How To Reduce Construction Cost By Over 50% And Still Maintain High Quality – Part 1 – Foundations

Construction material cost has been steadily increasing over the years.

5 years ago, the average construction cost in Nairobi for a medium-priced building was KES 15,000 per square meter.

Currently, this cost has increased by 68% to an average of KES 22,000 per square meter for the same.

The trend does not seem to be slowing down any time soon.

Therefore, we need to think outside the box to keep costs low and still maintain the same or oven higher quality of construction.

This can be achieved by using ingenious methods of cost-cutting from the foundation stage through to the fines.


On average, foundation costs approximately 10% of the total cost of construction.

The main works in a foundation are:

1. Excavation

2. Reinforced concrete works [foundation footing and ground floor slab]

3. Masonry walling to ground floor level

Excavation costs can be reduced by use of machinery -Excavators. An excavator is rented at an average cost of KES 6000 per hour and would take 2 to 3 hours to excavate the foundation of a 3 bedroom house.This brings the cost to kes 6000 x3 = kes 18,000.

Excavating the same using manual labor would take an average of 7 days with 10 men at a cost of kes 300 each per day. This brings the cost to KES 300 X 10 X 7 = KES 21,000.

Reinforced concrete works

This consists of concrete reinforced with twisted steel.

A cubic meter of concrete on average takes 7 bags of cement and will cost a minimum of KES 8,000.

A cubic meter of masonry stone consists of 75 stones of 300mm long by 200mm wide. Each stone costs an average of KES 25. This estimates to approximately KES 25 X 75 = KES 1,875.

This is approximately 75% cheaper than concrete.

The reinforced concrete foundation footing can be replaced with masonry walling to achieve this great saving.

Ground Floor slab.

On average, a reinforced concrete ground floor slab costs KES 1,200 per square meter.

Masonry walled horizontally can replace this slab. A square meter of masonry walling using machine cut stones costs KES 40 X 15 Stones = kes 600. Add KES 100 for cement plaster and this brings it to KES 700 per square meter. This constitutes a savings of nearly 45%.

Old colonial homes built in the early 1900s in Kenya utilized these cost-cutting methods and are still standing to date.

A good example is the Officer's Mess at the National Youth Service Bahati Farm in Nyandarua.

The foundation footing and floor slab is made of masonry walling and it still stands to date, nearly 100 years from the day it was constructed.

With the passage of the new constitution, we hope that such a method of foundation construction will be allowed by the Local Authority. The current Building Code in Kenya specifics too much concrete / cement used because resulting in a high cost of foundation construction.


With the use of Machinery for excavation [15% savings] and use of masonry to replace reinforced concrete on foundation footing [75% savings] and ground floor slab [45% savings], this will greatly save on the overall foundation construction costs.

Francis Gichuhi

5 Keys to Building a Strong Determination

I saw him sitting on an evergreen branch outside my window as the Saturday morning sunrise lit the new-fallen snow as it would a carpet sprinkled with sparkling jewels.

He seemed so tiny and alone, a silhouette against the dazzling eastern sky. As the sun rose higher, I could see he was a small snowbird, obviously apart from his fellows who usually assemble and play in groups. Joyfully, they flit about upon the snow, find pieces of grain, and huddle together for warmth.

Watching him thought memories of a time when I felt very small and alone …

It was my first college year of clinical practice as a student therapist. I had to write and turn in reports
on each patient I worked with in the University clinic.

As children, we often shuttered when a teacher returned our reports with a few big red marks signaling our errors. However, Dr. Wilson, a man who I will always remember and admire, returned my clinical reports. He gave my first reports so many red marks that they looked like they had the measles!

One day, he said, "To write well, you need to read a lot and write a lot – and when you see these red marks, know that they are there because I believe in you. again. Just pay attention to them! "

I began to pay attention to each error, one by one, and one by one, the red marks few fewer. This experience fortified my determination and strengthened my courage in what I could accomplish.

How can we keep our determination strong down each pathway of achievement we travel? Here are some valuable ideas to think about …

1. Think with purpose; keep your heart and mind focused on the end goal you want to achieve.

2. Take three valuable actions suggested by Paul J. Meyer who wrote, "Construct your determination with sustained effort, controlled attention, and concentrated energy."

3. Remember the wisdom from an Indian proverb that reads, "Life is not a continuum of pleasant choices, but of inevitable problems that call for strength, determination, and hard work." Use obstacles as learning tools and stepping stones to reach what you envision.

4. Choose your ideal pathway based on your values, make a firm commitment to excellence, and take
responsibility for your choices.

5. Most of all, realize that the Creator wave you some very special gifts that no one can use exactly like you can use them. If you have not discovered those gifts, look closely at the activities that seem to light a fire in your soul. You will be very close to some amazing discoveries …

… My little friend waited in the evergreen branch for a while. Soon, several more snowbirds landed at the base of the tree. He gleefly joined them, and off they went to enjoy the morning.

That reminds me of a sixth key in building and maintaining determination: Have patience in all things.
Do what you can now, even if you must wait for your efforts to bring results. Then return your thoughts to your purpose, and you will attract many others of like "feather" to help guide you along the way!

How Do I Market Myself? – One Woman's Trash Is Another Woman's Treasure

I recently had most of my hair cut off and made a drastic color change. Although I've now adapted to the change very well I had a difficult time feeling confident with my new 'do the first week or so. I decided to make some hair accessories to dress up my hair a little to give it a little more feminine look. So I dug up my old costume jewelry that I had inherited from various sources and got to work. I was pleasantly surprised at the way they turned out and the feedback I was getting on them.

Almost overnight my little personal project turned into something that people were paying money for. I now enjoy spending hours on end making hair jewelry with my friend, Heather. The most fulfilling aspect is to walk into thrift stores and buy the most unpopular costume jewelry that they can not seem to get off their shelves; sort of as a challenge to myself. I take it home, tear it apart, put it together with some other restored jewelry or a ribbon and give it new life. I take something nobody sees to want or notice and turn it into a fashion statement.

Like old costume jewelry, you probably have some old content lying around, seemingly useless. Try giving it new life. Make your old trash a new treasure. If you do not like the way a blog post is organized, take it apart, add a few new things and use only the best parts when you put it back together. Maybe you have a flyer you used to send out that had great information on it but not a lot of response. Try using bullet points or headlines from that flyer as tweets or blog post topics.

No matter what you decide to do with something that appears to be useless, you can always turn it into something great. Have you found something old and forgotten that you've turned into a masterpiece? Tell us all about it! We'd love to hear it. That's what our comment section is for!

Comparing Fiberglass and Polyester Casting Tape

Over the past decade, polyester casting tape has become more recognized as a legitimate option to its traditional fiberglass counterpart. There are a number of studies which have compared these products in both controlled environments and real-world experiences. The results noted that both of these options can be equally effective, although there are some additional variables to consider.

The most important comparison between fiberglass and polyester tape is directed towards overall effectiveness. A study published in the Journal of the National Association of Orthopedic Technologists in 2002 recorded a number of variables related to overall effectiveness. The results noted that the differences in performance were negligible in most cases. There was the same level of material breakdowns and delaminations on weight-bearing surfaces with both fiberglass and polyester casting. Additionally, the activity level and comfort levels were similar as well.

The one noticeable difference was related to the development of cracks or splits. Fiberglass casts were much more likely to crack in the toe box area. This was attributed to the greater rigidity fiberglass casting offers. A polyester substrate is much more flexible, which allows it greater flexibility under heavier weights. This results in less cracking and splitting.

From a patient’s standpoint, there is only one area in which polyester tape may face difficulties. Due to the high use of fiberglass casting tape for decades, some people expect a more rigid cast. Even though polyester tape has proven to be extremely effective, the perception that greater rigidity is necessarily better will have to be overcome before fiberglass can be completely replaced.

Since the overall effectiveness of both fiberglass and polyester casting tape is fairly similar from a patient’s standpoint, the next area to focus on is the benefits gained by the physician. There are very few characteristics which are based on the material of the tape. Instead, the big differences come in the form of quality. Some manufactures provide an elite product, both fiberglass and polyester, whereas some do not.

When comparing fiberglass and polyester casting tape across brands, there are several telling variables to focus on. The first is referred to as formation or the weight bearing timeframe. Quality casting should be able to bear weight within 20-30 minutes. The ease of application should also be considered. Utilizing water activated resin; physicians should be able to dictate how quickly the casting tape hardens. This not only provides control over the setting time, but also minimizes the patient’s discomfort.

Enhance Your Porch With Porch Columns

Nothing beats the look of porch columns on a house wherever you have them standing alone or built into the design of the porch. With the wide array of styles, you can choose from different columns rather than stick to the common and basic design. Four of the most beautiful column styles you can have for your porch are:

– Doric columns have parallel grooves on the sides and the tops are smooth and plain. You do not need to have a separate base with these columns, which makes then very easy to install. This style will give your porch the look of ancient Greece or the villas of Italy.
– Ionic columns have scroll-shaped ornamental designs in the top of the columns.
– Corinthian style columns are usually decorated with laurels and have inverted bell shapes at the top.
– The Romanesque style are square and usually rest on trapezoid-shaped bases.

There are many different styles of columns, as you will see when you search online or visit your local home improvement store. They can also be made from different materials, such as wood or fiberglass. You will not have as much maintenance with those made of fiberglass as you would with wood, but the wood is treated to resist mold, mildew, staining and fungi because they will be outdoors in all kinds of weather. The wood is also treated so that it will not shrink, swell or warp so that you have stability in the porch.

The main thing with installing wood columns on your porch is the installation itself. If you do not have the columns installed properly, you will encounter difficulties? Maybe not right away, but down the road. There are key features in installing a column that you should make sure you are aware of. These include: – If you have to saw off a portion of the column to get the proper height, make sure you treat the sawed end with a liberal paint of coat or primer before installation.

– You need to ventilate each column. You can do this by either drilling a hole in the soffit directly over the column or by placing a block of wood between the soffit and the column.
– Make sure that your sprinkler system does not spray water on the columns and you should not have shrubs planed too close to the columns either.
– Because all sides of the columns will be exposed to the elements of the weather, you should inspect them on a regular basis.

Aluminum columns are best for outdoor use. The extruded sections of the columns are designed to withstand high stress and compression. Since they are so light they are very easy to install. You do need to be very accurate in your measurements when you order these columns which come in heights ranging from 5 to 36 feet. You can also have many different designs in aluminum columns and even use them to support the joists of the second floor in a two-story home.

Why to Consider Waterproofing Your Basement

Those who own a home that has a subsoil basement needs to waterproof their basement. Why? Basements that are wet will spread moisture to all parts of the house causing it to trap in musty air that you will be living in. Naturally this is a condition that no one wants to live in or should have to.

When you waterproof your basement you are giving yourself a new investment for your home and making it a healthy place for you and your family to live in. Not to mention that when you go to sell the house this new and improve dry basement will add value to the home than when you first bought it.

Waterproofing your basement is not something that you can jump into lightly. It is a competitive business – which means that you will have extra choices available to you. Learn what is causing your foundation to leak and what you will need to do to repair it. Most certified waterproofing dealers will give out free wet basement inspections and will give an estimate on what it will take to fix it.

Those who live parts of the country that will receive heavy downpours will also need someone to waterproof their basements in order to stop leaks. Most dealers will be able to repair these basements professionally.

Over the many years contractors and engineers for basement waterproofing have created several ways to keep basements dry. One of the most common options it to use a concrete water proofer or the other more popular option to use crystalline basement waterproofing.

Other methods will use liquid membrane that is applied to the interior of the space or even a sheeting membrane that is connected to the exterior of the space. A qualified professional contractor will sit down with you and tell you all of the options available to you and the costs of waterproofing.

Be a Heavenly Soldier

Endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ-2 Tim. 2: 3.

The Lord's people are soldiers in that army of which Jesus is the Commander. Their warfare requires strong endurance because of the many hardships to which they are exposed. Self-denial must be persevered in amid their many privations. Their many deficits tax their endurance almost to false. Their faults call for endurance against discouragement, and the strenuousness of their trials and sufferings can be born only by a spirit that is inured to hardship and is sustained by the Lord.

Opposition is to be expected, and will, doubtless, continue until we finish our course in death. To submit patiently to this opposition is to sacrifice our own natural preferences for the friendship and the pleasures of the present life, and to end hardness as good soldiers for the Truth's sake, in whatever shape that hardness may come, in our effort to do the Lord's will and work of advancing the interests of His Kingdom. To be really in the Lord's service involves, first, the careful and continual study of God's Plan; second, the imbibing of its spirit; leading, thirdly, to an enthusiastic zeal for its accomplishment, and to activity to the extent of ability in its service, at whatever cost or sacrifice it may require.

Those in Christ Jesus are the consecrated. Their consecration makes them sacrificers for rightness amid a world wherein the advantages are on the side of unrighteousness, and the disadvantages are placed on the side of righeousness. Their course can not be contrary to one of persecution from those who selfishness seems antagonized by the course of the consecrated. So all the faithful will be persecuted, but be ye strong and a heavenly soldier of Christ and never to fall.

How Much Will LED Lighting Save in the Future?

It is widely known that LED light for the amount of illumination works at a much lower power setting than normal incandescent light bulbs, or neon lights. This is of supreme value if we are seriously concerned about preserving energy, and maintaining a smaller carbon footprint by using the latest technology. That's all right right? Sure it is, and it makes sense even if you are not an environmentalist, after all efficiency is paramount, that's always been my contention.

Recently, there was a very interesting article in Electronics Techzone News (Magazine) titled; "LED Adoption Could Save 120 Billion in the Next 20 Years," by Armando Roggio. In the article it quoted the Department of Energy or DOE as coming up with this figure. Now then, I hope you will go read this article so you can understand what we are talking about here, and come back to my article, because I've had a few things to say and some critiques to add .

Indeed, I have a problem with all this because LED efficiency has been missed-appropriately reported upon. LED lights actually probably use about twice as much energy per illumination as the manufacturers and scientific researchers had once proclaimed. Now, do not get me wrong they are still twice to two-thirds better than incandescent light bulbs, but that point needs to be made, and considered.

Further, I worry about the DOE making such claims about the actual energy costs overall, because I see the current Obama administration and other environmentalists, along with the EPA significantly raising prices of electrical energy due to the many mandates that have been put forth. The over regulation of coal, and the push to subsidizing alternative energy will raise the cost of electricity in the United States by two-thirds over the next decade.

Therefore, even though LED light adoption will reduce the amount of energy used, in the future the energy will cost so much more that no one will ever see that savings. Indeed, I am not one to roll over and promote alternative energy to the point of absurdity. The reality is we are building the next economic bubble, and what we are doing is not healthy to our economy. And so, one has to ask why we are following the global warming alarmists from the European Union into the economic abyss of a future bubble burst.

It is my contention that many folks in the United States have also figured out that they can make trillions of dollars trading air, in the form of energy credits much like Enron did which as you will recall caused their corporate collapse, and dug a hole in our own economy. Indeed I hope you will look at this from a philosophical level, rather than a global warming religious one. Think on this.

Additional References:

1. Futurist Magazine Article; "Emerging Industries Will Lead a Period of Unprecendented Global Economic Growth and Development," McKinley Conway also author of "The Biggest Boom Ever."

2. Wall Street Journal Article; "Let There Be Lightbulbs" editorial tagline; "The Perfect Symbol of the Pelosi Congress," October 2010.

Subcontract Assembly

There are many stages during the manufacture of a product: sourcing, parts manufacturing, etc. But for products complied with many different parts and components, the final stage (or penalty stage if to be tested before sale) is the assembly. Assembly lines are some of the most important procedures in the manufacturing industry, and some are so complex that only a few Subcontract Assembly Assembly has the space and means to tackle them.

Assembly lines were, in fact, not simply 'thought-up' or 'invented' by one individual, but rather evolved over the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A famous example of an assembly line is that of the Ford Model-T: considered to today the first full mass-production assembly line. Ford realized that to really produce a car (still a novel item at that time) they would have to be able to assemble them extremely quickly. So, instead assembling each car individually, they devised a huge assembly line: so that whilst one car was having the chassis bolted, another was having the glass installed, and another was having the wheels put on, while another was being painted etc. This paved the way for modern high-production assembly.

Assembly lines remain very similar today as they were in the time of Henry Ford. However, a new factor in assembly is the introduction of robots, commonly found in many large-scale production facilities across the globe. These are of an advantage to producers as they require less man-power, yet offer much higher precision and consistency, despite higher initial costs.

Entrepreneurs who require assembly services for a product should consult a subcontract assembly specialist. These have wide experiences in the field of assembly, and know how to squeeze maximum efficiency out of the assembly process for those on a tight budget. Please click below for more information on them.

Exactly What Are The Different Printmaking Techniques?

Printmaking is an art that has been created by transmitting an impression from one object right onto yet another two-dimensional surface area. Printmaking is among the oldest and most basic of artistic representations.

It began ever since the time of the ancient Chinese and from Dürer, artists have used and made techniques of recreating images on paper. These fine art print methods have grown as well as continued to evolve as time passes. Printmaking methods fall into 4 categories. 1) Relief – Woodcut, Linocut as well as some collographs; 2) Intaglio – Etching, Drypoint, Mezzotint as well as Aquatint; 3) Serigraphy – Silkscreen; 4) Planographic – Lithography.

Listed under "Traditional Printmaking", the following print types are classified as: Collagraph, Drypoint, Etching, Lino, Lithograph, Monotype, Silk Screen, Woodblock.

Collagraph – is actually a print obtained from a collection of materials that have been glued or adhered to a supporting surface. They can be basic or very rich in texture. A few might likewise classify prints done with a combination of print types as being a collagraph. These mixture prints can at times be categorized as monotype as well.

Drypoint – Both this and etching could come under a more expansive heading of intaglio printmaking. Intaglio prints all have the graphic being printed below the surface of the plate. With drypoint, the lines as well as tones will be hand-scratched right into the surface area of ​​the plate with the lines as well as burr holding the ink. In most cases, the traditional surface to do this on will be metal. Zinc as well as copper happened to be two of the most frequent metals utilized.

Engraving as well as mezzotint can likewise be included in this classification probably since they both of them are dry methods. Engraving is crispier and cleaner than drypoint. Mezzotint requires the whole surface of the plate having a fine even texture put into it. The artist then scrapes and burns the surface to make varying degrees of smooth surface areas which will lead to finer shades when printed.

Etching – Yet another print type whichought to be under the leader heading of intaglio printmaking. Acid as well as acid resistant grounds are used to create the graphic on the plate for this printingmaking technique.

Lino – These are relief prints achieved from a plate which has had the image cut or gouged into it and then the elevated surface area is inked with the cut image being the white or lighter regions of the print.

Lithograph – this print form is based upon the concept that grease as well as water do not mix. The graphic is produced with materials which have an affinity to oil. Special litho pens, crayons, wax crayons as well as liquid tusche are some of the things that could have been utilized to produce the oily graphic on the surface. The stone or metal with the graphic on it is then sponged down as well as inked. The ink sticks to the greasy graphic and is repelled by the damp areas with no image in it. The print is then taken.

Silk Screen – This makes use of stencils of a single form or yet another with a screen in which the ink is forced through the stencil to show the image on the printed surface. Stencils could be cut or created with emulsions.

Woodblock – As with lino prints, these are typically created with lines being cut or gouged out of the surface. These mark creates the white or light parts once the plate is inked on the raised surface and then printed. Reduction prints are a procedure where multiple layers are printed on top of one another with more cutting into the surface occurring between registrations.

Stair Parts – The Building Blocks of a Good Stairway

For anyone who grew up in a house with at least two levels, a simple slide in the stairway handrail has always proved to be a childhood joy. For most who are planning to build their own houses, they are always considering to put in a magnificent staircase that is (definitely not only for their children to enjoy sliding unto) for aesthetic and practical reasons.

A common feature of a house is with a staircase landing directly in front of the main door of the house, making it one of the first things a visitor (whether a relative, friend, or just a pesky neighbor checking to see if your house is better) will see. Generally, stairs are made by the same people who made the house (the carpenters), but, on the testament of how important it is, not a few would hire additional help from experts such as specific stair makers or craftsmen, sometimes even woodworkers for intricately designed wooden stairs.

The parts of a staircase may be divided chiefly into two main stair parts: the steps and the railing system. How these two stair parts look and designed says much about the general look of the entire staircase. Depending on the rest of your house of course, stair parts may be made of marble, stone, cement, wood, and steel, among others. The type of materials used for the stair parts may be the same or even mixed. One can use wood for the steps while using steel railing system, as an example.

Whether a stair is going to be straight, curved, or even spiral will be up to the owner, and of course, depending on the general plan of the house. Different kinds of stair parts may be more preferable depending on the type of stairs, for example, it may be easier to use steel, which can easily be molded, for spiral stairs than wood or even stone.

Lastly, a staircase’s main function is to serve as a path for the household members to go from one level of the house to the other, either by ascending or descending. So aside from addressing this primary function, it is important that a stair will be designed to be safe for use. Whether the steps are too narrow or too wide, or the handrails too high or too low will play a crucial role when it comes to the safety of its users. With that, the stair parts are also essential because aside from the work and the design themselves, the stability and durability of the stair parts used are essential to avoid future accidents in the stairway.

Indeed, a good house should have a good stairway, which of course, requires good and sturdy stair parts.

Stair Lighting Problems

Walking up and down the stairs in the dark could become a safety issue. If the stairs in the house are not that old, there should be a light switch at the top and a light switch at the bottom of the stairway. This is a three way switch and is designed to allow you to turn the stair lighting on as you walk up the stairs and then turn the stair lighting off, once you've safely reached the top of the stairway. And vice versa as she walked down the stairs.

If you do not have a light switch, there are motion sensor lights that are battery operated and can be installed easily in the stairway. These lights can provide you with peace of mind, while protecting your family from accidents.

Stairway accidents are nothing to joke about, I lived in a two-story house with four other people and was the last one to fall down the stairway. None of us got seriously injured and the stairway was built to meet local building codes and was inspected by a building and safety inspector. The stairs were built correctly and the stair lighting was no problem, but people still fell down the stairway and it always happens in the evening.

During the day time there were two windows that let plenty of light into the stairway and in the evening the stairway became quite dark, rarely the stair lighting ever turned on. This could have been outright laziness but soon, it was rarely used and eventually became a safety issue.

Lighting your stairway might not end all of your problems but it can and some of your problems. There are plenty of stair lighting systems available on the market today and some of the battery operated stair lighting systems can be installed by most homeowners.

Think safety always and do your best to solve your stair lighting problems as soon as possible to prevent injuries or accidents.

Scaffolding Towers Review: The Folding Trade Tower

In many industrial, trade and DIY applications, scaffolding towers are preferred to ladders. These structures provide safe platforms when workers must work at height for extended periods. To ensure safety, scaffold towers must be properly assembled and inspected. For a scaffold tower to be truly safe, the capacity, bracing, pinning and components always must be in good order. One type of tower that's especially popular is the folding trade tower, because it's easy to erect, as well as being quite versatile. Here's some information about this scaffold tower, along with some tips for working safely.

Scaffolding Towers: About the Folding Trade Tower

Safety is the paramount concern when working on scaffolding towers. They should receive regular maintenance and safety inspections, and should always be used in strict accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations. Scaffold towers should not be used outdoors in bad weather. If the tower is damaged in any way, it should be taken out of service until repaired. The folding trade tower is made from strong steel tubing, and each platform will support a maximum working load of 275kg. Remember, that the maximum load includes the weight of the platform, the worker (s), as well as any tools or materials being used. The base of this tower can be used entirely on its own, or increased with up to 3 additional sections that allow for 7 extra platform heights.

Scaffolding Towers: Key Features of the Folding Trade Tower

A good rule to follow when assessing the capacity of scaffold towers is that a tower must be able to support its own weight, along with at least 4 times its maximum load specification. The folding trade tower is fully compliant with the important BS1139 (Part 3) 1994 and HD1004 standards. This means that it has passed a set of rigorous tests and is deemed safe. The folding trade tower is quick and easy to erect, which allows workers to concentrate on the job, not on the tower. Disassembled, it forms a compact package that fits easily into an estate car or small van. The tower's components feature quick release clips on all bracing, and color coding, so it's very easy to erect correctly.

Scaffolding Towers: More Features of the Folding Trade Tower

The basic components of the tower are a base unit, a hatch deck, horizontal braces, a 4-piece toe board set, and 4 standard locking castors. Guard rails and additional bracing are available as add-on options. When assembling the tower, never compromise its structural integrity by using makeshift components or components from different manufacturers. Scaffold towers like the folding trade tower have many advantages, but the main one is that it's an independent structure that can be moved and repositioned as the work requires. Unlike conventional scaffolding that must be disassembled, moved, and then reassembled, a scaffold tower needs simply to be pushed to a new location.

Scaffolding towers are a safer, more versatile alternative for many types of trade, industrial and DIY applications.

Laminate Flooring Part 10 – Trimming Jams

Dealing with Door Jams when laying laminate flooring

What do you do when you come to a door jam? Jams usually go down nearly to the subfloor.

Two options for door jams

You have two options. One is ugly, at best, and the other is tedious. You could try to cut around the jam and try to make a fairly tight fit. You probably will not succeed in doing this.

Expansion of the wood

You actually need to leave a little gap around the jam to allow for expansion of the wood. This gap also allows for looking ugly and for debris to fall into the crack. The other option (this I is preferred by me) is to lay a scrap piece of laminate flat, near the jam Then take a cut off saw and, using the laminate as a guide for the proper height, rest the saw on the scrap piece and trim off the bottom of the jam I think this is a much better solution and allows you to cut the jam straight, and gives you a heavy 1/16 of an inch between the jam and the laminate (depending on saw kerf).

The laminate moves freely under the jam

This will allow the laminate to move freely under the jam When you actually put your piece under there, make sure it is still about 1/4 of an inch away from the actual wall that is behind the jam This way, as the floor expands and contracts, it will always appear the same, no gap between the jam and the flooring.

Wood Finishing and Painting

Changes in the art of wood-finishing has come about through the rapid progress in the development of quick-drying, very permanent, nitrocellulose lacquers which are new finishes derived from the realm of magic and mystery. Present-day lacquers contain varnish-gums in addition to nitrocellulose, and dry so quickly that they are practically dust-proof; yet they set slowly enough so that they can be applied with little training by use of either a brush or a spray-gun.

The student wood-finisher in the school, the arts and crafts painter in the home who wishes to refinish old furniture, door toppers, or woodwork, and the professional painter will all find new and helpful hints and practical information about lacquer and its use .

While it is true that the emphasis has been placed on new materials and processes, mention should have made the fact that the entire field of wood-finishing, including wood-filling, shellacking, and enameling has changed.

Many microscopic studies have been made of the reaction of various finishes, especially wood-fillers, in the pores of several kinds of wood. Many technical difficulties were encountered in attempts to prepare photomicrographs of wood filler in the pores of wood, but soonless some interesting information was secured.

Some new and very valuable paint-pigments, such as lithophone, titanox, and "extenders," such as asbestine, are now used rather extensively in the paint trade since they were developed. For many purposes these new materials can be used to advantage. The person who applies paint at the present time has a wide field to choose from in selecting pigments, extenders, colors, drying-oils, and thinners, and needs information about these materials.

Another very fundamental characteristic of wood-finishing is that it is treated as a science as well as an art. It is for this reason that a rich background of related science is given in connection with the descriptions of the materials and the methods of using them.

The chemical formulas of the substances described are usually given, and some of the chemical and physical reactions of the materials are pointed out for the benefit of the amateur, the apprentice, or the master painter who may lack a thorough scientific background for his trade.

Experts gather information about wood finishing with meticulous care through visits to some of the best paint, varnish, and lacquer factories in the United States in order to obtain up-to-date, reliable information. A very careful study has also been made of the writings of scientists on this subject, on everything from finishing wooden bar rails to wood fireplace inserts.

In the industrial-arts departments of schools, wood-finishing and painting have often been taught in connection with woodworking, but at present there is a strong tendency towards the establishment of separate courses in which the informational aspect of wood-finishing and painting can receive proper attention.

The industrial-arts departments of 30 years ago gave little attention to wood-finishing, and attempts were made to finish articles in dusty woodworking shops; now separate rooms, after the universal practice of industry, will be found in all schools where serious work in wood-finishing is done.

The science and art of wood-finishing can be more clearly understood through a study of wood as a material. There is a book entitled "Wood and Lumber" which can be used to advantage in schools when related information and a scientific background are desired in order to give a more intellectual trend to shop work which may be too large manual or manipulative to be educational and vocational in the best sense.