Category Archives: Home Improvement

28May/14

Port Container Shelters 101: Thinking Outside the Container

Port Container Shelters 101 Thinking Outside the Container

Shipping containers have past lives that may include harmful toxins being splashed around on rough seas, and most wood used inside them (or for warehouse palettes, another popular recyclable) contain pesticides to kill common pests and termites. Today, people no longer see rusting away waste – they see golden potential for low-cost building supplies which can also take a bite out of this generation’s carbon footprint.

And there aren’t many companies benefit from this change of perspective other than ship yards themselves. Major manufacturers want to keep building products for larger homes, energy companies want to keep selling more energy to heat or cool larger homes, and the rest of the world’s businesses want to sell you things to place inside larger homes.

Let’s face it, shipping containers are the under-dog – so we thought we’d take a moment to inspire you and show you the potential and we hope that you can take it from there.

Here are some of the ways which anyone can repurpose a used port container, pure and simple. Do your part. Resist cutting down more trees because a container can do a lot more than you think.

It’s the same argument for adoption; why start from scratch when there are so many used shipping containers begging to be plucked from their lots. Not to mention a few billion trees around the world begging to remain where they are – firmly rooted as the diminishing lung of our planet.

5 Creative Ways to Use a Shipping Container

Family Home

Obviously this was the first on our list – all available shelters and used shipping containers make excellent building materials.

Just a small piece of advice; choose the materials you want to repurpose carefully. Shipping containers have past lives that may include harmful toxins being splashed around on rough seas, and most wood used inside them (or for warehouse palettes, another popular recyclable) contain pesticides to kill common pests and termites.

Office

Today, everyone is in limbo wondering if the market will stay put or slide in either direction. People simply do not know if it’s time to grow and/or upgrade or not, so many homes and businesses are turning to new or used shipping containers and shelters for additions. Shipping container shelters used as offices can be built on-site or prefabricate to include everything – even the desks.

You’ll have to supply the work and the coffee though.

Car Port

Whether you’re protecting your vehicular assets from salt, sun, or sleet, shipping container shelter car ports are ideal no matter your geography. They can be built to any dimension, so feel free to build in that work bench and tool area, too.

Dream Home Additions

The low cost of entry when it comes to acquiring a new or used shipping container makes them very attractive. So much in fact that people are inventing ways to use them around the house.

Some great “dream home” additions using shipping container shelters include:

  • Outdoor wraparound deck
  • Private hot tub enclosed area (open roof)
  • Standalone workshop

Cabin in the Woods

Cabins are also a primary use for shipping containers these days as more and more users test the mettle of their metal. Most projects I encounter are for cabin with emphasis on “if this trial run goes well…” – and most do.

At the end of the day, custom containers can be great for all sorts of home and business functions from refrigeration to storage, so let your needs dictate your solution. You have more choices with new or used shipping container shelters.

26Apr/14

The best materials for foundation waterproofing

The best materials for foundation waterproofing

If your home’s foundation has cracks in it, that can very quickly become a serious problem. Cracks in the foundation can allow rainwater and moisture from the ground to seep into the basement, and when that happens, serious issues can result.

Water seepage can cause damage to drywall, flooring, carpets and furniture, but the potential for disaster goes much further than that. If the water gets into the electrical system it can spell big trouble for your home and what’s more, moisture and water in the basement can cause the growth of mold. Mold can become airborne and cause potentially serious health risks for your family.

To protect your home from water leakage from the foundation, consider waterproofing your home’s foundation. Better yet, have your home’s foundation waterproofed by a professional. It’s a big job and it needs to be done right in order to be effective.

Basically, the process of waterproofing the foundation involves the application of a material that is designed to create a completely seamless closure around the foundation that seals off any holes or cracks from outside water sources. There are several methods used by professionals in the construction industry to ensure that a building’s foundation is waterproof.

The first of these methods is known as external waterproofing. Using this method, a drain tile is installed near the foundation of the home on the exterior. The tile is then covered with silt rock and then a concrete plaster is applied to the foundation.

This same method can be used on the inside of the home, through a process known as interior waterproofing. Both methods are effective and a professional can help you to determine which method would work best for your home.

In both interior and exterior waterproofing, the success of the process is hinged on the drain tile’s ability to draw in the excess water and direct it to a sump pump. The pump, in turn, directs the water out and away from the house, preventing leaks and the ensuing damage. This installation should be done by a professional because an improperly installed drain tile could potentially further damage the foundation and make the problem worse than it was originally.

If that happens, the whole waterproofing process will be compromised and the results may not be as desired. To ensure proper foundation waterproofing Ottawa homeowners should always consult the skills of a trained expert.

If your home is showing signs of cracking in the foundation, or if you have started to notice water in your basement following a heavy rain or snowfall, there could be a problem that needs to be addressed.

There are many ways that a professional construction company can waterproof your foundation, and they can advise you on which method will work best for your particular situation and budget. By having your foundation waterproofed you can prevent a whole host of issues that could potentially arise from the seepage of water into your basement.

11Mar/14

How to Become a Janitor

How to Become a Janitor

For every type of architectural structure, there is a need for people to perform janitorial services in order to keep the building clean and safe for all occupants. That makes being a janitor a job that is in constant demand with a high degree of job security.

What Janitors Do

The primary responsibility of a janitor is to help to keep a building clean. That typically involves cleaning floors, washing windows, dusting, vacuuming and emptying trash. It may also involve doing minor repairs. Because it is easier to do this work without having other people in the way, janitors often do most of their work during the evening when most occupants of the building have left for the day.

Training

Usually there are no formal training programs for janitorial work. Specific duties are typically learned and mastered on the job, with new hires trained by employees with more experience. Most training involves learning about the basic janitorial supplies and how to use them. Prospective janitors can get a head start on this process by checking out a website that specializes in janitorial supplies.

Career Prospects

Because there are new buildings constantly under construction, the number of janitorial jobs in the United States increases at a rate of about one percent per year. Those who already have janitorial experience are much more likely to be hired than those without.

Therefore, don’t be choosy about your first janitorial job, accept almost any job offer at first. Once you have experience and a good reference, your ability to move to better positions in better buildings greatly increases.

Job Compensation

Janitorial work pays a solid income of between $25,000 and $30,000 per year, a bit more or less depending upon experience. Where you work also matters, for example, janitors who work in public buildings such as schools are often members of a public employee union whose pay and benefits can be considerably above average.

A Solid Career

Because buildings need janitors for as long as the building stands, the chances are good that your janitorial position will have solid job security. If you are a patient and detail oriented person who can follow directions and doesn’t mind a sometimes repetitive routine, then seeking a janitorial position may be a wise career decision for you.

13Feb/14

Getting Your Budget Ready for Home or Business Improvements

Getting Your Budget Ready for Home or Business Improvements

Every penny counts when you are making improvements to your home or business. These projects can come with a hefty price tag if you are not careful to budget accordingly and take bids well before the work gets underway.

If you are new to vetting bids or if you want to make the entire process a lot simpler, you may find that the Internet can be your greatest resource for this task. Using the website as it is designed, you may find the contractor in your local area, who has the most expertise and is willing to do the work at a price you can afford.

To get started, you must first click on the state in which you live or do business. All 50 states are listed on the front page of the website. After you click your state, you will then be prompted to put in your zip code.

You can then click on Continue and be taken to a form that asks for your bidding range, your name, and address, and other required information for the job at hand. You can then click on submit to get instant information like renovation estimates for the work you want done.

The website is also set up to allow you to find out what contractors in your area are ready to handle any job you have in mind. You can filter your search on the site to choose contractors based on the type of work you need done.

For example, if you need your kitchen upgraded, you would click on the link for home interior. If you want your bathroom gutted and rebuilt, you would click on kitchen and bathroom. The links are self-explanatory and easy to use. You can filter your search for the ideal contractor in this manner if you choose not to select the state in which you live or do business.

Another factor of using the website involves having the discretion of hiring only ecologically-minded contractors. If you want to make sure that your renovation project has no ill effect on the environment, you can use the green remodeling tab, which is one of the newest features of the site. You can find like-minded businesses that use green technology to upgrade your home or repair fixtures throughout your business without harming the ground, the water, or the air.