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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

How to Install a Skylight

Nothing enhances the beauty of a room like natural light, and one of the best ways to get the most out of the sun’s rays is to install a skylight. Skylights are especially effective in kitchens and hallways where there is usually only one main light.

Many homeowners think that installing a skylight is something that they cannot be done without engaging a trades person, but with a little careful planning, research, and a bit of patience, anyone can put in a skylight and let the sun shine into any room, large or small. 
Before you begin the installation of your skylight, make sure that you have all the proper permits and that the location you have chosen is not below attic space.  If it is below the attic space, then extra materials will be needed for a drop box. 

In our opinion, the best type of skylight is the "white translucent" variety because it allows and intensifies available light, even on cloudy days, but does not let ultra violet or infra red rays to penetrate and heat up your room.  Of course, you really need to consider having a ventilated skylight which helps to remove the hot air in any space.

Before you begin the actual construction, make sure you have all the tools that you will need during the construction and that they are within easy reach. Your larger pieces will include the skylight, two by four beams for the skylight’s frame, supplies to finish the ceiling, (such as drywall,) roofing hardware, and two different types of flashing to provide a barrier against rain water. Your tool belt or kit should contain a hammer, a flat pry bar, tin snips, an electric circular saw (do not use a cordless for this), and a utility blade. Always wear safety goggles when you are working with any kind of tools.

First, center your skylight by drilling a hole where you want the center of it to sit. Next, cut the opening of the roof with your circular saw. Once you have the space opened up, create your frame with the two by fours, using header joists to ensure strong support. Once the frame is complete, you can then cut away the shingles on all sides with your utility blade no more than three inches all the way around. Attach your skylight, making sure the middle is centered on the hole you had created earlier.

Once your skylight is in place, you can install your flashing to make sure that water cannot drip in between the roof and the unit. Install roofing paper under the shingles in strips, starting with the bottom and then moving to the sides before finishing the top. Use your pry bar to carefully move any nails that you need to. Finally, install the rest of the flashing and make sure they are attached to the skylight, not to the roof, so that no water can get between them. 

Nova Group often install skylights to their kithomes and granny flats to highlight areas in darkened spaces and for a creative effect.    

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Creative Backyard Patio Ideas

Japanese Theme with Koi pond

Patios are wonderful to have, especially if you live in Australia where the weather is mostly warm all year around. If you create great patio space, you will have an area that can be considered a type of extra living space in your home. 

When creating a patio, you will need to think about what type of theme you are trying to create and the function of the patio. Are you looking to create a type of “man-cave” where you can have your buddies over or are you looking to create a calm and relaxing area where you can relax with your significant other or enjoy a book, maybe a glass of wine? Once you have decided how the space will be used, you can begin looking at different ideas for your patio.

If you are looking for the “man cave” patio you may want to think about a covered patio with an awning or umbrella to keep the sun off of you and out of your eyes while you are hanging around outside or grilling a steak on the BBQ.  If you have a waterproof covering you will be able to create a space to entertain even when it’s raining.  

When creating patio space that can be used as an extra room you may want to consider using a theme from inside your home to decorate your patio space. These patio tips will help you create an outdoor space that all your neighbors will envy and all of your friends will be awed by. If you use a lot of bright colors in your home you should continue decorating your patio with bright colors. 

If you have a roof over your patio you may want to think about a fully stocked bar. This can be very convenient if you have children as they can get a drink when they want it rather than having to mess up the kitchen.  It also serves as a convenience for the adults to sit outside and enjoy the night air. 

Another great patio idea is to use different types of lighting and wood paneling to create effects. If you are going to use your patio as a multipurpose space you might want to consider adding lighting that will be able to change to create different atmospheres that fit the theme of your event or even your mood. 

Lights with a dimmer will work the best for your patio. Using dimmer lights will allow you to create the atmosphere that you are looking for whether you are looking for a romantic (dim/candlelight effect) or a bright lights, let’s get this party started type of effect.
Nova Group is an expert at designing patios and creating themes to suit the needs of the owners, enabling privacy and adding value to the existing house.  Their kit home and granny flats home designs can all be tailored to meet the special needs.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Know about roof replacement

In the years before 1984, asbestos was used in houses as the roofing material because it was considered to be affordable and durable. This material was resistant to adverse weather conditions and it could be manipulated to different shapes and forms. 

Asbestos roof contains mineral fibers and cement and the materials differed in percentage of asbestos concentration. 

It has since become known that asbestos causes many health implications and as such asbestos roofs are no longer used. discontinued

Removing an asbestos roof requires someone who is trained in changing roofing materials. When performing the removal process, one should take into consideration the proper handling of the asbestos material because it is potentially dangerous. 

Although there are still many houses with asbestos roofs, they are considered low in concentration and do not pose a health risk but if the roof requires repair they should hire skilled people who follow set standards to perform this maintenance. The medical risks associated with asbestos roof are when its microscopic fibers are inhaled causing cancer and respiratory infections like Asthma.

Apart from the medical concern, repairs of asbestos roof maintenance becomes hard because not many skilled contractors were willing to work directly with the material. Another challenge is the tools used for repair and removal. Once the roofing becomes spoiled the materials are too brittle and could break up easily even by the use of hand, posing a greater risk of inhaling the fiber not only to the contractor but to those in the surroundings.  

Because of these risks, the repair has become costly. That is why most people would prefer the removal of the asbestos roof other than repair. It is also hard to find materials for repair because asbestos materials are not popular anymore. 

If you have been living in a house that was built using asbestos material, it is very important for you to have regular tests. You may feel fine but symptoms might develop many years later.  The asbestos fibers are either ingested or inhaled and cannot be broken down inside the body so they will clot the respiratory and lungs. There are extreme cases where asbestos inhalation has caused elevation in Asthma which ultimately led to deaths.

This is one of the reasons why the Nova Group uses Colorbond roof as their primary source of material. They are easy to maintain and the materials are safe.