Bob The Builder's Blog

Under Cabinet Eco-light Fixtures

Every homeowner wants to find that one must-have feature – a product for the home that both saves money and increases appeal. If this describes you, perhaps you should look into under cabinet eco-light fixtures.

What are under cabinet eco-light fixtures?

Just as the name implies, these fixtures are placed under cabinets for optimal location and projection of light, and rather than using halogen or fluorescent light, they utilize an eco-friendly LED lighting. You’ll most often notice under the cabinet lighting in the kitchen – where lighting is essential for safety.

What are the advantages of under cabinet eco-light fixtures?
Businesses have been using this type of light fixture for quite some time, but homeowners are quickly realizing the wide range of advantages that can help save money and increase a home's appeal.

·       Low Energy Requirement – Although the cost of LED illumination is roughly the same as other options, these lights require a low amount of energy to own and are, therefore, eco-friendly.

·       Cost Effective –These lights can be used at nominal temperatures.  This low amount of energy use, as illustrated above, translates to a lower cost.

·       Minimal Repair – LED lights are extremely stable, so there is little chance that any kind of repair will need to be done.

·       Aesthetically Pleasing –These eco-friendly fixtures are painstakingly constructed to provide an attractive, welcome addition to any home.

·       Comfort – The LED lighting utilized by these fixtures matches that of sunlight. This natural lighting makes people feel at ease. Just as real sunlight releases pleasurable hormones, so do these fixtures.

·       Sharp Details – Due to the natural white lighting, everything in the surrounding area is illuminated. Unlike other lighting options, such as halogen or fluorescent, this illumination improves the clarity of every object in the room, bringing everything into sharp focus.

As you can see, under cabinet eco-light fixtures offers a lot of appeal and is also a cost efficient ways to improve your home. Contact us today with any questions you have!


Talking Marvin Windows with Paul from the Marvin Design Gallery in Bloomfield Hills, MI

Bob interviews Paul Manion, our local representative from the Marvin Design Gallery in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

In this video Bob & Paul are at the Marvin Windows headquarters in Warroad, WI. Here at Fireside Home Construction we are always attending tradeshows and educational events to increase our knowledge. This allows us to bring back what we learn to our clients and their projects. We are always looking to improve!

Bob & Paul discuss some of the benefits of Marvin Windows in this brief video:

* One correction, Bob mentioned Laurence Smith Window & Door / Marvin Design Gallery has been around 18 years - it has actually been since 1939!

Our Foundation Of Choice

The Insulated Concrete Form Foundation from Advantage is our foundation of choice (Product Website Here)

We explain why in this brief "Fireside Chat"


And here's another up-close view of the foundation system:

Proud to Build Green Homes in a Cool City

I recently learned that the Ann Arbor area has more green buildings per capita than any other city in the U.S.  Cool city, that is, indeed!  And I am proud to be one of the area’s green-living residents and green builders making it so. 

This weekend, three colleagues and I are holding public tours of eight green homes.  Fireside Home Construction built two of those homes and I can’t wait to show them off.  It’s a chance for us to raise awareness of an issue near to my heart and to showcase what we do best. What a great way to spend the weekend!

The tours will take place June 12th and 13th in support of the national "Green Buildings for Cool Cities," a partnership between the Sierra Club and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).  They, along with many groups and individuals, want to see cities adopt green building as a key component of their long-term environmental planning.  Tours are taking place all over the country and, locally, the Ecology Center is sponsoring them to help raise awareness of the environmental and economic benefits of sustainable buildings.

All of the homes we are showing are certified or registered with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program at the Platinum level, the highest possible level of achievement.  This means they are documented examples of excellence in energy efficiency and environmental stewardship and that they have been designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance in the areas that matter most:
  • Energy savings
  • Water efficiency
  • Emissions reduction
  • Improved indoor environmental quality
  • Environmental responsibility
I hope you’ll come tour. You’ll like what you see and you may learn something you didn’t already know.  You’ll have a chance to ask green building professionals about how to “green” your own home now and start making a difference today.   You’ll be talking to builders and designers who know that buildings contribute nearly 40% of global warming emissions and consume over 70 percent of electricity use in the United States and who are committed to clean energy environmental solutions and to rebuilding our local economy. 

It will be a great, green day.  

Register at now and please help spread the word.  Maybe the beauty, energy efficiency, indoor air quality and environmental stewardship of these homes will be “catchy.”  And that’s what we want.  

More green homes, after all, mean that we are going easier on our planet.


It's Nice to Be Powerful

Last week, when I received the first DTE Energy bill since finishing the upgrade to the solar panel array at my permanent model home and business office, I learned that my house - built using innovative green technologies, the latest in sustainable energy systems, the design excellence of a green-minded architect and a lot of TLC -  is powerful . . . very powerful.

So powerful, in fact, that DTE owed ME money last month! Ha!

I think I'm going to frame the bill.

Since I built this home in 2007, my goal has been to get to net zero energy.  We've made a lot of strides and now this 4,000 square foot shingle-style home generates more than 70 percent of its own energy needs - as well as credits from the local energy company!

It's yet another reason to love my house...AND my way of (green) building.

When it was completed in '07, my house was Michigan's very first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum-rated home and as one of the "twelve greenest homes in the nation." Since then, it has achieved even more green certifications and awards.  It uses 73 percent less energy than a typical existing home its size, and generates its own energy using photovoltaic cells and saves energy using geothermal heating and cooling systems.

The update to our array added four kilowatts of photovoltaic cells to our original two. Because of it, I am less reliant on DTE Energy, specifically, and on non-renewable energy sources, in general.  The upgrade reduced our already- low annual energy expenses and also made the house a great testimony to everything I believe in when it comes to building green homes in Michigan or anywhere else for that matter.

There couldn't have been a better investment, as far as I am concerned and I recommend it to you.

By making use of sustainable energy sources, you can:

  •  Expect savings every single month because you'll use considerably less electricity from the public utility.
  • Hedge against rate hikes. I know you've been getting as frustrated as I have by unpredictable rate hikes.  By generating your own free power, no more worries there!
  • Protect the environment.  Solar electricity comes from a clean and renewable source, the sun, and geothermal systems generate heat energy from the earth.
  • Increase property value. These are smart upgrades that make your home more desirable and valuable.

 Try it.  Be me. :-)

Why Choose Fireside