In order for a door to be qualified for an ENERGY STAR rating it must:
Energy efficiency in your home starts within the first few steps inside.
Until Next Time, That's Minutes with Meg!
On The Right Path
Different Types of Flooring
Advantages of Carpet
Advantages of Tile
Disadvantages of Tile
At the end of the day flooring LITERALLY takes up the most square footage in our homes. If we can make more conscious choices on what materials and how they are sourced, we are on the right path to building a more sustainable home.
Until next time, This is Minutes with Meg
Painting The Town Green!
"Weirdly enough, I am one of the
Paint is one of the few materials we use the MOST in our homes. We use it when we get a new space and when we want to make an older space FEEL new. By using a more sustainable paint material you can make a big impact!
You shouldn’t have to sacrifice paint color or quality in order to “go green”. Nowadays,
most big name brands carry eco-friendly paint options right on the shelf. This makes it easily obtainable. As with anything, there is still some higher price points in the market with specific variables justifying their value, however, green products has now had enough time to be developed so prices are becoming comparable to
your regular, every day paint that has been around for years.
The easiest way to tell if a paint is Eco-friendly or conventional (without looking at the label) is to open the can and take a whiff. A conventional paint will smell of noxious chemicals.
Those chemicals are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), which hold all of the ingredients in the paint together.
When it is applied, it releases a variety of greenhouse gases and other harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. While applying this indoors, it creates unhealthy air quality and with extended exposure, can lead to respiratory and metabolic illness, headaches, etc. They can emit portions of VOC’s, biocides and plasticizers for more than a year after its application.
There are three types of eco-friendly paint. Low-VOC paints, Certified Green paint, and Natural Paint.
Low VOC paint, while better than conventional paint, is not up to par. The VOC’s may be lower, but there is no requirements for them not to contain hazardous air pollutants and colorants.
Certified Green Paint is a better option. This can include zero-VOC paints that also use VOC-free colorant. It is free of vinyl
and includes no toxic biocides. These can be recognized by the environmental certification seal on their label.
Natural Paints are the most eco-friendly. They are primarily made from milk proteins and on-toxic pigments. This option however is not as durable as other options and color options are limited.
How long have you been in real estate?:
"I've been a realtor for just over a year."
What is your favorite part of being in the industry?: "Helping people accomplish a goal/dream. For many people, home ownership has a special significance - independence, adulthood, freedom, security, etc. I love helping guide and coach people toward that achievement."
What are the areas that you work the most in?: "I live in Ferndale and focus on nearby communities, but I'm also happy to work with families throughout Metro Detroit. I don't want to limit my clients' search."
In your experience what are the top “wants” for your clients?: "Wants really depend on the clients. Folks heading into retirement are looking for something than young families just getting their start. Both overall, people are looking for a good value for the price they're paying, being in a specific location, as close to move-in ready as possible."
Top “ Needs”?: "Most clients are specific about the minimum square feet, # of bedrooms, most people need a basement or garage. It totally depends on the client, but that's what I'm here for - to listen and help find a home that meets those needs."
What spaces sell homes?: "Nicer, updated kitchens and bathrooms will always continue to help sell a home. There's also a shift to having more privacy (fencing), outdoor space, and extra rooms/nooks for home offices."
What is the weirdest thing you have found walking into a home?: "In one home, there were multiple signs posted warning about the dog (not to pet it, don't open the garage because of it, etc.) and a person home in their PJs watching TV."
Do you feel that clients are more open to DIY and renovations or they prefer a “move-in-ready” space?: "Clients are still trending towards more move-in ready spaces. Small updates like painting, changing handles on kitchen drawers, tearing down drop-ceilings, are all projects my clients feel like they can manage. And I can help them look past what's there and see the potential."
Humans lack of knowledge and effort have been the main causes for the diminishing supply of natural resources that the Earth has to left offer to come ( FACTS). Therefore, it's our job to prepare for long term and find ways to be more eco-friendly even down to the spaces we inhabit everyday. This is so that the Earth can stay livable beyond the lives of our great grandchildren.
Everyone has heard of recycling and most try to do their part; with that being said, my goal is to inform you on ways to be more eco-friendly in your home that may have not crossed your mind in the past. I want to use this platform to give you ideas that allow you to find what works best for you and your family in creating a daily routine that encourages sustainable living!
How long have you been in real estate?: I’ve been a full-time real estate agent since 2011. I began my career at Real Estate One for 5 years than transitioned to Re/max where I still am today.
What is your favorite part of being in the industry?: Helping people get to that next level with a purchase or sale of a home. I work with a lot of first time home buyers and it always excites me to see the joy on their faces when they get the home of their dreams.
In your experience what are the top “wants” for your clients?: I work in the Royal Oak area and most buyers prefer hardwood floors, newer kitchens with stainless steel appliances, 2 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, 2 car garage, basement, and a fenced in yard.
If you could move into your ABSOLUTE dream home tomorrow what would this look like?: I have always loved the work of Architect Sarah Susanka, and author of the book “The Not So Big House.” Her concept is that quality comes before quantity and that big isn’t always better. So my dream home would be designed and built around this concept and would incorporate more personalized spaces than my current home, such as having an art studio, or a room designated for workouts and yoga. In light of this pandemic, I think people will be home more moving forward and our living spaces will become more personalized. It will definitely be interesting to see how homes evolve in the years to come.
What are the areas that you work the most in?:My business is pretty much equal between working with buyers and sellers and they are typically first time buyers or buyers looking to downsize. There are some agents that only focus on seller’s and have a team of buyer’s agents, however, I like working with both buyers and sellers. This way when I go to sell a home for a client, I have a pulse on how the market is moving and what buyers are looking for in a home.
What is the craziest thing that people have asked you for?: I wouldn’t say there has been anything crazy someone has asked for, but there are some buyers who are just unrealistic. I’ve dealt with some buyers who have a very low budget and want certain areas with top of the line features. I will show them houses that they desire but slowly they begin to realize they are not getting everything they want for the price they had in mind. It’s just a learning curve for them.
What is the weirdest thing you have found walking into a home?: In the Royal Oak area there are many homes that are really small (below 1000 square feet). This one home installed their Refrigerator in the wall leading down to the basement, so you had to step down to the landing then reach up to open the door to the fridge. You would need a step stool to reach items in the fridge… how crazy is that!
Do you feel that clients are more open to DIY and renovations or they prefer a “move-in-ready” space?: When I began real estate in 2011 no one wanted to renovate a home, they wanted move-in-ready. As prices continue to rise and the inventory levels tighten, buyers became more open to homes that needed renovations because there wasn’t enough move-in-ready on the market. I’ve always been a fan of buying a fixer upper. This way you can personalize the home to your liking. Ultimately with move-in-ready homes, you are buying someone else’s taste and most of the time there is still something you won’t like that you’ll change… so why pay for it.
Tell us something unique and interesting about the experience you provide for your clients?: Prior to getting into the real estate business, I worked as an administrator for upper level executives organizing and managing their businesses, and I was very good at that job. I did it for over 30 years. So transitioning those skills into the real estate business has made me very efficient with the processes. The real estate business is a very complex business with many moving parts and I'm known for getting my buyers and sellers through the process rather smoothly with the least amount of pain. And as a little bonus, I have been an artist all my life and have a degree in interior design which I’ve used to help clients prepare their homes for the market or buyers looking to do renovations. I’m able to share with them the knowledge I have and what’s going to get them the most bang for their buck.
How long have you been in real estate? :
"This is my third year"
What is your favorite part of being in the industry? : "I love helping people find their dream home. I listen to what they are looking for and guide them to find that perfect place for them."
What are the areas that you work the most in? :"I am based out of Downriver, but I work all over the state. I have helped people with a Lake house to a building in Detroit. No matter where my client wants to go in the state I can help. "
Top “ Needs”? : "Area
What is the craziest thing that people have asked you for? : "I had a client that was very particular on where the light came in. So I had to check the location of the home to make sure she got a lot of light in the home."
What spaces sell homes? : "Kitchen or Master Suite is the 2 things buyers love"
Do you feel that clients are more open to DIY and renovations or they prefer a “move-in-ready” space? : "Move in ready."
Tell us something unique and interesting about the experience you provide for your clients?" I make sure they know the entire process start to finish. I send weekly updates and make sure they understand what is going on during the whole process. This is the largest purchase that any person will make and I make sure they are comfortable and informed."
-- Side Note this is what Jesus and I LOVED about Jackie, we knew we were getting the straight info throughout the whole process! -- The photo below is from our Housewarming turned Engagement Party! So grateful for her hard work in getting us to this point!
Lighting in your home is one of the most affordable ways to incorporate a more sustainable way of living. ANNDDD It can actually save you money to use eco-friendly products. A combination of natural light and artificial lighting, when used in the correct way, can make your home a greener household.
Light is something we tend to forget about; but the funny part is, without it, we would not be able to see anything else!
We take light for granted without realizing its’ impact on our everyday lives. With this in mind, the actual amount of energy lighting takes up is rarely something we think about. We expect that when we flip the switch that the light is never ending and will always be obtainable.
Types of Lighting
With all of the lighting options available, incandescent lighting takes the cake for the least sustainable. It uses the most energy and lasts a fraction of the time in relation to the newer, more efficient options that have been created.
The two most common lighting types outside of incandescent are fluorescent and light emitting diodes (LED). Fluorescent light bulbs use 65-75% less electricity than incandescent bulbs and last 10 times as long! THAT IS NUTS! Furthernmore LED’s use 75% less electricity and last x25 times longer than fluorescent! LED’s are the best option to put in your home as they are the most eco-friendly option.
These bulbs are much more obtainable now than they were just a handful of years ago. Also more affordable. Plus think, if your new LED bulb lasts x25 longer then your lifetime cost outweighs your initial cost!
Using daylight to its full potential can DRAMATICALLY reduce the energy costs of using artificial lighting in your home. If you understand the direction that the majority of light enters your space you can best design the complimentary use of artificial lighting to work in the most efficient manner .
Also consider smart placement of reflective surfaces to bounce the light around each room and therefore needing less and less artificial light!
If your'e in the market to buy a new home, pay attention to the direction that the majority of your windows face. This will give you an idea of how much natural light will be in your spaces daily.
Small Steps You Can Take to be More Eco-Friendly
The idea of trying to adjust all of the lighting in your home can seem totally overwhelming so don't try to solve every problem at once! Here are some small steps you can take to be more ECO-Friendly with your lighting at home!
1. Switch to LED bulbs : x25 times the lifespan of incandescent bulbs & 75% less energy use
2. Use dimmers : They use less wattage, extend the life of your bulb, and have the ability to adjust the temperature of lighting to suite different times and acitivites of the day.
"Hey there! I’m Megan and I am ARC Design Studios’ first ever intern! Oh I know, It is very exciting for me as well! I am a small town Michigan girl who loves fashion, food, fitness, and traveling. I enjoy golfing, but I’m not very good at it (but who is?), being a dog mom, and look forward to owning a miniature pig in the future.
I am going into my senior year in the Interior Design program at Western Michigan University and I’m extremely looking forward to be working with Amanda to further my knowledge and help with real world projects. I am also double minoring in Event Management, and Business Analytics. This program has given me opportunities to be a part of IDSO (Interior Design Student Organization) and IIDA (International Interior Design Association).
Amanda and I met through Western. She was one of my professors (my favorite one, in fact). She is a major influence in helping me learn and grow into the designer I am and aspire to be.
I have always held an interest in creating an environment that is capable of making myself and others happy. As I grow older I am interested in designing an environment that can encompass comfort-ability and happiness while being sustainable.
"Growing up, my mom designed for General Motors and my dad did construction which was sort of a starting point in learning about design."
I watched him draft floor plans by hand regularly and was able to see his vision come alive time and time again as he built houses and garages and what not with his bare hands. It amazed me how something that seemed so small such as a drawing could come to life in such a short period of time. I knew right away I wanted to be in residential design. I am heavily interested in the architectural side of things, but also love decorating and helping people choose colors, furniture, counter tops etc.
I have had my wedding planned out since I was a little girl. I thoroughly have enjoyed pinning things on Pinterest and going through all of it with my girlfriends on our many wine nights. I knew I might want to make it a career when I began working at a golf course and was able to work side by side with the food and beverage director helping and coordinating with the brides every wish. I eventually began working at TPC Michigan. I have spent the last four summers here. A goal of mine in the near future is to hopefully obtain the Head Event Coordinators’ position and be able to plan weddings, golf outings, and many other parties for a living.
I look forward to being a part of ARC Design Studio. I feel that this is a good fit in helping me grow as a designer."