What You Need to Know about Planning and Building Approvals

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Some people who have no prior experience of building a home hear about planning approval and mistake it for building approval. This mix up leads them to run into many problems with the local authorities, such as being fined for undertaking a construction project without municipal approval. This article discusses the two concepts of planning approvals and building approvals. Use this information to discover when each is required. Planning Approvals Municipal authorities may have master plans that are intended to provide guidelines so that development takes place in an organised way. For instance, an area may be designated as an industrial area. Developers may only construct industrial facilities like factories and warehouses in such an area. You should submit the plans of your proposed home to the municipal authorities so that they confirm that the purpose to which you intend to put that piece of land is in line with what that area has been designated for. Building Approvals Building approvals differ from planning approvals in a sense that building approvals are focused on ensuring that the structure conforms to all set standards of building construction. You may need building approval for different phases of the construction project. For instance, you may need approval of the external structure before you can be allowed to begin doing work on aspects like installing the wiring system. You may also need approval of the fire safety systems in place before municipal approval of your project is given. In short, you should find out what the different building approvals you need are before you can occupy the house. Building approval requirements keep changing as more information becomes available on how to increase the safety of building occupants. The building codes also evolve to improve energy sustainability and environmental conservation. It is important for you to know the differences between the different approvals that are required in your area so that you do not get into any problems with the law. For instance, it may be hard for you to get a buyer for your property if it does not have the appropriate approvals in the records of the municipal authorities. You can also be prosecuted and asked to demolish a structure that wasn’t built according to local codes. The easiest way to ensure that you comply with all municipal requirements is to hire an experienced architect and builder to handle those technical aspects of the project. You can also hire certification companies, like Thomas Independent Certification, to conduct building approval inspections. Your role would then be to confirm that everything has been done as required by...

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What Different Soil Conditions Mean for Your Home

Posted by on Oct 9, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Many laypeople look at having a soil test done as an inconvenience that cannot be avoided. Such people may not be aware of how the different soil conditions can affect the strength and durability of their homes. This article discusses some subsoil conditions, and how those soil conditions can affect your home if the builder does not take countermeasures. Clay Soils Clay soil may expand or contract dramatically, depending on its moisture content. For instance, it can contract and crack when it dries up. It can also absorb moisture and expand. Imagine what those variations can do to your home’s foundation if nothing is done to stabilise that soil; the foundation may be torn apart when the clay soil underneath it contracts after a prolonged dry spell. Soil testing alerts the builder to this risk; he or she can mix that clay soil with more stable soil so that expansion/contraction cycles are minimised. High Amounts of Organic Matter Many homes are constructed on lots that used to be streams or rivers. Those depressions (valleys, streams or riverbeds) were reclaimed by filling them with soil taken from other locations. Imagine that tree stumps, plenty of grass and other organic materials were in that fill material; the contractor may have compacted that fill material, and it may have looked firm at the time it was compacted. However, as time elapsed, the organic matter (such as tree stumps) may have started decomposing. That compacted soil can settle as the organic matter within it decomposes (and reduces in volume). That can cause sections of your home to settle (sink). This is particularly true for those parts of your home that are directly above the decomposing organic matter. Soil testing is important because it can detect such risky soil conditions, and enable the builder to take precautionary steps (such as setting up steel piers to support the foundation). Hazardous Materials A particular lot may have been a dumpsite (landfill) a long time ago. That dumpsite may have been abandoned, and it is now available for construction. However, someone may have accidentally dumped hazardous materials (such as soil contaminated with asbestos). The authorities may not have detected that hazardous material. You may risk being exposed to asbestos if soil testing is not done to rule out the presence of any hazardous substances at the construction site. As you can see, any time and money that goes towards soil testing is money and time well spent. Do not undertake soil testing as a formality; look at that activity as a very important way to ensure that your home, and your family will be safe from any risks that could have been prevented if the problems had been...

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3 Signs That Indicate You Have A Leak In Your Plumbing System

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Uncategorized |

In addition to water loss, a leaky plumbing system incurs high monthly water bills. Some leakage signs, such as burst pipes, are obvious and call for immediate attention. But there are signs that are hidden and make it may take a while before you notice that a problem exists. However, with the following tips at your fingertips, it may not take that long to spot a leakage. 1. Sounds Produced By Running Water If you are able to hear sounds of running water when no one at home is using it, it hints that you have a leakage in your pipes. Leaking underground pipes make different sounds when they carry pressurized water. When you reduce the orifice pressure, you should be able to hear a “whoosh” or a “hiss” type of sound if there is a leakage in the underground pipes. These sounds are clearer if the water pressure is maintained at 30 psi or more. Another type of sound that hints there is a leakage is a “splashing” sound. The sound is produced when water spray strikes the wall of the soil cavity. 2. Manifestation of Foundation Cracks Cracks do occur, particularly in houses that were built ages ago. However, a sudden appearance of foundation cracks may indicate there is a leaking pipe behind the walls. If water is constantly seeping out of your pipes, it weakens structural components and the foundation.  As a result, foundation cracks start to develop. 3. Presence of Mold Molds thrive in wet areas – the reason why they are mostly found in showers. Leaking pipes, though, also create damp environments which enhance the development of mold. If mold starts to develop in formerly dry regions such as ceilings, it could be a sign that one of your pipes is leaking. Molds also produce a musty smell. Therefore, if you experience an earthy smell after cleaning a room, you should be convinced of mold presence. Fixing a leaking pipe with mold present can be dangerous to your health since molds cause health complications, especially to allergic and asthmatic people. Consider seeking the services of a specialist to remove the mold first. You should also pay attention to your water bills. A sudden spike in your bill may hint that you are losing water due to leaks. And if your water bill is telling you so, but you can’t pinpoint the problem, consider the services of a professional plumber like Murphy Plumbing Pty Ltd. A plumber is in a better position of finding the problem and fixing it because of the advanced tools in his or her...

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Choosing the Best Metal Reduction Process for Your Application

Posted by on Sep 15, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Using steel fabrication or other metals in your production facility, repair shop, or other such location usually means having to reduce the metal. This can mean creating holes of various shapes and sizes in the metal, for air circulation, to disperse weight and so on. There are several ways to do this and some are more expensive than others and more efficient than others. If you’re in charge of deciding on the equipment you want to invest in for your facility to do the metal reduction in-house, you might need to consider each type of metal reduction process so you know the right equipment to buy. Note the following. 1. Blanking Blanking is one of the most efficient processes for metal reduction. This refers to actually removing the metal in the shape of the needed hole, rather than just bending it out. Blanking processes cut out the shape of the hole needed in the metal through the use of lasers or other forms of cutting.  This process can be very efficient as it doesn’t leave rough or distorted edges that need to be flattened or otherwise addressed for the metal to be useable. The metal that is removed or blanked can also be melted down and reused in other processes, so there is less waste involved. While blanking machinery can be expensive, it can also offer the best and most efficient cut or reduction in metal. 2. Bending or punching Bending or punching is commonly used for creating shapes in metal. When using a punch press of any sort, there is no metal remnant, so you don’t need to collect and then reuse the metal removed from the original piece, if your facility doesn’t have the means to handle that process. However, with punching or bending, the metal that is punched through the shape formed must be flattened on the underside. This can be done by having the metal pass over rollers after being bent or punched. This can slow down the process significantly and also adds layers to the underside of the metal. 3. Shearing and notching Shearing and notching are different than cutting holes or shapes in metal, as shears and notches are very thin. This can be done with a laser cutter that quickly cuts through the metal and which then also sears the edges so that they’re not as rough and rugged. Blades can also do this cutting and notching but they may need to be heated and may wear down quickly, depending on the strength of metal and depth of the...

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When Do You Need A Roof Plumber?

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Roof plumbers are typically needed during the design and build stages of your home. Although, they may also be needed for emergency repairs and maintenance to storm water drains. These professionals are licensed plumbers who specialize in roofing drainage systems, installing piping, gutters, ductwork joints, water tanks and collection devices, and also maintaining or improving previous drainage systems. Here is a guide to when you may find yourself in need of the services of a roof plumber: Gutter Cleaning Roof plumbing is critical to the health of your home. In the event of a bad storm, your gutters are the only line of defense to prevent water from sitting atop your roof and potentially causing significant damage if left undrained. This typically happens if gutters are not regularly cleaned, as every single day, dirt, sticks, leaves, and excess debris, build up in your gutters, which prevents storm water from draining. Roof plumbers will be able to use their snake tool and feed it slowly through the drain, loosening all debris and potential clogging. Once finished, they will do a water cleanse, repeatedly running high-pressurized water through the gutter to ensure that all excess debris is removed and your system is draining properly. From there, your drains will brushed with a pipe brush. Drainage Pipes and Water Tanks Additionally, your plumber may check the drainage pipe and water tank on the ground level of your home. Your ground level drainage pipes prevent water from pooling after a storm and flooding your home or ruining your landscaping. Ground level drains tend to collect a lot more excess debris than roof drains because they are at significantly lower vantage points. Ground level drains are constantly exposed to dirt and soil runoff, trash, animal droppings, chemicals and home products, oil, leaves and sticks, and paint, among other things. These are often the most commonly serviced maintenance requests because of the amount of blockage that regularly occurs. Plumbers typically use the same methods and tools to clean these drains as well; however, due to the size of their drains, they often take longer to clean and may occasionally require more manpower. As a homeowner, you should never try to clean your drains on your own. Professional roof plumbers are trained to work at significant heights, maneuvering large equipment and maintaining their balance in the process. Trying to do so on your own can put you in danger of significant injury or death. For more information, contact a company like O’Boyles Roof...

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