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Folder Building & Construction tutorials
Building & Construction tutorials explain in simple terms how to  learn, understand, develop, complete and finish your project. It introduces  important Building & Construction concepts, methods, techniques and tools.

10 Tips for Working With a Contractor
By: Debbie Rodgers

This is the year you're going all out. You're going to build a deck, add a porch, erect a gazebo or lay a patio. You've done the research. It's well within your capability and you're looking forward to the satisfaction of creating a structure of beauty.

Or not. Yes -- you'd like to proceed with an outdoor structure but for you, it isn't a do-it-yourself project. How can you find the right person to do it for you? Here are 10 tips for hiring and working with a contractor.

1. Plan your project carefully. Clip pictures, make sketches, write a description. This will help you accurately convey to the contractor what you want the finished product to be.

2. Make a list of contractors. Ask your neighbors or friends for the names of reputable tradesmen. Contact material suppliers -- lumberyards, for example -- and ask for recommendations...Details

Building a Home Addition
By Mark Donovan

Besides providing your home with more living space, a home addition can be a terrific investment. However, before embarking on such a project the homeowner should first consider several important items. These items include: home market values in the neighborhood, financing, size and scale of project, architecture, timetable for completion, personal disruption/inconvenience threshold and the sweat equity commitment level.

Size of Addition and Market Value

Prior to actually breaking ground on a home addition, it is best to first determine what you are looking for in terms of additional living space. For example: How many square feet? What types of rooms? Once this is understood, it is then important to find out the market value of homes in the local area with similar size and features to the new and improved home.

Building Your Dream Home - Part 1
By Mark Donovan

For most of my adult life I had thought about someday building my Dream Home. Several years ago I finally got the chance. I had purchased a lake front lot with a small cottage on it. My initial intention was to use the property “as is”, and someday raze the old cottage and build a new home in its place. After a couple of weekends in the musty old camp I came to the conclusion that I needed to speed up my timetable.

Part of the dream in building my own home was to act as the General Contractor and to personally supply a great deal of sweat equity. I accomplished both of these goals, however it was not easy. There were many roadblocks and bends in the road along the way. In the subsequent parts of this chronology, I will review my experiences in hopes that others may gain from my experiences.

Building Your Dream Home - Part 2
By Mark Donovan

Razing the Cottage

With new house plans and permits in hand, subcontractors hired and a Septic Design in process, it was now time to raze the existing cottage. I considered employing the local fire department to burn it down, however I chose the demolition route instead. Though I did not contact the Fire Department, I was convinced that this route would have led to multiple delays and pitfalls, as I would have been at the whim of several town employees and weather conditions. The demolition route required only the excavator subcontractor and had less weather related schedule risks. In addition, the demolition cost and effort was very reasonable. Within two days, it was as if the cottage never existed on the land. It is important to note, however, that the cottage was relatively small. It was 22’ x 30’. If the cottage had been significantly larger, then the Fire Department route may have made more financial sense.

ICF Homes
By Dagmar Rakos

In this article you will find some basic information about ICF homes.

  • What does ICF stand for?
    ICF is an acronym for Insulated Concrete Form
  • What is an ICF?
    ICF’s are stay in place forms used to build admirable concrete homes.
  • What are some benefits associated ICF home?
    There are quite a few benefits in building or buying an ICF home. Such as fire resistance, superior structural integrity, energy savings, and an ecologically sound building process, among others.
  • How popular are ICF homes?
    About three percent of homes being built today are ICF homes. It is estimated that by the year 2005, five percent of all new homes that are built, will be ICF home.

  • Insulated Concrete Forms
    By Dagmar Rakos

    Insulated concrete forms (ICF) come in three main types – Blocks, Planks, and Panels.

    Hollow blocks are the most common, with 2 inch thick sides that are held together with plastic or steel connectors that extend to the faces of the block, providing a fastening point for wall finishes. Hollow blocks are normally 16 inches high by 48 inches long.

    The overall width of a hollow block depends on the thickness of the concrete, which could vary from 4 to 12 inches or more depending on whether it’s an above grade wall or basement wall.

    Modular Homes...Here are the Advantages
    By Nancy Storrs

    This is the year you're going all out. You're going to build a deck, add a porch, erect a gazebo or lay a patio. You've done the research. It's well within your capability and you're looking forward to the satisfaction of creating a structure of beauty.

    Or not. Yes -- you'd like to proceed with an outdoor structure but for you, it isn't a do-it-yourself project. How can you find the right person to do it for you? Here are 10 tips for hiring and working with a contractor.

    1. Plan your project carefully. Clip pictures, make sketches, write a description. This will help you accurately convey to the contractor what you want the finished product to be.

    2. Make a list of contractors. Ask your neighbors or friends for the names of reputable tradesmen. Contact material suppliers -- lumberyards, for example -- and ask for recommendations.

    Selecting a Site and Style for Your Log Cabin
    By Jack Hudson

    Here are some tips on deciding the location as well as the side of your cottage. I wish I could tell you which cottage you should build, but you're going to have to decide that for yourself. You'll have to select a cottage to fit the piece of property you own or intend to buy. You'll also have to decide how you want to live when you're using the camp.

    Several of the popular camps have core or starter units. Perhaps this is what you want--a one-room job that you can add to in other years. It's a good idea. It won't drain your pocketbook completely. But if this is what you want, it is important that you know in advance how you are going to expand the cottage. Another good thing about these core units--your plans can be flexible.

    Waterproofing your foundation?
    What is the right choice?

    By Dagmar Rakos

    What is foundation waterproofing?
     
    Waterproofing is Protecting your property foundation – be it residential or commercial – from cracks due to natural processes such as water damage, thermal movement, shrinking, settlement and other causes.

    Think of foundation waterproofing as a long term solution to protection of your property.

    Did you know that 44% of new homes have leaking basements without 3 years of completion? And the warranty on dry basement on a new home in USA and Canada is only 1 or 2 years?

    Think of what can happen if you don’t pay attention to properly seal your house foundation.

     
    “Organic buildings are the strength and lightness of the spiders' spinning, buildings qualified by
     light, bred by native  character to environment, married to the ground.”
      Frank Lloyd Wright
    (1867 – 1959)
     
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