Review Category : Home Improvement

Choosing the Best Cladding for Your Home

Cladding is essentially the layer of skin that protects the interior and exterior of your house. Typically, exterior cladding will be comprised of several layers: the wall’s outer surface, an insulation and moisture-repelling layer among other things.

It used to be that brick and plastic siding were the two commonest options for exterior cladding. However, in present times, there are a wider variety of options available to us. How do you know which is one is best for you own home? Well, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each and figure it out.

Brick and Mortar Cladding

Bricks are probably the popular exterior cladding material used in homes. They’re not just aesthetically pleasing (without requiring a paint job) but also cheap and easy to source. But that’s not all, bricks are quite long-lasting and provide lots of insulation for homes.

What are the downsides to brick and mortar cladding? The most noteworthy one would be how much the production process negatively impacts the environment. A lot of energy is needed to burn bricks in kilns and the cement production process accounts for 5% of total global carbon emissions by itself!

Concrete Cladding

Concrete cladding is one the most robust options available. Not only that, the cladding is flexible, allowing you to have any form of texture, colour or pattern displayed on the surface. Most concrete cladding are durable by default but if you’re looking for something extremely strong, check out AAC panels and cladding systems.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is a popular new choice for exterior cladding. This is most likely because of its extremely long lifespan (we’re talking over half a century!) all the while requiring little to no upkeep. Plus, it’s also one of the cheapest cladding options available today. In addition, if you choose the insulated kind, you can save a ton of money on heating each year. Last but not least, the production process takes less than 50% of the energy required to make brick cladding.

On the flip side, there are a couple of drawbacks to vinyl siding. The most significant one is that it’s made from polyvinyl chloride or PVC which is first of all a non-renewable resource. Secondly and more importantly, PVC is a carcinogen, which means that if the cladding ever catches on fire and you inhale the smoke, you might get in some serious trouble health-wise.

Wood Cladding

Wood is an excellent choice for anyone wanting to go for a more traditional or rustic aesthetic with their home’s exterior. Wood siding is made from a renewable source, so you don’t have to feel guilty about purchasing them. In addition, most wood sidings will contain certification that lets you know whether or not the lumber comes from managed forests. Last but not least, the amount of energy used in the production process is one of the lowest.

There are a few drawbacks to wood siding. If it doesn’t have the proper certification, you can’t be sure whether they’re from managed forests. In addition, you may need to apply varnish to help wood siding resist the elements and to deter termites.

Metal Cladding

Last but not least, we have metal cladding. The biggest pro is that metal cladding hardly requires any upkeep and will last a really long time. Metal is also unaffected by the elements and does not promote the growth of mould or mildew on the surface. In addition, it does not attract any insects either.

The two biggest drawbacks are that it requires mining, which negatively impacts the environment and it tends to dent quite easily, depending on the material used.

The above five are currently the most popular choices for exterior cladding. Think carefully about what features are most important to you when you’re trying to make a decision.


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The Traits of a Good Civil Engineer

In today’s globalised world, there are many professionals out there that are on demand for the work that they perform. However, one such professional that has been on demand since the old days are civil engineers, as they are the people responsible for building our workspaces and living spaces to make our lives all the easier and more convenient. However, not all civil engineers can do such amazing pieces of work, due to the lack of certain traits that are vital for making complex structures in the best possible manner. Here are just some of those vital traits:

Planning

The main trait that any skilled civil engineer should possess is the characteristic of planning. This is important since a proper plan is what allows the structure to be built in the right manner without any flaws. Moreover, the more prolific engineers also have the ability to make flexible plans so as to make sure that there is space for any sort of problems, or any improvements in the duration of the project. Therefore, make sure you team up with a civil engineer who knows what they are doing, so as to have a proper structure.

Skill

With proper planning comes the skill of executing the said plan. This is a very important that any civil engineer should possess, as it is the skill that allows for the execution of the plan in the best possible manner. Education and practical application of this skill is something that should be bestowed upon him/her, so as to make sure that the structure is built with the least problems. Moreover, it is these niche skills that could iron out those minor problems. In other words, a civil engineer should be well organised and skilled to undertake their job in the best possible way.

Attitude

Although not really stressed in many situations, the attitude of the civil engineer is also something that should be taken into consideration when you do hire the individual for a project. This is important since the engineer’s attitude is what allows him/her to take up projects with a challenge to further his/her career. In other words, make sure that the civil engineer you choose is an ambitious one that is willing to undertake any challenge with good composure. A civil engineer with the right attitude allows for a complex structure to be built with the least problems.

Experience

Another important trait of the right civil engineer is the experience that the person is endowed with. This is important so as to make sure that the professional can tackle any sort of problem, and can also take up new challenges if it were to arise. In other words, makes sure that the engineer has a portfolio of projects under his/her belt, as it guarantees the person’s experience in the field.

In conclusion, these traits allow for one to understand just how the perfect civil engineer performs on his job, and how he/she tackles every challenge they are thrown into. There are quite a few minor traits, but these still remain to be the main ones.

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How To Choose A Company For Your Pool Fencing Needs

If you are looking out for tips to choose the best contractors for your pool fencing needs, you have come to the right place. Most people require such tips because there are so many suppliers of this service, out of which you have to choose the best one for your home to be ensured with a quality job and durable fence. So, as mentioned before, this article will give you the areas in which you would be required to inquire on, so here they are;

Research In And Out

In reference to the above, there are many suppliers of this service, but choosing the best one for your needs would require you to be vigilant when researching them. You can use the internet for potential suppliers of the service, apart from inquiring for leads from friends and family. One advantage of looking for contacts through friends and family is because you would get genuine reviews on the service quality of the company through reliable sources.

Take Hints From Online Reviews

Yes, they do say that online reviews may be faked and not genuine, but it would help you gain a hint on the company to a certain level as well. It is important to have a fence around your pool, but it is not as if not having a fence around your home pool is illegal. So if you see comments and responses in that manner, it could be a hint of not choosing the company because they tend to extrapolate things too much. There are also online reviews which display a positive aura from beginning to end, this is also quite a doubtful area as it could be fake responses placed to improve the image of the company.

Research Their Reputation

Both of the above methods also incline towards the finding of the reputation of the company. Most reputations can be found through friends and family as they are most likely to give you the truth even if it bitter. Another way of understanding the reputation of the said company is through the consultation of a review through past clients of the supplier. These individuals would share with you all the pros and cons which suffice to create your reputation on them.

Consider The Materials They Choose To Use

It is important to inquire about the materials that the contracting company decides to use, in order to check the compatibility between your preference, beauty of the house and the main motive of the fence. If you wish to get glass fencing for your pools, and if the company you choose does not have the option or the expertise to handle the materials, then it is advisable to avoid making an agreement with this company for your fencing needs.

Well, there you go, by following the above, you can get yourself a good contractor for your fencing needs. So, make sure you look into the above when considering such contractors for your fencing needs.


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