When you hear the name Tesla, you usually stop and listen. Tesla has built a well-known brand with electric vehicles (EVs). Then, they announced the Powerwall, a solar battery, and most recently, the Solar Roof, a mix of solar and non-solar tiles that is meant to replace a typical solar system. Elon Musk is a smart guy – combining the power of solar with EVs. The ideas he has make sense, but does the investment? Now that the long-awaited solar tile system is available, it’s worth asking – is the Tesla Solar Roof worth the investment? Continue reading
Do you need a building permit?
Spoiler: You probably do, unless you’re only doing cosmetic interior upgrades, like painting or updating your kitchen faucet. Any time you are adding square footage, making structural modifications, or significantly altering other building components, you’ll need to obtain a permit. Continue reading
If you’ve lived in Santa Cruz County for any length of time, you may be concerned about real estate market trends and other rising costs in the area. Once you retire you’ll be receiving a fixed income and might not be able to keep up with increasing costs. Also, your children might not be able to afford to stay in the area once they leave home, and so they may have to move to a different locality. These are genuine concerns for some, and local officials and politicians are actively considering various ways and means to help alleviate the financial burdens some will face when electing to age in place in their current homes. Continue reading
The importance of a well-insulated home can’t be overstated: Properly sized and installed insulation can reduce energy usage, keep you warmer in winter and cooler in summer, and save you money with lower energy bills. Rock wool insulation provides thermal and sound insulation and can be used as a firestop between floors.
For homeowners and builders alike, fiberglass insulation has been the insulation of choice for many decades. While fiberglass remains very popular, there’s a relatively new type of insulation that’s making headway—and headlines—in the insulation industry. It’s called rock-wool insulation. Continue reading
A smart home is a residence that uses internet-connected devices to enable the remote monitoring and management of appliances and systems, such as lighting and heating.
Smart home technology, also known as home automation, provides homeowners security, comfort, convenience and energy efficiency by allowing them to control smart devices, often by a smart home app on their smartphone or other networked device. Continue reading
Rejecting ornament and embracing minimalism, Modernism became the dominant global movement in 20th-century architecture and design.
Modernism is the single most important new style or philosophy of architecture and design of the 20th century, associated with an analytical approach to the function of buildings, a strictly rational use of (often new) materials, an openness to structural innovation and the elimination of ornament. Continue reading
The County of Santa Cruz has released an interactive toolkit making it easier for homeowners to design, permit and construct Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), which can be a more affordable housing option for Santa Cruz County families. Continue reading