Monday, July 21, 2014

Important Working With Home Renovation Experts

Renovating your home is indeed not an easy task. Of course, there are plenty of things that must be done to ensure that you get what you like for your home. Good thing there are experts who can help you with such.

Considerations When Working With A Renovation Expert

Know what you want. It is very important for you to make a list of what you like and don't like in your home. You have to ensure that everyone living with you will agree on what is on the list. This list will indeed help your chosen builder to better understand your goals.

Make your home accessible to the workers. It is certainly unavoidable to experience noise, distractions and personal intrusions when these professionals are doing their job; however, it can be managed when you are to prepare yourself and family for the entire renovation process. It will help a lot if you know the worker's working schedules.

If you are hiring a contractor you do not know, consider looking into their references. Be reminded that a good contractor will pay attention to details like placing drop clothes and cleaning the site daily. Most importantly, a good contractor will follow up with your inquiries and bills regularly.

Get the right and significant info about the company before they start any work. Prior to allowing the professional start any work, be sure that you have understood what you are getting into. You have to ask them significant questions, as well as to study the drawings and confirm all the details with them. You must be accessible always so in case a problem arises, they can easily contact you so they can make the right decision.

Monitor the progress on a daily basis. It is a smart idea for you to keep a project log where you can document what happens each day at the house. This will actually become your memory bank about the daily happenings at the work site. This is a great way of determining if the contractor is productive daily or not.

You must be open to new ideas as well as changes from your original plan. You might think that everything is planned well, however, there are times when changes become inevitable. An excellent contractor will actually offer you solutions in case problems will arise, and use his or her knowledge and experience in formulating great recommendations that will work best.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How to Prepare for a Barn Conversion

As with all building projects preparation is paramount, especially when working with on older, more fragile building. With a conversion, all the essentials are already in place and it is very tempting to dive right in and start building, but you will need to do some investigating first. Measured surveys on the property will need to be conducted to establish detailed dimensions, ready for when you add to the structure and to support any planning application.

3D laser scanning is a great form of survey for this type of project; an extremely fast and cost effective way to gather all the data you require. It is a highly detailed measured survey and all the data can be collected remotely, which eliminates the risk of further damaging any fragile structure on site.

One of the things to look out for when starting your barn conversion is the extent to which the timber frame is crooked and out-of-line. A laser scan of the building, as it stands, depicts aspects to millimetre accuracy and so things like irregular spacing of timbers across a ceiling will be captured. Conducting this type of survey more than once over the space of a couple of months can also detect any movement of the building, highlighting any possible subsidence.

3D laser scanning is also a great way of making sure any brickwork or ornate detail can be kept, so you can restore the property in keeping with how it was before. This will allow you to remove walls or timbers, and then rebuild them to the same specification that they were previously.

To further your knowledge of your property and the surrounding area, it is also advisable for you to conduct a topographical survey alongside the 3D laser scan. A topographical survey will highlight both natural objects and buildings in and around your property. A professional surveying company should be able to help you prepare plans and decide which types of survey are appropriate for you to undertake, in order to save you time, money and trouble in the long-run.

As of April 2014 there are new rules and regulations regarding barn conversions and planning permission. Believe it or not, you may no longer need planning permission to transform an agricultural barn into dwellings as part of a government scheme to build more housing. There are a couple of exceptions, for example, if your barn is a listed building, if it stands in an area of outstanding natural beauty or if it isn't an agricultural unit you will not comply with this new regulation and you will require planning permission.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Tips For House Extensions

House extensions
Having house extensions is a more sensible option than selling your house and buying a bigger one. With the housing market not stable, selling a house would take longer time. Buying a house would probably cost more. It would be more practical and more convenient to hire an architect to design for your house extension. Having House extensions is more advantageous than having to move to a new and more expensive house.

Having a house extension will add value to your house. This you could sell for better price once the market condition has become more stable. The usual home extensions are adding a new kitchen or a lounge. Older homes usually have not given much priority or attention to their kitchens. Or you may choose for a lounge extension considering you have a growing family. You can have quality time together or entertain guests at your extended lounge.

If you prefer to add another bedroom with its own bathroom, it could be possible to have it over your garage space. Or if you have a large backyard, you can have your house extension there. The space would be great for your children who might need more privacy or for guests and relatives who visits you occasionally. There are certain limits or boundaries you can build your extension without needing for a planning permission.

You may want a conservatory for your home extension and this can be built in just a few weeks. You may also be considering having a playroom or study room based on your needs.

But before proceeding with building your extension, you must ensure the foundation is strong enough to allow the extension to take place. Your foundation must be placed directly under your walls and position them properly to avoid having problems with it in the future. Aside from the foundation, you also need to check your damp proofing. Checking this will help you prevent future related problems.

Electric cables should have proper protective coverings. This actually is very important primarily for safety purposes. The floor should have the proper height so that your doors and windows will have the proper height too.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Commercial Design Tips For Livening Up Your Workplace

Anyone who works in commercial design will be familiar with the client who walks in and quickly becomes stuck with the direction of the project. Most of the time, this is because there is simply so much you can do with a workplace that they have no idea where to start. Other times, it is because the client is more familiar with residential design and are, therefore, completely unaware of the potential that their workplace holds. Here are some tips that can help you to liven up a commercial space:


Most clients envisioning a 'professional' commercial design will automatically steer towards white or grey colour palettes; fortunately, professional doesn't have to equal dull. You should try to pick a colour that embodies the personality of your business - bold shades can actually be quite energizing, whilst calm hues can help to create a serene environment.


This is often an area that many clients tend to neglect until the end or forget about altogether. Try using a variety of light sources and even fixtures to create points of interest within your workplace. Why not install some creative pendants in your reception area simply for a decorative touch? Or add some coloured lighting to the walls to add that special touch.


Many clients will be looking for ways that they can prevent their commercial design from becoming too flat and uniform; this is where the use of multiple textures comes in. You could paint some of your walls and cover others with wooden slats or embossed panels. Just make sure that you use similar materials on all of your surfaces to tie the whole design together.


When clients have quite a large workplace to work with, space dividers are often a vital part of the commercial design, as they can be used to stop the space from feeling cavernous. Use glass partitions or screens to separate areas without cutting off their natural light sources; use opaque or more solid ones for areas that require an amount of privacy; and use unexpected materials for added pop.

When it comes to putting together a commercial design for a client who really has no idea what they want, you should try incorporating one or more of the above points in the plan to see how they are achieved. Whilst some clients will still want to stick to something stark and plain, it is likely that you will find other clients who are very open to these changes and are willing to make them work for their business.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What Are the Benefits of Having in-Plant Offices?

Construction takes a lot of time and is usually expensive; many companies have to put construction projects on hold for precisely this reason. If there is a need to have an additional room built, or there is a need for more cabins to be made, the company will have to put the project on hold because it will take up time and cause a hindrance in the routine business activities. As a solution to these problems, the concept of in-plant offices has been introduced.

These modular constructions have been beneficial for all those who have wanted to maximize the use of space they have access to. Many businesses have wanted to maximize the use of floor space, and the space in warehouses and in-plant offices has proved to be beneficial for this purpose. These modular constructions are best for businesses that are restricted because of time limit and have few resources at their disposal to allow any construction projects. It's actually possible to construct a complete office within a few hours using these modular constructions!

There are other advantages linked to in-plant offices. Let's take a look at these. Firstly, when normal construction takes place, it's very disturbing and disruptive for the working environment. People are unable to work because of the noise and mess created by the construction taking place. This is not the case with modular construction. Construction does take place but without the noise and the mess created in the regular construction process.

Secondly, the process is a quick one. Those businesses who are pressed for time and have to make sure construction is completed quickly will find modular construction to be the best option for them. The time taken for regular construction is about 5 to 6 times more than the time needed for modular construction, so you can imagine the advantage you are at, in terms of time, with modular construction.

The use of modular wall panels in this construction allows these walls to be redesigned or changed later on, without any trouble. If you want to shift the cabin to another area of the room, you simple have to call the professionals who will take it apart and set it up for you once again, within a few minutes. This just goes to show that there is room to accommodate any sort of requirements that might come up later on, after the construction takes place.

Modular offices have a lower rate of depreciation in businesses because they are termed as furniture in the accounts of any company. This allows businesses to make savings and higher profits than they would have reported otherwise, if they had used the regular construction procedure for their business.

The maintenance required for these structures is low-cost and minimal, plus you can have any kind of designing that you want with these models, the models allow you the flexibly of choosing colors to paint them with as well.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Access Audit Advice

What is an Access Audit?

An Access Audit (also known as a DDA audit, Disability Discrimination Act Audit or Disabled Access Audit) is an assessment of a building, an environment or a service against best practice standards to benchmark it's accessibility to disabled people.

The audit should set out clear recommendations with priority ratings and costs to enable you to plan and budget for necessary adjustive works.

An access audit consultant should focus on reasonable adjustments, as is required by the Equality Act, thus avoiding unnecessary and costly measures which can often be seen within Audits prepared by less experienced and unqualified auditors.

So what is the DDA/Equality Act?

The Disability Discrimination Act came into force in 1996 and made it illegal to discriminate against a disabled person for reasons related to his or her disability. This covered the fields of employment, service provision, transport and education. The DDA required employers, service providers and education providers to make reasonable adjustments to avoid discrimination.

The Equality Act 2010 brought together all anti-discrimination legislation into one Act and covers disability, race, gender, religious, sex and age discrimination and supersedes the DDA but the requirements remain much the same.

The Equality Act has different requirements depending on whether you are an employer, service provider or an educational establishment. The best way to establish these is to speak to an Access Consultant who will advise how the Act applies to you.

How is the DDA/Equality Act enforced?

Unlike other statutory law there is no Local Authority or Government Officer who enforces the legislation it is left to an individual disabled person to bring a civil action against an organisation where they feel aggrieved.

Why do I need an Access Audit?

An Access Audit helps you to understand your obligations under the Equality Act. It identifies barriers to access, sets out options for removing these barriers, assesses which option is the most reasonable and then makes a clear recommendation as to which option to implement, when to do it and how much it will cost.

By having a DDA audit and then implementing it's recommendations you will be able to demonstrate that you have adopted a reasonable approach which will help you to defend a complaint or action brought against you by a disabled person but, more importantly you will be improving access for disabled people and, in all likelihood many other users.

The Equality Act Code of Practice states that the completion of an Access Audit by a 'suitably qualified person' will 'help service providers to meet their obligations under the Act'.

What should an Access Audit cover?

The scope of the audit will depend on how the Equality Act applies to you which an access consultant should discuss and agree with you before quoting. A thorough audit should generally cover all elements of your building and environment following the 'journey' of a disabled user. Typically an audit would cover:

    Approach and Car Parking
    Horizontal Circulation - corridors
    Lifts and Stairs
    Internal Doors
    Signage and Wayfinding
    Means of Escape for Disabled People

There are usually many other site specific elements which may also need to be covered so ensure you check these with your access audit consultant.

As section 3 of the Equality Act covers all elements of your service we can also offer audits of other services such as:

    Communication Audits (leaflets, menus guidebooks etc)
    Website Access Audits - checking accessibility for users with visual impairments and learning difficulties
    Policy and Procedure Audit - checking that you policies and procedures do not discriminate against disabled people

Our audits are presented in a user friendly format using photographs to illustrate each issue with clearly defined recommendations which are prioritised and costed. We are happy to supply an example on request.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Proper Setup And Execution For Dry Ice Blasting Historical Structures

Dry ice blasting any historical structure is a huge responsibility for a cleaning contractor. The owners are counting on your expertise and professionalism to...

A) Salvage their historic structure without the cost and time delays of replacing the classic, original materials with new, more modern, but less artistic building materials and...

B) Protect the job-site from flying debris, secondary waste and potentially hazardous, airborne dust, debris, toxins and hazardous wastes.

As a professional dry ice blasting contractor on a historical restoration project, your safety and compliance responsibilities include (but are not limited to) the following:

    Protect your Employees with the appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PE's). Be sure that all employees have been trained in proper PPE use and are aware of what contaminants they might be expected to encounter on the job. Hold daily 'Toolbox Talks' to reinforce good behaviors and curtail bad practices before they become dangerous habits.

    Protect all other Trades and contractors by containing and isolating your work area. Construct appropriate work partitions and control pedestrian traffic, directing trades away from or around your work zone. Never allow other trades inside your work area unless absolutely necessary. Insist on detailed orientation sessions for any trade scheduled to work within your work zone and always include these trades in your daily Toolbox Talks and safety meetings for as long as they are working alongside you and your crew.

    Minimize Dust, flying debris and airborne particulate. Tight ambient controls are mandatory. Use filters, back-stops and seal all possible exfiltration potentialities. You are responsible for any and all debris you create and it will always be on your best interest to contain and control all the dust your create before it infiltrates other work areas and damages other structures.

    Air Quality! You are responsible to capture and treat all ambient air and control all air-flow in your work area. Dry ice blasting creates no breathing or safety hazards on its own, but the contaminants you are cleaning will likely become airborne. The air you contaminate is always your responsibility. Control every aspect of your work zone for maximum safety.

    Contain & Collect all hazardous materials such as lead-based paints, asbestos, heavy metal coatings, mold, mildew, char and misc contaminants. Wherever hazardous materials are present, tighten up your control methods to ensure job-site safety at all costs.

Of course, as important as containment and segregation is to ensuring the safety of your employees and the other trades on the building restoration site, it is also imperative that all modes of safe egress are maintained at all times.

Post exit strategies and alternate egress pathways at any place where your work zone interferes with the normal traffic routes, pathways and exits.