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Will Barbossa

Avoid Choosing the Wrong Architect

  • Visit the architect’s office. Your architect will probably be inclined to work from a space they find visually pleasing. Any initial meeting will likely take place at the planned work site, but consider scheduling a follow up at their office before finalising any deals.
  • A disorganized architect’s office might be a red flag. If you find the office to be a complete mess, it might indicate a general lack of organisational skill. Having lots of models and sketches around the office doesn’t necessarily count as they can be kept dotted around a workspace to promote creativity. However, documents and other project information should really be filed away properly.
  • Ask your architect which 3D software they’re using. Any good architect should be using a piece of software called “BIM” (Building Information Model) to design their buildings. BIM helps architects to design their projects entirely in three dimensions and is especially helpful in maintaining uniform sizes in doors and windows. As such it is a great help in avoiding errors in the initial design.
  • Know your architect. This sounds like a no-brainer, but if you’re trying to hire an architect from a firm that employs several then it’s crucial that you meet with the very person you’re about to hire. Not every architect has the same level of know-how and creative ability, and it’s essential that you feel safe in the knowledge that your architect shares your vision for the project.
  • Try to understand some of their previous drawings. Architect’s drawings can be very difficult to understand if you’ve never had to read them before. However, a good architect should be able to present their ideas in design-form that (after they have been fully explained to you) make complete sense. If this is not the case, the architect may either not be capable of communicating very well, or else not be producing particularly good drawings in the first place.

As we mentioned earlier, time spent looking for the right architect is not time wasted. In fact, the chances are whatever time you spend in your search will save countless hours later when your project commences- be prepared to put in a lot of time and effort and the results will speak for themselves. Happy hunting!

About Stainless Steel Wire Rope

Stainless Wire Rope by it’s very nature has a large number of crevices. This make it more susceptible to trap salt and dirt and kick start corrosion. Even 316 grade Stainless Steel which is by its very nature considered ‘Marine grade’ will corrode and tea-stain (rust) if not looked after; and Wire Rope particularly so due to the crevices between wire strands. 7/7 Cosntruction Type for example has 7 wire strands wound together, and 7 of these wire groups (each of 7 strands) are then wound together.

A natural Lanolin based product such as Lanotec or Prolan is best to apply to the wire surface as it does a great job of protecting Stainless from corrosion. This in combination with a regular Cleaning and Maintenance Program will ensure the Wire maintains its good looks and doesn’t Tea-Stain. If any discolouration or Tea-staining does occur then a Phosphoric Acid based cleaner such as Grunt Emergel should be used to remove the Iron-Oxide (rust) and bring back the good looks of the Stainless Wire.

There are several other precautions you can take to help prevent Tea-Staining occurring which include choosing the correct grade of Stainless Steel for your Stainless Steel Wire Rope ( Get a good guide in selecting the correct grade), ensuring the smoothest possible finish of your stainless surface and adequate cleaning or washing of the installed product. It is important that residues and salt deposits are regularly washed from your stainless and an occasional rain washing is sufficient in many applications. A minimum of 316 marine grade stainless steel should be used in high corrosion or coastal environments and as a general rule, the smoother the finish of your stainless surface, the better it is able to resist corrosion.

Choose The Perfect Balcony Design

Consider the load bearing capacity of this structure in relation to how you want to use it. If you intend to host a large number of guests on this surface, you will obviously need a much greater load bearing capacity than if only using the area for decorative purposes. Consult with a local, structural engineer to determine the feasibility of our design.

Before investing any money into the implementation of your design ideas, make sure that these are in conjunction with local building codes. Local regulations could significantly limit the addition of special features in this area in an effort to promote safety. Consult with the planning department to find out which concessions must be made before construction is started. This will eliminate the need to backtrack in your construction efforts and the associated loss.

Determine whether or not you want this space to have any special features for relaxation or food preparation. Outdoor kitchens are a major trend in backyard designs, but they can also be added to elevated and well-supported structures like balconies or terraces. Some people even install hot tubs or small wading pools depending upon their balcony sizes and their household needs. These are features that are cheaper and easier to add in at the start of construction then they are after building is done.

Some people might want to wall off their balconies or terraces for added privacy. There are semi-permanent and permanent solutions that can be used. A privacy screen will provide the greatest level of adaptability, but you may want to review your options in permanent, glass enclosures as well. This is a great way to create a year-round garden.

There are countless features to choose from but each addition must complement the existing decor on the primary building structure. If you have copper trim and downspouts around the home, consider adding copper lighting fixtures and an enclosure or railing with copper accents. You do not want your designs to clash so that the home looks ill put together overall.

Take some time to calculate your budget for this addition while accounting for any special features that you wish to include. It may be best to complete this project in small increments that entail modest and manageable payments. This way, you can add new feature in whenever additional funding becomes available. This can be an all-at-once project or a gradual, progressive and affordable one.

Crawl Space Insulation

It’s known that the such spaces especially contain foundational vents and gaps that let the wiring and the pipes and ducts in. If these are not sealed accordingly, they could lead to air leaks and insulation problems. These spaces can let in unconditioned air from the outside leading to health problems and problematic house heating. You need your rooms to stay cooler and have lesser of health problems, don’t you?

benefits of the insulation :

  • More Comfort. This is the major reason that you should be thinking of insulating your house’s crawl space, if you have not yet done so. Insulating your house ensures comfortable internal temperatures both in the summer and winter seasons. If you are preserving things in your crawl space, having a space vapor barrier installed and enforcing it with the space encapsulation might make the temperature standard.
  • It Also Saves Energy. A house with correctly installed space insulation, space vapor barrier and similar encapsulation keeps the inside air separate from the outside air. This can save you from costly energy bills at the end of the month. Un-insulated crawl spaces can become increasingly drafty and let large amounts of outside air inside the house. Un-insulated spaces also allow the air inside the house to escape out. This can lead to high costs of constantly trying to standardize the air in your house.
  • Moisture Control. When coupled with space vapor barrier, crawl space insulation controls the moisture level in your crawl space. This improves the effectiveness of air sealing and leads to general energy efficiency. Uncontrolled moisture levels in the crawl space leads to the growth of mold and the peeling of paint from the inside walls of your house. This can make you waste money on unforeseeable repair and maintenance costs.

By having the right space insulation installed in your house you stand to reap a lot of benefits. It is however recommended that you use space insulation experts to get the best services.

The best space insulation companies will do a thorough inspection of your house to identify all the spaces that need insulation. They may also recommend that you add space encapsulation and space vapor barrier for the most optimal results. After all, you do need a home where you can live in comfort.

Main Steps in Brick Edging

Determine the area for edging

Measure out the width and length of the brick to find out how many bricks make one foot of edging. Take the time to multiply the number of bricks along the length of the bedding’s edge to determine the total. Some of the edging encourages for curves along the landscape. To determine the appropriate areas for edging, you can use a garden hose, string, landscape paint or lime. You can avoid sharp corners with the edging to make mowing easier.

Dig an appropriate space for the bricks

Using the trench shovel, you can consider digging out an appropriate area for placing the bricks along the edge of the landscape. Make sure to make the trench deep enough for the sake of holding the bricks together.

You may choose to hammer wooden stakes at the curves and the ends of the trench. Run a mason line between stakes to generate a reference point for the height of the brick. You can consider adding an inch of sand in the trench and then lay the bricks on top.

Place the bricks within the trench

Consider placing the bricks against each other- adjust the bricks as you go. You may also seek to add leveling sand so as to get the edging even. The bricks should be positioned to a depth that leaves about half an inch of the surface showing.

Using a rubber mallet as well as a tamp the bricks can be placed securely in their right position. Keep working following the same fashion along the line. You can add some extra plants, top soil along with a thick layer of mulch. The beauty of the results is likely to surprise you.

Signs Should Renovate-Extend a Room

There Are Things You Can’t do Due to Size Restrictions

One of the first times I knew I needed a bigger room at my home was when I wanted to set up my own home gym but couldn’t. There just wasn’t space for a bench press in any of the rooms in my home and I had no floor space to do things like press ups and sit ups either.

If you lack the space you need for any activity that you would like to be able to do, then opening up the room more or designing it to make better use of the space is an important way to get more from your room and from life.

You Are Embarrassed to Show People Round

If you have ever had to refuse guests because you don’t have space for them to stay in your room then you’ll know how disappointing it is to have to miss out on your social activities because of limitations in your rooms. If this is the case, then look into extending the room or just designing it better and you can start to enjoy having people round again – even when you don’t have much notice – in fact you might even want to start throwing dinner parties and events.

The Rooms Are Always Untidy

If you have a small room or one that is badly laid out then you might find that it often looks untidy or cluttered and that you get less use from it as a result. Simply opening the room up a bit more, or changing the layout can help you to keep it more organized by providing more space for your things and creating a better system and more storage to keep them tidy.

You Look Longingly at Other People’s Homes

If you find yourself going to other people’s homes and wishing they were yours, then you may just not be making the most of your current rooms. When it comes to property, it’s not value that counts but what you do with it – if you were to completely overhaul your decorating and interior design, or if you were to create more space by knocking through your walls then you can turn your current property into your dream home right now.

Going Green With Granite

As one of nature’s hardest stones, granite is made to withstand the test of time. Generally, homeowners decide to purchase new granite countertops or other stone features when they are redesigning or renovating living spaces. Therefore, the majority of granite is in a decent condition before it is replaced. Often, stone fabricators and installers have relationships with recyclers and will make arrangements to haul away an old countertop when installing a new one. Some cities have recycling centers that will pick up materials such as granite and additional home improvement items. Charities that focus on home improvement and renovation will accept countertop donations. In the unlikely event that a fabricator cannot provide details, information about recycling programs is readily available online.

Although it is rare, some companies will refurbish stone countertops and resell them at a reduced cost. This gives homeowners the opportunity to enjoy the luxury of granite even if they have limited budgets. Homeowners will most likely have to refurbish countertops purchased from charity outlet stores. Refurbishing requires carefully sanding the surface, sealing and polishing it before it is ready for use.

Fabricators will also have remnants after making countertops from natural stone slabs. Across the nation, granite recyclers are accepting these unwanted pieces and transforming them into a wide variety of features. One of the most popular “reuses” for granite is stone pavers. Since stones have variations in color, striation and veining, recycled pavers can enhance the look of driveways and walkways. Recycled granite is also converted into tiles for outdoor patios, fountains, and fire pits.

Of course, just because granite is recycled doesn’t mean it is only useful for outdoor living spaces. In fact, the granite remaining from countertop fabrication may end up as tile for flooring designs and backsplashes. Designers can use recycled stones cut into pieces as decorative facing features for wall applications, fireplace surrounds and even tops for tables and accent furniture.

Along with the increases in home buying and selling is a renewed interest in remodeling and renovation to raise home values and beautify living spaces. Cities are embracing plans and programs that give their citizens the chance to go green while reducing the amount of materials designated for landfills. Homeowners looking for new granite countertops have options to not only recycle their old countertops, but also to recycle the surplus stone after installation. Instead of becoming trash, granite is being refurbished into treasure for the next generation of living spaces.

Metal Window Blinds

Usually, the metal used for this kind of blind is aluminum. It is light in weight and it is cheaper than other metals without rusting as quickly. Many homes and offices today use aluminum window blinds to provide them with the perfect blend of privacy and elegance. Another great benefit of metal window blinds is that they are cheaper than blinds made from other materials. The simplicity of aluminum window blinds is the main point of their elegance. They are considered to be classy yet simple blinds that will enhance the look of the room and also provide you with enough privacy in your home.

Metal window blinds come in a wide range of colors as well as different types of colorful designs, which show while the blinds are completely closed. These special colorful designs can be custom made to your choice of view while the blinds are closed. For instance, you may choose a beautiful sunset design that will be proudly shown off while the blinds are completely closed, or perhaps you would rather prefer a view of the seaside. You can choose any window blind design you like to give a realistic scene for your viewing pleasure.

You can even get metal window blinds to match the color of your walls or other items in the interior of your home.

Even though aluminum is lighter in weight than other metals, it is still heavy enough that a breeze blowing in through the window will not make it sway and open up. Unlike plastic window blinds, metal blinds are more durable and can serve you for many years. It is even likely that you will first experience trouble with the mechanical system of the window blinds before you even experience having problems with the slats themselves.

There are many metal window blind manufacturers available today. In fact, blinds are available for purchase through the internet where ordering is just one click away. Most window blind manufacturer websites will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to properly measure your windows. The measurements will be sent to the manufacturers and they will be the ones who will deliver and usually install the blinds for you.

If you want great looking window blinds that can complement the look of your interior and provide you with privacy and beauty while looking for a way to save money, you should consider purchasing metal window blinds.

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.