Pages Menu

Choose wood tile.

Most recent articles

What You Need To Build A Dry-Laid Fieldstone Wall In Your Backyard

Posted by on Jun 23, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you like the look of low hung fieldstone walls that you see while driving out in the country and want to build one yourself, then here is the information you need. It’s going to require a lot of heavy lifting, but unlike mortared walls, you won’t have to deal with mixing cement or using a trowel. So here is what you need to build a dry-laid fieldstone wall. Fieldstone The most important part of the project involves collecting the fieldstone. If you have a huge piece of property, then you can hunt around your own land for the stone. If you don’t have enough stone on your own property, then you have a few options. First, you can ask friends and neighbors. Many people end up with fieldstone when they dig out a pool or a garden. They might be happy to hand it off to you. You can also buy fieldstone from specialty garden stores and some stoneyards. You should look for block shaped stones, as opposed to large circular stones. The squarer a stone is, the easier it is to stack. You should also look for large, flat stones that will function as the capstones. Pea Gravel You are going to need pea gravel because you won’t set the stones right down on the dirt. Before you stack the stones in your yard, you are going to dig out a small trench and fill it with pea gravel. This will serve as the foundation and prevent the stones from sinking during a rain or settling too much later. Shovel, Hoe, and Tamping Tool These are used to dig out the shallow trench for the pea gravel, spread the gravel out and then tamp it down. It’s important that you not simply dig a channel and fill it with gravel and stack stone on top. If you don’t tamp down the pea gravel, it won’t be firm and will settle too much later, which can cause the wall to sag or even collapse. Stone Chisel and Stone Mason’s Hammer There are going to be stones, especially the long, flat capstones, that you will want to adjust. You might want to remove a bit of extra stone that juts out and makes the stone uneven. In order to do this, you need a stone chisel and a stone mason’s hammer. In order to cut a stone, you will first score it. This is done by tapping in a series of indentations across the surface in a line with the chisel. The hammer will then be used to break off the extra piece. Remember to always use safety glass when working with stone. A loose chip can fly off and get in your eye, so you should always be protected. To get the chisel, hammer, and other hand tools you’ll need for this project, visit a local hardware or gardening...

read more

Choosing Energy-Efficient Windows For Your Home

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When you are building a new home, the components of your home keep adding up, making sticker shock a serious concern. As you pay out more and more money, there is a real danger of simply choosing the least expensive components so that you don’t feel like you are going into indentured servitude just to have a house. In some cases, this strategy can come back to bite you later. This is definitely the case with windows. Buying more expensive, but more energy-efficient windows will help you to save money in the long run.  What Makes a Window Less Expensive? When you buy a bargain window, you will typically purchase for yourself a double-pane window. These windows will be filled with atmospheric air or oxygen. This layer of gas will help to prevent temperatures from moving through the panes of glass into your home. If, however, your window does not have durable seals, the gas or gases between the frames can leak out, and when it does, the panes of glass that are left will do little to separate your home from the outside world. Thus, a window that is made to meet a certain price point is not necessarily the best value in the long run.  How Is a High-Quality Window Made? To make sure that you get a home that will separate the temperature in your home from the outside world as much as possible, you need to know what components to look for. The first thing to look for are high-quality seals. You don’t want to worry that your seals will degrade over time. The second and more important consideration is what kind of gas is between the panes of glass. A noble gas like argon or krypton will be denser than oxygen. A dense gas will slow down the transfer of temperature from one side of the window to the other. While krypton is more dense than argon and thus will allow a little less energy transfer than argon, it comes with a much higher price tag. Thus, even though krypton-filled windows are a little more energy efficient than argon-filled windows, the argon-filled windows are more cost effective.  A final consideration when installing windows is that air can leak around the windows and under the trim around your windows. Thus, a good general contractor will fill any gaps between the window and the frame it is set into with insulation and then with silicone caulking. Paying a little extra for high-quality windows and construction will save you money in the long run, so when it comes to windows this is one place where you don’t want to pinch your...

read more

5 Types Of Aggregates And When To Use Them

Posted by on Mar 16, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you own a construction company, you’ll need to know about aggregates. Aggregates are widely used construction materials. They are formed by extracting non-metallic substances from natural sources and then processing the raw substances into materials of different sizes and uses. Aggregates are used for road mixes, and custom-made sand, among other things. There are various types of commercially available aggregates and how you should use them in construction: 1. Granite Aggregates These aggregates are made from hard, crushed rock called granite. Granite comes from magma that erupted long ago and has now hardened. Granite gets its name for being very granular, making it a very versatile and popular material for building house foundation, apartment foundations, and even sidewalks. It is also ideal for interior design such as countertops, due to its variety of colors. 2. Gravel Aggregates Gravel aggregates are produced by crushing natural rocks and mixing these rocks with sifted quarry rock. Gravel is not naturally as strong as granite, but the cost is typically lower. Gravel aggregates are commonly used for foundation and concrete pours for driveways and sidewalks. They are also used in reinforced concrete and road construction. Gravel is not used for interior design for the most part. 3. Limestone Aggregates Limestone is made by crushing sedimentary rock. It is composed mostly of calcium carbonate (calcite). It is sometimes referred to as “lime” or “dolomite” aggregate. You can use limestone when constructing driveways for the most part. Because limestone is so soft, it does not do well on highly trafficked areas such as highways or main intersection roads. 4. Secondary Aggregates Construction waste product is crushed to form secondary aggregate. This can include old bricks, pieces of asphalt, and concrete. The lower cost for secondary aggregate is the primary benefit of using it. It isn’t as strong as other aggregates like granite, but it can be used for projects such as reinforcing weak soil. It should not be used as the sole material in a road or building. 5. Slag Aggregates These are made from crushed smelter slag. Alternatively, they can be made by specially treating fire-liquid slag, which is a molten aggregate. Slag aggregate is used as filler and as a core binding ingredient in construction projects. You can use slag to create extra strength in your foundation or driveway when mixing concrete. It will fill in the gaps to create a more cohesive structure. Aggregates are an important part of the construction industry. If you’re comparing your options, consider your budget. Then use the material that provides the greatest strength that you can afford. For more information, talk to a professional like McNabb Construction...

read more

Before the Leaks: Three Other Signs It is Time to Replace Your Roof

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Far too many homeowners wait for a roof to start leaking before they think seriously about replacing it. But, by the time a roof is leaking, it is causing damage to the rest of your home. Exposing the ceiling beams and floor of your attic to water can cause rot and dangerous structural damage down the road, and of course, mold is always a concern. It’s far more responsible to be on the lookout for other, earlier signs of roof failure to then take action and replace the roof before the leaks start creeping in. Here’s a look at three early signs that it’s time to replace your roof. Granules in the gutters. New shingles come covered in asphalt granules. As the roof ages, it slowly uses granules. You’re likely to find a few in your gutters, even if your roof is very new. When the granules start accumulating in your gutters quickly, however, this is a sign that your roof has begun a quick decline. For instance, if you can reach into your gutter and pull out big pinches or handfuls of shingle granules, it’s time to call a roofing contractor and schedule a roof replacement. Without granules, the shingles will break down quickly, since the asphalt will be directly exposed to water and the elements. Missing shingles or portions of shingles. Missing shingles don’t always cause leaks immediately. However, once shingles start peeling off and breaking, the damage will soon accelerate, and before you know it, you will find water leaking through the ceiling. If you look up onto the roof and see missing shingles, or if there are chunks of shingles flying off into your yard whenever the wind picks up, these are signs that the roof needs replacing. There are a few exceptions to this rule. If you know for a fact that your roof is quite new and you’ve just had a heavy storm, the missing shingles might just need to be replaced – not the whole roof. However, you should still have a roofing contractor out to examine the integrity of your roof, since premature shingle loss can also indicate that a roof was not installed properly and might need to be replaced, even if it is young. Musty odors or moisture in your attic. Sometimes, old and worn roofs let in little drops of moisture or moist air before they let in steady leaks. You might also notice that people in your home who have allergies are complaining of increased symptoms. This could be due to an increase in moisture and mold growth as small amounts of water seep into the attic. Check your attic, and if you note any signs of moisture or mold (such as damp boards, discolored insulation, or fuzzy mold on surfaces), call a roofing contractor, such as R T Weatherproofing & Decking...

read more

Ideas for a Modern Home Facade

Posted by on Dec 15, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Having a modern home built is about more than ensuring it has all the indoor amenities. In fact, modern aesthetics drive the design of your home. Think clean lines, simple geometry and surprising details. If you’re having a home built or renovated, ensure it’s modern on the outside as well as the inside. Glass Garage Door While it’s not exactly possible to have a completely glass garage door, you can give the illusion with a custom door. Select a custom garage door with large panes of glass stacked on top of each other. The streamlined design and contemporary material make for a bold statement in your garage door. Likewise, the stacked rectangles of glass create the geometric appeal typical of modern aesthetics. Japanese Garden Some homeowners like to go industrial with their modern outdoor spaces. However, Japanese design complements the clean lines of the style. A Japanese garden is about creating an uncluttered space suitable for contemplation. So, consider starting with a front walkway that meanders past a sleek sculpture while leading your guests to the front door. Likewise, mix a traditional Japanese material such as pebble with a modern material such as concrete. For example, if you have a pebble garden surrounding the sculpture, have the contractors create a sharp border around the pebbles with concrete pavers. Creative Windows Adding geometric shapes is a significant aspect of modern design. An excellent place to promote this aesthetic is in the front façade with your windows. Windows, of course, come in numerous shapes and sizes. Start by selecting different shapes, such as round portholes and perfect rectangles. For the best effect, select single-pane styles. Have them placed in locations that are appealing for both the interior and exterior. To aid with cohesion, though, repeat one set of shapes. For example, outline the door with repeating squares. Asymmetrical Entryway While geometry is a hallmark of contemporary design, symmetry isn’t necessarily. In fact, Better Homes and Gardens suggests playing with proportion. Start with a door that’s already extra wide. From there, add to the width with a single side window the exact height of the door. Repeat the height further along the entryway with a window, but choose one that’s wider, such as a picture window. Such asymmetry adds the unexpected detailing characteristic of contemporary architecture. In addition to industrial materials, consider adding pops of modern color to your contemporary-style home. Choose a fuchsia front door or turquoise garage door to complement the rest of your modern home façade. If you’re thinking about building a brand new home with modern elements, consider contacting a local serves, such as custom homes by Averra Developments...

read more

Tips For Residential Driveway Asphalt Paving

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you’ve considered having your driveway paved or you want to have it redone, it’s important to understand what a properly performed job consists of. If a blacktop is not installed correctly, you will experience several issues, including damage like cracking and drainage problems. There are two main elements to any paving job: the sub-grade and the base. These two elements will determine whether or not the new pavement will last for a long time or whether you’ll have issues later.  The Sub-Grade Before asphalt can be laid, the soil under your driveway should be examined. Different regions have different soil compositions, and they all possess different levels of strength. This largely depends on what the soil consists of, such as clay or sand. It is important to take a look at your soil so you can ensure that it will be able to withstand the weight of the tar and the weight of your vehicle going over it every day. All top soil should be removed before laying down any pavement. Roots or other natural material that can decompose should also be removed. If digging is required, make sure the contractor compacts the soil before laying down new blacktop. If you happen to have water, sewer, gas,or electric lines, be sure they also fill these trenches in with gravel all the way to the top level to protect them.  The Base Your driveway’s foundation is the most important part of the process, since this is the key to ensuring you don’t encounter cracking later. Most contractors will either install crushed gravel or asphalt. The base is what supports the heavy loads underneath the driveway. This base should be a minimum of six inches thick to provide the strongest support. The thickness can go up to between eight and ten inches, but this largely depends on the sub-grade or soil strength level. Keep in mind that all paved driveways should be installed based on the heaviest vehicle you own so it can withstand every day use. It may cost a  bit extra to have the contractor use more material, but it is worth the cost in terms of longevity. Asphalt is an ideal material for the base in cases where you have weaker soil or less drainage. If you live on a slight slant, make sure the driveway is graded downward so that all runoff will go downhill and away from the pavement and your home.  Contact a local paving contractor, like asphalt paving by Rite Way Paving, for more...

read more

Understanding When Your Asphalt Needs A Sealcoat And How To Go About Getting The Job Done

Posted by on Oct 9, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you have an asphalt driveway, including walkways and bike paths that are paved using asphalt, it is essential that you periodically sealcoat the surface. Neglecting to apply a sealcoat to your asphalt surface for an extended period of time can cause damage that will result in costly repairs. There are two important things to think about when considering if your asphalt surface needs sealing. The first is how often a sealcoat needs to be applied, and the second is how to go about hiring the most reliable sealcoat professional to do the job. How Often Should Asphalt Surfaces Be Sealed? People who have asphalt driveways or other asphalt surfaces often debate this topic. Each may be able to supply some subtle evidence to support their theory. Some seem to think that an asphalt surface needs a sealcoat application every year, while others will forego sealing for many years. An accurate judgment is often best left to a professional sealcoat technician who understands the different factors that can affect an asphalt surface. Situations such as the amount of inclement weather during the previous year, along with other environmental factors, will have an effect on asphalt. Plus, the frequency of heavy traffic on the asphalt can often make it difficult to judge when a sealcoat is needed without professional experience. A small crack may seem like nothing today, but if left untreated, it could turn into a large repair job tomorrow. Sealing too often can actually create more problems, but serious damage can result from not sealing often enough. The wisest solution is to seek advice from an asphalt sealcoat consultant who can provide you with a free assessment of your asphalt surface. Steps to Hire the Best Sealcoat Professional Consult with your local business directory, plus ask for advice from other residents in your area who have asphalt surfaces that require sealing. Compile a list of a minimum of 4 businesses. Once you’ve made a list of at least four companies you feel comfortable with, contact the two you feel the best about to request an estimate. Most quality sealcoat professionals will offer to provide you with a free assessment regarding the condition of your asphalt, listing all potential problems and suggested repairs. Included with this assessment will be an estimate to sealcoat your surface. Keep in mind that most asphalt sealcoat companies will contract out any extensive repair jobs to licensed asphalt paving companies. SealCoat vs. Asphalt Overlay If your assessments recommend an asphalt overlay, the company should provide you with two different estimates. One that includes the cost of an overlay job before the sealcoat is applied, and one just for a sealcoat. While the sealcoat will help prevent further damage to your asphalt surface, putting off the overlay procedure too far into the future can leave you with the expense of having all the old asphalt removed and a complete new surface put down. By giving you an estimate on both procedures, a conscientious sealcoat company can allow you to assess your own financial circumstances to decide which option is presently the best for you. For more information, contact Asphalt Paving from Bulldog Paving or a similar...

read more

How To Deal With Cracks In Your Home’s Foundation

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 in Uncategorized |

The foundation of your house is what holds the structure together, so it can be frightening to see a big crack along your basement floor or wall. Not all cracks are serious, but sometimes they indicate a problem that needs immediate attention. A professional contractor should look at your foundation and determine if your house is in danger, and what you should do to fix the problem. Here are a few things you should know about dealing with foundation cracks. Repairing Cosmetic Cracks Small cracks on the surface of the concrete are likely to be cosmetic. If the inspection determines the foundation is okay and the cracks are not a sign of a big problem, then you can probably make the repairs yourself. All you have to do is buy concrete crack filler at the hardware store and use it on the cracks. You can push the filler into the cracks with a trowel or you can buy filler that comes in a squeeze dispenser with a pointed tip. Fill the crack and smooth over the top so the filler will be level with the floor when it dries. Even if the cracks aren’t a danger, they should still be filled in so they don’t spread or get deeper. Jacking Up Uneven Cracks If your foundation has an uneven crack, that means part of the slab has dropped or the other side has heaved. That happens when there is a problem going on with the soil under your home. The soil could shift if there is a drastic change in the groundwater such as a drought or a season of heavy rain. Filling in these cracks doesn’t repair the problem. Instead, the lower part needs to be raised back up. A contractor can do this by drilling a hole in the concrete and then pumping in a concrete mixture that raises the lower side of the crack before it hardens in place. Fix The Cause Of Foundation Problems Besides determining if the cracks are serious, a contractor helps you figure out what is going on to cause the cracking. The cause has to be fixed or any repairs made to the foundation will be temporary. You might need to have an interior or exterior French drain system installed to keep water away from your foundation. The problem could also be something as simple as a missing section of gutters from your roof. Once the source of the problem is removed, you can have peace of mind the repairs will be effective and your house will be structurally sound. The same problems that lead to cracking of your foundation can also be the cause of wet basement troubles. By ensuring water drains away from your home, you’ll not only protect your foundation, your basement will be nice and dry. For a contractor in your area, contact a company such as McNabb...

read more

How To Increase The Insulation Of Your Walls

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Uncategorized |

So you’ve been in your home for several years and you want to increase insulation of your walls. However, you do not want to tear them down and create the giant mess that you have to deal with. Many customers wonder if there is any practical way to increase the insulation of their walls without completely tearing down and replacing the drywall. This article will explain how you can add insulation to your existing walls with minimal damage using spray-in foam insulation. Spray-in foam can improve the efficiency of your building during the summer and winter months. Using Spray-In Foam Spray-in foam is easy to use. It comes in pressurized cans with little hoses, or you can rent an industrial-sized sprayer. Regardless of how you spray the foam, you will need to create a hole in your drywall for the hose to fit into. Measure the diameter of the hose and try to drill the hole slightly bigger. For instance, if the hose has a 1/4″ diameter, drill a 1/2″ hole. Of course, you cannot just drill anywhere on the wall. Most studs are 16″ apart, but you’ll need a stud finder to discover exactly where they are. Next make a mark on the top of the wall, in between the studs. You want to spray the foam into the top of the wall and let it fall down in between the studs. Ideally, you should spay the foam into the wall until the entire cavity between the studs is filled in. When the entire cavity is filled, the foam will start to squeeze out through the nozzle. However, if you block the hole and continue to spray, you can add even more insulation. To do this in between every stud in your home will obviously take quite a while, especially when you consider that you need to patch and paint over the holes you create. Nonetheless, it is still much cheaper and more convenient than removing your drywall and adding fiberglass insulation. You should target walls that get the most sun exposure because they heat up and transfer heat into your home more quickly during the summer. It might be a good idea to start at the south facing walls because they are usually exposed to the sun for the longest amount of time. This remodel is definitely worth it if you plan on staying at your current address for many years. Over time, you will earn your money back through the cash you save on your reduced heating and air conditioning bills. Do an online search to find contractors who do spray foam insulation in...

read more

Hiring A General Contractor: What Goes Into The Contract?

Posted by on Aug 4, 2015 in Uncategorized |

For many homeowners, hiring a general contractor means calling someone you’ve never met and entrusting them with immense responsibility. Even if you found this person through word of mouth, and he or she comes with great reviews, there is still that element of uncertainty.This is someone you’re about to entrust with the structural integrity of your home; you need to know that the work will be performed correctly, timely, and completely — without breaking your budget. Thankfully, this is where your contract comes in to back you up. The contract that you enter into with your general contractor is the one assurance you have that the work performed will be completed to your satisfaction. It must be in writing and signed by both your contractor and yourself, and should include the following: The Exact Nature of the Work Being Performed If you’re putting in a second bathroom, your contract needs to specify this. It should also specify exactly what will and won’t be done. High-end finishes will or won’t be used. An extra window will or won’t be added. Be as detailed as possible in the beginning to give your contractor a clear picture of exactly what you want.  Cost and Materials Because you’re not a builder yourself, you may have to rely heavily on your choice of contractor when it comes to suggestion and advice. But, you can place clear limits on what you are and aren’t willing to cover. Settle on a budget before work begins, and then require your general contractor to stay within it. If something comes up that’s going to require additional spending — termite damage or black mold, for instance — make amendments to your written contract. Both you and your contractor should then initial the changes. Start and Stop Date  Specify a time frame in your written contract. Work will begin on this day, and it will end four weeks later. Again, problems may come up that change your initial estimate of time, but at least you and your contractor will have a definite goal in mind. If there are days that won’t be convenient to have your home filled with work crews — during an in-law’s visit or after a family member’s operation — specify this in your contract by blacking out these days.  Ensuring that your written contract is specific and all-inclusive before work begins will give you better peace of mind throughout the project. It will also give your general contractor a much clearer picture of the scope of the work you want performed, and that’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.  Look here for more...

read more

Essential Things to Include in a Home Inspection

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Your home inspection will let you know how much work needs to be done on a property before you close the sale. Here are some of the most crucial things to include in your home inspection.  Structural Integrity The structure can make or break your home deal; problems with the foundation and framing will need to be fixed immediately to keep the house stable. A home inspector can assess the basic structural integrity of a home, but you may also need to follow up with a contractor to talk about the severity of any problems that the inspector finds.  Exterior Condition The exterior condition can affect your resale value. The inspector can look for problems with doors or windows, as well as the sidewalks and pathways in front of the house.  Roof Maintenance The roof can be another costly repair, so it’s important to get the roof checked thoroughly. The things that you should check for include the quality of the roof’s materials, the condition of the roof tiles and gutters, and the presence of any cracks or weak structural spots.  Plumbing Problems with the plumbing can quickly lead to water damage in your home. An inspector can check the maintenance of the plumbing system and look for leaks. You may also need to check to make sure that the pipes are set up correctly and that they are running efficiently. The meter will give you an estimate of how much water is being consumed, and you can compare this with other similarly sized houses to see if it’s a reasonable number. Your home inspector will also look for problems such as corrosion and poor water pressure.  Presence of Health Hazards One standard part of an inspection is a check for lead paint and asbestos. These two health hazards are sometimes present in older homes, since these were common building materials several decades ago. Another hazard to consider inspecting is the presence of mold. You may need to get lab testing to determine the presence of mold; it’s not always visible on the walls.  There are many different issues that can be present in a home, and it’s difficult to check everything during your walk through. A home inspector can offer you some great insight to the true condition of the property and uncover problems that you would have missed. Be sure that the items above are detailed in your home report. For more about this topic, click...

read more
Page 1 of 212