Construction machines used in house renovations
Home renovations are becoming increasingly popular. Like every other man-made erection, houses are vulnerable to wear as the years go by. Renovations are a way of continuous maintenance and servicing to sustain the functionality of the house. The decision to improve one’s home through a change in design is not only limited to existing homeowners but also new ones. Instead of building, people now prefer to buy previously owned houses and bring in their preferences in the architecture through renovations. Renovations offer solutions to the cost and time-demanding needs of building a home from scratch.
Home renovations may be to the interior of the house, exterior, or even the landscape around the house. The processes involved may range from demolitions, electrical, drywall work, plumbing, tiling, masonry, roofing, concrete, garden work, siding, to garage additions or maintenance. As such many different construction tools are useful to the home renovation process.
Demolition of existing walls to construct new ones is a prevalent step in house renovations. Exterior walls are usually bigger and allow for sufficient space to accommodate big machinery. Excavators are a convenient tool for these demolitions. Moreover, owners who want to take out entire rooms can also use excavators. They are functional in demolishing the strongest walls. Excavators are not only applicable in wall demolitions but also heavy lifting, digging holes for foundations, and rough grading. Owners who wish to lift their homes conduct this step first before any other renovations. The decision to lift a house aims to achieve goals such as adding more living space or basement, undertake repairs to the foundation, expand crawlspace, or prevent flood damage. Excavators, in particular the hydraulic shovel, are suited for this heavy lifting.
Another area that excavators are applicable in house renovations is in plumbing. Hydraulic excavators are used for digging ditches for laying the pipeline. Additionally, the stringing and layering process is undertaken by the use of hydraulic excavators. Construction activities usually result in a lot of debris and dirt left behind that is not attractive in a home. Excavators are responsible for removing any unwanted sediments and debris after the renovations are done.
The traditional method of mixing concrete manually has been proven to be wasteful, and time-consuming posing the risk of the concrete setting before being applied to its intended use. The ultimate cost of mixing concrete manually is very high. Technology has introduced a labour-saving method of mixing concrete through the use of concrete mixers. The revolving drum or mixer bowl of concrete mixers is used to combine cement, sand, gravel, and water to create concrete. The machines also have a handle that allows the operator to pour out the concrete after mixing. Cement mixers come in different models and sizes. The common two types of concrete mixers are the in-transit mixers and the portable mixer.
The in-transit mixer is suitable for bigger projects. In-transit mixers provided a solution to the worry of the concrete drying before use. It maintains the material inside the bowl in a liquid state through agitation and continuous rotation of the drum. The in-transit mixer has a spiral blade inside the drum. Charging occurs when the drum rotates in one direction, pushing the concrete deeper into it during the transportation process. To discharge the concrete from the drum, it is usually rotated in the other direction where the Archimedes’ screw-type arrangement ejects the concrete onto chutes, a conveyor belt, or a concrete pump.
The portable mixer, on the other hand, is the smaller model available in sizes ranging from 3 to 12 cubic feet. Contrary to the in-transit mixers that are the transporting truck on their own, portable mixers are usually mounted on the trunks of vehicles, towed on wheels, or hoisted on a truck. Portable mixers are ideal for home renovations especially in decorative concrete construction and fence building. The restricted space that characterizes most home projects can be accessible by portable mixers. The type of mixer to choose will depend on the size of the project and the desired mixing cycle of the user. Nonetheless, the irrevocable benefits of using concrete mixers are the improved quality and uniformity of concrete, time-saving and cost-saving benefits, and the significant reduction of wastage.
Skid-steer loaders are four-wheeled vehicles with lift arms that can attach various tools. The major advantage of skid-steer loaders is its variety in attachment options. A constructor may choose to replace the front bucket of a skid-steer loader with attachments like auger, rippers, pallet booms, tillers, stump grinders, backhoe, tree spade, snow blowers, trencher, angle broom, hydraulic breakers, dumping hopper, sweeper, pavement millers and mowers to perform different tasks. Apart from their versatility in attachments, skid-steer loaders can turn in their own tracks making themselves flexible. They are also compact enough to fit into construction sections inaccessible to other larger machinery. The characteristics make them convenient for home renovations.
Skid-steer loaders come in different sizes with varying rated operating capacity (ROC) depending on the project type. The ones with a higher ROC also have a high engine horsepower. Home renovations prevalently utilize the small frame skid-steer loaders that are 1,750 lbs. and have an engine horsepower of under 50 hp. The reason for this is that house renovations have smaller jobsite dimensions that can fit the small frame skid-steers compared to projects such as roadbuilding. Moreover, house renovations may require accessing in-between houses erected closely together, or accessing spaces constrained by backyard gates and fences. The small frame skid-steers are thus convenient. Small frame skid-steers excel particularly in interior demolitions. This is not only due to their compact size but also their flexibility in attachments. Contractors can use a hydraulic breaker attachment to knock down concrete and then switch to a grapple that will be applied to remove the debris from inside the house.
The process of pouring concrete requires a vital step of concrete vibrating. Concrete vibrating entails consolidating the concrete and reducing the number of air holes in the concrete. Failure to do so makes the concrete mass vulnerable to rock pockets, voids, poor bonding with the rebar, and honeycombing. Contractors need to be careful to apply the right level of vibrations. Excessive vibration is also detrimental to the construction with risks of bulged walls and blowouts.
Concrete vibrators are either internal, vibrating the concrete from within the formwork, or external, vibrating the formwork from the outside. Internal vibrators are flexible and are usually more affordable, thus are the most preferred. Depending on the thickness of the concrete, external vibrators are usually placed directly to the formwork. This form of vibrators consumes more power than the internal vibrators. They are used in situations with a heavy concentration of rebar that internal vibrators could damage such as pre-casting facilities. Moreover, processes that require minimum vibration only apply external vibrators. Vertical formworks such as walls that require maximum reinforcement also apply the use of external vibrators. Different types of concrete vibrators come with varying frequency, power, and size. Currently, the types of vibrators in the market are the immersion or needle vibrator, extended or shutter vibrator, surface vibrator, and the vibrating table.
The immersion (needled) vibrators usually come in sizes ranging from 40 to 100 mm in diameter. They have a steel tube (poker) with an eccentric vibrating element to it connected to an electric motor or diesel engine. The immersion vibrator has a vibration frequency of up to 1,500 rpm, requires a vibration period of 30 seconds to 2 minutes, and works on concrete layers of not more than 600 millimetres high. The surface vibrators operate at a frequency of 4,000 rpm at an acceleration of 4g to 9g and a slab thickness not exceeding 150 millimetres. Lastly, the vibrating table operates at a frequency of 4,000 rpm at an acceleration of 4g to 7g.
Home-owners who wish to renovate their garage or driveway may opt for asphalt paving. Before the asphalt paving process contractors will first demolish and remove the existing surface. The next step is grading and sloping the surface for appropriate water drainage. The sub-base that is responsible for stable support of the new pavement is then prepared and subsequently, proof rolled, undercut, and repaired. The final step before layering the asphalt pavement is adding the binder layer and coursing the surface.
Asphalt pavers are the equipment used to layer the asphalt on the ground before a roller compacts the concrete. They can either be gravity-fed pavers or conveyor-fed pavers. Gravity-fed pavers, as their name suggests, rely on gravity to feed and transfer asphalt from the hopper to the screed assembly. The machines work by raising the paver’s bed hydraulically as asphalt is fed into the hopper. The rise continues until gravity pulls the asphalt towards the screed.
Conveyor-fed pavers are considered high-capacity compared to gravity-fed pavers. They are usually self-propelled formless laydown machines. These asphalt pavers have two main systems that facilitate the performance of their tasks – the tractor and the floating screed. It is through the tractor, which is incorporated by a material feed system that accepts hot mix asphalt into the front of the paver. The hot mix asphalt is then transferred to the rear of the paver via a set of flight feeders. Finally, a set of augers spread out the asphalt with the desired width achieved by the working of the material feed system. The screed system of asphalt pavers is responsible for screed levelling and compaction. The screed unit is self-levelling to determine the profile of the hot mix asphalt received from the tractor unit. From the material delivery system, the screed will take the head of the hot mix asphalt, propel it at the right thickness and proceed to the initial mat compaction. The screed system strikes off the asphalt in amounts that enable levelling for compaction and to prevent cracking. Although the conveyor-fed paver is preferred, the gravity-fed pavers are the prevalent option in driveways and small parking lots common in home renovations.
Reputable company for construction machines
Home renovation is an involved process. Choosing a reputable company that will take care of the process and delivers quality work is essential. Houston Remodeling Contractors is one such efficient building company. Based in Houston, Texas, the company focuses on a variety of services ranging from water restoration services, concrete services, roofing, structural alterations, general remodeling and many more.
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