I just got started working on the first server that I have built all by myself, and of course the idea is to save money over the long haul. The big thing with a server is that you have to be able to manage your power usage and also keep it cooled efficiently. So one of the first things I need to do is figure out what the best option is for procuring a custom PDU (Power Distribution Unit) that will mount in the rack with the other components. The idea is to have plenty of room for upgrades in the future and the capacity to manage a much larger system when we eventually need to do that. Obviously you want to start out with as low an initial investment as is possible, but at the same time you will have to build in that system the ability to upgrade the capabilities as your needs increase. (more…)
I have started to think about how practical this idea is that a friend of mine came up with. Just outside of town there is a mountain which used to house a huge stone quarry. Most of those are open pit quarries, but this one was tunneled in the side of a mountain. Of course the structural analysis is important for this idea. He is talking about using the place for a huge storage facility and it is not a very far fetched idea in reality. The truth is that the place is probably going to stand up to anything short of a direct hit by a nuclear bomb and it is a huge space. In fact it is probably big enough for dozens of warehouses to be put within it. (more…)
I told my husband eight years ago when we first added an addition on to our home, that I was going to want to raise it up a level instead of adding space on the same floor. He did not want to take my advice, and now we are adding yet another addition, and he was shocked when he heard the cost but knew that he was going to have to do it. We had an asbestos testing company over to our home to check the material found in the attic, because we did not want to take out the ceiling of the home and have the particles flying around, where one of our animals or daughter could inhale the substance.
It was great to have a professional come look at our home, test the substance, and tell us right away that we could open up the ceiling without having to worry about any type of particles falling that could be harmful to our health. Once we got the clearance from the asbestos testing company and the permit from our town, we started right away on the demo and the construction with our designer and I was excited to see the changes.
It only took six weeks for our home to completely get the addition up, and we had to go furniture shopping to furnish all of the new space that we had in our new second floor bedrooms and sitting area. I was really shocked and happy to see how much our home went up in value after we went and had someone come over to assess our property so we could get it in writing should we decide to take out an equity loan or wanted to refinance our home, I doubt we will be moving anytime in the near future.
Production line equipment sure makes things go faster. One of the arguments I heard was that it takes away jobs. I think for our company it lets us put the people into other positions where they can grow. We did not fire anyone or lay them off when we got our machines to handle some of the packing chores. All we did was increase our ability to produce more product. That actually allowed us to hire more people. Our robotic case packers can do the work of several people around the clock. The people that used to do the job are now working in other departments. Some at higher pay!
Our plan from the beginning was to be careful about staffing. We did not want to grow and then end up having to lay people off. We have been controlling our growth smartly. Our production line is becoming more and more automated. That means we are producing more and more product. That increases our profits allowing us to grow the number of employees we have rather than using automation to get rid of people. We retrain workers from production line jobs to work in other departments. (more…)
I only have one part time employee. It is easy to manually do his paycheck. I do not need any fancy accounting and payroll software. My little business is a side job for my wife and I along with our helper. My wife and I both work day jobs, and we do this business on Saturdays and some evenings. I found a website that lets me create check stubs online that our employee can use to verify his employment with us. He needed to prove income sources for a car loan. They did not want a letter from us, they wanted to see his pay stubs. I was able to make him ones dating back three months. (more…)
Tiles roofs have been around for centuries. They were invented over 12,000 years ago halfway around the world, and throughout history they have slowly made their way west through Greek and Roman civilizations until finally reaching America in the 1500s. They are especially associated with warmer climates and are often found on top of Southwestern homes because of their “adobe look” and their ability to withstand hot temperatures while still protecting your home’s structure. Although they are typically connected to a Spanish-style atmosphere, clay roofs can actually be found anywhere in the nation due to modern innovations that make them durable in any climate.
Since these tiles are constructed from fired clay, they can be fairly fragile. Unlike traditional wooden shingles, they can crack and fracture if they are not maintained properly. Many of these tiles cannot withstand heavy weights, such as falling tree branches, so they will need to be inspected often by the homeowner, especially after big storms. And since they are delicate, you can’t just walk up on the roof and look around since your weight may cause additional damage. The best way to inspect for damaged tiles is from the ground-level with binoculars.
Though they do come with certain limitations, clay roofs are actually stronger than you may think. With the exception of direct contact incidents, they have a very long life expectancy. Due to the firing process, clay roofing actually is fortified against the elements. Their color never fades in the sun or rain. They reflect solar heat, which makes your home cooler in the summer, plus they save on energy costs.
They are wind-resistant because of their sturdy, aerodynamic installation and design. Since they are already heated to a certain degree in their creation, they are also fire-resistant. And though they are porous, they don’t retain any more water than traditional shingles. Plus, if you live in particularly wet areas (near the ocean or in wintry climates) many clay roofs can be made especially resistant against the thaw-freeze cycles or the salt-air of your region.
When you think of clay roofing tiles, the image that immediately comes to mind is interlocking pieces of terra cotta on the top of somebody’s house. Though this is often a frequent design, there are actually many different options when it comes to the look of your roof:
Pan: These tiles are half-rounded, and at first glance look like tiny, clay planters that have been cut in half. Actually, these tiles are S-shaped and are arranged in a face-up, face-down pattern, creating a rippled affect to your roof.
Flat: Closely resembling traditional shingles, these clay tiles lay flat and overlap each other, making for a conventional design with a unique ceramic twist.
Glaze: They don’t have to just be “clay-colored.” Terracotta is not the only shade available because of newer glazing techniques which can make the tiles any color you want. This glazing also creates a seal to the clay, creating additional protection against absorption.
A Couple of Tips
Though clay roofing tiles are very adaptable in terms of protection and style, there are some things you will need to do in order to take care of these specialty shingles. Like any roofing, when you detect a broken, cracked, or loose tile, make sure to quickly replace it. It is recommended that you allow a professional to take care of these matters since these tiles require specific care. Make sure you hire a roofing contractor who specializes in clay tiles and knows how to replace, repair, and install these particular “shingles” for optimum protection and beauty.
Also, when shopping for this type of roofing, make sure you keep an eye out for “black coring.” Clay has to be fired all the way through to ensure structural integrity. So if you find a dealer trying to sell you products that are blackened in the middle, it means that these tiles are literally “half-baked” and may not be structurally sound. Make sure you shop around first to compare prices, find quality materials, and locate certified professionals. Once you have made the right choices, a properly installed clay roof will not only look beautiful and protect your home, it will also dramatically increase your overall property value.
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The tin roof is, for many people, a symbol of times past. However, for those who live beneath one, a tin roof is hardly a piece of history. Depending on its condition, this can be a blessing or something else entirely.
The Historic Tin Roof
A roof of any material that has fallen into disrepair can be a nightmare. This is especially true when that roof is metal. No one can say that these roofs haven’t stood the test of time—many are still functioning a hundred years after their instillation. The problem is that when these roofs were first constructed, the technology didn’t exist to properly seal them from the elements. A lot of tin roofs were eventually replaced with a different type of roofing material. Today, original metal roofs are few and far between. Their scarcity alone might make the job of tin roof repair worth the time and effort.
Tin Roof Repair
Restoring a tin roof that is in fairly decent shape is a straightforward, though tedious, job. First, any existing debris must be cleared. This includes moss, rust, roof cement, old paint, or even tar. Most of these will need to be carefully scraped off by hand; chemicals can be used to help with the rust. After all debris is removed, the roof should be scrubbed and rinsed or power washed to prepare for painting. The first coat of paint should be a rust resistant primer. After that, the roof should be covered with at least two topcoats of acrylic paint.
Tin roof repair is a more involved process when a significant amount of rust is present. In addition to the steps above, a few extra steps will be necessary if the roof is in poor shape. An acrylic base is applied after the primer coat. Strips of meshing are embedded into this acrylic base and the wrinkles are smoothed out. After this dries, a coat of acrylic primer is applied. This is followed by at least two acrylic topcoats.
Tin Roof Replacement
There comes a point in the life of a tin roof where the damage is too great and one must say goodbye. Most would say that if a person cannot walk across the roof without fear of falling through it, that point has already passed. Some attempts have been made to patch holes in metal roofs by soldering cut pieces of metal over them. The degrees of success have varied greatly.
Keeping the charm of a metal roof might mean having to replace the whole thing. The good news is that technology has come a long way. A new metal roof will be durable and energy efficient. It will also be resistant to the leaking and noise problems that are commonly associated with their predecessors. Though it will probably not be made of solid tin, it will still have the air of history you desire. Installing a new metal roof will be more expensive than a conventional shingle roof, but statistically should last 2 or 3 times longer.
Rain gutters are one of your home’s most important protections against the elements. Gathering the runoff from your roof caused by rain and melting snow and diverting it away from your siding and foundation to where it will do the least amount of harm. Because rain gutters are such an important aspect in maintaining the integrity of any home, it’s important that you make an educated and informed decision as you look at available styles and materials so that you can make the best choice for your home and budget. Below is a list of the most common gutter materials, as well as their benefits and drawbacks, so that you can move ahead with your next rain gutter purchase with confidence.
Vinyl gutters have quickly become a homeowner favorite because of their ease of installation, the fact that they never rust or corrode, and due to their cheap purchase price. Because they are so lightweight and sections easily snap together, they are very easy for the do-it-yourselfer to manage and install. Furthermore, when used in milder climates they function just as well other materials, especially when installed correctly. Poor installation can result in sagging sections, however, and vinyl gutters do have a reputation for growing brittle and cracking over time and in extreme cold. These home gutters are a good solution if you’re in need of new gutters while on a tight budget.
Next on the list of cost efficiency are aluminum rain gutters. Like vinyl gutters, aluminum house gutters also have the advantages of being lightweight, rust-proof, and relatively easy to work with. Unlike vinyl, however, they are weather-resistant across the board and maintain their integrity in cold climates. Add to that the fact that they hold paint well (again something that vinyl gutters can’t claim) and can be manufactured in seamless models (we’ll talk more about this later), and it’s clear why many homeowners and gutter contractors prefer aluminum home gutters over all other materials. Their only drawback is that they aren’t structurally as strong as many other materials, they will dent, and they can be misshapen by poorly placed ladders and the like. This can be mitigated to some extent by purchasing gutters made of primary aluminum, which is thicker and of a higher quality compared to secondary aluminum products made mostly of recycled materials.
Steel and Copper Gutters
As with aluminum gutter products, steel gutters come in a few different varieties. Galvanized steel rain gutters are by the far most popular as they are very competitive cost-wise and are sturdier than their aluminum counterparts when it comes to damage incurred by falling branches and ladders. The main drawback of galvanized steel is the rust factor. Eventually rust will take its toll with this brand of steel and they will rust through, though with proper maintenance they can still last for a very long time.
Stainless steel home gutters are the other big player in the steel gutter arena. These puppies are virtually indestructible, shine for years on end, won’t rust, and are pretty well accepted as one of, if not the, strongest materials in the industry. The one drawback is price. These gutters will run two-to-four times as much as gutters manufactured from lesser materials, so be prepared to shell out a few more peanuts if you go this route. Finally, copper gutters are perhaps the most beautiful rain gutters on the market, and like stainless steel are virtually indestructible. The only barrier here is price as well, as copper would easily win first place if there was a “most expensive gutter material” category at the county fair.
Wood gutters used to be the norm a hundred years past, though with the advent of cheaper, mass-produced materials that are more weather resistant, this home gutter material has mostly dropped out of favor. Wood rain gutters made of cedar, redwood, and fir are still available however, and are most often used in renovations of older, historic houses, where staying true to the original building materials takes precedence over longevity. Be prepared to spend a bundle as well if you choose this classic house gutter material.
Sectional vs. Seamless
The final thing to consider is whether you want sectional versus seamless gutters. Most materials are only available in sections that are joined and fastened together as they are installed. Aluminum gutters, however, are now available in seamless varieties, custom made to fit your home out of single, long sheets of metal. The advantages here are obvious. The most common place a gutter fails after years of wear is at the joints and seams. A seamless gutter will never have this problem, making it a popular choice for those who can afford the extra cost.
Whether you’re looking for maximum savings or are more concerned with stunning looks, there’s a rain gutter out there to meet your specific house gutter needs. Talk to a certified gutter installer or gutter contractor in order to find out which material is going to work best for your home and your budget, and to ensure that your gutters are installed correctly so that you won’t have to worry about them anytime in the foreseeable future.
With all of the abuse a roof takes every year, there’s a good likelihood that, at some point, it will become damaged and require repair or replacement. Even tile roofing that has been known to last more than 70 years and is quite common in the Bay Area will probably need some work over its lifetime. Roof repair, as you might imagine, can range from simple and inexpensive to involved and very costly. Often, the thing that separates a pricey repair from an affordable one is the amount of time a problem goes unnoticed.
In Oakland, roof inspections are one way to keep your repair costs low and your home’s efficiency high. Though they might seem unnecessary to some, regular roof inspections often the only way to identify small problems with your roof before they blossom into large ones (complete with large repair bills).
What to Expect from an Oakland Roof Inspection
There are many different roofing materials on the market, and some are more popular in certain areas of the country than others. In the Bay Area, however, roofing materials are quite varied; Oakland and San Francisco homes are topped with everything from metal to tile and asphalt to wood. Each of these materials has its own benefits and drawbacks, and a good roof inspector will be able to identify potential problems no matter what kind of roof you have.
Some Oakland roof inspections will require an actual physical examination of the roof. An inspector will have to climb up onto your home to take readings, and may examine your attic as well. Other roof inspections may be done from the ground using binoculars and infrared equipment to identify problem areas. Depending on the weather, the pitch of the roof, and the roofing material, your home could require both of these techniques to get a comprehensive roof inspection. Oakland homeowners should be aware that not all inspections are the same, and what might have been necessary on one house may not be required on another.
Oakland Roof Inspection Professionals
It has been said that a roof should ideally be inspected three times a year. This, however, includes two inspections done by the homeowner him or herself and only one done by a professional roof inspector. One annual professional inspection is enough to identify small problems before they become large and costly.
When calling for a roof inspection in Oakland, it is very important that you hire someone who not only knows what he or she is doing, but is doing it for the right reasons. Inspection scams have been run in the past by disreputable roofing companies in order to drum up business. To make sure you are getting a quality roof inspection, Oakland residents might consider hiring not only a prescreened contractor, but one who is not associated with a roofing company and has no reason to give a less than unbiased opinion.
The Cost of Oakland Roof Inspections
Generally, roof inspections run somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 to $400. The bigger the job, of course, the higher on the spectrum the cost will be. You may be able to find someone who offers very cheap (or, in some cases, free) roof inspections. It is a good idea to be wary of such offers, as a quality roof inspection done by an unbiased and independent contractor is well worth a few hundred dollars. If you find a roof inspecting service that seems too good to be true, it probably is!
In New York, rain gutters are the front line of defense for several areas of your home. Your roof, siding, basement or foundation, and lawn drainage are vulnerable without a quality guttering system to reliably and efficiently divert rainwater away from your home. One example of this relation is that basement waterproofing involves inspecting your home’s guttering system. When rain gutters fail, basement flooding is one possible outcome. Poorly designed gutters and downspouts can dump rainwater in the wrong spot causing the water to back up into the home or pool in one spot on your lawn, creating a host of problems. Leaks in the seams or attachment to your home can lead to a small, but insidiously dangerous flow of water that can eat away at your siding or back up into your roofing and lead to roof, drywall, and insulation damage.
Few homes are without rain gutters in New York and for good reason. Whether you need an initial installation or to replace older gutters, HomeAdvisor has helped homeowners throughout the five boroughs, the Jersey Shore, and well into Long Island install reliable and long-lasting guttering system.
Types of New York Rain Gutters
Materials: Though gutters, in theory, can be fashioned from nearly any material, metal and vinyl comprise the vast majority of gutter installations in New York. For performance galvanized steel is best. Aluminum is somewhat cheaper, but can dent with hail or the pressure of a ladder. Wood gutters are essentially a thing of the past, although they are still installed for homeowners with a nostalgic bent or for historical homes. Copper gutters offer a unique and coveted look but are cost-prohibitive for most homeowners.
Design: Like roofing, the material you choose is only part of the overall equation for the quality of the installation. Your lawn must be surveyed, and the number and placement of downspouts must be configured accordingly. The need for this design alone prohibits most homeowners from DIY installation.
Seamless vs. Sectional: Seamless gutters are the new standard and account for metal’s dominance in the guttering industry. Fabricated to the exact dimensions of your home, seamless gutters eliminate the joints between gutter sections that is the most common source of gutter failure. Though seamless, metal gutters are slightly more expensive, the dependability of these gutters outweighs the cost for most homeowners.