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Home Improve E-zine, Issue #005 -- Monthly Newsletter - invest in your nest in 2005
July 15, 2005
Home Improve E-zine

Home Improvement Quandary?   lets nail down the Options

Invest in your Nest in 2005

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IN THIS MONTHS ISSUE: July 2005

Welcome to our July issue of Home Improve E-Zine, throughout the year we delve into the preparation of big and small home improvement projects.

It's the day of Santiago the Apostle on the 25th and I know many readers are either on holiday, packing their bags or planning for that wonderful summer break.

- it's a great time for summer home improvement projects like preparing a solid base and installing a portable hot tub or erecting your above ground pool just in time for the heat.

You wouldn't believe the amount of real quality home shows this month - so don't miss the home improvement show lists for August 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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  • Questions & Answers
  • Out TIP TOP TIP
  • Your Home Improvement Calender - July 2005
  • Building a Deck Design Part 3...
  • Preparing a base for a hot tub
  • Review of the Month - Home Design Software
  • Home Improvement Show Calender for August 2005...
  • In Next Months Issue...
  • Welcome New Subscribers
  • Copyright, Subscription info

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Q & A

Fist of all - thank you for all your messages - many readers had questions regarding Part 2 of building a Deck Design - so I want to help those folks straignt away to that we can all move onto Part 3... so lets go to them:

  • What is the best way to dig post holes?
This is very good question - and very difficult to describe so I have prepared an article with illustrations of Power Augers and Clamshell Diggers to fully explain the different methods - it's all here at:- Deck Construction - Digging Post Holes

  • Do I have to use wooden posts for supports?
There are many ways to start the foundations for your deck, concrete footings and 4x4 or 6x6 wooden posts to rest your beam on - just happens to be the best way - unless you don't have a 24" drop from your back door to ground! - take a look at other methods at this new article called Deck Building Footings Options

- but please make sure that you visit your local building inspector to make sure that whichever method you use is acceptable in your area.

  • What is the best wood to use that is not going to cost the earth?...

Perhaps the only wood to could be used to great effect - just about anywhere in the world tat is reasonably priced and readily available is Redwood.

- the cost will vary depending on the grade you choose - for example the center of the tree is known as the "Heart" and "Construction Heart" and "Deck Heart" Redwood are more stable and more expensive than "Construction Common" or "Deck Common" - both still good Redwoods but are cheaper because they have more sapwood and knots.

Please keep the questions coming in so that I can answer them next month or even sooner on the Web site - E-zine Contribution

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OUT TIP TOP TIP

If you are short on time try to source quick drying cement at your local suppliers, it really does make a difference when you need to get on with the job!

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

July - August 2005

This is the time of year when people from all around the world are really getting into their summer home improvement projects.

You may be just starting, mid-way or just finishing, chances are that right now things are looking a mess, especially if you are installing a new kitchen or bathroom or converting the attic.

If you have cut off the water and the floor is up to work on pipes - try to keep your mind on the big picture - the completion of your dream home improvement project is just days (or weeks) away! - it will be worth it!

If some special materials you ordered just didn't arrive and it doesn't look like they are going to - look around for alternatives, there are often a 100 options - it's just finding one that is available near you.

It's an exciting time and the dust will settle soon enough as you put the finishing touches to your new space.

Lets check our July list for progress

Plans - You may be amazed by how your original plans have changed and developed, maybe you had to adapt to follow local building guidlines - sometimes these changes are for the better and bring new ideas - I hope that is the case with your project...

Home Improvement Financing Tips:

If you are working with a home equity line of credit you should be reaping the benefits of how easy it is to "pay as you go" with this home investment method. You are only paying interest on what you have spent and you are only paying for materials or contractors as they complete different stages of your home improvement project - it's a win win situation all round.

Contractors

Falling out with a building Contractor is usual for people with little building experience - some unscrupulous contractors play on inexperience - the good ones don't.

Make sure that you keep up your relationship with your contractor and with the build by frequently meeting and keeping abreast of the situation and any changes.

You are less likely to be taken off guard by changes if you keep on top of everything - you should know by know if you have a good contractor, he or she is like gold to you - for "on-time" - "on-budget" completion and especially for any future projects so keep the kettle on.

If you have met an especially good contractor and would recommend him or her - why not let us know who it is and a little about your project experience, we will post it on the Web site and let the world know...

Share Your Home Improvement Experiences here:
E-zine Contribution

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Building a Deck Design Part 3

(If you missed Part 1 or Part 2 you can catch up with our links to "past issues" at the END of this newsletter)

Part Three
Beams and Joists - building the frame

You have your post holes in and standing straight and perfectly aligned with each other - its time to bring the frame base of your deck together.

Since we are building a simple "Low Profile" - "Corner Post Deck" with regular perpendicular decking boards - it's easy to build up once you have your post holes set nice and solid.

This week we are going to make it really easy to follow - we have prepared an article packed with illustrations to SHOW you how your beams fit onto your footings and how to hang your joists onto your joist hangers 16" apart... With our FREE Deck Plan

It's a great simple plan for a basic ground level deck for outside your back door. but especially for our e-zine readers here are some important additional TIPS.

  • If you choose cheaper pressure treated wood for the base and want to use a more expensive Redwood or Cedar for the "look and quality finish" for decking boards - then also use the more expensive for the two "Outer Joists" and for the "Outer Beam" - all the rest of the wood will be out of sight.

  • Please don't forget to use galvanized lag screws and washers and corrosion-resistant deck screws.

  • If you are working with cedar - the golden rule is galvanized hardware only - as this wood reacts badly to iron and will develop a nasty blue stain on the wood around the screw.

Don't miss next month - finishing off the deck...

Related Information Deck Design Idea and Links to all our other deck building articles...

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Our Small Project for July

It's getting hot - so this month we are preparing a quick concrete base so that you can take delivery of that Portable Hot Tub as soon as possible...

A Hot Tub base can be made of concrete or solid decking, the choice is yours as long as it is level.

Always check with your local building office for the codes and regulations for your area.

Step 1.

Go for the biggest hot tub with the most jets that your budget will allow - having as much space to yourself OR fitting all your friends in is a worthwhile bonus. - so your first step is to get the measurements of the Tub so that you can start to plan.

If you haven't found your tub yet - please go straight to step 5 then come back to this one...

Step 2.

A Portable Hot Tub has the advantage of not requiring special plumbing as water goes in or out using a hose pipe - BUT it still requires correctly installed high voltage connections for "outdoor use" so as soon as you have decided on location it's time to call in a professional electrician.

Step 3.

The size of the concrete pad for your Hot Tub will depend on what you want to build around it later - portable tubs have good looking sides but you always have the option of constructing decking around the base of the tub, adding steps and framing it in - so make the pad big enough to allow for your individual aspirations.

Step 4.

Mark four corners or your square or rectangle and connect them by nailing in some old wooden boards to create an outer frame for the concrete pad.

Clean up the ground in the selected area by removing foilage and big stones - leveling it as much as possible - mix and pour in the quick drying concrete and use a long straight piece of wood - shuffeling it side to side along the surface of the wet concrete to make it smooth and level.

Fill it up - smooth it out and let it dry - before you remove the wood frame.

Step 5.

OK, so now you have your electrical connection and a flat solid base - so where is the hot tub! - go to our Hot Tub Information page and look for the link for "Hot TUbs at Cool Prices - it's the best deal for the best tub - order it now and enjoy..

Share your favourite projects - it's easy to do here at E-zine Contribution

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Home Design Software Review

If you are looking for REAL Home Design Software to enable you to prepare projects in all areas of your home - or even to design a new home - then take a look at the "Home Design Architectural Series 4000" from Punch.

I was very impressed with this software, I love trying different ones and rarily does one stand out for it's basic and advanced capabilities and ease of use as this one does.

It's absolutely packed with features and the 3D features really works on this one, you can actually 'walk through' your finished design on the screen and make changes while you are there.

I know that the manual is huge with over 470 pages but it's a joy to pour over as you build more and learn more of the amazing different wizard capabilities.

It's the best home design software available on the market today - and no I am not selling it to you - sorry no links - it's just so good that I wanted my e-zine readers to know about it first - I will put up a page and link for our Web Site visitors later!

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Home Improvement Events Calender for JULY - AUGUST 2005

August is usually the quite before the storm of the many Fall home improvement shows of September and October - but even we were surprised at the amount of shows and events - take a look for yourself and see how many we have managed to source especially for you...

Here is the list for August 2005
Home Shows in August

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.***

Still time to check up on events during the second half of July 2005
Home Shows in JULY

Enjoy!

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  • In Next Months Issue

    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 August Issue 006 of Home Improve E-zine

    Highlights include:

    • Laying decking and preserving and staining the boards.
    • Deck Board Pattern Options.
    • Build a DOUBLE bed that will fit into any attic or loft conversion!
    • Home Improvement Show list for September!.

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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. 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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    Copyright and Subscription information

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