How to Plan a DIY Project and Choose a Tradesman

Initial Stages of Planning a Project When deciding to undertake any DIY or home improvement project it is vital to clarify exactly what you want to achieve. Not only do you need to keep this vision in your own mind through a project, but you also need to share it with anyone else working on…

Initial Stages of Planning a Project

When deciding to undertake any DIY or home improvement project it is vital to clarify exactly what you want to achieve. Not only do you need to keep this vision in your own mind through a project, but you also need to share it with anyone else working on the improvements. The best way to do this is to write down what you want the finished area or item to look like; it is also advisable to keep a notebook with ideas, magazine cuttings or sketches to do with the project. As much detail as possible is helpful.

One of the other decisions is whether you can or want to complete the project yourself. It may be that you require professional help with aspects of a project such as electrical or plumbing installation. On the other hand, you may be capable of completing the work yourself but just do not have the time to do so. Professional services may be required in the planning stages of a project. For example, the help of an architect may be needed to obtain planning permission or to help you to comply with current building regulations.

Be realistic about the time required to complete a project. Can you really re-vamp the whole garden in one weekend? It is always a shame when people make a good start but rush at the end of the works because they are under pressure to complete renovations by a certain time or date. Do not forget that family members may not be as enthusiastic about a project and may get fed up living with the upheaval quickly – it is wise to choose your timing carefully before beginning any home improvements.

Organizing and Ordering DIY Materials

Depending upon the nature of your project, there may be quite a lot of DIY materials to order and quantities to calculate. It is also important to determine at what time you will need which materials. You do not want a whole bathroom suite delivered and sitting around for months while an extension is being built. At the same time you do not want to pay tradesmen to stand around and wait for materials arriving. It may be helpful for everyone involved to plan all the stages of the project on a Gantt chart. This will show at a glance how much time each stage of construction should take, and in turn help in ordering the right DIY materials at the right times.

Do not forget to be careful and double check when calculating quantities of materials required; not all products will be returnable to DIY stores or builders merchants. If you are not sure on calculating you can often find helpful calculator tools online or your architect may be able to help with the quantity estimating of materials. Sometimes your local DIY store may be able to help as well.

Choosing the Right Tradesman

If you are unsure who to use for professional help in your home ask family and friends if they have any recommendations. You may also be able to get recommendations from your local independent building supplies or DIY store. It is sensible to ask two or three tradesmen to visit the site and quote for the work required. Beware though, the cheapest price or the man who can start straight away is not always the best one to choose. A good builder is normally worth waiting for, and may price for extra things that another builder may not have thought of. If you are planning to employ the services of someone you have not deal with before it is completely acceptable to ask to see examples of their previous work. A reputable person / company will be more than happy to show off previous projects that they have completed.

The key to getting what you want is communication, as pointed out earlier. You need to clearly communicate to any tradesman what it is that you are hoping to achieve. Of course, their advice along the way will be invaluable, but you need to be happy with the results at all stages of a project.

Building a Natural Stone Patio

The construction of a natural stone patio claims an adequate planning, which goes to include the selection of materials that are both functional and appealing, ruling on the tools required for the execution of the job, and the fixing of stones. The planning stage includes estimating the expense and hence the budget, the preparation of…

The construction of a natural stone patio claims an adequate planning, which goes to include the selection of materials that are both functional and appealing, ruling on the tools required for the execution of the job, and the fixing of stones. The planning stage includes estimating the expense and hence the budget, the preparation of drawings and arriving at the size of the patio in proportion to the overall area of ​​the space where the patio is going to be installed. Stone patios make use of natural stones, flagstones and / or paving stones. Another important consideration is the selection of the proper tools for installing the stones. Once you have taken care of these precursors beforehand, the construction of a natural stone patio involves a couple of additional simple steps.

Like any other project, a detailed planning helps saving a lot of effort and substantive sums of money while underwriting the construction of a natural stone patio. It is always worthwhile to prepare a complete drawing of the patio and the area that it is going to occupy. This way, one can ensure that the size of the patio is in proportion to that of the house or building containing it. Moreover, the drawings and blueprints will allow the builder to accurately assess the quantity of various materials needed for the purpose, and thus obtain a good idea of ​​the expense of procuring those materials. This way, the builder is able to choose the materials that fall within their budget.

The selection of stone should be on the basis of its durability and prettiness. A natural stone patio is expected to be smooth and flat. Since an even levered surface is ideal for stone patios, the variable materials should have an almost similar width.

Since paving stones and flagstones are flat by nature, with not that many jagged curves or lines on their exteriors, they are the most suited for the purpose. The range of natural stones that one may use varies from fieldstone and bluestone to slate. These stones may impersonate a more natural and genuine look, but working with such stones is rather difficult because of their varying shapes and sizes.

The area that is going to contain the patio will need to be excavated with the help of ax picks and shovels. Mason's saws are used to cut stones at different angels, as per the shape they need to be, while a carpenter's level is employed for ensuring the evenness of the surfaces. A suitable bonding agent, like concrete, is used for securing the stones in place.

First, concrete needs to be poured. This is followed by the positioning of stones in the area already excavated, according to the blueprint of the plan. After the stones have been positioned and the concrete becomes dry, a sealing agent needs to be applied on the stones, so that these do not get stained, and so allow the patio to retain its aesthetic appeal.

Exterior Louvers – Factors to Take Into Account

When you want to leave the windows open to facilitate the entry of fresh air from outside that is free of dirt, dust or any other debris, you should have external louvers. An external louver enterprises of a frame containing a number of blades, which may remain fixed or be moveable. When it comes to…

When you want to leave the windows open to facilitate the entry of fresh air from outside that is free of dirt, dust or any other debris, you should have external louvers. An external louver enterprises of a frame containing a number of blades, which may remain fixed or be moveable. When it comes to deciding the installation of louvers, you need to consider a few factors.

Factors

Whether louvers are required for any commercial or residential property, the factors that come into play are the free area, resistance to flow of air or loss of pressure, and water penetration. Here is how these factors affect the choice of louvers:

Free Area

For making an assessment of the free area, you need to take into consideration the entire open area available for the louver. To arrive at that figure, you need to subtract the area taken by all the likely obstructions, including the blades and the actual frame, and divide that by the total area of ​​the opening in that wall. Typically, the ratio of louver free area to wall opening is thirty-five to sixty percent. As you can guess, the higher this percentage, the more is the amount of air entering through the window, and the lower will be the expense of the louver and the opening.

The obstruction

You need to have some obstruction for keeping out the unnecessary water. When an opening is completely constructed, no water can enter, and when the opening is completely unobstructed, water will enter freely. So, the louver should be designed in a manner to get a maximum free area, yet allowing a minimum quantity of water to come in the room.

Water penetration

For calculating the amount of water that may enter through a louver, we need to know the velocity of the air entering the room. The spot on the louver from which water enters is the spot for the penetration of water. An appropriatively designed louver will take into account water penetration.

Resistance to the flow of air

Any obstacle in the flow of air will offer a resistance. There are a lot of obstacles in the path of air flow including coils, ductwork, filters, the composition of the building itself and many more. The tangible resistance offered by the louver is estimated by measuring the air running through the louver, and also the difference in the pressure level for an assortment of velocities at free areas.

Aerodynamics

Any louver is bound to offer some resistance, the amount of which depends on its casing and the contour of its blades. Blades having lower angles or better aerodynamic contours will offer a reduced resistance. It is imperative to calculate the velocity of free air when you want an accurate value of resistance offered to the airflow. It is imperative to the take resistance into account and keep it to minimum level, as it may adversely affect the performance of the fans and other equipment causing the movement of air.

Ventilated Facades Vs Masonry Facades – What Are the Benefits? Part 1

The main benefits of ventilated façades can be categorized among two: aesthetic and technical. Technical benefits: There are many significant advantages of ventilated facades, as applicable with respect to masonry façade. First is the fact that, since this kind of construction is layered, one can evaluate the benefits of different layers to arrive at the…

The main benefits of ventilated façades can be categorized among two: aesthetic and technical.

Technical benefits: There are many significant advantages of ventilated facades, as applicable with respect to masonry façade. First is the fact that, since this kind of construction is layered, one can evaluate the benefits of different layers to arrive at the benefits of the total system.

The four layers of a ventilated façade are:

1. Building enclosure walls

2. Thermal insulation layer

3. Air chamber

4. Cladding

The other layers that may be included are:

5. Sound insulation

6. Waterproof sealing

1. Thermal control: The second and third layers affect thermal control. The main function of the air chamber is to strike a balance between the external and the internal temperature. The external temperature is sure to go up because due to the direct sunlight falling on the cladding panels. As the temperature rises, there is an upward movement of hot air contained within the chamber. This causes fresh and cool external air to enter through the lower section of the façade or the open joints among the panels, in an attempt to maintain a balance of temperature.

This phenomenon is not experienced during winters, as outdoor cool air, when entering the air chamber, cools it down, as a result of which the first layer of enclosure walls gets cooled. This cooling can be avoided by using a second layer, providing thermal insulation. This needs to be attached directly to first layer, the purpose being to prevent cold outdoor air from coming in contact with the enclosure walls of the building.

You should understand that it is due to the second layer that the first layer acts as an accumulator of internal heat during the winters, while during the summers it brings the loss of cool internal air through the façade. One can save twenty to thirty percent energy with help of ventilated facades, depending on the glass surface.

2. Sound insulation: For providing an integral acoustic insulation, we need to provide an acoustic layer on the second layer, which needs to be counted from the inner side, meaning between the enclosed space formed by the walls and the thermal insulation. Such cover necessarily needs to be collectively attached to the walls forming the enclosure, enabling it to absorb the vibrations as a result of the excessive external noise.

3. Waterproofing: Waterproofing is generally innate to any acoustic or thermal insulation. You can enhance the level of safety by using another watertight insulation. Typically, it is necessary where a thermal insulation is not provided on the external walls of the enclosure, but instead it is provided within them. Under such circumstances, a coat of waterproof paint is generally applied with the help of rollers. However, it's important to check the specification and follow the manufacturer's instructions, as it is desirable for this to remain breathable from inside out, in order to prevent condensation.

Terracotta and Its Advantages

Terracotta is used in many ways for giving a feature to a building. It is believed that this material got discovered about 1400B.C. All through this time, it was in use for building structures, as it was found to have helpful properties. The literal meaning of terra cotta in Latin is cooked earth. It is…

Terracotta is used in many ways for giving a feature to a building. It is believed that this material got discovered about 1400B.C. All through this time, it was in use for building structures, as it was found to have helpful properties. The literal meaning of terra cotta in Latin is cooked earth. It is very easily identifiable due to its porous exterior in reddish brown color that gives it an earthy feel. It is made from earth that is molded in varying shapes and sizes, then dried in kilns to harden its surface. Although most often we see it being used for making flower pots and dishes, it is also used for making roofs and earthen utensils. The characteristics that make terra cotta an useful material are the following:

Absorption of heat

Terracotta is able to absorb the heat produced by the sun and fire, making it an efficient material for use on exteriors of homes. It is especially helpful to use this material in homes located in areas having a very hot climate. Bricks made from this material are used for roofing with shingle. Terra cotta used for such applications helps keeping the interiors of houses cool, thus reducing the expense of cooling.

Even temperature

Apart from being used as a building material, terra cotta is also used for making various containers that are used in the kitchen. Earthen containers are used for storing bread and other eatables to keep them cool and dry. Terracotta containers keep the food items like flour, bread and sugar unspoiled, as moisture can not enter these containers. Moreover the temperature within the containers remains almost constant. Being a porous material, it allows moisture to escape from the containers.

Conductivity

Terracotta is helpful in areas that experience cold, as it is not a good a conductor of heat or cold. Homes with roofing and bricks made from this material are able to retain the internal heat and keep the cold air out when winters arrive. Although it is not frequently used in areas with colder climates, it still helps to use terracotta in such regions of the US. Heating bills in colder areas are quite high during the winter months, and the use of terra cotta helps keeping them low.

Sound

Terracotta not only insulates against temperature, but also for sound. Hollow panels made from terra cotta are especially helpful for insulating sound. This is due to the thickness of terra cotta and the region formed by the panels that absorb the noise from both the sides of panels. This application helps creating a calm atmosphere in homes. This characteristic of terra cotta can prove to be of great help for houses located near train tracks, bus highways and airports.

Important Things To Do When Working With Home Renovation Experts

Renovating your home is indeed not an easy task. Of course, there are plenty of things that must be done to ensure that you get what you like for your home. Good thing there are experts who can help you with such. Considerations When Working With A Renovation Expert Know what you want. It is…

Renovating your home is indeed not an easy task. Of course, there are plenty of things that must be done to ensure that you get what you like for your home. Good thing there are experts who can help you with such.

Considerations When Working With A Renovation Expert

Know what you want. It is very important for you to make a list of what you like and do not like in your home. You have to ensure that everyone living with you will agree on what is on the list. This list will indeed help your chosen builder to better understand your goals.

Make your home accessible to the workers. It is certainly unavoidable to experience noise, distractions and personal intrusions when these professionals are doing their job; however, it can be managed when you are to prepare yourself and family for the entire renewal process. It will help a lot if you know the worker's working schedules.

If you are hiring a contractor you do not know, consider looking into their references. Be reminded that a good contractor will pay attention to details like placing clothes and cleaning the site daily. Most importantly, a good contractor will follow up with your inquiries and bills regularly.

Get the right and significant information about the company before they start any work. Prior to allowing the professional start any work, be sure that you have understood what you are getting into. You have to ask them significant questions, as well as to study the drawings and confirm all the details with them. You must be accessible always so in case a problem arises, they can easily contact you so they can make the right decision.

Monitor the progress on a daily basis. It is a smart idea for you to keep a project log where you can document what happens every day at the house. This will actually become your bank bank about the daily events at the work site. This is a great way of determining if the contractor is productive daily or not.

You must be open to new ideas as well as changes from your original plan. You might think that everything is planned well; however, there are times when changes become inevitable. An excellent contractor will actually offer you solutions in case problems will arise, and use his or her knowledge and experience in drafting great recommendations that will work best.

How to Prepare for a Barn Conversion

As with all building projects preparation is paramount, especially when working with on older, more fragile building. With a conversion, all the essentials are already in place and it is very tempting to dive right in and start building, but you will need to do some investigating first. Measured surveys on the property will need…

As with all building projects preparation is paramount, especially when working with on older, more fragile building. With a conversion, all the essentials are already in place and it is very tempting to dive right in and start building, but you will need to do some investigating first. Measured surveys on the property will need to be connected to establish detailed dimensions, ready for when you add to the structure and to support any planning application.

3D laser scanning is a great form of survey for this type of project; an extremely fast and cost effective way to gather all the data you require. It is a highly detailed measured survey and all the data can be collected remotely, which eliminates the risk of further damaging any fragile structure on site.

One of the things to look out for when starting your barn conversion is the amount to which the timber frame is crooked and out-of-line. A laser scan of the building, as it stands, depicts aspects to millimetre accuracy and so things like irregular spacing of timbers across a ceiling will be captured. Conducting this type of survey more than once over the space of a couple of months can also detect any movement of the building, highlighting any possibleidence.

3D laser scanning is also a great way of making sure any brickwork or ornate detail can be kept, so you can restore the property in keeping with how it was before. This will allow you to remove walls or timbers, and then rebuild them to the same specification that they were previously.

To further your knowledge of your property and the surrounding area, it is also advisable for you to conduct a topographical survey along the 3D laser scan. A topographical survey will highlight both natural objects and buildings in and around your property. A professional surveying company should be able to help you prepare plans and decide which types of survey are appropriate for you to undertake, in order to save you time, money and trouble in the long-run.

As of April 2014 there are new rules and regulations regarding barn conversions and planning permission. Believe it or not, you may no longer need planning permission to transform an agricultural barn into dwellings as part of a government scheme to build more housing. There are a couple of exceptions, for example, if your barn is a listed building, if it stands in an area of ​​outstanding natural beauty or if it is not an agricultural unit you will not comply with this new regulation and you will require planning permission.

Terracotta Surfaces – Common Damaging Factors

For a long time, man has been deriving the benefits of using terracotta for various applications, and now architects and designers have successfully exploited its helpful characteristics, such as a smooth surface and the richness of earthy shades, to their benefit. Apart from the inbuilt tonal variations provided by the items made using fire clay,…

For a long time, man has been deriving the benefits of using terracotta for various applications, and now architects and designers have successfully exploited its helpful characteristics, such as a smooth surface and the richness of earthy shades, to their benefit. Apart from the inbuilt tonal variations provided by the items made using fire clay, the present producers have been able to add color to make these items more attractive for decorative applications by giving them an appropriate surface treatment. The use of glazing and different kinds of clays has facilitated the development of workable exterior designs. The types of clays used now include slip or engobe (for applying as coatings), or encaustic (for inlays). Although discovered during early times, such techniques gained popularity as external architectural applications during the 19th to the beginning of 20th centuries.

With developments in the structural applications of cast iron plus steel, there was a corresponding development in the design and use of ceramics as building materials. The creation of novel mounting materials led to the development of plastics and other colored materials, which were unknown. As it did not involve using bricks or stone, architects started using terracotta as cladding material and for sculpturing of porticos and penalized roofing systems.

Structural Failures

Initially, the failure of creative installations was attributed to erroneous designs and constructional details. That should not surprise us, knowing that it was a technically challenging use. The Terra Cotta Society made available considering different standards for installation from 1914 to 1927, after realizing that early recommendations failed to effectively justify the structural support, the expansion and the water relocation. The lack of maintenance or the wrong practices prevalent in the harsh and varying climatic conditions of North America often added to the increased failures.

The causes of structural failures including the penetration of water, the stress caused by the contraction / expansion, the complexities of firing during production and the differences in the performance of glazing and clay elements. The main failures, amounting to structural unsteadiness, need to be tackled by repairing, stabilizing or replacing the detached or damaged units. Testing and analysis needs to be endeaken to understand the causes, as well as finding solutions for the deterioration. Wherever it is possible to provide a suitable anchoring, expansion and waterproofing, the damaged original units could be preserved, either on site or after removal.

Studies conducted by Conservation Solutions, Inc., on the widespread surface failures of the terracotta parts on the façade of the Holy Redeemer College in Washington, DC, proved that the quality of manufacturing was poor. Here, again, terracotta parts were incorporated in a stone structure for the most part. Window surrounds, battlements, string courses, towers, parapet cresting and other parts of the façade were made using a buff-colored terracotta placed within the medium-gray granite ashlar.

Sizeable losses, surface deterioration plus fractures were observed in the terra-cotta panels all through the inspection of the façade of building. Although some losses were related to problems typically associated with masonry structures like open joints, insufficient maintenance, using caulk to conceal poor original waterproofing etc., lot of the surface weakening could have been connected to bad manufacturing techniques.

The Home Foundation Inspection Process

A home foundation inspection by a qualified expert is not only an important part of foundation maintenance, it can prevent the need for expensive repairs or foundation replacement. You'll also get peace of mind knowing that your foundation is in good shape. When you request an inspection, both the outside and inside of your home…

A home foundation inspection by a qualified expert is not only an important part of foundation maintenance, it can prevent the need for expensive repairs or foundation replacement. You'll also get peace of mind knowing that your foundation is in good shape.

When you request an inspection, both the outside and inside of your home will be checked for evidence of foundation problems.

When looking at interior and exterior walls, the foundation inspector will check for cracks, bowing, shifting and leaving. Cracks are evaluated based on location, size and direction. Not all cracks in bricks, plaster, masonry, drywall or plaster are an indicator of structural damage. Sometimes the cracks are the result of normal house settling. However, poor soil conditions and other factors can contribute to excessive settling, which can lead to foundation problems. For this reason, soil conditions will also be looked at, along with slopes and drainage.

The inspector will also determine if the foundation is straight by looking down the length of the foundation wall from each corner. Doors and windows will be monitored to ensure they open and close properly. Basements and crawl spaces will be entered and estimated to determine if the posts and support are straight and secure.

Concrete slabs will be evaluated for chips, cracks, flaking and shifting, including sidewalk, patio and garage slabs. Floors above the basement or crawl space will be checked for sloping, sinking and other types of displacement. Chimneys will also be inspected for cracks, broken bricks and tilting.

Your foundation inspector will look for any areas where water has entered the building. Water is a foundation's worst enemy. Any standing water near or on the foundation (or even the roof) could mean trouble. If there is evidence of a moisture issue, your inspector will look for the cause of the problem.

The inspector will take notes on anything that has been found, summarize the findings and make cost-effective recommendations on any repairs that are needed. Even when the damage seems severe, there may be ways to correct the problem instead of replacing the foundation.

The ability to diagnose not only existing but potential foundation issues is critical. Identifying the underlying cause of the situation is also vital. When a foundation problem is not properly addressed, it can result in more costly repairs later on.

Choosing the right foundation inspector for your property is important. Look for someone with extensive home foundation inspection experience. A foundation expert who has contacted thousands of inspections will know how to properly evaluate your home and property. Many times foundation damage is not obvious. An experienced professional will not overlook even the smallest indicator of a foundation problem.

If you are aware of any type of foundation damage, request an inspection as soon as possible. Foundation issues do not disappear over time, they usually get worse. In between inspections, record any foundation changes you are aware of, such as a crack growing in size. Keep you drain spouts debris-free and stay alert for even minor structural damage. It will be well worth it in the long run.

Modular Construction: The ‘Green’ Way To Build

The demand for sustainable building has never been more important in the history of construction, for both economic and environmental reasons. Energy is high in demand and short in supply, making the costs very high. Modular buildings are a proven approach which reduces the environmental impact of the construction compared to traditional methods. The energy…

The demand for sustainable building has never been more important in the history of construction, for both economic and environmental reasons. Energy is high in demand and short in supply, making the costs very high.

Modular buildings are a proven approach which reduces the environmental impact of the construction compared to traditional methods. The energy efficiency is increased as well as the overall sustainability.

Firstly, the reason why this process is more energy efficient is because ninety percent of the building is constructed in a factory including its flooring, fixtures, appliances and finishes. They are built in module blocks, and then transported to the site almost finished. This means that there is a minimal amount of work to do on site, so the resources, materials and skilled craftsmen are all located in a single location while construction is underway, which helps to make it a green process.

Material Waste is Reduced

When building a conventional building a significant amount of waste is lost. In fact an astonishing eight thousand pounds is thrown away into a landfill, using this method, for a two thousand square foot home. Although the need for recycling is gaining more momentum for traditional methods of construction, when building modular buildings in factories, material left over from a project is utilized and used in a different project in the factory, resulting in a reduced amount of materials being wasted.

Construction Time is Reduced

Reduced time means a reduced impact on the environment. The reason why completion time is much shorter for modular constructions, is because vandalism, theft or weather delays are almost non-existent within a factory which means that the process is less likely to become delayed.

Sustainability Increased after Completion

If a building is designed efficiently it can improve the sustainability of it. Modular construction has access to a factory, which will have decent “sealing”, so reducing the air infiltration and preventing heat loss when the building is complete. On the other hand, traditional methods are limited around electrical outlets, pipes, fixtures and other air infiltration sources.

Unfortunately many people have misconceptions about modular buildings which often put them off investing in one. This is hard to believe when you consider their overall efficiency and how much the process reduces waste and improvements sustainability. In addition to this, modular homes are not exempt from the same codes that site-built buildings have to follow, and yet modulars often go above and beyond building standards.

Envisage Your Dream Home – Then Build It

If owning your own home is the American dream, then having your home built to your own design is the American ideal, and custom home builders can bring this ideal to fruition. There are two types of people who want to build their own home – those who have a specific design in mind because…

If owning your own home is the American dream, then having your home built to your own design is the American ideal, and custom home builders can bring this ideal to fruition.

There are two types of people who want to build their own home – those who have a specific design in mind because they've seen a cool house in the movies or in modern media (Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water house is so beautiful – who would not want to live in a house that looked just like that?)

Others are not so much concerned about the exterior appearance of the house – although of course they expect it to look stylish and even beautiful – but of what is in the interior. They wish enough bedrooms for family and guests, their own personal library, a spacious kitchen, and so on. They want built in cabinets and walk in closets.

They have all these ideas in mind, but they're still not quite sure what they want.

Regardless of which category you fall into, the first thing to do is research.

Even if you think you know what you want your house to look like on the exterior, and all the different rooms and modern conveniences you simply must have in the exterior, there's always new things to learn and new ideas to discover. Do some research before finalizing your plans, and before you begin your search for custom home builders.

The Search

It is fun to visit other people's homes – which is why every city's Parade of Homes is so popular. These can consist of homes that people actually own, or model homes in each city, in housing developments.

When you go on these tours, bring a notebook and take notes of everything you see, because you're bound to get some ideas for your own home. You'll see a color scheme you like, or a design or material of tile that you'll fall in love in love with. The layout of the rooms will strike a chord.

Once you've spent a couple of weeks or months (or even years!) Exploring homes and have a good idea of ​​what you want, it is time to seek out the location for your new home. Do this even before you search for custom home builders.

Many people actually buy the site for their new house years before they come up with a design for it – because they know at the very least that they are going to want to have a view of the ocean, or of the mountains.

Looking for custom home builders

Once you've decided exactly what your house is to look like, the time has come to find an architect to draw up the plans, and builders to build it.

Most construction firms that specialize in custom homes will have architects and engineers on staff to ensure that your home plans are workable, and that the installation of plumbing, electrical and gas systems will go smoothly.

Then … the construction of your new home starts!

Terracotta Panels – What Is It?

A panel in this relation is a building system for construction. Terracotta panels just like other panels are not naturally occurring substances but are processed and made into the final product in companies. They are made from natural clay. That's not all they can also be made in various shades. These panels, if well taken…

A panel in this relation is a building system for construction. Terracotta panels just like other panels are not naturally occurring substances but are processed and made into the final product in companies. They are made from natural clay. That's not all they can also be made in various shades. These panels, if well taken care of, are long lasting and effective.

Terracotta panels are basically made of bricks. Some shades associated with the panels include; Soil Brown, Chocolate, Coffee, Charcoal Gray, Dark Red, Natural Red, Coral Red, Light Red, Dark Gray, Orange, Medium Gray, and Bright Yellow. A type of the panel known as terracotta façade panel is a blend of urban tradition and material with latest technology in facades.

Terracotta panels have obtained high water absorption ability due to the use of pure natural clay without incorporation of other chemical and harmful ingredients that would have otherwise damaged the final product's structure. They also have great strength and hardness since the production equipment used is hi-tech, therefore very effective. The panels are of high quality due to the complex nature of the production process and the high costs involved. The panels also give highly positive results due to their high performance. One major setback is that they are brittle and may be damaged if poorly handled, but if handled correctly the problem is well taken care of by the structure of the panel.

Terracotta panel sticks

The terracotta panel stick is in a way similar to the terracotta panels from the production process, the use the same handling equipment, raw material which is natural clay and they both are brick in nature. The difference comes in their individual appearances and in some cases probably the equipment used in handling them, due to their shapes and sizes. However the panel is made into sticks so before referred to as terracotta panel sticks.

These particular products also have varieties in terms of physical structures and also colors just like the panels. Some of the shapes include cuboids, triangular prisms, cylinders, rectangular cuboids, divided rectangular cuboids and semi cylindrical square cuboids. All of these different shaped structures serve different purposes in the same process.

Terracotta panel sticks just like the panels have got high water absorption ability due to the use of pure natural clay without incorporation of other chemical and harmful ingredients that would have otherwise damaged the final product's structure. They also have great strength and hardness since the production equipment used is hi-tech. The panels are of high quality due to the complex nature of the production process and the high costs involved. The panels also give highly positive results due to their high performance.

DIY Gazebo Plans – Effortlessly Plan and Build Your Own Outdoor Summerhouse

DIY gazebo plans are quite popular as they help people to easily build a gazebo without spending too much money. Adding a gazebo to enhance your property has become an easy task with the ready-made gazebo kits available in the market. Gazebos lend an aesthetic appeal to your property thereby increasing its value. You can…

DIY gazebo plans are quite popular as they help people to easily build a gazebo without spending too much money. Adding a gazebo to enhance your property has become an easy task with the ready-made gazebo kits available in the market. Gazebos lend an aesthetic appeal to your property thereby increasing its value.

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 exact 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 “” 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. joists and secure them.

Decking and walls : Layout the boards and screw the corners together and then secure the frames with 2 “” screws. Now lay down the next circle and fasten them using screws and repeat the process for each. x4 “bottom brace into the dado and the second fillet to the other end of the spindles.

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 up 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.

Building A Gazebo On A Deck – Easy Methods For Making A Wooden Summerhouse

Most people want to build a gazebo on a deck such that it matches the overall style of their house. The variety of styles available in the market makes it easier for you to pick the one that matches best with the existing design of your home. After picking the right style for your deck,…

Most people want to build a gazebo on a deck such that it matches the overall style of their house. The variety of styles available in the market makes it easier for you to pick the one that matches best with the existing design of your home.

After picking the right style for your deck, you need to decide whether you want to hire a contractor or do it yourself. Using a do-it-yourself kit is always a viable option. By using the kit, you will spend less money and will be able to save a lot of time. A weekend or two would be enough for the construction.

Permit: Check with your building department if you need to obtain a permission to build the gazebo on the deck. Start the procedures of obtaining one before you plan the deck. Legal hassles can be avoided by checking the County regulations.

Preparation: Ensure to have a large deck to build a gazebo over it. The structure should be sturdy enough to hold the gazebo. Durability is a strong factor to be considered before the construction kicks off. Start by fastening the beams to the deck's joists.

Obtain the materials needed for building the gazebo. Prepare the area where the gazebo will stand. Measure the length of each support post to that of the adjunct post and set them up in a way that the posts are exactly next to the edge of a joist. Mark the areas where the posts need to be set up using a chalk.

Install the posts: Mark the inside edge of your joist by using a measuring tape at the points on top of your deck. Screw in the nails and measure the rest of the posts the same way. Mark each corner with a nail.

Cut a 4×4 “hole using a jigsaw and raise the posts on its end. Drill 2” holes through the joists and fasten them with a bolt. Line all 4 posts together and cut them off at an 8 “height. Line up two foot boards and screw them together and repeat the same process for other boards.

Attach the beams: Attach a cross beam to the posts using carriage bolts. Ensure that the edges of the beam extend the same distance on both sides. Repeat the process on the opposite side so as to get the crossbeams in a parallel line with each other.

Mark the center of each board and lay them across the beams. This will help all the support posts to stand at the same distance from one another. Once you confirm that distance between all the beams is the same then you can secure them using woodscrews.

Finishing: Stain the wood to match the deck and seal it. Fasten a trellis along the brightest side of the gazebo. A climbing plant can be used to provide more shade in the summer season. If you feel the rafters are not providing enough sunshine, fasten a sunshade along the top.

Making An Utility Shed – Useful Techniques For Crafting A Storage Shed

The purpose behind making an utility shed will help you determine the size, shape, and materials you will need. Utility sheds can be used for keeping lawn and yard equipment, as a household storage, workshop, garage and for many other purposes. Construct the Frame: Start by clearing and digging the space, making sure that the…

The purpose behind making an utility shed will help you determine the size, shape, and materials you will need. Utility sheds can be used for keeping lawn and yard equipment, as a household storage, workshop, garage and for many other purposes.

Construct the Frame: Start by clearing and digging the space, making sure that the place for shed will be smooth and leveled. Pressure-treat 4×4 posts and then cut them to the appropriate length to use as the basic component to support the deck floors. After cutting the posts to length, cut the ends of each 4×4 at a 45-degree angle. With the supports cut in this manner, if the assembly ever wants to be moved, it can be pushed along the ground with better comfort.

Construct the Deck: Put the frame in place and create the deck by attaching 2x6s vertically to the frame. Install the two 9-feet side pieces initially. Before installing the two 4-foot end pieces, place the pieces along and spot the positions of the beams on each to make sure that the beams will be set apart evenly at 16 inches. Secure the end pieces.

After placing the beams at the right place, beginning installing the 5/4 “decking, and quickly the decking boards to the beams with the help of a screw gun. When you install the first decking board along the brink of the frame, let it overhang the frame by about half an inch.

Construct the Walls: When the work related to deck is finished, employ it as a level work surface for constructing the walls. For every 8-feet-tall wall panel, place the pieces to create the sides, a top plate, bottom plate and studs spread out at every 16 inches. Secure the pieces together with a nail gun. Repeat the procedure till all the wall panels are done.

To construct the walls, nail each 8-feet wall panel to the deck underneath the wall panel in line to it. While installing the wall panels, check that the complete assembly is square by using a framing square. For the wall that will grip the door, construct two tighter panels. For these tapered panels, employ two 2x4s on both sides for extra strength.

When the two front wall panels are set accurately and the wall structure is basically coming to an end, supplement it with 2x4s through the top on the walls to create a double top-plate that will give extra strength to the framing. When all of the wall panels are raised, suspend 4 “x 8” sheets of OSB siding for the outer area.

Install the Roofing: Cut the roof joists from 2×6 boards which are 13 “high at their center and are screwed with cleats made of OSB. link them together and to add support for the corrugated roofing sheets.

Install Windows and Doors: After the completion of roofing, cut holes for the windows , lower storing chests and containers. Employ an interchanging saw to cut from side to side of the OSB, making sure to cut in the middle of the studies. Simply install windows and siding

The two doors are created from one sheet of 3/4 “plywood by cutting it in half. Decorate each with 1” x 4 “trim for an external frame and shed-style” X “brackets.