Stop Mold in Its Tracks

Safety Tips For Removing An Interior Wall In Your Home’s Kitchen

Posted by on 5:26 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Safety Tips For Removing An Interior Wall In Your Home’s Kitchen

If you have decided to demolish an interior wall in your home to open up your kitchen to the rest of the house, then it is important that you take certain steps to ensure that your project is safe and does not cause permanent structural damage to your home. To this end, here are some time-tested contractor tips to help you safely remove one of your home’s interior walls and open up your kitchen to your home’s living room:  Tip: Ensure that the Wall You Want to Remove Is Not Load-Bearing Before ever attempting to remove a wall from your home’s kitchen, first, you must determine if the wall is load-bearing or not. You can determine this by checking the wall’s location and orientation in your home’s attic. Walls that run the same direction as the floor and ceiling joists are typically not load-bearing. Walls that run across the joists are typically load-bearing and should not be removed. If you do not know exactly how to determine if a wall is load-bearing, then you should have it inspected by a professional contractor before you attempt to remove it. This is very important because if you remove a load-bearing wall without providing additional support for your home’s attic space, your house could collapse.  Tip: Remove All of the Drywall Before You Damage the Wood Studs Use a stud finder tool to locate the wood studs in the wall you are going to remove. Take care to break out the drywall without hitting your sledgehammer on the studs themselves. This is very important because there is always a chance that you will open up the wall and find out that there is HVAC, power, or water lines in the wall that you may decide that you don’t want to relocate. The last thing you want to do is remove the drywall, damage the wood studs, and then need to rebuild them. Tip: Always Wear Eye and Lung Protection Finally, when you are removing drywall from your home, it is vital that you wear the proper safety protection for your body. Since drywall dust can scratch your eyes, you should always wear protective goggles when removing it. The drywall dust can also irritate your lungs, so you should wear a respirator while you are swinging the sledgehammer at your walls. Both pieces of safety equipment can be purchased inexpensively at your local hardware or home improvement...

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Automatic Garage Doors: 2 Tips To Help Prevent Disasters

Posted by on 5:47 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Automatic Garage Doors: 2 Tips To Help Prevent Disasters

Automatic garage doors are truly a convenience and luxury in people’s lives, yet they often get overlooked and taken for granted. Due to the fact that garage doors are often one of the ways into your home and contain safety features, these doors need to be paid special attention to. This is especially true if you want to ensure the security of your home and the safety of yourself and your family members. 1. Always Make Sure the Door Fully Closes. Have you ever been late to work or school in the morning and failed to make sure that your garage door actually closed before you left the house? Probably so. Unfortunately, you may have come home to find that your garage door was actually open even though you were 100 percent positive that you pushed that button before you left your driveway that morning. However, something, anything, could have gotten in the way of the self-reversing sensor and caused the garage door to reverse and go back up. Do yourself and your family a favor and make sure that the garage door fully closes before you leave. It only takes a few seconds to do this. 2. Regularly Test the Self-Reversing Mechanism. Newer garage doors have a mechanism installed that can automatically detect when something has crossed the path of the garage door when it is in the process of closing. When the sensor has been triggered, the door is supposed to automatically stop in its tracks and reverse. Unfortunately, a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health showed that this may not always be true. In this study, 50 automatic garage door openers were tested and 40 percent of them failed the test. In this same study, it was reported that 85 percent of children had either endured permanent brain damage or lost their lives in garage door accidents. For example, in 2013, a young Maryland girl lost her life after an automatic garage door sensor failed to detect her presence underneath the door. Due to these findings, it is crucial that you make sure that your automatic garage door has this self-reversing sensor. While it hasn’t been foolproof in the past, it is better to have it than not. Secondly, it is imperative that it be tested on a regularly basis, such as monthly, to ensure it is working properly. Use a decent-sized object to place beneath the garage door to make certain that the sensor will detect it and that the garage door will self-reverse. If it does not, call a technician out immediately. For more information, contact companies like Allied Door Controls &...

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3 Signs That You Need A Land Survey For Your Property

Posted by on 5:22 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Signs That You Need A Land Survey For Your Property

A land surveyor uses various tools, resources and techniques to determine the exact property lines for a piece of property. If you are a property owner, there is a good chance that you will need to have a land survey done at least once. These are a few signs that you need to have a land survey done for your property. 1. You Are Thinking About Selling If you are thinking about selling your property and have not had a land survey done lately, you may want to have it done now. Then, you will be able to provide your potential buyers with accurate and up-to-date information about your property lines. Plus, if you have this done now, you can help speed along the process of selling your property later. 2. You’re Making Improvements to Your Property Are you thinking about making improvements to your property? If so, you may need to have a survey done. For example, if you are planning on putting up a fence around your property, having a land survey done will help you ensure that you put up your fence on the right outer perimeter. After all, you don’t want to find out later that you actually put your fence on your neighbor’s property or that you aren’t taking advantage of all of the yard space that belongs to you. If you are adding an add-on or putting up a garage, carport or storage building at the edge of your property, having a survey done can help in these situations, as well. 3. You’re Arguing with Your Neighbor Sure, it would be great if you could get along with your neighbors all the time. However, this isn’t always realistic. Neighbors argue about all kinds of things, including property line disputes. If your neighbor is arguing that your tree is hanging over on his or her property or that your fence isn’t in the right place, one of the best ways to settle the dispute is to have a land survey done. Then, you and your neighbors can be clear about exactly where the property lines lie. A land surveyor does a very important job, and his or her services might be quite valuable to you one day. Even if you have never had a land survey done, if you find yourself in one of these situations, you might find that it’s smart to hire one of these pros to help you. For more information, contact a business such as Community Sciences...

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A Basic Guide To Vinyl Siding

Posted by on 6:28 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Basic Guide To Vinyl Siding

If you want to make your home more efficient, you should consider adding vinyl siding. Of course, with vinyl siding, you also get the chance to completely redefine the look of your home exterior. Vinyl is probably the most common exterior siding material because it is energy efficient and stylish at the same time. However, not all vinyl products are the same. They have varying price ranges and different levels of insulation. This article is a basic guide to vinyl siding, so you can figure out which products will be the best for your needs. Find the Right Insulation For Your Climate First, you need to decide if you want to invest in hollow or insulated vinyl siding. It should be noted that even hollow siding will add some insulation to your home. Hollow siding will basically work like a windbreaker. For instance, the sun (during the summer) and the snow (during the winter), will not be directly hitting the walls that are directly connected to your interior walls. This means your home will not heat up or cool down as quickly. But, if hollow siding works like a windbreaker, insulated siding works like a parka. It adds another level of insulation that is hugely effective during the winter. In fact, insulated vinyl is much more useful during the winter than it is during the summer. So, it is most useful in cold climates. When shopping for the best insulation, you should consider your climate and the R-value of the products. This helpful rating system helps you determine the best product for your climate. You will find that a hollow vinyl siding might be sufficient if you live in a temperate climate like Southern California. However, if you live in the Midwest, will definitely want to look at the insulated products. Obviously, the more insulated a vinyl product has, the more expensive it will be. Decide Whether You Want Planks or Shingles You also need to consider if you prefer the look of plank or shingle siding. Planks are more energy efficient because there are fewer possible areas where air can leak between the seams. Also, planks are probably easier to install since there are fewer individual pieces to handle. Most people will choose shingles just because they prefer the look over plank siding. If you are more concerned with style, shingles are great, but planks are better for those who want to install their own siding. Once you decide what kind of vinyl siding to get, contact a company like Patriot Construction to install it for...

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2 Benefits To The Design Build Approach To Construction

Posted by on 8:51 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Benefits To The Design Build Approach To Construction

If you are considering having a home built for you in the near future, you should definitely consider going with the design build approach to construction. This approach involves the client and the contractor. This article will discuss 2 benefits to the design build approach to construction and why this approach can be a great fit for you.  The Designer Is Also The Builder In some situations, the designer is going to help create a blueprint for your home, and then these plans are going to be turned over the contractor so that he can give you a bid on how much this home is going to cost to build. If you accept his bid, he will then begin constructing the home for you. This method is called design-bid-build. However, in the design build method, the contractor is the one who both designs and builds the home for you. This means that your budget is already decided before the home is created, so your contractor will make sure that the blue print is what you want and what you can afford. This can help a great deal because there is only one other person that you are working with, and you don’t have to stress about having a miscommunication between you, the designer, and the contractor.  The Process Is Generally Quicker  Since it is just going to be you and the contractor in a design build approach, you are cutting one person out of the equation. This can often save a great deal of time because you don’t have to worry about waiting for the design plans to be given to the contractor and for him to make a bid on the cost of building the home. Also, since the contractor is the one designing and building your home, he can get a jump start on getting the permits to build your home so he can get started that much earlier. You on the other hand can also go into the bank to get your loan much quicker because you know exactly how much your home is going to cost you from the moment that you begin designing it with your contractor. Lastly, you are able to save time because you don’t have to search for both a designer and a contractor to help you, but instead only have to find a great contractor to work with you on both aspects.  Contact a company like Lehman Construction Services Inc for more...

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Boiler Installation Costs: A Guide For Questioning Homeowners

Posted by on 11:41 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Boiler Installation Costs: A Guide For Questioning Homeowners

Even though boiler systems were once the more popular form of home heating, many homes are now fitted with a different type of heat system. However, modern boiler systems are far more efficient than ever and still provide the double benefit of offering your home both heated water and heat in the winter with one unit. If you are considering having a boiler system installed in your modern home, you are bound to have questions about the process, but mainly about the costs involved. Here are a few of the most common questions about residential boiler installation costs and the answers you should know.  How much does a modern boiler system cost? A new residential boiler system can range in cost according to several different factors, but especially the type of boiler system you choose. A standard gas-fired boiler unit will cost you about $2,500-$5,000, while an oil-fired unit will cost you more like $3,000-$6,500. High-efficiency models can be a little higher at $6,000-$9,000 or even higher depending on the model type.  What is included in the boiler installation price? Included in the total price of boiler installation will be: the installation of the new boiler system, piping, wiring, and fittings the installation of new piping or radiators the installation of the wiring to power the new boiler system Additionally, the contractor will work with you to ensure you know how to properly use and maintain the system and even make recommendations on which type of system your home would work best with.  Are there any factors that could make the installation higher than usual? When it comes to modern boiler installation, there will always be some factors that could drive up the price. For example, if you have an outdated boiler system in place that will have to be removed first, you may pay more for the overall project. Likewise, removing old oil tanks on your property can come with an additional fee. In some cases, your contractor will have to charge an extra fee to cover the costs of an installation permit that is required by your specific location as well. It is also not uncommon for duct work to have to be replaced during installation. In the end, making the change to a modern boiler system in your home can be a good idea. If you would like to know more, contact a boiler installation technician in your area or Schweitzer Brothers for more...

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3 Ways To Improve Docks With Tropical Lumber And Hidden Fasteners

Posted by on 11:38 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways To Improve Docks With Tropical Lumber And Hidden Fasteners

If you are having a dock built on your waterfront property, you may be considering installing a wooden marine structure with conventional lumber materials. If you want it to have a durable and attractive look, tropical decking materials can be a good choice for the surface of your dock. If you choose to use tropical decking, hidden fasteners can be another solution that you want. This also means that you will need to choose additional bracing systems to improve the structural integrity of your dock. Here are some solutions that you may want to consider to improve the structure if you choose to use tropical lumber: 1. Add Extra Diagonal Joists To Brace The Dock Laterally Normally, your dock will have vertical joists that run from side-to-side or front-to-back. This provides less lateral support, which is usually done when the decking is nailed or screwed to the top of joists. With a hidden fastener system, there is nothing holding the deck surface in place and preventing it from rocking from side-to-side. To solve this problem, a few joists or blocks can be installed diagonally. 2. Install Cut In Braces To The Dock Before Any Decking Is Installed Another improvement that you may want to consider is to cut the bracing into the tops of joists before the decking is installed. This can be done with stainless steel or aluminum T-braces that are designed for marine environments. Another option is to install 2x4s that are cut into the top of joists diagonally, which can provide the dock with lateral stability. In addition, extra bracing at the base of piers can be used to stabilize your dock. 3. Add Lateral Brackets For Bracing At The Piers And Deck Surface The piers of your dock can also have bracing added to them. This can be the lateral bracing below the surface of the water, as well as bracing from the piers to the deck structure. Talk with the marine construction contractor about cutting these brackets with a decorative detail to give your dock more of an attractive look. These are some of the choices that you will want to consider to reinforce your dock if you install decking with hidden fasteners. If you are ready to build a new dock for your waterfront property, contact a marine construction contractor like Abbott’s Construction Services Inc. and talk with them about some of the choices to make your dock sturdy and...

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High Electric Bill? Use These Energy Makeover Tips

Posted by on 10:32 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on High Electric Bill? Use These Energy Makeover Tips

Each electrical bill might seem like it is larger than the last, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Many electrical fixtures are responsible for your high utility bills, and replacing them with more energy-efficient alternatives will not only help lower your home electrical bills, but will also save you money. Change Your Bulbs One of the easiest home energy upgrades is to replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. The latter is not only more energy-efficient, but lasts much longer. They are more expensive initially, but they will save you money overall. Replace Appliances Old appliances should be replaced–with those appliances that use up the most energy taking the greatest priority. Air conditioning units use up the most energy, so make sure that you replace your air conditioner every couple of years so that your home will be kept cool at the lowest cost. Hot water heaters are another unit that can drive up electricity costs. Therefore, replacing old hot water heaters with high-efficiency water heaters will lower your energy bills. Tankless hot water heaters are often the most energy-efficient option. Use Ceiling Fans Have more ceiling fans installed in your home so that you will not have to rely as much on air conditioning. Look for areas of your home that do not use ceiling fans and have more installed. Use Solar Panels One of the best energy-efficiency upgrades of all is to have the roof of your home fitted with solar panels. By doing so, you will no longer be completely reliant on the electrical grid. The degree to which solar panels will generate energy is based on how much sun your roof receives and the energy demands of your home; but regardless, you will receive some energy savings even if you still need to rely on the electrical grid to some extent. Remove Vampire Appliances There are many appliances in the home that are considered energy vampires. They are not in operation, but are plugged in and continue to use electricity. These are mostly computers and video game consoles. Depending on how often you use these devices, they can account for a sizable percentage of your energy use. The best way to ensure that you have the most energy-efficient home possible is to talk with an electrical contractor. There are some electrical contractors who are specialized in home electrical upgrades to not only make your home more efficient, but also more comfortable. You will need a full energy audit to determine which fixtures are costing you the...

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Sound-Proofing Metal Roofing: Three Options Your Contractor May Offer You

Posted by on 10:45 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Sound-Proofing Metal Roofing: Three Options Your Contractor May Offer You

If you are considering purchasing a metal roof to replace the current roofing material you have on your home, you may have questions about noise levels and sound-proofing. The fact is, metal roofs installed on houses are typically no noisier than asphalt shingles or wooden shingles. However, if you want to be sure your metal roof is as quiet as a sleeping mouse, then you can ask your contractor about some sound-proofing options. Here are three options he or she might offer you to further deaden any noise that a metal roof might make during a storm. Keeping the Old Roof in Place Another option is to keep all of the old shingles in place. Not only does this deaden any sound caused by rainfall on your metal roof, but it also helps firmly secure the metal roof in place. The old shingles act as anchors to which your contractor can secure the metal roofing and shave off a lot of time and labor costs in the process. Unless there is some very severe damage to your old roof, you may want to consider this option because it tends to be the most economical of the three listed here. Additional or Really Thick Insulation in Your Attic Rolled insulation serves many purposes in your attic. Certainly not the least of these purposes is sound-proofing. When rolled insulation is installed between the rafters, it reduces some of the hollow reverberations and/or echoes that might otherwise occur with no insulation. Adding more insulation to these spaces or replacing it with really thick, quilted batting-type insulation is sure to reduce most noise (except for really loud claps of thunder). If you do not use your attic for storage, you may want to add more blown insulation to the “floor” area as well. Using Denser Hardwood Planks in Place of Particle Board Particle board, or “sandwich” board is often used as the first later over the tops of your roof’s trusses. It encloses the roof while providing a surface to which the roofing contractor then applies an under-roof material. Although it is more expensive, you could request thick hardwood planks in place of the particle board. Thicker planks are similar to adding thick insulation–the sound waves have a more difficult time traveling through these thick objects, and therefore, the sounds are barely heard, if at all. If your roof currently uses particle board, your contractor may need to rip it all off before attaching the thicker hardwood sheets to the trusses. Click here to learn more about metal...

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Important Facts You Should Know About Standard And Reinforced Concrete Residential Foundations

Posted by on 10:21 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Important Facts You Should Know About Standard And Reinforced Concrete Residential Foundations

If you are planning for your dream home, one of the most important details to allow for is the type of foundation you choose for the new house. Although you may assume that a plain concrete foundation is the right choice because it is such a popular choice, unreinforced concrete may not be the right choice if your home will be in a very cold area. In that instance, you should plan to either reinforce the concrete or use footings to make the area safe for your needs. When you need to make an informed decision about choosing the right concrete residential foundation for your new home, the following information will be very helpful. When You Should Choose A Standard Concrete Foundation As previously mentioned, a standard concrete foundation is the most common type of foundation. It can best be described as an even level of concrete that gradually thickens around the sides. In order to provide the best drainage, you will frequently see it laid on a bed of gravel and it may also be reinforced it with steel in order to make it a bit stronger. However, even with gravel and steel reinforcements, bitterly cold climates can still allow the concrete to crack or show other types of damage. Therefore, if you live in that kind of area, you would be better served with a more fully reinforced concrete foundation as described below. When You Might Need A Reinforced Concrete Foundation If you live in an area where it is very common to experience long, cold winters where extremely deep freezes are common, a standard concrete foundation alone will not be appropriate. However, you do have two choices that can keep your home safe and intact for many years. You may be advised that extra time to dig further into the ground will impact your budget and construction time-table. The first option to consider is known as a frost-resistant foundation and features a series of footings below the ground level where freezing usually ends. When the concrete is laid, it is then more resistant to the exceptionally cold climate because it has been supplemented with vertical and horizontal rigid-foam insulation. You may also choose to emulate areas like Sweden or Finland and use the frost-protected shallow foundation, which may also be referred to as the FPSF. It is unique because the concrete itself is modified by receiving additional concrete before being laid down. As a result, it is able to resist frost damage and the extra labor may not be necessary. In conclusion, as a new home-owner, you are likely to be very choosy about the details that go into the design and construction of your new house. Since the foundation of your home plays such an important role in its successful use, you should be aware of the preceding information about choosing standard or reinforced concrete residential foundations. To learn more, contact a company like Spiers...

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