What You Need to Consider When Choosing a Home Builder

house

Having a house builder who you can trust to build the most prized possession of your life can be a daunting and difficult experience. Unfortunately, many people do not research their home builders enough before simply hiring them. They assume that every single builder in the area is one and the same, but they fail to realize that some are more experienced than others or have more blueprint options available to their customers.

Here are things you’ll want to consider when choosing a home builder:

Experience
It is a good idea to hire a home builder who has a lot of experience. The less experience a builder has, the more time it is going to take to build the home and the more likely there will be problems along the way. You should always ask the builder how much experience they have so that you’re not hiring someone who is unable to provide you with the home building needs that you require.

Blueprints
All home builders have different blueprints, which means that one builder might have the home of your dreams while another offers only smaller houses. It is crucial that you meet with several builders to determine which company has the better option for you. This will help you to determine which one is better and what type of blueprint you’re going to need for yourself and for your family’s future home.

Length of Time to Build
Some home builders take an awful long time to build a home and this can be a real problem if you are on a short deadline to complete the work. If you need information on how long it is going to take for the builder to complete the work, it is important that you ask them about this before simply hiring them.

Reviews and Recommendations
Many companies come with their own reviews and recommendations which can give you some insight into how they work and what type of projects they can get done. By looking online, you can have a feel for what the company offers and what their work has been like for other people who have hired them.

Hiring a good home builder is a lot easier than you might think, but it still requires that you make the decision to do some research and to find a specific option that works for you. This is a good idea for you to make use of when you are in need of a brand new home that you want to be sure is properly built. You will love being able to quickly and easily make use of this type of company and know that they are doing everything that they can to have your house looking its best and in a way that is going to help you to feel confident about the decision that you have made in terms of working with one of these professionals.

References:
What to Expect When Hiring a Builder
NAHB

7 Tips for Building a House with a Builder

House Construction

Everyone dreams about owning a home. However, the process that is involved in buying one can be stressful and at times, you may search the market and not find what you would describe to be the home of your dreams. If you have been through a number of homes and haven’t found one that speaks to your tastes, perhaps it is time to start thinking about building. Here, are seven tips that will guide you in building a house with a professional builder.

1. Plan adequately beforehand

When you decide to engage a builder, there are a lot of things which you will have to worry about that you wouldn’t have to if you were a home buyer. These include having the land surveyed for boundaries, checking the municipal water and sewer lines, liens, easements and any other factors that could interfere with the construction of new homes.

2. Get the needed permits

When building your own home, there are permits that you will have to ask for from the local authorities, something that does not happen when you are using a contractor or buying a home, the builder will let you know about all the permits that you need because failure to do so could lead to the building lacking approval, complicating the process.

3. Check to see that the builder is certified

You do not just pick anyone to work in creating what is possibly your life’s greatest dream. You need to make sure that they have the expertise needed for the project and that they are licensed and certified by the appropriate builder’s associations. Building is a risky process and there is no way you can succeed at it unless your team is abiding by the laws.

4. Insurance is a must

Constructing your own home comes with a lot of liabilities. When you engage a builder, you will have to make sure that they are not only covered but also that the people they will employ for the job are also covered. This will reduce the possibility of accidents leading to liability suits, which can result in massive losses.

5. Survey the land

Besides making sure that the boundaries have been set correctly and that the land has no easements and liens, you need to ask the builder to look at the results of the comprehensive surveys, which most of the times include aspects such as the slope or gradient of the land, the soil test reports and more. These will determine what construction measures can be taken to retain the structural strength of the home when built.

6. Share your budget

When you are assured that the builder is insured and certified and that the land can be built on, you can share your budget, the plan and other aspects with them. They will help you determine whether the budget will work or not and make necessary amends.

7. Compare quotes before settling

The first step in vetting the builders is ensuring that they have the competencies that they need to do the work properly. The second and the most crucial, is comparing their cost before settling on one. Do not pay more for a service that could cost you less. Slow and meticulous planning will get you the ideal builder.

How to Run Air Conditioning on Solar Power

Installing Solar Panels

Powering your air conditioner using electricity from the main grid is obvious a painful experience. As you enjoy cool air in your house, you have a feeling in your heart that is reminding you of the cost you will be required to pay at the end of the month. Powering the air conditioner, especially during the summer season is a painful experience, but individuals have to live with it. To avoid the increasing power bills, the question of using solar energy to power air conditioner has been surfacing for a longer period.

Solar panels have been known to produce sufficient power that can be used to support multiple functions in a home such as standard electrical appliances like television sets, laptops, and lighting. Other high-energy consuming devices such as washing machines and oven can as well be powered from the energy collected through a solar panel. Apparently, solar panels seem as though they can power everything. However, some air conditioners use much power which makes it difficult for a solar panel to power an air conditioner.

Air Conditioner Power Consumption
An experienced electrical contractor will confidently tell you that air conditioners are by far some of the largest users of electricity. To make the indoor environment of a house during the summer season bearable, electrical bills have to skyrocket forcing some individuals to turn to generators for a reprieve. Nevertheless, this is the best time to use a solar panel to cool your house as they will be absorbing much energy from the shining sun. During a hot day, a single solar will be able to power an air conditioner and help you save a significant fortune.

However, the solar might not be able to run your air conditioner when there isn’t much sun or when the solar has lower energy capacity as compared to what an air conditioner demands. Typical air conditioners use an average of 1200 Watts. However, this trend is changing such that manufacturers are manufacturing energy-efficient air conditioners with an average energy consumption of around 600 Watts. Before deciding to use solar panels to run your air conditioner, you should make sure you purchase an air conditioner with low energy consumption which will assist in reducing the number of solar panels required. The following are some of the necessities you should have before using solar panels to power your air conditioner.

• Charge Controller
This is a must have an electric device that will assist in maximizing the power generated by your solar panels. Consider buying a charger controller that can accommodate all the power generated by solar panels in use.

• Inverter
Apparently, air conditioners use alternating current while solar panels generate direct current. You need an inverter to convert the DC power from the panel to AC power that can be accepted by the air conditioner. Consider purchasing an inverter that can accept 110V that is required to power your air conditioner.

In a nutshell, powering your air conditioner using clean energy will not only power your air conditioner, but it will also save you much money on power bills. This can be a good alternative for you when power outages occur.

5 Ways on Wiring a Switch and Outlet Safe and Easy

Electrician Checking Socket

Occasionally you may have to wire switches and outlets in your house, or for a friend or family member. Whether you are replacing a defective switch or outlet, or are simply installing a new switch point, you can do it by yourself without necessarily enlisting the services of a professional electrician. However, if you choose to do it yourself, there are certain precautions and best practices that you have to follow to do it safely and easily.

Use the Right Materials and Tools
Before starting work on wiring your switches and outlets, assemble all the materials and tools that you need for the activity. In this regard, you need to assemble all the wires that you need for the wiring task. Determine the approximate amount of wire necessary for your task, and acquire it in good time. Use the right quality of wire to ensure safety and durability. Also, ensure that you have the switches and outlets that you are going to fix and wire. Other materials that you need include different sizes of screws and masking tapes.

Besides, you need the right tools to complete the wiring task efficiently and safely. Below is a list of some of the most necessary tools and equipment to make your job simple.
• Voltage “sniffer:” the purpose of a voltage sniffer is to determine whether wires or cables are energized. All you need to do is hold the tool near the wire or cable. If the wires are energized, the non-contact voltage tester lights up. It also helps you to ascertain that all wires are “dead” after turning off the circuit breaker. This way, you do not have to handle the wires with your bare hands.
• Voltage tester: You can use this tester to check for hot wires, or to determine the neutral terminal. Simply touch the tester’s probes between two hot wires, or between a hot and neutral wire. Where the wires are hot, the voltage tester lights up.
• GFCI receptacle tester: This tester is useful for checking whether you have wired your outlet correctly. Simply plug it into the GFCI outlet, and if the outlet is wired properly, the lights will show. You can also connect the tester into the GFCI receptacle to check if the GFCI is functioning correctly.

Confirm that the Power is Off
Flipping a circuit breaker or flicking a switch is not a guarantee that the power is off. Always double-check to ascertain that the power is off before engaging in the electrical work. Use a non-contact voltage tester to see if all wires in the electrical box are off.

Do Not Reverse Neutral and Hot Wires
Connecting the black-colored live wire to the neutral terminal in an outlet can potentially cause a fatal shock. Take note that the lights and devices that use the electrical system may work, but they will not be safe. Ensure that you connect the white wire, to the outlet’s neutral terminal. Silver or light-colored screws always mark the neutral terminal. Connect the black-colored hot wire to the other terminal. Lastly, properly connect the ground wire to the green grounding screw. Countercheck to ascertain that all wires are correctly connected to avoid lethal shocks.

Handling the Wires
Do not cut wires too short, as doing so makes it difficult to connect them. Make your wires sufficiently long, so they extend at least three inches from the box. In case you get short wires, fix the problem by adding extensions onto the existing wires. Working with short cables involves the risk of poor connections, which can be a threat to safety.

Supporting Switches and Outlets
Loose switches and outlets are not only bad-looking, but they are also dangerous. Loose outlets move around, and in turn, may cause the wires to loosen. Loose wires can potentially cause a fire due to arcing or overheating. To fix loose outlets, use washers or special spacers to shim under the screws, creating a tight connection to the box.

Whenever in doubt, it is essential that you seek help from a professional electrician to avoid electrocution and possible fires, among other risks. If you live in Brisbane, you can enlist the services of a Brisbane Electrician to handle your wiring needs.

4 Tips for Choosing the Right Bra

plus size woman standing in her underwear

Bras aren’t the most comfortable articles of clothing in the world. Although they can sometimes be fun to wear, nobody is happy about having to wear them every single day. In order to make bras more bearable, it is critical to find one that fits your body shape and personal preferences. Wearing a bra that doesn’t fit correctly can lead to back and neck pain, trouble breathing and other bad things. It is critical to find a bra the perfect bra for you. Here are four tips to help you find the right bra.

1. Choose the model that works best for you.

Every individual is going to have personal preferences when it comes to selecting a bra. Don’t be afraid to step out of the norm if you find something comfortable and matching to your needs. If a plus size sports bra meets your needs better than any other model, than choose that. There is no need to feel pressured into choosing a bra that most people wear. The most important things is that you feel confident and comfortable. Fitting in with the status quo or looking a certain way shouldn’t come into the picture when choosing a certain model or style. Find the right bra that works for you and stick with it.

2. Don’t buy bras online.

It can be tempting to purchase bras from the internet as almost all forms of shopping have begun to move online. However, it is important to resist this temptation. Bras purchased from the internet have a high risk of not fitting properly. Even if you’re confident about your bra size and have been consistently wearing it for years, that bra online may not match the exact size that was being advertised. There are so many components such as shipping, manufacturing and sizing differences between countries that make choosing the right bra online too high of a gamble.

3. Try on a lot of bras.

Finding a bra is not easy, but settling for one that isn’t perfect is even harder. Instead of dealing with the pain that an unfit bra can cause, be patient and take all the time needed to find a suitable fit. You should be willing to go to dozens of different stores in order to find the perfect bra. There are several components of bras that will change depending on where you buy them. Designs, shapes, sizes, straps and overall fittings differ from brand to brand and store to store. It’s a good idea to start at a location that would have the best chances of carrying the right bra for you. If you couldn’t find a good fit there, start going down the list of all the places that you think could have the right one. Investing this time will be worth not having the pain of the wrong bra.

4. Ask about customization.

It is so difficult to find the right bra because they aren’t made to fit one person. Each bra size is made to accommodate a wide range of body sizes. For example, 100 different women with slightly different breast sizes may all wear a C-size bra despite not having the exact same shape. This is the same reason people have difficulties finding the right shoe. You’re essentially trying to find a bra that fits your unique body perfectly when they are designed to fit countless numbers of individuals. Instead of going through the hassle of finding a mediocre bra, more and more women are turning to customization. There are some companies and tailors that will make a custom bra that can fit perfectly. These will cost more than normal bras, but the extra investment is worth being comfortable.

Finding the right bra is often a difficult process, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. There are thousands of different bra styles and designs out there and one of them is bound to fit you well. The first tip when finding the right bra is to find a particular style that works for your body shape. The next is to avoid buying bras online. Thirdly, don’t hesitate to take all the time needed to find the right bra. If all else fails, consider buying a custom-sized bra.

Things To Consider Before Hiring A Roofing Company For Your Home

Roof

Every homeowner has to keep up with maintenance over the time they live in or rent out their property. On average, most spend a few thousand per year on updates and repairs that are necessary to keep the home in good shape. Unfortunately, these expenses can skyrocket if you’re not careful with the contractor that you hire. This is especially true for roofing work as your roof is one of the most important features of your home overall.

1. Their Experience with Roofing

How long has the contractor you’re going to hire been doing roofing work? If they’re fairly new to the industry, you may want to consider hiring someone else. The only exception to this rule is if you’re hiring a roofer who is training a new employee. In this situation, you can relax knowing the manager of the job will double check their trainee’s work while doing great work themselves.

2. Their Knowledge of Your Roofing Problem

Some roofing companies specialize in roof installations while others do general repairs or improvements. For this reason, it’s important to ask the company what they can do before you hire them. This can help you avoid wasting time with contractors who don’t have the knowledge or experience to properly strengthen your roof.

3. Their Customer Feedback

A good track record with past customers can give you peace of mind that your roofing contractor cares about their clients. One of the best ways to see whether or not a company has good feedback is to look them up online. You should be able to find at least a few reviews that let you know what to expect.

Tip: If there are any negative reviews, carefully read through them to see what the problem was. Sometimes issues are blown out of proportion and may not mean the company isn’t worth hiring. However, if there are many negative reviews, you may want to steer clear of the company in question.

4. Their Insurance Coverage

Roofing work isn’t only difficult it can also be dangerous. This is why it’s important to make sure the contractor you hire has general liability insurance as well as workers compensation and umbrella coverage. By confirming that they have adequate coverage, which should be around $1 million, you will know that you’re protected from any liability if someone were to get hurt while working on your property.

5. Their Manufacturer Certification

If you’re concerned about your roofer using only the best materials (or materials that are consistent with your current roof’s high-end materials), then you should ask if they are manufacturer certified. This simply means that certain manufacturers have specially trained them in order to use their products in the best manner possible.

6. Their Prices

One of your biggest concerns is likely the price of the job, especially if you have to have a lot of work completed. Ask any companies you are considering hiring to come over for an in-person estimate. This will give you the most accurate idea of how much the project will cost you, aside from any surprise issues that arise. It’s also important to ask what’s included in the estimate you receive and any extras you should anticipate covering.

7. Their Ability to Finish On-Time

Efficiency is key when it comes to roofing work, especially since it can be loud and interrupt the daily flow of life. To help ensure your schedule is adhered to, speak with your roofing company and ask how many clients they take on at once. If you’re their only client until the job is done, then the likelihood of the work being done by your deadline is high.

Hiring a Company You Can Trust

There are many different roofing companies you can hire, so make sure to do your research to find the right one. You might be surprised by the vast differences in each, especially when it comes to pricing and knowledge. By asking just a few questions to several companies, you’ll know for certain which is the right one for the job you need done. With your roof being such an integral part of your home, this is work you want to make sure is done properly from the start.