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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Space Saver Stairs

Convenience – Anyone who has ever wrestled with folding loft steps will appreciate being able to simply walk up a set of permanent stairs when they need something from the attic.

Safety – As a fixed structure, space saver stairs are much sturdier than any ladder. That said, the design needs to be right. As each step takes more strain than the average staircase (due to the steep pitch), the treads should ideally be at least 32mm thick and made from a strong timber such as oak or ash. Pine and similar softwoods are liable to crack so should not be used. Slip-resistant surfaces for the treads are essential. You will also need a robust handrail, preferably on both sides. Provided all these conditions are met, there is no need to worry about safety.

Style – These stairs are available in a wide range of designs and materials, so you can choose one to suit your home’s character and décor. The cut-away steps are considered by many to be an attractive design feature – and you can even paint or stain them different colours for extra effect.

Cost – As there are fewer treads in space saver staircases they almost always cost less to produce than standard stairs, making them an economical option for home owners on a budget.

Drawbacks of space saver stairs

Restricted use – These types of stairs are not intended for use as a main staircase, but are only suitable for access to a single room such as an attic or cellar.

Unusual design – It can take a little while to get to grips with the alternate tread arrangement, as you only place one foot on each step. Some people find it easier to start off on their left foot rather than their right, and vice versa. Many stair manufacturers are able to accommodate individual preference, and arrange the steps accordingly.

Pitch – Obviously, these staircases have to be steeper than standard stairs otherwise they would not have a reduced footprint. This does make them a little harder to climb than normal stairs, which is why strong handrails are particularly important with this type of design.

All about Home Siding

· Have an understanding of what type of siding will be best for your home and region. You can find this out by talking to local builders or home improvement professionals.

· Ask an installer to come out and determine how much siding your home will need. Or a simple way to get an estimate is to simply multiply the height times the width of each rectangular section of your house in feet, going by what you can measure from the ground, to determine its area. Multiply the approximate height and width of gables and other triangular surfaces and divide each total by two. Then add all the totals. To allow for waste, don’t subtract for doors, windows, or other areas that won’t be covered. Finally, divide the total square footage by 100 to estimate how many squares of siding you’ll need. A square represents 100 square feet.

· Take into consideration the amount for upkeep and cost for the chosen siding. Plastic siding can resemble cedar but will cost more than vinyl and require little to no upkeep. Fiber cement siding is fire and insect proof, but can be subject to water damage; it must be repainted from time to time, though less often than wood. Vinyl siding requires less work of the three and won’t warp or twist, and is lower in price.

· Think about the desired finished appearance of your home, then choose siding appropriately. For instance, on a clapboard-style home, vinyl that is raised ¾ of inch will deepen shadow lines and give the appearance of wood.

· If you want to add more rigidity, then be sure to plan for more foam backing for the insulation.

· You can sometimes minimize how many pieces if siding you need, by choosing to use vinyl siding that comes in 16-foot or longer lengths to reduce the number of seams on long, unbroken walls.

Choosing a replacement from your home’s siding does not have to be stressful. But it will require you do some homework. By using these tips, you can simplify the process. You can make things even easier by talking to local home siding experts and learning what to expect with a particular siding option. Don’t put off getting new siding. Talk to a pro today.

Installing Adequate Ventilation

If your home is damp and has a musty smell, ventilation can help to keep your home dry and ensure that the indoor air is fresh and clean. Ventilation gets rid of the stale indoor air and replaces it with fresh air from the outside. There are different methods of ventilating your home such as the natural method. Natural ventilation is the free flow of air into the home from doors, windows and openings around the building. However, if you are living in a home that is insulated, you will need to have a mechanical ventilation system that will air your home.

The Use Of Mechanical Ventilation

You can opt to use mechanical ventilation in order to effectively get rid of stale air from your home. You can decide to install fans in the specific location where moisture build up and pollution is originating from in the home. For instance, you can install fans in the bathroom, kitchen or on the sub floor to get rid of moist air and replace it with drier air from outside. You can also decide to use whole house ventilation where the entire house is ventilated by a set of fans which bring in the fresh air and duct systems which get rid of the stale air.

Heat Recovery Ventilator

A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) is an efficient home ventilation system which captures the heat from the outgoing stale air to heat up the incoming fresh cold air. A HRV is made up of a fan which brings in the fresh air and another fan which gets rid of the stale air. The system has a core where the exchange of heat from the stale air to the clean air takes place.

The core where the transfer of heat takes place has a thin route through which the stale and fresh air passes. However, the stale and fresh air does not mix at any point during the heat transfer. An HRV is able to retain about eighty-five percent of the heat from the outgoing stale air which makes it an efficient ventilation method. During the warm summer days, the HRV can take the heat from the incoming air and transfer it to the stale outgoing air thus allowing you to enjoy the cool clean air.

Ventilating Under Floor

A sub floor that is not properly ventilated is an attraction for termites which can destroy the timber supports of your home. This will cause the value of your home to go down. The presence of mould will cause you to develop respiratory problems and you are likely to have sinuses and symptoms of allergies. The area between the floor and the ground should, therefore, be ventilated properly.

Your under floor should not have any vegetation or rubble and should have vents that are spaced evenly. The vents should be strategically located to ensure that there is cross ventilation. This means that clean air should come in from one side and should be expelled from the opposite side. The ventilation that will be needed for your under floor will depend on the location of your home and the type of weather experienced in the area.

Causes Of Dampness In The Under Floor

During the rainy season, flood water may fail to drain properly and may pool against the wall of your home. This water will then gradually soak into your under ground causing it to be damp. You may also have a garden that is right next to your wall and whenever you water the garden, the water will end up finding its way to your under floor. You could also have a pipe that is cracked underground which is causing water to seep into your under floor. If you are living in an old home, there is a possibility that the level of the ground around your home has changed and has interfered with the sub floor ventilation.

Damage To Timber

If your floor is made from timber and your under the floor is damp, the floor boards will absorb the moisture and will expand. Since they are tightly packed on the floor, the boards will begin to rise up as they will find no space to expand. This means that your floor will be uneven. The floor boards can also expand so much that they end up pushing out the frame of your wall. When the timber in your sub floor begins to decay, termites can find a nest there and will feed on the timber thus destroying the structure of your home.

Ventilating The Sub Floor

Depending on the ventilation requirements of your under a floor, you can either use natural or mechanical sub floor ventilation. Natural ventilation is where natural flow of air is allowed to move in and out of the sub floor through vents. Fans can also be used to bring in air from one side and expel damp air from the opposite side.