Browse Author

Will Barbossa

Save Space in Your Home

Utility Room

Struggling to dry clothes during the winter months? Considering a tumble dryer but concerned that you do not have the space in your utility room? Did you know there are steps you can take to ensure you’re able to benefit from the drying power of a tumble dryer without losing valuable space?

One of the best ways to utilise the space when bringing a tumble dryer into the home is to stack it on top of the washing machine. To do this we recommend using a stacking kit.

NB: Failure to use a stacking kit has the potential to cause accidents, such as the top appliance falling over when the door is pulled open.

Universal stacking kits are quick and easy to install, enabling you to safely and securely stack your tumble dryer on top of your washing machine. The majority of stacking kits are suitable to be used with appliances which are 60cm by 60cm, although we recommend checking the dimensions before purchasing.

Along with enabling you to securely stack your tumble dryer on top of your washing machine, the Wpro Universal Stacking Kit can be purchased with a slide out shelf, making it easier for you to unload your laundry from your washing machine and into your tumble dryer.

Kitchen

During the festive period, there’s a good chance you’ll have struggled for space in your fridge. Depending on the size of your household, you may also struggle for space following a big shop.

In such situations, instead of attempting to cram stuff into the fridge, consider purchasing a universal wine rack shelf. This will enable you to chill your wine bottles, without taking up valuable shelf space, which can be used for other food.

There are a number of wine rack shelves available for your fridge, ranging from the Electrolux Universal Bottle and Wine Rack Shelf, which simply slides onto one of your existing fridge shelves and can hold up to three bottles of wine

If you’re after a shelf which can hold more bottles, consider the Samsung universal wine rack. This again, slides onto existing fridge shelves and can hold up to four bottles of wine, freeing up vital space within your fridge.

You can further free space within your kitchen, by mounting your microwave on the wall, instead of having it sitting on the worktop; with the aid of Wellco’s microwave oven wall bracket. These particular brackets are easy to install, and can support a maximum load of 20kg; making them suitable not only for microwaves but other small kitchen appliances too.

Lounge

As televisions get bigger, finding a suitable TV unit which fits in with your decor can often be difficult. It can also be hard to find a TV unit which doesn’t take up too much space. For those who are concerned about the space available and how they’ll fit their TV of choice in, wall mounted brackets may be the ideal solution.

Suitable for 25 inch television sets through to sets which exceed 60 inches, a TV wall bracket will help you save space in your lounge, or bedroom, by allowing you to secure your TV to the wall, without ruining the decor.

With careful planning, and by using the various space saving accessories available, there’s no reason why you cannot make the most out of your household appliances and the space available to you – with little outlay.

Residential Architecture

As you go through the design process, your architect will present a variety of drawings to you, to present the design options. Some of these may make more sense to you than others, so here’s a quick overview of the major drawing categories.

  • Plans – This is likely the most familiar drawing, as it presents a horizontal “map” of the spaces. Conceptually, imagine taking a building and slicing it right at about waist height, then looking down; that is what a Floor Plan is meant to show. A Reflected Ceiling Plan, on the other hand, imagines that the floor is covered with mirrors, so instead of looking down you’re really looking up to see the ceiling features. One other plan type is the Site Plan, which shows the property and locates the new features, often demonstrating that Zoning rules such as a minimum setback or yard depth is being met.
  • Elevations – An elevation is close to what the building will actually look like, since it doesn’t involve any conceptual slicing. Rather, it shows the building in a vertical plane, as though you were standing far away and viewing it with a telescope (in other words, without any distortion caused by perspective). In the real world, of course, we always view things in perspective, meaning that elements closer to us appear bigger than elements further away. Exterior Elevations show the outside of the building, while Interior Elevations show a limited portion of the interior (such as one wall of a living room where the fireplace sits).
  • Sections – Section drawings are somewhat like x-rays of a building, intended to show what is going on within the hidden spaces. Similar to how Plans are drawn by imagining a slicing of the building horizontally, Sections imagine a slice (usually vertical) happening wherever their “cut line” is, as represented on a Plan or Elevation. A Building Section will extend the cut line all the way across the building and show the entire width of it, whereas a Wall Section just cuts across a single wall to show how that wall is built.
  • Details – Details can usually fit into one of the above categories (Plans, Elevations, Sections) but they tend to show only a limited condition, at an enlarged scale so that more specific information can be presented.
  • Schedules (drawings) – While not as common for residential drawings sets, sometimes Schedules may be used to present information. In this sense, a Schedule has nothing to do with time, but rather it is a table or spreadsheet that lists a number of similar items. For instance, a Door Schedule will list each door and describe its qualities, such as what kind of hardware it will use, or its size. By doing so, this information does not have to appear on the other drawings. A Room Finish Schedule will describe the finish materials used on each wall, ceiling, and floor surface.
  • Schedules (construction) – Your architect will use the time or calendar sense of the term Schedule when discussing project timeframes, and will be able to work backwards from your targeted completion date to determine when the various phases of the Design Process (see below) need to be complete. If your architect also provides Construction Management services, then a more detailed Construction Schedule can be developed as well.
  • Renderings – This refers to a more artistic image which attempts to show the building as it will be experienced, often in 3D perspective and full color. As a non-technical drawing, it is of lesser value to your builder, but it will probably be the best way for you to envision the space. Renderings take time to produce, though, so ask your architect if you want to see one. In addition to static renderings, with computers a “fly-by” can be produced, which is a short video in which the camera moves around or through the building.

There are many phases to the design process, during which the expectations for the drawings presented will vary. You may be familiar with the notion of an architect sketching out some concept on a napkin while talking at a deli, but in the real world it takes a lot more detail than that before something gets built.

  • Master Planning – While not as common for residential architectural projects, this refers to a process of using estimated building sizes and other assumptions to lay out a guiding plan, usually for an entire site onto which multiple projects are going to be built. Because it is concerned with general configurations, buildings or rooms may be represented by single-line boundaries, and may not include doors and windows. The amount of detail is arbitrary, as too much detail can hinder the process at this stage.
  • Programming – This refers to a process of documenting how you will be using the spaces provided and what your spatial needs are. For residential projects, this is usually a thorough interview between you and your architect at the outset of the project.
  • Schematic Design – During this phase, the general shape of spaces is determined, often with multiple options for your consideration. The building will be shown in greater detail, with wall thicknesses and doors and windows, but not quite as much detail as the contractor will require. The drawings developed during this phase are intended to facilitate decision-making.
  • Existing Conditions and Field Measurement – If your project involves modifications to an existing building, then before any other design development can occur, the existing building must be documented. This means time spent with a camera and tape measure, followed by time in the office drawing up what was measured. Accuracy here can mean fewer problems during construction, and your architect might need to do additional measurements later in the project when considering how to resolve specific construction details.
  • Construction Documents – Often referred to just as “CD’s”, these are the fully detailed drawings that your builder will use, and actually act as part of a legal instrument. These will include plenty of specific notes and dimensions, so much in fact that they may be hard to read. That is why it is best to have design decisions made prior to engaging in the CD phase. Construction Documents may also include Specifications, either within the drawing set, or issued as a separate book.
  • Permit Submission – Usually, once the CD set is done, it is submitted to the local building department in order to receive a permit. Depending on the project scope, it might also need Zoning approval. In both cases, the drawings are reviewed by the authority and either approved or rejected, with revisions requested. A Zoning submission can be done earlier in the process, since the full set of CD’s is usually not required – the Schematic Design versions of many drawings will suffice.

While there are potentially many more terms that could use explanation, here are just a few that may be helpful.

  • Massing – this refers to overall major shapes and their configurations. It ignores finishes and fenestration.
  • Finishes – the exposed surface materials on the completed building, such as carpet for a floor.
  • Fenestration – openings in walls such as windows and doors.
  • Roof Pitch – the steepness of a roof, measured in terms of inches gained vertically over 12 inches of horizontal run. It is not an angular measurement.
  • CMU – “concrete masonry unit”, or what is often called “cinder block” because at one time cinders were used as an aggregate (but no longer).
  • Rebar – Reinforcing Bars, used within poured concrete walls and slabs to strengthen them.
  • Casework – basically cabinetry, built to fit the space, which may include features like a desk.
  • Rafter, Truss, Joist, Beam, Column – these are terms for different kinds of structural elements that act in different ways. As such, they are not interchangeable.
  • Heavy Timber – wood members of a large cross-section that are usually intended to be left exposed, used for their rustic character.
  • Topography – the shape of the land, usually denoted by contour lines which could be thought of as wedding-cake layers cut at some regular vertical interval.

Installing A Sump Pump

  • Prevents Damage from Flooding – It is a great device if your house is in a region which is prone to heavy rains. It can help prevent your home from water damage due to flooding and humidity, especially the basement. It also saves you from huge financial losses that water can cause. It ensures that every space and room below the ground level remain dry and warm by eliminating dampness and humidity. Installing a sump pump is a convenient and low-cost solution to remove accumulated water from your home. It will also keep your personal belongings from getting damaged.
  • Reduces the growth of mold/mildew – A damp and moist basement helps in the development of mold. By preventing water from accumulating in the basement you can prevent mold and mildew from growing. This not only helps in protecting your house from any damage, but also protects the health of your family members.
  • Reduces the risk of Fire – Electric fires are common in flooded areas. You can prevent electrocution and electrical fires by installing a sump pump.
  • Increases the value of your Home – If your basement other lower areas remain dry, the foundation of your home will remain structurally sound. This will help in increasing the value of your home considerably.

Some sump pumps are powered by electricity, while others are water-powered. The number of pumps you need to install in your home will depend on the size of your home. Sump pump installation is a complex task, therefore it is never recommended to install it on your own. It is best to hire a plumber for this task. It is important to make sure that you hire a professional and skilled plumber for this task.

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.