Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Waterproofing Basement Walls

By Mark J. Donovan

Waterproofing basement walls is frequently necessary when finishing a basement. Most basements have high moisture levels, and much of the moisture enters via the basement walls. If not addressed mold and mildew will grow causing potential health dangers to your family.

The first step in reducing moisture levels in the basement is to seal all basement wall cracks with a hydraulic cement sealer.

The next step in reducing basement moisture levels is to apply a water sealer to the inside basement walls. The water sealer should be applied after the hydraulic cement sealer has fully cured.

If there is extensive water seepage via the basement walls it may be necessary to install a perimeter drain around the outside of the basement foundation. This will require digging around the basement foundation down to the footing level, and installing perforated PVC piping. During the installation of the perimeter drain an external water sealer should be applied to the basement walls.

The installation of gutters may also be required if roof rainwater is falling on the ground near the basement walls. The gutters should be installed such that water is directed away from the foundation basement walls. Readmore »»

Waterproofing a Basement includes Wrapping Cold Water pipes

By Mark J. Donovan

When waterproofing your basement it is just as important to address your cold water plumbing pipes, as it is the basement walls and floors.

High moisture vapor, which is typically found in a basement, will condense on cold water pipes and form puddles on the basement floor below. You can observe this phenomenon during summer months by seeing puddle lines on the basement floor that follow the cold water pipes above.

To prevent sweating cold water pipes, wrap the cold water pipes with a plastic foam pipe wrap and tape all cracks and seams with electrical tape. Make mitered cuts (45o angles) with the foam pipe wrap to ensure tight connections.

In addition to the cold water pipes, also wrap the well water holding tank with a plastic blanket wrap to eliminate it from sweating as well. As with the cold water pipes, tape all seams. Readmore »»

Thursday, February 8, 2007

HomeAdditionPlus.com Announces the Deck Installation Bid Sheet

By Mark J. Donovan

HomeAdditionPlus.com just announced a new Deck Installation Bid Sheet product. The Deck installation bid sheet is an ideal tool for enabling homeowners to find competent and qualified deck installation contractors, and to obtain deck installation quotes. It includes a comprehensive questionnaire (request for quote) that homeowners provide to prospective deck contractors. Contractors complete the questionnaire and return it to the homeowner so that they can assess if the contractor is right for their deck project.

The Deck Installation Bid sheet also includes a comprehensive deck installation advice section for homeowners. This section enables homeowners to properly assess the contractor completed bid sheet proposals. The Deck Installation Bid Sheet is a great product for ensuring you get your deck built on time, budget, and to your satisfaction. See HomeAdditionPlus.com's Deck Installation Bid Sheet to learn more about how to hire the right deck contractor. Readmore »»

Monday, February 5, 2007

Eight tips on Selecting Kitchen Cabinets

By Mark J. Donovan

When selecting kitchen cabinets there are a number of factors you should consider first before buying them.

1) Floorplan / Kitchen Size – How big is your kitchen. Dimensions will be required for developing a Kitchen design. Length, width and even the height of the kitchen area are required.

2) Budget – Kitchen cabinets can cost as little as a couple of thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Have a budget in mind before meeting with a kitchen designer.

3) Kitchen Cabinet construction – Face Framed or Frameless; Face framed is the most common way, but frameless kitchen cabinets are becoming more popular in contemporary kitchen designs.

4) Material Types – Solid Wood (Ash, Maple, Oak, Cherry, Birch, Hickory), Veneers, or Metal

5) Kitchen Cabinet Sizes – Kitchen cabinets come in standard stock sizes and custom sizes pending your needs. Stock kitchen cabinets are cheaper than custom or semi-custom kitchen cabinets.

6) Kitchen Cabinet hardware (Drawer and Door Handles and Knobs) – Select kitchen cabinet hardware that matches your kitchen appliances.

7) Kitchen countertops – Consider kitchen countertops when selecting your kitchen cabinets.

8) Kitchen cabinet lead times – Kitchen cabinet lead times can be long, particularly if custom or semi-custom kitchen cabinets are being fabricated, so plan accordingly.

For more info see Kitchen Cabinet Buying Tips. Readmore »»

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Advancements in Home Air Filters

By Mark J. Donovan

Home air filter technology has made huge strides in recent years. The original standard fiberglass home air filter was aimed more at protecting the air conditioning and heating system rather than the residents of the home.

If you suffer the effects of allergy symptoms due to pet dander, mold, or pollen, then the last place you want these floating airborne particles residing is in your house. A home air filter installed in your air conditioning and heating system can dramatically reduce the dust in your home and provide you with an allergy free oasis from spring and fall pollen seasons.

Today’s high efficiency home air filter systems protect the HVAC system, as well as the home’s residents. They provide you with filter fresh air virtually eliminating all of the floating airborne dust particles.

Many of today’s home air filters are coated with chemicals to help sanitize and kill the mold and dust spores so that they do not get re-circulated through the home’s heating and air conditioning system.

More sophisticated home air filter systems include germicidal UV eliminator Filter . These type of Air Filters protect the air your family breathes by virtually destroying all airbone contaminates!

In addition, many of today’s home air filters can trap particles less than 1 micron in diameter.

Home air filters are relatively inexpensive and a homeowner can usually install them in just a few minutes. Many home air filters are washable and reusable and have warranties from 1 to 5 years.

Purchasing a Home Air Filter

When purchasing a home air filter check for the MERV level. MERV is an acronym for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This is an industry standard for rating the efficiency of heating and air condition filters. The standard was developed and is maintained by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The standard specifies the test requirements for determining a home air filter’s ability to trap airborne particles. Home air filters usually have a MERV rating level from 1 to 10. For filter fresh air I would suggest a MERV level of at least 7.

Home Air Filter Maintenance

Home air filters should be changed or cleaned once a month for best results. Usually home air filters can simply be washed with warm water and allowed to dry before reinstallation.

Also, your heating and air conditioning system should be checked at least once a year to ensure it is operating cleanly and efficiently.
Readmore »»