Posts made in July, 2015

Understanding Your Plumbing Options

If you need to set up plumbing for your business or home, then you have quite a bit on your plate. To help you make heads or tails of plumbing, here are some questions that you should consider for your project:

Where do you need water?

This may seem like the most obvious question, but it is a little more nuanced than you might think. In many cases, your best option is to hire a plumber to help with the actual installation of the piping. However, you can save a fair bit of money by creating a specific plan prior to actually hiring the plumber.

You will need to divide up the building into sections that need tap water. Identify bathrooms, sinks, fire sprinklers, and any other water outlets and exactly where they should be placed. You’ll then need to plan exactly how the piping will reach each of these locations. Fortunately, your sinks, showers, and toilets will all draw on the same water source, so you probably don’t need to juggle multiple water sources.

Once you have a plan in place, you can ask a professional about implementing it and what changes you might need to make.

What kind of pipe do you need?

Now, you’ll need to figure out which material is best for your purposes. There are three primary options available to you: steel, plastic and copper.

Steel pipes are good choices when you need to transport a lot of water quickly. If you run a business and need a lot of water for industrial usage, then steel pipes will be durable enough to handle your problem. However, steel pipes are usually too big for usage in residential homes. Few houses need as much water as a steel pipe can provide, and it can be a hassle to deal with the rust that tends to accumulate on steel pipes.

Plastic pipes are extremely common nowadays due to their incredibly cheap price tag and decent durability. PVC is the most common type of plastic pipe and it can handle average residential water usage, which makes it perfectly suited to the plumbing in your home. Although plastic pipes might struggle with extremely high volumes of water or high water pressure, neither of those issues are likely to arise at your home.

Finally, there is copper piping, which has become much less popular over the years. Copper is generally too expensive to use in piping nowadays, especially with so many cheaper alternatives available. However, if you have some interest in creating a building that is reminiscent of early 20th century architecture, then copper piping is an excellent choice.

For more information, contact a company like Cool Air Mechanical, Inc.

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Prepare Your Home for Summer Wind Storms

The summer months bring the biggest threat of wind storms and the serious damage they leave behind. Recently, a Midwestern city had to regroup after straight winds hit, breaking windows, toppling trees, and destroying roofs. Recovering from these storms costs millions of dollars in repairs and untold dollars from work days lost. Nothing can prevent these storms from striking, but you can take precautions that limit future damage. 

Impact-Resistant Windows

When replacing your broken or old windows, choose a type that can handle high winds. If you live in a tornado or hurricane area, consider buying windows that are impact resistant. These windows will not only withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour, they will not shatter when blowing items strike them. You can choose laminated glass products that have polyvinyl butyral layers placed between the sheets of glass. The glass is then tempered to increase its strength and keep it from shattering when struck by smaller objects. Another window type is composed of laminated glass and glass-clad polycarbonate and is able to withstand even larger projectiles. Of course to be effective, the glass needs to be placed in stronger window frames. Talk with a place like New Jersey Siding & Windows Inc for more information on strong windows.

Wind-Resistant Roofs

Roof damage can begin when winds hit 50 miles per hour. Shingles are attached to your roof in part by the adhesive strips on the back of each one that glues it to the row beneath. Sometimes this adhesive does not make a good seal, leaving your roof vulnerable to wind damage. When you have your roof fixed or replaced, ask your contractor to use a few drops of roof cement under each shingle to increase wind and other storm resistance. Also, whenever possible, have your roof installed in the warmer months so that the higher temperatures can help seal your roof. Remember to your research. Publications like Consumer Reports regularly test roofing materials for their wind resistance. Your contractor will also be able to suggest the appropriate shingles for your home. 

If you live in an area that is prone to wind storms of one type or another, you know how much damage a brief storm can cause. When you have to replace windows or a roof, consider upgrading to types that are more wind resistant. Even if you have a lucky year or two without damage, you know that eventually your home will suffer from the wind. Preparation now will save you much grief in the future. 

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Tips for Choosing Your Custom Home Design/Build Team

As you design your first custom home, your professional design team will have a big impact on your outcome. Here are some tips on how to choose the right people for the job. 

Choose an Architect for Cost Optimization

It may be the case that you’ve had your home planned in your head for years. However, your architect can sometimes help tweak the design to make it even more perfect. For instance, changing to a less expensive finish material could save you thousands of dollars that will allow you to build a jacuzzi or other home feature. Some architects specialize in cost estimation, and these professionals can help you weigh the cost benefits of different design decisions. 

Finding a Custom Home Builder

The home builder will be the person who ties the entire idea together and produces the finished product; as such, choosing this person is one of the most important parts of building your new home. Rather than going with a standard residential contractor, be sure to choose a custom home builder. Custom home builders can be a great help because they are experienced at communicating with clients and architects directly. They may have more experience with building nonstandard features and designs, and they can help you communicate your ideas clearly to the building team. 

The best custom home builders for your project will have experience in building the style of home that you need. Proper licensing and insurance is also important to check. You’ll also want to search for signs of quality construction, including satisfied past customers and previously built homes with a high resale value. 

Interior Design for Value Creation

The interior design of your home is important because it can affect the resale value greatly. While you may be tempted to design the interior yourself, it’s wise to get at least a consultation with a designer. The best interior designers will have both commercial and residential experience. A strong portfolio of commercial projects can show that the designer’s tastes are appealing to the masses. A good designer can also save you money in some cases through their designer discounts. 

Building a custom home is often a dream come true, but there are many things to do in order to get it built correctly and efficiently. By choosing the right custom home builder, architect, and interior designer, you can design a beautiful and sturdy home for the long term. 

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Earthquake and tornadoes were my biggest fear as a child. They still in someways are, but as I'm building more and more homes, I've begun learning about the different safety measures that are incorporated with the architectural designing. I think it's good to know where the best places to stand are in case of the natural disaster, and which places to avoid. As I've done research I've learned how glass can shatter and much further then what I thought –which has helped me mentally prepare myself to stay away from windows. I think the best way to be prepared for anything is to become educated on it, which is why I'm maintaining this site.