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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Timber Framing

It turns out the process of “timber framing,” or Fachwerk as it is known in German, that is being used in these houses is thousands of years old. The ancient Egyptians were using this method long before we had the advanced building technology that we use today. This structuring was also extremely popular in China and Japan up until the 20th century.

However, timber framing was most popular during the Middle Ages in Northern Europe. Large wooden beams would be fastened with interlocking joinery to form the wooden frames of churches, theaters, homes of the wealthy, and large barns.

When Europeans immigrated to North America, they brought this building approach with them. The timber framing trend swept America from the 1600s to the mid 1800s. Buildings from this time period that display timber framing are still standing in Williamsburg and Yorktown, Virginia, and George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon.

This process saw a resurgence in the 1970’s and an even larger revitalization in the 1990’s in the United States due to new computer operated timber cutting technology that was designed by the Germans. This technology allowed for more home owners to reap the benefits of having a timber framed house – straighter walls, better insulation, and the use of recycled or reclaimed wood beams.

Rich in history and stunning in appearance – timber framing will definitely be utilized in my future home. They exude warmth and a “homey” feel. And even with the wealth of technology we have within our reach in today’s world, timber framing is still a very reliable and sturdy foundation for a home or building. This house framing style is a long-lasting and economical option, allowing for excellent insulation. With better insulation, less money is spent on heating and cooling. And interestingly, with timber framing, ceilings look higher, rooms look bigger and homes look much more open and inviting. There’s nothing better than a money saving, character building, long-lasting foundation option.

Make Great Flooring

Caring for your new vinyl flooring is relatively easy. Harsh chemicals may damage the surface so standard, diluted floor cleaner and a decent mop will be all that is required to keep your new floor clean and shiny. If possible buy a specialist vinyl cleaner as it will be more suited to the job but most all in one floor cleaners will say that they are suitable. If it doesn’t say so on the tub it best to air on the side of caution and choose a different option.

The final and best thing about this type of flooring is it can come in any shade or pattern. You may want wood but not want to incur the cost so you can buy vinyl that has a wooden effect pattern so it look like wood but doesn’t have the cost. This is only one example, you can usually pick from any colour and any pattern so you select the flooring that is perfect for the room that it is going to be laid in and not have to settle for the closest match.

Foundation Crack Repair

Inspect– Cracks can occur for a number of reasons. To repair cracks and address the real reason of cracks to develop, you will need to deeply inspect your home’s foundation. In most cases, you will able to yourself detect the cause of the cracks. The most common reason for these cracks to develop is due to the settling of the soil. Another common cause is the development of excessive moisture around the foundation. If the crack is small, you can easily repair it using DIY methods. But, if the crack is very large, call in a professional for evaluation.

Preparing the Crack for Repair– You will first have to clear all the loose material with the help of a screwdriver and a brush. You can use a hammer and a chisel to widen the crack and undercut the crack edges. After this, rinse the crack with water using a garden hose and pat the area dry using a towel.

Repairing Thin Cracks– There are many patching compounds available in the market, which you can apply using a paintbrush. You can also patch the crack using a cement mixture. Pack the mixture firmly into the crack and level it with a finishing trowel. After about an hour, go over the surface in circular motion using a float or a trowel. This will help it in blending with the surrounding surface.

Repairing Larger Cracks– These can be repaired using Polyurethane, silicone or latex concrete caulk. They can also be filled using hydraulic cement. But, it is always advisable to take the help of an expert.

Sealing the Walls– After the crack and filled and dried, apply waterproof sealant to the foundation walls. This will help in preventing water infiltration.

Keep Basement Dry

Outside:

Many, if not most, wet basement problems are due to poor drainage around your home’s foundation, which can be addressed three ways. Getting the drainage around your home remedied is essential for two reasons.

• Gutters and downspouts – your first line of defense is repairing or replacing gutters and downspouts to ensure that water does not pour down into the ground surrounding the foundation. Today’s gutter systems are made from durable vinyl that will not rust or deteriorate. Make sure the gutters are covered with screening to keep out leaves and debris and that the downspouts are directed away from the foundation.

• Drainage – occasionally a downspout cannot be redirected away from the foundation and you may decide to install a drywell. This involves digging a hole, lining it, placing an open-bottomed, perforated plastic barrel into the middle, fitting it with a PVC overflow pipe and attaching it to the downspout. Although the process is simple, it is hard work and will take all day to complete. The hole and the barrel are filled with stone and make sure that the attached downspout slopes into the drywell.

• Ground slope – when the surrounding ground is flat or sloped towards the foundation it causes water to run down along the walls, seeping into your basement. Build up the ground with top soil and plant deep-rooted grass or ground cover since they will protect against erosion.

Inside:

There are inside measure that you can take to keep your basement dry if the problem is not severe, such as flooding.

• Basement walls – these are constructed of cinder block or concrete, which is porous, so they are susceptible to seepage. If the seepage is not severe, you can use a special waterproofing paint to seal off the walls. This can be found at home improvement stores.

• Humidity – set up a quality dehumidifier based on the square footage of your basement. This will help keep the environment fresher and drier.

• Cracks – if you have cracks that will let water in, use a crack repair kit to fill them in. After repairing them, paint the walls with sealant paint.