REINews: Build a A/C Cage to Prevent Theft

Real Estate Investing News has an article on how to prevent Air Conditioner theft by building a rebar metal cage around it: “How to build a cage for your Air Conditioner (A/C) to prevent stealing for $90 or less. An A/C condensor on a Houston, Texas foreclosure I bought had been stolen long before I bought it. The idea of putting a brand-new 13 SEER unit into a neighborhood known for A/C theft was not attractive. I am told that the scrap metal dealers are doing thumbprint, photograph and 3 day waiting period now before paying for copper. The A/C cage will consist of 3 bars north/south and 3 bars east/west. See picture. This should provide more than adequate room to work on the unit and have un-restricted air-flow. The goal is to make the cage so the unit cannot be removed from the cage without destroying it…”

NYDN: Green Home Remodeling?

NY Daily News has an article on green home remodeling: ‘…Last fall, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry launched a green remodeling educational program toencourage contractors nationwide to incorporate cost-saving and Earth-sustaining green concepts into their clients’ homes. It focuses on indoor air quality, energy conservation, resource conservation, reduced material waste and the useof products that are better for the environment. One of the key ideas is energy conservation. According to the federal Energy Department, residential and commercial buildings would use $20 billion less energy a year if they were more energy-efficient. As a result, green remodeling putsa strong emphasis on modifications such as energy-efficient appliances and thermostats that can be programmed at different temperatures for different times of the day…’

Bathroom Remodeling: Closet to Castles

The average person visits the bathroom about 6-8 times a day, making it an average of 2,500 times a year. That adds up to about 3 years of your life on the john. If we factor in how much the average person spends in the shower or bath, taking into account here that we live in a hyper clean society, we have to tack on a couple more years. At least. And then think about everything else you do in there, from bathing your kids to getting ready for a night out. That�s a lot of time in that small space we call the bathroom. It�s no wonder then, that remodeling trends for bathrooms have been doing flips and turns faster than the water going down in your toilet. And more spectacularly, too.

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PR: New Moulding Installation System Saves Time

Who says installing crown moulding can’t be easy? Focal Point’s newest innovation, the Quick Clips moulding installation system is perfect for people interested in ground-breaking new products that save time and add value to a home. The Quick Clips system will revolutionize crown moulding installation and allow professionals (or DIY homeowners) to create elegance in a snap.

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Copper Pipe Adhesive

Here is an interesting product from the Superglue people: an adhesive for copper pipe that does not require soldering. From my previous copper pipe sweating experience, this may be the product for me! From the website: ‘Repair Copper Pipes without solder! Do you have some leaks in your copper pipes after the harsh winter? This unique product will fix you up in less than 20 minutes. Safe and easy to use Copper-Bond is UL listed for joining copper tube used in fire sprinkler systems and and NSF approved for hot and cold water systems.’

Rice Hull Insulation

Here is a paper on rice hull insulating: ‘The rice hulls are unique within nature. They contain approximately 20% opaline silica in combination with a large amount of the phenyl propanoid structural polymer called lignin. This abundant agricultural waste has all of the properties one could ever expect of some of the best insulating materials. Recent ASTM testing conducted R&D Services of Cookville, Tennessee, reveals that rice hulls do not flame or smolder very easily, they are highly resistant to moisture penetration and fungal decomposition, they do not transfer heat very well, they do not smell or emit gases, and they are not corrosive with respect to aluminum, copper or steel. In their raw and unprocessed state, rice hulls constitute a Class A or Class I insulation material, and therefore, they can be used very economically to insulate the wall, floor and roof cavities of a super-insulated Rice Hull House…’ Thanks to Tony Adrian for this link.

Garage Straightening 101

Here is a well illustrated article on straightening a leaning garage with a come-along (winch). I’ve used this technique on a garage with a much greater lean than this one with success. Other mounting methods such as a U-bolt and mounting the winch on the inside of the garage may be easier: ‘…a parallelogram can be forced back into a rectangle, if one diagonal (the longest diagonal) is pulled together. Also, the shorter diagonal could be pushed apart. Which method is chosen depends on the tools at hand. I happened to own a pair of 2 Ton cable winches (also called a “come-along”) as well as 6 Ton and 12 Ton hydraulic bottle jacks. I chose the weakest of my tools for the first attempt…’ Do this at your own risk, but it worked well for me.

Discover: Robotic House Builder

Discover magazine has an article on a ‘Whole-House Machine’ which can build mortal walls among other things. Overrated? Maybe. Interesting? Definitely: …In a sunny laboratory at the University of Southern California, a robotically controlled nozzle squeezes a ribbon of concrete onto a wooden plank. Every two minutes and 14 seconds, the nozzle completes a circuit, topping the previous ribbon with a fresh one. Thus a five-foot-long wall rises�a wall built without human intervention.

The wall is humble but portentous. �If you can build a wall, you can build a house,�…