Learning About Construction and Home Improvement

Some projects are bigger than just putting on a new coat of paint and for the really big projects you need to learn a little about construction home improvement. When you are talking about construction home improvement you are talking about either major renovations or major additions that will require not just the equipment of a construction home improvement company but also their expertise and years of experience.

It is one thing to say you want to do a construction home improvement project like add a second story to your house but it is a whole other ball game when it comes time to actually put hammer to nail and get that new story on the top of your house. So many things to consider and angles to watch for in construction home improvement and you can help yourself by following some simple advice when it comes to construction home improvement.

The cheapest bid is not always the best bid. The construction home improvement business is filled with bad contractors that bid low on projects, ask for half up front, and then never finish the job. Always be wary of a contractor that does not want to work out a payment schedule and demands half, or more, of the money up front. For smaller jobs most contractors will either bill you or ask for the money after the job is done.

If you are signing a contract then payment terms will be in the contract so read the contract before you sign it. Always do some research on contractors before you hire one because if you get scammed by a contractor that is know to take people for their money then you have no one to blame but yourself.

It is Your House

Always ask a contractor to walk you through what they are going to do for a construction home improvement and then ask for that procedure in writing in their bid. This way there is less chance of them doing more work than you asked them to do and then trying to bill you for it at the end of the job.

Always tell the contractor that if a situation comes up to stop work and discuss the situation with you and have that as part of the contract. Contractors are famous for finding issues that they felt they could just fix on the spot and then it winds up costing you hundreds, or thousands, of dollars more.

It is your house so demand to be the person that is in charge of the project. Having construction home improvement done is always exciting but be sure you know what you are getting into and make sure you get contractors that are reputable and trustworthy before you sign on that bottom line.

Lean To Shed Kit – Various Types

For beginners or people who have no prior experience in do it yourself projects, a lean to shed kit is the most practical solution to setting up an outdoor lean to storage facility. Kits can be purchased from hundreds of sellers online as well as in local home and garden supply stores. Basically, there are three reasons why you should opt for lean to shed kits.

First and foremost, you do not need any experience in woodworking whatsoever. A lean to shed kit can be easily assembled just by following detailed instructions that come with a kit. Storage shed kits include a step by step guide, all the shed parts you need, and partially built side panels. With only the basic tools at hand, you can set up your own lean to shed in no time. The assistance o fat least one other person will make the job a lot easier.

Secondly, you can easily find a lean to shed kits offer flexibility in choices when it comes to types and styles. Dealers offer kits for sheds in a variety of designs and sizes. Everything from garden sheds, garages, workshops, and barn houses can be bought in pre-assembled kits.

Last but not least, you have the option to choose from a variety of quality materials. Wood remains a popular choice but there are also shed kits in metal that may consist of aluminum or steel. Metal kits are relatively less costly and are designed to resist rusting. You may also avail of plastic shed kits that come with lifetime warranties. These are also easy to construct and weather resistant.

Lean to Shed Kit Types

Garden shed kits come in different types. Know how one differs from another so you have an idea what to expect if you buy a lean to shed kit. Look for an option that best fits your budget, storage needs, style, and preference.

Shed Kit Plans

Shed kit plans are mere blueprints of sheds in any specific style. This is ideal for people who have the time and the skills to construct their own sheds from scratch. One main advantage of using as lean to shed kit plan is that you get exactly what you want the way you want it.

Pre-Cut

A pre-cut garden shed plan comes with pieces of wood that has already been cut in different sizes. The buyer will only have to make minor adjustments according to his specifications.

Semi-Assembled Shed Kits

A lean to shed kit that has been pre-assembled are sold with panelized walls, roof, and floors that are designed to interlock together using screws. Obviously, this type of lean to shed kit will make the job a lot easier and faster for you.

Fully Installed Kit

There are a large number of manufacturers that sell assembled or fully installed garden shed kits. This type of lean to shed kit will work best if you have an urgent need for outdoor storage. Fully installed kits are fully customized according to your specifications, which the seller will ask for when you order a kit.

Ordering a lean to shed kit is undeniably convenient and economic. Be sure to plan well and research carefully before making a decision on what type of kit you are buying. Decide on the exact size of your building and for what purpose it is going to be used. Tool sheds may be as small as 1×2 while garden sheds for storing larger equipment may be about 6×6 or 8×10. Also, you may consider adding shelves, lighting, windows, and other accessories.

How To Use A Japanese Bathtub

One of the most popular types of bathtub on the market these days is the Japanese bathtub, as people look to install bathroom fittings that are a little bit different from the ordinary. A Japanese bathtub is essentially a soaking tub, and most people understand this. However many people do not know how to really use a Japanese bathtub in order to have the proper Japanese bathing experience. This article will give some pointers how to really take a Japanese bath and get the most out of your Japanese soaking tub.

The first thing to know is that traditionally a Japanese bath is not used for washing, but is only used for soaking after the person has washed themselves. In a traditional Japanese bathroom floor of the bathroom would be tiled and would have a drain to enable water to drain away while the person walked themselves outside of the bathtub. The usual way of washing was to use bowls of hot water which would be poured over the body, although in modern times the bowls have been replaced by a shower. So if you want to have a real Japanese bathing experience the first thing you need to do is forget about having soap in the bathtub and find some way of washing yourself before you get in

The next thing to know is that water for a traditional Japanese bath should be much hotter than it is in the West. Since the tub is used for soaking, the water should be heated to a temperature that you may find slightly uncomfortable at first, but which really does help to relax tired muscles and also helps to pack the body with heat so that even a cold winter night can feel extremely bearable even when the room is not a particularly warm. The first time you try this you may feel very uncomfortable indeed, but after you have tried it for a few times you’ll find it is an extremely relaxing experience

Finally, for many Japanese one soak is not enough. After soaking for several minutes and getting warm, it is a traditional thing to do to get out of the bath, wash again, and then get back in the bath for an extra soak in order to really relax the muscles. After spending so much time in hot water your body will be so relaxed that you will only need to have a cup of sake with your evening meal and you will be ready to fall asleep on a futon off course!

How to install your own aluminum fence

It’s really not as difficult as some people think to install their own aluminum fence… be it for around their backyard or for around their swimming pool.

The hardest part is the actual digging of the holes. They’re usually 2′ into the ground with a diameter of about 6″. You can use a standard post hole digger or make the process easier by using a hydraulic auger.

Before you start digging all the post holes (usually 72.5″ on center for a residential fence), make sure you mark off where your gates are going to be located. Keep in mind before digging your gate holes, that a 4′ wide gate is usually measured as the opening size from the inside edge of one gate post over to the near side of the other gate post.

More information about hanging a gate can be found at the link at the bottom of this page.

All the aluminum fence sections come pre-assembled and are ready to install. Once the post is in the ground, slide the fence rails into the holes in the posts and secure them with a self-tapping screw that goes into the post and through the rail inside of the post. Do this for each rail. Once that’s done, you can pour concrete into the post hole that you previously dug out. Time to move to the next hole and repeat the process.

To make sure that all the posts are in a straight line, tie a string to a stake and hammer it in the ground 1′ past or behind the one end or corner post with the other end connected to a stake in the ground 1′ past the last end or corner post in that line. Make sure that each post is right next to the string, but not touching it. Also make sure that each post is plumb by checking each side with a level… before the concrete has a chance to dry.

Continue this for each straight run of fence before attempting to hang the gate.

Further aluminum fence and gate installation instructions can be found in the link at the bottom of this page.

We hope you found this information helpful.

For more information about purchasing your own aluminum or vinyl fence, visit our website below.

We have some very unique styles of aluminum fence that are made from American aluminum extrusions and then fabricated in North Carolina, USA… to make them completely American made and assembled. Not very many of our competitors can say they same.

Quick and Easy Energy Tips for Summer

Its early March, and the cold weather is slipping away day by day. Its time to start preparing your home for the coming heat. Soon, air conditioners will be blasting, leading to a skyrocket in energy use and expenses. Luckily, there are several very easy ways that you can live more efficiently during the summer. Weve all heard the theory that it takes 21 days to start a habit. So starting now will leave you plenty of wiggle room. Practice these efficient habits during the spring, and by summer time, they will be second nature.

  1. Dont forget your air filters. Yes, summer can be a hectic time full of vacations, trips to the pool, sleepovers and sports games. A full schedule can make it easy to neglect the little things that can make a big difference in your energy efficiency. We put this tip at the top of the list because it is truly important for a properly functioning air conditioner. Make sure to change your air filters every month. Not only will this keep the sneeze, cough and watery eye-inducing summer allergies at bay, it will make sure that your AC unit isnt working overtime. A clogged, dirty filter makes it harder to cool your home down, resulting in extra work for and strain on your AC. This can lead to short circuiting and even total system failure. Do yourself a favor and set an alarm on your phone, or mark it on your calendar to change your air filters for the first of every month. This simple task can seriously reduce your summer utility costs.
  2. Only wash full loads. Summer inevitably provides extra messes to clean up: Mud and grass stains from soccer and baseball, sweat-soaked clothes (from any outdoor activity) and lots and lots of barbecue sauce. When its time to clean things up again, clothes and dishes alike, make sure that youre making the most of the energy spent. Dont run the dishwasher or your washer and dryer for small or partial loads. You can save water and energy by waiting for a full dishwasher and a whole basket of laundry. Seeing as how youll be sweating your way through a few outfits a day, you shouldnt have to wait too long.
  3. Thermostat Management If you have a programmable thermostat, set it for higher temperatures when youll be at work or out of the house. While at home, 78 degrees is the recommended temperature for comfort and efficiency. If this is a little too warm for your liking, supplement your air conditioner by running your ceiling fans. (Make sure to switch your fans back from winter mode to rotating counter-clockwise again.) The wind-chill factor created by your ceiling fans could make a room set to 78 degrees feel more like 72. This can save you the money you would spend to run your air conditioner for much longer. Summer means a lot of extras – extra sunscreen, days at the ballpark, trips to the pool and scoops of ice cream. It doesnt have to mean extra energy. Start taking the rights steps towards efficiency this spring and, come summertime, high temperatures wont equal high energy bills.

Why Does My Basement Smell

To answer the question; “Why does my basement smell?’, you must first understand that each and every day, 24 hours a day, you have air and gravity in your home. These two things are combining around the clock to make your basement smell bad.

The basement is the lowest part of the house so most bad air settles there

Let us start with the premise that clean pure fresh air is dry, has nothing added to it and weighs zero. When we introduce something into the air, the air now becomes heavier because of the additive, and gravity comes into the picture. Think about looking toward the window with a ray of light coming in, you can see all the dust particles and other things in the air. Gravity is settling these particulates to a lower place.

This dust will eventually settle on some furniture and you will take out the Lemon Pledge to clean it. When you spray the Lemon Pledge on the furniture some of it goes in the air and moves around until gravity brings it to settle at a low place. You have just brought chemicals into the basement air.

Basement smells are created by Indoor Air Pollution and Humidity

Indoor Air pollution is defined as: the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms. The World Health Organization states that 2.4 million people die each year from causes directly attributable to air pollution, with 1.5 million of these deaths attributable to indoor air pollution.

While there are many factors contributing to the air pollution or IAQ in your home, lets take a closer look at Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Humidity.

VOCs are organic chemicals that evaporate from the compound (liquid or solid) and enter the air. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of household products. Paints, varnishes, and wax all contain organic solvents. All of these products can release organic compounds while you are using them, and to some degree, when they are stored.

You should be very aware of the chemicals that you bring into your home because many of them will end up in the air that you breathe.

Next is humidity: We introduce humidity into the air by breathing, cooking, bathing and doing the laundry. The humid air is heavier than dry, clean air so gravity settles the humid air in the basement. In the warmer months, the outside air brings humidity in with it, and if it is not conditioned from the air with Air Conditioning, it will settle in the basement.

The types of problems that come with all of that trapped moisture are mold and mildew, as well as other biological pollutants, and pests. Mold and mildew grow in dank, damp environments, and insects love it too. Everything we have done to keep the energy (i.e. Heat and A/C) contained in the home, also keeps moisture contained in the home and leaves no intentional escape for bad air.

To minimize the risk, increase ventilation

The additives are condensed in the basement air because it is mostly stagnant. The condensed bad air must be diluted if not removed altogether. Therefore the movement of air out of the basement brings in new air to lessen the concentrations of contaminates and improve Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). This is known as ventilation. Ventilation is necessary to maintaining good IAQ.

When it comes to removing humidity and Indoor Air Pollution you need a ventilation system that works year round. The E-Z Breathe Ventilation System works 12 months a year and not just in the warmest months. This whole house ventilation system is a device that expels the dampest, most humid & contaminated air from your basement to the outside. It replaces the air in the basement with fresher air from the upper floors four to six times per day automatically with no bucket to empty or filter to replace.

Home Improvement Projects That Add Value to Your Home

There are several home improvement projects that you might be itching to do but unless you plan to live in your current home forever or if money is not an issue, choose those home improvement projects that add value to your home rather than decrease from it.

How can home improvement projects decrease value from your home? This can happen if you choose to personalize your home so much that no one else wants to buy it or if you install such archaic elements in your home that it takes you back in time instead of in the future. So, if you have home improvement plans in mind, chalk out a realistic budget and go for those areas which will pay back the time and money of the project plus give you some profit too.

Flooring

Fashions change and now people are turning back to solid hard woods and laminate flooring like Pergo as oppose to carpeting. While carpet may have been very popular a decade ago, now apart from bedrooms, it is no longer in vogue. If you do have some money for home improvement, get wooden floors for your home. That will increase the value of your home, make it appealing to prospective buyers who may have allergies and it will save you money in the long run as carpets always get dirty no matter how much you care for them.

Kitchen

Research shows that kitchens make and break deals to buy homes. Even if all American families do not cook as much as they used to, the kitchen still is the focal point for all members to convene to for homework, bill paying, snacking and of course meal preparation and consumption. If you can invest in stainless steel appliances, do so. This home improvement idea will surely pay you back as stainless steel refrigerators and other appliances are the rage right now. If you can save space with over the counter built in microwaves add other such ideas, go for it. No one has ever said they do not like extra kitchen counter space.

Replace countertops with granite as it fives a very posh, regal look and hides many scratches and other spillover effects of regular kitchens. Do not go for a very new granite color; stick to the neutral tones as found in your kitchen cabinets and flooring. Add a tile backsplash for easy cleaning and some pull-out drawers in lower cabinets and you have a kitchen to die for.