Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hanging Drywall On Curved Walls

Recently, the question came up on how do you bend drywall around curved or radius walls. One might not have to apply drywall to a curved surface very often, but its good information to have when you do.

Depending on the size of the curve or radius that is being covered, will determine what thickness of drywall will be used. A radius of 2 foot or smaller may require multiple layers of 1/4" thick drywall. Normal residential drywall applications use 1/2" drywall to finish walls. In this case two layers of 1/4" would be used.

The trick is to get the drywall to bend. To do this the drywall needs to be wet. The best way I have found is to put water on the drywall is with a garden sprayer. The easiest way to control the bending of the drywall is to lay it in a form matching the radius of the wall, soffit, ceiling or whatever the application might be.

The last drywall bend I did I had the benefit of using the actual wall section to use as a form. It was an eight foot high wall, framed to a three foot radius. Only one side of the wall was being covered, the inside radius. We decided to cover the radius with one layer of 1/4" plywood and one layer of 1/4" drywall to match the 1/2" on the straight walls.

We laid the wall framing inside radius down, on the floor. The overall length of the radius was just under eight feet. We laid two sheets face down over our form. We then started spraying the back side of the drywall with water. As we applied the water, the drywall started bending immediately. It didn't take very much water or time to get the ends of the drywall to droop down and touch the form.

We let the dampened drywall lay on the form overnight to dry. The next day when we lifted the drywall from the form, it kept the shape of the radius. When it came time to glue and screw the drywall to the curved framing, it fit like a glove with very little if any stress to the material.

Its not very often that one gets to hang drywall on a curved wall, but with a little knowledge, you'll look like a professional.

Mike Merisko (C)2008

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Installing Vinyl Siding

Of all the available exterior finishes, vinyl siding is probably the easiest to install. By following a few basic rules to the installation of vinyl siding, almost anyone can do it.

The first rule is to start out level and straight. The starter strip that holds the first course of siding must be installed level and straight. This helps insure that the following courses are also level and straight. It also helps if other siding accessories are also installed properly. Outside corners must be installed plumb and straight. Inside corners, undersill and j-channel accessories must also be correctly nailed in place.

The second rule is to NOT nail the vinyl siding tight to the wall. Because vinyl siding expands and contracts with variations in temperature, it must be allowed to move. Vinyl siding has a nailing strip with slots for nailing. Nails must be placed in the center of these slots. The nails must also not be nailed home. The nail head must be driven about an eighth of an inch short of the nailing strip. After nailing the siding must be able to slide to the left and right.

The third rule is to cut the siding to the proper length. Vinyl siding must not fit tight in corners or J-channels. Again this is to allow movement for temperature change. In cold weather, siding must be cut 3/8 inch short of the insides of corners and J-channels. In warm weather this measurement is 1/4 inch. When siding ends lap in a course, the siding must overlap a minimum of 3/4 of an inch.

By following the three basic rules one can have a professional looking vinyl siding installation job. It should look straight and level and be free of waves and "oil canning".

Mike Merisko (C)2008
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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Solar Power Solutions At Home

With energy sources depleting at a rate faster than they are being built, it is only wise that we use the abundant energy available for free – the solar energy. Apart from the easy availability, solar energy helps control environmental pollution. Most of us shy away from installing solar power solutions at home thinking them to be expensive and cumbersome. You will, however, be surprised to know how easy it is to employ these power solutions. Moreover, these will help cut down your power bills. Finally, you will be delighted to know tat you are doing your bit to save power for the future generations.

This article will explore the various solar power options available for home use.

Solar cooker: A solar cooker is a cooking utensil that uses absolutely no fuel for cooking. You can cook food for up to five people in the small box. If you are thinking that using a solar cooker will reduce your chances of spreading up a varied platter on the dining table, you will be surprised to know that you can not only boil food items in the cooker but also roast and bake! The only limitation with the solar cooker is the time it takes to cook. However, given the free source of energy it uses, this is a great option for cutting down those sky-rocketing bills and saving some power.

Solar home lighting: A solar home lighting system converts solar energy into electrical energy for your home. This is done via cells that are charged with solar energy. So, in the night, if you wonder how the lights are on in the house, it is because of the solar energy stored in the solar cells. You can install the solar home lighting system in your house and not worry about the electricity bills anymore.

Solar heating system: Installing a solar heating system in your home helps cutting down your electricity bill along with saving the world’s quickly-exhausting power. If you are worried that a solar heating system will turn your sweet home into a gadget house or that it will be an expensive investment, your concerns are misplaced. Companies providing solar power solutions for homes make it a point to install aesthetically-pleasing heating systems in your house. As per as expenditure is concerned, investing in a solar heating system is wise because you get a return on your investment within 3-4 years, giving you absolutely free service after that.

Make power at home with solar and wind energy to eliminate your power bill. Get our complete guide at