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How To Protect Your Building Site

As precisely as ever, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) goes into some detail about the ways in which the public must be protected from activities on a construction site. Sadly, there is less guidance on how to protect your site from that section of the public who think anything left out in the open is fair game for theft, vandalism or arson. So let’s take a look at this topic in the round – what you need to do to protect others and what you can do to protect yourself and your site.

Ensuring Your Site Can’t Harm The Public

First, your duties to others. Of course, the normal protocols for worker health and safety will apply And there are duties here for both the contractor and the client.
The project’s client has to provide the contractor with information about the land adjoining the site, how access to the site is managed, what the boundaries are and what measures are already in place to prevent unauthorised access. The contractor then has to decide if any extra measures need to be added. As the HSE sees it, there are three main issues: site access, preventing any hazards harming the public and taking special measures to protect the vulnerable.

As you might expect, that “vulnerable” group includes children, who are fascinated by building sites and “diggers”. Better fencing and management have led to a fall in the number of children injured on building sites, but there are still unfortunate accidents. And you may not know that the elderly and people with disabilities are also considered vulnerable, so, for example, if you set up an alternative route for pedestrians, these groups need to be able to use it.

Vehicle Movements, Trenches and Falling Tools

One of the main hazards to the public is vehicle movements. If you are working on a site that has plant and vehicles moving on roads or paths which the public also uses, you need to be doubly careful. The hazard of the public falling into trenches and pits is usually dealt with by barriers and temporary coverings overnight. The HSE recommends small mesh fencing or hoarding to a height of two metres, and hoarding will also help to deter theft, as thieves can’t see what is being kept on site.

Falling Tools or Materials

Nothing must fall outside the site boundary, so scaffolding may need netting, brick guards, toe boards or even covered walkways. Materials should be stored away from the site perimeter and stacked so they can’t topple over. Hazardous items need to be locked away when the site isn’t manned. When scaffolding is going up, extra precautions should be in place.

Theft, Arson and Damage

The good news is that some of the measures you put in place to comply with health and safety requirements actually help site security. Many thefts from sites take place during the day – construction workers’ personal property and tools can be targeted as well as vehicles and equipment. When … Read More

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Buying plastering tools should not be hard

Buying plastering tools shouldn’t be difficult. There’s a huge range of tools available and, because plastering is a low-tech trade, they’re not as expensive as buying power tools. However, whether you’re buying plastering tools for DIY or as you set up as an independent tradesman, here are some useful tips to buying the tools that are right for you.

Less Is More

Don’t be tempted to buy an all-in-one kit, as this may contain tools that you never, or rarely, use. When buying plastering tools, it’s better to focus on buying a few key pieces of the best quality you can afford and add speciality trowels into the mix later as you need them.

What’s Your Skill Level?

This will determine the kinds of tools you need and your budget for them. If you’re a keen DIYer, then you won’t need the biggest and the brightest plastering tools available. You’ll need a mid-size plastering trowel of decent quality for occasional use. If you’re a skilled DIYer or professional, then you’ll know that the best trowels are pre-honed and therefore more expensive. You’ll also have a much clearer idea of the size of trowel you’ll need.

What Do You Need to Get the Job Done?

A plastering professional will have a basic kit of a plastering trowel, hawk and bucket trowel, and these essential pieces of kit will help a DIYer get any basic job done. But will you need a cornering trowel to make a neat job of those angles? Are there other specialist trowels you must have to get the job done, and how often will you use them? How frequently you’ll use a tool will help to decide whether you need a durable top-of-the-range tool or something more generic that gets the job done.

Do You Need to Buy the Best?

Again, the answer will depend on your skill level and the project you’re undertaking. The more skilled you are, the more you’ll be willing to invest in your plastering tools. If you’re a professional, then you’ll already have a preferred brand and know what works well for you, and when and where to invest your budget. You need to determine which price range of tools is right for your project and your ongoing needs.

Ask for Recommendations

Don’t be afraid to ask around. Generally, when someone finds a really good tool, they’re happy to share that information. Of course, what works for one person may not work for you, so always ask to test out a new piece of equipment if possible. Another good source of information can be online reviews, especially video reviews where you can see a trowel being used. If a certain brand keeps being mentioned positively over and over, it’s a safe bet that they produce plastering tools that are worth investing in.

Buy from a Reputable Retailer

Yes, you can pop to the local DIY superstore and pick up your plastering tools, but you may find the range isn’t extensive or that … Read More

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Preparing Your Home for Sale

Today’s real estate market can be cutthroat. The smallest disadvantage could cause you to miss out on a sale. If your home doesn’t make a great first impression, buyers will move on to the next property without giving it a second thought. There’s a lot you can do to make your house more appealing to potential buyers.  Get the best price and sell your home more quickly by taking these steps to make it look its best.

Curb Appeal

The first thing buyers will see when they come to your home is the front yard.  Begin your preparations there to make sure the first impression of your house is a positive one. Start at the curb and work your way up the front door. (They don’t call it curb appeal for no reason!)  People don’t want to buy a place that needs work, so make sure you’re caught up on your landscaping and exterior maintenance.  Mow the lawn, weed the garden and trim the hedges to make your landscape look spectacular.  You should also inspect your front walkway and driveway.  Remove any weeds that have managed to grow in the cracks and consider resealing your driveway if it’s in poor repair.

Once your yard is in order, it’s time to look at the front of your house. A fresh coat of paint on your front and garage doors will go a long way to making your home look newer.  If you have a fence, make sure it’s in good shape and give it a new coat of paint or stain as well. Don’t forget to clean the gutters and windows – dirty windows are a turn-off and look older than they really are.  Updating your exterior lighting is another quick way to improve your home’s curb appeal. Replace builder grade fixtures with stylish new choices from your local home renovation store. And don’t forget a new welcome mat!  It’s such a simple way to make your front door more inviting.

Staging

Setting up a house to live in is very different than preparing a home for sale.  When staging your home for sale, you want to create a hotel-like feel. Potential buyers should walk into your house and think “Yes, I could see myself living here!” This means you need to remove all the personal items that make your house a home. Pictures, trophies, and knick-knacks should be packed away and stored until you’re ready to take them out in your new place.  Getting extra furniture out of the way will make rooms seem bigger and allow visitors to imagine their furniture in the space. Plan to store extra seating or tables elsewhere so they don’t add clutter. Shampoo carpets to ensure they look their best.  If your walls are dingy or the color is dated, interior painting is a must. Select a modern but neutral color to make your home feel fresh.

Hire an Agent

Once all your preparations are finished, the best way to get buyers into your … Read More

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3 Factors to Consider When Buying a New Home

Buying a new home is an exciting time, but it can often be overwhelming as well. A house is likely the biggest purchase most people will ever make and there’s a lot at stake. When searching for your new home, it’s important to consider price range, location, and what style of dwelling you want to live in.  These three factors will help determine how much you enjoy your new home for years to come.

Due to quicker-than-expected closing dates, buyers are often rushed when looking to purchase a home. This generally results in sacrificing important features. You want your home to be a place where you and your family are happy and content. If you don’t enjoy your neighborhood or want a backyard instead of a balcony your new home will be frustrating rather than relaxing.

Price Range

Available finances are one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a new home. Many people determine the maximum amount they can borrow and then search for a home at the top of that price range. This is a very risky practice for multiple reasons.  There are many unexpected expenses when buying a home.  You should set aside money for things like a home inspection, appraisal, legal fees, property taxes and moving costs.  These extra expenses are unavoidable and they add up to quite a lot.  There will likely be unplanned expenses when you move into your new home as well. If you move from an apartment to a house you will need to purchase items like garbage bins and a lawn mower. Home ownership means you are now responsible for maintenance of your new place. If you use all your available resources to purchase the house, you won’t have funds for any emergency repairs that may arise.

Location

Different locations can have vastly different home values. You may want to buy in the hottest new neighborhood in town, but prices will be considerably lower if you purchase in a more modest area. You should also consider schools and amenities in the neighborhood. Is there public transit available? How far is the grocery store or pharmacy? When moving to a new city, it can be hard to know what neighborhoods are in your price range. To make your move less stressful and ensure you’re getting the best advice, hire a real estate agent. They have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through many of the big decisions involved in buying a home. If you’re looking for oceanfront property, visit Hilton Head real estate to search for your next home.

Type of Dwelling

What type of dwelling you live in makes a huge difference to how much you will enjoy your new home.  With so many different options, it’s important to list all your needs before you start looking at new places.  Do you want a big yard with ample space for entertaining and children to play? Or would you prefer an efficient condo with no upkeep? A townhouse will … Read More

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A Guide to Different Trends in Office Interior Design: Thinking Outside the Cube

 

Interior design in commercial areas is often an underappreciated aspect of employee engagement and productivity. Approximately three of all four workers are struggling to work in an effective, productive and innovative manner, due to the lack of optimal workplaces. When an employee feels uncomfortable in their office space, they are unlikely to perform in an effective manner; therefore, becoming flight risks to the company.

What Drives Office Interior Design Trends?

In the recent years, especially in big cities such as office decorators London have found that mobile technology is one of the largest trends currently available in the office interior design area. This trend unfetters employees from their desks allowing them to operate on a mobile basis anywhere and at any time. The increased flexibility in these working arrangements is beneficial for the employee because it allows him or her to come and go at different times of the day or week. Evidence shows that staff that is able to perform functions remotely, potentially from home, are more effective. Employees who are working in the office, however, will find themselves operate alongside independent contractors, freelancers and consultants.

A second driver of trends is the exception that office designs should foster creative and collaborative working styles. The millennial employee prefers to operate individually and does not place a large emphasis on staff collaboration. This is potentially due to the fact that millennials grew up using mobile technology; therefore, they did not need to make divisions between the workplace and home or even third areas such as coffee shops and parks. Using mobile technology, it is possible to work from any location at any time and reject the notion of spending all time in an office.

The Top Three Major Office Design Trends

1. Home Offices

One of the primary objectives for millennials is to be comfortable when working. Taking this into account, a trend has developed to create a workspace where the office feels as if it is a home area or college dormitory. Snack areas, particularly fully-stocked areas at the company’s expense, are essential in these offices; as are couches used for lounging with plants and natural lighting. Social areas are useful to emphasise relaxation during the work day, such as a pool table or a ping pong table.

Any business offering their staff flexibility regarding working onsite or remotely needs to understand the benefit of having a home office design. This makes the area attractive, comfortable and more productive for employees who choose onsite working.

2. The Multi-Purpose Workspace

Based on the minimalist approach, commercial office designers are working to adapt physical office space to increase the diversity of the workforce within small areas. For example, a small project team may need a conference table for six people to work together and have meetings. White boards should also be available in the office for brainstorming sessions. Snack and lounge areas can be beneficial for both socialising engagements, but also one-to-one mentoring sessions – a cross-disciplinary collaboration. Multi-purpose … Read More