Understanding Why Steel Buildings Resist Earthquakes

Ever wondered why steel buildings seem earthquake-resistant? Read on to find out the reason.

When earthquakes happen

Before you can fully grasp how steel buildings are able to survive earthquakes, you need to understand the phenomenon itself.

Earthquakes happen because of the tectonic plates that cover the Earth’s surface. Each plate has a tendency to move relative to another; this can be caused by centrifugal forces (due to the rotation of the Earth), gravitational forces (from the Moon and Sun) as well as convection forces (coming from the Earth’s core). However, the movement is hindered by friction. In times when the stresses between the plates are very intense, friction no longer suffices and the movement of plates become inevitable. The plates either move against each other by bumping or sliding or come together. Most times, the movement is unnoticed because it is not considerable—changes that measure a millimetre or so are not bound to draw attention. But there are also times when movement is more apparent, causing physical changes that are not only seen but also felt.

It is important to note that earthquakes have both vertical and horizontal components. This means it can move the surface not only up and down, but also side to side.

How earthquakes affect buildings or structures

It is not the vertical motion that usually causes damage or brings about the ruin of a building or structure. All structures, even those which are not constructed well, can handle vertical loads. One proof of this is the ability of all buildings to carry their own weight without falling apart. Another proof is the ability of existing structures to withstand heavy rains and snow. Moreover, there is the ability of buildings to be expanded vertically—existing structures can be made higher with the addition of new floors and the latter will not necessarily compromise the former’s stance.

If buildings and structures can deal with vertical loads like the aforementioned, then they can handle vertical movement caused by earthquakes. What these cannot handle are horizontal loads, unless they were constructed with these loads in mind.

The swaying motion of earthquakes, particularly the strong variety, can do a lot of damage to existing structures. Structures that are more vulnerable to damage are those that have more weight and height.

The more weight there is (as contributed by additional storeys and walls for partition), the more force the structure is subjected to. The more force there is, the more likely a collapse will occur. Consequently, the higher the building and the more weight it has, the more extensive the damage in the event of an earthquake.

How steel buildings resist earthquakes

Buildings and other structures will be able to resist earthquakes if they are built with consideration to possible sideways loads. Also, they are less likely to fall apart and crash if their foundations were strengthened prior to adding additional weight.

There are some buildings that resist earthquakes better than others, and one of these are steel buildings. Compared to buildings made from other materials, steel buildings are known to behave well during earthquakes. The ability of steel buildings to resist earthquakes can be attributed to three things: low weight, flexibility and ductility.

For buildings to endure amid the damaging effects of earthquakes, they have to be light. The lighter the structure, the better it will behave during an earthquake; this is because low weight means less loads. Steel buildings are considered low weight because they are lighter compared to buildings constructed with other materials. With lower mass comes lower seismic design forces, and in turn, better adaptability to sideways loads.

The flexibility of steel is also responsible for the buildings’ notable behaviour during earthquakes. Steel structures are not as stiff as those made with other materials, and thus do not attract larger forces. If forces applied in the structure and its foundations are lower, then the steel building is less likely to fall apart or be damaged.

However, it is the ductility of steel buildings that makes them most impressive. Steel itself is a ductile material—it is durable, designed and manufactured by qualified professionals. But the way steel buildings are constructed also add to the structure’s ductility. Steel structures are made of smaller sections, which are created to form plastic zones. In the event of an earthquake, only the said zones will be affected. Excessive seismic effects will be absorbed because more energy dissipates through the plastic zones of the building.

Considering how well steel structures behave in the midst of an earthquake, you should not worry too much about industrial steel building prices. After all, what you get after the purchase is an investment worth every penny.

Tinkering Your Boiler into Reducing Your Energy Bills

If you’ve reached this article, you’ve probably already commissioned a Google search looking for ways in which to slash your energy bills. Most of the time, the experts will direct you to a comparison website and this is generally the best way to achieve the above.

However, if you’ve already found the best possible deal for your circumstances, it’s time to turn your attention other avenues. Modern day boilers have a concoction of controls that allow homeowners to tinker with their heating system and subsequently make it work around their schedule. There are numerous ways to do this and the outcomes can be very effective, with certain measures resulting in savings of up to £70 per year.

Bearing this in mind, we’ll now take a look at a few simple tips which can help you slowly knock down your annual bill.

Do you have the correct equipment installed?

Before we advance into the meat of the article, we should firstly question whether or not you have the correct equipment installed to allow you to undertake such measures. Unfortunately, if your heating system is approaching 10-15 years old, you may not have access to some of the features that we’re about to discuss. It’s in these cases that we’d suggest you take a look at the Green Deal to fund a new boiler, which will come with all of the bells and whistles that will allow you to fine-tune your heating system. While you’re at it, find a supplier that specialises in Grundfos pumps and ask them about heating circulation pumps. They’ll make your system much more efficient, which should again help to reduce those bills.

Tinker Tip #1 – Room Thermostats

Now that you’ve made sure all of your systems are up to date, it’s time to progress onto our top tips. The first revolves around room thermostats and if you haven’t already, it’s once again time to make an investment and install at least one in your home.

For those not aware, room thermostats will turn the heating on until the environment reaches a defined temperature. This of course makes them very effective, with the heating only being utilised when required.

If you do have them installed, you should be looking to set them between 18°C and 21°C – although naturally, the lower the better.

Tinker Tip #2 – TRVs

To make the most of your thermostats, you should also be considering thermostatic radiator valves. These are the controls that are fixed to the side of the radiator which will allow you to set them to a certain temperature.

They are ideal if you are using the suggestion from the first tip, as they allow a degree of zoning in your property. For example, even if you have got your general thermostat set at 21°C, you can turn off a TRV on a radiator in a room so that particular space is not affected. This can work very well in those rooms that are not used much, with spare bedrooms being a prime example.

Tinker Tip #3 – Timing

For those looking for an even bigger degree of flexibility, a programmable timer is probably the way forward. The vast majority of modern boilers will have one of these systems installed and it basically means that you can state which times of the day you want your heating to be activated. For those homes which also have a hot water tank, it means that you can set which hours you want the water to be heated as well.

Previously, you would have to set your timer for an hour or two before you wanted the heat to become obvious. A lot of boilers now take this into account though and will incorporate the ‘warming phase’ into the timer, which certainly makes life a little more easier.

Again, it’s all about only using your boiler when it is absolutely necessary. Whether you use a timer, TRVs, room thermostats or even all three, your main aim is to reduce the amount of time your boiler is burning.

The Best Way to Know What Kind of Curtains You Need

There are very many ways of making your home look attractive. The right material you choose for your windows can bring a stylish and decorative touch to any home or room. They are great for enhancing the features of a room such as adding color and doing away with the boredom that is brought by dull colors. However this will only be possible if you choose the right type of curtains.

They have different types of headings. Heading is used to describe how the curtain is attached on top of the pole or the crack. There are traditional and modern types of curtain heading. When you are purchasing a curtain you should know which type of heading you want. There are pencil pleat shutters that resemble a row of pencils laid sideways. When opening it, you pull the two rows side by side.

There are the tab top shutters that are made of fabric loops that hang from the poles and are easy to fit and offer contemporary look. Chrome ring top curtain is also another type. They come with a complete reinforcement of a metal bar where the rings that are attached to slide when opening and closing.

When choosing a curtain for your room, you should also consider the furniture in your room. If you want your furniture to match well with them, then you should choose colors that resemble the furniture. This will make the room to look cool and decorative.

Durability is also another factor you should consider when you are looking for a good curtain. There are very many types of fabrics that are used to make these window covers. Some have light fabrics while others have strong and durable fabrics. The best choice for durability is the strong and heavy fabrics.

Sometimes you may want privacy in your room or house. For privacy or total darkness you will need covers that will not allow any light to pass through. These lined shutters can be compared to those that are used in the bedrooms or the washrooms. You might also want light covers maybe for use in the sitting room. It is upon you to know where you want to use them and the best for each part.

The lined shutters can insulate you from sunlight because they are heavy. The unlined ones keep the room cool as they can easily allow air to pass through. They are the best for use during summer while the lined ones are best for use during the winters. The unlined curtains also have low maintenance as they can easily be washed at home.  Because of the weight of the lined ones, dry cleaning is the best way to clean them.

They are also of different sizes. When you are buying a curtain it is good to know the right size of your window. They should always remain proportional to the window. Cost should also be another factor to consider. The choice on which to purchase will be determined by the money you have.

How to invest in furniture that will last a lifetime

When furnishing a new home it is easy to get carried away with the excitement of buying new furniture. Whilst you may have the urge to rush out to your nearest homeware store to buy everything in sight, it is important to spend time on choosing items that will prove to be a great investment in the future. In this article we will offer tips on how to invest in furniture that will last a lifetime.

When choosing furniture for your home, keep in mind that although something is fashionable now, it may not be in next season!

Quality not quantity

‘Quality not quantity’ is a phrase that gets thrown around quite a lot, but when it comes to investing in furniture, you really do need to value quality over quantity. Whilst you may be able to purchase a number of pieces for the same price as one single piece, you need to think about the quality of the designs. Whereas the cheaper pieces are probably only going to last you a couple of years (meaning you will need to spend more money on replacing them), the more expensive piece is likely to last you for a much longer period of time. For example a dining table made from plywood is not going to last half as long as a dining table made from solid oak wood.

Trend-led vs. timeless design

Many chain homeware stores tend to focus on trend-led furniture designs. They will have new pieces in each season, depending on what the latest homeware magazines are claiming to be the latest trends. Although these pieces may look fantastic, it is important to think about whether or not they will still be fashionable in a couple of seasons’ time? Is it really worth spending your money on trend-led furniture designs when they may be unfashionable in a few months? A better decision would be to invest in pieces with classic, timeless designs that have already proved to stand the test of time.

Selecting key pieces

Whilst we think it is better to spend more money on high quality pieces of furniture that will last a lifetime, we understand that most people can’t afford to furnish every room in their house with premium quality furniture. This is why we advise selecting one or two key investment pieces for each room in your house. In order to choose these items, think about which furniture is the focal point of a particular room and what you will use the most. In your bedroom this will be your bed and wardrobe, whereas in your living room it would be your sofa and coffee table. It is much better to spend your money on key items that make the room what it is, rather than filling it with unnecessary clutter.

Leather sofas make fantastic investment pieces as they last for years and years!

Choosing materials

There are certain materials used to make furniture that are guaranteed to last much longer than others, as an example, rattan garden furniture is renowned for its hard wearing qualities. Leather is considered to be a premium quality material because it still looks beautiful even after years of wear. Although many furniture retailers now sell cheaper leather-look sofas, you have to decide whether it would be a better decision to spend more money on the real thing, in order to benefit from years of use and enjoyment. The same goes for buying wooden furniture. Although there are many alternatives to solid wood, such as veneer and laminate, if you are looking to invest in furniture that will last you a lifetime, then solid wood is the best choice!

Keep in mind the simple tips featured in this article when buying furniture and you are sure to select some fantastic investment pieces for your home.

How to Deal with Winter’s Biggest Menace

Tougher driving conditions, bigger heating bills and Christmas; that’s generally what winter is associated with. Unfortunately, we’ve got another to add to the list and it cannot be regarded as anything pleasant, with householders probably starting to report bigger bouts of condensation around this time of year.

Of course, this is a problem that can occur at any point during the year. It doesn’t matter if we’re in the middle of another record breaking July or if we’re close to Iceland-like temperatures, condensation can happen anywhere as it is mainly related to the lifestyle choices of occupiers. However, it is more common during the colder months and if you’ve already spotted the symptoms, here’s our guide on how to deal with the problem.

Deal with the problem as a matter of urgency

First and foremost, we should highlight the importance of dealing with condensation as a matter of urgency. If it has got to the stage where mould has developed, the chances of it spreading are increased and you’ll have an even bigger problem on your hand. Therefore, as well as following the tips listed below, make sure you find mould treatment products to quickly eradicate the mould before it gets out of hand.

Use your trickle vents

If your windows include trickle vents then you are blessed. While they may appear like an excuse to bring a draught into the room, they provide the perfect means of ventilation and will go a long way in preventing condensation occurring. Of course, you don’t have to leave them open for the entire day, but when you are occupying your home it’s probably a good idea to as human presence can cause more moisture to be prevalent in the air – which eventually leads to condensation.

Don’t overflow your cupboards

This is a bit of a strange one, but there is logic to it. Condensation has a habit of occurring around cupboards and wardrobes and this is mainly because they are crammed full, which prevents air from circulating properly. In fact, it hasn’t been unheard of for the problem to be found INSIDE these places – which can certainly create an issue when it’s food that’s being stored there as well.

Don’t block off air vents

A lot of older properties have been fitted with air vents and it can be tempting to shove up any furniture you have and block them off. As you’ve probably guessed, this is a definite no-go area and you should be looking to provide as much space as possible between the vents and any furniture.

Constantly ventilate your kitchen and bathroom

Finally, don’t forget to ventilate the two biggest condensation attraction rooms in the house; the kitchen and bathroom. The latter in particular will probably have some form of mechanical ventilation, so make sure this is at least turned on. However, nothing ever beats keeping windows open and if your condensation is particularly bad, ensure you do this during and after the running of any hot water.

Factors to Look for When Buying Quality Power Tools Online

Once upon a time, buying a new power tool involved a trip to the local hardware or DIY shop. You’d have the chance to touch and handle the tool, feeling the quality and testing it to see if it was right for you.

However, like many products, power tools are now commonly bought online, giving consumers an incredibly wide choice of products, but also a whole new range of challenges to find the perfect tool.

So if you’re surfing the web in search of the perfect addition to your power tool arsenal, here are some factors to look out for before you part with any of your hard earned cash.

Buying power tools online is a great way to find the best products and the best prices

Price

If you’re money-savvy, one of the main factors guiding your online search for power tools will probably be the price.

Buying on the internet gives customers a huge amount of power by providing the opportunity to quickly and easily compare prices.

This means that, if you do your research properly, you should never pay over the odds for a power tool and should help to ensure that you build up a comprehensive collection at a great price.

Shopping online also gives you the chance to spot special offers, many of which could save you serious money on your power tool purchases.

Quality

However, if you’ve ever worked with a badly made power tool, you’ll know that there is no substitute for quality and if you go too cheap you could end up with a badly made and virtually useless piece of equipment.

One of the best ways to work out if a tool is good enough to suit your needs is to read online reviews. Impartial customer reviews are always best as they’ll give you an honest opinion about the quality of the product.

Whatever you need power tools for; you can find the perfect product online

Guarantees

Though most products that you buy online should – especially if you do your research – be well built and long lasting, sometimes things do go wrong and if your product is faulty or breaks after a few months, you need to know that you can get your money back.

By only buying products from online stores like Evolution Power Tools which offer product guarantees and have clearly set out returns policies, you can help to ensure that you won’t be left out of pocket if your power tool doesn’t live up to expectations.

Delivery times and charges

Though products that you buy online will never be with you as instantaneously as those purchased in a shop, a lot of online stores do offer very fast delivery and even next day services.

However, it’s important to read the small print as some online retailers may charge a premium for fast delivery, especially if the product that you’ve ordered is bulky or you don’t live on the UK mainland.

Some retailers may offer free or reduced delivery costs if you order more than one product or buy products worth over a certain amount, so always have a look at the delivery details before your place your order.

Support

Whatever you’re buying online, it’s always good practice to use shops that have easy to find contact details in case anything does go wrong.

If a shop has a phone number clearly displayed on their site, it should mean that their support team will be easy to contact should you need any extra help with your power tool.

Buying power tools online gives customer a huge amount of choice and the opportunity to find the best product at the best prices.

And as long as you do your research and read the small print carefully you should end up with the perfect power tool every time.

Before You DIY Consider These Preparation Tips

Do it yourself, or DIY, projects are very appealing. You can save money, and you end up with a sense of accomplishment about having created something all on your own. Whether it’s a small furniture project or a renovation to an entire room, you should always be prepared before you start hammering away. In order to get the job done right and protect your own safety, you need to plan ahead. Here are three things to consider before you start your next DIY endeavor.

Review Guides

If you are making major construction changes to your home, you may need permits or to familiarize yourself with city codes. Read the fine print regarding these issues, or you might be in serious hot water later. It’s also important to read how to guides from a reputable source, such as a licensed contractor. Becoming educated on the process you are attempting is essential to getting it done right. Think carefully after reading through all rules and guides about whether it is really realistic to complete the project on your own. You can also consult with a professional before you begin so you are more prepared for potential pitfalls or special issues.

Gather All Materials

Have all the materials you will need on hand at the start of the project. In fact, you should have 10 percent extra of every material in case something accidentally gets ruined and must be thrown out, or you just underestimated the size of your project. Even one wrong cut of wood or spill of paint can send you back to the home improvement store and stall your project, so have enough plus a little extra at home when the project begins. In many cases, you can return excess materials later if you don’t end up using it. Finding yourself short can mean disaster if you can’t find more.

Have an Emergency Contractor Know your resources at the start of the job. If something goes wrong, you may need to contact a professional, so have someone in mind. Get the number of a local emergency contractor and have it in your phone. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if things spiral out of control, such as accidentally hitting a pipe or interfering with your home’s electrical system. These are serious issues that shouldn’t be taken care of by a novice. Also make sure that you are covered by home insurance for any projects that you or an emergency contractor undertake. Don’t just pay for the first insurance you find; rather, get home insurance quotes before signing any policy.

DIY home improvement projects make you feel empowered and increase the value of your home if done well. However, preparation is key and can make or break your entire project. Hopefully, with all the materials on hand and a knowledge of how to complete the job, you can stand back at the end and marvel at your work. Just don’t go it alone without the support of insurance and guidance from professionals.

Are Roof Contractors Necessary When Moving to a New House?

Moving to a new house can either be fun or painful. It can be a great experience if you handle it in an appropriate manner. Before moving, it is advisable that you research on your potential new home and have the main facts with you. You should understand the location of essential institutions such as hospitals, schools, laundries, restaurants and medical centers among others. With prior knowledge to such centers, you will have it easier adapting to your environment without necessarily being guided.

Before moving into your new house, there are a number of things to check for. At times, you new home color may not be compatible with your old or planned new furniture. You can opt to have it painted to match your appropriate color scheme. If you want to enjoy a stress free life with your roof, it is advisable that you have it fully checked with a professional roofing company.

There are several environmental factors that can cause damage to your roof. Moss and algae is a great enemy to your roofing material. They grow on the shingles and shakes of the roof thereby accumulating more moisture, which accelerates the rotting process. Since they spread quickly, they can easily affect your wood decks. With time, you are likely to find your whole roof falling if not corrected. They result in green and black stains that damage the overall appearance of your roof. They thrive well in moist areas. Apart from clearing the existing moss and algae, you can have tree branches hanging next to your house cleared to avoid their formation.

Wind is also a contributing factor to roof damage. It loosens the nails holding the roof making it easier for strong wind to carry away the roof. To avoid such damage, ensure that your roof is properly secured and insulated. If you live in areas with a high rate of snow accumulation, you need to ensure proper supporting of the roof to cater for the weight of the snow. Roofs with poor sloping are likely to suffer more from this effect. Other causes of roof damage may include air pollutants, the sun as well as other chemicals in rain or air.

Roof repair is necessary for your overall safety. The roof is always subjected to effects of wind, water, hails and rain among others. Since you cannot protect it from these effects you have to constantly check on it to ensure that it lasts for long. Roof shingles are an important determinant to how long your roof will last. It is advisable that you replace them whenever you experience adverse weather conditions that affect them.

There are a number of roof contracting companies to turn to but none of them match the quality offered by Bonner Built. A good company will carry out an advanced inspection on your roof and repair it whenever necessary. Professionals will ensure that the condition does not deteriorate. Roof repair is not an easy task and has to be handled with care since it is necessary for your family’s protection.

Choosing The Right Countertop For Your Kitchen

Are you in the market for a new countertop but don’t know where to begin?  If this is your dilemma you are not alone!!!

Choosing the right countertop for your kitchen is one of the most important decisions you will make during the renovation of your kitchen. First there is the esthetic aspect, you want a countertop that looks amazing and suits the look and feel of your kitchen. Second you want durability and a product that will stand up to everyday life without having to worry about spills and stains. Third you want little or no maintenance, something that doesn’t require a lot of upkeep.

Here are my “Fav Five” countertop options:

VINTAGE MARBLE

My absolute favorite option! It is so incredibly beautiful!!! Vintage marble goes through a process to give it a beautiful aged feel and pairs amazingly well with bistro style kitchens. The process that it goes through makes vintage marble more forgiving then polished or honed marble due in part to the fact that it already has a lived in feel. This option is for the homeowner that loves the look of marble but at the same time wants more character and interest.

HONED GRANITE

This option is best when done in a darker colour. This is due to it’s honed finish it will naturally stain easier than the traditional polished finish therefore with a darker colour you will see less staining. The overall feel of honed granite is warm, soft and inviting! It is a beautiful look for those seeking something a little softer in feel than traditional polished granite.

SOAPSTON

ESoapstone is a very unique and beautiful look. One characteristic of soapstone is that you can buff out any scratches that may occur. As with marble and granite each slab of soapstone is unique onto itself. Soapstone is amazing when paired with warm wood toned cabinetry and can as well be a beautiful choice when combined with white cabinets for a clean look with a strong contrast.

QUARTZ

Quartz is a very popular option in the world of design today. It is loved for it’s durability and contemporary look and feel. There are many new styles and colours available, with new ones being introduced constantly. Even though Quartz is thought to be consistent from slab to slab unlike marble and granite it is still best practice to choose your slab. This is mostly important when choosing a quartz that has quite a bit of pattern. Quartz is a beautiful choice for any application.

CONCRETE

Concrete countertops are smooth and seamless. They have an overall industrial look and are a beautiful addition to a contemporary kitchen. You can add colour to your concrete countertop but in most applications the natural warm grey colour is chosen to achieve the look of true concrete. As well patterns and additional details can be carved into the concrete to give you a look you can achieve only with concrete.

There are so many beautiful options to choose from when deciding on the countertop for your kitchen.

Step One -Decide what look and feel will suit you and your kitchen (pull pictures from magazines and go online for inspiration to see what overall look you are drawn to).

Step Two- Look into the durability and maintenance of the countertops you are considering.

Step Three-Sign out samples of your favorite options and make your decision!

Step Four – Get cooking!!!

5 tips to Choose the Right Baby Blanket

While making the list for baby shopping, parents tend to make a long list of useable and not so useable items. Many first time parents are so excited that the shopping list just goes on and many things that are not used that much or for longer periods of time are bought. Such things not only become heavy on the pocket but later on parents regret stacking material which is of no use and just occupies the precious space at home. No shopping list of baby without having a checkbox of ‘blankets’ is possible to find. Babies do not have the self-regulating heat system at an early age; hence, covering up with blankets is essential. Not only for the heat element but also for fashion and style statements parents wrap around cute and funky sheets. Here are tips to buy the perfect blanket that serves multi-purpose-1) Receiving Blankets-

Receiving blankets are bought which are of light weight fabric and not too thick. The fabric used is generally kept soft and without weight so that babies can wrapped around and passed to family and friends. These blankets tend to get dirty very easily as they go down many hands. So the fabric needs to be washable and more than one receiving blanket should be purchased at a time.2) Swaddling Blankets-

While wrapping is loosely folding the baby to keep the hands and other body parts safe, swaddling blankets are used to tightly roll the baby so it is safe and sleeps well. Babies are most likely to sleep well in a position where the body parts are cosy and tightly wrapped secured with a pin. These types of blankets are sold in several shapes for the ease of parents. There are square, rectangle shaped blankets which easily secure the baby.3) Sleep sacks-

These are modern inventions of blankets, which are designed with the intention of providing safety to the baby. If in blankets babies do not feel safe and there is a chance of them moving around and falling off, sleep sacks provide a safe covering where babies cannot come out. Also, along with the protection, if the temperature changes for the baby it can easily be unzipped so that air is crossed around and the baby is cool and safe at the same time.4) Baby blankets in Cotton-

Cotton baby blankets are best for summer time babies, as this need to cover up as well as provide ample of air circulation to keep the baby away from sweating and dehydration. Choosing cotton baby blankets are a skillful task, where the material quality should be assessed carefully so that it lasts longer and does not wear off after a few washes. Baby materials require more washing as compared to adult material.5) Wool Blanket-

There are wool baby blankets available for winters and stronger weather conditions. Many people do not prefer woollen baby blankets due to the roughness of the material, however, there are new types of baby blankets available in wool that are covered with cotton covers in fancy and cute styles and other have an extra layering of muslin cloth to make the baby feel comfortable and warm at the same time. These are long lasting blankets that have the ability of being durable and also resisting wear and tear. The only factor to be careful about is, while washing cold water should be used and the blanket should be soaked in cold water for a good 2 to 3 hours. Moreover, it should not be rubbed vigorously and should be left to air dry so that it does not change its texture.