Shotcreting Vs Fencing: Which One Offers The Best Falling Rock Protection?

When it comes to preventing boulders from coming crashing down the side of a cliff or sheer rock face, the two main schools of thought are prevention and reaction. Preventing pieces of rock from falling down in the first place is done by shotcreting, which is where a lattice of metal bars is placed over the rock face, which is then covered in a cement derivative to form a stable wall from which boulders won’t be tempted to fall. The reactionary camp relies on fencing or plastic netting to keep falling rocks from damaging property and harming people. Which school of thought you fall into depends on your unique situation, so here are some reasons for and against each system, as well as ideas for optimizing either choice functionally or aesthetically. 


Shotcreting is often thought of as a long-term solution for sheer rock faces and cliffs because it is fairly labor-intensive and a bit more expensive than fencing, but is also extremely effective. The main issue with rock faces, and what causes them to lose boulders from time to time, is that their surfaces are uneven and unpredictable. The thinking behind shotcreting, then, is that the unpredictable rock surface is enclosed so as not to allow any shards of rock to get through the impermeable concrete facade. This protective layer is not only safe, but also very aesthetically pleasing, since the resulting concrete wall can be integrated into a number of different design schemes, including being able to cover the wall in plant matter or painting it green if the site is rural.  


Using fencing and netting to catch falling pieces of rock comes with its inherent risks, like the risk of a rock breaking or bouncing past the net or fence. However, this risk can be offset by a number of factors and some good planning. Fencing and netting is far cheaper and quicker to install than shotcreting, so this option is best for a short-term project like so many commuters might see on either side of a highway surrounded by sheer rock face. Additionally, there are ways to design the fencing so that the possibility of a runaway rock is diminished, like putting the fence at the end of a long, shallow, sloped area at the bottom of the hill or cliff to allow the rock to lose some of its velocity before encountering the fence. 

For soil stabilization solutions, contact a company such as Geotech Solutions Inc.

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Three Tips When Buying A New Pool

If you want to install a pool on your property, it can be an exciting endeavor, but you will need to understand some guidelines to help you with it. There are a number of swimming pool builders that you can reach out to in order to get the help that you need for the purchase, design, and installation. With this in mind, read on to learn the important steps you’ll need to go through and understand in order to get the pool that you need. 

Tip #1: Select The Right Pool Shape For Your Home

One of the most basic, yet most important decisions you will have to make involves the shape of your pool. This will play a big difference from both an aesthetic and functionality standpoint. For example, a rectangular shaped pool is timeless and allows for more exercise opportunities since you can swim laps. You can also create a pool that will blend in with the shape of your landscape and allow for the creation of some unique decorations and additions, such as grottoes and waterfalls. By figuring this out on the front end, you will have more design capability and will have a better chance of finding a pool that fits your sensibilities.

Tip #2: Shop For The Best Cost For Your Swimming Pool Installation Budget

It is crucially important that you consider the overall cost of the pool that you are purchasing. In-ground pools tends to range greatly in price and can reach as high as $50,000 in expenditures when it’s all said and done. This is why it is crucial to shop around with a variety of manufacturers and contractors to get the best value for your budget.

Tip #3: Make Sure You Are Prepared For The Ongoing Maintenance

As you purchase your pool, you should consider the ongoing maintenance that will come with the territory. You need to purchase a kit that allows you to skim debris and check chlorine levels. You might do well to invest in a maintenance plan from your swimming pool contractor, to be sure that you are always getting the help and service that you need in that regard.

Follow these points and make sure that you do your homework when hiring your own swimming pool builder. This gives you the opportunity to put your best foot forward in creating the pool of your dreams for your property.  

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Is Your Home’s Water Causing Your Itchy Skin?

Itchy skin is anything but an enjoyable experience. An uncontrollable itch isn’t just uncomfortable, but scratching can cause your skin to scar. It can also introduce bacteria into the under layers of your skin, which can potentially cause a number of other concerns. In some instances, the water you use in your home is actually playing a part in your itchy skin.

Hard Water and Itchy Skin

Dry skin and itchy skin typically go hand in hand. Hard water is a major culprit for dry skin. Hard water is typically considered to have a higher alkaline, or pH, level than normal water. It is also defined as having excessive amounts of minerals like calcium ions and magnesium in it. The higher mineral levels contribute to your dry skin in two ways. First, the higher mineral levels strip much of the moisture naturally found in your skin, automatically making it dry and itchy.

Secondly, the minerals prevent the soaps you use on your skin and the detergents you use when washing your clothes from dissolving properly. In terms of soap, when you lather your body and rinse off, the soap doesn’t dissolve but instead ends up as residue on your skin that seeps into your pores, irritating the skin and causing itching. The undissolved detergent embeds itself within your clothes, which irritates your skin when you wear them and causes itching.

Resolving The Issue

If you’re dealing with any of these issues, it’s best to have the water in your home tested. If hard water is confirmed, consider having a water softener installed. Water softeners are small appliances that work similar to a filter in that they help extract some of the minerals from the water before you use it.

When the calcium ions and magnesium are extracted from the water, they are replaced with sodium in a process known as ion exchange, which helps make the water less harsh. Softeners can be installed in various sizes, based on your needs. Since the appliance connects directly to your water supply, it ensures all the water that flows throughout your home is softer and better for your skin.

If itchy skin is a problem you regularly deal with, it’s a good idea to have the water in your home tested. A water softener installation specialist, like those at Albert Soft Water, can help. One of these professionals can come out to your home, test your water and assist you with installing a water softener best suited to meet your home’s water usage needs.

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How To Fix A Small Hole In Your Wall

A small hole in your wall is a problem that you can fix. If you are renting an apartment, and want to get your security deposit back, then you should definitely take the time to patch the hole. If you own your own home, then you will have to decide between hiring a professional and tacking the job yourself. Below are a set of instructions and a list of the tools necessary for the job. It is a relatively simple procedure that most people can do themselves.

What You Need

  • Plaster Of Paris
  • Joint Compound
  • Hawk
  • Trowel
  • Plastic Bucket
  • Mesh Screen
  • Automobile Sponge

Why Use Joint Compound?

If you have never used plaster before, you might think it odd to add joint compound to the equation. However, there is a good reason. If you use straight plaster of Paris, you have a very short amount of time to work before it hardens. So, a trick that many plasters use is to mix joint compound with plaster of Paris. The joint compound slows down the setting time of the plaster.

Step 1: Attach The Mesh Screen

The first thing you should do is attach the mesh screen over the hole. This will be used to hold the plaster mix. You should look for a mesh screen that has an adhesive backing.

Step 2: Mix The Joint Compound, Water and Plaster

The container of plaster will have instructions on the correct ratio of water to use. Add the plaster powder to the bucket, then add the correct amount of water. Next,add twice as much joint compound as plaster. You should use a 2:1 ratio in favor of joint compound. This will harden slower then regular plaster and will give you time to smooth out the edges.

Step 3: Apply The Mud

The mixture of plaster, joint compound, and water is referred to as mud. Take your hawk and load the mud onto it. Then, take your trowel and use it to apply the mud to the mesh screen. You should cover the entire mesh screen and blend it over the existing wall.

Step 4: Smooth Down The Surface

Try and make the mud as smooth as possible using the trowel. When it is as smooth as it will get, take the sponge and soak it in water then wring it out completely. You don’t want any liquid left in the sponge because it will ruin the mud. The sponge must only be damp. Then, make a gentle pass over the mud with the sponge. This will create a very smooth and even surface.

Your hole is now patched. All that is left to do is paint the wall. For assistance doing plaster repair, talk to a professional.

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How To Repair Loose Window Panes

Wooden windows can give any fixture a more stylish and authentic look. However, wooden window frames are not the most durable option on the market. One of the most common problems with wood frames is that the glass pane can become dislodged over time. This is caused by the inevitable expansion and contraction of wood with changes in the temperature and moisture content of the air. However, this usually only becomes a problem if you fail to seal your frames with waterproof paint or stain. This article will explain how to fix a loose glass pane in a wooden window frame.

Clean out the Old Caulk or Weatherstripping

Depending on the construction of your window, the glass will be secure to the pane with either caulk or rubber weatherstripping. These form a gasket around the pane, solidifying its placement in the grooves of the wooden pane. Regardless of whether you have weatherstripping or caulk, you want to try and scrape away as much of the gasket as possible. Use a simple painter’s knife to scrape away the caulk from the glass. You might need to use small piece of sandpaper to sand remaining gunk off of the wood. After you do this, the window might be even looser within the frame.

Applying a New Gasket with Waterproof Caulk

Now that the area is clean, you will want to re-caulk it. This is the best way to retrofit a gasket around the pane. Installing new weatherstripping is nearly impossible without completely removing the pane from the frame. For the best results, caulk the top and bottom edge first. Let them dry completely before you caulk sides. When squeezing the caulk into the pane, make sure it completely penetrates and fills in the groove. You do not want any air bubbles for cavities between the glass pane and the wooden frame. Use your finger to push the caulk further down into the groove. This will also create a smoother and more uniform caulk line.

The more caulk you apply, the stronger the bond will be and the more insulation the window will have. Of course, you want to apply the caulk on both sides of the window.

When all is said and done, you might be able to do an entire window within less than hour. This little project is well-worth it when you consider how it can dramatically increase the efficiency and installation of your window. Contact a company like D&M Roofing & Guttering, Inc for more information.

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4 Tips For Remodeling A Historic Home

Buying a historic home can be very exciting, but many owners of old homes find that some renovations are needed after moving in. Remodeling a historic home doesn’t mean that the house has to lose its charm- there are many ways to maintain the home’s historic integrity while also updating it to fit today’s lifestyle. If you are undertaking a historical home remodel, use the following tips:

Work with a Contractor Experienced in Remodeling Historic Homes

In many cases, historic homes were built differently than homes today so it is in your best interest to hire a remodeling contractor who is experienced in renovating historic properties. Doing so can ensure that you are working with a professional who knows how to properly remodel an old home without causing any damage. If you have never renovated a historic home before, a contractor who specializes in historic houses can be a very valuable resource if you have questions about what changes to make to the house.

Preserve Original Features

Many historic homes have gorgeous hardwood floors, intricate molding, and other unique features that are not often found in today’s homes. These features give historic homes their charm, and many homeowners do not want to remove these things while renovating. As you plan your project, make sure to keep these features in mind, and carefully protect them while the renovations are taking place.

Have a Comprehensive Plan

Before starting a renovation in a historic home, it is absolutely essential to have every detailed planned. You may want to consider working with an architect or interior design professional for help with your plans, and if possible get drawings of the plans so you can give them to your contractor. The planning stage of remodeling a historic home may be lengthy, but it will be worth the time when renovations start. After you have a comprehensive plan for your remodel, make sure that all materials have arrived before you have your contractor start the project in order to avoid delays.

Make a Realistic Budget

Remodeling a home is never cheap, and in some cases renovating a historic home can be even more costly than renovating a modern home. Depending on your budget, you may have to remodel rooms one at a time; don’t make the mistake of taking on more projects than you can afford at one time. The last thing you want is to have a bunch of half remodeled rooms because you ran out of money in the middle of the projects.

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Tips To Consider When Designing Your Custom Home

Building your dream home can be one of the most challenging experiences of your life, but it is also likely to be one of the most rewarding. It is easy for a person to become overwhelmed during this process, and this may cause them to make some mistakes during the planning and design process. Fortunately, you can follow these two tips to help ensure that the construction process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible. 

If Applicable, Account For Water Storage In Your Design

For those that are building homes in rural areas, it is common to have a well to provide water. However, there are some homes that are in areas where there is not enough groundwater to support a well. For these individuals, it will be necessary to have water delivered to the home on a regular basis. 

Unfortunately, some people will fail to consider this when they are designing their home, and this can make it difficult to find a practical and discreet location for the water storage tank. Luckily, you can avoid this problem by incorporating this tank into your design. This will make it possible for you to know where on the property it will be safe for the tank to be buried before work on the house starts. This will allow you to ensure this storage tank is installed concurrently as your home is built, which can help minimize the amount of time needed to finalize the property. 

Consider Opting For A Modular Home Design

The time while you are waiting for your home to be built can be extremely stressful because you may not have anywhere to live. Sadly, it is common for construction projects to run behind schedule, and this can greatly increase the amount of time you will be displaced. However, modular construction may be able to help you get into your home as quickly as possible. 

Using this construction technique, the various components of your home are assembled in a factory as opposed to being built on site. These components are then sent to the construction site where they are assembled by the construction company into your home. This approach to building can often erect a structure in a fraction of the time conventional techniques would take. 

If you are wanting to build your dream home, it is important for you to understand some basic information about this task. Knowing the importance of including space for water storage if you will be in a rural area and the benefits of modular home construction will help you to ensure that this process is as simple and smooth as possible for you. 

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