Ten Things You Can Do to Make Your Home Insanely Great
I have been producing architecturally significant homes for ten years now. Along the way, I have learned a few things that the pros use that can really make a difference in your home [and in our own home] that help make waking up in the morning an Insanely Great experience.
Make one or more of these part of your New Year's resolutions:
Buy and have handy a copy of Christopher Alexander's A Pattern Language. It formalizes many of the spatial relationships into a grammar for great residential design. It is a book you can jump in and out of when you are looking for "how to say" a solution to a site, a problem, or a requirement.
Install a Skylight in your Bathroom.
Install Dimmers on all dimmable Circuits. I like the Lutron Maestro dimmers, about $25 at Home Depot. All your circuits (other than closets or garages) should be dimmable.
No naked bulbs. You want to see the wash of light, not its source.
Add a lamp--layer the lighting in the room. Uplights behind furniture act as background lighting at night.
Combine the three types of lighting--ambient or background lighting; task or focused lighting, and mood lighting (candles).
Install a Solar Roof Fan. This lowers the cooling load in the summer.
Check your insurance coverage. Increasing home values over the past three years may have left you exposed on what is probably your largest asset.
Install a photovoltaic power system to replace the higher tariffs of power. Look to replace any power that costs you more than $0.20/KWh (>130% of baseline in PG&E territory).
Bring more southern light into your home--windows, clerestories, anything to get more daylight into your home. Install/Replace a window with one that better captures the light or view.
If you are thinking of selling your home, check your property information on Zillow. If someone knows the property owner's name--a matter of public record--they can post false information about a property because Zillow does not independently verify it. Zillow says it will ban anyone who posts maliciously from claiming homes in the future, and will respond to owner comments in one day. False information on Zillow about your property can be one more roadblock to a successful sale.