Browse Month

September 2019

Design Granny Flats

In recent years the government has become a little more lenient with the construction of granny flats, quite a far cry from the old days when there weren’t many areas that allowed its construction due to zone restrictions. Even if they are not meant to house your elderly relatives, these flats have also become a great solution to housing site shortages and allowed property owners to have an extra source of income because they could be rented out.

So if you’re planning to construct a granny flat on your property, there are many things you need to think about before you can be able to do so like reviewing your local building codes, permit application procedures and zoning laws and occupancy regulations. In addition, you will also need to think about how you will build and design your structures so that your elderly relatives will be able to move about easily, without fearing or worrying that they will hurt themselves.

To start, you can make inquiries in places developed especially for elderly living. You can ask senior citizens about what they like and don’t like as far as living arrangements are concerned, what they liked about their current home and what type of amenities sealed the deal for them (i.e., recreational facilities, proximity to grocery stores, hospitals, etc.) You also need to learn about the different types of elderly housing options available. Most, if not all senior citizens loathe the idea of having to stay in aged care facilities or hospices so an apartment-style setting is something that appeals greatly to them because it offers them as much privacy, freedom and independence as their age allows.

If you are going to avail of granny flat kits, make sure you hire contractors or builders who’ve had experience with constructing homes for the elderly and who have updated knowledge about government legislations concerning the building of residences for seniors. Don’t forget as well to inquire about insurance to cover the construction of your homes when the financing for it comes through and as much as possible, try to work closely with the builders so that you stay within the timeframe and most especially within the budget range.

As far as designing the interior of your granny flats are concerned, you need to make sure first and foremost that the doorways and hallways are wide enough for wheelchair access if necessary. Replace low-watt bulbs with brighter halogen ones in all overhead fixtures and lamps, most especially in closet areas and make sure you replace standard light switches with ones that have larger buttons that are easier to turn on.

You should also think of installing adjustable shelves and rods in the closets and place reflective, non-slip tape on the edges of stairs and steps. You can also stick double-sided tapes underneath rugs to further prevent incidences of slipping. And lastly, if your elderly relatives suffer from arthritis, it may be best to install lever handles on doors and get them automatic can-openers or jar openers that you can fasten underneath the kitchen counters.

Professional Roofing Contractor

Emergency or not, following are a few things to consider before choosing a professional roofing contractor;

  • Credentials: Are they accredited to an association or a manufacture contractor program? Make sure that the contractor that you choose is a member of a local trade body or contractor program. This provides better accountability when things go wrong. It also ensures that all roofing jobs are in accordance to local codes.
  • Inspection: Most roofing contractors offer a free inspection to determine the scope of the project and make an estimation of the costs involved. Does the contractor undertake a thorough inspection by checking your attic, chimney and other places where the roof penetrates? The inspection process should give you an idea about how the contractor’s work mechanism.
  • Explanation: The contractor should explain the job process in detail. Would he be charging for the defective shingles on a prorated basis or otherwise? What would be the labor charges? Is there a warranty for his service? Would the job also include a thorough clean up of the roof? Who would be responsible for the cleanup after the job’s done, including cleaning of the yard and disposing surplus material.
  • Quality Materials: If choosing a contractor who is a part of the manufacturer conducted program, materials wouldn’t be an issue as their quality would be controlled by the manufacturer himself. But if it is not so, you will have to determine the quality of the materials including the warranty and guarantee.
  • Insurance: All licensed and approved contractors should offer comprehensive liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. Before choosing a contractor, ensure that all of these certificates are current and valid. Workers who are injured when working in your property are your liability unless they are covered under the workers’ compensation insurance or other relevant insurance cover.
  • Costs: Contractors who adhere to mandatory regulations like workers insurance charge more than those who do not. Simple workers’ compensation insurance can increase costs by almost 20%. If they are licensed they would naturally be offering insurance cover that would reflect in the final costs. But not all states require their contractors to be licensed. Thus, the first thing to do is to check if your state requires contractors to be licensed.

Decorative Window Shutters

Shutters typically coordinate with a home’s design to bring out a certain style in its appearance. For example, you can get shutters that are rectangular-shaped, or those that come in other forms. Here are some things to consider when selecting shutters for your home.

  • Does the home’s exterior paint or paneling come with matching shutters? If so, consider using these to match the existing design, even if you had the siding done first and now want to add shutters. If not, check with the home supply provider for suggestions about the type of shutters that will go well with your current outdoor siding. You may be able to look at a print or online catalog, or view samples at the store. Some stores provide references of previous customers who have purchased these shutters, and you may be able to talk with them about their level of satisfaction or drive by their homes to have a look.
  • Choose a coordinating design and color. If your home’s siding or finish does not come with matching shutters, check out several possible options before selecting one for your home. Popular styles are made of aluminum and vinyl, along with other materials that are weather-resistant, so find out what’s available, along with the merits of each.
  • Compare styles to find one that suits your home’s design and structure. Some shutters come with two matching panels, while others have four. You can get louvers, but keep in mind these can collect dust and may be difficult to clean. Even when operational shutters are not needed, some people choose to install them for special effect on their homes.
  • Find out all you can about the product’s quality. Ask the sales associate about each product’s durability and lifetime expectancy. Also ask about how to clean various shutter types, and what type of special cleaning substances will be needed, if any. You might also want to know about any particular conditions that afflict certain products. Wood shutters, for instance, may tend to get dry rot, termites, or other wood-associated conditions. Any type of shutter might attract insect nests, and aluminum shutters may be prone to rusting.

Advantages of Metal Roof Coating

Metal is no less vulnerable to the ravages of weather and time than any other material that might adorn your roof. There are metal roofs that have been applied with sealant or paint at the time they are manufactured in the factory. Even these roofs may not be able to withstand the adverse effect of the weather without being properly coated after installation.

Advancement in the field of science has brought about durability and effectiveness in metal roof coating in recent years. These roofing solutions are non-toxic, safe and entirely odorless. Metal roof coating consists of several different substances, however, the most common of them is polyester. The best thing about these products is you can apply them to the already existing roof without having the need to remove the previous coating. This, however, does not include roof penetration line vents, chimneys and air conditioners. Since these are vulnerable points, they need to be caulked and scraped for better results.

Metal roof coating is presently considered one of the best roofing solutions available in the market. There are several advantages of applying it on your roof. First of all, it assists in conserving electricity by providing a protective layer and, consequently, decreases the loss of heat from inside the house during winter. During the summer, the same protective layer keeps the cold air produced by your air conditioner inside the house. It also has the ability to reflect ultra violet rays which are extremely harmful. Its ability to reflect UV rays also enables the extension of its life. Incidentally, these roof solutions are able to repel up to 90% of harmful rays from penetrating into your house.

This reflective ability is much more than what conventional roofing materials have to offer since they are only able to repel around 25% while absorbing the remaining bulk of the harmful rays. Metal roof coatings are also able to strengthen the roof and protect the structure from harmful damage.

Obviously, the roof is in contact with UV rays and the scorching heat for extended hours during the course of each day. Both of these are detrimental for the well being of your roof. Conventional materials are unable to cope with the contraction and expansion caused by the heat on a daily basis. Overtime, it takes a toll on conventional materials. On the contrary, roof coating is able to retain a constant temperature throughout the day making it a better and more reliable choice..

Advantages To Building New Homes

Greater Efficiency

Existing houses don’t just come with creaking floors and undesirable wallpaper; they come complete with drafty windows, energy-hungry appliances, and gas-guzzling furnaces. All of these issues contribute to one very inefficient residence. This lack of efficiency is bound to rob the homeowner’s wallet, whether it’s through the need to remodel or because of sky-high energy bills.

New homes guarantee greater efficiency. This is especially true if they are built in a neighborhood or community with a green initiative. Within such communities, preexisting plans for new homes entail energy-saving strategies. These plans may include solar panels and maximum insulation, for instance.

Better Resale Value

Though most home builders are not likely to sell their abodes anytime in their near future, it is worth noting that the resale value of new homes is higher than that of older ones. Each customized blueprint is unique, and each one has attractive features that cookie-cutter houses lack. This makes such new homes irresistible and more valuable to potential buyers. If circumstances change and selling the newly constructed place becomes necessary, then you’ll at least have the consolation of being able to ask for a high selling price.

A Healthier Alternative

Older houses are riddled with dangers to their owners’ health. Though potentially beautiful on the outside, these buildings often hide complications in their walls and beneath their floors. Pest infestations, mold, lead paint, and asbestos are just a few of the serious health risks that can be associated with older homes. Constructing a new place from the ground up can guarantee that none of these health hazards reside alongside the mortgage-paying inhabitants.

Outdoor LED Lamps

These lights have been used both for general lighting and for decorations; examples are in the interior lighting of club houses and restaurants, street and parks. The outdoor lighting is a common trend since the camp fires and torches in the stone age. However, it has been used more for enhancement and decoration purposes. The type and the color of lighting used depends on the use.

Advantages of LED lamps

  • The diodes usually produce light of a single color; this allows these LED bulbs to be perfect decoration tools mostly where colored lighting is required.
  • The light beams generated are more focused and more taper.
  • The LED bulbs are more durable and therefore best to use in both indoor and outdoor lighting.
  • The led lamps have higher electric energy efficacy, in that they generate more light with the similar amount of current, compared to other bulbs.
  • LED bulbs are more compact and smaller in size, allowing lighting fixing and well even apportion in a room or outdoor.
  • The diodes light up immediately and do not require warm up time.

Types of outdoor LEDs

  • Street lighting, LED lamps are better over the other model of light bulbs due to their energy saving abilities.
  • Landscape lighting, this is where it is used outside like in parks sites or picnic sites or gardens. it’s commonly done for decoration reasons and to create ambiance in this places.
  • Floodlights, these are used to light up areas such as sports arenas and work stations at night. Led lamps are best at such sites due to their brightness and focal light emissions.
  • Security lights, these are where these lamps are mounted on the walls or gates of a building to ensure security and safety by discouraging unwarranted intrusions.
  • Underwater lighting, mostly used for decorations in pools, fountains, and ponds. These sorts of lamps must be water proof and water resistant.

Use LED Bulbs In Decorations

There are different types of LED bulbs based on various aspects such as colour, which is the different light colour emitted by the bulb, the lumen, which is the level of brightness as perceived by the eyes, shape size and energy consumptions among other differences. However, each lamp comes with its advantages aligned with its best use. The strip-shaped LED bulbs are more common for the decorative purposes, as they fit all the necessary features to create different indoor and outdoor decor.

Tips on how to decorate with them.

  • Outline the area of interest that you want to give that new look, the most common areas are the door area, the foyer and the window frames. These are likely to draw attention and indeed shed a whole different look to the room as create the aspect of view.
  • Choose a more infusing color shade, and that is calmer. Flashing lights and brightly colored lights are obnoxious to the eyes unless it’s a club and you looking to give the occupants some sort of a high. Use colours that blend with the entire look of the house and that encourages calmness.
  • These bulbs are flexible and can be turned into any shape which is the most significant advantage with this kind of lighting. With this feature, you can use them to create words and other coloured creations that you may like.
  • Lastly you can use these strips to decorate other home installations like Christmas trees and any other object that can hold them in place and not lose its beauty and meaning like plants in the house.

LED bulbs are the best decorative lighting available on the market right now, get them and experiment with all the creative ideas that you have. Ensure that you purchase genuine and quality bulbs to avoid dangers such as electrical malfunctions that may lead to fire outbreaks.

Steps To Determine Door Handing

  • First start with a fresh mind. Go back to basics.
  • Look at the door; it should be pretty easy to tell what side of the door is the outside, and what side is the inside. Outside of a bedroom door you would be standing in the hallway, if you are in the bedroom you are looking at the inside of the door. If you are standing on your front porch looking at the front door, then your are looking at the outside of the door. Know this before installing door levers and handles.
  • Door handing is always done from the OUTSIDE of the door. Whatever side the hinges are on, when viewed from the outside is the same as the door hand. If the hinges are on the right, it’s a right hand door. If the hinges are on the left, it’s a left hand door. It does not matter if the door pulls towards you or opens away from you. If you don’t know your left from right, ask someone. You only need to determine what side the hinges are on from the OUTSIDE. Forget the “reverse bevel” term.
  • Now you are ready to install your doors handles or door levers.
    Note: There is one exception to this rule…single dummies. When handing a single dummy you stand on the side of the door that you are mounting the dummy on, not the exterior side.

About Slab Foundations Primer

There are many different types of slab foundations. Most are built with footings which are thickened areas of slab located under load bearing walls. A load bearing wall is a wall that holds up the structure. If a wall isn’t load bearing, it is called a curtain wall. Most curtain walls are used for dividing rooms.

Foundation footings are wider than the foundation’s base and often reinforced with steel. They transfer the load of the building to the foundation and help distribute the weight of the building over the soil or rock.

How the foundation and footings are constructed depends on several factors, including soil and climate. In places where the ground freezes, footings are created first, below the frost line. After the footing has been placed, the building’s walls are constructed. Once the walls are in place, the slab is created.

A slab-on-grade foundation is used in locations where the ground doesn’t freeze. The slab, which oftentimes rests on gravel, is poured all at once. There is no space between the slab and the ground, and the edges of the slab are made thicker than the inside of the slab.

Some slab foundations have a portion of the foundation above the ground, also called a stem wall. Stem walls are usually made of cinder blocks that connect the building’s foundation with its vertical walls. In addition to increasing the structural integrity of the foundation, stem walls help protect the vertical walls from moisture and insects.

Before a slab foundation is put in place, the ground needs to be graded. Grading, which is done with heavy equipment, produces a level base. Grading is also used to create a slope that will ensure water drains away from the structure. Water can not only damage a foundation, but also weaken the building.

Many times, in addition to supporting the structure, a slab foundation will also serve as the building’s floor. Slab foundations also prevent pests, like termites, from getting under and into the house.

The downside of a slab foundation is loss of heat when the ground’s temperature becomes significantly lower than the temperature inside the building. There is also the potential for flood damage.

Another problem with slab foundations is foundation settlement. Most houses will settle over time. Too much settlement can cause foundation cracks and other structural issues. Soil that hasn’t been compacted properly can increase the amount of settlement and potential for foundation damage causing the need for home foundation repair.

DIY Gazebo Plans

You can choose from a variety of price ranges, colors, designs and styles. Select the piece that matches the best with the style of your house. The accurate instructions and cut out pieces of raw materials which come with the kit are quite helpful when constructing a gazebo on your own.

Assemble the frame: Start by fastening the boards together using 3 ½” screws. Now stick the joists at the corners and raise them at the center of the base. Drill holes and secure the joists to the core block. Now attach anchor cables to the joists and secure them.

Decking and walls: Layout the boards and screw the corners together and then secure the frames with 2 ½” screws. Now lay down the next circle and fasten them using screws and repeat the process for each circle of the deck boards. Stick the 1″x4″ bottom brace into the dado and the second fillet to the other end of the spindles. Raise it and flip the spindle over and staple the rail cap into the other fillet.

Now it’s time to focus on the walls. Raise two walls and attach them to each other using screws in each corner. Attach the rest of the walls and screw the corner posts into the deck boards. These first few steps are quite easy to perform.

Roof rafters: Screw the rafters into opposite sides of each other and cut the rafter’s pre-cut bird’s mouth that meets the header. Repeat the process for the remaining rafters and fasten them after the corners are attached. The kit comes with 12 short rafters which can be attached to the corner rafters with deck screws.

Attach the boards and shingle the roof: Start at the bottom and work upwards to assemble one pie wedge at a time. Secure the boards to the main and the middle rafters. Double up the shingles to provide angles for the rest and mark a chalk line from the peak to the center using a circular saw. For the remaining sections, shingles will need to be cut to match the roof angles.

Use ridge shingles to cover the seam between each pie section. Use double shingles on the first row and continue doing this all the way up the gazebo. Hold together the cupola by drilling down through shingles into the rafters.

Attach the Balusters: Set the baluster against the header and attach the screws at the top and the bottom. Now attach the corner brackets using a staple gun and drill four holes into each one of them. Screw them together and screw in the 1″x4″ kicker board.