software programs. Cad Pro is great for creating deck plans,  DIY home projects, custom home plans, building plans, electrical drawings, construction details, and much more. Anyone can start their new deck project with CAD Pro.

Smart DIY Home Security Systems

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Professional Outdoor Kitchen Projects

As outdoor living spaces continue to evolve, homeowners are increasingly likely to seek help for professional outdoor kitchen projects. Nearly two-thirds of homeowners consulted design professionals on outdoor kitchen designs and projects and more than eight in ten homeowners used professional installers, according to the 2019 Outdoor Kitchen Consumer Profile released by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA).

Outdoor living space no longer just means a grill on a patio and a picnic table. Outdoor kitchen designs typically include hardscaping to define areas for dining, cooking, and relaxing, built-in refrigerators, grills, sinks, cabinetry, plumbing, bar areas, shelter and overhead structures, and lighting.

When designing these professional outdoor kitchen projects there are many outdoor kitchen appliances and manufacturing companies to choose from. Here are a few we recommend; Masterbuilt, Vicking, AJ Madison, BBQGuys and Kalamazoo.

CAD Pro has helped thousands of homeowners, professional designers, builders and contractors plan and design all types of outdoor kitchen designs. CAD Pro is used by NARI professional remodelers and contractors and the NRCA roofing contractors. CAD Pro is also used by NHBA home builders and contractors as well as the National Association of Landscape professionals.

Professional Outdoor Kitchen Projects and Outdoor Kitchen Designs

Professional Outdoor Kitchen Projects and Designs

Professional Outdoor Kitchen Projects and Budgets

As outdoor living spaces continue to include more elements, the budgets for such projects continue to expand. The NKBA report found the average spend among surveyed homeowners on outdoor kitchens is $13,000, with nearly one quarter of respondents building high-end professional outdoor kitchen projects costing more than $30,000. An additional 14% of respondents spend between $20,000 and $30,000 on outdoor kitchen design projects.

Homeowners increasingly regard their outdoor living spaces as extensions of their homes, and therefore are building them more elaborately, taking design elements and creature comforts into greater consideration. Although more than one-third of outdoor kitchens are in warm-weather states like Florida, Texas and California, homeowners in states like New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts are also making more use of their outdoor spaces for two or even three seasons, with amenities like fireplaces, fire pits, and patio heaters where needed.

The most common regret for homeowners when designing these professional outdoor kitchen projects is wishing they built better structures for shade and protection from inclement weather, according to the NKBA. Other common regrets include not designing a bigger space, not allocating more counter space, not installing atmosphere, lighting, or temperature control, and not including cabinets for storage.

The Outdoor Kitchen Consumer Profile report polled 303 homeowners who either completed an outdoor kitchen project in the past three years or were planning to complete one in the year ahead.

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Cad Pro is an affordable and easy alternative to other more expensive outdoor kitchen design software. Cad Pro is great for designing outdoor living projects, DIY home projects, smart home designs, technical drawings, electrical drawings, construction details, and much more.

Dream Deck Building Tips

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Dream Deck Building Tips

Our dream deck building tips will help you build the perfect deck that you can enjoy for a long time. A new deck is a great way to add value and outdoor living space to your home. Some deck projects are easier than others. But whether you plan to build your own deck or hire a deck construction professional to build one for you, a few important building tips can make a big difference.

CAD Pro has helped thousands of homeowners, professional designers, builders and contractors plan and design all types of deck plans. CAD Pro is used by NARI professional remodelers and contractors and the NRCA roofing contractors. CAD Pro is also used by NHBA home builders and contractors as well as the National Association of Landscape professionals.

Share your dream deck building tips and plans with clients, builders or professional contractors using Dropbox®, Google Drive™, OneDrive®, and SharePoint®. Export files to Microsoft Word®, Excel®, and PowerPoint® with a single click.

Dream Deck Building Tips for how to Build the Perfect Deck

Build the Perfect Deck

Four Dream Deck Building Tips

Here are a few important tips to help you build the perfect deck and make sure your deck project turns out great while providing longevity and durability.

One: – Be Sure You Get a Building Permit
Sure, getting a permit can be a pain and cost some money but not a lot of money, relatively speaking, as most permit fees I see are under $200 but it’s worth it and in most cases it’s required. When implementing these dream deck building tips most cities and towns have a qualified engineer or certified plan reviewer on staff to review your building plans. They’re usually familiar with the best practices and latest code requirements, and they’re usually happy to share their knowledge with you.

Show them a basic drawing with dimensions and they will usually help you fill in the details. Making sure you use the correct beam, joist, post and footing sizes, along with the correct fasteners and hangers is their job and specialty. Getting a permit may be the best insurance that your deck will last a long time and be safe.

Two: – Get Multiple Bids for Your Deck
It’s always a good idea to get more than one bid. Even if you build the deck yourself, getting several bids will help you determine if it’s worth doing the job yourself or better to hire a professional.

In the past when homeowners try to build the perfect deck, they find out it’s necessary to call a professional to finish the deck built by the homeowner. By just adding stairs or handrails can be more difficult than you may think. In a few cases, the professional has noticed that incorrect materials were being used (and it was built wrong). After talking with the homeowner about the cost of materials, we determined that it would actually cost the homeowner more to build the deck themselves, which goes back to our first point.

Three: – Be Sure You Know the Contractor You Hire
When you decide to implement these dream deck building tips most states offer a website an online look-up tool to see if a contractor’s license is current and what type of license the contractor has. Some deck contractors have basic carpenter licenses, while others may have a general contractor’s license.

A general contractor who builds decks usually has experience with other types of building construction that might be useful if you’re building a large deck, adding electrical or the deck features a roof, whereas a deck contractor with a basic carpenter’s license might not have the experience needed.

It’s very important that you ask your deck contractor for proof of insurance. If they have liability and workers comp insurance, they’ll be happy to prove it. And, of course, check reviews and ask for references.

Four: – Research Your Deck Materials
Researching the deck materials, you will use, is one of the most important dream deck building tips. There are a lot of choices for decking materials, so find the one that’s right for you. If you want to build the perfect deck, composite decking is the most popular choice in parts of the country that features hot summers and cold winters. It holds up well, it’s low maintenance and most of the newer composite products carry a 25-year warranty.

Traditional redwood or cedar decking materials are less expensive than composite decking to start off with, but they may cost you more over time if you factor in maintenance costs. Exotic hardwoods are becoming popular, but they usually cost more than composite decking and they require annual maintenance.

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Deck Plans and Design Software
Create professional and precise deck designs and deck plans with CAD Pro’s easy to use design tools. Design hot tub decks, pool decks, multi-level decks, deck railing, custom deck plans, landscape decks, commercial decks and much more when implementing these dream deck building tips.

FREE Professional Deck Designs and Deck Plans
Quickly view and print professionally designed deck plans when you build the perfect deck. CAD Pro includes popular deck plans built. Simply open any of the many CAD Pro deck plans and quickly modify any aspect to meet your specific deck plan or deck design requirements.

Cad Pro is an affordable and easy alternative to other more expensive deck design software programs. Cad Pro is great for creating DIY home projects, custom home plans, building plans, electrical drawings, construction details, and much more. Anyone can start their new deck project with CAD Pro.

Patio Designs

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Impressive Home Curb Appeal

We’ve put together some of the most popular and impressive home curb appeal projects. The curb’s-eye view of your house gives you the best chance to make a good first impression and improve the value of your property. Tackling these six best curb appeal projects will make your home the talk of the neighborhood and impress potential buyers.

When starting theses best curb appeal projects. CAD Pro allows anyone to share their ideas and plans with clients, colleagues or professional contractors using Dropbox®, Google Drive™, OneDrive®, and SharePoint®. Export files to Microsoft Word®, Excel®, and PowerPoint® with a single click.

CAD Pro has helped thousands of homeowners, professional designers, builders and contractors plan and design all types of impressive home curb appeal plans. CAD Pro is used by NARI professional remodelers and contractors and the NRCA roofing contractors. CAD Pro is also used by NHBA home builders and contractors as well as the National Association of Landscape professionals.

Impressive Home Curb Appeal and the Best Curb Appeal Projects

Popular and Impressive Home Curb Appeal

The Most Impressive Home Curb Appeal Projects

One: Improve Landscaping
Nothing hits the “wow” factor quite like a perfectly landscaped yard. Great landscaping not only creates a lush lawn and garden, but it also adds value and establishes an inviting feel and it’s at the top of our list of impressive home curb appeal projects.

Planting a line of trees can create a “living fence” that ads privacy and defines the property line, for example. And even a quick and easy mulching job can do a lot to improve aesthetic appeal. If your budget allows, extras like water features, irrigation systems and patios, then you can take your landscaping to the next level.

Two: Make a Few Cosmetic Upgrades
A few small cosmetic upgrades can give curb appeal a big boost. When considering the best curb appeal projects adding a high-quality mailbox or prominent modern street numbers. Or, install lighting and potted plants along your walkway and at your entrance to create a welcoming environment.

Three: Paint Your Home’s Exterior
One of the most impressive home curb appeal projects is painting your home’s exterior. This home improvement project will freshen up your homes entire look, increasing both curb appeal and your property’s value. Of course, if you don’t want to commit to a full paint job, adding an accent trim or painting your front door in a bold, attention-grabbing color can also go a long way in making a good first impression for less money.

Four: Clean the Windows
Sparkling clean windows will make any home stand out from the rest. Professionals recommend cleaning your windows at least once a year, if not twice. And for the average cost of just a few hundred dollars, a professional cleaner can not only give your curb appeal a boost, but they can also save you the time and effort it would take to tackle the job yourself.

Five: Inspect and Repair Your Roof
This is one of our most important and best curb appeal projects you need to consider. Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements, not to mention one of the first features a neighbor sees from the street. Roofing pros suggest hiring an inspector once a year to identify the need for repairs and to catch damage and leaks before they call for costly repairs and replacement. If you are planning to sell your home this will be a must in order to get any real value for your home.

Six: Spruce Up Your Deck
A well-maintained deck always makes an impressive home curb appeal. Power washing will clear away dirt and grime for a fresh start. And sealing and waterproofing once every year or two will not only protect your deck from moisture and mold, but it will also make your deck easier to clean and maintain in the long run.

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Cad Pro is an affordable and easy alternative to other more expensive home improvement design software. Cad Pro is great for designing DIY home projects, smart home appliances, technical drawings, electrical drawings, construction details, and much more. Anyone can plan and start one of these impressive home curb appeal projects with CAD Pro.

Bathroom Remodeling Prices

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Construction Employment Increases

Construction Employment Increases in 42 States Between June 2018 and June 2019. Thirty states added construction jobs from May to June, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.

Forty-two states added construction jobs between June 2018 and June 2019, according to a report by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). The 12-month increase is in line with recent data releases from the AGC. The organization reported construction employment increases in 39 states and Washington, D.C., added construction jobs between May 2018 and May 2019, while 43 states added construction jobs between April 2018 and April 2019, and 38 states added jobs between March 2018 and March 2019.

Construction Employment Increases and Construction Jobs

Construction Employment Increases and Construction Jobs

Construction Employment Increases and Construction Jobs

The AGC also reported construction employment increases in 30 states between May and June, continuing a stagnation of month-to-month changes in construction employment. Thirty-one states added jobs between April and May after 29 states added jobs between February and March.

“Construction demand remains robust across most states, and contractors continue to add workers when they can find them,” stated chief economist Ken Simonson. “But contractors are struggling to find all the workers they need in many states, as shown the historically high number of job openings at the end of May.”

California, Texas, Georgia, Florida, and Arizona added the most jobs in pure numbers between May and June, while Wyoming, Maine, West Virginia, and Vermont added the highest percentage of construction employment increases. Nevada lost the highest number and largest percentage of construction jobs between May and June.

California and Texas added the most construction jobs in pure numbers during the past 12 months, while West Virginia and Wyoming added the highest percentage of jobs in the past calendar year. Construction employment reached record highs in Colorado, Oregon, and Texas. Louisiana lost the largest number of jobs in the past year and the steepest percentage of construction jobs in the same period.

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Cad Pro has helped with construction employment increases with an affordable and easy alternative to other more expensive design software programs. Cad Pro is great for creating custom home plans, building plans, office plans, construction details, and much more.

CAD Pro allows anyone to share their construction design ideas and plans with clients, colleagues or professional contractors using Dropbox®, Google Drive™, OneDrive®, and SharePoint®. Export files to Microsoft Word®, Excel®, and PowerPoint® with a single click.

CAD Pro has helped thousands of homeowners, professional designers, builders and contractors plan and design all types of construction job designs and plans. CAD Pro is used by NARI professional remodelers and contractors and the NRCA roofing contractors. CAD Pro is also used by NHBA home builders and contractors as well as the National Association of Landscape professionals. All of these organizations are a key part of the construction employment increases.

Popular Landscape Trends

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