Monday, October 5, 2009

Building Codes - Stairway Construction

dy888The stair building code was created for building safety. Before the building code and local city enforcement (Building Inspectors), anyone could build a house. This meant Uncle Earl who had just watched a couple of his friends build a house down the street construct some sort of a dwelling. The next step for Earl would be to help these guys for a day and now he is a professional home builder. You get the point.

Stair Building Codes create the safety needed for one of the most hazardous areas of your home. You might know someone who has fallen down a stairway?

I lived in a house I built for 15 years and I redesigned the stairs from a winder design to a T shaped set of stairs. Both sets of stairs were built using the local stair building code for my city.

Wow I could not believe how many times my family members fell down the stairs. I even fell down once. I was amazed. When I switched from the winder to the T shaped stairway there were less accidents. My point is that even using the stair building codes this is a dangerous part of your house.

Having a professional stair builder install your stairs is great advice. Take it. For example this happened to me on quite a few jobs. I get a set of plans from a architect who has been designing houses for over 40 years. I looked at the stairway to find out that he has designed a stairway that is too small for the length of this part of the home. If I build the stairs using the plans that by the way were approved from the local building department, I could have a problem.

You are probably asking yourself how does this happen. Aren't these people experienced professionals. Of course they are. They probably have the U.B.C. (Uniform Building Code) in their office somewhere. Everyone makes mistakes here and there but this is one area of the home where safety is a big concern.

Just look at it like this. The stair building code was designed to improve the safety and reduce the number of accidents while using the stairs. Over the years I have seen stairs poorly designed and constructed. These stairs create problems for the owners of the buildings not just the people that use them. Did I mention lawsuits. This is one area where a lawyer will have a field day.

As a building professional I advise you to use the stair building code first for safety and second to avoid lawsuits. Get an idea from some of the pictures I have taken over the years on problems with stair building.

Use common sense while building or remodeling your home. It goes a long way.

Greg Vandenberge is working on the internet to promote the education for creating simple to follow guides and home building books to help professional building contractors as well as the weekend warriors. He is currently working on more building stairs books and adding useful content to help solve problems created by the lack of construction knowledge in the building industry. Stair Building Articles

Aspen Lodging

Aspen, Colorado is famous for it's snow capped mountains, downhill moguls and snowboarding locals - but if you are making the trip to the Rocky Mountains, you'll have plenty of Aspen hotels and lodging to choose from. Most of the lodging and hotel facilities are located just a stone's throw from the ski lifts and this convenience makes Aspen the choice for professional skiers.

In fact, many Olympic level skiers and snowboarders got their start on the slopes and trails of Aspen. So don't be surprised if you run into an Olympic level snowboarder or skier in your Aspen hotel. Many of these pros can be seen at hotels such as the Aspen Hyatt or Aspen's Snowmass. You can find links to these lodging locations online by doing a simple search for "Aspen lodging".

If you have pets there are many pet friendly hotels in Aspen, Colorado and all you have to do is simply call ahead and let them know that you will be traveling with your dog or cat. So pack up the pets and the kids and load up the skis and snowboards. Book your flight into Denver's International Airport and within a 4 or 5 hour drive you can be checked into your Aspen hotel and on to the slopes of Aspen.

Local limo companies, such as Wolfe Limousine of Denver offer 4x4 Chevy Suburban SUV's that are sure to get you to Aspen in almost any weather. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your Aspen vacation today!

Michael-John Wolfe

Find Aspen lodging online at: http://www.youraspenlodging.com

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Nailing Or Screwing Drywall

Nails versus screws who will become the winner. When drywall first came out the installers used everything from regular steel nails to galvanized roofing nails. After a short amount of time they started to develop major problems from nails popping out of the finished drywall.

Nail popping results when the nail is driven into moist lumber and as the lumber shrinks the house settles and nail can actually pop out to the walls. Hard to imagine the nail could actually pop out of the drywall as the wood was drying out.

How far the nail would actually pop out was determined by how far it was driven in to the framing studs or ceiling joists. Well pretty soon drywall installers started to use ring shank nails to eliminate this problem. This worked great but these nails were hard to drive in and would often break.

As time went on the nails improved and were made out of galvanized metal with cupped shaped heads and came in a few different sizes. The size of the nail used was determined by the thickness of the drywall. These new nails worked great and had good holding power and eliminated a lot of nail popping.

Using nails means driving them in with a hammer. If you miss the nail you damage the drywall. This seemed to be a big problem and was virtually eliminated with the screws.

Well pretty soon people started using screws which had greater holding power and pretty much nail popping. Another advantage to using screws over nails is the simple fact you need less screws than you do nails to attach the drywall to the metal or wood framing.

This means less labor installing and finishing the drywall.

There is one problem with the screws and that is they have to be set perfectly. They can not break the paper surface on the drywall but have to be set enough into the drywall so that it can be finished properly. Most screw guns have an adjustable setting used to get just the right depth for the screws installed in the drywall. But this also was a problem when screwing into a hard piece of wood you can actually snapped the screw head off, strip the screw head or break the screw.

Nails on the other hand can bend while driving them into a hard surface.

Who wins the nails versus screws while installing drywall? I have got to give it to the screws. That doesn't mean the nails just got screwed or the screws just got nailed.

I couldn't resist. I actually preferred the screws over the nails except for when nailing the drywall corner bead on. Some drywall professionals use nails to hang the drywall and go back with a screw gun and some screws to finish the job. The nails sometimes seem handier than the screws when installing the drywall.

Greg Vandenberge is working on the internet to promote the education for creating simple to follow guides and home building books to help professional building contractors as well as the weekend warriors. He is currently working on more Building and Remodeling Library and adding useful content to help solve problems created by the lack of construction knowledge in the building industry.

Visit us and get more information on building and remodeling your homes and Carlsbad Home Improvement

Get Shampoo Out Easier With Commercial Shampoo Dispensers

Have you ever experienced those annoying times when you have to spend an entire minute trying to squeeze out the last drops out of your shampoo bottle or tube? If you have, then you can probably use commercial shampoo dispensers in your bathroom. A shampoo dispenser is a container that is used to store and dole out shampoo or conditioner. The traditional dispenser basically has two significant parts. One of them is the nozzle from which the shampoo or conditioner comes out and the other is the pump that you push when you want to dispense the liquid. If you look around your bathroom and see several half-empty bottles of shampoo and conditioner cluttering your counter, then it may be time to get one of these commercial shampoo dispensers.

Wall vs. counter

When buying a shampoo dispenser, you basically have two options: buying one that can be mounted on the wall, or one that can be placed in the counter. A wall-mounted dispenser usually comes with two sections that can hold the shampoo and the conditioner. The good thing about the wall-mounted dispenser is that it has a permanent place on the wall, so even if you have little kids running around the house, you won't have to worry about finding your dispenser in the broom closet. This type of dispenser is also used in commercial establishments to dispense liquid soap in washing areas. The advantage of a counter dispenser, on the other hand, is that you can easily move it to another place should you decide to rearrange the stuff on your counter.

See through you

When purchasing commercial shampoo dispensers, it's advisable to go for one that is transparent. This will help you see the amount of liquid inside the dispenser and will tell you when it's time for a refill. This will avoid those times when you keep pumping the dispenser without knowing if it's empty or not.

Important information

Complete information on commercial shampoo dispensers is available at PickyGuide, the authority in free consumer advice. Access top-ranked, best-reviewed, and most competitively priced shampoo dispensers in PickyGuide's recommended products section.

How Many Bathrooms Do You Really Need? Building New Homes

When my dad was a kid, they lived in a two bedroom house with one bathroom and the family consisted of him, his two brothers and his mother and father. When I grew up, we have it a little bit better. We had the same sized family as my father did, but we lived in a three-bedroom house with two bathrooms.

How many bathrooms do you really need? Think about it. Here's what I would like to suggest, if you have more money than you know what to do with and would love to help the economy, then you should put as many bathrooms as you need in your home.

If you really need to tell your friends, that you have a 250 bedroom house with 275 bathrooms, and you have the money to pay for it, do it and knock yourself out. However, if you are building a new home, I would like you to consider, this question. How many bathrooms do you really need?

If you want each one of your children to have their own bathroom, then go for it. It will require more cleaning, more money to build these bathrooms and is it really necessary.

Here's what I would suggest as a guideline for deciding, how many bathrooms you really need. One bathroom for two or less people, two bathrooms for five or less people and three bathrooms for eight or less people. You could actually add one bathroom for every three people as a general rule of thumb.

Don't get carried away and start installing bathrooms all over your house, it doesn't make sense. Bathrooms are expensive and I have been in the homes, where I was the only person that used at bathroom. Some bathrooms might not ever be used.

Click here if you are looking for some more Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

Greg Vandenberge is working on the internet to promote the education for creating simple to follow guides and home building books to help professional building contractors as well as the weekend warriors. He has just finished a Home Buyers Guide to take some of the frustration out of home shopping.

Click Here If your looking for some great Bathroom Ideas or Bathroom Remodeling Contractors

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Esquinas Rainforest Lodge - A Testament to the Potential of Ecotourism

If you've ever wanted, if only for a few days, to experience the rainforest and never see another person, you may want to visit Esquinas Rainforest Lodge. Esquinas boasts 10 miles of trails and they're the only ones in the neighborhood.

Located about 40 minutes from the small town of Golfito, in southern Costa Rica, Esquinas Rainforest Lodge is perfect for those looking for a secluded nature experience. 200 different species of birds have been logged in the area surrounding the lodge. The natural landscaping makes this place a haven for a myriad of wildlife.

The property borders one of Costa Rica's newest and least studied national parks, Piedras Blancas. Many think Piedras Blancas has even greater diversity than its more famous predecessor, Corcovado National Park, located on the tip of the Osa Peninsula.

I've spent weeks walking in Corcovado and I can honestly say that my time spent walking the trails behind Esquinas Rainforest Lodge were every bit as beautiful. And what's nice about these trails is that when you're done, you return to a wonderful lodge instead of a musty ranger station.

The lodge is big and open. The meals are incredible and all the rooms have ceiling fans and private bathrooms.

Esquinas is owned by Michael and Susanna Schnitzler. Michael is one of the most incredible and admirable people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. In 1991, Michael got concerned about the amount of logging and hunting that was going on and decided to get involved. Being a well-known concert violinist from Vienna, he started Rainforest Of The Austrians and started soliciting funds from his fellow countrymen. To date, Rainforest Of The Austrians has raised 3.5 million dollars, purchased 8,000 acres (15 square miles) of land and donated it to the national park system.

The ultimate goal is to prove that a small, ecologically safe nature lodge, accommodating no more than 40 guests, can generate enough income to raise the living standard of a whole community of 70 families. Esquinas is the largest employer in La Gamba, a small community close to the lodge, offering at least 15 permanent jobs. Except for management and office personnel, all employees at the lodge are from the local town. The lodge has assumed an active role in the financing and implementation of community projects.

I really appreciate the depth at which Esquinas has gotten involved both socially and environmentally. They are a true testament to the good that can result from a lot of effort and involvement.

Mitch Popa is an independent video producer working on promoting Costa Rica's Ecotourism Industry. Please visit our website at http://www.ecotourismtravelguides.com or contact me personally at redwoodmitch@yahoo.com.

How Wide Should I Make My Carport? Planning Your Next Project

Whether you live in a home with or without a garage, you might be thinking about building a new carport. You've came to the right place and by the time you're done reading this article, you should have acquired a little more valuable information for your next home remodeling project.

Some homeowners install carports in front of their garage, on the side of their homes or even in their driveway. Car ports can be built anywhere on your property, as long as you have enough room and access to these areas for a car to be parked safely.

The most important thing to remember, when building a carports, is the width that will be required to park your vehicle underneath it. You will need to allow plenty of room, so that you will be able to access your vehicle comfortably.

There are plenty of carports, all over the country that are built right next to something, like a retaining wall, the side of your home or even another garage. I myself have parked in carports that were too small and over a period of time became an annoying inconvenience.

The minimum width that I would build any carport would be 10 foot wide, if you're going to build your carport next to a building, I would suggest that you park your car, open your door and measure the width of your car, with your door open.

This will give you a comfortable width for building your new carport. This is the best advice I could give anyone, who is planning on building a carport.

Garage Building Tips

If you're thinking about building a garage and San Diego County, we would be glad to help, for more information click on this link San Diego Garage Building

Greg Vandenberge is working on the internet to promote the education for creating simple to follow guides and home building books to help professional building contractors as well as the weekend warriors. He has just finished a Home Buyers Guide to take some of the frustration out of home shopping.

Thanks for reading my articles.