Things to Consider While Building a Custom Home

What though crosses your mind when you hear the word ‘home’? To many, the word ‘home’ signifies dream or rather a dream come true. Home is a safe haven; a place of shelter where you would like to come back after a day out working and toiling hard. So, definitely, the home is something that you would like to be custom- made. Your home would be the ideal expression of your personality, your aspirations, and your life. Construction of a home is something that you would like to be flawless. The essential point is that you should have a proper architectural plan and you should supervise the process with full sincerity and time.

Salient features that you need to keep in mind

In order to make sure that the construction of your home goes on smoothly and you get your desired house built, there are certain points that you need to keep in mind. They are as follows:

  • Choosing the right and apt construction partner is the first point that you should ensure. The construction agent should be able to understand your ideas and demands.
  • It is your duty to choose the right kind of materials for the construction of your house. Depending on the geographical and climatic factors of the region, you should choose the right kind of paints that you would like to use for your house.
  • You should ensure that there exists a proper agreement between you and the construction agency which has all the terms and conditions mentioned clearly.
  • You should have a clear idea of the monetary budget that you have for the construction of your house. It is generally observed and seen that the expenditure exceed the budget estimate. So, you should have sufficient finance in store so that you may use the money in case of any kind of emergency.
  • Use of earthquake resistant iron rods is very significant as this would serve as a protection guard in case of the occurrence of earthquake.
  • Any kind of construction process requires large amount of water. So, you need to ensure that there is a continuous and sufficient supply of water so that the builders do not suffer from any kind of water deficiency.

The ins and outs of the home construction process

The process of home construction has undergone several pioneering and mind- boggling changes since the last few years. This is because the concept of building a home has changed:

  • The promoters and architects are now applying the latest ideas in shaping your dream home. This has changed the outlook altogether.
  • The construction of home now involves the use of finer technologies; earthquake resistant iron rods and exclusive fine finish paints.
  • The interior designs have also undergone revolutionary changes. The new home builders are now capable of actually reading your mind and thus, they are able to make much better constructions. This became possible with the advent of technology and the rampant use of the internet.

With this technological advancement, the home builders of the new generation are able to get access to ideas from all across the globe that helps them to convert your dream construction into a marvelous reality.

Tips to Cut Expenses During New Home Construction

Every second earning person carries this dream of building a house in the future. For this, they start saving since very early in their life. However, sometimes, the saved money is not enough to build a dream space. At this place, they severely need an idea to cut costs during a new construction.

Cost cutting will enable the person to have an affordably built house and bear the expenses of one of the new home builders.

Let us see how to enable cost cutting in new home construction.

Prepare an early budget:

When you start planning the budget early, you have the time to include and seclude certain necessary and unnecessary things. You can add the important things like plumbing, HVAC installation, electrical work, and furniture work, and leave the unimportant things like the interior etc. for later.

Research the market and prepare the estimate:

Before you actually go to a new home builder, make sure you have researched the market for the price of materials, tools, etc. This way a builder will not be able to cheat you. Also, this way, you will be able to follow the point number 1.

Keep the design of house simple:

When you go for complex design, the price of overall projects starts increasing. Therefore, to cut the cost, keep simple design and stick to the rectangular platform. Also, avoid complicated roof-line and keep the ceiling simple.

Choose energy efficient lighting:

To invest less in energy, choose energy-efficient solutions. The list may include the appliances, HVAC system, solar lights, LEDs, etc. Also, make sure you choose star-rated products only.

Choose quality material, but at an affordable price:

Building materials are touching sky height and therefore, research for the materials and contact a good dealer. A good dealer will provide all the materials at affordable prices and thus, it will cut the overall cost of the budget.

Used materials which are recycled:

To cut the major cost of the project, you can use the recycled materials that are not only pocket-friendly but earth-friendly. The recycled products are cement composites, recycled steel, sawdust and a lot more. You can also use recycled plumbing fixtures, fireplace fixture, window lumber, etc. Although in new home construction, you would love to add first-hand items, yet what a big deal if you save and still get the best.

Start small and build tall:

In the starting, start small and build rooms which are most needed. There is no need to include guest rooms, etc. A small project will cut impeccable cost and enable you to have your dream house. Also, rather than expanding the area of the house, expand the height. The tall building will have smaller roof and foundation, thus cutting the cost of the budget.

So, these were some of the tips with which you can save the overall cost of your new home project. Also, for more ideas, consult the best home advisor.

Is It Possible to Build a Log Cabin In Winter?

The snow is beginning to fall. The chill is in the air. Right around the corner the holidays await us. This is the time to sit inside with a cup of hot cocoa and a twinkling Christmas tree, listening to carols. But wouldn’t that be so much more satisfying if it were in a log cabin, the perfect setting for those winter activities? Too bad you have to wait until it is warm again before you can start building your dream cabin.

Or do you? It is actually possible to build a log cabin in winter. Sure, it takes a big of preparation and know how, but that doesn’t mean it is out of your reach.

Preparing The Site of Your Log Cabin

Winter isn’t actually a bad time to get to work on the site of your log cabin. Groundwater is a lot lower than during the warmer months, which makes it an easier job and requires less work to get rid of it. Frost can be an issue if you are deep into the season, so you want to get started as soon as possible. You can prepare the site with up to two inches of frost. Snow is a bigger issue and unless it is temporary powder, once real snowfall hits it will be too late.

Preparing Yourself For Work

Are you ready to be working in the cold? There is a distinct advantage that you have in winter over summer and that is the lack of heat. Anyone who has done manual labor or labor intensive projects in the summer knows that it is a miserable and even dangerous task. It can be a real relief to be working on things in the colder months, but you need to be properly attired. Have a thick coat and layers. Have good gloves with texture to keep some friction for holding things. Put on thick socks (or multiple pairs) under solid boots that are both warm and anti-slip. A scarf or balaclava and a hat to protect the face, neck and ears are also important. For some additional comfort you can get pocket warmers that can help you on those chillier days. Make sure you are aware of weather conditions and plan your build accordingly.

Hiring a Company for Construction

Putting up a log cabin is difficult in the best of conditions. In winter it can be really hard for people who don’t know what they are doing, or who just don’t have help. You should consider hiring builders to do it for you. Many will work in the winter for an additional fee, which also ensures it will be done faster and right the first time. Be prepared to pay a premium but you will be glad for the work when a crew of five or more people get your log cabin up within a few weeks instead of a few months. Keep in mind that they may only get the exterior done at first as quickly as possible and worry about finishing and interior after, when they don’t have to worry about being stuck outside.

Prefabricated or Custom Built?

Another factor in how quickly you can get your log cabin built is whether or not it is going to be done from scratch. This can take a year or more to complete so you would only be pushing through the winter to get it done a little sooner. That is usually way too long for most people, especially when there is a faster alternative. A prefabricated log cabin is one that has been ordered and manufactured in a factory in large pieces then shipped to your erection site. A crew (or you and a few others) can then put them up in sections, making it a much faster process that can be done within weeks instead of months or years. You may also be more likely to find a building crew to handle the construction if they know it is just a prefab and so they can knock it out fast, before the snow starts. Want another reason to go prefab? They are much cheaper (sometimes by tens of thousands of dollars) and can be customized if you go through a company that specializes in their own designs.

Potential Risks In Winter

Now that you know that a log cabin can be built in winter you should know the risks. It can be difficult sometimes to find a construction company that is willing to handle a built that late in the year. That might leave you holding the reigns and if you don’t know how to construct a log cabin that could be a really challenging DIY that might not be within your capabilities. Then there is the weather itself. When it is cold you are risking hypothermia and frostbite, both of which can come on much faster and at higher temperatures than you might expect. Slipping is another very real issue, as ice can be on the ground and totally unseen if it froze in a thin, hard layer. The more you move around the site, especially where there was groundwater, the more you risk slipping and injuring yourself. Finally, there is just the construction itself. Let’s say you get started and you miscalculated the snowfall. It begins sooner than you thought and before you are done. You can’t just leave the site, you have to cover it and hope that there is no damage to what you have already done before spring comes.

As you can see, winter construction is possible when you want a log cabin. But your best bet is going to be hiring a construction company that handles prefabricated dwellings in order to get it up and operational before the snow comes. Once the exterior is done they can take more time on the interior and final touches.

So if you are worried that you have to wait until spring to get your dream log cabin, don’t worry. It is within reach, you just have to take the proper precautions.

8 Tips to Consider Before You Buy Plantation Shutters

If you want to buy plantation shutters, you may want to consult an experienced professional. They will help you buy the best plantation shutters to help you meet your needs. However, if you are going to purchase plantation shutters for the first time, you may want to consider the following tips.

1. The type of wood

Since poplar wood is light, straight, and smooth, it’s a great choice for plantation shutters. The average height of a poplar tree is 160 feet and the trunk can be as much as 80 feet in diameter. So, it’s a good idea to opt for this type of wood.

2. Poly or Wood

Most of clients go for wood shutters because of their advantages over the artificial material known as poly.

As far as strength goes, wood is stronger and lighter. So, wooden shutters can be up to 37 inches in width. So, you won’t need more than a few panels for the window openings. Aside from this, wood gives you a lot of other benefits as well.

3. Louver Size

The size of most of shutters is 3.5 louvers. But there is a rise in demand for louvers that measure 4.5 louvers due to sliding glass doors and bigger windows. Actually, people want modern interior design as well as openness.

4. Midrail

If you don’t know, midrail is a horizontal plank. Over the midrail, the louvers open and close without relying on the louvers that are under the midrail. Many buyers like midrails since they leave the upper section open to let more light in and leave the lower section shut for privacy reasons. Moreover, a midrail is an ideal choice should you have metal casings.

5. Vertical Tilt Bar

You will find shutters that feature “hidden tilt”. In this type of shutters, the frontal wooden tilt bar is missing. In its place, you can see a metal tilt bar, which is almost invisible. So, you can have more visibility and open space.

6. Sliding Glass Doors

As far as sliding glass doors is concerned, plantation shutters are an ideal choice. For a consistent feel and look, your house should have shutters. Actually, plantation shutters are fixed on a track to let the panels open without any hindrance.

7. Cost Of The Shutters

Usually, plantation shutters are sold by the square foot. However, by paying a bit more, you can benefit from other options, such as hidden tilt, stain finishes, and specialty shapes. You should be ready to spend a good deal of money to get the required shutters.

8. Procedure

Plantation shutters are also made to order. First of all, the sales representative will visit your house to measure the doors and windows to give you a proposal. Then the installers will do a detailed measurement. Once the product is made, it is handed over to the finishing department. In this department, the product is sanded, primed and painted. Finally, they are installed.

If you are going to buy plantation shutters, consider the tips given above.

Steam Carpet Cleaning Equipment

Carpet steam cleaners use a variety of different carpet cleaning equipment. There are gas powered truck mounted machines, electric truck mounted machines and electric portable machines. This article will provide you with the basic differences between these machines.

The first machine is a gas truck mount carpet cleaner. This is one of the most common machines used in the carpet cleaning industry. This machine uses either the trucks engine or a separate gas engine to drive a vacuum blower and water pump. These machines have the capacity to provide the greatest amount of vacuum and the highest heat. They are the preferred piece of steam cleaning equipment because of their power, speed and efficiency. With this machine, the cleaner only needs to bring 2 hoses into your home. This eliminates the need to bring bulky equipment into your hose and decreases noise in your home.

Electric truck mounted cleaners are another type of carpet cleaning machine. They are similar to gas truck mounts but they use an electric motor to drive a vacuum blower and water pump. They are nice because they are a little more environmentally friendly and they are much quieter to run. They do not provide as much vacuum power as gas powered machines but do an adequate job. With this machine a cleaner also only needs to bring 2 hoses into your home.

The last machine I will discuss is a portable carpet cleaning machine. This machine uses electricity to power a vacuum motor and water pump. All of the equipment is located in a portable assembly that the cleaner will bring into your home. This machine is great for areas not serviceable by truck mounted machines like apartments and high rises. It does not provide as much power as the the truck mount machines but it has enough power to get the job done. The drawback of this machine is that the cleaner must bring it into your home and it can be loud and cumbersome to use.

While there are other carpet cleaning machines, these are the 3 most common steam cleaners. Remember, carpet cleaning machines are just tools. Even the best machine will not get the job done with a bad operator. You should choose your carpet cleaning service based on the skill, ethics and motivation of your carpet cleaner.

A Look At The Various Benefits of Installing The Retractable Awnings

If your residence is at a place which has no natural shade then you better contemplate about the summer months which won’t offer you any shade at all. The solution is to use residential retractable awnings and in this regard there are different types of such awnings to choose from, there are the stationary awnings, attached to the house. Yet another option is to use residential retractable awnings. These awnings can be pushed in or pulled out whenever needed. Residential retractable awnings offer shade, they offer sunlight when retracted.

The following are some of the important benefits of the retractable patio awnings for yard.

1) Get Protection from the Sun

The residential retractable awnings offer sun protection, particularly if you prefer to relax in your yard. Such awnings are useful as they offer sun protection to the users. The users of such awnings can enjoy reading books, or relishing something tasty food item avoiding the heat of the summer sun.

2) A Nice Tool for Enjoying in Your Backyard

The residential retractable awnings extend the home comfort to the yard which usually is considered the exteriors of a residential apartment. The users often use a pillow, and in a relax mood avoid the harsh external climatic conditions. Not just the summer sun, the awnings can also serve as a tool for relaxation during the rains.

3) Block the Sun Heat without the View

Using the retractable awnings, the user can simply avoid the harsh climatic conditions whether rains or summer heat. The interesting thing is that such structures do protect from the intense heat during the summer season without blocking the view. The users can relax underneath the yawning, enjoy the sights and sounds of the exterior, and be it the sight of an ocean, view of the valley and so on.

4) Money Saving

The residential retractable awnings save money by cutting energy bills. In the summer season, the awnings prevent the sun heat to enter into the interiors and it helps keep the house environment cool and relaxing. The residents may not have to use house cooling appliances like the Air Conditioners and because of which the user can cut electricity bills, save money.

5) Customization for Home Use

One of the important benefits of using the awnings is that the user can customize them to fit varied style and preferences. There are these structures available in the market which more often enhances the look and appearance of the house. They are available in a variety of attractive colors, styles and fabrics to suit the needs of the user.

If you are keen on purchasing these items online, check the internet and there you get a number of e-stores which offer these items at the best prices. There are many things that you may want to check while buying these items. Undoubtedly the price is one consideration that you may want to make. Besides that, you may like to buy the retractable awnings based on their color, the styles and the fabrics that are used. If you make proper choice of the item when buying it then you can expect to enhance the overall appearance of your house. The process of buying these items is not new. Visit the different e-stores if you are computer savvy or jump from one store to another while purchasing the item online. The considerations that you require making includes the cost of the item. It is a good deal if you can manage to get a quality item, an item of your choice and preference at low prices. If you make a good deal as far as retractable awnings are concerned then spend more and more time using it.

Get a Handyman – 3 Tips to Help

Do you need to get a handyman to complete your home improvement project or repair jobs? After going through these 3 tips you will be in a great position to make a choice on a quality contractor or company in your area. Items such as the ability to get a free bid and having a written guarantee are just a few details involved in the decision process.

1. You want to make sure your handyman is properly licensed, bonded, and insured to do repairs and other home construction projects in your area. If they don’t have a license or insurance find a different worker because you don’t want to be liable if an accident or other problem were to happen.

2. Does the worker that is doing your home improvements provide a free inspection or free estimate of the work that will be involved? Free bids are given typically as a courtesy to you the client as a way for the service to say thanks for thinking of them. If a handyman company or service will not give you a free bid then find a different one.

3. Ask the contractor if they provide any type of guarantee in writing for their work. An experienced handyman who is confident and who stands behind their word will give you some paperwork stating that they will cover any troubles if they happen during the project.

If you keep these 3 tips in mind when choosing your handyman you will be able to make a quality decision on who will be performing the work on your house. By knowing they are insured, bonded, and willing to give you a free quote and a written guarantee you can be sure that you will get a handyman who is proven.

Tricky Home Improvement Projects

As homeowners, we have all gotten in over our heads and found ourselves overwhelmed by those tricky home repairs and improvement projects. Deciding we are fully capable of accomplishing a project, we often find ourselves wishing we had hired more capable hands. Contractors are skilled and experienced in their respective fields and are always on hand to provide excellent service to those in need.

Home improvement is often riddled with unforeseen problems that an inexperienced homeowner cannot anticipate. Contractors, with their abundance of experience, can often anticipate problems before they occur and find solutions to any problem that may arise. This is the difference that many homeowners do not consider before making the decision of whether or not to hire a professional.

With a great deal of problems that may arise, more complex projects such as home exterior painting should always be left to professional contractors. Sometimes, a homeowner will be skilled and experienced in a certain field, such as home painting, and in these cases, doing the work oneself may prove to be a better option. However, these skilled homeowners are few and far between, so for the majority of you homeowners, hiring a professional to do the home improvement work on your house will pay dividends in the end. Not only will the project look much better upon completion, but having a professional do the work will allow you to relax and trust that your project is in excellent hands. With so much experience and training in the field, contractors are valuable assets to any project.

Rug Repair and Restoration – Are They Worth It?

As time progresses, our rugs will begin to accumulate more and more damage. It will not be noticeable at first, but give it about a few years or so and you will begin to see the difference, and feel it. Another thing that you should be concerned about is how dirty your carpet becomes as it ages. Dust is a carpet’s number one enemy and there is also the occasional mold infestation that you have to deal with as well.

The dirtier your rug becomes, the harder it will be to clean it and the more expensive it will become as well. The amount of work that needs to be done on your rug will depend entirely on its age and overall value. There is also the other huge question of whether to clean the rug or just throw it away. Such is the life of a rug owner, wouldn’t you agree?

Seeing a tear or any form of damage on a rug can be quite hard to swallow, especially if that rug happens to be an antique or an oriental carpet, both of which cost a ton of money. If the rug that you have is of a high quality, then you will need to have a real expert take care of it. Experts that have a lot of knowledge about your rug’s fabric, weaving, color, and texture can really do it a lot of justice. Improper handling during rug repair can really decrease your rug’s overall value. You see, antique rugs should be considered as masterpieces because unless they are taken great care of, they will easily get tarnished.

Rug restoration, on the other hand, is more suited for antique rugs which have patches that have already been worn out or fabric that has suffered from fading due to age. A pro can help you reform any tears or holes that your rug might have on its body and edges, repair worn away pile, and reweave the area where the pile has worn away. The main objective in rug repair and restoration should always be trying to maintain the rug’s authenticity.

Rug restoration and repair can be time consuming, expensive, and difficult which leaves us wondering if it is indeed really worth the risk. How exactly do you decide on whether to fix your rug or replace it with a new one instead? In this case, the true test is to see which option is going to be more expensive. There are times when the price of rug repair will be more expensive than getting a new rug, so in this case it is better to just buy a new one. But as far as antique rugs go, they should definitely be restored because they grow in value as time goes on, so you basically don’t have a choice.

Know the Pros and Cons of Having Aluminium Curtain Walling

Are you planning to give your premise or business a completely new sphere? Are you thinking of using aluminium as your strong base for the wall?

From Perforated roller shutters to solid shutters, there are various options that are in accordance with the need of an individual.

Aluminium curtain walling has emerged as a popular choice amongst the business houses, as not only it gives any business a new edge but a chance for people to admire its elegance.

Aluminium curtain walling is an outer structure that protects the building frame. It generally is build up of materials like glass and aluminium frames.

If you are planning to start construction of your building and are searching for the best options for protection, then down below are few advantages and disadvantages listed of curtain walls.

Weighing all advantages of Curtain walls

Lighting and elegance

The combination of aluminium frames and glass material together makes it a very classy option to use, also allows the abundance of daylight to walk in, thus leading to less use of power consumption during the daytime.

No UV rays

UV – the ultraviolet rays are very harmful to any skin, as they can cause severe disease in long run. It is necessary to opt for a material that is very friendly in terms of harmful rays. The design of the wall confirms the 99% reduction of harmful and toxic UV rays to the human bodies.

Wind resistant

The structure of the wall is very efficient in keeping away the wind and forces that are acting against the building.

Fire extinguisher

The design of the wall is very helpful in preventing the fire from spreading floor to floor.

Disadvantages of curtain walls

Great Cost and time

These walls are very ineffective in terms of cost and time management. The Huge cost is involved while shipping the material and storing them. The time taken to complete the structure is very long too.

Replacement of sealant

To keep the wind and moisture at vicinity, a sealant is applied to the perimeter of the structure. The sealant needs to be replaced after every 10 years or so.

Peculiar Cleaning

These walls require huge cleaning and maintenance on an everyday basis. As aluminium frames are generally painted or are anodized. It is necessary to make sure that the cleaning near the anodized parts is done very carefully, as cleaning supplies or detergent can clear off the coating from such frames or material.

From curtain walling to perforated roller shutters, there are various options in the market that are very responsive and advanced towards the styling and security of any venture.