Browse Month

July 2019

Dry Stone Walling

The popularity of dry stone walls is wide spread in the UK, but they are used mainly in Scotland, Lancashire, Cumbria and Yorkshire. The walls themselves are made by using stones and rocks placed specifically so that they interlock, eventually forming a sturdy structure. They are often used for field boundaries, but also as a garden boundary, which is why it is useful for people to know how to build them for themselves.

The first thing you need to do is to estimate how much stone you require for your wall. Once you have done that then you will need to find a source of stones. The best thing about stone walling is that it requires stones of various shapes and sizes, so that you can find them just about anywhere. You could go scouring through the countryside (although this could prove very time consuming) or find a recently demolished out-building and request use of the stones that are likely to be going to go to the tip! Alternatively you can buy stones from certain suppliers, limestone is a very popular choice for dry stone boundaries.

Now to the building of the wall itself – this begins by digging a shallow trench in an outline as you want your wall to sit. Once you have done that you need to make the base of the wall from very flat and wide stones. It is important that these stones are all level with one and other. The next layer should have the stones place over the joints of the stones on the base. This is the technique you continue to use as you build each layer. The stones should get gradually smaller as you build a higher wall and remember not to use small stones near the base of the wall as this will cause it to be unstable. There are various dry stone walling courses around the country or if you are not sure that you are up to the job then call in an expert!

Staircase Design

Parts of a Staircase

Most staircases have these basic parts. A flight of stairs is composed of the steps. It may have a landing which is a resting place between flights. Each step is made up of the tread which is the part that a foot is placed on and the riser which is the vertical part of the step. Steps may be uniform in width or maybe winders which are narrower on one side and wider on the other. They may have a handrail which is supported by the balusters. The staircase may have one or two stringers which supports the treads on both sides of the stairs.

Essential Elements of the Staircase

The staircase must be composed of a specific height of risers and width of treads to provide safe steps. Handrails should be of suitable height to provide support for people going up or down and help balance them as they move. Additionally, there must be enough headroom for people to stay upright while moving through the stairs.

Types of Staircases

A staircase maybe composed of a straight flight of steps with or without a landing between flights. Some landings may be positioned at the halfway point or at a quarter point. Landings may also be used to change the direction of a flight of steps. It may turn in an L shape or towards two directions in a T shape. It may also turn 180 degrees to face the opposite direction. Some staircases may also be built in a U shape. For houses with wider spaces, the flight of stairs may turn in a gradual arch while for smaller spaces the staircase may be spiral in form.

Other Considerations

Apart from the above aspects, other things to consider include the materials to be used for the stairs such as wood, metal or concrete or a combination of these. Different types of wood and metals are available as well as finishes. Additionally, staircases may also be carpeted depending on one’s taste and style. Today’s staircase design may also range from the classic to the contemporary to ultra modern types with some serving double purposes.

Having a Custom Home Constructed

Due to its complete originality, throughout the design and building process, you as the homeowner will need to make a lot of important decision along the way. A great deal of time will also be spent on supervising and researching material and products for the build.

There are several different advantages to having a home-built form the ground up, which might consist of –

  • Uniqueness and Style – when hiring a creative architect or home designer you are guaranteed a one-of-a-kind design which also allows you to give your input on the overall style, build materials, and even the how the home is positioned on the plot. As it is your investment you can have a say on the floor plan, size of windows, landscaping, to just about anything. You can also have your home designed to provide a layout to take advantage of the unique characteristic of the land. A talent architect is able devised plans where a property stands out or harmoniously fits in with existing properties.
  • Comfortable – a custom-built home can come with many modern and innovative features to ensure a property is kept at a comfortable temperature, no matter what might be happening outside. A high ceilinged room can be designed to avoid a feeling of stuffiness. Also, you can make certain a property is built with the right levels of insulation, and also to include the most efficient cooling and heating equipment, which will ensure you future savings in energy costs.
  • Environmentally Friendly – if you prefer a property can even be constructed with renewable energy features, such as solar panels, which use the sun’s energy to generate energy for your home. A custom home-built with such energy-efficient features has the potential to save a considerable amount of money of energy bills.

Bamboo Cabinetry

One of the main benefits you will find when you choose to use this product for your cabinets is its strength. This product is as strong, if not stronger, than some of the most commonly used hardwoods used in cabinetry today. The bamboo will stand the test of times and give you a cabinet you can use with ease and confidence, knowing that it will last for years while adding value to your home in the long run.

Next you will notice how durable it is. When it comes to buying any cabinets, whether buying for the bathroom or the kitchen, you will find that durability is imperative. You need to know the product is strong and durable and that it is going to last. This could save you money in the future, by not having to replace you cabinets within a few years. With bamboo cabinetry you will find the cabinets will outlast you and still look amazing in the home on the day you move out.

You will be thrilled to know that bamboo is sustainable and a renewable product, this makes it eco friendly. When it comes to selling your home one day this can be a draw card for prospective buyers, in fact this is what can drive up the asking price and help you get the price you were hoping to achieve.

Bamboo cabinetry offers a choice of different grains, which is very beneficial and enables you to have something unique and special in your kitchen or bathroom. When the cabinets arrive, take a close look at the grain and see how it works for you. The supplier should enable you to choose a vertical or horizontal grain depending on your particular design and what you think is going to work best in your space.

The bamboo cabinetry comes in a host of different styles and you will find that you can choose from slab or shaker depending on your overall room design. For a modern home the slab tends to be a top choice offering a smooth and sleek appearance, while for the more traditional home, the shaker cabinets add that character and finish to the room design with ease.

Another benefit you will find when choosing this particular material is that while it offers all these benefits and is renewable, it is not more expensive than your traditional woods. In fact, the price should be similar when compared to your everyday wooden cabinets, which can help you complete your design within your budget and still enjoy the benefits it has to provide.

The final thing you will find when it comes to bamboo cabinetry is the risk of it warping is reduced when compared to other woods. This material is so strong and durable and can withstand the heat or moisture in the kitchen or bathroom with ease.

Automatic Sensor Faucets

Nowadays sensor taps have completely replaced normal taps as they have many advantages. The customer services provided are excellent and at the same time provides high-quality products. Few of the advantages are,

  • Water conserving: With the help of sensor taps that are specially designed with a low flow rate prevents the leakage. Normal taps have an average leakage that contributes to wasting lots of water. With the help of touchless bathroom faucet, one can easily conserve natural resources like water.
  • Very easy to install: The installation of automatic sensor faucets is straightforward and easy to implement as well. It is purely based on the mounting instructions given by the manufacturer. And is an ideal choice, especially while running the system on battery power options.
  • Affordable price: Even there a wide range of varieties automatic bathroom faucet, kitchen faucets they are available at low prices. The online retailers will help in providing unique faucets at the best price.
  • Saves money on water bill and energy consumption: Depending upon the brand each and every sensor faucet requires 6, 9 or 12 volts. The use of the sensor kitchen faucet by selecting the preferred flow reduces the wastage of water. And is even an ideal choice that saves lots of power in an eco-friendly way. Water and Energy Efficiency reduces the total bill amount in dwellings.
  • Advanced Infrared Sensor Technology: With the improvements in design as well as technology in the faucets that have been welcomed by everyone. As the automatic faucets are designed with the combination of four key components like Solenoid valve, sensor, control electronics and power source. Which helps in the automatic functioning of the faucet that can be accessed very easily.
  • Hygienic solution: In public areas, hygiene is one of the biggest issues that need to be focused. The sensor faucets can work excellently providing a good sense of hygienic health care and is ensured only with the motion sensor bathroom faucet. If one believes in attending a hygienic goal, then this is an excellent startup.

Basic Tasks in Home Maintenance

Among the reasons why people opt to disregard the regular maintenance of their homes’ interiors is because of the common misconception that this part of the house is already properly protected, being well-covered by the roof and the walls as it is. Though this may sound like a logical excuse considering all the natural disadvantages that exterior parts like the gutters, lawn and the roof encounter, it is still impractical to disregard the fact that dirt can also accumulate inside the house and can ruin all our furniture if we allow them to settle. This dirt gathers in our houses at a regular basis so we must also make sure that efforts to prevent them from accumulating are also done regularly.

Though there are no two homes that require the exact same maintenance scheme, there are general trends that you may follow to successfully perform this duty. Here are some of them:

  • It always helps to make a list. Making a list allows us to keep track of our activities, to schedule them and note which things should be done when a particular thing happens. Making one also doesn’t allow us to forget about doing tasks that we don’t frequently do and which we may find hard remembering.
  • Lists also allow us to prioritize. By completing one, we can therefore evaluate which ones should be done first and those that can wait, or which ones have to be bought/repaired/replaced immediately and which may still be saved. Though making a mental list also counts as one, it is still more practical to have it written down on a piece of paper or saved in a spreadsheet in your personal computer.
  • ·Do a monthly inspection. It actually depends on you how often you want to do an inspection, although it would be wiser to perform this often enough and at regular basis. The whole purpose of this activity is for you to see for yourself if all the parts of your home are working properly and if they aren’t, you can immediately attend to them.

Facts Modular Homes

Modular homes are very cost effective. They are built in an efficient manner with little time loss as well as little materials waste. Materials can also be purchased by the manufacturer in bulk. These costs are usually passed on to the consumer. Depending where the build is, the construction costs of a modular house average 10-35% less than a similar site build one. These houses also appreciate in value in the same way other homes do.

The length of time it takes to build a modular dwelling will vary based on the design, the manufacturer, and the on-site contractor. Most modular houses can be built in the factory within 1-2 weeks. The process is much faster than site built because weather delays are avoided due to the factory setting. Once the home has been completed in the factory it will be transported to the building site and then it usually takes another 2-4 weeks to complete the construction.

Being environmentally friendly is becoming more important to many consumers and home builders. Modular constructed homes are very energy efficient. They have well-insulated walls, as well as sustainable construction materials.

Many homeowners mistakenly believe that modular houses are not as well constructed as site built homes. This is not true. Because factory homes must be transported they are especially strong and have to withstand conditions that site built homes do not. These homes also go through number of inspections, more than a traditional home, to insure quality. Every step of the construction process is controlled and professionally supervised. These homes have greatly improved over recent years and it is now becoming difficult to distinguish one from a site built home.

Patio Cover Design

Materials

In order to netter understand the situation, it is important to know the definition of a patio cover. This is basically a roof, attached to your home. Therefore, it needs a style and design that can match the one of the house. Especially when it comes to the exterior.

Wood

This is one of the most well-known choices when it comes to patio covers. This happens mainly because it can blend with the style of the house and with the landscape. Not to mention that, if you add wood siding, the general look will be very natural and attractive. The only downside to this option is that it needs a proper maintenance, as compared to its siblings. The vinyl patio covers do not have the same naturalness as the wood, but they can be maintained easier, are a great accessory for the modern houses and can last for a long period of time. A combination that could offer everything above would be the aluminum covers that have a good design with patterns of wood grain engraved on the surface.

Shapes

The materials used are not the only ones that matter when it comes to picking out a patio cover to complement the house. The shape of the roof is also important and it has to give the impression that it harmonizes with the house, rather than being two different spaces. The weather is also an important factor when it comes to choosing the roof shape. The locations that are more rainy or snowy tend to have roofs that include certain shingles or pitches. For the covers that serve as a contrast to the entire home, having an appealing general look is vital. The covers that are not similar to the roof shape offer more options (latticework or attractive edge details).

Light

Some of the most used kinds of patio covers are the flat roofs and they are delivered in 2 main categories: lattice and solid. The first option allows the natural light to enter, turning the house into a better space to live. Due to this, you can grow flowers and vines, turning your special place into a great combination of scent and colors. Precipitations will not be completely a problem of the past, but the lattice is a great middle ground between blocking the sun light completely and deflecting its damage.

Planning a Bathroom Renovation

It is important to arrange a plumber, check before starting with a renovation, because of poor plumbing system may affect your renovation budget. You may be hearing weird noises like gurgling or splashing. It may be a small problem that can be solved by you. However, the problem may become more serious if you don’t call a professional who will save you money and time.

Your bathroom has to be waterproofed correctly and it’s something that has to be done by someone with a license. Waterproofing failure is considered as one of the top three building irregularities.

When purchasing bathroom fixtures and fittings, don’t forget to check if they meet the Australian Standards. Nowadays, many products and materials are imported from abroad especially from abroad. They may be cheaper, but don’t have the quality you need. Quality products will save you money as you don’t have to replace them earlier. These products offer over 5 year’s warranty, unlike cheaper products offering just 1-year warranty. Another issue that may arise with imported products is the difficulty finding spare parts or having installation problems.

A development application (DA) will be required if you want to add or relocate something bigger, including removing a wall or adding a window. Sometimes, you may not need any permission, but it’s a good idea to check. The DA is a must-have if you are significantly changing utilities. This request has to be submitted by a registered architect or a building designer.

Do you have a home built before 1980? You should be prepared for the presence of asbestos, which can be found in your walls, floors or ceilings. Many Australians don’t even know they are having asbestos in their homes. Ensure your loved ones are not exposed to these harmful fibres and hire a licensed asbestos handler who will remove the asbestos from your home. Don’t forget this will extend the renovation process. And don’t think to remove it by yourself.

Basic Home Construction Process

Pre-Construction

Before the home construction begins, the floor plans must first be developed, finalized, and then submitted to the municipal office for review to get a building permit. The building permit is needed for various construction work including electrical, sewer connection, septic system, plumbing, and home building. Additionally, the homebuilders will also perform site tests to examine the soil, the capacity of the ground, water table, and environmental tests.

Foundation

After getting the necessary building permit and doing all the initial tests, the land of your house will be prepared. The topsoil will be removed and piled somewhere else to be used later on. Excavation is also done, along with the footings- which are concrete slabs to support the wall foundation, are formed and poured. The wall foundations are also erected. This process may use concrete temporary wooden forms or preserved wood, or permanent insulated blocks. Weeping tiles are also installed so that the ground moisture will be drained away from the house. During this phase, the homebuilder may ask you to decide on flooring, cabinets, tiles, and many more.

Framing

This phase involves erecting a framing skeleton. The exterior sheeting is also applied or other framing technique can also be used. Frames are also constructed on the floor, one wall at a time and then lifted in place. The windows and doors are also installed during this stage.

During this process, the basement floor is also constructed and installed. Electrical and plumbing are roughed in, along with the heating, cooling, and ventilation. During this stage, the municipality will conduct a structural inspection to make sure that the house is built according to the building codes. Electrical and plumbing inspections will also be conducted.

Interior and exterior work

During the next stage, interior and interior work will be done at the same time; thus, proper scheduling must be observed. The insulation of the exterior walls is done, heating and cooling systems are installed, and vapor barrier will be applied. During this process, the walls and ceilings will also be painted, the flooring is laid, and the cabinets for the kitchen and bathroom are installed. These are just some of the work involved during this stage. Additionally, during this stage, the homebuilder will stay in contact with you to keep you updated on the construction progress.

  • 1
  • 2