House Foundations – The Pros & Cons of 3 Different Types

House foundationsWhen you’re building a house you start from the ground up, with the foundations. There are 3 types of foundations to choose from. You choices depend on the type of home you are building and where you’re building it. A proper foundation does more than just hold a house up. It keeps out moisture, insulates against cold weather and resists movement of the earth around it. One more thing: It should last forever.

House foundations

When you’re building a new home, consult with your builder and other design professionals to see what kind of foundations for a house are suitable for your particular needs. A mix of slabs, basements and crawlspaces are common in New Zealand. But slabs becoming more and more popular over recent years. In wet and coastal areas such as the Waitakere Ranges, it’s not uncommon to build houses up on posts. (more…)

Posted In: Auckland, Foundation Specialists, Gore, Hamilton, Mackenzie, Manukau, Porirua, Rangitikei, Renovation Specialists, Resource Management, Rodney, Waikato, Waipa, Western BOP, Whakatane

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summer garden maintenance

It’s sad but true: a beautiful garden doesn’t stay looking fabulous without some summer garden maintenance. Thankfully most of the garden tasks are quickly and easily done, especially if you hire a tradie to do them for you! We’ve put together a list of five of the most common summer garden maintenance tasks for you to schedule these warmer months. (more…)

Posted In: Banks Peninsula, Gardeners & Lawn Mowing

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outdoor surfacesStreet appeal makes a home feel welcoming when you return from a hard day at work, but is also important when you’re renting out or selling your home. Outdoor surfaces like paths, pool surrounds, decks, patios and courtyards should look great and be durable and practical to maintain.

Combine your outdoor surfaces with softscape elements like water features, shrubs and flowers to connect your garden with your indoor-outdoor living areas.

Untidy, weed-filled driveways, paths and patios have the potential to knock thousands off the sale of your home, so resurfacing your outdoor surfaces might just end up paying for itself! Get a free quote from Builderscrack today. If you’re making your house more appealing for your own pleasure rather than selling, then it’s worth having a look at materials for outdoor surfaces that will last long-term and be low maintenance. (more…)

Posted In: Concrete Layers, Hastings, Hauraki, Hauraki Islands, Horowhenua, Landscapers, Paving Contractors

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If you’ve not made a list of driveway ideas, relax. The driveway is often overlooked as a functional slab of concrete or asphalt tasked with transporting your car from the street to the garage. But first impressions count and the exterior of your home is what people initially notice when visiting.

driveway ideas

With imagination and the use of the right materials, you could have an interesting driveway for a great price. Pinterest is a great place to start when making a list of driveway ideas. Pinning your favourite shapes, colours and materials to a board keeps everything in one place.

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Posted In: Bricklayers, Builders, Concrete Layers, Fiordland, Franklin, Matamata-Piako, Napier, Paving Contractors

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paving contractorA paving contractor is a company that constructs paved surfaces such as roads, sidewalks, concrete floors.

Many paving companies specialize in either residential or commercial work, though some may perform both types depending on the scope of the project and the equipment required.

When hiring a paving contractor they will first must meet with homeowners and provide estimates to secure new projects. He may be hired to lay a new driveway, patio or concrete floor, or to repair structures such as steps or walkways. Some companies may focus on landscape paving, including both installing poured surfaces and laying stone products such as pavers or outdoor tiles.

paving contractorMost paving work is performed using large pieces of equipment. A paving contractor may use a paving machine to smooth out a freshly laid road surface, or an excavator to prepare the earth for paving.

Large tamping machines help to flatten out dirt or gravel surfaces, and concrete trucks keep concrete and other paving materials mixed and ready to pour.

The paving also may use a dump truck or tractor to haul stones, gravel or asphalt, or to carry away excess dirt and waste products.

The services of a paving contractor include:

  • Laying driveways
  • Laying pats
  • Paving patios
  • Paving driveways
  • Paving paths
  • Washing paving
  • Paving courtyards
  • Driveway repair
  • Driveway maintenance
  • Resurfacing
  • Paving pools
  • Paving porches
  • Paving kitchens
  • Paving bathrooms
  • Paving garages

Posted In: Paving Contractors, Western BOP, Westland, Whakatane

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excavatorAn excavator is a tradesperson who specializes in the excavation and movement of dirt, digging and filling holes, creating holes and some landscaping.

Their work involves large-scale mechanical equipment, Backhoes, excavators and diggers are used to remove large quantities of dirt from the ground surface in a relatively short period. Upright tools, such as shovels and spades, pickaxes or mattocks, coal scoops and bucket augers are used in excavation to breakup soil and remove loose dirt fill and debris.

Earthworks are engineering projects involving soil and rock.  Earth is cheap and in plentiful supply but it can be hard to handle in large volumes. Certain properties of soils can pose problems, but these can be overcome when constructing earthworks. An earthworks professional will dig, scrape move soil to alter the landscape.  They can also compact and pact soil, bring out its clay like attributes.

During property construction, earthworks involves making retaining walls, foundations or other structures which are sometimes backed with rock.  Earthworks also includes making canals, altering rivers and roads.

Landscape Architects and Gardeners also make use of earthworks by shaping the earth to make gardens visually appealing or more practical to use.

The services of an excavator include:

  • Excavating
  • Digging holes
  • Filling holes
  • Demolition
  • Moving land & dirt
  • Retaining walls
  • Landscaping

Hire an earthworks & excavation specialist

Posted In: Auckland, Excavators, Grey, Hamilton, Kaipara, Kapiti Coast, Piling & Foundations

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bricklayersA bricklayers job is to maintain and create a variety of structures using blocks and tiles. These may include chimneys, walkways, foundations and walls. A bricklayer will often work as part of a team of construction workers or alone on commercial, industrial or residential properties.

Traditionally bricklayers would work with bricks and concrete cinder blocks, however as technology has advanced they’re now working with a wider range of construction materials including marble and terracotta blocks, structural tiles, glass blocks or gypsum.  Mortar is most commonly used as a binder and has been used for centuries.

A bricklayer may be supervised by a general or masonry contractor, and will start their job by measuring and marking out the area in which construction is to take place. Then they’ll work out what materials are needed, including the type of construction material, mortar and tools.

Laying bricks is a skill that takes many years to perfect. The between the blocks which is secured by mortar is one that must be consistent to make it stable as well as being visually appealing.  It’s important for the mortar to have the right viscosity to make the layers of bricks stick together correctly.  There must also be the right amount of moisture to stop it from getting too thick to work with.  If the consistency isn’t right, the structure may collapse if exposed to environmental elements or weight.

A bricklayer must also be able to ensure that the bricks or blocks are uniform in shape.  Factory produced materials are already pretty uniform on all sides, but recycled bricks, often used for historical reasons often will vary in shape. A bricklayer may use a brick cutter, trowel and/or chisel to shape the bricks to match each other.

Throughout the project, a bricklayer will finish each layer of their work by smoothing the mortar with the pointed tip of their trowel. This task might be performed using copper tubing to create a glassy finish on the connecting mortar layers.  Left over brick chips and left over mortar must be removed from the surface before it’s complete.

There are many different bonds, or patterns, in which the bricks can be laid. Common bonds include; Flemish, Monk, Stretcher, English, American, Garden wall, and Rat-trap bond.

A Bricklayers work involves the following tools:

  • Brick trowel
  • Pointing trowel
  • Spirit level
  • Boat level
  • Line and pins
  • Tingle plate
  • Corner blocks
  • Hawk, Chisel & Hammer
  • Jointing tools
  • Tape measures

Hire Bricklayers via Builderscrack.

Posted In: Auckland, Bricklayers, Central Otago, Christchurch

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