It’s that time of year again. The inevitable winter chill has arrived. It’s left you cold in your house, waiting for your water to heat up, and paying energy bills that you didn’t know could get so high. Don’t you wish there was a solution to these issues that didn’t mean spending the rest of your money? Wait, there is? And it helps the environment too? This sounds too good to be true, but guess what…it isn’t! By understanding what incentives are available to you, saving a ton of money (and our planet at the same time) is a very realistic option.
Recently, the New York Times ran an article about how big businesses are reaping big returns from renewable energy products. The idea behind this is that present, huge “start up” incentives mixed with guaranteed returns in the future make for a win/win situation for any investor. That same incentive money is available for small businesses and homeowners. Few realize this, let alone take advantage of it. Let us break it down for you how it really pays to go green.
Keep Your Water Warm Without Paying Extra
Every winter, it costs more and takes longer for your water to heat. The amount of energy it takes to keep that shower just the way you like it can make your bills sky rocket. Did you know that almost every state in America offers incentives for you to purchase a solar water heater? You can save up to 80% on purchasing one and let the sun take care of the rest. That’s right, you never have to worry about paying to heat your water again!
Switch Your Lights and Save
Retrofit your old bulbs for new LED or CFL lights and start saving every day. These can also qualify for rebates, especially if it’s for your business.
Energy Star Appliances
If you switch over to Energy Star appliances, you’re using less energy. That means lower energy bills! Regardless of where you live, if you do a little research, you will find that your local utility offers some sort of rebate or financial assistance with the purchasing and installing of new Energy Star appliances.
Seal The Deal With Proper Insulation
Faulty insulation can cause your home to leak up to half of your heating bill. How annoying is that? Don’t let your money seep out any longer. Most states and local utilities provide rebates and financing options to seal up your attics, replace your windows, and even plant shade trees to help with the summer heat once it comes around. Even if you’re a low-income resident, there are options for you. Most areas have large and comprehensive funding available so even if you’re low on cash, you can save in the long run by weatherizing your home for free (or close to it).
Geothermal Heating System
Lower your heating bill by installing a geothermal heating system and take advantage of the massive rebates that come with it. In addition to the initial rebates and incentives, most geothermal heating systems qualify for additional tax credits, deductions, or exemptions that make it even cheaper in the long run.
Energy Generation Projects = $$$
If you’re feeling tech-savvy, there are many incentives available to install and operate renewable energy generation projects. Not only are you saving money when using these, but you can also earn money through the electricity you generate that’s fed back into the electric grid. This is called a “feed-back” rate and it’s just another way to save money in addition to the typical tax exemptions, tax credits, and start up rebates that come with building a renewable energy project.
Stay In The Loop
There are all types of incentives available for all types of subjects. The best way to see what incentives you qualify for is to stay on top of it. Keep researching, keep saving. The most notable way is to use an incentive or energy rebate database. One of the best databases is EnergyGridIQ (EIQ), which can be accessed through the website: www.energygridiq.com or through their free iPhone/iPad App called WattRebate. You can find a comprehensive list of what funding is available in your area through this site. You can also post your projects and allow contractors to come to you. This all makes EIQ a must go-to for all energy related decisions. So get out there and start saving.
For more ideas on how to go green contact Bradco Kitchens and Baths at:
Bradco Kitchens & Baths
6011 West Pico Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Toll Free: 866 4 Bradco ( 272326 )
Here is your opportunity to get some insider perspective straight from Bradco Designer, Joanne, who took the time to answer a few specific questions:
1. Let’s say I’m a new home owner starting to work on my cabinets. How do you choose the right style and color to accommodate a kitchen?
“First and foremost, know the style of your house. The style of the kitchen should be based on the style of the house. The two themes should go hand in hand so that the designs flow together. This tip is not only an important cosmetic feature but also a money saver. Consider this: It’s more economical to work with a pre-existing kitchen base and make specific stylized adjustments than it would be to start from scratch. Work with what you have and make the improvements from there; a few key changes can make a huge difference in the finished product.”
2. How would you select colors that best suit my space?
“Kitchen colors should be chosen based on the floors. Generally we suggest complementing color schemes. For instance, dark wood floors go well with light furnishing choices and light-colored tile floors go well with dark-colored furnishings. These scheme tips help to make unique shades more prominent. As always these suggestions are dependent upon personal preference and/or budget. To echo the previous answer of working with your home’s existing style, you could always pick a specific architectural feature that you want to highlight and make that element more prominent in the kitchen. For example, if your home has many beams or unique crown moldings replicate those aspects in handle choices or decorative elements. Keep in mind that if there is already a large amount of wood in your home and your goal is to tone down that element; a simple solution is to paint the cabinets. Earth tones are usually a good stand-by choice for any home.”
3. How do you establish a budget and how would you accommodate someone on a low budget?
“What is your home worth? Budgets are derived from the value of the home and your cash flow. If money is tight, make a list and put major priorities on top to make sure those items are taken care of before anything else. It is advisable to set aside twenty percent of your budget to handle the unexpected to be more safe than sorry. There are always budget saving options available such as: using maple butter blocks, countertops made from recycled material, or utilizing tile for a back splash in place of the more expensive marble options.”
4. How long does the kitchen remodeling process usually take?
“Generally the time can fluctuate depending on how much work needs to be done on a particular kitchen. Keep in mind that if you decide to choose custom cabinets, they should be the first item ordered since they take the longest to make. An average job can take two months so prepare your meal options accordingly.”
5. Do you incorporate eco-friendly aspects in your design and what are you favorite products? Are you an advocate of eco-friendly solutions?
“Double yes. I can truly get behind the eco-friendly products and often suggest this option to clients. There have been many advancements in price alternatives these past years making eco-friendly a more viable option for everyone. My most recommended options are countertops made from recycled materials and formaldehyde-free plywood for cabinets. Plywood is my choice because it’s easy to work with and good for people who have allergies.”
6. What are some new trends that have been popular in 2011?
“Definitely functionality over design is a major trend that has played into this year. More clients are not over-designing and less over-stylized concepts are currently being applied to kitchens. Less bells and whistles sort of speak.”
Click here for a coupon to get 5% off your Bradco purchase!
If you have any questions about any products or services of Bradco Kitchens contact us at:
Toll Free: 866 4 Bradco ( 272326 )
If I could give Michael and his associates at Bradco 6 stars instead of 5, I would. We gutted our kitchen completely and now have an AMAZING, custom built kitchen, all thanks to Michael. We actually did the remodel almost a year ago exactly, but I have been too busy cooking to post on Yelp!
The designer at Bradco that we worked with was beyond patient- supplying my husband and I with every price option for every cabinet option known to man. I am 100% a bargain shopper, but I also wanted the best quality for my money. Here, let me just number all the wonderfulness for you:
1. Instead of choosing a stock cabinet from another company, Michael worked with us and crunched the numbers to be able to offer us CUSTOM made (I’m talking color, design, wood type, everything!) cabinets that he has made in his very own factory. We got solid wood (no mdf), formaldehyde-free, eco-friendly cabinets for only $2k more than omega brand stock stuff. I’m pretty sure that’s unheard of in the world of custom cabinetry.
2. We keep fully kosher and were trying to fit 2 huge sinks, 2 dishwashers, and 2 ovens all into a kitchen that previously had 1 of everything, without knocking down any walls. The design team at bradco were able to fit everything in while maintaining a beautiful, modern, and symmetric look to the kitchen.
3. When we had our final quote from Bradco for both the materials and the construction, I showed that quote to several contractors, ALL of whom said they couldn’t beat Bradco’s price.
4.When construction began, Eli (the foreman) and Jose (the head guy) were excellent in every regard. They essentially created a plastic-covered walkway in and out of the house to minimize dust and mess. Jose and his team showed up when they said they would (they always asked me when they could come- would 8 am be ok? 7:30?) and left at appropriate times in the afternoon. None of this banging on my door at 6 am or meandering around past dinnertime making noise. I trust Jose completely and would leave him a key when I was out. I even asked him to babysit my kids, but no such luck (yet!)
5. When things didn’t fit or there were questions, Michael would appear out of thin air to help me. Yes, the OWNER would show up at my house and crawl under the sink and tinker and mumble until everything was fixed and I was happy. How’s that for personalized service?!
6. It’s been a year and I still walk into my kitchen and smile- not only because it’s beautiful and functional beyond belief, but because the experience of gutting a kitchen and living amid construction for 6 weeks (yes, they actually finished on schedule!) was in every way easier than anybody had ever described to me. Thank you so much, Bradco!
This is by far the best Kitchen and Bath showroom in Los Angeles.
They have a great blog that caught my eye, the featured article was on Custom Green Cabinetry in Los Angeles. A topic that I am not that familiar with in general, but I do like to support sustainable design, so I read on and eventually went into their showroom to have a look around.
Great selection and nice designers on site, available to help me through finding some cabinets for my mothers kitchen renovation project.
This is a great Kitchen and Bath showroom in Los Angeles and I would be happy to recommend their services and products, especially their custom cabinets to my friends and family.
By now we all know we have to take action to make our home a greener environment, but most of us don’t know where to start.
1. Green Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinets –
No we don’t mean your cabinets have to be the color green. But they should be free of toxins. Harsh chemicals and in particular, formaldehyde, have been know to cause a large variety of illnesses, including asthma, seizures, and even cancer. Look for cabinetry that is free of formaldehyde, uses low- or no- VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint, and is made from sustainable wood resources. We have our own line of custom, formaldehyde free cabinets made from 100% sustainable wood sources?
2. Stop drinking bottled water –
We know that clean water is good for our health, but buying bottled water is actually very bad for the environment. Bottled water takes an enormous amount of energy, not just to produce, but to get the product to the consumer. The cost of transporting the 3.4 billion gallons of bottled water to Americans is staggering. It’s nowonder that gas prices have sky rocketed. By purchasing bottled water you not only pay for it at the checkout counter, but you also pay for it at the pump and at home as energy bills keep rising. To top things off, research indicates that bottled water is often no healthier or safter to drink than tap water. Reverse osmosis systems, such as the one from Everpure® provide the highest level of filtration. Look for a system that has been issued the highest ratings from NSF International.
3. Conserver water –
The bathroom is the number one source of wasted water in the home, but now the advancement in toilet technology is astonishing. With dual flush systems such as the ones by TOTO® and Caroma®, as seen on Oprah and The View, you can conserve water by selecting a little flush or a big flush.
4. Buy handmade –
It might seem obvious, but we often overlook the amount of energy that is required to make products. By purchasing handmade products like the tiles from Eli’s Tiles for your kitchen or bathroom, you not only get a one of a kind product, but you are also protecting the environment.
5. Buy recycled products –
Products made from recycled materials are a great way to show how eco-savvy you are and prevent extra waste from ending up in our landfills. Recycled aluminum sinks are an excellent way to spruce up your bathroom and do something good for the environment. If you can’t find a product made from recycled materials, then choose products that can be recycled such as fixtures from Mina that are made from 100% stainless steel.
There is no clear cut definition of what sustainability is. The World Commission (Bruntland 1987) has broadly defined sustainability as “development that meets needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Luckily, when it comes to wood and forestry, there is a clear definition:
“the capacity of forests, ranging from stands to ecoregions, to maintain their health, productivity, diversity, and overall integrity, in the long run, in the context of human activity and use.”
What does that mean? It means trees should not be cut down faster than what is necessary to keep the earth safe and habitable for humans.
In general, wood is a more eco-friendly choice. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the leading gas contributing to the greenhouse effect. Trees “breathe” CO2. They store the carbon-C and release the oxygen-O2. Most cubic meters of wood have about 0.8 to 0.9 tonnes of CO2.
1 tonne CO2 = 556,000 litres or 556 cubic meters (about the volume of a 3 bedroom house)
On average, 1.1 tonnes CO2 emissions would be produced for each cubic meter of a manufactured material such as plastics or other materials that aren’t eco-friendly. So by selecting wood over a less eco-friendly product you are essentially saving 2 tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.
In addition, if you select wood from a sustainable source that wood is being replaced by new growth.
Bamboo – Grown on immense plantations in China, Vietnam, other Asian countries and is over 1/8 of the forests in India. Bamboo is fast-growing and is ready to harvest in 4-6 years! Due to its fast rate of growth, it utilizes much less fertilizers and pesticides. Technically it’s grass and not wood, but is more durable than many hardwoods due to its pore structure – it’s the same as wood. Its light in color like ash or maple.
Cane – Like bamboo, it is a grass, but is stronger and more flexible. It is indigenous to the Phillipines and like bamboo it is also 100% sustainable.
Mango – Chances are you’ve eaten a mango, afterall it is the world’s #1 fruit! Mango trees provide fruit for 15 years, after that, they stop. So the wood is harvested and new trees are planted.
Maple – It is a relatively fast growing tree; growing 18” or more per year.
Lyptus – Lyptus hardwood products are an excellent option when selecting an exotic species grown to sustainable forest certification standards. Offering all of the benefits expected of a tropical hardwood, Lyptus hardwood is ideal for cabinetry, millwork, furniture and flooring applications.
Obviously, buying wood from endangered species is not a good idea. Luckily, in the US it is prohibited so your chances are very slim.
Stay away from slow growing trees such as Oak, Redwood, Beech and Colorado Spruce. However, these are great trees to select when landscaping your home! Medium growth rate trees such as red oak, birch and red-bud have medium growth rates and should be okay when purchased from sustainable resources.
The Forest Stewardship Council is an international not-for-profit organization that has created a set of standards that finds solutions for existing bad forestry practices and promotes responsible management of the world’s forests. By purchasing products with their label, you are supporting environmentally responsible management of the world’s forests.Forest certification systems are being implemented around the world. The five largest systems operating in North America are the FSC, SFI, ATFS, CSA, and PEFC.
For more information, about formaldehyde-free cabinets made from sustainable wood, contact Bradco Kitchens & Baths at (323) 936-3457 or visit their showroom at 6011 West Pico Blvd, LA 90036 (at the corner of Pico and Crescent Heights.
Green Custom Cabinetry
Our kitchen was a mess and we had a baby on the way, my wife was on my case to get us a new kitchen before the baby was born. I kept dragging my feet and did not want to spend the money. In this economy I thought there is no way I can afford that kind of remodel. We finally went to the usual suspects, Home Depot Lowes and some other cabinet stores The prices for the cabinets were within my price range but we did not feel that we were in good hands in any of these places. We felt pressured at all times and we also felt that there where still so many unknown. These guys are just not that professional. Then we found out about the possible toxins that are in new cabinetry and with the baby on the way we needed to find someone that could provide us with non toxic cabinetry. Everyone we spoke to told us that GREEN CABINETRY would certainly not be within our budget. After extensive research on the net we fell upon the Pure Bond website and they revered us to Bradco Kitchens and Bath on Pico Blvd. We made an appointment and the rest is a Love story. Ryan was our designer and together with the owner they tailored a kitchen for us that fit our needs and most importantly our budget. Just be careful because all the accessories that you think you want can get you fast above the budget. When we told Michael, the owner, that we where above what we could afford he sat down with us and Ryan and tailored us the kitchen that we could pay for. We got high end custom cabinetry with NO TOXIC materials. They even loan you a FORMALDEHYDE METER to check you cabinets. So you can be sure that what they say is true. Bradco does not install but they revered us to their in-house installer, B & R Construction. They did what they promised on budget and on time. We can highly recommend them. Thank you Mr. Michael, Ryan and Eli from B&R Construction. You were great.
Pros: Non toxic cabinetry even i could afford
Cons: Best kept secret in LA
To read review on Citysearch click here
Design! Construction! & Passion
You hear all those horror stories about redoing this, redoing that. I have to say that I was blown away with the staff at Bradco Kithcen and Bath. I was considering a redo in quite a large downstairs bathroom. I am a female doctor living alone and know the difference between arteries and veins, however knowing what wood to use for the cabinet, product for contertops, I have no idea! I am thrilled to have found this terriffic place to be able to let my gaurd down and not feel pressured for a sale, or degraded for asking questions and getting that ” oh you don’t need to concern yourself with that”. The entire staff made me feel like I was part of their family and only what was good enough for them would be good enough for me! I cannot tell you how inpressed I was with their “green ” knowledge and awareness of what kind of chemicals are used in making of cabinets. I have no idea formaldehyde was used in cabinet making. Well not for Bradco! Not only am I completely satisfied with the job Bradco did for me I have recommened them to a number of others and will continue to do so. Thanks Bradco!
A very happy customer,
To read review on Citysearch click here