My Experience Finding The Best Solar Companies In NJ

I’ve been wanting to get solar panels for my house in NJ. But I’ve been putting it off because of all the research I knew it was going to take to figure it out.  I wish my explanation made me feel better over losing out on those savings over the years I’ve put it off.

It’s hard to know who to trust, which solar companies are the best and most trustworthy, and who offered the best deals on solar energy in NJ.

After finding an article about how easy it is to get solar panels now, and how much homeowners are saving, I decided I should do the research and figure it out. As much as I love home design, vintage furniture, and diy projects, I’m very involved with self-sufficiency, sustainability, and how to make my home an energy-saving asset.

I’m hoping my research saves some of you precious time and money, and that you find it helpful. Even if you don’t live in the NJ area, some of the companies are international and you can use them wherever you are.

PC: wnd.com

Key Issues

For me, the key issues in solar energy service are best deals, customer service, and convenience.

After calling around and researching, I narrowed it down to two solar companies, and another company called Solar Visit.

Solar Visit a bit different than the typical solar company in a few ways: they act as a connecting company rather than a one-size-fits-all solar company—instead, they have all the connections to the best deals, best info, best companies, etc. in solar energy.

In my opinion, Solar Visit is the best starting place when trying to go solar—more on that in a moment.

Of course, a disclaimer before we start: Everyone has a unique situation and might find different solar companies to be a better fit. I chose the solar companies I felt could fit the most variety of financial and home situations. These opinions are solely my own.

 

The Best Deals

PC: gocamsolar.com

 Solar Visit: Solar Visit has access to the very best prices and deals because they have access to that info. That’s kind of what their company is. The representative was very kind and helpful—she advised me on going solar, what would be the best fit for me financially and life-wise, connected me to the best deals and the best solar company for me personally. This shaved a whole lot of research time (so much that I wish I’d started here) and helped me understand what to search for in a solar company to fit my needs.

Solar City NJ: I believe Solar City is a company available in most states in the U.S. They say they have the best, most current equipment for the best price (and they did have some great deals). They are a leading solar provider and, therefore, have access to some of the best tech. They also give free quotes (like many solar companies, it’s kind of the standard now).

I was most interested in their $0 down, low-monthly-fixed-rate solar panel program they have. It allows a homeowner to make an investment without sinking into debt.  However, Solar City has various financing options for different situations, which makes them very competitive.

Their website even maps out financing options for people and how each variation works. You can finance using solar loans, leasing, buying the panels outright, or using the PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) option. AND they claim their panels outlast competitors by 10 years (thanks to rigorous testing) AND they cover all system and roofing repairs for no additional costs for the life of the system.

Another great thing, is that I didn’t really have to call them to get all this great info. Their website if very user-friendly, and they are transparent about their costs.
Solar Works NJ:  They do system design and installation “on time and on budget,” guaranteed.  They provide service and support throughout the installation process, AND they offer a 6-year warranty on their equipment.

They’ve also got $0 down financing options—though are less transparent on their website about what that means and financing options in general. However, they have free consultations and are very easy to talk to in order to get that info.

 

The Best Customer Service

PC: evolvor.com

Solar Visit: Solar Visit ended up being the place I wished I started. While their webpage could use some work (it has an opt-in form for a free quote that I think inspires a person to be skeptical), they were a very nice surprise.

Their customer service was outstanding, and they contacted me soon after I filled out the form. They took things at my speed, they were useful, helpful, and didn’t rush me. Everything was based on what I needed to understand and which solar energy situation would best suite me.

And yes, I did end up using the solar company they recommended me.

Solar City NJ:  While they’re a bigger business, their local suppliers still have customer service that reflects a local company.   The representative was very helpful and talkative so I didn’t make a fool of myself by asking silly questions. They have a helpful chat system on their web site you can use (instead of calling them if you’re telephone-bashful or if you just need a quick response). Very convenient and user-friendly.

Solar Works NJ: This company has a great local and home-town vibe. Trustworthy vibes and customer service is the home-brewed stuff.  And that’s exactly what I got. No complaints here. Awesome interactions with them through telephone and my neighbor recommended them to me.

 

Most Convenient

PC: zmescience.com

Solar Visit: Convenience is the name of Solar Visit’s game. It took a lot of time off research (especially if I had started there), and they really know their stuff. You get a solid idea of what you need, great connections, and great direction.

While I think they could use some work on their web-site, it’s still user-friendly. It’s not necessarily bad or anything…I think I just want more as an investigator.

Regardless, user-friendly and quite handy.

Solar City NJ: They take care of their solar panels and their system repairs at no cost to you. Obviously, this is a big convenience.

Solar City also has other equipment you can buy, like batteries which will help power you through power outages.

Their site is my favorite site of the businesses I visited. They’re transparent, functional, and easy to navigate.

And you get the perks of a bigger business, such as more equipment, but still get the local convenience of the suppliers.

Solar Works NJ: Though they have the convenience of many other solar companies, they make installments very easy and they are convenient to work with.

They have specialists for each stage of the job so you can rest assured things are getting done correctly. They supply you fiscal and energy evaluation so that you understand what you’re getting and you don’t have to do the math.
They provide other perks that are great like onsite evaluation (determine which system is best for your place), SREC aggregator, and all NJCEP paperwork.

 

My Concluding Thoughts

PC: savonsolar.com

Okay, so obviously I think Solar Visit wins on these key issues for solar companies in NJ…or really anywhere in the U.S. They gave me the advantage with less guess-work, easy access to the best deals and equipment, and tailored solar energy help.

As far as New Jersey solar companies go… I definitely went with Solar City. I understand why some people might not like the bigger business, but the local providers make it so easy to deal with. And they were the easiest for me to work with, had the most financing options, and were the best choice for me and my situation.

Solar Works NJ is an excellent, local solar business. They knew their stuff and were so easy to work with. They just had less financing options and equipment options overall.  But they’re great and could be an excellent choice for another person.

So, in my opinion…start with Solar Visit, cut down your research time with some good help and direction and know which NJ solar companies have the best options for you personally. What worked for me, may or may not work for you. But Solar Visit can give you the boost you need and then you can make an educated decision from there.

*Disclaimer: These opinions are my own. I just hope that I can help you cut down on research time. I may have missed some things or errors  here or there as would be expected of an amateur investigator. But I feel my opinions are solid and may help some of you out. But like anything on the internet, do your own research too.

 

Best of luck!

 

XoXo

4 Super-Easy Hacks To Craft Room Organization

I would say my project room, or craft room as many call it, is my messiest room. And I’m not a person who works well in a mess. Which led me to wonder why on earth I wasn’t more organized.

So I got to work over a couple weeks and finally got that room thoroughly cleaned up. And the results have been amazing. I get more done, I doesn’t take long for me to find my tools, and I feel a lot better…just less stressed and grouchy.

Here are some of my favorite project room hacks that really organized and helped me. And the thing is, is that they’re incredibly simple. These four things made a huge difference and they weren’t hard to get at all.

PC: homedepot.com

Beautiful and well-organized shelves are a necessary part of an organized project room. Get a good filing cabinet or open shelves and you’ll never have to dig through miles of garbage for the things you need again. I got this lovely one, and it was worked very well for me.

PC: gingersnapcrafts.com

Visit gingersnapcrafts for a lovely tutorial on how to make a project room peg board. I love my peg board for holding all my tools and miscellaneous items.

PC: hgtv.com

Jars are a great way to organize because you can see clearly what is inside of them. I love these over-head shelves to hold the jars. It’s just so clean and easy to find. I installed a few shelves to hold my jars of buttons, ribbons and what have you.

PC: hgtv.com

Use simple racks and over-the-door hangers to hold wrapping paper, bags, files, and anything else you want to hide away. Try this over the door organizer or this tool holder from amazon.

 

What are some of your favorite hacks for project room organization?

XoXo

PC: everythingetsy.com

8 Fantastic Hacks For Kitchen Organization

If you’re like me (and a lot of other people) your kitchen can be a bit of a problem area as far as organization goes.

Between my French press, blender, microwave, dish rack, and home décor, the counters can get messy…And that’s leaving out the conditions of my cabinet space.

PC: diynetwork.com

Use over-head and open shelves in empty places above drawers or doors. Decorated right, it can look neat and organizes with even decoration and art to accent your room.

PC: Pinterest

Use pegboards on empty walls or the backsplash for more room to hang things or get them out of cluttered cupboards or shelves.

PC: diynetwork.com

Toe-kick cupboards are my favorite thing right now. I installed one in my bathroom and two in my kitchen. It utilizes a small space, it’s convenient, and it’s easy to access and shut with my foot.

PC: diynetwork.com

Hidden pegboards are a great way to organize as well as utilize the tiniest of places. Think about how much space is available in these narrow gaps between counters and fridges. You could hang dusters, rags, dust pans, pots and pans….you get the idea.

PC: diynetwork.com

If your cleaning cabinet needs more room, use a curtain rod or a pull out rod like this one from Amazon to hang rags, scrubbies, gloves, and cleaning bottles. That will take a lot of weight from the bottom of your cabinet.

PC: housebeautiful.com

I love clear canisters to hold flour, seeds, cereals, etc. I also like multi-color mason jars to organize as well.  Some well placed boxes can make your cupboards super organized.

PC: housebeautiful.com

Pot and pan organizers are fantastic for cupboard organization! I like this one from Amazon that organizes pans and lids.

PC: housebeautiful.com

Use an appliance garage door to hide bigger appliances that would otherwise clutter your counters or cupboards.

 

Hope these ideas help you all! Try out a few and let us know how it goes!

XoXo

Vintage Breadbox: The Vintage Charging Station

(Photo Credit: http://www.thekimsixfix.com/2014/03/electronics-charging-station-disguised.html)

I flipped when I saw this idea, and I knew I needed it immediately. I mean, we have so many cords and 6 outlets bars lying around our counters because we all share cords and we all want to charge at the same time in the same place.

I’ve been trying to figure out the answer to this tangle problem, and kimsixfix.com gave me the answer. This is high enough to stay out of my baby’s hands, it’s a central location, and we can hide all the ugly cords. And it’s so cute and vintage.

(Photo Credit: http://www.thekimsixfix.com/2014/03/electronics-charging-station-disguised.html)

I mean my problem was the same as Kim’s (see above picture). Just a mess! This lady is awesome. So I did this project and I couldn’t be happier about how it looks on my counter.

 

Here are some easy steps to follow:

  1. Buy vintage bread box (flea markets are great to look through)
  2. Sand the wood smooth and fill any holes with spackle.
  3. Drill a hole in the back where the cords will fit through.
  4. Reinforce any areas that may be weak with extra wood paneling.
  5. Paint the box however you would like. Label it, paint it, sticker it up…literally whatever you’d like.
  6. Run the extended outlet through the hole in the back, and then you have the extended outlet in the breadbox where you can charge all your devices—behind the pretty door of your new breadbox.

So you can see it’s pretty simple and really all about how creative you want to get.

(Photo Credit: http://www.thekimsixfix.com/2014/03/electronics-charging-station-disguised.html)

I use her pictures (and others on other posts) because they all have better cameras than me and my lighting isn’t very good. Hopefully I’ll figure that out at some point…save enough for a better camera. But for right now I want to make sure she gets full credit and her pictures are pretty too.

Anyways, this project was super easy and has made my kitchen a lot more organized and sane feeling. It’s definitely worth your time!

(Photo Credit: http://www.thekimsixfix.com/2014/03/electronics-charging-station-disguised.html)

Have any other great ideas on this issue? Had success with this project? Tell me how it went and let’s share some great ideas!

 

XoXo

Vintage Jars: Make Your Own In 7 Easy Steps

(Photo Credit: http://startbelievinginforever.blogspot.com/)

Mason jars are cheap, but the colored mason jars are kind of ridiculously priced. So I found out a way to DIY vintage, tinted jars. Now I have them all over my house.

And it’s ridiculously easy—instead of expensive.

Here are your very affordable ingredients:

  • Clear jars you want to tint
  • Ramekins (to mix colors up)
  • Food coloring
  • Mod Podge Gloss
  • Newspapers or something to protect your table

7 Easy Steps To Colorful Vintage Jars

  1. It’s up to you to create the color you want. Mix the food coloring with about a Tbsp of water into your ramekins. I love how blue and orange, personally.
  2. Add about 2 Tbsp Mod Podge into your clear jar before anything else.
  3. Then add one of your ramekins mixtures into the jar and stir it all together.
  4. Coat the whole inside with mixture (pour extra out into a bowl), and then let your jar dry upside down on the newspaper for about 30 min.
  5. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Set your oven onto warm and place your jars mouth-down on the wax paper. Leave the containers for about 10 minutes.
  6. Flip them mouth-up and continue to dry them in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
  7. They will be clear when they’re ready. The mixture should me mostly streak-free. If there are streaks, continue to let the jars dry out in the oven. Drying helps the streaks disappear.

(Photo Credit: http://www.momtastic.com/diy/168908-diy-tinted-mason-jars-in-rainbow/)

And there you have it! Beautiful, tinted, colorful jars that will look lovely in your home. So much better than forking out all that cash for vintage-looking jars.

DIY Vintage Picture Frame Wreath

This is truly the cutest vintage wreath (well…ok…one of them at least), and it is soooooo easy to do. Even if you hate crafts, you won’t mind this. Even if you can’t do crafts, this will be easy-peasey.

(Photo Credit: http://www.hometalk.com/15435396/spring-wreath-something-old-something-new?date=20160406)

 

Basically all you need is a vintage frame, some paint, and artificial flowers. Very cheap and very cute to make.

Paint and texture the frame as you like, and bind the flowers to the frame using some thin wire or twine.

Dresser Revival: Making New Out Of Aged

Many of my posts revolve around bringing back life to vintage, aged, or roughed-up furniture. Not only can it be a money-saver, it also gives you a chance to create something beautiful and unique.

Some of my favorite revivals revolve around dressers. Some get made into new dressers, others get made into entertainment centers or shelves.

Check out these amazing dresser revivals.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

 

PC: Evolution of Style Blog

 

I like the way Evolution of Style Blog used the bottom drawer as a shelf. The colors are also very cute.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

PC: Confessions of a Serial DIYer

This beautiful revival by Confessions of a Serial DIYer just made me melt. I love the color of paint she chose and she decorated very sweetly afterwards. Plus, notice the beautiful restored wood she left at the top.

PC: Bobvila.com

I’m absolutely in love with this idea. You can do a beautiful neutral tone for the dresser and then brighten it up with colorful patterns on the sides and insides of your drawers.

PC: Apple House Revival

I love this beautiful restoration. I love the way Apple House Revival kept the wood look of the drawers and accented with a beautiful color.

PC: Pinterest

And of course this dresser to entertainment center is just stunning and fits so beautifully into any entertainment room. I love this idea.

Share your projects and thoughts in the comments below.

XoXo

How To Decorate With Furs

Furs can be a beautiful way to accent a room. I would say that it looks rather Scandinavian. And in my searching for vintage and rustic ideas, furs often feature in gorgeous spreads.

Some of us might have moral reasons for abstaining from fur, and there are tons of options for beautiful, synthetic fur.

Here are some of my favorite ways to decorate and style with furs.

The texture of fur is what adds that special quality to some features. In this case, the texture of the fur compliments the skull. It’s rustic and beautiful. A small piece that adds that special accent.

Fur throw pillows are a gorgeous accent to a couch, bed, hammock, chair, whatever really. The texture, mixed with wool or cotton or especially knit, is really complimentary.

Fur throws or blankets are a great way to keep warm as well as a great style choice. The texture can complement a bedroom or a couch very nicely.

Fur rugs are an exquisite addition to any room. I would advise to buy quality stuff for rugs, since they get a lot of traction you want the wear to show well on the rugs.

Drape some fur over chairs to add texture and coziness to your favorite seats in the house. I’ve also seen kitchen chairs that carry run nicely around the dining room table.

Share some of your favorite fur styling tips in the comments below!

 

XoXo

Vintage Christmas Decorations

Christmas is around the corner, and of course I have some exciting crafts going on…anything from sugar cookies to my vintage Christmas decorations.

Here are some great vintage Christmas ideas that have inspired me this Christmas season!

PC: Pinterest

Whether you think they’re creepy or cute, you can find some great vintage Christmas décor at your salvage or antique store. It can be a great way to accent this holiday season.

PC: eabdesigns.typepad.com

These cute little pinecone elves have a folksy holiday look. And they’re pretty easy to make.

PC: Pinterest

How could you not love this vintage ornament chandelier? You can find either online and at the antique store. This is my favorite idea of them all, and I’m definitely going to be doing it soon.

PC: bookwormsdiary.com

Books are a great idea at any time for decoration (and utilization!), and picking up some vintage Christmas books are the perfect addition to any side table.

Have you done any projects for the holiday season? Share in the comments below!

XoXo

Bedroom Reveal: More Vintage Room Ideas!

So I made some new adjustments to our guest room that I absolutely love.

But first off, I want to share this very cute home wall hanging I bought for my daughter’s room. I put it over her bed, and it is absolutely lovely. I bought it on Etsy, if you’re curious about it.

(Photo Credit: https://www.etsy.com/listing/484277545/large-macrame-wall-hanging-macrame?ref=market)

So I found this super cute idea on decortoadore.net, and I went looking for an iron headboard I could use as a clothes hanger in the guest room.

(Photo Credit: http://www.decortoadore.net/2012/03/friday-field-trip-trouve.html)

I finally found one at a yard sale  and attached to our guest bedroom wall. I have to say it’s one of my favorite designs, and I’m thinking about putting one in my room. The wardrobe in the guest room is small and has some of my storage in it, so this extra rack makes it easier for guests to access their clothing. AND it looks super cute.

(Photo Credit: http://porch.com/advice/5-beautiful-decorative-shelf-ideas-to-brighten-up-your-walls/?tid=social_facebook_~~_~~_~~_~~_~~_~~_~~_~~_~~_~~_~~)

There are a lot of cute vintage shelf ideas on porch.com, but the one that fit best with my theme in the guest room were these picture frame shelves. They’re easy to put together with some wood pallets and antique frames. They’re a nice addition and hold books and décor well.

(Photo Credit: https://homebnc.com/best-vintage-bedroom-decor-ideas/)

I bought a vintage mirror frame and hung lace across the front for a jewelry holder. It’s a nice place for people to be able to rest their jewelry easily, and I’m all about making things nice for my guests.

 

So these were my most recent projects. Let me know what you think and if you have any great ideas!

Until next time.

XoXo