Maximize Space in Your Custom Built Home

Building a custom home is a great experience. But sticking within your budget can be difficult. When figuring out how much your new home is going to cost, you usually have to think in terms of square footage. But there are ways to increase your square footage and still save. For example, building up by adding a second story on the house is less expensive than building out, because that’s less area that will need a foundation and roof coverage. I started this blog to help you find ways to get the space that you need in your custom home, without having to spend more than you can afford. Building my custom home was the best money I ever spent, and I’m happy to help you learn how to get the custom home you want.

Do-It-Yourself Concrete: The Four Types Of Barrel Heaters And How They Can Help You With Your Homeowner Projects

Construction & Contractors Blog

Working with concrete is virtually a precise science. As a homeowner and a DIYer, you want to mix small batches of concrete. The concrete needs to stay a constant temperature until you have used it all. Barrel heaters are ideal for this job, but there are four different kinds. It is important to know which kind you need and how each will benefit your concrete projects.

Inflatable Barrel Heaters

Inflatable barrel heaters come in round or square shapes and 55 gallon drums or larger. The best thing about inflatable barrel heaters is that the material they are made of deflects wind and insulates the concrete against colder temperatures. It is also melt-proof, so you do not have to worry about the heater destroying the container before it is empty. Once you have used all of the concrete stored inside, you unplug the inflatable barrel heater, power-wash it out, and either use it again or deflate it to store for later use.

Blanket Wraps for Barrels

Instead of heaters attached to or already installed in the barrels, you can transform any ordinary barrel into a barrel heater. These blanket wraps, as the name suggests, wrap around the barrel and secure on one side. The heating mechanism is electrical and heats the blanket wrap from the inside out, putting the heat source closest to the barrel you are using. It is a green alternative to barrel heaters that can only be used so many times before you have to dispose of them.

Plastic or Fiber Barrel Heaters

These band heaters are similar to the ones that heat steel drums. The difference is that the band heaters for fiber or plastic barrels heat at lower temperatures so they do not damage the barrels. They are best for early to mid-spring concrete mixing and holding, as well as early fall.

Steel Drum and Steel Gallon Pail Heaters

These are the most efficient and cost-effective heaters because the steel absorbs all the heat that the band heaters produce. They keep the entire drum or gallon pail a consistent temperature up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Steel drum heaters are excellent for all-year long use. You can even premix concrete in advance and store it in the steel drum heaters days in advance.

Choosing the Heaters You Need

Depending on where you are living in the U.S., some of these heaters may not be the best option for your projects. On the other hand, a steel drum heater works anywhere in any temperature or weather condition. Most barrel heater distributors and tool rental stores can help you calculate the amount of concrete you need to keep at an even temperature for the projects you are hoping to complete. Then you can figure out how many and of what kind of heaters you need.

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16 April 2015