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Surprising Information Revealed in a Land Survey and Why You Might Need One

Posted by on Jan 25, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Surprising Information Revealed in a Land Survey and Why You Might Need One

A land survey actually does much more than note the actual boundaries of a property, and an individual might consider getting such a survey before buying a home or even for property they own. Note some of the information revealed on a land survey and why you might need one, either before buying or even after living in your home for some years. Zoning classification Zoning for property often means more than just residential or industrial; there are typically other classifications that could affect how you use your property and improvements that can be made. For example, certain residential zoning restrictions may keep you from running even a small business from your home, from parking a commercial truck on your property, or from adding too much to your home’s width or height. Those restrictions may also keep you from encroaching upon your neighbour’s boundary, the street on which your home is located, or an alley. You might also be surprised to find out that, because of the zoning classification of your neighbourhood, there is nothing you can do to prevent your neighbour from running his or her business from home, from parking their commercial truck on their property, and the like. This can be especially important to consider if you’re thinking of buying a home and don’t like the neighbours running a business next to your residence. Cemeteries You may not think that a home is built over a large cemetery, but keep in mind that some small family plots were not uncommon on residential properties many decades ago, and even in recent times. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of a home being built over a cemetery and aren’t sure if one was located on the property, note that this information is included in a typical land survey. Underground drains and cables Overhead lines and other such objects are easy enough to see, but it’s good to know if a property has underground drains and cables so you know if you would be able to install landscaping features or a retaining wall without disturbing them. You also need to know if you are at risk for a leak from a drain, pipe, or other large sewer feature. Underground lines may also mean that repair crews may need to go through your property to access them for repairs or replacement, and this may mean a disruption of your property. It’s good to know if these are located on your property and where and any risk you might face because of their...

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Material World: Choosing The Right Material For Your Conservatory’s New Bi-Fold Doors

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Material World: Choosing The Right Material For Your Conservatory’s New Bi-Fold Doors

Bi-fold doors can be a great addition to any conservatory, providing an excellent combination of visibility, natural light and security. However, any door, bi-fold or not, is only as good as the materials it is made from, and bi-fold doors are available in a wide variety of building materials suited to different purposes. As such, you should take stock of the advantages and disadvantages of each individual material before deciding which is best for your new conservatory door. Timber This classic choice of door material fits wonderfully well into rustic and traditionally style conservatories, and it is particularly well suited to timber-framed conservatories. However, timber isn’t all style and no substance — as long as your timber is chosen well, it can also provide enormous strength and security, while weathering the worst of what the weather can throw at it during less comfortable seasons. With the right surface treatments and oils, timber bi-fold doors can also be made thoroughly resistant to mould, fungal rot and the attentions of wood-boring insects (such as termites). However, the type of timber you choose for your doors will make a big difference, and as a rule you should generally avoid the cheaper and more fragile softwoods — these woods have less structural strength than more valuable hardwoods and can be susceptible to warping and rotting (warping should be avoided at all costs, as the contortions of the wood can swiftly shatter panes of glass). Instead, you might wish to consider opting for pre-treated wood, or wood taken from hardy tropical trees that is naturally resistant to mould, but these woods are generally much more expensive and can be difficult to source. Aluminium Bringing the strength and durability of metal to the table without the usual corrosion risks, aluminium can be an excellent material for bi-fold door building. Thoroughly immune to rust, mould and insects, aluminium’s strength also allows it to be used in smaller quantities, allowing smaller frames and larger windows in your door for maximum visibility. It is also surprisingly light for a metal, allowing easy door operation even for the elderly and infirm. Unfortunately all of these advantages come at a price, and aluminium bi-fold doors are likely to be among the most expensive available to you. Aluminium can also look unsightly when contrasted with more traditional building materials and may not be suitable for traditionally styled conservatories — a number of paints and surface coatings are available that can effectively mask aluminium’s metallic nature, but they will require occasional (and expensive) renewal. uPVC uPVC is a form of PVC plastic with added ultraviolet-resistant compounds, allowing it to effectively resist the perishing that PVC can suffer under intense sunlight. As such, it retains all the advantages of plastic bi-fold doors while eliminating a key disadvantage, and uPVC bi-fold doors can be remarkably long-lived if treated well. Corrosion, mould and insect damage are non-issues. Also, uPVC is also a relatively cheap material, and uPVC bi-fold doors can generally be picked up for very reasonable prices. Unfortunately, uPVC looks just as ‘plasticy’ as any other form of plastic, and some people may find uPVC doors unsightly (particularly when contrasted against a timber or metal conservatory). To avoid this problem, uPVC is available in a wide variety of colours and designs, including convincing wood-grain...

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How Can I Conserve Water on a Septic Tank System

Posted by on Nov 21, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Can I Conserve Water on a Septic Tank System

If you are new to having a septic tank system, then the idea of having too high of a water flow into the tank may be new to you. You may have been told by your contractor that you need to limit the water flow in order to prevent the pipe to the septic tank from having issues, from having water backup into the home, and from having issues with tank overflow. If this is the case, then you may be looking at ways to limit water consumption and waste, but be at a loss on how to do it. Here are few methods you may not have thought of or been introduced to already. Greywater System One of the more in-depth, but also long-standing routes to take for water consumption on a septic tank system is to go with a greywater system. Essentially, this is a water recycling system for your home. It will take water from laundry, dishwashing, and bathing and recycle it through filters and back into your home to areas that use a high amount of water such as your toilet, outdoor hoses for gardening, and other areas of the home depending on your preferences. This can reduce the amount of water actually making it to the septic tank and help reduce your water bills as well. Dishwasher and Toilet Valves Two of the largest consumers of water in your home are the dishwasher and toilet. In one flush you can use several gallons of water alone. If you are running the dishwasher and flush the toilet or have several members of your home doing the same, that is a lot of water flowing into the septic tank system. You can reduce the amount of water used in both the dishwasher and toilet but installing energy efficient and water conservation valves. These valves use less water while still delivering the same amount of pressure that larger water consumption does. Reduced Usage One of the easiest ways to reduce the amount of water consumption is to instill a reduced usage chart. For example, if you are taking a lot of baths instead of showers during the week, switch to showers. If you have everyone taking showers daily, reduce it and put everyone in the house on a schedule. Reduce the amount of times you are washing dishes by reusing the same dish throughout the day. Reduce the amount of laundry you are doing as well. You may believe that you don’t use that much water in showering or washing dishes until you start a usage chart. So, look at all these areas, no matter how redundant it may seem, and you may find that you do have high usage times and areas you normally would not have thought of. With these three reduction efforts in place you can reduce the amount of water going through your septic tank and help reduce the chemicals and build up in the septic tank as...

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Avoid These 3 Mistakes When Cleaning an Epoxy Floor

Posted by on Nov 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Avoid These 3 Mistakes When Cleaning an Epoxy Floor

Epoxy floors are quite easy to clean because they aren’t porous. All the dirt and grime remains on their surface. However, one should avoid making several mistakes when cleaning an epoxy floor. This article discusses some of the mistakes that you should avoid when you are cleaning the new epoxy floor in your garage. Mistake 1: Using Natural Fibre Mops Always select synthetic fibre mops for cleaning your epoxy floor. Natural fibre mops should be avoided during this cleaning process because particles from the natural fibre mop tend to stick onto the epoxy floor as you scrub or dry the floor. Those detached particles can later cause several problems, such as harbouring biological matter like mould. Mistake 2: Leaving Degreasers to Stand for Long Degreasers can help you to get rid of any materials, such as used engine oil, that may have dried on the epoxy floor. However, you should be mindful of the recommended duration for which you should leave the degreaser on the floor. Don’t exceed that recommended duration in a bid to make the cleaning task easier. Degreasers that overstay on an epoxy floor can become detrimental to the floor because the chemicals within the degreaser may start damaging the floor. You should always rinse off the degreaser as soon as possible. Rinse the floor several times so that all the degreaser is removed.   Mistake 3: Not Drying the Floor Thoroughly Always make sure that you dry the epoxy floor thoroughly after cleaning it. You can use a dry/wet vacuum for this task. A squeegee can also help in case you don’t own a dry/wet vacuum. Check and confirm that the entire floor is dry. Wet sections can cause a number of problems, such as exposing family members to slip and fall hazards. Wet sections can also allow mould and mildew to grow if the garage is closed and the water remains on the epoxy floor for an extended duration. Besides, leaving the floor wet will predispose it to getting dirty quickly in case family members walk on it as they come from outdoors. The dirt on their shoes can cause the water to form a muddy puddle on the newly cleaned floor. Consult epoxy flooring experts for advice on how to deal with any stubborn stains that may mar the beauty of your new epoxy floors. Never use a cleaning product that hasn’t been recommended for epoxy...

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Should You Have a Boundary Survey Before Building an Extension in Your Property?

Posted by on Nov 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Should You Have a Boundary Survey Before Building an Extension in Your Property?

Building an extension on your property can create additional room to accommodate your growing family or allow extra space for activities that weren’t possible before. Depending on the placement and size of the extension, it is possible for the structure to approach or surpass the previously set boundary line. If this happens and your neighbor lodges a complaint, your project may be halted, or you may even be forced to demolish a part of the structure. Boundary line lawsuits as far as extensions are concerned rarely favor the builder as it is expected that a survey should have been carried out before construction. For this reason, it is essential that you understand circumstances that require undertaking a boundary survey to dispel any uncertainties concerning the set boundary. When should you have a boundary survey? A boundary survey is an essential step of every construction project. The surveyor clearly outlines the property boundary line as per the title deed, and this allows the architects and engineers to design a structure that remains within these boundaries. Although there are instances when a land survey may not be required, the following situations require that you hire a land surveyor before building an extension. Building an extension on old property If you want to build an extension on a property whose initial survey documents, maps, and other land-related documents aren’t available, it is important that you undertake a boundary survey. This is particularly important if you have lived in the property for decades or even inherited it from your family. A land surveyor will acquire the original documents and indicate the boundary line before the construction process. Building an extension after purchasing property If you purchase a piece of property and wish to build an extension after sometime, a boundary survey may be essential. This is because, in most instances, property buyers pay attention to the building, assets, and landscaping rather than to the fine details of the property concerning the boundary. Before building an extension on such property, it is essential that a land surveyor defines the boundaries so that you don’t end up building into your neighbor’s property. When is a land survey unnecessary? You may have purchased a piece of land for construction and had it surveyed before the construction. If you intend to build an extension, a fence, or any other structure after a few years and are still in possession of the initial land survey documents, you may not need a land survey. Your project engineer should be able to ensure that the structure remains within the property as defined by the initial land surveyor. If you are not sure of whether your extension will surpass the boundary line, it is important to hire a boundary surveyor. The process will be simple and fast, but it may save you from disputes with your...

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Consider Your Drainage Options When Building Extra Car Parking Space

Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Consider Your Drainage Options When Building Extra Car Parking Space

When businesses expand, they often need to find more space for customers to park their cars. This sounds simple. On the face of it, all you need to do is clear some land, lay some asphalt and paint some parking spaces on the surface. However, there’s a lot more to building car parks than just laying a level asphalt surface. Water management is one of the most important things to remember when laying out both car parks and access paths. If people can’t get from their vehicles to your front doors without getting their feet wet, it’s going to affect your business. If your car park doesn’t drain properly, dirt will accumulate, raising maintenance costs, and cracks will soon begin to spread across your asphalt. These reasons make it vital for businesses to find the right drainage solutions when they choose to expand. Here are some key things to consider. Model the Contours of Your Car Park Water always flows downhill, and your drains have to be designed to catch it. Car parks either need to incorporate “pit and pipe” based systems, or they need drainage channels cut at regular intervals across the surface. When car parks are situated on undulating ground, getting the contours right can be problematic. In cases like this, it’s a good idea to bring in drainage experts who can model water flows and make sure that there aren’t any spaces where water regularly collects. Invest in High-Quality Drainage Products The quality of the drains you install has a direct impact upon how long they will last and how well they perform over the long term. Well-made and properly-installed drains will catch sediment and be easy to clean and won’t come loose in demanding conditions. Loose drains don’t just lead to puddles. They are also major health and safety hazards for customers, and no business wants to be subject to lawsuits following falls in their car park. Install Drainage Systems that can Deal With Vehicle Pressure The drainage system that you choose also has to be strong enough to handle the weight of vehicles day in, day out. In most car parks, heavy duty drainage systems will be the most appropriate. These could be pit and pipe or channel-based systems, but they will always use robust materials like polymer concrete. They also tend to include steel or iron edge rails, adding extra resilience under high pressure. When you expand, spend some time thinking about your external drainage systems. Don’t just demarcate a patch of land for parking and leave it at that. Instead, consult with experts who can advise about the best outdoor plumbing solutions. The end result will be drainage arrangements that last for years, serve customers well and keep them safe from...

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Recycling for a Cleaner Australia

Posted by on Jul 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Recycling for a Cleaner Australia

Reducing the amount of waste the average household produces is a key component of Australia’s Clean Land Plan; a scheme started by the government’s Department of the Environment. By controlling waste management and by contributing to the revegetation of urban environments, everyone can help to create a cleaner and more sustainable community. Following these tips will help you to minimise your own waste at home and contribute greatly to environmental welfare, particularly if you are busy with work or children and are unable to dedicate your time to volunteer work.  Recycle Recycling your waste can dramatically affect the amount that you throw away, that consequently ends up in landfill sites. Recycling can be quick and easy and doesn’t require you to spend long periods of time sorting out materials into different bags. Buying three or four small, cheap plastic bins with lids will allow you to quickly and easily sort your recycling as you accumulate it. Either store the bins in the kitchen or in garage, place the relevant recycling bag into it and label them clearly with glass, plastic, cans and paper; you can even go so far as to have separate white and coloured glass bins.  Washing any jars or tins beforehand will reduce any odours building up, particularly from old wine bottles, which can smell sour. It will also stop any insects or animals from being drawn to the bins, thus maintaining a higher level of hygiene. When you’re ready to recycle, simply empty the bins and leave them for collection. Alternatively, if your council doesn’t provide recycling services or doesn’t do it frequently, enough at least you have everything tied up and ready to be taken to a recycling centre.  Compost Biodegradable waste is less of an issue because it will eventually rot away. However, if you want to recycle some of your waste and reuse it to feed your garden, you can create a dedicated compost heap. This will again help to reduce the amount of waste you throw away whilst saving you money on expensive fertilisers. Either purchase a ready-made bin, which is warmer and faster, or find a sheltered area of the garden and throw all of your vegetable and garden waste into a heap. Try to avoid meat and processed foods which will rot and contaminate the compost with chemicals. Vegetation is best as it will rot down without creating strong odours. Once the compost resembles a peaty consistency it can be used to fertilise your flowerbeds and...

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Four Tips to Extend the Life of Pine Sleepers Used in Raised Garden Beds

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Tips to Extend the Life of Pine Sleepers Used in Raised Garden Beds

If you are making a garden bed out of treated pine sleepers, you may be wondering how to get them to last as long as possible. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do. Check out these ideas: 1. Insist on treated wood. When looking for pine sleepers, you may find both treated and untreated options. In the interest of longevity, always choose treated wood. The treatments are designed to keep bugs at bay, and they also improve the lifespan of the timber, protecting it from water, sun and other potentially corrosive elements. 2. Look for pine designed for in-ground as well as above-ground applications. Treated timber sleepers can be designed for above-ground use or for in-ground use, but ideally, you want timber designed to handle both positions. When you are using timber to create a raised garden bed, some of it will likely be in contact with soil, while other parts will be in contact with the air. You need timber with the right balance of treatments to survive each of these positions because the elements present in soil tend to be a bit different, at least in terms of quantity, than the elements in the air. 3. Use poly to protect your treated pine. Even if the pine is treated, you may want to give it an extra layer of protection with some sheets of polyethylene. Simply lay the poly on the ground where you are planning your garden, and make sure that you have ample amounts that extend past the garden bed. Place your pine sleepers on top of the poly at the edge of the sheet. Then, roll the piece of timber toward the center of the garden, wrapping the timber in poly as you move it. When you are done, the timber should be wrapped up. Then, you just need to staple it in place, and add the soil to your garden. 4. Paint the timber as it gets older. Paint also provides some protection against the elements. Consider leaving your pine looking natural for a few years, and then take it out and add a coat of paint. Paint seals the wood, extending its life for a few more years. If you want additional tips for making the timber in your raised garden bed last longer, talk with a timber specialist. They can help you identify unique challenges and solutions for your area....

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Some Tips and Reminders When Choosing a Solar Power System for the Home

Posted by on Jul 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Some Tips and Reminders When Choosing a Solar Power System for the Home

A solar power system can reduce your electric bill and also reduce the amount of pollution for which you’re responsible; power plants create fumes and emissions as they create electricity, so the less electricity you use from these plants, the less pollution they will create. Solar power is also good in areas where city-supplied power is spotty or unreliable. Whatever your reasons for choosing a solar powered system for the home, note a few simple but very important tips and reminders for making your choice. Note the mounting If your home’s roof cannot support a solar panel because the roof is too weak or not large enough, you can get a ground-mounted pole or stand-alone panel installed. However, you need to note the strength of this mounting if you do, especially if you live in an area prone to storms, hurricanes, and the like. You may need a longer pole in order to make your solar panel visible to the sun; in turn, the pole needs to be hurricane-strength rated or have a storm rating that is good for your local area. Don’t assume the cheapest mounting is acceptable, but ensure it will withstand any inclement weather it may face. Check the certifications and rebates In some areas, you may be allowed a tax credit or rebate for your solar panel installation. However, this may be limited to certain panel types that have a particular certification, ensuring they are providing a minimum amount of power to your home. You want to ensure you note any requirements for getting this rebate when it comes to certifications and that you’re eligible for a rebate or tax credit in the first place! Don’t assume you can just deduct the cost of panels from your taxes, but discuss this with your accountant or solar panel installer first, so you get the right panels as needed. Check the inverter efficiency or battery size The type and size of solar panels you get is important when it comes to generating power for your home, but you should note the inverter efficiency or battery size as well. An inverter or battery is where the power is stored after it has been collected from the panels and converted into usable electricity for your home. An undersized inverter or battery will mean not enough storage space for electricity; even if the panels collect lots of solar power, there will be no place to store it with a small inverter or battery and that power will be lost. Invest in a high-quality inverter and large batteries or several batteries to ensure you have storage space for the solar power once it’s...

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Choosing a covering for your patio

Posted by on Mar 25, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Choosing a covering for your patio

Covering your patio is a great way to keep your patio protected from many types of weather than otherwise can make the time you spend relaxing on your patio less comfortable. A cover prevents puddles of rainwater from forming on your patio floor while also offering protection against wind and the debris carried by that wind. Getting a cover for your patio can be a complicated process, as the choice you make need to live up to your expectations while also suit your patio aesthetically. However, knowing a little bit about the different options can help you make an informed decision about what would suit you and your patio best. Gazebo This type of covering is best suited for detached patios, as the gazebo is an entire structure and not just a roof. The style is aesthetically appealing for many people and it does provide protection against sun, rain and wind. However, it’s not appropriate for large patios if you’re not prepared to also install supporting poles in the middle of the patio. It’s also a rather complex construction which can make them more expensive than other options as they require a lot of material and take a long time to build. Awnings Awnings are popular options for covering patios that are attached to your house in some way. As the patio is attached to the house, it’s very simple to install an awning on the wall from which the patio spreads out. Awnings do protect against the sun, but are worse at keeping rain away, and can also break if the winds are too strong. They are also not appropriate for large patios, as it will make the fabric structure too weak if it’s spread out on too large of an area. Gable patios  A gable patio is a good solution both for detached and attached patios. The roof is much more durable than an awning, but not as complex as a gazebo. It keeps all types of weather out and as the roof is angled, you won’t have to worry about rain gathering on top of it and weighing it down. Gable patios are also appropriate for all sized of patios and won’t require any poles to be installed in the middle of the patio, taking up any space. You should just be aware that as these types of structures are complex and require a lot of work to be done from high up, you should contact a contractor to learn more and to do the job for you if you don’t have any experience with working with roofing....

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