With the summer season starting and the kids home from school, thoughts turn to outdoor garden parties, barbecues with family and friends, and often that remodeling project put off until getting rained out becomes less likely.

Here are some “cool ideas” from Homeworks Construction — an award-winning design/build firm and BIA Remodelor of the Year — for incorporating energy-saving features into your renovations, while creating a comfortable home environment during the hot months ahead:


• Major house remodels and additions generally involve installation of new windows and doors. However, even with minor renovations, it makes sense to include replacement of old windows in the plans. Dual pane, Low E glass windows provide a barrier against outdoor heat and keep cool air in, reducing the need for air conditioning. They also provide protection against ultraviolet rays that fade interior furnishings. A creative combination of window styles can serve to maximize both views and natural ventilation.

• If you plan to re-roof, then this is the time to review options for penetrations that can be properly sealed and waterproofed while the roofing is being changed. These would include ventilating skylights, solar fans and “sun tunnels” that bring light into a dark space.

• For homes that need air conditioning in addition to natural ventilation to keep them comfortable, ductless split systems are an increasingly popular choice since they save energy by localizing temperature control in lieu of cooling the entire house. Placement of the units should be planned before starting new construction or remodeling.


• Is it time to add a screened lanai to enhance your enjoyment of the balmy summer weather? Homeworks has added this feature to many homes, usually taking advantage of unused yard space. After clearing the area of vegetation and rocks, and compacting and leveling the ground with a heavy roller, a concrete slab is poured. In the simplest, least expensive form of construction, 4-by-4 inch columns are used to support the roof, which can be waterproofed and sealed with a coating, such as GacoRoof. A low wood panel wall can be added to incorporate electrical outlets. Screening should be cross braced at approximately three feet from the floor, then extended upward. A screen door can provide access to an outdoor barbecue area created by extending the concrete slab and roof overhang. A high pedestal fan will both cool the area and blow barbecue smoke away from the house. This addition provides new space for indoor/outdoor living at minimal cost.

For more information on remodeling or building a new custom home, call Homeworks at 955-2777. You also can call Homeworks president Jim Byxbee at his Build New Or ReDo Radio Show broadcast Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m. on KHVH AM 830 and now in its eighth year. Byxbee and co-host Rick Hamada welcome listener calls to the studio (521-8383) and answer questions on the air.

contact // 955-2777
address // 2111 S. Beretania St.



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