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How to Find the Best Natural Stone

One of the most used materials for construction and interior finishing is natural stone. You will find natural stone in a wide range of different interior design elements such as fireplaces, countertops, wall columns, floor tiling, and also wall tiling as well. If you want your natural stone to last forever and look good, then it is important to find the right kinds of materials for your interior.

Decorating the hallways

Usually the hallway will be the first place we see when we get inside the home, so it will be a good place to start. Natural stone is typically used for the walls and for the floors in the hallways. Typically, your walls will not be exposed to chafing, chemicals, mud, moistures, so it would make since to have some natural stone placed here because it will look great and it will look amazing as well. You will have plenty of options to choose from when figuring out how to decorate your walls such as granite, marble, or even limestone, and smooth tiles which can truly add that luxurious touch to your hallways and make your home look grand.

The texture of the natural stone

When you are looking for natural stone for your home, one of the most important things to consider is the texture because they will either be rugged, polished, or smooth. A smooth surface natural stone can be cleaned easily but it can be worn out quickly if it is placed in an area that is used all of the time. Rugged stone is better for high traffic areas but it is also harder to clean as well because dirt and debris can get stuck inside of the small hollows of the stone.

Decorating your bathroom

A great place for natural stone is the bathroom, because this can really make your bathroom standout. However, you will need to be careful when you are choosing natural stone for your bathroom because it will be exposed to steam and water all of the time which can cause mold to appear on the stone. There are still solutions to this problem however, such as making sure you use water filters and water softening agents as well as providing good ventilation to keep your stone in top notch condition for a long time. It is not difficult to clean your natural stone or to find natural stone that will look great in a room, so just be creative and choosing something that speaks to you.

Arborists Chicago IL

We humans are a funny and contradictory species. We all want to be considered unique but we admire the “Herd Mentality” and aspire to do it.

We cry foul when our respective governments do not come good on their election promises but we never try to change on a micro level.

We have no regard for anything that cannot express its feelings and we treat it as our own property without blinking our eyelids and even thinking for a second.

We have all heard about global warming. Extreme fluctuations in temperatures which might result in the varied cooling or heating up of the planet. Well this is not a lecture piece on global warming but more on the consequences that we see around us on a daily basis.

I stepped out today to a fine wintry chill but there was something absurd that I noticed which has become quite apparent over several years. My eyes could not spot any trees or any kind of green cover. Everything is white and sparkly and covered up with concrete.

I stopped to question myself, does concrete take in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen? A big fat NO! We humans are experts in two peculiar things: Delegating Blame and taking things for granted. Apparently we have taken the tree cover on our planet for granted way too long. The serpent named Global Warming and its spawn Green House effect is slowly encircling our very existence.

Especially here in Chicago I have observed an exponential growth in Urban City Planning. I can only extrapolate it to the rest of the mega cities across the globe. A simple deduction of this is the elimination of tree cover too fast.

Logic dictates that if we cut down trees we are eliminating absorbers of a gas that is heating up the planet. Not rocket science let me tell you.  We have always considered Medicine as the noblest of professions. The power to heal. Well there is a pursuit that is going to knock medicine of its pedestal.

The profession of an Arborist in Chicago IL or can also be known as a Tree Doctor. I am sure everyone will agree with me that it’s the need of the hour.

An Arborist is mainly tasked with these responsibilities:

They help in pruning a tree to get rid of specific damaged branches to fuel the overall health and growth of the tree.

They are professional guides who know exactly how to remove a tree.

In the event of natural disasters like storms their expertise is valuable in removing a damaged tree safely without damaging surrounding properties.

The most important responsibility of all is planting the right tree in the right place.

So in a nutshell let us encourage our children to become arborists because that is the need of the hour. Also contribute to the environment and plant more trees.

Home Renovation: Small and Large Projects

Everyone likes to do home improvement projects and it does not matter if you just got your home or if have been living in your home for as long as you can remember. There are also quite a few different reasons why people will want do some home improvement projects. Some people may just want to update some things here and there, while other people may want to improve the value of their house, so they can sell it.

It does not matter what kind of reason you have for doing home improvement projects, but you will still have to keep into mind some considerations first. Such ad figuring out the prices you will need to pay for the kind of project you are planning on doing. Also if you just simply want to make some updates, then you will only need to pay a small investment. A very effective way to improve your home is actually through projects such as landscaping. Landscaping can either be very cheap or very expensive depending on what you want to do, so just make sure you are able to keep that into mind.

If you just want to do something small then you can plan some shrubs, plants, or flowers to give your home a better appearance. However, just remember that if you want to use plants then you will need to know that, you will need to take care of them on a regular basis. A big investment that you can make that will no doubt improve the value of your home is having a swimming pool.

Some other types of exterior home improvement projects you may want to think about doing is fencing, updating your roof, and changing out your windows. These are big projects, so you will want to consider saving up a good budget for this.

There are also plenty of home improvement projects you can do in the home as well. These can go from affordable repairs to expensive complete overhauls to the house.

If you want to go all out and put in a big investment, then renovating the bathroom or your kitchen is always a good idea. This is one of the best ways to improve the value of your home as well.

There are a lot of different kinds of things to think about when doing home improvements such as your reasons for doing the project, how much time needs to be put into it and the cost of the project as well. It is important to think about whether or not you will need to have a permit as well. And that is the basics on both large and small home improvement projects.

Click to get a list of the best professional home renovators.

The Right Way To Do Home Improvement

It’s a fact that many home improvement goals tend to be compromised due to poor plans to begin with. If you’re someone who wants to do things right when it comes to home improvement, you will need to ask yourself a series of questions to get things done properly. The following questions should enable you to realize the things that you have to do in order to have the right answer for your home improvement concerns.

One of the first things that you have to do is to make sure that you know your goal when it comes to home improvement. Are you really sure that you need to change some things in your home such as your bathroom? If you planning to make changes in your kitchen, is it for accessibility or for aesthetic appeal? Asking yourself such questions will help you determine the home improvement that you really want and avoid spending unnecessarily.

You also have to make sure that you have a plan for your budget when it comes to this matter. Determining the change that you need for your home will always involve budget one way or another. It’s best to determine whether or not you’ve got the means to make some decent improvements for your home.

Of course, you can save little by little if you’ve got a home improvement plan. Doing this should provide you the time that you need for a good home improvement design.

You will also need to take into account the paperwork that’s needed when it comes to your home improvement project. This is because getting some expansions in your home may require you to get in touch with city officials. In any case, paperwork can be involved and it’s best that you have your plan together so that you can present it properly to any legal party.

One other thing that you have to keep in mind is that when you need help, you have to ask for it. If you’re going to have a home improvement, it’s best to have it done right in first try. Some people tend to do home improvements on their own which is a risk if you have a plan to follow. Still, getting professional assistance will cost you in exchange to the time that you’ll be able to save. But getting quality work done for your home improvement is not a bad deal at all.

Having the right home improvement means that you need to be prepared for some hindrances as such factors are always there. Accidents can happen and it’s best that you have the right plan to prevent them. Hiring professional assistance basically helps reduce such problems in the first place and you also get to minimize the expense for the materials that you need due to the professional home improvement service’s efficiency.

If you’re really serious about getting the home improvement done right, then asking yourself the key questions will surely help you come up with a good plan. It’s simple enough, but it’s one of the best way to set your home improvement goals. Also, trying to do everything by yourself when it come to home improvement is impractical to begin with especially with time and money in the picture.

Concrete Paths: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

It may seem like a walk in the park, but paving a good walkway is a challenging task. You will need to have a good plan and you will need to put in a lot of hard work. There are typically two methods that you can choose if you are planning on putting in a concrete path. The first method is to hire an expert to do it for you and then the second method is to do it yourself. You will also have a lot of options to choose from if you want to hire a professional to install the path for you. And if you want to install a concrete path on your own, there are some methods you may want to think about.

The first and most important thing before attempting any project is to ensure you are using the proper safety equipment for the job. Safety glasses, steel toed boots, gloves, and other gear is always vital when doing any kind of work to your landscape.

How to Install a Concrete Path

Installing your very own concrete path can be quite a difficult job, but it is not impossible. Before you begin doing any work, you will want to check with your city and see if you need a permit or not.

The first step to making the path is to plan out where the walkway will end up. Then spray paint it on your lawn to help you draw it out.

Once it has been completely mapped, you will want to dig it out about four or so inches deep.

When you dug out the path, make sure to inspect the soil. If the soil is sandy or soft, then it has to be toughened up. You can do this by putting in clay or gravel.

To make sure that your walkway is the size you want it, frame it out using some two by fours.

To make the concrete path stronger, you will want to put some reinforcing steel into it.

Before you put in the cement, you will want to plan out how you will pour it out. It is important that you level out the path and make sure it is totally flat. Also, when the concrete is poured you will want to run a broom over the cement, this will give the cement texture so people will have some extra grip when they are using the walkway.

When you poured out the cement, it is important to cut some control joints every four or five feet depending on your path. In order to do this, you will need to use a groover.

Once the concrete has been laid, then the next step is to let it cure and wait. You can cure the concrete by using chemicals or using a layer of plastic sheet. This will make sure that the concrete can cure properly and will not dry too fast.

And within a few short days, you will be able to enjoy your brand new concrete path.

Brought to you by AAA Concreting in Los Angeles.

How Electricians Work

With the various jobs as well as careers accessible to modern day youth it is not surprising that many become
confused with the variety of choices available to them. If you are somebody who is looking to get going with a
career you might wish to look at how to be a good electrician, an expert manual worker competent in electrical
installations as well as maintenance. But exactly why is becoming a good electrician such a wise decision?

1. Practical Training

A great benefit of becoming a good electrician is the practical training you get. Whether or not you attend a
community college, the vocational school or a specialized institute the courses you attend will provide you
with a practical know-how that you’ll be able to implement in the field. The majority of the educators are in
fact specialists on their own and is likely to provide real life examples as well as training to their pupils.

2. Earn as you learn

One of the greatest benefits of becoming a good electrician is that you have the choice of earning money as
you obtain your coaching. Almost all trades need that you finish an apprenticeship program prior to becoming
an authorized tradesman. This means ou will have to invest anywhere from 1 to 4 years working with as well
as learning from a knowledgeable electrician.

While the majority of apprenticeship earnings begin small at approximately $10-12 per hour as you acquire
experience and are in a position to accomplish more challenging duties you will begin to generate more. Some
4th year electrician apprentices might make $20-30 per hour!

3. Work using your hands

Writing emails, working at a desk or signing documents isn’t a job for everyone. In case you are somebody
who is enthusiastic about working with our hands and getting out in the world, then being an expert
tradesman could be best for you. Electricians in many cases are on the move and working in various houses
as well as locations. Even electricians that execute electric work for just one organization could be employed
in different regions from day to day.

4. High Potential Earnings

One of the best reasons for becoming an electrician will be the high prospective earnings that senior
electricians are able to achieve. Electricians that have obtained further training and have performed in the
field for several years can reach extremely high wages. Actually, several master electricians could make
approximately $100,000 every year!

5. Scarcity of Electricians

A number of the electricians employed in the industry at present will retire over the following 5 to 10 years.
This means there is soon going to be a significant deficit of qualified tradesmen obtainable. This deficiency
will imply a couple of things to the existing electricians. First, their services are going to be in practically
constant demand and there will more than likely be no deficiency of available work. Second, because of the
substantial demand for the services offered by them they’ll be capable of increasing their rates and get more
money.

Becoming a good electrician is an excellent plan in case you are someone who is actually interested in a
safe job future, working with your own hands, would like to earn money while you learn, want a higher
prospective income, and are also enthusiastic about a practical education.

Article provided by Castle Hill Electrician Pros

An Overiew To Bathrooms Designs

The most common question when it comes to bathroom renovations is how you can provide a comfortable yet modern bathroom design. Most of the time bathroom renovation plans is not only limited to the interior articles of the bathroom but it’s overall style as well including the lighting devices and the type and quality of materials used. Aside from that, bathroom renovation also involves the planning for the installation of the water supply system including the addition of heating and cooling system of the water supply if you wish to have one. The room should be always designed and planned as what the customer demands.

When it comes to bathroom designs, bathroom furniture is one important aspect that should never be forgotten. The modern bathroom of today now have a lot of added fixtures and furniture such as wall cupboards, cupboard columns, cupboard with a bar and special dressers. Aside from that mirrors that are combined with cupboards is one of the newest additions of bathroom furniture designs today. This is especially true as you will notice that if you are going to look into bathroom furniture in local stores you will essentially see a price list of the varying cupboard and mirror combination furniture such as a mirror and a mirror shelf with two cupboards, a mirror cupboard, and a mirror with two cupboards and more. When it comes to bathroom furniture materials, MDF is considered as the best among all other materials available. One main reason for this is because the material itself is specially designed for damp rules such as bathrooms.

When it comes to the choice of bath, one always has a lot of available options such as a substitution of the usual bed by a shower, a corner bath or simply the classic one. This is not usually a hard selection as the financial status of the customer or the actual size of the bathroom will determine the type of bathroom interior to select.

Ethnic style, retro style, classical style and country style are considered to be the most fashionable styles when it comes to bathroom finishing styles of today. It is best to leave the choice of basic architectural style for bathroom renovation to the designer studios specialists. The information provided herewith should only be considered as a general recommendation.

The use of a single colored tile such as white, black, or gray is called brutalism. This cases makes use of sharp formed massive furniture that creates the impression of rudeness. A classical style furniture can be used in order to provide a prevailing impression of the horizontal lines from the natural stone or tiles. As much as possible, one should always choose the furniture that has a harmonizing picture and color with the tiles. Large rooms usually have the most popular combination of light toned furniture combined with marble table tops.

On the other hand, a relaxing effect is provided by a country style bathroom design. Usually, the tiles used in this kind of design has a nature oriented color such as a green tint with nature inspired decorative patterns and uses woven furniture raw materials that are essentially moisture and waterproof. A summer park and arbored environment is created by the green colored designs and the woven furniture. Retro Style on the other hand have the characteristics of using a dark tree as the materials for the bathroom furniture combined with a screw-thread element and a light brown tile. An old timed atmosphere is also created through the use of a simple wooden framed mirror.

Ethnic style on the other hand gives a fantasy awakening feel. With ethnic style, you will be able to have a wild imagination if being in an island with mysterious native inhabitants. The basic room finishing materials for this style is a natural stone and tree. For the wild tribe impression to be made, the trim of the tree is rudely done. The usual stone and tree color is a dark saturation of grey or brown to gie of that natural feel.

In general, when it comes to bathroom designing, we can very much say that despite the need for design specialists, the customer themselves should always be involved in this process. As a matter of fact, it is the customer’s responsibility to choose the sanitary equipment to be used, the furniture units and the color ranges of the room design.

The Most Economical Home Flooring

flooring-contractorWant to have simple yet elegant looking home flooring that is very easy on the budget? Find a concrete flooring contractor. No need to buy any pricey tile flooring. With just paint and polish, you’re on your way of rocking contemporary or modern looking flooring that’s lease expensive, and you can even do it on your own. Yes, you can do it yourself! Contrary to what most homeowners think, painting and polishing your flooring does not require professional training or undergoing a crash course on home decorating. Simply put, if you can draw a straight line and maintain a single pattern, you could do this project easy-peasy and have it done in no time.

Come to think of it; I don’t know why we have to burden ourselves with expensive, hard to install and high maintenance flooring when we can do away with all of these and still have a chic and stylish flooring. For sure, when this project gets done, you would wonder why you have not thought of this from the beginning and save yourself thousands of dollars from choosing to install costly carpet or hardwood flooring.

So, first things first, make sure that the concrete flooring is clean, then plan your attack, if you will, and have all of the materials you need. Notice that I mentioned cleaning before the next steps. It is because, for me personally, it’s hard to decipher, let’s say, what goes better with your living room décor if the flooring in question has lots of clutter. Not only it’s destructing, but you won’t be able to have a good look at your flooring and determine what color and design would be a good fit.

After cleaning, take a good look at the entire room and consider the interior, furniture, wall color, and whatever visual object you can see. Like if you have dark-colored furniture and fixtures, go for a light color paint to contrast the dark-colored décor. And, vice versa, paint your flooring in a dark color if you already have light-colored furniture and fixtures.

As for the tools and the materials, here’s what you’ll need:

  • vacuum
  • paint roller
  • sand paper
  • primer
  • concrete paint (this usually comes in gray or brown; if you want a variety of colors, use latex paint but make sure it’s the good-quality kind)
  • polyurethane coating

Now, let’s get it on!

Step 1: Sand off any adhesives from previous tile flooring or old paint making sure that there’s no uneven areas.

Step 2: Hopefully there are no cracks or holes on the surface of your floor so you won’t have to purchase mix concrete patch compound. But if there is, then we don’t have a choice, get a package of mix concrete patch compound and apply as per packaging directions.

Step 3: By this time, the flooring should be free of any visible rough surface and cracks, and it should be smooth as skin. Only then you may start painting the floor and begin with applying primer. If you’re really on a budget, you may coat only once. But if your financial resources permit, it’s better to apply two coats when painting concrete floors. Remember to let the floor dry completely between coats.

Step 4:  Afterward, apply with latex or concrete paint. Like the primer, you may only do one coating of latex or concrete paint, but it’s best to put on two layers and just the same, let it dry completely before the second coat.

Step 5: After painting concrete floors, a polyurethane coating should be added for protection and maximum durability. Likewise, one application is okay, but two layers are highly recommended.

Construction Job Site Safety Audit – 9 Common Construction Site Safety Issues

construction safety

The construction job site safety audit can be a critical tool for keeping your projects on time and under budget. On going attention to safety and loss control is the ounce of prevention that’s worth a pound of cure.

A regular process, that identifies and then corrects or removes work site hazards, efficiently minimizes accidents and injuries.

Here are nine relatively common safety issues that were revealed by a regular construction job site safety audit:

  1. Trenching
  • Excessive trench depth increases collapse hazard
  • Work must only proceed where collapse protection is in place
  • Collapses protection can be provided with proper sloping.
  1. Containers – Gas cans must be clearly labeled as to contents and hazards.
  2. Rigging Slings – Rigging must be taken out of service when heavily damaged or when wear detectors are visible.
  3. Stairs – Stairs need to be properly constructed with consistent rise and run, secured treads, and stair rails in place.
  4. Office Trailers – Unused access and entrance doors must be physically blocked from use to avoid falls.
  5. Loading Platforms – Railings, to prevent falls, must have mid and top rails in place. Under certain conditions chains can be used.
  6. Flammable Liquid Storage – A Flammable Storage Cabinet must be installed and used in any building or trailer where over 25 gallons of flammable liquids are stored.
  7. Fire Extinguishers – Storage trailers containing flammable or combustible materials must have fire extinguishers within 50 foot proximity.
  8. Ladders – Damaged ladders or ladder sections must be tagged “Do Not Use” until removed from the job site and destroyed.

The loss control audit by a safety officer or safety consultant provides important focus on the prevention of accidents and injuries in busy work environments.

In this example, nine safety issues were found. The hazards were identified before there were any injuries or accidents. Corrective action was immediate for some of the issues, while others required scheduling. Either way business interruption was kept to a minimum.

To take a look at the details of this loss control audit, including photos, please click on construction job site safety audit.

Stud Spacing and Wall Framing

wall framingRemodeling and building homes over the years I have seen all sorts of stud spacing measurements in bearing and non-bearing walls.

How far should we space a framing stud in a bearing wall?

Most plans will give you this information. If you have a structural shear wall the plans will tell you what size of lumber to use at the plywood breaks. The normal spacing on a bearing wall will be 16 inches on center unless otherwise noted on the building plans. This is the most common spacing for studs in a wall.

How far can we space framing studs in a nonbearing wall?

I have seen studs spaced as far as 24 inches on center in a nonbearing wall. Over the years looking at the building code books I have found this to be acceptable for most framing applications. Do not confuse a nonbearing walls with a structural shear walls because there is no weight sitting on the shear wall.

Interior structural shear walls will require 16 inch on center spacing or less depending on the structural engineer and your local building department.

What are the disadvantages of spacing the studs 24 inches on center?

Using half-inch drywall with 24 inch on center stud spacing can give the wall a week or spongy feel. I have been in houses that have 24 inch on center’s stud spacing and can actually push the wall and see it move. Using 5/8 drywall will solve this problem in your walls.

What are the advantages of spacing the studs 24 inches on center?

The only advantage in spacing the studs farther apart is the fact you will be able to save a few dollars on the overall cost of building or remodeling your house. I personally do not recommend this process because the savings is miniscule compared to the overall cost of building the entire house.

If you look on a measuring tape between 19 and 20 inches you will usually find a little diamond. This little diamond is another measurement for laying out eight-foot walls or floors. So instead of using 16 inch on center layout you can use 19 1/4 for stud spacing. This will save you an additional stud in your wall or floor joist every 8 feet.

I have been writing more articles on home construction problems trying to help contractors and homeowners build safer stronger houses.