Make sure to keep yourself covered, if you do employ these money saving tips as suggested in the video above. And by covered I mean, employ yourself and independent building inspector to carry out a certified building inspection report, so that when the time comes to sell you property, your buyer will have the peace of mind knowing that even though you employed some cost saving methods to construct your home, you didn’t cut corners when it came to doing things properly.
The way a building inspector can help you to save money in the long run, is to inspect any work done by contractors or owner builders, who to the untrained eye may have done things incorrectly in order to save themselves some money on materials or processes.
If you are in the Melbourne area, then New Building Inspectors, are your first choice for a qualified builder to provide you with an independent building inspections report.
And once the house is complete you are going to want to celebrate. After all that blood sweat and tears, the new house is now ready to be enjoyed and what better way to do that than to entertain your friends and family.
After the hard work that everyone has contributed to the project it is only fitting that they get to join in on the celebrations too. You can invite the builders, bricklayers, landscapers, interior decorators – in fact invite anyone who has put in their best effort to make your new home the best it could be. You never know when you are going to want to have them come back and do some more work or fix up any mistakes that may eventuate after the warrranty period may be over. If you have returned kind with kind, you will be in a better negotiation spot to get them back to do the work for little or no cost to you.
Make sure you take all the hard work out of the event and hire a quality catering company to handle the food preparation and service of the guests. You know you don’t save much money by trying to do this yourself and it just adds to the enjoyment level when someone else is responsible for the cooking and looking after the mess once the party is over. Companies that can handle corporate events and cocktail parties, such as Chilterns Catering are the people you need to call first.
So whatever you decide to do, just make sure that everyone has a good time at your house warming party.
In keeping with most districts of healthcare, the marketplace has seen a boom in the construction of Behavioral Healthcare facilities. Contributing to this increase is the paradigm shift in the way society views mental illness. Society is placing a heavier value on the need to treat people with serious addictions such as alcohol, prescription and elicit drugs. A large percentage of people suffering from behavioral disorders are afflicted with both mental and addictive behaviors, and most will re-enter communities and either become contributors or violators.
These very specialized facilities do not typically yield the attention from today’s top healthcare designers and their quantity accounts for a small fraction of healthcare construction. However, Behavioral Healthcare projects are increasing in number and are being designed by some very prominent architectural firms such as Cannon Design and Architecture Plus. Many are creating state-of-the-art, award-winning contemporary facilities that defy what most of us believe Behavioral Healthcare design to be.
Changing the Way We Design Behavioral Healthcare Facilities
As with all good planners and designers, A+D (along with facility experts) are reviewing the direct needs of patient and staff while reflecting on how new medicine and modern design can foster patient healing rates, reduce environmental stress, and increase safety. This is changing the face of treatment and outcome by giving the practitioner more time to treat because they require less time and resources to “manage” disruptive patient populations.
The face of Behavioral Healthcare is quickly changing. No longer are these facilities designed to warehouse patients indefinitely. And society’s expectations have changed. Patients are often treated with the belief that they can return to their community and be a contributor to society. According to the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS), depending on the severity of illness, the average length of stay in a Behavioral Healthcare facility is only 9.6 days.
What has changed?
Jaques Laurence Black, AIA, president and principal of New York City-based daSILVA Architects, states that there are two primary reasons for the shortened admission period:
1. Introduction of modern psychotropic drugs that greatly speed recovery
2. Pressures from insurance companies to get patients out of expensive modes of care
To meet these challenges, healthcare professionals are finding it very difficult to effectively treat patients within the walls of antiquated, rapidly deteriorating mental facilities. A great percentage of these facilities were built between 1908 and 1928 and were designed for psychiatric needs that were principled in the belief to “store” not to “rehabilitate.”
Also impacting the need for Behavioral Healthcare construction is the reluctance of acute-care facilities to provide mental health level services for psychiatric or addiction patients. They recognize that patient groups suffering from behavioral disorders have unique health needs, all of which need to be handled and treated only by very experienced healthcare professionals. This patient population also requires a heightened level of security. Self-harm and injuring staff and other patients are major concerns.
The Report of the Surgeon General: “Epidemiology of Mental Illness” also reports that within a given year about 20% of Americans suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder and 5.4% suffer from a serious mental illness (SMI ) – defined as bipolar, panic, obsessive-compulsive, personality, and depression disorders and schizophrenia. It is also believed 6% of Americans suffer from addiction disorders, a statistic that is separate from individuals who suffer from both mental and addiction disorders. Within a given year it is believed that over one-quarter of America’s population warrants levels of mental clinical care. Even if these statistics were cut in half, it cannot be denied as a serious societal issue.
With a growing population, effectively designing in accordance with such measures is at the heart of public health.
Understanding the Complexity of Behavioral Healthcare Design
Therefore, like Corrections, leading planners and designers specializing in Behavioral Healthcare are delving deeper to better understand the complexity of issues and to be the activist to design facilities that promote treatment and healing – and a safer community.
The following is a list of key design variables that are being studied and implemented:
1. Right Sizing
2. Humanizing Materials and Color
3. Staff-Focused Amenities and Happiness
4. Security and Safety
5. Therapeutic Design Tenants
Today’s Behavioral Healthcare facilities are often one-story single buildings within a campus size. Often debated by Clients due to costs, this design preference is driven by the demand for natural light, window views to nature for all patient areas, and outdoor open-air gardens “wrapped” within. All of this provides soothing qualities to the patient, reduces their anxieties, counteracts disruptive conduct and helps to reduce staff stress.
“When you look at the program mix in these buildings, there’s a high demand for perimeter because there are a lot of rooms that need natural light. Offices, classrooms, dining areas, community rooms, and patient rooms all demand natural light, so you end up with a tremendous amount of exterior wall, and it forces the building to have a very large footprint.” – James Kent Muirhead, AIA, associate principal at Cannon Design in Baltimore
These design principles are also believed to improve staff work conditions. Unlike a multi-story complex, at any moment staff can walk outdoors and access nature, free from visual barriers, and within a building that more accurately reflects building types that both patients and staff would encounter in their communities.
In addition to right-sizing for the overall building footprint, is right-sizing for internal patient and staff support area. Similar to the move we have seen in Corrections to de-centralize support spaces, Behavioral Healthcare is moving to decentralized nursing/patient units called “neighborhoods.” With mental health facilities there is a large concern with distances and space adjacencies in relation to the patient room and patient support areas such as treatment and social spaces. Frank Pitts, AIA, FACHA, OAA president of Architecture Plus, Troy, NY, advocates neighborhoods that average 24-30 beds arranged in sub-clusters, called “houses”, of 8-10 beds. Thus, each neighborhood consists of three houses. Often these layouts will include a common area where patients congregate and socialize, with a separate quiet room so patients can elect to avoid active, crowded areas. In addition Pitts states, “There’s a move away from central dining facilities. So, while facilities will still have a central kitchen, it’s a whole lot easier moving food than it is patients.” However, it is important for the facility to mimic normal outside daily life routines, so patients are encouraged to frequently leave their neighborhoods to attend treatment sessions, and outdoor courtyards.
Humanizing Materials & Color
In all facilities that play a role in rehabilitation, design strives to create spaces that humanize, calm, and relax. Behavioral Healthcare patients need to feel that they are in familiar surroundings; therefore, the architectural vocabulary should feel comfortable and normal. Since these facilities are about rehabilitation (when possible) and encouraging patients to merge back into society, the facility should feel like an extension of the community. Their spaces should reflect the nature and architecture of the surrounding region and thus so, no two facilities should look too much alike.
“Our approach to designing these facilities is to view the facility as an extension of the community where patients will end up when they’re released. Interior finishes also depend on geography because you want to replicate the environment patients are used to. You want to de-stigmatize the facility as much as possible.” – Tim Rommel, AIA, ACHA, OAA, principal with Cannon Design in Buffalo, NY.
Therefore, materials and colors within these spaces want to feel familiar to one’s region and everyday life. To soothe the psyche and rehabilitate, they want to feel soft and comfortable, yet visually stimulating. An interior that is overly neutral or hard in appearance is not appropriate. Materials should reduce noise, and colors should lift the spirit. This can help to create an environment in which the patient can learn, socialize, and be productive while easing anxieties, delivering dignity, and modifying behavior. As stated previously, behavioral studies advise the use of softer interior materials-like carpeting, wood doors and tile. Doing so translates directly to both patient and staff well-being, particularly staff safety, and makes for a nicer place to work. In addition, staff have more resources to “treat” instead of manage heated situations. When staff experiences are eased and satisfied, morale is boosted and life-saving rules and policies are more likely to be enforced.
Staff-Focused Amenities & Happiness
While reducing staff stress and fatigue through a healing supportive environment seems like an obvious goal, there are relatively few studies that have dealt with this issue in any detail. More attention has been given to patient outcomes. However, many leading hospitals that have adopted therapeutic tenants into their newly built environments have seen vast improvement through their “business matrixes” and financial reporting.
In one example, the Mayo Clinic, a national leader in implementing healing design in its facilities, has reported a reduction of nursing turnover from a national annual average of 20% to an annual 3%-4%. In another example, when Bronson Methodist Hospital incorporated evidence-based design into its new 343-bed hospital, they cited their 19%-20% nurse turnover rate dramatically dropped to 5%.
Now, both the Mayo Clinic and Bronson Methodist Hospital have had to initiate a waiting list for nursing staff seeking positions. This converts to better-trained and qualified staff, and a reduced error rate. Therefore, more health facilities are investing in staff support areas such as lounges, changing rooms, and temporary sleep rooms. Within these staff spaces and in the hospital throughout, facilities are also recognizing the need for upgrade materials, better day lighting, and an interesting use of color: One soon realizes that the need of patients and staff are interwoven, each impacting positively or negatively the other.
Security & Safety
Without debate, self harm and harm to staff is one of the biggest concerns mental health facilities manage. Often the biggest safety and security concern is the damage patients can do to themselves. “There are three rules I had drummed in me,” says Mark Hanchar; Director of Preconstruction Services for Gilbane Building Company, Providence, R.I. “First, there can’t be any way for people to hang themselves. Second, there can be no way for them to create weapons. Third, you must eliminate things that can be thrown.” Hanchar says that the typical facility is, “a hospital with medium-security prison construction.” This means shatter proof glass, solid surface countertops (laminate can be peeled apart), stainless steel toilets and sinks (porcelain can shatter), push pull door latches and furniture that cannot be pulled apart and used as a weapon. These are just to name a few.
Additionally, removing barriers between patients and nursing staff is a safety consideration. Frank Pitts, AIA, FACHA, OAA president of Architecture Plus, says what may be counter-intuitive for safety precautions, “Glass walls around nursing stations just aggravate the patients.” Removing glass or lowering it at nursing stations so patients can feel a more human connection to nurses often calms patients. There is also discussion of removing nursing stations altogether; decentralizing and placing these care needs directly into the clinical neighborhoods and community spaces. Pitt says, “The view is that [nursing staff] need to be out there treating their patients.”
Therapeutic Design Tenants
As medicine is increasingly moving towards “evidence-based” medicine, where clinical choices are informed by research, healthcare design is increasingly guided by research linking the physical environment directly to patient and staff outcomes. Research teams from Texas A&M and Georgia Tech sifted through thousands of scientific articles and identified more than 600 – most from top peer-reviewed journals – to quantify how hospital design can play a direct role in clinical outcomes.
The research teams uncovered a large body of evidence that demonstrates design features such as increased day-lighting, access to nature, reduced noise and increased patient control helped reduce stress, improve sleep, and increase staff effectiveness – all of which promote healing rates and save facilities cost. Therefore, improving physical settings can be a critical tool in making hospitals more safe, more healing, and better places to work.
Today’s therapeutic spaces have been defined to excel in 3 categories:
1. Provide clinical excellence in the treatment of the body
2. Meet the psycho-social needs of patients, families, and staff
3. Produce measurable positive patient outcomes and staff effectiveness
Considering the cost of treating mental illness, which is exceedingly high, and wanting facilities to have effective outcomes, a further practice of incorporating therapeutic design is increasing. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIM H) approximated in 2008 that serious mental illnesses (SMI ), costs the nation $193 billion annually in lost wages. The indirect costs are impossible to estimate.
The estimated direct cost to clinically treat is approximately $70 billion annually and another $12 billion spent towards substance abuse disorders. In addition to the increased need of care and the boom in Behavioral Healthcare construction, it becomes an obligation to make certain that we as facility managers, architects, designers and manufacturers therapeutically plan and design these facilities.
Notably, in 2004, “The Role of the Physical Environment in the Hospital for the 21st Century: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity,” published by Roger Ulrich P.H.D., of Texas A&M University, was released. In a culmination of evidence-based research, research teams found five design principles that contributed significantly to achieving therapeutic design goals.
The report indicates five key factors that are essential for the psychological well-being of patients, families and staff, including:
1. Access to Nature
2. Provide Positive Distractions
3. Provide Social Support Spaces
4. Give a Sense of Control
5. Reduce or eliminate environmental stress
Access to Nature
Studies indicate that nature might have the most powerful impact to help patient outcomes and staff effectiveness. Nature can be literal or figurative – natural light, water walls, views to nature, large prints of botanicals and geography, materials that indicate nature and most importantly, stimulating color that evokes nature. Several studies strongly support that access to nature such as day-lighting and appropriate colorations can improve health outcomes such as depression, agitation, sleep, circadian rest-activity rhythms, as well as length of stay in demented patients and persons with seasonal affective disorders (SAD).
These and related studies continue to affirm the powerful impact of natural elements on patient recovery and stress reduction. Thus, it is clear that interior designs which integrate natural elements can create a more relaxing, therapeutic environment that benefits both patients and staff.
These are a small set of environmental features that provide the patient and family a positive diversion from “the difficult” and, in doing so, also negate an institutional feel. These can be views to nature, water walls, artwork, super imposed graphics, sculpture, music – and ideally all of these want to be focused on nature and, when applicable, an interesting use of color. Therapeutic environments that provide such patient-centered features can empower patients and families, but also increase their confidence in the facility and staff. This helps with open lines of communication between patient and caregiver.
Social Support Spaces
These are spaces designed partially for the patient but mainly for the comfort and socialization of family members and friends of the patient; therefore, family lounges, resource libraries, chapels, sleep rooms and consult rooms all play a role. When family and friends play a key role in a patient’s healing, these spaces encourage families to play an active role in the rehabilitation process.
Sense of Control
In times when patients and family feel out of control, it is very healing for the facility design and staff to provide it back when appropriate. Although, this cannot always be done suitably in mental healthcare facilities. However, when applicable, these design features include optional lighting choices, architectural way-finding, resource libraries, enhanced food menus, private patient rooms and
optional areas to reside in. A few well-appointed studies in psychiatric wards and nursing homes have found that optional choices of moveable seating in dining areas enhanced social interaction and improved eating disorders. When patients feel partially in control of their healing program and that the building features are focused to them, an increased confidence of the quality of care enters and tensions lower.
As with all therapeutic design, this allows the caregiver to use their resources healing in lieu of “managing” patient populations.
Reduce or Eliminate Environmental Stress
Noise level measurements show that hospital wards can be excessively noisy places resulting in negative effects on patient outcomes. The continuous background noise produced by medical equipment and staff voices often exceeds the level of a busy restaurant. Peak noise periods (shift changes, equipment alarms, paging systems, telephones, bedrails, trolleys, and certain medical equipment like portable xray machines are comparable to walking next to a busy highway when a motorcycle or large truck passes.
Several studies have focused on infants in NIC Us, finding that higher noise levels, for example, decrease oxygen saturation (increasing need for oxygen support therapy), elevate blood pressure, increase heart and respiration rate, and worsen sleep. Research on adults and children show that noise is a major cause of awakening and sleep loss.
Architectural design can assist in overcoming these types of obstacle. Whether you are designing a luxury home or care facility, there are certain design aspects that need to be considered. Overall comfort and a sense of peace, are able to be enhanced by a well designed environment. Considering Melbourne designed homes and prestige premises, one could draw the conclusion that choosing the right home builder is going to make all the difference.
In addition to worsening sleep, there is strong evidence that noise increases stress in adult patients, for example, heightening blood pressure and heart rate. Environmental surfaces in hospitals are usually hard and sound-reflecting, not sound-absorbing causing noise to travel down corridors and into patient rooms. Sounds tend to echo, overlap and linger longer.
Interventions that reduce noise have been found to improve sleep and reduce patient stress. Of these, the environmental or design interventions such as changing to sound-absorbing ceiling tiles, are more successful than organizational interventions like establishing “quiet hours.” White noise or noise reducing electronic devices can also help quieten a noisy environment.
Conclusion and Additional Information
The information contained in this excerpted report is intended as a guide for architects, specifiers, designers, facility planners, medical directors, procurers, psychologists and social workers which have a stake in providing improved facilities for behavioral healthcare patients. It is a portion of a report entitled “The Contributions of Color” authored by Tara Hill, of Little Fish Think Tank. Ms. Hill was commissioned by Norix Group Inc., in 2010 to research the role color plays in the safe operation of correctional facilities and behavioral health centers. More in-depth information specifically about the psychological influence of color and behavioral healthcare facility design can be found by reading the full report.
About the Author
Tara Hill is a full-scope, state registered interior designer, and the founder and principle of Little Fish Think Tank. Before founding Little Fish, Ms. Hill was an Associate + Senior Designer at HOK, and the Director of Interiors at Stanley, Beaman & Sears. She has implemented award-winning, innovative design solutions for commercial and institutional interiors.
Ms. Hill also has significant experience regarding the science and theory of color, both as a design tool and a promoter of healing. She has conducted extensive research in evidence-based design regarding color and its profound impact on the human spirit.
Prior to her work with Norix, Ms. Hill developed the Healing Colors Collection for Corian® solid surfaces, by Dupont®, for the healthcare environment. http://www.golittlefish.net
About Norix Group Inc.
For over 25 years, Norix has offered the most complete line of correctional furniture, for use throughout correctional facilities. With their extensive experience in providing secure furniture for prisons and jails, Norix is a trusted resource for every corrections application.
Norix also offers a vast array of furniture for several industries including behavioral healthcare, commercial, higher education, public safety, GSA and shelters. All furniture is designed for safety, security and extreme durability. Norix intensive-use furniture is extraordinary by design, surpassing industry standards for strength, safety and long-term performance.
How to Remodel a Small Bathroom Update your bathroom with a new wall-hung sink, hidden-tank toilet and glass block window. This story shows you how to make your small, cramped bathroom more convenient, elegant and easy to clean. These projects make the typical 6 x 8 ft. We’ll walk you through the steps for getting more natural light in your shower, replacing your dingy old bathtub with a spacious shower, and installing a toilet and sink that simplify cleaning. If you want to make sure your bathroom remodeling project is as green as possible I recommend the guys from bathroom renovations Eastern Suburbs.
So stop dealing with an outdated bathroom and get to work!
The remodeled bathroom has an updated look and is highly functional.
The bathroom was uninspired and cramped before the remodel.
Our bathroom design is the perfect solution for the old, heavily used, small bathroom that you can never quite get clean enough. We not only pulled a few rabbits out of the hat to produce features that make the room easy to clean but also used smoke and mirrors to make it appear much larger.
Installing a preassembled glass block window. You can have a window in your shower that will stand up to water. Replacing a bathtub with a spacious shower. A one-piece shower pan is a simple, leak-proof solution to the mistake-prone chore of traditional shower pan construction.
Installing a state-of-the-art residential wall-hung toilet and sink. Having fewer dirt-catching corners and edges simplifies floor cleaning. Making a small (6 x 8-ft.) bathroom feel larger.
Although this new bathroom is a bit smaller because of additional plumbing walls, it appears larger. Substituting a shower for the bathtub, adding a large mirror, and using a wall-hung sink and toilet all contribute to the spacious feeling. This big-picture stuff is striking, but it’s the step-by-step details that make it work. We cover the little kernels of information that will help your project go more smoothly and with fewer headaches.
A bathroom remodel is a big project. If you can only work weekends, your bathroom will be out of commission for two months or more. You’ll need all your expertise as an experienced do-it-yourselfer because you’ll have to tackle electrical, plumbing, tiling, drywalling, taping and even exterior siding. In this article, we’ll deal mostly with the nuts and bolts of ripping out existing plumbing and replacing it correctly with new, easily installed PVC piping.
Don’t think you need to do the whole job solo if you don’t feel qualified or able to perform all the tasks, especially the plumbing and electrical work. Pros will greatly speed up the project, which is particularly important if the bathroom under construction is the only one in the house.
You must get permits before tackling a bathroom remodel. Contact your building inspector to go over the scope of the project to find out exactly how much you’re permitted to do. When your permit is granted, you’ll receive a schedule list that’ll tell you when to call for inspections.
We didn’t pinch pennies when it came to remodeling this 6 x 8-ft. We chose top-shelf materials to make the room as striking as possible, but you can go with less expensive materials and still have a bathroom fit for a magazine cover.
Glass block window panel, 40 x 24 in., $160. Shower base, 34 in. x 5 ft., $375. We special-ordered this Swanstone base from a plumbing fixture supplier along with the wall-hung toilet and sink.
Fur out the existing window opening to 2 in. wider and 2-1/2 in. taller than the dimensions of the glass block panel.
Tack stop blocks on the inside of the opening to keep the frame flush to the framing. Assemble the frame, then plumb and square it and nail it into the opening with 8d casing nails, shimming as needed.
The special-order fixtures, fittings, shower pan, tile and glass block panel can take weeks to get in hand, so do the necessary legwork and ordering well in advance. Before gutting the bathroom, check to make sure that there are shutoffs for all the fixtures or a master shutoff for the entire bathroom. If not, buy ball valve shutoffs sized to fit your pipes. Then turn off the main water supply line where it comes into the house from outside, cut the pipes feeding the bathroom and install the new shutoffs right away (see Photo 7).
Disconnect the trap from the tub, remove any clips, fasteners or screws that hold the tub to the wall, and demolish the old cast iron tub with a sledgehammer. Remove the sink and toilet. Turn off the electricity at the main panel and remove light fixtures. Cap the wires with wire connectors.
Then rip out the wall finishes and surfaces clean down to the studs and pull out any insulation. If your ceiling is in good shape, use a utility knife to cut the drywall along the edges so the wall materials will separate cleanly from the ceiling.
To size the glass block, remove the trim from the existing window and measure the rough opening. Subtract 2 in. from the width and the height to allow for the frame, then determine the panel size by counting the number of rows and courses that easily fits into the opening.
Glass block comes in 8-in. You’ll need to choose between real mortar grout joints and clear silicone–joined blocks. We chose the silicone system because we liked the clean, uninterrupted look. Whichever way you go, buy the panel preassembled and banded together as one unit, ready to set into the opening.
Remember that it’s easy to make the opening smaller by using furring, but it can be an ugly task to make it bigger. When going with mortar-grouted panels, figure each block is 8 in. wide, then add 1/4 in. to both the total height and width. If you’re ordering silicone-joined blocks, figure each block at 7-3/4 in. and don’t add the extra 1/4 in.
Rip two 3-ft.-long spacer boards the thickness of your tile plus 3/4 in. so the window will protrude 1/4 in. past the finished tile surface. Tack them to the sides of the window opening.
Tap shims between the panel and the frame to hold it evenly spaced on all four sides while injecting the expanding foam. After the foam cures, cut away any excess and caulk the 1/4-in. Finish off the trim and siding to match the outside of the house.
Converting a bathtub with a conventional window above it to a shower is dicey business, but the result is striking. Order a premade glass block window to fit your existing opening (see ‘How to Order a Glass Block Window Panel’ in this article). Look under ‘Glass Block’ in the Yellow Pages or online to find a supplier.
The key to a weatherproof, attractive glass block window both inside and out is to encase it in a custom-built wooden frame (Fig. A) with inside dimensions that are 1/2 in. taller and wider than the panel itself. That will give you room to adjust and shim the panel exactly and then inject expanding foam between the frame and the panel to lock it into the opening (Photos 3 and 4).
To begin, rip the top and side jambs to the thickness of the wall framing plus the exterior wall sheathing. The cement board will lap over the jambs. The windowsill should also be flush with the interior framing, but hang over the outside sheathing about 1-1/2 in. and have a 5-degree slope toward the outside to help shed water. To keep water from running behind the siding as it drips off the edge, cut a shallow groove (or saw kerf) in the bottom lip (Fig.
Also, remember to flash behind the trim to keep the window watertight. Trim the window exterior to match the house, using caulk to seal between the trim and siding.
It’s important to set the panel so it protrudes 1/4 in. past the finished tile surface (Fig. That way, a bead of caulk can seal the joint between the tile and block to keep water out of the wall cavity.
Prime and paint the window jambs and sill before setting the glass block panel to save time-consuming painting details.
Turn off the main water supply to the house, and in a convenient location, cut the hot and cold water supply pipes for the bathroom. Also cut out and remove all the existing water lines and fittings in the bathroom. Finally, cut out and remove the vent section leading to the sink and the main stack 5 in. below the vent tee. Stuff rags into open drain lines to keep sewer gas out of the house.
Cut the main stack and all the other waste lines feeding the bathroom about 3 ft. Unhook any strapping and remove the entire plumbing tree.
Drain any water in the supply lines, cut the hot and cold lines feeding the bathroom, and solder in two ball-valve water shutoffs. Shut off the valves, and then turn the water back on to the rest of the house.
Tear out the existing piping (Photos 5 and 6). Then frame the 2×6 walls that will contain the new plumbing and the opposite end of the shower base (Photos 8, 9 and 14). It’s easiest to nail the bottom plate to the floor and the top plate to the ceiling, then fill in the studs one at a time by toenailing them in at the top and bottom. Stack the studs directly in front of the old ones wherever possible.
Space the studs in the center of the shower about 12 in. apart to leave room for the shower valve and showerhead. The studs behind the toilet should be spaced exactly 19-3/4 in. apart for securing this toilet chair carrier (Photos 8 and 15).
The wall behind the toilet can be almost any height. For a standard toilet height of 15 in., make the wall a minimum height of 43 in. If you’d like a higher toilet, make the wall that much higher. Or, make the wall go all the way to the ceiling. We built a short wall to conserve space and to create a shelf and a mirror alcove.
The wall at the opposite end of the shower can be any height as well. We made it the same height as the toilet/sink wall so we could line up the accent tile and make a convenient shower shelf.
Resist the temptation to reuse or reroute existing piping. If you have easy access, it’s much easier to rip out all the old supply, drain and vent lines and start with a clean slate (Photos 5 and 6).
Nail the bottom plate to the floor and the top plate to the ceiling. Then mark the positions of the shower base, toilet and sink. Lay out and toenail the wall studs into position (Fig. B) and the top plate for the low wall.
On the opposite end of the shower, frame a matching 35-in.
Tie all the short studs to the existing studs at the top and bottom with 6 x 11-in. Keep gussets on the outside of the chair carrier space so they won’t interfere with installation. Install backer boards as needed to support cement board or drywall.
Your bathroom could have galvanized, cast iron or plastic drain lines and vents. If you have plastic, you’re lucky, because they’re easier to cut and join than metal pipes. Cast iron lines need to be ‘snapped’ (cut) with a soil pipe cutter, which rents for $12 to $25 a day.
Old threaded galvanized pipes that object to being unscrewed can be cut out with a reciprocating saw or hacksaw. If you have metal pipes, it’s best to replace them with plastic ones where they tie into the main stack. A knowledgeable plumbing clerk at the home center can help you select the correct adapters for the conversion.
Rerouting drain line plumbing is a huge job on bathrooms that are built on slabs. If your bathroom is built on concrete with the main stack directly behind the toilet as ours was, stick with a conventional, floor-mounted toilet so you won’t have to chop out the floor and rework the plumbing under the concrete.
Position and connect the new shower vent (see Fig. B). Then position the sink and center the drain behind it, 19 in. up from the floor. Connect the drain to the main stack with a 3 x 1-1/2 in. tee.
Nail in 2×6 blocking to anchor the rear toilet mounting brackets. Fit the chair carrier in the opening to check the location of the drain hole and the position of the mounting block. The front surface of the framework should be flush with the face of the studs.
Dry-fit the PVC piping assembly for the wall-hung toilet, shower trap and sink. After you’re satisfied that the dimensions are correct, solvent-weld all the joints in the assembly and join it to the existing ABS main stack using a transition coupling.
Toenail 2×6 blocks in the center of the shower 36 in. above the floor for the shower valve and 6 ft. in. above the floor for the showerhead. Position the valve block so the plastic mud guard on the mixing valve will be flush with the finished wall surface. Attach the shower supply line and the hot and cold supply lines to the valve.
Clamp the valve body and shower supply line to the blocks with copper pipe straps. Run copper water supplies to the new locations for the sink and toilet.
Follow Fig. B, for the new drain/vent plan. The new shower drain is vented separately into the main stack (Photos 10, 12 and 13). Most bathrooms have the main stack positioned directly behind the toilet. The wall-mounted toilet shown here cannot be positioned directly behind the stack because there’s not room for the necessary elbows.
If your stack is more than 12 in. to the side of the existing toilet, you can keep the same location for the wall-hung toilet. But if it’s directly behind it, you’ll need to swap the sink and toilet locations like we did.
Black plastic (ABS) drain lines were very common in the past, but now the most readily available drain line material is white plastic PVC pipe. Wherever ABS and PVC are joined, use rubber transition couplings instead of all-purpose cement (Photos 10 and 12).
For your bathroom to operate well, it’s critical to install vent and drain lines of the proper size and slope. The vents for the sink and shower can be 1-1/2-in. Make sure that the drain lines drop 1/4 in. for every foot of travel toward the main stack.
Copper or CPVC (plastic) lines that supply the bathroom with hot and cold water can be 1/2 in. diameter in most regions. House main lines will often be 3/4 in. Make the conversion before the new shutoff valves (Photo 7) with a reducer tee.
The wall-hung toilet’s supply line must have a male adapter with a temporary galvanized cap. Check the instructions on the toilet to get the proper location. Routing water supply lines is different in every bathroom, so you’ll have to adapt runs to your situation. But run the plastic drain lines and vents before starting any supply work.
It’s much easier to route water supply lines around drain lines than to route drains and vents around supply lines. The same thinking applies to electrical work: Wait until the water supply work is finished before wiring.
Preassemble the shower valve by soldering copper nipples and the shower supply pipe to male adapters and screwing them into the shower valve before fastening the valve to the blocking. That way you won’t damage the valve with heat from the soldering torch. Mount the valve 36 in. above the floor. You can mount the showerhead at any height, but plumbers typically mount them 6 ft.
in. above the floor.
Solder a female elbow onto the showerhead supply pipe. After mounting the showerhead pipe, screw a 6-in. Wrap Teflon tape around the threads of all screwed-in connections to prevent leaks, which would go unnoticed inside the wall.
Place the shower base and mark the drain location on the subfloor. Remove the base and cut a 6-in. Tighten the shower drain to the shower base.
Adjust the chair carrier (toilet support framework) to the desired height and bolt it in place to the bottom plate, blocking and studs with the lag screws provided.
A one-piece shower pan is the key to a leakproof shower. We opted for an easily installed fiberglass shower pan. Forty-eight inch wide pans are common and will work well; 60-in. The shower pan has to fit into the space left by the removed bathtub.
Most bathtubs are 60 in. long, perfect for a 60-in.
If your room is wider than the shower base, fur in the walls as needed to butt against the ends of the shower base (see Photo 14). Our bathroom is 6 ft. We made that wall only 43 in. above the floor so we could use the top of the wall to hold shampoo and other shower supplies. The shower base usually comes with a special 2-in.
For a quieter, rock-solid shower base, mix a bag of mortar, spread it over the subfloor and wiggle the base into the mortar until the base webbing rests firmly on the subfloor.
The job of installing our wall-mounted fixtures was tougher than it had to be, thanks to poor and contradictory one-size-fits-all instructions, metric fittings and duplicate and missing mounting parts. Prevent hard-to-fix future problems by test-fitting the actual fixtures when roughing in framing, plumbing and blocking to make sure everything will work out. Then finish the walls. When test-fitting, simulate finished floor and wall surfaces to get the clearances right.
Photo 16: Install the cement board.
Insulate exterior walls and staple a 6-mil vapor barrier over the insulation.
Tape cement board joints with cement board fiberglass tape and thin-set tile mortar. Tape drywall joints with taping compound, sand them smooth and paint areas that won’t be tiled.
With the rough plumbing complete and the toilet chair carrier in position, finish the electrical and add blocks as needed to support the sink (Photo 15), towel bars, grab bars, etc. Then close up the walls. We recommend cement board for durable tile walls and floors, but other tile backers are available at tile shops.
Fasten cement board with special, coated cement-board screws spaced 6 in. on butt joints and every 8 in. in the middle of sheets. Spread thin-set mortar on floors under cement board with a 1/4-in. Staple up 6-mil plastic sheeting behind cement board on walls in wet areas. Use a curved linoleum knife to score and snap cement board to length and width.
It works better and lasts longer than a utility knife. For cutting notches and holes, use a jigsaw fitted with an abrasive blade. Predrill pilot holes for the jigsaw in “landlocked” openings with a masonry drill bit. Rest the shower cement board on top of the shower base flange (see Photos 14 and 18), not over it. Extend the tile over the flange, then caulk between the tile and the base.
Tile the walls first, then the floor. When tiling around the window, keep the tile about 1/8 in. away from the glass block. Tile the floor, starting by carefully snapping center lines to lay out border strips and field tile. Work from those lines to get evenly spaced tiles throughout the floor.
Grout the walls and floors but caulk the inside corners between floors and walls and where walls meet.
Seal around the window with a bead of silicone caulk.
Mount the supply and discharge lines to the toilet with the seals provided and slip the toilet bowl into position over the mounting studs. Snug up the nuts, being careful not to over-tighten and crack the porcelain.
Install the faucets and tailpiece in the sink before mounting. Mark the mounting holes on the wall and drill 5/16-in. Screw the hanger bolts through the tile into the wood using the cap screw to drive the bolt. Slip the sink over the screws and snug down the nut.
Connect the sink to the trap and drain line, and the supply lines to the roughed-in copper lines with compression valve shutoffs. Mark, drill and mount the trap cover to the wall with hanger bolts. We finished off the alcove above the sink and stool by filling it with a floor-to-ceiling mirror glued to the drywall with silicone cement. At $160, it’s an inexpensive, useful way to make a room feel more spacious.
Since the medicine chest was eliminated, we needed storage space for the stuff guests shouldn’t see. We bought a small cherry cabinet for those items. Soffit lights over the shower and mirror shed light on all bathroom tasks right where you need it. A glass block window, albeit one that distorts images, may not feel private enough. Consider a second shower curtain rod fitted with a short matching shower curtain for more shower privacy. The two-piece stone chair rail that runs at the top of the half walls and around the window is spendy, but it contributes more in appearance than its $25 per linear foot cost. If you don’t already have a ventilating fan, add one.
Buy specially designed caulk from your tile supplier to match the grout color in corners.
There’s a reason that commercial bathrooms have wall-mounted toilets. There’s no base to clean around. But commercial types are expensive and noisy, and they require special plumbing. American Standard offers a quiet, residential wall-hung unit.
The tank is concealed within a 2×6 wall that’s built in front of the existing plumbing wall. It does require some plumbing rerouting because the waste line runs through the wall instead of the basic floor-mounted toilet flange (see Photos 8 – 12). The toilet can be ordered with a wall-mounted access panel/flush button like ours or with the panel mounted on top of a half wall. A ‘chair carrier’ (Photo 11) comes with the toilet.
This steel framework contains the toilet and operating mechanisms and is designed to support the weight of the toilet.
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time.
If you’re building a custom home, it’s because you like to be different. You want to have the freedom to help shape and design your own living space, so that it matches your practical needs, your favourite activities, and your own personal sense of style perfectly. When it comes to custom homes, there are some trends to be found amidst all the expressions of individuality. Take a look and think about how you might incorporate some of these items when working with your own building a custom home Sydney. Wall of WindowsDepending on the size of the wall, a wall of windows can be ostentatious or modest.
An ostentatious wall is favoured by people wanting a show-stopping space in which to entertain guests. It will probably be at least two stories tall, in a cavernous space with a cathedral ceiling and a balcony created by the upstairs hall. Whereas in the past you would probably have wanted a separate room for each, which would need to be decorated accordingly, now the trend is to build a couple of simple, plain bonus rooms instead. These multipurpose rooms can be used for any purpose, and their main advantage is that they can change with the life of the house as your needs and interests evolve.
Bonus rooms also often double as small, simple guest rooms. Master Suite Sitting RoomAnother trend noted by custom builders in Adelaide is the master suite sitting room. This private sitting area provides a place for the lord and lady of the house to relax, far away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the house.Fancy GaragesCustom home builders in Adelaide are also often asked to create special garages.
This might be a practical request, like adding an extra garage bay to hold a boat or an ATV, or a more whimsical request, like creating a unique roof angle or adding a living space above the garage with gabled windows and other fun architectural accents. Above-garage living spaces also tap into the rising trend of intergenerational living, because it allows a homeowner’s parents or grown children to have their own semi-detached apartment in the home.These are just a few of the special bonus features that people are adding to custom houses. Remember, the whole idea of custom is to get things just exactly how you want them, so don’t be afraid to raise your own unique ideas with your builder.
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Home improvement offers a chance for anyone who is mechanical-minded. Home improvement projects will not just make your house much more enjoyable to live in. This article should give you a few tips to get the most out of your next home improvement projects. Talk to our experience architect so that they can recommend a luxury house builders Sydney.
Even a small home improvement projects can increase the resale value of your home’s value. If you are considering the sale of your home, do a few small projects first. One example might be a new splash of paint on the interior and exterior of your home. This simple task can increase the value of your home.
This will modernize your kitchen look far more modern without you having to spend a small fortune.
If you can, then do so. Laminate looks like real wood but cannot be refinished.In another decade or two, the floor will need replacing rather than just getting it refinished.
You can usually get one at different hardware store. Just take the hinge apart and simply attach every side to the frame and door.
Do some research on your own homework if you can’t pay a designer.A magazine layout can serve as the inspiration you need. You could also find these resources provide instructions and guidance for some great do-it-yourself projects.
Think about inserting solar panels on your roof for a home improvement that pays for itself. Although you will have to make an upfront investment, they may very well be worth it considering how much electricity keeps going up. This can save your electricity bills since your home will be using mostly the stored energy coming from the sun. This is a great way to reduce your home.
When you are considering home projects, be creative and decide what you want to accomplish before you start. Inspiration can come from anywhere: home improvement shows on TV, such as in the pages of your favorite decorating magazine, blogs or home improvement websites.
Homes that have a nice view can sell for a lot more than like houses without a view.
Purchase the best supplies and tools for an home improvement projects you are doing yourself. It may cost a bit more up-front, but the expense is worth the value of doing things right. Tools can cost a fortune and the last thing you want to be doing is replacing them regularly.
When conducting any home improvement project, a smart homewoner will spend his money on good quality materials and fixtures instead of expensive decor and furniture. The reasoning is logical; the decor and furnishings with them.
Landscaping that compliments your home will tie the entire property together, doing little to improve your home’s appearance.
In order to create precious floor space or clear out other much-needed space that is being take up by your television or television stand, it’s a great idea to hang a television from a wall-mounted bracket instead of using a ordinary stand. This small improvement can take as little as 30 minutes to install if you do it properly.
You can diagnose easily if you think you lost water pressure easily. Ask your neighbors if they have had with water pressure.If none of your neighbors has the same issue, the problem is most likely in your home. Check your faucet’s water pressure to see if the problem affects the entire house. You might just need to adjust an aerator, you need to call a pro.
It keeps undesirable animals from entering one’s yard. It is also able to keep in one’s dog. A fence is the perfect way to improve their home.
Motion detector security lights installed outside can add beauty, they also improve your home’s exterior.
Tired of your bedroom’s old dresser in the bedroom? You can rejuvenate old furniture with a little sanding and refinishing. There are an abundance of stain available.
A stainless steel taping knife will doubtless be of great benefit to you if you plan on doing sheetrock taping.This knife cleans easier and will last longer. If you clean and store your knife properly, that is the last knife you have to buy.
It’s interesting to see what some people settle for when it comes to the paint already in their homes.
Adding heat source underneath your tiled floors is inexpensive and easy to do. If you are going to replace your floor, your sales person can give you information about the radiant heat option. You will be glad that you went the extra mile – this form of heat feels absolutely wonderful! This option is a luxury that will also wow future customers.
These tips will get you started, but a little research will reveal a whole world of home improvement ideas that will help you. Do more research and consider acquiring new skills and tools to broaden your possibilities. Doing your research can prevent disastrous home improvement results. Make sure you know how to get started and how to successfully complete the next project you have in mind.
Why would a project manager or business analyst need to know how to create a storyboard for a Flash animation? You could argue that this is the dominion of a graphic designer or animator, and you would be right. But using storyboards is an effective method for determining the cost of an animation, and certainly budgeting considerations are a responsibility of a project manager.
To begin with, we should have some kind of definition of what a storyboard is. At the most basic level, a storyboard storyboard artists gives a series of pictures which map out the sequence of an movie or animation. It’s widely accepted that a functional specification should be produce before any coding occurs, so why wouldn’t you use some form of planning process prior to creating a Flash animation?
Before you say “but I can’t draw. Last time I drew a stick figure, people thought it was a potato”, you need not worry. Artistic skill isn’t as important as you may think, sequence is of greater significance (e.g. first, many camera flashes go off, then the limousine drives up, etc).
The format I use for a storyboard is very basic. This is intentional since it needs to be understood by both graphic designers and clients.
The structure is as follows:
Document Purpose – this is for the benefit of anyone picking up the document for the first time. It’s a brief statement of what the document is about. For example; this document presents a storyboard for the animation appearing on the Blue Widgets website. The idea is to present a series of illustrations in order to help visualize the sequence of the interactive animation.
The Animation – this is where you say what is going to happen in the animation, and in what order. It’s also where the ‘illustration panels’ appear, nothing fancy is required, its enough to put in labeled squares or circles (e.g. a circle with ‘client logo’ in it, the text ‘tag-line’, a box with ‘button 1’ in it, etc).
Below the illustration panel will be a series of bullet points. These describe what is happening in this particular portion of the animation. This is why you label the shapes in the panel, so you have something to refer back to, for instance; ‘the client logo will fade-in gradually’, or ‘the bouncy ball will move across the screen from left to right’.
The bullet points are where the real detail goes, hence why artistic skills aren’t such a big requirement for this style of storyboard (leave the artistic stuff to the experts). The more detail that goes in here the better. You want to make statements about what happens when the user interacts with particular elements of the animation (e.g. when the user places their mouse over the client logo, a yellow glow appears around it and a pleasant chime sound plays once). Timing, or saying how long things will go for is important here (e.g. the slogan text will fade-in over a period of 1.5 seconds). This is also a good place to specify what images, URLs or text will be used on the panel (e.g. when the user clicks the client logo, they will be taken to index.aspx).
As the saying goes, ‘the devil is in the detail’, and this is where the bullet points come in handy, they serve as an important tool for clarifying what the animation is really meant to be. The bullet points are designed to generate discussion (e.g. client: “we don’t want a male model in our banner, our target market is female, they’re the ones that tend to buy our lipstick”).
Don’t forget to say what the state of the animation will be when it first loads up, will there be a progress metre because the animation is expected to be large? What will the initial banner image be? Will any buttons be highlighted by default?
Appendix – this is the last section of the storyboard document. It can contain anything else which you think needs to be documented (e.g. screenshots, mockups, JPEGs to be used for reference purposes, etc). The two standard sections I place in the Appendix are: Support Files, and Technical Notes / Non-requirements. The Support Files section is actually a ZIP archive embedded within the MS Word document. The ZIP file contains any relevant graphics files intended to be used with the animation. The benefit of packaging these files together is that the most up-to-date graphics travel with the storyboard document itself. This is especially helpful when the document needs to be emailed to off-site contractors. Of course, this only works if the ZIP archive is below 2-3 MB in size.
The Technical Notes / Non-requirements section is where you say what you’re not going to do. For instance; there will be no sound-effects or music used with the animation, no special effects will be used within the animation other then fade-in/fade-out, the animation will run for no longer then 30 seconds. In addition, you may want to give specific instructions which are relevant only to the Flash developer, such as: the completed animation should be no more then 1 MB in size, all text appearing in the animation should be retrieved from a XML file, etc.
A big part of creating a storyboard is helping a client translate what’s in their head into something more tangible. Failing to do so could result in an iterative cycle which is not only costly, but unnecessarily time consuming.
Are you planning to remodel your kitchen? Whether you are planning a major kitchen renovation or simply enhancing one or two aspects of your kitchen, it is essential to think twice or even up to a hundred times on how you will do it. Your kitchen renovation is an important undertaking as a successful kitchen remodeling project may translate to recouping a substantial portion of your investment in terms of added value and aesthetic appeal and effective draw to potential buyers, if you are planning to sell your house. A good mood in cooking your food sometimes rely on modern kitchen designs Sydney.
There are several considerations that will play important roles in your decision-making. Basically, your kitchen remodeling will largely be dependent on the kitchen design that you like and the budget that is required by your kitchen remodeling. You also have to do your own research regarding the imperative steps in kitchen remodeling before starting with your project. You cannot expect to have a good kitchen design if you hastily go through your renovation project.
There are several steps that you have to follow in order to be assured that you will end up with a good kitchen design. First, you have to make your research about various kitchen models and designs that are relevant to your current theme and style. It is better that you gather several kitchen ideas as it will provide you more choices in terms of the most appropriate kitchen remodeling design.
You may check out new ideas in magazines, builder’s model homes, showrooms or even in the homes of your friends and neighbors. In searching for great ideas, it is essential that you consider how each design can enhance your lifestyle. It is recommended that you harness your creative juices and your imagination when exploring interesting and unique design ideas for your dream kitchen. You can also make a compilation of pictures, structures and drawing of the kitchen models that you like best. These can serve as points of discussion with your home interior design specialist or home improvement contractor.
Once done with the preliminary activities, you can proceed to the next phase which involves careful assessment of the current structure of your kitchen. This is the particular stage where you will decide which essential appliances go in your new kitchen model. Since the refrigerator, stove and sink are the essential appliances in the kitchen, they should be strategically located in the layout of your kitchen where you will be allowed to move them around easily.
The last step entails the determination of the best kitchen model or design that complements your personal needs and preferences. This is where you will have to consider the combination of fabrics and colors that you plan to incorporate into the new kitchen design.
One important consideration that you always have to take into account when planning your kitchen remodeling project is your budget. You will see that kitchen remodeling is not a simple undertaking especially if you pull in all the necessary elements required by the project. These include the budget and space limitations, technical aspects like electronic wiring and plumbing and material selection. That is why it is recommended that you consult an expert kitchen designer to help you in your remodeling project. It is best that you wisely use all the space available to ensure that you are not just throwing your investment away. An expert in kitchen designing and remodeling will likely know the best answers and solutions to the management of kitchen spaces.
You will also have to consider your kitchen size when remodeling your kitchen. Most old kitchen models use limited space. That is why homeowners usually opt to extend their kitchen space. There are several ways where you can extend your kitchen space while saving up on a few dollars. You have the option of using the space that was once devoted for the pantry, entrance way or porch. You may also opt to get rid of the rarely-used portions of the dining room. These are few of the practical solutions that you may choose in order to remedy the problem of limited space in your kitchen.
Remodeling or updating your kitchen is an important undertaking. It is important that you follow the right steps in order to be assured that you are making a sound investment that would really enhance the value of your home.
Learn how to sell your own house here: For Sale By Owner
If you’re looking to buy a home from an FSBO listing check here: FSBO Listing
One of the first decisions to make in the new home process is rather to go with a production versus custom home builder. Do you know the difference? Choosing between production versus custom home builders Sydney is one of the first decisions to consider as you plan your new home.
As you plan your new home, one of the first questions to consider is whether working with custom home builder or a higher volume home builder (also referred to as a production builder) is the best choice for you. Both types of builders are excellent options and each can deliver a great new home for you. Much of the decision will rest in how many choices you wish to make — as well as how much design input you’d like to have during your home’s construction process. At its core, the difference between a production home builder and a custom home builder is simple: A production builder simultaneously builds a community of homes based on a library of floor plans, each with a limited array of personalization options.
A custom builder typically creates a one-of-a-kind home that offers an even greater range of design choices that’s often built on a single lot.
Custom BuildersAs the name implies, the process of building a custom home is less scripted because there are no pre-defined choices or menus to choose from.
The Production Home ProcessA production builder can usually deliver the same size home for less money than a custom builder. The reasons lie in volume purchasing power when buying building materials and land and a higher volume, often systematized approach to construction. Buying the right type of land is a big part of a production builder’s strategy. Many larger builders construct homes in large, master-planned communities.
A production builder’s scale and access to a large number of lots in such communities also allows the construction process to be fine-tuned for greater efficiency. Higher volume builders can also pass on cost savings by purchasing building materials in bulk. Just as large airlines can lock in low fuel prices by ordering in volume, production builders can use their size to order materials for hundreds of homes at a time, often at lower prices. An advantage of production home communities is that the community developer also works closely with each builder to insure an attractive mix of homes. In addition to mixing models or floor plans from several builders, each floor plan typically offers multiple elevations to vary the look of the front of each home. By changing the placement of windows, gables, and the size and shape of the front porch, a single floor plan can be built in several different looks. To add further design appeal, each elevation can usually be constructed with a differing type and color of exterior. A given model home can be built with various in brick, siding, stone or stucco and varying shades of color to offer pleasing diversity and individuality. As a buyer working with a production home builder, you’ll typically start by selecting a lot for your home and your favorite floor plan from the builder’s library of plans. The next step is to select an elevation. Many production builders also offer the opportunity to specify the use of a bonus room; based on your needs, a bonus room can be built as an extra bedroom, a study or even a media room. Next, you and the builder will work together — often in a design center— to further personalize your new home by selecting design options, home styles, colors, finishes and other key products in your home such as appliances, cabinets, countertops and carpet and flooring. Buyers who select a production builder typically cannot change the basic structure — i.e. the layout of rooms or square footage — but each model has a wide array of attractive options to choose from to personalize your home in many respects. The Custom Home Process Expect to pay more for a custom home than a production model of similar size and floor plan; after all, the typical custom builder doesn’t enjoy the economies of scale and labor efficiencies that a production builder does. Of course, the actual price will depend on a number of variables — the most obvious being the size of the home, the intricacy of its design, the building products and materials you select, and the land you purchase. While many people associate custom homes with large and expensive homes, a custom home can range from a simple ranch-style home to a more elaborate and multi-story floor plan designed around your lifestyle. Once you select a custom builder, you can supply your own floor plan or work with an architect to design a home from scratch. As a custom-home buyer, you can select most of the details in your home and you can even work closely with your builder to design a floor plan that works around existing trees on your land and that places your windows to take advantage of the best views. When building a custom home, your choices are nearly unlimited. The main restrictions are your budget and any building code or zoning limitations. If you find that freedom to create a home from a blank sheet of paper to be exciting, then building a custom home is likely for you. The key to working with a custom builder is to establish a realistic budget and to stick to it, even when you’re enticed by a lovely but higher-cost option. While most buyers realize that additional customization will increase the home’s price, unexpected land-related costs can take you by surprise, so it pays to do your homework. At one end of the scale, you may hold the deed to a flat suburban lot with in-ground utilities already available at the curb. Such a finished lot is ready to build on. On the other hand, you may be considering wooded, rural or steep hillside property. While such land is no doubt scenic, the upfront costs of preparing previously undeveloped rural land for construction is typically a significant additional cost in addition to the purchase price of the land. Site prep — building a driveway, bringing in water, electric and sewage lines, and excavating the foundation — can be quite expensive. Your builder and architect can help you estimate those costs, too. Even if you’re building on already developed land, you and your architect and builder need to carefully research zoning or deed restrictions. To avoid surprises, have an attorney clarify all restrictions and get estimates on site work (either via the builder or on your own) before completing a land purchase. Because the process of building a custom home is, not surprisingly, truly customized, you’ll typically spend a lot more time designing and constructing your new home than you would if you work with a production builder. That said, knowing what to expect at each stage — and especially what choices you’ll make and when — can make your custom home process smooth and result in the home you’ve always dreamed about.
Charlie Wardell has twenty years of experience writing and editing about home building for Architectural Record, BUILDER Magazine, Coastal Living, Fine Homebuilding and The Journal of Light Construction. A licensed builder, Wardell has also built new homes.
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Selecting a builder is a key step in the journey that leads to your dream home. These 15 questions will help you select the best builder for you and give you confidence in your choice.
Learn who’s who on your building team and understand what each highly trained professional will do to help build your new home. Know how to best work with each member of the building team and be ready for choices you’ll make.
While the process varies somewhat by builder, these 10 steps summarize the process of building a typical new home. These steps will help you understand the major stages of construction, what will occur when, and key decisions you’ll make, in partnership with your builder, to create your new home.
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Legendary Pictures has just released the following press release which announces that John Vogt-Roberts, who is set to direct an adaptation of Konami’s Metal Gear Solid, will direct Skull Island, which has been written by Hollywood favorite Max Borenstein and will star Avengers and Thor: The Dark World star Tom Hiddleston. It’s really hard to conceptualized a story without the help of an artist, that the reason why you need a storyboard artist for hire at Scenesbydean.com
Legendary announced its plans to make a feature film based on the cinematic origins of King Kong during this year’s San Diego Comic Con with an original draft of the script by Max Borenstein. Previous works have touched on the island, but staying on and exploring this mysterious and dangerous place offers Legendary the opportunity to take audiences deeper inside this rich world with a style and scope that parallels other Legendary productions. Universal Pictures will distribute the film on November 4, 2016.
Vogt-Roberts directed and executive produced the Sundance darling THE KINGS OF SUMMER. He has also directed the pilot and multiple episodes of FX’s new series “You’re the Worst” and is set to direct METAL GEAR SOLID for Sony. His other credits include directing the pilot of “Cocked” for Amazon Studios and directing and executive producing the concert documentary NICK OFFERMAN: AMERICAN HAM. He is represented by UTA, 3 Arts Entertainment and attorneys Alan Wertheimer and Andy Gawker.
Hiddleston’s credits include MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE, and WAR HORSE. He is also known for portraying Thor’s nemesis and brother, Loki, in Marvel’s THOR, THOR: THE DARK WORLD, and THE AVENGERS. Upcoming projects include Legendary’s gothic horror CRIMSON PEAK from director Guillermo del Toro, Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s HIGH-RISE and Marc Abraham’s Hank Williams biopic I SAW THE LIGHT. He is repped by William Morris Endeavor, Hamilton Hodell and Authentic Management.
Legendary’s recent releases include GODZILLA, 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE and the Guillermo del Toro directed PACIFIC RIM as well as the Jackie Robinson biopic 42 and MAN OF STEEL with Warner Bros. In addition to WARCRAFT, highlights from Legendary’s upcoming slate include BLACKHAT and CRIMSON PEAK.
The following tips in this article will give you important home improvement information. This should help you meet with it. At Nouvelle.com.au you have a lot to pick with our best country style kitchens designs and find the dream scheme for the heart of your country home.
Use something unique as your coffee table instead of buying one made for the purpose. You can go as far as adding a tablecloth and teacups to give it a more country look.
Seal cracks and openings that exist around your home, as well as preventing bugs from entering your home.Use caulk to seal up window frames, windows and even electrical outlets.When caulk dries, insects will have difficulty entering and air will have difficulty getting out.
Consider the “age-in-place” improvements you can make. Age-in-place is a design philosophy which takes into account how your house will age during the time they own their home. Whether you plan or selling the house or keeping it for the foreseeable future, age-in-place additions are able to make living more comfortable.
Stain basement floors in order to achieve a more attractive basement.Staining is a concrete floor is very cheap and stylish. Adding a stain also makes your floors easier to clean and keeps them easy to clean. Try to find a stain that adds both shine and shine. This can make your floors look much more stylish than it is.
Be certain to seal your grout once the tile has been laid. If it is left unsealed, you can cause damage to the grout and tile by allowing moisture to enter, promoting mold and mildew. By sealing the grout, you will save time when cleaning tiles and prevent unnecessary costs for mildew issues.
Prior to starting an interior painting project, be sure and run a damp cloth on all walls and baseboards to get rid of dirt, dirt and oils that may be sitting on your walls.
Add value to your house by refinishing your hardwood floors.You can find the proper equipment and maybe even classes at a hardware store.Doing the work yourself can save quite a bit of money.
A good time to do remodeling or add space to your home is during a real estate market. There is no expiration date for making home improvements. When you renovate your home during a slump, those improvements will be even more valuable.
Many of the normal home improvement jobs can be done by yourself. You usually do not need a professional for painting, drywall, and other things without professional assistance. This will save you a lot of cash.
Make sure you perform regular maintenance on your home’s septic tank.There are a lot of chemicals you can purchase to accelerate decomposition to avoid overfilling your septic tank.
Hire a professional when there is major work. There is a reason people have titles like carpenter, contractors and skilled tradesmen exist.These sorts of jobs are experienced and require a professional touch.
Make sure that all necessary safety precautions. You may feel odd wearing a hardhat at home, but there are a lot of things that can injure your head.
The best way to go about this would be to work on your project at designated times or when less people are in the home. You want to avoid any additional stress when you already working hard.
Painting your walls will give your house a room a fresh look quickly and easily. Visit a local home improvement center to look at paint chips. Look for colors that excite you like and do it. You can easily paint it if you don’t like the color.
You should know where all water valves are located, and turn it off before working on any plumbing system.
Sort your tools into various toolboxes by project. For instance, you can have a box for plumbing tools that has pipe wrenches, pipe fittings, PVC glue, and PVC glue. Another box could be used for electric projects, switches, zip ties, or electrical tape.
Some tools you need are a ratchet, rubber mallet, chisels, chisels and a rubber mallet. These items are important if you are dealing with altering different areas of the house.
Try this if you are plagued by hard water. There are a few options to choose from when it comes to water softeners you can use. Decide which one is best for your house.
Hire a professional designer if you can afford it.They can help you get the most for your money while also giving you valuable insight. You don’t have to be alone when you use a professional.
You need to make sure everything is in good repair.
If you notice your filter is dirty and clogged, your air conditioner will have to work much harder to cool your home. You will use extra energy when the air conditioner is working harder. This can make your energy bill.
Ask about getting discounted supplies from home improvement retailers. Items that get discontinued will cost as much.You should consider sales when taking on your project so as to lower expenses.
Throw away anything you don’t need before engaging in a remodeling project. Your life will be better organized when there is less junk.
Use new light fixtures to brighten dull kitchens or bathrooms without shelling out lots of cash. Pendant lighting is a great option to use in the kitchen decor especially well.
Home improvement is more complicated than is commonly realized. You may need to do some research to find the most cost-effective way to go about your project, but the end result will be great. If you follow these tips you can succeed at job completion.
Many people are gaining interest in solar energy. The best way to become an expert on solar power is to learn everything you can find about its true potential. The following article will help you get a better understanding of what solar energy education. Solar power Sydney is an experienced service provider of advanced and innovative electrical solutions for Domestic, Commercial and Industrial Installations.
The density of your solar panels you purchase will determine how efficient they are. Panels that have higher densities tend to cost more, but they also cost more. Compare the densities of different panels before you decide which ones you want to purchase.
You don’t have to completely remodel your roof if you decide to use solar power. You can always start by purchasing outdoor lighting that is run off of solar powered lights to illuminate your landscape.
The technology used to create solar power increase with each year. Whether you want a large or small system, you can find one if you take the time to look.
Photovoltaic panels work most efficiently in areas that get about five hours of unobstructed sunlight. Solar water heating can reduce your bill if you have a pool heated.
Solar energy is one of the most “green” technologies there are because the sun is used and it’s also a renewable resource.
You don’t have to be on the power grid if you use solar power.You have the ability to be independent from the power companies in a battery and a backup generator. You can say goodbye to your monthly utility bill or have the task of establishing service each time you move.
Older models are usually cheaper but they will not pay off as well in the long run.
Be grounded in your expectations of what you can get out of solar powered water heater.Water heated by the sun can stay that way for up to a full day.
Get the solar energy system inspected twice yearly to make certain it is performing well. During a check, a technician will check all connections, make sure panels are angled properly and make sure the inverter stays on and works right.
Solar power systems are particularly effective in the South West of the U.S. This sunny part of the most optimal areas in the country for the use of solar energy system. You should start comparing prices and learning more about the total cost up front.
Before choosing solar panels, look at the shade that’s close to your home. Solar roof panels may not be a good idea if your home stands in heavily shaded areas. Shade reduces power output, which means you’ll end up losing money.
Leasing is cheaper than buying a system and can save money within a few weeks because of the smaller initial costs.
Remember that investing in solar power could actually save you to earn money. Whether for home or business, your investment will soon pay for itself and may even begin to generate money.
Think about a solar panel system that is tied to the best financial savings. This will help pay for the installation of your system and even allow you offset expensive installations costs.
You could possibly have solar panels installed with a large discount or even free. The government is trying to promote solar energy benefits and many wish to cover apart or all of your expenses covered.
A shaded roof is not likely to effectively make use of the available sunlight. Any company that says otherwise is questionable.
You can invest in a solar energy system that is adapted to your needs and location.
A garden hose is a great way to get your solar panels clean. Doing it once every week means you avoid climbing on the roof to clean the panels. You also don’t have to worry about scratching the panels.
A solar-powered water heater is an excellent option for heating your energy bills if you own a swimming pool or a hot tub. This setup will get heat to maintain temperature of the sun as well as use energy that has been built up so that your hot tub or pool will have a steady temperature.
A little shadow can reduce their efficiency by as much as 80%. Your efficiency varies depending on location; however, however you can boost efficiency by reducing their shadows or possibly trees.
Batteries are best stored as close to the solar panels themselves. You are more likely to have energy displaced and a reduction of produced power the batteries aren’t stored near the panels.
This is useful for making adjustments as the time of year or time of day. A professional can look at the amount of sun your needs and make recommendations to help you maximize efficiency.
Don’t do business with salespeople who tries to push you to make a decision that you aren’t comfortable making. If you feel intimidated by a salesperson’s methods, find one who you are comfortable working with. Good solar energy installation companies do not pressure customers into something you don’t feel right about. If you do not feel comfortable, just seek out another solar energy company to deal with.
Anyone who is considering building a home would be wise to use solar energy. South-facing windows get the most heat during the winter. This can help you block summer sun to lower cooling costs.
You should do everything you can to keep solar energy systems clean. The frequency of cleaning depends on your local environment. If you are near loose dirt, sand or construction, then your panels should be cleaned once a week.
Solar energy has been the source of interest for many people for years. However, a majority of the population still has a lot to learn about it. This article has given you a basic pool of knowledge that you can use to investigate further.
There isn’t any question about the benefits to solar energy has on the environment. The sun is an incredible source of energy. You need to consider if this will be a financial mistake or not. The following article can help you decide whether solar power is right for you and your life. Getsolarpowergoldcoast.com.au team are committed to helping you design the best solar power Gold Coast for your needs.
There are two types of panels. Poly-crystalline panels tend to be cheaper but they are not as efficient and costly than mono-crystalline solar panels. Make sure to really explore all of your home’s energy system.
The density of your solar panels you purchase will be dependent on their density. Panels that are more dense perform better, but they can generate more power.Compare the density of various before you decide which ones you want to purchase.
Don’t assume that solar energy involves full scale and ripping out your roof. You will need to start small by purchasing outdoor lighting that is run off of solar powered lights.
If you must install fixed angle panels, try to position it so it will work for both winter and summer months.
If you are thinking about leasing solar panels, make sure your contract offers you the ability to transfer your lease.
Be certain to install your solar panels so that they are installed in the most advantageous way for sun exposure year long. If you are set against hiring a professional to assist you, look at the direction that the sun travels and think about how that changes with the seasons.
Photovoltaic panels work best in areas that get about 5 hours of unobstructed sunlight. Solar water heating can reduce your bill if you have a pool heated.
You don’t have to be on the power grid if you generate your own solar power. You have the ability to be independent from the power companies in a battery and a backup generator. You will no longer have a monthly utility bill and can even be paid by the electric company if you produce excess power that they buy from you.
These fans have temperature sensors that enable them to turn on immediately when the attic reaches a certain temperature. This will lower the amount of energy necessary to cool your home by removing heat. As an additional incentive, being solar powered, which means they themselves add nothing to your utility bill.
If you still have house payments, you will have to pay extra for your solar energy system and could lose it if you fall behind on your payments.
Pathway lighting is a quick and easy way to harness solar energy. These little lights soak up the sun’s energy throughout the day and shine a path through the night. They are easy to install and offer charm to your outdoor space.
Older solar panel styles may be a cheaper investment to start with but they will not pay off as well.
Bigger is not always better when considering solar panels.Consider all of those before deciding on a panel.
Pay close attention to the weather conditions before you invest in a solar panels. Solar panels typically need about five hours of direct sunlight a day in your area. You should think about other green energy options if your area is regularly cloudy or very snowy in the winter.
Try to refrain from walking on your solar panels. If you absolutely have to walk on them, avoid walking on the edges since these areas are more fragile.
Seek out the best ways to utilize solar energy at home. For example, some solar powered systems are not able to provide enough energy to run your heating system. You may find that solar power can provide most of your shower. Knowing these differences may help you choose the best for your home.
Think about having your solar panel system that is grid tied to ensure that you’re getting the best financial savings. This may help pay for the installation of your system and even allow you pay for your solar energy system and will also give you the option to draw power from the main grid in case your panels are not functioning.
You can invest in a solar energy system that larger panels are more suited for your needs.
Remember to take any extra influences when you calculate how much you can expect your estimated output from the solar panels to output. The listed expected output for most solar panels are only in ideal situations. Any obstruction from trees around your home will decrease the sunlight your panels actually receive.
A solar-powered water heater is an excellent option for heating your energy bills if you own a swimming pool or Jacuzzi. This type of heater warms the heat from sunlight and uses solar energy to heat the hot tub and pool.
A little shadow on your solar panels could reduce their efficiency by as much as 80%. Your panels’ efficiency will vary greatly depending on location, you can improve efficiency by placing your solar panels away from shadows.
Batteries have to be stored as close as you can to solar panels themselves. You are more likely to have energy if the batteries aren’t stored near the panels.
You need to make sure to hire a reputable solar panel company’s reputation before hiring them. You should seek out some references, talk to other homeowners who have invested in solar panels and look for reviews online. If positive reviews aren’t available, keep looking.
Don’t do business with anyone who pressure you. If a salesman is being too pushy, ask for another sales representative. Most reputable solar energy companies will not pressure you into making a purchase. If talking to someone else doesn’t do the trick, go with another company altogether.
Solar energy provides an alternative to costly gas bills. Switching to solar power is a decision you need to carefully think about. Implement the tips given in the article above as you make your choice. If all goes well, you’ll be using solar energy in the near future.