Posts made in August, 2015

Why Opt for a Residential Demolition Versus Deconstruction

A residential demolition means disconnecting all the utilities and then tearing down the entire house, right down to the foundation. A deconstruction is a gut job; utilities are temporarily shut off and the home’s inner walls and flooring are pulled up, leaving the frame and certain other parts of the home behind. This is different than a renovation, which usually addresses just one or two parts of a home itself.

When you’ve decided that you want to stay on your lot but your home needs more than just a facelift inside or outside, you may need to choose between these two options. Note a few reasons why demolition can be the better choice than just a gut job or deconstruction. 

1. Speed

When you deconstruct a house, you need to determine which parts of the frame and inner studs or floorboards you will want to keep. In addition to this planning phase, deconstruction work needs to be more careful so that studs and beams are not damaged. 

However, with a demolition, a crew may take time to remove salvageable materials but other than that, the home is simply torn down from the outside. Deconstruction typically starts from the inside with crews tearing down walls by hand, but demolition is usually done with a crane. This job can usually be done in a day or a few short days at the most. If you’re in a hurry to get your new home built, then demolition can be the right choice.

2. Cost

Because demolition is so much less precise and so much quicker, it’s usually less costly than a deconstruction project. In many cases it can be half the cost of deconstruction, which in turn frees up the funds you need to reconstruct your home.

3. Flexibility

When you demolish a home, you can begin new construction from the ground up, adjusting the home’s size and putting new load-bearing walls where you please. When you deconstruct a home, you are either stuck with the home’s existing footprint or you will need to take the time and spend the money to move load-bearing walls and adjust its overall frame. For the most flexibility when it comes to your new home design, demolition is the better option.

Be sure to talk to your contractor about what you want from your new home and compare the price of deconstruction versus demolition, and the schedule as well. This can help you to determine if demolition is the right choice for your home plans.

Read More

Three Asphalt Driveway Upgrades Every Homeowner Should Consider

When you bought your home, you may have bought it with an asphalt driveway already in place. Overtime you may have grown tired of looking at the same black top driveway or you may have experienced problems with the asphalt. With this in mind, you have likely already looked at other options like concrete. There are actually several asphalt driveway upgrades you should consider that can give you a new viewpoint of your driveway and keep it from having issues over time.

Ribbon Driveway Design

If you are looking for a simple way to showcase the driveway and give it more of a professional appearance, then consider a ribbon design. This would take your existing asphalt driveway and frame it on either side with concrete. For an added feature, you could have the concrete stamped with designs like cobblestone or a pattern of your choice. This will give a professional appearance and help with any washout problems you may be having.

Landscaped Borders

You may want to take the idea of bordering your asphalt driveway a step further by adding landscaped borders. These borders can be very simple and contain a simple mulch, brick or stone outline and landscaping lights that run the length of the driveway from the road to the home. These types of landscaped borders add a special touch and look like more time has been put in on your landscaping design than actually has. Depending on how you design these landscaped areas, you may be able to have very little upkeep throughout the year.

Stamping and Graphic Design

One of the other ways that your asphalt driveway can take on a new look is through stamping and graphic design. You can have a contractor develop stamping patterns that appear to be stone or other designs created from the asphalt itself. One of the other steps is to use graphic design options to give the asphalt a faux finish and look. For example, you can use a graphic design technique to make your asphalt driveway look like slate stone or the side borders look like wood planks or brick.

These are just a few of the ideas you can incorporate to upgrade your asphalt driveway. You can also use some of these ideas to cover up issues or prevent ongoing issues from showing, like washout and unfinished borders. Contact your asphalt contractor for price estimates and options. They can also help you with asphalt repair issues and ways to use upgrades to prevent the same repair issue in the future.

Read More

How to Choose the Best Type of Plywood for Your Treehouse

If you are building a treehouse, once you have the frame put together, you can use plywood for the ceiling, walls and floor of your treehouse. However, you have to keep in mind that not all types of plywood hold up the same. If you want to choose the best type of plywood for your treehouse, keep these tips in mind:

1. Opt for a thick veneer if you want to sand and stain

Plywood contains a core made of layers of pressed wood framed by a layer of veneer on either side. You can choose hardwood veneers made from almost any type of wood, including cherry, oak and walnut. Ultimately, the type of veneer you choose depends on the look you are trying to create, and as a result, you can choose any type of veneer. However, you want that layer to be thick.

The thickness of the face veneer is critical, especially if you plan to sand and paint or stain the plywood. If the veneer is too thin, you will simply sand through it, and the unevenness of the core layers will show right through.

However, if you don’t want to sand your plywood but instead plan to cover with with siding or some other type of protective outer layer, you can safely opt for a relatively thin veneer.

2. Save money by combining thick and thin veneers

Every piece of plywood has two faces, and you don’t have to choose the same thickness for each face. Instead, you can choose one side with a thick, beautiful veneer and the other side with a thin veneer.

For example, if using plywood for the walls of your treehouse, you could position the plywood so the thick veneer faces inside the treehouse for convenient sanding and painting, and you could face the side with the thin veneer outwards so you can cover it with another weatherproof material or siding.

By not insisting upon having thick veneers on both sides, you can ultimately save some money on the cost of your plywood.

3. Look for thick core layers

When you are buying plywood for your treehouse, you will find a range of cores with a range of different thicknesses. Ideally, you want the thickest core possible. This is not only for structural strength,, it is also about avoiding splitting the wood. Sadly, in some cases, plywood with very thin cores will simply split if you put nails, screws or other hardware into it.

Before buying plywood for your treehouse, ask to see the thickest core possible, and consider testing it out by seeing how it holds up when you put hardware into it.

4. Avoid bowed plywood

Finally, look at the shape of each piece of plywood you buy. If it appears to be bowed, it will not receive hardware as easily as plywood that appears to be straight. Use a level to make sure the plywood you buy is as straight as possible for long term stability in your treehouse.

Keep these tips in mind as you contact plywood suppliers like F.A. Mitchell & Company Pty Ltd

Read More