Mahogany's Beauty and Durability Makes it Ideal for Deck Construction

Written by Mark Donovan

A couple of years ago I hadrepparttar chance to tour several newly constructed Adirondack homes. One ofrepparttar 100006 areas that particularly stood out for me while touring these homes wererepparttar 100007 decks. All used Mahogany lumber for bothrepparttar 100008 decking andrepparttar 100009 railing systems. The red color andrepparttar 100010 general beauty ofrepparttar 100011 Mahogany wood was unique to anything I had ever seen before in decking material.

After completing my home tours I went out and researched Mahogany further. First, there are several species and colors of Mahogany, supplied by various countries aroundrepparttar 100012 world. Not all arerepparttar 100013 same, however. It isrepparttar 100014 species known as American Mahogany that hasrepparttar 100015 rich red color that I had observed. American Mahogany comes fromrepparttar 100016 West Indies, Mexico, and Central and South America. It is generally viewed as a harder wood that is extremely durable and resistance to moisture and insects. Also, because it is a hard wood it has a tendancy to not split, twist or check. So be sure to ask aboutrepparttar 100017 species, prior to buying Mahogany. Note however, Mahogany is a little more expensive than pressure treated decking and railing systems, however it is well worth it in terms of quality, looks and durabilty.

Since discovering and researching Mahogany, I have built two deck systems using this material. As I had indicated earlier, it is a hard material that as a result, requires a little more effort in its installation.

Fasteningrepparttar 100018 Material

First, use stainless steel nails or screws on bothrepparttar 100019 decking and railing systems, as other types will not penetrate this material very well. My preference wasrepparttar 100020 stainless steel nails, however pre-drilling holes is mandatory if not using a nail gun. Even with stainless steel nails, they will bend trying to simply nail them intorepparttar 100021 wood. I found that withrepparttar 100022 stainless steel hex head screws that they chewedrepparttar 100023 wood going in and left somewhat of a ragged finish onrepparttar 100024 surface ofrepparttar 100025 wood.

Building Your Dream Home

Written by Mark Donovan

For most of my adult life I had thought about someday building my Dream Home. Several years ago I finally gotrepparttar chance. I had purchased a lake front lot with a small cottage on it. My initial intention was to userepparttar 100005 property “as is”, and someday razerepparttar 100006 old cottage and build a new home in its place. After a couple of weekends inrepparttar 100007 musty old camp I came torepparttar 100008 conclusion that I needed to speed up my timetable.

Part ofrepparttar 100009 dream in building my own home was to act asrepparttar 100010 General Contractor and to personally supply a great deal of sweat equity. I accomplished both of these goals, however it was not easy. There were many roadblocks and bends inrepparttar 100011 road alongrepparttar 100012 way. Inrepparttar 100013 subsequent parts of this chronology, I will review my experiences in hopes that others may gain from my experiences.

Determiningrepparttar 100014 Home Style and Size

After makingrepparttar 100015 decision to razerepparttar 100016 cottage and build a new home, I had to first determine what type and size of home to build. My lot was limited in size and required careful planning to ensure that I would meet all ofrepparttar 100017 setbacks governed byrepparttar 100018 town I lived in. Although I had these concerns, I decided to forgorepparttar 100019 Architect route. I deemed it too expensive and probably not necessary forrepparttar 100020 style of home I wanted to build. Instead I picked up a handful of Home Plan magazines and surfedrepparttar 100021 internet for home designs. I also picked up an inexpensive software package for designing homes and floorplans. After a week of reviewing home plans, I found one that met most of my requirements in terms of a floorplan. The footprint was smaller than I wanted, but I concluded that I could redrawrepparttar 100022 floor plan accordingly using my newly purchased Home Design Software Package.

The Home Design Software package was not as simple to use asrepparttar 100023 instruction manual implied, however after a couple of weeks I had a floorplan with allrepparttar 100024 dimensional information.

Assumingrepparttar 100025 role asrepparttar 100026 General Contractor

As I had indicated earlier, one of my goals was to assumerepparttar 100027 role as General Contractor on this project. I quickly learned that banks frown upon lending construction mortgages to everyday homeowners and to folks who have little professional building experience. I got around this issue by deciding not to userepparttar 100028 banks for financing. However, from what I learned later, it may have been possible for me to assume a construction mortgage if I had quit my day job and applied forrepparttar 100029 loan as a “full time General Contractor”. Indeed, I would have needed to complete a full proposal torepparttar 100030 bank with all costs and subcontractors identified, but this is necessary anyways.

Asrepparttar 100031 General Contractor I developed a build schedule and task list. Some ofrepparttar 100032 top items included: Identifying subcontractors, pulling permits, and having a septic design approved.

Carefully Pick your Sub-Contractors

Identifyingrepparttar 100033 right subcontractors isrepparttar 100034 most important task a General Contractor performs. Poor selection of subcontractors can lead to delays in schedules, cost overruns, poor workmanship and strife betweenrepparttar 100035 various subcontractors onrepparttar 100036 job. Prior to hiring subcontractors, it is important to visit their current jobsites. Review their work on existing jobsites and mingle withrepparttar 100037 other subs to judgerepparttar 100038 working relationship. In addition get two or three reference checks onrepparttar 100039 subcontractors. If there are poor workmanship, personality issues, or references move on. Do not settle for second rate subs, even if it means slipping your schedule or costs goals, as you will more than likely suffer even larger schedule slips or higher costs by hiringrepparttar 100040 wrong people.

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