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The concept of home improvement, home renovation, or remodelling is the process of renovating or making additions to one's home. Home improvement can be projects that upgrade an existing home interior (such as electrical and plumbing), exterior (masonry, concrete, siding, roofing), or other improvements to the property (i.e. garden work or garage maintenance/additions).
Renovation is the process of improving a broken, damaged, or outdated structure. Renovations are typically either commercial or residential. Additionally, renovation can refer to making something new, or bringing something back to life and can apply in social contexts. For example, a community can be renovated if it is strengthened and revived.
While "home improvement" often refers to building projects that alter the structure of an existing home, it can also include improvements to lawns, gardens, and outdoor structures, such as gazebos and garages. It also encompasses maintenance, repair, and general servicing tasks. Home improvement projects generally have one or more of the following goals:
Ventilation is the intentional introduction of outdoor air into a space and is mainly used to control indoor air quality by diluting and displacing indoor pollutants; it can also be used for purposes of thermal comfort or dehumidification.
Air conditioning is the process of removing heat and moisture from the interior of an occupied space, to improve the comfort of occupants. Air conditioning can be used in both domestic and commercial environments. This process is most commonly used to achieve a more comfortable interior environment, typically for humans and other animals; however, air conditioning is also used to cool/dehumidify rooms filled with heat-producing electronic devices, such as computer servers, power amplifiers, and even to display and store some delicate products, such as artwork.
Gourmet is a cultural ideal associated with the culinary arts of fine food and drink, or haute cuisine, which is characterized by refined, even elaborate preparations and presentations of aesthetically balanced meals of several contrasting, often quite rich courses. Historically the ingredients used in the meal tended to be rare for the region, which could also be impacted by the local state and religious customs. The term and its associated practices are usually used positively to describe people of refined taste and passion. Gourmet food tends to be served in smaller, more expensive, portions. There also tends to be cross-cultural interactions when it comes to Gourmet, introducing new ingredient, materials, and practices.
Maintenance projects can include:
A roof is the top covering of a building, including all materials and constructions necessary to support it on the walls of the building or on uprights; it provides protection against rain, snow, sunlight, extremes of temperature, and wind. A roof is part of the building envelope.
Concrete, usually Portland cement concrete, is a composite material composed of fine and coarse aggregate bonded together with a fluid cement that hardens over time—most frequently in the past a lime-based cement binder, such as lime putty, but sometimes with other hydraulic cements, such as a calcium aluminate cement or Portland Cement. It is distinguished from other, non-cementitious types of concrete all binding some form of aggregate together, including asphalt concrete with a bitumen binder, which is frequently used for road surfaces, and polymer concretes that use polymers as a binder.
Masonry is the building of structures from individual units, which are often laid in and bound together by mortar; the term masonry can also refer to the units themselves. The common materials of masonry construction are brick, building stone such as marble, granite, and limestone, cast stone, concrete block, glass block, and adobe. Masonry is generally a highly durable form of construction. However, the materials used, the quality of the mortar and workmanship, and the pattern in which the units are assembled can substantially affect the durability of the overall masonry construction. A person who constructs masonry is called a mason or bricklayer. These are both classified as construction trades.
Additional living space may be added by:
A recreation room is a room used for a variety of purposes, such as parties, games and other everyday or casual use. The term is common in the United States, the term rumpus room is common in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, but is less common in the United Kingdom where the preferred term is games room. Often children and teenagers entertain their friends in the rec room, which is often located in the basement, away from the main living areas of the house. Usually it is a larger space than a living room to have the ability to serve multiple purposes and entertain moderately large groups.
Home cinema, also called a home theater, a home theatre, and a theater room, are home entertainment audio-visual systems that seek to reproduce a movie theater experience and mood using consumer electronics-grade video and audio equipment that is set up in a room or backyard of a private home. In the 1980s, home cinemas typically consisted of a movie pre-recorded on a LaserDisc or VHS tape; a LaserDisc or VHS player; and a heavy, bulky large-screen cathode ray tube TV set. In the 2000s, technological innovations in sound systems, video player equipment and TV screens and video projectors have changed the equipment used in home theatre set-ups and enabled home users to experience a higher-resolution screen image, improved sound quality and components that offer users more options. The development of Internet-based subscription services means that 2016-era home theatre users do not have to commute to a video rental store as was common in the 1980s and 1990s.
Small office/home office refers to the category of business or cottage industry that involves from 1 to 10 workers. In New Zealand, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) defines a small office as 6 to 19 employees and a micro office as 1-5.
Homeowners may reduce utility costs with:
Efficient energy use, sometimes simply called energy efficiency, is the goal to reduce the amount of energy required to provide products and services. For example, insulating a home allows a building to use less heating and cooling energy to achieve and maintain a comfortable temperature. Installing LED lighting, fluorescent lighting, or natural skylight windows reduces the amount of energy required to attain the same level of illumination compared to using traditional incandescent light bulbs. Improvements in energy efficiency are generally achieved by adopting a more efficient technology or production process or by application of commonly accepted methods to reduce energy losses.
Thermal insulation is the reduction of heat transfer between objects in thermal contact or in range of radiative influence. Thermal insulation can be achieved with specially engineered methods or processes, as well as with suitable object shapes and materials.
A replacement window is a window that is installed in an existing window opening as replacement of the existing window. Old weather beaten windows deteriorate and become loose and drafty. They need replacement not only to improve the appearance of the house but also to take advantage of modern energy efficient windows that bring about an overall improvement of the ambiance of the house at low recurring cost of heating and cooling.
Emergency preparedness safety measures such as:
Home or residential renovation is an almost $300 billion industry in the United States, [ full citation needed ] The average cost per project is $3,000 in the United States and $11,000–15,000 in Canada.and a $48 billion industry in Canada.
Professional home improvement is ancient and goes back to the beginning of recorded civilization. One example is Sergius Orata, who in the 1st century B.C. is said by the writer Vitruvius (in his famous book De architectura) to have invented the hypocaust. The hypocaust is an underfloor heating system that was used throughout the Roman empire in villas of the wealthy. He is said to have become wealthy himself by buying villas at a low price, adding spas and his newly invented hypocaust, and reselling them at higher prices.
Perhaps the most important or visible professionals in the renovation industry are renovation contractors or skilled trades. These are the builders that have specialized credentials, licensing and experience to perform renovation services in specific municipalities.
While there is a fairly large ‘grey market’ of unlicensed companies, there are those that have membership in a reputable association and/or are accredited by a professional organization. Homeowners are recommended to perform checks such as verifying license and insurance and checking business references prior to hiring a contractor to work on their house.
Home improvement was popularized on television in 1979 with the premiere of This Old House starring Bob Vila on PBS. American cable channel HGTV features many do-it-yourself shows, as does sister channel DIY Network.Danny Lipford hosts and produces the nationally syndicated Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford . Tom Kraeutler and Leslie Segrete co-host the nationally syndicated The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show .
Movies that poked fun at the difficulties involved include: Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948), starring Cary Grant and Myrna Loy; George Washington Slept Here (1942), featuring Jack Benny and Ann Sheridan; and The Money Pit (1986), with Tom Hanks and Shelley Long. The sitcom Home Improvement used the home improvement theme for comedic purposes.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) is the technology of indoor and vehicular environmental comfort. Its goal is to provide thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality. HVAC system design is a subdiscipline of mechanical engineering, based on the principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer. "Refrigeration" is sometimes added to the field's abbreviation, as HVAC&R or HVACR or "ventilation" is dropped, as in HACR.
A hypocaus is a system of central heating in a building that produces and circulates hot air below the floor of a room, and may also warm the walls with a series of pipes through which the hot air passes. This air can warm the upper floors as well. The word derives from the Ancient Greek hypo meaning "under" and caust-, meaning "burnt". The earliest reference to such a system suggests that the temple of Ephesus in 350 BC was heated in this manner, although Vitruvius attributes its invention to Sergius Orata in c.80 BC. Its invention improved the hygiene and living conditions of citizens, and was a forerunner of modern central heating.
A kitchen stove, often called simply a stove or a cooker, is a kitchen appliance designed for the purpose of cooking food. Kitchen stoves rely on the application of direct heat for the cooking process and may also contain an oven, used for baking. "Cookstoves" are heated by burning wood or charcoal; "gas stoves" are heated by gas; and "electric stoves" by electricity. A stove with a built-in cooktop is also called a range.
A central heating system provides warmth to the whole interior of a building from one point to multiple rooms. When combined with other systems in order to control the building climate, the whole system may be an HVAC system.
Ondol or gudeul in Korean traditional architecture, is underfloor heating that uses direct heat transfer from wood smoke to heat the underside of a thick masonry floor. In modern usage it refers to any type of underfloor heating, or to a hotel or a sleeping room in Korean style.
The kang is a traditional long platform for general living, working, entertaining and sleeping used in the northern part of China, where the winter climate is cold. It is made of bricks or other forms of fired clay and more recently of concrete in some locations.
Home repair involves the diagnosis and resolution of problems in a home, and is related to home maintenance to avoid such problems. Many types of repairs are "do it yourself" (DIY) projects, while others may be so complicated, time-consuming or risky as to suggest the assistance of a qualified handyman, property manager, contractor/builder, or other professionals. Repair is not necessarily the same as home improvement, although many improvements can result from repairs or maintenance. Often the costs of larger repairs will justify the alternative of investment in full-scale improvements. It may make just as much sense to upgrade a home system as to repair it or incur ever-more-frequent and expensive maintenance for an inefficient, obsolete or dying system. For a DIY project, it is also useful to establish limits on how much time and money you're willing to invest before deciding a repair is overwhelming and discouraging, and less likely to ever be completed.
Holmes on Homes is a Canadian television series featuring general contractor Mike Holmes visiting homeowners who are in need of help, mainly due to unsatisfactory home renovations performed by hired contractors.
A pellet stove is a stove that burns compressed wood or biomass pellets to create a source of heat for residential and sometimes industrial spaces. By steadily feeding fuel from a storage container (hopper) into a burn pot area, it produces a constant flame that requires little to no physical adjustments. Today's central heating systems operated with wood pellets as a renewable energy source can reach an efficiency factor of more than 90%.
A home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home. Home inspections are usually conducted by a home inspector who has the training and certifications to perform such inspections. The inspector prepares and delivers to the client a written report of findings. The client then uses the knowledge gained to make informed decisions about their pending real estate purchase. The home inspector describes the condition of the home at the time of inspection but does not guarantee future condition, efficiency, or life expectancy of systems or components.
A mechanical room or a boiler room is a room or space in a building dedicated to the mechanical equipment and its associated electrical equipment, as opposed to rooms intended for human occupancy or storage. Unless a building is served by a centralized heating plant, the size of the mechanical room is usually proportional to the size of the building. A small building or home may have at most a utility room but in large buildings mechanical rooms can be of considerable size, often requiring multiple rooms throughout the building, or even occupying one or more complete floors.
Architectural engineer (PE) is a professional engineering designation in the United States. The architectural engineer applies the knowledge and skills of broader engineering disciplines to the design, construction, operation, maintenance, and renovation of buildings and their component systems while paying careful attention to their effects on the surrounding environment.
Danny Lipford is an American contractor and television personality known to audiences as Host and Executive Producer of the nationally syndicated home improvement television and radio shows, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, and for his appearances on The Weather Channel, and CBS's The Early Show. He is also the spokesperson for Menards.
HVAC Testing, Adjusting and Balancing (TAB) are the three major steps used to achieve proper operation of HVAC systems. TAB usually refers to commercial building construction and the specialized contractors who employ personnel that perform this service.
HVAC is a major subdiscipline of mechanical engineering. The goal of HVAC design is to balance indoor environmental comfort with other factors such as installation cost, ease of maintenance, and energy efficiency. The discipline of HVAC includes a large number of specialized terms and acronyms, many of which are summarized in this glossary.
Memorial Gym, nicknamed "The Pit", is a 3,100-seat multipurpose arena in Orono, Maine. It is home to the University of Maine Black Bears men's and women's basketball teams. Maine played 10 men's and women's basketball games during 2011–12 at Memorial Gym. The men’s team has held a total of eight games at Memorial Gym since 2003–04. The Gym was home to Black Bears Basketball from 1935 to 1989, before moving some games to Bangor Auditorium.
Designated as an American National Standard, the Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC) is a model code developed by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) to govern the installation, inspection and maintenance of HVAC and refrigeration systems.
Accessible housing refers to the construction or modification of housing to enable independent living for persons with disabilities. Accessibility is achieved through architectural design, but also by integrating accessibility features such as modified furniture, shelves and cupboards, or even electronic devices in the home.
Comfort Systems USA, Inc. (NYSE:FIX) provides heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) installation, maintenance, repair and replacement services within the mechanical services industry. The Company has 38 operating units in 72 cities and 86 locations throughout the United States. The Company operates primarily in the commercial, industrial and institutional HVAC markets. In addition to standard HVAC services, it also provides specialized applications, such as building automation control systems, fire protection, process cooling, electronic monitoring and process piping. Certain locations also perform related activities, such as electrical service and plumbing. The company is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol 'FIX'.