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Leaking Roofs

Leaking roof repair is something that should not be undertaken by a layman because the inspection of potential problems in a leaking roof may carry a few hazards. If you think you are not able to inspect the leaking roof all by yourself, you are always at liberty to hire the services of a professional or a roofing company who possess the requisite experience as well as the qualifications to undertake the task. Such a person or company will be more suitable to make a thorough inspection of the problem and determine through professional experience whether you should go forward with the leaking roof repair process.

It is much more advisable to put in place a regular schedule of roof maintenance in order to make sure that it is in good shape and confirms to the highest standards. However, if your busy schedule does not allow keeping such a regular schedule, inspection and roof maintenance should be carried out at least after heavy winds and throughout the winter season. A quick inspection will most probably reveal signs of damage. This includes broken, cracked or missing tiles.

Outer edges of the vents, chimneys and tiles are more prone to leaks and damages so they must be thoroughly inspected. If there is indeed a leak then you will also have to worry about getting rid of the water since if it gathers inside you home it will not bode well for you. Make sure that the sewerage line and the guttering system are in order and there is no debris to hinder its smooth flow. If, during inspection, you are able to find a few leaks, then you can accurately conclude that a few of your tiles have cracked.

Leaking roof repair should best be left for professionals rather than attempting to go about doing it yourself. The fact must also be kept in mind that roof maintenance is a potentially dangerous process.

Plan Ideas for a Contemporary

In the early stages of the planning and design process, it is important to consider the type of features that you wish to have featured. Make a point to include the latest technologies and get the architect to fit those in. A lot of the latest advancements relate to making a property highly energy-efficient. If designed to a high standard, an energy-efficient home has the potential to be at least 10% to 20% more effective and saves on energy consumption, resources, and offers lower utility bills of the long-term.

If looking to create a home that is truly energy-efficient then you can look at having rooftop solar panels installed, which when you consider the government offered incentives (rebates, tax credits, net-metering), does cost too much. Also look to make the property technology proof by ensuring that sufficient cabling and power outlets are installed for wireless and broadband technologies.

After considering the major construction features, it also helps to devise an up-to-date floor plan to accommodate the lifestyle of modern families. Look for interesting interiors to suit the entire family, in a lot of modern homes the more formal rooms, such as the living and dining rooms are done away with, and in their place are large, open plan communal areas. Luxury houses are often designed with an open kitchen space which is often positioned next to the main family room. A home-office set-up is also incorporated as more and more people work at home. Bedroom ideas should also be looked at, although the bedroom spaces should just be designed for there required use and no more.

The best house design is often styled with smooth surfaces and clean lines, with the decoration tone down and painted in light colors. For the flooring, this is often kept quite straightforward and functional; with common materials used include hardwood and laminate. Modern kitchen and bathrooms are quite easy to choose now, and due to the extensive range, it shouldn’t be a problem to find a set-up to suit your individual tastes. The main features of a contemporary home are often clean and simple, and from this almost blank canvas it is possible to add a touch of personality by adding in colorful fabrics, furnishings and art work.

Renovating The Basement

  • Planning
    Plan the theme of your basement. Determine its main purpose and decide if you want to separate the room into different areas. For example, you can use one side as a playroom for children and the other as a relaxation area. Learn how to use the space effectively by installing different furniture and fixtures. Have an idea who is going to use it to incorporate their preferences into the design.
  • Ceiling
    Avoid installing suspended ceilings, as these can make the area look restricted. Use tray ceilings, instead. They might be costly, but they look better than the typical basement designs. Make it look lively by painting and decorating it with glow-in-the-dark stickers.
  • Staircase
    Use an open staircase and install banisters for safety. This way, the basement would look like a beautiful extension of your home. Avoid using rounded staircases, however, because it limits the space for people and the items they can bring.
  • Doorways
    Install doorways to separate different areas in your basement. This depends on the privacy that the frequent user wants. It is ideal for home offices to have enclosed rooms because people need time and space to think on their own. Glass doors and curtain doors are good for recreation areas because it still connects to other parts. For activities that involve loud noises, however, it is better to make the room soundproof to avoid distracting the household and your neighbors.
  • Flooring
    Flooring for basements have different materials, including deluxe rolled carpet, carpet tiles, or vinyl click and lock. They should be anti-microbial, stain resistant, washable, and mold resistant to keep the floor from harmful chemicals. It should not accumulate dirt and dust because it can cause health risks to your family.
  • Windows
    The basement needs all the natural light it can get because of its hidden location. This way, you illuminate the area without using artificial lighting. It also saves you money because you have fewer instances to switch on the lights. Use neutral-colored curtains or blinds if you want more privacy.
  • Walls
    The walls can make the basement look big or small. It could also affect the mood and temperature because of its color and design. Paint the walls according to theme and learn the proper color patterns. Use bright colors, such as blue, green, yellow, and orange, to energize the room and add texture. Choose the right tones, however, because darker shades can lead to a depressing mood. Install mirrors to create an optical illusion. This makes the light bounce off, creating bigger space in a person’s vision.

Left High and Dry by the Tradesmen

An average person today is a graduate and is employed who has order and discipline that is enforced in his work place and expects the same in other profession, however there is no order or discipline now with the tradesmen. The equation of supply and demand comes into play when you look at the solutions in hand. There has been a great drive for education in the last decade in this country (thankfully) that has produced so many graduates in the last decade and has also fuelled the rocket speed growth of the IT industry. The growth in the IT industry has also driven the salaries more upward than any other profession in the country and hence the there has been a large number of parents and children alike who aspired to take up these jobs and with the fuelling growth most of them did get these jobs that they aspired. This has led to the children of the tradesmen not taking up the profession that their parents and grand parents did for ages.

Had it not been for the IT industry and education drive most of the younger generation would have followed in their parents footsteps. Additionally the tradesmen job until recently was not well paid due to the excess in supply of these tradesmen. However with the next generation shifting careers and also the existing force falling prey to Alcohol, the only remainder is only the ones who are semi-skilled and also drink little or not so often. There are only a very rare percentage of people who do not have the alcohol habit. The small minority are isolated by the large drinking majority. With the shortage comes lifestyle change (alcohol habit) which they can otherwise do with. There are not too many alcohol de-addiction centres in proportion to the TASMAC shops that have been open in the country, nor is there an initiative from the government and NGOs to address this pressing matter. This however has ruined their lives, reputation and has dragged the poor homebuilder along with them.

The issue with the types of arrangements with the tradesmen is that there is no formal agreement or a written document as to the scope and terms of work which bind them in that relationship. The document even if prepared is not executed as there is a reluctance to sign as there is a fear of what may be in the document that is detrimental to them. Perhaps, an education of the terms in simple language (local language) would help stem the rot. Also, there is no commitment met in terms of time and also work quality is not assured. The work quality does not have a standard at the moment and hence benchmarking becomes almost impossible. ISI works on several items for quality assurance there may well be standards that are not visible, which organizations and associations can work on to create more awareness. The delay factor (caused by tradesmen due to absence, poor time and project management) causes additional costs from the increase in cost of materials to the interest charges that add on the home loan that only adds fuel to existing misery.

The tradesmen have their respective associations who stand guard for them even in the instance of the wrong doing being on the part of the tradesman. The wrongdoing is very hard to establish there is no written document that clearly states the scope of work assigned along with the time frame. The advances that are paid (most cases demanded) on the work in most cases exceed the reasonable limits (>10-15% of the balance work). This means that the poor house builder will have to pay more than the work completed and also continuously put up with the delay and poor quality as the money has already been paid and there is almost no way to recover the money. As the problem compounds when there are more than 1 person in this approach, starting from the mason to the fabricator, the problem becomes so complex that some people go to great extents such as selling the gold in the family, liquidating any insurance policies and also any advance cashment of any retirement funds.

Upon doing all of these activities, it is still not assured that the work will be completed on time. Where there are tight laws for apartment builders, these tradesmen hide under the labour worker blanket and abuse the poor man who builds a simple house. The methods of measurement of work completion is new to the home builder and is exploited by the greedy tradesmen in many instances that further compounds the cost and problem. The tradesmen also has a habit of changing the mode of the oral contract from labour only to labour + material. This causes more agony as the tradesmen receive a handsome commission from the retail hardware shops who encourage this practice for repeat business. There is also theft in some cases that make the pain even more unbearable. The wages that these people earn are far higher than the average office going person and yet they do not file income tax, nor is there a push from the Income Tax department to cover this line of trade. Perhaps, there can be This practice has gone on for far too long without any help for the poor builder from any corner.

Whilst there are several protections for a simple sale transaction such as a sale of a pen or a soft drink, there is almost no protection for someone who is building a house (mostly once in a lifetime) with all the financial resources that he possesses. This is such a shame for the consumer movement who let this rot to continue; instead drastic steps need to be taken up to penalize both the builder and tradesmen when there is a breach of contract. The active steps that need to be taken can be a simple registration that a home builder can do at an association (home builders association) office such as the shareholders association that take up the interests of the shareholders. These offices should have an office in every town so that distance does not become a deterrent for seeking very important help and assistance. This office can help resolve many issues and greatly save money, effort and time for the home builder.

There are instances where the home builder is also at fault where payments are not met on time and also materials and details not provided on time. Perhaps a project coordinator from the association can be made available at a nominal cost based on the building cost and also insurance available for any losses that arise in this work. There can be other consulting services that the association can provide and also a feedback rating system for the tradesmen, suppliers and materials in the local area so that the home builders can plan and engage the right personnel in building their dream house and have some financial resources left over for other commitments in their life. The tradesmen and supplier associations can be consulted and sought for inputs in drafting a solution that will end this uncertainty and agony for the builder. There may be many ways to address this issue, however the consumer association at every town should pioneer this cause and provide an immediate solution before the rats and leaches suck the blood of the poor home builder.

Find the Kit Home Suppliers

The fact that buying these homes allows you personal involvement in the construction is a rewarding and profitable experience you cannot pass up. You don’t need as much manpower or have to pay for as much labor as you would with traditional home-building and what’s more, you can even build them in half the time it would take a cookie-cutter home to be built. That’s less materials and labor wasted and less money spent.

Building a kit home means you can build your own home in three ways: as an owner-builder, which requires you get an owner-builder permit, as an owner-manager, which means you manage the project from start to finish, overseeing all aspects or stages of construction, including the hiring of licensed tradespeople and as contract-builder which entails hiring a reputable builder to help you erect your home with minimal fuss or trouble.

However you want to build your kit homes, remember first and foremost that there will always be risks involved and that you can avoid these risks by employing certain safety measures and exercising careful thought and consideration. Of course, in addition to making sure you have the budget for it as well as a specific design in mind, you also need to make sure you know exactly what comes with your kit. Among the things that should be included are the following: Council plans and specifications. An engineer’s certification covering all structural aspects of the building. An owner-builder construction manual. Product warranties.

Of course, you also need to make sure you are dealing with the best kit home suppliers. In addition to selecting a company with a good reputation, you should also consider suppliers that know your local council rules and regulations like the back of their hands, one that is able to provide you with contact numbers of previous clients as reference and a company that is a member of well-known housing associations.

You should also make sure your supplier puts down everything you agreed upon in writing, and ones that will not demand excessive deposit amounts even before the materials have arrived on-site. While they are regulated as far as the deposit amounts they ask for as concerned, you should still be wary and careful when it comes to these situations. Other details that you should be concerned about include fees, delivery time frames and supplying of materials.

Basics to Architect Services

An architect is a highly skilled professional who has completed a wide-range of specialised training in various fields, including those relating to designing, planning and constructing properties. An architect will rely on several different practices to go about their job. In the design of a build it might be necessary to use computers, maths, and geometry. Only once the initial plans are finalised and approved by the client, will the architect take the blueprints to the actual construction site to start with the build stage.

In order to create the design concept, an architect would have several in-depth discussions with the client to fully understand and appreciate their needs. Creating the blueprints, which are designed to fully match the expectations of the client, are aesthetically appealing, and are environmentally friendly, can take a period of time to complete. In additional to creating the design concept, the architect might also need to liaise with certain local authorities, consultants, and property owners to make certain a project is able to run as smoothly as possible, without any financial or legal hiccups.

If the architect is using computer design and drafting software, then it becomes easier to adjust the slightest detail of the property design. It will be possible to make wide-ranging changes or adjustments to the structure depending on a series of considerations that might need to be kept in mind. An architect might even have to consider the future requirements of the client, which could relate to converting a certain area or adding an extra floor. This all needs to the factored into the plan accordingly.

Although the work of the architect is one that very much relates to attention to detail in the design stage of the structure, it also involves the passion that they display to see their original design concept, from the original blueprints to being a fully built property, which often helps them come up with such remarkable structures. A property if designed to a high standard is certain to be cherished and remember by the client for many years to come.

Building Site Access

Your RV, fifth-wheel, a logging truck or a manufactured home could easily travel the roads to your house and navigate the driveway. Clear building site access should be no problem at all.

Hardly. Just because these other things can get in does NOT guarantee a truss or steel delivery truck can.

Confirm delivery trucks will have clear access to building site. This is important as drivers do not like “surprises.” We are also trying to prevent you or your builder having to move heavy materials any more than necessary!

At least 10 feet width and up to 14 feet height are required to deliver standard buildings. Large trusses can require 14 foot widths or more and you need the ability to get truck (which measures approximately 32 feet) and trailer (which measures 48 feet) combinations up to 100 feet in length near building.

Check the widths of any gates, or openings in fences. Consider removal of any trees which are immediately adjacent to driveways and trim off overhanging limbs.

Delivery trucks and their payloads can reach up to 80,000 lbs in weight! They generally do not have a tight turning radius and are NOT designed for off-road use. Confirm your driveway has a firm road base. Build it up, if needed.

Again, keep in mind, the closer delivery trucks can get to building site, the less time will be spent moving materials.

Drivers will not endanger themselves or their equipment in making a delivery. Do not expect drivers to go anywhere they cannot drive safely in and out. If they can’t get in safely, most drivers will just refuse to attempt to deliver at your designated materials “drop site” and either offload as close as possible to the site, or take everything back to the plant or shipping location to schedule re-delivery. Drivers are often penalized in some way for any damages to trucks, or costs of a wrecking truck to pull them out of bad situations.

Home Extension

Their homes provide a sense of connection to their soul and they share a bonding with their own space. Developers, often, take advantage of this emotional intimacy by constructing avant-garde residences that share a close resemblance with properties from bygone times.

However, there are lots of disadvantages to this speculative housing system; bedrooms are excessively small, space is compromised and sense of privacy is completely lost. Luckily, there are ways available to regain your comfort level and sense of connection.

With property prices going incredibly higher, a lot of people are choosing to opt for home extension, instead of shifting to a new place. Although home extension expenses are often massive, it’s a sure-shot way to boost the value of your property and get the much-needed space. There are loads of practical benefits to this approach, especially if you’re emotionally attached to your home and have children studying in local schools. What’s more, purchasing and selling of properties have a whole lot of related expenses above and beyond the price of your house. This consists of stamp duty, agent’s fees and the cost of packing and shifting to a new residence. Following are a few pointers to help you get started with the process.

Consider Practicalities

Ahead of starting with the home extension project, it’s essential to consider the nitty-gritties of the concept. This consists of factors like the finances of the project, the place where you’re going to live during the project and the amount of value the distension might add to your property.

Budget Factor

Once you’re done with the basic matters, it’s time sort out the financial issues of your project. Budget planning consists of the scope and extent of the construction work. A trained architect or construction designer should help you with the planning process. That way, you’ll get a more exact quote for your job.

Systematized Designing

The layout of any extension project should be regarded as an important part of your present home construction. This simply means that the design of your distension project must seamlessly blend with the existing design of your property. In case you’re thinking of a second storey construction, remember that it’s more intricate and expensive than general construction work. Moreover, there are other legal formalities as well.

Building Dream Home

Make A List Of The Top Building Companies In Your Area

One of the very first steps is to make a list of the top building contractors/companies in your area. Since you are investing a good amount of money on the home-building project, you should always look for reliable and experienced professionals. Remember, you have to do a lot of research to find the best builder.

Speak with the local real estate agents to know about a good builder in your area. They can also help you avoid choosing the bad building contractors. A real estate professional knows the local real estate market better than anyone else. Therefore, they can give you the best advice.

Compare The Services Of The Different Building Companies

The next step is to compare the services of the contractors/companies in your area. You can easily know about their services from the old clients. Moreover, you should check the number of projects they have completed. Ideally, you should always take time to speak with the old clients to know about their experience.

Is it a good company? Did the company complete the project on time? Get referral / recommendations from your loved ones to choose the right company.

History Of The Company

Remember, it’s very essential to learn the history of the company so that you get to know what you should expect from them. Ask them to give a list of the completed projects so that you get an idea of their work. Talk to as many existing clients as possible.

The last step is to speak with the Better Business Bureau to know if there is any complaint against them. Keep all these tips in mind to hire the best professional.

Warning Signs Of Foundation Damage

A foundation can settle (move downward) into the soil beneath it. When this occurs, it usually means the home’s structure has become distorted or uneven in some way. The settlement occurs when the soil becomes more compacted.

There are many reasons for soil compaction, including the soil not having been properly compacted in the first place. Moisture can also cause settlement. When the soil gets wet, it expands. When it dries, it shrinks. Certain types of soil, like clay soil, expand and contract more than others. This means the type of soil the home is built on can influence the amount and rate of settlement. Trees looking for water underneath a home can also cause soil disruption that leads to settlement.

Most foundations experience some type of settlement as time goes on. Problems occur when the settlement weakens the structural integrity of the building.

Cracks on both the outside and inside walls are often an obvious sign of settlement and possible foundation damage. The same is true for fireplace cracks.

Sloping floors is another indicator of severe foundation settlement, along with bowed walls and/or protruding nail heads.

Have you started having trouble opening and closing windows or doors? Settlement can cause a foundation to drop lower in some areas than others. This unevenness will affect the fit of windows and doors.

An uneven roof or roof leak, especially if the roof is new, is another bad indicator. When inspecting your roof, make sure you check it from both the inside and outside.

Also take a look at your gutters. A clogged gutter can cause rainwater to run over the sides of your house and seep into the building. Water will erode a foundation. As the layers of foundation are removed, small cracks will begin to appear.

Another place to look for damage is near windows on the outside of the house. If you see cracks running diagonally, you may have foundation settlement issues. In this case, the settlement is causing the window joints to pull apart.

If you don’t see any obvious signs of foundation problems, look around the outside of the house for pooled water, especially after it rains. This is a sign of poor drainage. Water that doesn’t drain properly can seriously damage a foundation. You will also want to check for any plumbing leaks inside your home. Any type of water, regardless of its source, can ruin your foundation.

Don’t have the time to inspect your property? Neglecting this important part of home maintenance can put your home and family at risk. A specialist in home foundation repair will often conduct a home inspection for free. The inspection will be thorough and nothing will be missed. You will also save money getting minor problems fixed before it’s too late.