Laser cutting and glass bricks

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You should let a professional do the laser cutting of a glass surface. However, an excellent handyperson can do it, as long as they’re careful.

Here is some general advice.

  • Wear protective gloves and glasses.
  • Laser cutting a glass surface requires a great deal of accuracy. The process must be done in a single cut, under steady pressure. It’s best to make a few dry runs before doing the final job.
  • Practice with the laser cutter so that you can handle it skillfully. The owner of the tool or merchant will tell you how to hold it properly. You could even look at a video on YouTube.
  • First you have to moisten the tools (glass cutter or shaping tool) with oil.
  • Place a cloth or other material between the table and the glass surface to cut.
  • Draw a straight line along a ruler using a felt pen, soak the traced line with oil and break the line with a slight tap of the finger or joint.
  • For a circular line, use a spinner with suction cups equipped with a shaping tool that acts as a compass. The technique requires a great deal of accuracy.
  • Once the line is broken, rub it with a silicon carbide abrasive moistened with oil along the line.
  • While we’re at it, if you have to drill a glass surface using an electric drill, place a material around the area to be drilled and make sure it’s firmly attached, as the bit tends to slip.

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Glass, the material of the future

The future doesn’t just belong to ecomaterial. Glass is the shining example.

Initially, i.e. many centuries ago, glass was not very transparent or resistant. Scientific progress allowed glass to gain in transparency and strength. That is why the manufacturing of glass requires a great deal of energy because the transformation temperature is high. It emits CO2, heavy metals and polluting gases in industrial quantities.

Glass is far behind wood, stone, earth or straw in terms of ecological materials. However, it is far ahead of the pet peeves of ecologists: PVC, aluminium and even steel. Continue reading

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Residential rental property – a good investment?

What are the first things you should ask yourself before buying rental property?
First of all, will you live there or not? From a fiscal point of view, if you are renting out the entire property, you could deduct all of the day-to-day expenses related to the building from your income. But if you’re an owner-occupant, only expenses related to the rental units will be deductible. On the other hand, when you go to sell, the portion of the building occupied by the owner is exempt from capital gains tax. If it is completely rented out, all of your capital gains will be taxable.

In addition, when you have a specific property in mind, you need to consult the assessment roll to ensure that the number of units on the realtor’s listing is correct. If a livable basement is considered to be a dwelling by the city, this counts as one more unit. If this is the case, you might have to make a bigger downpayment.

Speaking of which, how much of a downpayment do you need for this type of purchase?
If you’re renting out all of the units, you need to make a minimum downpayment of 20% of the building’s purchase price.

If you’re going to be an owner-occupant, you could lower the downpayment to 5% of a duplex’s purchase price with mortgage loan insurance. For a triplex or quadruplex, you’ll need to put down a minimum of 10%.

The rules are the same for all Canadian financial institutions. Continue reading

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Glass, the great magician

A master of illusion, reflection and transparency, generator of freshness and pureness, light sensor, ground breaker, glass is a fascinating material. Decoration professionals use it in abundance.

A good way to measure the power of glass is to install a glass door or a large window in a room. Everything lights up. The space is bigger, light floods the room, the atmosphere becomes joyful.

Glass is a material that likes to take over a space. Surpassing the wall openings, it spreads throughout the house: glass floor (brick or paved), glass staircase, glass furniture, glass partitions and interior doors. Entire houses have converted to glass. They are transparent from one exterior wall to the other, covering 80% of the area.

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Glass makes reflection dance, which adds to the cheerfulness of a room. Reflections bring the smallest objects to life, from trinkets to the mirror. And the dance becomes frenzied if metal, polished stone, lacquer or other reflective material join the party. Continue reading