• Design And Architecture – The Benefits Of Hiring Professional Architect To Realizing Your Design

    If you are planning to design or renovate your own home, then you really need to consider hiring a professional architect to do all those tedious jobs for you. Why? Well, there’s a good chunk of benefits when you do this. First of all, you are inexperienced and unless you have a graduate degree on architecture your first design could be flawed. Also with the help of a professional architect you can solve all design problems and find the correct solutions. Especially if you are planning to build your very first home on which you are going to live in for years to come. Once you learn the information presented in this article, you will know whether getting an architect to solve your design problems is something that you should look into.

    First, before we discuss some of the specific benefits of hiring a professional architect, let’s talk about why many people are reluctant to hire them. Usually lots of people prefer to defend their ego and pride rather than to accept incapability. They think they can do better themselves just by reading one or two short articles about building a house when in fact they’re not.

    Those professional architects are people who had legitimately spent for at least 4 years in the university to be qualified as one. It’s incomparable if we are trying to achieve the same results as they had done by just following a pre-planned design that we can buy in a general store. Although their services do not come cheap, it will probably save you a lot of money in the long run.

    Now let’s discuss some specific benefits that you can get by hiring professional architects. One, they have an ability to solve most complex design problems and they can find the best solutions to fit your needs. Two, they are quite reliable for managing the whole design project from start to finish. And three, they can also act as a supervisor for the current design project and will have no problem coordinating a team of workers to handle the job according to the plan. Once you know the specific benefits of hiring a professional architect, you will want to get them to help you with your home design plans.

    Sometimes you can also hire them to just give you their expert opinions about your own home plans so you won’t make any obvious mistakes that could jeopardize the entire design. Usually, most of the pre-drawn plans that you can get in a local store are easy to follow if you understand all of the instructions. However, since many of us had hardly any experience on building a design plan from scratch, this could be a problem. It’s true that interior change on any given plan is a very simple adjustment and won’t affect much to the rest of the design plan. But, when you are planning to do a structural change you’d probably need a professional advice before doing so. Basically, having a professional architect to supervise you realizing your own plan is better rather than risking yourself to go with trial and error which eventually cost you more money.

    So in conclusion, people aren’t used to ask for help to build their homes and most of them are likely to try to do it themselves despite all the benefits they can get by hiring someone professional. If you are one of these people, I want you to keep all the information above in mind when you are planning to build a new home from scratch and to decide whether hiring a professional architect is a right decision or not – specifically, evaluate all the benefits given above without allowing your ego and pride get the best out of yourself.



    Source by Fikri Radiyan

  • Are You Paying Too Little for a Home Inspection?

    Choosing a home inspection company based upon the fee is the worst way to choose who will help you finalize your decision on buying a home. Home inspection is no longer some “Bubba” working solo out of his truck. It is a serious business and you need to choose a home inspection company wisely. A home inspector offering a low fee is a red flag to look into.

    People who own and operate a home inspection company as a serious business offer many benefits and protections that less serious inspectors can offer.

    Error and Omissions (E&O) insurance is a large expense for companies offering this. E&O is the insurance that comes into play if something expensive was missed during the home inspection and it needs repaired, such as a major foundation issue.

    Other benefits and protections that can be offered for 90 days are: warranty on the mechanics such as furnace, etc, sewer line warranty, discovered mold, recall research on major appliances, and a termite protection plan. One of the newer protections for home buyers provided by top level home inspection companies is a 5 year roof leak protection plan.

    These benefits and protections for home buyers do have costs that naturally are passed on in the cost of business. If a home inspector offers a fee that is low there is a very good chance that they do not provide E&O insurance or any of the other protections. Other protections that can be offered to a home buyer are: 90 day warranty, sewer line warranty, roof leak warranty, a radon plan, discount on a second inspection if a person does not buy the first place, a 200% money back guaranty, termite plan, check appliances for recalls, mold warranty, same day report delivery, pictures in the report for easy reading and provide ongoing consultation and home ownership materials for you.

    Checking the company for the quality and quantity of reviews they have on places such as Listen360, Google and Yelp is also very valuable information. Having a large number of reviews that are consistently providing good to great comments is far more telling than the one positive or perhaps even the one negative.

    Deciding who to use is an important decision and it should not be based upon finding the cheapest. Buying a home is not a cheap event. It is not the time to short change yourself and add risk to yourself by using a company that does not offer you the protections you and your family need. Be careful who you use and do not use the cheapest because they are cheap for reasons.



    Source by Jim Troth

  • Are Contractors Crooks

    To bring this into the light of scrutiny without over-dramatizing it, we need to first understand the general business model. We sell an item or a service and anything above our expenses is called “profit”.

    The profit or loss margin on a tangible item is much easier to calculate than on a service performed. We all know that if we go to a store and a bottle of soda costs us three dollars, we’re getting ripped off. However, if we get a bid from a contractor to replace a floor, for example, most of us have no idea what a fair price is.

    Contractors rely on this ignorance and they constantly overcharge homeowners on labor performed. As a matter of fact, they are setting new standards for labor costs just by being dishonest. As consumers, we pay a certain amount for things, but if a product rises sharply in price, we notice and complain about it. If that product stays at a high price long enough, the consumers gradually accept it and stop complaining about it.

    This is true not only in the housing industry, but in all industries as well. Think about how much we pay for insurance. An insurance agent has a profit margin that depends entirely on overcharging customers. As in all businesses, this is a very undefined area, so business people just charge according to how much people will pay. Many business owners believe that if a customer will willingly pay the price, then it’s a fair price.

    In our modern world of easy finance, consumers are so quick to buy homes, that they aren’t paying any attention to rising labor costs that are ridiculous. They only see a monthly payment amount that they can or cannot comfortably pay.

    So, in response to the question, “are contractors crooks?” The answer is absolutely. On average most contractors overcharge their clients. But this is true in almost every aspect of the business world.

    The way we can make sure we aren’t getting overcharged from contractors is by doing all the work ourselves. It’s the best way to save well over half the cost of the home. I help people do this all the time.

    There are many books and websites that make the claim that homeowners can save around forty percent on labor costs by being their own General Contractors and hiring sub-contractors to do the work. I have never seen this successfully work in all my years of building homes.

    The problem is that if the homeowner isn’t well versed in contractor job costing, he or she will probably be taken advantage of by sub-contractors. The subs will steal the homeowner’s equity by over-bidding labor costs and usually materials as well.

    Once the homes are finished, the homeowners that do the entire general contracting themselves are usually disappointed with the results in terms of money saved on labor costs. Best-case scenarios that I’ve seen, the homeowner has saved up to twenty percent, but that is rare. In the worst cases, I have seen the subs steal so much equity that the homeowner has to borrow more money to finish the home. That’s unfortunate because a great deal of time is involved in being a general contractor and if you have done a lot of work without a payoff, the whole event will be a big negative in your life.

    I have recently seen several over budget projects from homeowners who have bought a book or certain house plans that have made ridiculous claims to save construction costs by doing all your own general contracting. The books raise false hopes. The authors of these books are usually one-time homebuilders that have a list of do’s and don’ts.

    The problem is that if the authors of those books have made costly mistakes as general contractors, their own plan didn’t work for them either. They always say, “Avoid costly mistakes” but new homeowners that lack experience are going to make many costly mistakes no matter what.

    The real damage done in these cases is not the wasted money on the book or plan, but the wasted time and money on the part of gullible homeowners.

    That’s why I believe that do-it-yourself homebuilders need to literally do-it-themselves. If they are doing all their own labor, they won’t get ripped-off. The price of materials will be the only numbers they have to worry about.

    Building a house by yourself is definitely not for everybody though. I truly believe that we as humans are self-defeating and self under-estimating. We can do just about anything we believe in, but therein lies the problem. Once we stop believing in ourselves, we find limits where they shouldn’t exist.

    Building our own homes strengthens our self-esteem. Once we start tearing down boundaries and limitations in our lives, …

  • Potential Problems With Pull-Out Kitchen Trash Cans

    Throughout the years many customers have had our company install pull-out trash cans in their kitchen cabinetry. I realized the problems of having one of these roll-out units when I included one in the design of my own cupboards. Although there are some advantages, I feel that there are more cons than pros to having these slide out units installed in the kitchen cabinetry.

    Slide Mechanism Gets Bent

    One of the biggest problems we had with ours is that the children (pre-teens and teenagers) would smash the trash down in the can and the force would cause the slide mechanism to get bent out of shape. Even though I would politely ask them to not do this inevitably, they would force the contents downward because they were too lazy to take out the full bag outside and replace it with a new one. I had even installed the heavy-duty roll-out trash can and we still had issues with the slides getting bent. Well, when you have six to ten kids on the weekends something’s bond to get bent. The main thing is that the parents don’t get bent out of shape.

    The Odors Linger in the Cabinetry

    It’s a rather distasteful smell when the trash has not been taken out for a few days or perhaps spoiled meat, such as chicken was forgotten about and left in the cabinets pull-out trash can. Over time, even though the interior of the cupboard gets cleaned thoroughly with bleach, Lysol, Formula 409 or Pine Sol, there is still an unpleasant aroma that begins to form as the cabinetry ages and the kitchen is subjected to regular use.

    Although the pull-out trash can is a nice add-on or extra to have in the kitchen cabinet design, I’d consider finding a different place to put the trash can if that’s a viable option. Even if you don’t have teenagers to break the slides on the unit, the odors that accumulate inside the cupboards remain even after performing a thorough cleaning. Among the problems, another one is that sometimes the can does not extend past the drawer above it far enough and every time you remove the canister it tends to hit the drawer front.



    Source by Jordy Christo

  • Getting $25,000 Personal Loans With No Credit Check

    There is no denying that a large loan can come in extremely useful when trying to take control of financial problems. But getting the funds in the first place is the tricky part. Thankfully, the availability of a $25,000 personal loan with no credit check makes it very possible.

    There was a time when having bad credit scores was enough to create great doubt over the ability to get even a small loan. But the economic collapse of recent years has meant that even honest borrowers have been affected badly. Now, to get approval despite bad credit is no longer out of the question, even with a large loan sum.

    What is more, because of the rise of online lenders, the personal loans on offer are much more affordable than might have been thought. And the fact no credit checks are carried out means that these lenders are happy to accept the risk that comes with ignoring bad credit histories.

    Why No Check Loans Work?

    There can be no surprise that bad credit borrowers are happy if their credit histories are ignored by lenders. But it is perhaps surprising that online lenders are so willing to do so. After all, by granting a $25,000 personal loan with no credit check they are leaving themselves vulnerable to borrowers with terrible track records.

    But their calculations have been quite exact, and it is known that the attraction of getting approval despite bad credit is strongest amongst those who want to rebuild their credit reputation. So, the offer of no credit check is more likely to attract a multitude of reliable borrowers, more than outweighing the risk of losses.

    Also, even with the competitive interest rates, the rate is still higher than normal. This means that the lender ends up making a profit anyway. So, regardless of the type of personal loan taken out, profits will be made.

    Aspects to Remember

    Applying for a $25,000 personal loan with no credit check seems like an ideal loan transaction, but there are some pros and cons to it. Not least amongst the list of negatives are the compromises that need to be made, while there is also the massive plus of applying with confidence.

    In truth, that is the biggest advantage, with the likelihood of getting approval despite bad credit so strong that access to much needed funds seems almost guaranteed. It means even those with a terrible credit history can get the green light. But, there is no actual guarantee, and meeting criteria remains the core aspect of the application.

    On the negative side, the interest rates charged are going to be higher than normal, even if they are better than those charged by traditional lenders. The higher rate is in compensation for the risk undertaken and means that over the lifetime of the loan, the amount paid in interest is much higher. This kind of personal loan, therefore, is not the most cost effective.

    Why Online Lenders are the Best Option

    Going to traditional lenders for your loan needs is a natural choice for millions of people, but it is also the expensive option. The best options available are from online lenders, mainly due to the lower rates and more flexible repayment schedules they offer. This is telling when it comes to getting $25,000 personal loans with no credit checks.

    Online lenders are experts in lending to bad credit borrowers, with their loan packages suited to those who are recovering their financial reputation. For this reason, the chances of getting approval despite bad credit are much higher.

    All this makes the online lender impossible to beat, though it is always important to trust the lender. So, check their reputation out on the BBB website before deciding on a personal loan deal from them.



    Source by Donna N Hammond

  • What Is Plugmold? An Introduction to Multioutlet Assembly

    Those who are not inclined towards electrical repairs or handyman work do not know what plugmold is. Technically, Plugmold is a product line under the Wiremold Company, which manufactures and designs wire and cable management solution. For handyman or electricians, plugmold is just a strip of outlets.

    Many people might have seen a plugmold before but they do not know what is plugmold? and just perceived it as an ordinary outlets. What is plugmold? and the advantages of having one installed on your office or home will be discussed in this article.

    What is plugmold? and its uses?

    In residential use, plugmold is commonly found on the kitchen where it usually replaced conventional outlets that can disrupt the backsplash. Plugmolds can be mounted on that of the backsplash or just under the cabinets where it is hidden or out of sight. Some electricians install plugmolds on the bottom where the backsplash and the counter meet to hide the dangling cords.

    Plugmolds are also known as plug strips or as referred to by the Code, multioutlet assemblies. In school, laboratories, and like locations, plugmolds are commonly installed to ease away from extension cords and to provide convenient plug outlets when it is needed. The set of outlets can be spaced quite close together, in regular intervals, and saves time compared to other installation methods. Computer rooms where several computers must be used at the same time use plugmolds as outlets. Plugmolds allow you to install 6 to 10 outlets in any place that you need them.

    What is plugmold? Commercial and industrial use

    Plugmolds can be used in electrical or appliance stores where plenty of outlets are needed. For example, a store has lamps that need to be plugged and turned on/off all at once to show to customers. Plugmolds can also be used in industrial applications. An example is a repair shop where several soldering tools are used. Plugmolds allow these tools to be turned on simultaneously without using extension wires or interruption. It saves time and serves as a convenient outlet for the employees.

    While you do might not need an electrical permit to install plugmolds, you must still refer to the National Electrical Code or NEC. There you can research about what is plugmold? and what it says about Wiremold and multioutlet assemblies. While the NEC permits surface metal raceways or multioutlet assemblies, there are still limitations on how many appliances you can plugged on plugmolds. The number of appliances are affected by the ampere and voltage rating of the appliances, and the size of wire you used in your plugmolds’ assembly.

    If you intend to install plugmolds or multioutlet assemblies on your homes, call a local electrician or refer to the installation guide. Plugmolds can also be bought in two sets: a self contained strip that are easy to install, and a hard wire strip which can be fed with wire mold metal surface raceways. The self-contained strip comes with a protective built-in circuit breaker to avoid overloading the circuit.



    Source by EM August

  • Considering Buying a Wall Mounted Vanity?

    Wall mount vanities are a very big trend. They are for the contemporary home with sleek styles and finishes. If you have a contemporary flair and remodeling your bathroom, a wall mount vanity will make a big impression. Since there is no bottom to the vanity it makes it really easy to clean as well. It sounds like an easy decision to make if you like the style but be forewarned. It may cost a lot more than what you may expect.

    The installation of the wall mount vanity is where the cost can go up significantly over a floor mount vanity. Before making any purchase, discuss the costs with contractor so the expense is known upfront. Many contractors have never installed a wall mount vanity but they’ll tell you it’s no problem. It’s not unfair to question your contractor’s experience. If they have no experience, later they may come back to you with “unforeseen” issues and demand more money. It is important to discuss those details before the purchase is made and even then there still may be something “unforeseen”. This is unfortunately true with most aspects of the renovation process.

    There are two main issues to address with your contractor when installing a wall mount vanity. First, discuss the installation to the wall. Since you won’t have the vanity yet, you may not know how it’s supposed to be installed. There may or may not be installation instructions available in advance or at all. This is more common than you may think but the industry is starting to provide more information overall. The installation is more about the wall and the stud and less about the vanity itself. Reinforcing the entire vanity wall before tiling is widely recommended. The vanity is normally bolted to the wall. Second, be sure to address the location of the plumbing supply lines and drain. Many wall hung vanities have a U-shaped cut-out to accommodate the drain. This is especially common for any vanity with drawers in the center. The supply lines and drain need to fall within the frame of the vanity and they must be centered if there are any U-shaped cut-outs. If the vanity is open on the inside without shelves or cut-outs then the plumbing doesn’t have to be in the center but it is more visually appealing when you open the vanity doors. If you will need to move the plumbing to accommodate the vanity, please discuss the additional labor costs before you purchase the vanity.

    By addressing these two major issues with your contractor prior to your purchase, you will confidently understand the total cost involved with purchasing a wall mounted vanity. If you are doing new construction, you will still need to review the vanity specifications with the contractor.

    Good luck with your renovation and wall mount vanity purchase!



    Source by Lolo LaRue