Friday, September 4, 2009

5 Steps to Remodeling Your Bathroom

There are many ways to improve the look and value of your home such as window and siding replacement, finishing your basement and remodeling your kitchen and bathroom. Remodeling your bathroom is a very cost efficient and effective way in increasing the value of your home and making it a much more pleasant place to live. You probably don’t realize how much quality time you spend in the bathroom, but take a minute to reflect on all that you do in there and you will realize the importance in upgrading a much used room in the house. Here are some simple steps to help you complete your bathroom project…

1. Conceptualize:
The first thing you want to do is visit all your local hardware stores, flip through magazines and search the net to research ideas, colors and layouts that fit your lifestyle. Take your time doing this…the last thing you want to do is rush a project like this and be unhappy with the end result.

2. Plans/ Layout:
After you have decided what kind of materials you want to use and the sizes of your vanity, toilet, shower etc, you will need to draw up plans that are as detail as possible so your contractor will have an easier time completing the remodel. You can also have your contractor devise these plans up for you on a design program, which is highly recommended.

3. Demolition:
Depending on how drastic of a remodel you are doing, you will need to spend some time taking out any unnecessary walls, removing your shower, toilet, sink and vanity, and reframing accordingly. Make sure your hired contractor obtains all necessary permits and ensures a safe construction project that follows all building codes.

4. Framing/ Drywall/ Paint:
Before you start framing, make sure you have completed moving any pipes or electrical outlets to their new location (you will definitely need permits for this). You can start framing afterwards for any new doors, the shower, vanity and the sink. After you completed framing, you can put up the new dry wall and any soffits you need to use to cover up the exposed electrical and plumbing. The last step in this process would be painting. Make sure you paint before you put the flooring in and bring in the fixtures. Painting can be something easy and fun that you and your family can enjoy if you feel like saving some money.

5. Fixtures/ Flooring / Finishing Touches:
Bring in your large fixtures such as the shower, toilet and vanity/ sink. Make sure they are all attached properly and are flush with the walls. After this, you can start laying out the tile/ flooring of your choice (you want to hold off on flooring for as long as possible so it does not endure any accidental damage). Once you have laid out the flooring and the paint is dry, you can go ahead and put all the final fixtures in place (shower head, faucet, lighting fixtures etc). After you have cleaned up the mess left behind, spend some time touching up the paint as there will surely be some scuff marks on the walls.

Remodeling your home is not as difficult as you might have initially thought. As long as you develop a thorough plan and stick to it, it will be a much easier process than trying to wing the remodel. Of course, hiring a licensed contractor is the recommended and most painless method of remodeling your most valuable asset.

article taken from

Friday, August 28, 2009

Windows technical terms

In insulated glass production, the term "lite", or "light", refers to a glass pane, several of which may be used to construct the final window product. For example, a sash unit, consisting of at least one sliding glass component, is typically composed of two lites, while a fixed window is composed of one lite. The terms "single-light", "double-light" etc refer to the number of these glass panes in a window.

The lites in a window sash are divided horizontally and vertically by narrow strips of wood or metal called muntins. More substantial load bearing or structural vertical dividers are called mullions, with the corresponding horizontal dividers referred to as transoms.

In the USA, the term replacement window means a framed window designed to slip inside the original window frame from the inside after the old sashes are removed. Northern Virginia Replacement Windows are a framed windows in Northern Virginia. In Europe, replacement window usually means a complete window including a replacement outer frame.

The USA term new construction window means a window with a nailing fin designed to be inserted into a rough opening from the outside before applying siding and inside trim. A nailing fin is a projection on the outer frame of the window in the same plane as the glazing, which overlaps the prepared opening, and can thus be 'nailed' into place).

In the UK and Europe, windows in new-build houses are usually fixed with long screws into expanding plastic plugs in the brickwork. A gap of up to 13mm is left around all four sides, and filled with expanding polyurethane foam. This makes the window fixing weatherproof but allows for expansion due to heat.

A beam over the top of a window is known as the lintel or transom.

In the USA, the NRFC Window Label lists the following terms:

* Thermal transmittance (U-factor). Best values are around U-0.15 (equal to 0.8 W/m2/K).
* Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). (ratio of solar heat (infrared) passing through the glass to incident solar heat)
* Visible transmittance (VT) (ratio of transmitted visible light divided by incident visible light)
* Air leakage (in cubic foot per minute per linear foot of crack between sash and frame)

Daylight basement

A daylight Virginia basement or a "walk-out" is contained in a house situated on a slope, so that part of the level is above ground, with a doorway to the outside. These are also known as walk out basements. The part of the floor covered by the ground can be considered a basement. From the street, some daylight basement homes appear to be one story. Others appear to be a conventional two story home from the street (with the buried, or basement, portion in the back). Occupants can walk out at that point without having to use the stairs. For example, if the ground slopes downwards towards the back of the house, the basement is at or above grade (ground level) at the back of the house. It is a modern design because of the added complexity of uneven foundations; where the basement is above grade, the foundation is deeper at that point and must still be below the frostline.

Full-size windows can be installed in a daylight basement. These can provide exits for bedrooms (building bedrooms in basements is usually illegal without an outside escape). Ventilation is improved over buried basement homes, with less dampness and mold problems.

Daylight basements can be used for several purposes - as a garage, as maintenance rooms, or as living space. The “buried” portion is often used for storage, laundry room, hot water tanks, and HVAC.

Daylight basement homes typically appraise higher than buried basement homes, since they include more viable living spaces. In some parts of the U.S. however the appraisal for daylight basement space is half that of ground and above ground level square footage. Designs accommodated include split-foyer and split-level homes. Garages on both levels are sometimes possible. As with any multi-level home, there are savings on roofing and foundations.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Northern Virginia deck

paragon Remodeling Inc from Vienna, Virginia have great Northern Virginia Deck expirience and if you need to build a deck or porche for your house, call them. They are great Virginia Deck Builders. They will also will provide references to any prospects if desired.