Pages Navigation Menu

woodworking tools

Craftsmen at Work

Worried About a Shop Fire Because of Combustible Fluids? Know How to Protect Your Office and Building

Posted by on Aug 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Worried About a Shop Fire Because of Combustible Fluids? Know How to Protect Your Office and Building

If you have a lot of materials that are flammable in the shop, and you worry that a fire could easily spread throughout the shop into the office, there are some precautions you’ll want to take. You want to make sure that your office building isn’t at risk and that your employees or building aren’t going to be in danger. Here are a few of the things you will want installed in the shop or between the shop and the offices. Ceiling Sprinkler System A ceiling sprinkler system can diffuse a fire quickly. If you have materials that aren’t easily put out by water, you can have the sprinkler system filled with water that has other chemicals in it to help diffuse the fire quickly. Sometimes your staff won’t have time to get to a fire extinguisher, so these sprinklers systems are a great way to stop the fire from spreading quickly, or from spreading when no one is around. Hollow Metal Doors If you’re worried about a shop fire spreading to other areas of the building, you’ll want to get hollow metal doors and metal door frames for fire prevention. These doors are going to be strong and durable over time, so you won’t have to worry about fire getting through the doors, and you can still get the locks you need to keep your building safe or to prevent people coming through the shop to the office. Proper Storage Containers There are products that are specifically designed to hold flammable and combustible liquids, and using them can prevent a fire in your shop. Spending the extra money to get the most secure materials is a good investment for the company, and the durable containers will be easy to use and store when your staff has to transfer or use the liquids. If you fear that the chemicals or fluids in your shop are an accident waiting to happen, and you worry that you could end up with a fire in the office or in the shop because of combustion, you’ll want to take these measures to protect your property and your business. You should alert your business-insurance provider of the different safety changes you’ve made to see if they will give you a discount for the safety enhancements that are now in place. With these changes, you can have peace of mind while in and away from the...

read more

Putting New Siding On Your House? 4 Reasons Why You Should Choose Hardie Plank Siding

Posted by on Aug 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Putting New Siding On Your House? 4 Reasons Why You Should Choose Hardie Plank Siding

If you are putting some new siding onto your home, there are many different types to choose from. One type is hardie plank siding. This type of siding is made of natural cellulose (wood) fibers, finely ground sand, and cement. Water is added to mix everything up. Below are four reasons why you should choose hardie plank siding for your home. Appearance Hardie plank siding is very thick and consists of horizontal boards that overlap. This allows it to have deeper grooves to give it a very authentic clapboard or wood grain effect, which is much more elegant when compared to vinyl siding, which is made of plastic. Instead of a boring grey color of cement, there is a wide selection of colors to choose from, such as red, brown, yellow, and green. You an order hardie plank siding already painted and then you would only have to touch it up as needed. You can also choose to paint the siding yourself, if you prefer. You can easily change the color of this siding by repainting it any time you wish. Longevity Because hardie plank siding is made of cement, it lasts for a very long time and generally comes with a long warranty. How long this warranty is depends on the company you purchase the siding from. Cement is insect resistant, which means carpenter bees and even termites cannot chew their way through it. Concrete is also rot free. It even works great if you live near the ocean as salt from the ocean spray will not damage it. Because it lasts for a very long time, this siding is considered to be Eco-friendly. Fire and Storm Resistant You can feel safe in a home with hardie plank siding as concrete is resistant to fire. This siding material can also withstand severe storms, including hail storms. This makes it the perfect siding if you live in a hurricane prone area. Energy Efficiency Concrete on its own will block cold and hot air from getting into your home. To add even more energy efficiency, you can choose hardie plank siding that has foam insulation built into it. This will allow you to save you money on your energy bills. Contact a contractor in your area that installs hardie plank siding. They can give you more details about it, as well as show you the different types available. This will help you decide if this is the right type of siding for your...

read more

2 Key Factors That Affect Asphalt Compaction

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Key Factors That Affect Asphalt Compaction

Perhaps the single most important factor in determining the longevity of asphalt pavement is its degree of compaction. Unfortunately, this is complicated by the fact that not all asphalts are equally compactable. Whether you are a paving engineer, or are simply a curious amateur, if you would like to learn more about the asphalt installation process, read on. This article will introduce you to two of the most important factors governing the compactability of a particular asphalt mix. Type Of Mix Contrary to many people’s impression, not all asphalt is the same. It’s true that distilled oil products and crushed stone aggregate make up the principal ingredients in all asphalt surfaces. But the size and proportions of these ingredients vary from asphalt to asphalt. Likewise, an array of different additives may be incorporated into a particular mix. Such additives act to determine the way the asphalt will behave, given its placement, intended use, and the weather it will be exposed to. Where compactability is concerned, the size of the aggregate used is one of the most important factors. A dense graded mix–one that contains a variety of aggregate sizes in roughly equal proportions–presents a fairly easy surface to compact. An open grade mix, which omits medium sized aggregate particles, makes compaction more difficult. This reflects the fact that open grade mixes result in a “stiffer” asphalt–in other words, one that possesses a greater degree of resistance to cracking, rutting, and raveling. Temperature Of The Mix Asphalt mixes come in a variety of different temperatures, from hot to warm to cold. Among other things, the temperature of a particular asphalt mix has a direct effect on the compactability of that mix. This is true both in terms of the temperature at which an asphalt was produced, and the temperature changes an asphalt is subject to during the compaction process itself. Asphalts produced at higher temperatures are generally more “tender” and easy to spread. This means that a much lighter rolling action is required from the drum roller, otherwise the asphalt will be more liable to cracks as a result of over-compaction. Stiffer mixes–those produced at low temperatures–require heavier rolling action and more passes from the drum roller. While cold mix asphalt can be more difficult to work with, one of its principal benefits is that it is not as subject to temperatures changes during the application and rolling process. Hot mix asphalt, on the other hand, begins to cool as soon as it has been applied. It can be difficult to accurately compensate for the effect such temperature change swill have during the rolling process. For that reason, it is imperative that the asphalt be compacted as soon as possible, to minimize the degree of cooling. Talk to an asphalt contractor for more...

read more

3 Reasons To Consider Asphalt Paving For Cold Climates

Posted by on Jun 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons To Consider Asphalt Paving For Cold Climates

One of the most useful paving materials available to you is asphalt, mostly because of the many benefits that asphalt can provide in a cold climate. Listed below are three reasons to utilize asphalt paving for your driveway or walkways if you live in a colder area. Absorbs Heat One of the biggest benefits of an asphalt driveway for people who live in cold climates is that it can make it much easier to deal with snow and ice accumulation. The reason for this is that asphalt will typically be quite dark in color, which means that during the day the asphalt will absorb any sunlight that strikes it. This will lead to your entire driveway warming up over the course of the day and causing any snow or ice on the driveway to melt more quickly and cut down on the amount of shoveling that you will have to do throughout the winter. Immune To Salt Another reason to utilize asphalt in areas that experience snowy winters is that you can still use salt to melt the ice off of an asphalt driveway. This is a big advantage over other materials, such as concrete, that can degrade over time due to salt exposure in the winter. Asphalt is not affected by salt at all, which means that you will not have to worry about salt damaging or degrading your driveway or other paved surfaces. Resistant To Cracking Finally, asphalt is a great choice for areas with cold winters because it will not be as affected by freezing and thawing cycles as concrete. When snow falls or ice forms on a concrete surface, water can get into any cracks in the concrete as the snow and ice melts, which will then freeze again and force the crack to expand. This will continue throughout the winter and can quickly lead to a paving surface that has multiple long or wide cracks. However, asphalt is not as affected by this issue due to the fact that asphalt is not as rigid. When water seeps into an asphalt surface, the asphalt can actually flex to an extent, which can help to minimize or prevent cracking.   Contact a paving company today in order to discuss the many benefits that asphalt can provide in a cold climate. An asphalt surface is a great option for cold regions because it absorbs heat while also being immune to salt and resistant to cracking. To find out more, speak with a business like Max Commercial...

read more

Three Fungal Diseases That Can Hurt Your Trees

Posted by on Jun 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Fungal Diseases That Can Hurt Your Trees

Just like animals and human beings, trees can become infected with disease. Fungal disorders are among the most common types of disease that can harm your tree. Following are three types of fungal diseases that you should be on the lookout for.  Powdery Mildew If you’ve noticed a whitish-gray powder like substance on the leaves of your trees, it’s possible that they’re infected with powdery mildew. Although this fungal disorder rarely causes serious damage to infected trees, it can easily create an unsightly appearance, reducing the overall value and aesthetic appeal of your landscape.  Although thousands of plant species can become affected by powdery mildew, the fungus is host specific. For instance, if you notice symptoms of powdery mildew on your apple tree, you generally don’t have to worry about the fungus spreading to your nearby dogwood tree—and vice versa. However, some tree species may be vulnerable to more than one type of powdery mildew. Powdery mildew occurs in primarily in humid environments. To reduce chances of infestations, provide trees with good air circulation by not overcrowding them. Limit overhead watering to early morning hours so that leaves and branches have plenty of time to dry before nighttime brings cooler temperatures.  Cankers Cankers are another fungal disease that negatively affect the appearance of your ornamental and fruit trees. Unlike powdery mildew, however, canker diseases can actually progress to the point where the lives of your trees are threatened. Branches and limbs can be weakened to the extent where affected wood breaks free of the body of the tree during storms, posing a significant potential hazard if the tree is situated near your home or vehicle. Early symptoms include stunted, twisted, and undersized leaves. Lesions may appear on the bark of trunks, branches, and even on smaller twigs. The bark may also split and ooze sap. The best protection you can provide your trees from developing canker disorders is to keep them in overall optimal health, refrain from pruning when the wood is wet, and avoiding any unnecessary wounding of the bark. A tree care professional should be consulted if trunk canker removal becomes necessary.  Leaf Rust Another fungal disease that can have a negative impact on the appearance and health of your tree is called leaf rust. Like the two listed above, leaf rust has obvious visual indications—brown spots on the leaves are telltale signs that your tree is most likely suffering from a leaf rust infestation. Severe cases of leaf rust can affect the ability of the tree to properly photosynthesize, resulting in significant structural weakening and even in the death of the tree. Keeping trees healthy and vigorous helps guard against the development of leaf rust. In areas where this fungal disorder poses a serious threat, consider having a tree care professional apply fungicides to your trees on a regular basis. Companies like Schulhoff Tree & Lawn Care, Inc. may be able to help meet your needs in this...

read more

Managing Weeding In Landscape Rocks

Posted by on May 24, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Managing Weeding In Landscape Rocks

Landscape rocks are an easy way to add a bit of hardscaping to your landscape. You can use them as mulch in bare areas, to create a dry creek bed design, or even to fill in around pavers for patios and walkways. The problem is that you can’t just simply lay the rocks and walk away, as weeds will grow through and around them. The following installation and maintenance tips can help you prevent this weedy issue. Tip #1: Start Weed-Free The best way to avoid weeds is to make sure there aren’t any there in the first place. Before installing the rocks, take the time to remove the old growth. If the area was lawn, you can simply rent a turf cutter and remove all the grass, roots and all. For areas with sparse weed growth, begin by pulling or chemically killing the weeds. Then, cover the area with clear plastic during the hottest part of summer and leave it covered for several weeks. The hot son through the plastic will encourage any remaining weed seeds to sprout, but then they will be killed by the increased heat and lack of oxygen underneath the plastic. You can then till and landscape the area. Tip #2: Add a weed blocking layer Once the weeds are gone, it’s a good idea to add a layer to block any that may have somehow survived the above treatment. Use a good quality landscape fabric for this, preferably one made for use in rock beds. Skip plastic sheet mulch – it will tear and weaken too quickly. Newspaper and cardboard also decompose too quickly for permanent installation in a rock bed. Landscape fabric can last years. Tip #3: Plant carefully If you are going to grow any plants in the rock mulched area, then choose for longevity. Perennials with lifespans measured in years are a better option because you only need to plant them once. This means you won’t be creating new holes in the landscape fabric each year for planting short-lived annuals. Make the planting hole big enough for the stems or trunk of the plant to come through without the fabric touching, but not much larger or weeds may also root around the base of the plant. Tip #4: Stay on top of weeds With luck, full removal combined with landscape fabric will keep weeds from growing up, but you will still need to manage seeds that land on top of the fabric and germinate. These weeds often succeed in sending roots down through the fabric. Check the rock areas weekly and pull weeds as soon as you notice them. Catching them young usually means they are easy to pull. For larger weeds, treat them with a spray of herbicide or pour boiling water on them to kill them. It may take a couple of treatments. Avoid pulling large weeds, since their long roots could cause more damage to the fabric. For more tips in maintaining your landscape rock, contact a supplier, like El Gallo Trucking, in your...

read more

Should You Pay Someone To Haul Your Junk Or Do It Yourself?

Posted by on May 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Should You Pay Someone To Haul Your Junk Or Do It Yourself?

If you have a lot of junk at home, whether due to remodeling or simply because you have furniture that is old and broken, you may be wondering how to haul it away. The two primary options are to bring it to a dump yourself or hire a junk removal company. Here are some things to think about to help you decide which is a better option. Hiring a Junk Removal Service Saves You Time and Energy A good reason to consider hiring a professional to haul away your junk is that you are able to use that extra time and effort for other things. For example, if you are currently planning on moving to a new house, then it can be a huge burden to figure out how to get a hold of a truck and haul it to the dump yourself. It is much easier when you can simply call up a junk removal company and have them pick up the items. They will often come all the way in your home and pick the items up, so you don’t even need to put them in front of the house. You Can Save Money By Hauling it Yourself On the other hand, if you’re low on money, you might not want to spend the additional fee having someone move the junk. When you haul it away yourself, you will still pay a small fee to access the dump, but it is generally quite low. Aside from that, gas is the only thing you need to pay for. However, also consider what other duties you are missing out on by hauling it yourself. You might find that it is still worth paying someone to pick up the junk and haul it away for you. Many Junk Removal Companies Recycle Certain Items While junk removal companies will bring a good amount of your junk to the local dump, many of them will try to recycle what they can. This is good to know when you want to be sure as many items are recycled as possible for environmental purposes. They can pick up old windows and bring the glass to a recycling center, then bring the rest of the items to the dump. They might even re-use some of the items, depending on the type of junk removal company they are. DIY Removal Allows You to Get it Done Now If you are in a hurry to get the items out right away, schedule a date and time for junk removal companies to pick up the items might be inconvenient. For example, you might be completing a remodeling project, and have a lot of junk you need to get out as soon as possible. If the junk removal service is popular, they are probably also very busy and might not get there for a few days. In this case, it can be a better option to haul it...

read more

Lawn-Free Landscaping Ideas

Posted by on Apr 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Lawn-Free Landscaping Ideas

Does the idea of constantly mowing a front lawn sound like a less than ideal way to spend your time? For some people lawn care is enjoyable, but for others it feels like a waste of time. If you see a lawn as a pointless waste of space, water, and time, there are other options that can be just as attractive – if not more so. The following ideas can inspire you. Idea #1: Grow Food For those that don’t mind gardening if it has a purpose, a vegetable garden may be a better option than a lawn. This doesn’t mean your yard has to look like a farm, either. Consider setting up raised brick or stone beds, since these are more attractive than a standard plowed plot. You can then use mulch or flagstones to create paths between the beds. Attractive edibles to consider growing include the following: Asparagus. After the initial spring harvest, these perennial plants produce beautiful fern-like plants. Ornamental cabbages. There are varieties of ornamental cabbage that are also edible. Enjoy a rainbow of hues, such as purple, red, and white. Swiss chard. Rainbow chard is an excellent decorative and edible plant. It comes in hues of red, green, yellow, and purple. Sweet potatoes. These lovely climbing vines produce pretty flowers in summer and edible tubers in fall. Idea #2: Create a formal garden A formal garden features little to no lawn, although there are other plants. Generally, you start with a centerpiece, such as a fountain or seating area. This is put in the center of the space, with attractive concrete or stone paving beneath. The area around the paved centerpiece area is then turned into formal beds with low walls built of brick or stone. Everything is very symmetrical in most formal garden designs. Popular plants for the beds include carefully trimmed miniature boxwoods, begonias, or dahlias. Everything is then mulched to give a finished look and to prevent weeds from invading the gardens. Idea #3: Consider xeriscaping Xeriscaping gained popularity in desert areas, but it can be used successfully in any climate. The bulk of a xeriscaped yard is mulched. You can use stone, gravel, or wood mulch, depending on the look you are striving for. Then, you add native plants that require minimal care or water in your area. For example, in desert areas plants like cacti, aloe, and yuccas are popular choices. In moister areas, you may opt for drought-tolerant shrubs that still needs some rainfall, like lavender, or groundcovers, like creeping thyme. A local landscaper can help you pick the best plants for your microclimate. When the mulch is installed correctly there is minimal yard work ever necessary, since weeds won’t be able to invade. You may need to do some slight trimming and cleaning up of plants in the fall and reapplication of the mulch in the spring. For help turning one of these ideas into reality, contact a company like The Hilltop Landscape Architects &...

read more

The Perks Of Wooden Windows

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Perks Of Wooden Windows

Are you in the market for new windows? If so, one of the biggest decisions you have to make is what material your frame will be made out of. Many modern homes are built with window frames and sashes that are constructed out of synthetic materials like vinyl, fiberglass, carbon fiber or aluminum. However, you should not overlook wood. It is a material that has long been used in window construction and it is still a viable option today. In fact, there are many advantages to investing in wooden windows. This article will explain some of the best features of wooden windows when it comes to installing them in a residential property. Wooden Windows Need TLC First off, you should realize that wooden windows will definitely require a little bit more TLC. If you are willing to take care of your windows, they can last just as long and look just as great as any of the other synthetic options. If wood is properly sealed with waterproof stain or paint, it will be very weather resistant. If you allow the stain to rub off or fade away, you could have problems with the durability and operation of your window. This is especially true with sliding windows. If your sliding window is not properly lubricated, the wood stain can rub off quite quickly, exposing the raw wood underneath. Once again, as long as you take the basic preventative measures, this will not be an issue. Wood Can Be Painted and Stained Some homeowners are attracted to wooden windows because it is one of the few materials that can be painted or stained. Additionally, you can repaint or restain your window whenever you want. You can even alternate between a clear stain and a solid paint color. Some people paint one side of the window one color and put a clear stain on the other. If you decide to remodel your room and your windows no longer match, you can change this with wooden windows. With the other synthetic materials, you are basically stuck with the color you choose. So, repainting your windows is not only a matter of necessity, it is also a great chance to update the look of the interior and exterior of your house. For certain homeowners wooden windows are the only way to go. They offer a unique style that cannot be replicated with the synthetic options. Contact a group of Community Builders for more...

read more

Buying A New Home? You May Want Some Additional Protection Against Liens

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Buying A New Home? You May Want Some Additional Protection Against Liens

If you are trying to buy a new home in a development, you may be thrilled at the idea of being the first person to own the home. But this comes with a risk—that of subcontractor liens demanding payment from you. Unfortunately, sometimes developers and contractors do not pay their subcontractors, leaving the subs with only liens against property owners as a way to get paid. To protect yourself from these liens, you should have title insurance. But to get that title insurance, you may need to get something called an ALTA survey, which is normally connected with commercial properties. Here’s a look at what the survey does and why you should seriously consider spending the money for it. Liens of Last Resort Subcontractors don’t want to file liens, but they do want to get paid. If the developer decides to skip out on payment after all the work on a development is done, though, the subcontractor won’t have a lot of options. In some cases, the subcontractor could sue the developer under a prompt-payment law, if your state has one. However, the subcontractor may only be able to charge you, the homeowner, instead. And that can add thousands of dollars to your home purchase cost. One way to avoid liens is to verify with the developer that everyone’s been paid. However, even that tactic doesn’t work if the developer isn’t being honest. For example, Angie’s List reported in January 2016 about a case in central Texas where a homeowner thought she paid a developer in full for a house. She then received lien notices totaling over $23,000. It turned out the developer had lied about the payment status of the subcontractors, claiming they’d been paid when they really hadn’t. Insurance Against Liens Homeowners may want to get title insurance, which can help cover the cost of liens. Note that this is not the same type of title insurance that covers a mortgage; that insurance is to protect the lender. The title insurance you want protects you, specifically, as the homeowner. But to get title insurance, you need a land survey, and you need one that can’t be disputed based on varying state laws and one that isn’t vague in its findings. Many people think a boundary survey will do, but those are done according to state law. What you really want is an ALTA survey, which follows the nationally accepted guidelines from the American Land Title Association. This is a survey that is very detailed in its findings and that can cover a range of optional investigations, such as evidence of earth-moving work. ALTA surveys are normally associated with commercial property purchases because of the surveys’ higher costs. However, a basic survey for a smaller property can cost just under $2,000 (per this online calculator), so you’re not talking about a gigantic amount of money compared to the potential cost of a lien. You are much better off getting the ALTA survey done and getting insurance instead of leaving things to chance. As the example from Angie’s List showed, even due diligence in checking whether everyone’s been paid can fail at protecting you from liens. If you’d like to arrange for an ALTA survey, talk to survey companies in the area (like Arizona Surveying and Mapping) about the options...

read more