What’s the Difference: Primers
Learn what the difference is between latex, oil-based and shellac-based primers and how to choose the right one for the job.
For most paint jobs, both inside and outside the house, latex paint is preferred. Latex emits fewer odors and VOCs than oil-based paint, and it cleans up much more easily. In one area, however, oil-based products still hold their own over latex: primers. With interior applications and exterior spot-priming, there’s another option: shellac-based primers. All three primers can be used under latex topcoats. Choose a primer based on the condition of the substrate to be primed and its location. Before you open the can, though, be sure to prep the surface you’ll be priming. No primer will perform its best if the surface hasn’t been thoroughly scraped, sanded, or otherwise readied for painting. Continue reading
Windows come in a number of different frame and glazing types. By combining an energy-efficient frame choice with a glazing type tailored to your climate and application, you can customize each of your home’s windows.
Types of Window Frames
Improving the thermal resistance of the frame can contribute to a window’s overall energy efficiency, particularly its U-factor. Continue reading
When planning a home remodeling or new construction project, one of the first things homeowners usually want to know is how much the work will cost. While costing is squarely in the domain of the contractor and decidedly not within the realm of the architect, explaning how contractors structure the means of costing is part of the job of the architect in educating the client as to the available approaches, and quite often advising which might be the most appropriate for their particular project. Continue reading
Picking the right siding for your house is a delicate balancing act between good looks, durability, maintenance, and affordability. With wood, vinyl, stone, brick, or stucco, you might get only two or three of these. But with fiber cement, a resilient mix of wood pulp and portland cement, you get all four. It’s the only siding that combines the performance of masonry—minimal upkeep; rot-, fire-, and termite-proof; unaffected by wind or cold—with the look of painted wood clapboards, shingles, even stone or brick. Yet fiber cement goes for just a fraction of the cost of these other materials. No wonder nearly 15 percent of new homes—and many TOH TV projects—are clad with the stuff.
All this has happened in just 25 years, since fiber cement was first introduced. Now architects regularly specify the siding because it holds down costs without compromising aesthetics. It’s even accepted for use in many historic districts. Continue reading
The subject of choosing windows can cause trepidation for many homeowners. It’s understandable given the relative complexity, importance and cost that windows represent. But don’t panic. The path to overcoming any apprehension you might have about choosing new windows involves some education, broken down into manageable chunks. Once you understand the important parts of any window-buying decision you’ll be able to make informed decisions and good choices. Continue reading
Controlling construction costs is among the most important things an owner can do in order to realize a successful project. The best resource available to the owner in managing the cost of construction is the general contractor. Construction cost projections presented by the contractor generally include: Continue reading
Tenant improvements (TI) turn commercial spaces into places where businesses can thrive. These design and construction projects can vary in scope—from building out previously unused square footage to completely gutting and remodeling a space for a new use. The prospect of creating the perfect space for a business is often exciting but can also be overwhelming, especially for those business owners who haven’t previously gone through the commercial design and construction process. Continue reading