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Will Barbossa

Advantages Building a Small Home

  • Lower Property Taxes
    With building a smaller home comes the benefit of lower property taxes. A smaller footprint often translates into your home being viewed at a lower value, offering you a more favorable assessment on your property than neighbors with larger homes.
  • Energy Cost & Consumption
    With a smaller space, come lower energy bills. Studies show that heating and cooling costs alone are 13-20% lower in a home that is 1,500 square feet compared to a home that is 2,500 square feet.
  • Environmental Impact
    A small home simply uses fewer natural resources in construction, maintenance and energy consumption. The efficiency of a small home helps the environment and helps you live responsibly.
  • Maintenance & Cleaning
    The smaller the home, the less maintenance you have to worry about. Think about the cost to replace siding on a 2,500 SF home compared to a 1,500 SF home or the amount of money that can be saved when installing new flooring or tile. There are fewer windows to replace, walls to paint and gutters to clean. Regular household chores will be cut in half and if you hire a cleaning service, their rate will be lower.
  • Less Clutter
    Less space equates to less room for items that aren’t necessities. We all know that the more space we have, the more ‘junk’ we accumulate. Having a smaller home forces you to become more organized and avoid the accumulation of unneeded possessions. Think of all the unused items you’ll be motivated to donate to charity or sell on eBay and Craig’s List.
  • More Financial Freedom
    When living in a smaller home, the savings you’ll accumulate from having a smaller mortgage, lower utility bills and overall reduced consumption will add up quick. You will be able to free yourself from unneeded expenses and become more financially secure.

About Solar Boating Lights

When you are on a boat, you know that space is a hot commodity so the use of solar lights is a great idea, no cords, no bulk and all the light you need. Likewise, on the outside of a boat, you can’t be worrying about tripping over cords and extensions while you are on deck so solar lighting is the way to go.

Rail lights attach to railings decks or bulkheads, they have no wires or batteries, and they cost next to nothing to install. The best part is they look good and they light up when it gets dark to illuminate the area. They are highly efficient, long lasting, green and in short: No muss, no fuss.

Under cabinet solar lights allow you to illuminate the galley without trading space to do so. They simply slide under the cabinets and light your way effortlessly. Handy solar lights that come in an easy to use and install rope application is a great idea for all areas on the boat that could use a little illumination. Use them to light your hallways, around windows or across ceilings, anywhere you can use light they can be placed. They come in a variety of colours and sizes and can be customized to your tastes.

Solar dock lights are also gaining in popularity as they can be placed anywhere and are also waterproof. Nothing is worse than not being able to see where you are going, and now, you can effortlessly guide your boat into dock with all the light you need. The best part is, the energy that they are using is totally free, as long as they can soak up the sun you’re golden!

Solar lights really can be used anywhere at any time. They light our world like never before and don’t have any of the nuisance that comes with trying to light places outside the old fashioned way–with cords and proximity to outlets being issues. Light your world the new way, go solar!

Choosing the Perfect Garage Plans

Before jumping into the idea of building a garage, it is important to consider your needs, as well as the things you would like as a result. If you’re particularly seeking for an approach to add more space to your home without actually building exactly onto your existing house, detached garage plans offer the perfect option which you may be looking.

An apartment garage design can be made easy when you utilize proper planning and designing tools. In fact, there are nearly hundreds to thousands of software and online applications that can aid you in the designing process. However, there may be some of us who doesn’t have any knowledge or idea in exploiting these applications. Some may try to learn the basics but there’ll be some who won’t even think of attempting it. For those who don’t want to spend time in designing the garage, there is an alternative way to get a unique garage plans. One way is to buy ready-made blueprints of garage. This is very valuable for those who design the whole plan from scratch.

If you’re residing in a subdivision, you will most likely need to ascertain that the plans which you are going to buy are approved by the home owners association and will adhere to the C and Rs. If you’re not in a subdivision, you would still want to ensure your design goes with your property.

When you’re searching for garage plans, always bear in mind that it will be very tough to stumble on floor plans that would precisely fit and match the area that you are planning to make use of. Remember that your floor plan should be able to provide you a guide; it should not direct you to perplexity.

Evidently, the key is to tag along the floor plan that you have acquired. But that doesn’t imply to thoroughly go after the plan to the letter, to the extent of disregarding your budget just to keep ardent with what the garage plan has stipulated.

It is important to reconcile your garage plan and your budget so you can assess if you have the means to finance this project until completion. Building the garage is one thing and maintaining and keeping the garage is another.

Whatever you settle on when constructing garage plans, always take into account that a garage which is a poor match for your house, will actually diminish your property’s appreciation thus, making it harder to put up for sale in the future. Nonetheless, an attractive garage will do the contrary. Hence, you will want to check first that you have included products like paint, trimming, and decorations for the beautification of your composition in the materials list, as well as, the estimate of your building costs and expenses.

About Earthquakes and Structural Damage

The severity of ground movement usually coincides with the building’s proximity to the earthquake’s epicenter. For example, a magnitude 7.0 quake will be only 50% as strong 8 miles away from the epicenter. The strength of the shake can also be affected by the type of rock the seismic wave passes through, and soil conditions. Soil that is soft and wet will increase shaking.

Duration of the motion can influence the amount of damage as well. Buildings that shake for longer periods of time typically have more damage.

There are many complex issues involved in how a building moves during a quake. Visually, when the base of a building moves to the left, the rest of the structure appears to move to the right. In fact, the building’s move to the right is simply a resistance to the motion occurring at the base. Other factors that influence movement include seismic load, soil conditions, building material strength and building design. An important aspect of design is the structure’s ability to bend or sway when the ground beneath it moves.

Even a building that has been designed to withstand ground motion can fail if the foundation is weak or damaged. Certain types of foundations are also more likely to result in damage, such as structures built on columns. This is usually because of uneven settlement.

When a new building is constructed, it must adhere to various regulations designed to minimize quake damage. Older residential and commercial buildings however, need to be inspected to determine their ability to withstand a quake. Most of these structures will need to be strengthened.

Earthquake retrofitting is the term used to describe the process of modifying a building to make it more resistant to seismic activity. Types of retrofitting include foundation bolting, cripple wall bracing and the installation of brackets.

Foundation bolting strengthens the connection between a structure’s frame and the concrete foundation. Some structures have no bolts, while others have an insufficient number of bolts or bolts that have become weakened over time. Knowing what types of bolts to use and where to place the bolts is extremely important.

Cripple wall collapse is one of the main causes of earthquake damage. The failure of a cripple wall will cause the floor of the home to drop to the ground. Braces can be used to strengthen cripple walls. In most cases, these braces will need to be placed on all sides of the home. Hold-down brackets are used to anchor shear walls, and help prevent the wall from rolling or shifting.

If you have an older home, request a foundation inspection from a foundation repair expert. Experienced foundation contractors can determine if your building needs retrofitting to prevent damage during an earthquake. Taking care of earthquake preparation, you can minimize the risk of structural damage with the right retrofitting techniques and materials.

Take Care Of Indoor Plants

  • Water – Water your plants as per their needs. Plants need water, but not too much or too little. Most plants like having their roots consistently moist, but not wet. You need to provide your plant with consistent water. Most of our indoor plants have coco peat as a base. Best way to check if you need to water the plant or not is to check the coco peat and see how dry it is and water accordingly. If the coco peat is turning light brown and looks dry, you need to water the plant. But at the same time, you need to ensure that there is no clogging of water at the bottom. The best way to check this is to but your finger in the coco peat and check whether it is dry or moist from inside.
  • Light – The next most important thing is light. Some plants require proper sunlight; on the other hand some might easily live without natural light or dim light.
  • For example- a lucky bamboo plant can do with moderate levels of indirect light. But a Bonsai needs at least 3-4 hours of sunlight on daily bases. Most foliage plants can do with little or no sunlight. You need to understand the light requirement of your plant and then find the best suitable place for the plant in your home or office. Another critical factor here is to avoid temperature shocks for the plant.
  • Preventing pest problems – Dirt clogs on the pores of the plant which makes it difficult to respire. You must wash the leaves of your plant several times a month. Easy way to do this is use a water spray. So every now and then you can supply spray water on the leaves.
  • Pruning of yellow leaves – Leaves can turn yellow for a couple of reasons. One of the main reasons why leaves start turning yellow and then brown is dryness. If the plant is dry it will tend to wilt and the leaves will start turning yellow. The second reason why this happens is that some disease is affecting the plant or there is fungal activity. It is important to understand the reason for yellowing the leaves, take care of that reason and also prune the yellow leaves so that they do not affect the rest of the plant. An easy way to prune yellow leaves is to use a pair of pruning shears or a simple scissors for foliage plants.
  • Food – Food plays an important role in nurturing of plants. An important food for plants other than water is NPK, which you must add to the plant base once in 4-6 months. You can add this powder in water and add this mixture to the plants. It is a must for Foliage plants and Bonsais, but not needed in Lucky Bamboo plants.

Types Of Bathroom Mirrors

Mirrored Medicine Cabinet. This is one of the most common units that you find in bathrooms. The cabinet hangs above the sink in the bathroom. It comes with a mirror on the door and shelves inside it. The aim of the shelves is to hold medicine bottles and any other items that you might be having. The cabinets are ideal for you if you don’t have a lot of things to store. For ideal results, you should go for a cabinet that matches the other décor in the bathroom.

Shadow Box. They are also known as ledge mirror and they are characterized by in-built ledges that hold the various bathroom products such as soap. These units are ideal for you if you like having your things close at hand. If you like a minimalistic look you should stay away from these units. This is because they tend to make your place seem cluttered.

Frameless. Due to their buffed edges, they seem to be floating on the wall. If you want to have a custom look you only need to approach your glass-maker and he/she will cut the mirror that will match the size of your wall. This mirror looks excellent in a contemporary bathroom.

Extension. This is ideal for you if your bathroom is small in size thus you don’t have room for an over-sink mirror. The extension mirror extends from the wall on a swing-arm mount thus providing you with flexibility when you want to save space.

For you to buy the right mirror you need to consider a number of factors. Some of the factors you need to consider include:

  • Room style: to create an awesome look you should match the style of the mirror with that of the room. If there are two sinks in the bathroom you should go for matching mirrors. If you want to draw attention to the mirrors you should go for those ones that are large and with interesting frames.
  • Shape and size: remember that for the mirror to be useful it needs to be large enough. There are many shapes that you can go with. For example, you can go for a unit that is square, circle, oval or rectangle. Regardless of the unit you go for ensure that you buy it from a reputable store.

Qualities of a Good General Contractor

  • Knowledge of Construction. If your general contractor is not familiar with construction, he/she won’t know if the sub-contractors are doing a good job. Leaks in the roof, drafty doors and windows, interior leaks and shoddy work can all happen if a contractor doesn’t know what to look for. Be sure whoever you hire has a construction background and understands how quality work is done. Ask questions before you hire anybody.
  • Good communication skills. Remember, this is the person who will become your voice. He/she will be communicating your vision and needs to everyone else who comes in to work on your home. They need to understand what you are looking for and then share that in a way that makes what you want happen.
  • A solid group of sub-contractors. Most general contractors, who have been in business for a while, have a group of sub-contractors they work with on a regular basis. This means there is trust and knowledge of how and how quickly they work. Things generally run more smoothly when people have worked together before.
  • Knowledge of necessary permits for the area. Every state and city has different rules and regulations regarding building and additions/expansions on homes. Some have to do with earthquake safety, such as in areas that run close to fault lines, some have to do with storm protection for coastal areas. If your home is not built to code, you could be forced to tear it down. Building within property lines is also critical. If you build over, you will at some point most likely be responsible for taking down all the hard work that went into building your home or addition.
  • Ability to save you money without compromising materials. Some people think they can save money by acting as their own general contractor. This is similar to people picking up a camera and thinking they are a photographer.

Contractors are trained to know what to look for. Their job is to organize and know what types of materials work and how they work together. Their knowledge is invaluable when it comes to building a home. If you don’t have a construction background, you will probably save more money by letting a general contractor take over.

Play Area Inside Greenhouse

Designating one section of the greenhouse as a play area will provide a place for your children to entertain themselves while you tend to your flowers. This area provides a protected environment for children to use their imaginations in an outdoor setting that can be utilized year-round.

Two factors to consider when creating such an area inside a greenhouse are: how much space do you have to work with and what will you do with the play area after the children have outgrown it. If you have space constraints for the overall size of the greenhouse, ensure they are considered during the planning process; smaller greenhouses will not accommodate as many options without being squashed together.

Creating a unique environment for your children to play that also has an outdoor park feel can be accomplished by incorporating a raised ground bed on the floor of the greenhouse and using it to grow grass. The grass will provide a soft place for children to play and the bed can be changed into a home for flowers and vegetables at a later date, or as a garden for the children to grow their own plants when they are older. Incorporating low shrubs into the design of the bed will help add to the outdoor atmosphere.

A sandbox can be created by filling a raised ground bed or shallow pond liner with sand. Having a specific area for the sand will prevent it from spreading throughout the greenhouse. A plastic bin or small, wooden crate can be used to store the sand toys when not in use; keeping the greenhouse tidy. Depending upon the amount of space available in the greenhouse, larger toys such as a small, plastic slide can be added. Make sure to position the end of the slide over a soft area, such as the sand or grass to prevent scrapes and bruises that would result from landing on the hard floor of the greenhouse.

Fix A Leaky Basement

Fixing a leaky basement is very important to prevent it from creating further damage. If you have the right tools and materials, you can fix the leakage on your own. Follow these simple and easy steps to fix a leaky basement:

  • Find the source of Leakage – The first thing you should do is to find the source of the leak. Examine your property thoroughly both from inside and outside to find cracks in the wall. The reason of leak can be a broken pipe inside the wall. You can also use a damp meter to track the leak.
  • Inspection – If the reason of leakage is a broken pipe; you should call a plumber to fix it. If the leakage is caused by a crack, you can easily find and fix it on your own. Use a hammer and a chisel to open the crack and remove any loose material from inside the crack using a metal scraper. It is important to clean the crack properly with a brush to remove dust and debris to allow the cement to stick properly.
  • Fill the Crack – You should first dampen the area with water using a spray bottle. In the next step, use hydraulic cement to fill the crack. Prepare the mixture after reading the instructions written on the pack and apply it on the crack properly. You can fill the gaps using small pieces of stones. Use a scraper to make sure that the cement is in level with the wall. You should then let the cement to dry.
  • Use a Sealant – You can apply a waterproof sealant to protect the walls from dampness and moisture. Use a dry-lock paint sealant and be careful to wet the walls before applying the sealant. You should let the sealant dry properly before applying the second coat.

Basics of Design-Build Concept

Streamlining the Process

When one team works on the entire scope of a job, streamlined efficiency generally occurs. One team is responsible for the entire scope of service beginning from the initial concept through to the finished product being constructed and installed on site. It’s typical for design-build workers to complete work faster with fewer issues and problems occurring that can delay the finished work.

Finished Price

With the streamlined process, it’s likely that you will find the finished price of this method to be lower than with traditional methods. In fact, it’s common for the final price with design-build methods to be as much as 10 percent less than with traditional design methods.

Enhanced Results

  • The cohesive process generally produces enhanced final results. The professionals working in this field are experts in both architecture and construction, giving them an expertise in the entire process so they understand exactly how structures go together. It’s also common for these professionals to have an expertise in structural engineering.
  • This construction method often involves the client in the project to a higher degree than with traditional projects. This involvement can ensure full satisfaction with the final product, because the client works with the team throughout the entire process. If anything occurs or comes up that requires client input or decisions, the client can supply this immediately. Clients often have positive feelings of pride and accomplishment from this degree of participation in a job. Customer satisfaction generally results in positive reviews for a company, also.
  • Honest and ongoing communication is a hallmark of design-build construction. The entire team works together to complete the process, communicating throughout each step so everyone remains apprised of progress and developments.
  • With everyone working together and communicating effectively, the entire team has accountability for the end result of the job. No one can claim ignorance about any aspect of the project with this type of construction method. This means that everyone has first-hand knowledge and accountability for the schedule, the pricing, the design phase, the construction phase, and all costs and allowances.
  • Warranty issues and litigation claims are also less prevalent with this type of approach due to fewer issues with warranty gaps and higher customer satisfaction.