Modular Home Facts

Do you want to enjoy the look of “standard” on-site homes, while avoiding many of the hassles related to them? If so, then you should consider modular homes. Here are some need-to-know facts about such homes: 1. They are mobile homes (at first). Here is how they work. A company first produces the various modules…

Do you want to enjoy the look of “standard” on-site homes, while avoiding many of the hassles related to them? If so, then you should consider modular homes. Here are some need-to-know facts about such homes:

1. They are mobile homes (at first).

Here is how they work. A company first produces the various modules of a modular home, within a factory. The company then transports those modules to the house's site, and assembles them there.

2. They are built in a climate-controlled environment.

Another important issue is the one of climate control. That involves the construction of the modules, and the storing of the materials. Placing the materials and modules in a climate-control environment helps to maintain the integrity of both.

3. They can be built quickly.

In fact, it is quite common for the construction of modular homes to require only one-third of the time needed to build traditional on-site homes. This is due to various factors, including the ease of constructing the modules in the controlled environment of a factory. Another benefit is that the use of full-time factory workers helps to prevent the occasional need for hiring replacement contractors on-site. The result is that you can often move into your home in mere weeks after ordering it. That can provide you with several benefits, including lower financing interest rates.

4. They are cost-effective.

While this is due to various factors, it is mainly based on the bulk construction of modules in factories. The manufacturing of modules in factories becomes like clockwork, making it extremely efficient. Also, the purchase of bulk building materials helps to reduce the cost of the home.

5. They can be quite energy-efficient.

Whether you want to protect Earth's environment or to simply save a few bucks-you can enjoy this benefit of modular homes. Their energy efficiency is due to several factors. Those include the precise construction of the modules, the amount of installation included in the walls, and so on.

6. They require minimum on-site work.

The vast majority of a modular house's construction occurs in the factory. After the modules are completed, the modular home company transports the modules to the home's location. After assembling the modules, some of the house's on-site components to be added include:

* driveway
* electricity
* foundation
* plumbing
* siding (exterior)
* Wiring

And since modular homes are constructed in climate-controlled factories, they can be assembled throughout the year. There is no need to worry about how the outdoor elements could delay construction of a standard on-site house.

7. They provide outstanding quality

It would be easy to assume that the quality of modular homes is substandard, due to them consisting of various modules. But in fact, modular home factories have the equipment to ensure that the house is built to fit together like jigsaw pieces. They also have a myriad of materials that will help to provide you with numerous options for your home. While adjustments are sometimes needed, a modular home company can make them easily in the factory.

If you are looking for the perfect house, then consider piecing it together through a modular home.

How To Buy New Construction And Protect Yourself In The Process

Buying a new home is a wonderful and uplifting thing, but often times there are so many variables involved that have nothing to do with the actual home, that things can become a bit obscured for the buyer. For example, many people who bought a home and lived in it for years, even had their…

Buying a new home is a wonderful and uplifting thing, but often times there are so many variables involved that have nothing to do with the actual home, that things can become a bit obscured for the buyer. For example, many people who bought a home and lived in it for years, even had their children there of which have grown up and moved out on their own. To the previous owner this home is more than a house, it's a home and is laced in every way into their personal lives. With this, they will unduly raise the ethical value and that translates into the actual value- sales price of the home.

There is an alternative route that may be better for you and can be much cheaper and removes many of the “costly” variables as well. Learning how to buy new construction is the first step. What is it? It's about building your own new home, not one that's used. With the various technologies available now in manufacturing homes, the costs are significantly lower than a home that's been around for a while. Building your own home is not something that is more expensive, necessarily, than purchasing someone else's home, but it does come with some fantastic benefits that used homes do not have.

For one, your going to be the first person to live there. You will be the first to scratch the wall, pole holes in the wall (for pictures etc …) and there will be no “emotion tax” on the property- you pay for what your buying, not someones else's ability to separate emotion from actual property and property value. You will also have the option of building the home the way you want- no more taking what's there and hopping a home has at least one thing you like. With a manufactured home or a new construction home, you can get everything you like in there- just work with the builder to figure out the costs and if it's feasible.

You must protect yourself in this transaction so make sure your getting your agent to help you impartially assess the situation, costs, and everything involved in building this home. The seller and the builder will inevitably have their own agents but keep in mind those are their agents and their goals are in the best interest of the client not you and they will unduly try to pressure you to sign a contract you may not agree with or fully understand. let your agent handle the high pressure sales tactics while you enjoy planning for your new home.

How to Construct a Custom-Built House

Are you in the market for a new home? If so, then you should consider buying a custom-built house. Such houses will help to ensure that the house has the specifications that you want and need. Here are some helpful tips for building the home of your dreams: 1. Hire a professional (architect or company):…

Are you in the market for a new home? If so, then you should consider buying a custom-built house. Such houses will help to ensure that the house has the specifications that you want and need. Here are some helpful tips for building the home of your dreams:

1. Hire a professional (architect or company):

The exception to this rule is if you are already an architect. Otherwise, you should certainly consider hiring an architect or an architectural firm. They will have the skills, experience, and tools needed to design the exact house that you want to build. After finding the right architect or architectural firm, it is important to work closely with him or her to ensure that you can make the necessary initial designs and tweaks.

2. Choose the right site:

This is one of the most serious steps when building a custom-built house. One of the most significant issues to consider is whether the site will complete the type of house that you will build. Is the land large enough for the house you are planning to build? Is it “sturdy” enough to support the house? Is there enough space for your landscaping plans? Is there space for expanding your house or upgrading your yard? If you start with the right site, then building your house will be significantly easier.

3. Order materials early enough:

To be 100% certain that you have the materials in a timely manner, you should order them weeks or even months before construction starts on your custom-built house. Certain types of materials can take extra time to secure, so it is crucial to order the materials early enough.

4. Carefully choose a building contractor:

Finding a construction contractor or company is one thing. Finding the right one is quite another thing. The building contractors should have a reasonable amount of experience. They should be fully licensed, bonded, and insured. They should be professional (be punctual, have a positive attitude, and so on). Finding the right building contractors can be more challenging than it might seem at first. You should definitely look for professional and personal referrals to start on the right track of finding the right building contractor (s).

5. Adhere to local legal protocol:

First, you will need to secure a local building permit. This process typically involves submitting an application, building plans, and a fee. After securing the building permit, you will also need to attend to the building codes in your area. The time to learn that you are adhering to them is while you are building your home, rather than afterwards. These codes can change frequently, so it is crucial that you secure the most up-to-date ones available.

6. Review the house after it has been completed:

After the house's construction has been completed, you should review it carefully several times. Review it with the builders immediately after the construction is completed. You should also examine the house while living in it within the first month or so. Sometimes you will discover certain needed repairs after your new custom-built house has become fully functional.

The above tips will help you to construct a custom-built house from the ground-up.

What To Know When Hiring A Contractor

Do you need to renovate? Is the task too much for a DIY attempt? If it is, you should probably start looking for a contractor. But how do you find a competent contractor? Finding a good contractor is essential to ensure the quality of work. This will also give you peace of mind. It is…

Do you need to renovate? Is the task too much for a DIY attempt? If it is, you should probably start looking for a contractor. But how do you find a competent contractor?

Finding a good contractor is essential to ensure the quality of work. This will also give you peace of mind. It is essential to be careful because there are a lot of scammers in the market today. This is why it is crucial to find a legit and contractor that delivers. Here are some tips to help you:

Ask people you know:

Your friends and relatives may have hired a contractor recently to do something for them. Check their work. If you like what the builder did, then include him in the list of contractors to consider. It is best to hear stories, testimonials or complaints from people you know. This way, you can be certain that their comments are valid. However, you should still do more research. Your standard may be different from their.

Refer to the appropriate association in your area for recommendation:

There are different associations of builders and contractors in the country. You will easily find them online. Before you ask recommendation from the said association, check its profile first and the number of members they have. Verify the legitimacy of the association as well. They will be able to give you a list of good contractors in your locality.

Ask contractors to visit the site to evaluate and quote the materials and labor:

Have an estimation of how much the project is going to cost. This means you have to know the prices of the materials as well as the rate for labor. If you have a friend who knows how to do this, ask his help. After that, list the contractors you are considering to hire. Call them and let them check the site and the work to be done. Ask for quotes. Place their quotes in a spreadsheet so that they will be easier to compare. Add your own notes as well.

Ask for images of previous work and referrals:

Before you choose who to work with, look at their previous works. You can ask photos or ports of the things the homes they have done. Ask for referrals too. This will allow you to check on their previous clients.

Check with Better Business Bureaus for pending complaints against contractors:

It is natural for a contractor to have complaints. What is important is that you check the number of complaints filed against that contractor you are considering. Additionally, it is important to verify if the complaints are valid.

Finding a contractor is essential to get the job done. See to it that you work with a legitimate contractor. You can do so by asking friends and family for recommendation. You can also refer to national associations for a list of reputable contractors in your area. Contact several contractors and request them to visit the site to give quotation for the labor and materials. Before you work with one, ask for referrals and images of their previous work. Verify their claim by visiting their previous client.

Why Polished Concrete Stands Out Compared To Other Cheap Flooring Options

Polished concrete is one of the cheapest flooring options available, but that does not mean that you need to compromise on quality or visual appeal by choosing polished concrete. A lot of people are approached towards this flooring option because it's incredibly cheap, but there are other flooring options too that are also known for…

Polished concrete is one of the cheapest flooring options available, but that does not mean that you need to compromise on quality or visual appeal by choosing polished concrete. A lot of people are approached towards this flooring option because it's incredibly cheap, but there are other flooring options too that are also known for their low price tag. For instance, carpets and vinyl are usually inexpensive even though polished concrete is slightly cheaper than them.

Polished concrete really stand out from its competitors for a lot of reasons and one of the major attraction is its performance. If you're familiar with carpet flooring, you know how ridiculously painstaking it is to keep carpet floors in shape. To maintain carpet floors, most of its cleaning tools are very expensive. If you are using carpet flooring in your home, it's very difficult to keep them in good shape, especially for those who have a busy schedule. Vinyl flooring is a better choice here because vinyl is not very sensitive to stains and other sort of rough handling. However, this is not the best looking flooring option you have.

Polished concrete really stands out compared to its competitors with its incredibly lower maintenance costs and numerous design options. Experienced service providers can make sure that no two polished concrete flooring look the same because it's possible for service providers to come up with an array of flooring options. Energy conservation, especially solar energy is increasing exponentially these days because people are very much aware of the importance of bringing down the usage of fossil fuels.

When it comes to heat radiation and the storage of solar energy, vinyl and carpet flooring are not your choices because both can not radiate heat and produce solar energy. Polished concrete on the other hand is an exceptional source to produce solar energy. This is why a lot of commercial establishments have already switched to the same because they can produce a reasonable amount of energy from solar panels.

If you are living in a humid place, moisture can seriously damage your carpet flooring. In certain places, the damage will be quite reasonable but extremely humid conditions can damage carpet flooring in record time. Polished concrete is a great alternative because it can withstand almost every sort of climate condition and with its incredibly low maintenance cost, re-polishing them to bring back their shine and elegance can be done in regular intervals and your floor will always look like a brand new one.

Why Do I Need To Ensure That My Residential Foundation Is Square and Flat?

Choosing a foundation contractor is a critical issue that can cost or save you thousands of dollars when building your structure. There are very specific items you should have knowledge about to ensure that you are getting the best foundation for your structure. Some contractors may prefer that you did not know this information as…

Choosing a foundation contractor is a critical issue that can cost or save you thousands of dollars when building your structure. There are very specific items you should have knowledge about to ensure that you are getting the best foundation for your structure. Some contractors may prefer that you did not know this information as it will reveal areas where their business is lacking. And let's face it, in construction, as in life, not everything is fair! One of the most important factors that you must have certain of is that your foundation is constructed perfectly square and flat.

Why is it Critical that My Foundation is Perfectly Square and Flat?

Every item used to build your home will, in one way or another, be affected by the accuracy of your foundation. The terms square and flat refer to the exactness of the outside dimension of the foundation and the flatness of the slab itself. For your foundation to be perfectly square, the diagonal dimensions must be equal. If your foundation is not constructed square and flat, every trade that follows will have more problems because your foundation was not properly constructed. And added work to the following trades can result in extra charges to you for the work required to correct a foundation that was constructed poorly. Framing, trusses, cabinets, flooring, etc. will all be affected greatly by the foundation.

Additional Consequences of an Uneven Foundation

In addition to the added expenses for the following trades, a poorly constructed foundation will impact the look of your home and cause other problems as well. This includes uneven cabinets and flooring, gaps in your crown molding, and crooked walls which can cause problems when trying to hang pictures or put up shelves.

How Can I Ensure That My Foundation is Constructed Properly?

This starts with doing your due diligence on the concrete contractor that you hire. Make sure the contractor you choose has the proper licensing and that they're employing workers with adequate concrete experience. Ask to see testimonials and examples of the work they have done in the past. The last thing you want is an inexperienced team constructing the foundation for your structure. Too much money and time has been put into the design of your project to put the most important component into the hands of an incompetent contractor who lacks the proper resources to get the job done right. The Precision Set-Up Concrete staff is highly experienced and we've been building foundations of the highest quality for over 30 years. Framers and other sub-contractors love our work because it lowers their cost and makes them work-flow smoother! To protect yourself from added expenses make sure your foundation contractor is willing to ensure the accuracy of his work and fix any problems he may create for the following trades.

Before You Buy or Build in North Carolina, Find Out About the Soil

North Carolina is a diverse state with wetlands, flat areas, hill areas and mountains. It is also a state that is attracting people from all over America and all over the world, so many people buying properties are new to the state, and new to its soils. Few homeowners know to think about the weight…

North Carolina is a diverse state with wetlands, flat areas, hill areas and mountains. It is also a state that is attracting people from all over America and all over the world, so many people buying properties are new to the state, and new to its soils.

Few homeowners know to think about the weight bearing load of the soil under the house they are considering buying. Often, homeowners just trust that their realtor or developer has already checked out the stability of the soil in the lot. But that's not necessarily true.

When buying a used house, after you've bought it, any instability is your problem. When building a new home, builder warranties vary a lot. Some do not offer any warranty, some offer only a year on foundation, while others can offer longer warranties, often limited.

You the homeowner will bear the bulk of the consequences of any foundation failure.

Here are three things you need to take into consideration:

1. What region are you in and what are the characteristics of that region's soil?

2. What development area are you in and what kind of general preparation does your developer do on lots?

3. What specific care was taken in your lot and how prepared was the soil for supporting the building on top of it.

REGIONS. North Carolina has three main regions. Each region is known for different soil characteristics. They vary in their capacity to stably support building weight. Learn about the soil, and before you buy or build, find out specifically how stable the soil in your region is.

North Carolina's Regions from the shore to the mountains each have their own soil conditions. There are three main regions:
1. Tidewater, or Coastal Plain, and the Inner Coastal Plain
2. The Piedmont, and
3. The Mountains or Blue Ridge.

One third of North Carolina is considered wetlands. On a wetlands map of North Carolina you can see how far the wetlands extend, from the Tidewater area into the Inner Coastal Plain. Building homes and commercial structures in sandy wetland areas comes with soil stability challenges, including issues with flooding.

Mountainous areas and homes on slopes in the piedmont and mountain region have the issue of potential land sliding.

You also want to understand about water flow in the area, and slopes on or around your lot. If there is a water drainage area adjacent to your property, you'd be wise to get a professional in to assess the impact on your foundation.

DEVELOPMENTS. Find out from the developer what kind of soil is in that development and what they have done to insure its load capacity for the buildings. Then, check with a soil engineer to see if that sounds adequate.

LOTS. In developments, usually several of the lots are used as water and cement drainage sites. If your lot is one of those, you'll want to have the stability of the soil tested before you commit to building on the site. Your lot may be on a slope, or near water drainage, so be sure to get this checked out by an expert.

To get your valued evaluated, hire a soil engineer. Do not be caught unaware, get the information you need before you sign any contracts.

Building a Home in Gillette Wyoming

When you are looking for a mid-size city with a small town feel to relocate to for whatever the reason, Gillette Wyoming is a great place to consider. If you are looking for a place to build a new home and get a fresh start, Gillette offers you the perfect environment. Advertisements are abundant in…

When you are looking for a mid-size city with a small town feel to relocate to for whatever the reason, Gillette Wyoming is a great place to consider. If you are looking for a place to build a new home and get a fresh start, Gillette offers you the perfect environment.

Advertisements are abundant in regard building homes in so many cities across the states it can be hard to decide what is right for you. If you make a decision in haste without doing sizable research, it can be a decision that can be one of the worst you ever make in your life. Gillette, Wyoming, nestled in the friendly Midwest has been mentioned among cities as a perfect location when you are looking to build a new home when looking for a moderate population but yet a small hometown feel. Gillette's population of 29,087 in 2010 is large enough to open a profitable business yet small enough to grow a nice community circle.

If you are looking to relocate to build a home and retire, Gillette is quickly becoming aa hot spot for young retirees. With access to a major airport for casual or business travel along with ample medical care and a hospital in town. There are also many community activities as well as recreational activities year round.

You will be lost in awe of the beautiful scenery and natural landscape of Gillette Wyoming. The Devils Tower National Monument, just an hour drive is a must see. When building a home in the Gillette region, you have the backdrops of the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota and the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. You will want to make sure your home accents such beauty and matches the natural durability of this amazing landscape while being energy efficient.

Hiring a contractor that can provide you with an Energy Star home while accenting the already amazing landscape of Gillette creates a win / win situation for you and the community. Gillette is very into the green movement and is thrilled when new home builders utilize energy efficiency efforts in their home designs. By taking the extra steps to make sure your licensed contractor is Energy Star qualified will guarantee that your home will deliver better protection against cold, heat, drafts, moisture, pollution, and noise. It will also help you maintain huge savings on your utility bills. Protection against the elements with a Energy Star sustainable home that is weather resistant and durable will put any new home owner at ease.

Beside thinking energy efficient when building a home in Gillette Wyoming, think landscape. Match your home's overall appearance to accent the already natural beauty of the area. Ceramic tiles or wooden floors are a great way to match the natural beauty of Wyoming. Picture windows to show off mountain views are a nice touch too.

Depending on where your home is located in Gillette, city or country – may want you to consider a variety of styles of build (eg A-frame, ranch style, bi-level, etc.). A wooden a-frame nestled amid tall red pines would look absolutely amazing while a ranch or a bi-level on a rolling valley plain would fit the terrain perfect. Whatever type of home you choose to build in Gillette Wyoming, you will not be disappointed by the warm welcome you will receive.

Tips For Building in Remote Locations – Part 2

All of the considerations for transportation, material, access, utilities and good design should be considered. Often future home owners buy a lot, and discover that for any of the above items, or other legal restrictions imposed by ministry or townships, are unable to build what they have planned, or even build at all. A good…

All of the considerations for transportation, material, access, utilities and good design should be considered. Often future home owners buy a lot, and discover that for any of the above items, or other legal restrictions imposed by ministry or townships, are unable to build what they have planned, or even build at all. A good site has ease of access, good topography, water availability and potential for utilities. The lay of the land, or topography, often has a major impact on building design. Basically, try not to obtain lots of in low lying areas, the soil tends to be unstable, and future flooding could destroy your home. Consider the access, if water access is available, is it publicly or privately owned. Are there any fees for its use, and is it large enough to meet the needs of a barge, which you may or may not use to transport material. Is the access navigable. For instance, a lake with a multitude of floating logs, can not be accessed by float plane. Utility considerations for wiping systems, water supply and electric generation units need to be considered.

Fresh water supply

First and most important is a ready supply of fresh drinking water, or what builders call, “potable water”.

1. Unless heavy trucks and equipment can make it into your site, the possibilities of a drilled well are very limited. There is, however, a small core drill machine available, which is portable, and capable of drilling a 2 “diameter well. generally limited to a water table depth of about fifty feet. Once you include a storage “head” of 20 feet, then the well must have reached the water table at least thirty feet or less below the surface.

2. Another alternative is the dug well. This type of well usually has a lower water quality, but is much easier to install in difficult locations. They are simply a hole dug to four feet below the water table to allow storage of sufficient water.

3. Thirdly, if you are near a lake or stream, you could pump water directly from the source. Again, there is a question of water quality, and you could require the installation of filtration equipment or water treatment systems. An advantage of a stream is that you can install a water powered ram pump, which is capable of pumping water up to higher elevations. This type of pump requires a fair amount of maintenance, and a good steady flow of water to work effectively.

4. Finally, if you are fortunately, you may have a spring or artesian water well. Such sources tend to be a good, dependable source of fresh drinking water.

In any case, you must consider weather or not you will be utilizing a pumped pressure system, or gravity fed system. If a spring, artisan well or other water source is available on terrain above your building, a gravity system could possibly eliminate the need for any mechanical pumps requiring an outside energy source, at all.

Most often, builders opt for a gravity system, which utilizes a large storage tank located approximately 15 'above the highest plumbing outlet. Often they set up an installation so that the system is either self-filling from gravity water sources, or pumped only occasionally to refill the storage tank. This is the cheapest alternative, which provides very satisfactory results.

Sewer and waste systems

Disposing of waste products such as dishwater, showers or toilets must be done in accordance with the codes and laws. This may require the installation of a septic system, or certified waste handling equipment. Or you could simply build an outhouse. But the choice is yours. In the construction industry there are two types of wastewater. Gray water, which comes from dishwater, bath or shower water, and sump pumps and sanitary waste, which comes primarily from toilets.

1. If you like all the conveniences of home, then you should consider installing a septic system. This type of system is by far the most expensive. The weeding bed must be installed in conformity with environmental laws, which means importing special gravel and / or filter sand. There are plastic tanks available on the market, which can be transported, even to remote sites, or you could opt to build a tank, but it would require professional design. The advantage is an independent, reliable system, requiring little maintenance, which should operate for the life of the building and handle both gray water and sanitary waste. Secondary systems include the use of outhouses and biological or chemical toilets, combined with a gray water filtration or septic system. Gray water systems can be filtered either mechanically, or through a set of wiping pipes laid below ground (consult your local Ministry of Environment concerning the exact regulations to follow).

2. If you feel comfortable using an outhouse, and consider a separate gray water system, then this is the cheapest route to follow. Outhouses can be constructed to be both aesthetically and reliably odor free, but without secondary heat, can be rather cold in the mornings, especially during the winter months.

3. Chemical or biological toilets are waste handling equipment and must meet certain safety or environmental restrictions before being put on the market. They are a relatively cheap means of having an indoor toilet, and many guarantee to be odorless (which actually has proven itself to me). Some require the use of electric motor and fans, and some are fully energy free mechanical. They are easy to install, and reliably maintenance free, requiring only seasonal cleaning.

4. Gray water systems, when combined with the use of biological toilets or outhouses tend to be the systems of choice. Gray water systems are generally a series of wiping pipes, lain amidst a gravel bed, which connect to the building through a distribution box. Do not, under any circumstances try to connect a toilet to such systems as they are only designed for free water, and solids will stop up the pipes. Gray water wiping systems are maintenance free, and require little cost and effort to install.

Of the three, I would suggest the use of a biological toilet and gray water system. This combines indoor service convenience, with lower costs, and performances well in future years.

Electricity

Of all the creature comforts we enjoy, most require the use of electricity. Electricity plays a very important role in our modern lifestyle, so important, that we feel obliged to include it in almost all of our building ventures. We tend to forget that it powers our pumps, fans, lights, entertainment devices and other mechanicals, which run silently unobserved in our homes.

In Isolated buildings, it is used primarily to power lights, pumps and fans, necessary for the operation of the building mechanicals, as well as providing adequate power to operate televisions, radios, computers, heating pads, kitchen appliances and other comforts, not necessarily considered as part of the buildings resource needs.

There are several means of obtaining power, which include fuel fired generators for active power, and solar, wind or water powered generators for passive power. Active power is exactly that, power which is available to you, at your convenience, so long as you provide the fuel source. Passive power is available only when certain conditions, considering to the type of generation utilized, are met (ie solar collectors only work on sunny days). Passive power is primarily supplied as 12-volts, and although expensive, there are many products, appliances and mechanical equipment available for this type of power supply. As well, converters are available which can convert the 12-volt into 120 volt, thereby allowing use of normal household items and mechanicals. Finally, passive systems do not currently provide, on a continuous basis, the large quantity of electricity produced from fuel fired generators. With passive supply, owners must be careful and monitor their power consumption, to ensure sufficient electricity to run any necessary mechanicals, such as furnace fans or water pumps.

1. Fuel fired generators provide a constant, stable and ample supply of electricity. They are often portable, easy to install, and most produce a standard 120/240 volt current used by almost all equipment and appliances available today. They are a dependable source of constant energy, so long as you provide fuel and maintain the generation equipment. They are generally gasoline or diesel powered. Although relatively cheap to install, the one drawback to this type of generation is the high cost of its operation. Even when this cost is considered, most isolated building owners opt to install a fuel-fired generator, mostly out of convenience in building operations and their own desire for a modern lifestyle.

2. Solar power has a rather limited number of advantages, as compared to other types of electrical generation plants. First, solar collectors only work on sunny days, which are probably considered during the winter months. They also require the use of deep cycle batteries, which are expensive to install, and the use of a power converting unit, if you wish to change current from the 12 volts it generates, into 120 volts which is used by easily obtainable mechanicals, equipment and appliances. Furthermore, if weather is at its worst and you do not have a sun for a few days, your batteries supply of power may run out, leaving you without electricity to run even the bare necessities associated with your building. This type of system is generally utilized in combination with other generation plants, in which the alternative system could go online on an as needed basis when battery power is low. Finally, remember that this type of system is very expensive to install, although it is almost maintenance free.

3. Wind generation units are a rather temperamental unit to install, as they work well in moderate conditions, but high winds or calm days, are a bit of a drawback. Obviously, on still days with no air movement, no power is generated. But in high wind conditions, the generator is incapable of performing properly and can suffer damage. Therefor, as with solar energy, you wont be able to obtain electricity all the time, only a portion. This type of system (which is quite expensive to install) also requires that no tall trees or hills be obstructive wind flow to it. Most are installed on elevated towers or on barren hilltops. As with solar energy, they require the use of batteries for storage, and power converters for 120-volt operation. Wind generators are relatively expensive to maintain, and are generally used in conjunction with secondary or back up power systems.

4. Water powered systems encompass a rather large scope of application possibilities. Basically they provide water by turning a water wheel or turbine, which is fed with a constant supply of gravity fed water, such as a stream, spring or artesian well. With this type of system, you would have a constant supply of electricity, but one must realize the limitations. It requires a fair amount of water to power a turbine of sufficient size to operate a residential dwelling of even the smallest size. As well, there are restrictions on how such systems are installed, many of which require prior approval of ministry's and governing electric supply companies. Permits are difficult and expensive obtain. One application uses existing streams or rivers for a direct connection, often installing dams or sap lines to draw water directly into the turbine. Another alternate is to utilize a productive spring or artesian well to draw water from. And as a final alternative, the use of wind driven or ram pumps to pump water into a reservoir which in turn feeds the system. Ideally tapping into a spring or artesian well of reasonable size would be the most economic, with ram pumps or wind pumps being the next cost effective, and the intimidating direct dam or sapping off a local stream, being the most expensive.

Design

Effective design for isolated building includes many aspects and considerations. These considerations have a large impact on the amount of material, labor and equipment required to finish the project. There seems to always be sacrifices, whether they by the overall cost of the project, room layout or finish's. The durability of the structure, especially if it is a summer cottage, left unattended during winter needs to be considered. And an accurate estimate of materials, combined with good planning is also essential to the completion of the project.

1. A good design reduces the amount of material required in two primary ways. First, it reduces the overall amount of material through effective designs which lessens waste. Second, the designer selects materials, which are small enough in size or weight, so that shipping is not a problem.

2. To reduce the amount of material, both in the building and waste product designers consider the standard manufactured sizes of materials. They dimension the building and rooms so that stock dimensions of materials are incorporated. A good example would be to construct a building in length and width dimensions, divisible by four, so that floor sheathing, floor joists and ceiling joists can be installed in uncut lengths. They plan for scrap off cuts to be used elsewhere in the building. Such as a 5 'wide bathroom wall panel, which comes in 4'x8' sheets, utilizes the 3 'cut off for a closet or 11' long wall. A good designer will also attempt to utilize material taken from the site itself to reduce the amount of imported material. Good examples would be stone, cast into foundations or logs being cut for use as posts and beams.

3. Shipping sizes and weight are always a problem, especially with fly-in building. Plane interiors are not designed for 4'x8 'sheets or 12' long material, and weight is critical as compared to cost. For barging, skidding or road built access, this tend to not be much of a concern, for heavy weights or large sized materials, can still be transported easily and cheaply. But it still costs. You should consider the use of small dimensioned lumber, 1×6 flooring, wall and roof sheathing instead of panels, or 6 “pine interior facings instead of gypsum board (often referred to as drywall). weight than pine boards. Or the use of wood posts or block pillows instead of full height wall foundations. Another consideration is the ability of the material to survive shipping and storage on site. deteriorates when exposed to wet conditions.

4. Most of the cost of putting up a building is labor. Remote location builders tend to charge about 40% more, per hour, to construct such structures. The target in this case is to reduce labor time, on site, by incorporating the use of methods such as pre-manufacturing, pre-cutting or even fully assembled units. The point I am trying to get across is that the building should be premanufactured as much as possible. Reality plays a part in just dropping a fully assembled unit on a site, but the general idea is that the building components being cut and assembled, at a manufacturing facility, or shop, in units of a size which can easily be shipped and identified on site. Heavy equipment, such as excavators, bulldozers or cranes, unless you are building road access, is more than likely out of the question. What this means is that the foundation and possible septic system, are going to have to be dug by hand. The material you choose will also have an impact on Lab time, and again I must use drywall as an example. Drywall requires a lot of time to install, tape, fill and paint, typically two weeks to complete, as opposed to paneling which can be completed in as little as two days. Massive concrete wells are obviously not an option.

5. The equipment needed to complete the building, not only has to be bought in, but will also have to be removed after the job is completed. Larger pieces of equipment, like cement mixers, mini-excavators or portable mills could be considered, if you have any type of access other than sledding (unless you are willing to leave equipment at site for one year), or fly-in. This obviously limits the owner to portable equipment, which only handles smaller amounts of material, with increased labor times.

6.The structures durability, ability to last long periods of time, especially if left unattended, plays a part, not in the initial construction costs, but in the maintenance and repairs to the building over the years. Because most owners will only be spending a small part of their time at the building, maintained maintenance on low durability buildings could easily take up most or all of your vacation time in repair and maintenance work. Materials such as vinyl siding, prefinished paneling and melamine cupboards require little maintenance with a long material life span.

7. Because transportation costs are so extensive, having extra material, or returning for forgotten or under estimated materials will raise you buildings cost. Taking the time to do an accurate estimate of materials and equipment (called a quantity survey), required to complete the building is important. The estimate should include a description of the item, number required, and location of the item in the building. Accuracy counts, and it is a good idea to have a professional, who will guarantee the quantity survey, do the estimate for you. It is very easy to forget items like, glues, screws, spare blades for saws or even gas for generators.

8. And finally, the planning of the entire project. I can not stress the importance of a good building plan and timeline. Accurate analysis is not something an amateur should try to accomplish. Leave it to the professionals. It is very difficult to try to time deliveries with completion steps, so if your drywall arrives before the roof is on, you could end up with damaged, unusable drywall, which not only needs to be replaced, but removed as well. A good timeline should include days and dates, of which is to be completed and by when, as well as shipping, ordering and supply dates of materials or supplies. If you will be fly-in building, this task is even more daunting, for one small item missing from a shipment, could mean extra trips to the site, or reducing other supplies.

Adding On To A House Made Easy

There are many things to consider when adding on to a house. It is a very stressful process if attempted without a plan and a contractor. With any addition there are steps to follow and budgets to be kept to keep adding to your home a smooth event. No one wants to end up like…

There are many things to consider when adding on to a house. It is a very stressful process if attempted without a plan and a contractor. With any addition there are steps to follow and budgets to be kept to keep adding to your home a smooth event. No one wants to end up like they do in “The Money Pit” where Tom Hanks and Shelley Long are hopelessly wrapped up in home improvement renovations that their life together falls apart. Any project needs a good start to lead to a stellar finish. The following eight steps will help guide you in the right direction.

1) Dream Big

Think about what you want adding on your home to accomplish? Are you looking for more dining space, a new outdoor entertaining are such as a porch or deck or are you adding to your home because of a new addition to your family? Rank the goals that you are looking to achieve and once you see the things that are a priority to you it might become clear that adding on a deck or adding on a porch for outdoor entertainment is more important that junior sharing his room with a new sibling . It is nice to figure this out before the renovations begin.

2) Follow Local Rules

It is important that in adding on to a house that you pull the proper permits for any and all projects that you are doing. The last thing you need is to start and have an outside wall torn off your home and local inspectors that put a halt to your project for improper permits.

3) Be Open To Change

What I mean by be open to change is thinking outside of what is already around you. Just because a sink or tub is in a certain position now does not mean it has to stay there. Often you can make big changes to the layout of a room with just tinkering where the stationary items are placed. Doors and window placement can also be changed which adds a dramatic difference to many home additions.

4) Expand Efficiently

This is a very simple concept. Sometimes we have space that is usable staring at us and we do not even realize it. We had a closet in our dining room that really was not suitable for use except for storage. We stored the items that were in there in the attic and revamped the space so that we could adequately add a hutch without using any of the important dining space.

5) Add Angles To Add Interest

If you are living in a square the outside can be spruced up by adding dimension with angles. Your home does not need to be kept square. If you are looking at adding a deck add dimension to your home by adding levels and more complex angles and lines.

6) Consistency Is Key

It is important to use materials that are as close as originally used on an addition. If you can not find siding that matches exactly or find something that compliments the new addition. You do not want it to look like an add-on. Any addition to your home should enhance your home and blend to the point that it is not obvious anything has been done.

7) Landscape That Makes Sense

Make sure you take into account the outside when adding on to a house. It definitely does not make sense to create a space in which you have to destroy half your yard to put it in place. For instance it does not make sense to add on extra windows if you have established trees blocking the light the windows were supposed to expose.

8) Keep Things In Proportion

This is a big one. Adding to your home is about making more space although do not build a 2300 square foot addition to a one car garage without thought of also expanding that. Things need to stay relative to one another in your homes addition.

There is a lot to think about when going into any home improvement project but even more so when adding on to a house. Plan the best you can, be as prepared as possible but hold on because there will be some rough roads along the way of any home renovation. That is my only guarantee.

Are There Any Advantages Of Building Houses With Brick?

Did you know that about 70% of the self builders chose brick as the building material for their houses? It has been used as a construction material for thousands of years and still continues to be the number one choice of the builders. Even though it is costlier than other construction materials like aluminum sheets,…

Did you know that about 70% of the self builders chose brick as the building material for their houses? It has been used as a construction material for thousands of years and still continues to be the number one choice of the builders. Even though it is costlier than other construction materials like aluminum sheets, vinyl or wood, people tend to consider the factors like safety and strength while choosing bricks or blocks. There are various other advantages of building houses with blocks. Here are some of those advantages:

1. Brick houses are low on maintenance. There are no dangers of rotting or rusting. Unlike wooden structures, buildings made with blocks are termite-proof. It is also mandatory to paint the buildings regularly. The durability of blocks for construction work makes it the number one choice – convenient and economic.

2. Bricks are more energy-efficient than other building materials. It helps to keep the interiors cool in the summers and warm during the winter months thereby, helping you to lower your electricity bills. Since blocks can withstand heat efficiently, it offers better fire-protection.

3. Blocks come in a wide range of non-fade colors, finishes, and textures. That is why you can use it for giving an elegant, timeless appeal that will only improve with age. So, it will be the perfect material for creating your dream house.

4. Owing to the features like durability, fire resistance, and pest resistance, amount of insurance premiums are also significantly low for brick-build houses as compared to buildings made with other materials. It has been estimated by many homeowners that over time, this insurance discount will recover the initial cost of buying blocks.

5. Blocks are better noise barrier. Structures made with blocks can block out noises from outside in a better manner than other building materials. By building your house with blocks, you will be able to ensure calm atmosphere inside your home.

6. As brick houses stands elegant for years it offers the top resale value for the owners. By choosing blocks for making your home, you will be able to make it easier to sell the house in future. It will also be a lucrative property for the buyers, who will agree to give a much higher value for your house than those made with other building materials like aluminum.

So, you can see that there are loads of advantages of constructing a house with block. Are you looking for a reliable supplier of brick? San Diego is known for some of the reputed dealers of construction materials. Contact the best one to strike a great deal now!

Pros and Cons of Stucco and Siding, Which One To Use On Your House?

A variety of house building products are available to the house owners, nowdays. It becomes really difficult to choose among them. Due to their cost effectiveness, stucco and siding still remain the primary choices for general house builders. Both of them possess certain pros and cons and here we would be discussing their detailed and…

A variety of house building products are available to the house owners, nowdays. It becomes really difficult to choose among them. Due to their cost effectiveness, stucco and siding still remain the primary choices for general house builders. Both of them possess certain pros and cons and here we would be discussing their detailed and comparative features to enable the reader to decide the best option for his home.

Stucco is basically a mixture of lime, sand and water, which is used as a coating on walls and ceilings. But, sometimes Portland cement as well as other synthetic products like, acrylic and glass fibers are also added to the traditional stucco mixture in order to increase durability, flexibility, water resistance and other desirable properties. It is strong, guarantees minimal maintenance and can be practically installed on almost all wall surfaces.

Siding, basically is the outer covering of a house, for shedding water, protecting the building from weather effects and also, adding an aesthetic value to the whole house. Siding is generally formed of horizontal or vertical boards or sheets made up of wood, metal or plastic (vinyl).

Wood siding involves simple installation and a versatile style but, it is also associated with high maintenance like, protection from ants and termites, heavy humid conditions etc. Galvanized metal sheets or corrugated aluminum cladding are also popular due to their high strength, fire resistance, resistance to pests and bugs and minimal maintenance cost. But, they also include poor insulation and heavy installation. Plastic or, vinyl siding composed of poly vinyl chloride (PVC), perfectly fits the bill and hence, is the most popular siding at present. It is available in long thin planks, which are installed in overlapping rows covering the external walls of the house. It is lightweight, easy to install, moisture resistant and requires a minimal maintenance.

There is always a tough choice between stucco and vinyl siding. stucco installation is pretty easy but, proper mixing of the stucco and making the walls water proof to prevent any moisture damage, involves some expertise and technique. On the contrary, vinyl siding is self installed, but, it lacks the durability and weather resistance as stucco. During wind or heavy blows, vinyl siding may get cracked or dislodged. Also, during heavy winter, it may actually freeze and crack. But, even during the period of intense heat and sun stucco lasts a cool ambiance inside the house.

Regarding the cost issue, vinyl siding remains one of the least expensive choices.

But again, stucco provides a better aesthetic and naturalistic appeal. vinyl siding provides a wide range of colors and styling and often gives a manufactured clean look to the house. So, it completely depends on the homeowner and his preferences regarding the house.

Finally, as far as maintenance is concerned, nothing can beat vinyl siding. There is simply no rotting or discoloring whereas due to the high porous nature of stucco, it is unacceptable to stains and holes. These holes need urgent attention otherwise, may lead to moisture absorption and wall damage.

Construction Companies – The 5 Benefits of Fixed Prices and Move-In Dates

Construction companies are not all the same. Most will have different policies and procedures in place, and it will be up to you to find the one that suits your needs. One advantage that you can search for in these companies is fixed features. Having a fixed price and move-in date will make your life…

Construction companies are not all the same. Most will have different policies and procedures in place, and it will be up to you to find the one that suits your needs. One advantage that you can search for in these companies is fixed features. Having a fixed price and move-in date will make your life so much easier and definitely make it worth the investment. By finding a company that can guarantee this, you will be able to plan better and enjoy many benefits, including the following:

1. Easier transition. Whenever you are moving into a new home, it can be a hassle. Having fixed move-in dates will make it much easier for you to get the transition to go smoothly. You should not have more hassles than necessary and house construction delays is one thing that you do not need to deal with when it comes to moving.

2. Budgeting abilities. When you have fixed prices, you can budget for your construction investment better because you will not be waiting on bills or information from suppliers or contractors to plan how much you are spending. You can simply budget the money, pay for services and products, and be done.

3. More flexibility. If you know exactly what you are paying and when you are moving, you can plan your life more accordingly. Take the time to explore all of your options and make sure that you get the construction company that will give you this peace of mind.

4- No hassles or haggling with contracts. When you do not have to wheel and deal in your construction projects, you can get things done easier and more effectively. You do not have to worry about a contractor changing their mind halfway through a project or taking advantage of you in their variable pricing.

5. You get exactly what you pay for. There is no up and down of the services or prices, and you do not have to worry about being charged more or less than you should. You also get a guarantee that the work will be done because a price has been agreed upon beforehand.

There are a lot of benefits of fixed prices when it comes to researching construction companies, as well as fixed move-in dates. By taking the time to find a company that offers you these features, it will be easier for you to get the most from your house building project, no matter your budget and timeframe.

Masonry – An Overview

Masonry is a form of construction considered the most durable and strong around the world. This construction form consists of uniting the blocks of material into one structure to make it strong andstanding any weather or adverse external impacts. The most common materials used in masonry are brick, stone, concrete blocks, tiles, glass, granite and…

Masonry is a form of construction considered the most durable and strong around the world. This construction form consists of uniting the blocks of material into one structure to make it strong andstanding any weather or adverse external impacts.

The most common materials used in masonry are brick, stone, concrete blocks, tiles, glass, granite and marble etc. Units of these individual materials are laid down together through mortar to build a masonry structure. The structure strength and durability depends upon a lot of factors like, quality of materials and mortar, the competency of workers and the manner in which the units are laid.

Masonry structures, as already mentioned above, are very strong. This high standard of quality comes with slightly higher costs compared to other forms of construction. Although, masonry is very cost effective because the strength of structure does not require frequent repairs and that adds to the life of the building and less repairing costs. If the masonry construction is of high quality, it is said to have a useful lifespan of more than 500 years. The high cost of masonry construction is actually affordable when you bear in mind that the materials used in this process like brick, concrete or stone, are mass-produced. The latest technological advances and innovations have also made it a cost effective and affordable form of construction.

There are many advantages and merits of masonry construction. The use of materials, such as brick, in masonry does not require posh paint jobs so you're also saving money there. Another benefit of using masonry is that these structures are very heat resistant. In fact, the masonry structures are said to have the highest capacity of fire resistance than any other form of construction. Thermal mass of the building is also increased in masonry structures depending on the materials used. If you keep all these facts in mind, the masonry comes out as the most budget friendly and favored type of construction.

When it comes to the necessary repair and restoration of masonry buildings, it is very important that your hire a professional who has complete know-how of masonry buildings, its construction processes, the materials used and the different ways with which the renovation process can run smoothly. If you hire someone who lacks this knowledge, your masonry construction might not be able to complete its full life span. So, it is very important that you take your time before choosing a contractor for your masonry construction.

Tips For Building in Remote Locations – Part 1

When building in such locations the most difficult task is the material transport to the site. Although utilities (such as sewer, water, heat and electricity) tend to be the primary concern for homeowners, these items tend to be of less concern when considering the overall cost of the project. Furthermore, a good design combined with…

When building in such locations the most difficult task is the material transport to the site. Although utilities (such as sewer, water, heat and electricity) tend to be the primary concern for homeowners, these items tend to be of less concern when considering the overall cost of the project. Furthermore, a good design combined with accurate planning and estimating will lessen the overall material or labor requirements. Finally, site selection will have a dramatic impact on the overall cost and future access to the building.

Material Transportation

Transporting building materials is done in many ways, all of which varies importantly in cost. They are barging, sledding, skidding, fly in and road building.

1. Barging your materials to your site, requires two major factors. One, navigable water ways and two, road access to the waterway. This tend to be one of the cheaper, more effective means of transport and allows builders to bring in heavy equipment or supplies, which can lower construction costs.

2. Skidding materials to a building site has one major requirement, this is that a logging road or open path be clear of forests and major obstructions, which would allow the builder to “drag” the supplies behind a tractor or bulldozer. In a way, this is often the choice of many, because it provides, not only material shipment to the site, but also paves the way (so to speak) for future road accesses. This method also allows the use of heavy equipment and occasionally, the import of sand and gravel for wiping or drainage systems. This method is another fairly cheap alternative, but varies depending on the distance and local terrain.

3. Sledding material to jobsite can only be made during the winter months. This of course, means that the builder must leave the material, on site, until the spring and summer months when they can return to construct the building. What sledding means is that the material is brought to the jobsite, during the winter months, by pulling large sleighs or toboggans behind snow machines or snow cats. Builders utilize existing waterways, creeks and rivers as snow covered roadways. This method takes a fair amount of accuracy in estimating the total amount of building materials required, for missed items can lead to large expenses for transportation by other means. However, this is the cheapest means of remote location building in US.

4. Fly in building is by far the most expensive means of construction. The cost of airfreight by plan is very high. Considering that your only airstrips are the natural lakes and large rivers, and that float planes are quite a bit smaller than steeled plans, you will find building locations limited, as well as a large number of flights required to import materials. Heavy equipment is out of the question, as their size and weight pose a problem in air freighting. When utilizing this method it is important to consider the intensive use of material located at the site (ie Building log homes on stone foundations).

5. Road building can be, and often is, the most expensive means of building, of course this depends on the distances you have to span, terrain type and water crossings, let alone the environmental laws, local by laws. Ministry requirements, permits and other legal considerations you would have to address. The cost of a road varies but expect to pay as much as $ 7,000.00 per mile for just a simple, bulldozed dirt access road. The advantages are great, you get road access after construction, and the supply costs are minimal. As well, if you own property adjacent to your building site, the values ​​of the properties increase dramatically.

Heating

Heating, much like a home, has many alternatives, all of which vary in cost and performance. The most common means of heating are wood, propane or oil. Fuel can be easily transported or obtained on or to the location, and does not necessarily require the use of electricity. An added bonus is that the heating plant can be utilized, not only to provide space heating, but to also provide cooking facilities, hot water for showers or baths, and with propane, refrigeration or lighting.

1. Wood heat still outweighs all other means of heating for cottages or resorts, located in isolated areas. Its fuel source is readily obtainable from the forests in the surrounding area, although rather labor intensive to cut and split. Most often it is installed as a central wood stove, but installations of wood furnaces with electric blower fans and ductwork have been done. Central wood stoves, although very cheap to install, tend to leave rooms located at a distance from it, at lower temperatures. Wood stoves can be used for cooking on, as well as providing hot water for showers or washing.

2. Propane, which is often the fuel of choice, has many advantages over wood. It can not only heat your building, but provide hot water, cooking, lighting and refrigeration, without the use of electricity. Its only draw back is that the tanks must be refurbished from time to time, which usually means disconnecting and transporting the tanks back and forth from a supply source. It is reliably cheap, and easy to have installed. Heat can be obtained from a central furnace with electric fans and ductwork, to independent sources located in each room, generally radiant heating units. Standard gas hot water tanks, cook stoves and refrigerators can be converted to LP or propane at most natural gas appliance dealers. Balancing convenience and cost, this is often the choice for owners.

3. Oil heat has all the advantages of propane, except for providing refrigeration. I have yet to see an oil fired refrigerator (though I may be wrong). Oil still requires transportation to the location from the supply source, but can be transported in smaller, easier to manage containers. Prior to propane, oil was the choice for remote locations, but with the advent of compressed LP gas tanks, propane soon became the equivalent fuel of choice.

In closing, unless you are going to install a power plant, or bring in an electrical service, your heating options are rather limited. Although wood tenders to be more popular with a “roughing it” lifestyle, the convenience of propane or oil is quickly becoming the fuel of choice.

Sometimes, the concept of isolation, and living or vacationing in remote areas has its own draw, and with more and more successful fly in fishing or hunting resorts being built, this lifestyle is rapidly becoming popular with people escaping the pressures of city living. It is a relaxing opportunity for people to get away from it all, and enjoy nature at its purest. The rewards and pride of a successfully completed project provides satisfaction for years to come. Just remember to approach it with caution. Information gathering and good planning is your best defense against increased costs, frustration and disappointment.