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Flexible Commercial Building Design Considerations

Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Commercial buildings can be put to all sorts of uses by businesses once they have moved into them. Therefore, anyone who is constructing new premises for businesses to rent out — or who is converting an existing structure for commercial use — ought to design in as much versatility as possible. A one-size-fits-all approach simply won’t work in the modern Australian economy in which businesses demand a good deal of adaptability. Furthermore, if you are renting out your property, then ensuring that it is flexible means you are much more likely to find new tenants rapidly should your current ones leave. What are the design considerations you should be thinking about incorporating? Mixed Industrial and Administrative Spaces On a typical business park, light industrial units allow for all sorts of work to be done, from metalwork fabrication to catering, but never forget that most commercial organisations of any size also need offices. Ensure that your building incorporates sufficient space for stock keeping and production activities to take place, but always provide offices, too. If needed, office space can be designated as a separate area by using internal walls and dividers, but the key is to make sure that not all of the building is for industrial purposes only. Fast Moving Goods-In Industrial units tend to work well for multi-site businesses as distributions centres if stock can be allocated rapidly. In order to achieve this, even smaller commercial structures need to operate like a genuine warehouse building. This means evenly poured concrete floors need to be installed onto which delivery trucks can drive and be unloaded without bumping up and down kerbs. Integrate your interior delivery areas with pallet racking so that items are processed and moved away speedily. This means that delivery drivers can move on and that goods-in operatives are ready for the next incoming truck. Many regional businesses can benefit from a single level approach, like this, just as you find in Australia’s largest warehouse operations. Mezzanine Flooring To make the most of the footprint you have with a commercial building, installing mezzanine flooring can often be the best option. With a mezzanine floor, none of the external structure of the building is altered. They simply stand in a self-supporting way on a concrete floor base. They can provide additional storage areas, further office space or individual studios that can be let to smaller enterprises and start-up businesses. If the operation on the ground level needs more room, then a mezzanine can be disassembled reasonably easily and re-installed elsewhere, as...

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How to Ensure Adequate Roof Ventilation for Your Home

Posted by on Nov 30, 2016 in Uncategorized |

An adequate ventilation system of a roof contributes to its durability. Do you know how a ventilation system works? A ventilation system essentially pulls outside air through the entry vents located lower on the roof and it escapes through the upper vents. If you want an adequate roof ventilation, the volume of the air intake must be more or equal to the air exhaust. During a building construction, you must hire a professional who will help you install an effective roof ventilation. Here are ways to ensure adequate roof ventilation for your home. Air balance Nowadays, there is a wide variety of roof ventilation systems used in building constructions. You can balance the air exchange in the building with an ideal roof ventilation system. The traverse ventilation of air around the roof keeps the temperature tolerable, thus, adding to the overall freshness and coolness of the house. An improper flow of air will not only cause heat in the house, it can build up moisture in the roof and may eventually damage it. Most ventilation systems have hoses and vents in the roof to ensure the balanced flow of air over and under the roof. The vent can be a turbine, thermostatic, electronics or just static open units. Hire a professional roof ventilation company There are several professional roof ventilation companies. Roof ventilation experts know how to use the ventilation system for air balance using thermal effect, diffusion, and air pressure. This will help in reducing the use of air conditioners always. For instance, Skydome roof ventilation offers a range of ventilation systems to keep your roof cavity cool, even during summer. You can choose a ventilation system depending on the shape and size of your roof, and the materials used in the roof construction. However, you should allow your roof ventilation expert to advice you on the type of ventilation system suitable for your roof. Regular maintenance The best way to prevent your roof from getting damaged or leaked is by carrying out regular maintenance. You can hire a professional to check your roof regularly. If you don’t carry out these regular checks, you might spend more to get them fixed when they are completely damaged. You should always check that your roof is working adequately and effectively. During the check, the roof ventilation should be re-calibrated to make sure that the hoses and vents are not blocked and there is adequate air circulation. This ensure the longevity of the roof and your building...

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Things to Consider Before Installing a Timber Roof Truss

Posted by on Nov 9, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you are building a new roof on your home, the first thing you need to decide is the style of roof, then the materials. A timber roof truss is a roof made of wood that uses the timber to create a frame-like structure. This is different from a stick roof in that it creates a different type of support on the top of your home and beneath the roofing materials. Here are some things to think about before you decide to get a timber roof truss. There Are Less Issues With Weather and Climate Traditional stick roofs are usually constructed directly on the house, which means the contractors are exposed to the elements the entire time. They have to make sure they choose a good date and time, avoid excessive winds and rain, and be careful of the temperature and moisture conditions. With a roof truss, it is usually constructed off-site, then the materials are brought to the home to install it on the house. This is a good way to reduce how long they are going to be exposed to the elements during the building process. Not All Houses Can Have a Roof Truss Unfortunately, your house or current roofing structure might not be built for a truss roof. This typically has to do with your attic area, if your home has one. If the attic is shaped like a T, then it is a little bit more difficult to get the right dimensions with the roof truss. While some contractors can still get it done, it may require some extra labor hours. Also, if you are remodeling your home and had a stick roof before, your contractor might recommend sticking with this style. The Roof Goes Up Faster The fact that the majority of the construction of a timber roof truss is done off-site also helps with the speed of installation. Most of the structure is going to be built in a factory, where workers don’t have a lot of added worries about trying to beat the harsh sunlight or get out before it rains. They can get through the work quickly and easily with high-quality tools and machines that help get it done. Once the materials arrive to the construction site, it may be installed in as little as a day. It is Difficult to Modify the Roof Once you decide to go with a timber roof truss, it will be hard to go back and make modifications. This is why it is such an important decision to make. Simply modifications are usually difficult o do, so if remodeling needs to be done, the contractor often pulls down the entire truss and starts from scratch...

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Passive Solar Building Design to Enhance Your Home

Posted by on Oct 7, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Your home is supposed to be your primary shelter against the changing weather elements. Nevertheless, it is not simply about having a roof over your head. The building design of the home can also take advantage of the environment to ensure the structure is sustainable as well as energy efficient. One way of making the most of the environment to suit your needs would be through passive solar building design. As the name suggests, a passive design will not make use of any active technology. Instead, the way the building has been designed is what will help in keeping it warmer during the cold months and cooler during the sweltering months. The following are some of the passive solar building designs you could consider for your new home build. Orientation of the structure  Building orientation refers to how the house is situated in relation to the sun. If you would like to make the most of the natural sunlight in your home, you should opt for a north-facing residence. This can create enhanced illumination in your home thereby decreasing your need for artificial lighting during the day. If you are concerned about radiant heat, you should have your home builders incorporate shade at strategic places around the home. The shade should be able to shelter your home from the hot summer sun, while still being able to let the winter sun permeate the residence and warm it. Lastly, you can also consider spacial zoning when contemplating the orientation of your home. This means assessing what you will use the different rooms in your house and determine their location based on the orientation of the home. Thermal mass of the structure The types of materials that you use to construct your home will determine the thermal mass of the structure. For instance, bricks have a propensity of absorbing heat throughout the day. This makes them suitable for locations that get especially chilly at night, as the bricks will then release this absorbed heat. Hence, a decrease in dependence on heating throughout the night. It should be noted that bricks would not be an ideal choice if you live in an area with typically hot climatic conditions, as your home will be perpetually hot. If you do live in an area that experiences hot weather for a significant amount of the year, then you should consider building materials such as timber that have a low thermal...

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3 Quick Fixes for a Frozen Car Lock

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in Uncategorized |

The idea that Australia is always warm and sunny is somewhat of a stereotypical view. While this might be largely true in the northern states, the south of the country certainly gets its fair share of winter. The cold can affect car locks, and if you’ve had issues unlocking your car when the weather is cold, then your lock might be freezing up. This can feel like a real catastrophe if it happens late at night and you need to urgently use your car. Before you call a 24 hour locksmith, there are a few things you might want to try yourself. 1. A Cup of Hot Water Boil your electric jug and fill a mug with hot water. Hold the mug directly under the lock so that the steam rises up towards it. Do not hold the mug directly against the door of your car. While it’s unlikely that the heat from the mug will damage your car’s paint, it’s better to not risk it. Try your key again to see if the lock opens without issue. 2. A Hot Key You will need a pair of pliers and a cigarette lighter. Securely grasp the bow of the key with the pliers. The bow is the circular end of the key that you hold onto. Do not try to use tweezers or an oven glove, as your grip will not be secure enough. Using the pliers will protect your hand against the heat. Activate the cigarette lighter and hold it so that the flame touches the shoulder and tip of the key (the long portion with notches). It will only be necessary to do this for a few seconds, and you should stop immediately if you notice that the key is turning red from the heat. You don’t want to damage the key. Try to insert the key into the lock. The heat should evaporate any ice that might be inside. Do not try this if the bow of the key has a plastic coating, as you can easily melt it. 3. A Specialist Product If a frozen car door lock is a common occurrence in the winter months, then it’s best to keep something handy in order to deal with it. Buy a specialist de-icing spray, which can be found at any hardware shop. You simply spray it on your key and insert it into the lock. You might need to jiggle your key in order to disperse the liquid into the lock’s mechanism. You can even make your own de-icing spray with isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and water. If none of these methods work, then you should not persist, as you might damage your lock. There might be an internal fault with your lock as opposed to an ice-based obstruction, and so you should have the lock examined as soon as...

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Places in Your Home Where Asbestos May Be Found

Posted by on May 25, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Homeowners whose houses were built before the 1980s are most likely to have asbestos-containing materials (ACM) as part of their homes’ structure because asbestos in Australia was phased out in the 1980s. Before conducting any structural renovation, it’s important to ensure that you have no ACM in your house to avoid the health risks associated with asbestos exposure.  Below are some areas in your older home that may contain asbestos. Bear in mind that asbestos becomes unsafe when disturbed, hence all testing and inspection should be done carefully, preferably by a qualified professional. Ceilings and walls “Cottage cheese” or sprayed-acoustical ceilings may contain low amounts of asbestos. Avoid sweeping these ceiling which could disturb resting fibres. Removal is not necessary unless it is damaged, but it may be rather expensive. In addition, drywall joint compounds and patching plaster sold and used before the 1980s could have asbestos. Do not disturb them by scraping or sanding. You can also leave them intact unless you’re remodelling the house, in which case asbestos removal should be done professionally before any work begins. Plumbing Piping, especially if connected to steam heat or radiators, could be jacketed using ACM like asbestos piping wrap. This is usually covered by canvas and has a crumbly off-white surface. Unless it has started deteriorating, your removalist can caulk it (if there are holes) and wrap with rewettable glass cloth. Duct tape isn’t recommended, as it will come off in time. Fireplaces Artificial logs from before the 1980s may contain asbestos. Burning these logs is not necessarily risky, provided the ashes are collected and disposed of immediately. New logs won’t release any fibres unless they’ve become friable (easy to disintegrate). Also look out for fireplaces with protective panels and/or wood-stove gaskets resembling greyish-white stone. If you notice any damage, call in an expert to remove them and replace with safer materials. Heating ducts Even if you have metal ducts, they may have been wrapped in cellulose-asbestos insulation materials which were popularly used before the ban. This material looks like corrugated cardboard and is off-white in colour. Asbestos taping could also have been used in the taping. Asbestos in ductwork is a particular risk because deterioration of the substance is faster, and the fibres can be easily carried with the air into the house. This kind should be removed and replaced. Wiring Look out for knob-and-tube wiring which has a white coat surrounded by black fabric. If you’re carrying out any re-wiring, try to leave these wires intact instead of removing. If unavoidable, have a licensed removalist take care of the removal. Basements and crawlspaces Asbestos fibres from the ducts, piping or even flooring pay have collected in your basement or inside crawlspaces over time. You can wet-mop these areas yourself, but it is better to have professional cleaning to avoid exposure. DO NOT attempt to vacuum these places if you suspect ACM; asbestos fibres are so small that they can pass from the vacuum back into the...

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How to Choose the Best Pool Fencing Option for Your Home

Posted by on Mar 2, 2016 in Uncategorized |

A pool fence is often legally required in most areas, but even if not a legal requirement, it can still keep children safe from accidentally drowning and also keep out trespassers who may want to use your pool when you’re away. You have many options for the pool fencing you choose so it’s good to take time to make your decision. This will ensure you opt for fencing that stays secure and lasts for years to come. Note a few tips on choosing a home pool fence. 1. With children When you have children in the home, it’s often good to get a pool fence that is too high for them to easily climb. Many vinyl fences that you see around public pools are very low so they don’t get in the way of visibility for visitors. However, for home use, you want a pool that is too high for toddlers and young children to climb over. Mesh with very small holes can be hard to climb, or you might choose a wrought iron fence with bars spread far apart and that don’t offer much support for fence climbers. It’s also good to get a pool fence that you can easily see through when you have children, so you can always keep an eye on the pool. Wood pool fences can block your view. A mesh fence with a very dark wire can seem solid from a distance, and block your view of the pool. Opt for glass or a wrought iron fence, or ensure that a mesh fence is a lighter color so it doesn’t block your line of sight. 2. Noise reduction If you host pool parties in your yard fairly often, opt for a fence that will cut down on the noise. A tall glass fence can be the best choice as it can contain noise more readily than a shorter vinyl fence. A mesh fence covered in plastic coating may also block more noise than a wrought iron fence with bars spaced far apart. 3. Locking If you’re concerned about keeping your pool locked up, something to remember if you travel often, install an effective locking feature on the gate to your fence. With a shorter vinyl fence, someone can easily reach around and unlock the gate, pick the lock, and so on. However, a glass fence with a metal frame may offer a keyed lock that fits into the metal frame and which is similar to the locks on your patio door at home. A wood fence may allow you to add a deadbolt that you secure with a padlock. These can be more secure than fences that are shorter and easier to access.  To find the right pool fencing for your family’s needs, contact a pool fencing provider like Standrite Australia Pty...

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What Are Some Natural Remedies for Bathtub Drain Clogs?

Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If your bathtub drain is clogged, it might be your first instinct to grab the gel drain cleaner you purchased at the store. However, this is not always the best option. Not only can it be too harsh for your drains, but it not be effective. Here are some better options for clearing bathtub drain clogs. Use Baking Soda and Vinegar A good way to start removing the clog in your bathtub is to use natural items like baking soda and vinegar. This is beneficial since you probably already have these items in your cupboards. If there is any standing water in the bathtub, you need to remove it first with a bucket or plastic cup. When you have it all removed, first pour some baking soda into the drain, then pour a small amount of vinegar. These two items will combine and start to bubble. Let them sit in the drain for several minutes as they work together at cleaning the drain. It won’t help with hair down the drain, but helps with any soap residue or build-up in the drain. Rinse it clean with hot water after it has worked its magic. Rinse the Drain Clear With Hot Water You can also use nothing but hot or boiling water to rinse the drain clear. This is often a good option if there is simple a minor blockage in the drain or some hair that is stuck somewhere in the drain. Many blockages occur where the pipes become curved, which is where hot water can come in handy. To try hot water, boil a large pot of water. Once it is boiling, carefully bring the pot to the bathtub and pour it directly into the drain. Make sure the bathtub doesn’t have any sitting water as you attempt this. It can also help to pour boiling water into the drain after using baking soda and vinegar to clear it. Pour Cola Down the Drain Believe it or not, your bottle of cola might also help to clear the drain. You want the bottle of cola to be room temperature or slightly warm, not cold. A larger bottle, such as a 2-liter bottle, is often better due to the larger quantity. All you need to do is make sure there isn’t standing water in the tub or drain, then start pouring it down the drain. It can start becoming corrosive due to the ingredients, along with fizzing inside the drain. Let it sit for an hour or so, then rinse with hot water to see if the drain runs clear. For more tips or assistance, contact local plumbing companies like South East Plumbing...

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Dividing a bedroom using plywood

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you have a small house with limited bedrooms you may be interested in constructing a temporary wall within a large bedroom to create two smaller bedrooms. This can be useful in a number of situations and the light weight of the plywood can make this an easy job to complete without needing additional reinforcements to the house foundations. Here are 3 situations where you can benefit from the extra barrier in place.  Warring siblings If you have young siblings who need to share a room, it’s easy to find them keeping each other up at night. A plywood barrier can give them some additional privacy, particularly at night when they need to sleep, making this a sanity saver for both parents and children. When contemplating on which axis to erect the barrier wall, make sure to check you have power point on each side of the wall so that you have the ability to put in nightlight or reading lights as required.  Adult roommates  The rising price of rent in Australia has led to more and more adults sharing a bedroom in order to save money. While renters have less space they may be willing to make this compromise for a lower rent and/or a better rental location. When contemplating this arrangement it can be worthwhile looking at the best way to construct the wall to maximise privacy, both visually and aurally, for both renters. The arrangement will work out much better for both parties if you aren’t kept awake by snoring. This can often be assisted by having separate entrance doors, and insulating the dividing wall to prevent noise travelling.  If you only have one entrance door to the room you can look at a partial wall, with an angled curtain from the edge of the new wall to the existing wall on each side of the door jam. This maximises privacy for both parties.  Creating a study or work nook If you also need to use your bedroom as a work station or study space it can be hard to switch off when you head to bed. Setting up a separated corner with a plywood wall can help you compartmentalise both parts of your life in the same room. Consider setting up the nook at the most remote end of the room so that you are not easily interrupted at work and focus fully while in there.  As you can see setting up a dividing wall with plywood can be a real sanity saver in a small house. While it doesn’t create any extra space, it can give you much needed privacy and help you use your space more effectively. A contractor can easily erect a quick and affordable dividing wall in your...

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If You’re Eco-Conscious, Why Not Consider Concrete Recycling?

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

People who are very eco-conscious are often curious as to how they can recycle more items or use more recycled items, to help reduce the energy used to harvest virgin materials and reduce their consumption of natural resources. Recycling items also keeps them out of landfills, opening up room for items that cannot be recycled. If you’re very eco-conscious, you might consider concrete recycling for construction or renovation projects at home, either recycling old concrete you need removed or using recycled concrete for a new project. Note a few questions you might have about concrete recycling so you can discuss this option with a contractor when you have a home project on the horizon. 1. Can only certain types of concrete be recycled or reused? Concrete is a mixture of cement along with an aggregate, usually sand or gravel. The aggregate is adjusted according to the type of concrete needed for a particular surface. Because of how concrete is made with these simple materials, there is really no limit as to the type of concrete that can be recycled; the recycling process simply involves breaking it down and crushing the concrete so it can be added to a new mixture of the same materials. If you’re considering tearing up some concrete on your property and want to know if it can be recycled, there should be no reason why material from a patio, walkway, or driveway should not be recycled. Your only challenge may be getting it to a recycling center because it’s so heavy. A good solution is to check if a skip bin agency in your area has bins available for recycling heavy construction materials, including concrete. They would then pick up the bin once it’s full of any concrete pieces you want to see recycled and take it to a recycling center themselves. 2. What types of home projects can use recycled concrete? If you want to use recycled concrete for home projects, remember that driveways and patios are not the only areas where you might use this material. Concrete can be used for interior floors and countertops; it can be stamped, painted or stained to look like any number of natural stones or even like buffed, polished glass. Also, if you’re considering having a new garage installed on your property, consider concrete walls for the structure. Talk to a contractor (such as one from South Coast Concrete Crushing & Recycling) about the use of recycled concrete for surfaces and structures on your property and you may be surprised at how versatile it...

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Why Work With an Architect When Considering a Newly Built Home?

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When you’re thinking of buying a newly built home, you may have the choice of purchasing from a small selection of homes offered by a builder or contractor. These may seem at the outset to suit your needs, but hiring an architect to design your home can be a much better option. Note a few reasons why you might choose to work with an architect when you’re considering a newly built home. 1. Lay of the Land Enjoying a new home often means more than just enjoying the house itself; chances are you want the best view from the living room windows, to get the most sunlight possible during the day, and to otherwise incorporate the outside of the home into its overall design. An architect can note the plot of land you’ve chosen for your home and offer you some options for how to make the most of its features. This might mean installing a picture window in the back room that faces a pond or putting the outside deck on the side of the home that offers the best view of the sunset, and so on. A builder may not offer these types of personalized features that incorporate the lay of the land with your new home. 2. Use of Different Rooms When meeting with an architect, you may note that he or she will ask you many questions about how you use and enjoy your home. This is so that they can personalize the design according to your preferences. For example, if you’re the type who enjoys soaking in the bathtub, they may suggest skylights in the bathroom for more sunlight and a nice view of the sky. Families who entertain may appreciate an oversized kitchen that flows into the family room, whereas a retired couple who doesn’t cook very often may not need to take up so much of the floor plan with their kitchen. A cookie-cutter design offered by a builder may not work so well for your own personal needs. 3. Personal Touches Along with the use of different rooms, there are personal touches an architect can offer that make your home more functional and enjoyable for you. This might include a closet off the kitchen for recycling bins, or wiring throughout the home for built-in stereo speakers. An architect may also consider areas for hidden storage, such as the space under an exposed staircase. These types of personal touches may not be offered by a builder, but they can be worked into architectural plans so that your home is uniquely your...

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