Contemporary Home Design

Contemporary Home Design

Contemporary home designs are very different from traditional designs for homes. Traditionally, the space available for homes was very abundant and bulky furniture and intricate interiors were the main features of the houses. More >>>

Simple Home Design

Simple Home Design

Having a home with the design that we truly want is something that would really make us feel good. Although most houses built these days have general designs, it would be better if we could come up with our own design to give our homes a more personalized touch. More >>>

Eco-Friendly House Design Ideas

Eco-Friendly House Design Ideas

Eco friendly house designs are not only safe to live in, they also save you a lot of money. More >>>


Monthly Archives: December 2015

Prevent Sewer Backup

When it comes to home ownership and dealing with disasters, there are few things more discouraging and frustrating than to discover that there is a problem with the septic system. Yet, this is a problem the average homeowner will have to deal with at least once, if they own a home for any extended length of time. That said, it doesn’t have guarantee that sewer backup is inevitable. In fact, by taking steps to minimize the risks, one could potentially lower the odds of needing to call the plumber because of a sewer problem.

While there are many preventative steps that can be taken, perhaps the most important is to know what type of sewer lines your home has, as this will help you gauge the risk more effectively. The main types of sewer lines are:

· Clay sewer lines – If your home was built before the 1950s, then it is a good chance this is the type of system your home has. These pipes can be easily breeched by large root systems due to trees being planted too close. Other issues with clay sewer line systems is that it can be easier for tissue paper to build up and cause a blockage. Most professionals recommend that homes with clay sewer systems be professionally snaked using an environmentally safe chemical treatment at least once every couple of years.

· Fiber Conduit – During the late 50s and throughout the 60s, these began replacing the clay pipes. This product is not susceptible to damage by tree roots, but due to their material makeup, they have been found to become deformed in shape over time and to result in a sewer backup. This type of system should be cleaned annually.

· Cast iron sewer lines – Introduced in the late 1970s, this style is still in use today. It is an incredibly strong system, but it is still at risk of blockages due to the wrong things (sanitary products, grease, etc.) being put into the system, as well as being at risk of tree roots becoming wrapped around the pipes. Ideally, sewer backup concerns can be minimized by being cognizant of what is put into the system and by scheduling a yearly cleaning by a professional.

As with any household system, the best form of prevention is through awareness and scheduled maintenance. Yes, the maintenance may be somewhat time consuming – but think of the alternative – no home plumbing for anywhere from a few hours to potentially a few days and a large plumbing bill to be paid. So, minimize problems like sewer backup with preventative maintenance – it’s worth the investment!

Modern Wooden Stairs

In theory, there is nothing technically difficult about building wooden stairs, but it is considered to be one of the most challenging do-it-yourself projects that a home owner could undertake. There is a lot more to building a stairway than just the decorative wood stair balusters, so the first you thing have to do, is to check with your local building codes office to find out what the local requirements are because, for safety reasons, there are strict guidelines that you will have to follow.

You will then need to meticulously plan your wood staircase, making sure that you meet the local building regulations. Because people are so used to using professionally built staircases, it is vital that you build your stairs in a way that ensures that there is no difference in height between the steps, the steps are neither too shallow nor too tall, and, of course, everything has to be true and stable.

If you are going to build your own custom wood stair design, it is also advisable to purchase all the wood stair parts that you will need from a reputable supplier. If you use a specialist supplier, they will be able to supply you with quality stairway components and help you with design, fabrication and installation as well.

You will also need to understand the terminology used for the various wood stair parts, so here is a guide to some of the terms that are used in a custom wood stair design.


The tread is the horizontal part of the stairway that is stepped on. The thickness of a tread is the same as any other wooden flooring and the tread depth refers to the distance between the vertical panels, called the risers, which sit between each step.


The riser is the vertical panel that is situated between the treads. It forms the face of the step, but it may be missing on some custom wood stair designs, which would be called an open stair effect.


A stringer is the structural long piece of timber that supports the risers, treads, wood stair balusters, and other components of a staircase. On a typical stairway there will be three of these stringers; one on each side and one in the centre.


Wood stair balusters are the vertical posts that support the handrail. Sometimes called a spindle, or a guard; the balusters act as the infill between the treads and the handrail. They can be either plain, or decorative, and treads often need two balusters each.

Bullnose step

The bullnose step is a step that has a rounded, quarter circle, edge to it, which is usually found at the bottom of a flight of stairs. Sometimes called a starter step, the bottom step is quite often wider than the remaining steps of the staircase.


Winder steps are the steps that are used when the stairway changes direction without a landing. They are the treads that are shorter at one end than the other, which you would find where a stairway turns a corner, or on a spiral staircase.

Rise and run

The terms rise and run are used to describe height and vertical distance. The total rise is the height between floors or landings, while the rise of each step is the vertical distance between each tread. The total run is the horizontal distance between the very first riser and the last, and the distance between the front and the rear edges of a tread is called the tread depth.

If you are going to build your own custom wood stair design, it does take a lot of very careful and precise planning and it’s not the easiest of do-it-yourself jobs to do. However, so long as you use quality wood stair parts and get professional help when you need it, it is something that anyone with a basic knowledge or carpentry can do.