Giving the interior of your home a fresh coat of paint is one of the best ways to revitalize drab-looking rooms and make scuffed walls look new again.

While there are plenty of home improvement, repair, and decorating projects that are best left to the professionals, interior house painting is usually a task that can be successfully tackled by homeowners.

Advanced skills are not a prerequisite for doing a respectable job, but you do need patience, attention to detail, and the right tools. When you don’t start out with the right supplies, wall painting can end up being a frustrating and stressful task — not to mention messy! Here are a few pointers to help make the project go more smoothly.

  • Wear the appropriate clothing: If paint gets on your everyday shoes, your new jeans, or even a good watchband, it will basically ruin those articles of clothing. No matter how neat or precise you think you can be with a paintbrush or roller, it’s almost impossible to avoid dripping a few drops of paint in the wrong place or even accidentally brushing up against a messy ladder, paint can, or freshly painted surface. By taking the time to change into clothes you don’t care about, you’ll be saving the aggravation of messing up a favorite pair of pants, shirt, or shoes. Wearing a painter’s cap with a brim and disposable vinyl gloves can also minimize the amount of paint that gets on your face, hair, and hands. By making it easier to keep yourself clean, you’ll find painting to be a much neater and more satisfying experience.
  • Choose the right drop cloths: The temptation for many do-it-yourselfers is to save money and cut costs whenever possible. While this certainly makes sense in principle, there are certain cases in which it pays to spend a few extra dollars to get quality supplies. The perfect example is drop cloths — an essential item on your painting supplies list. Floors, furniture and appliances can get permanently damaged (cosmetically) if they’re not properly covered up while the wall and ceiling paint is being applied. The really cheap drop cloths that you’ll often find at hardware stores and other retail outlets are difficult to keep in place and could easily tear, become bunched up, or move a few inches from their intended spot. Those really light-weight, plastic drop cloths don’t stand a chance of staying put when breezes from open windows, fans, or doors exert the slightest bit of air pressure on them. The solution is to either purchase canvas or heavy-duty plastic drop cloths. (In a pinch, old bedsheets can often do the job, too!)
  • Painter’s tape is crucial: One of the most time-consuming, but necessary aspects of room painting is taping the edges of surfaces to be painted (or not to be painted). While not everyone takes the time to do this step correctly, it helps produce a professional-looking job you’ll be proud of.

Painting can be a messy, frustrating, and unsatisfying task if you don’t do the necessary prep work, wear the right kind of attire, and thoroughly cover floors, furniture, and anything else you want to protect from paint spills. Doing your own interior painting can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, but you’ll be much happier with the outcome of your own work if you approach the job with patience, preparation, and the right supplies!

Solar is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. Each year, hundreds of thousands of homes go solar, adding thousands of new jobs and preventing massive amounts of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

It has never been a better time to go solar. However, the rapid technological advancements and the growing market of solar power companies means that you have several options to consider if you’re thinking about going green.

Types of residential solar power

The first thing to understand about solar power is that there are several different types you can get for your home. From roof-installed solar panels to off-site solar farms, you have options when it comes to powering your house cheaply and efficiently.

Leasing and purchasing PV panels

One of the most common ways that people power their home with solar power is by leasing rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels from a solar company. There are different leasing options available from different companies, so it’s a good idea to shop around the solar providers in your area.

Leasing is a great option for those who don’t have the funds to purchase panels but still want to lower their monthly electricity bill. Companies who offer leasing often install and maintain the panels for free. The panels will be hooked up to your local energy grid. Each month, your electricity bill will be reduced by the amount that is produced by your panels. The way the solar company earns is by selling a portion of the solar produced back to the energy company and by collecting incentives from state and federal governments.  

Purchasing your panels outright has its advantages. When you purchase your own panels you can more greatly reduce or even eliminate your monthly utility bills without giving a cut back to the solar company. However, this also means you’re responsible for the care and maintenance, and insurance of the panels.

Off-site solar

Many people would love to reduce their electricity bill and help reduce carbon emissions, but they just can’t stand the look of solar panels on their roof. Fortunately, off-site solar farms are also growing in popularity. This type of solar power comes with all of the same benefits of rooftop solar except that it isn’t located on your house.

Typically a vacant spot of land is used as a solar “farm.” Community members can opt to lease or own a portion of the farm to contribute towards powering their home.

This option is particularly beneficial to those who lack roof-space, or who have a roof that doesn’t receive an optimal amount of sunlight.

Emerging technologies

As I mentioned earlier, solar power is an industry that is rapidly changing. If you’re not ready just yet to install solar panels or join a shared solar community, it’s still a good idea to look ahead at emerging technologies.

One such example is Tesla’s new solar roofs. The idea is that instead of installing panels, the roof itself comes with panels built-in. What’s more, the roofs are said to last longer than traditional roofs, and they’ll come in a variety of styles which mimic traditional shingles and comes in Tuscan, textured glass, and slate options.

Tagged with:
 
Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.