As a child, you may have dreamed of how it would feel to live in a tree house or a fort that you and your friends created in the woods. Many architects and designers love a challenge: They enjoy taking unconventional dwellings and turning them into places of residence. Some families forgo the idea of a traditional home with a picket fence and choose instead to live in a cave, church, water tower or bunker. Of course most of us are happy in our traditional New Jersey homes, wishing only to enhance our existing living space. A kitchen remodel, room addition or basement finishing can be easily achieved with the help of your New Jersey remodeling contractor.
- 1. Church Homes
- A few people have taken on the challenge of converting old church sanctuaries into their places of residence. For example, ZECC Architects converted an old Dutch chapel into a single family residence. Christopher Wren’s Christ Church was severely damaged during WWII; the roof of the church was destroyed, but the 11-story tower was left untouched. The church is now in private hands, and architect Nicholas Boyarsky converted the roofless church into a flower garden. He transformed the 11-story tower into an apartment with a wood spiral staircase.
- Since the beginning of time, caves have offered refuge to nomads and travelers, and even today some people choose to live in caves and still have the modern conveniences of technology. In 2010, according to an article in The New York Times, one family set up their entire home inside a cave; they use umbrellas and interior roofs to keep the kitchen sand-free. Besides the cave-like walls, their kitchen looks like any other, with counter space, sink, appliances and cabinetry.
Water Tower Homes
- A water tower home is a modern-day version of living in a tree house that attracts some home-owners, as they like the idea of “living with a view.” In addition, building your home in a water tower provides an opportunity to recycle old buildings. Jo Crepain of Antwerp wanted to preserve an old water tower near a park where he played as a child, so he bought the tower, and along with the help of another architect, he made his home in it. Other examples include a water tower in Essen, Germany, which was converted into a fully operational apartment and commercial property. This water tower houses two apartments, a telecommunications company and a real estate agency.
- Many World War II bunkers in various parts of the world are now residential housing; the owners of these fortified residences say that one of the biggest advantages of living in a bunker is the special temperatures maintained throughout the year. In the summer, it is cooler inside, and in the winter, it’s much warmer than outdoors. One architect decided to build his house on top of an old bunker, so he uses the actual bunker for storage and for protection from natural disasters.
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You may have lots of tools for particular projects that you use infrequently, and they can be kept in a garage or workroom. But having basic tools handy in your living area makes it much more convenient to do simple home repairs. There are a multitude of projects any New Jersey homeowner can tackle with a little guidance, but of course for more advanced projects such as an extensive kitchen remodel, it is always advisable to call your New Jersey remodeling contractor.
You might keep these basic tools in a hall closet, a kitchen drawer, or in a handy tool box or plastic box on a shelf in the entry or mudroom.
It doesn’t really matter where you keep them, as long as they’re easy to get at for quick home repairs. You’ll save lots of inconvenient trips out to the garage or down to the basement.
Your in-home basic tool kit should include these basic do-it-yourself items.
You may not think you need one, but a 25-foot measuring tape will work for most jobs. Whether you measure for a tablecloth or window treatment or a whole room for new flooring, choose one large enough to easily measure your New Jersey home’s spaces. A second smaller tape of 6 to 12 feet can be put in a pocket or purse for shopping trips or for hanging pictures.
Two basic screwdrivers are a necessity. Choose both a good quality flat head screwdriver and a Phillips head screwdriver in a medium size. A set of tiny screwdrivers will come in handy when you need to tighten a pair of eyeglasses or fix audio or computer equipment.
One pliers will not do. Get a small assortment in various sizes and shapes. You’ll use a needle-nose pliers most frequently, but have a heavy grooved pliers for removing nails or large staples. Wire cutting pliers are good for wiring and craft jobs.
You get what you pay for here. It’s important to get an accurate level for accurate positioning. A good sturdy level will last a lifetime. (These are also called “torpedo levels” due to shapes of the tapered ends.) A level is a must for straightening up pictures, drilling holes in a level line, checking tabletop alignment, or mounting towel bars perfectly.
Whether you’re hanging pictures or putting shelf supports up, a medium weight hammer will cover most New Jersey household jobs. Consider other sizes if you’ll be doing either delicate projects or construction.
This tool resembles a pliers, but has a locking mechanism that grips and holds things tightly. Use it to grip a screw you want to remove or use two to twist sticky things apart. They provide a slip-free hold when you need it.
Assortment of Nails and Screws
You might find prepackaged sets of basic sizes at your New Jersey home center or get a small divided box and put together a custom assortment that will come in handy when you hang pictures or make minor repairs.
Save your scissors with this essential tool. A wire cutter makes it easy to snip wire for crafts, electrical repairs, and other household projects.
You’ll probably need to mark a drill hole or record a measurement. Have pencils handy and write on post it notes or bits of blue painter’s tape if you don’t want to write on the wall.
Blue Painter’s Tape
Even professional painters use this tape to mask off areas they don’t want to paint. It’s available in several widths and looks like plain masking tape. But this special tape is blue and can be removed from most surfaces without damage. You can use it for other household jobs besides painting. Mark stud locations with a small square when hanging a picture or installing molding. Tape off the edges of a door frame when painting a wall, or tape down runners of heavy kraft paper to protect floors from dirt and scratches when moving.
Article Source: http://interiordec.about.com/od/careandrepair/a/org_toolkits.htm