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Secure Home With Driveway Gates

Gates not only beef up the security system of your property but also restrict entry for unwanted intruders. They offer you safety at night and keep people at bay from harassing you. Moreover, they are helpful in expressing your taste and lifestyle to your neighbours. Installing iron or stainless steel gates is the best solution to secure your house and can also increase its overall value. Even if you are out of the home, your mind will always rest in peace thinking that you have safeguarded it by safe entry to intruders.

We always want a place that we can consider our own. With driveway gates, we can have all the safety and seclusion that is so essential in today’s fast life. They also add a good amount of value to the property. They convey our taste, value and success to people. They come in different materials, shapes, and sizes. You can have wooden or metal driveway gates and these materials also provide the flexibility to choose creatively. If you want creativity with strength, then the metal gates are superior. Moreover, with special treatment, they can be protected from rust and built to withstand the harshness of any environment. The most popular in this category are wrought-iron gates since they have longer life and are resilient to all kinds of weather, along with being affordable.

If you are going for wrought iron or driveway gates, then durability and beauty are the two aspects you must look at. The first aspect is to decide what type of gates you are looking. There are swing gates, sliding gates, bi-parting gates, and custom gates with artistic welding and patterns. You can also decide whether you need to open the gate manually or via an electronic remote control.

If you have enough space to drive your vehicle through the gate up to the garage, you can think about the swing gate. There must be at least 12 to 16 feet space for proper opening of the gate. The next is bi-parting gate that also requires more room in width; minimum 14 to 16 feet. They are also slightly higher in price. If space is the problem, then the best option is the sliding gate.

Of course, how much can you spend on installing driveway gates is also crucial. Until then, work on your budget, and consider the information given here.

Trendy Features for New Construction Home

Home automation

Today’s home convenience has become somewhat synonymous to single device control. Over the past years, we have seen the surfacing of multiple controls over home appliances with references to security, temperature, entertainment, electronics, and lighting. With the popularity of handheld devices such as smart phones, the capability to control them becomes available in a single device. Imagine the comfort that home owners would get with controlling about 80 appliances through their smart phones.

Green Living

Environmental awareness has reached the desks of home developers. Designs have become more concerned with allowing natural air to pass through windows to minimize the job of air conditioning systems. Several design options are also available to home owners to allow natural light to illuminate surfaces reducing the use of lighting systems. When it comes to the splash of color on surfaces, a popular greener choice would be the use of zero VOC and odorless paints. Home owners can also grab the opportunity of using recycled construction materials such as flooring tiles and wall panels.

Open Kitchen Designs

Many home developers are starting to see the refreshing appeal that open areas bring into a house. One implementation of such idea is the introduction of outdoor kitchens. Imagine the comfort that the cool wind can bring while you are cooking your favorite dishes. Top it up with the added convenience of getting the freshest ingredients right from your own vegetable garden. Various methods have become available to impose this. From the simplest way of having an outdoor grill for your meat and fish to complex built-in cook tops located just near the covered decks or patio. Designs of outside kitchens are more elevated to lessen the times an individual has to bend while preparing and cooking the dishes.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Advantages of Metal Roof Coating

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

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

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

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

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