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Natural stone tiling can be used for a variety of applications, such as flooring in kitchens, bathrooms or other rooms, wall accents, showers, countertops and more. Color is important, especially in a kitchen or bathroom where you want to express yourself. A great example of a beautiful modern kitchen that, unfortunately, will become dated when the current trend fades out. As a kitchen designer quite often I walk into kitchens that have built-in appliances or electronics, such as televisions, radios, and intercom systems, that are hopelessly obsolete. The one thing we always stress to clients is that they need to love the finished product of any remodel. When installing a new exterior door there are three basic material options available to the consumer. Fiberglass doors are, essentially, the perfect solution to combat the effects of the highly humid conditions of central Florida.
Although each project is different, Stewart Construction typically recommends a fiberglass door with a PVC jamb and trim. Thank you for reading, feel free to post any questions, and as always you can contact us at 863-385-9403 for more information.
There are three major benefits to using ICF: Insulation value, sound absorption, and structural strength.
In Central Florida CMU (Concrete Masonry Unit) construction is the system most commonly used.
The strength of ICF versus CMU should be fairly clear when you consider the way each system is constructed. When any structure faces stress, such as that from a hurricane, earthquake, or tornado, the weakest point is always at the joints in the structure.
In the time it takes to sit through a sitcom on TV, you can have some real fun creating these sturdy, no-fuss doors. I use a set of stile and rail cutters which can be a bear to adjust but I have a heavy duty router mounted in an old radial arm saw and that is dedicated to doing the end cuts on the rails. A cabinet maker friend makes door even quicker by cutting the grooves and stub tenon cheeks on his router table using just one slot cutter, a spacer, and single setup.
Wood frame construction details for Door Schedule and OpeningsIn this C D drawing as the others that were related to the door and openings along with their details, I worked along with the Structural and Mechanical designers to align their effort with the Architectural to avoid and clashing of their required design elements.
Additional Credits: Worked details out with Joseph Wirth AIA for proper blocking to apply finish wood moldings.
But what are the benefits of using natural stone like granite, marble, slate, limestone and others?
Most of us have seen those wonderful avocado green or pink Formica cabinets leftover from the 70’s. However, when selecting colors there are certain areas where it’s oftentimes best to keep it neutral. Unfortunately, when items like this are built into the cabinetry it is very difficult, or sometimes impossible, to replace them or even remove them without leaving a gaping hole in your cabinets. Due to high amounts of rain and humidity, quite often exterior doors will rot or rust if not maintained properly and wood jambs will also rot.
The advent of steel doors was due to their inability to rot, relatively low cost, and high strength. Because these wood jambs are right at ground level, they tend to fare worse even then doors and tend to rot out at the bottom few inches.
This is the best solution for most applications where durability as well as aesthetics are a concern. We can directly compare the R-Value, which is a measurement of insulation effectiveness, of a CMU wall system to that of an ICF wall system.
Good insulating materials tend to absorb sound, and materials that are good at conducting heat also tend to transfer sound more readily. We know that this is the building system of the future and anticipate that eventually it will replace CMU construction as the dominant system in Central Florida.
However, there are a lot of ways that you can make your home more efficient and save money!
A Progress Energy representative will physically come to your house, absolutely free, and conduct a thorough energy inspection walk-thru to evaluate the efficiency of your home.
If there are leaks in ducts located in your attic, or a leaky air-handler in your garage, you could be paying to cool this unconditioned spaces!

These gaps and holes effectively negate the rest of the insulation in your attic because they remove the buffer between conditioned space (the living area of your home) and unconditioned space (the attic).
An easy way to check and see if your windows are sealing correctly is to make sure they open and close fully, feel for any air flow around the edges (if your HVAC system is running you will need to be on the outside of the window to feel any possible airflow).
If you have vents that are not working (such as a whirlybird that is no longer spinning) it can keep excess heat in the attic and make it harder for your house to be cooled.
If it is at all possible, place them in an unconditioned space (like the garage) to save money on cooling your home. You should ensure that there is some form of insulation between the garage (or any other unconditioned space) and the rest of your house. This creates a barrier between your home and the outside air, and fills in any cracks that could be leaking air.
Frame-and-panel doors add class to any project, but they don't have to add a lot of assembly time. Well there are plenty of reasons, and no matter how you’re using it you can be sure it will end up looking absolutely beautiful when the project is completed!
Although there were all the rage then, they are so out of fashion now that homeowners routinely remove them based on aesthetics alone. Specifically, any finish that cannot be easily (and inexpensively) replaced, should be kept to a neutral color.
Unless you are planning to sell your home in the near future, base your design on what you like, regardless of whether it fits in the latest trend or not. A fiberglass door is entirely impervious to rot and rust and this tends to make it the ideal replacement door in Florida. Only in cases where a custom look is needed, or where low cost is an extreme concern, would we recommend a wood or a steel door. These blocks are fused to one another with mortar and then have steel rebar and additional concrete reinforcement inserted at key points, such as corners, door frames, and around windows.
ICF is a superior product and we recommend it to every new homeowner that we meet with, and as you can see in our Green Building Portfolio many of them heed our advice and build for the future. In this post we’re going to tell you about some great, cheap and easy ways to do this (in later posts we will cover more in depth strategies such as window replacement and advanced insulation).
Not only will they check for most of the following points we’re about to list, but once you have this initial inspection they offer rebates and incentives for you if you perform any of the repairs they recommend. This allows heat transfer, which in turn causes your HVAC system to have to work harder and longer. If they aren’t sealing correctly, you can often fix the problem by replacing the weatherstripping, which is a relatively cheap and easy solution. A garage can easily account for 10% or more of the square footage area of your home, so think of the money you can save by making sure you aren’t air conditioning it! In our opinion, if done well, it will also make your windows look more aesthetically pleasing.
We are writing this blog to bring you the latest and greatest and to help keep you informed on what matters to you the most. Using the straightforward process detailed here, you can crank out great-looking doors for many applications, including furniture, cabinets, and built-ins. Work with your designer on the flow of the space and how you actually use it as opposed to simply how it will look. Instead of allowing a designer to talk you into whatever the current cutting edge style is, select a classic style and finish that you love but that has also stood the test of time.
These items can date your home and are hard to replace without also replacing the cabinetry they are built into.
Here at Stewart Construction we love happy customers, and the happiest customers are the ones who still love how their remodel project looks 10 years down the road. A wood door must be well maintained to prevent this, including periodic resealing of the finish on all sides of the door, including the top and bottom.
When a door is replaced, it can also include a PVC jamb with PVC exterior trim (called brickmold). It provides higher insulation values and enhanced structural strength compared to traditional construction materials, such as wood framing or concrete block construction. ICF construction features a solid 6″ thick concrete wall around the entire perimeter of the building.
In ICF construction, because the wall cavity is filled with a solid pour of concrete, there are no joints.

Visit Progress Energy’s web site to get all of the information (and a phone number to schedule a walk-thru). Check to make sure there aren’t any holes or gaps in your attic insulation and if there are, fill them with new insulation! Founded in 1989 by Mark Stewart, we are based in Highlands County and work all across Central Florida. Between the various members of our staff we have a goldmine of knowledge and experience, and we don’t mind sharing that with you. Things like paint, wall decor, and certain lighting and plumbing fixtures can be easily and inexpensively replaced. This is true for any sort of cabinetry, including kitchens, entertainment centers, and offices, featuring built-in electronics or appliances. One other advantage of a wood entry door is the fact that it can be trimmed to fit most any opening.
This typically happens at the bottom edge of the door and can be due to an improper application of paint.
They are available in smooth, paintable finishes as well as imitation stained wood finishes. PVC jambs and trim are a similar material to fiberglass and are rot proof, paintable, and trimmable.
These blocks are then stacked, similar to Lego building blocks, to form the exterior walls of a home.
This should illustrate the drastic difference in sound transmission between ICF and CMU construction.
Just shut the door and check the weatherstripping all around the door frame to see if it is properly sealing or if leaks are present. We are dedicated to providing our customers with superior quality craftsmanship and unparalleled service. Feel free to go wild in these areas, but it is best to keep things neutral when they are difficult or expensive to replace. The best remodel projects are those that integrate form and function and are designed specifically with you in mind.
On a newer home this isn’t often a problem, but on older homes this can sometimes be necessary. Steel doors tend to be the least Another disadvantage of steel doors is the inability for them to be trimmed.
Most fiberglass doors have the option to come prefinished from the factory with a high quality, durable finish that will often last the life of the door.
Combining a fiberglass door with a PVC jamb and trim can give you a very attractive door system that is nearly impervious to the Florida elements. Steel rebar is inserted both horizontally and vertically into the wall cavity as it is erected. While results are not entirely conclusive, some tests show that ICF can reduce sound transmission 200% better than CMU.
While keeping your colors neutral won’t make your home immune to style changes, it will certainly make it easier to adjust with them. When it comes to price, a well made wood door is usually the most expensive of the three options. Fiberglass doors are often slightly trimmable, but are not quite as customizable as a wood door. Once the walls are fully erected and the door and window openings have been cut and framed out, concrete is poured. Like wood doors, if a steel door is not periodically repainted, on all sides of the door, it can lead to potential water damage.
The entire wall cavity is filled with concrete and then vibrated to ensure that no air pockets remain in the wall. This is a 391% increase in R-Value. What this means for a homeowner is that you will use less energy to heat and cool your home and you will retain heating and cooling much more effectively than in a traditional CMU home. Once the wall cavity has been filled with concrete and it has been given several days to cure, we remove the wall braces and are ready to continue with the construction process.

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