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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Should You Be Your Own Contractor?

If you are considering being your own contractor, you want to be aware of the risks. Some people think being their own contractor will save them a lot of money. However, most find it actually costs them more and they may end up having problems and calling out a legitimate contractor anyway. If you are thinking it may be a good idea to be your own contractor, consider the following information before you decide to go through with it.

You’ll be in charge of hiring

If you take on your own contractor responsibilities then this means you are going to be in charge of hiring everyone. This may include the plumber, electrician, roofer, etc. It will be up to you to make sure there are sound contracts, proper estimates and expected time frames that work. You will need to oversee that the jobs are going according to plan. If you don’t have a knack for managerial work then this task may be more than you can realistically handle.

You’ll be in charge of scheduling

As the contractor, you’ll be the one in charge of setting up all the timelines. If you aren’t very familiar with the project, then this can be extremely difficult. You’ll need to make sure each job is completed and possibly inspected so the next one can begin without any problems or hold ups. If a job falls behind schedule, you will need to speak with the person in charge and stay on top of progress, making sure it gets completed as soon as possible so everything can proceed.

You’ll deal with licensing and permits

You’re going to need to have all the proper licenses and permits before you proceed with the work. This requires going to the proper departments, paying the fees, filing out all the forms correctly and keeping track of inspection dates and approval dates. You may also be in charge of deliveries or pickups of certain parts and/or materials. You are definitely going to need a good calendar or solid scheduling software program to keep up with all of this.

If you are a person who’s familiar with the type of job being done and you are great with managerial duties, you may do well with being your own contractor. However, hiring someone else from a company like JW’s Construction Innovations to take care of the contracting will take a lot of the burden off of you and allow you to put your attention toward other areas.  

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Finding The Right Roof

If you need to install a new roof for your home or business, or are looking to replace an old one, then you might be overwhelmed by the number of options available to you. Nowadays, there are so many different styles and materials to choose from. To help you out, here’s a breakdown of some of the most common options and why they might work for you:

Metal

This is one of the more expensive options for commercial roofing. It’s very durable, resistant to wind and fire damage, and lighter than some other options. However, it is also a somewhat poor insulator since metal is a fairly good conductor. This means that if the metal roof gets too hot or too cold, it will transfer some of that heat (or lack thereof) into the building, which can increase your heating or air conditioning costs, depending on the season.

This ultimately means that metal roofs are excellent choices for businesses, where people might not be in the building during the night, when the poor insulation of the metal allows the temperature inside the building to drop.

Asphalt Shingles

This is the most popular option for roofing due to its low cost, aesthetic appeal, and good durability. Another big draw is that asphalt shingles are incredibly easy to install, which means that you don’t need to hire expensive contractors to get the job done. If you’ve got the time and the motivation, you can install an asphalt shingle roof with relative ease.

This makes asphalt a good choice for residential homes. A low price point and the simplicity to allow amateur installation benefit the fiscally responsible homeowner.

Green

This option is more popular in cities due to an phenomenon called the “heat island effect.” This effect describes a situation where a city is substantially warmer than the surrounding rural areas. Green roofs directly counteract this by lowering the temperature of the city slightly. If enough green roofs are present, the heat island effect might be entirely mitigated.

A green roof is essentially a roof that is covered in plants. These plants absorb some sunlight that would otherwise hit the building and raise the temperature inside. This sunlight is used in photosynthesis, which removes carbon dioxide from the air and adds oxygen. These plants also filter out harmful particulates from the air, which results in a much higher air quality for the entire city.

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3 Signs You Should Call A Plumber

Plumbing problems are very intrusive and disruptive things that you’ll most certainly want to fix immediately. However, while it might be tempting to do-it-yourself, perhaps you should reconsider. While a clogged drain here and there is an easy enough fix, other problems are best left to the professionals. This is because your plumbing is delicate and you could very well cause more damage that already was there in the first place. So, you should call a plumber if you are noticing…

Your Faucets Have A Constant Drip

You might not even think of this as a problem, after all, aside from being a minor annoyance, how bad can it be? You’d actually be surprised, an unchecked leak can do a lot more than you think. A little drip can a surprisingly big difference in how much you pay a month in water bills. So, if it seems like your water bills have been a bit higher than normal and your faucet is leaking, it most likely the cause. Of course, a leaky faucet can also indicate that there is a problem in your piping somewhere as well. Luckily, this is a very small fix for a plumber that will take them no time at all. 

Your Water Pressure Is Acting Up

Poor water pressure in your home can be a problem. Yet, before you pick up that phone and call for help, try cleaning the fixtures on your sink or shower as it can simply be a mineral deposit. Yet, if these things are clean, you most likely have an obstruction somewhere. It would be wise once you figure out that it is definitely the piping to call a plumber immediately as well, as the problem will only get worse with time. You definitely shouldn’t try to clear the blockage yourself, as you can cause piping damage or leaks to form.

Leaky Pipes

Leaky pipes, while you might not see them directly, can often be heard or smelt. So, if you notice any weird damp spots on the wall or perhaps smell a musty smell it’s best to get a jump on repairs. A small leak can spell disaster for your home and dealing with the consequences of water damage can be a lot more costly than any plumbing bill could be. Leaks, while not always complex, should definitely not be attempted by yourself, as you can often cause more a problem then you had to begin with. 

So, if you are having plumbing troubles don’t hesitate to call a professional plumbing services company immediately. 

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Air Conditioning: The Problem With Poorly Insulated Refrigerant Lines

Air conditioning systems usually cool air by absorbing heat from the air before releasing the air back into a given room. It is the refrigerant that performs the absorption function that is necessary for this cooling process to take place. This makes the refrigerant an important part of any air conditioning system.

The refrigerant moves in and out of a unit’s coils by way of refrigerant lines. These lines need to be well-insulated for an air conditioning system to function properly. Any exposure to the external environment usually causes a number of problems. Here are some of them.

Decreased system efficiency

It is at an air conditioning system’s coils that air gets cooled. This usually happens when the refrigerant changes states – from a liquid state to a gaseous state. For this change to happen, the refrigerant has to absorb heat. Some of the heat that it absorbs usually comes from the air that passes over the coils.

However, in cases where the lines transporting the refrigerant are not shielded from the environment by insulation, the amount of heat that the refrigerant absorbs from the air tends to be less. This is because exposed lines cause the refrigerant to absorb some heat from the environment before it reaches the coils. By the time it reaches the coils, it needs less heat to change into gas form.

With the capacity of the refrigerant to absorb heat from the air passing over the coils reduced, an air conditioner will take longer to cool a given space. This is something that usually results in an increase in the size of bills that a homeowner has to take care of.

Increased water damage risks

The pipes transporting a refrigerant are usually cold. Insulation usually helps to keep them from absorbing heat from the area through which they pass.

In cases where these pipes have missing or inadequate insulation, there is nothing to stop them from absorbing heat from the immediate environment. These pipes therefore tend to cool the air next to them, a process that usually has the effect of condensing air moisture. This creates a moisture problem.

If the uninsulated part of the refrigerant lines is in the roof, then the homeowner may have to deal with water damage losses. Moisture in the roofs can also lead to a mold problem. This is a problem that not only takes time and money to get rid of, but which may also affect the quality of air in a home.

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4 Types Of Backflow Protection Devices

Backflow protection devices are essentially the parts of an industrial plumbing system designed to make sure that, should there be any flooding, the water from the flooding is not able flow back into the plumbing system. Industries that rely on clean water, such as hospitals, swimming pools, medical clinics, or spas, all need to be equipped with enough backflow protection devices to ensure that the water is never contaminated. If you are involved with one of these industries, here are some possible backflow devices that you can install in order to make sure that your water remains pure.

1. Air Gap

An air gap is one of the simplest types of backflow protection measures, because it is simply the separation of the water that is used for cleaning or drinking and all other fluids. For example, any used water will be kept strictly separate from clean water in order to make sure that the two don’t mix. If you have the clean water in a basin or other storage area, there will be little chance that contaminated flood water will be able to flow back into it.

2. Double Check Valve Assembly

Double check valve assembly is when there are two valves are located in the plumbing system both upstream and downstream. These are the check valves that ensure that water does not flow in the wrong direction. These reduce the chances of any flood water backflowing into the main system because the check valves only allow water to flow from one direction to the other. 

3. Pressure Type Vacuum Breaker

This type of protection device is a single check valve that closes automatically if it senses that water has begun to flow in the wrong direction. Once the flooding has subsided, an industrial plumber will be able to release this valve by applying pressure in order to restore the normal flow of water and make sure that everything continues to work correctly.

4. Reduced Pressure Principle Device

This is a device that has two check valves with an area of low pressure between them. This is essentially a buffer zone that will maintain control of the water in order to make sure that there is no backflow. This reduced pressure zone is used whenever the water starts to flow in a direction that is not anticipated.

For more information about backflow protection and keeping your water clean, talk to a professional industrial plumber. 

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