Types of Awnings

So anyone who’s looked into adding an awning to their home knows that there are many different types of awnings available. So many different types, in fact, it can even lead to decision paralysis where you end up not making a decision so you can avoid dealing with having to parse through too much information. Never fear, however, this situation does not have to be nearly as difficult and with a little bit of guidance you’ll be covering your patio or porch with the awning of your dreams in no time.

Awnings have come a long way since the canopies of old.

Today’s awnings are available in much more than just canvas or aluminum; they can be found in many different form factors and exotic materials.

For instance did you know that copper is actually one of the more popular awning choices these days? Even space-age mildew resistant decorative fabric have found a home as an awning building material.

So now that you’re once again thoroughly overwhelmed by all the choices available how do you make a decision? Well, it’s pretty simple actually. What you need to do is first assess your needs and your budget. Do you have a lot of money to spend or are you trying to do this on the cheap? If you have a lot of money you can look into getting a retractable awning that is motor driven rather than human powered. If you’re on a budget you can look into getting a do it yourself kit that will help save you some money. If you’re looking for an awning for your RV you’ll be limited by the weight and dimensions of the awnings available. Once you understand these constraints you’ll find that your search categories are automatically narrowed by quite a bit so finding out your awning that’s right for you suddenly becomes much simpler.

After you examine exactly what types of awnings work well for your situation it’s time to make a final decision. This is where you have to roll your sleeves up and just start looking at different options to see what you fancy. While an awning is first and foremost a functional item it is also decorative so make sure you spend plenty of time coming to a decision you can be happy about.

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Home Improvement Projects

It may be time to start working on your home improvement projects. Whether you are tired of looking at your run down indoor living conditions, or your wife has been nagging you to get things done. The first thing you have to do is prioritize what is the most important, and what can be put off until later. For example, if your heating unit is getting old and not being as efficient as it was, you may have to consider replacing it. Of course this could also be a matter of taking the time out to check and clear out all the heating ducks.

There are all different kinds of home improvement projects, some which you can do without any problems, but with larger projects, there are some things you need to consider. If it is something like putting an addition on your house, redoing your foundation, or rewiring, then you are going to need some help. For one, making these large improvements may require a building permit, and you can find out about this at your local city government office. When rewiring, or doing plumbing jobs, you really have to be realistic about your skills and capabilities.

Just about any one can fix a light switch, or change out faucets, and similar small projects.

All you need to do is use common sense, follow the instructions, and make sure you turn off the water, or the power. However, when it comes to larger jobs, like rewiring a room, installing more circuit breakers, or running new water lines, if you don’t know exactly what your doing, you can be injured, or even killed. Not everyone is skilled at this, and even the most avid DIYer may have trouble here and there. Sometimes, it is just a good idea to have a professional come in and to it. Even if you can handle some of these bigger jobs, you should always have an inspector come in when finished, to make sure everything is up to code standards.

The next thing you have to think about it building supplies. There are many different home improvement outlets, and if you have a preference, that is great. When you live in an area where there may be two or more retailers, it is just a good idea to shop around. Start with a list, make sure there is enough room to write down the price on these items, and then compare prices between stores. You may find some items are priced the same, but others may be far different between stores. If you can, when dealing with any aspects of indoor living spaces, you should check to see if there is a Habitat For Humanity Thrift Store in your area.

Habitat For Humanity receives many donations each year from companies all over the country. They are not able to use ever single item that is donated, so in order to make some extra money for their cause, they have opened up thrift stores. They sell things like building supplies, major appliances, and other home improvement items at a discount. They are in many cases brand new, and all of what they sell is perfectly good, just much cheaper than at your local retailer.

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10 Tips for Employing a builder

Wondering how to go about employing a builder? Selecting the right person for the job can be a tricky business! Unless you’re a DIY genius it’s a wise idea to get a pro in to handle home improvements and renovation tasks. Jobs such as extending, digging foundations and converting rooms will be completed alot faster and to a higher standard if you get outside help.

We’ve all heard stories of cowboys ripping homeowners off. When the subject of employing a builder comes up, it’s usually accompanied by a sharp intake of breath and a shake of the head. The good news is this:
Not all builders are cowboys.

Sadly for them, it’s the cowboys that get all the attention. There are some incredibly professional and talented builders out there who are a pleasure to work with. The trick of course is finding one!
Check out our tips for employing a builder and make the experience a positive one.

1. The first thing you need to do when employing a builder is to decide which type is best suited to the job you have in mind. If it’s a large and multifaceted job, a main contractor is the way to go as you have the option to hand over the project management. Sub-contractors are good for smaller, one-off jobs that don’t require as many different trades and skills. If you want the cheapest option for a minor job, try an odd-job man. This is also the riskiest route and only advisable if the person has a proven track record.

2. If you do decide to go with a smaller sub-contractor or odd-job man, insist on seeing written references. Look out for individuals or companies who are members of trade bodies. Don’t forget to check that their membership is still valid.

3. Never use anyone who isn’t in possession of an up-to-date builder’s liability insurance certificate.

4. Word of mouth recommendations are invaluable. Do ask friends, family, neighbours and colleagues to share their experiences. Lettings agents are another good bet. They use a wide range of tradesmen regularly and will be able to give you invaluable advice.

5. Make sure your budget is solid, realistic and includes a contingency fund – around 15% of the total cost of the work to be carried out is reasonable. There’s no point in employing a builder to do half a job.

6. When employing a builder, shop around. Treat it like choosing an estate agent. Ask for 3 itemised quotes so you can compare and contrast services properly.

7. When you find a builder you’re happy to work with, make sure you draw up a written contract with them at the start. Expectations will be managed on both sides and everyone will understand exactly what is expected and when. A contract will protect both parties so don’t neglect to draw one up.

8. Whatever else you choose to do, never ever pay for a job in advance. Even if it means going back to square one and finding someone else. Beware of employing a builder who asks for all the money upfront. It is not standard practice.

9. Whilst paying in full upfront is a no-no, partial payment is common. However, you will need to be prepared to pay in instalments for longer, larger jobs. After all, builders need to be protected too!

10. Resist the temptation to micro manage. Employing a builder should leave you free to get on with your job and your life. If modifications genuinely need to be made, expect to pay for them. Good communication is key but that’s not a byword for butting in every hour! If you want the job to be done on time, leave him or them to get on with it.

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