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Building and Construction | Supplies & Services

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Building and Construction | Supplies & Services

Building and Construction | Supplies & Services

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elcome to the Month of March. February has been a hot month but we thank God the rain is here. All in all the economy is slowly gaining normalcy and political temperatures cooling down; we are looking forward to moving back to normalcy fully in business.

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Nonetheless, we have managed to push Mjengo Magazine further and to more readers in February than we did in the previous circulation. We are making effort to continue circulating the magazine in Digital Format to make it more accessible and portable. We are anticipating March to be a great month in terms of business gain. We continue supporting businesses in building and construction related activities by giving the advertisers great discount. So, we welcome you to book for space to advertise your business. If interested, send us an email to

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. - Lao Tzu -

We always share information on our social media through Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You are welcome to follow us. We have also have a sizeable mailing list and contacts through we circulate the magazine. Advertisers can equally utilize our database to market their business. I am also pleased to let you know you can list your products and services for free on our website on www.mjengomagazine. Create your account anytime. Feel free to share the magazine within your network. God bless.


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Tony Njoroge

3 Primary Applications of Laminates........................................................................................................................... 6 Choose the Right Light Fixture for Home Decoration............................................................................................... 8 Are Architects Needed?..............................................................................................................................................10 Kitchen Worktops in a Cheap Price – Check the Quick Buying Guide.......................................................................14 Landscape Lighting: A Way to make your Home look the Best from the Rest........................................................15 Common Bathroom Design Mistakes That Will Increase Your Budget....................................................................16 Understanding Construction Management Plan.......................................................................................................18 Eliminating Electrical Safety Hazards in Your Home................................................................................................. 20 Critical Considerations Before You Buy Heavy Equipment.......................................................................................22 Faucet Water Filter -Things to Look Out For............................................................................................................. 24 On Paint and Home Decoration Tools....................................................................................................................... 26 Finding the Ideal Home Builder - 5 Tips for Success................................................................................................. 28 What to Consider Before You Decide to Install CCTV Cameras at Home................................................................ 30 Solar Water Heating Purchasing and Installation .................................................................................................... 34 Install Exterior Electrical Outlets to Take the Power Outdoors............................................................................... 36

March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |

Editorial Committee Tony N. Muiruri Paul Gichohi Graphics and Design Tony Njoroge (BIC Agency)

Digitized and Optimised by: BIC Agency Stile Creation Sales and Marketing Team Angaza Afrika Stile Creation The Mjengo Magazine is published monthly by: BIC Agency Vision Plaza, Mombasa Road, Ground Floor, Suite#2 Cell Phone: +254 723 22 10 22 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, adapted, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of BIC Agency.

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Distribution: BIC Agency Mjengo Magazine

Disclaimer While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein, the publisher and its agents cannot be held responsible for any errors contained, or any loss incurred as a result. Articles published do not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers. The editor reserves the right to alter or cut copy. Articles submitted are deemed to have been cleared for publication. Advertisements, inserts and company contact details are printed as provided by the advertiser. BIC Agency cannot be held responsible for the accuracy or veracity of supplied material.

Mjengo Magazine Design and layout is done by BIC Agency +254723221022 info@bicagency Mjengo Magazine is distributed in digital format Internationally, nationally and regionally by BIC Ageny, Angaza Afrika and Mjengo Magazine Kenya. +254 723 22 10 22

March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |


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3 Primary Applications of Laminates

aminates are a type of surfacing material, and are made from layers of Kraft-paper, glued together under high pressure and temperatures. They are essentially made from selected decorative and Kraft papers, which are then treated with melamine and phenolic resins. One of the most popular types of surfacing materials available in the market, laminates are used in one form or another in almost all modern constructions – residential as well as commercial. To an extent, their popularity can be chalked up to the fact that they are durable, aesthetically appealing, and can be used for a wide variety of purposes. You can use them to resurface furniture and worktops, to manufacture wall claddings, and to make anti-bacterial restroom divider panels for commercial buildings. As they are made from recycled paper, they become significantly more affordable than most other types of surfacing materials. As a result, their demand has grown significantly over the years, resulting in multiple innovations and technological advancements in the manufacturing process of laminates. Some of the major applications of laminates have been listed below. Surfacing Material A decorative sheet is usually used as the top layer of laminate sheets. This means that laminates are available in a wide variety of colors, textures, and shades, which makes them perfect for the purpose of interior decoration. Furniture and fixtures surfaced with laminate sheets can be integrated well with the pre-existing décor of any building, as you simply have to choose laminate designs that fit perfectly with your present interior décor. Outdoor furnishings, such as lawn-chairs, sun loungers, etc. can also be surfaced with laminates, as laminates are resistant to moisture, humidity, wear and tear from rough use, climactic turbulences, etc. Depending upon your needs, you


can also choose from an extensive range of laminates, such as digital, HD Gloss, chalk grade, and anti-bacterial laminates. Laminate Clads Laminates are one of the most popular materials used to manufacture both interior and exterior clads. This is because laminate clads manufactured with the revolutionary GLE technology can enhance the beauty, longevity, and safety quotient of a building. The GLE Technology, an advanced manufacturing process used by the bestknown manufacturers of laminate cladding, is used to make clads that are weatherproof, fire-retardant, fade resistant, and impact-resistant. These qualities make laminate clads perfect for exterior usage. The interior clads, made from solid grade high pressure compact laminates, are resistant to moisture, microbial threats, and fire – qualities that make them ideal for use in kitchens and washrooms. Restroom Applications Easy to clean and disinfect, laminates are the perfect materials that can be used in commercial restrooms, as they do not encourage the growth of bacteria or the accumulation of dirt. An approved antimicrobial agent can be permanently infused into a laminate sheet during its manufacturing process. This helps prevent the spread of infections and diseases in commercial washrooms that receive a high footfall. The exceptional resistance that laminates have against water, humidity, and high temperatures make them ideal for commercial restroom usage. Used for making public restroom partitions, partition walls, privy divider panels, and other washroom accessories, these laminates help safeguard the health and wellbeing of the employees, clients, and customers of commercial organizations by preventing bacterial growth and dissemination. In conclusion, if you want to use laminates to resurface wooden furniture, install clads, or build a commercial washroom, you should contact the most reputed and experienced laminate manufacturers in your vicinity. For the best laminates, ensure that your supplier has the requisite certifications that can testify to the quality of their products. Whether it is a commercial or residential project that you are building, laminates will transform your construction , without putting a dent in your finances.

March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |

Choose the Right Light Fixture for Home Decoration



t’s no secret that a great light fixture or lamp can improve the entire look of a room. Lighting is an integral part of good home decoration that can set certain moods. Do you agree with that? Do you choose the right fixture for home decoration? There are some tips on how to choose the right light

Nowadays, people like to decorate their house themselves instead of employing the designers. It’s no secret that a great light fixture or lamp can improve the entire look of a room. Lighting is an integral part of good home decorating that can set certain moods. Cleverly placed lights can draw attention to a favorite piece of artwork, or be repositioned to give the room an entirely new look. There are some tips on choosing the right light fixture. Lighting has made major improvements in the past ten years. No more white bulbs that cast yellow auras around the room, now you can purchase mood lights which give a soft glow of pink, blue or violet. There are thousands of light fixtures for sale. It is not easy for you to choose the one compatible with your house perfectly. You may choose some portable light fixtures to decorate your house. These include floor lamps, desk or table lamps. Dimensional art can look most dramatic when lit from the floor. Some spotlights are designed to rest on the floor, or are mounted in place. When furniture or plants conceal these fixtures, the effect is modern and almost mystical.

bulb may be a good choice for you because it will not become hot even after hours’ using. Track light is a best choice for someone who likes enjoying music at home. It makes your home much romantic with the help of track light. Track lights are sets of lights attached to a ceiling or wall on a track. The individual lights are movable, which makes track lighting a good option for use as task or accent lighting. Fluorescent ceiling panels produce general light with few shadows. Newerstyle tubes cast a warmer and more flattering light than the older tubes. Some people like to use LED light bulb as the daily lighting. It is lower energy efficient and environmental friendly product. If you are displaying sculpture or other dimensional art and you do not plan to move it to another part of the room, consider permanent recessed lighting. Recessed lights are sunk into your ceiling, and should be installed by an electrician. The light bulb (often spot lighting) is mostly concealed from view unless you stand directly under it. This provides a good clean visual impact when the light is not in use, during daytime hours. You may choose the right light fixture according to the decoration style you want. Choose the right wattage according to the size of your house. Wattage is the measurement of electricity, or power. The more watts a light bulb consumes, the more power it consumes. This is important because the more power a bulb uses, the more expensive it costs to run, because you’re paying for all that power! Up until now you’ve probably associated power with brightness, being aware that a 100 watt bulb will light your room far more brightly than a 40 watt bulb. This has always been true for filament bulbs and halogen bulbs, but with LED lights it’s quite different. The type of lighting that you use in your home can also make a difference in your energy consumption and energy bills, so choose wisely. Incandescent bulb is the cheapest one. But they waste a lot of electricity by generating excess heat. Fluorescent bulbs produce a cooler looking light, and are available in “cool white” “warm light” and “daylight” tones. Because fluorescent bulbs do not produce very much heat , they are especially good for areas where air conditioning is used. The LED light bulb is environmental friendly and lower energy efficient one. The life span is the longest one.

You should make sure that the bulbs will not become hot after lighting. Or it may cause burns to your pet or small children. Incandescent bulbs may become hot after lighting. So you may not choose incandescent bulbs as floor light. LED light


March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |

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Are Architects Needed?

here are two crucial choices that you will have to make when you embark on a building project. The selection of the builder is probably the most important, but running a close second is finding the person who will create the design and prepare the detailed drawings for the builder to work from. Given that a good designer will know where to find the best builders, and will be one of the first people you employ at the start your project, it is worth putting careful thought into who plays this key role.

When is an “Architect” not an Architect? Anyone using the title ‘architect’ must be registered with the architect’s registration organization(s). These is normally government organization that deals with complaints and keeps a register of qualified architects. This body provides valuable protection for consumers, but has no power to discipline or fine non-architects. When you employ a designer, you are paying for their knowledge, skill and experience, not just the set of drawings that they produce. Usually the final drawings are produced relatively quickly at the end of a design process that involves discussion between client and professional. Sketch plans are drafted along the way and the ideas generated are either kept or rejected as the design progresses. Architects think in three dimensions; so when they draw a plan they are also thinking about the size, scale and proportion of the space that will be being created. Elevations are flat, two dimensional scaled drawings that barely describe the design enough for the planners to measure its impact on its surroundings. Few buildings look exactly like their elevations drawings in reality, once constructed.


Whilst imagining a design, architects are also thinking about how it will be built, the structural implications, the building regulations that apply and the likely cost. This is because if these things are not considered during the initial design they may present problems later on. The later they are discovered, the bigger the impact on the project. The worst case is when they are not noticed until after building work has started. For example, the late discovery of inadequate headroom in a roof space might result in a fresh planning application, amendments to the building regulations drawings, the demolition and reconstruction of the roof, extra money for the builder and a delay in completion. Although they are best known for design flair, architects offer a wide range of services (see boxed item). Most are happy to provide as much or little help as their clients need. A family building a large one off house will benefit from the full service, because it is not possible to get reliable fixed quotes from builders with building regulations drawings alone. Once on site, a project of this scale benefits from someone able to check the quality of the work as it progresses and approve payments to the builder. Also a new house usually needs certification before the building society or bank will release money to finance it, which can be provided by an architect. Typical Service by an Architect • Identify the budget • Discuss and agree the client’s brief • Measure and draw the existing building (if there is one) • Sketch out ideas & discuss with clients • Rework design in the light of client’ comments • Prepare planning drawings • Prepare constructions drawing and specifications • Find contractors and obtain tenders • Prepare building contract • Monitor the construction on site. • Certify payments and completion.

March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |

• Construction Platform • However, if you already have a reliable builder lined up, or you intend to do much of the building work yourself, or you are going to manage a series of trades on site yourself in place of a main contractor, it may be sufficient to simply have the planning and building regulations completed by the architect. You can work the rest out for yourself as the building work progresses. This way you make good use of the design skills of the architect, but avoid paying for detailed design that you or your builder will wish to improvise on site. Very small projects, such as the re-arrangement of rooms may be boosted by paying the architect just to spend a few hours with you suggesting ideas and sketching outline plans. Architects frequently provide this sort of assistance, usually on an hourly rate. Most people appreciate that an architect’s ‘unique selling point’ is good design. But what does this mean? The role involves a lot more than simply ensuring that the end result looks great. A truly good design by an architect does a lot more than this. It means that the new rooms and spaces fit the lifestyle of the family like a glove, the detail of the construction has been well thought out, and the project is broadly within the budget that was agreed when the building contract was signed. To achieve all these wonderful things requires expertise and skill, but also adequate time has to be spent by the designer on all stages of the project. This attention to detail is just as important for a house or extension as it is for a posh office development – arguably more important, since there is a an intimate relationship between a dwelling and its occupants that doesn’t apply to other types of building. One aspect of building that is increasingly difficult to negotiate is the planning system. If you want a design that is a bit different from the norm, particularly if is to be in a contemporary style, architects can make it easier to gain approval by using their presentation skills and by creating three dimensional drawings. For an especially controversial design 3d fly-throughs prepared on computer can help planners and planning committee members get an accurate impression of a design before they make their decision.

person with basic drawing skills and a good CAD package to tackle the design work themselves. Alternatively, using another-qualified professional with less design training, such as a technologist, surveyor or engineer may save unnecessary expense. There are some people and some projects that are better off without an architect. Part of an architect’s job is to question assumptions made by their clients and come up with solutions that their clients have not considered. This does not mean that they are dismissing your opinions – many superb designs are the result of the designer generating new ideas that had not been considered before or identifying unforeseen problems. If you don’t want or need to go through this process, make it clear at the start when you talk to potential architects and designers. It will be cheaper to pay an unqualified draughtsman to knock your drawings own into shape, sufficient to obtain local authority approvals. You will then have to either negotiate with a builder or prepare your own list of specifications. Architects come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and flavors. If you are not sure whether an architect will be right for your project, it is well worth hunting out a few and talking to them about your project. You might just find someone who will not only help you get you up and running, but also fire your enthusiasm. Article by Julian Owen

When not to use an architect Some projects are very simple and straightforward enough for a resourceful

March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |


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Kitchen Worktops in a Cheap Price – Check the Quick Buying Guide


eedless to say, that kitchen renovation has become a prime area of concern for many dwellers in the recent times. Now a day, the renovation is not limited to damage repair, rather in the recent times, it suggests a complete makeover of the space, to make it more appealing and upgrade its functionalities. However, the entire process can turn out to be quite expensive if you start picking up everything that comes your way based on its appearance. Especially, when it comes to countertops, people tend to invest a lot of money without knowing the fact that they can actually save a significant amount by choosing cheap kitchen worktops without compromising on the quality. Take a look at the brief guideline that will help you to select the best of the lot at the most competitive price.

Don’t be baffled whenever you see something extremely gorgeous. Moreover, just because something is glossy and attractive that does not mean, it will be suitable for your kitchen. Therefore, at the very first step, you need to understand what your kitchen décor demands. Does it want anything extravagant or something minimal yet attractive? The answer to this question will surely help you to get what you are looking for. Take a close look at the material of the worktops to assess whether it will be durable or not. Some may try to convince you may not find a good thing as you are not ready to invest a lot of money on the worktops. However, cheap kitchen worktops do not mean that the material or design will not be up to the mark. In the current scenario, there are so many options to choose from that are affordable as well as durable. It will let you stay within your budget and still get a long lasting worktop. The cheap kitchen worktops do not usually require high maintenance. All you have to do is to wipe out the dirt instantly and restrain it from accumulating on the tops. Moreover, if you love to cook frequently, you should focus on finding something that is heat resistant. On the other hand, if you have kids in your house, you should not go for something like glass worktops. Despite it will look brilliant in your kitchen, the chances of damages will remain high. In a kitchen, one of the major things to be considered is the hygiene factor. Don’t settle down for cheap kitchen worktops that may react with the food particles keep falling while you are cooking. If the food sticks to the worktops, wiping it out will prove to be a timeconsuming task. Corian worktops, as well as steel-based ones, can be considered as an ideal choice in this case.

Among the numerous options for pristine as well as durable cheap kitchen worktops, hardwood worktops, composite worktops , Corian worktops and steel worktops will prove to be the best choice. Make sure you get it from a reputed dealer to avoid complications on the quality.

Buying Tips –Kitchen Worktops


March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |

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Landscape Lighting: A Way to make your Home look the Best from the Rest


hen it comes to decorating your home, pay special attention to the exterior of the property. People tend to judge a book by its cover. So, landscape lighting is considered as a very important aspect of the home renovation process. Here are a few lighting tips and tricks to make your home look the best from the rest. First impression is the last impression. The saying manifests an important fact of life. A striking personality makes a lasting impression. As homeowners, we take great measures to add beauty to our homes. But, one aspect that remains highly neglected is the landscape lighting. Without proper lighting, the beauty of the entire landscape can go to waste. Landscape lighting is a very broad area to explore. It can prove to be a little tricky without an expert’s help. Instead of considering it as a DIY job, it is advisable to hire a professional electrical contractor who knows the job well. But, you can consider a few tips before hiring an expert. 1. Visualize Consider different looks for your home. There are so many varieties of

lighting fixtures available in the market. And each day, a new type of fixture is added to the list. Make clear decisions to avoid confusion in the future. Do not forget your main aim. It can be anything from illuminating an entire pathway to highlighting a particular part of the lawn. So, it is important to visualize what type of look you want for the exterior of your home. 2. Focus on the ‘Must-Haves’ While listing all your lighting objectives, make sure that you have all the basic elements covered. It includes pathway, porch, garden boundary, staircase, water fountains driveway, etc. Consider all the basic elements because they not only accessorize the exterior of your home but also add to its curb appeal. 3. Take care of positioning the Lighting Fixtures While positioning the lighting fixtures, take care of how they will look at night. Make sure that they do not cast any unwanted shadow. Be extra careful and ensure that the fixtures do not throw unwanted light-rays in any rooms that are supposed to have a soft appeal. 4. Inclusion of Technology It is frustrating to turn on the lights every night and wake up early in the morning to turn them off. Instead, set the lighting fixtures to a particular time and opt for automatic operation. Nowadays, there are lighting fixtures that come with power-saving features. Ask the electrical contractor to make optimum use of modern technology in order to make the exterior of your home look beautiful with minimum effort. 5. Avoid Nuisance Landscape lighting can be a major setback if it disturbs the surrounding areas in one way or the other. Light-rays must not create nuisance for your neighbors. It must not throw unwanted attention on the neighboring homes. A practical approach to the problem can be the use of shields or glare-guards. Landscape lighting is a good idea to add an extra touch to the overall curb appeal of your home. Whether it is highlighting the small elements of your garden or adding an architectural effect to your home, an electrical contractor can work wonders with the help of landscape lighting. If you want your home to look the best , do not forget to incorporate landscape lighting in your ideas.

March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |


Common Bathroom Design Mistakes That Will Increase Your Budget


athroom remodeling is a process. Achieving your dream bathroom isn’t something that happens overnight, it is planned. One of the most involving remodeling processes is bathroom design. With a good design, you can be sure of attaining your dream bathroom when all is done. Similarly, design mistakes can be costly if not handled appropriately. Simple design errors can be so sensitive to the overall remodeling budget. Unless you don’t have problems with your remodeling budget increasing unnecessarily, avoiding certain design mistakes is mandatory. Let us consider the most common ones. Fighting against existing space Well, your bathroom deserves to look great. However, that shouldn’t give you a reason to pack your small bathroom with unnecessary fixtures. Those tubs and medicine cabinets might look great but only if there is enough space for them. Many homeowners find themselves spending excessively


remodeling smaller bathrooms, something they can easily avoid. The trick is to work with the existing space and not fight against. Go for space saving fixtures and minimize the counter space if need be. You will end up reducing the overall renovation costs, which is actually great for you! Thinking bigger is better Well, it needed to have come first. Many homeowners believe the only way they can enjoy the shower feel is by having a large master bathroom. Well, there is nothing wrong with designing a spacious bathroom. It only becomes a problem when it is seriously working on your budget. Today, the bathroom is more about efficiency than size. Instead of focusing on making your bathroom bigger, find ways of getting creative with limited space. You will love the look; trust me. The most important thing is to have a bathroom design that functions efficiently for your lifestyle. Improper waterproofing It might not look like a big issue at the onset. However, it will cost you dearly a couple of years down the road. Fixing plumbing related issues after bathroom remodeling can be so expensive. In your bathroom design, you shouldn’t overlook the aspect of the membrane within and around the shower. It is important that the bathroom space be able to withstand water and excessive moisture without any worries of leakage. Failing to consult professional designer It is the worst mistake you can ever make. The idea of having a relaxed bath in a serene environment can drive you into designing your own bathroom without seeking professional intervention. It might work for you until you realized it doesn’t work that way, actually. You can end up adopting expensive designs that will cost you an arm and a tooth. Even worse, you can make serious errors that might mean starting all over again! That takes time and time is money! Don’t be afraid seeking professional assistance. At the end of the day, one realizes that great bathroom design isn’t all about how it looks. Instead, it should be centered on how it works. A good bathroom space needs to be efficient and elegant. Most importantly, it should be cost effective without any need for unnecessary financial constraints.

March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |



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Understanding Construction Management Plan

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here are three answers to this question, depending on who wants or uses the construction management plan (CMP). As a client, a contractor or a municipality, you may deal with:

An overall CMP, often used by clients to map out the whole of the project from initial business goals to evaluation after delivery A CMP detailing building task schedules and costs, frequently prepared by the contractor, with detailed information on how the construction work itself is to be accomplished A CMP addressing the impact of the construction project on the area around it, where the plan layout and content may follow a fixed format defined by the municipality concerned.

A CMP Starts Off with the End in Mind The best plans are plans made with the finished construction in mind. That means being able to visualize the future building or structure and its environment, and the building process to get there. The plan can then be checked against the objective to address parts that are missing or that are redundant. Construction projects are often complex matters. Getting a plan in harmony with an objective, while still meeting customer requirements, is often an iterative process of comparison and adjustment until everything lines up. The “Business Plan” CMP The larger the project, the more this “business plan” CMP becomes necessary. It explains the what and the where of the project, why it is being done (the expected benefit), how it will be done, and who will do it, by when. Sections in this kind of CMP might include:


March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |

• Construction Platform • • • • • • • • • •

Business benefit Feasibility/planning permission Project description Client’s construction manager/team Project design Bid and contract process Construction process Occupation and defects liability period Evaluation after occupation

Although this CMP is often produced by or on behalf of the client, a contractor may provide input in a number of ways. Now that “Design-BuildOperate” agreements are becoming popular, a contractor may be involved from the beginning to define aspects of business benefit with the client. The contractor’s documents concerning schedule and costs may appear in the plan as addendums or references. The “Project Management” CMP For the construction phase and activities linked to it, a contractor can prepare a construction management plan to detail the project schedule and costs. This includes the timing of the individual construction tasks, breakdowns of the projected costs (and, therefore, the projected profitability), and information about technologies and materials to be used.

• CAD (computer aided design) for preparing 2D or 3D project drawings • Construction estimating for costing projects • Construction accounting As projects grow in complexity, both clients and contractors may use these kinds of software and exchange data and files between one another. BIM (building information modeling) software can federate all the different information effectively to make an even more extensive CMP. The “Building Site” CMP Depending on the size and nature of a building project, including demolition and excavation, the local municipality may require another construction management plan to be drawn up for approval. Items covered often include: • Public safety and site security • Operating hours • Controls to limit noise and vibration • Proper management of air, dust, storm water and sediment • Waste and materials re-use • Traffic management. This kind of CMP also typically requires submittal in advance with a predefined period for approval. The software programs above (“Project Management” CMP) can help manage the process (project management, for example) and provide relevant information (CAD construction site plans, for instance).

Many construction software tools exist to help automate and accelerate the production of this kind of CMP. Programs that run on workstations in the contractor’s offices or that are accessible online as a cloud computing service offer streamlining of: • Construction activity project management

March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |


Eliminating Electrical Safety Hazards in Your Home

There are numerous electrical safety hazards in the home. Here is a checklist to let you find out the potential issues before they come up. A lot of people are injured and killed due to electrical accidents every year. Most, if not all, of these could have been prevented by correcting and updating potential electrical hazards. Do not wait till trouble arises to find the issues, simply call a licensed electrical contractor. Here is a quick checklist to let you find out the potential issues before they come up. •


Electronic Devices & Appliance Safety – If the electronic appliances and devices shave ever given you a jolt when you touch them, ensure the ground connection on the cord has not been removed. Plus, check that the outlet has a ground on it. Light Bulb Safety – They can even cause their share of issues in a home. Putting a bulb with a wattage too large for a socket is a problem. Ensure the bulb is securely screwed into the socket. Overloading can result in the breakdown of wire insulation. Electrical Wiring Defects & Safety – Electrical fires can

be caused due to electrical issues and wiring defects. Call a licensed electrical contractor to ensure no loose connections in junction boxes, inspect on outlets and switches, and even the connection circuit breaker panel. Outlets & Receptacle Safety – Outlets can become an issue when the contacts become weak and cords start falling out of them. Replace broken or cracked outlets and wall plates as they can expose connection points and wiring to everyone in the home, especially children. Extension Cord Safety – These are a great temporary extension of a circuit. Ensure the cord is heavy enough to handle the load of the appliance if you are feeding a major appliance with it. Contact an electrician to determine the right sized cord. Cord & Plug Safety – Electrical plugs and cords can be a safety issue. Inspect cords for defects and cuts. Ensure that plugs are equipped with a ground pin. Replace the outlet to accommodate the grounded cord plug rather than removing the grounding pin for your safety. GFCI For Safety – Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters are used in garages, basements, laundry rooms, kitchen, outdoors , and bathroom to safeguard the person using them. Calling a professional electrical contractor is recommended to inspect its functionality.

Ensure these checklist points are ticked to eliminate electrical safety hazards in your home!

March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |

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Critical Considerations Before You Buy Heavy Equipment 22


onstruction equipment refers to such machinery particularly designed for the purpose of the construction of buildings or other man-made structure. It has made many tasks much easier that were damn difficult and required a lot of manual efforts to accomplish in the past. Before the invention of equipment such as crane, bulldozers, etc. all the work related to transfer of raw material such as sand, stones and gravel was done by workers and was time consuming. Where this is still done, it requires giving money to the worker daily. Purchasing your own equipment can give you a lot of benefits especially construction is your business. When you buy heavy equipment, you will save your money in the long run. When you are not using the equipment, you can give them out on lease and still earn thus creating another source of income. Before moving ahead it is good to mention the names of machines that come in the category of heavy construction equipment. These are construction crane, back hoes, crawlers, trucks and trolleys, cement trucks, bulldozers, crusher graders, wheel loaders, excavators etc.

March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |

• Construction Platform • If you are going to buy any of the aforementioned or any other construction equipment you must keep these four points in mind: Don’t purchase without a trial Not just for construction machines rather whenever you purchase any of other machinery give it a try. Different machinery have different working techniques and the seller will guide you if you are doing something wrong and also it will ensure you that the machine is in working properly. Comparing the price You should check and compare the price of the specific machine from reliable sources such sellers’ websites on internet. Most of the companies selling these equipment maintain a website populated with the information you need to make an informed decision.

that time. Because a good paint over the machine can hide many things. Give attention to its parts Don’t give your eyes a chance to deceive you. Closely and carefully examine each part of the machine and their working capacity too. Check the engine and hydraulic system , any kind of burning smell of gas at the moment you start it and many other criterions. Go for the reputed manufacturing company This assures you that you are getting an equipment that will not disappoint and you will receive the support needed in case of breakdown. Most of these companies will offer you scheduled maintenance and after sale services. A good quality machine will ensure you about the safety of the person working on it as well as safety of surroundings. And it will also work well for long years.

Take time to assess their condition Don’t take decision in hasty. Observe and analyze the whole machine carefully and it is better to take an expert with you at

March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |


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Faucet Water Filter -Things to Look Out For


t’s now up to you, I’ve given you 3 specific things to look at to help you decide on the best faucet water filter. Take these 3 faucet filter tips and start you own research, you will be amazed at the difference between each of the water filters you research. I’m sure this will help lead you to the best faucet water filter for you. If you are like me, you probably will spend a bunch of time searching the internet for the best faucet water filter. I don’t blame you, when I went looking for a faucet filter I was amazed at the quality and cost differences I found. So I thought it would be good to give you a head start and recap the top 3 things to look out for when looking for the best faucet water filter. #1 - Checkout what contaminates get removed I was surprised to find out that not all filters are created equal. I reviewed products from 10 different faucet filter companies. On each companies websites they have listed all the different contaminates their filters will remove. I was expecting them to be all very similar but was I wrong. The range of contaminates that each product removes


is astounding, even though the faucet water filter prices are all about the same. Some units only remove the basics like chlorine and lead. While the best faucet water filters also remove up to 10 other contaminates from Cysts to Benzene. #2 - Effectiveness of the Filter Here’s another area I was shocked to find out was an issue. You can take two filters that on the surface remove the same contaminates but their effectiveness will vary wildly. For example let’s looks at an element that would seem simple to filter out, Chlorine. I looked at the top 10 filters and the percent of effective removal ranged from 75% to 99%. Pretty shocking, I fact this kind of range holds true for all the different contaminates one would like removed from their drinking water. #3 - Cost per Gallon a faucet filter can be a significant investment, so you’ll want to check out the cost to operate one. There are a couple of cost measurements you will find quoted, they are “cost per 1000 gallons” and “cost per gallon”. These two measures gives us a benchmark that we can compare the on-going cost of different water filters. Here again the costs are at both ends of the spectrum , and they don’t seem to correlate with the effectiveness or numbers of contaminates removed. I found on a “cost per gallon” basis a range of 9.8 to 25 cents per gallon. This means some filters cost almost 3 times more to operate but they don’t always provide 3 times cleaner water.

March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |



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On Paint and Home Decoration Tools


ow to pick a paint for interior painting? Which colours to choose for a room? Which mood do you want to create in the room with colours? This article offers thoughts of that are more.

What is one of the easiest and fastest ways to change the entire look of a room? It is to re-paint it. Most people leave their walls white, because they have no idea what color they want to use in a room or which walls they should paint. There are so many different ways to apply paint to a room. You can paint this wall but not that one. Paint this wall a light color and that one a dark color. Paint all the walls dark and use white for the trim. Maybe you want to paint the ceiling. There are a lot of decisions to make. A painting company in your city can help you with consultation too.


When it comes to paint you don’t have to know exactly what you want to do until you know what color(s) you want in a room. What walls or ceiling you paint depends entirely upon the mood you want for that room, and if you have a dark color or a light color. If you think about it, paint is one of the most versatile home decorating tools you could get. A single can of paint can yield very distinct results just by your altering the way you apply it to the surface. For example, applying paint in uniform strokes with a thick brush will yield different results from applying the same paint in random strokes with a thinner brush. Other non-conventional methods such as sponges or paint rags further expand the range of possibilities. The first thing to think about when picking a paint color is to choose what room you are going to start decorating. Starting with a smaller room is a good idea just in case you don’t like the results. If you don’t, you can always start over. Bathrooms are usually a good place to start because of their size. Applying new home decor to any room where you are changing the entire look, can get expensive if you choose a room that is too big. Focus on one of the smaller rooms in your home when just getting started.

March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |

The second thing to think about when picking paint color is to determine the mood you want to set for that room. What room are you planning to decorate? The bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom. How do you want to feel when you walk into the room? Do you want a soothing and relaxing room to go to when you’re tired or stressed out?

Quality of the paints matter a lot, if inferior paint is applied on the walls, the effects will be visible soon in the form of paint chipping, cracking etc. Instead of ruining your home decor in such a manner it is better to make use of genuine products that are safe for your walls , your health and even add to the beauty of your home.

Do you want a bright and bold room with a lot of pizzazz what type of feeling do you want portrayed inside the room? If you already have decorations and don’t want to replace them, you will need to choose a color that compliments the current home decor. If you are planning to replace everything and can start over fresh, you can choose a color you like or one that portrays the mood you are looking for. Wall painting and home decoration exercise when done the right way and using trusted products can help transform the final outcome in every way. However many people do not pay attention to this and they end up with unsatisfied results once the painting job is completed. When we go on hunt of paints and other products required in the house painting process there are chances of us going wrong and choosing the wrong products. This often happens because we do not have the correct information. March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |


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Finding the Ideal Home Builder - 5 Tips for Success


s the real estate market cools, individuals and families considering buying a new home must evaluate many factors. Every search of homes for sale has common elements: location, proximity to good schools and employment, area attractions and distance to family and friends. Some evaluating the market may wish for an older home while others who want to buy a new house prefer the modern amenities common to most new homes offered by various new home builders. It is a buyer’s market and every new home builder is competing for a shrinking pool of customers. Every home buyer is unique yet each will come across dozens of names when researching the homebuilder industry. The competition is fierce and home builders are outdoing each other with incentives and freebies all designed to bring new home buyers into the sales office. The potential new home buyer is advised to look underneath the noisy sales pitches and marketing efforts and evaluate new home builders based on competence, relevance to individual needs and reputation. This article will offer 5 tips for success for finding the ideal home builder. 1. Solicit Referrals from Family and Friends Your friends and family know you best. If they have bought a new home from a homebuilder, ask them how they found the home builder and who they recommend (and indeed, who they would avoid). If you have been inside their home, ask yourself if you like it and ask them if they are having problems. Remember, a referral from friends and family is more valuable than one from a stranger - or a marketing pitch.


87% of future home buyers begin their search online for the simple reason that, because a new home purchase is the biggest purchase of a lifetime, it is best to know your options. But there are a lot of new home builders out there. In busy markets, there are literally dozens all competing for business. Visit their websites. If they invest in a good website with valuable information, it shows they care about demonstrating professionalism and integrity. If they speak to your needs (upmarket, first time home buyer, large family, etc.), it suggests they have worked with people like you. If a website is all glitz and little substance, do not call. If the site has valuable information, interactive floor plans, new house plans, sample photos and the functionality to print plans and brochures, this demonstrates competence. So if you like the site - and like the information it contains - sign up for information. You may be given special promotions and will be the first to hear of new offerings. 3. Research the Experience of Previous Customers It is extremely unlikely that you will be the first person to buy a home from a prospective homebuilder. Because the internet offers such a diversity of voices and opinions, if you do not know anyone who has worked with a considered homebuilder before, see what the online community has to say about the home builder. Some homebuilders have inspired such contempt that websites exist to showcase reasons to avoid them while others have created incredible loyalty. A little research may save you hours of pain and thousands of dollars. 4. Tour Model Homes and Ask Questions When a home builder unveils a community of new homes for sale, there will be a model home open for public tours. Take one. Some “tip of the iceberg” questions to ask include: How often will access to the new home be given during building; Are there any fees required that need to be paid upon closing; How many times has a given plan been built; Is there a premium on the home site; What will be built on adjoining properties; What are area zoning laws; and How is code-compliance guaranteed? 5. Read the Paperwork The new home purchase is a major decision so take the time to read all documents thoroughly. If something is unclear, ask questions. Everybody says “read the fine print” but in this case, perhaps more than any other, this is crucial.

2. Research Area Home Builders

March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |

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What to Consider Before You Decide to Install CCTV Cameras at Home


he cost of crime in Kenya is too high. Besides, you cannot push the thought of securing your business at the back of your mind. Apart from installing safety locks, solid doors, and hiring security guards, you should consider installing CCTV cameras. Even as you seek to upgrade your security measures, you must always bear in mind that video surveillance cannot solve all your security issues. CCTV systems only act as a deterrent to crime.


1. Post Installation Review After installation of the hardware, you need not rest on your laurels and assume that everything is fine. After a while, say a month or two, you might notice that there are blind spots not covered by the cameras. On the other hand, your premises lighting might be insufficient resulting in a bad quality of images. Following these findings, you might have to invest in additional cameras or switch to new technology e.g. infra-red cameras. 2. Keep Your Budget in Mind Top on your priority should be to obtain a surveillance system that gives you quality footage that you can later review as and when the need arises. Moreover, you will also be keen to look for a user-friendly system whose cost is within your budgetary constraints. Also, you should not encounter difficulties in maintaining the system, and the technology should not become redundant after only a few years. 3. What does CCTV Equipment Do? Video surveillance systems protect your premises from trespass theft and vandalism. Through CCTV video footage capture incidents such as hold-ups, break-ins, and shoplifting. With the equipment in place at a petrol station, for instance, you can find out which of your customers drove off without paying for fuel. Away from outside invasion, CCTV cameras also assist you in keeping an eye on your employees. Therefore, in a nutshell, CCTV systems can act as a way of identifying thieves, business surveillance and prosecuting offenders. 4. Monitoring and Criminal Identification For surveillance purposes install the cameras at high angles to enable you to get a wider view over a large area. For criminal identification

March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |

• Construction Platform • purposes place your cameras at a height where there are on the same level with a person’s eye. Alternatively, request your provider to install facial detection cameras. These will give you a clear view of everyone entering or leaving your premises. 5. Monitoring Environment Consider whether you are carrying out video surveillance in a protected area or one open to the public as a whole. An enclosed site makes tracking easy and also minimizes your security threats. In any case, if you notice that there are areas in your premises where the potential for exposure is high, you could have more sophisticated cameras installed there. An example is the loading and offloading areas at a retail outlet or factory. 6. When the CCTV goes into Activation Mode Activation sets in when a dedicated camera senses movement. Assume that you have three cameras: Camera 1, Camera 2, and Camera 3. If for instance Cam2 is the dedicated one and an intruder crosses its path, your monitors will sense the intrusion and send a signal to the support equipment. This can trigger an alarm or send you a text message. In some cases, you will even see an email message flashing on your computer screen. At this point, you should contact your security firm or call the police. Activating your cameras comes in handy when you do not have someone monitoring the CCTV on an ongoing basis.

March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |


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If you the client does have the needed artwork, our team is able to prepare the graphics needed for the advert at a fee. Otherwise the client is required to give the team a ready artwork for processing.

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Solar Water Heating Purchasing and Installation

f you are looking for ways to stretch your monthly energy spending, how about investing in one of the oldest forms of technology available: using the sun to heat your home’s water? Heating your home’s water supply with solar power can save you thousands of shillings a year. With power prices on the rise, adding a solar solution to your home could save you thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the system. Selecting a Solar Water Heater If you’re in the market for a solar water heater, you will need to do some research and shopping around to find the right product for your needs. When evaluating your options, it is important to have a clear idea of what kind of system you need. Before selecting a solar water heater, you’ll need to consider your lifestyle, climate zone, budget, and environmental impact goals. Here are four important questions to answer before shopping:


How much hot water do you need to generate? Lifestyle has a major impact on how effective your domestic solar water heater will be. If you have a large family and a great demand for hot water, especially during the day, an active system with a larger collector will probably fulfill your family’s needs. On the other hand, if your household consists of only one or two people and activities like laundry are infrequent, a smaller “batch,” or passive, system might be better. A quick way to determine your expected household hot water use is to simply multiply the number of occupants by 18 gallons. A family of four uses about 72 gallons of hot water a day for laundry, bathing, cleaning, and cooking. This number will help you gauge not only the collector you need but also the reserve tank necessary for keeping your family in hot water. Where do you live? Most systems are configured based upon expected output of hot water for a specific climate. In sunny, warmer areas such as Florida, Arizona, and Southern California, a tremendous amount of hot water can be generated using a relatively small system. In colder regions, a larger collector will be required, and an active system may be needed to satisfy the home’s hot water needs. It is also important to know if there is a potential freezing risk for your system. If you live in a colder area, you might have to select a “drainback” tank model or a system that will automatically monitor the temperature to reduce the risk of a pipe bursting in your collector. What is your budget?

March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |

• Construction Platform • Solar heated domestic water does not have to be expensive. When compared to photovoltaic arrays, solar water heaters have a much faster return on investment and are much more affordable. For only a few hundred dollars, you can build your own batch-style system, and even commercially manufactured systems for warmer climates can be very affordable. Before shopping, be sure to get exact estimates from your plumber and check with local housing code officials to make sure you won’t have any hidden costs once installation begins. How green do you want to go? If you are going to purchase a solar water heater, the benefits will be many, but a common goal is to reduce the overall need for carbon-based fuels like coal or natural gas. While the “greenest” and most economical option would be to simply alter your lifestyle so that you don’t use as much hot water (like taking “navy” showers, washing your clothes in cold water only, and turning down the temperature on your current hot water heater), installing a solar water heater can make a significant positive impact on the environment. To really go green, try to find systems that don’t require any additional energy to function. This can include choosing a simple batch heating system or passive system that uses thermodynamics to power the circulation process. Another way to avoid having to plug in your system is to purchase a solarpowered circulation pump. Once your new system is installed, altering your lifestyle to take advantage of the solar-powered hot water is an excellent way to optimize your environmental impact. By using a majority of your hot water in mid- to late afternoon you can help ensure that you will be getting the most from your new system.

budget, you are ready to go shopping. About Solar Water Heater Installation Solar water heaters are typically installed by professionals because of the complexity of the plumbing and the difficulty of working on a rooftop without damaging the roof or becoming injured in the process. When building or buying a solar water heating system, take the following precautions: •

Be sure to include a freeze valve on your system. A freeze valve will keep your system from freezing solid and cracking. These valves often sense when the water temperature is about to dip below freezing and bleed enough water out of the system to circulate relatively warm fresh water. These are a must-have for passive systems. Install a shut-off, bypass, and drain spigot on your system. These valves allow you to detach the solar hot water collector without completely disconnecting the water to your existing hot water tank. They can come in very handy, especially if your system does not have a freeze-prevention valve. Install scald guards on your system if you live in a sunny climate. Solar water heaters at times work so well they can present a scalding danger to the home’s occupants.

Once you have determined your hot water needs, system style, size, and

March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |


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Install Exterior Electrical Outlets to Take the Power Outdoors


ven though installing a new outdoor outlet is simple, however, you should always consider taking up the services of a professional electrical contractor to make sure everything is done the right way. The beauty of having electrical outlets throughout the home is that you can power what you need and where you need it. However, while a licensed electrical contractor is always pretty good at predicting the power needs of individual rooms, one tends to favor a less-ismore approach to installing outlets on a home’s exterior. But, these outlets need some additional safety precautions and thought about whether you should have more of them installed.

should be prevented to avoid circuit breaker from tripping and lessen the probability of an electrical fire. It is imperative to monitor the weather and make modifications accordingly. During high winds, prevent using electrical appliances like an outdoor electric grill that could topple over. Remember, water is always a major concern due to the risk of electrical shock. Make sure no electrical device is kept near the standing water. And, be on the lookout for weather-related moisture, as well. The risk of accidental shock can increase due to rain, and even extreme high humidity can contribute to corrosion, sparking outlets, and various other issues. Time to Upgrade Upgrading every exterior outlet by taking up the services of a licensed electrical contractor is one of the crucial steps towards improving household electrical safety, especially if you live in a home with an older construction. Every outdoor outlet should have watertight, rugged covers and GFCI technology. Moreover, replacing the outlets also presents a good excuse to add some additional outlets where you need them most. Think about where you routinely need an extension cord to get the job done. And, don’t forget to consider holiday lights. Extend Your Range You may need to use extension cords at times if installing new outlets is not on your agenda. For this, two crucial safety precautions you must observe include: • Always ensure to opt for an extension cord rated for outdoor use. • Prevent running extension cords across doorways or walkways. • Finally , keep the protective covers closed whenever the outlet is not in use to guarantee every exterior outlet is completely safe from moisture.

Take Safety Seriously Whether outdoors or indoors, some basic safety rules apply to all electrical outlets. A single outlet overloading


March 2018 | Mjengo Magazine | |

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Mjengo Magazine March 2018  
Mjengo Magazine March 2018  

Mjengo Magazine, a Building and Construction Magazine in Kenya, is published monthly and distributed in digital format electronically.