Planning A Custom Home? 3 Must-Have Features That Will Make Life More Pleasant

Posted by on Nov 1, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you’re in the market for a new home, don’t buy one that’s someone else’s dream home. Hire a contractor to design a custom home especially for you. Choosing a custom home will allow you to add features that you might not find anywhere else. It will also give you the opportunity to add some features that you might not have thought of yet. While you’re working on the design for your new home, here are three features you should add to the plans. Think Dual-Flush Toilets You already know that you’re going to need toilets in each of the bathrooms, but that doesn’t mean you need to settle on the same standard style that everyone else has. Instead of choosing the basic single-flush models that use too much water when flushing urine, and often require multiple flushes for solid waste, choose dual-flush toilets instead. Dual-flush toilets allow for different water levels and pressure when flushing liquid and solid waste. This will ensure that you’re not wasting water on your liquid flushes, and that you don’t have to use multiple flushes to get the solids down. Go with Radiant Heat Floors There’s nothing worse than freezing your bare feet on the bathroom floor in the middle of winter. You won’t have to worry about that if you have your contractor install radiant heat floors in your new home. You don’t have to worry about any expensive systems either. Your contractor can install the radiant heat flooring unit on the subfloor beneath the tiles. You won’t have to worry about cold feet in the bathroom ever again. Install a Water Re-circulation Unit If you’re tired of running out of hot water, talk to your contractor about installing a water re-circulation unit. One of the problems with traditional water heaters is that the water inside the pipes gets cold between uses. That means you need to run the water until it heats up. Not only is that time-consuming, it’s also a waste of water. With water re-circulation, the water in the pipes is circulated through the house so that it’s not wasted. You get hot water when you need it without wasting water. Now that you’re designing your own custom home, make sure you get everything you want. With custom plans, you can eliminate flushing problems, alleviate cold feet, and prevent cold showers. Be sure to talk to your contractor about other additions that will make life better in your new home. For more information and advice, contact a custom home builder at a company like David James Custom...

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When To Invest In A Boundary Survey

Posted by on Nov 1, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Locating property lines can be challenging in a changing landscape. This is especially true for properties that haven’t exchanged hands in several years and have old property descriptions listed on the deed. Rather than relying on what your eyes can see, it’s always best to invest in a boundary survey when you need accurate information about property lines. Here are three situations where a boundary survey can prove invaluable. 1. When you intend to subdivide your land. If you own a large tract of land, you may decide that selling a portion of that land could be financially beneficial. The process of breaking up one large tract of land into smaller sections for individual sale is known as subdividing. Investing in a boundary survey is critical when you are subdividing your land because you are creating new property lines where none existed before. Having a clear marking of the new property lines will help the buyer know exactly how much land they are purchasing, and it will allow you to subdivide your property without the risk of boundary disputes in the future. 2. When you want to build a fence. The addition of a fence can create privacy and add a level of security to your property. Before you can construct a fence, you need to know where the boundary line for your property is. You don’t want to leave too much room between your fence and your neighbor’s property, but you also don’t want to build on your neighbor’s property and run the risk of having to tear down the fence and rebuild. A boundary survey will show you exactly where your fence should be placed. Just because a fence already exists doesn’t necessarily mean it is in the right location, so be sure to have a boundary survey conducted whenever you are adding or replacing a fence line on your property. 3. When you are in a property dispute with a neighbor. When a neighboring piece of property changes ownership, you may find that the new owner may take issue with the location of your driveway, fence, or other structure. If there is a dispute over whose property these structures are built upon, investing in a boundary survey can provide much-needed answers. Having a surveyor come and clearly mark the boundary line between your property and your new neighbor’s will help settle any disputes that might arise. Knowing when to rely on the help of a boundary surveyor will allow you to accurately identify and maintain your property lines in the...

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Just Bought A Home With A Gravel Yard When You Really Want Grass Instead?

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Because of water conservation efforts, there’s been a lot of focus in the last few years on “hardscaping” rather than landscaping—but that might not be the best thing for you if you’ve just moved into a house where you plan on raising a family and you want a yard with grass for the kids to play. If you’re looking at a backyard full of gravel that you’d like to see turned into a place that kids can play, here are some suggestions that should make it easier to accomplish. 1.) Create a raised border out of some of the gravel in order to make use of the materials on hand. You can still use some of that hardscaping to your benefit by creating a border area. If you buy edging stones or erect concrete borders, you can essentially create a permanent edge around the outer area of your yard that can be used to add depth and color to the yard. If you aren’t sure you want to keep the border, consider railroad ties or wooden slats instead.  You can essentially scoop a good bit of the gravel into the border areas and create a raised edge. Cover the gravel over with a layer of topsoil thick enough that none of the gravel can be seen. This doesn’t create the ideal environment for a lot of plants—you’ll have great drainage but relatively little nutrients—so you have to pick the type of plants to add to the borders carefully if you want success. Consider sticking with a few hardy varieties that deal well with shallow, rocky ground. Perennial ground covers like Chinese juniper, creeping juniper and red cedar will give you all-year color, Mix in several annual plants like common sage, stonecrop, and English lavender, and you’ll have beautiful summer colors as well. 2. Cover the remaining gravel with topsoil and plant your grass. Don’t listen to the nay-sayers who tell you that you can’t get a yard full of healthy grass once gravel’s been put down. You just need the right amount of topsoil to do it. Essentially, while you can get away with a minimum of 6″ of good, rich topsoil to start your grass growing, you’ll do better if you plan on starting with 12″ minimum layer of topsoil. That gives the dirt plenty of space to settle without compromising the needs of the grassroots. Experts also recommend that you incorporate about 1–2″ of organic compost into the topsoil by mixing it into the upper layers before you plant your grass seed. 3. Consider hydroseeding as an additional option to get the best start. While you can simply lay down your grass seed at this point using a...

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Make Sure Your Home’s Electrical System Is Ready For Winter

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Uncategorized |

In just a short amount of time, the harshness of winter will be here. As a result, you’re likely taking action around your home to prepare. Make sure you aren’t overlooking your electrical system during this process. Here are a handful of tips to get your home’s electrical system ready for winter. Invest In A Surge Protector Now is an excellent time to invest in a surge protector. During the winter, heavy snow and ice are enough to completely knock out the power in a home. If you don’t have a surge protector, this sudden loss of power could send powerful electrical currents running rampant, possibly leading to a dangerous electrical fire. Surge protectors control the current when you unexpectedly lose power. Not only do these units help protect your home from a fire, but they also protect your appliances and other household electronics from damage in the event of a power loss. Evaluate Load Capacity During the colder months of the year, most people tend to spend more time inside the house. When you couple this with frequent holiday guests and seasonal decorations like holiday lights, the amount of electricity you use within your home can substantially increase during this period. Especially if you live in an older home that hasn’t had the electrical system updated in some time, it’s a good idea to have the load capacity of your electrical system evaluated. During this process, a certified electrician will ensure that the amount of electricity you are using won’t exceed your limits, which is also critical to preventing a fire. Perform A Visual Inspection Prior to the start of winter, it’s a good idea to perform a visual inspection around the exterior of your home. First, locate your electrical box and ensure that its cover is still intact. These covers seal the box and prevent moisture from getting inside, which could cause significant damage. Next, check to ensure there is a good amount of space between any tree limbs and power lines. Both snow and ice can weigh down tree limbs. If the limb is already close to the power line, this extra weight could easily make it come in contact with the power line, resulting in a power outage. Have a professional trim any necessary limbs to stay on the safe side. The more effort you put towards preparing your home’s electrical system for the winter, the better you can protect your home and, most importantly, the safer your family. Make sure you are taking steps to accomplish this goal. For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website...

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Why Hardwood Is Great For Bathroom Floors

Posted by on Sep 7, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Over the years, you are probably going to need to update the flooring in your bathroom. This is a room that has a lot of moisture, which can be very damaging to floors. Even if you have a durable, waterproof flooring product like tile or hardwood, you will probably need to change it at some point. This article explains the advantages of installing composite hardwood in a bathroom. Of course, hardwood will not last forever, but composite products with laminated finish will be just as durable as tile or natural stone floors. Modular Design for Simple Installation One of the best things about composite floors is that they have a modular design. This means that the individual wood planks are constructed with a tongue and groove. Basically, the tongue of one piece snaps into the groove on the next piece. This greatly speeds up the installation process. In fact, installing modular composite floors requires very few tools. All you really need is a miter saw and a rubber mallet. Whether you install it on your own, or have professionals handle the work, the cost of installation of your hardwood floor will be minimal. And since the bathroom is one of the smallest room in the house, the cost of the product is also minimal. The installation is also easier because it is easier to make round cuts to wood than it is to make similar cuts to tile. So, installing hardwood around the basin of toilet is quite simple. They Don’t Need to Be Refinished Another great thing about composite hardwood floors is that you don’t need to spend your time or money refinishing them. Despite all the moisture, a hardwood floor with a laminated finish will basically last forever. Since the product is so affordable, it is practical and easy to just replace it instead of trying to restain it. Hardwood is Undeniably Stylish Despite hardwood being practical and affordable, it is still often picked simply because of the style. The look of natural wood grains is desirable and can match with many design elements already in your bathroom, like the sink cabinet. You can also continue your hardwood out of room. A seamless threshold will look great and give your home a more cohesive look. Hardwood is a great flooring product and it is particularly ideal for bathrooms. It will look great and last for many years without much maintenance. For more information, contact a business such as Wunderlin...

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Winter’s Chilling Ride: Protecting Your Elevator From Cold Weather Hazards

Posted by on Aug 18, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If this is your company’s first winter in a building with an elevator, you need to be proactive about dealing with the cold temperatures. Understanding the problems that cold weather can cause will help you to prevent some costly complications with your elevator system. Here are a few tips to avoid some of the more significant threats that winter can pose. Keep the hydraulic oil warm. The cold weather can cause the hydraulic oil to become cold, which can thicken the oil and slow it down. This can interfere with the function of the elevator, causing problems like incorrect leveling or improper lift response. The best way to avoid this kind of problem is to keep the hydraulic oil warm. You can do this in several ways. If your elevator equipment is all housed in a machine room, make sure the temperature of that room stays warm. Otherwise, you can install a tank heater in the oil reservoir. This will radiate heat to the oil, allowing it to flow freely. Lubricate the guide rails regularly. During the winter months, the cold, dry air can actually cause the guide rail lubricant to dry out. This causes friction between those guide rails and the elevator lift. If you’re hearing grinding, squealing or other odd noises from the elevator shaft when you call the elevator, that could be why. Hire an elevator maintenance technician to inspect the rails and lubricate them regularly throughout the winter season. Test the backup system. Your elevator’s battery backup system is essential for ensuring that the elevator can lower to the main floor in the event of a power failure. With winter’s threat of ice and snow storms comes the threat of power failures. Have the battery backup system tested monthly if possible so that you can be sure that it will respond when you need it. Set the elevator’s home floor to a warmer floor. If the elevator normally sits on the basement level until it’s called, that can lead to cold temperatures inside the elevator. If it gets cold enough, it can actually interfere with the button panel and the elevator’s operation. You can avoid this by having the elevator programmed to rest on a climate-controlled floor instead. For example, you can have it automatically return to the first floor where your lobby area is any time it’s not in use. Or, you can program it to automatically wait on the last floor it stopped at until it’s called to another one. This keeps the elevator car out of the cold temperatures. It also keeps its temperature more comfortable for your clients and...

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