Rough FramingThere are three important areas to consider in the rough framing process when building a new home. By understanding these three helpful hints you can increase your odds of being a satisfied homeowner.

Beams and Bulkheads – It is important to study each beam in your house and how they will affect living area. A beam used to hold up the first floor for example could possibly need to be dropped below the finished ceiling height. If this happens you need to picture how this will look in the living area.

If the ceiling height in the basement was 9′ tall then a 12″ dropped beam will reduce the height of the ceiling in this area to 8′ tall. A worse scenario would be a dropped beam in an 8′ ceiling reducing your final height to 7′. Be sure and study how this will all work before you begin any construction.

Deflection in your floor – Deflection is a variation in position or shape of a structure or structural element due to effects of loads or volume change, usually measured as a linear deviation from an established plane rather than an angular variation.

In other words, when a load is applied to a surface such as plywood or an OSB floor, that floor will often bend downwards in relation to the amount of weight applied and the structural capability of the subfloor and the joists underneath.

The minimum code today regarding deflection in a floor system is represented as L/360. This symbol is a way of creating a common denominator to measure stiffness. The manufacturers of engineered wood and solid lumber rate their products based on these standard test methods. For L/360 it means the deflection in the floor cannot exceed 1/360 of the span (one inch over 360 inches). So on a 30-foot span, the maximum deflection is one inch. On a fifteen-foot span, the maximum deflection is a half-inch.

Even though the code reads that L/360 will pass, most manufacturers suggest using a minimum L/480 floor. If you are going to have an island in your kitchen or ceramic tile floors in your home, it would not be a good idea to have too much deflection occurring which could crack tile and grout.

Roof Trusses with energy heels – Conventional pre-built roof trusses hinder the home’s energy saving performance because they fail to leave enough space at the eaves for adequate insulation. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to insulate the space where the side walls and the roof of the home intersect.

This band around the top of the house can allow heat to easily escape. Not insulating this area can increase the odds of ice dams to develop in the winter months.

The best practice for energy-efficient roof framing is the use of raised heel roof trusses; these offer both structural stability and room for more insulation, which helps to increase a home’s energy efficiency. A raised heel truss adds an extension to the top of the exterior wall, allowing for the full depth of insulation to be applied. Installation of this style of roof truss isn’t any more difficult than traditional pre-built trusses although the cost will be more for the raised heel.

Now you are aware of the areas to look at before framing your home. Utilizing the items above will certainly make your home ownership more enjoyable.

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Backyard LandscapingWhen most people think of landscaping for their homes, they think of a beautifully decorated front yard. But the fact is, most of the home owners have less consideration to make landscaping plan and design for their backyard.

There are many reasons why you should consider backyard landscaping, if you have not already. Some of them include:

To enjoy for yourself. Wouldn’t it be great to sit out on your sun deck and have a magnificent view? It is a stress reliever like no other because of its relaxing qualities. Plus, when your yard looks good, you feel good!

To enjoy with your company. Now imagine sitting on your sun deck with your friends talking over various things while viewing your backyard landscaping. You may even get some great compliments!

Even if you have a fence around your home, people may still be able to see it from an elevated road. This may be especially important to you if it is a popular road going to and from your neighborhood.

What good is a beautiful outdoor decor in the front when the back is shabby and bland? It can take away from all the hard work, effort, and money that you have put into the front.

You can use backyard landscaping to make your very own natural privacy fence! Instead of wood, you can plant gorgeous shrubs to stand between your yard and your neighbor’s yard. They might appreciate it too!

Once you see how wonderful backyard landscaping can be you will want to have barbecues or cookouts all the time. Maybe even invite the extended family over for a little reunion. The entertainment possibilities are endless when you have a backyard landscaping job that you can be proud of.

If you don’t think you are up to the challenge yourself, you can always hire a professional to do it for you.

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Pest Control ServiceMaking a good decision on which pest control service to hire is more important than many homeowners may realize. Your home, after all, is likely to be the most expensive long-term investment you ever make. And, of course, you and your family have to live there!

While some pests are merely annoying if they invade your home, others can actually do incredible amounts of damage – even to the point of making your home unsafe. For example, heavy termite infestation that goes undetected for years can render a home structurally unsound. This is ultimately why using a good pest control service is not really an option – it’s a necessity.

Pest Control Licensing & Background Checks

The first thing to check out when looking for a pest control service is state or city certification. Most states require pest control companies to register with them and apply for a license. State Departments of Agriculture are most often the government entities responsible for overseeing and issuing licenses to legitimate pest services.

If your state does not have such a department, or if you discover that licenses are issued through the city in which you live instead of the state, be sure to follow-up with the appropriate agency to rule out companies operating without all the proper certifications. Also, make sure to check that the licenses and/or certifications are current.

What often separates excellent pest control services from run-of-the-mill companies is membership in national groups that hold members to high business standards. In pest control, that would mean belonging to the National Pest Management Association. When you find a company in your area that belongs to this group, it’s a big point in their favor.

As a rule, you should always do a quick check with the Better Business Bureau in your location to determine if a pest control service you’re considering hiring has any complaints lodged against it by previous customers. This can often tell you in short order which companies to avoid.

Choosing a Pest Control Service

Once you’ve narrowed your list of potential pest control services to hire, set up times for each to come do an inspection of your home or property. Quality companies will do this at no charge, and they will send a professional (not just anyone who works there). The inspection should be thorough and include crawl spaces, attic, basement, the foundation, and a reasonable amount of the outside vicinity surrounding your property.

The inspector should then take adequate time to sit with you and discuss what he or she has found. If he or she will not completely answer each question you have or seems in any way evasive or vague, thank them for their time and move on to the next candidate company. Rushed inspectors are probably an indication of a company that does not value each customer enough. You’ll likely be just a number to them and get poor service.

Either the inspector or another company employee should provide a written proposal or work order for your perusal. Pay attention to the thoroughness of this proposal, as it can tell you a lot about the professionalism of that pest control service. There should be diagrams of affected areas and specific detailed explanations of proposed remedies.

Better companies will also explain any discoveries they’ve made that might represent on-going problems, such as poor drainage areas or portions of your property that are in some way more susceptible to subsequent infestations.

Price is obviously one of the ultimate determining factors, but keep in mind that you often get what you pay for when it comes to pest control services. If you’ve done your homework and followed the guidelines outlined above, you will have substantially reduced the chances of hiring a substandard company.

Keeping your home pest-free is important enough for your investment’s long-term viability that you should be willing to pay a bit more to get the job done by the highest quality professionals.

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Air CompressorsAir compressors are widely used among American manufacturers, industries and are often valuable components in automotive functions. Air compressors also often used to operate various pneumatic power tools such as drills, screwdrivers, wrench, nail guns and many more in building construction or renovation.

Air compressors are typically available as both gas and electrically powered devices. It usually costs quite a bit to operate the compressors effectively, and this can form a large part of a business’s utility budget.

Air compressors are often the single most important source of energy; they are also one of the largest expenses, both in terms of purchase and maintenance costs. They are usually available in a horsepower of three-quarters or larger and can have air tanks with up to an 80-gallon tank. Makes, model and features of an air compressor will vary among brands and models.

The governing body over equipment such as air compressors is the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). An important safety component in all ASME certified air compressors is an air safety release valve.

This valve allows air to escape if the tank pressure exceeds the maximum level as required by law. This prohibits accidents caused by excess pressure and the explosion of the compressor. Other safety measures include a cord that can be pulled to make sure the pressure is allowable and that the valves are not clogged or corrupted.

You should always choose an air compressor based on quality and protection; cost is important but should be a secondary factor for choosing an air compressor for your needs. The only way to guarantee your safety and the quality of workmanship is to purchase an air compressor that is certified by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

These air compressors have undergone quality testing and will have a label attached to the unit. Not all air compressors will be ASME certified, although some states do not allow the sale of any compressor that has not been tested and certified by ASME.

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