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Considerations When Planning for Patio Construction

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in Uncategorized |

One of the best ways of increasing the value of your home while providing you with an outdoor living space is  opting for patio construction on your property. However, it should be noted that opting for patios does not simply encompass hiring contractors and having the space erected for you. You need to contemplate various considerations to ensure that your patio will meet both your aesthetic and practical needs. As such, the planning stage before embarking on its construction is quite important. Here are some of the considerations to keep in mind when planning for patio construction. Establish the use of the patio in relation to its location Generally, patios are used to provide an outdoor living space for entertaining or some quiet time away from the home. Before embarking on patio construction, you will have to consider the different aspects of your yard that would relate to the patio. For instance, if you have a pool, it would make more sense to have the patio adjacent to it, as it will make it easier to transition from pool time to relaxing at the patio. Alternatively, if you plan to use the patio to entertain, then you may want to consider its proximity to your home’s kitchen so as to make it easier to bring food outside without having to lug dishes for an extended distance. In the event that you want your patio as a peaceful solace away from everyone, then you may want it installed at a distance away from the home so you can get your solitude. Establishing the main use for this space will greatly aid you in choosing the most appropriate location for it. Establish the degree of accessibility to the patio When it comes to accessibility, it is not about how you can easily gain physical access to the patio. Rather, you should now consider how various utilities are accessible to the patio. For instance, if you would like it a distance away from the home but plan on spending extended lengths of time there, you may have to consider how electrical wiring, plumbing and more can be incorporated to the overall design of the patio. If you plan to host barbeques on the patio, you will have to consider how you can get a gas line to your grill without much of an inconvenience. Overall, planning on ways that you can channel these various amenities such as gas, water and electricity beforehand will reduce the chances of experiencing inconveniences once the patio is set up. For more information, contact local patio...

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Planting a Garden? Consider the Benefits of Treated Pine Sleepers

Posted by on Nov 17, 2015 in Uncategorized |

There is no question that in recent years more and more people have begun to plant and grow their own food. Regardless of the month, or time of year, there is something that can be planted and grown. There are a number of benefits offered by doing this, including being able to eat food that you grow, a sense of accomplishment and even savings on grocery bills. However, prior to starting your garden, you have to figure out how to plant it. One option is to use raised vegetable beds. These will require some type of physical barrier and a great option for this is treated pine sleepers. There are a number of reasons to choose these for your vegetable garden bed, with some of the most appealing found here. Durability and Impervious Nature The treated pine sleepers offered at most garden centers in Australia are treated with various chemicals, fungicides and other items to make them resistant to wear and tear from the weather and eliminate the possibility of rot or disintegration due to bug or insect take-over. The fact is, since these raised beds are going to be filled with soil, organic matter and other items to help the garden grow, using raw pine will simply not work, since it can easily be infested by bugs and begin to rot. Minimal Repair and Replacement Requirements Treated pine sleepers, unlike other wood options that are available, are designed to last for many decades. The sleepers’ treatment helps them stay impervious to bugs and moisture. Regardless of the environmental stressors, you can feel confident that when you invest in this product, they will last for the duration of your garden, which provides peace of mind. An Affordable Option Thanks to the fact that they are more readily available than ever before, this product is an affordable option for your garden. Take some time to look at them in the local home improvement store to learn more about what they offer . If you have not used treated pine sleepers in the past, you should try them now for your next vegetable garden. As you can see from the information here they offer quite a few valuable and unique benefits that are absent from other wood options. When you are planting a vegetable garden, there is no question that you need the right location and materials and that treated pine sleepers should be on this...

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Tips for Choosing the Right Blinds and Shades for Your Home

Posted by on Nov 5, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Blinds or shades can be a good choice for a home that is somewhat small, as they take up less space than most curtains and won’t get in the way of foot traffic or your furniture. They offer a sleek and simple look that is good for any décor and offer some other features that you may not realise until you begin to shop, such as a remote opener or noise insulation. Note a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind when you are ready to choose roller blinds and shades for your home. 1. Material You may like the look of wood blinds or shutters, but note that wood doesn’t hold up well in high humidity so it’s not the best choice for bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. Wood may also tend to bow when exposed to high heat, so you might opt for a different material for windows in direct, bright sunlight. Fabric blinds and shades can soften the look of any room and may provide more noise insulation, so they can be good for bedrooms. However, they can also be difficult to clean as the fabric may hold dust, hair, oil from your fingertips, and the like. 2. Opacity and light filtering When you shop for blinds, you may notice a percent of light filtering or opacity. This refers to how much light can pass through the material, and you want to note this number rather than just the color of blinds. Dark blinds can still allow in light because of having a very loose weave to the fabric. If you want absolute privacy and light blockage, choose 0% opacity; this means zero light will get through the blinds. If you like some light coming through your blinds, you may choose 20% as these will be very sheer. Choose the number that bests suits your needs for privacy and light control. 3. Inside or outside mount When choosing blinds, you’ll need to choose if you want them mounted inside the window frame or outside. Inside mounted will give you the sleekest look as the blinds will appear to be part of the window frame itself. Outside mounted blinds will be larger and take up more space, but if you want a more eye-catching look for your blinds, you might choose an outside mount. The larger size can allow for complete coverage of the windows and make the blinds stand out more against the windows, making a stronger visual statement in the space. For more information and options, talk with window finishing companies, such as Tip Top...

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Discover Water Heater Conversions & How They Can Improve Your Hot Water Needs

Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 in Uncategorized |

The water heater system is one of the pivotal appliances found in any home today. Providing heated water for bathing, drinking, washing utensils, and laundry services, water heaters are a necessity. If you are having problems with your water heater, or would like to get more from your unit, a water heater conversion may be just what you need. Below, find out more about water heater conversions, their benefits, how they are done, and much more. What is a water heater conversion? A water heater conversion is a process where the power source of the heater is changed from one medium to another. For example, you can change your unit from being electric-powered to gas-powered, and vice versa. The same can be done for solar and heat pump water heaters. Their electric and gas boosters can be changed in the same way. Some of the most common water heater conversions include: Natural gas to LP gas (propane) LP gas (propane) to natural gas Natural gas to electric Electric to natural gas How is a conversion done? A conversion process entails opening the water heater unit, studying its configuration and altering the power source from the default mechanism to the intended source. Usually, one has to purchase a conversion kit, e.g. an LP gas conversion kit. This kit contains all the materials needed to complete the conversion. Note: A water heater conversion should only be carried out by a licensed technician. How will a conversion improve my hot water needs? A conversion can improve your hot water needs by helping you cut energy costs. This is achieved by shifting from a costly energy source to a more affordable alternative. For example, if LP gas is cheaper than natural gas in your area, carrying out a natural gas to LP gas conversion will definitely save you money in the long term. A conversion process can also allow you to enjoy the services of your water heater even in areas where the infrastructure may not allow it. For example, if you have a natural gas water heater and you move to an area where natural gas is not available, a conversion process will allow you to retain use of your system without having to buy another. You will simply get an LPG or electric conversion and continue enjoying the use of your unit. How do I tell that a conversion process is right for me? You may consider a conversion process if: Your water heater can benefit from a cheaper energy source. Your water heater can benefit from another energy source that is more readily available. You cannot access your water heater’s default fuel in your area. A conversion will help you meet your hot water needs better in terms of volumes or speed. To get a water heater conversion service, find a licensed plumber in your area. Make sure that they have the requisite experience carrying out water heater conversions. Ask for a few customer referrals if unsure. For more information, contact local plumbing companies like A and C...

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Home Renovations That Actually Add Value to Your Home

Posted by on Oct 20, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Not all home renovations actually add value to your home, as they’re not necessarily appreciated by new homebuyers. Some might even lower the resale value; for example, if you take away a bedroom to create a home theater, buyers may pay less for a home with fewer bedrooms and you’ve decreased your home’s value. If you’re thinking of renovating your home and want to ensure that your investment pays off and that your home actually increases in value with the renovation, note a few ideas to consider. 1. Renovate to maintain your home Some home renovations aren’t very glamorous simply because they’re meant to maintain your home and keep it in good repair. These can add value to a home, however, because homebuyers want a house that is solid and not just one that looks good. Consider rendering over a basement wall with cement to keep it more watertight; you can include a decorative finish for an attractive space. You might put in new floorboards if the floors in your home creak and crack. These types of renovations add value and make your home more desirable to homebuyers who don’t want the hassle and expense of these repairs themselves. 2. Adding space Renovations that add livable space to a home can also make it more valuable, although you want to be careful about how you do this. Adding a sunroom off a bedroom can add space, but you don’t necessarily want to reduce the footprint of the bedroom to do this, as then you’re actually taking away space. Consider finishing an attic so it can be used as an additional bedroom or playroom rather than for storage, or expanding the footprint of the master bedroom so you can put in a separate closet or dressing area. 3. Curb appeal When renovating a home, remember that improving its appearance inside isn’t the only way to add value. A home’s curb appeal can affect how potential buyers view the home, so you want to think about how a renovation will make the home look from the outside. New window frames can be energy-efficient but also give the home an updated look from the curb. If your front porch is crumbling and outdated, consider replacing it with an expanded deck area. Shutters can frame windows and new gutters and downspouts can also make the home seem updated. Installing a picture window at the front of the home can let in more sunlight on the inside but also make the outside seem more welcoming. Don’t overlook these simple changes to add curb appeal to your home when considering...

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Tips for Chusing a Floor Coating for a Concrete Floor

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in Uncategorized |

It’s often good to add specialised coatings to the concrete floor in your garage or basement, so you can keep it watertight, easier to clean, and even safer for walking. There are many different types of coatings available and most are applied with a simple roller, much like rolling on paint. While they’re easy enough to apply, they are not all alike, so it’s good to ensure you opt for the right coating for your particular needs. Most are either a urethane or epoxy base. Note the following simple tips to keep in mind when chusing between the two. Urethanes Urethane coatings are very thin and are used to build up a coating where you may need light coverage that simply protects the flooring from wear and tear without a thick layer over your concrete. They have a brighter, shinier finish than other coatings. A urethane coating is often used for a basement floor and is so light it is even applied over wood floors, where you simply need a light coat to protect the material from foot traffic. A urethane coating is often not the best for heavy traffic such as for a garage, unless you’re only storing lighter vehicles in the garage; this might include motorcycles, bikes, or standard lawn care equipment. For a garage floor that will see heavier traffic, opt for an epoxy. Epoxy An epoxy finish or coating is thicker than a urethane and more durable, but it may be more dull and drab. It rarely adds to the look of a concrete floor, but protects it from heavier traffic including cars, trailers, and the like. An epoxy may also be easier to clean than a light urethane, so this makes it a better choice if you work on cars in your garage and may spill oil and other fluids. An epoxy will also hold an added flake or other material you put over the coating. Flaking Flaking or flakes are a simple material that you sprinkle over your epoxy or urethane while the coating is still wet. This flaking may be added for the sake of appearance, but thicker flakes are added to give the surface texture. In turn, this can make it less slick and safer for walking and driving. When choosing a flaking to add over a decorative surface, be sure you check the thickness and overall texture; for areas where you walk such as the basement floor, opt for a small flake with a smooth surface so it’s most comfortable, but for a garage floor where you need added traction, choose a larger, rougher flake that will offer maximum traction....

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Helpful Tips for Concrete Pumping In Cold Weather

Posted by on Sep 22, 2015 in Uncategorized |

One challenge that many contractors face is work delays that compel them to operate in extreme temperatures. For instance, you may find yourself using a concrete pump during winter. This article discusses some tips that a new concrete contractor will find useful if he or she ever has to work in cold weather. Use Hot Water Concrete can freeze in the hopper or boom when temperatures drop during the concrete pouring process. Once the concrete freezes, it will become impossible for you to continue pumping normally until the frozen portions are removed. This can cause a major setback to your work schedule unless you take steps to prevent it from happening. One way of preventing concrete from freezing during cold weather is to use very hot water as you prepare the concrete mix. This tip applies even if you are getting already prepared concrete from another source. The hot water will keep the mixture warm as it is delivered or pumped at the site. Pre-Heat the Unit Another trick you can use to avoid dealing with frozen concrete is to make use of the exhaust stack of your concrete pump. Buy an exhaust hose that was designed to cope with very high temperatures. Get that hose and connect it to the exit point of the concrete pump’s exhaust pipe. Put the other end of the heat-resistant hose at the tip of the pump’s boom and let the heated air exit via the hopper. That heated exhaust air will heat the pipeline and the concrete that you later pump will not freeze in the system. Ensure that there are no obstructions as you use the exhaust air to heat the pipeline; otherwise, you will end up straining the engine of your truck with the back pressure from the exhaust. Insulate the Boom Pipeline An alternative way to avoid frozen concrete is to wrap the boom pipeline in insulating material. The most common material is foam tube. Cut the foam tube and wrap it around the boom pipe, then tape it in place. That insulation will do a good job of protecting the pipeline from the cold outside. The concrete you pump through the boom pipe will flow normally (as it does during warmer weather). Consult a concrete pump hire company for additional tips on how to ensure trouble-free pumping during cold weather, and you will soon become as good as the concrete pumping pros who have been at it for...

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Ensuring Accuracy: Five Questions to Consider Before Getting a Soil Test

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Before you test your soil, you should make sure that you are well prepared and that you collect the sample correctly. That lowers the risk of mistakes and boosts your chances of getting the accurate info you need. To prepare yourself, take a look at these questions: 1. What are your concerns? Soil tests focus on a number of different issues. If you are planning to plant a garden in the area, for example, you may want to test the soil’s pH levels, but if you are erecting an apartment block, you may want to test for toxins such as lead. Identify what you want tested, and make sure the lab you select screens for that particular issue. 2. When do you need to use the soil? Keep in mind that testing takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on how far you have to send the sample and how quickly the lab tests it. Then, addressing any elements in the soil takes a while as well. Ideally, you should test the soil months before you plan to use it. For example, if you are preparing for gardening, plan to test in the fall or spring to be ready for planting in the summer. 3. Has the soil recently been adulterated? If you have recently put fertiliser on the soil or just removed waste from its surface, those things can impact the quality of the soil, and as a result, you may not get an accurate reading from your test. If your soil has recently been adulterated with fertiliser or anything else, call the lab before submitting a sample and see what they advise you to do. 4. Are your tools clean? Once you know what you are looking for, have chosen the right time and are confident your soil hasn’t recently been treated, it is time to collect your soil sample. You need clean tools to ensure that you don’t have contaminants or particles from other places or other patches of soil. 5. Is the soil dry? Ideally, before you start digging, make sure the soil is relatively dry. Wet soil doesn’t test well. If your soil is slightly wet, dig beneath the surface (about the depth of a spade) in several spots. Then, pour those spots together on a piece of newsprint and let them dry. Let them dry in the air. Don’t put them in the oven to dry out. For more tips, contact a local soil...

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Builder’s Risk Insurance

Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Builder’s risk insurance, also commonly referred to as course of construction insurance covers the property that is under construction. The builder’s risk insurance coverage will vary from one construction project to another due to the diversity and uniqueness in design and complexity of construction buildings. This coverage is necessary for builders as well as construction contractors as it covers for unforeseen. When do you need builders risk insurance? Builder’s risk insurance is recommended for all builders carrying out construction projects as protection of investment from unforeseen risks. However, it is necessary for contractors dealing with materials that are fragile or prone to damage. It is also important for construction projects that are carried out in areas with severe weather changes that could risk damage of construction material. Extent of coverage To what extent does a builder’s risk insurance coverage protect your investment? This policy offers the following coverage to builders. Property damage. This policy covers property such as construction materials, machinery and equipment, scaffolding, landscaping and temporary construction structures in case of damage. Theft. In some instances, the builder’s risk insurance will cover theft of construction materials. However, before getting this coverage, the construction site should be protected against intruders through installation of fencing and a gate. Other damages. Natural disasters such as floods, fires, hailstorms and lightning as well as damage or losses as a result of workers’ negligence in the course of construction work are also covered by this insurance policy. Remember, due to the different needs of each construction project, the builder’s risk insurance coverage can be tailored to meet the specific builder’s needs. You can exclude or include some risks in the policy depending on the type of exposures experienced on the job site. What is not covered? It is important to note that the builder’s risk insurance policy does not offer coverage for everything in a construction site. For instance, it does not offer coverage to other people’s property. In case of third party damage, the builder will be required to handle the cost. Alternatively, one can acquire a general liability insurance coverage that covers third party property in the event of damage. Builder’s risk insurance covers construction material, labor costs and the complete value of the structure, but not the value of the land on which the project is carried out. It is only in force during the period insured and for which the building is under construction. The coverage can be extended where the period projected is shorter than construction period. If you are looking to start building, make sure that you are insured with risk insurance. And for more information, talk with professional builders, like those at Vinmar Homes, for their experience and...

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Troubleshooting and Repair Tips for a Timber Sash Window

Posted by on Aug 19, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Timber or wood windows can be a very handsome and classic choice for a home, and they coordinate well with wood trim and other such features. However, timber sash windows can warp over time or suffer other damage more easily than vinyl or any type of plastic. The good news is that it’s often easy to repair these windows, either on your own or with the services of a professional repairperson. Note a few tips for timber sash window repairs so you can tackle the job on your own or know what to expect by way of repairs. 1. Heaviness Windows work with weights that are usually attached by a cord behind the window frame. When you push the window up, the weights counterbalance this to keep it in place and also provide tension when you close the window so it doesn’t just slam shut. If the cords have lost tension, the window may be very sticky as the weights don’t want to move. There is usually a small access panel in the window frame that you can pop open and access the cords; these can be replaced so they work as they should. When you remove the window from the frame, you may see the weights attached to the window frame itself. Check the cord for lost tension and if it seems slack, it needs to be replaced. 2. Sticking If windows stick but don’t feel heavy, this might be because the wood has warped slightly. When this happens, it cannot easily slide up and down the tracks of the frame. Sanding the window sash can make it fit better in the frame. You can remove the window from the frame and use a level to check all four sides, and note which area may need to be sanded. Be sure to sand the entire side so it’s even and use your level to check it before replacing the window. 3. Splintering Splintering is not uncommon for timber sash windows. You can chip up a splintered area with a chisel and then fill the hole with wood putty. After the putty has dried, sand it down completely along with the area around the hole and then re-stain or repaint the area so it all matches.  If the hole created with the chipping of the splintered area is too big to fill in with putty, you may need to replace this part of the window itself. You can take the window out of the frame and pull away the one section, then replace it with a matching timber piece. Paint or stain the new piece so that it matches the wood of the...

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Handy Maintenance Tips for Your Asphalt Paving

Posted by on Aug 10, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Embarking on driveway renovations either through resurfacing or complete replacement can prove to be quite a costly affair. As such, most homeowners would rather avoid that completely. To ensure that any asphalt paving remains in good condition, you would have to take a proactive approach in its maintenance. The moment you begin noticing small signs of deterioration in your paving, it is time to start considering ways to remedy the problem. Here are some handy maintenance tips for your asphalt paving. Clean the paving religiously A common mistake people make is assuming since the paving is for the outdoors then there is no point in keeping it clean. However, getting rid of dirt and debris is not simply for aesthetic reasons. If left undeterred, the rocks, leaves and other debris will start causing the deterioration of the surface of your paving. Once the surface begins to deteriorate, it makes it easier for rainwater to access the sub base of the asphalt paving. This in turn softens it, making it weak and prime for the formation of potholes and cracking of the paving. Getting rid of this debris on a regular basis ensures your paving is not increasingly susceptible to damage over time. Inspect the paving often Other than ensuring the paving remains clean, you also have to keep an eye out for any damage that may have started happening. Spotting inconsistencies such as birdbaths, cracks and more give you ample time to rectify the problem before it escalates. Thus while cleaning the paving, also ensure that you are inspecting it. Fill cracks immediately Another mistake home owners make is waiting for cracks to spread before they embark on filling them. The reasoning behind this tends to be that rather than waste time on a small crack it would be better off to just fix it once it becomes bigger. This reasoning is incorrect though as the bigger the cracks, the more work that has to be put into repairing them. Additionally, bigger cracks give more leeway to damage happening to the sub base of your asphalt paving than smaller cracks do. As such, it is best to arrest the problem as soon as it happens if you would like your asphalt paving to remain in pristine condition for a longer period of time. Invest in a sealant To extend the life span of your asphalt paving, you would be better off investing in a topcoat sealant. This sealant lessens the risk of damage due to extreme weather conditions, heavy loads and other types of wear and tear. By applying a sealant, you also decrease the number of small repairs that you would have to do on your asphalt paving thus decreasing the time and money spent on its...

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