Category: Home Improvement

Home Insulation at Different Climatic Conditions

Home Insulation at Different Climatic ConditionsAttic insulation is one of the home improvement processes which are done to keep the temperature moderate inside the house. The insulation is done most probably in extreme hot and cold climatic conditions. The purpose of insulation is the same but the types and style of insulation employed is entirely different. Insulation is also done for secondary reasons like pest resistant, noise barrier, energy saver, reduction of utility bills, etc… The below paragraphs shows the type of insulation based on the seasons. The insulation is done either in the hot climatic region or cold climatic region.

Insulation in hot climatic areas: In a hot climatic condition, the hot air enters and accumulates into the house through wall, attic, etc… and lets the cool air to pass out. This happens despite using the electronic cooling equipment which in turn increases the usage and shows rapid increase in the utility bill. Insulating the house will prevent the let-out of cool air. As the radiation level is more in hot temperatures, the insulation also serves as the radiation barrier. The types of insulation used in a hot climate are listed below.

Blown-in attic insulation:As the name suggests, the insulation is implemented by blowing the insulation in the wall or roof in high pressure with the special equipments.  Make sure your roof is in good condition before blowing the insulation by calling a freehold roofing company to inspect it and make any repairs necessary. Blown-in insulation is done in all types of insulation materials like fiberglass, cellulose and rock wool. There are three main type of blown in insulation used, they are loose fill, wall cavity spray and stabilized type. Blown-in cellulose insulation is the eco-friendly process of insulation, as the material is made from the recycled paper. They are cheaper and can easily fill into the small air spaces and this insulation is implemented in the walls, attic floors and small and tiny places.

Rolled-in insulation: Unlike blown-in, this is the flat piece like insulation materials available in layers. The small layer of materials is taken and the space is filled. This comes under the blanket category. The insulation material used in this type is the fiberglass and rock wool. They carry negative effect in filling the small spaces. This type is very expensive and can be handled easily even by the less experienced workers. Rolled-in insulation doesn’t require the special type of equipment for the installation. They can be implemented in walls and flat floors and ceiling which are devoid of gaps and wires.

Insulation for cold climate: In a cold climatic condition, the reverse reaction happens (i.e.) the cold air let in and hot air let out will be more. Folks attempt simple things like using a furnace to produce heat, use of hot ACs and other electronic devices to keep the temperature warm but the insulation serves the purpose well, as they seal even the small minute portion of the house. In case of cold climates, it is wise to opt for the solar paired with the insulation, which doubles the benefit. The insulation implementation type varies depending on the architecture of the house and certain other factors. The most used Insulation type adapted in cold climate is explained below:

Loose fill insulation: Loose fill represents the flexibility of the materials used. The loose fill cellulose insulation is always preferred for the type of insulation for the winter season. The loose fill is blown with the special equipment that they can stick and get filled in the small spaces. This used most often in crawl spaces and the knee walls of the attic. They can be applied to the spaces till the specified thickness is reached. This is a very inexpensive type of insulation and required skilled labor for the installation. This type of insulation is not recommended for the finished buildings and attics.


5 Home Improvements That Really DO Recover Value

HGTV considers the following home-enhancements to be among top-tier choices for regaining the most pay-back. Though not exhaustive, this list includes some of the most popular home-improvements as well as some of the most enjoyable, once renovation is complete.

1. Modernized Kitchens

A state-of-the-art kitchen is a very coveted renovation for earning back most of the monetary investment. Even if you were to not gut the entire kitchen, there are certain upgrades that are zealously prized by potential buyers: granite counter-tops, hardwood or stone (not tile) floors, premium appliances, islands, and under-mount sinks.

RECOUP:

A kitchen remodel can return more than 100%.

2. New or Renewed Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors are a favorite with discriminating buyers; and if your older home has original hardwood floors and they are in decent shape, you are in luck! Have them lightly sanded, stained and resealed-you would be amazed at how stunning they can appear, once again, at a fraction of the cost of new hardwood flooring. Wood floors in pristine condition add that ‘wow’ factor that can be a deal-breaker for home-buyers.

RECOUP:

Hardwood floors can bring back 2-times their cost! Conservatively, hardwood floors will bring in 100-150% return on investment.

3. Additional Square Footage

For every 1,000 square feet of actual living space that are added onto a home, the sale price can be boosted by more than 30%, according to the National Association of Realtors. Whether it is a spacious attic bedroom or a dedicated entertainment space, the ROI is quite impressive.

RECOUP:

Attic bedrooms and family/entertainment rooms can recoup between 70% and 80%.

4. Optimized Curb Appeal

If people drive by your home and are not impressed with what their eyes immediately see, chances are they may never give the inside of your home a single opportunity to strut its stuff. Curb appeal is synonymous with ‘first impression’. Make your home’s curb appeal eye-catching enough that it actually makes a statement that conveys a warm sense of ‘welcome’! That message draws people in, both, physically and psychologically.

Add beautiful beds of flowers, potted plants and trees to your property; and have them positioned in strategic locations to transform your home’s exterior from ‘frumpy’ to ‘fabulous’. Group plants by height; and layer the groupings for visual appeal. Your grassy areas should be lush and thick; and investing in a good edger to keep your property looking exquisitely manicured will impress even the most-persnickety buyers.

Curb appeal is not limited, only, to vegetation. Making sure your driveway and sidewalks are in good shape is equally important. If your concrete areas have seen better days, and if cracks or any bulging or separation is apparent, consider replacement or professional repair. If sidewalks and the driveway are in good shape and just need a facelift, staining or painting those areas with highly-durable, concrete-specific products will do wonders to add a fresh, renewed look! Also, tasteful outside lighting “paints” your home at night; and retaining walls add color and texture to wide stretches of green and give any property a very fortified appearance. Curb appeal can make the difference between a home that sells quickly at top dollar verses one that languishes for months.

RECOUP:

Clean and classy curb appeal can contribute a whopping 20% to the total property value of a home. If done right, the ROI with curb appeal can be double the initial, total expense.

5. New Windows

The energy efficiency of installing higher-end windows is an unarguable benefit. Replacement costs will be determined by the number of windows being replaced as well as the type, of course. This is one home-improvement that home-buyers place a high premium on.

RECOUP:

A return of investment of at least 79% is very realistic.

There are certain improvements that are, definitely, worth the investment when it comes to helping attract more buyers, helping you to sell your home quicker, helping you retrieve most or all of your investment, and helping to optimize your home’s true market value. It is vital, however, to not over-improve out of your particular neighborhood since reclaiming your investment will, likely, not materialize. You don’t want to fall into the trap of out-pricing your home, out of all other homes in your area, by a wide margin.

What you get back on your investment will depend on the value of your home, the value of homes in your immediate area, the housing market where you live, how soon you sell after making home-improvements and the quality of each project involved

Modern Devices and Gadgets for Your Homes

Modern devices and gadgets are already part of our homes these days. While most gadgets are created to prove home security, there are several companies that are dedicated in coming up with other inventions that provide comfort and convenience as well. As each day advances, technology moves forward too. These inventions make you have a smarter home.

Today, there are a handful of modern devices and gadgets that are available for every home needs. One of which is the so-called smarter thermostat. Thermostats play a big role in the heating of homes especially during the winter time. Homes without a thermostat would most likely make-do with a home furnace or a chimney to be able to protect themselves from the numbing cold winter offers. A thermostat that can automatically turn on and turn off itself according to the changes in temperature would be a big help in keeping the energy costs at home in check.

Another home gadget that people must have these days is the solar blinds that can be controlled remotely too. These blinds do not only save energy, which is the main function, but also set the mode while you are at home relaxing from a long day at work.

Electric fireplaces are another appealing modern gadget that people would like to have. Why? This is not just an ordinary fireplace. This technology can add a magical touch to your home because it doesn’t only switch on, but it also transform from opaque ceramic column to a transparent one. Not only will your home looks stylish, it will be more efficient and perfect for your needs as well.

If you can’t have all the modern devices and gadgets available in the market, then perhaps having one to consider will not hurt. Wi-Fi doorbells with motion sensors is another gadget you should consider getting for your homes.. One of its amazing features is that you can actually see who is at your door even if you are not at home. No matter where you are, you can also speak to the person who is at your doorstep. This cool idea and gadget increases the security inside your homes, even if you are not there.

These are just some of the modern devices and gadgets that are available already in the market. Some consider these home devices as lavishness, but there are gadgets that are actually necessary to ensure not only comfort but also security in your own home. Most of these gadgets and technological advances were developed to provide your homes with better and more efficient options for your homes and your lives

Factors To Help You Go For The Right Towel Radiator

Do you want to buy a towel radiator? If so, you may want to keep a few things in mind, such as the heating capacity, wall space, hanging space, design and usage capacity. There is no need to mention that the price will also be an important factor to take into account, but it shouldn’t be the most important factor on the list when making the buying decision. Let’s find out more.

1) Wall space

Since radiators come in different sizes, you can choose one based on your needs. For this, you can measure the available wall space. Usually, full-size devices require a good deal of wall space. On the other hand, smaller units require a little bit of space in the bathroom.

Some units even can be fit at the backside of the bathroom door. So, you may want to go for a smaller unit if your bathroom doesn’t have a lot of space.

2) Heating capacity

The radiator’s heating capacity is the first factor you should keep in mind. If the rail is the only heat source for your bathroom, you may want to look for one with a good deal of heating capacity. Ideally, the device should be able to heat up your whole bathroom.

To check the capacity of the device, you can read the specifications. You can also figure out the output on your own. On the other side, if your bathroom has some other type of heating systems, like a quality under-floor heater, you can use a radiator with less output power.

3) Hanging space

How many towels do you want to hang in your bathroom? The answer to this question will decide the amount of hanging space you will need. For communal bathrooms, you will need bigger rails as they offer more hanging space. Homes, on the other side, may need little hanging space.

4) Design

Based on your needs and preference, you can choose from a variety of towel warmer designs. a radiator with a unique design will be an ideal choice should you want something that will look different.

On the other hand, you can choose a simple one should your bathroom is small. By simple design, we mean a design that will blend well with the design of your bathroom.

5) Usage

Usage frequency is another important factor to keep in mind. If you are going to use the radiator throughout the year in both summer and winter, we suggest that you opt for an electric heater. Hydronic radiators are heated up with the help of hot-water systems, so you can also buy this type of heater.

6) Finish

Towel radiators come in a wide assortment of finishes, such as sleek chrome, mate and funky colors. Make sure you go for a finish that will suit the color scheme and the theme of the bathroom. No matter what finish you go for, it shouldn’t have a negative impact on the radiator’s performance.

5 Things to Keep in Mind Before You Build A Conservatory

If you want to add value to your house, you can consider adding a conservatory. But it’s important that you find out what you need and what your budget can allow. Conservatories can be simple and complex. The simple ones cost less but the advanced structures like orangeries cost more. If you want to build a conservatory on your own or by someone else, you may want to keep the 5 things given below in mind.

1. Purpose

You can build one on your own, but you can also hire a tradesman to do the same for you. But first you need to decide who it is for and what purpose it will serve. Do you want to build it to be used as an outdoor room? Or do you want to use it as an extension of your home? Another important factor that you should keep in mind is safety. Make sure you answer all these questions.

2. Planning Permission

Usually, you don’t need to get planning permission; however, in some cases, you may have to. For instance, you may need to get permission if your conservatory is going to cover most area of your land, or if it is higher than the top-most part of the roof of your property. Aside from this, you need to apply for permission should you want to include balconies, raised platforms and verandas, just to name a few.

3. Design of the conservatory

Make sure your conservatory matches the design of your house. In other words, the design of the conservatory shouldn’t be entirely different from your house. If you want to be on the safe side, you may want to match the design of the conservatory with that of your house. Keep in mind that the conservatory is not attached to the backside of your home. What you can do it have it wrapped around your house in the shape of L.

4. Direction of the conservatory

Direction of your conservatory matters a lot. If it faces south, it may get too hot in summer; therefore, you may have to buy blinds and make arrangements for ventilation. Moreover, plaster ceilings below the glass may be a great option for making this little “house” habitable. In the same way, if the conservatory faces north, it may get cold in winter. Therefore, you may want to choose the right direction for it.

5. Material and cost

As far as the cost goes, you can get one built for as little as £10,000. However, it can cost you much more based on the kind of conservatory you need. If you are on a budget, your best option would be PVC. On the other hand, if you are looking for the highest quality one, you can go for wood. All you need to do is choose an option that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

The Characteristics of Lightweight Stone Panels

The Characteristics of Lightweight Stone PanelsWhether you are looking to construct or renovate your home, office, restaurant or hotel etc. the addition of light weight stones panels makes sense mightily. The lineament of these panels is that they are flexible and steady. As a result of their incomparable strength and durability, they are considered on top priority by a maximum number of people for the new construction and renovation of a structure. Lightweight stone is perfect in terms of flexibility and stability. Their lineament makes them an ideal choice for new constructions as well as for refurbishment. Light weight stone boasts of other remarkable lineaments including nonfragility, soundproofing, humidity-proofing, and fireproofing. What’s more, the lightweight stone panels feature temperature preservation and heat insulation.

As it becomes obvious reading or learning the name of light weight stone panels, they are rather light in terms of weight. With that said, they are easy to be used just anywhere. Also, they are effortless to handle and has reduced handling cost. Additionally, they are readily removable and re-installable. They are even easy to be installed on the furniture’s surface as well. Depending on your specific tastes and architecture’ style and needs, you can look for these amazing lightweight stone panels online and order that suits you to a T. They are available ubiquitously on the Internet, so you won’t have any hard experience while searching for them.

A variety of well-known natural light weight stones exist in the market including marble, granite, limestone and travertine which are universally put into practice for decorating a house, an office, a hotel or any other structure you want. Whichever of the aforesaid lightweight stone you wish for, you can get them online readily.

Natural stones such as granite has become the material of choice for kitchen remodeling. Granite is a perfect material for countertops in the wake of their strength and picturesque looks. These natural stones are available in a limited number of colors yet the granite color typically remains as luminous and colorful over the time of usage. Light weight stone panels boast of bang-up thermal lineaments with minimum autogenously drop-off odds.

These online natural stones not only supply lightweight stone panels but also light weight concrete too. Researching even a little, you will be able to discover the stores that offer these products. A reputable online store typically offers 24/7 customer supports service and with this in mind, you can order a preferred product online anytime you want. So irrespective of the light weight stone panels you are looking to install into your structure, there are so many online stores to fulfill your need


Make Your Home Look Luxurious With a Limited Budget

There is the misconception widely spread among people that the term “luxury” refers to lavishly spending more money on the particular product. But the exact meaning we can say is the luxury depends on the look, not in the price tag. There are products which don’t deserve for the word luxury but consumes more cost. Buying such things or making such factors don’t fetch benefits. People can show their class to the society through some ways like a house, cars, etc… the house is one of the easiest ways to show up, though it requires more investment. This is even possible for the middle class if they are choosy in selecting a product and design for the house. In a custom home built process, the house is designed based on the ideology of the people in the house. Here are some of the ideas to be kept in mind before the start of the remodeling process. These tips also fit the budget.

Look of the house: The remodeling process is all about the look of the house. Whatever the reason of remodeling may be like additions, home repair, home updating, etc… the first thing to concentrate is on the look. Opt for the trendy options like completely glazed windows, transparent corridor, small fountain, etc… despite all these the classy look is obtained from the elevation of the house. So elevate with stone or modern art for the best look. Stones like different colored granites are used in most cases in the front elevation and also it is very easy to clean.

Paint color: this plays the major role in the house. However costly the remodeling work may be the paint used in the house is notified even by the strangers and sometime this is even used like a door numbers as the new guest can predict the home with ease. To do this paint color of the house need not be costly. Some people tend to use vivid colors for the house to attract the visitors; they forget to believe that attraction is different from admiring. Such vivid color negatively attracts the people and the feedback will be very worse. So be conscious while choosing it.

Ceiling design: some people try to make the ceiling attractive with the different kind of arts. At present, the ceiling designs are available instantly, all just people have to do is to attach the default model to the roof. Else there are many options left for the people with more creativity to bring some innovative thoughts in painting the ceiling. The home remodelers can design the ceiling and wall with the help of the architecture to give the best look.

Flooring: the flooring types are numbers and they vary depending on the adaptability, cost, size of the home, etc… they can be choosing after making the serious study. The flooring types are different for the dry place and the wet place. So concentrate on this while installing.

Lightings: however the products are arranged, the light setup is essential to make the house more enhancing. Proper lighting gives a classy look to the house. So remodel the house with enough outlet space to acquire the natural lighting. This consumes the loss of energy and thus reduces the utility bills. Enable more lighting in the house which is kept as such and used during the festive occasion.

How to Determine The Size of an Above-Ground Rainwater Tank

Rainwater tanks are typically used to capture rain, which is where the name comes from. They can be used for various applications with various purposes. This includes using them for potable water reserves, utility water reserves, and agricultural reserves. Determining the size you need is mainly based on what you are using it for. It could be anything from a 1000 litre water tank to a 500l water tank. You may even need a 5000 litre water tank. But there are also other considerations that bring you to the necessary number.

Usage Determines Size

Rainwater tanks definitely come in handy for agricultural needs and save money on water supply operation, whether it is from the municipality or from a well system. When used in agriculture, the tanks can pump water as part of an irrigation system for their fields of crops or small gardens. It especially comes in handy during dry seasons or dry spells. In these cases, the larger, the better. A 1000 litre water tank may suffice or even several hooked together.

For potable water systems, the rainwater passes through a filtration system to provide water that is safe to drink. Depending on your potable usage, a 500l water tank may suffice. Will you use it for other things too, such as showers or animal baths? Will you use it to give the animals a drink? Will you use it in the home? If you have a high demand for potable water, a 1000 litre water tank is better. You may even need a 3000 litre tank if the demand is high enough.

When it comes to non-potable operations, it saves through the recycling of water to be used for washing farm and motor vehicles, spraying siding to clean it, cleaning farm areas where animals reside, washing the animals, or spraying the sidewalks and patios. The list could go on and on for uses. With that in mind, you should get one or more 1000 litre water tanks or possibly a bigger size yet.

Geographical Location Considerations for Rainwater Tanks

Aside from uses, your location on the map also determines the size you need. For areas with less rain, you won’t be able to use as much of the recycled water as you might want, mainly because there won’t be much. Therefore, a smaller size like a 500l water tank is the solution. Some areas get a ton of rain on a regular basis. That provides the opportunity for many different sizes to correlate with many different uses and others may not get to enjoy that. One thing you may have to also consider is the potential for dry spells. You might still want a larger tank, but a dry spell will reduce what you have.

Why Vinyl Is Better Than Timber For External Wall Cladding

Home improvement is a task that will never end since there are a lot of new materials and items homeowners can opt for to make their houses more comfortable and more appealing. The only way homeowners can reduce home improvement tasks is to look for materials or items that can match their needs and last for a long time. When it comes to outdoor aesthetics and improvement such as external wall cladding, most homeowners prefer vinyl than its traditional counterpart timber due to the following features below.

Durability

Timber cladding is made from wood. Of course, everyone knows that wood can last for a long time. However, there are numerous issues that can affect the credibility of wood such as water and pests, which can be a huge expenditure. Luckily, vinyl cladding can withstand water problems. In addition, vinyl cladding does not attract pests. As a result, this type of cladding can be used for a longer period of time.

Maintenance

When it comes to maintenance, vinyl also has little to no maintenance. In addition, cleaning vinyl is also a breeze since you only need to make use of a mild solution and a brush or cloth. Unfortunately, when using timber, homeowners need to do a pile of maintenance tasks from repainting, re-oiling, and even filling cracks to ensure that timber cladding will last for a long time.

Appearance

As for appearance, many homeowners still opt for timber cladding since it features a unique and natural appeal for the house. Its gradation of colours, the rings, and grain increases the wonderful aesthetics of the cladding. But, if you are looking for a more contemporary look to match your modern house, vinyl cladding can provide you with such feature.

Installation

In terms of installation, vinyl cladding is easier and more convenient to install since it is light-weight and flexible. Therefore, you can easily install it even on unusual wall shapes. On the other hand, timber installation can be a huge task since it is heavy. Apart from that, there are cases when you need to hire experts to properly accomplish the job.

Costs

Lastly, the costs of vinyl and timber claddings are virtually the same. Costs may differ depending on the type of timber or the type of vinyl texture you are looking for. Size can also alter cladding costs. So, it is important that you measure your house properly to avoid over spending when you purchase.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9293904

An Explanation of the IICRC Water Damage Classification Used in Flood Restoration

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is one of the largest non-government organizations in the United States that sets standards for people in the field of flood restoration. Among its many contributions to the fields of inspection and cleaning, the IICRC has created a Water Damage Classification (WDC) system, to better assist the treatment of damage in buildings or homes that have been overexposed to water. In the event that your home is damaged and needs to undergo flood restoration, it is important that you understand the WDC, as doing so will allow you to be aware of the potential threats to your property.

The WDC is broken down into four classes, each one determined by the volume of water present in a designated area. These grades go from 1 to 4, with 4 having the most severe consequences in regards to property deterioration and potential health threats.

Class 1: Limited Intrusion

A minimal amount of liquid has been introduced into the area. The area might also have a high potential for evaporation, with little extenuating damage to furniture, walls, carpet, and carpet cushions. For some Class 1 situations, it might be possible to dry out the area with fans.

Class 2: Some spread

This grade indicates that some moisture has spread beyond a single spot in the room. It might have risen into the walls, where it can be absorbed into the insulation or structural materials, such as timber, concrete, or particleboard. It might also have been absorbed into the padding beneath the carpet or flooring. These areas have the potential to grow mold or other growths if left unchecked.

Class 3: Invasive Liquid

In this grade, most surfaces in the area, including walls, ceilings, flooring, and furniture, have been soaked with moisture. Lines or marks on the walls indicating moisture can be found more than 2 feet above the floor. Damage like this is often caused by burst plumbing in a second-floor room leaking into the ceiling or through the walls. In cases like this, it is sometimes necessary to remove some of the building materials, as the extensive damage will render them irreparable. Special drying and dehumidification equipment will be required to return some remaining stuffs to their pre-damage state.

Class 4: Inaccessible Material

In some cases, flooding to the area is so severe that items not normally exposed or accessible are saturated with liquid. This makes it extremely difficult or impossible for traditional flood restoration techniques to save these materials. Special drying and dehumidification equipment, as well as more advanced techniques, can sometimes be used to dry components in crawl-spaces, under oil-based paint, behind cabinets, etc. It is also sometimes the case that these materials are not salvageable.

In addition to assessing the severity of damage in a location, an inspector must also determine the quality of the liquid permeating the area. “Clean Water” is much easier to address than a situation with “Black Water,” or water that can contain potentially life-threatening organisms. The presence of Black Water might affect your space’s grading.

After an inspector has assessed the nature of the damage to your property and belongings, he or she will work with a team of certified IICRC-certified technicians to begin bringing your home back to its original state. They will use everything from old-fashioned scrubbing to microbial remediation to rid the space of moisture and any potentially threatening organisms. The IICRC’s WDC grading will help make this an easier process, should your home ever need flood restoration.