So, we are right in the middle of summer here in the U.S. and it has been a scorcher. We’ve had temperatures that have hit the high 90’s over the last couple of weeks. Here in the South, we know that it’s just going to get hotter. We’re going to get less rain and just more oppressive heat. Now we’re into what’s called the “Dog Days of Summer.”
So you’ve got the thermostat set to the right temperature, your hot water heater is optimized and your light bulbs are changed out, but you feel like your utility bill is still too high. Well that’s it! Back to candlelight and well water. Or we could just look at the insulation and some other tips for your home.
One of the things that will raise your utility bill the most is heating. And the past several winters have been absolutely brutal. More than a third of the money that you spend on utilities goes to heating your home.
Do you know how much you spend in electricity every month? I can tell you what my bill is down to the dollar, but we are fortunate enough to have levelized billing. Do you know how much water you use every month? Now that I couldn’t tell you. Electricity and water usage can make or break your budget depending on how much your utility company charges you. They are two things that you can’t live without and so if you can save money on them it’s always a great idea.
One thing that you can always count on in Arkansas is extreme temperatures. Just last week the heat index got up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s incredibly hot. In contrast, last winter we had temperatures in the mid-teens and low twenties. The worst part about it was that it was clear and cold, and the wind chills were below zero for many days. Our home is our safe haven away from all of that.
This week we are looking at great plans for starter homes. We’ve looked at the smaller homes in Part 1. All of those were under 2,000 square feet. We looked at plans that are the typical size of starter homes in Part 2. All of those plans were right around 2,000 square feet. Now we are going to look at some larger plans.
Remember a starter home is not necessarily just for young couples. These plans are great for builders and for anyone who is looking for that perfect family home. Check them out!
What does a “starter home” mean to you? Is it simply a smaller home that is perfect for a family that starting out? Is it a retirement home where you can start your new phase of life after your children have moved out? No matter how you look at a starter home, it’s a plan that you want to be perfect.
It wasn’t that long ago that my husband and I were house hunting. We purchased our home 4 years ago and we are now living in what many people term as a starter home. It was the first house that we bought, but it definitely wasn’t the first house that we looked at. Our poor real estate agent had the patience of a saint. (Thanks, Brent!) We must have looked at over 50 houses before we finally settled on the one that we are living in now.
It’s a grand debate that has been waged over decades. Families have been split apart. Tempers have flared. Civilization, as we know it, could be teetering on the brink of collapse if we do not take a stand in this issue. Yes, summer has brought the great grilling wars. Where do we stand in this battlefield of food? Do we take the side of the gas grill and its ease and practicality? Or do we feel at home with our charcoal and the traditional open flame? Oh, the humanity of it all!
So, the heat index yesterday was 108 degrees F, for our international friends that’s 42 degrees C. It was stifling. The afternoon ended with an epic thunderstorm that rattled windows and blew the tops of the trees around magnificently. I think I have digressed, though. The point I was making was that it was way too hot to cook inside. So, what’s a mom and wife supposed to do? Get out the grill! We’re eating al fresco! (Does a couple of lawn chairs and some paper plates count as al fresco?)
I think one the of the modern rights of passage is to have your own space to grill and cook out. It should be like in the top 5 things that make you an adult. Like the list should go something like paying taxes, having to deal with a billing mishap, dealing with in-laws, doing emergency repairs, and having your own space to entertain and/or grill out. Yeah, I didn’t like the rest of that list either. Let’s look at some house plans and feel better, ok?