The real estate market at this point may be able to supply buyers with unique and affordable opportunities, but finding a home that matches your ‘dream home’ in every detail – budget included – is generally very unlikely.
Every property you’ll find on the market is essentially created based on another person’s concept of the perfect home and incorporates features in accordance to the popular architectural trends at the time when it was constructed. Furthermore, while you might be able to find a house that’s designed to your tastes and the most you can change is the wall paint, what happens when it’s located in an area you don’t like or can’t afford?
Building your own house – with the help of an architect and a contractor team, of course – is by far the solution that provides the greatest versatility, not to mention satisfaction once the project is completed. Let’s find out what you should remember before taking on this laborious task.
You’ll encounter unanticipated expenses throughout the construction of the house, and it’s better to be prepared for them by establishing a flexible financial plan. For example, if the terrain where you intend to erect the house features several large trees that are in the way, you’ll have to add the costs of taking them down and transporting them off your property into the equation. Alternatively, you may decide halfway through the project that you’d prefer a more expensive material for the countertops or the flooring. Remember, every change you want or are forced to make alters the original costs.
In addition to the financial considerations, modifications to the original plan or unforeseeable events also push the scheduled completion date forward. It’s worth noting that strict deadlines are rarely feasible and you need a contingency plan to help you mitigate the impact of not meeting them. Let’s assume that you’ll be required to vacate your current residence on the exact day when you expect the new home to be inhabitable, but plumbing and power will only be up and running at least two weeks later. If you planned ahead and have accommodation options ready, it won’t affect you that much.
You might want to be there for every major step of the construction to ensure that the contractors are actually respecting your exact specifications. However, it may not be an option when you’re working a 9 to 5 job, have children or an elderly parent who requires attention and supervision or other personal obligations. Remember, home construction isn’t a hobby that can be tended to during the weekends or on your spare time. Collaborating with a reliable team of contractors minimizes the time you’d need to spend onsite to check on the progress.
The unpredictable occurrences mentioned earlier require an immediate response on your part. It falls under your responsibility to establish the next course of action when, for example, a certain plumbing system is not in accordance with local building codes, or when the supplier has just run out of the insulation materials you ordered. You should consult with the contractors to receive an expert opinion on what the options are, but don’t forget that ultimately the decision is in your hands.
In the absence of a plan that covers all major aspects of the project, you can’t institute a budget or a schedule. The preparation has to account for material delivery dates, blueprints, permits, contractor team, interior design, furnishings, plumbing, landscaping, so on and so forth. Learning that you aren’t allowed to install a certain type of roofing because it conflicts with local codes mid construction and after the materials have already been purchased can certainly put a damper in your project. Again, when the construction company you’re working with has been in the business for a while, they possess the experience and knowledge to advise you on such matters in due time.
By now you might have noticed that building your dream house from scratch is not what you would refer to as a walk in the park. Problems will arise throughout the development, some of them more unpleasant than others. It’s important not to lose sight of your definitive goal, which is to create the perfect environment for you and your family. Don’t let the tiny setbacks knock the wind out of your sails and try to retain the same level of enthusiasm you had when you first started the project. A positive outlook on things will always get you further in life!
Foam insulation can be applied via either spraying or injecting procedures, depending primarily on the specifications of the project. To put it simply, insulating an open nook or a new construction via spray foam provides optimal results, whereas injection is better suited for sealing enclosures in retrofitting projects. It is important to remember that the two insulation techniques rely on distinct mechanics, in accordance to the conditions of the application and the substance utilized.
One might consider that point and shoot foam guns simplify the task considerably compared to fiberglass batt installation, but in actuality, the entire process is more complex and challenging. Let’s find out what you need to remember.
A critical component in terms of achieving an optimal insulation consists of learning the distinction between the two types of applicators. In spite of the fact that contractors mainly employ spraying foams, the injection-based applicators still play a major role within the industry.
Both spraying and injection mechanics are similar in terms of expansion, however the rate at which they expand differs considerably. In essence, while sprayed foam requires a few seconds to settle, its injected counterpart takes several minutes. Controlling and slowing down the rate of expansion for injected insulation foam via catalysts is critical for preventing excessive pressure inside the enclosure and disastrous results.
Dual component foams, for both sprayed and injected insulators, have to be formulated correctly prior to the application. Otherwise, the consequences incurred vary between highly toxic emissions and a low quality insulations. Numerous factors influence the ratio of the mixture, and specialized measurement equipment is necessary to ensure on-site quality control readouts. Monitoring the temperature of the mixture and displaying/printing values can also help maintain the compound levels within the correct thresholds.
The lift, which constitutes the elevation of the insulator layer from the surface achieved in a single pass, is different based on the product utilized. With most sprayed insulators, the maximum recommended lift does not exceed 2 inches, but certain products permit layers of up to 6 inches in thickness.
When using closed-cell foams, excessive thickness applications could translate into decomposition and/or chemical ignition. Open-cell foam is more permissive in terms of chemical reaction generated heat, but don’t forget that the rate of expansion is over 3 times higher. That can lead to the development of large cavities with a negative impact on the R-value of the materials.
In most cases, managing the lift requires only paying attention to the sequencing and being patient, but in others situations the lift simply cannot be controlled properly. Therefore, electing to use an injection applicator to insulate the tougher sections first is recommended.
The substrate’s temperature is often critical when insulating a surface during the cold season, because the heat it absorbs has a realistic chance of negatively influencing the foam’s ability to bond and expand correctly. The same goes when the installation is performed at high temperatures. In addition, don’t forget that certain substrates – such as polyethylene sheets – are inherently problematic since they tend to break the bonds. Excessive moisture contents might also prevent the insulation foam from adhering properly.
When you’re spraying multiple layers of insulation foam on a surface, you have to be patient and treat each lift as an individual substrate. Permit the sprayed foam to cool before a subsequent application. The waiting time is also critical when subsequently using injected insulation foam, as contractors should allow the former to expand before inserting a new one. It may feel that you’re slowing down the construction project, but in reality you’re ensuring that the insulation is properly installed and effective.
There is a specific type of insulation foam for every venture, and learning how to determine the optimal variety is something that comes with experience. The chemical clock, which essentially represents the rate at which the foam expands and adheres to the surface, determines the effectiveness of the insulator. For example, slowly rising foams should be employed in projects that require decreasing the pressure within a certain cavity, whereas a sprayed-on foam is a better choice when the job implies filling open frame voids.
Selecting a quality insulation foam, applying the correct one in accordance to project specs and allowing it to expand/cool according to the manufacturer recommendations are all mandatory steps in ensuring optimal results. However, you can’t guarantee that the job is well down without implementing a set of protocols for verifying the quality of the mixtures on-site and making sure that all the contractors respect them to the letter.
Energy efficient appliances, state of the art insulation materials and economical heating sources comprise the main trends of environmental sound practices that people are familiar with nowadays. A significant number of socially responsible blogs routinely advocate them, and it’s overall a good thing. However, a topic that comes up when discussing energy preservation is water, and it’s unfortunate that so few of us remember that a direct correlation between water and energy exists.
Plenty, to be honest! For starters, limiting your household’s water consumption translates into saving the energy required to filter, decontaminate and purify. The supply of freshwater flowing through the faucets in your house bypasses the municipal filtration and purification system, which comprises of heavy duty submersible pumps and other machinery, all requiring power.
Second of all, water is directly involved in the production of energy, and not only via hydroelectric plants. Evaporation in thermoelectric plans consumes plenty of it as well. Conservative estimates indicate that in excess of 2 gallons are required to produce 1 kWh. Then you have hydraulic fracturing and rigs that rely heavily on water for the extraction of natural gas and petrol from the ground, sometimes in areas where supply is scarce.
Finally, and this one should be pretty obvious, heating the water necessitates power, which is furnished by either electrical or gas based boiler systems. Few are comfortable with taking cold showers, particularly in the winter months. When the mercury drops, the energy demand goes up considerably. In the light of these facts, you can easily understand why energy efficiency is dependent on your water consumption, at least at a macroscopic scale. So, how can you help?
The simplest way to maintain your consumption within reasonable levels is to install water-using furnishings designed for efficiency. Let’s find out some of the most popular ones.
• Low flow showers
When you’re shopping for a low flow showerhead, search for the EPA WaterSense seal of approval. This certification is overall a good indicator that the showerhead adheres to the 1.75 GPM standard, as opposed to the federally imposed limit of 2.5 GPM. However, you can also check out 1.5 and even 1.0 GPM models; they generally deliver more than enough pressure and won’t negatively impact your showering experience. Remember, a lower showerhead flow also helps you save energy by reducing the amount necessary for heating up that water.
• Low flow faucets
The EPA WaterSense certification also applies to faucets. A 1.5 GPM faucet provides plenty of water pressure, particularly since most people rarely turn it on at full capacity. It’s worth noting that plumbing industry trends are pointing towards the 1.5 GPM becoming the universal standard, in spite of the 2.2 GPM still constituting the federally imposed limit. In case you don’t feel like replacing all the faucets in your home, installing screwed-in aerators will transform any standard one into a considerably more water efficient version.
• Low flow toilets
When they were first introduced on the market, the primitive technology behind low flow toilets was incapable of flushing down solid waste efficiently from the first two, even three tries and used to clog easily. They required flushing several times and, as a result, ended up wasting more water than normal versions. Naturally, most were turned off by this setback at the time, but on the upside, low flow toilets have come a long way since the early days. A quality 1.28 GPF model is currently able to perform similarly to a standard toilet, but without the high water consumption.
• Efficient dishwasher
Invest in a dishwasher with a higher Energy-Star rating that is capable of cleaning a full load with less than 2.9 GPM to minimize the water footprint. Remember that in excess of the 90% of energy consumed by this appliance goes towards water heating, which in turn means that lowering the water consumption directly influences the energy savings. Furthermore, skipping the heat-dry cycle can also decrease the power usage.
• Efficient washing machine
The Energy-Star rating constitutes the safest way to determine the energy and water efficiency of a washing machine as well. You could employ a few more tricks to reduce the water and energy waste by setting cold-washing cycles for clothing that doesn’t have major stains and letting the laundry air dry naturally.
• Foot-operated kitchen faucets
These ingenious fixtures require keeping a plate pressed down with your foot to supply water and will stop immediately when the trigger is disengaged. They’re great for stopping the flow automatically when you’re washing dishes manually, for instance. You are no longer required to turn the faucet on and off every time you wipe a plate or apply dishwasher soap and, let’s face it, most of us just leave the water running continuously.
The increasing scarcity of the freshwater in conjunction with the increasing demand in the energy production industry should be a cue for both households and production facilities to rethink the way we manage consumption.
All building projects require considerable expense and planning, especially if they are of the commercial type. There are several stages into which to organize a construction project, you have to choose the site and make building plans based on what purpose you want to use it for. Once the architectural designs are approved, you will have to encounter a lot of paperwork and red tape to obtain planning and building permits, following which you will have to recruit a commercial construction company to carry out the actual task of building.
You could assign the entire task to a project management company who will either have their own team of architects, finance planners and construction workers work on them or outsource it to ancillary companies. Optionally, you could also handle each stage of the project planning yourself and hire people you think are best suited at each task. However, this would mean that you will have to be more deeply involved in each aspect, which will have demands on your time and energy.
Usually your architects may be to make recommendations about choosing a commercial construction company as they may themselves be associated with such businesses or work on freelance basis with them. Since they are more involved in the industry, they will be better aware of which companies provide quality work and it would be advisable to check out their suggestions. However, if you are recruiting from scratch and without much help, here are some tips to guide you in choosing the right construction company for your project. You are likely to be investing a lot of money into a building project and you want to make sure you choose wisely so that you get your money’s worth.
If you are looking around to hire a construction company, there will probably be many to choose from in your area. A simple Google search will churn out several results, not to mention the business cards and recommendations that will drop in when word gets out. Doing a little background research on the various companies and comparing the quotes they offer is the first thing you should do, especially if you got the information first hand.
It is usually a good policy to be wary of quotes that are exceptionally low. If you have been in the business long enough, you will have an idea of what the building materials and fair wages for the workers will cost you eventually. Even if you don’t, your project manager has probably put well researched estimates of these accounts into the budget planning. Base your judgment on these figures; if the price they are asking seems impossibly low, chances are that they intend to be cutting corners. However, a ridiculously low quote does not always mean that they are upto something fishy, they could also be a new company trying to get a toehold in the construction business in your area and thus discounting their first few deals.
One way to clarify and judge offers is to find any previous clients or clientele portfolio on the companies’ websites and read their testimonials about the company’s work and their experience with the team. Pay special attention to mentions of whether the company delivered their work on time and on budget and choose accordingly.
When you have selected the few best offers and shortlisted some potential companies, be sure to discuss all the details of the project in depth with and ask them any further questions or doubts you may have on the initial quote they offered. Make sure that they consider any additional costs they may incur in order to meet any specific aspects of your project.
This is a good time to negotiate the deal and decide on a final quote that is agreeable to both companies. Being the one with business to offer gives you an upper hand, you can get a better deal by threatening to take your money to their competitors. However, be realistic in your demands so as to not compromise on quality. When you have finalized the terms that you are both happy with, have your legal team ensure that the contract you draft clearly outlines the outcomes expected of the project and insists upon maintaining transparency in expenses incurred. Otherwise, you might end up with a substandard piece of work or be stuck with hidden surcharges at the end of the construction process. Even so, be prepared to access buffer funds just in case; it is not unheard of large scale building costs to go over the estimated budget by at least 10%.
While you are running checks on the company, be sure to find out if the owner of the construction company and the foreman of the building crew assigned o your project have adequate knowledge about the area’s rules and regulations for building commercial properties. This is because it may happen that the builders might have to make slight alterations to the approved designs. If they do, it is their responsibility to ensure that these alterations adhere to all the local legislations and that the completed construction will pass all regulatory checklists. If you stay sharp and be mindful of these few points, you should be able to select a construction company well suited to your building needs.
For your Designing and Building needs in Hawaii get in touch with us today.
Ever since we have read how the increase in construction and industrialization has caused deforestation. One of the leading causes for the receding forest covers is the overuse of forest products and felling off trees to use or make way for construction. There is a growing need for corporations to accept social and environmental responsibility and focus on reducing risk to the environment. They need to adopt environment friendly construction practices, or green building, as it is more popularly known, to minimize the adverse impact of construction on the environment and to encourage attempts to remedy the damage already done by previous activities. Here are some ways to improve our construction habits and reduce our dependence on nature.
One of the biggest ways to impact the environment is to minimize our dependence on electricity and fossil fuels as energy sources. Instead, we should rely more on renewable sources such as obtained via solar panels and wind turbine to supplement our energy needs. This not only provides clean methods of obtaining energy, but is also cost effective and easier to maintain in the long run. Another effective way to have minimum energy consumption is by creating designs that maximize use of day lighting in buildings instead of relying on electric lighting for 24 hours.
There are many competent substitutes available in the construction market for timber. Hard plastic, metal alloy and glass are preferable as a replacement in making furniture and other interior designs, not only because they are more sturdy and resistant than wood, but also because they can be made into any form and shape to create designs to fit the interior décor. There are options to use cement and laminate paint or tiles instead of hard wood for floors that are equally aesthetically pleasing and long lasting. In cases where use of timber is necessary, one may opt to use the fast growing species like bamboo and softwoods that are grown in controlled plantations instead of the rare and deciduous trees from the forests. Discarded timber waste such as saw dust, wood shavings, crate wood etc. can be recycled to be used as timber replacements.
Project management must explore new ways to reduce wastage of water and reuse it on a building site during and also after construction. They must also make provisions to harvest rainwater and other kinds of precipitation into reservoirs and tanks for use in the buildings to supplement their water sources. Buildings could be equipped to reuse some of the waste water and build in mechanisms such as pressure control valves, low flush cisterns etc. that will help reduce unnecessary wastage of water. In order to let new construction works not affect the local water table in an area, construction projects should use porous materials in parking and general surfaces to allow precipitated water to percolate through the soil and accumulate below.
Earth moving activities during construction works deeply disturb the natural flora and soil composition and fertility of the area. Not only should these activities be reduced to the required minimum, it should also be followed up by replanting campaigns in the surrounding waste land areas and within. Incorporation of gardening and green roofs could be done at various levels of a building and grey water run offs could be used to water these patches.
All buildings must have a suitable recycling and waste disposal system. Waste should be sorted before disposal and measures must be taken so that biodegradable waste can be used to produce bio-fertilizers and bio-fuels. All construction projects should be highly environmental conscious when selecting site locations. Constructing in environmentally fragile areas such as water catchment areas or biodiversity rich areas should be avoided. Instead, one could look to rehabilitate fallow land such as mine fields and hard ground areas.
These and many such conservation measures incorporated into construction practices will help balance human need for resources without compromising the environment. Granted that the initial cost of environment friendly construction may be more expensive upfront, but in the long run it makes for cost-effective maintenance and operation. Besides, the beneficial impact of creating a sustainable environment cannot be compensated by financial gains.
However, green construction require a lot of foresight and careful planning which is why it is taking long to gain popularity in the business. Even so, its benefits are unprecedented and most people propose that it be widely accepted by architectural associations and building regulatory boards worldwide. Governments should take measures to make certain necessary aspects of green building compulsory by legislations and themselves also encourage green building in national and state projects. The industry should embrace the concept of green building, implementing it not only at grass root levels by providing knowledge and expertise in this field in educational institutions and training schools but also by creating a market for and promoting use of environmental friendly materials and equipment.
Get in touch with us today to know how we at Barker Kappelle Construction LLC can help you green building solutions in Hawaii
Barker Kappelle Construction, LLC is now hiring laborers.
We are an established construction company seeking laborers to join our team. We have several large jobs lined up for the coming year, so we will keep you busy.
Responsible for cleaning and preparing construction sites for the erection of structures and buildings. The position involves picking up, unloading and loading materials, tending machines, performing demolition and other various tasks. The main responsibility of a construction labor is to efficiently assist BKC carpenters, project superintendents, project coordinators and project managers in performing and maintaining high quality work, leading to partner and client satisfaction.
Qualifications and requirements
Projects are mostly on the Windward/Town side of the island
Please email your resume or a brief summary of your work history if you are interested and we will set up an interview
employment type: Full time position (40 hours per week)
Compensation to be discussed at time of interview
Health Insurance (Medical, Dental, Vision and Drug), 401K
Barker Kappelle Construction, LLC is now hiring carpenters.
We are an established construction company seeking skilled carpenters to join our team. We have several large jobs lined up for the coming year, so we will keep you busy.
Must have own tools and vehicle (no exceptions)
Must be able to:
-Follow blueprints and building plans to meet the needs of clients
-Keep a clean job site
-Measure, cut, or shape wood, plastic, and other materials
-Construct building frames, including walls, floors, and door frames, etc.
-Inspect and replace damaged framework or other structures and fixtures
-Instruct and direct laborers and other construction helpers
-Take pride in what you build!
Must have at least 8 years of experience
Must be able to work alone
Efficiency, punctuality and honesty a requirement
Projects are mostly on the Windward/Town side of the island
Please email your resume and a brief summary of your work history to bkcjobs [at] yahoo [dot] com if you are interested and we will set up an interview
employment type: Full time position (40 hours per week)
Compensation to be discussed at time of interview
Health Insurance (Medical, Dental, Vision and Drug), 401K