Holiday Accommodation in the Sunshine Coast

Getting a property is a good idea because accommodation there is varied and it also caters to the taste of every individual. The prominent and famous weekend getaway serves as a favorite destination to all types of people – be it singles, those with families, surfers, and businessmen. Retired people who live in different parts of Australia are always looking to have a Sunshine Coast relocation.

Property in the Sunshine Coast offers a blend of residences, alfresco bars and comfortable resorts that are backed by the breathtaking turquoise sea. Investing on real estate is something that should be pondered on if your idea of ​​perfect living includes fishing, surfing, wine or afternoon coffee sessions.

Large numbers of backpackers have considered purchasing real estate in Noosa Heads. In Noosa, visitors will come across different holiday accommodations and some are right on the beachfront. Families on vacation will find places to stay that can cater to their children's needs. They will also benefit from a wide array of famous attractions that are within the region.

Real estate in the area entitles charm that is ideal for those who want to make it their temporary or permanent abode. Those who have property in that area have homes that are available for rent. Accommodation in Queensland ranks the top in the entire Australia. Noosa may be more expensive in the holiday market, but then there are plenty of budget lodging available as well. Some resorts that are located next the Noosa River are ideally suited for a typical family holiday sine they cost less and are near the riverfront. They offer boating, sailing, fishing and jet-skiing.

The region has a variety of Sunshine Coast holiday accommodation that vacationers may get confused on choosing which one will suit them best.

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10 Ways To Turn Your Home Green

Green homes are important in today’s world. People are looking for them everywhere they go. Some people think they are expensive to make, but there are easy ways to turn your home green for cheap.

Carpet. Did you know that 1 out of every four recycled plastic bottles is produced into carpet? That is more than three billion bottles every year! Select carpet produced from renewable or recycled supplies.

Paint. Create a cozy space by painting an accent wall in a warm earth tone like cocoa or cinnamon. Select paint that is non-toxic and consists of small or no volatile organic compounds.

Pillows. Use certified organic fabrics to create window treatments or accent pillows. You’ll be shocked at the choice of colors and patterns accessible.

Floors. When selecting hardwood flooring, using reclaimed wood adds a touch of antique, organic beauty to your home.

Counters. Seem for those produced from recycled glass, ceramic or sustainable bamboo. Use them in both your kitchen and your bathroom.

Accessories. Don’t just throw away your older items — breathe new life into vintage pieces instead by pairing them with fresh accessories. Reupholster an old arm chair or add an accent pillow to give it a fresh, new appear.

Lighting. Install dimmable compact fluorescent lights, which can consume as a lot as 75% much much less electrical energy and last 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs.

Bathrooms. A brand new shower curtain can update the whole seem of your bathroom. Opt for nylon, which is among the a lot more eco-friendly supplies accessible.

Faucets. Seem for faucets with the WaterSense label, which can save the average household a lot more than 500 gallons of water each and every year and hundreds of dollars in utility bills.

Bedrooms. Transform your bedroom with eco-friendly bedding. Duvets, shams and linens are accessible in organic supplies and recycled yarn.

Thankfully, manufacturers are answering the consumer demand for eco-friendly goods which are also beautifully designed.

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Custom Energy Star Homes

With the way the economic market is now and days, consumers are taking a conservative fiscal approach to their lifestyle. It is no secret that cutting back on costs wherever possible is an intelligent way to deal with a recessive economy, however, that does not mean people are not still buying the large necessities as before; they are just spending their money more efficiently. If you are a homebuyer, the best way to be a wise investor is to purchase an energy star home.

An energy star home is built to meet guidelines of energy efficiency regulated by the US Environmental Protection agency. These homes are built to be fifteen percent more efficient that homes built in 2004, and are up to 30 percent more efficient than most standard homes. These guidelines are met in numerous ways.
The first method in creating these homes to be more efficient is the installation of effective insulation. Making sure that your insulation is properly installed and inspected in your walls, your floors, and your attics helps to increase the assurances of even temperatures through your home. Doing this increases the efficiency of heating and cooling your home.

High performance windows are also installed. These high performance windows utilize upgraded coatings and enhanced framing to help keep heat in and out during its proportional seasons. They also exploit UV Ray protection to decrease damages to carpets and furniture.

Making sure that your home is built with a tight construction greatly increases its efficiency. It also asserts in reducing moisture and air pollutants offering better air quality of the home. To go along with making sure that your homes “package” is properly sealed, installing more profitable heating and cooling systems while your home is tightly sealed means that they do not have to work nearly as hard and reduces energy usage as well as improving the overall comfort of your home.

There are numerous add ons to increasing the efficiency of a home such as installing energy star appliances such as refrigerators and washing and drying machines. Installing energy efficient lighting fixtures and compact fluorescent bulbs also creates less use within a home.

Now making sure that all these are done properly is a great concern for homebuyers but an energy star home is inspected and certified to be more efficient than standard home building codes. A certification of its efficiency will be of course offered to you. Buying an energy star home can save you thousands of dollars in the long run and can decrease your usage by up to thirty percent. Now that's a great savings! It is clear that when purchasing a new home an Energy Star home is the most practical and respectable way to go.

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Custom New Green Homes

So is it safe to say that you are aware of what it means to “Go Green?” The craze of green has taken over just about every aspect of society from the news, politics, fashion, nutrition and even technology making it difficult to properly define green. Although the overall outlet and motivation for going green is of course to aid in creating a better eco-friendly environment and allocation of resources for the future generations – it is exceptionally beneficial to you as well. As the craze takes off it has driven more and more people to take green into their homes, and I say that literally. Custom built green homes and buildings have become a popular investment that assests the environment and consumers alike. If you are building a home it is beneficial for numerous reasons to begin building a green home.

The first and foremost reason for building a green home is Energy Savings. This is done by increasing your water and heating efficiencies. There are many ways that this is done. Making sure that your home is properly insulated is a key factor. Most homes have insulation; however, making sure that you're insulated with high quality insulation and the key word “properly” installed insulation greatly increases its efficiency. There are many voids where insulation can be installed and making sure that all of home is insulated correctly is vastly important. Another factor is upgraded windows and doors. Doubled paned windows are a must and appropriate weather stripping increases its effectiveness. Installing energy efficient appliances and systems takes another step in making sure your home is holding its value.

Another reason to go with a green home is your health. Green homes are designed to decrease the amount of air pollutants within your home by better ventilation systems. This is done in many ways from the design of the home to the ventilation system and filters used in itself – all of which plays a role in the overall air quality.

Because a green home is built to be of higher quality – less maintenance is required. When it comes to building a green home the key words are properly and efficient, and when the products are installed properly and efficiently they require less maintenance. This lack of constant maintenance can play a huge role in the time and money put into the upkeep of a home.

The fact is that building a green home is not only good for the environment, contrarily; it offers an array of long and short term benefits for you, your home, and your family.

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Green Real Estate Tips You Can Implement Easily

Being green is all about saving, reducing and preserving the planet's natural resources. How can a green philosophy apply to real estate though?

If you are going to build a new house from scratch, then you have a blank canvas on which you can layer one green innovation on top of another to improve the environmental credibility of your home.

It may not seem as though it is as easy for most people who have no intention of building new real estate and are quite happy living where they are or if they move will choose an already constructed home. However there are a number of ways you can green your property, many of which should save you money either straight away or over a reasonable period of time.

The best time to implement many green improvements is when you need to make a change to your property. Your existing boiler may not be the most environmentally friendly, but the energy used to manufacture it is already accounted for. If it is still relatively new, just throwing it out to get an improved model is absolutely to make financial sense. What you can do is make sure that it runs as efficiently as possible by having it cleaned and serviced on a regular basis, usually once a year.

Adding extra insulation to your property can also help reduce the amount of heat and therefore energy you waste. This can be reliably cheap to install and the money saved will usually pay the cost of the added insulation in about two years. Even more simply, by closing curtains as soon as it gets dark, you will help trap warm air in your house rather than letting it escape through the cold surface of the windows.

Fitting energy efficient light bulbs will cut your electricity bill and switching those lights off when you are not in a room will reduce it even more. Developing good habits in you and your family can take only a few days and will save money.

If you have a backyard or garden, planting your own vegetables is a great way to improve the green credentials of your property. In one simple step you are cutting down on the food miles needed to transport vegetables from the farm to the store and then to your home. You may also find that you waste far less food you grow yourself, because you know just how much effort has gone into producing it.

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Green Homes – Homes Of The Future?

Doing your part for the environment is very important no matter where you live. Everyday more and more pollution is being put into our environment and it is important that in the future we all work to keep our world as clean as possible. There are many ways to go about preserving our environment. Acts like recycling, using lower emissions cars and using less energy to do everyday things can all help preserve energy. Green homes are becoming a popular way to help preserve the environment.

Green homes are the homes of the future is because of the benefits that they offer you long term. One of the most basic ways this is possible is because of their ability to help you save money. Green homes cost less than other homes because less energy is being used to heat and cool the property as well as maintain it. Saving money on your utilities can save a household thousands over the years.

Saving money is something that everyone thinks about. Something that often gets overlooked is the ability your house has to let you know that you are doing something good for the environment, and doing your part to conserve it for the generations after yours. Environmentally friendly homes use such things as recycled materials in the construction, use less amount of energy to maintain the home, and keep the amount of waste down during the construction of the home. All these things work together to keep your mind at ease and allow you to know that you are doing something good for the environment.

Another way that energy sufficient homes are the homes of the future is because they can make your home a better place to live in. With so much pollution and other things floating around in the air it is important that your home reduce these kinds of things for you and your family. Green homes are capable of increasing the quality of the air inside your home. This allows you and your family to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.

It is quite obvious that green homes are the homes of the future and for many different reasons. Other than saving you money, increasing the quality of the air and offering a good peace of mind there are also other many other reasons to invest in one as well. Green homes require less maintenance to keep them and can come in almost any style that you would like. All these different reasons put together can make a green home the perfect home.

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Eco-Friendly Steel Buildings Are Proof That Responsible Development Is Possible

It is no secret that the future of the planet depends upon a large degree on the ability of man to take better care of the environment and to take steps to correct previous mistakes and to minimize further negative impact. However, without realistic solutions that are economically viable, very little progress will be possible. Eco-friendly steel buildings can contribute greatly towards a more responsible approach to the environment.

These buildings have proved to be made of the most sustainable of all structural materials. They can be built very fast, which saves construction cost, and they are for a very long time. The long lifespan implies a lesser environmental impact than would otherwise be required with continuous reconstruction when buildings reach the end of their lives. They are also very safe and can be adapted for alternative uses easily.

Another very important advantage is the fact that very little waste is produced when erecting one of these buildings. Even better, all waste can be recycled or even used in other areas of the project. There is no need for any waste to end up in a landfill. The advantages that achieved have significant benefits for both the environment and the contractor.

Buildings made from this material are also more energy and water efficient. Studies have shown that structures with metal roofs can save up to forty percent in energy usage. These structures are also inherently ideal for the efficient use of solar power and the collection of rainwater. In this way, the carbon footprint of the project is strictly limited.

A better quality indoor environment can have many advantages. These structures usually have better air quality due to the fact that they do not emit the potentially noxious fumes that are often found with the use of other building materials, especially those made from organic compounds. Airflow is also better and temperature can be controlled easily, leading to further savings in air conditioning and heating systems.

Other advantages include the ability to easily make changes in the layout of the building. Even expansions can be achieved with minimal interruption. These structures do not decay and deteriorate, and when the do reach the end of their lifespan, the entire structure can be recycled. As a matter of fact, it may have been made from recycled material.

Critics have raised a number of mostly minor concerns. One of these is the possibility of corrosion. Modern materials, however, are treated and the problem is seriously relevant any longer. Another issue that is raised regularly is the fact that metal structures require additional fireproofing. Yet others worry about condensation, although this concern is easily addressed during the design process.

Eco friendly steel buildings are true examples of how the needs of man can be satisfied without undue harm to the environment. The various parts of these structures are often manufactured elsewhere, reducing waste and toxins, and resulting in minimal interference. They easily blend in and they are highly adaptable. They also require much less maintenance, resulting in huge savings.

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Marketing Energy Efficient Features and “Green” Attributes of a Home to Increase Its Market Value

How many times have you purchased a new home without reviewing a 12 month history of the utility bills for the home? If I were your agent, the answer would be “NEVER”! As a Certified EcoBroker. I have learned to market one of a homes most valuable features, its monthly expenses! In my opinion, many agents miss the mark on this issue. How many times has a new homeowner received the shock of their life in the form of an overwhelmingly high gas bill during the dead of winter or a sky high electric bill during the summer time when the air conditioner is running at its highest level?

It is very important for a prospective buyer to understand that the seller has taken the necessary precautions to guard against the highs and lows of a utility crisis. This could be a major selling point when buyers are making a decision between two very similar homes.

There are several ways that sellers can take advantage of energy efficient features to increase the value of their home, some of these items include:

1. Programmable Thermostat – lowers your heating and cooling expenses by 30-40% annually
2. Energy Efficient Appliances – decrees consumption of electricity, gas and water up to 50%
3. Energy Efficient Windows – decreases heating loss or gain and lowers annual heating costs up to 40%
4. Energy Star Certified products – homes tend to be 20-30% more efficient and can generate a federal tax incentive up to 25%
5. HERS index – A rating system for the Home Energy Rating System
6. Insulation with a greater 'R' value – could increase your heating savings by 20-30% monthly
7. Lighting – CFL's and LED's offer an average savings of $ 30 over the life of the bulb.
8. Site Design – including natural daylight, landscaping and shade trees as a factor on natural heating / cooling
9. Plumbing – low flow toilets, showers and faucet aerators
10.Indoor Air Quality – increased ventilation, low VOC paint, lead

If you'd like to get an edge on your competition, make sure you hire an agent who is well educated in these area's and can orchestrate a proper marketing approach to making your home stand out in a sea of ​​similar homes. An agent with the design of Certified EcoBroker is your best option but if you can not locate someone in your market, simply interview each agent by asking what features they would highlight to showcase your home's Energy Efficiency and 'Green' attributes.

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Creating Privacy and Shade

The great thing about a brand-new home in a brand-new subdivision, is the brand-newness of it all. The not so great thing is the lack of privacy and shade. While Colorado is rather temperate, the sun is hot, the elevation is high, and our likelihood to burn sitting outside for more than 15 minutes is higher yet. Especially that left arm hanging out of our car window as we race around doing errands!

To be able to completely enjoy your outdoor space, here are some privacy and shade-y tips for you to consider. After all, now is the time to start planning and organizing your spring projects!


In new subdivisions you sometimes wonder why the developer did not leave more than 10 feet between each house, and why on earth they designed the subdivision to allow 4 other houses look in on your dining room while your family, for once, is sitting down together eating.

* Before digging in your new yard, please call the utilities company to spray for you where your power and gas lines lay. *

To create privacy it sometimes meaning creating borders. Fencing is common, and if you bake your neighbors some cookies and suggest a plan to put up a nice wooden fence, they too may want to go in on the expenses with you to have it match. Some HOA's (Home Owners Associations) only allow certain types of fines, at certain heights, colors, and more. Please verify with your board before building.

Want to go green? You could buy green materials for your fencing, or you could plant green. Tall shrubs which grow quickly can provide a natural barrier between you and your neighbors, while also providing a little shade and a nice wind block.

Trees are another great green and natural privacy blocker. Trees also provide a lot of filtered shade. Conifers grow exceptionally well in Colorado, although as I've seen in older neighborhoods, if you give them time, deciduous (leaf bearing) trees also thrive.

Bamboo is an overlooked plant that grows very fast, spreads fast, and makes a great fence. If you feel industrious, you can also cut some and weave baskets, burn it for kindling, or make furniture out of it.

Swings attached to pergolas do not need to create a large privacy barrier, but they do set a tone for, “This is where your eye needs to stop looking.”

Large pots of varying sizes enclosed near patios can create a more private setting for those sitting on the patio, but will not need unnecessarily block your neighbor's yard. These can be really nice features to add to your space by bringing in colors, tall grasses, and colorful flowers.


We already covered trees, as an obvious solution to producing or creating some shade in your yard. One thing I have not mentioned yet, is your grass will thank you for some relief during the afternoon. So many new homes put down sod. The sod undoably fries in the hot sun and the new yard looks bad. By planting trees in your yard you are providing some shelter for your grass as the sun passes over it. The shade provided by trees, especially as they get taller, can help you reduce energy costs in your house. During the winter months, the trees can act as wind barriers, and in the summer, the trees provide shade helping keep your house a few degrees cooler.

Arbors and trellises can make a lovely addition to any backyard or patio. If you are a garden buff and want a nice place to sit amongst your plants, an arbor can be a great touch. Place a bench under and allow roses or other climbing vines to grow on it. Placing a trellis above a deck can provide nice shade, and if it is a lower deck, growing vines on it can help provide more wind breaks and shade. Some people have grown grape vines and used the grapes to create their wine! Imagine sitting in the shade on your patio sipping wine that came from the very vines amongst you! I've also seen hops grown and the hops used in home brewing. A win-win!

Pergolas are just like arbors only they are comprised of wooden beams instead of trellising. These can be very nice for a eastern or northern facing deck that does not see much sunshine, but you are looking for an architectural feature.


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Are You Looking For Agricultural Land For Sale?

Well, the term farming includes a wide range of agricultural production. So if you say that you want to start farming, there are a few things that you need to consider before that. There are a lot of people who plan to switch to farming from a mundane 9 to 5 job but what they need to realize is that there will be an equal amount of hard work that you would need to put it.

Before looking for agricultural land for sale, you need to decide on which part of the country you would like your farm in. this will in turn depend upon what kind of crop you would like to produce; for instance, whether you would want a dairy farm, a ranch or plain organic farming.

The thing that you need to figure out is how much you would like to produce on a yearly basis. This will help you to have a clear idea about the size of your farm and how much of it you would like to reserve for the animals and how much for the farming itself. For this, you have to analyze the quality of the soil. If the ph content of the soil is extremely low, then you have to put in a lot of effort to bring back the balance. Different kinds of fertilizers and manures would enable you to do just that.

If you live in the city or the suburbs, the suburban countries that surround the metropolis are a good place to look into as far as agricultural land for sale is concerned. While you are location hunting, you need to check whether there is sufficient water available in the particular area. Also try to find out if there has been any flood in the region. A flood can be disastrous for agricultural land. If you planning to sell your farm produce in the market, kindly check the abundance of your land from the target market.

In case you are finding it extremely difficult to find an agricultural land for sale, consider hiring the services of real estate agents. They specialize in this area and will be able to help you find some of the best lands.

For superior quality agricultural land for sale, visit Dalhart Real Estate. These guys have a lot of experience in the subject and they will make sure that your search ends at their website.

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Tips To Zero In On That Perfect Farm For Sale

Zeroing in on that perfect farm for sale among the countless thousands that are up for grabs is not just a matter of luck but depends more on your foresight and the ability to distinguish a fertile tract of land from a wasted one. So how do you go about looking for a farmland that is just apt for your needs and will also bring you riches? Here are some tips:

* Assess your needs. Why do you need a farmland? Will you raise crops on it for selling or will you use the tract as grazing land or pasture? To raise crops, you need to buy a high-yielding piece of arable land that will keep producing crops year after year. The kind of crop you want to grow will also determine the farm for sale that you must choose. This is because specific crops demand specific soil and weather conditions.

If you intend to raise crops on your piece of farmland, then you must also have an idea about the amount you want to grow in a year. This will determine the area of ​​the agricultural land that you need to buy.

If you plan to also live on your farm, choose a piece of land that leaves you with ample room to construct your house after devoting a sizeable chunk for the crops. The farm for sale that you choose may come with a farmhouse; in that case, you will need to consider the condition of the house. If you have to spend a fortune on making the house livable, then buying the farmland may not be an economically viable option.

* Scrutinize the farm for sale. Once you have shortlisted a few farms for sale, it is time you peered more closely into their specific properties. Analyze the condition of the soil. Keep in mind that a low pH value indicates low fertility and you might need to put in more efforts to grow crops. Sparse vegetation also indicates that the land might be infertile and that does not conducive to grow crops.

While considering the economic feasability of buying a farm for sale, also take into account factors like proximate to a water body or the presence of streams or rivulets in the property. Nearness to a water body will aid farming.

Are you now feeling a bit apprehensive about how to spot that perfect piece of farm for sale? Trust Dalhart Real Estate to spoil you with lucrative choices. In farm management and real estate business for more than 35 years, they have the expertise and the experience to steer you to that Dalhart farm for sale that you have been looking for.

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Old Versus New Home – What Is the Best for Eco-Friendly Updates?

People are the one responsible in the negative changes that we have seen in the environment today. That's why we human being should be aware of our choices every now and then. By being careful with our choices we can make the earth a better, full of life and healthier place to live in.

We created to progress and live life in advance and the modern way. Along with the progress caused negative impact and degradation to the environment. However, with the climate changes and calamities that we have experienced, people are now much concerned with the environment. The government and the rest of the world are making moves that will help lessen the environment degradation process.

Thankfully, there are so many methods to save the mother nature nowdays. We can start it with our home by transforming that into an eco-friendly property. That way you can save energy and helps preserve the environment. But what type of home is best for eco-friendly updates, is it a new home or an older one?

New Home Advantages

  • Insulation is very important a home must have as it helps maintain the temperature inside that could save energy. Modern homes come equipped with effective energy saver insulation.
  • With the modern homes, bathroom equipments like, faucets and shower heads are designed to use less water compared to their older counterparts.
  • Windows installed in the new homes will save you a lot of energy, prevent any heat leakage, damage or any problems associated with the older windows. They will remain in good condition for long time as they were built to last.

New Home Disadvantages

  • Formaldehyde-containing particle board are usually found in new homes.
  • Sometimes base models of newly-built homes are with low-end features, like vinyl counter tops and wood laminate flooring.

Old Home Advantages

  • When looking for quality craftsmanship, real wood flooring and architectural design that much different from others, can have it all with the old homes.
  • Parts of the house will deteriorate as the time goes by that needs a remodeling job that will greatly increase its energy efficiency.

Old Home Disadvantages

  • Being exposed too much to the minerals called asbestos may cause several health problems and illness. Old homes may contain this kind of hazardous mineral, and workers may put their life at risk of being exposed during remodeling process.
  • Older homes may cost you a great amount of energy usage. Energy efficient windows, bathroom equipments and appliances are rarely found in this home.

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Solar Panels: A Bright Idea And Cool Tax Perks

Get possible electric bill cutbacks very soon. More and more homeowners are utilizing solar energy in order to save them some money. Not only is it an ecologically friendly option, it could also possibly save you a lot. Tax refunds, freedom from sales tax on solar panel-related equipment and more: Picture that. What is not to like?

For the previous five years, the federal government has been trying to give out rewards for more responsible energy use. The Energy Policy Act in 2005 was the first tax break of its type. People who opted for renewable energy were awarded it. If you've been a house owner long enough, you'll realize that some big configurations have gone into effect, as there used to be very few rewards for house owners to make the switch to renewable energy.

Homeowners can receive a tax credit as high as $ 2000 or 30% of whatever they invested in buying solar panels because of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 alone. It was expanded back in 2008 to cover almost every home in the United States that primarily makes use of solar energy, even though it originally only benefited homes existing from 2005-2007. This consists of houses constructed through January 2009.

Further to this act, in 2008 the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act was approved. Use of solar energy, including solar panels, now provides even more tax incentives. Although it expends the Energy Policy Act of 2005, it also adds more credit for those who plan to do home improvements in 2009 or beyond. This bill takes out the $ 2000 tax credit maximum in favor of the 30% rebate on investments in solar energy. Retroactivity in certain situations is also one of its features.

The state level may also extend tax incentives for setting up solar panels. New Mexico, Florida, Vermont, Minnesota, Washington, New York, Texas, Virginia, Arizona and California are some of these states. Tax rebates and the drop or elimination of sales tax on solar panel equipment expenses are some state perks that exist. It is certainly worth considering, if you're thinking of going the environmentally friendly route. Professionals can install solar panels or you can purchase a do-it-yourself kit. The tax incentives are well worth the shift either way.

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Building A Self Built Green Home

More Britons are now being encouraged to build their own homes. Housing Minister Grant Schapps has promised us that he will make it easier for us to build as planning constants will not be as severe. On average about 10,000 of us self build every year and it requires tenacity and a drive to complete the project. Of course the end result is your dream home which is everything that you want in a home. All fixtures and fittings are to your taste and you can make your home as green as you want it to be because it is a new build. All of the green credentials can be incorporated into the design from the beginning stages of the drawings. Best of all is that at the project you will have probably made a profit if you have not gone overboard with your designs.

Later this year The Localism Bill is likely to come into effect which will give communities greater powers and take away the powers from the councils in regards to how our neighborhoods are formed. Neighborhood groups will be able to approve developments without having to go through the usual channels of gaining planning consent from the council. So it looks as though next year more and more of us will decided to venture into self builds as planning laws will be more lenient, well that it what self builders hope.

Marcus Copeland is a mortgage broker from Cwm in North Wales. He built a five storey, six bedroom house which has panoramic views of the valley stretching down to the coast and the house is only a 30 minute drive from Chester. The house is fabulous and costs Mr Copeland around £ 1million to complete which includes land value and build costs. He admits that if could do it all again he would bury his spending. He used a stone for the exterior walls from Scotland when he could have settled for a cheaper option but he admits that this house was going to be his dream home and so he spared no expense. He has now decided to put the house on the market for £ 1.5million, so he is still in profit.

It took 18 months for him to complete the build. He has included highly insulated windows, two mechanical ventilation and heat recovery (MhVr) systems and of course under floor heating on each of the five floors of the house. He grew up in the area and managed to persuade a local farmer to sell him a plot of his land. Once this was agreed then obtaining the planning permission was very straight forward. The land that he had purchased already had planning for a small house and so the revised plans that Mr Copeland submitted had all the necessary eco-credentials that planners like and he also communicated with all of the neighbors. This meant that there were no objections to the plans and the planning permission was granted. The plans included rainwater recycling, solar panels, green roofs and ground source heat pumps. So it sees that the more green credentials in your proposed home the better. In June self builders can also earn an income via Feed-in tariffs wherey you sell surplus electricity back to the National Grid.

Many believe that green homes are a better quality because they are built with extra care. The finish of the houses tend to be superior to traditional buildings and of course because they are much more energy efficient the energy bills of these houses is much lower. So for self builders beginning at the design stage, the more green credentials included in your new home the cheaper it will be to run in the long term.

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Codes for Sustainable Homes

The Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) launched the Code for Sustainable Homes on 13th December 2006. They are a national standard when constructing new homes so that sustainable design can be incorporated. The whole home is measured through the Code and it assesses its sustainability through nine separate categories.

1. Energy / CO2
2. Health and Well-Being
3. Water
4. Pollution
5. Materials
6. Water
7. Management
8. Ecology
9. Surface water run-off.

The Code intends to signal how Building Regulations will be directed in the future in regards to home carbon emissions and energy use. The Codes are rated between 1 to 6 star rating and it shows the overall sustainability rating of any new home. Minimum standards are set in regards to energy and water use and allow both builders and homeowners' access to valuable information in terms of sustainability.

The Code Levels for energy efficiency are: –

· Code Level 1 = 10%
· 2 = 18%
· 3 = 25%
· 4 = 44%
· 5 = 100%
· 6 = Zero Carbon

Guidance for solutions to meeting the energy efficiency requirements for level 3 and above are below:

As of 2010 code levels 1 and 2 were made redundant as the Code Level 3 was made mandatory for new buildings in both the public and private sectors, this includes both house and flats. Code Levels of 4 and above are voluntary but in the future increases in each step will take place, some landowners and agents are already selling certain sites asking for a certain Code Level. All new homes need to have an Energy Performance Certificate so a new home will have a rating against the Code anyway. This gives builders and developers an incentive to reach higher ratings. If no assessment is done on the new build then the new build is given a zero rating.

Many Housing Associations now require a Code Level 4 as a minimum standard for their homes, the reason that they require a high level is that the end product is suited to their tenants. Energy efficient homes will not only be kinder to the environment but more importantly for their tenants they will have low energy bills.

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