Properly maintained, hardwood floors can last a lifetime. The key to preserving your investment is assuring that the finish on your floor is still doing its job. You can test this by going to a high-traffic area where the finish is likely to be most worn, pour a tablespoon or two of water onto the floor. Does the water: Bead up so that you can wipe it up without a trace? Congratulations! Your floor's finish is doing its job! Soak into the wood after a few minutes, darkening the floor only slightly? Don't panic, your floor's finish is only partially worn. Immediate refinishing probably isn't necessary, but keep a close eye on the floor. Immediately disappear into the wood leaving a dark spot? If so your floor's finish is seriously worn and it's probably time to recoat or refinish.
Trees that lose their leaves in the fall (i.e., deciduous) are the most effective at reducing heating and cooling energy costs. When selectively placed around a house, they provide excellent protection from the summer sun but permit winter sunlight to reach and warm your house. The height, growth rate, branch spread, and shape are all factors to consider in choosing a tree.