Between Projects: In Praise of General Contractors

3 Must-have Features in Your Cooling Tower’s Design

Posted by on Jun 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Must-have Features in Your Cooling Tower’s Design

Cooling towers are a reliable method of air conditioning for large commercial buildings. Cooling towers use hot water, condensers and fans to help you regulate the temperature in the building. The design of the cooling tower is key to ensuring both optimal performance and ease of maintenance. Besides that, it can also help you minimise mechanical breakdowns. If you want to install a cooling tower for air conditioning in your commercial building, the following are some of the things that you should pay attention to when considering its design: Strainers that Allow External Access Just like many other systems used for air conditioning, your cooling tower is exposed to dirt and debris. Strainers are used to keep out dirt, ensuring that it does not penetrate to the internal parts of the towers and clog them. Depending on the manufacturer, strainers may either allow external access or require some bit of unscrewing before you an access and clean them. Considering that you cannot tell exactly when the strainers will get dirty, strainers that you can access externally are more preferable. You can shut off the water supply using the valves and clean the strainer by scrubbing them. Alternatively, you can use water gashing out of a hosepipe at high pressure to clean them. Noise Control If the cooling tower is installed close to your commercial building, the noise generated by the large fans and other components may not be conducive for some of the building’s occupants. For instance, noise isn’t ideal for a sections of the building that will be used as office space or an accommodation facility for hire. Therefore, noise control is another priority for your cooling tower’s design. It should be fitted with noise mufflers that will keep the equipment’s sound at its lowest level. Compatibility with Vibration Monitoring With limited access to the internal parts of your cooling tower, it is quite difficult to examine the components physically and identify developing mechanical problems. In the end, your machine can stall unexpectedly due to a major breakdown. Thankfully, you can avoid the problem through vibration monitoring that enables you to “listen” for any developing mechanical problems and have the cooling tower checked in good time. Before installation, ask your vendor if the cooling tower allows you to monitor vibrations with manual devices. You can then hire a professional to measure the vibrations and analyse the data from the devices. Thereafter, they will advise you accordingly on the overall condition of the cooling...

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Tips for Choosing the Right Type of Road Line Marking Paint

Posted by on Mar 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips for Choosing the Right Type of Road Line Marking Paint

When investing in road line marking equipment, you need to choose the right type of paint as well as the right type of machinery. The wrong paint can easily peel, chip, or otherwise get damaged and especially under high traffic conditions or very severe weather. As with house paint or interior paint, not all mixtures are alike, so you need to ensure you know at least a little something about the materials that go into the paint itself. Note a few simple tips for making the right choice. Oil-based paints The first thing to consider is that some areas do not allow oil-based paints on exterior surfaces, as the oil may eventually run off into the soil or groundwater as the paint breaks down. However, if it is legal in your area to use it, some contractors prefer it for very cold climates as oil-based paint does not freeze. This will keep it from chipping or otherwise getting damaged during long winters. It also repels water, making it more visible and durable in tropical climates or any area that is exposed to potential flooding. Note that oil-based paints need a special solvent to clean, so you may face some challenges when you want to clean up your parking lot and make the paint of your line markings seem fresh and new; you would need to invest in mineral spirits or toluene rather than plain water. This can be more expensive than paints that are cleaned with plain water. Thermoplastic paints These types of paints contain a bit of plastic in them which dries to a more durable finish than most other types of paint. Thermoplastic paint is good for very heavy traffic areas or where the traffic itself may include trucks and heavy-duty equipment that would otherwise tear up standard paints. The downside to thermoplastic paints is the expense. It is usually the most expensive of all the paints you can purchase, but note that it may also last the longest without needing to be reapplied. This can make it a more cost-effective choice, depending on the lot or road line marking to be painted. Thermoplastic paint can be applied either hot or cold; a hot application actually melts the paint slightly so that it can more readily seep into the material being painted, and allow for a stronger bond. This too adds to its overall durability and longevity, despite its...

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Built-In Wardrobes | 4 Steps To Polish The Wooden Interiors Of Your Built-In Wardrobes

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Built-In Wardrobes | 4 Steps To Polish The Wooden Interiors Of Your Built-In Wardrobes

Built-in wardrobes are excellent space saving solutions when it comes to removing clutter from the floors of your bedrooms because they conceal all your excessive junk easily. But over time, the interior finish of your built-in wardrobes may start to look dull and lifeless. Here are some smart steps to help you polish the wooden interiors of your built-in wardrobes for a rejuvenated appearance. Gather Your Materials For this wardrobe interior makeover task, you will need timber polish, medium-grade sandpaper, soap, water, lint-free cloths, a paintbrush, a vacuum cleaner and a pair of rubber gloves. Timber polish is easily available at most home improvement stores, so you can choose a specific finish you desire. Make sure your bedroom is properly ventilated to prevent the polish fumes from lingering in the area for too long. Clean And Sand The Surface Your first task is to empty out all the contents of your built-in wardrobes. Leave nothing behind and start cleaning the wood to remove all residual dust and debris, which can hamper your polishing effort. Put on your rubber gloves and use some soap water and a lint-free cloth to clean out the inside of your wardrobe. Once you finish cleaning the surface, use medium-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the wooden surface. This action will strip off any previous polish from the surface and will smoothen out the wood, allowing the new timber polish to adhere better to the wooden surface. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove the sanding dust and wipe down the wardrobe interior thoroughly with a damp lint-free cloth. This will prepare the surface suitably for the timber polish application. Apply Timber Polish Coat the wooden interiors sparingly with timber polish using a paintbrush. You can also apply the polish with a soft cloth for a smear-free appearance. Keep in mind that over-polishing may end up leaving pools of polish liquid, which will leave bubbles when drying out. Your polish brushstrokes should follow the direction of the natural wood grain to bring out its aesthetic beauty. Once you finish applying polish over the surface, wait overnight for it to dry and apply the next polish coat. Wait For Polish To Dry Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the drying process for polish before restoring your wardrobe items. Make sure the room is well ventilated to speed up the process of drying. In some cases it may take a few hours, while others may take a few days depending on the weather conditions outside. While this polishing task for your built-in wardrobes can be handled on your own, you may want to call professional contractors to give you a blemish-free polished...

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Advantages of Sub-Divisions in Property Management

Posted by on Jan 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Advantages of Sub-Divisions in Property Management

The thought of subdividing land into smaller lots is a common issue with many landowners. Learning the advantages of sub-divisions makes the decision on whether to subdivide your land or not easier. This article provides important insights into the issue for the landowners. Why Should You Subdivide Your Land? Land sub-divisions come with a lot of benefits to the landowner. Subdividing your land ensures more flexibility and profitability. Whether you are about to buy or you already have a large tract of land, you should evaluate whether dividing it into smaller portions will take full advantage of your real estate resources. In the present market conditions, many landowners are giving sub-divisions a serious consideration. Parts Are More Valuable than the Whole Depending on the market conditions, sub-divisions normally increase the value of the property. These parts fetch more money when sold than what the whole land would have fetched without being subdivided. Remember that these small lots can be sold to several buyers at different prices depending on the changing market conditions and land appreciation. At the end of the day, many land owners often go for sub-divisions rather than selling the entire parcel of land. Sub-Divisions Give the Landowner something to Hold On To When you want to liquidate your real estate assets, sub-divisions let you remain with somewhere to stay. You can have one portion for your own use while selling the rest. Holding on to part of the land will also give the property time to appreciate. Some sub-divisions will fetch even more money when the surrounding portions get developed.  Sub-Divisions are More Affordable and Attract More Market Small portions of land are cheaper to buy than an entire parcel of land. This increases the marketability of your real estate. More buyers will be attracted by these sub-divisions, making your property sell faster and for more profits. Remember that small pieces of land will sell faster and give you ample time to do other developments. There is no need to wait upon a single buyer who may not even be coming along any time soon after offering the whole parcel for sale. There are Many Professionals to Offer Help and Advice Sub-divisions are common concepts and knowledge to professionals like land developers, real estate agents and home builders. These are the professionals are at your disposal to offer the much needed help and ensure success in the process of having your parcel of land subdivided....

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Tips on Having a Successful Skip Bin Hire

Posted by on Dec 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips on Having a Successful Skip Bin Hire

Getting rid of the waste in your business premises may not be as easy as you think. This is because the responsibility of ensuring waste is dumped in a legally responsible manner often rests on both the owner and transporter of the waste. Therefore, if you are going to hire skip bins for use in waste removal undertakings, here are a number of essential things you should consider to ensure proper waste removal in your business. Determine how much waste needs to be disposed of. The first thing you will need to do when you are hiring skip bins is to determine the bin sizes that will be well-suited for your waste removal endeavor. Some businesses require to get rid of small volumes of garbage, others have to deal with very large heaps of waste. Skip bins usually come in different sizes since waste removal is never a ‘one-size-fits-all’ kind of project. Establish how much waste you are handling before you can pick the correct-size skip bins for your undertaking. Establish the type of waste you are dealing with. Knowing the kind of waste that you are dealing with is as important as how you will dispose of it. General waste such as office paper, plastic bottles, and metal cans should not usually cause a lot of problem to collect and transport to recycling facilities since they do not require any special handling when being discarded. All you need to ensure is that the waste is not dumped just anywhere or littered when being transported. On the other hand, hazardous waste like car batteries, lead paints, pharmaceutical waste, asbestos-containing cement, or chemical waste may require you to hire separate skip bins as the waste cannot be put together with general waste. While you can use your company’s vehicles to transport general waste to the designated disposal points, you may need to contract an accredited waste removal specialist to transport any hazardous waste to facilities licensed to receive such waste. Choose the most suitable bins for the project. If you are transporting general waste, using regular skip bins that come with lids can ensure that no trash is blown away. When dealing with hazardous waste, however, you will need to do much more than that because hazardous waste removal requires specialized handling and transportation. For instance, impervious skip bins with tight seals may be required to hold chemical waste and warning signs stuck on the bins to prevent any...

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How you Can Protect Your Property Investment

Posted by on Dec 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How you Can Protect Your Property Investment

When starting to put up a building, it is exciting and you want everything to be perfect so that the occupants can get to appreciate the good work you did. Time passes and it is finally complete and you need to get occupants depending on whether it is a commercial or rental building. However, there is one missing piece to getting it fully operational, building inspections. This is one aspect that some contractors forget and end up facing serious consequences especially with the local authorities. This could put you completely out of business and your building may even get auctioned. The following are the importance of getting your building inspected. Identify health hazards It is not uncommon to find out that the materials you used in building can cause potential health risks to your occupants. For example there may be traces of lead that may really be dangerous to anyone if inhaled. Inspections will check on this and much more then give you a report on whether your building is perfectly fine which will mean that you can go ahead and rent it out or sell it. However if there is a problem, you will be given a time frame to fix it or else the law will take its course. Get permits Having your building inspected by an official inspector will help you get all the permits you need for business. The inspection will be able to tell if your building meets all the standard requirements that are required by the local government. If you have fully complied with those regulations, then you can get the go ahead to get the permits you may need so as to rent out your building an fulfil the reason why you actually built it. Understand Safety Issues This is one of the main reasons why you should get your building inspected. Most buildings may seem okay especially if you have done everything right but after some time they end up collapsing causing a lot of property and human losses. Through the inspection, you should be able to identify any problems that may potentially cause the collapse of the building which will be bad for you and also your occupants. Get paperwork for your investors If you may require investors for expansion or facilitate some improvements in your building, they will need to see an official inspection report. This is to ensure that they are investing their money wisely and may not face problems in future such as closure or a...

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4 Helpful DIY Bricklaying Tips

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Helpful DIY Bricklaying Tips

Every experienced DIY enthusiast started when he or she did not have any experience. Thus, your inexperience in bricklaying may not be a big hindrance if you would like to build a brick retaining wall in your home on a budget. This article discusses some helpful tips that will enable you to construct that retaining wall. Have Some Practice Do not start working on the actual brick retaining wall until you have built a practice wall. Pick a location close to where you want the retaining wall and build a small wall that is several bricks high and several bricks long. This practice wall will give you an idea of how to ensure that the bricks are arranged well. You can use a mixture of sand and water only as the “mortar” for this practice wall. This will avoid wasting cement and other ingredients that you may not be able to reuse once you tear down the practice wall. Clean the bricks you used on the practice wall as soon as you finish building that wall and you are sure that you have the hang of how to build a straight wall. Use those retrieved bricks on the actual retaining wall that you intend to build. The sand can also be used as you mix the actual mortar that you will use to build the retaining wall. Watch the Volume of Water in the Mix Pay very close attention to the instructions for mixing the mortar. Those instructions may be on the cement package. Avoid adding too much water into the mortar mix. The force of gravity can easily cause a very watery mortar mix to flow down the sides of the bricks. You may need to add more cement and sand to a mortar mix if you notice that it is too wet. Use a Plasticiser A plasticiser is a substance that you can buy from a hardware shop near you. Add it to the mortar mix according to the instructions on the package. The plasticiser helps to prevent the mortar from cracking once it dries. It also makes the mortar adhere more effectively to the bricks. The plasticiser also makes the mortar more workable so you will find it easy to trowel as you work. Mix Small Amounts of Mortar Mortar can easily dry out if you mix a large amount that you cannot use quickly. It is therefore advisable that you mix as much mortar as you can use during an hour of your bricklaying project. You can estimate how much work you can do in an hour based on how long it took you to build the practice wall described in the first bricklaying tip above. Alternatively, seek for advice from an experienced bricklayer. He or she will tell you how much mortar you should mix based on the prevailing weather in your area. Always tie a string from one end of a wall to the other end as you are bricklaying. That string will guide you on how to keep the wall straight during the bricklaying process. This will enable you to build a wall that will stand the test of time. If finances allow, hire a bricklayer and work alongside him or her so that you learn from that skilled...

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Why You Need to Engage the Services of a Private Certifier

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why You Need to Engage the Services of a Private Certifier

The construction industry is flooded with several professionals ranging from building designers, structural engineers, architects, and building planners, to site land surveyors and building inspectors, and so on. It is not often that you hear the crucial role that private certifiers bring into the industry being mentioned. As such, not many budding building owners and real estate developers really understand what private building certifiers do. Private certifiers are general contractors who are usually responsible for ensuring that all construction processes meet the set legal standards. They have a key role to play in determining whether or not you get a building approval. Hence, they in a way serve as the quality evaluators for various construction projects including, construction of new structures, renovation undertakings or making of extensions to existing structures. Here are 2 critical benefits associated with employing the services of a private certifier. Protecting the value of your property. Just like other types of property, your buildings are an investment that you would love to see attain their full worth if you ever opt to sell them in the future. Having all the required building approvals and paperwork to show that your building is compliant will certainly put it in a better position in the property market. A private certifier will help you easily and quickly acquire whatever is required to prove that your building is of high-quality since they know their way around the offices of designated authorities since they go in and out of those offices many times when seeking permits on behalf of their clients. You can confidently bargain and stick to the price you are asking for if you are in a position to present all legal documents needed to assert that the building meets all rules and regulations applicable in your area. You can expect the value of the property to drop significantly if you cannot produce the necessary building approvals. Choosing a suitable insurance policy. Constructing a new building, renovating an old one or making an extension to an existing structure without the necessary permits can also reduce your chances of getting insurance compensation. By helping you get all the approvals needed for your building, a private certifier will make sure that you receive full and continuous coverage against any damage to your property. Equipped with the permits obtained, you can approach a trusted insurer to help you choose the best insurance policy for your building. Hence, permits accorded to you by private certifiers can be useful in selecting the right...

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3 Ways Security Glass Films Can Keep Your Home/Business Safer

Posted by on Dec 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways Security Glass Films Can Keep Your Home/Business Safer

A glass security film is a thin layer of polyester sheeting that is attached onto existing glass surfaces for safety reasons. This safety film can be installed on windows, glass doors, patio doors, skylights, commercial glass, and other glass fixtures. Once installed, this glass film can make your home or business safer from a number of threats, and in a number of ways. Read on to learn all about them below. Strengthens your glass to prevent shattering One of the demerits of glass as a building material is that when hit with force, it tends to shatter. This makes glass an easy target for burglars and criminals. However, all this can change if you apply a security film onto your windows. The window security film covers the glass pane on both sides. This has the effect of holding the glass plane together and preventing shattering. Upon being hit, therefore, the affected part will break but the glass pane will remain in place; it will not shatter. The intruder will therefore have to use a lot more force to try and break the glass completely. And even then, the glass will still be held together by the film. The intruder will therefore have to physically try to break the film to gain entry into your property. All this makes your glass surfaces that much harder to get past. Deters crime by delaying the intrusion process Although security films do not make your fixtures tamper-proof, they do slow down criminal activity greatly, much to your favour. While unprotected glass might require a just fraction of a minute to smash and get in, glass with this film takes a lot longer to intrude. This delay has several benefits in terms of security: It discourages the criminal(s) from continuing with the crime. It creates opportunities for people to spot the crime in progress and report it or try to stop it. It buys law enforcement officers time to make an arrest. It provides your surveillance cameras with more time to identify the perpetrators. Prevents physical injury caused by impact debris Thirdly, glass surfaces with a security film can help prevent physical damage that is brought about by impact hits on glass. The film acts as a barrier, preventing tiny glass debris from causing physical harm to those around the glass. This is not just applicable during criminal activities alone; it also applies in other scenarios such as accidental damage, earthquakes, storms, tremors, sound/vibration damage, etc. For just a little cost, the security film can make your premises safer, saving you a lot of money and protecting you from the risk of criminal...

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When It’s Time to Schedule an HVAC Cleaning for Your Commercial Kitchen

Posted by on Dec 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When It’s Time to Schedule an HVAC Cleaning for Your Commercial Kitchen

Cleaning out the HVAC system of your commercial kitchen, including cleaning the vent hoods over the stove and its filters, is vital for a healthy and clean kitchen. Unfortunately many restaurant and kitchen managers overlook this cleaning because they assume it doesn’t affect the food quality or the safety of their staff, like having a greasy stovetop or greasy floor. You want to ensure that you schedule a cleaning of the HVAC of your kitchen as often as necessary, and if you aren’t sure how often that is, note a few considerations to keep in mind. This will ensure your commercial kitchen is always as clean as it should be. 1. Consider the grease produced If you run a vegetarian restaurant that only cooks meatless patties and such dishes, chances are your kitchen produces very little grease. However, the more meat you fry on the stovetop, the more grease that gets dissipated into the air. The same is true for when you have a number of deep fryers you use. You can regularly check the HVAC and vent over your stove to see how much grease has built up, but consider that the more grease your kitchen produces, the more often you should be doing this check and having your HVAC system cleaned. 2. Note humidity Humid weather and water evaporation from boiled water can mean water droplets clinging to the inside of the HVAC system and vent hood. This can then allow for mold and mildew to form, and this water can also hold bacteria and other contaminants. If you boil water for many dishes, such as for pasta or boiled vegetables, you will need to check the humidity levels and amount of moisture inside the HVAC system often and have them cleaned as necessary. 3. Cooking odors If you notice that your commercial kitchen has a distinct odor every time you walk into the space, this often means that the HVAC system is not being cleaned often enough. This system brings fresh air into the kitchen along with removing stale air, and when you notice odors in the kitchen, you may not be circulating that fresh air through a clean HVAC system. Having the system cleaned more often can mean keeping the kitchen smelling good so that these odors don’t get absorbed into your restaurant’s linens and also ensure that your indoor air quality is good and healthy for your staff. For more information, contact local commercial kitchen cleaning...

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