Innovative solutions for creating healthy, efficient, eco-friendly homes

February 2008

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Fighting Fires

It’s every homeowner’s nightmare — a house fire, caused by faulty wiring, a kitchen accident, an act of nature or simple carelessness. When most homeowners think of house fires, they probably first consider the resulting property damage, and the numbers are staggering. In 2006, fires in single- and two-family homes caused $5.7 billion in property loss, according to data compiled by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), based in Quincy, Mass.

Choosing Smart Building Products

Now that winter is almost history, many of us will turn our thoughts to those construction or remodeling projects we’ve been putting off. Whether you’re redesigning your kitchen or bath, installing a sprinkler system or deciding between different siding options, in order to make your home as eco-friendly as possible you should carefully evaluate the attributes of the different products and materials that are available before you make your final choice.

Smart Choices for Siding

Most homeowners understand the concept and value of curbside appeal. It can make or break a house sale, or simply ensure your home makes a good impression on neighbors, guests and passersby. Landscaping contributes to a home’s overall exterior cachet, but the façade carries the brunt of the aesthetic burden. And for most homes, that façade is comprised of some type of siding.

Green Retailers

“Where can I find greenbuilding materials and products?” It’s a question homeowners have been asking for years, and for those in many areas of the country, there have been no easy answers. But thanks to a growing number of green retailers and businesses, it’s becoming easier to find the green products and building supplies you read about in the pages of this magazine.

Organize Your Kitchen

While the kitchen tends to be the center of activity in most homes, surprisingly few homeowners pay attention to how a kitchen is designed beyond the stylish cabinets and overall layout of the room. The result can be a beautiful kitchen that just doesn’t work. Sure, you may have all your pots, pans and cookie sheets in a cabinet next to the stove, but are they piled on top of one another in cavernous cabinets? Do you have to empty half the pantry closet to find the spaghetti sauce because it’s buried behind 12 cans of soup?

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