Sound Proofing

Are you worried that your neighbors may complain about sound systems and high sound level of your new house? Well, forget it and be a party freak and get yourself moving to beats of music systems just by getting your new house sound insulated. Your house needs sound testing, which may be separated by equal or different distances from your neighbors. You just need to get an expert solution about sound insulation testing in order to get your house sound proof.

What is sound insulation testing?

In simple words sound insulation testing can be defined as minimum separations between the walls, which is required between walls & floors to meet the requirements as stated by Approved Document E generally termed as ADE by UK government. These tests are carried out to ensure that your building construction demonstrates an acceptable level of airborne and impact sound insulation performance. Pre assessment of construction is done and results are provided for desired construction.

Understanding airborne sound and impact

Airborne sound is a sound that is transmitted through air. This sound may be unacceptable in the nearby locality. Hence there must be well maintained distance between you and your neighborhood, according to ADE rules and regulation. Well, what is impact, then? Have you ever heard or felt the vibration of DJ and other song. These sounds tend to vibrate the walls of your house this is called impact of sound. Your construction must be in accordance with ADE rules for acceptable sound in the neighborhood.

What is Acoustic test and How to do it?

A poor quality construction and workmanship may cause airborne sound travel directly in between door gaps and windows which may result in flanking sound to the outer environment. Though the element itself provides insulation but still then a small sound from gaps may cause an increase in transmission of airborne sound.

The amount of airborne sound can be reduced by using acoustic absorption. This reduces the amount of sound reflected back to space by the surface enclosing it. This acoustic insulation reduces the sound transmitting into space from an adjacent space though a building fabric. This fabric becomes insulation between walls and air to eliminate air gaps for impact and airborne sound.

Procedure of Acoustic testing:

Some key and important procedures are explained below for efficient acoustic testing:

– Installation of all external construction must be done such as doors, windows, vents etc and doors and windows must be closed.

– Internal doors must be kept open

– All electrical fittings such as lights, fans, switches must be done.

– Make sure that accessibility to both sides of testing walls is done.

– For impact testing there must not be any cosmetic floor fitting

– The testing room must be the one where sound boxes are to be kept in future.

Testing:

Airborne sound transmission can be tested by placing a test loud speaker which must be capable of generating sound at a range of frequencies. Detection of the sound is carried out over a microphone. Later calculations are made and adjustments are made to account for sound absorption from receiving space. These tests are carried out from a range of 125 Hz to 4000Hz.

House Selling Prices

Have you ever wondered why two, seemingly, similar houses, are listed on the market, for sale, and while one, sells quickly and at a desirable price, the other one receives few (or no) quality offers, and sits unsold, for a significant period of time? As a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, in the State of New York, for over a decade, I have learned to appreciate, every situation is somewhat different/ unique, and therefore, factors such as pricing, location, house style, home features, the condition, the localized real estate market, and competition, must be factored in, and considered. This article will briefly examine 6 variables, which might impact a house’s selling price.

1. Location: There is an adage in real estate, Location, location, location! What are the strengths and weaknesses, in terms of where a specific house is situated, in general, specific and localized terms. Some factors to address might include: Is the house mid – block, what kind of view, etc?; any safety issues/ concerns; specific schools; localized traffic and access; what other houses on the block look like; and, the access route, others take to get to the house.

2. Style: Certain styles of houses generally garner a better price, than others! In my geographic area, for example, Colonials generally bring the highest prices, while Cape Cod – style houses, are least, in demand! However, there are exceptions, and a clever, experienced, real estate professional, can advise his client, how the style, might be a factor to consider!

3. Features: Some of the relevant features may include: curb appeal; first impressions; updating; floors; flow; appliances; improvements; modernization; etc.

4. Condition: Not every house is in the same condition. How does your compare? Is it neat and clean, well – maintained, inside and out, freshly painted; attractive floors, etc?

5. Type of market: What type of real estate market, is your area presently experiencing? Is it a buyers market, where more people are seeking new homes than selling; a seller market (more buyers than sellers), or a neutral/ balanced one?

6. Competition: How many other, similar houses, are presently listed on the real estate market? How does yours compare to theirs? Is your house properly positioned, based on the competition, in terms of factors, such as: listing price; staging possibilities/ needs; etc?

Home sellers should seek out a quality, effective, real estate professional, to represent them, and best prepare their homes for sale. Keep in mind these 6 variables, so you can be somewhat more practical and realistic, in regard to being flexible and best position, your home!

Buying Home Siding

If you are building a new home, or perhaps upgrading your existing one, then it is likely that you have looked at a variety of siding options. Be it making the transition from composite to vinyl, upgrading to brick or using a more natural choice like brick, it is a big decision to change or replace the siding of your home.

But, how do you determine what type of replacement siding should be used? Especially, if you have never done this before? Here are some tips for dealing with siding replacement.

Tips for Buying Home Siding

· Have an understanding of what type of siding will be best for your home and region. You can find this out by talking to local builders or home improvement professionals.

· Ask an installer to come out and determine how much siding your home will need. Or a simple way to get an estimate is to simply multiply the height times the width of each rectangular section of your house in feet, going by what you can measure from the ground, to determine its area. Multiply the approximate height and width of gables and other triangular surfaces and divide each total by two. Then add all the totals. To allow for waste, don’t subtract for doors, windows, or other areas that won’t be covered. Finally, divide the total square footage by 100 to estimate how many squares of siding you’ll need. A square represents 100 square feet.

· Take into consideration the amount for upkeep and cost for the chosen siding. Plastic siding can resemble cedar but will cost more than vinyl and require little to no upkeep. Fiber cement siding is fire and insect proof, but can be subject to water damage; it must be repainted from time to time, though less often than wood. Vinyl siding requires less work of the three and won’t warp or twist, and is lower in price.

· Think about the desired finished appearance of your home, then choose siding appropriately. For instance, on a clapboard-style home, vinyl that is raised ¾ of inch will deepen shadow lines and give the appearance of wood.

· If you want to add more rigidity, then be sure to plan for more foam backing for the insulation.

· You can sometimes minimize how many pieces if siding you need, by choosing to use vinyl siding that comes in 16-foot or longer lengths to reduce the number of seams on long, unbroken walls.

Choosing a replacement from your home’s siding does not have to be stressful. But it will require you do some homework. By using these tips, you can simplify the process. You can make things even easier by talking to local home siding experts and learning what to expect with a particular siding option. Don’t put off getting new siding. Talk to a pro today.

Ranch Style Houses

Conceived in the US in the 1920s, and patterned after the Midwestern homes use by ranchers and farmers in the late 19th and early 20th century. Hence the name: “Rancher”. The Rancher was also known as the “Tract House” because this was the style of choice for developers creating large sub divisions. Thousands of these homes were built in subdivisions across the nation. If you’ve ever watched the movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life” starring Jimmy Stewart at Christmas time, about 45 minutes into the move you’ll see a whole bunch of these Ranch styles in the back ground.

Simpler because of its single story design, the Ranch House can be made into a large rectangle with a long central hallway. But the house can also be built in a “T” or “C” shaped configuration, a “L”, and even an “E” or even a double “E” layout. This gives this design an ability to adapt to the needs of the family living in it and fit the terrain, no matter what the topography of the lot it’s built on.

The foundations or basements are also a simple matter for these homes. That’s because we have the simple rectangular design. With a rectangular layout, there’s always an easy way to support the floor system with all the piers or post evenly spaced.

Roofs on this style also can vary in shape. The most common roof for the main rectangle of the home is the simple gable, hip, half hip, or even a flat roof. But if the other appendages are added, you can have multiple roofs in whatever direction the homes extensions happen to go. I’ve seen some built with angled appendages at 30 to 45 degrees.

But the design even lends itself to more class by adding a steep roof pitch that another ½ story can be added to the house making it a story and a half. From that steep roof, dormers can be placed to add even more beauty to the home. One of the prettiest Ranchers I’ve ever seen had this steep roof configuration with a large center dormer and smaller dormers on each side of the large one. It was also decorated out with many of the classic brick work, columns, and trims of the colonial homes. It was a sight to behold and the owner was very proud.

Open House

I finally decided to write my first post. Why not? But what could I possible write about that is interesting and educational as well. I can write about the market, mortgage rules, down payments, etc

Or read the newspaper and write a well digested post.

So, here we go, I remember that day as if it was an hour ago! It has scarred me forever and ever. Every time a client asks me to run an open house, I sweat and swallow super hard. Even after having lots of successful “open houses”, this one still manages to make me run to the bathroom and grab the famous Pepto-Bismol.

So, long ago, when I became a licensed real estate agent, at the beginning of my time as a Realtor. The new challenges I was facing, a bit anxious but super excited at the same time. Knowing what I am made out of, a very hard working, honest, reliable, ethical individual couldn’t wait to run my very first open house!

Since I had no listing of my own and couldn’t just run an open house on my own house and tell anyone entering through the entrance: “thank you for coming, but this house is really not for sale! It is just for me to practice my new skills”

So I asked a few fellow agents in my office and at last, after 2 months of trying, one of our broker asked me to help him out!

I was so excited that I had a hard time falling asleep! I did a CMA, I looked up all the past, present sales in the area; looked up all the schools from public, private, catholic, French, etc in the neighborhood. I had so much info on the area that I felt like a walking Google!

I asked myself so many questions that people could come up with and I had the answer to every single one of them memorized!

The day of, I put on my super tailored suit, make sure nothing was stuck between my teeth, etc. I just wanted to run it as professionally as possible.

Anyhow, after opening the lock box to the unit, I realized that my suit had no pockets! And I didn’t take my purse with me, so the only secure place I could come up with storing the property’s key for 2 hours was my bra. No big deal, who would find out, after all, I showered and my bra was super clean and my suit just came out of the dry cleaners. I could use a bit of water and soap after and put it back in the lock box. Problem solved!

Open house was over at 4 pm, not too many people showed up but I had everything under control. I was extremely happy with the outcome. It was GREAT, except for the key stored in my bra and started to be a little uncomfortable.

So, I lock the property’s door, made sure it was actually locked, put back the key in the lock box, shuffle the combination, get in my car with a huge smile!

Contact the listing agent and thanked him for the opportunity and that everything was left in its perfect condition.

The next day, I had a fund raising event to attend. 5KM walk for a children’s hospital. So, on that Sunday, I am walking and thinking of yesterday’s open house. I am going to call those few individuals that came in. Asked them for feedbacks and take it from there. At exact same moment, my phone ran and it was the listing agent asking me where the key to the property is?!

He asked me to look in my pockets or purse, just in case, by mistake I forgot to put it back in the box. I told him that was not possible. And I had to tell him where I stored the house key for 2 hours the day before (super embarrassing!) and the silent after that.

I drove to the property just to see it for myself, and yes, sure enough, no key… I couldn’t believe my eyes! Being new to the business, new to this brokerage, my very first open house experience that I wanted it so badly and wanted to be “perfect” just got destroyed. No key, no house key a scheduled open house and we couldn’t get in.

The property had no showings after my open house. Key just gone, nowhere to be found, did not fall out of the box when I was putting it back. A total mind blowing experience.

It was obvious that it was stolen, by whom? No one knows. They’ve changed the lock right away and took all necessary security action, but… I felt terrible for the owners! There is nothing worse than feeling unsecured in your own home! Just the thought of knowing that some stranger might have the key to your property made me sick! I put myself in their shoes and I couldn’t fall asleep just thinking of it.

I can’t describe how I felt on that day and still do. Every single time I have to open a lock box and close it again, I get this weird feeling (even today). It just feels like time stops for a split second and it slows down.

I get a little more anxious when clients ask me to run an open house for them. I do it, but there is something, some weird feeling that surface.

Beni Ourain Rugs – A Timeless Classic

History
Moroccan Beni Ourain rugs are traditional pile knot rugs, hand woven by members of Berber tribes. Beni Ourain rugs are an especially well known and sought after rug type. The Beni Ourain are semi-nomadic shepherds who live high in the Atlas Mountains. These tribes still exist and still create rugs to this day using traditional methods.

The weaving is typically done by the female members of the tribes. These decorative rugs often take years to complete. Traditionally, the women would incorporate personal experiences into each rug. Common images are symbols of fertility, nature or daily life. Most rugs, however, are simple in their design.

Beni Ourain rugs are famous for their quality, subtle colors and softness. Traditionally made of high quality sheep wool, these rugs are durable. The wool is hand-spun into yarn and hand knotted, which give them their famous plush feel. The sheep wool is natural and undyed. These individually crafted rugs are intended to be passed down from generation to generation.

Rug Use in Interior Design

These handmade rugs are known for quality and craftsmanship and are popular with interior designers. They are often referred to colloquially as a Beni rug. They typically have an ivory or off-white body contrasted with brown or gray motifs. The darker components of the Beni rug are made from special wool from the head and face of the sheep. Sometimes black goat hair is added. The designs are mildly geometric, but not excessively so, often using grids or diamonds. Due to the natural undyed yarn these versatile pieces are warm and calming. They add an elegance and a luxurious feel without overpowering the rest of the room’s design.

These unique tribal rugs compliment any decor style. If you want to maintain a traditional look, the rugs can be mixed with other middle eastern or oriental elements. Otherwise, they fit right in with new furniture and modern designs. Due to their timeless simplicity and elegance, they have been used by many famous designers and architects for generations, such as Frank Lloyd Write and the Eames brothers. More distinctive rugs use natural plant dyes found in the area, such as tea, figs and pomegranate. The best way to clean these rugs is by vacuuming them. Vacuums with a rotating brush can damage the delicate fibers, so just using suction is preferred.

A traditional Beni rug is best purchased from a trusted dealer. Antique rugs are available as well as modern versions. Some people prefer to purchase a vintage rug, while others want one that is custom made. Prices are reasonable, especially for the quality. Price can range, however, based on age and size. There are lower quality imitations on the market. However, the materials, softness of pile and general overall feel are not the same. As Beni rugs are so timeless, it is better to get an authentic rug. Since demand is high their value rarely decreases. Not only are these traditional Moroccan carpets high quality, but they are also individual pieces of art.

Epoxy your garage floor

How often do you go to your garage? And how much time do you spend there especially after the visit of somebody who specializes in Philadelphia garage floor epoxy? Most of us try to make the most of our living space, so if we have a garage we want to utilize every inch of it.

It does matter what type of flooring you have in your garage. After all, you cannot just put a carpet in it and hope for the best. Your car would ruin any carpet in a matter of days. Wooden flooring is not an option either. Wood can rot if exposed to moisture, so it is always best to choose something that is guaranteed to be durable and live up to your expectations.

For many years now, garage owners, showroom owners, pet grooming salon owners, and many other people out there have been using epoxy floors to have in their places. Not only are such floors shiny and pleasing to one’s eyes, but they are also extremely easy to clean and maintain. Usually it does not take that much to ensure that the floors remain smooth and shiny for a really long time provided of course that you know how to take care of them.

Whatever your needs are epoxy floors are probably a good choice for you. Unlike carpets, they do not require any vacuuming, which is a huge plus if you are not into that sort of activity. The looks of such floors is another huge plus. If this is something that you would like to add to your commercial property then feel free to do so. I am sure that you are going to work something out, something that will fit you nicely. There are many possibilities here when it comes to epoxy floors, and it might be worth it to explore them. You just have to realize what your needs are, and then act on it.

Deciding Which Plumber to Choose

Before you decide to hire one of the many available plumbers in your area, you probably wonder how much they are going to charge you for their services. You want to hire somebody who will be straightforward with you and who will tell you how much it is going to cost you. You probably prefer to be told in advance how much a plumber of your choice is going to charge you. Only those plumbers who have many years of experience know how important it is for customers to know in advance how much they are going to be charged. As a customer, you prefer to know the price based on your exact problem, not the amount of hours a plumber is going to spend in your house. Good plumbers do not think that it is fair to change a price once a plumber already finished his job at your home. What matters is the price they told you when you phoned them. While you can try to do some of the plumbing jobs on your own, it is a good idea to hire a plumber if you feel like you are not up to the task.

Traditional Folk Music

If you know me and if you know what I like to do in my spare time you probably know by now that traditional folk music such as music that can be produced with the help of this pennywhistle really moves me and is really important in my life. I would do a lot to be able to have more time to be able to engage in playing such wonderful instruments, but sadly my time is rather limited at the moment.

Bathroom Renovation Ideas

Renovating a house may not be easy but I will have to change the tiles in my bathroom sooner or later. The reason I am writing the statement is that I have had my tiles in the bathroom for a long time now. I like them, but the truth is that they are not going to last me forever. They also do not look as good as they used to look like the day I bought them.

Deciding where to find the best tiles will be a challenge as there is a wide choice of places offering them like so I am not sure which place offering tiles I should choose over many other stores that can offer me tiles. The good news is that I already know what I want (at least more or less). I also decided on the colors. This should already make the whole process of finding the right tiles a lot easier. I will see what I can do about it. I do not mind looking at the offers of various tile stores as I like to be busy doing something constructive. I will consult my family members about it as well.