Why Use Reclaimed Building Materials

Green issues have been receiving increasing coverage in recent years and many of us have made considerable changes in our lifestyle. Twenty years ago I wouldn’t have dreamed that I’d be:

  • Sorting my own recycling and putting it into a separate bin.
  • Driving a 1 litre car on unleaded fuel.
  • Considering my carbon footprint when planning family holidays.
  • Printing on both sides of the paper at work.
  • Walking to the local shop instead of taking the car.
  • The list goes on..

Many people are now wondering ‘what more can I do?’ – and this is where the use of reclaimed building materials comes in.

If you are undertaking some landscaping work or a small building project why not consider the use of old tyres and reclaimed bricks?

Not only are reclaimed building supplies an environmentally sound choice, they provide a character and history to building projects which new materials can’t.

Architectural salvage yards can provide the above along with glass, old doors, fireplaces, garden ornaments – in fact anything that you would find when demolishing a building.

There are hundreds of architectural salvage yards all over the UK and a number of websites are available which index these, putting both builders and the DIY enthusiast alike in touch with them.

Suppliers of quality reclaimed supplies offer bricks, slate tiles, chimney pots and architectural salvage such as Victorian fireplaces doors and windows and you can be sure that there is a local supplier only too happy to help you out. What’s more you will be amazed at the quality and choice on offer, so much so you may never visit that DIY superstore again.

So next time you are looking for that unique addition to your home consider architectural salvage and discover what gems are locally available.…

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Why Building Materials Are Altering the Style of Building

As civilization has developed, the way in which people live has grown too. As the way in which people live has changed, so have the homes we live in. We now expect more from our homes than for them to just be a place that we live in and as a result we have developed clear ideas about what we want from our homes. And to achieve that building materials have had to change too.

While traditional building materials such as wood are still extremely popular, there are other alternatives out there. Wood-Plastic composites would have to be one such example. Produced from using recycled wood and plastic waste these products can have a similar looking appearance to the real thing but are designed to be stronger and more durable than the natural product. They are not as prone to environmental factors such as rot as traditional wood is.

The oldest known building material that is often mistaken for being a modern one, which it is not, is concrete. Concrete has been in existence for thousands of years in one form or another. Yet it is a product that has been the subject of major advancements in its form and composition in recent years. Modern concrete has been adapted to be simpler, more environmentally friendly, swifter and less costly to use. One of the biggest advancements of concrete would be the development of self consolidating concrete. As the names suggests, the concrete has been engineered to need no compacting to occur after it has been poured, making it ideal for use in circumstances that normal concrete would just not be suitable.

Porous or pervious concrete is yet another development on traditional concrete. The concrete is intended to let rainfall work its way through its mass and then soak into the ground beneath the concrete layer. The idea is that the use of pervious concrete, especially in dense urban areas where there is vast amounts of paved surfaces, will permit the regular flow of the storm water generated in rainy periods to dissipate through the concrete layer and thus diminish the chance of flooding.

Traditional bricks are making way for their modern counterpart, the stone masonry veneer. The use of a veneer in place of bricks creates a building that has a reduced structural weight and is faster to apply as it is a coating that is fixed to a sub surface. The veneer is able to be strengthened through the addition of steel making it solider than regular brick and has a lengthier and more resilient lifetime. The veneer also has the benefit of being able to be specifically dyed to any color and that coloring can be produced repetitively time and time again.

Plastics have fast become a key component in the building trade. Long looked at as a throwaway product, the plastics manufacturers and the building industry have had to reassess their views of plastic as more and more people become aware of the potential harm …

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Outdoor Storage Shed Building Materials – Things to Remember

Picking up the right shed building materials is vital when you are building your outdoor storage shed. If you are a DIY person you know how much of planning and work goes behind each creation. But if you dont buy the right shed building materials all your time, energy, money, blood sweat and tears is poured down the toilet if your shed collapses, just because you had used the inferior quality materials by squeezing the last bargain from the hardware store. This article gives you some idea about what you should consider while picking the shed building materials for your outdoor storage shed.

If you are a DIY guy wanting to build your own outdoor storage shed, you will start the process by researching on the shed plans and there are plenty of online resources to pick the shed building plans from. In fact there are many softwares like AutoCad, Coral Draw using which you can make your shed plan by yourself more effectively in the computer.

Many hardware stores also provide you the shed building plans. But when it comes to picking up the materials for your outdoor storage shed how far are you sure that what you are choosing is indeed the best one? Ofcourse the shed plan itself comes up with a list of suggested materials, but there are hundreds of thousands of materials to pick and if you want to have a better deal, and the last thing you want to do is run around to every hardware store like an headless chicken to pick the right shed building materials for your outdoor storage shed.

The item mostly required for building your shed is lumber. You will be mostly using two-by-eights, four-by-fours and two-by-fours along with the specific lumber size mentioned in your shed plan. These lumbers are used to make the skids, beams,joists, rafters and every part of the main frame of your outdoor storage shed. It is very important that you choose the lumber that is pressure treated as it needs to withstand the strains and you don’t want it to buckle down in testing times. Pressure-treated lumbers is mostly used in the flooring of the storage shed, as well as layers of the walls because these lumbers are resistant to wear & tear, decay and also insect-repellent. Buying treated plywood for your storage shed floor can be a good idea. Also make a note of the screws, bolts,nails,hammers and the saw – the regular toolkit of a handyman before you plunge in to your shed building activity.

Once you have chalked out the plan for your outdoor storage shed, stick to it. Some shed plans require you to build your entire structure on wooden skids – so that your storage shed is shakier and it becomes easy for you to move it around when the need arises. If the portability of your outdoor storage shed is not an issue, you can have the foundation of your shed either made of wood …

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Cavity Wall

Until the development of the cavity wall in the UK in the 19th century, houses were prone to dampness and humidity resulting from water being absorbed through the masonry of the external walls.

Cavity walls are external building walls which incorporate an air gap. This can be within the wall structure itself as in hollow block walls, between two solid walls or between two partitions separated by a narrow air gap.

When water is absorbed, it never reaches the inner wall. The space or cavity works to drain it back out through weep holes at the bottom of the wall.

In rainy climates such as that in the UK, protection against moisture is vital to prevent the buildup of damp, mould and eventual disintegration of the masonry under the onslaught of moisture.

Moisture protection is something cavity walls do effectively but they offer a number of other advantages. The most important are heat and sound insulation. This means that cavity walls are more energy efficient as well as being quieter than conventional walls.

However, if you really want to get the most out of them, you can expand the effectiveness of your walls for greater insulation and protection from fire.

First, let’s look at how to boost the insulating properties of your cavity walls. Energy conservation is a major issue nowadays with everyone looking to minimize their energy bills. One way is to enhance the thermal insulation properties of your external walls.

You can do this by adding various types of insulation and barriers added to your cavities. The structure makes it easy to fit insulation between the cavity and the inner skin of the wall.

This kind of insulation can lower the heat lost from convection by up to 35% which can result in significant savings on energy bills.

Another way to increase insulation is to use cavity wall closers. These are items which work to provide a tight seal between you wall and your doors and windows. This area is prone to leakages of air and moisture and effective sealing is essential for protection and energy efficiency. Insulated cavity closers deliver far higher thermal efficiency than traditional timber stops or metal flanges.

These closers form a solid template for bricklaying, enhance thermal efficiency, create a damp-proof course and prevent cold bridging. Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride (uPVC) is the material of choice for closers owing to its insulating properties and durability. It’s also fire resistant and recyclable.

Next, you can greatly enhance the safety of your home through the use of cavity fire barriers. The fact is that the cavity walls contain a continuous hidden path for fire to spread. As external walls form the main structure of the building, the potential for damage is considerable, perhaps even resulting in the collapse of the building. The answer is to use cavity barriers formed from fire resistant material to prevent the spread of fire.

The simplest and most effective way to deliver tested fire protection for cavity walls is …

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Steel is the Choice For Metal Building Materials

The most widely used of all the metal building materials is steel. Often times this it is recycled, so it comes at a cheaper cost than you might expect, although it’s just as good at doing the job. Steel Is one of the most perfect building materials in the world, due to its durability, strength, resistance to weather conditions and because it can be made into more complex shapes than other materials (such as wood and stone) with relative ease. Having the ability to change your metal building materials into various different shapes means that you can build something that’s the exact shape that you want and need it to be.

Another advantage of using metal building materials instead of wood is that it doesn’t rot, it isn’t affected by termites and other insects and it won’t catch alight. While it does need painting every so often to keep it from rusting, this maintenance time is minimal when compared with the alternatives.

Apart from the main walls and roof sheeting, steel is often used as the main material for the other, smaller parts of these buildings. For example, all of the nuts, bolts and screws will all be made from steel, as well as the main support beams/girders.

One of the main problems with having a metal building is that the metal sheeting offers very little resistance from the cold air (since it’s not usually that thick in size) and it tends to hold the heat of the sun well (making the inside extremely hot on occasion). A good material that can be especially useful at fighting against the cold is Stucco. For those that don’t know, Stucco is a type of plaster that’s usually found on the outside of buildings. It can be used to insulate the inside of a building, but to you’ll need to get a professional to do this since it can be a bit tricky. Stucco is the most popular of all the metal building materials because it’s relatively cheap to buy and it makes for great insulation.

Other materials commonly used to insulate buildings are brick/stone and wood. This is a bit of a grey area in the community; since many people don’t believe in replacing the metal sheeting on the side with another material (otherwise it’s not a real metal building). That being said, having a wall of bricks does keep the cold out a lot better, although it’s much more expensive to build and can’t added to the kinds of metal buildings that have an arched shape.…

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