Fact Check: Asbestos in Your Home

How do you figure out if you have asbestos?

It is not easy to determine whether asbestos are present just by looking at a scenario with your eyes. Typically, building materials that were put into a property prior to the late 1980s could have asbestos. Still, you can’t be sure unless a laboratory evaluates a sample of the materials.

Prior to working on the property, or tearing it down, you should wait to get confirmation that asbestos are actually present.

If you feel that the testing process is too lengthy or expensive, operate under the assumption that the material does have asbestos.

Are asbestos present in newer properties?

They are not. Ever since late 2003, Australia has banned asbestos and anything with asbestos in it. It is against the law to sell, install, store, import, provide or use materials that contain asbestos. However, the ban does not affect asbestos materials that were put in before 2003.

As far as residential building materials go, no asbestos have been used since the 1980s. They were replaced with cellulose fibres. In addition, insulation products have non-asbestos fibres, like glass. Still, it is important to note that these materials are not completely safe. If you breathe in the dust from the materials, you may experience irritation of the throat and skin.

Asbestos Materials

When building homes prior to the 1980s, there were two kinds of materials that had asbestos. Non-friable asbestos, also known as bonded asbestos, was one. The other is known as friable asbestos, or loosely-bound asbestos. If you are unsure you should always find an expert that does asbestos disposal Perth to test your materials and determine the best course of action.

Non-friable Asbestos

These materials have a certain amount of asbestos fibres contained within the hardened cement matrix. Bonded asbestos are the type that are normally found in people’s homes and are also known as AC sheeting, asbestos cement and fibro. Around fifteen percent of their composition is normally asbestos, but that number can go as high as forty percent. The building materials used today contain cellulose fibres instead. It is important to note that this type of material is thought to be the lesser of two evils. They can also be dealt with a little better than their counterpart. Still, if the materials are loose or coming down, they must be handled appropriately so that there is no dust generated.

You may also find this type of asbestos material in insulating boards. Insulating boards were used for residential homes as well as commercial and industrial properties. They help with fire protection, sound insulation and heat insulation. Typically, they are located in electrical panels, circuit boards, walls, and ceiling tiles. Up to 45 percent of their composition may be asbestos.

Friable Asbestos

Loosely-bound asbestos typically are not found in homes. They were usually put into industrial and commercial properties as a way to keep the buildings fire proof. They also provided insulation and a sound barrier. Typically, glass fibres are now used instead of asbestos.

It is possible to find this type of asbestos in a home, however. In particular, older hot water systems, domestic heaters and stoves may have them. In addition, hot water pipe lagging and ceiling insulation could contain them as well. These materials can be entirely composed of asbestos and they are loose. It does not take much for them to dissolve into dust.

Therefore, this is a very dangerous material. Do not attempt to take it out yourself and instead contact a licensed professional.

Keep These 5 Tips in Mind When Home Building

Transforming your dream house to reality means you will have to go through some challenges to make it a successful venture. However, the home could become a stressful one of you do not handle the process properly. In regards to this, we shall be going through a few common mistakes made by first time home builders to help you avoid disasters.

Hiring Unsuitable Experts

This is one of the most common mistakes that most of us make when it comes to almost every field. Well, architects need to be qualified by going through a series of tests and exam and years of apprenticeship in order to gain their licenses. By hiring an inexperienced and unqualified architect, then you are in for a series of problems during the construction process. A custom designed home will call for qualified contractors and so, do not overlook this aspect.

Attempting To Do It Yourself

Handling the project, by skipping on hiring an experienced person to manage the project might look like it will save you money at first, but it ends up costing you even more when the project does not go as planned. Since this is your first time in the industry, you might end up with scammers and unscrupulous tradesmen that will only suck your money. Getting someone who has been in the field for years will be able to weed out the good , bad and the ugly to ensure that the entire project is less risky.

Cutting Corners

Even if you are on a budget, it does not make sense to cut corners on the materials and design. It is not wise to compromise the quality of your build such as bricks, tiles, windows, etc. Just because you want to save money. Ideally, do not cut on labor costs. Yes, high quality workmanship will demand a lot of bucks, but it leads to a property that is well built and with a higher value.

Making Changes After Finalizing The Building Plans

Once your architect gets as seal of approval, any changes made after the finalized plan could trigger a disaster and make a huge change in costs. For instance, if you wish to move the doorway, it might sound like a simple process, but the current position might be supporting a beam and so, if moved this part of the house would call for an alternative support. In such a case, the engineer would have to revise the plans so that the change can be effectively made. This means more time and money.
So, ensure that your planning sessions with the architect give you a plan that is exactly what you require for your dream house. Do not commence the building until you are fully satisfied.

Paying upfront

Paying workers in advance is another common mistake you do not want to make. If a builder doesn’t trust you enough to commence on the work without upfront payment, then there is no reason to trust them either. You should set up terms and pay in various stages during the project. Then make sure you check off each step of the way.

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Basement Renovation Ideas

Our basements give us a truly unique opportunity for a great remodel. Unlike other parts of the home, the basement is not limited to a certain purpose. Bedrooms are for sleeping, kitchens are for cooking and dining and bathrooms are for washing. Well, basements can be for anything the owner wishes. With such a versatile room, you have a lot of options when you decide to remodel. Picking the ideal use of the basement is a sure way of bringing enjoyment and excitement to you and your family. However, poor planning could send you back to the initial planning sooner than you think, or make the entire basement useless.

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Basement Bars

When it comes to basement remodeling, bars might not be the most appealing option, but the mass extravagance makes them a certain hit for most of the people. Once adorned with decorations and waterproofed, the space will not only look good, but it also gives a sense of individuality, making it one of the most favorite places to relax alone, or even entertain others. You could add a pinball machine, a pool table, or even a huge TV screen and you will have a good spot that you, your family and your friends can enjoy while catching up. For the wine, scotch or even beer lovers, the basement is ideally a great place to keep a great collection of liquor. This is because the basement easily offer as consistent temperature making it a good storage space for your loved labels. You can also be able to compliment it with a tasting room just to make it a bit more enjoyable.

Remodeling Your Basement For Multiple Purpose

We all know what they say about putting all your eggs in one basket. Well, by ensuring that the basement is not just a one hit wonder, chances are that your investment will be well used. Building a place where you and your friends as well as family can gather, or a place where a visitor can also crash will score you some points in a major way. Another great idea is to have a studio in your basement. You ca easily add soundproofing to the room and increase its uses without compromising on the appearance. A soundproofed basement is also ideal for practicing bands, operating loud power tools as well as other loud activities. However, it is not limited to only that as it would act well for a night of board games and cards.
Regardless of the manner in which you intend to use the space in your basement, the fact remains that you will not knock the ball of the park without some good planning. There are some activities such as woodworking and photograph development, that will be suitable for such a space, but they will not do that great without extra ventilation. Ideally, if you intent to turn the space into a bar, then you might want to consider adding a bar sink to make operations smooth and more convenient.

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Don’t Take These Renovation Short-cuts

There are plenty of renovation mistakes that occur in various construction projects – some are big while others are small, but they have one common denominator: They do not need to happen. Below, Scott shares a list of the most common home renovation mistakes and tips on how to avoid them.

1. Inadequate preparation.

Any renovation project requires a lot of preparation. A detailed plan must be put in place to help keep you on budget and on schedule. When talking to your contractor, come up with an extremely specific agreement before the project begins and be sure to have everything in writing. You should clearly see on paper how your renovation project is going to unfold before any work commences.

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2. Buying materials prior to planning.

Never buy materials or appliances prior to planning and all measurements have been made. You might be tempted to buy a lot of thin
gs when they go on sale, but that 24-inch dishwasher you got for 50% off would be a great waste of money if you can only accommodate an 18-inch model.

3. Ignoring important issues.

Tearing down walls or ripping floors apart often brings some issues to the surface, especially when the project involves an old home. Plumbing and electrical issues, for instance, must be fixed before closing the walls back up. Such issues may not be part of your expected renovation costs, but dealing with them can help you save much more money in the long run.

4. Taking shortcuts.

Just don’t do it. Similar to ignoring issues, taking shortcuts when it comes to materials or finishes almost always results to future problems. It’s always a good decision to do it right the first time instead of going back and having to redo everything. Be sure to hire competent people, buy high quality materials and take the time in completing all the required steps in the construction project.

5. Unlicensed trades.

There are renovation projects which can be handled by any reliable contractor; but there are specialized projects which are best left in the hands of a licensed professional. Plumbing, electrical, HVAC, asbestos removal and any job that deals with the structure of your home must be carried out by a licensed professional that specializes in that particular trade.

6. Going overboard with DIY.

Homeowners who want to get involved in home renovation projects are admirable, but there comes a point when the job is better left in the hands of professionals. Cabinetry installation, sophisticated carpentry and complicated tile work are usually beyond the skill and knowledge level of most homeowners and can even bring down your home’s value if done incorrectly. My take on the matter? Get your hands dirty in the demo – it’s the part of of the renovation project that offer the most fun, anyway!