The Benefits of Recessed Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important things to consider when renovating or updating a home. Apart from improving the way a home looks and feels, the right lighting can increase the value of a property. While chandeliers,  wall mount fixtures, and track lights are all right for certain spaces in your home, recessed lighting is the right choice for anyone looking to brighten up a space without installing a fixture that extends into a room and changes elements of its decor. Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of adding recessed lighting to your home.

Increase the Value of Your Home

Recent data from the most popular U.S. home trends suggests that homes with recessed lighting receive around 1,110 views per listing on real estate websites, which is higher than any other top 10 home trend. It’s also been reported that on average, homes with recessed lighting are more likely to sell above list price.

Illusion of Space

Recessed lights naturally make a room feel bigger because there is less physical space being taken up with light cans being set into the ceiling. Different types of trim can also cast more light around the room, especially when spaced further away from the wall and other fixtures.

Highlight Aspects of Your home

When installing recessed lighting, you’re able to highlight specific designs or aesthetics of your home. Use a recessed light to shed light on an art piece, unique structural feature, or special collection. Recessed light can also act as a spotlight in a home office or kitchen.

Safety

The casing of a recessed light keeps it safe and out of reach of children and pets, as opposed to hanging light fixtures.

Versatility

Recessed lighting has many options that you can choose from to customize your lighting setup. A few things you can consider when customizing your recessed lighting:

  • Fixture sizes:  based on the height of the ceiling & size of the area you want to light.
  • Light Bulb Type: control temperature, cost, lifespan, and intensity of light. 
  • Trim styles: an eyeball trim can help with wall-wash lighting, while a flat trim is ideal for a minimalist finish.

Conclusion:

Recessed lighting allows you to upgrade your home in a way that’s both stylish and discreet. The Horton Group has been serving the Northeastern United States for over 20 years, and we’d love to help you, too. Want to start a project with us? Get to know some of our skilled professionals and give us a call at 203-624-6873.

Home Improvements for Aging in Place

In 2020, many people altered their homes for added comfort, private workspaces, and aging in place. Adults are choosing to forgo moving into a nursing home, whether they stay in their own residence or move in with family. 

You can make several modifications to your home to create an environment that is safe and comfortable for all who live there. Many are simple improvements you can make on your own, while others may require hiring a professional. Keep reading to learn more!

Interior Improvements 

Being able to move about safely, despite age or physical limitations, helps people remain independent. Here are some general modifications you can make to aid in mobility around the house:

  • Install handrails. Handrails aren’t just for stairs. Consider adding handrails in hallways, bedrooms, and bathrooms. 
  • Install a stairlift. If going up and down the stairs is required, a stairlift makes it much more manageable. 
  • Automated features. Automated thermostats, blinds, and lighting allow you to make changes without having to stand up. 
  • Open Floor Plans. When possible, widen doorways and hallways. This is especially helpful for people who use a walker or wheelchair. 
  • Add carpet and anti-slip mats. The carpet adds some extra cushion when walking, and well as traction. Anti-slip strips can be added to the bottom of area rugs to reduce the chances of slipping. Anti-slip mats are also essential for the shower. 
  • Install a walk-in shower. A walk-in makes it easier to get in and out of the shower. Add a bench and handheld shower head for additional ease of use. 
  • Raise the toilet seat. This makes it easier to sit and stand back up. 

Exterior Improvements

A few select changes to the home’s exterior make it easier to come and go and make your outdoor living space more enjoyable for all. 

  • No-step entry. Installing a ramp next to the front or back steps allows easy access in and out of the home. Handrails on both sides of a ramp, and well as any exterior walkways, add extra support. 
  • Modify the door threshold. The slight difference between your porch or ramp and the floor inside the door can be enough to create a tripping hazard. To make a flush threshold, you can raise the porch or replace the doorframe. 
  • Exterior lighting. Ensure all walkways, outdoor living spaces, and entrances are well lit. 
  • Low-maintenance exterior and landscaping. As people age, the exterior of the home is often the most challenging to maintain. Make landscaping easier with an automatic sprinkler system and low-maintenance plants. You can also replace high-maintenance siding for vinyl or brick for less upkeep. 

With some simple features added to your existing space, you can help ensure your home is safe as you or your loved ones grow older. 

Energy Efficient Offices

Offices are energy-consuming buildings; between heating and cooling, lighting, and technology and equipment required to run a business, the amount of energy used continues to rise. 

With more builders and contractors committing to sustainable building, commercial offices are becoming more green, or environmentally friendly. Green buildings are designed and constructed with sustainable materials that make the building more energy-efficient and reduces energy costs.

Business owners don’t often have control over how the building was built, unless moving into a brand new development. But there are things every office can do to maximize energy conservation and reduce costs. 

HVAC 

Space heating accounts for 25% of energy use in commercial buildings, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Ideally, a building will have proper insulation to help maintain a comfortable temperature. In older buildings, this cannot always be achieved. Whether you are leasing office space or own the building, maintaining your HVAC system can help decrease energy use and save money. Here are some ways to make the most of your HVAC:

  • Clean filters. Dirty filters slow down airflow. Check any filters regularly and change as necessary.
  • Program heating and cooling. Program the temperature of the office. After employees leave for the day, the heat (or AC) does not need to be turned up as high. 
  • Equipment tune-up. To make sure all systems are working efficiently, get a tune-up from an HVAC professional. 

Lighting

Lighting is one of the easiest ways to make energy-saving changes to your office space. Because lighting makes up 10% of the total energy use in buildings, it is worth the effort.

  • Motion sensor lights. Motion sensor lights are ideal for areas that are occupied during certain times of the day, including parking lots, stairways, and meeting rooms. 
  • Make the most of natural light. Builders are taking more advantage of natural light. Through a process called daylighting, sunlight illuminates buildings, cutting energy use and costs. This provides an added bonus – sunlight increases positive moods of everyone in the workspace. 
  • LED lights. LED bulbs last longer than fluorescent and incandescent lighting, and reduce the amount of energy used. 

Office Technology and Appliances

Offices are filled with technology and appliances – from computers and copiers to refrigerators and microwaves. Being mindful in your selection of these items can significantly reduce energy usage. 

  • Laptops. Laptops use up to 90% less energy than desktops. Depending on how many people work on computers in your office, this can make a significant difference.
  • ENERGY STAR. ENERGY STAR appliances, computers, copiers, televisions, and even fans and thermostats, are the most efficient equipment for the office. 

Minimizing energy consumption in the workplace is beneficial for both the environment and your business savings. As we take on new developments, we are mindful of sustainable practices and work to make each building as environmentally friendly as possible. 

 

6 Tips for Creating a Productive Office Space

Most people spend more time at the office than their own home throughout the week. When moving into a new office, think beyond cubicles and desks so that you and your employees can be productive in an inspiring and comfortable atmosphere. 

In our commercial projects, Horton Group continues to work closely with a range of business owners to design and build their dream offices.  At our current commercial development, 350 Goose Lane Office Park, we have built offices for large national corporations, small business owners, and everything in between.

Below are six tips for creating a productive office space, no matter what industry you work in.

Ask for Employee Input

Ask your employees what their dream office would look like. You won’t be able to incorporate all of their ideas, but if you find out that 90% of the people working for you would utilize standing desks, for example, you can determine how to fit a couple into your office space. 

When employees are given the opportunity to set up their own workspace, they have more satisfaction and better performance at work compared to employees who have no control over their environment. 

Traffic flow

Utilizing the space efficiently is essential no matter what size office you have. Consider how people will move from work areas to meeting rooms, the bathroom, and kitchen areas. Keeping these common areas clear of clutter makes it much easier to move around the office.  Traffic flow is especially important if you have customers or patients coming in and out of the office all day. 

Don’t Neglect the Basics: Lighting, Noise, and Temperature

We’ve all been uncomfortable or distracted while on the job. The more you can eliminate small annoyances, the better. This means paying attention to lighting, noise, and temperature in the office. 

Natural light is ideal, but not always possible. In spaces without windows, opt for overhead lighting options that mimic natural light. Unnecessary noise at work can decrease productivity and increase headaches. Ask your builder or contractor what can be done to eliminate noise from other offices. Finally, make sure the temperature can be easily controlled in the office. 

Variety of Workspaces

A variety of workspace options is essential in increasing productivity. Some parts of the day may require an independent work station where people can tune out the rest of the office and tackle important phone calls or deadlines. Other times employees may need to connect with coworkers in a collaborative meeting area or a step into a quiet room to decompress. By incorporating numerous spaces to work in, people can move around throughout the day and tailor the space to their work needs. 

Greenspace

Whenever possible, incorporate green space. A beautifully landscaped property can include an additional workspace in good weather. The benefits of green space for employees include increased job satisfaction and decreased stress. 

Plan for Growth

As a business owner, chances are you have a 1, 5, and 10-year plan. Will the office you are creating today be able to hold your vision for the future? Take into consideration the fact that you will expand, leaving some wiggle room for reorganization. 

 

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