Make The Most Of The Weather With Patio Doors

It’s no surprise that the British love the hot weather, so why not make the most of the rare summer days with doors that open up into your garden. Simply creating an extension of your home and bring the outside, inside! You can expect that visitors to your home will be green with envy when they discover the new addition to your home and the changes it has made to the look and feel of your property.

Not only can you enjoy the great British summer, but the doors are equally as beautiful in the ice and snow. This simple adjustment to your home can make a huge difference whilst being a cost effective approach. With the double glazing, you can rely on the patio doors to keep heat locked inside your property throughout the year. Great for making savings on your heating bill!

Maybe you’re kitchen or living room could do with being a little larger but the expense of an extension is not an option; then let patio doors create a different feel to your property, the doors instantly make a room look bigger by opening your room into the garden, these doors allow any property to flood with natural daylight throughout the day, creating a nicer environment throughout the year.

You may be surprised to discover that the patio doors can be designed by you! Simply give a member of the team a call today to discuss the options including the variety of colours, designs, styles, shapes and sizes of doors that are most likely to suit your home.

You may be concerned regarding the safety of your patio doors, well there is no need to feel anxious about the security of your family and property as these patio doors come complete with a multi-locking system and are built with a mixture of sturdy and strong materials to ensure those unwanted visitors remain outside. The additional benefit of these materials is the resistance to extreme temperatures; unlike traditional doors French patio doors do not warp or twist with time and can last a lifetime.

Simply give a member of the team a call today to discuss the options available to you, or visit a show room to discover the various styles, designs and colours to suit your property. You may be surprised at how cost effective these doors are. But if you don’t call, you will never know.

Understanding the Interior Design Process

If it’s your first time working with a designer for a home or commercial space, you might not understand everything that goes into the process. Understanding the project as a whole and each phase of design can ultimately save you time and money. Once you know your role and the roles of others involved in your interior design project, it will make the process much more enjoyable for you.

The first step is to find a design firm you feel comfortable with and that you trust has an experienced and respected team of architects, artisans and contractors. Each design firm works differently, and every project is varies with regards to how many phases you’ll go through. If your project is on a smaller scale, you might not have all the phases outlined in this article, but in general, the major phases of a design project are:

1. Schematic Design
2. Design Development
3. Construction Documents
4. Bidding Phase
5. Construction Administration

Stages of Interior Design – Explained

1. Schematic Design: This is first stage of the design process when the scope of the project is defined. As the client, you’ll be very engaged in this part of the process with the designer and sometimes the architect, if necessary. The designer (and architect) will provide rough sketches and show materials to ensure the concept is headed in the direction you envision. This phase can take anywhere from weeks to months, depending on the firm you work with and the extent of the project. It can take longer if you don’t have any idea what type of design you’re looking for. In that case, the design firm can help steer you in the right direction.

2. Design Development: The next stage aims to turn concepts into concrete action items. This stage will help to identify any problem areas that may not have been apparent upfront. In design development, the architect and interior design firm creates initial architectural drawings and material specifications. You will be involved throughout this process as the design firm will need your feedback to zero in on the details and discuss solutions to any problems. Once the direction of the design project is approved by you, the next step is construction documents.

3. Construction Documents: In this phase, the preliminary drawings that were created in the design development phase of the project are now turned into working documents, refined for accuracy and code requirements. All the materials to be used in the project are finalized and the specifications are prepared. Once this is complete, the documents serve as a tool to build out the project. You won’t be involved much in this phase due to the technicality of it, and the timeline depends on the scope of the project.

4. Bidding Phase: In the bidding phase, the construction documents are sent to potential building contractors so they can prepare bids. The bid is an estimate of the cost and time it will take to complete your design project. You won’t be involved heavily in this phase except to review the bids. Your design firm will handle any negotiations or project management tasks in this phase. The timeline depends on the availability of the contractors. It can take up to six weeks for a residential design project to see an initial bid.

5. Construction Administration: In the final phase, the manual work begins. A good design firm will ensure deadline expectations have been established and ensure you’ve approved of them before starting construction. The actual materials to be used are presented to you for a final approval prior to installation. You should be able to make appointments at any time to view the progress (if you are living off-site). Your interior designer should be available throughout this phase to answer any questions or address concerns. At the end of this phase, your design project is complete!

Halloween Decoration: Trick or Treat?

Halloween doesn’t get everyone’s vote, but it does get our family’s. How much you enjoy it depends on how you view the holiday: for us it is a great excuse to have fun together and get a chance to dress up, and is therefore a firm favorite in our home. One of the things we enjoy most is getting the decorations out: from large spiders to eerie ghosts, everything is an excuse to have fun. There is only rule when it comes to Halloween decorating: anything goes so long as it’s spooky or scary, so big hairy spiders get their day!

There are of course various levels of decorating, from a simple carved-out pumpkin in the window to a fully decked out haunted mansion. I love taking a drive around town on Halloween to see what other people have done: it is always a treat to see a home where Halloween decorating has been taken to a fine art! Some decors can be quite intricate and normally pretty suburban front yards metamorphose for the night into the most unbelievably spooky arrangements. I have seen yards transformed into realistic cemeteries, complete with fog machine, special lighting, sound effects and spider webs galore. A well decorated home is usually a good indication that the owners have stocked up on tasty treats, and should be well worth a visit when you take your children trick or treating.

Some people like to carry the decorating theme on indoors, and don’t stop with straightforward schemes either, turning their homes into fully-fledged haunted houses. These folks go into a lot of trouble decorating their homes, and must really enjoy the process to go to such length. For them it is about dazzling the trick or treaters that may venture in. These days, however, parents rarely let their progeny enter a stranger’s home: it only take a handful of bad apples to spoil the fun of the holiday, so it hardly seems worth the risk.

Nowadays you can find just about anything you could wish for to have some serious fun decorating your home for Halloween. The only limits are your imagination and budget.
Shop locally for stylish trinkets and unusual objects, or expand your search to the Internet. The web gives you worldwide access to weird and wonderful things that you would never even have thought off, as well as the bare essentials: no matter what you are looking for, it is available online somewhere.

6 Tips for Preparing Your Construction Project Quality Organization Chart

A construction project quality plan is not complete without an organization chart. In fact, having an organization chart within your construction quality control plan may determine whether or not your plan is accepted or rejected. The reason is that it is vital for the success of your project that everyone on your project team understands their responsibilities and the roles they play. Your organization chart will define project team positions and their lines of authority.

Following these six tips to successfully prepare your construction project quality organization chart:

  1. Make your organization chart project specific
  2. Consider contract requirements
  3. Include job positions from outside organization
  4. Avoid lines of authority that create conflicts of interest
  5. Include every job position even when multiple positions are held by the same person
  6. Don’t assign the same person to two positions with conflicting interests

Make your organization chart project-specific

You should tailor your organizational chart to each project and only include project personnel positions. For example, only your quality-control personnel should be included on your QC Organization Chart. It’s not useful for your chart to show positions from any other departments if they don’t have quality responsibilities related to your project. For instance, your QC Organization Chart will not include personnel from your human resources department because they don’t have quality-related responsibilities.

One exception is the CEO or President. Even if the president or CEO of your organization doesn’t have day-to-day quality-related responsibilities, he or she is still ultimately responsible for the quality outcome of your construction project. Therefore, you should always include this position at the top of your project quality organization chart.

Consider contract requirements

It’s common for contracts to include requirements for certain positions and restrictions on who these positions report to. For example, some contracts require that your quality manager be the point of contact for the contracting officer when it comes to quality matters. So make sure to include these relationships on your organization chart.

Include job positions from outside organizations

Other than a contracting officer, are there other outside organizations that will be part of your project team? For example, if you use third-party testing labs, include a space for third-party organizations on your chart.

When you include a position from outside your organization, place the box in line with the correct level of authority.

Avoid lines of authority that create conflicts of interest

Avoid giving higher authority to a position or individual when it could create a conflict of interest. For instance, a construction quality manager should never report to a superintendent because both are subject to the same production pressures. Instead, both can have equal, yet connected lines of authority. Use a dotted line to show this type of relationship and keep the positions on the same horizontal level (not one over or under the other).

Include every job position even if held by the same individual

Include every project job position on the chart. Even if one person is holding several positions, keep the organizational structure accurate by showing each role separately. The relationship between each role can then be described. Thus, as is often the case, if the project manager is also to be the purchasing/estimating agent, the same name will go into both slots.

Avoid assigning the same person to two positions with conflicts of interest

On the other hand, the same individual should not hold two positions if there could be a conflict of interest between the positions. Thus, one individual should never act as both the superintendent and the quality manager.

The superintendent is held accountable for the successful completion of the project and should be in charge of all construction personnel. The quality manager will have control over testing and inspection entities. The two positions should remain independent of one and other.