Monday, 31 August 2015

Architectural Eras Preferred By The British

It is a common thing for wealthy Britons to describe the characteristics of their dream home by referring to a particular architectural era. Some say that they want their homes to be of Victorian style with bay windows, patterned brickwork and cornicing while may others say that they want a Georgian style home with sharp and symmetrical lines augmenting neoclassical stylings. There are many others who have a great liking for the residential architectural design of the Edwardian period or a notable preference for styles prevailing in the modern age.

Georgian Era

At present, Georgian is the most highly regarded architectural period in UK as per the information collected by estate agents. During this era, town planning was given a boost of refinement that included elegant terraces and squares with frequent incorporation of such features as a pediment in centre and jutting end bays that are typical of a country house. The other primary features included tall windows, front doors with fanlights above them, rooms proportioned geometrically and symmetrical facades.

Victorian Era

The Victorian style is a staple among people living in the urban areas of Britain. However the architectural designs and features typical of this era did not enjoy a prominent place in the list of favourites of Britons for a long time after the Second World War. As described by William Blake in his works, people used to compare Victoriana with slums and ‘dark satanic mills’. However, efforts made by the Victorian Society of Sir John Betjeman and Nikolaus Pevsner in 1958 helped to prevent the glory of Victorian structures from getting consumed by oblivion. The aesthetic charms of this period have once again become a favourite of Britons.

Edwardian Era

The Edwardian era was simply an age of transition for the realm of architecture. The styles changed significantly and adopted a wide range of new features like bay windows, detailed decoration, rectangular grids and one-sided front door. The houses were greatly similar to one another due to the reason that they were constructed using standardised materials.

Modern Era

This period dawned sometime around the 1930s when people started to move away from urban slums and suburban development introduced a new style borrowed from the Arts and Crafts movement. In order to make houses more affordable, a variety of innovative and modern design elements were adopted. The houses now exhibited bay windows, timber beams of mock Tudor, steeply raised roofs, tall chimneys, panels of stained glass, garden in front or back and attached garage.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Common Wood Boring Pests and Ways to Eliminate Them

In the diverse and vast community of pests that cause different types of problems in residential as well as commercial premises, there are some who have the capability of inflicting damage on wooden items. Some of them have a diet that consists primarily of wood, while others simply bore through it in order to gain access. Although there is quite a handful of pests exhibiting either of the two behaviour, four of them are the most notorious of all – termites, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles and carpenter bees. Let’s have a look at them in detail and some measures that can be used for controlling them.


The most common wood borers not only in Australia but all across the world, termites cause millions worth of property damage every year. After infesting a particular place, they can easily remain concealed from sight and keep chewing on wooden items slowly. One of the most effective ways of termite treatment and prevention is to use liquid treatment solutions that can be applied near suspected areas in and around the premises. Not only does it eliminate the existing termites, but also create a protective barrier against future infestations. Another effective control method is to place bait stations in close proximity of their activity grounds. Termites ingesting the bait will carry it to the nest and eventually kill the entire colony. However, using monitoring and bait stations can be tricky to use and it is recommended to get in touch with a reputed pest management company that provides efficient services of termite control in Melbourne.

Carpenter Ants

These insects have the habit of building nests in wood and cutting galleries within hollow wood grain for creating passageways and sections. Carpenter ants generally reside in moist areas or places with a water source nearby. For controlling them, it is essential to locate their nests first and then remove or eliminate them using treatment solutions.

Powderpost Beetles

Powderpost beetles can bore holes in wooden items of varying sizes, ranging from those not wider than the diameter of a pencil to large oval cavities. Spraying liquid insecticides in their activity grounds can sometimes be effective. However, the only way to deal with a full-fledged infestation is by contacting a professional firm dealing with pest control in Melbourne.

Carpenter Bees

These powerful bees can easily drill holes into decks, soffits, posts, bare or painted wood and wooden furniture. Petrol, diesel, aerosol carburetor cleaner and boric acid can possibly be used for eliminating a few intruders. However, the safest way to control or get rid of them is by letting professionals take care of the job.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

What are Blueprints and How Can You Read Them?

Generally speaking, blueprints are simply 2-dimensional sketches used in architecture to derive the basic idea of how a planned building will look like. They usually contain such vital information as materials required for construction, position of different internal and external features, and so on. They are prepared by architects for communicating those details to building workers. But besides the workers, it is also important for people hiring the architects to be able to read and understand blueprints so that any decision made pertaining to the construction is more informed and feasible.

There are mainly three different types of blueprints - plan, section and elevation. A plan gives a horizontal view of the planned construction from its top, which is 30 inches above the floor on a horizontal plane. A section provides cross-section view of the building, displaying how something is to be constructed. A typical elevation is a vertical view of the project from one side of it, from north, south, east or west.

Blueprints are usually prepared using the architectural or the engineering scale. The architectural scale consists of measurements in inches and feet. Engineering scale includes measurements having a scale ratio which is a multiple of 10, and may be either in metric or feet. Sometimes, a scale with British unit having metric conversions is also used, which is called dual-dimensioning.

In order to make a blueprint convey maximum amount of information to whoever reads it, most architects use an array of symbols for representing different parts of the construction and also those of its surroundings.

There are a number of ways by which one can learn how to read a blueprint correctly. The cheapest and easiest method is to watch videos related to understanding of blueprints. One may find hundreds of different videos discussing about the same topic in detail, without having to pay for anything. Videos are also available as DVDs that can be purchased from shops. Another method to learn about blueprints is by searching for tutorials and websites offering free online courses on them. Instructional books published by tool-manufacturing and hardware companies can also provide a vast amount of information, and are usually available in both hard and soft copies such as pdfs, epubs, etc. Another option is to enrol for blueprint-reading courses in community colleges or local architecture schools. However, classes are also available online, allowing one to learn from the convenience of home.

Although the increased preference of online architectural design drawing in UK has almost pushed handmade drawings into obscurity, there are still many architects who find blueprints more useful than CAD drawings.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

What Constitutes Location Drawings in Architecture?

Location drawing is a technical drawing of the building that gives a total view of the architectural structure. It describes the location of the building as well as where to place each and every part of building etc. Location drawings are used by architects for several purposes; for developing a design idea into a proposal, for communicating ideas as well as concepts, for convincing clients of the advantages of the design, for enabling the building contractor in the construction process and for making a record of an architectural structure, which already exists. 

  • Block plans of a project is often created in relation to Ordnance Survey plans. It is created to show the relation between different buildings in the block,  Conventions are used mainly for depicting boundaries, roads and all other details. 

  • Site plans function is to show the location of the building, typography of the site, extent of earthworks, layout of the external lighting, buildings that are to be demolished or removed and more. 

  • Elevations show the building's outline, level datums, floor position and opening details and sizes. With elevations, one can know how the face of the building will look from outside. Exterior elevations include ceiling heights and floor, dimensions of roof overhangs and standard windows, location and height of foundation indicated with dashed lines, kind of textures and finishing and height and dimension of chimney. 

  • Floor plans basically constitute the layout of the rooms, the levels, the key dimensions, thickness of the foundation walls, structures needed for holding the first level, beam sizes, variations in the floor joists, location of the stairwell, size of the windows and dimension of footings. Conventions and symbols are typically used for showing the materials and location of all appliances and fittings in the room. 

  • Roof plans form an important part in building design as well and includes location of different trusses that are needed, general overcharge of roof in comparison to the floor footprint below, and location of the valleys and ridges. 

  • Detail drawings focus a small part of construction at a bigger scale for showing how component parts fit together. They are even used for showing the small surface details like decorative elements. 

Computer plays a big role in designing and creating these technical drawings making manual drawings almost obsolete. In fact, nowadays most of the drawings are being created by companies that offer professional CAD drawing services.

Grove Design can help you with building drawing plans in UK. Get in touch with them for your architectural design needs. 

Monday, 17 August 2015

How to Control Rats in House?

Rats basically eat & contaminate foodstuffs & animal feed. They even damage the containers & packaging materials in which the foods & feed are stored. They cause great problems by gnawing on the electrical wires as well as wooden structures like ledges, doors, wall material and corners. They also tear up insulation in the walls & ceilings to nest. Among the different diseases that they can transit to human beings or livestock are leptospirosis, typhus, salmonellosis & ratbite fever. Plague is also a disease that rats in Melbourne can carry. 

A successful strategy of rat control in Melbourne basically includes three elements – sanitation measures, exclusion & rodent proofing and if needed control of population. 


This is fundamental to controlling rats and should be continuous. If the sanitation measures are not maintained properly, benefits of the other measures are going to be lost and the rats may return quickly. Good housekeeping in as well as around the buildings are going to reduce the available shelter and the food sources for these species. Off-the-ground storage of lumber, pipes, crates, firewood, gardening equipment, boxes and other household goods are going to reduce the suitability of area for the rats and make the detection easy. Collect trash, garbage and garden debris often and make sure all the garbage receptacles have tightly fit covers. 

Exclusion & rodent proofing 

Exclusion is a successful and long-lasting form of rat control. Openings and seal cracks in the building foundations & any openings for electric wires, water pipes, drain spouts, sewer pipes & vents. No hole that's bigger than ¼ inch must be left unsealed for excluding the rats. Make sure that the windows, doors and screens are fit tightly. 

Controlling the population 

If water, food and shelter are available, populations of rat may increase quickly. While a permanent form of control is to limit water, shelter, food & access to buildings, direct control of population is needed. To control rats indoors, use traps. If toxic baits are used, they may die in inaccessible locations like ceilings or walls. 


This is an effective and safe method to control rates in and around garages, homes and other kinds of structures. It is an affordable option when compared with poison baits and is labour intensive. The best place where trap can be set include secluded areas where rats may seek shelter and travel. 

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Basic Tenets of Modern Residential Architectural Designing

In the modern times, architecture involves consolidation of old as well as new elements. From dwellings designed and constructed during the last century to those built today, the numerous variants of residential architectural design seen today augment and contribute to the exotic and varied characteristics which define the region the houses themselves reside in.

Besides structural qualities, vegetation and trees also play an important role in blending and softening different architectural styles to a picturesque whole. Modern and traditional, small and large, all elements seem to mingle perfectly when complemented by the natural exquisiteness of vegetation.

However, here are some of the basic tenets, which needs to be followed by modern architects: 

Importance of Site Assessment

The first major step towards designing a residential structure is to visit the site where it is to be constructed. The shape, size, topography of the site along with potential positive and negative effects of the area must be considered when assessing the lot. Site assessment aids the architect in developing a sound idea of the additions and subtractions pertaining to the site and its surrounding area, that can be utilised for augmenting the good and mitigating the adverse.

Regulations and Their Influence On the Design

Local building codes play an important role in deciding how a residential structure will look like and relate to its neighbouring properties. Some locations have comprehensive sets of standards and regulations dictating the limits on height, size and setback requisites. These regulations assure that different home sizes and styles can develop within such limitations which allow considerable amount of creativity without hampering the overall looks of neighbourhoods in the city.

Green Technology

Energy saving and eco-friendly technologies are perhaps the greatest advancement in the field of modern residential architectural designing over the previous decade. Contemporary houses are being developed with a keen focus on improvement of sustainability and functionality using such technologies. Nowadays, home buyers are more aware of the prevalent green technologies. As a result, they often tend to opt for products and components which offer environmental improvements and energy savings, especially when price differential is not large.

Final Say

While perfecting residential architectural design, one thing must also be kept in mind that it is ultimately the clients who drive the overall style of the home. They generally know which style will reflect their preferences the best, or if they have got inspired by some particular home they saw somewhere earlier. The main aim of a professionally skilled architect is to encompass the client’s input and design something feasible which complements and props their lifestyle.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

How To Get Rid of Wasps?

Hornets, paper wasps and yellow jackets are the kind of wasps that commonly build nests in gardens and lawns. Although these insects play an important role in gardens as pollinators and predatory insects, they can quickly become a nuisance for their painful stings. Chances of getting stung by wasps is more if their nest is close to your house.

There are several methods exercised for wasp removal & control in Melbourne. Some preventive measures that help to keep them at bay or deter them from entering are as follows:
  • Not keeping any food lying around
  • Ensuring that garbage bins are always sealed tightly
  • Keeping drinks covered whenever outdoors
  • Picking up fallen fruits in the garden

If wasps have already started nesting in your lawn, then resorting to the above method can be of no use. In order to tackle an invasion, first you must understand the type that you need to deal with and also their nesting habits. For instance, yellow jackets generally build nests in ground which can remain concealed for a long time. Sometimes, they also make nests in shrubs and other areas such as wall voids of old buildings. Hornets also choose trees as their nesting grounds, but sometimes they can thrive in eaves of old buildings. Paper wasps are the least aggressive of the lot and generally builds their nests in eaves, overhangs, abandoned structures or tree limbs.

Usually, spring season is the most suitable time for exterminating wasps, because the queen begins to establish her colony by the end of this season. During late summer and autumn, their nests tend to decline as collection of pollen and sugary sweets becomes more important for them at that time. If you have a large nest in your garden and lawn, and its inhabitants are the aggressive types such as hornets and yellow jackets, then it would be better to call for the services of a reputed firm offering pest control in Melbourne.

If the nest is small, you can possibly perform an extermination job exercising suitable precautionary measures and wearing protective gear. Purchase a wasp spray from any local home improvement shop and spray it in the nest during the evening, when the wasps are less likely to be active. For an aerial nest, cover it using a plastic bag and then seal it tightly. Cut the branch that includes the nest and either freeze the bag or leave it under the sun for killing the wasps.