Building And Construction Costs In South Africa

BUILDING COSTS (Overall rates per m excl. VAT)

The following building and construction rates are provided to indicate the current square meter costs of a range of basic or common buildings in the construction industry.

Rates are approximate and vary according to the specifications of the project. Rates should be used with extreme caution and used only as a estimated indicator as these differ from area to area. Information is not stated specifically and the lowest industry standard specification is implied.

Preliminaries are included in the price but external works excluded. Escalation to start and during construction, professional fees and finance costs are excluded.

Residential Developments GASH (good address, small home) housing by Contractor/Developer R 2 550 – 3 200 Duplex houses/apartments R 3 600 – 4 200 Luxury (cluster) houses R 5 000 – 6 800 Retirement centre R 3 600 – 4 200 External works and services R 550 – 780

Office Developments Underground parking basements including foundation R 1 650 – 2 300 Commercial office park development on basement (with AC) R 2 950 – 3 650 Prestigious office development on basements R 4 700 – 7 200 External works services and landscaping for low rise developments R 550 – 780 Retail Developments Value centre type retail R 2 200 – 2 900 Convenience strip shopping centre R 3 100 – 3 700 Regional shopping centre with enclosed malls R 5 200 – 7 300 External works paving and services R 550 – 780 Industrial Developments Warehousing with 6 m height (over 2 000 m) including ablutions R 1 400 – 1 950 Medium duty factory building with 8 m height (over 2 000 m) R 1 750 – 2 300 Attached office buildings (no AC) R 2 700 – 3 200 External works, paving and services R 550 – 780 Leisure Developments Thatched game lodge accommodation per m R 3 700 – 4 800 Budget type hotels per room R 390 000 Luxury hotels per room R 1 380 000 External works and landscaped environment per m R 850 – 1 100

Bubbleponics Build a Super Inexpensive Bubbleponic Cloner Homemade Hydroponics

Stronger Clones Begin Here

Bubbleponic cloning systems are an all to easy to build answer to weak and limpy imitations. The entire program usually not expense you a lot. If you decide to use neorepene discs, like the E-Z Clone utilizes, you will have a powerful cloning program which utilizes no development medium./p>

The aeroponic cloner you will have following this guide could root imitations inside as little as 7 days with an organic rooting gel like Earth Juice Earthstock. There are many alternative types of rooting gels and powders. Clonex and Olivia’s are two alternative gels that really work fine.

Supply List

-Storage Tote
-Neorepene EZ Clone Discs
-Air Pump
-Air Tubing
-Air Stones
-Power Drill with tool bit which is the same size as a discs.

Light Proof The Tote

If you bought a light proof move, you are able to skip this step. If it’s well-defined or partially well-defined you ought to wrap it inside a reflective information. You can use Christmas wrapping paper if you are deprived of access to something else. You just want to be sure no light comes inside by the walls of your move. The storage move are the h2o reservoir for a cloning program.

Use HDPE Food Grade plastics for a storage move if you plan on cloning consumable plants like fruits or veggies. Food grade plastics make sure the protection of you and your family. If the cloning lessons only for blossoms, there is very little risk since you will not consume the chemicals.

Prepare the Air Tube Hole

Drill a hole by the side of the Bubbleponics System on the top. A half inch tool bit works fine. You could potentially also employ a soldering iron to produce a tiny hole. It just must be big enough to match the air tubing associated to the air mattress pump.

Put the air tubing by the hole before linking the air stone or the pump. You said by the hole to test which its big enough and to make sure the tube is by the hole before larger objects are sealed on to it. You could potentially also seal the hole with a rubber grommet thus no h2o usually leak if it is moved.

WARNING: Burning plastic gives off hazardous fumes. Wear protective gear inside a fine ventilated region.

Prepare the Bubbleponics System Lid

Take among the EZ-Clone discs or Net Pots you plan on using for a imitations and trace the outward diameter on to the lid of the move. Plan them like a grid thus you can increase a space.

Start a holes in a of the edges. The number of holes you are making is as much as you. Remember a imitations usually only require a week or 2 inside the cloner before they are rooted and prepared for transplant. It is superior practice to program for a couple imitations which you may not require.

Extra imitations enable you to choose the strongest ones and avoid yourself from without enough. Of course extra imitations require a Healthy Mother Plant.

Green Tip: Leave a little extra space inside between a holes. The extra space will help the clone leaves spread out but still have access to enough oxygen. The point of the bubbleponic lessons efficiency.

Next you are able to insert a neorepene discs or web pots inside the holes you created. Here is where EZ Clone discs offer an advantage over web pots. The discs could remain inside the cloner whenever it’s not used to avoid light from acquiring into the reservoir causing algae development.

Net pots never block light properly except they are whole of medium. You could potentially only waste enough medium to fill the empty places if you find yourself not using it. A smarter option is to pay for the wasted part of the cloner with black and white poly or mylar.

Fill The Bubbleponics System

Get the cloning program inside position it is in the light you prefer to employ. Now you will be ready to fill a reservoir with h2o. You will want water to be a few inches under the hole for the air tubing. There should be room for the stem of your imitations to persevere the dark 100% humidity environment above water line.

Plug the air pump inside and make sure you’ve many bubbles popping found on the surface of water. If you decide to plan on using all the spaces you will need actually burp submission over the area of water. It doesn’t have to be precisely actually, just be sure no space is acquiring too sticky and no space is extremely dry.

The excellent humidity usually confirm victory inside tiny 15-20 clone systems. 20 – 55 clone systems usually only require 2 or three oxy boulders. If you decide to require a bigger cloning program, you might want to consider creating many 55 clone systems. Having individual reservoirs usually confirm a problem in a program refuses to end a entire propagation program.

Take The Cuttings
Clonex

Develop Hotel Management Strategy Map To Visualize Goals

What is a strategy map? Is it just a nice presentation demonstrating company goals? Well, some top managers and business owners think so. In fact, this is not true as an effective strategy map shows both goals and ways to achieve these goals. Besides, some strategy maps are very difficult to understand since they contain complex terms and formulas from strategic management theory. An effective strategy map must be easy to understand even for a person without even elementary knowledge of strategic planning. Such a person should see goals and how these goals will be reached. All the rest is unnecessary. An effective strategy map and shows cause and effect ties between goals and measures. For example, if a strategy map contains just one goal of making much money and no ways to implement it this will be a useless document. At the same time, if such a strategy map demonstrates how this goal will be implemented and what needs to be done in several stages, this strategy map can be considered effective. In
this article well talk about hotel management strategy maps.

First and foremost a hotel should develop comprehensive and realistic strategy. It means that strategic goals have to be ambitious and achievable at the same time. On top of that, making a lot of money can be hardly called a strategic goal. A strategy is about future vision, and hotel industry is not an exception here. Thus, a good example of strategic goal would be gaining particular percentage of market share, improve and loyalty of existing customers and attraction of new ones, improving hotel business image and recognition throughout the world and of course increasing profits. Of an effective hotel management strategy map will show what needs to be done to achieve these goals. Balanced Scorecard is perhaps the best tool to design strategy maps that demonstrate cause and effect ties.

All financial goals can be implemented if some improvements are performed in other spheres. As known, Balanced Scorecard consists of four categories which are interrelated: financial, customer, internal business processes, learning and growth. A hotel strategy map will show cause and effect ties between all categories and key performance indicators that each category contains. For instance, in order to increase revenue (financial), it is necessary to attract new customers (customer) which is possible on lee through introduction of new services and improvement of internal procedures (internal business processes) while this is only achievable through improvement of personnel professional level (learning and growth). This simple example demonstrates cause and effect ties between Balanced Scorecard categories and key performance indicators. For example such key performance indicator as customer loyalty directly affects revenue growth since loyal and satisfied customers are more likely to stay and the same ho
tel again. Thus, the hotel strategy works in the long term which contributes to competitive advantage in the market. It needs saying that Balanced Scorecard will perfectly work and the hotel will improve its performance only if improvements in the four categories are achieved. This means that the hotel should be ready for changes.

The Best And Cheapest Home Improvement Techniques – Clean Green And Save Your Life

Are you on a limited budget? If you are, you might want to consider a home improvement project centered around cleaning your home. Cleaning our home, especially when we do it often, may not seem like a home improvement project – but it actually is. Those that decide to clean their home for such a project will only do as well as they want to. Cleaning green is important for this reason. To inspire you to clean green, we have written this article with healthy home improvement tips.

It is possible to clean your mirrors and windows without using ammonia-based cleansers. Knowing this information is not what the Windex Corp wants you to know. Ammonia is terrible for your lungs. Even though your windows will look great, the damage that it will do to you really isn’t worth all of that sparkle and shine. So how do you keep your windows clean in a green cleaning way? As a substitute, you can go green using water and lemon juice instead. The mixture you should adhere to is one half gallon of water and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix it thoroughly. Simply put this in a spray bottle and start cleaning your windows and glass. Avoid using paper towels if possible. Instead, use a soft cotton rag and wipe the cleanser off of the windows – this is much more environmentally friendly. Use pure lemon juice to clean vinyl items. This works equally well whether you are wiping down a vinyl piece of furniture (like those old recliners that were mass produced in the 1970s and 1980s) or are using it to mop your vinyl flooring. Most people do not realize that the flooring in the kitchen, as well as their bathrooms, may be made of vinyl and not expensive tiles, even though they may appear to be genuine. Microbes will actually grow on vinyl surfaces. Lemon juice can actually remove these. And lemon juice doesn’t stink.

Furniture polish should always be avoided. There are many unhealthy chemicals used in making furniture polish. Your health can be badly affected. You can also pollute the air with it. They are bad for the structural integrity of whatever you are trying to make look better. One part lemon juice and two parts olive oil is a great way to create your own green furniture polish. All you do is rub the mixture into your furniture like normal. You can improve the overall appearance of any structure or item, plus make it shiny, by using this solution. As a final note, it will smell much better than chemically-based furniture polish.

Going green, and using green cleaning methods, will help you preserve the environment and keep your home in tip top condition. A great place to start is to begin to improve your home by claiming it in a thorough in an environmentally friendly way. You can benefit from using environmentally friendly cleaning methods and avoiding traditional chemically based cleaning strategies that most people use. Go Green today!

American Water Heater Pros and Cons

This article is written to assist you in selecting the water heater that will best suit your particular residential water heating needs. We will discuss various types of hot water systems and provide useful hints for selecting the right model.

Did you know that heating water is the second-biggest source of energy consumption in your home?

This is the main reason to be very careful when deciding on the best water heating solution for you. When purchasing a new water heater, or changing from one heater to another, you should consider several factors:

– Source of fuel (solar, gas, electrical, oil) – Initial price and long-term operating costs – Size (tankless, point of use, storage tank) – Quality – Brand favorites (i.e.; Noritz, Rheem, AO Smith, Rinnai…) – Repair costs and spare part availability – Optional feature availability

Gas-fueled appliances may use either natural, propane, or LP gas. Seek models with a high energy factor; the higher this value is, the better. Their primary benefit is rapid water heating with a cheaper fuel.

Electric water heaters are good picks in cases where gas is not a realistic alternative. Lower initial cost, safety, flexibility, and easier installation and troubleshooting are the main benefits.

Solar-powered American water heaters are very basic and use cost-free, renewable solar energy to produce hot water. These models represent lifelong investments that pay rich dividends in the long term.

Oil-fired heating systems with high combustion temperatures are rapid recovery units that are higher than both electric and gas systems.

Technology and Size Considerations

Tankless water heaters are often called “instantaneous” or “on-demand” systems, as they produce hot water only upon demand. The main benefits are the absence of a cumbersome, space-consuming tank, infinite hot water supply, excellent efficiency, longevity, flexibility, compact size, and high proportion of replaceable elements. Popular manufacturers are Rheem, Noritz, Bosch, Rinnai, Paloma.

Tank-style heating units are the most common type of American water heater. A 50-gallon tank is the most popular size, and may be either gas or electric. Reputable North American manufacturers include AO Smith, Rheem, State, American, Bradford White.

Water Heater Reviews Based on Venting

Direct-vent water heating units have built-in venting systems that draw air into the unit while forcing fumes out without using the electrical blower.

Power vent water heating appliances are similar to direct-vent models, but they use electrically-powered blowers for assistance with mechanically exhausting the combustion gases to the exterior of the device.

Atmospheric heaters use either a vertical or Type B vent, or a brick or double-wall metal chimney. A sufficient supply of air is needed for proper gas combustion. In most cases, this air supply originates from within the house.

Through-the-wall (“TTW”) hot water units use either a blower or a direct-vent system.

Other Water Heater Types

Water heaters of higher efficiency are acknowledged as being EnergyStar appliances, as they offer superior performance, reduced operating costs and environmental pollution, and allow their owners to receive governmental grants. Look for an EF rating equal to or greater than .82.

Add Glam To Your Bathroom Install Elegant Bathroom Cabinets

Gone are the days when you usually associate bathroom cabinets to ordinary and minor add-ons to our home improvement activities. Bathroom cabinets are no longer seen as a ubiquitous medicine locker or bathroom fixture that you must have to store items that you have inside your bathroom.

Today, when you talk about bathroom cabinets you also focus on their impact on the overall design as these are considered as essential elements in any home upgrade project. Savvy DIY enthusiasts and home improvement specialists will usually look at elegance and aesthetic appeal whenever bathroom cabinets are tackled in their home improvement jobs. Thus, it is not surprising when elegant and intricately designed wooden cabinets are included as main elements in the bathroom upgrade.

It is now important that you decide on the appropriate bathroom cabinet for your home on the basis of its functionality, overall appeal and consistency with your home interior design. Bathroom cabinets are not just ordinary boxes which you install inside your bathroom. You must look at these fixtures primarily as bathroom vanity that may be outfitted with elegant glass doors to add glam to the overall look of your bathroom. Although, this glass doors may not be trendy in all types of bathrooms, its use highlights the importance of elegance and overall appeal of the type of cabinet you will use for your bathroom upgrade or remodeling.

When deciding on the type of bathroom cabinet that can seamlessly blend with the interior design it is crucial that you learn and understand the distinction between the two main design categories of bathroom cabinets. These are the traditional style of bathroom cabinets and the European style of bathroom cabinets.

The traditional bathroom cabinets are outfitted with a body frame while the European bathroom cabinets usually follow the open edge design. The former makes use of trim strips to align the exterior portion.

There are three main types of bathroom cabinets. These are stock bathroom cabinets, custom-made bathroom cabinets and the semi custom made bathroom cabinets.

The stock types are those that you can buy from the store as finished and ready to install bathroom fixtures as these do not require any add-ons. On the other hand, you will have to go for custom made bathroom cabinets if your design requirements are so unique that you will have to have one that meets your unique design specifications.

Lastly, you will have to opt for semi custom made if you want to retain the overall design but add your personal touch to give it its unique appeal. Among the three types of bathroom cabinets, the semi custom made bathroom cabinets are preferred by more people as they allow flexibility in the final design to give them that perfect blend and balance of the elements of the interior design.

People are now seeing bathroom cabinets from a more progressive perspective. They now decide on the most appropriate design that can enhance and give elegance to their bathroom without having to compromise its primary function. So, the next time you consider a major makeover of your bathroom, make sure that you include in your interior design the appropriate and most elegant bathroom cabinet.

Do-it-yourself Home Improvement Tips To Save You Money

With just a few easy home improvement projects, you can make a huge difference in the overall appearance and value of your property. In fact, you can increase your resale value by thousands of dollars with some updates. Check out the article below for some wonderful home improvement projects.

If you are running out of counter space in your kitchen, consider an over-the-range microwave. Over-the-range microwave ovens offer many features, including convection cooking. However, these units often only provide a recirculating filter, so if you are a cook who needs a good ventilation system, you may need to look elsewhere.

New floors can update your home. You can do the work yourself by visiting a DIY store in your area. Otherwise, the work can be completed in 24 hours or less if you find a reliable flooring company that specializes in carpet, tile, laminate and hardwood.

Check out the credentials of any home improvement company that you are considering. If a company doesn’t give you a physical address and only conducts business over the phone, that means they’re probably small time and aren’t very reputable. Look for a company that gives you a physical address and has a good reputation.

It is always best to plan ahead when working on any home improvement project. Procrastinating until start day can be disastrous, as it can result in hasty decisions and bad judgments. If you plan in advance, you will have a much easier time completing the project.

Before you make firm renovation plans, you should check out other homes and subdivisions. You will get a chance to see how the latest trends in colors and styles look inside a home instead of just in a home center. Model homes are decorated professionally with coordinated window treatments and furnishings, so you can get good ideas without a lot of experimentation in your own home.

Exhaust fans should be put in the laundry room, bathroom, and near cooking surfaces. Venting this humid, warm air prevents mold and mildew from forming. Also, if you are able to reduce the amount of humidity inside, you can prevent rot from occurring.

In most homes, there is really isn’t much natural lighting in the basement area. Therefore, you should ensure you are properly planning for artificial lighting in your basement so that it appears more attractive to others. Hopefully you have a basement that has high walls from the ground. If this is the case, putting in windows might be an option.

If you are going to be painting your home, it is vital that you do the math to find out exactly how many cans of paint to purchase. Simply guessing could cost you a lot of money. Be sure you take some time to measure exactly how much of an area you need to paint.

Clogged gutters can lead to serious drainage issues during a rainy summer. In fact, if you have a leaky basement, the most likely culprit is rainwater running down the outside of your home after overspilling clogged gutters. Make sure you clean your gutters before this occurs.

Seal grout after laying tile. Remember that grout is a porous substance. If you do not seal it, moisture can seep into the grout, promoting mold and mildew. The grout will also stain. By sealing the grout, it will be easier to clean the tiles and you are less likely to battle mildew.

Although there’s a great selection of solar-powered outdoor lights available out there, they’re really not appropriate for anything beyond providing decorative accents. If you want something that can push back the night, you should really consider electric. Although these models can be more costly, they’re also more reliable, and you’ll get a lot more out of them than the average solar model.

While you may think you have level kitchen floors, use your level when you install kitchen cabinetry, just in case. Begin at your kitchen floor’s highest point, and then place a line across the wall’s length where your cabinets are going to be put in. This is needed to ensure that the counters are going to be level.

There is no need to get involved in complicated renovations. If you plan everything out ahead of time, in the end the project will run much smoother. Implement the methods described here and get started with your next project.

Lead A Better Life Through Home Improvement

Your daily attitude and the way you feel is closely related to your home and how it makes you feel. If you think about it, you spend a lot of your time there. If you don’t work outside the home, you spend even more time in the house. The comfort level of your home is an important factor in the way you feel about your daily life. You should insist that your home is somewhere you want to spend your time, it will make you feel better. Here are some smart tips for making your house feel like home.

When considering home improvements, keep your own comfort in mind. No home is perfect, but make up your mind to transform those more serious flaws that cause you daily irritation. Small transformations of this sort can brighten your everyday life. Things like replacing old, uncomfortable furniture can enhance the way your home looks and feels.

Try expanding the space you have. Being confined in the living area will prevent you from adequately rearranging the space. Solve this with an expansion. Even increasing the space by several feet can make a big difference.

If you expand your home with recreational areas, it will be more enjoyable. Fixtures like pools, hot tubs, and tether-ball poles serve the dual purpose of giving you more things to do around the house and increasing your home’s value.

Consider the lighting in your home. By bringing light into a formerly dark corner of your home, you will brighten the space as well as make the room look more spacious and welcoming. Replacing burnt out bulbs or changing the color or wattage of old bulbs is a simple way to make a room seem brighter and more inviting. Take this simple DIY project a step further by also updating your lighting fixtures.

Turning your backyard into a beautiful garden makes it feel like you are walking in a nice park. Whether you tend the garden yourself or hire a professional, you are sure to enjoy the many pleasures and positive aspects offered by this type of outdoor space. A garden is a place where stress melts away; where you breathe deeply of fresh, clean air. It is a place where you can relax amidst the beautiful flowers you have chosen to grow, or pick fresh herbs and vegetables for your dinner.

There are lots of ways to improve your home’s exterior. That way, you will be happy to see your home every time you come home.

Home improvement projects can have a tremendously positive effect on your mood and the quality of your life by making all the time you spend within your home more pleasant. Because of this, anything you can do to improve your home will benefit the house and your personal satisfaction.

How to Build Wind Turbine Generator home made

WIND TURBINE GENERATOR PLANS –

The Manuals, guides or plans have a minimal cost to cover the cost of developing how to build a wind turbine generator at home.

Home wind power turbine generator will feed the electricity produced into a regulator or charge control lern which controls and limits the input that the electric current is fed into your battery bank and reduce or stop any overcharging of the batteries for extended battery life. After your battery bank is fully charged you will require an inverter.

An inverter is a device that converts your battery bank power [D.C.] to domestic household power [A.C.]. The voltage will depend on your country.

You will be able to get your Manuals that will explain in great detail how to find all of the materials required for your actual home wind turbine generator construction and detailed step by step instructions from the internet. You will also get detailed plans for a residential solar panel array construction and also where to find your batteries for your battery bank.

Out of all of the renewable energy sources, power created from the wind is probably the most rapidly expanding way to produce electricity. Renewable wind energy is the obvious first choice and owning a home made wind turbine generator is a green alternative.

REMEMBER to source out the correct package that gives you all this information.

Glass Mosaic Tile Art Make Mosaics With Stained Glass Patterns

Looking for something new in your mosaic art? Heres a fresh idea. Make mosaics using large stained-glass pieces as if making a stained-glass window, instead of using small pieces cut to the stale, standard shapes of squares, rectangles, and triangles. After following that traditional practice for so long, I grew bored with it and wanted something different. I removed my mosaic-artist hat and donned my stained-glass-artist hat for a nice change of pace. After making a few stained-glass hangings, it dawned on me. Why not combine mosaic art with stained-glass art? My first piece turned out beautifully, better than expected, and I havent looked back since. Lets discover how you, too, can make these wonderful mosaics.

The first critical thing I learned when making mosaics from stained-glass patterns is to cut the base material to the exact size of a standard ready-made open-back frame. This avoids having to pay five times the price for a custom frame. I wait for my favorite hobby store to put their ready-made open-back frames on sale for half price so I usually pay about $25 for an attractive frame, including the installation, paper backing, and hanging hardware. My favorite size is 18-inches by 24-inches. My preferred choice of base material is plain 1/8-inch hardboard, which you can get at your favorite home improvement store. I usually get the sheets pre-cut to 2-feet by 4-feet for about $5. So, for a measly five bucks, I have enough base material for two mosaics, which is good if youre a starving artist on a tight budget. Its important to know that 1/4-inch is about as thick as you can go in terms of the piece fitting properly into a ready-made open-back frame. The base material is 1/8-inch thick and the stained glass is about 1/8-inch thick, which makes the finished piece about 1/4-inch thick.

Measure and then carefully and safely cut the hardboard to the exact size of the open-back frame you plan to use. Lets assume you like the 18-inch by 24-inch size. A table saw enables you to make more accurate cuts than trying to guide a circular saw by hand. If a circular saw is all you have, then it can be done, just take your time and dont rush the cut. Heres a tip. I found a refurbished Skil table saw online that cost only $80 including shipping. When it arrived, it looked and functioned like brand new. I got a fantastic $250 saw for only $80. The key is to search online for a refurbished unit instead of brand new. After measuring and marking the hardboard (measure twice and be accurate), ensure you align the saw blade to cut on your cut-line so the resulting piece is exactly 18-inches by 24-inches. In other words, dont cut directly on the line because the resulting piece will be something like 17.8-inches by 23.8 inches, which may be too small to fit properly in the frame. Every ready-made frame labeled as 18-inches by 24-inches that Ive bought has been within a hair of 18-inches by 24-inches. Theres not much room for error when cutting the base material, so measure twice and align the blade properly on the cut line. If the resulting base material is within a hair of 18-inches by 24-inches, itll fit nicely into the ready-made open-back frame.

When your base material is cut to the perfect size, paint it white. I use bright white ceiling paint primarily because its a lot cheaper than standard wall paint. I usually use two coats so the dark-brown hardboard is bright white. The whiter the base material, the brighter the glass will look when you adhere it to the board. If you dont paint the base material white, the glass will look dull and dreary against the dark-brown board.

Now that your base material is ready, simply transfer your stained-glass design to the board. If you have no drawing skills, find a lovely stained-glass pattern online or at your favorite hobby store and transfer the pattern to the base material. You can find transfer paper at your favorite hobby store for less than $2 a sheet thats big enough to cover the 18-inch by 24-inch base material. The good thing about transfer paper is that you can use it several times before its no good. Ive eked out as many as nine transfers (i.e., nine mosaics and stained-glass works) before the paper no longer transferred the tracing well enough for me to see the lines clearly.

Measure and cut (and grind the edges if you have a grinder) the stained-glass pieces as if you were creating a stained-glass window. I always use highly translucent or opaque glass colors to ensure you cant see through it to see the glue when adhered to the base material. For your mosaic, instead of joining the pieces using lead came or copper foil and solder as you would with a stained-glass work, you simply glue the pieces in place over the pattern on your base material using plain white PVA glue (e.g., Elmers Glue All or Weldbond), leaving about 1/16-inch spacing between pieces. The spacing can vary up to 1/8-inch, but I wouldnt go any wider than 1/8-inch spacing because I believe the wider spacing looks amateurish compared to narrow spacing.

When all the pieces are glued in-place and the glue has dried for at least 48 hours, fill the spaces with your favorite grout color, just as you would if the mosaic were done with the standard small pieces of square or triangular shapes. I mostly use medium-gray grout, but my latest preference is charcoal (black) grout. The more mosaics I do with black grout, the more I like it. Grout color can make or break the final look of your mosaic, so if youre in doubt about what grout color to use, your best bet is to use medium-gray.

When the grout has dried overnight, take the mosaic to your favorite hobby store when theyre having a sale on ready-made open-back frames. My favorite store has a 50% sale every other week, so if its an off week, I simply wait a week. Pick several frame styles and colors, and place them over your mosaic, one at a time. Dont settle for the first frame you find. Ask the clerk which frame he thinks looks best with your mosaic. See which frame helps highlight the colors in your mosaic. I often ask other customers in the immediate area what they think, and theyre always eager to give their opinion. Once you have the perfect frame, the clerk will install your mosaic, apply the paper backing, and install the hanging hardware and wire.

Now you have a beautiful mosaic to hang on your wall or give as a present. The neat thing about it is that its usual, not the same boring mosaic style weve seen for centuries. Its basically a stained-glass window installed in a frame with grout in the spaces instead of solder. You wont see that too often. Well, not until all the mosaic artists in the world read this article and switch to this technique!