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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.

Choosing New Home Builders

Have a Budget

Before you start perusing catalogs for the latest counter tops or visiting sites to look at demo houses, consider how much money you are truly able to invest in your property. Most contractors will have a base price that they quote to potential buyers. This price will include whatever they consider “basic” to the home, such as bathrooms, bedrooms, living space, kitchen, etc. More than likely, you’ll want to make changes to this basic model. Create a budget for all of these expenses and stick as close to it as you can.

Prioritize Pre- over Post-Construction Upgrades

Depending on what company you end up working with, your contractor will likely offer pre- and post-construction upgrades. Pre-construction upgrades are amenities that have an essential structural component to them and cannot be added or changed once the walls go up. These include things like additional rooms, bathrooms, or changes to the configuration of the layout. Post-construction upgrades can include smaller or outlying spaces, like carports or sheds, but they are for the most part cosmetic. Items such as appliances, decorative touches, special carpeting or counter tops fall into this category. Since there is no way to add another bedroom or a half bath once the timbers have been cut, it is best to prioritize the former changes over the latter ones. A few months or years after construction, you might have more room in your budget, and you can consult your new home builders about adding sconces or lighting to the kitchen then.

Resist Over-Customizing

With all of the cool options available today, you might be tempted to simply get them all. After all, you envision yourself always living in this space. But if you have even an inkling of doubt, you might want to resist adding too many personal touches to the blueprints. Although all of the choices are a fun prospect in the short term, “over-customizing” your space to your wishes might make it harder to sell in the future. Potential buyers want to have the ability to make the space their own.

Work with a Contractor You Trust

A home is one of the biggest financial duties most people undertake in their lifetime. You want to be sure that the people in charge of turning your dreams into a reality are reliable and trustworthy. Before signing anything, consult friends, family members, reputable websites, and former customer testimonials, to learn about potential new home builders and their dealings. This investment of your time will pay off tremendously down the road when you have a house that is structurally sound.

Installing a Home Elevator

Types

There are three main types of home elevators. The first type is a hydraulic elevator that is moved by a hydraulic piston device. They require additional space for a machine room to house equipment but are the quieter, smoother, and faster than the other types. Traction and winding drum elevators work by sliding up and down a track with a counterweight or hoist mechanism. Pneumatic elevators use air pressure tubes to move the cab. They move slower than the other elevator types but don’t need a newly-constructed elevator shaft or machine room and take up little space.

Designing It

You can design the three basic areas of your own home elevator: the door, the cab and the control panel. The steel doors of traditional elevators can be replaced by wood and you can use different door styles on different floors. Your contractor will build the cab to code but you can design it with any style of flooring and wall covering in dark or light colors. Materials for the interior space can complement your home décor with sleek metal sides or glass panels that provide breathtaking views of your home interior. The choice of lighting is another way to customize your elevator. Art deco light fixtures or modern fixtures can brighten the space and you can even add windows to bring in natural light.

Cab sizes vary with a 36″ x 48″ size practical to move someone in a wheelchair. This size holds two people or one in a wheelchair and one standing. Larger sizes are available.

Value

Installing a home elevator adds mobility options and increases the value of your home by about 10 percent.

Prices range from $10,000 to just over $30,000, with retrofitting more expensive than installing a home elevator during construction.

Creative Ideas for Custom Homes

  • Home theatre – One of the most popular room remodels today is the addition of a modern home theatre. Today there are some wonderful media chairs that are made specifically for media rooms. There are also some incredible projection screens that are perfect for watching your favorite move on. Who needs to go to the theater when you’ve got a custom built theatre in your home already? And you can design it anyway you want it to be.
  • Finished basement – The great thing about a finished basement is the fact that it is essentially a clean slate. You can build almost anything you want in a basement and make it comfortable by finishing it. The basement may be a great place for a media room because it’s nice and dark-the perfect environment for watching a movie. Other possibilities include a play room for your children, an extra bedroom, a study, or anything else your mind can dream up.
  • Dream kitchen – Speaking of dreams, let’s talk about your kitchen for a moment. If you could have everything you wanted in your kitchen, what would it include? Many people find themselves wishing that the kitchen sink was in one place and the refrigerator was in another place. Remodeling the kitchen provides the perfect opportunity for you to create the layout you actually want while changing out the décor and getting new cabinets and countertops.
  • Go green – Today there is a great movement toward sustainability and just living in a way that is less harmful to our planet. If you don’t want to redo your entire home, you may want to just do some small things that will make it more energy efficient, like adding spray foam insulation or doing other minor projects that will enhance the energy efficiency of your home.

Custom homes are a great way to put your own personal stamp on your home and create a look that you love. There is no greater feeling than coming home to a house that you designed yourself. There is literally no limit to what you can do when you decide to look into custom homes. The beautiful thing about custom homes is the fact that they are designed and built according to your specifications. We all need certain things to be a certain way, and sometimes the only way to get them the way we want them is to design them ourselves.

Avoid House Repair Nightmare

Pay For it in Cash

  • With the use of credit lines, credit cards, and loans, it is easy to afford a $25K home repair whenever you want it.
  • However, borrowing that money can cost you more in the long run.
  • Also you will have monthly payments for a long time, causing you financial stress. Pay for your repairs in cash – a percentage on the agreement to work and the rest when it is paid for.
  • Never pay for the entire job up front, as you may find your project to be a never-ending one.

Get it in Writing

  • Get everything and every estimate in writing so that you know exactly what you are getting. This helps prevent you from being scammed.
  • Make sure to keep your estimate in a safe place so that you are able to refer to it whenever necessary.
  • Ensure you hire professionals who carry the proper insurance and are licensed in their field. This will serve to protect you should anything go wrong.
  • Do a background check on any potential contractor you are considering hiring. The Consumer Protection Office is always prepared to provide crucial information on any complaints registered against a business or individual conducting services.

Do One Area at a Time

  • While you may have big dreams for your home repairs, only do one area of the house at once. If you are having too many areas repaired at once, you will be stressed out with the living conditions you must live in.
  • The only time you should consider multiple repairs or renovations is if you are not residing in the home.
  • When getting your kitchen redone, have a plan for food preparation and cooking, since you will not likely have access to your stove or oven, among other appliances. For instance, prepare and freeze different meals that can be reheated in the microwave, which you will place in another room.
  • If redoing your bathroom, ensure you have made arrangements for bathing, unless you have another full bathroom in your home. If not, it could become a frustrating time. Should this be the case, perhaps this would be best undertaken when on vacation.

Finish Basement

Stained Floor

Because basements are below ground, they are notorious for being moist or wet. This can create problems for some building materials and finishes. A great way to combat this is to stain the existing concrete floor. By staining the floor, you create a cost effective, moisture resistant surface that won’t get damaged if the basement floods.

Open Ceiling

Another potential design question that often comes up when finishing a basement is how to address the ceiling when mechanical systems are in the way. Things like ductwork, drain pipes and beams can really cut into the space for headroom in a basement. If a dropped ceiling is used, the lowest duct or drain pipe creates the height of the ceiling. To combat this some builders will combine both drywall and a dropped ceiling grid but this can look choppy.

Another option is to create an open ceiling concept where the entire ceiling is left open and is painted. This opens up the space and provides great access for future changes to the first floor of the home. For example, if you need to add a cable or electrical outlet in the future, the open ceiling concept in the basement makes this easy to do.

Plumbing Locations

It’s always nice to have a bathroom in the basement space for easy access. Unfortunately, this can get expensive if the drains haven’t already been roughed in. Cutting and removing concrete can be time consuming, messy and costly. So, in order to minimize the concrete work, place new bathroom close to existing plumbing stacks.

If this can’t be done, you may want to consider installing a grinder crock and pump to lift the waste up to the proper height. This pump will force the sewage up to the height needed to flow by gravity to the existing drains and will limit the amount of concrete repairs needed.

Advantages of Steel Framed Sheds

Benefits of lightweight steel

Because of its lightweight, a steel shed can be built very easily and quickly. In fact, most homeowners do not need any professional help for its installation, as various guidebooks are available for this purpose. Despite being lightweight, such sheds are strong, and they would last for a very long time with minimal maintenance, whereas wooden sheds need a lot of maintenance. Because of its durability, steel proves to be an excellent material for making domestic sheds.

Steel sheds need no foundation

Most steel sheds do not necessitate a foundation. That certainly saves your overall expense, allowing you to create extra space at home even when you have a limited budget. The making of foundations is a very expensive and time-consuming process. Steel-framed sheds can be created on any flat surface. Before installing a steel shed at any place, you can confirm the flatness of surface with the help of a spirit level. However, very large sheds do require a foundation for providing support to their heavy weight.

Fire resistant

A great feature of steel-based sheds is the fact that they don’t carry the risk of fire like many other materials. Steel melts at exceptionally high temperatures. That makes steel sheds perfectly safe for home use. You have no worries about its causing any fires. That’s a big relief!

Easy designs for home

Since steel can be painted easily, you can design your shed according to the looks you would like it to have it finally. Moreover, paints would definitely last longer on steel frames than on wooden planks.

Create More Living Space

Plan a room wisely!

While planning a room, consider a few things such as materials, design and expertise. Check the materials your contractor will use in re-modelling process and ensure he is a licensed professional. The design needs to blend in well with the rest of the house so the new addition does not look odd. The extra room will add more value to your house. Consult a professional to get advise on your design ideas.

Outdoors are great for kids!

Getting kids closer to nature helps build their cognitive abilities. For the new year, make a go-green resolution and get closer to the outdoors. Many home owners have a backyard that can be converted to a useful space by adding an outdoor kitchen or a patio. Kids love to spend quality time with parents when all the family get together and have some cooking activity outdoors. You can get a cooking range, cabinets and sinks installed in your desired budget. Choose a kitchen design that suits your interiors to avoid an aesthetic clash. This way you will also keep your interiors free from food aromas, steam and stains.

Add a patio or a deck!

After a tiring days work, relax and unwind on your new patio with the rest of the family. When you are overwhelmed with the interiors just step out to enjoy the breeze. Or spend time with friends without disturbing the rest of the family.

A deck serves as a great place to enjoy the outdoors. It can capture a view, while expanding the living space of your house. Connect a room to a patio and add a shelter to create a comfortable outdoor room. Be creative with the outdoor space to improve your quality of life.

Add Space to a New Foreclosure House

This would help determine whether one can expand horizontally. This means adding floor space by lessening a property’s outdoor space. In contrast, vertically means having to add a floor below or on top of the existing floors of a home.

This will help determine which parts of a house and lot can accommodate the planned extension.

If one needs more kitchen space, this usually has to be added at the back of the house and not in front.

Does one need the extension still connected to the main house or would it be better if the new extension were built separately?

Finally, one may need to come up with a time-based budget so that they will not spend an unnecessary amount for the extension of a foreclosure home.

People have all sorts of reasons for needing extra space in their homes, and these reasons consequently determine the type of extension they have to build.

  • More bed or living space. New people joining the household usually mean that more bedrooms needed. In other cases, having children grow up and unwilling to continuing sharing bedrooms would also force parents to add extensions to their homes.
  • Home office. With more and more people choosing to work from home, it has also become more common for homeowners to require an office extension built in their property. If one needs to do this, check if any kind of permit is required when building a home office.
  • Conservatory or greenhouse. Most people add conservatories and/or greenhouses to their homes in lieu of a larger living room and patio. When building this type of extension, invest in translucent materials such as fiberglass to let more sunlight in. Without sufficient sunlight, plants and flowers in a greenhouse are likely to wither or become more high-maintenance than usual.
  • Balconies and terraces. This type of extension obviously has to be built on the second floor or anything higher than the ground floor. It may or may not have a roof, but it definitely needs a solid foundation and that could cost a good amount of money.