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Home Improvement

Home Improvement Projects That Need Professional Intervention to Execute

When people think of home improvement projects, they usually think of projects that take a few hours to finish. However, there are some home improvement projects that take some time and effort to pull off. Whether you get these done yourself or hire an expert, some things need to be done slowly but surely.

Of course, there are plenty of home improvement projects that you can take up over the weekend. You can fix leaky taps and replace the screen on your back door. However, some projects look deceptively easy. If you start them, you’ll either make a bigger problem or you may take ages to finish the project. Let’s take a look at some of these now.

Painting the Outside of Your House

You paint the exterior of your house to protect it from the sun, rain, and cold. Exterior paint plays a crucial role to ensure that your property is protected and your investment is safe. However, outdoor elements like weather conditions play a vital role when it comes time to repaint your house.

Click here if you’d like to know more about how the weather conditions can interfere with your house painting project. There are other factors as well, like estimating the resources needed and buying tools that would make it cheaper for you to outsource to a business. Therefore, it is best left to professionals to ensure the safety of your family members.

Waterproofing the Basement

When you see a leak in your basement, it’s natural to want to deal with the problem you see. However, the problem might be much deeper than you can understand. If you seal up the crack leaking water now, you can seal the only outlet that water has.

This can lead to burst pipes, which is a costly fix. A reliable professional can inspect your basement for a fixed cost and would work with you to create a plan that would suit your budget. They might even be interested in taking a series of smaller payments instead of a lump sum.

Repairing Your Garage Door

You might think that since you’ve repaired other doors in your house before, fixing your garage door would be an easy personal project. However, unless otherwise noted in your manual, you shouldn’t try and touch the mechanics of your garage door.

The spring attached to it is loaded with a massive amount of potential energy and can gravely injure you if an accident were to happen. If your family helps you out with home improvement projects, they might suffer injuries as well.

Removing Trees From Your Property

Most professionals know that there are many steps to cutting down a tree. At home, people ask their group of friends for help to try and cut the base of the tree. Without the proper training, it can end up falling the wrong way, damaging your house, and harming multiple people.

The roots of a tree also go down pretty deep and can need specialized tools and resources to remove. Without these, a person can end up injured or at least in a world of pain. Since tree removal is not very common, you can look up a highly rated tree removal business online if the tree is on private property.

Insulation Replacement

There are two major reasons you shouldn’t touch insulation yourself. Firstly, many houses still have asbestos as their insulation. This means that when you try to remove it, you will be exposed to carcinogenic particles that you can inhale.

The second reason is that insulation is extremely flammable. Without expert supervision and professional removal systems on this project, you might end up burning down your whole house or expose your family members to cancer.

Roof Repair

If you thought roofing involved laying down a few shingles, think again. Your roof is a layer of protection against the elements. A well-laid roof can save you hundreds in air-conditioning bills as it won’t allow much heat to leak through into your house.

Unless you know the intimate ins and outs of weatherproofing, this project is best left to professionals. They use specialized tools and resources that would give you a faster and better-quality finish. A good contractor will provide personal references and professional examples of their work for you to assess before starting any work.

Appliance Installation

While installing smaller appliances like microwaves on your own, you need to get help for a larger project. A dishwasher or airconditioner are great examples where you have to link up plumbing and electrical systems.

Unless you are a certified plumber or electrician, you may do this incorrectly. Both plumbing and electrical issues are expensive to repair. So get an expert on the project instead. Otherwise, if you mix your wires, you could end up taking out electricity for the entire community.

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Home Improvement

Tiles Buying Tips – Small Mistakes That Can Cost You Big

Choosing tiles for your home can be thrilling, but it also requires thorough planning to buy the right tile the very first time. Tiles can enhance and even damage the aesthetic appeal of your home. So a wrong tile selection can be an expensive mistake.

We’ve brought together the basic tiles buying mistakes that look small but can cost heavily on your pocket. These will help you when buying tiles for your home.

Mistakes That We Make While Buying Tiles

1. Not Ordering Extra Tiles

You’ve done the calculations and ordered the exact count of tiles for the tiling area. But then you realize that you require a few more tiles for work completion. It is frustrating and to add on to it if you hired a professional to install them.

Hamish Smith, Creative Director of Ca’Pietra Tiles, said: “It’s the most common and even an expensive blunder when you order tiles without accounting for breakages and wastage. That is why we suggest buying 10% extra tiles to cover damages. It is only a small price to ensure you have sufficient tiles for completing the tiling project.”

Keep in mind that the different lots of tiles can differ in shades too. That makes it more important to get the correct numbers in one go to avoid having different shades in the layout of your tiles.

2. Discarding the Spare Tiles

It is as important to order extra tiles as to save the spare ones. Keep the left-over tiles safely to fetch any requirements in the future. Even if left with a complete box of tiles, keep it safe and don’t think of returning them to the store. You will find it hard to find an exactly matched tile for any damages in the future.

Spare tiles ensure that you can cope up with any tile damage issues in the future. Else, you have to redo the complete flooring simply because of a few damaged tiles.

3. Selecting the Wrong Size

Tiles are available in different sizes, typically from 7.5cm x 15cm to 60cm x 120 cm large format. So choose the size wisely. Sometimes, we are so inclined to the tile pattern that we overlook the size and land up in trouble later. Selecting an ideal size is a deciding factor for the success of your project.

4. Giving Importance to Price Over Quality

Hamish says, “As it is said, buy cheap, buy twice. Buying cheap and low-quality tiles can save you lots initially, but they would require a replacement quite early when compared to quality tiles.”

If you plan for handmade encaustic tiles, then it will cost you some extra bucks. They use natural dyes that result in color richness and depth. The lower price versions can very flat as they use artificial colors. If you have a restrictive budget, then ceramic tiles can be a better option. They are also easier to maintain.

5. Not Asking for a Sample Tile

Around 75%-90% of people do not order a sample of the tile they choose. A tile sample gives you the exact feel, finish, texture, and color of the tile. It’s important to plan wisely for a tiling project, look at the tile and imagine how it would appear when fixed. Tiles may look very different at showrooms if compared to their looks at home due to the lighting effects.

Also, have a view of the tile at the angle you intend to place it. For example, observe it flat if it will be tiled on the floor and standing beside the wall for wall tiling.

6. Not Hiring a Professional

Tiles installation requires a professional to lay them. An inexperienced tiler can result in a costly mistake. It requires a defined skill-set to lay down tiles that give a touch of finesse to your floor or walls.

Also, choose the tiler who has experience with the type of material you choose for the tile. While ceramic and porcelain are the most commonly used tiles but natural stone, encaustic, large format, and glass tiles have their experts for fitting.

Remember to not call your tiler till the time you have received the tiles and fixing material. Or else the tiler will have no work to do but will still invoice you for the time.

Avoid the Smaller Mistakes and Save Big

You can save big if you avoid the mistakes mentioned above. Always ensure that you order extra tiles and store extra tiles for future damages. Remember that tiles come in batches, and one consignment of tiles can have different shades from another.

Do proper research before buying the tiles. Imagine how the tiles will look in your home before purchasing and installing them. Once installed, you cannot change them as it would cost a lot of money.

Finally, as in most cases, we should leave the work for the professionals. Hire a professional tiler for your project. Properly fixed tiles enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home and give your home a new look and feel.

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Home Improvement

Beat The Wintry Chill With An Efficient Boiler Of Your Choice

We all like the warmth of our houses on a cold winter day. Keeping our house warm and comfortable requires an appropriate heating system. The customary use of boiler systems for this job is prevalent in many countries.

The choice of the right boiler, which will be perfect for your house, plays a crucial role in the process. A system that guarantees an adequate amount of heat and water for circulation in the target area is essential.  Here you should keep in mind the design and make of the opted boiler and the plan of your house.

Every boiler system manufactured works on a different principle, so not every boiler might be a perfect fit for your house. Thorough research leads to the selection of the best boiler for your home.  How do you select the suitable boiler for you out of all the residential boiler systems available in the market?

The factors that determine the type of boiler system to select are:

  • The desired heating needs
  • The budget for the job
  • Space layout of the house
  • The size or volume (of both the house and the boiler)
  • Number of rooms
  • Number of kitchens & bathrooms
  • Average ambient temperature
  • Historic climatic conditions

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning or HVAC professionals can also help a great deal to design the right system for your house.

Knowledge about the boiler systems available in the market and their functioning can be handy if you plan to buy one.

You can seek a professional opinion from different companies operating in this domain. The internet can act as a secondary source of information. Thus helping make a sensible and well-versed decision. You can find below the details of the types of residential boiler systems available in the market today.

Electric Boilers

It is the most popular type of boiler system available in the market. It does not depend on fossil fuels, such as oil or gas. It is one of the least carbon-intensive options among the available systems.

Electric boilers are very cost-efficient and environment-friendly.  They do not release any exhaust fumes into the atmosphere, and thereby there is no loss of heat. The cost-efficiency comes from the low per-unit cost and low installation charges.

Steam Boilers

Steam boiler works on the principle of heat exchange. The system uses heat to turn water into steam. The steam reaches the radiators with the help of a pipe network, placed across the house. The steam accumulates on the closed vents of the radiator. The radiator heads radiate the heat from the steam. As the steam cools down, it condenses back to the water. It goes back to the boiler for reheating.

Steam Boilers use gravity and steam pressure to work. Steam pressure takes the steam along with the heat to the radiators, which helps to radiate it. Gravity helps the condensed water to get back to the boiler.

Oil Boilers

Oil-fired boilers or oil boilers use oil as fuel. The boilers use water to carry the heat across the house through pipes. An oil heating system is very efficient and the most common sight to watch at a cottage.

If you need maintenance, you can reach out to any of the professional gas service agencies in your area.

Natural Gas Boilers

A natural gas boiler uses gas to generate heat in the system. It draws gas from the main pipeline that runs near the house. The boilers use gas as the fuel to heat water and circulate across the house.

If you live in a populated area, a natural gas-fired boiler is the most used residential boiler system that you will see. The gas lines run beneath the house, and the gas usage monitoring happens through a thermocouple.

Hot Water Boilers

The water boiler uses high pressure, water volume, and temperature to heat the radiators. The system uses single or many pumps to build water pressure. Like the steam water boiler system, this also uses the heat exchange principle.

The boiler generates heat by using either fossil fuel or electricity.

Condensing Boilers

The condensing boilers are fast getting attention. They are cheap, efficient, and environment-friendly. There are two heat exchangers in the boiler. One exchanger heats the water that runs through the pipeline across your house. The used water, as it cools, goes to the second exchanger. The second exchanger re-heats the water and circulates it back to the pipeline.

The above will suffice you as a comprehensive list of the heating boiler systems. Development of alternate heating systems, which are currently for commercial use, is also underway. We can expect a less expensive residential heating system that has the least carbon footprint in the near future.

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Home Improvement

Is the Dining Room Table Making a Comeback?

A few years back, Forbes reported that the formal dining room was making a comeback in America. Younger families building new homes from scratch were requesting formal dining room spaces where they could entertain for holidays and family gatherings. Fast-forward to 2019 when Apartment Therapy reported a renewed interest in dining room furniture, even among consumers whose homes didn’t have formal dining rooms.

The trends lead to an interesting question: is the dining room table making a comeback? Not in the sense of maintaining little-used formal dining room space, but in the sense of families making a concerted effort to gather around the dining room table in the evening.

 Dining Together Used to Be Normal

At the risk of sounding too Leave It to Beaver, dining together in the evening used to be normal for American families. The kids would come home from school while mom and dad returned from work. Everyone would gather around the table to enjoy a good meal and a discussion of the day’s events. This was pretty normal until about the mid-1980s. Then something happened.

We call the 1980s the ‘decade of excess’ for a reason. A rebounding economy and quickly fading memories of the Vietnam War gave Americans a reason to go out and do things. It motivated us to spend more time away from home and more time on outside leisure activities.

Unfortunately, work and school time didn’t give way to leisure time. Parents still had to put in 40 hours on the job while the kids labored away in school. All of that extra leisure time had to be taken from somewhere. The family dining room table was expendable. So were family game nights, chats on the front porch, etc.

 Coronavirus and the Dining Room Table

Neither the Forbes nor Apartment Therapy pieces were written with coronavirus in mind. Both preceded the pandemic. Yet now, more than a year after it began, coronavirus is still keeping plenty of fearful people trapped inside their homes. Could it be that the dining room table is offering therapy to some?

Salt Lake City’s Modern Craftsman says that the demand for custom dining room tables is as strong as it has ever been. Perhaps coronavirus has something to do with it. Then again, perhaps not. The question that really demands an answer is whether or not this new appreciation for dining room furniture translates into families actually spending time around the table.

 More Than Holiday Furniture

Would it be that the dining room table was seen as something more than just holiday furniture. Sure, dressing up the formal dining room at Christmas is a heartwarming and exciting experience. Having family members over to enjoy a formal dinner in a formal space is an expected part of the holiday season. But shouldn’t the dining room table be the dinner table, too?

The dinner table used to be where parents and kids could actually sit down and have a good conversation. It was where husbands and wives hashed out their problems; where the kids told mom and dad of their hopes and dreams. The dinner table was always open for grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles, and as many cousins as you could fit in the house.

Perhaps the dinner table isn’t making a comeback. Maybe nostalgic thoughts of what it used to represent are causing people to invest in tables they may rarely use. If so, that is a shame. Even a custom dining room table made by Modern Craftsman deserves to be more than a piece of furniture.

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Home Improvement

Why is Terracotta Siding Beneficial for Your Home?

Whenever you build a home, the main motive is to make it sufficient for your requirement and not require high-cost maintenance. A home with terracotta siding has a lot to offer you. It brings along some easy maintenance work and also provides better life to your home.

What is terracotta siding?

A terracotta siding works as a protective barrier between the environment and the house. It protects the wall and also reduces the expense of temperature control. It sits like an additional cover to the walls keeping some space in between. The siding gets hit by any effect of the environment and does not damage the main wall of the house. This is how the siding helps the home survive longer.

How does terracotta side work?

Over the cement wall, an iron panel is fitted on which the sidings are placed. They are made according to the house requirements. The sidings are placed so that it has some space to adjust itself in a different season, especially monsoon. The space between the wall and siding functions as a path to vent air, making the house healthy and free from any fungal growth at the wall.

How does the siding made with terracotta help you have a low-maintenance home?

Supports the structure and improve the life of it

Since the siding functions like a protector of the house, it helps to improve the life of the house. It also supports the structure as a wall of protection to the wall. The walls do not come in contact with water often, making them absorb less water and stay ventilated throughout the year.

Save energy

Since the walls are not facing the difference in temperature outside, it is always easy to reduce the temperature control cost. In winter, the house will heat up easily; in summers, the house will stay cool, and the air conditioner will consume less electricity. Therefore, keeping a terracotta siding wall throughout the year can save energy.

Low maintenance

Since the sidings are made with terracotta, it is strong enough and does not break easily. Even after the effect of weather, it remains the same. Even if any of the pieces get broken, you can change the piece without disturbing the entire panel. These sidings do not require any painting and will also reduce a lot of costs.

Easy repair or installation

A single tile of the siding can be easily removed and replaced. Though it does not get damaged easily still if you need it to be changed, it’s easy. The parts are easily available and can be changed individually.

Weatherproof

The sidings made with terracotta are designs to stay alive and strong in every weather condition. After rain or any water exposure, it absorbs it and does not let the inner wall face any issues. The space between the panel and the wall helps keep the wall ventilated, making them stay strong forever.

Conclusion

Sidings made with terracotta is a one-time investment and do not require much to maintain. For a beautiful home, the small investment is beneficial.

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Home Improvement

Sustainable Architecture: Do You Know It When You See It?

Sustainable architecture is arguably the hottest topic in building construction right now. Everyone wants to be known as a friend of sustainability. From architects to general contractors and interior designers, anyone who wants to be someone embraces it. There is only one slight problem: there is no hard and fast standard in the construction arena.

Would you know sustainable architecture if you saw it? Chances are, yes. But not because there is anything about a building’s facade that leads you to see sustainability in action. No, your recognition would probably be due to the fact that architects willing to embrace sustainable principles also tend to embrace modern design. Therefore, sustainable buildings have a certain look.

 Looking the Part

Sustainable architecture tending toward a modern aesthetic might not be an accident. Lifegate contributor and sustainability disciple Federica Garofalo unequivocally stated in a 2018 post that sustainable architecture’s “functionality must be tied to its relationship with the environment through its appearance.” In other words, sustainable buildings have to look the part.

Garofalo’s assertion may be her own opinion rather than a hard and fast rule, but how likely is it that she is the only one who thinks this way? Not very likely. It is more likely that modern architects embracing a sustainable mindset have similar thoughts about aesthetics. That would certainly explain why so many sustainable projects look futuristic to the point of being odd.

 Sustainability Means Many Things

Architects have an advantage in the sense that they have considerably more opportunities to explore the boundaries of sustainability. Utah’s Sparano + Mooney, for example, specializes in mountain modern architecture in Park City, Provo, and throughout the state. Their architects place a heavy emphasis on passive design and LEED certification. Most of what they focus on from a sustainability standpoint relates to energy efficiency.

On the other hand, Garofalo’s Lifegate piece mentioned a small school building in Bali made of sustainable materials. The primary goal of that project was to create a building with natural resources in the most natural way possible, with the understanding that the materials are completely reusable should the building ever be taken down.

Truth be told, sustainability means many things in architecture. It can encompass:

  • overall energy efficiency
  • use of green energy sources
  • locally sourced materials
  • local environmental impact.

The one thing that ties almost all sustainability goals together is the underlying belief that embracing sustainability is somehow a radical concept. People who believe in sustainability want others to believe in it too, so they become evangelists of sorts. In the architectural world, the best way to evangelize for sustainability is to make buildings purposely look different.

 Starting the Conversation

Designing a new building to look like something out of this world has its merits. Architects have been embracing futuristic designs since architecture was a thing, simply because doing so is one way to make a name for yourself. But it is also a way to start a conversation.

Imagine being an accomplished architect addressing young people just beginning architectural school. Show them pictures from your portfolio and you instantly have an opportunity to begin discussing sustainability. You can explain why the roof has grass and a garden. You can explain why the facade is angled in such a way as to capture natural airflow for cooling purposes.

Would you know sustainable architecture if you saw it? Perhaps. What you are really seeing is an architect’s flair for modern design in the aesthetic realm. What you cannot see underneath that outer shell is truly what makes the building sustainable.

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Home Improvement

Fire Sprinklers Save Lives

When it comes to fire safety, it is imperative not to cut corners. Sure, fire is a rarity for most of us but when it does happen, it has the potential to be devastating. That is why it is important to take preventative measures to ensure that the fire can be contained should it make itself known.

A fire sprinkler in Exeter can make all the difference for your home or business. While sprinklers may not be quite so common in homes, they are a must for businesses. A sprinkler system can mean the difference between putting out a fire and having it decimate an entire structure. Don’t give it a choice.

Choosing a Fire Sprinkler Professional

That said, when choosing an Exeter fire sprinkler professional, it is important to make sure that they check a few boxes off. When looking for a professional service, they should be able to offer the following:

  • Fire suppression
  • Sprinkler installations
  • Asbestos competent
  • Certification verifying their credentials
  • Electrical and decorating work

When it comes to fire safety, don’t cut corners. Get the right professional installation and ensure that the things that are important to you remain protected.

There Is no Substitute for Peace of Mind

At the end of the day, there is no substitute for the peace of mind that is provided by a fire sprinkler. We never want to deal with fire but knowing that it can be suppressed when it actually does happen can mean all the difference in the world.

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Home Improvement

Keep Your Day Bright with an Electrical Contractor

Whether talking about your home or business, the electrical system is one of the most crucial aspects to the entire property. When there are issues within, they can spread to the rest of the property, creating a huge inconvenience at best.

That is why looking into electrical contractors in St. Albans is a necessity. Even if you don’t need a contractor in the moment, knowing where to find a reliable and dependable one can make all the difference in the world.

Total Home and Business Services

Even better, most St. Albans electrical contractors can handle a wide array of issues, both in the residential and commercial setting. That means addressing issues such as:

  • Rewiring
  • New circuits
  • Extra power points
  • Lighting installation
  • Smoke and heat detectors
  • TV cabling
  • Storage heaters
  • Air conditioning
  • Network cabling
  • CCTV systems
  • Underfloor heating
  • Electric gates

Depending on the size and style of the property, there are a lot of potential areas that can run into issues. A proper St. Albans electrical contractor will have the knowledge and versatility to tackle even the most difficult of jobs.

Reliability Is Key

When choosing the right electrical contractor, it is imperative to find one with a track record of success and trustworthiness. Customer history matters, so take the time to read the reviews to find the best St. Albans contractor for the job. When you have a trustworthy professional, you get peace of mind in knowing that the job is being done properly.

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Home Improvement

Signs That You Need to Call an Arborist

An arborist is a trained professional who knows how to rectify tree and plant related problems. If you have a spacious garden with lots of plants and trees, you will want to get in touch with an arborist from time to time. There are several things that can go wrong and it’s up to you to take care of it and get the problem fixed as quickly as possible.

Some common reasons for which you will want to call an arborist include:

  • Applying pesticides
  • Trimming large trees
  • Cutting down dead trees

There are several important signs that you need to contact an arborist in Farnborough. Here are some key signs that you need to look out for.

Leaves Shedding Rapidly

One of the clearest signs that your trees are infested and need serious attention is when the leaves begin to fall at a rapid rate. It’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed quickly, and you should contact an arborist for assistance right away. Similarly, if you notice entire branches falling off, it’s a clear sign that the entire tree is dying. If you don’t take immediate action, your entire tree may need to be removed.

Pest Infestations

Similarly, if you notice a pest infestation, it is important that you call an arborist to fix the problem. If you notice lines of tiny pests going up the tree, it is imperative that you take action and get the issue resolved as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the last minute to take action, as things are only going to get worse.

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Home Improvement

Stay Safe and Dry

Among the very worst things to have to deal with as a homeowner is anything related to water. Leaks, rot, and flooding are all awful things that bring with them a lot of damage and repair. Thankfully, there are steps that can be taken to prevent those things from happening.

Waterproof in Chelsea is the kind of preventative maintenance that can leave your home ready to stand up to even the toughest of areas. Water damage is no joke and can become serious before long. Preparing your home gives it the best chance to stand up to that potential damage.

Full Waterproofing Services

Water brings with it quite a bit of problems. To combat those problems, a Chelsea waterproofer will need to offer a plethora of services. Those can include:

  • Waterproofing
  • Rising damp
  • Wet rot
  • Dry rot
  • Woodworm
  • Condensation

No matter the need, taking preventative measures are essential. After all, it is easier to deal with the issue before it becomes one rather than having to try to implement repairs.

Don’t Hesitate

If you can smell a musty, damp smell, don’t waste time. Call in a Chelsea professional immediately to come assess the situation. Even if it turns out to be nothing, that preventative measure can be more than enough to save you a lot of trouble.

Water damage is nothing to mess around with. By bringing in a waterproofer, you can ensure that your home is in the best condition to stand up to potential water damage.