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Home Improve E-zine, Issue #002 -- Monthly Newsletter - plan your 2005 home improvement remodeling
April 15, 2005
Helping you build your dreams come true in 2005

Home Improvement Quandary? lets nail down the Options

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IN THIS MONTHS ISSUE: APRIL 2005

Welcome to our APRIL issue of Home Improve E-Zine, throughout the year we delve into the preparation of big and small home improvement projects. Spring 2005 is the ideal time to prepare for your summer 2005 home improvement project.

Don't miss the home improvement show lists for April and May to make sure you get to attend any event near you.

Enjoy your home improvements and as always, it's safety first with all the planning and time you need to work well.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
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  • Our Tip Top Tip...
  • Your Home Improvement Calender - Planning - April - May 2005
  • Evaluate your Attic / Loft for improvement -
  • Small Project for your Home...
  • Deck Design Software Review...
  • Home Improvement Show Calender for April - May...
  • In Next Months Issue...
  • Welcome New Subscribers
  • Copyright, Subscription info

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Our Ultra Easy Tip Top Tip

Since many popular 2005 home improvement projects require laying planks of wood, be it on your decking frame or on strengthened joists up in the attic, this months tip top tip is about wood grain.

We were recently asked which way would we lay the "ripples" of a board, to understand this you have to imagine a tree section where you can see the cirles of age from the middle of the tree - one outside the other - to the bark.

Now imagine this tree cut length-ways into three planks - the outer two will be similar and the middle section unique. The middle section is least likely to curl up at the ends, the outer two pieces may curl up and if they do you will note shrinkage on the older, outer - bark side of the wood - for this reason we always lay boards bark side down and well screwed down.

Quite apart from this, sometimes you get a board that defies the rule and often the remedy (before replacing it with a new one...) has been to just turn in over.

Share your Top Tip
Why not share your own Tip Top Tip, send it in so that we can print it for everyone to see next month, it's easy to do here at
E-zine Contribution

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Your Home Improvement Calender (For clarity we are working on June = Summer and December = winter )

April - May 2005

Specialist Home Improvement Materials

The weather is definitly warming up and the amount of visitors to reclamation yards and salvage yards is very quickly climbing this year.

Hot on the list is reclaimed solid wood boards to reuse as flooring, oak and maple are being snapped up by people who want to make these quality flooring their own. With the growing concern for forest depletion and environmental impacts worldwide it makes sense to revive beautiful wooden floors to last another 100 years.

Period bathroom suites are also highly prized items, especially quality baths which can be re-enamelled good as new but still at a bargain price. It goes without saying that old taps are still popular although it's harder to find a bargain.

Lets check our March list for progress

Surveyors - did you get the surveyors report back yet identifying any problem areas that may have developed at your home over the years!. It's always good to know before you spend money on any given area (i.e. while converting your attic you may need to spend extra time and money fixing the roof.)

Plans - Are your plans ready, professionally developed architects plans are needed for structural projects although sometimes your own plan will suffice, for example for a simple ground level deck plan which you can do done on your own computer - check out our review of Deck Design Software

Permits - Do you have your permit through - congratulations - your just about ready to start your 2005 home improvement remodeling project, that is if you have your home improvement financing options worked out...

Home Improvement Financing Options - If you haven't had your little chat with your chosen home improvement lender - here are a few tips:

  • By organising your financing options early you get them out of the way so that you can concentrate on the build.

  • Shop around for a good deal, even if you USUALLY stick to your own bank - take a look about 6 others to give you the full 2005 picture.

  • Don't automatically go for the cheapest, you want a good deal - but from a known reputable company who can give you quality customer service.

Take a minute to have a look at our article for more information and tips here at Home Improvement Financing Options

Contractors - You want a contractor who will HAPPILY show you work that he has done, NOT someone who knocks on your door, can't get permits and wants paid in cash. Reliable, licensed and regisered contractors are proud to take the time to show home improvement work done and draw up a proper contract with you.

Are you looking for a General Contractor who will look after the whole project or do you need a Speciality Contractor for specialist fittings?.

This is the time to check all references, don't leave it to instinct, talk to previous customers to see how happy they were with the build i.e. were they kept up to date, was it a clean site and if the work was done on time AND on budget.

Please make sure that everyperson who steps onto your site during building is covered by either the contractors insurance or your own homeowner insurance, it would be worth extending your cover for the period of the build if necessary You can get more information here... Homeowner Insurance
- not having the cover when you need it could ruin everything, it's best to check out when you sort out your financing options.

Share Your Home Improvement Experiences here:
E-zine Contribution

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Evaluate your Attic for Home Improvement

The Attic is a truly wonderful, and often under utilised space that many homeowner are lucky to own. So, lets get out the ladder, open the hatch and see if your attic is ripe for an attic conversion.

These following factors are so important that it is something everyone should take into consideration even BEFORE buying a home.

FIRST: The way your roof was built:-

Looking towards the sides of your roof: (not the gable walls)

  • do you see strong frequent rafters going without interuption upto the roof! - it sounds like you have typical rafter framing which is GOOD for attic conversions.

    OR

  • do you see smaller rafters with a V shaped support going from the floor joists and connecting upto the rafters, if you do then your roof was built with trusses.
Unless sheer determination means you plan to literally raise the roof, you just will NOT be able to work with a roof build with the TRUSSES method of internal support.

Link to our website for drawings explaining this at Attic COnversion

NEXT: The all important height of the roof:-

  • At least half of the available height in your attic must be about 2.30 metres (7 1/2ft), and that's the requirements post conversion not pre.loor space).

FOUNDATIONS AND SUPPORT:

  • Get Professionals into check both the foundations and supporting walls of your home to make sure that they have the strength to carry the additional weight of using your attic or loft as viable living space.

  • Have the floor of your attic checked to make sure that the floor joists are strong enough to support the new use of this floor. Often with newer builds the attic floor has been built as a roof for the room below and NOT as a supporting floor for the room itself.

ATTIC ACCESS:

There are rules and regulations for access to attic spaces, these are especially strict if the area is to be used as a bedroom. The best solution for use, esthetic value and saleability is to continue in the same size and style of your original stairs. You will also have to take into consideration the installation of a fire escape facility

Usually a small box room or cupboard can be sacrificed to make way for the installation of the stairwell.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS are:

  • Fire Doors
  • Alarm
  • Dormer windows
  • Velux windows / skylight
  • Increase water pressure
  • Upgrade Wiring
  • Lighting
  • Insulation
  • Heating / cooling
  • Air Flow / Ventilation
  • Door Bell

    If you are interested in reading the full article on attic conversion evaluation, together with useful diagrams, take a look at Attic Conversion

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    Clearing the Gutter

    This is a very important but usually messy spring chore that often gets put off - over time however, avoiding clearing the gutters can lead to real damage to your home.

    Water builds up in the gutter when it can't freely flow away down your drains, the most common blockage is leaves, you want something that will take away all the debri and leave the water behind to drain away properly.

    If this tedious, dirty job isn't done frequently the build up of water will overflow to the building wall causing damp, the build up of wet leaves will form a fungus which can leave a wet green stain running down the outside wall of your home and cause dampness and odour inside your home, a health risk for your family.

    This problem is easily resolved with anything that you can easily run along the inside of the gutter taking away and removing all the gunge. The right sized metal sieve (like one in your kitchen - but not the same!) that fits the size of the tube is ideal.

    QUESTION:

    Please share your favourite small projects - it's easy to do here at
    E-zine Contribution

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    Deck Design Software Reviewed

    Buying Deck Design Software is a great way to start your own deck design project. Generally speaking, multi level decks are more difficult with the more economical packages but you can design a great ground level deck to suite your deck design idea for your home.

    Deck design can be added on over the years, from a simple deck to a BBQ area to deck surrounding your hot tub.

    Take a look and see what we think!, it might help you make your choice - Deck Design Software Reviewed

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    Home Improvement Events Calender
    Mid April - end of May 2005

    If you are hoping to attend a home improvement show in May and if you are looking for 1,000's of the best and latest home improvement products AND Home Remodeling Experts all under the same roof, then will enjoy this months varied, worldwide list.

    p.s. it's interesting to note that many shows now do online ticket purchases costing considerably less than the "at the door" prices...

    ***Please always use the contact internet links or the telephone numbers where available to confirm date and venue before attending any home improvement show.***

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    Re-cap of events still to come in April

    The 29th Annual Home Remodeling and Decorating Show
    Los Angeles Convention Center
    Los Angeles, CA
    April 15-17, 2995

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    San Jose Home & Garden Show
    San Jose Convention Center
    San Jose, CA
    April 15-17, 2005

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    ChicagoLand Home Expo
    McCormick Place
    Chicago, IL
    April 22-24, 2005

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    The Traditional Building Exhibition and Conference
    Pennyslyvania Convention Center
    Philadelphia, PA
    April 27-30, 2005

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    Builders St. Charles Home & Garden Show
    St. Charles Convention Center
    St. Louis, MO
    April 29 - May 01, 2005

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    The Midwest Home Expo
    Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
    Rosemont, IL
    April 29 - May 01, 2005

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    And here is for the link for the
    whole month of May 2005

    Home Shows in May

    Enjoy!

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  • In Next Months Issue 002

    Throughout the year we are going to put different projects under the microscope. If you are ready to get down to the nitty gritty and begin exploring the potential TOP and BOTTOM of your home - then look out for the April Issue 002 of Home Improve E-zine

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    Welcome New Subscribers

    We would like to extend a very warm welcome to you as a new subscriber to our internet magazine: "Home Improve E-zine".

    I hope you will continue to enjoy our ideas, tips and articles throughout the year. If you have any home improvement news, tips or ideas you would like to pass on to our readers we would love to hear from you...

    Please pass the information about our e-zine onto any of your family or friends who are especially interested in home improvement to improve the quality of their home life and/or to improve the value of their home.

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    Home Improve E-zine

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    Copyright and Subscription and Back Issue information

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