(Family Features) Often positioned near the primary point of entry, mudrooms are a popular addition to many family homes. These organizational dynamos are the perfect place to catch muddy boots, backpacks, sports equipment and dirty paws before they make it all the way into the main living areas.
Luxurious mudrooms in high-end homes can sometimes boast custom cabinetry, full bathrooms, laundry facilities, showers for pets and direct pantry access.
Regardless of whether your mudroom is an actual room or just a small space near the front door to hang bags and jackets, the organizational basics are the same:
Corral Clutter: One of the most important items in any mudroom is storage for shoes, pet supplies, backpacks, sporting equipment and other items. If built-in storage isn’t in your budget, put up a sturdy shelving unit with a bin or basket for each family member.
Get Hooked: Securely anchor a row of strong hooks along the wall for coats, hats, scarves or other seasonal accessories that may otherwise find themselves dropped on the floor upon arriving home.
Mud Happens: Mudrooms are meant to handle dirt so nix the carpet and lay down tile or hardwood flooring. Pick a stylish rug to catch dirt in its tracks while also adding a design element to the space.
Shoe Space: Place a wooden bench or sturdy coffee table near the door so everyone has a place to sit while removing shoes. Slide a few baskets or bins underneath as an alternate location for storing backpacks and other gear when not in use.
Take Command: Create a family command center by adding a small cabinet or desk with a corkboard above. It makes for a perfect spot to stash keys, charge cell phones, open mail, sort school papers and post the family calendar.
Find more organization tips and tricks at eLivingtoday.com.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash
8TH ANNUAL ELITE TRADES CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES TO AIR ON CBS SPORTS NETWORK IN DECEMBER
SYCAMORE, Ill. /PRNewswire/ — Intersport and IDEAL® INDUSTRIES, INC. announced that the 8th annual IDEAL® Elite Trades Championship Series will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network on Fridays throughout December, highlighting the skills and craftsmanship of the nation’s top tradespeople. This year’s championship finals featured intense competitions across the electrical, HVAC, automotive and plumbing trades.
With a spotlight on both trades professionals and apprentices, the month-long broadcast series will highlight the importance of critical trades and underscores the importance of nurturing new talent in these imperative fields. Each event will air at 7 p.m. CST on CBS Sports Network’s Friday night line-up on the following dates:
- December 8: IDEAL Electrical Championship (7p.m. CST)
- December 15: ServiceTitan HVAC National Championship (7p.m. CST)
- December 22: U.S. Auto Tech National Championship Driven by Yokohama (7p.m. CST)
- December 29: inaugural Plumbing National Championship (6pm CST)
“The skilled trades are the backbone of our infrastructure, and the Elite Trades Championship Series aims to shine a light on the exceptional talent of these dedicated professionals,” said ETCS General Manager Scott Mendel. “We look forward to highlighting the importance and achievements of this year’s finalists with communities nationwide on CBS Sports Network this December.”
The top three finalists of each field shared a prize pool of more than $300,000 in cash and sponsor-provided awards. Finalists were culled from a rigorous series of qualifying events over several months before dueling head-to-head in a custom-built arena that challenges and honors their vital skills. Below are the 2023 winners from the October 26-28 competitions at the Tampa Convention Center, highlighted by Craig Childress who won in both HVAC and plumbing.
“I don’t think anything’s really sunk in yet. This has been an unbelievable experience,” said Childress on securing multiple titles. “It’s a wonderful accomplishment to be able to be the first person to compete in and win two competitions. Means the world to me. I’ve put a lot of time into the trades, but something like this—to be able to give back and show the future generations of tradesmen and women coming up—is important.”
|Competition||1st place||2nd place||3rd place|
|IDEAL Electrical Championship||Jose Renteria(Elk River, MN)||Dino Gualandri(La Salle, IL)||Devin Slifer(Greenup, KY)|
|ServiceTitan HVAC National Championship (professional)||Craig Childress(Peabody, MA)||Dagner Espinosa(Tampa, FL)||Lee Morris Jr.(Charleston, SC)|
|HVAC (apprentice)||Patrick Boldt(Leipsic, OH)||Johnathon Helms(Portville, NY)||Billy Dahmen(Niles, MI)|
|U.S. Auto Tech National Championship Driven by Yokohama (professional)||David Borer(New Riegel, OH)||Bill Woods(Delta, PA)||Andy Buehler(Sidney, OH)|
|Auto Tech (student)||Yanick Tanguay(Lima, OH)||Randy Giroux(Lima, OH)||Grant Disser|
|Plumbing National Championship||Craig Childress(Peabody, MA)||David Shanor(Fairfax, VA)||Joe Jaspers(Cincinnati, OH)|
In addition to the prize packages, sponsors also provided products and software used in the competition. For instance, all four competitions featured ladders from Little Giant Ladders. The Auto Tech portion saw finalists use Challenger Lift portable mid-rise car lifts, AutoZone’s ALLDATA OEM repair information software, Yokohama tires and parts from Wagner, MOOG, Monroe and Champion. Plumbing finalists used fittings courtesy of Sharkbite. HVAC competitors used Flex power tools, ServiceTitan software, Johnstone Supply material and tools, RLS fittings and Trane and American Standard condensers, coils, CleanEffects filters and furnaces. For the electrical competitions, Cerrowire service and feeder conductors and branch circuits were used. Service installation also used IDEAL hand tools and electrical supplies and Siemens exterior load center and meter.
Intersport is an award-winning agency and leader in the creation of ideas, content and experiences that attract and engage passionate audiences. Its industry-leading team offers expert insights in content marketing, customer engagement, experiential marketing, hospitality, production and sponsorship consulting. The Chicago-based agency also owns and operates events across the professional and collegiate sports landscape, including basketball, football, golf, pickleball and volleyball. The Elite Trades Championship Series is one of the flagship platforms developed by Intersport to recognize and elevate various trades across the nation. Intersport has been headquartered in Chicago since its inception in 1985, with additional offices in Boston, Detroit and New York. Learn more at www.intersport.global and on social media (LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook).
About IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC.
IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. is a global, diversified family-owned business designing and manufacturing superior products for the electrical, lighting and infrastructure industries. The 105-year-old company was founded in 1916 to forge ideal relationships with customers, employees, partners and communities. The company has consistently grown and expanded under five generations of family ownership. For more information, visit www.idealindustries.com.
SOURCE INTERSPORT INC
How to Build a Sustainable Home
(Family Features) Rising fuel costs and increased awareness of society’s environmental impacts have many homeowners looking to leverage sustainable building materials to reduce the amount of energy used to heat and cool their houses. If you’re starting construction on the home of your dreams, consider the benefits of building with sustainability and energy efficiency in mind.
Here are a few tips to follow before beginning to build your sustainable dream home.
Create a Reasonable (and Flexible) Budget
As the first step for any new build, creating a budget that fits your means is critical. Remember, new construction is often a fluid process, meaning you may need to cut back in certain areas to balance out unforeseen costs or desires to go above and beyond on amenities that are important to you.
Hire the Right Construction Professionals
Even if you consider yourself handy or a DIY pro, new construction isn’t a project to go at alone. Do your research on local professionals like architects, contractors and others who are experienced in sustainable construction. Contact trusted friends, family and neighbors for references and read reviews online to gather options before requesting bids or signing contracts.
Start with a Sustainable Foundation
Constructing a sustainable home starts with the foundation. A longer lasting home can begin with strong building materials like insulated concrete forms (ICFs), such as those from Nudura, which provide superior energy efficiency, sound-proofing and lower utility costs versus traditional wood-frame construction. Dual-insulated ICF walls with a concrete core provide high R-values (a measure of insulation’s ability to resist heat traveling through it) and thermal mass, as well as disaster-resilient structural support from the foundation to the roof. They even provide architects greater design flexibility to build your dream home according to your desired interior and exterior aesthetic specifications.
Select Eco-Friendly Materials
While installing energy-efficient appliances and high-quality windows and doors are obvious examples of eco-friendly materials, there are other solutions to help you go green in your new home. Consider options like countertops made from recycled glass or reclaimed bricks for fireplaces and accent pieces.
Power Your Home with Renewable Energy
If it’s within your budget, you can take your new home to the next level by powering it with renewable energy like solar or wind. Typically installed on the roof, solar panels harness the sun’s rays and convert that energy to power your home. An additional benefit: You may save money in the long-run on electricity bills.
Prepare for the Unexpected
Project delays, fluctuating costs and more can turn building a new house into an unpredictable process. Don’t let potential surprises deter you from seeking your dream space or forever home. Be prepared for the unexpected so you aren’t caught off guard. In fact, unanticipated circumstances can sometimes be a good thing, like building materials dropping in price, a new product hitting the market or those flashy eco-friendly appliances going on sale.
Learn more about sustainable building at nudura.com/sustainable-design.
Inspiring Ideas for Your New Home
(Family Features) Moving into a new home offers an opportunity to create a space that reflects your family’s values, enhances comfort and is better for the environment.
Whether you’re shopping for a new home, renovating your current space or building from scratch, consider some of the latest trends while searching for inspiration.
From ovens that can be turned on remotely to skylights that open and close automatically and more, there are a multitude of ways to integrate smart home technology into your living space to make it more energy efficient and convenient. Start small with a voice assistant, smart light bulbs, home security system or a programable thermostat. After that, you can implement additional features like smart appliances, remote-controlled window blinds and other electronic devices you can control from your phone for a complete smart home system.
A long popular trend, sustainable design has evolved over the years to include more than energy-efficient appliances and LED light bulbs. Now, it’s about reducing your carbon footprint and minimizing impact on the environment. To try the trend yourself, think big and get creative – install solar panels on your roof, choose highly insulated building materials that don’t require deforestation and upcycle old furniture or decor instead of buying new.
From wildfires that last for months to devastating tornadoes and major floods that impact entire cities, an increase in natural disasters due to climate change has required changes when building homes. Opting for disaster-resilient materials is an important first step. For example, using strong, energy-efficient insulated concrete forms (ICFs), like those from Nudura, instead of traditional wood framing helps homes better withstand extreme weather. Additionally, ICFs can endure winds of up to 250 miles per hour (equivalent to an F4 tornado) and offer a fire protection rating of up to 4 hours.
Transforming your backyard can help you make the most of your existing space. To take full advantage of your yard or patio, consider incorporating elements from the interior such as a television and comfortable seating options. Outdoor kitchen setups complete with refrigerators and sinks can make entertaining easier and a fire pit or fireplace can allow your friends and family to enjoy the outdoors even on cool nights.
You no longer have to settle for run-of-the-mill floor plans or what works for others. If you’re considering a new build, work with an architect to create exactly what you’re looking for, or speak with a contractor about including personalized architectural features and custom-built storage, for example, in your existing home.
To see how you can make sure your home lasts a lifetime, visit nudura.com/future-proof.
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