New Construction and Home Improvement Company.

Home By Design

 Call Today: 954-306-2545

What Is An Overloaded Electrical Panel?

The concept of an overloaded circuit, while simple to understand, poses serious risks such as a fire hazard. To understand the concerns with overloaded circuits, you must be familiar with a basic equation used in calculating power or wattage. Wattage is calculated by finding the product of voltage and current.

Consider a light bulb. For example, a 60-Watt light bulb is designed to operate at a particular voltage. By dividing 60 Watts by the bulb’s operating voltage, the maximum current that the bulb can accommodate is calculated. When the current flowing through the bulb exceeds its maximum current rating, the bulb elements will overheat and ultimately ruin the light bulb.

Now consider the electrical circuitry in your kitchen. You may have several appliances plugged into outlets in your kitchen. Each appliance will have a wattage designation and an operating voltage. By dividing an appliance’s wattage by its operating voltage, the maximum current in amps for that appliance can be determined. As appliances are added into the circuit, the amperage flowing through the circuit will increase.

Suppose a circuit is rated for a maximum of 20 amps of current. If the circuit receives a current flow greater than its rated 20 amps, the circuit is said to be “overloaded”. To avoid an overloaded circuit or electrical panel, a circuit breaker is utilized to prevent damage to the circuitry. The breaker does this by detecting an overload condition and instantly halting current flow.

Tips for Tiling Your Home

If you are considering installing tile in your own home, the following tips could prove useful.

Tip #1
Always lay your tile starting in the center of the room working your way out. This will allow your end tiles to be the same size when it’s time to cut them.

Tip #2
A solid foundation is the key to installing tile that will last a lifetime. Make sure the foundation is level by either using a filling compound to fill any holes or low spots or by laying down a backer board first.

Tip #3
Less grout could be better. Wide grout lines can cause later problems such as fading and discoloration. It can also be hard to clean. Considering spacing your tile closely together to eliminate come of the problems caused by wide grout lines.

Tip #4
A wet tile saw is always better than trying to cut your tile by scoring it. Not only will you have cleaner cut edges with a tile saw, but you are less likely to break any tile too.

Tip #5
You get what you pay for when it comes to tile. The cheapest tile is made from poor quality materials, can be very thin and can easily break. Find a tile that is suitable for its purpose and reasonably priced. Look for sales during such holidays as July 4, Labor Day and Memorial Day.

What is Dry Rot and How do I Fix it?

Are you a homeowner who has recently discovered that the nasty condition of dry rot has crept into various surfaces of your home? Dry rot is a fungus that destroys wood, causing the area to literally crumble when pressure is applied to it. The problem develops when unprotected wood is exposed to a damp environment over an extended period of time. If the affected area is not completely removed, the fungus will continue to spread into any surrounding wood in direct contact with it.

The most effective fix for dry rot is to completely remove the affected area, replace it with new wood and eliminate the source of moisture from the area. If the rotted wood is located in a supporting structure, the best advice for a homeowner is to hire a professional contractor to fix the problem. If the problem area is relatively small, most homeowners should have the ability to do the work themselves.

It is important to determine the source of the moisture that caused the problem in the first place. Perhaps a rain gutter is not moving drain water away from the structure efficiently, or there may not be adequate ventilation in an attic. It is just as important to eliminate the source of unwanted moisture as it is to remove and replace the rotted wood. It is essential that repairs which are exposed to the elements also be painted with a high quality, weather resistant outdoor paint.

Common Plumbing Mistakes: What to look for

Many homeowners love to take a do-it-yourself approach to home repairs, and this includes plumbing repairs. The fact is that many common plumbing issues may be fixed with a wrench, a screwdriver or a plunger, but other issues require professional repair services if you want them done right. Plumbing issues that are not properly repaired can result in leaks, more significant plumbing damage and a host of other issues. Therefore, whether you are buying a new home, have recently purchased a home and are becoming familiar with your house or have lived in your home for years and want to know where you may have taken a misstep, consider these common plumbing mistakes.

Pipe Repairs: Many homeowners have attempted to repair a leaking pipe on their own in an effort to save money on plumbing repairs. However, mismatched materials, failing to properly seal fittings and more can result in issues over time. If your plumbing boasts two different types of materials or a spray-on sealant, you may consider calling a plumber to have the issue repaired right.

The Half-Way Approach: To complete many repairs properly, you may not have the right tools and equipment on-hand. For example, when you don’t use a level with a toilet installation, you run the risk of developing a toilet leak. If you tried to jerry rig the plumbing during a do-it-yourself remodeling project without using the right size of pipes, your water flow may be minimized or you may experience issues with waste removal. If you are aware of such issues in your home, call a plumber to have the issue repaired.

The fact is that simple plumbing tasks like replacing the shower head or plunging the toilet from time to time may be great do-it-yourself tasks for a homeowner, but other tasks are better left for professionals.

Gutter and Downspouts 101

Let’s talk about the drainage system that is responsible for carrying all that excess water away from your home or office building. If you do not already have a system installed, this is the first step you need to take to help protect your investment. Without an adequate way to carry rainwater from the structure, it is just a matter of time before the devastating effects will begin to show.

When excess water is allowed to sit around a foundation, it creates multiple issues. The wood and siding on the outside of your structure was never intended to remain wet for long periods of time. Prolonged exposure damages these materials. Additionally, when the ground upon which the foundation sits is subjected to continual changes in the moisture level, the process of shrinking and then swelling creates an environment of constant movement. This shifting can cause beams and piers to move.

When installing a drainage system, it is important to properly select the right sized downspouts to handle the amount of rain that can potentially fall in the area. If inadequately sized downspouts are used, rain will back up in the guttering and begin overflowing in various unplanned spots. It is not necessary to go overboard and buy huge downspouts, but knowing the maximum amount of potential rain for your area can help determine the size of drainpipes you will need. It is also important to place downspouts at adequate intervals to aid in efficiently moving rainwater as quickly as possible.

What is “Green” Building and how can a Homeowner Benefit?

Green buildings are constructed using renewable materials. Modern designs are easy to manage with positive effects for the environment. Choices include recycled materials, like metal and bamboo, along with energy-efficient doors and windows. With good materials and clean appliances, an eco-friendly construction is ideal for the right people.

Modern, eco-friendly buildings are new and useful innovations. Using recycled materials is recommended. Waste from construction sites does nothing as it sits in landfills. Wind and solar power are frequently used. Both sources can be renewed based on certain conditions. Energy-efficient doors and windows are available. Modern appliances sold in regular stores will have the proper labels and certifications.

Green materials must be used indoors as well. Popular units are floors made from recycled wood, like bamboo. Green materials can be built into many different places because they are non-toxic and long lasting. High-quality hardwood comes in different colors and patterns. Organic carpeting tends to be soft, fresh and free from toxins. This kind can be cleaned like any other carpet.

Typical advantages of green homes and buildings include reduced energy consumption and savings. When energy-efficient products are used, the bills are cut in half. People who use heating, cooling and computing systems will benefit from large savings. The entire area becomes cheaper to maintain when less resources are used. Everything becomes cleaner and more affordable. Responsible homeowners receive tax incentives when they show interest in these eco products. Saving the environment, energy and money are common reasons to use environmentally conscious products and construction.

Fire Risks and Potential Signs to Avoid Them

Nobody wants to deal with a fire. Fire hazards in the home range from the obvious to the hidden. Here are a few things to keep an eye open for.

Electrical wiring is also a fire risk. Make sure your wiring is in good condition and is always insulated. Never use a power cable that has exposed wire or loose plugs. Electrical fires are possibly the most common kind. Inspect extension cables before connecting anything to them. Also, be careful what you connect to a power strip. Do not, for example, connect an electrical heater and a hair dryer to the same strip. Power strips should be primarily used for low energy devices such as computers.

Cooking can also cause fires. If you use a gas stove, make sure it is well maintained. Do not continue to mess with a burner that is refusing to light (this can create a build-up of methane in your kitchen which can cause a fire or explosion). Don’t leave stovetop dishes unattended and keep your cookbook clear of the burners. Make sure any dishes you use in your microwave are actually marked as microwave proof and never use metal foil in the microwave.

Test and keep an eye on all electrical appliances. Be wary of second-hand appliances and if an appliance is recalled, stop using it immediately. Do not use anything that is malfunctioning. Be especially careful with space heaters. Do not use them around small children or pets and if possible secure them to the wall so they can’t be knocked over. Never use a space heater to dry clothing.

Finally, do not leave candles, oil burners, incense sticks or burning cigarettes unattended. Do not empty ash trays that are not cold and never smoke in bed.

How to Better Soundproof Your Home

Even the nicest home in the best of neighborhoods can feel like a giant noise machine if you do not use the proper soundproofing methods. There are several ways that you can better soundproof your home to make for a more peaceful living environment.

Construct your home with double walls and dropped ceilings. Many construction plans call for this anyway, but if yours doesn’t, it might be time to make some alterations. The extra space allows for extra air, which helps dissipate noise. The air halts noise because the particle density drops.

Insulate your home. Not only will good insulation help with heating and cooling bills, it helps keep noise from travelling in from outside or travelling between rooms. Use a batt insulation coupled with a homasote cellulose material for the best results.

Put up new doors. Adding heavy and solid wooden doors to all of your outside entrances will help keep the noise of barking dogs and traffic out of your home. If you have noisy children, replacing their bedroom doors with heavy ones will help noise within the home as well.

Plug up the cracks in your home. Holes in walls and leaks in windows lead to extra sounds coming into your home. Be sure to properly fix any holes in the walls. Even if your windows are hiqh-quality and double-paned, they will allow sound in if the frame is not properly installed. A better frame or even some extra weather stripping will help control outside volume.

Pro’s of a Tankless Water Heater and Solar Power in a Residential Home

Environmentally friendly products and services have numerous advantages. To gain the greatest benefits, property owners must make certain considerations. They should make sure that there is enough space for the products. They should determine the frequency at which the products are used. The appliances tend to be expensive, but the saved energy makes up for it. In return, users save money and the environment at the same time.

Tankless water heaters are beneficial because of the instant, constant water flows. The heaters use sufficient power that heats water immediately as it moves. The devices can be installed at several point-of-use (POU) areas placed within properties. The major benefits include steady flows of heated water compared to reduced flows of water from regular tanks. Some households are able to save on energy.

Solar power converts the sun’s rays into energy. Compared to fossil fuels, sun power emits far less chemicals into the air and ground. Also, the energy is sustainable because the sun is available for most of the year. It is a steady, reliable source of power. Furthermore, users benefit from tax and rebate savings provided by the government. Using sun energy can be cheaper than using regular power. A solar system has a starting cost, but it soon pays on its own.

The degradation of the environment is a common concern. Residential and commercial constructions are being made with recycled or sustainable materials. Water heaters are made to consume less energy, and solar panels are used to consume all-natural energy. Saving the environment comes with more advantages than disadvantages.

How to Frame an Interior Door

There are two methods used for framing an interior door and two types of framing material, steel and wood. Also there are two methods used to finish the header area over the door frame. These methods are using 2×4’s or 2×12’s to form the door header for the rough framing of the interior door. The 2×4 method requires cutting the 2×4’s to the correct door header length width and using what is called a “cripple stud” cut.

The second method is to measure and cut two 2×12’s to width (equal to original opening) and add ½ “plywood spacers between the pieces of 2×12. These are nailed together and are used to form the door header. The door jamb is placed inside the framing space created.Both methods involve using king and jack braces (studs) and follow door header widths of 2×4’s no longer than three feet, and 2×12’s no longer than eight feet.

Whether nailing the casing on the outside of the door frame directly to the studs, or nailing the casings to the sub-sheathing, the determination is three ways, how the jamb is to be installed, by the interior wallboard thickness and the sub-sheathing.

Materials

• 2×4 or 2×12 Wood, scrap wood and plywood
• Hammer and Nails (6d to 12)
• Level, T-square and measuring tape
• Hand saw or table saw
• Gloves, safety glasses and steel toe boots

Tips

• Always add at least a ¼” added on the width and height of the rough frame
• Account for natural wood shrinkage (shims can be used)
• The floor should be level
• Steel stud framing replacement metal screws need to be longer