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Failure Criteria for Residential Security Doors: General Requirements to Look Out For

Posted by on Nov 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Failure Criteria for Residential Security Doors: General Requirements to Look Out For

For a place you call home, there is nothing worse than feeling insecure and having to look over your shoulder all the time. It should be your safe haven. For this reason, it is good to invest in security doors to keep out intruders and other unwanted guests. The market has many alternatives when it comes to security doors, but not all vendors will have what you are looking for. How do you know that whatever you are buying will meet your performance needs? The secret is to have a clear understanding of what’s enlisted on the product packaging before investing your money on that door. Here are some of the minimum standards that your security door assembly must meet for optimal security: Overall Door Assembly The overall door assembly is very important when it comes to the security level that it will offer. The assembly includes the manner in which various panels have been fitted together to make up the door, how it fits on its frame and the lock mechanism on the door. Ideally, the components on the doors should not incorporate any screw, nail, rivet, staple or fastener that is accessible from the outside and whose removal would guarantee access to the house. Lock Type Type A refers to locks that use one dead latch or a combination of a dead bolt and dead latch. On the other hand, type B locks are made in a way that the dead latch is mechanically independent of the deadbolt. For optimal security with type A locks, go for a lock that shall not be able to open the door after ten blows of one hundred joules worth of force. For type B locks, look for an alternative that doesn’t allow you to open the door if it’s been subjected to over four thousand eight hundred Newton worth of force. The more force a burglar uses on the lock, the lesser their chances of manipulating the lock and gaining access into your house. Bolt Pressure Resistance Uninvited guests can also find their way into your home by applying lots of pressure on your bolt. When buying, make sure that your dead bolt or dead latch can stand up to over six hundred and seventy Newton or one hundred and fifty pounds worth of force. With this combination of security door attributes, you will have a security door that offers mid-level to high-level security for your home.     ...

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Skip Bin Hijack: 6 Ways to Stop People Dumping Rubbish in Your Skip Bin

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Skip Bin Hijack: 6 Ways to Stop People Dumping Rubbish in Your Skip Bin

Skip bins can bring out the worst in people as others decide to put their rubbish in your particular bin. Australia is the 5th biggest waste producer in the world, producing 18 million tons of waste per year. For a country with a population of roughly 24 million, that’s a lot of waste. Unfortunately, skip bins are like catnip for humans with excess waste. Place one within easy reach and often all reason goes out the window as hoards of skip bin hijackers descend like locusts on a field of ripe crops.  Can they be stopped?  Strategic Skip Bin Placement No matter where you live, it is not advisable to place your skip by the road. Not only do you need a permit, but you’ll be advertising to all who pass that you’re a kindhearted soul who is willing to supply them with a dumping ground for their unwanted scrap and rubbish. Before you hire a skip bin, consider its placement. If there is enough room in front of your house, perhaps by the garage, place your skip bin there. Some companies provide mobile skip bins that can be wheeled into the privacy of your garage and locked away.  Fill Your Skip Bin Before They Do You shouldn’t have to rush your home renovation, gardening or waste disposal job, but you could plan ahead and have your skip arrive in the morning so that you can fill it by the time you go to bed at night. It won’t stop people from dumping next to your skip, however.  Warn Them Off The Australian government is cracking down on illegal dumping. This crackdown doesn’t cover dumping in someone else’s skip, but it does cover the area around your skip. People who illegally dump rubbish can be fined up to $4000. Let them know this by placing warning signs around your skip.  Bar Their Access Try parking your car or van in front of the skip while it is on your property to bar their access. If you also have a gate, keep it locked overnight to keep would-be dumpers at bay.  Security System Do what these fed up builders did and install a camera to catch out these nocturnal dumpers. Caught on camera, they can be reported and fined.  Get a Covered Skip Bin Most skip bin providers offer covered, lockable skip bins too. If everything else fails, invest in a covered skip bin.  These methods will deter most people from sneaking by in the night to make a deposit in your skip bin, but they won’t stop everyone unfortunately. That said, by implementing all or most of these deterrents you should be able to sleep more easily at night, safe in the knowledge that you probably won’t wake up to a skip bin brimming with half the unwanted rubbish from your local...

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Considerations When Contemplating Earthwool Insulation

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Considerations When Contemplating Earthwool Insulation

The aim of opting for insulation for your home is to create a barrier for the flow of heat within the residence. When there is heat in your home, it will typically rise and try to flow toward areas of colder temperature. By opting for insulation, you prevent the heat from escaping your home during the colder months or from penetrating your residence during the hotter months. There are different types of insulation that you could choose for your home. One of the options that you could select is earthwool insulation. Here are some of the considerations that you should make when contemplating installing earthwool insulation in your home.  Consider the areas that would require insulation Generally, insulation can be used to seal every area of your home. However, it is not compulsory to opt for whole house insulation. You could choose to pay attention to areas that may require this insulation more than others may. So which are the different areas that you could consider? Generally, the ceiling is the part of the home that experiences the highest amount of thermal gain and loss. The second area you could consider are the walls. Your flooring and your windows experience the least amount of heat exchange. If you are looking to significantly enhance the energy efficiency of you your home, then the best place to install earthwool insulation would be the ceiling.  Consider the R-value of the insulation One thing homeowners are unaware of is that insulation comes with varying R-values. The R-value refers to the insulation’s capabilities to resist the flow of heat through it. As such, the higher your earthwool insulation’s R-value, the higher the resistance it will have against heat flow. When considering the R-value, you should also consider where the earthwool insulation is going to be installed. For example, your ceiling would be better off with earthwool insulation of a higher R-value compared to the insulation in your flooring. It would be ideal to consult with your insulation contractors on what the best R-value would be for your individual residence.  Consider the climate of your location Another aspect that tends to be overlooked is the overall climate in your location. Climate is crucial in deciding the type of insulation you use, especially in regards to atmospheric moisture. For instance, if you live in an area that is prone to humidity, then earthwool may not be the best option for your home. This is because it will gradually absorb moisture and eventually lose its insulation...

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What Makes Timber Frame Houses Resistant to Earthquakes

Posted by on Apr 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Makes Timber Frame Houses Resistant to Earthquakes

Are you wondering about how timber frame houses compare with other kinds of houses in terms of resistance to earthquakes? Read on and discover some of the reasons why timber frame houses are in a better position to cope with the effects of seismic activity. Elasticity of Timber Wall Frames Seismic activity makes structures to move in a wave-like motion. Timber frame houses react well to this contortion because they are elastic to some extent. Consequently, the building can contort as the earthquake travels through the ground beneath it, and then return to its original form once the seismic activity stops. This gives timber frame houses an ability to survive earthquakes better than houses made from other materials, such as concrete. Concrete is inflexible. This inflexibility causes the house to crumble once it is subjected to an earthquake that makes it contort beyond the movement that the rigid material can permit. Better Shock Absorption Earthquakes generate shock waves that shake buildings to their very core. Timber frame houses have a higher capacity to withstand such mechanical shocks when compared to concrete houses. The dense timber pieces absorb some of that mechanical energy so that it has a less destructive effect on the house. Concrete is rigid and any mechanical force exerted upon it may cause the walls to break down. This is because lines of weakness develop at the points where the concrete has received the greatest impact from the earthquake. Such lines of weakness deteriorate with subsequent shocks and the aftershocks from the seismic activity can cause the wall to collapse along those lines of weakness that developed earlier. Uniformity of Timber Frames The timber panels used to make the frame of a house undergo processing to dry them thoroughly before they are used. Additionally, the timber is treated to make it resistant to insect and moisture damage. This attention to detail produces tough timber walls that retain their integrity for a long time. Conversely, concrete develops air pockets as it cures. Those air pockets create conditions that make that concrete prone to defects, such as cracking when moisture freezes in those gaps. Consequently, any seismic activity that comes may bring down that structure if the concrete had been exposed to agents that make it deteriorate, such as moisture. As you can see, timber wall frames may provide better protection against earthquakes when compared to walls made from rigid materials such as bricks or concrete. However, you need to talk to a professional about your concerns so that he or she advises you on the best building method that will address your...

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Answers to Some Commonly Asked Questions About Underpinning a House

Posted by on Mar 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Answers to Some Commonly Asked Questions About Underpinning a House

If your home’s foundation is very weak or cracked, you would do well to have needed repairs made as soon as possible. This will ensure that you reduce the risk of water leaks, which can cause mold or even floods in the basement, and that the rest of your home’s structure doesn’t suffer damage from the weak foundation itself. While a contractor can give you information specific to your home, note a few answers to commonly asked questions about house underpinning. 1. What is the difference between reblocking and underpinning? Reblocking refers to adding new blocks or stumps to a home that has a stump or block foundation. This type of home is usually raised off the ground just slightly and may be more commonly found in areas with higher flood risks. Underpinning refers to bracing up and even correcting the slope of a concrete slab foundation. The terms reblocking and restumping are used interchangeably, but underpinning is an entirely different type of process. 2. When should underpinning be performed if a remodel is planned? If you’re planning on remodeling your home, you want to have the underpinning performed first. This is because the foundation may be braced up and in turn, the house may be literally moved back to a certain level. This may then affect how floors and walls are leveled and can also affect plaster, wallpaper, and other such materials that are part of the renovation project. If you’re planning on doing any work inside the home, be sure the outside work is first completed, and this includes the work done on the home’s foundation. 3. How is the property affected by an underpinning job? There are several different types of underpinning that can be performed on your home, and each may disrupt your property in different ways. You might simply have a trench dug and an additional line of concrete poured next to your foundation, or your home’s foundation may be so badly damaged that you need actual brackets screwed into the foundation. In that case, there may need to be a wider trench dug for easier access. If you’re worried about the damage to your property or the ease of access for workers, discuss your options with a contractor. You may need to balance your desire to keep your property intact with the work needed to ensure your home’s foundation is properly protected and as strong as it needs to...

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Five Tips for Cooling Down Your Hot Verandah

Posted by on Mar 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Five Tips for Cooling Down Your Hot Verandah

A verandah is a beautiful spot for an afternoon barbecue or an al fresco brunch with friends, but in some cases, verandahs can feel unbearably hot. Looking for ways to make your verandah cooler? Luckily, there are a range of ideas, perfect for every budget. Check out these ideas: 1. Add shading in select spots. In the sun reaches into only parts of your verandah, consider adding shading just to those areas. Alternatively, just add a bit of shading to the areas you use. For example, add a sun umbrella over the dining table on your verandah or add a small canopy over the chair or couch you use the most often. 2. Create shade using window treatments or plants. If shading select spots doesn’t appeal to you, consider shading all of your verandah. You can use outdoor curtains or blinds — you simply hang these near the ceiling of your verandah, and they hang down and keep out the sun. In the evening or when the sun isn’t shining directly into your verandah, you can simply open the curtains or raise the blinds. Alternatively, you can create natural shades using plants. You can create sheets of foliage by planting climbing vines and training them to grow where they will best block the incoming sun. Alternatively, you can hang plants on hooks around the perimetre of your verandah to block the sun. 3. Paint the roof. In some cases, it’s not the sunshine that makes your verandah hot. Instead, it’s the sun beating onto the roof of your verandah and heating it up. To repel the sun’s heat, consider painting the roof of your verandah a light, reflective colour. 4. Add some cooling. A verandah is an outdoor space, and it doesn’t make sense to extend your HVAC system out to your verandah. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have some electric cooling. Consider running electrical wiring out to your verandah so that you can hook up a fan. A ceiling fan in your verandah will help to make it feel cooler and more pleasant. 5. Consider shutters. If you want a unique look, consider attaching shutters onto the openings of your verandah. If you have a verandah that has cast iron railings, old wood shutters make a beautiful contrast to the wrought iron, and they can be open or shut, allowing you to control the amount of sunshine that reaches your space. For more tips on keeping your verandah cool, talk with a verandah...

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Residential Driveway: 4 Materials to Choose From

Posted by on Feb 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Residential Driveway: 4 Materials to Choose From

If you are in need of a new driveway, there are a wide range of materials to choose from. From inexpensive asphalt to durable concrete, the following materials give you many different benefits to consider. Concrete A very popular material to use for a driveway is concrete. Concrete is relatively easy to install, though poured concrete should be done by a professional. It is also very durable, handling a lot of extreme weather conditions, including freezing cold and triple-digit heat. Concrete is fairly low maintenance, where you don’t need to do much aside from keeping it clean and repairing the occasional crack. There are also decorative concrete pavers you can use instead of poured concrete, which are great because they add a little more style to your driveway. Asphalt Another popular choice for a driveway is asphalt. There are a variety of benefits to using asphalt, especially if you live in an area with freezing temperatures and a lot of snow and ice. The asphalt won’t be as easily damaged from frequent snow and ice cold temperatures as some of the other driveway materials. Asphalt can also retain heat, so it helps to melt the snow and ice faster on the surface. Asphalt is also an affordable option that you might be able to install yourself with some basic construction experience. Just make sure it is sealed on a routine basis; otherwise, you will be dealing with different cracks and other damage. Natural Stone You may also want to create a new driveway by using paving stones. Aside from concrete pavers, you can also get stones that are made of natural stone. These are a little more expensive than getting a driveway of concrete and asphalt but also provide you with a stylish, unique driveway. It can be durable, handle heavy weight and various weather conditions, and improve your curb appeal. Some good stones to use for a driveway include limestone, flagstone, marble, slate, and granite. Brick If you are going for a traditional look in front of your home, you might want to consider using brick for your driveway. Consult a paving contractor to ask if they are willing to use brick for the driveway. Brick is very sturdy and durable, allowing you to avoid damage from extreme weather conditions or natural disasters. They can also handle a lot of snow and ice, as well as heavy objects like construction equipment or vehicles. For more information, contact an asphalt construction or driveway paving...

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Options You Can Consider For Swimming Pool Tiles

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Options You Can Consider For Swimming Pool Tiles

When making a choice on swimming pool tiles, it is not simply about functionality. These tiles will also play a role in how aesthetically appealing your pool will be as well as how well it integrates into your yard as whole. As such, manufacturers offer an array of options to ensure that all homeowners’ needs and preferences are met. Purchasing swimming pool tiles may seem overwhelming when you consider the myriad of choices that you can make a selection from. To make the process easier, it is best to familiarise yourself with the different options available. Here are some of the options you can consider for swimming pool tiles. Porcelain swimming pool tiles Porcelain is one of the most common materials used in the manufacture of swimming pool tiles. This is largely due to its inherent impervious nature, thus making them a suitable option for all kinds of wet surfaces. Additionally, porcelain tiles are quite smooth, thus making them comfortable to walk on barefoot. However, it should be noted that porcelain is not one of the strongest materials that you can opt for. Therefore if you have children who stand the risk of causing blunt force trauma to your tiles, this may not be the best option for your needs. Stone swimming pool tiles Stone swimming pool tiles are a great option for individuals looking for a sturdy and durable tile. They are less likely to break as they can withstand high impact. However, stone tiles are porous and thus will require pre-treating to make them water resistant. This will affect the maintenance costs of the tiles, as they will need to be retreated on occasion. Some of the types of stone tiles you can choose for your pool include marble, onyx, slate, granite and more. Mosaic swimming pool tiles If the decorative aspect of your pool were high priority for you, mosaic tiles would be your ideal choice. These types of swimming pool tiles afford you a myriad of patterns, colours, themes and more. The only thing that would limit you would be your creativity. Generally, these tiles do not make up the entire pool tiling but rather, they are incorporated as a design to existing tiles of a different material. However, mosaic tiles tend to be quite labour intensive to install. As such, they tend to be more expensive when compared to other options. Moreover, mosaic tiles require constant maintenance to keep them looking pristine and aesthetically...

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Maintaining Your Tinted House Windows

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Maintaining Your Tinted House Windows

In summer when sun is penetrating your windows and raising the temperatures inside your house, your cooling bills will increase. Among the options you can use to handle the situations is installing reflective window films. After you install window tints or films in your home, your next priority would be maintaining them. Nonetheless, you need to understand when you can start cleaning them as well as the type of solutions you should use on your window films when cleaning. This means that proper maintenance of your tinted windows is essential to ensure that they continue blocking UV rays, and helping you regulate heat gain and loss throughout the year. Therefore, here are a few things you should know about the maintenance: Curing Time You should only start cleaning your tinted windows after they are fully cured. It is important that you remove as much mounting solutions as possible from your window during the installation. However, small amounts of the solution can remain as some trapped liquid. This liquid may have a light cloudy look or appear as small water bubbles. When you see this, you shouldn’t be worried because it is normal and expected. However, don’t pierce these water bubbles because you will be interfering with the curing process. These bubbles will eventually dissipate. Cold weather may lengthen the curing time because the film may not dry as quickly as it would in sun. Cleaning the Windows If you are unsure whether your tint has cured, you should give it some more time before you start cleaning to make sure that it is completely cured (just in case the window tint used was thick or you are in a cold region). When cleaning tinted windows, you can use household cleaning solutions and a paper towel or soft cloth to wipe the solution off your window. These paper towels should be fine and of high quality because coarse ones can scratch the film. When done, make sure you run a towel along your window’s edges to pick up any excess debris or moisture. Excess water left can seep behind the film and break down the adhesives. Cleaning Solutions to Avoid Avoid ammonia-based solutions that act as abrasives and will break down the tint, ruining it with time. Also, stay clear of baking soda because it is considered an abrasive as well. Instead, vinegar and soap are fine alternatives you may want to...

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Two Common Basement Waterproofing Questions Answered

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Two Common Basement Waterproofing Questions Answered

In a large number of cases, residential basement areas are used for the storage centers for a wide variety of household items that are not used on a regular basis. In order to protect these items from the potentially dangerous effects of water damage, homeowners are forced to ensure that the basement is waterproof. Because the average homeowner is often not a basement waterproofing specialist, this article provides answers to some of the common questions that homeowners often have with regards to basement waterproofing. What Are Some Common Strategies Used For Basement Waterproofing? There are several waterproofing options available for homeowners looking to prevent water damage in residential basement areas. The application of internal sealants is among the most common of these options. The application of interior sealants helps to prevent the absorption of moisture into the basement flooring and/or wall system. This is because the sealing material acts a physical barrier that prevents the penetration of water/moisture into basement wall surfaces and flooring systems.  Sealants may also help to prevent spillage of water from the basement into other residential living areas. However, it is important to point out that the use of internal sealants is often considered a temporary solution in basement waterproofing circles. Because these sealants are relatively affordable and their use is relatively simple, they may be the best option for cash-strapped homeowners looking for a quick fix to their wet basement problems. Installation or upgrading of the drainage system in residential basements is also an effective waterproofing strategy. A well-functioning drainage system in or around the basement area helps to prevent the accumulation of water in and around residential basement areas. This is because the drainage system will facilitate the movement of water away from the foundation of the house, thus reducing the likelihood of water damage. Who Is Qualified To Waterproof Residential Basement Areas? For many homeowners, basement waterproofing is not an average DIY activity. This is because basement waterproofing often involves activities that interfere with the foundation of the house. As such, the slightest of unprofessional mistakes can have far-reaching negative consequences. Because many residential basement areas are made of concrete, homeowners are advised to seek the assistance of a professional concrete restoration contractor when looking  to protect the basement against the dangerous effects of water damage. In the absence of a concrete restoration contractor, affected homeowners can enlist the services of a water damage restoration...

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