The Technology Behind Structural Insulated Panels

 

Modern building techniques emphasise the importance of building performance and energy efficiency. This stems from a greater awareness and desire to conserve natural resources. Structural insulated panels or SIPs are one of the many building materials that can help realise these goals. SIPs can slow down air, vapour, and heat transfer thus creating an airtight enclosure with impressive thermal performance.

Development of SIPs

The idea that became the predecessor for the technology which resulted in modern SIP panels originated in Madison, Wisconsin in 1935. The Forest Products Laboratory made a prototype using a framing member, some plywood, insulation, and hardboard sheathing.

These prototype panels were used to assemble test homes which were dismantled 30 years later revealing how these prototype panels retained much of their characteristics. In the 1960s, it was Alden B. Dow who first created SIPs with a foam core for mass production. Today, modern SIPs are fabricated in factories and used extensively for walls, roofs, and floors in construction.

The composition of SIPs

Each panel is primarily composed of an insulation core sandwiched between two rigid sheathing materials. The insulation core is either made of expanded polystyrene or polyurethane foam. EPS insulation core is laminated into the boards using high pressure, while PUR foam is a liquid that is injected into the middle of the panel and cured using high pressure.

Comparison of foam core types

Expanded polystyrene foam is the cheapest core material available and can be modified easily in the field. Extruded polystyrene, on the other hand, is stronger than EPS and is also water resistant. SIPs with polyurethane foam have the highest thermal performance, are water resistant, and more durable than other core insulation types. However, polyurethane foam is more expensive and has thickness limitations.

Comparison of sheathing types

The most common sheathing material used in SIP fabrication is oriented strand board. It has a high load bearing capacity and can be fabricated in large panels. Unfortunately, OSB is prone to mould growth when exposed to moisture. Since it is not fire-resistant, it has to be treated with a fire retardant.

Another sheathing option is sheet metal which has the advantage of mould resistance. However, sheathing SIPs with sheet metal means it needs to be stainless steel or galvanised iron.

Performance of SIPs

When SIPs are correctly used in creating an airtight building envelope, it is possible to prevent outdoor air infiltration and construct a building with excellent thermal performance. Generally, SIPs are durable and robust provided that the proper construction techniques are used. SIPs are not inherently fireproof; hence, it is essential to consult with the manufacturer as well as the planning engineer if additional fireproofing is required.

The same applies to create a moisture barrier to protect the panels. If using a weather barrier during construction, it needs to be permeable so that boards can dry out. All joints, as well as door and window openings, need to be appropriately sealed to prevent moisture from infiltrating into the panels.

Ron Cadman – The Benefits of Investing in a Garden

For most people in the USA, investing in a garden is something that very few of us actually want to do. The reason for this comes down to the amount which you will use it, and this is why other areas of the property are considered when it comes to spending money. My friend Ron Cadman got on to me for many years about updating my garden, and 2 years ago I eventually cracked and decided to borrow a little bit of money from a lender, to renovate the garden area. I must confess that this was something which I had been wrong about in the past and that having the garden completed has given me a lot of benefits.

Property Price

Something which I completely failed to realize when I was carrying out this work on the garden was that the money which I had invested in it, would be recouped thanks to the increase of value on the property. Not every part of the house can increase your property’s value when you renovate it but the garden certainly is one which will. There is a great demand across the country for nicely designed gardens and that is why you shovel think about spending a little bit of money to get a nice looking garden and add a little to the value of your property.

Hobby

I would be something of a fraud if I told you that I had enjoyed gardening all of my life, the truth is that I never have enjoyed it and since a young age I actively sought to avoid it. It was surprising for me then that once I had a garden of my own, I suddenly felt an urge to get out there and interact with the garden. Two years on and I currently spend most evenings and weekends in the garden, and I even have a subscription to a gardening magazine! You may find that you also have green fingers and if so then you will really enjoy seeing your work come to light.

Guests

During the summer months we would often go to someone’s home for a BBQ or a outdoor party yet we could never repay the favor because our garden was always in such a state. The first year after the garden was finished however we were able to invite friends, family and neighbors around to our garden for a BBQ, without feeling any shame. You know how it is amongst neighbors and our improved garden helped us with our social status amongst them.

Looking Out

There is something extremely gratifying to look out of your home window and see a beautiful looking garden rather than an outdoor area which looks more akin to a bomb site. I never realized just how much I hated my old back yard until I invested in it, and now I can enjoy gazing over it with my morning coffee, a lovely little benefit of having the work done.

 

The Best Ways To Improve The Interior of Your Home

If you’re on the lookout for creative ways to improve the interior of your home, simply continue reading to discover a few inspirational interior decorating tips and tricks.

The best ways to improve the interior of your home:

1. Get custom curtains made for your home

One way to instantly transform your home’s interior is to get custom curtains made for your home. As an example, if your lounge currently features plain neutral curtains, you may want to switch out your plain curtains for patterned or textured curtains. As an example, just imagine how great your lounge would look with classic jacquard print curtains or luxurious velvet textured curtains.

Alternatively, if you’re interested in renovating your master bedroom, you may be interested in investing in blackout curtains, which are just as practical as they are stylish.

2. Repaint some of the walls in your home

Another way to quickly change the look of your home’s interior is to repaint the walls in your home. As an example, you may want to modernize your home by using a dark grey paint to paint your lounge, study and master bedroom.

3. Upgrade your flooring by installing laminate flooring in your home

If your home’s current flooring, such as the flooring in your kitchen and bathroom look tired or outdated, it’s well worth upgrading your home’s flooring by covering your current flooring with fuss-free yet stylish Quick-Step Impressive Laminate flooring. Laminate flooring is a great option as it’s simple to install and is incredibly hardy and is sure to stand the test of time.

Better yet, laminate flooring comes in a plethora of different styles and textures. As examples, you can purchase laminate flooring which simulates the look of hardwood flooring as well as laminate flooring which simulates the look of stone flooring.

4. Use decorative rugs to dress up your home

One cost-effective way to update your home’s interior is to purchase a few decorative rugs which you can use to dress up multiple rooms in your home. Such as your lounge, your bedroom, and your study. If you’re looking for an effective, simple way to make your home feel like a warm, inviting space to spend time in, you’ll love how cozy your home will feel after placing a few carefully chosen rugs around your home.

5. Don’t limit yourself when it comes to textures, prints, and patterns

While some individuals may try to limit the number of textures, prints, and patterns which they use to decorate their home, your home will look far more stylish if you try to incorporate a few different textures, prints, and patterns into your home’s interior decor.

As an example, you may want to furnish a lounge which features a leather sofa, patterned pillows, a suede ottoman, a wood coffee table, and a glass vase.

6. Create a backsplash for your kitchen using modern white tiles

One way to give your kitchen a contemporary aesthetic is to create a stylish backsplash for your kitchen, using modern white tiles.

So if you’re looking to transform your home’s interior, it’s definitely worth using the six interior design tips listed above, to help you achieve your goal.

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4 Reasons Your Ideal Interior Designer Should Be A Parent

If you’re a parent, you know the importance of seeking advice from other parents. Generally speaking, many non-parents don’t have a realistic view of what it’s like to raise a child. Many hold simplistic views of what it takes to correct a child’s behavior. It’s not their fault. They just haven’t experienced the futility of everyday things like trying to keep socks and shoes on scurrying little feet.

From a non-parent’s perspective, a three-year-old tossing a sock on the ground in the middle of the grocery store can seem like a simple opportunity for discipline: punish them and they won’t do it again. Once they have kids, they’ll understand the futility, and why so many parents let their kids run around barefoot, even in the grocery store.

The same holds true for hiring an interior designer to decorate your dream home. For example, if you’ve got young children who love to get behind the sofa or recliner, you can’t hide cords back there. Decorating that area of your home will be limited to cordless lighting, or the cords will need to be tacked along the baseboards, up the wall, or under the carpet. An interior designer without kids might think you should be able to control where your kids play. They won’t understand that no matter how well you discipline your kids, they will still get behind the sofa and chair.

Searching for an interior designer to beautify your home and create an inviting environment is a process. It’s important to find an interior designer who gets your vision, your taste in décor, and understands your needs as a parent.

  1. An interior designer with kids will be living in the real world

People with kids understand that how things “should be” doesn’t apply. Kids shouldn’t run through the house, just like cats shouldn’t climb drapes, but both will happen regardless of established consequences.

Children have the highest risk for home injury and accidents. Each year, more than 3.4 million kids are unintentionally injured in the home, and over 2,300 children under 15 die from their injuries. You shouldn’t need to convince a designer of this risk. Another parent will take your concerns for safety seriously.

An interior decorator with kids won’t bat an eye at your request that all potential safety hazards need to be eliminated. They won’t call your parenting capabilities into question. They’ll just do their job.

  1. Parents silently get each other

Parents understand each other on a level that often requires no words. When you bring your toddler to a friend’s house with a stained t-shirt, another parent wouldn’t bat an eye. Someone without kids might wonder why you didn’t dress them in clean clothes before coming over.

If you ask an interior designer with children to avoid certain styles or do things a little differently because you have kids, they won’t have to ask for an explanation. They’ll just get it.

  1. They naturally think about things non-parents don’t

An interior designer with children will come to you armed with unique experiences that arose from being a parent. You probably won’t need to remind them of the need to install childproof doorknobs, and they might already be thinking about ways to modify their designs to meet your needs. For example, if you want indoor plants, they might already have a solution to make them childproof by placing a section of burlap sack over the soil. You can still water the plant through the burlap, but your kids can’t dig around in the soil and get it all over the carpet and house.

  1. You’ll have something in common to connect over

You’re going to spend a lot of time with your interior designer. Connecting with another parent can give you something in common to talk about. Everyone prefers to connect with people they can relate to. Parents tend to connect better with other parents, especially when they don’t share anything else in common.

You deserve a designer who listens

The right interior designer will understand your requests that center on child safety. They won’t tell you to do a better job parenting your kids to avoid altering their design ideas. They’ll listen to your ideas and concerns and find a way to make it work.

What Items Do You Need to Complete the Look of Your Dining Room?

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s getting harder and harder to get the family together in one place. You can’t treasure each moment with your loved ones if they are not physically there. That’s why you should make it a rule that everyone should be present in the dining room during supper time.

The dining room is the one place your family can bond, share stories and have a good time with one another; hence, you should make the dining room look cozier and comfortable for the whole family to eat in. This way, they will feel relaxed sitting at the dining table and enjoy a good night with everyone.

Here are the things you’ll need:

  1. A dining table set. Buying a quality dining set will surely benefit you in the long run. You can choose to go rustic like the magnolia manor collection or go contemporary with modern and metallic table sets.
  2. Lighting. Lighting helps create a more intimate feel for your dining room. Be sure to buy warm lights with yellow hues. You can opt to choose chandeliers to add grandeur to the dining room or go for a more contemporary vibe by adding in unique and modern designed ornamental light fixtures. The dining room’s lighting fixtures will be highly dependent on your chosen dining room set. If you chose a rustic looking table set, a chandelier is the best match for your dining room. But if you pick a metallic or glass table set, you can go for more contemporary looking lighting fixtures.
  3. Vase. A vase is essential on a dining room table so that you can add fresh flowers in it each week. It will definitely cheer up the room and help create a warm atmosphere that will make everyone feel positively happy.
  4. Fruit bowl. Fruit bowls are not only functional, but they are also decorative and add an aesthetic appeal to your dining room. It is best to place one on the table.
  5. Paintings. Paintings add a personalized touch to the room. You can choose to feature anything as long as it suits your tastes. Paintings make the whole room cozier and more relaxed. The best artworks you’ll want to display are those that depict nature or landscapes like mountains or fields of flowers. These kinds of paintings evoke a homey feel that will add to the warm atmosphere of the dining room.
  6. Curtains. Curtains are the oldest trick in the book to make your dining room look inviting and warm. As you know, curtains can make any house look lived in. The brightly patterned fabric can improve the atmosphere of the whole place. So, it will definitely do wonders for your dining room as well.

These are the ways you can achieve your dream home with a more homey vibe in your dining room. Getting these things will surely encourage your loved ones to sit and bond with each other, so be sure to remember these items when you are on your next shopping spree.

Image: Pixabay.com

 

4 Fall Maintenance Tips You Should Do Every Year

Fall is an exciting time of year. Not only do the hot temperatures cool off, but it means the holiday season is right around the corner. However, it’s also a sign that it’s time to show your house a little love.

4 Maintenance Tasks to Tackle During the Fall

When fall rolls around and provides a welcome respite from the heat of the summer, you might be tempted to sit down and kick your feet up. But before you relax, you should take the time to tackle the following home maintenance tasks.

1. Clean Out Gutters

After the majority of the leaves have fallen, you’ll want to take the time to inspect and clean out your gutters.

“Clearing your gutters out at least twice a year is recommended and can save you hundreds of dollars by avoiding repairs and gutter replacement,” Kefauver Lumber Company explains. “Also, when you’re cleaning gutters and downspouts it allows you to inspect and look for warning signs of more significant issues such as: sagging, mold, mildew, and leaks.”

While you’re up on a ladder, take a few minutes to inspect your roof. Look for warning signs that the roof is deteriorating or leaking. Signs that something is wrong include: buckled shingles, rust spots on flashing, cracked or missing shingles, sagging, and algae staining.

2. Drain Irrigation System

You won’t be needing your irrigation system during the winter months, so there’s no sense in leaving it on. Doing so could cause even the deepest buried irrigation lines to freeze and burst.

To drain your sprinkler system, start by turning off the water to the system at the main valve. You should then shut off the automatic controller and open all drain valves to remove water from the system. Find any above-ground sprinkler heads, remove them, shake out excess water, and replace.

If you happen to have an older system that doesn’t contain drain valves, you can hire an irrigation professional in your area to blow out the systems with compressed air. The cost is far cheaper than replacing a busted pipe.

3. Seal Up Air Leaks

One of the major drivers of utility costs during the fall and winter months is heat loss through windows, doors, and other openings in the home.

“The change in temperature and humidity and normal wear and tear can cause window seals to crack and shrink,” DIY Network notes. “Check your windows and doors inside and out for leaks and drafts. Caulk cracks or install weather stripping around windows and doors, including the garage door. Replace screens with storm windows and clean them if needed.”

4. Inspect the Fireplace and Chimney

There’s nothing better than lighting the fireplace on a cool day and enjoying the natural warmth. However, before you turn on your fireplace, it’s imperative that you give it a once-over to make sure it’s safe and operational.

Grab a flashlight and shine it up your fireplace flue to be sure the damper opens and closes. You’ll also want to make sure it doesn’t have any unusual obstructions, such as animals, birds’ nests, branches, or excess soot. Also keep an eye out for missing bricks, chipped mortar, or other damage. If you spot anything out of the ordinary, it would be wise to call in a professional to address the problem.

Show Your House a Little Love

A quality-built home can last for centuries, but you can’t neglect it over the years and expect it to hold its value. Keeping it in tip-top shape requires some TLC and attention to detail. Whether it’s spring, summer, winter, or fall, there are plenty of seasonal maintenance tasks ready to be tackled. What will you start with?

How To Decorate Your Dream Home

Finding that dream home – perfect location, perfect size, perfect price – it is a tall order. An even taller order is deciding how to decorate it, not only to enhance its value but also to suit the lifestyle of its owner. Many of our Calgary real estate home buyers struggle to get their new home they way they want it.

If the owner is a Martha Stewart-like maven, maybe he or she will make quick work out of pairing paint and patterns, furniture and flooring, and window treatments and wallpaper. Most homeowners, though, will find the task daunting, if not downright overwhelming.

Here are some directives for those who dare to dabble in interior design.

  1. Flooring choices abound, and cost might make some of them prohibitive. Tile, wood and carpet are the three primary materials, and choosing one (or a combination) should depend on how the room is going to be used, and who is going to use it. Weather can play a role in the decision, too. A hot and humid environment wreaks havoc on wood, for example.
  2. Furniture placement can create harmony in the home and establish scenes or vignettes. Consider the focal point of each room – the window, the television, the back yard – prior to plopping down the bed, the couch or the patio table. Angled furniture adds dimension and interest to interior spaces. Setting furniture in the middle of the “great room,” for instance, can break up the area and add cohesion.
  3. Home décor, including artwork, wall accents, tabletop objects and area rugs, are a little more personal. The best way to go about adding flair is to decide on a theme and seek out a dominant piece around which to build. If the theme is tropical palm trees, as an example, find an appealing print or a colorful wall hanging or a synthetic palm tree in a pretty basket to set off the room.
  4. Decorative items such as pillows and ornaments strategically placed can add so much to a room. It can take a boring room to cozy and luxurious with just a few strategically placed items. But be careful to not over clutter your areas.
  5. Finally, remember there are no hard-and-fast rules, and thinking “outside the box” can yield creative results. Page through decorating magazines, or watch the HGTV channel, or go online to search for inspiration. The goal is to turn that dream home into a dreamy environment.

 

Is It A Good Idea To Change Your Windows

If you live in the large cities, you most likely want to change your Ottawa windows or you want to make a bit of a change as you see fit. People like the idea of changing stuff in their life. It’s a part of their lifestyle and they do want to make changes like these as often as they can. But doing that is not as simple. You need a plan to figure out what you want and where you should go from here. It all comes down to having the right approach and using a good system that helps you.

That’s where changing the windows Toronto comes into play. Changing your windows allows you to refresh your home a little bit. It offers a new perspective on the stuff you do, and it just makes things a whole lot easier due to that. You still have to deal with challenges as you go along. But it’s something that you can avoid if you want to. It all comes down to figuring out what you want from your home and setting that as a plan.

A remodel will pay off immensely and the best part is that you can easily adapt that to suit your needs. It’s certainly not an easy thing to do, but it does bring in front some nice benefits and a good value as you go along. People like the idea of changing their windows because it helps them refresh their home. It’s a nice thing to do. But it can also be costly depending on the windows you choose.

You can opt for some simple windows, or you can choose something more complex. If you go with the complex stuff, the prices will be higher and you need to be prepared for that. But it does make a lot of sense to do something like this, and the return on investment can be a great one in the end. The value is always impressive, as long as you stick to the idea at hand.

You need to have a budget set right off the bat. This way you can avoid going off the rails with the overall pricing. Once you have that covered, you will find it easier to change your windows in a fast and meaningful way.

Stick to your budget and remember that you can always try out new stuff. Think about the new style that you want to pursue. And remember, these new windows need to fit your lifestyle. They need to bring in front some unique results, and in the end they will help you quite a lot. It all comes down to adapting that to your lifestyle, and once you do that nothing will be impossible. It’s important to see what you like and what you dislike, once you do that nothing will be able to stand in your way. And it will be very well worth it for the long run!

Steps To Saving For A Down Payment For Your Home

Buying a home is almost everybody’s dream. Everybody has that dream house they have wanted for years. As you plan to buy a house, it’s important to start thinking about how to save for a down payment.  The down payment will be money you will need to access. However, unlike other savings, it’s crucial that you save wisely to avoid loss of the savings.

For those who have had investments, you know that you can earn more money, retain the initial amount or lose it.  However, for a down payment, you need to be careful not to lose any money. As such, how you intend to save determines how secure the money is so that once you have attained the minimum amount, you can start paying towards your new home.

Here’s how to save for that down payment:

  1. Know how much you need

The truth is, you can’t just start saving without knowing how much you need. Have a sit down with a mortgage lender who will explain in details and let you know how much mortgage you qualify for.  Mortgage lenders have a system where they calculate the amount to lend to a borrower using qualification ratios. You can have a specific amount of how much you may need. There is the rule where your mortgage payment should not go over 28% of your gross monthly income. For example, if you earn $100,000 annually, your monthly mortgage payment should not exceed $2,333.

Note, the more down payment to have, the better the rates you get and the less the repayment period. Before taking out the mortgage, ensure that your credit rating is good. Ensure there are no late credit card debt payments as this destroys your credit rating. However, with a good credit repair company, it’s possible to have it removed. Check out more information here https://creditrepaircompanies.com/late-payments/.

  1. Know your timeframe

How much time do you have to save? When do you plan to make the down payment? Having an answer to these questions will help you know how much money you need to start saving.  Most mortgage lenders require a 20% down payment.  For example, if the mortgage loan is $ 180,000, and the down payment is 20%, the actual down payment will be as follows:

$180000 divided by (100/80) = $225,000 (total amount to be paid)

To get the down payment amount will be:

$225,000-$180,000= $45,000

In case you want to buy a home in three years’ time, you will need to save $15,000 per year.

  1. Start saving

Saving is never easy, and it needs a lot of discipline for it to work. Your down payment amount should be a motivator for you. Have an automatic funds transfer. You can automate it by having a monthly automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account. This way, you have no co tact with the money.

You may receive unexpected money in the form of a raise or bonuses. Save that money and see how quickly you get to raise the down payment. Also, the change you get after a purchase can go to the savings account. Another great way is, in case you have any student loan, refinance it and have a friendlier interest rate which helps you save for your home down payment.

  1. Work with a budget

A budget is crucial to ensuring that you stick to the plan. Working with a budget helps you develop the discipline not to overspend. Work out your income versus your expenses. Your budget should include your down payment amount. In case your budget is strained, you may be forced to identify ways to make more money for it to accommodate the down payment savings. Identify areas where t=you can reduce the expenses. Find out ideas on how to make your appliances more energy efficient.

Owning a home gives you joy knowing that you have worked towards it. Choose a home that you can pay the mortgage comfortably without breaking the bank. Live within your means and avoid letting other people influence you into buying a house that could cost you a fortune. Plan for your future for a more fulfilling life.

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WBC Homes On Finding A Contractor For Patio Covers

Patio covers is one of the many services offered to homes on the West Coast of California by WBC Homes (West Coast Better Homes). Other services offered, according to their videos and portfolio, include roofing and windows, across Burbank, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Burbank. They are one of the many companies in the area that offers these types of services, however, which is why it is important that people learn to find out how to recognize a good contractor.

WBC Homes on Finding a Good Contractor for Patio Covers

If you have a patio or deck and you want to have it covered, it is important that you choose a professional contractor that understands not just your personal needs, but also the needs relating to the climate.  California is subjected to the Santa Ana winds, leading to quite extreme weather conditions that can be somewhat unpredictable. It is important therefore, that your patio cover is designed to be able to withstand these types of conditions. On top of that, you need to know what you will use your patio for.

If you want to use your patio to hold things such as some chairs, a table, and the barbecue, and you intend to  frequently entertain in the space, you will need a different design that if you are looking for something to simply keep the sun off your back. There are endless possibilities to consider, particularly in relation to enclosure and climate control period you must work with a contractor that understands all of this.

It is recommended that you spend some time collecting ideas on designs, materials, size, shape, and so on. Remember that you were dealing with not just the Santa Ana winds, but also the weather conditions of the Mojave Desert. Well you are not expected to have the knowledge of a building contractor yourself, it is always good to have at least some background idea of the things that matter before you start consulting. Last but not least, you obviously need to consider your budgets. Unfortunately, most of us do have to stick to a certain amount of money.

Armed with this knowledge, you can start contacting contractors to discuss your ideas. Or contractor should be happy to provide you with a free, no obligation quotation. They should not pressure you into making a decision on the spot. If you come across a contractor that tries to lure you in with deals that are only available for the next 24 hours, simply move on and find a different one. The contractor should also be able to create pictures, preferably through something like AutoCAD design, so you have a visual idea of what things will end up looking like.Try to get at least five different quotations so that you get a good idea of what a fair price is and in to choose the one that offers you the best value for money overall, which is not necessarily the cheapest price.