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Old 01-11-11, 12:54 AM   #1
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Default great site! loving it already (8

needless to say since this an intro thread...another newbie here.

i live in arizona (the hot part) so this is our low-energy time of year. i have spent all winter trying to do more to reduce our outrageous summer electric bills.

up until about a year ago i focused mainly on the house itself. my new focus is the yard. i've planted trees, cacti, and shrubs all winter hoping for some relief this coming summer. it took a long time to get the soil modified enough to be fit for planting.

i ended up here searching to see if a goofy idea i had has been tried before. got sidetracked because i'm loving the site...hoping to figure out how to best keep the inside at least 40 degrees cooler than the outside.

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Old 01-11-11, 03:36 AM   #2
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Hello, welcome to ER

Before you started planting, what improvements did you do to the house?

And what is your goofy idea?
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Old 01-11-11, 06:04 AM   #3
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Welcome to the site.

Do tell of your ideas and things you done recently. We love to hear about that stuff.
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Old 01-11-11, 06:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
Hello, welcome to ER

Before you started planting, what improvements did you do to the house?

And what is your goofy idea?
thank you both for welcomes.

before planting:

-replaced downstairs carpet with tile, although that was probably more about the disaster of five kids in a dining room with carpet.
-bought curtains and lined them with two additional layers...the middle layer being pieced together from whatever i could find. all of them have one thick layer and two thin
-put cheap and ugly window shades between blinds and windows
-made exterior sun shades from a recycled sun canopy
-the usual caulk maintenance routine
-fashioned assorted temporary shades for air conditioner (it's not really big enough for the house--it died on us several times the first two summers), including sunflower walls to provide some afternoon shade for it. now i have an arbor there and need to figure out what will grow on it in summer heat. we only use the unit about six hours a day unless i can't keep up.
-climbed into both attics and stapled up an assortment of dollar store car shades, 1/2 roll of recycled mylar, aluminum foil...on the west facing side of the upstairs attic i used the insulated reflective rolls.
-added insulation to attic over garage
-put in foam sections on garage door
-where practical, added a back to shelves in garage.
-assorted windows have mylar--we have on hoa so this is tricky. we do it anyway in the back hoping they can't see it through the exterior sun shades.

goofy idea is not entirely well-developed--
i want to construct some sort of wall a few feet from the house. i'm considering making it the back of a raised bed and attaching a trellis. however, i want the back of it to have a couple of shelves to house my two bins of gardening tools without being attractive to black widows. what i really want is based on the shade system used by the metro phoenix light rail system-a durable living screen with attached raised bed. they use bouganvillas--i would prefer grapes.
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Old 01-11-11, 07:15 AM   #5
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Sounds like you've been busy!

Interesting idea with the raised bed. Although, I am a bit unsure of what you are talking about with the storage bins.
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Old 01-11-11, 08:30 AM   #6
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Sounds like you've been busy!

Interesting idea with the raised bed. Although, I am a bit unsure of what you are talking about with the storage bins.
think built in bookshelf.

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