Home Siding: Questions to Ask When Looking Into New Exterior Siding

Your home siding serves a two-fold purpose: it protects your home from damage, while giving it an exterior sense of style. Your exterior siding should say something about your home, but also guard against the weather or occasional hockey puck or baseball. When it comes time to repair or replace it, you should take time…

Your home siding serves a two-fold purpose: it protects your home from damage, while giving it an exterior sense of style. Your exterior siding should say something about your home, but also guard against the weather or occasional hockey puck or baseball. When it comes time to repair or replace it, you should take time to figure out exactly what you want from it.

What kind?
Siding is available in eight categories: brick or stone; wood or cedar shakes; vinyl or aluminum; Masonite or concrete; stucco; artificial brick or stone; clap board; Egypt or steel or vinyl coatings. The cost, benefits and disadvantages of each vary. Are you planning to live in the home for a long time? Or is your living situation only temporary? Answer this question to determine your budget before you spend too much on something you will not use for long.

If you're having trouble deciding what kind with which to go, take a look at what the rest of the neighborhood has. This will give you an idea as to what kind of siding could lower the value of your home. Maybe the rest of the block uses higher end siding, like stone or brick, and if you choose a vinyl exterior, you could inadvertently decrease your home's worth.

What benefits?
You probably do not want to spend much time doing upkeep on your exterior. If so, brick and stone are your best choices, as they require the least amount of cleaning. Concrete does not require that much cleaning, and it does not rot or need painted, unless you're looking to give it a cosmetic overhaul.

Cedar shakes do not rot, but need constant pressure washing and stained every so often. If you do not feel like painting, vinyl and aluminum may be good choices, but both are late to bends and cracks. If you love to paint, Masonite and clap board require it every eight to 10 years and more frequently if not done professionally.

Another benefit you'll want to find for each is wherever the look is favored by the climate. Stucco, for example, is a great choice for warmer areas and insulating, but its unique style does not mesh well with homes in cooler climates.

Long thinking?
Siding is not cheap, and you'll want to ensure that whatever choice you make will last you for a long time. Ask your siding contractor whether they offer any warranties or protection plans should your siding need repaired or replaced. Also ask what kind of things need to be done to protect it against bad weather and uncaught baseball.

Villa Mayavee – Unique Residential Architecture

If you think that Thailand is all about beaches, food, nightlife and coral reefs, then you are absolutely mistaken. Yes. While Thailand is a beautiful location that is often known as a tourist destination, many people describe it as addictive. With cool calm beaches to delectable multi cuisine and fascinating culture to great shopping arenas…

If you think that Thailand is all about beaches, food, nightlife and coral reefs, then you are absolutely mistaken. Yes. While Thailand is a beautiful location that is often known as a tourist destination, many people describe it as addictive. With cool calm beaches to delectable multi cuisine and fascinating culture to great shopping arenas that are true value for money; I am sure your experience to Thailand is going to be worth. The best part about this place is its well established infrastructure and friendly people who welcome you with open arms and make every effort to make your vacation special.

I have recently been to Phuket and the most wonderful thing that executed a pull on me was an architectural delight, Villa Mayavee. Not just the construction, but the site was so dramatic that you can not keep your eyes off it. Starting high on a natural ridge and sloping towards the ocean make this architecture very spectacular. While the designing of villa has been done keeping an emphasis on entertaining guests, the entire plan looks like a relaxing retreat to the family. It is just as I say, simple, stylish and sophisticated.

A Sneak Peak at Villa Mayavee

The wide open entrance surrounded with greenery, all over, is complete with small steps that direct towards the spiral staircase and create a welcoming atmosphere. Use of glass in the large voids on first floor form a transparency with the outside environment and also keeps the interiors brightened. The long wooden bars like structure on the outer surface partially wrap the glass walls, so maintaining privacy of the residents. A huge wooden plank like structure has been created below the level of construction in backyard, which is a fine place to soak up in sun at weekends.

While bath space has been erected large, simple and sophisticated, family members can also enjoy the nature's view at the same time. Same concept has been followed in the master bedrooms as well, but the best part about these rooms is the use of flamboyant blushes that accolade beautiful white walls. The infinity pool in the backyard is a fun way for the family members to wash away their exhaustion. Lush green trees accompanied with the view of sea makes this villa a true relaxing retreat and, of course, the best architectural delight for me.

The main idea behind designing this villa was to create a space that could not only match the modern lifestyle of the residents, but also serve as a wonderful place for entertaining guests. The architect, Tierra Design, took into account every single aspect to endow their clients with exactly what they have been looking for.

Benefits Of A New Room Addition

When you start a family of your own, the first thing that you need to do is to build a home where your children can grow up and enjoy a happy childhood. Sometimes, the members of the family increase so suddenly that the need for room additions is a must. This is a natural occurrence,…

When you start a family of your own, the first thing that you need to do is to build a home where your children can grow up and enjoy a happy childhood. Sometimes, the members of the family increase so suddenly that the need for room additions is a must. This is a natural occurrence, especially for growing families.

Having many children has its ups and downs. When they reach a certain age, they start to have a need for privacy and occasionally, they would ask their parents to provide them with a room of their own. Parents understand this feeling the most because they had been children once themselves and will do their best to provide the rooms that their kids wanted.

Ask yourself these questions first, before making room additions:

1. Do I really need a new room?

Understanding whether there is a need to create a room addition or not is the first thing that you should consider, before calling in the experts.

2. Costs – Determining the cost of materials, labor and equipment that will be used for the remodeling is also important. Check your budget to avoid shortage of supplies and to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

3. Where will the new room be made?

Location, this is probably the most important factor that you have to consider in making rooms from scratch. You can not create room additions on a room that is already small enough as it is.

4. When is the best time to make the room addition?

This home construction requires time and you have to carefully choose the day of the remodeling. Proper planning should be done so that you will not be disturbing the “planned activities” of each family member, during the day of the construction.

Building a room from scratch

When you finally decide to build room additions in your house, it is best to hire experts to do the job for you. If you take it upon yourself to create the rooms on your own, chances are you're going to do a pretty bad job which will cost you wasted time, money and effort. Seeking the help of professional home remodelers to create these rooms for you, will eliminate the chances of mistakes that are very common on “do it yourselfers”.

Making a room out of scratch is no easy feat. Proper measurements should be made and choosing the location, to create the room is important as well. Proper communication between the remodelers and the home owners will also help, in establishing a solid plan before the actual room remodeling is made.

Other facts about room additions

Having room additions is also a good way in “utilizing excess space” in the house. For example, if you have a room that is big enough to create two bedrooms, then you should remodel it to make it more productive. Having some extra rooms in the house can give you some peace of mind, in the case that something unexpected happens.

Top Home Tips on Board Batten Vertical Siding

There are various types of vertical siding for home interiors. Sidings offer the cheaper alternative to remodeling homes and initiating repairs on old dilapidated home interior walls. These are mainly pre-fabricated boards and wall planks that are typically glued on the walls, making it easier for you to make necessary repairs on the walls or…

There are various types of vertical siding for home interiors. Sidings offer the cheaper alternative to remodeling homes and initiating repairs on old dilapidated home interior walls. These are mainly pre-fabricated boards and wall planks that are typically glued on the walls, making it easier for you to make necessary repairs on the walls or change the entire style and design of your home interiors.

One of the best and most common types of vertical sidings is the Board-Batten siding. This type of siding has long been used among numerous residential homes, especially during the early 70's. This is normally available in its standard dimension of 4 by 9 feet board panels. This is mainly made of thick plywood, except that its exterior layers are specially textured with rough finish along with slots on its ends. One side of the board has a groove while the other has a tongue. This makes it easy to install by inserting sides to seal off the wall and provide much stronger foundation.

Obviously, Board-Batten sidings are installed vertically; and its main concept is to provide complete wall cover that is not only strong but aesthetic as well. This is so called Board-Batten because the sidings have boards and batten wherey during the installation the boards are fastened followed by the batten. As a result, 2 siding boards butt against each other.

One major flaw of this type of wall siding materials is that during various temperature changes in the atmosphere, the wood expanss and contracts according to the weather condition. This creates some cracks that may result in void spaces in between boards. But this can be resolved by painting the boards in order to completely seal off the wall. Another sealing option is caulking using sealing materials, which the home owner prefers.

On the other hand, Board-Batten vertical sidings have numerous advantages as well. One of its benefits is awesome beauty to the house. The organized vertical wall sidings make it quite trendy in style with a touch of natural beauty. In the real estate sense, this can add value to the house because of the unique style it creates. Aside from that, these boards require less maintenance compared to the traditional individual boards, thereby giving home owners trouble-free use of these sidings on their walls.

In conclusion, Board-Batten is just one of the many other types of vertical sidings for homes and offices. In the past, leakage used to be a main issue to deal with when using this kind of sidings. However with the availability of more construction accessories today like technologically advanced sealing materials in the form of pastes and sealing tapes, leakage issues are resolved and its use is even more preferred.

There may be many other attractive options for wall sidings that are now available in the market. But despite the presence of numerous options, Board-Batten vertical siding still remains one of the viable choices among many home owners because of its unique features, along with its corresponding distinct benefits.

How Much Will Attic Insulation Cost You?

Roofing insulation is important in every house especially in areas with long hot climate season. This is important in decreasing heat and moisture build up in the roofing and the attic which can ever lead to faster degradation of your house. If you are concerned about the attic insulation cost then you must be more…

Roofing insulation is important in every house especially in areas with long hot climate season. This is important in decreasing heat and moisture build up in the roofing and the attic which can ever lead to faster degradation of your house. If you are concerned about the attic insulation cost then you must be more concerned about the possible colossal costs that you are going to spend on repairs in the event of damaged roofing as a result of massive moist and heat build up.

Aside from that, having fully insulated attic roofing can also give you huge savings in energy costs especially if it is used as rooms that are regularly occupied. In this case, it is imperative to install proper insulation on the attic roof. This is important considering that the space between the ceiling and the roof is usually not sufficient enough to allow proper airflow that can effectively minimize intense heat from entering the room.

In most cases, it is better to make initial investment on the attic insulation cost because this is usually more cost-effective in the end. Aside from that, it offers utmost comfort to the attic room occupants on top of getting huge savings on energy bills.

When calculating for the cost of the attic insulation, there are several factors that must be considered in order to arrive at more precise calculation. Firstly, you need to identity the R factor or the R value in your locality. This is a fixed data determined and set by the energy regulation body in your area.

Take note that this factor can vary from one region to another. The figure is greatly affected by the type of climate in your area. Colder climate has higher R value, while hot climate areas typically have lower value. This value tells you if the insulation is sufficient enough to provide comfort when occupying the place. Higher value means that the insulation works in minimizing heat build up. Meanwhile lower value means that you need to have insulation in order to reduce heat. For this reason, it is suggested to ask for the standard figure that is applied in your place.

Aside from identifying the R value, you must also calculate for the total area that needs to be insulated. This is important in getting the planned cost of insulating the entic attic. Moreover, you must further decide on the kind of insulating materials that you want to use. There are several types for you to choose from; such as blanket batts and rolls, foam board, loose-fill, reflective system, and structural insulating panels among many others.

Each type has different price, and they also have different styles with unique quality. Keep in mind that some of these types are not best for roofing but ideal for walls. That is why you need to select the right type of insulating materials that fit well to your planned use and budget. In conclusion, in order to compute for the attic insulation cost, there is no definite amount because it is dependent on several factors as stated herein.

Learning To Build A Shed

Storage sheds can be quite challenging to build. However, this article is going to teach you the steps to building one. However, before we can start it is important to keep a few things in mind. If you are a veteran of building sheds then you probably realize the importance of having a good set…

Storage sheds can be quite challenging to build. However, this article is going to teach you the steps to building one. However, before we can start it is important to keep a few things in mind. If you are a veteran of building sheds then you probably realize the importance of having a good set of storage shed plans. It is advisable to buy the best set of plans that you can find since this will be your blueprint to building the shed.

The sheed plans that you absolutely choose should provide a detailed list of all the materials that you will need to build a shed. If you ended up picking up a set of shed plans that does not provide a list of materials you need to stop immediately and find a set of plans that does not provide a detailed list of materials.

Obviously, building a shed is a complex task and it would be extremely difficult to list out every single step in this small article. However, I can sum up the most important steps to building a shed in this article.

Our first step is building the foundation of the shed. You may notice that mosteds are built on concrete blocks or wooden blocks this is done so the foundation will not rot or let water seep in. If you picked up a good set of plans I am sure that this will be a very detailed step.

Next, you should think about putting your walls up. It is recommended that you use vinyl siding. This will also prevent the wood from rotting and it will also help steady the shed. There is a reason that vinyl siding is the premier choice for many home owners. So, why not give your shed the same treatment?

Finally, you should put the roof on the shed. There is a certain type of shingle system that is recommended. However, it may be pricey so make sure you do your homework on the internet to see what you can afford. Once you have your roof up you are pretty much done.

As you can see, building a shed can be quite complicated. This is a reason that I was not able to list every single step on this article. However, if you do go out and purchase a good set of shed plans you will be able to build a shed with no problems.

10 Questions To Ask Before You Choose A Roof

Choosing the correct replacement for an aged roof – or identifying the best choice for a new building – is no easy task. The perfect roofing solution for one building may be the worst option for another just down the street. That's because no two buildings are precisely alike, even if they are closely resembled…

Choosing the correct replacement for an aged roof – or identifying the best choice for a new building – is no easy task. The perfect roofing solution for one building may be the worst option for another just down the street. That's because no two buildings are precisely alike, even if they are closely resembled each other. So how do you choose a new roof, given all the choices in the marketplace? You can start by asking a series of questions, before you choose the roof, the roofing contractor or the manufacturer.

1. What is this building's mission statement?

Before calls are made to roofing contractors or manufacturers, the first item to address is the company's mission statement as it relates to the building.

Whether you are building new facilities or managing existing properties, you want to be confident that the roofing systems you select deliver the performance you expect. More often than not, the building itself dictates the appropriate roofing system specification.

You need to know as much about the building and its future as possible. Does the company plan to keep this building as part of its real estate assets for the next 10 to 20 years? Are there any plans to expand it in the near future, or to change its use? What are its current and future occupancy, insulation requirements, aesthetic priorities and even the maintenance schedules for rooftop equipment?

These and other mission statement issues will help shape answers to types of roofing to consider and how much of the capital budget is really needed for the job.

Start your questions with what is the building going to be used for. If it's a building, maybe you only need a basic roof. But, if the facility has a special use, such as an airline reservation center with computers in it, then your considerations for roofing options are quite different.

For example, as more companies move toward operating 24 hours daily, seven days a week to satisfy global customers, the data center must never spring a rooftop leak. Water on computer systems generally spells disaster.

A special set of concerns arise for cooling-dominated climates. Does the roof contribute to air conditioning savings and address other key issues? Is it part of a total energy program? There is a growing concern about urban heat islands. Reflective, white roofs have become of interest in those areas for a few reasons. They keep the building cooler, reduce air conditioning costs and also minimize the heat-loading of the surrounding environment.

2. What physical and other elements influence the roofing system selection?

After identifying the goals and mission of a facility, it's time to evaluate the building itself. You need to begin by looking at the building's location and the attributes of its surrounding area. You need to exam building codes, weather trends, topography – even the direction the building faces.

The physical characteristics of the building are also critical: size, shape, design, height and age.
You also need to look at the construction materials used to build the facility and the location of HVAC and fire protection equipment, particularly if either or both of these are partially or wholly housed on the rooftop.

When it comes to roof replacement, you need to list the attributes of the roof area itself. It's best to detail the roof's size, shape, slope, deck construction, edge detailing, protrusions, rooftop access and existing roofing system. Along with this basic information, you need to find out why the original roof is no longer adequate.

3. What flexible-membrane roofing options are available?

SPRI, the association that represents sheet membrane and component suppliers to the commercial roofing industry, identifies three major categories of membranes: thermosets, thermoplastics and modified bitumens.

Thermoset membranes are made from rubber polymers. The most common is EPDM, often referred to as “rubber roofing.” These membranes are well suited to withstand the potentially damaging effects of sunlight and the common chemicals found on roofs. They are easily identified on the rooftop. Just look at the seams. Thermoset membranes require liquid or tape adhesives to form a watertight seal at the overlaps.
Thermoplastic membranes are based on plastic polymers. The most common is PVC, which is made flexible by adding plasticizers. Thermoplastic membranes have seams that are most commonly formed using heat welding. Most thermoplastic membranes are manufactured with a reinforcement layer, usually polyester or fiberglass to provide increased strength and dimensional stability.

Hypalon thermoplastic begins as a thermoplastic, but cures over time to become a thermoset. Like other thermoplastics, Hypalon materials are heat sealed at the seams.

Another thermoplastic hybrid is thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO), which combines the attributes of EPDM and PVC. TPO membranes do not cure after exposure to the elements and remain hot-air weldable through their service life. Most TPO membranes are reinforced with polyester, fiberglass or a combination of the two, but unreforced TPO membranes are available.

Modified bitumen membranes incorporate the formulation and prefabrication advantages of flexible-membrane roofing with some of the traditional installation techniques used in built-up roofing. Modified bitumen sheets are factory-fabricated, composed of asphalt which is modified with a rubber or plastic polymer for increased flexibility, and combined with a reinforcement for added strength and stability.

4. Which type of membrane and attachment system are best for the building?

Many factors determine the best system for a particular building. For most buildings, there are a number of options and advantages that need to be weighed against the facility's mission statement. The decision should not be made only on the basis of cost. Other important considerations for membranes are building height, wind exposure, anticipated roof traffic and aesthetics.

The attachment system also depends on the specific building's characteristics. If the roof deck is able to withstand the weight, a ballasted roof may be the best option. But, if the slope of the roof is greater than 2 inches every foot, this system may not be appropriate. There are other limitations to ballasted systems, such as roof height, proximate to shorelines and other high wind zones, and the availability of ballast.
A steel or wood deck that easily accepts fasteners makes a good substrate for a mechanically fastened membrane. These systems can be designed to provide the necessary resistance to known wind forces and are not subject to slope limitations.

Another alternative is the fully adhered system, in which the membrane is attached to the prepared substrate using a specified adhesive. Depending on the membrane, the adhesive may be solvent- or water-based or asphalt. The finished surface of an adhered roof is smooth.

For those concerned with building aesthetics, colored membranes can make an attractive contribution to the building's appearance.

5. Does all roofing material delivered to the job site bear the UL label?

If not, specify that it must. This is the only way you can guarantee that the roofing materials installed on your roof are the same materials tested by Underwriter's Laboratories. Additionally, be sure that the roof assembly you buy or specify, which includes the insulation, is UL-classified and -labeled. Using an insulation other than what was tested with the roofing membrane may void the UL classification. If the UL Building Materials Directory does not list the roofing system you are sold, insist on verification of the classification in the form of a photocopy of the UL's letter of approval.

Make sure that the product you are getting is the actual product that was tested. You do not want something that is similar but not equal. Look for the label at the job site and make sure all components of the system were tested together. You want the membrane tested with the insulation that you are using on your building.

6. Does the system require a wind uplift rating?

Wind uplift damage can be extensive and expensive. Accepted as an industry standard, American Society of Civil Engineers Standard 7-95, “Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures,” can be used to determine the wind zone of the building. Wind uplift testing, such as performed at Factory Mutual or Underwriters Laboratories, can be used to determine that the selected roof system meets or exceeds the local wind uplift requirements.

7. How much does the completed system add to the dead load weight of the roof structure?

In choosing any reroofing option, the facility executive should be aware of the load-bearing capacity of the roof deck to make sure the right flexible-membrane option is chosen. In new construction, savings in structural steel can often be achieved by installing one of the lighter flexible-membrane systems.

A ballasted thermoplastic or EPDM roof may require in excess of 1,000 pounds per 100 square feet, while a mechanically attached or fully adhered thermoset or thermoplastic membrane weighs 33 pounds per 100 square feet. A lighter system often allows you to reroof directly over your existing roof, while the heavier ones may require you to tear off the old roof and begin anew. But weight is only one consideration in the selection of a roof membrane and attachment system. A ballasted roof may be the best choice for a given facility. Facility executives must confirm that all relevant considerations, including weight, are taken into account in the decision-making process.

8. What are the expertise and financial strengths of the roofing contractor you are considering?

Roofing contractors need to be chosen with great care. The introduction of new roofing materials and application techniques within the past 10 years has led to many changes. A professional roofing contractor should be familiar with different types of roofing systems, to help you make the best decision for your facility, based on your budget.

Ask the contractor if his or her company is a member of a local, state, regional or national industry association. Contractors involved in professional associations generally are better informed on the latest developments and issues of their industry.

Insist the contractor supply you with copies of insurance certificates that verify workers' compensation and general liability coverages. Check that those coverages are in effect for the duration of your roofing job. If the contractor is not properly insured, your company, as the property owner, may be liable for accidents occurring on the property. Also check your state's licensing requirements and find out if the contractor is bonded by a surety company.

The installation of different roofing systems varies significantly. Education and training are the most important elements in the installation of roofing systems. Make sure the roofing contractor you choose has had detailed and ongoing training on the system being installed.

One rule of thumb is to find out if the contractor has installed at least 100,000 square feet of the system you want in the past 18 months. Also, make sure the contractor is approved by the manufacturer to install that specific system.

The quality of workmanship is crucial to good roof performance. The National Roofing Contractors Association offers a professional roofing selection guide. In addition, many manufacturers have approved contractor programs with specific qualifications that roofers must complete before approval.

9. What is warranted and by what?

There are two basic categories of roofing warranties. The contractor's warranty typically covers workmanship. The manufacturer's warranty covers at least the materials, though many cover additional items. Even if the manufacturer's warranty is broad, it will not completely protect you if the roof is improperly installed.

Carefully read and understand any roofing warranty offered and watch for provisions that would void it. For example, it's nearly impossible to avoid all ponded water. Ponded water can be caused by a clogged roof drain or deflection of the roof deck in between the support columns. Proper roof maintenance can help ensure that the warranty remains valid. Be aware of warranty language that voids the guarantee.

Most professional roofing contractors will offer periodic maintenance inspections throughout the year. These inspections help ensure your project complies with the standards specified in the warranty. A typical maintenance program consists of a detailed visual examination of the roof system, flashing, insulation and related components to identify any potential trouble areas.

More important than the warranty, however, is getting the right flexible-membrane roof on your building in the first place. If the roof is correctly designed and installed to meet your facility's needs, building codes and geographical considerations, and the warranty covers those needs, you probably will enjoy the benefits of a flexible-membrane roof many years after the original warranty expires.

10. After the roof is installed, what after service and educational programs are available for the facilities management team?

Seminars offered by roofing industry associations like SPRI and manufacturers can be invaluable ways for the building's roofing team to expand their understanding of commercial roofing system types, installation processes and maintenance considerations. Specific courses are available to help building owners and facilities managers Learn more about various roofing systems, materials and components; insulation and accessory products; elements of roof design; contractor selection; warranties and maintenance considerations.

Shipping Container House – How to Build It

The building of a shipping container is called Cargotecture. The approach is increasingly becoming popular along most of the people and many people are seeking an affordable way for building a house. In these tough economic times, a cargotecture is a worth considering option to build a home. Moreover, a shipping container home is environmentally…

The building of a shipping container is called Cargotecture. The approach is increasingly becoming popular along most of the people and many people are seeking an affordable way for building a house. In these tough economic times, a cargotecture is a worth considering option to build a home. Moreover, a shipping container home is environmentally friendly. Since most of the builders and designers are engaged in cargotecture, it is easy to get help while building a baggage.

A person must take in to account the type of home he wants before starting construction because a home is a big and long term investment. Most of the people build a container home and after some years feel that they need a conventional conventional house. Here, you have to be certain whether you definitely want a container house before you invest thousands of dollars in building the same.

Before starting construction of the house, you must check the local codes and make sure that you comply with the codes. This will ensure that the local authorities do not reject your container home when it is under construction. Before approaching the authorities, take the help of a professional designer, contractor and architecture. Their valuable advice will make sure that your container house is approved by the authorities. Contact them with the details of your container house plan so that they can go through the plan and check wherever the plan complies with the local codes.

The next thing to consider is the size of the house which will enable you to know the number of containers you need to purchase for constructing the house. The containers are cheaper but it is an expensive affair to transport them to the building site. It is better to stay away from purchasing used containers as it may contain some harmful substances which may affect you in the long run. However, if you still want to buy used container, ensure that the containers are cleaned properly.

It is advisable to buy new shipping containers that are rust-free. There are various sites on the internet that offer new as well as used containers and hence it is easy to buy the one as per the requirements. It is highly recommended to employ cargotecture professionals in order to have a well built shipping container home. This will make sure that you have a nicely designed cargotecture house which will last longer.

Choosing the Right Construction Materials

When deciding what materials to use for a given construction project, one must factor in various considerations. Of course, these considerations will not apply for prefabricated homes or projects where the hard work and research involved in choosing the right materials for the job has already been done for you. Here's a list of things…

When deciding what materials to use for a given construction project, one must factor in various considerations. Of course, these considerations will not apply for prefabricated homes or projects where the hard work and research involved in choosing the right materials for the job has already been done for you. Here's a list of things one would consider carefully before choosing materials.

Cost: Perhaps the largest factor, your budget will ultimately determine the upper limits of your project in terms of the overall quality and quantity of your materials.

Workability: This might sound like common sense to some of you, but whatever materials you choose, they must be workable. In other words, you and your crew must be able to cut, shape, transport and utilize with reasonable ease, the materials of your choice. For example, you would not decide to make a log house if you lack both strong manpower and the money / license to rent heavy equipment.

Weight: This goes along the same lines as workability, but the overall weight should be a manageable amount, not only for work concerns, but taking the foundation into account as well. Unless you're a skilled engineer or have a reasonable experience, foundation calculations derived from “common sense” may be insufficient.

Strength: (Primarily for structural members) Is the material in question strong enough for what it needs to be used for? Strength can be measured or determined using many different physical properties, such as tensile, compressive, and shear strengths, Young's modulus , and stiffness, to name a few. A property of a given member's cross section, the second moment of area, also greatly influences strength.

Aesthetics: Does it look the part? Aside from the large functional part of the construction process, there are aspects of aesthetics that usually play a reasonable role. I say “usually” because this is not necessary for safety but is purely for visual benefit. What will it be used for – a living room or a garage?

Durability: Now when all is said and done, you might be pretty happy with the income. But just remember that the durability – or lack of thereof – of a house or similar project, is something that will not be noticed until some time later. Obviously, construction methods and design play a critical role in providing an optimal environment for the life of your materials, but it's no secret that some are just more robust than others.

A wise choice of materials will save you countless hours, days, even weeks or months, of wasted time and money! This is one of the reasons why they say the initial phase of planning and design are so important. Because a large part of design and planning is the crucial decision-making process of materials-selection.

What Are the Average Construction Costs For a Steel Building?

There are lots of variables that go into calculating the cost of constructing a building. Building your steel building yourself will cost you less than contracting a crew, assuming you're not paying yourself an hourly wage. But for sake of giving the best average price for a steel building let include all labor costs. The…

There are lots of variables that go into calculating the cost of constructing a building. Building your steel building yourself will cost you less than contracting a crew, assuming you're not paying yourself an hourly wage. But for sake of giving the best average price for a steel building let include all labor costs. The average price per square foot for a basic steel building is anywhere between $ 6 and $ 20. Let's take a look at what variables influence the construction costs of a steel building.

Labor

The labor cost of the construction of a basic steel structure typically ranges from $ 3- $ 10 per square foot. This price range takes into consideration variables such as the size and location of your building and the competitiveness of your areas labor force. Keep in mind these prices are for an average building, if you are tracking a highly complex building the construction time will increase and so the price of construction will clearly increase.

Foundation

Steel buildings do not always require a concrete foundation, but if your building does, be prepared to pay about $ 6 more per square foot. Depending on the size of the job and the crew prices can range a couple dollars higher or lower. Sometimes it is less expensive to contract the pouring of your concrete foundation separate from the building construction crew.

Insulation

Insulation in a metal building is one of those finishes that comes with a sizable construction price tag. However, adding insulation does add significant value to the building. It soundproofs your steel building and makes it more energy efficient. The labor and construction of installing insulation in a steel building with unobstructed interiors adds $ 1- $ 2 per square foot to the cost of construction.

Accessories

Constructing a steel building is a reliably simple process because all of the components are rather large, come pre-engineered and are attached with bolts and rivets. Therefore, unfortunately, it's the small details what end up costing the most because they are what take the most time to assemble. Additions like faux paneling, custom canopies, and other detailed accessories can drive up the costs of construction for any steel building.

All in all, the price of construction will directly correlate with the complexity of your building. Between contractors prices should be in the same ballpark, but there will be some differentiation depending on the efficiency and specialties of the different crews. For instance, experts in metal buildings or in concrete may be able to cut costs in specific areas of the one jobs while still supplying superior quality because they are that good at what they do.

That being said, if you decide to take advantage of several crews vying over one job by pinning them against one another in a price war, do not simply go with the contractor that gives you the best bottom dollar bid. Think about it. There are only so many places a contractor can safely cut costs. In the end, the contractor is going to make sure he or she needs to make a profit on the job so be cautious of extremely low bids. A bid that seems too good to be true probably is. Refer to a contractors previous work, contact their prior customers, and even try to visit some of their previously built buildings to get an idea of ​​what you're paying for.

What The? My New Aerobic Sewer System Just Popped Out of the Ground!

Yes it's true, if an aerobic sewer system is not installed properly then it is very possible it will “pop” up out of the ground. Most laugh at the concept of a concrete tank that weighs over 7 tons popping out of the ground, but what it does happen and it is a very difficult…

Yes it's true, if an aerobic sewer system is not installed properly then it is very possible it will “pop” up out of the ground. Most laugh at the concept of a concrete tank that weighs over 7 tons popping out of the ground, but what it does happen and it is a very difficult problem to fix.

I work for a family owned company that my father started 17 years ago. During this time, we have installed and operated on thousands of sewers. We take pride in our work and do the best job, which is why during march of 2001 we were shocked when an owner of one of our recently installed sewers called us with a surprising bit of information. His sewer had literally floated, or “popped” out of the ground.

In order to describe the situation I must first explain how and why it happens. Any and every object that is sealed water tight is subject to a process called “hydraulics”, defined as the applied science dealing with the mechanical properties of liquids. If that object has greater fluid pressure around or underneath it then it will be pushed to the point of little resistance. Another term for this phenomenon is “buoyancy”. It is easier to understand if you think of an ocean bound ship or a submarine. Even though the ship may weigh thousands of tons, it still floats on the water.

In this particular case the sewer we had installed was made of fiberglass, a much lighter material than concrete. Even though it is lighter we still made sure to fill it with water as we back-filled dirt around the tank. The idea was that the water inside would hold the tank down until the fill dirt could settle; where we went wrong was the back-fill dirt. The dirt we used was what we had dug out of the ground, a thick, clotty, red clay. When the clay was distributed around the tank it did not set into a packed fill. Furthermore, the next few days were typical of March in East Texas- it rained nonstop. Enough rain water had managed to penetrate and saturate the soil that it saw into the hole around the tank. Because the fill dirt was not packed enough, the water soon spread around the tank.

Seepage of water around the tank after a rain was something we were used to. In most circumstances it is a good thing, it packs the dirt even more around the tank causing the ground to settle; depending on the soil, slightly or a lot. Afterwards we would fill in the low spots and be done. Yet so much water managed to get around this tank that the pump chamber (the area with the least amount of water) was pushed out of the ground in what can best be described as a submarine surfacing from under the sea.

The next few days were at best difficult. The tank was pumped out and removed, a new tank was installed with special flaps on both ends that worked as anchors, and better dirt was brought in to be filled around the new tank to keep any problems with seepage from coming again. Needless to say, our company gained much experience from this problem. Now if the on site dirt does not meet our standards, then topsoil or sand is brought in as fill. Also, all tanks are completely filled with water during the install to make sure that any sudden rain showers pose no threat. To this date we have had trouble with our systems floating out of the ground.

If you are a homeowner planning to install an aerobic system, make sure you have a water source available to fill the tank quickly. If you are on a water well that might not be able to handle the load, contact your local fire department or a contractor that has a water truck to bring in enough water. Also, if you are planning to have another in ground system that does not hold water such as a storm shelter installed, check to make sure it is anchored properly.

Why Do Builders Use Untreated Wood In New Home Construction?

This is a good question, and one that definitely describes paying attention to. Using the wrong products on wood studs inside of walls can cause major health problems and in the worst case even death. I know that sounds extreme but I have personally had experience with a home that was built by a do-it-yourselfer…

This is a good question, and one that definitely describes paying attention to. Using the wrong products on wood studs inside of walls can cause major health problems and in the worst case even death. I know that sounds extreme but I have personally had experience with a home that was built by a do-it-yourselfer who thought if he used all pressure treated lumber in the walls that his house would never rot. Well, the house did not rot, but it did stink like poison, and the owner / builder ever died of brain tumors related to over exposure of the toxic chemicals.

What he failed to realize is that all of the protective layers that are put on the outside of a home to prevent rain and bugs forms a sort of jacket around the home. And while keeping the elements out, it is keeping the living space or 'conditioned air space' in. So it is important to keep the conditioned air space free from toxins. There are building wrap products to help the home breath better but this wont stop the smells of poison in the wall because the 1/2 “sheetrock on the inside of the wall is much thinner and much more porous than the 1/2” plywood on the other side of the wall. Plus on top of the plywood you have either building paper or house wrap then siding and paint. So its much easier for the smells to travel in the home rather than out.

Treated wood is primarily used for ground contact or direct contact to concrete. While treated wood is about half the price of the alternative rot resistant wood (redwood), it is about 2-3 times the amount of un-treated doug fur which is the material of choice for most builders. Most treated wood is actually doug fur that gets injected with many different poisons (that's why you see all the little dash marks on treated wood, its from the injection process). Since they are taking the same doug fur lumber to inject as they a they will typically use the number 2 boards or lower end.

Between you, me, and the rest of the world that reads this, Treated wood is not a safe alternative to naturally rot and pest resistant woods like redwood. States like California have recently built terrazed wood from all landfills and dump sites due to ground water contamination. The recent standard change has also reduced the amount of toxin levels by approx. 50%. While these efforts are a step in the right direction it is not seen as green building or eco friendly to use products with copper or zinc napathane.

When protected correctly, Doug fur constructed homes can last a long, long time. When left unprotected however it can rot real fast.

Does A House Need A Cavity Closer?

The reality is the houses do not actually need a cavity closer in order to be built, although the process is made a lot easier when they are installed. A cavity closer is in fact a small but vital part of the house building process and allows for the each installation of windows and doors.…

The reality is the houses do not actually need a cavity closer in order to be built, although the process is made a lot easier when they are installed. A cavity closer is in fact a small but vital part of the house building process and allows for the each installation of windows and doors. They provide a template for all openings of the house so later on the windows and doors can be fitted neatly into place without any difficulty. This article explores cavity closers and why they are so important to a house.

With a cavity closer, quickly and easily you can create very precise and robust openings that are compliant with all UK building regulations. The entire construction process can be moved along quicker in fact as traditionally creating window and door openings was time consuming and difficult to get right. If time is saved during the construction process then money is saved too. As well as providing a rigid template for windows and doors, cavity closers are also designed to seal off cavities in the wall. Today houses are built with cavity walls – two layers of bricks with a gap of between 50mm and 100mm in between. This gap is very effective because not only does it provide a good layer of insulation, it also prevails damp from coming into the house. The outer wall can be thrashed with rain continuously, but it will not be able to see through into the inner walls.

Cavity closers can be used on any type of building too. It is not just brick houses where they fit, but masonry houses, steel or timber framed houses too. Although the cavity closer itself is often made of uPVC, that does not mean only uPVC windows can be fitted either. Wood windows, metal and composite windows and doors can all be installed easily at a later date with a cavity closer in place.

Having closers made from uPVC makes them easy to slot together and easy to fit. uPVC is a good material to use in construction because it is very durable and lasts a lifetime. It is also extremely cost effective and easy to work with too. Closers consist of a simple slot together system and are easily installed to provide a rigid bricklaying template for all square shaped windows and doors in the house. They are also thermally insulated too which means your home benefits from a further layer of insulation. Heat can often escape through windows and doors, so ensuring there is a boundary of thermally efficient material around each one can really help keep the fuel bills down. uPVC is an environmentally friendly material too because it is made from recycled materials and because it is so durable it never needs replacing or maintaing.

The end result of having a house with cavity closers is a warm and dry home that is free from damp and very well insulated. Damp is a serious problem in houses because not only does it wear away the walls the home is made from, but it can even be dangerous for your health. Mold and damp can cause respiratory problems and even bring on asthma attacks so it is something that should be taken very seriously. If you want to find out more about cavity closers you should contact a reputable building firm to ask about them. If you are mid house construction you should ask your builder whether or not they are to be installed. If they are not you should recommend that they are.

Although a house does not need a cavity closer to be built, it certainly does help with window fixings and installation of doors. As an insulated cavity closer too, you all benefit from a more efficient home which means less cost to heat it in winter and cool it in summer.

Guide To Cavity Closers

Cavity closers are a very small but critical part of the construction of a new house. When building a house, the very best materials are used and the very best features are built in to ensure the end result is a well constructed, warm and dry house. Cavity closers are part of this as they…

Cavity closers are a very small but critical part of the construction of a new house. When building a house, the very best materials are used and the very best features are built in to ensure the end result is a well constructed, warm and dry house. Cavity closers are part of this as they enable heat to be retained and not allowed to escape through the windows, and they also work as an effective window template for windows to be fitted at a later date. This article explores cavity closers, what they are used for and the different types available. Read on to find out more.

Cavity closers are made of uPVC, a very strong and durable materials. uPVC is an excellent material to be used in house construction because it is easy to work with, extremely durable and long lasting and cost effective too. The way that houses are built today is with cavity walls. That means that two layers of bricks are used with a gap through which air can pass. Insulating the gap will provide further insulation, but the aim of the space is to prevent water or dampness from entering the home through the walls. Keeping a house warm and dry is extremely important. Not only is damp unpleasant to live with, it can be bad for you health and it can cause erosion in the walls too. Nothing corrodes a house quick than damp. The cavity wall however prevents this.

All houses need windows and doors. When building a home the best way to proceed is to fit cavity closers where the windows and doors are going to be fitted. Not only does this provide a visual template for windows, it also blocks off the cavity allowing easy installation of the windows and doors at a later date. The closer also provides further insulation and prevails warm air escaping in winter and stops the sun from penetrating and heating up the home in the winter. Insulating your home is very important not least because it keeps your fuel bills down. The home is one of the largest causes of carbon emissions too so if you can reduce the amount released you are going some way to help protect the environment.

There are different types of cavity closer. Some are designed with an additional layer of insulation that are for going that extra mile in terms of efficiency. Others are made with a thin layer of aluminum coating that is designed to prevent the rapid spread of fire. There is also a type of cavity closer available that is designed to be fitted after the building work has been completed. You can also fit closers with ventilation holes that encourage air flow while not allowing heat out or heat in. Ventilation in a home is as important as insulation as without it the humidity levels can increase. Having high humidity in the home can cause damp and even allow mold to grow. Having mold is very bad for your health and can trigger asthma attacks, cause headaches and other respiratory problems. It can genuinely cause long term health problems in fact.

If your house is being constructed by a reputable firm then cavity closers are likely to be included as standard. It is always a good idea to double check however as they are so important. Being made of uPVC they will last you a lifetime too so you never need to worry about replacing them or them them eroding. It is important that these measures are taken to create air tightness around the windows and doors in the home. Without this thermal bridging method, heat can easily escape which results in high cost of heating in winter and cooling in summer.

Get A Loft Conversion, There Are Many Reasons For A Family To Need One

A Bit of History The idea of ​​loft conversions began in the United States in New York's Soho district during the 1960's. Artists began to create residential spaces in the upper parts of out-dated industrial buildings, even though at the time it was illegal to do so because these buildings were not zoned for residential…

A Bit of History

The idea of ​​loft conversions began in the United States in New York's Soho district during the 1960's. Artists began to create residential spaces in the upper parts of out-dated industrial buildings, even though at the time it was illegal to do so because these buildings were not zoned for residential purposes.

Modern Needs

In today's housing market, moving house in order to gain one or two extra rooms may not be an option. On top of the expense, there's a lot of stress and hassle involved in the moving process. However, you can gain that extra room with a loft conversion and stay right where you are. If you ever do move, you will have increased your home's value by as much as 30%. It's no wonder that loft conversions have become the modern thing to do.

What type of extra room could you use? If you have a growing family, you might need an extra child's bedroom or a playroom.

The high unemployment rate, along with the cost of renting, has seen a lot of young adults returning to the nest. A loft conversion could fill the need of a private retreat for a grown son or daughter.

Perhaps you would like to have an elderly parent come to live with you, but simply do not have suitable accommodations to offer. A conversion would give you an extra bedroom with en suite for you and your spouse to enjoy, while your parent could stay on the ground floor so they do not have to climb stairs.

Many people work from home these days and need a private space away from the noise and distractions of active family life. Loft conversions turn out to be surprisingly bright and cheerful places in which to work, with plenty of space to store all of your office needs and private papers.

Whatever your needs and requirements, a loft may also be the answer and, compared to the cost of movers, lawyers' fees and the price of a new house itself, you may be pleasantly surprised by how cost-effective a loft conversion can be.

The Process

Before beginning a loft conversion, the loft conversion company of your choice will inspect and measure the loft to ensure there is enough space available to make a conversion possible. They will also check to make sure there is adequate headroom and space for the access stairs. A typical loft area ready for conversion is about 20-25 Sq. / m. Practically any loft area can be transformed into usable living space, provided there are no structural problems associated with the roof or the house itself.

Next, the loft conversion company will sit down with you to discuss your needs, wishes and budget and cover the options available to you in consideration of the available loft space.

They will then design the loft conversion according to the latest building regulations or, if you prefer, work off of plans you may already have on hand. You may even wish to bring in your own plumber or electrician. Some loft conversion companies are happy to work with you in any way that suits you. The price quoted you at this time will not change unless you request structural alterations during the project. After plans are agreed upon, the loft conversion company will commence the paperwork necessary in order to obtain the necessary government approvals and permissions.

Once permissions are received, work can begin on your loft conversion whenever you are ready. Depending on the design chosen, the whole project can take as little as 6-7 weeks to complete. A contract manager will be available on site from the start of the job until it is finished. It is their job to deal with any problems that may come up and answer all of your questions about the construction of your new loft. The loft conversion company handles everything right up to the point when the loft is ready for decorating.

Home Sweet Home

A conversion will give you and your family a beautiful new space to enjoy, whether you choose an en suite bedroom, a children's playroom or any other kind of space you can envision for your family's needs. You'll have more options for your changing circumstances and will be able to stay in your present home rather than face the bother and expense of moving house. A conversion is a reliably inexpensive undertaking, requires only a few weeks to complete and you will be increasing the value of your home by 20-30%. That's a future well worth investing in.