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JACUZZI, BY MIKE FOURNIER, TULSA

Between work and family, all of us live busy lives. So after a long day, most  of us just want to come home and relax. But then there's dinner, the kid's  homework, baths and bedtime, and by the time you have a moment to yourself  you're too exhausted to enjoy it. The last person on...


CUTTING CONCRETE

It makes sense that because concrete is one of the most durable building materials, it is also one of the most difficult to remove. Diamond-coated saw blades need to be used to provide cleaner and safer concrete cutting. The point to note about diamond-coated blades is not that they are expensive (and they are), but they can help you understand just how dangerous concrete cutting can be. Many of us remember from school that the only thing that can cut a diamond is another diamond. Concrete cutting through walls often involves cutting through steel rebar as well. Sparks will fly. This is not your cabinet resurfacing home improvement project.


BRICK

Brick siding is one of the most tried and true siding methods available to homeowners. You can't beat it on looks or longevity; it's an excellent insulator; and it adds structural integrity and toughness to any home. Finally, for those who want a brick home on a budget, there are a number of new "thin brick" veneers available on the market that mimic real brick but come without the high installation costs of true brick construction.


DRY STACK STONE

Take a long drive through the countryside on a fall day. Beneath the colorful, swirling leaves, you will see solid stone buildings and farm walls that date back to more than one hundred years ago. Most of these were built by hand, using a simple, but sturdy, method of construction called dry stack.


EXPOSED BRICK: TRENDING NOW

Exposed brick is an interior design element that has captured the likes of urbanites for years. But now it's finding its way from the inner city lights and into the suburbs and rural areas across the country. Brick was commonly used in the mid-20th century because of its relatively cheap construction costs and now that these aging buildings are due for renovations and repairs, many business owners and homeowners alike are deciding to go with exposed brick for their interior walls.


HOME SECURITY

Home security systems are only as strong as their weakest link, and if you set up equipment that's too complicated for household members to use, they are likely to ignore the equipment or work around it. Remember that the people in your home are part of any security arrangements you make, so you have to be realistic about how much hassle they are willing to accept in the name of security.


AVOID HOME REPAIR RIP-OFFS

Here are the answers to some of the most common concerns consumers have on home repair rip-offs:


AWNINGS, BY MIKE FOURNIER, TULSA

There are lots of ways we protect ourselves from the sun, wind, and rain. We wear sunglasses to save our eyes, hats to safeguard our heads, and visors to shield our face. So why would we expect less for our house, the ultimate example of shelter from the storm. But even our house sometimes needs a little sheltering when it comes to the weather. Outside surfaces get damaged, faded, or sustain heat buildup due to unnecessary exposure to the elements, and these problems eventually spread to the homeowner as well. So to protect certain open areas of the exterior, you may want to invest in an awning to act as a screen against the climate.


POURING NEW CONCRETE OVER OLD

Concrete is one of the most popular construction materials in the nation. It is strong, durable, and versatile enough to be used in many applications. Additionally, poured concrete can be made to have many different appearances, making it suitable for everything from sidewalks and roads, to living room floors. One of the benefits of pouring concrete is that it can take whatever shape you want it to form. This makes it a perfect material for creating a flat, solid surface in almost any situationĂ¢€"even when poured over itself!


CEMENT VS. CONCRETE

Technically, cement is the major ingredient (along with sand, gravel, water, and other possible additives) used to make concrete mix. So when you refer to the finished product, "concrete" is the proper term, though people often say "cement" to mean the same thing. Different types of cement mixes are used to form different types of concrete, which can be used in different construction applications.

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