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10 ideas for a pet-friendly home

Categories: Blog | Posted: June 15, 2017

Your pet is part of your family, so make sure your furry friends feel like they’re also part of your home. Here are 10 ideas for pet-friendly home.

  1. Remove temptation. Dogs and cats have a powerful sense of smell, so they’re drawn to fragrant items and places, which could include your garbage, pantry, and countertops. Keep a strong lid on your trash can and keep food out of the reach of pets. Remember, certain foods are toxic to dogs and cats, like grapes, raisins, chocolate, onions, mushrooms, and xylitol (artificial sweetener). In addition, a dog can choke on small bones discovered in a trash can.
  2. Get rid of dangerous plants for pets. Some common house plants present a risk to pets, who often can’t resist chewing on foliage. English ivy, lilies, azaleas, mums, tulips, and oleander should be removed from any areas where your pets roam freely. Click here to browse the ASPCA’s complete list of toxic plants.
  3. Another reason to put down the toilet lid. The toilet bowl is a curious place for animals. Dogs and cats may go there for a drink, and end up ingesting chemicals. Small animals—hamsters, kittens, guinea pigs, gerbils—have been known to fall in and drown. For safety sake, make sure everyone in your family closes the toilet lid.
  4. Tuck strings, cords, and wires out of reach. Animals may chew or become tangled in the cords from your electronics or window treatments. Protect your animals and your home by keeping those pet hazards out of reach.
  5. Put a latch on cabinets. Cabinet doors can be easily opened with the nudge of a nose or paw. Prevent your pet from getting into your stash of cleaning supplies by putting a child-safe latch on your lower cabinet doors.
  6. Secure your screens. Cats and dogs love to look out windows. They might get a little too excited when they spot a squirrel or bird. If your window screen isn’t firmly secured, your cat or small dog can push the screen and fall out the window. Check your window screens to make sure they are tightly secured.
  7. Provide safe chew toys and scratching posts. It’s natural for dogs to chew and cats to scratch. Cats mark territory with scent from glands in their paws and also scratch to sharpen their claws and stretch their muscles. You can prevent them from taking out their natural instincts on your furniture, flooring, door trim, and windowsills by presenting palatable alternatives. Put healthy chew toys in various places for your dog. Place scratching posts and boards (preferably with coarse surfaces, like sisal rope) near the areas where you cat likes to scratch. Rub catnip oil on the scratching surface to entice the cat.
  8. Give them their own space. You have your bedroom, so why not give your dog or cat their personal space? A dog bed with toys and perhaps a blanket with your scent on it is perfect for your canine companion. Cats prefer to hide away in a secluded space, so a quiet retreat away from bustling activity will be ideal. A perch on a windowsill is also a welcomed space for a cat to relax.
  9. Shop wisely for home furnishings. Be sure your upholstery and carpets are stain-resistant and sturdy. Avoid anything with a thick nap or pile because pet hair will find its way in there and become difficult to remove. You might also consider purchasing furniture that blends in with your pet’s fur color!
  10. Top your bed with washable duvet covers. A majority of homeowners welcome their pets into their beds. A duvet cover is easy to remove and wash—and far less bulky that a comforter.

When you create a safe environment for your pet, you’re less likely to have those “oh no!” moments.

On ACH and Energy Efficiency

Categories: Blog | Posted: June 14, 2017

Antares Homes is proud to announce that our homes built under the 2015 Energy Code closing in the 1st quarter of 2017 are achieving an average air changes per hour (‘ACH’) score of 2.625.  ACH refers to the measurement of how much unconditioned outside air can penetrate into a house within an hour.  The higher the ACH, the more unconditioned outside air is entering the house.

Read more to find out why we are so proud!

The state of Texas mandated that all homes submitted for building permits on or after September 1, 2016, would be required to be built under the 2015 Energy Code.  Although there were several other required changes, the largest challenge many homebuilders faced with the implementation of the 2015 Energy Code was achieving a mandated 3.0 ACH threshold.

Over a year and a half ago, as Antares was preparing for the changes coming from the 2015 Energy Code changes, we were faced with the challenge of lowering our ACH from an average of 3.4 to the 3.0 threshold.  Although .4 ACH appears like a small amount of improvement to make, Antares has a long-standing reputation for our energy efficient homes so we really had to dig into the details to see where we could improve our ACH.

We knew we needed collaborative expert advice from several of our Trade Partners and our Construction Managers to understand what was needed and how we would implement the necessary changes.  After several meetings at both our corporate offices and our energy rating company’s offices, we determined a plan of action and moved the training to the field where we met multiple times with our Trade Partners, Engineers, and Construction Managers to first test, and then implement the final changes to our construction processes.

Even before the September 1, 2016 implementation date, the office and field trainings resulted in several significant improvements for Antares:

  • Working as a Team, our Trade Partners and Construction Managers recognize their impact and responsibilities as it pertains to helping Antares Homes achieve the 3.0 ACH threshold,
  • Our Construction Managers have a Poly-seal and Blower Door checklist that are completed for each home prior to inspections. The Poly-seal inspection is the last chance to inspect the home and confirm every opportunity for significant air leakage through the exterior walls has been identified and fixed prior to installation of sheetrock.  The Blower Door test is an air balance test done when the home is complete that calculates the final ACH rating.

Antares Homes is extremely pleased with the efforts of our #AntaresFamily and the positive results they have been achieving.  In the end, these efforts have helped us construct an even more energy efficient home that will result in added savings and improved comfort for our Customers.

Source: Dirt2Doorbell

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