Home Design

  • The Ultimate Guide to Sustainable Home Design
    The Ultimate Guide to Sustainable Home Design

    When people think of sustainable home design, many tend to envision small homes set back into nature or modern yurts made out of recycled shipping containers – but those aren’t the only styles worth considering!

    Minimalist decor, non-toxic paints and adhesives, organic fabrics, and renewable insulation are all eco-friendly construction materials that offer exceptional construction quality. Solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling systems, low flow plumbing fixtures and drought resistant native landscaping all help minimize energy use and costs while improving construction quality.

    Energy Efficiency

    Energy efficiency is one of the cornerstones of sustainable home design. Reducing fossil fuel dependence and climate change while simultaneously cutting expenses and ecological footprint are just two advantages gained through its implementation.

    Installing energy-efficient appliances is an affordable and effective way to increase the energy efficiency of your home. Keep an eye out for appliances bearing the ENERGY STAR label to find energy saving appliances.

    Landscaping and outdoor spaces can help make your home more eco-friendly, such as by installing native plants with permeable surfaces to reduce water usage and runoff while creating habitat for local wildlife. Furthermore, planting food forests could supply hyper-local fresh produce. Integrating sustainable features early in the design process makes them simpler to implement during construction – saving both money and time!

    Water Conservation

    Water conservation is an integral component of sustainable home design. Water resources are becoming scarcer worldwide, so effective conservation practices can help alleviate future shortages.

    Water efficiency can also be achieved using appliances such as energy-efficient dishwashers and washing machines, low-flow showerheads and water aerators. Utilizing natural lighting and eco-friendly finishes in interior spaces are additional ways to conserve both energy and water resources.

    Landscaping water efficiency can be achieved using drought-tolerant plants, succulents, and grass alternatives that require less maintenance. Earthship homes provide another great example of sustainability as they harvest their own water while simultaneously creating energy from solar panels and an earth chimney to power energy needs – features which truly define a green house environment.

    Waste Reduction

    Waste reduction plans created early in the design process can help improve waste management and cut costs significantly, providing everyone on the design team with clarity about goals and objectives for waste minimization.

    By choosing recycled materials and limiting purchases of new products, you can reduce your environmental footprint. Furthermore, selecting local-produced materials will lower embodied energy emissions caused by manufacturing and transport.

    Modular furniture, natural lighting and eco-friendly finishes are among the newest home design trends that prioritize sustainability. While they may cost more upfront, these elements could save on energy bills in the long run while increasing property values. Other sustainable designs include Earthship homes (which combine different materials), straw bale houses and prefab options.

    Eco-Friendly Materials

    Selecting materials with sustainability in mind can have a dramatic impact on the environmental footprint of your home. Green building materials made from renewable resources and can reduce energy bills significantly; other options could include reclaimed wood and recycled plastics.

    Use eco-friendly household products, like reusable produce bags, glass straws and washable makeup remover pads – to reduce plastic waste in landfills. This approach will also save money.

    Eco-friendly paints and stains are another great addition to your home design, eliminating harmful chemicals and fungicides that pollute air quality. Furthermore, these are readily available at most paint stores.

    Open Shelving

    No matter where it first caught your eye – on Pinterest or a shelter magazine page – open shelving has quickly become an iconic trend in kitchen design. Simply put, this trend allows homeowners to do away with upper cabinets in favor of displaying all of their favorite dishes, vases, and trinkets on open shelves instead.

    Making your open shelves visually engaging is crucial. Try mixing up their heights so the eye travels from shelf to shelf. Don’t be shy about adding seasonal touches like evergreen branches for Christmas and pumpkins during autumn!

    Open shelving offers several benefits that make it more cost-effective than installing cabinetry. Plus, it works well in unique spaces–such as slanted walls or half walls. However, keep in mind that items stored on open shelves are subject to dust and grease more frequently than those kept within cabinets.


  • Choosing the Best Plumbing Fittings
    Choosing the Best Plumbing Fittings

    Copper and cPVC remain popular materials used for water lines; however, PEX has recently gained in popularity due to professional trust in its durability as well as similar warranties offered by manufacturers.

    PEX tubing is more flexible than PVC and doesn’t require glueing or soldering for installation, enabling flexible configuration options.


    Couplings, also referred to as pipe couplers, connect two pipes by wrapping around their outside surfaces to join them together. Couplings may either extend the length or reduce size (dependent upon type) and feature female threads for plastic glueing or copper soldering, making plastic glueing or soldering easy and available in several varieties such as brass, chrome-plated brass, copper, CPVC malleability (galvanized and black) and stainless steel options.

    Metal crimp fittings made from copper provide excellent corrosion resistance, making them suitable for pressurized and nonpressurized piping systems alike. Wye fittings feature two inlet ports to switch water flow direction – an integral plumbing fitting used to prevent backflow.


    Pipe elbows are fittings designed to alter the flow of liquid. Used to bypass obstructions in pipe systems or fit into tight spaces, pipe elbows come in various shapes and sizes to meet individual requirements.

    Long radius pipe bends (also referred to as miter bends) are designed to change direction in fluid transportation lines with minimum turbulence and deposition of solid particles, thus minimizing pressure drop caused by this change in direction and helping avoid line kinking.

    Compression fittings feature a brass or plastic ferrule that compresses into a recessed seat when tightening their nuts, creating an airtight seal. Lubricating this ferrule with pipe joint compound helps make tightening compression fittings easier and prevent leaks.


    Pipe fittings are essential components of a smooth running plumbing system and Blackhawk Supply has everything needed for installation or repairs of existing pipe fittings.

    Unions offer an alternative solution to connecting pipes that cannot be threaded directly into them by using their own nut to seal two separate pipe ends together. They make future repairs much simpler.

    Utilizing a dielectric union with nipples will protect galvanized pipes from galvanic corrosion, which occurs when different metals come into contact through connections or fittings and lead to leakage and damage over time. Insulated plumbing fittings separate metals to prevent galvanic corrosion by isolating them.


    The SharkBite Tee is the most common type of Tee used, using metal teeth that grip onto pipes to ensure a tight connection; if they fail, however, this connection could leak.

    Solution: Clean pipes and fittings thoroughly before making sure the pipe travels far enough into its respective tee.

    Installing new plumbing fixtures can be made easier if you use the correct tools and techniques. Plumber’s tape (known as PTFE tape) helps protect threaded connections against leakage by acting like a sealant to stop threaded holes from becoming threaded holes.

    Professional plumbers typically cite SharkBite and similar push-fit fittings as suitable emergency or temporary fixes, while soldering remains superior for permanent connections in all areas of the home. Yet a growing group of homeowners believe these new connections to be just as strong.


    Gaskets can prevent leaks that compromise systems, and there are various kinds designed to withstand different pressures, temperatures and other variables that may alter their efficacy.

    They can be constructed out of various materials, from inert to chemical and oil resistance to those needing special coatings to remain functional at high temperatures.

    Flange gaskets come in all sorts of shapes and sizes to suit different flange joints, including male-female, raised face and tongue-and-groove joints. Each type of flange requires specific material for sealing its gap – for instance a nonmetallic spiraled gasket might work best on raised-face flanges while low pressure class flanges would benefit from using PTFE or Teflon; felt can withstand compression well as it is durable.