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Posted by on Dec 2, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Keeping the Cost of Your House Extension Down

While building an extension onto your house can be a great way to add more space and to increase the value of your house, they can be quite expensive. When you are using the best materials and doing extensive work, it will not come to a cheap price. However, there are many different steps that you can take in order to reduce your construction bill without sacrificing quality in the process.

Many home renovations come in over budget, and now you will have the tools to perhaps come in under budget. Here is some of that advice.

Keep the design simple

Curves and corners are costly to build, so you should keep this in mind when creating your design. The cheapest structural shape is a square or rectangular area that has a pitched roof. You can create the design around many of the available off the shelf products that can be found. This means that you won’t have to get things such as windows and doors custom cut and fitted. You should always avoid using anything that needs to be made to order.

You should always use readily available materials and ones that are incredibly easy to use. This means you should use materials such as cast concrete as the sub-floor material, use concrete block in order to build the walls and a timber roof structure.

By avoiding building on or near complicated groundwork such as drains, sewers and trees, you will save yourself a lot of hassle and money. If your property is built on land that cannot avoid these problems then you have little choice in the matter.

Do it yourself as much as possible

Labour costs make up the vast majority of your construction bill. If you have experience doing certain related projects, you should do some of the renovation process yourself. Maybe you are a great painter or carpenter; you can do these tasks instead of hiring a professional to do so. The easiest tasks to do yourself are the landscaping, decorating and labouring.

Other simple enough tasks include tiling, fitting the kitchen and bathroom as well as fitting and fixing the architraves. Make sure that you are fully confident that you can complete the job to a standard that you and your spouse are happy with.

You don’t want to try and do some of the work yourself only to mess it up and have to call a professional in to rectify your mistakes. Therefore, instead of wasting time, energy and materials, call in a professional if you cannot do parts of the work yourself.

Talk with a contractor from a company like Destin Constructions if you have specific questions about building extensions.

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Posted by on Dec 2, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Electrical Services That Can Protect Your Home

Electricians aren’t just able to repair electrical shorts, damaged circuit breakers, and malfunctioning outlets, they are also able to provide you with electrical  services that can protect your home against fire and theft. Here are some specialty services that electricians can offer you to enhance the safety within your house.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors—Electrical contractors can hardwire smoke detectors in your home so that all the detectors work off one circuit. This means that if a detector in your study is triggered, the detectors placed in all other areas of your home will also sound, giving you increased protection against house fires. In addition, electrical contractors can install photoelectric smoke detectors, which are able to sense any particles in the air that are the result of burning electrical wires, stripped electrical wires, or trace smoke from a smouldering fire. Electricians can install these specialized smoke detectors throughout your home to provide you with enhanced protection against fires that burn slowly before igniting into a large fire. Electrical contractors are also able to hard wire carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home that work off a single circuit and are fully integrated. Integration is important to prevent a situation in which you are in one part of your home and can’t hear a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector that has been triggered in another part of your house.

Motion-Sensor Lights—Electrical contractors can also install an entire motion-sensor lighting system for the exterior of your home. These sensors detect movement and activate floodlights to illuminate during the evening and night hours, and they act as a deterrent to home invasions. Electricians typically install motion-sensor lighting directly outside your front door and above your driveway so that you are safer when coming home late at night. Motion-sensor lighting works through the use of detection of infrared waves, which emanate from animals, humans, and vehicles. Electricians set a timer to the motion-sensor so that the sensors are inoperable when it is light outside. Motion-sensor lights are also available with an adjustable range setting to prevent what is known as ‘nuisance’ activation caused by things such as leaves or a vehicle that passes on the street in front of your home. Your electrical contractor may suggest that you place motion-sensor lights in all areas where safety is a concern, such as your back door, fence, patio area, deck, and even dark areas of your backyard that are covered by bushes and hedges.

Contact a service like Royalty Plumbing and Gas to learn more about what electricians can do to protect your home or to set up an appointment.

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Posted by on Nov 20, 2015 in Uncategorized |

How to Ensure Your Thatched Roof Has a Longer Lifespan

In centuries past, having a thatched roof on your home would have been a sign that you were poorer than a person who could afford slate, for example. But now the tables have turned and a thatched roof is seen as an opulent choice for people who want to achieve a rustic aesthetic for the exterior of their home.

But thatched roofs are extremely unique in their properties, and if you don’t look after your thatched roof well, you’ll find it ageing and needing to be replaced before its time. So what are some of the things that you can do to increase the longevity of a thatched roof?

Choose the material carefully. Thatched roofs are not one-size-fits-all; you can choose from a variety of thatching materials such as longstraw, ridge, and water reed. To secure the longest lifespan, you should opt for water reed because roofs made from this material can last up to sixty years without collapsing. Of course, this is nothing compared to a slate roof, but as far as thatched roofs go, this is a long lifespan.

Opt for a high roof slope. The angle of your roof slope will also affect the lifespan of your thatched roof, and generally speaking, the steeper the angle the better. This is because rainwater will run off the roof much more quickly, and water is the enemy of a thatched roof. This is because water that sticks around can cause mould. It could also attract birds, which like to peck at thatched roofs. And the longer that water is on your roof, the greater chance there is of that water leaking through, which can then also cause problems for the interior of your building.

Brush the roof. A thatched roof also needs to be brushed on a regular basis. Head somewhere that sells roofing supplies like Combined Metal Industries and ask them for a brush specifically for brushing thatched roofs and they will be able to help you out. Brushing is important because the top thin layer of the thatch will retain the most moisture, and this is bad news because mould and algae can develop. And the longer that moisture sits in that top layer, the more chance it has of penetrating deeply into the thatch. If you feel uncomfortable getting on to your roof yourself, a roofer can also be hired to take care of this task for you.

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Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Uncategorized |

How to Safely Remove Non-friable Vinyl Asbestos-Containing Floor Tiles

Nonfriable asbestos is basically asbestos that cannot easily be broken, crushed, or reduced to dust under ordinary circumstances. The following guide offers insightful tips to help you get rid of vinyl asbestos floor tiles while in a nonfriable state.

Recommended safety equipment

·         Safety glasses for eye protection

·         Respirator

·         Gloves

·         Coverall

·         Boots

Materials needed

·         Garden hose featuring a spray nozzle or a water sprayer

·         Thick plastic sheeting

·         Putty knives, paint and floor scraper

·         Plastic bags, containers

Step 1

Cover the entire doorway section, the floor registers, and other areas with the thick plastic sheeting to avoid contamination of those surfaces from asbestos fibers.

Step 2

The vinyl floor tiles ought to be kept moist during removal. Soak the floor section for at least 2 hours prior to the start of the removal process. This helps to slacken the tiles and thus helps create an easy removal task. Furthermore, wetting serves to minimize the chances of the deadly asbestos fibers from being discharged into the air.

Step 3

Place a flat floor scraper or a broad putty knife beneath the floor tiles and lift up the tiles one at a time. The pried up tile pieces should be kept in whole pieces and not shattered into small pieces to avoid release of the toxic asbestos fiber. Safely put the removed tiles in a separate container to avoid breakage.

Step 4

For projects spanning a very small section of one to five tiles, you may use either a heat gun or solvent to help take out the tiles. The use of a solvent demands that the area should be properly ventilated.

Step 5

Put the vinyl floor tiles in a tightly-sealed container and place a relevant warning sticker on the container informing anyone of the presence of asbestos-containing material inside the container.

Step 6

Find a landfill that is sanctioned to allow asbestos waste and be sure to ask about any particular packaging stipulations they may have.

In the unfortunate event that one of the vinyl asbestos floor tiles becomes crumbled or damaged, it is referred to as friable and there’s a high likelihood that it may release the poisonous asbestos fiber. In such a case, work should cease immediately and you should get in touch with a professional asbestos removal service provider. Friable asbestos containing materials should only be removed by certified contractors and personnel.

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Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Leadlight-making for Beginners: Proper Glass cutting techniques

The first thing that comes to your mind when you hear ‘stained glass’ is probably a huge cathedral with dome windows, right? Well, think a little further: imagine making a smaller version of that window, in any shape, color and style and having it in your home. That’s basically what a leadlight is.

Leadlights add an aura of beauty and sophistication to a space, and they are so easy to make you can do it as a hobby. Leadlights can be used in place of any window in your home, partially or wholly. You can create simple images like flowers, plants and birds using glasses of different sizes cut and fixed together with lead came (hence the name ‘leadlights’ or copper foil).

If you’re looking to get into leadlighting as a hobby, accurate glass cutting is one of the most important things you can learn. Glass cutting is done using a small metal wheel which creates a score-line on the surface of the glass. The glass surface is then penetrated along the score line for full separation of parts.

The following are a few glass-cutting tips to help you transition into proper glass cutting for your leadlight projects:

  • Choose a self-oiling, high-quality cutter which comfortably fits your grip. Before any cutting confirm that the reservoir has enough oil.
  • Buy a snug-fitting pair of safety goggles and wear them each time to protect your eyes from glass and lead dust and/or chips
  • Invest in clear, bright light for your work surface to ensure that you make precise, accurate cuts
  • If you haven’t ever cut glass, start with plain clear glass, which separates much easier. It’s also cheaper, so you can replace any ruined pieces and keep practicing until you’re much better before transitioning into leadlight glass.
  • Do not cut glass on padding; ensure it’s on a flat wooden surface to ensure you don’t make any cracks that will cause the glass to break where you didn’t want it to. Use paper templates to ensure you cut accurately.
  • You’ll need to stand most of the time, so ensure that your workbench is a comfortable height for standing. This is because you need to apply pressure on the cutter, which is hard to do when you sit.
  • Place your patter templates 1-2 inches from the glass edge so that you have something to hold when breaking. Always cut from the smooth side if you’re using textured glass.
  • Ensure that your score line is steady and continuous, but light. However, don’t apply too much pressure, as this may crush the glass. If you notice a bright-white score-line and chips fly from the line as you cut, you’re using too much pressure.
  • Don’t retrace a score line using the cutter. If the initial line is discontinuous or otherwise inaccurate/unusable, move a half-inch beside it and start over
  • Where possible, after scoring, break the glass with your hands. If you need extra leverage (e.g. if you scored too close to the edge), use glass-breaking pliers. Use grozing pliers’ ridges to smoothen any rough edges, ensuring that your cut glasses are the exact size of the pattern templates. This way, they will fit perfectly when you bring them together.
  • Clean up the work surface in between cuts so that the chips and shards won’t scratch your leadlight glass pieces.

If making your own does not appeal to you, contact a company like Moorabbin Glass.

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Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in Uncategorized |

When a Tap Does Not Turn Off: Getting to Know the Isolation Valve

When a plumbing problem becomes evident, you’re going to want to have it repaired as soon as possible. If you notice the problem during regular business hours, then this is fine. You can call a plumber and they will be able to deal with it relatively quickly. But what if you happen to notice a plumbing problem late at night or on a Sunday or public holiday? You would still want to have the situation remedied as soon as possible, but calling an after-hours emergency plumber can be an unnecessary expense.

A fairly common problem is when a tap will not turn off. In some instances it can be an emergency, but you can temporarily remedy the situation yourself and then call a plumber, such as those at A and C Plumbing, for a permanent solution. This can usually be dealt with on the next business day, saving yourself rather a lot of money.

Taking Action Now

A tap that does not turn off can quickly become an emergency if the sink in question has drainage issues and there’s a very real threat of the sink overflowing. A plumber will be able to permanently fix the problem, and yet you need to take action now. You might not realise that each tap has an isolation valve, and you can cut the water supply to the tap by simply turning this valve.

The Isolation Valve

Check under the sink; in many cases the isolation valve can be turned like a tap (and it looks just like one). With smaller sinks, you might need to turn the isolation valve using a flat-head screwdriver (as there was not enough space to install a tap sized isolation valve). The tap will then be out of action until repaired, but this is a mild inconvenience when compared to the cost of an after-hours emergency plumber.

When the Isolation Valve Does Not Work

In older homes, it’s possible that the isolation valve has not been touched for years, and so it might not be possible to activate it. Don’t be tempted to try and force it using a pair of pliers, as this can damage the fixture and even rip it clear off the wall. If you cannot easily activate the isolation valve, then it’s necessary to call an after-hours plumber. There is the possibility that the continuous flow of water can overwhelm the sink, and a huge amount of water will be wasted if left for too long. If the plumber is not able to reach you within a short time, you might want to turn off your main water supply to prevent water damage.

It’s a good idea to find each tap’s isolation valve before you need to use it. If the tap should ever not turn off, you’ll know where to look and what to do. A plumber can then fix the tap at a more convenient (and less expensive) time.

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