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Garden Sheds – More Than Just Storage

Garden Sheds – More Than Just Storage
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You may already have a garage or a shed in your garden or backyard and its possible that you haven’t even considered the prospect of adding a garden shed at all. Any garden implements could easily be stored in the garage or utility area. However, a garden shed (http://www.sheds.gb.com/GardenSheds.html) is so much more than just an every day storage area, as it can have a character all of its own. It can serve many purposes other than practical ones.

A garden shed can be used as a place to plan and plot your garden’s development or just as a place of sanctuary and contemplation. A garden shed can also be used to add depth and character to a garden or even as the focal point with the garden designed to complement the shed. For the uninitiated a garden shed is just another shed. However, there are many different styles, which can add their own individual charm and character to your garden.

The first thing you have to do before adding a shed is to obviously decide its location. The location of the shed will help determine the size and style of the shed. You need to consider many different things such as ease of access, how the shed will look in the chosen area, security, practicality and so on. When the location has been decided and the size of the shed determined then the next thing to so is lay the base. You can use a layer of gravel or build a concrete base. Whatever the base though, it should be level. Do not contemplate adding a shed straight onto the grass. While this may seem obvious people will do it ! It is important that the wooden shed should not be contact with the ground to avoid the wood rotting. Another alternative is to lay the shed on timbers.

The type of shed is the important decision. The choices are simple metal, plastic or wooden sheds (http://www.sheds.gb.com/WoodenSheds.html). Whatever the structure in your garden these are the three basic materials used and the characteristics remain the same for each. Wood provides the classical look, plastic is cheaper and metal is stronger. At the end of day, if the shed is in general view then wood is the preferred solution. An ugly looking plastic or metal shed can ruin he look of a garden.

Another important decision is whether to build the shed yourself or get a professional to do it. Although shed kits usually give you a substantial discount, they require much more time and energy. Some kits even require you to cut the timber to size before you can start building. Having said that the decision is relatively easy if your honest with yourself about your DIY capabilities.

Once, the shed is in place you need to give the wood some protection. While the materials will come with a gaurantee, you should still regularly add a protective coating. If you are putting together a kit, a good tip is to paint as much of the shed as possible before assembly, since it is much easier to paint some parts of the shed before assembly, rather than standing on a ladder to do it.

Unless you are getting a particularly large or unusual shed, it is unlikely you will need planning permission, but always check. You don’t want to be moving a full sized shed several feet, so you want to be sure you have it in the right place to begin with.

The typical garden sheds are either apex sheds> or pent sheds. These come in many sizes starting from 2 x 1 metres or 5 x 3 feet upwards. A good idea also is to use the sloping roofs to capture water, which is essential through long hot dry periods.

This article was posted on April 14, 2005



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Original Source: http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_583.shtml


Construction Types of Masonry Construction, Characteristics and Common Uses

Types of Masonry Construction, Characteristics And Common Uses

Virtually, all buildings incorporate some type of masonry construction, whether it is a stone or concrete foundation, brick veneer walls, or terra cotta ornamentation. Preservation of these buildings requires a basic understanding of masonry types and their characteristics, technology and construction methodology, proper maintenance and conservation treatments.

Masonry is generally a highly durable form of construction. However, the quality of material used, together with the quality of the mortar and workmanship can strongly affect the durability of the overall masonry construction. Masonry is commonly used for the walls of buildings, retaining walls and monuments. Brick is the most common type of masonry and may be either load bearing or a veneer. Concrete Masonry Units (CMU’s) are made from concrete and are larger than ordinary bricks. CMU walls can be reinforced by filling the block voids with concrete and steel reinforcing bars. Typically, not all voids are filled, but rather those at corners, wall ends, adjacent to window and door openings, which increase wall strength and stability. Placement of steel reinforcement generally results in a CMU walls having much greater lateral and tensile strength than unreinforced walls.

The earliest material to be used was stone. It can be obtained in two ways: from natural outcroppings or scattered deposits, and by the process of quarrying. Most early buildings were constructed of stone readily available near the building site. Early stonemasons also were aware that certain stone types had more “weatherability” – able to withstand the effects of weather better than others – and they utilized each type in accordance with its properties. Stones may be laid up in their natural form, or broken and squared, or shaped, for the proper fit with other stones in the wall.

Quarrying, the industrial process of extracting stone from the earth requires substantial effort and technology. In this process, stone is drilled, blasted, fractured or cut from the quarry face, and then shaped and finished for use in construction.

Concrete masonry units (block and concrete brick are available in sizes, shapes, colors, textures, and profiles for practically every conceivable need and convenience in masonry construction. In addition, concrete masonry units may be used to create attractive patterns and designs to produce an almost unlimited range of architectural treatments of wall surfaces. The following are some more prominent uses:

• Exterior load-bearing walls (below and above grade)

• Interior load-bearing or non load bearing walls

• Fire walls, party walls, curtain walls

• Partitions, panel walls, solar screens

• Backing for brick, stone, stucco, and other exterior facings

• Veneer or nonstructural facing for wood, concrete, or masonry

• Fire protection of structural steel members

• Firesafe enclosures of stairwells, elevator shafts, storage vaults, or fire hazardous work areas

• Piers, pilasters, columns

• Bond beams, lintels, sills

• Floor and roof systems

• Retaining walls, slope protection, ornamental garden walls, and highway sound barriers

• Chimneys and fireplaces

• Catch basins, manholes, valve vaults

• Paving and turf block

Solid brick masonry is made of two or more layers with the units running horizontally (called “stretcher” bricks) bound together with bricks running transverse to the wall (called “header” bricks). Each row of bricks is known as a course. The pattern of headers and stretchers employed gives to different bonds such as the common bond, with every sixth course composed of headers, the English bond, and the Flemish bond, with alternating stretcher and header bricks present on every course. There are no real significant utilitarian differences between most bonds, but the appearance of the finished walls is affected. Brickwork, like unreinforced concrete, has little tensile strength, and works by everything being kept in compression.

There are many brick laying patterns, the following are but a few:

Stack Bond The brick laying patterns described by this term are not structurally sound and are used only for decorative purposes. The stack bond is a run of stretchers with each stretcher stacked centered on the stretcher below it. All joints run vertically down the entire wall.

Running Bond brick laying patterns are a run of stretchers with each stretcher placed in the center of the stretcher below it. This pattern gives a reasonable amount of structural soundness.

English Bond is made up of alternating courses of stretchers and headers. This is the strongest bond for a one-brick thick wall.

Brick Terminology

Bat is a brick cut in half or quarter along the short face

Closer A queen closer is brick cut in half down the long face. They are used in corners of English or Flemish Bond.

Header Brick is laid in a wall, usually connecting two rows of a double wythe wall. The smallest end of the brick is horizontal, aligned with the surface of the wall and exposed to the weather.

Quoins are groups of brick that project slightly from the face of a wall at the corner of a building. The pattern often alternates with several courses projecting bricks, and several courses that are aligned with the wall. The pattern of projecting quoins often alternates with the brickwork on the other side of the corner.

Rowlock is a complete course of brick laid on its side, with the shortest end of the brick exposed and vertical. Commonly used on the top course as a coping for a garden wall.

Sailor Brick are laid on its end with the largest, broad face exposed.

Shiner Brick laid on edge like a sailor, but the broad face is set horizontally.

Soldier Brick often is a complete course of brick laid on end vertically, with the narrow side exposed in the face of the wall.

Wythe is a single vertical wall of brick.

Clay Brick vs. Concrete

The formula for brick making has not changed for hundreds of years. The primary ingredients are clays and shale. It is these ingredients that give natural brick its colors and hue.

The natural color of concrete is gray. In order to give concrete bricks color, additives are necessary to create the variety of colors. Weather and the ultraviolet rays of the sun can cause concrete bricks to fade over time.

Concrete bricks have a tendency to shrink. During the concrete curing process, if the bricks are not properly cured prior to being delivered to the jobsite, shrinking and cracking will appear at the mortar joints and can allow water to enter the wall cavity.

According to a recent survey of architects, designers, engineers, and environmental planners and managers conducted by the Portland Cement Association (PCA), 77 percent chose concrete as a sustainable material. Overall, respondents ranked concrete favorably for its energy efficiency, durability and reduced maintenance. Over 500 individuals participated in the blind survey presented in an Internet survey form by a third party web host.

According to PCA President, “buildings with exterior concrete walls utilize less energy to heat and cool than similarly insulated buildings with wood or steel frame walls”. Additionally, “the superior insulation, air tightness, and mass of the walls can reduce energy for heating and cooling by up to 40%.

Original Source: http://amazines.com/Construction/article_detail.cfm/1374317?articleid=1374317

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