The advantages of houses with cement blocks

Construction companies often using concrete blocks with holes 4 inches (10 cm) behind the exterior brick in the 50s, Builders are again seeing the many benefits of block houses in the XXI century, for them and for customers. The foam insulation can be easily used to fill pores and spaces in the blocks. The materials are also cheaper for builders, helping them maximize revenues. But most of the inherent advantages of block houses belong to owners.


The block houses are much more durable than typical brick, the tables or plastic slats and wood. The builders in areas of severe weather, including Florida and Kansas, block houses can be used to protect homes from hurricanes and tornadoes. The concrete slab is best held against strong winds, and has also stood the test of earthquakes and fires. Moreover, residents of houses from blocks are not typical termite problems and the characteristic folds of wooden houses.

Low cost insurance

Most block homeowners enjoy lower rates of insurance. This type of houses is usually assigned a confirmation of “superior construction” by insurance companies, according to the Carolina Concrete Masonry Association. Insurance companies often take several factors into consideration when secure properties including replacement costs and structure. Block houses are basically free of problems relating to typical problems faced by owners. For example, concrete blocks are not susceptible to decay as are the wooden houses.

Energy efficient

Block all households are made to maximize energy efficiency. They can usually withstand inclement weather in summer and winter. The blocks serve as reservoirs in warm, humid climates, trapping heat from the sun. It has been found that the penetration of air in normal homes cause a power loss of up to 39%, according to experts Concrete Block Homes. Block homes are airtight and virtually free of cracks. People can usually enjoy temperatures that fit into their rheostats indoors regardless of climate.


The versatility of the concrete slab is another advantage that these houses have over conventional. The owners do not have to settle for gray outside, but they can paint their homes any color they want. You can even choose design style stucco. You can also have farms or two-story houses built with cement blocks. They have the flexibility to add high ceilings or attics inside. The columns and arches designs can improve the aesthetic beauty of the outdoors.

Ten tips to improve the safety of your home

The beginning of the workweek has become the favorite day for burglars to rob homes. 16.3% of crimes of this type committed in 2012 were registered on Monday, according to the latest study by AXA on 19,675 claims for robbery in housing in 2012.

Housing entries on the first day of the week have grown 1.4 percentage points over 2011, changing the trend of previous years, where the time favorite for the chips to act was Friday. In any case, this day continues to concentrate 15.2% of robberies, which makes it the other time that robbers robbed more in private homes.

On the other hand, on weekends, when homeowners spend more hours in their homes and the presence of neighbors is greater, it remains the period with the least criminal activity: on Saturdays they concentrate 12.9% of robberies in the Household and on Sundays, 12.6%.

In any case, in some Autonomous Communities the trends are different from the average. Thus, it is striking that in Extremadura, Galicia or the Canaries the day with the highest number of home assaults is Tuesday, with a very significant rate of 21.1% in the case of Extremadura. In the same way, against the general trend, in Murcia the day of the week that concentrates a greater number of thefts in the houses is the Sunday, in which 16.5% of the crimes of this type were registered committed Last year in the region.

Ten tips to prevent theft in the home

Although, in general, robberies are more common at the beginning of the week than at the end of this, the data show that thieves do not take any day off. The Ministry of the Interior has issued a Decalogue to keep homes safe from criminal activity.

If you are going to be away for a few days: close doors and windows

When you leave, be sure to close them properly. Also those that give to patios or basements. Always lock, not only with the slip, because it can be easily opened. Make sure your door has at least two closing points. It will take longer to open it and the thief can quit. Check that there is no gap between the door and the floor. To prevent the lever, reinforce the part of the hinges of your door with steel pivots and metal angles. Secure the basement windows with bars. Windows overlooking patios are especially unprotected areas because they are hidden from view, close them when you leave.

That your house seems inhabited is the best deterrent method

Do not completely disconnect the electricity. A disconnected bell is a sign of absence. Do not close the shutters completely. Technology makes it easier for you: automatic timers that turn on and off the lights or the radio help make it look like the house is inhabited. If you leave the house for a few days, ask a neighbor to pick you up the mail. Never hide a spare key near your home or in places like mailbox, pots or counters box. It is where a thief first looks.

If you live outside the town, reinforce surveillance

Illuminates the entrance, porch and front or rear patios. A dog is a good deterrent.

If you leave valuables, store them in a safe place

Do not leave your valuables in sight: keys, checkbooks, card keys or access codes to online banking. If you have to leave valuables, better store them in a safety deposit box. Make an inventory with the serial numbers of electronic devices, make and model and photograph them. In case of theft, it is easier to recover them.

Avoid commenting on your plans with strangers or on social networks

Posting on Facebook or Twitter our holiday schedule is the best way for a thief to know that you will not be at home. Make sure that your children do not report your absence or provide personal information.

Do not open your door or the portal to strangers

Opening the door to strange people compromises your security and that of your neighbors. Do not stay in your house with strangers by phone or the internet. Accept only services that you have previously requested (water, electricity, telephone, gas) and require accreditation to your representatives. Keep the door closed until you can fully identify the caller. In case of assault, do not touch anything from the inside, you could destroy tests.

Citizen collaboration contributes to the safety of all

If you see people lurking or noises in unoccupied housing, call the Police (091) or the Civil Guard (062).

For thieves, all eyes are security cameras.

If you see something strange, give notice. Record the data of the vehicles and people that prowl around the house and give notice. That thieves feel guarded can help them quit.

And remember, avoid risks

If a thief enters your house, never deal with him. Go out and call who can help you.

Small simple woodworking projects for home

Simple tools and entrepreneurial spirit are the only requirements for a very skilled carpenter Encore any number of small carpentry projects, as detailed in this article. The cut will be easier with a saw machine, but you can use a manual for most of these jobs.

A framework aviary

If you plan to build an aviary for decorative purposes or not, it is likely that birds find their way to the house. The size of the hole you make for entry, determine which species to find it more desirable. For example a hole 1 inch (2.54 cm) will attract wrens, however January 1 and 1/8 inch (2.86 cm) seduce them chickadees and January 1 and 3/8 inch ( 3.4 cm) can be used for climbing. To make your birdhouse, cut two triangles of the same size with a base of eight inches (20 cm) to the front and the back beam with a hole in the back for hanging on the front and one for an entry. For the base, cut a rectangle of 8.25 inches (20.6 cm) by 5 inches (12.5 cm) with beveled edges at 60 degrees. Sectioned two panels ceiling of 8.75 inches (20.9 cm) by 6 inches (15 cm) with points inclined to meet the peak. Use glue and finishing nails to assemble.

Cutting boards and serving

Choose a piece of wood attractive and efficient is the first step for any table or cutting to serve. The soft wood such as pine is a good choice for first, while hard as walnut, teak or maple are good for a cutting board. Use a saw to sever a simple square, circle or design a form with a handle at the end. After cutting, sanding the surface and edges and ends with an oiled to leave the natural color of the wood shining. The table can be flat on the table or you can screw it down to place the legs.


The scrap wood and creative imagination are all you need to design simple and beautiful pine or Douglas fir chandeliers. For example, a series of square blocks of wood to hold candles of different heights can be placed directly on the table or can be placed artistically on the basis of this material. A good sanding and improve oil finish wood grain or you can paint the candlesticks with vivid and vibrant colors for a more casual look.

Garden bench with two tables

Using a rough cut of redwood or cedar two inches (5 cm) and only three saw cuts, a homeowner can make a strong outer bank shortly. The first is due to 50 inches (125 cm) long in a wood of 2 by 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) to the center leg brace, number two produced two sections of 13 inches (32.5 cm) of wood leg straps on each side, which are connected by these and the third is made into a table for the top of 14 to 16 inches (35 to 40 cm) wide. Nail and cut the pieces together are simple and easy to do. A good sanding minimizes chips.

Repairing a bathroom extractor

Extractors bath your home control odors and dehumidify the air. This prevents moisture buildup and slows the growth of mildew and mold in the shower. If your extractor bath not working properly, it may be possible to solve the problem without installing a new unit. You can buy replacement parts for most bathroom exhaust stores and home improvement directly from the manufacturer’s website.


  1. Make sure your bathroom exhaust switch is on. If still no power or light extractor restarts the circuit breaker from the electric panel of the house.
  2. Release the retaining clips or screws on the cover of the extractor. Pull the cover down to remove the exhaust assembly. If the power cord from the extractor is not connected to the wall inside the cover, reconnect and try the extractor again. If you do not work, use a voltmeter to test the outlet. Contact an electrician to repair the wiring if the reading on the voltmeter is 120 volts.
  3. Turn off the circuit breaker for the bathroom and replace the wall switch controlling the light and bathroom extractor if the unit does not turn on even after controlling electrical outlet.
  4. Turn on the wall switch and listen to the extractor while running. If there is a sound creaked, the motor bearings are failing. Turn off the switch and turn off the power from the circuit breaker. Consult the manual for instructions to remove the motor assembly. For most of the fans you must disconnect the electrical wiring and remove a set of screws. Install a replacement engine and turn on the circuit breaker to restore power.
  5. Clean ventilation to improve suction extractor. Turn off the power and disconnect the exhaust duct to enter if you are not sucking enough air. Remove the remains of the exhaust pipe, then put it back and restore electricity.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a ladder if you’re not tall enough to reach the extractor safely standing on the floor.

Secrets to grout tile shower

You did your research and learn to install plates based cement, tiles, glue and all unforeseen aspects of a construction project. Make put blood, sweat and tears in the work of the shower with new tile, and the end result shows your effort. However, the remaining step, grout tile shower, you can easily make or break the quality of your tile project. Remember to use sanded grout for grout lines of 1/8 inch (0.31 cm) or larger, and for use unhanded grout lines less than 1/8 inch (0.31 cm).

Consistency and application

Achieving the correct consistency of the slurry is the first secret of this for tiles for the shower. For example, the slurry is too thin or “soup” made ​​a terrible mess that needs cleaning additional and unnecessary physical effort. Those skilled in place tiles mixed until a slurry consistency and the average thickness applied with a rubber spatula new. Which apply rubbing in grout lines, then “cut” the excess back at an angle of 45 degrees with rubber spatula. Also, make sure the grout compact grout joints, preventing any formation of hollow point in it.

Test area and take your time

When grouting begins slowly and rub an area of ​​initial test to see how it responds to the slurry material. This way you can get an idea of ​​how far you can get the grout. For example, if the grout dries within minutes, it is a good idea not to pay too much grout too fast. Take your time and do good work, extend the grout too far can result in disaster tiles.

Drying time

Wait 30 minutes to an hour to allow grout joints to dry until a medium consistency before washing the excess grout with a sponge and water. Faster drying times are possible in the heat; slower drying times are common in cold conditions. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to know the proper temperature of the slurry. Try to speed things up by washing too early only make the grout lines and restoring whole process slurry is washed. Also, keep in mind that often the grout dries faster on the tile surface but is still wet in the grout lines. Keep free shower tiles grout as much as possible during the process to prevent damage to the surface of the tiles.

Grout release

Expert’s tillers use a liberating grout (also known as penetrating sealer) to seal the surface of porous natural stone or ceramic tile shower. A grout release effectively blocking much of the staining properties of cement slurries and prevents them from drying too quickly in the joints or on the surface of the tile. Stores and home improvement providers are penetrating sealers tiles used as a grout release.

Making the plane bathroom

Create a plan of a bathroom is an important step process of remodeling and design. Ensures you have enough space for all the components you want. It also serves as a guide for the project to reform the bathroom. You can create a simple plane. Some experience in remodeling and improvements home will give you a better idea of how to distribute the components of the bathroom on the plane.


  1. Measures the bath area. Note the niches, the wardrobes, the shower and other forms of the room.
  2. Make a diagram of the bathroom on a piece of graph paper. Use the steps and squares of paper to make a scale drawing.
  3. Prefabricated indicated in the drawing if they are to remain in the same place objects. Further notes the doors, windows, outlets, lighting fixtures and pipe connections in the reference plane.
  4. Make a list of the items you want to put in the bathroom, and the toilet, shower, tub, toilet, mirror, lighting devices, unloading laundry, linen closet and anything else you want to add in the room.
  5. Choose a place of great items like the shower, tub, toilet and vanity. Note the location of the pipes if you want to remodel an existing bathroom. If you’re starting debris, considered the best circulation of the room, Make sure there is enough space around each object for easy use.
  6. Add small items such as lights, towel bars and other objects whose placement is flexible. Choose the location of these elements in relation to the others in the room. For example, the bar wants towels near the shower and light fixtures on the dresser to give good working light.
  7. Check the signal from each element in the plane of the bathroom to make sense of the design. Pieces of masking tape marks work well for the shapes and sizes of objects on the ground. Also you can cut pieces of cardboard to represent them. Controls the flow of the room and makes the necessary adjustments.

Making concrete blocks

The concrete blocks are necessary for many construction projects, particularly those outside, as fences and walls. You can buy concrete blocks to different manufacturers, but if you need them tailored for specific projects, or if you just want to save some money, you can do it yourself. Home blocks can give profit if you do for sale. Once you master it, the process is not difficult.


  1. Place the molds of concrete in the way you want remaining blocks. You can buy in different stores or make them yourself, using bricks or stones as models.
  2. Use a cement mixer with clean sand. The ratio should be 3 parts sand to 1 part cement to normal concrete classes. For a stronger concrete beam mixing 2 parts sand to 1 part cement
  3. Add gravel or limestone to the mixer. The amount of gravel should be almost equal to the mixture of sand and concrete: 3 parts gravel to 2 parts sand, 1 part cement more. You may need to experiment a little: much gravel, you cannot achieve a consistency smooth on your concrete.
  4. Add water slowly, stirring until it reaches the right consistency. You can control while stir mixture, removing a sample with a shovel and put a little on the Abrams cone, measuring how the mixture sits. When seated around 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm) in the cone, the mixture containing the correct combination of ingredients.
  5. Concrete mixing continued for several more minutes until the whole mixture becomes consistent.
  6. Spray the inside of your mold with a water-based product to unmold concrete. This allows you to remove the concrete block once it has hardened.
  7. Pour the concrete carefully into the mold, then leveled top mason using a shovel or a wooden board. Hits a little mix to settle and eliminates air bubbles that have in the mold.
  8. Allow the concrete to dry at least 24 hours before attempting to remove the mold. Then press down the entire mold while pulling up block. The block must be left alone and can be used again to make more blocks.

Tips & Warnings

  • Once you’ve put the concrete into molds, clean everything quickly. Concrete is much easier to remove from clothing and equipment when it is still wet.
  • Always wear protective clothing and cover your nose and mouth while you mix the concrete. The smell is usually very ugly and a respirator prevent any kind of dust aspires.

How to remodel small bedrooms

Living in a small space can be tricky. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when nothing has its own place. A bedroom should be practical and is hard when one does not know where things are. Any small bedroom can be maximized choosing the colors wisely by focusing on the function and preventing disorder at all costs.


  1. Pick a color that makes the most of the space. If you intend to paint the whole room, opt for a clear tone. If you are determined to use a dark color, choose a wall to paint and leave the rest of the room with a neutral color.
  2. Apply two coats to achieve a uniform color.
  3. Use a palette of colors to choose which can be combined with the rest of the room. Try Color smart in to make a wise decision. Opt for quilts, art and accessories to complement the room.
  4. In a small room all must serve for a purpose. Whenever possible, you have that things have two purposes. Choose a bed that is also used to sit. For a very small room, opt for a futon that can function as a sofa during the day or even a murphy bed those folds into the wall.
  5. Place a yoga mat under a carpet comfortable to have to lift just to have a place to do your exercises.
  6. Choose lighting devices that are versatile. Place floor lamps that have shelves built to avoid having to place them on a wall.
  7. Keep flat surfaces ordered. Once you’ve lost the battle with the nightstand, will continue with the desktop. Don’t leave papers and trash accumulates on the table to keep your room tidy and make it look bigger.
  8. Everything should have its place. If you need a specific item you should have a designated storage location. You do not need an item, throw it away or donate it to avoid clutter in your room.
  9. Take it or leave it. You must get rid of anything you have not used for over a year.

How to seal a bathtub with silicone

Both the installation of a bathtub new and replacement of old coating require a new seal. The version silicone lasts longer, comes in several colors and adheres well to the tiles. To seal around your tub is important to remove mold and prevent damage of the water that occurs on the walls. With a methodical approach, the right materials and a few tips, you will achieve your sealing silicone without much trouble.


  1. Place a few sheets of newspaper on the basis of the tub to avoid wear on the surface with your shoes, or you can take them off if you prefer.
  2. Apply two horizontal lines of masking tape parallel to the junction of the tub wall (both at a distance of 3/8 to 1/2 inches (1 to 1.5 cm) of bonding). Applies both on the surface of the tub and the wall, along the entire length of the joint to be sealed with silicone. Press firmly to ensure adhesion.
  3. Locate a cartridge of silicone sealant to seal the gun. Press the trigger until you feel a slight resistance. With a knife or a wire cutter, carefully cut the tip of the tube with a slight angle (45 degrees or less).
  4. Place yourself in the tub to work, perhaps in a kneeling position. For a firmer stand, take the gun with both hands; place your right hand on the trigger and the other in the gun barrel.
  5. Place the tip of the cartridge in a corner of the tub area to be sealed with the tip pointing angle against the surfaces of the tub and wall. Gently but firmly press the trigger and start drawing a line of sealant from the corner. In one continuous motion, slowly apply a line of equal size of the silicone material within the boundaries of the masking tape and continues until reaching the other corner.
  6. Flatten the sealer line with your finger (slightly moist) or with a plastic spoon using the convex side, pressing it against the area of ​​the junction as you go. Remove excess sealant spoon or your finger frequently to avoid that extends beyond the boundaries of the masking tape. Continue doing this around the tub, in a couple and continuous line.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for all sides of the tub.
  8. Inspect the masking tape to make sure the silicone is light and finely close to the edge of the tape. This will make it easier to remove the tape. Clean any excess with a damp cloth or paper towel.
  9. Remove the masking tape starting with an easy end to lift; gently pull the tape out of the tub or wall perpendicular. If you notice that some of the silicone material begins to rise when the tape strips, quit, and returned to accommodate the material to be detached.
  10. Allow the silicone to dry for 24-48 hours to prevent evil cured material loses its effectiveness as a sealant.

Tips & Warnings

  • To achieve better adhesion, make sure the entire area is dry before applying the silicone.
  • Some tubes have an internal sealing plug that needs to be pierced with a screwdriver or a nail (be sure to remove all the silicone material of the tools that you use for this job).
  • To prevent the sealing material from escaping the tube release the pressure on the gun until you are ready to use it.
  • Wait at least two hours before removing the masking tape, and you’ll want to do this while silicone is still wet.
  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions for safe work regarding the silicone sealant materials.
  • Be careful with knives and other cutting tools.
  • Use suitable protective clothing (such as recommended by manufacturers and tools).

How to repair the tank of a bathroom

A cistern toilet running constantly could be a signal of different problems with your bathroom. The tank (as it is called in the UK and parts of Europe) keeps the supply of water from the toilet to flush. A valve load fills the toilet after flushing while spray valve allows water out of the cistern. You do not have to wait for a repairman to understand how to repair a cistern. There are a few common problems that happen to tanks frequently.

Cut water supply

  1. Check the location of the leak in the tank, if the problem is a leak, as this can give you an idea of ​​the location of the problem. If the leak is in the rear of the tank could be the supply pipe, hose connection to the outlet or the tank bolts. If it is below the tank portion connecting the toilet bowl, you may have a leak in a valve spray.
  2. The first step in treating any problems with the tank’s cut the water supply, the water supply valve is located below or to the side of the tank. Turn the handle to the right at the end of the supply to stop the flow of water to the tank. Squeeze the handle firmly to drain the water from inside a bowl.
  3. Place a towel on the floor underneath the tank to catch the water that you can leave.
  4. Loosen the hose with pliers or pipe water from the bottom of the tank.
  5. Replace a broken load valve by loosening the nut under the valve with a wrench. Take the tank valve and replace it with broken load a new one. Place a layer of silicone grease on the bottom of the valve plug will help you maintain a tight connection.
  6. Tightly screwed to the bolts in the bottom of the tank with a wrench to stop a leak in the tank nut, Use a screwdriver to keep the fixed bolts in the tank while the squeeze or ask someone to hold. If that does not stop the leak, check the caps on top of the pins as they can start to separate after a while underwater. Replace them if necessary.
  7. Heat loosens bolts tank bottom and bring them out of the rear of the bath. Turn the tank and loosen the nut below. Remove the drain tube assembly and spray valve after disengage chain spray. Replace it with new spray valve and tighten the retaining nut. Reconnect the chain handle.