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Planning for a Kitchen Remodel

 

Once you’ve decided to undertake a kitchen remodel, that’s when the fun begins. It’s time for your dreams to become reality. So do you know what you really want from your new kitchen? And do you know who you want to do the work?

Before talking to a contractor or designer, it’s a good idea to have an idea of what you want or need most from the remodel. Is this purely an aesthetic change that you’re desiring? Or do you need more storage space? Does the configuration work for your family? Or does the kitchen need to be larger? It’s important to answer these high level questions before you get into details like colors, tile preferences and even appliances.

Once you have clarity around these big questions, you’ll need to hire a contractor or a designer. Often times, contractors have a designer that they prefer to work with, and likewise a designer may have a contractor that he or she trust implicitly. So if you know a contractor or a designer that you love, go with the person you know and they can work with you to find the right professional to supplement the team.

Next, let’s be real, it’s just smart to set aside a “Surprise Fund” for unexpected issues during the remodel. If you find mold, or worse, a pipe bursts, that’s going to be extra money out of your pocket. While it’s hard to find extra money for these situations, it’s better to have at least a small rainy-day fund than none at all.

Last but not least, determining the best time of the year for your kitchen remodel can make all the difference in the world in how smoothly and quickly the project will proceed. Do you plan to take a long vacation this summer? Would it be better to take this on during the school year or when the kids are out for summer? Are you expecting a child? Do you know your work is going to be crazy during a certain season? Do you have a deadline because of a special event like the holidays, an anniversary or wedding?

You are the only person who can answer these questions, that’s why it’s good to discuss them with contractor or designer so you can create a timeline that works well for everyone.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It

 

 

 

 

 

Not Your Average Sink Plumbing

 

If you’re considering replacing a sink in your powder room or bathroom, you may be looking at some of the cool wall mount or vessel sinks available today. If so, one area you need to give attention to is the plumbing under the sink.  Since these sinks don’t have base cabinets or vanities to hide the plumbing, you may want to look at some of the new decorative p-traps now on the market.

So what is a p-trap? It is a pipe that has a sharp curve or dip in the pipe, and is a necessary part of your sink plumbing. Water collects in this curved or dipped area, and prevents sewer gases from backing up into your home. The p-trap can also catch heavy items, such as an earring or ring, and stop them from going down the drain.

With the appeal of floating vanities and wall mounted sinks growing, the demand for more decorative p-traps has increased. Companies are now providing them in an array of finishes from black and chrome to brass and brushed nickel.  This allows you to have your exposed p-trap match whatever finish you choose for your sink fixtures.plumber_sinks

Along with the various finishes being offered, there are also different styles of p-traps. This will give you a more cohesive look to your bathroom. Home improvement stores have styles ranging from traditional, vintage, European, modern and contemporary. To complete the look, you can find matching angle stops (the under sink turn on/off valves) in stores and online as well.

So remember, although a necessity, your p-traps don’t have to be just “average” anymore.  If you’re installing a sink with exposed plumbing, consider one of the new decorative p-traps to accent your new sink. This can make for a beautiful addition to your powder room or bathroom.

Heating Your Bathroom Floors by Go Green Plumbing

Well, here we are again, the middle of fall with winter right around the corner.  And while some of us enjoy our cool tile floors in the summer, they aren’t fun to walk on in the middle of winter. Did you know that you can actually remodel your bathroom with not only updated bathroom fixtures but heated floors as  well?

If you have ever dreamed of placing your feet on a warm floor, it can become a reality.  Whether you are remodeling, or building a new home, heated floors can be a great addition.  Here are a few things to consider to get you on the way to “toasty warm” floors.

First consider what you want to get from your heated floors.  Are you just interested in just warming up your floors, or are you looking for ways to provide more heat into your home?  Electric radiant heat is there to warm your floor (and toes), but not to be your sole heat source.  The electrical cables, sometimes attached to a mesh padding, is installed over your sub-floor using thin-set.  Then your choice of flooring is installed  on top of the electric cables.  There is now electric radiant heat systems for most floor types, including carpet, floating floors and vinyl.  You can even get heat systems that can be installed underneath your sub-floor if you don’t want to pull out your existing floors.  This type of system requires access to your joist bays through a crawl space or basement.

Hydronic radiant systems is an actual home heating system.  A boiler is used to heat water, between 100 to 120 degrees, that runs throughout the house using water tubing.  The water tubing can be embedded in a concrete slab, over an existing slab, or fitted into special designed panels.  Any type of flooring can be used with hydronic heat systems.  However, keep in mind that if you live in an area with high moisture levels, you might want to consider using a engineers wood rather than real wood.  Too much moisture can cause real wood to bow or warp.

Electric radiant heat is less expensive to installed since it requires less labor.  But it can increase your electric bill slightly depending on the size of area covered.  Installing electric systems in smaller areas like kitchens or bathrooms, and using programmable thermostats, makes these systems nice and affordable.  Although hydronic systems have a higher installation costs compared to forced hot air units, it will save money due to lower thermostat settings and higher efficiency.  This make hydronic systems a good source to heat your entire house.

So if you’re tired of those cold winter floors, start thinking of something more permanent to warm them up.  Maybe radiant floor heating will be one solution to keeping you and your home “toasty warm” this winter.

The Joys of Outdoor Fountains by Go Green Plumbing

Are you a fan of outdoor fountains?  Ever wondered about where to put one at your home?  What about outside in a garden area?

If you’re like me, you love your garden.  And, if you’re an avid gardener, I’m sure you’re also a lover of the creatures that visit our gardens, such as birds, bees and butterflies.  You may even plant specific plants that attract these to your gardens.  But have you given any thought to the fact that our flighty friends need water?  Just like us, water is very important to birds and insects as well.  So, adding an outdoor fountain is not only pretty but  can help our little friends.eclectic-outdoor-fountains-and-ponds

Fountains are easy to add to the garden, but there are a few things you need to know when setting up and maintaining one.  Fountains can be purchased at local garden centers and stores and if you don’t feel comfortable installing, we can help. Adding a couple of rocks that rise above the water level provide a landing place for the birds or butterflies.

When deciding the location for your fountain, consider the amount of sun and shade the area gets.  Late afternoon shade in warmer climates would be best to prevent the water from getting too warm.  And, remember that if you live in a colder area your fountain may require a heater to keep the water from freezing in winter.

Enjoying the wildlife that visit our gardens is a bonus, but they also assist us in our gardening.  Birds help us by eating pests and aerating the soil.  Even wasps can help with certain pests in the garden.  And we all know the benefits of honey bees and butterflies as hard working pollinators.  So, enjoy these hard workers that grace our gardens, and look after them by providing a water source to keep them coming back.

Want help setting up an outdoor fountain at your house?  Call us- we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day.  If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

 

How to Maintain Your Plumbing

We all know that maintenance is important for a lot of things around us.  Regular maintenance on our vehicles keep them in running good running order.  Changing filters on our heating and air units regularly helps get us through the hottest and coldest days of the year.  We even maintain ourselves when we get our regular, yearly checkouts at our doctor.  But have you ever thought that your plumbing needs maintenance as well?  As with anything else, our plumbing can benefit from regular maintenance and can prevent costly repairs in the future.Peteonfloor-555x390

Start with an inspection of your plumbing.  Look at the plumbing under your sinks and toilets for any signs of leaks or moisture.  Some condensation on cold metal pipe on hot, humid days is to be expected, so you would want to reinspect at another time when the house is cooler to determine if it is normal condensation or a small leak. Check around the base of your toilet for water stains or darker grout lines that can indicate a slow leak either from a broken wax ring or flange under your toilet.

Check all faucets and shower heads to monitor water pressure.  There may be some difference between faucets styles, but all should have a stead flow of water.  Pay attention to the water as it drains from your sinks and tubs.  Slow drainage can be a sign of a clog or build up in your pipes.  You will want to remove and clean aerators on faucets and shower heads to flush out any sediment build up that can slow water flow.

You will also want to check pipes on your water heater for moisture or leaks.  Be sure and check around the base of the water heater for water stains or puddles.  Your inspection will want to include your garbage disposals to check for loosened connections or signs of clogs.  If you are on a crawl space, look for signs of leaks around joints and connections on your plumbing.  Don’t forget to check the water lines and area around your washing machine, refrigerator and dishwasher.

Repairs to any leaks or wet areas discovered during your inspection is important.  The longer a leak continues the more damage to your walls, flooring and home.  Some issues may simply require tightening a fitting or nut bolt.  Others may require calling a professional to determine what needs to be repaired.  So schedule your plumbing for an annual checkup, either by you or your certified plumber.  It is necessary for the proper working of your plumbing system, and good protection from major plumbing issues in the future.

Have plumbing issues?  Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day.  If water runs through it – We Do It!

Ways to Remove Mold by Go Green Plumbing

Mold buildup can be a nasty bathroom issue!  Since mold loves dark, moist areas, our bathrooms provide perfect homes for these unwelcome spores.  But, don’t despair.  Although, one of the most common problems in homes, if not allowed to get out of hand, it is also one of the more easily solved problems.curbless-showers

An “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is a very true statement in the case of dealing with mold.  Taking steps to prevent and limit excessive mold growth can save you money, and prevent health issues related to an overgrowth of mold.  Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Make certain you have good ventilation in your bathrooms by installing an exhaust fan. This will help pull moisture out of the bathroom and keep things dry.  Mold cannot grow without moisture.  Run the fan not only during your shower or bath, but about 30 minutes afterward.
  • Keep check for leaks around toilets, sinks, and shower/tub areas. If you have plumbing from the bathroom in a basement or crawl space area, check these for leaks as well.  Have repairs made to any leaky areas or pipes.
  • Regularly wash rugs, wallpaper, shower liners and curtains. Purchase a mold-resistant shower liner as these are good places for mold to grow.  If installing new drywall or wallpaper these also can be purchased using mold-resistant materials.
  • Limit the items stored in the shower (i.e., shampoos, conditioners, shaving creams, etc.) as these provide perfect places for mold to grow.
  • Drying showers and tubs after use will also assist in the prevention of mold growth.

Prevention is a great way to control mold, but since mold spores are in the air around us, we will still at times have to deal with it.  So, how is the best way to clean mold from our bathroom areas?  We will discuss some helpful suggestions  in Part 2 of Ways To Remove and Help Prevent Mold In Bathrooms.

Have plumbing issues?  Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day.  If water runs through it – We Do It!

Choosing Shower Fixtures

Whether you are updating old, leaky shower fixtures or choosing them for a completely new shower, you will encounter a large array when you start your search.  Not just functional anymore, shower fixtures can be the statement pieces in our bathrooms.  Making shower selections is very personal, and depends on what we expect to get out of shower experience.P16672369

For those whose mornings are extremely rushed, and getting through a shower the quickest way possible is a must, then your choice may be the old faithful single-head spray shower head.  This type of fixture has a head with several nozzles that distributes the spray.  Most have an adjustable lever that will change the flow of water from wide to concentrated streams.  Some may prefer a hand-held variety that is attached to a flexible hose.  Handheld shower heads give a nice showering experience, but is also useful in cleaning and rinsing your shower.

If you are looking for more of a spa-like experience, then you might be interested in rain shower heads that are suspended above the user and sprays straight down.  Some are installed directly from the ceiling of the shower, while others mount to the wall and extend above the user still allowing a downward spray of water .  This type of shower head can provide a very soothing and refreshing effect. Just remember that your hair will get wet every time if suspended from the top!

For the all out luxury (and who doesn’t want that?), look at adding body sprays.  This can be done by purchasing a body shower wall unit that comes with a shower head and body sprays built into a tower unit, or creating a custom look by installing individual spray heads that are each plumbed into the shower wall.  Additional features to consider are thermostatic valves that maintain constant water temperature, and digital controls that can regulate water flow intensity, temperature, ambient lighting and music.  These are all features for the individual that is looking for the ultimate relaxing and de-stressing shower.  However, keep in mind these items come at luxury costs, so determine your budget ahead of time.

Whatever your selection, make your shower your own special place to rejuvenate, relax and escape!

Need help remodeling your bathroom? Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day.  If water runs through it – We Do It!

Bathroom Remodels by Go Green Plumbing

Finally, you are getting the new bathroom you have always wanted.  Now you have started the search for your faucets, and are staring wide-eyed at an over-whelming array of them.  Who knew there could be so many choices in bathroom faucets?  Well, here is some info that hopefully will make your selections much easier and a lot less stressful.moen-T6125-1

To start, you have to consider your remodel.  Are you keeping your current sink or replacing?  If you are keeping your existing sink you will need a faucet that has the same pre-drilled hole cutouts.  The different types of faucets are Single-hole, Center-set, Widespread mounts and Wall mounts.  If installing a new sink, then you can go with the style of faucet you like best since holes can be drilled at installation.

The next thing you have to consider is your finish.  Your choices will range from the industry standard of polished chrome, to brushed nickel, stainless steel, bronze, brass and decorative ceramics.  Choose a finish that you love and will be happy to live with.  Keep in mind that polished finishes, while beautiful, require more upkeep.  Brushed finishes help at hiding water spots and fingerprints; a plus if you have children.

There are now special features manufacturers have created to assist us and make us feel more pampered.  Have a need for extra clean hands?  Then you might be interested in a sanitizing faucet that injects a stream of ozone into the faucet water to kill germs.  Some come with the feature built in or a retrofit kit can be purchased and attached.  Prefer a hands-free faucet?  Then a motion-activated faucet that requires a battery or AC power, or one that generates its own power, might be just what you need.  If soft, silky water is your preference, then a faucet with laminar flow will be the one for you.

Shopping for your bathroom faucets can be fun and exciting.  Doing some online research for current styles, finishes and features will help you make a better, more informed choice.  And whether you purchase from a local hardware store, showroom, or online store, you will know you have made the perfect choice for you.

Have a plumbing issue and need some help?  Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day.  If water runs through it – We Do It!

Plumbing Leaks Can Make Pests Feel Welcome

Plumbing leaks may seem like a nuisance problem that can ‘just wait’. However, did you know that water leaks can also attract pests?  Just like all animals, cockroaches and mice need three basic things – shelter, food and water.  In fact, they can go without food for an extended period of time, but just days without water.

So, how do they get water?  It can be a leaky pipe, a dripping faucet, cracked fixtures, even the condensation tray under your refrigerator.  Check the shut off valves under the sink to make sure they seal properly.  Replace them if you find water leaking from them.   If you have an open water source you can bet the pests will find it.

In your bathroom check the grout around your tub or shower to ensure that you don’t have water leaking behind the fixture.  Also make sure that the caulk ring where the pipes come out of the wall is intact.  If the wax ring around the bottom of a toilet isn’t sealing properly, you could create a watering hole for critters every time you flush.

In fact, most mouse poison baits cause the rodent to seek out water.  This is good for your if your home is leak free because it will force the rodent outside in search of water.  But, if you have leaks, it will cause them to die in your house, and likely in places that you can’t access like inside of the walls.  And that can lead to a whole separate set of problems.  By fixing leaks proactively, you not only reduce the chances of an infestation, you also save water and money.

Have a plumbing issue and need some help?  Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day.  If water runs through it – We Do It!

When Should You Replace Your Sump Pump?

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If you have a basement with sump pump, you have likely spent the last few months worrying about its stability in the face of the heavy rains we’ve had lately.  So, how do you know when it is time to replace your sump pump?  There are a few key tip offs that the time is close.  Consider these scenarios:

  • Do you have a pedestal style sump pump? These are the old style pumps that have since been replaced by the submersible sump pump.  If you have one like this consider going ahead and replacing it before your find your holiday ornaments floating in Lake Basement.  You will find newer models to be more dependable, with automatic battery backups and warning buzzers that can alert you early to any troubles.
  • Does your pump seem to run forever? Pumps are rated based on their ability to clear needed water volume over distance.  If you either have more water than would be expected, or have to pump it further than expected, your pump may be undersized.  Consider a replacement.  Pumps should run no more than just a minute or so in any given cycle.  And it shouldn’t cycle every five minutes.  Consider your basin depth when looking for a replacement.  You want to protect your home and your new pump, so invest in determining the proper size.
  • Does you pump fail to turn on when needed? It may be a float problem, but it also maybe the result of a faulty pump.  Consider replacing if you can’t easily reset the float or if you are unable to monitor it closely.  Better safe than sorry.
  • Does the pump wake you up at night? A mere annoyance during the day because of the noise? Noise is a sure indicator or trouble.  Even if it is not particularly annoying, any noise is a sign that there is a loose, worn or lost part.  You don’t want to find out the hard way that your pump isn’t working.  Replace it now to save you restless nights later.

Have a plumbing issue and need some help?  Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day.  If water runs through it – We Do It!