27Jan/150

How to Conserve Energy Now

Expansion, longevity, and profit are some of the key components to keep in mind when pulling together a successful business. Maximizing these elements can only lead to a stronger and more efficient business. Even with this typically being the case, however, there are times when the internal make up of a business isn’t all that needs to be addressed in order to bring about positive results or reinforcement. If you’re looking to benefit financially then you may want to look around and take note of what physical improvements can be made to benefit your business or company. Whether its actual enhancements or simply creating a more comfortable working environment, these aspects can surprisingly turn out a higher productivity and ultimately save you money in the long run.

Efficiency should be a main focus whether we’re looking at a home or a facility for a particular business. Energy cost is certainly a huge aspect of home and business efficiency. Fortunately there are methods and courses of actions that can be taken to help owners in their endeavors to be cost effective. Since there are quite a few areas owners can address, it can at first seem a little daunting. Lighting, however, would probably be a great place to start considering how much money and energy we typically waste in this category. If you’re hoping to keep things relatively simple, you can save approximately seventy-five dollars a year by replacing your home's five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the Energy Star. Money-saving options such as halogen incandescent, CFL, and LED lightbulbs are available which will conserve your household or facility energy, and if you’re looking for higher quality products then Energy Star marked bulbs will certainly get the job done. Traditional incandescent bulbs utilize a great deal of energy to generate light and are no longer manufactured. More recent bulbs provide various color and lighting options and are far more efficient. LED, CFL’s, and halogen incandescent bulbs are the three most energy saving bulbs, and can easily be purchased from your local home improvement stores. Halogen incandescent bulbs have a capsule inside that holds gas around a filament to increase bulb efficiency. They are typically available in a wide range of shapes and colors, and they can be used with dimmers. Halogen incandescent bulbs meet the federal minimum energy efficiency standard along with many other efficient options that can meet your needs.

You may also want to consider going the solar route. Relying on a solar source can save you quite the bundle. There have been a few myths here and there that may impede your otherwise hasty transition to solar power, but more often you can rest assured these myths are just that. Tales such as solar power is rather useless on particularly cloudy days can be verified as false with just a little more insight. Even on more gloomy days, solar radiation isn’t hindered by a heavy overcast so this certainly wouldn’t pose a significant issue.

 

24Jan/151

How to Build a Garden Shed to Organise Your Tools

Building a garden shed will not only give you somewhere to store your tools and gardening equipment, it will also be a fun DIY task that you can have full control of from start to finish. Unlike some DIY jobs, building a garden shed isn’t hard if you have the write plans in place. So once you’ve found a great resource for free and premium shed plans, you should be well on your way. Read on for a step by step guide.

 

shed

Photo by Jennifer C.

How to Build a Shed

1. Start by ensuring that the area you are building your shed on is level, and well drained (if you can wait to build your shed until the summer months, you’ll find this a lot easier). There is nothing worse than trying to build a shed on wet, un-level ground. Not only will it be messy, but it could upset the foundations.

2. The next step is to build the foundation. Your shed plans should tell you what materials to use and how to go about doing this. It should, however, involve placing lumbar skids in your area of choice, and then attaching floor joists to them.

3. Once your foundation is built, you can work on installing the material you will be using for the floor. Consider groove locking your flooring material together so that it won’t warp or come apart with age.

4. Once the floor is complete, your next step is to construct the walls. It’s best to build the walls as a unit. If you can do this on a flat surface, it will make it much easier to assemble all of the components. The walls will consist of the bottom and top plates, the wall studs, and the headers for the door and windows. Once constructed, you can add the walls to the floor.

5. Your next step is the roof truss framing. Your plans should advise you on the best angles to cut your rafters for framing – a good miter saw can work wonders here.

6. Once the rafters are built, your next step is to attach the roof. First, you’ll need to attach the plywood decking to the rafters, and then you can follow this with a layer of felt paper, followed by shingles (or whatever material you are choosing to use).

7. Your final step is to work on the finishing touches, such as adding in the windows and doors, painting the outside of the shed, attaching gutters for water to run off, and installing the interior features such as shelves and cupboards for tool storage.

The Importance of a Plan

Above are the basic steps involved in building a garden shed. However, it is important to use a garden shed plan in order to ensure your project is a success. And, whilst it may not seem like it at first, a good set of plans can also save you time and money in the long run.

7Jan/150

London Roofing

The bustling city of London is home to many fabulous buildings old and new, which create a stunning and varied roofscape. No matter which direction you turn, you will see new buildings being built and old buildings getting the renovations they need to stay in shape. It’s all too easy for old roofs to become damaged or too worn to ensure adequate protection, which is why it’s vital that old roofs are replaced with modern, watertight roofing.

If you’re a building owner in London, you will understand the importance of an efficient roofing system and thanks to modern materials and methods, quality and installation times are better than ever for London Roofing solutions. Best of all, environmentally friendly roofing materials and installation processes are available, so you can help to protect the environment even when replacing your old roof. Cold application ensures there’s no need for heat and once your roof is sealed, it will be there for a lifetime.

No matter what condition your current roof is in, it may be time for a replacement, as damage can occur in unseen places and moisture can enter through the smallest of openings, which could potentially cause wood rot within wooden beams. If you notice any damp, mold or potential rot, get it looked at by a roofing professional. When in doubt, it’s always best to go for a modern replacement, so you can rest assured your interior will be fully protected from the elements outside.

If you want to take advantage of the space on your flat roof, why not install a durable roofing systems that’s capable of withstanding high levels of foot traffic. This is a great way to give your building another usable level and with additional insulation and non-slip surfaces, you can rest assured you’re your roof will be as safe and efficient as possible. Balconies are also a fantastic way of creating more outside space above the ground, so why not consider this as an option if it’s practical.

New roofing systems may be modern but that doesn’t mean they have to look that way, so don’t be put off by modern roofs if you have an old or listed building. Simulated copper and lead are a great alternative to the real thing, as they still offer that traditional look. This means that it’s quite possible to blend a new roof to match the traditional style of your existing building. This will also help to maintain and protect the interior.

7Jan/152

How to Renovate Your Bathroom on a Shoestring Budget

There’s nothing quite like soaking away your troubles in the tub.

As you relax in a bath full of warm bubbles, listening to the gentle splish and splash of the water, you idly reach for another glass of delicious wine and the latest bestselling novel.

Then the realisation hits you ... this isn’t your house.

In an effort to escape the dreadfulness of your own bleak bathroom, you’ve unconsciously broken into your neighbour’s home, used all of their hot water and pinched their expensive toiletries.

Yep, you have a severe case of bathroom envy, my friend.

To prevent jealousy getting the better of you again, however, and to avoid being arrested for breaking and entering, it’s high time your own bathroom was given a much needed overhaul.

Need some help? Here’s how to begin renovating your bathroom on a shoestring budget ...

1. Check Your Tiling

In the same way that wrinkles can give away your age, cracked or shoddy looking tiles can make your bathroom look older than it is. As a result, make sure that you repair any obvious damage to your tiles by replacing them or regrouting.

Importantly, this is an area where you can save bundles of cash by doing it yourself. All it takes is oodles of patience and perseverance, with shiny tiling the base any bathroom needs to get on the road from shabby to chic.

2. Choose Your Accessories Wisely

When renovating any room in your home on a tight budget, it’s always wise to start small and continually add to the space over time. In a bathroom, therefore, investing in a range of quality accessories will turn it from blah to spa in next to no time.

From classy antique mirrors and luxury towels to quality roller blinds and lavish bath mats, accessorising a tired space not only transforms the look and feel of your bathroom, it’ll make the entire room a more welcoming environment for you to relax and unwind after a hard day.

3. Upgrade Your Lighting

If your bathroom is currently dark enough to grow mushrooms, it’s unlikely you’ll want to spend much time preening yourself in such a murky space. Consequently, use some of your budget to upgrade your bathroom’s lighting – you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make.

Considering the bathroom will be used for different things at different times, whether you’re applying makeup before a big night out or plan to rekindle your relationship with the tub, appropriate lighting will make any experience a pleasure rather than a protracted hassle.

Whilst the tips above are far from comprehensive, they should help give your tired looking bathroom a much-needed boost.