Thursday, October 27, 2011

Storage Buildings - What Size Will I Need?

People may use storage facilities for a variety of reasons. Your current home may not be large enough to contain everything you own, and perhaps you are not quite ready to get rid of some things. You may be moving to a new house and need a place to temporarily keep furniture and other items until the transfer is complete. If you are in the military or plan to be overseas for a temporary job, you may want to keep everything you own in one place without paying rent on an apartment. Storage space is a reasonable, affordable option for you regardless of the circumstances, but you'll need to ask yourself how big of a space you need to hold your stuff.

When you visit your local personal storage facility, you'll find a variety of spaces available for your use. People may store everything from furniture to books, seasonal decorations and clothing, and even motorcycles until they wish to use them again. The unit you rent is largely determined by what you own that's going in, how often you intend to access the storage unit, and how much you can budget for rental. Let's take a look at some of the more typical sizes of units.

The walk-in closet-size storage space usually measures five by ten feet, or about 50 square feet. One can keep some furniture in this space, and a number of packed boxes or clothing bags. If you don't have much to move, or want to keep items on hold for a sale or move, this small size is probably a good deal for you.

The next size up will likely be about ten by ten feet, and allows for more furniture storage. If you have a one-bedroom apartment and need to put everything in the space while you move, this size should cover you.

To accommodate furniture from a small, two-bedroom home, a unit sized ten by twenty-five feet is roughly the size of a one-car garage. Units this large will also have garage doors for easier access.

Units larger than ten by twenty-five may be considered if you are storing a larger home, or even an automobile. Ultimately, the best way to gauge the storage unit you need is to group together what you plan to put away and measure the pile. Then visit your storage place and measure potential units. Make sure the unit provides enough room to keep your things and allow you to move inside to get what you need when you need it.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Norfolk storage rentals and Chesapeake storage rentals.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Various Types of Roofs

Having a new home built? Perhaps you have lived in the same place for many years and are finally experiencing the wear and tear associated with age. No matter how long you have owned your home, the question of having the roof replaced will eventually occur. If you are interested in a new roof for your house, it may surprise you to know there are different styles available to keep your property protected and even your heating bills to a minimum. Whether or not you may have a different model installed depends on the structure, though a professional roofer can help you determine the best course of action.

Let's take a brief look at some of the available roof styles you may be able to get for your home:

Mansard - Also known as a French roof, the Mansard style is characterized as a four-sided model with two slopes on either side in order to maximize top floor or attic space. From a side view, the Mansard has the look of a triangle where the sides are bent slightly outward, not unlike the traditional barn shape. You may see the Mansard used on homes accented with dormer windows on the upper floors.

Hip Roof - The Hip roof style has no flat surface on top, but rather creates a downward slope on all sides starting at a point. One will not find room for gables here, given that Hip roofs are traditionally low-sitting on homes.

Pyramid - Similar to the Hip design, the Pyramid roof is aptly named. Four slopes meets at a point and form an even pyramid. As such, you are more likely to find this style on square buildings.

Flat Roof - As the name implies, the Flat roof is simply a flat surface that tops a building or home. It is not uncommon to find houses with flat roofs along a shoreline or beach area. It is believed that the roof construction is better able to withstand winds and tropical storms. However, the flat roof has a disadvantage in that it can collect debris more quickly and there is no way for snow or leaves to drain or fall away unless one goes up there to clean the roof regularly.

Gambrel - Similar to the Mansard style, the Gambrel is a two-sided sloping roof that overhangs on a building rather than covering at all corners. The typical barn design is topped with a gambrel, and its design allows for maximized space on top.

Consult with a professional roofer about your options if you are having a new home built. Roofs come in many styles and shapes, but all are design to provide protection.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach roofing and Eastern Shore roofing services.

Friday, October 21, 2011

How Plumbing Inspections Are Beneficial

When you work all day and need to take care of things at home - the kids, dinner, and other house work - the last thing you want to think about is scheduling any kind of home improvement or repair inspection. Yet, these things eventually take precedent if you want to keep your home running smoothly and not have to worry about expensive repair bills later on. A plumbing inspection is beneficial for your home life in that it is proactive and can eventually help save you money. If you are interested (and who isn't?), let's take a look at some ways a plumbing inspection is beneficial to you.

1) If you plan to invest in a new home or other property where plumbing is a concern, offering to pay for a plumbing inspection can help you determine if the price is right. A plumber can tell you whether or not to anticipate problems or massive repairs and replacements, which will then help you negotiate a better price on the property if you still wish to buy it. Such inspections are great precautionary measures.

2) A thorough inspection can help explain why your water bills are high, if they are indeed. If you have noticed in recent months you are paying more for water when you have not used any more than you typically do in a month, there could be something wrong with your pipes, or perhaps there is an undetected leak. A plumber will know where exactly to check to confirm your suspicions.

3) An inspection can also help you decide what needs to be done in your home to allow for a more energy efficient system. If you are concerned about environmental issues and want to better "green" your home, find out if such appliances will work better in your house and what is involved in making the switch.

4) A regular plumbing inspection, even when you have no plans to renovate or look for repairs, simply makes you a better homeowner. You are more in tune with your house and how it works, and as your plumber explains the process you will hone your intuition in the event something does go wrong.

A plumbing inspection need not be invasive or inconvenient for you. Quite the opposite, you could discover things you didn't realize about your plumbing system. Done correctly, you could discover ways to save money on your water and energy bills, and catch problems before they explode. Consider an annual inspection for your pipes and fixtures today.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach plumbing services and Palatine plumbing services.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Can I Install Underfloor Heating?

If you are looking for an economical method of heating your home, you may have considered having underfloor heating installed. This method of radiant heating is preferred by homeowners interested in cost efficient home improvements, and one advantage to this system is that it better distributes heat than the standard HVAC equipment. If you are having a new home constructed, you may wish to look into have underfloor heating installed; however, if you are looking for a change from your traditional heater you will have to research if it's possible to have a newer system in place.

Why choose underfloor heating for your home? There are many reasons which prove advantageous to the home owner. For one, the system can free up space in your home. The radiant coils that bring heat to your rooms are place, naturally, under your floor. There are no space heaters to deal with, and you have room. Also, underfloor heating can help decrease air moisture and therefore reduce allergens. Add the likelihood of lower energy bills due to the efficient method of heating, and underfloor systems prove a winner for any homeowner.

That said, can you have underfloor heating installed in your current home? This will largely depend upon a number of factors. Do you have the budget to handle costs of equipment and labor, for one? Also, is anybody in your area specializing in underfloor heat installation?

Another factor to consider, too, is if your floors are able to accommodate such a system. Having an HVAC professional inspect your home for possible options is a good way to determine the next step, and if you have a suitable foundation you will find that the investment is well worth the money you spend now, for you will surely save some in the long run.

Once you decide to have a contractor install everything for you, you may need to make arrangements while your floor is put under construction. If you wish to set everything up yourself, make sure you know how to remove your floor and handle all the aspects of construction. If you live in a condo complex, you may require permission from the condo board to do this type of construction. This may also hold true if you live in a similar type of residential community where homeowners must adhere a covenant.

However you decide to get your underfloor heating installed, make sure you know everything about your home in relation to the construction involved, and that you are able to see it through. You will definitely enjoy the end result.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Newport News HVAC services and Norfolk commercial HVAC services.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Real Estate Law - Five Laws Real Estate Investors Need to Know

The idea of investing in real estate has appeal in that it offers a potential supplemental income for the buyer. You may have heard terms like "flipping homes," where you buy a home at a low price, fix up, and sell for profit; or, you may be interested in buying up property for the purpose of seasonally renting it to part-time residents. However you came to be interested in real estate investments, know that there are a number of laws and regulations, as well as common courtesies, that you should be aware of before you start bidding on contracts.

Let's take a look at five situations that will require you to understand how real estate law works, and how to proceed during conflicts.

1) Any decision you make regarding a real estate investment must be approved by legal counsel before everything is signed and sealed. If you want to buy a condo, a duplex, or even an entire building, it is wise to have legal representation if you plan to do more with the property than live in it. You will need to be aware of laws regarding tenants and zoning, where applicable.

2) If you are involved in a legal dispute over property, it is important to have all the correct paperwork to support your case. While it would be ideal to have all transactions involving your property run smoothly, inevitably you may run into conflicts with renters. When claims are made with regards to your property, make sure you have written evidence to back up your statements in the event you wind up in court or in a lawyer's office.

3) To achieve a sound return on investment, consider long term commitments as opposed to shorter turnarounds on property. If you can find an excellent tenant willing to rent your property in the long-term, you may wish to consider offering multi-year leases. Offer prospective tenants a good deal, and it may save you the headache and expense of advertising your property every six months.

4) Make sure you know exactly what comprises the property in which you invest. When possible, have the property inspected and checking for zoning restrictions. You don't want to be stuck with a building or lot that you can't use.

5) Understand the mortgage and payment schedules to avoid defaulting. Make sure you know when to make payments and what your rights are with regards to paying for your property.

The more you know about the property you want, and the laws enforced in your area, the better for your real estate investment endeavors.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Chesapeake real estate and North Carolina lawyers.