Get ready for a summer of grave water woes

3 months, 22 days ago

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With its sprawling corporate campuses punctuated by rows of exotically-named apartment complexes (where the employees live) and pubs, malls and multiplexes (where they unwind), Bellandur in south-east Bengaluru showcases what the infotech revolution has brought to the city. When it comes to water supply, however, the area more closely resembles Wild West than Silicon Valley, the US tech hub the city is most often compared with. While Silicon Valley residents take high-pressure potable water for granted when they open their taps, the Bellandur experience is, let’s say, somewhat different.“We are being held to ransom,” says one resident, a senior executive at one of the IT majors, while talking about the area’s water crisis. “Last week, we were out on the road, begging every tanker for water,” says another, the president of her apartment complex. They insist on anonymity for themselves and their apartments.
It’s an intriguing request for a story on water supply. But they explain why: the last time some of the residents spoke to a reporter, the water tanker owners appeared before them brandishing copies of the paper, accusing them of defaming the water suppliers and, finally, leveraging the incident to jack up prices of each tanker by a further Rs 100.

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Bellandur is one of 110 “villages” on the periphery of Bengaluru recently added to the city’s corporation limits which does not yet receive piped water. This is despite it being the highest tax-paying ward in the city, residents point out. With borewells sunk as deep as 800 feet running dry, people here depend on 6,000-litre private tankers for regular water supply. This year, the shortage has struck early, with private tankers claiming a dip in supply to raise the price of water, from Rs 700 to Rs 1,200 and upwards per load — since the business is unregulated and each supplier has their own fiefdom, customers have little option but to comply. For a 300-unit apartment, the water bill in January alone was Rs 4.5 lakh.

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Staring at a Shortage With its lack of piped water and rapidly depleting groundwater levels, Bellandur might be an extreme version of the urban dystopia that summer heralds in many parts of India.But with demand peaking in our bursting-at-the-seams metropolises in the next couple of months, a below normal monsoon, few genuine attempts at conservation and a general apathy towards reducing demand unless one is forced to, our cities look set to contend with a severe water crisis this year, too.The national capital, for instance, will likely see a shortfall of about 300 million gallons a day (1,100 million litres) in the next two months, according to Delhi Jal Board vice-chairman Dinesh Mohaniya. Last summer, fracas over water led to the death of three people in New Delhi.

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In Mumbai, civic authorities have reduced daily water supply by 10 per cent from November due to the paucity in rainfall while in Chennai, the supply is nearly 300 million litres a day less than what it should be, according to Chennai Metro Water joint director R Neelankandan. “We expect to continue supplying this quantity till the next monsoon,” he says, hopeful that the crisis will be better than the previous summer, since the year was not as dry.But Umananda Mukherjee, a resident of Velachery in Chennai staying in a compound with four houses, is already feeling the pinch. The executive depends on tanker water from Chennai Metro Water which he books via phone and is usually delivered in 2 to 3 days of booking. “Last time, the gap stretched to 7-8 days. It was that bad,” he says. He ended up having to buy water from a private supplier, paying Rs 1,500 for 1,200 litres to his compound—exorbitant, compared with the Rs 700 he pays for 9,000 litres from Chennai Metro Water.

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When it comes to water supply in urban areas in India, there is no dearth of alarming statistics. Last year, government think-tank Niti Aayog, in its report, issued the dire warning that 21 cities including Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai will run out of groundwater by 2020, which would affect about 100 million people. A few months before that, Centre for Science and Environment published a report predicting that 10 cities around the world, including Bengaluru, were likely to face Day Zero when taps there would run dry, like the situation Cape Town in South Africa got very close to.Dipping groundwater levels across the country have been a cause for concern over the years, as extraction of the resource largely continues unchecked to meet the demands of a growing population. The bulk of this is used in farming.National Geophysical Research Institute director Virendra Tiwari, who has been studying dwindling groundwater resources for years, says areas in and around Delhi have been losing 30 to 32 cubic kilometres of groundwater every year. “This is the largest rate of groundwater loss in any similar region on Earth,” he says, echoing what he had written in a 2009 paper.

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The extraction across northern India has been exceeding the replenishable groundwater, lowering the water table. A 2019 report by Water Aid points out that groundwater depletion across India increased by nearly a quarter between 2000 and 2010. The water available per person annually in India has also come down by a steep 70 per cent between 1951 and 2011.Municipal governments have been focusing primarily on supply side management to the total neglect of demand side measures such as metered water supply, says Tushaar Shah, senior fellow at the International Water Management Institute. He attributes India’s urban water supply crisis partly to this. “Our water supply infrastructure has also failed to keep pace with growth of the urban centres, with water conveyance losses exceedingly high. And the inadequacy of public systems to meet demand has given rise to a massive informal water economy that is hard to regulate and control,” says Shah. The monopoly of private water tankers in Bellandur is one instance of this.

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“In the last two decades, all the major urban centres in India have become dark zones, where extraction of water exceeds the natural recharging capacity,” says Suresh Rohilla, senior director at the New Delhi-based think tank Centre for Science and Environment. The total quantum of water coming in to our cities is not increasing considerably because our rivers don’t have water, he says. “For instance, my house in Delhi used to get 10-12 hours of water supply during my childhood. Now, it is just half an hour each in the morning and evening. That means I have to invest more in pumps, in electricity and storage mechanisms,” he adds. The key is to manage our water distribution better, rather than look at new projects that will bring water to our cities from locations farther and farther away, says Rohilla.Avoiding ‘Day Zero’There are also region-specific factors choking water supply. Delhi, for instance, is locked in a court battle with neighbouring Haryana over the supply of water. There are two cases being heard, one in the Supreme Court and the other in the Delhi High Court, over the sharing of river water and the use of a lined canal. “A favourable verdict would fix our quota of water from the river Yamuna, which is Delhi’s main source of water,” says Delhi Jal Board’s Mohaniya.

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Then there is the all-important monsoons. An officer in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, who requested not to be named as the electoral code of conduct is in force, says the civic body had to reduce water supply as rainfall had been less than in the previous year. Non-revenue water, or water which is lost due to leaks and theft and therefore does not earn any revenue and pollution of water bodies also contributes to reducing supply.Even when civic agencies supply water, the distribution is usually inequitable, say researchers. In a study undertaken in Bengaluru by Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE), it was found that while half the domestic consumers in the city were using less than 90 litres (per person per day), 10 per cent of domestic consumers were using over 342 litres per capita per day. “There is inequitable distribution of water both region-wise, where the periphery is poorly served, and class-wise, where there’s a huge variation in the per capita consumption of water,” says Sharad Lele, a distinguished fellow at ATREE.Lele feels one should not go to the extreme of saying Bengaluru is approaching Day Zero, when all taps will run dry, since the city will continue to receive 1,400 million litres a day of Cauvery water. What is more likely to happen is that the poor will suffer the most. “It will be Day Zero for them,” he says.There are some efforts under way, both long-term and shortterm, to increase and improve water supply. In New Delhi, for instance, the AAP government is offering a 90 per cent rebate on sewer charges for those reusing waste water within their premises, a concept called zero water liquid discharge. “The scheme is in its initial phases. Big institutes like schools and colleges are quite enthusiastic but small users are not very keen because they don’t have the infrastructure to reuse this water,” says Mohaniya.The AAP government has been planning to reuse treated effluents by releasing it into the Yamuna upstream, where it will mix with the river water, thereby increasing the water supply to the city. The Yamuna is Delhi’s main source of water. In Mumbai, three dam projects, including the Gagai dam, which is expected to supply over 400 million litres of water a day when complete, are being planned.Bengaluru is awaiting Stage V of the Cauvery water supply scheme to be complete, which will add another 700 million litres a day (MLD). The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) plans to clamp down on buildings that are not implementing rainwater harvesting. In Chennai, the Metro Water authorities plan to tap agriculture wells in Thiruvallur, 48 km away, which they estimate will yield another 120 MLD. “Ideally, we should look at getting another 300-400 MLD from desalination plants. We also need to realise the importance of decentralising the water supply system, and conserving our local water bodies which can play a major role,” says J Saravanan, a hydrologist and consultant based in Chennai. Rainwater harvesting in buildings, mandated by previous governments, has certainly helped in water conservation, says Saravanan. In Bengaluru, BWSSB chairman Tushar Giri Nath says only half of the over 2 lakh structures supposed to have rainwater harvesting have implemented it.Rather than wait for civic authorities to get their act together, citizens are also trying to do their bit. In Bellandur, residents are signing up for the “2500 challenge” with the aim of digging 2,500 recharge wells over the next three months to improve groundwater. City-based Biome Environmental Trust is spearheading a larger campaign to recharge Bengaluru’s wells called “A Million Recharge Wells” involving the local community of well-diggers, the Manuvaddars. “More than 50 per cent of the city’s demand is met through groundwater. The question is how to replenish the water we are continuously taking out,” says Shubha Ramachandran, water team lead at Biome.Along with efforts to augment supply, experts emphasise the importance of reducing demand. “In urban areas, water is so subsidised that nobody thinks of saving it. It might be costing the water supply board 10-20 times the amount you are paying,” says CSE’s Rohilla. “You treat an iPhone with care because you know the price.”At the peak of the Cape Town crisis last year, domestic users were not allowed to use more than 50 litres of water a day. Starting to use water prudently and efficiently would go some way in helping Indian cities avoid a similar fate.

Read more: economictimes.indiatimes.com

Hall, Saliba Dazzle with Big Wins at 888Live London

4 months, 16 days ago

It was a festival of long nights in London.

In the 888Live London Main Event, which wrapped on Sunday, the night had already advanced into the wee hours when Tom Hall won the last hand.

After a 13-hour marathon in the £2,200 High Roller Jamie Lunt was the last of 69 players at the table as dawn broke in East London.

And while it didn’t run quite as long, 2017 Rising Star nominee Vivian Saliba from Brazil put her stamp on the Ladies Event to add another impressive line on her growing poker resume.

Tom Hall Steals the Show

Brit Tom Hall has been a steady presence on the European poker scene over the past few years and announced himself as part of the elite with a win in the 2016 EPT Prague High Roller.

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Hall on top again.

He did nothing to change his rep at 888Live London with another impressive performance. 

Hall came into the final with a big lead and kept it for a long time, dominating alongside Spanish player Pol Hernandez.

But when Ning Lu eliminated Paul Scipioni to make things 3-handed he caught up with Hernandez and later even took over the lead. Lu actually started the heads-up with a 3-1 chip lead over Hall.

On the way there Lu had his opponents and the rail shaking their heads in slight disbelief when he took several minutes to call with pocket nines when Scipioni pushed 13 big blinds from the small blind.

There were more gasps when Hernandez pushed his last 15 BBs into the middle from the button and Ning asked for a count before he made the call – with pocket queens!

The heads-up players agreed on a deal before they sat down to play to a winner. Despite “only” £8,888 to play for and despite the levels being shortened to 30 minutes, it took until 4:30 AM before both players finally had hands good enough to risk all their chips.

Hall had the upper hand with A♣ 5♥ over Ning’s Q♣ T♦ and also found an ace on the flop. It was his second tournament win this year after he took down the DTD200 at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham in July.

888Live London Main Event Final Table Payouts

Place

Name

Country

Prize Money

1

Tom Hall

UK

£78,888*

2

Ning Lu

UK

£72,142*

3

Pol Canals Hernandez

Spain

£39,945

4

Paul Scipioni

UK

£29,590

5

Daniel Stanway

UK

£22,190

6

Charles Akadiri

UK

£17,750

7

Paul Nugent

UK

£14,750

8

Shao Zhen

Canada

£11,835

9

Pascal Pflock

Germany

£8875

*2-way deal

Lunt Wins High Roller Over Geilich, Sperling
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As mentioned it was a festival of long nights in London and the £2,200 High Roller event was no exception.

It was a small affair but it was a top-class field that included 888poker ambassadors Chris Moorman and Dominik Nitsche as well as Scotsmen Niall Farrell and Ludovic Geilich, who were happy to return to 888Live after they both made the Main Event final table in Rozvadov last winter.

Jack Salter, Martin Jacobson, Fabio Sperling, Giovanni Rizzo, Opening Event winner Christopher Kyriacou and Main Event winner Hall were also in the field but it was Lunt who claimed the title at 6 am London time.

888Live High Roller Final Table Payouts

Place

Names

Country

Prize Money

1

Jamie Lunt

UK

£34,985*

2

Jonathan Bowers

UK

£36,115*

3

Ludovic Geilich

UK

£20,000

4

Iaron Lightbourne

UK

£15,100

5

Oliver Price

UK

£11,000

6

Aymon Hata

UK

£8200

7

Fabio Sperling

GER

£6220

8

Giovanni Rizzo

ITA

£5000

*2-way deal

Saliba Rises Above Ladies’ Field

Fifty-one female players and 75 entries got together to sort out their own champion and it turned out to be Vivian Saliba from Brazil.

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Star continues to rise.

Saliba, who we caught up with at this year’s WSOP Main Event and who was nominated for the “Spirit of Poker Award” in the category Rising Star, came back from being down to three big blinds and managed to take down the whole tournament.

Saliba captured her first official tournament win which also came with a £13,000 Main Event prize package for the WSOP Europe at the King’s Casino – compare that to the buy-in of just £55!

Meanwhile, 888 ambassador Nitsche lived up to his reputation of being a poker nomad.

He went from the Aspers Casino straight to the airport, travelled 30 hours to Macau and jumped into the HK$250,000 6-max event.

Finally made it to Macau. Casual 30 hour trip. Quick nap and then time for the 250k hkd 6max@888poker

— Dominik Nitsche (@DominikNitsche) 16. Oktober 2017
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Read more: pokerlistings.com

Hot Chocolate Is Better with Coffee

6 months, 7 days ago

If you’re thinking whiskey, we feel you. But a shot of coffee in hot chocolate is sometimes even better, especially after a chilly outdoor adventure. We asked some of our favorite chefs and baristas in cold towns for their go-to mocha recipes. You can thank us later.

Coffee Affogato

Leave it to Italians to mix our two favorite things: ice cream and coffee. This recipe is a favorite of Amy Ninh, an avid snowboarder and the pastry chef at Vail’s Left Bank restaurant. “The ice cream replaces cream and sugar, and the chocolate pairs perfectly with the coffee,” she says. If you want your drink more chocolaty (trust us, you do), drizzle in her homemade chocolate sauce.

Ingredients

4 ounces of a high-quality chocolate bar (like Valhrona, Ninh’s choice)
8 ounces coffee
1 ounce high-quality chocolate ice cream

To Make the Chocolate Sauce

Place chocolate in a bowl and pour one ounce of super-hot coffee over it. Give the chocolate a few minutes to melt, then stir. Keep adding coffee until the chocolate is smooth.

To Assemble the Drink

Scoop the ice cream into a coffee cup. You’ll need a good-sized mug for this. Pour hot coffee over it. Drizzle with a spoonful of the sauce, stir, taste, and add more sauce as needed.

Mexican Hot Cocoa

As a general rule, we trust Chicagoans’ taste in hot beverages. Have you ever been there in the winter? This recipe is courtesy of Melissa Villanueva, who owns Brewpoint Coffee, which has three locations in the city’s suburb of Elmhurst. It’s a touch spicy and plenty sweet. We found ourselves downing this glass and making another.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons Ghirardelli’s hot cocoa mix
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (Be careful not to put in too much!)
1 1/2  cups coffee
3 ounces (about 1/3 cup) vanilla-flavored creamer (or half and half, for a less-sweet mix)
Dash of cinnamon

To Assemble the Drink

Mix the cocoa and cayenne together. Stir in the coffee and creamer. Top with cinnamon.

Chocolopolis’ Coffee Drinking Chocolate

What’s the difference between cocoa and drinking chocolate? Cocoa is mixed from powder, while drinking chocolate is literally chocolate that has been melted and stirred into liquid. The latter is much thicker and more indulgent—it’s basically the difference between skim milk and heavy cream. Chocolopolis, a Seattle-based chocolatier, used to sell drinking chocolate by the cup, but these days the company is focusing on its solid chocolates. With a bit of begging, we got Chocolopolis’ old coffee-infused drinking chocolate recipe from chief chocophile Lauren Adler. (If you’re in Seattle and beg extra pathetically, they may even make you a cup.)

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounces dark chocolate (around 50 to 60 percent cacao, or sub in milk chocolate for a sweeter version)
3 ounces (about 1/3 cup) coffee
3 ounces (about 1/3 cup) whole milk (nondairy milk is also fine)

To Assemble the Drink

Add chocolate to a mug. Pour hot coffee over the chocolate and let it sit for a minute so it melts. Whisk vigorously (or use an immersion blender). Heat whole milk until it’s steaming (do not boil). Add the milk to the cup and whisk vigorously again.

Read more: outsideonline.com

Value, not growth, to matter for next 1-2 years: Sunil Singhania

6 months, 9 days ago

2019 would be a change in the sense that foreign inflows should also be quite strong both on the equity and fixed income side, Sunil Singhania, Founder, Abakkus Asset Manager, tells ET Now.Edited excerpts: Will it be a great 2019 for investors or is this going to be another challenging year? First of all, any equity investor has to be optimistic. If one is not optimistic, then one should not be an equity investor. Also, in a growing economy it makes sense to be optimistic. As far as challenges are concerned, we have seen many challenges over the last few years and these will continue. I think that is the essence of life. Notwithstanding the challenges and notwithstanding fact that 2018 was a very challenging year, we remain quite optimistic about 2019 and the years forward. But sometimes you have to be realistic. I mean in 2008, if you had become optimistic, then your optimism did not help. Now you are talking and comparing it to a very different year where it was euphoric. I do not see that in the last three-four years we have at any point of time been euphoric except for a period of six months when specifically on the mid and smallcaps we had become euphoric. The world overall has not been euphoric and that makes us believe we are not seeing an overboard kind of a market where people are long left, right and centre and are over-leveraged, In fact, it is the reverse. People have been very cautious. Investors have not been investing as aggressively as maybe their cash balances in the bank are. There is definitely not an over-leveraged situation, not only in India but anywhere else in the world. The situation is far different from the year you mentioned. What makes you so hopeful? 2018 was a year full of uncertainties — be it on crude, on geopolitical situations or for that matter currency. Do you believe that maybe finally after that long wait, we are going to see earning recovery kick in from the next quarter itself? You mentioned it all. Oil has been a godsend for us. From $85, we are down to $53-54. Fundamentally at least, we do not see oil moving beyond $60-65 even in the medium to long-term. Currency has come back to $70. If you see the last 20 years of trend on an average, rupee depreciates by anyway between 3% and 3.25% a year but that is like a step of function. We have a 10-12% depreciation and then the rupee stabilises for three-four years. It is fair to presume that after this 10% depreciation, rupee should be quite stable for the next three-four years. Inflation is down and going forward, the way oil prices have corrected, does not seem to be inching up despite the fact that we expect the minimum support prices (MSP) for a lot of farm products to be increased and consequently the 10-year G-Sec yields have fallen to 7.25%. Internationally, there was this fear that US interest rates might inch up to 4%. They have actually fallen to 2.65%. US markets have been volatile but again my view is that it is a very healthy market and I am quite optimistic even on the US equity markets given the fact that the S&P 500 is trading at like 14-14.5 times earning which is like 7% yield in a country where the interest rates are at 3%. On the flows front, we have always had good domestic inflows over the last three-four years. My view is that 2019 would be a change in the sense that foreign inflows should also be quite strong both on the equity and fixed income side. The last point which you also touched upon is earnings. It is generally led by a couple of sectors, predominantly corporate banks. We expect earnings for FY20 to inch up to 20% plus in terms of growth. Obviously a large part of that would be contributed by corporate banks but other small sectors should also kick in. Overall, given the fact that we are not in a very euphoric zone, we are may be at around 16 times FY20 earnings and three-four months ahead, we would start to discount FY21, I think there is reasonable optimism both on the economy front as well as from market front. My only concern with the current environment is that are we underestimating the fall in US markets? I remember this kind of situation happening in 2007 when world discovered a problem call subprime. Indian markets started outperforming for many months. Today we can take a lot of pride in saying that US market has gone down but we were up in December. We are better and we have better growth. But will that really last for a long period of time? Again you are comparing two different times and situations. 2007. as you rightly said was more of a crash over leveraged position. And in fact, I was yesterday seeing the documentary The Big Short. It is incidental that we are talking about it today. It was more about the banking system being levered up like 40 times. If you see the banking system in the US now, it is very healthy compared to 2007, in terms of their capital adequacy, in terms of their profitability etc. Second. we are not looking at PEs of 40-50 times in US. We are looking at a PE of 14.5 times for S&P 500. Again just to give you a perspective, there was a trillion-dollar buyback in US in 2018. If you add the last five years of buybacks, they have totalled around $4 trillion which is almost 20% to 25% of the market cap of the US. We are seeing companies having huge cash balances, having huge cash profits. The economy is doing very well. If you go to US and you just talk to people, there is hardly any unemployment. In fact, there is shortage, specifically on the technology side of people. I do not see a scenario of something like 2007-08 even near that and I would say that definitely things are much better and very different from 2007-08. As far as markets are concerned, even there we had this phenomena of the FAANG stocks among the technology stocks, where there was a little bit of over-optimism and those are the stocks which have fallen the most over the last three-four months. So one segment had moved up very sharply and has fallen equally sharply. It is similar to what we had in India where midcaps and small caps went up sharply, they fell sharply or quality was getting unusual premium and wherever that quality has disappointed a little bit, you have seen a sharp fall. It is more a case of over-optimism in a few stocks or a few sectors getting patted down and the fall is more pronounced there. Again, just to conclude, I do not see a scenario of like a meltdown of 2007-08, I do not see it as enything near that. In fact, if I were an investor, I would also bet on the US markets from here on.We had some interesting data thrown up yesterday with respect to the Russell 2000. A 10% fall historically has been followed by a positive year. Perhaps we could see that for the midcap index as well? Where are you seeing opportunity within the midcap universe?Over last three years, we have seen challenges which were quite significant compared to what we have seen earlier and those challenges meant that investors got comfort in the so-called growth stocks or companies which were not impacted by what was happening on the economy front. So, consumption and quality got disproportionate PE. What we are seeing now is that some kind of multiples are not sustainable if we have even a slight sort of correction in their growth rates. And we have seen that with a large innerwear company and a two-wheeler company, how the multiples have corrected very sharply. My view is that over the next one two years, value will take precedence over growth. Companies which have been slowly growing but have not seen rapid growth have been ignored by the investors and a lot of those companies are on the mid and smallcap side. Going forward, maybe companies which have value and which have been in sectors that have been ignored for their challenging past like may be a construction company, some old gen companies, capex companies. Moving towards them because they have seen sustainable addition to their balance sheet in terms of strength, in terms of their cash and the high PE stocks which were getting unusual flows just because they were performing well. Maybe, it is time to see money moving out of them into so-called value and predominantly they are even on the mid and smallcap side.I was hoping you will get slightly more specific in terms of what are the themes you are betting on.There are a lot of power generation and distribution companies which are now trading at like 7-8 times cash PE multiples. It has been sort of a taboo sector because of all the stress they have undergone over the last four, five years. But going forward, India is a growing economy and we are seeing power demand growing at 7-8%. If we believe that there is going to be power for all and standard of living is going to improve, there is going to be growth in the power generation side as well as on the distribution side because you need to take the power right to the final customers. Also, there has not been any significant addition to capacities. So, companies which have good assets on the generation and distribution side, which have balance sheets that are not stressed or which can raise a question mark regarding their survival, some of these companies will do well. Also on the EPC side, one interesting phenomenon in the September results which we were analysing is the fact that for the first time after a lot of years we have seen EPC companies not only start to generate 15-18% ROE, but have also seen their debt levels go down. This is a dream for an investor in EPC companies because over last 7-8 years, EPC companies have only seen their balance sheets bloat by higher and higher debt. These are some interesting observations and obviously there are other companies in sectors which have been ignored because they do not grow fast. It may be a very boring sector but a few textile companies would be worth looking at. They are boring, they do not grow fast but with the kind of cash which some of these companies are generating maybe in the next three, four years, you will have one period where they will give like 50-100% return. From investor point of view, we have to find whether returns can be made in a block of three, four, five years or whether you are looking at making returns every week or every month. If you are in the former category where you are cognisant of the fact that returns will be made but you are indifferent whether returns will be made in three months but ultimately will be made in a block of three, five years, there will be a lot of companies which will keep on improving their cash flows, balance sheets and that is where the focus should be. On the other hand, there are companies which are doing well, which are growing and have huge brand value, huge ROEs and are at 60-70-80 PE .I do not see a scenario of these companies making you a lot of money unless the growth rates can last for 10, 20 years. So, on the consumption side, our view is that one should stick to consumer discretionary where the penetration is still low, where you can still hope to grow in double digits for the next 10-15 years and I think one of my favourite themes, the beverages sector comes into play. But there are a few emerging discretionary consumption stories which can also be looked at but for a consumer staple kind of companies to give 50-60 PE at least I do not find merit in that.Since you track the financials very, very closely where else do you find opportunities? Can PSBs be looked at right now? Corporate banks are a sort of a consensus trade but despite that, decent returns should be made there because even now, the markets are underestimating the recovery as far as earnings is concerned. On the other sub themes, we like select niche NBFCs. The current issue over the last three, four months has meant that the competition from new NBFCs will reduce quite significantly. On the other hand, NBFCs which are well capitalised, which have a history of managing risk quite nicely over the last five, 10 years will get a disproportionate sort of growth opportunities because of lack of competition or reduction in competition. On the other sub themes we like insurance as a theme though we would like to wait for the markets to give us an opportunity which is much more entailing. I believe that India is going to grow in terms of both asset as well as wealth management businesses because of the huge savings which we have and despite under-penetration, select wealth management companies which we can play through maybe a few brokerages definitely looks to be a good option. A good thing is that valuations now are much more reasonable than what they were three, six months back and at this point of time, we would be very constructive in quite a few NBFCs across different segments. A few areas where we still have issues are obviously again the consensus kind of things which are wholesale funded with a lot of exposure towards real estate. That is one segment where we are not seeing an uptick at least as far as the high end residential markets are concerned.A lot of regulatory headwinds and savings which were going into real estate from an investment perspective have completely stopped and that also makes us believe that those savings will come into the asset/wealth management space. You are better off playing the savings part through the asset/wealth management companies rather than trying to bet on NBFCs which are more exposed towards real estate.Since you are bullish on asset managers, would you buy your previous company Reliance Nippon AMC? It is a listed pure asset management company?As I said, the business of asset management as well as wealth management is definitely good. There are near-term headwinds predominantly from the regulatory front. The reason I started my own company Abakkus is because of the fact that I am quite bullish on this segment and at this point of time my biggest investment in asset management company would be in my company.

Read more: economictimes.indiatimes.com

I found the WORST thing money can buy: Virtual Real Estate for $200,000

10 months, 1 day ago


I thought we’ve seen it all….but no, we may have just regressed slightly as a human race, because now…people are spending upwards of $200,000 to own a piece of 1100 square foot, virtual, digitalized real estate in the game Decentraland. Enjoy. Add me on Instagram: GPStephan

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Let me explain what Decentraland is. This is a virtual reality world where you can purchase land through the Ethereum blockchain, and have full control over the content of that land that you own. You then have the ability to keep all proceeds from the value that you generate from other users because of the land that you own.

Despite common sense, that isn’t stopping people from spending considerable amounts of money buying and developing virtual land, and so far that’s proved rather profitable for those that got in early. Known as Genesis City, only 90,000 plots of land will be sold. The most expensive plot of land sold, so far, for $200,000, near its Central Plaza, where people first arrive when they enter the game…and guess what, the previous owner only bought that land for only $13,000.

Now this isn’t the first time people are paying exorbitant amounts of money for virtual items, practically all video games now go with the freemium business model by offering the game for free, and once you’re already enjoying the experience, you can pay for upgrades and other features. It’s a really, really smart business move that’s taken over gaming and the way creators are building apps…but how far is too far?

Here’s the problem I see – on one hand, we have the utility value of what something is worth. In a game like Decentraland, this could be how many daily active users there are, how much actual income your land generates in real, usable, currency, and the overall user growth of the game. From there, we can determine what an appropriate ROI is for the land and how that land can be monetized. But where people get carried away is the “Greater Fool” perspective…it’s the thought process that I’m willing to pay whatever price I need to buy something, because I believe someone else will be willing to pay more than I did.

Don’t get me wrong, coming from both a business AND investment standpoint, with some common sense practicality mixed in for good measure, there’s nothing inherently WRONG with buying something within a game – we’ve all done it. If buying an item gives you an edge over someone else in terms of game play, it becomes an ADVANTAGE where that item increases your enjoyment within the game. At that point, you’re simply paying for entertainment, just like you’d pay for a movie or a night on the town, and that purchase has an actual, measurable utility value.

So from that perspective, it’s all good – but how about as an investment? Here we go down the rabbit hole. We’ve seen this time and time again…if there is ZERO utility value, it will eventually fail. In order for something to be a viable long term investment, it needs to have a utility value – if it doesn’t, at best, it’s a speculative gamble. This carries over to ANYTHING you invest in.

So what’s my prediction on Decentraland? I think it’s a generic concept with the potential to be easily copied over and over again within different games. There’s nothing really unique about it, and because of that, there’s no reason why this would be more valuable than any other game out there. If they actually manage to get so big as to compete with Runescape or Minecraft, investors have a chance at really making some serious money – but that also ties back into the game having a utility function and providing more of a service than appealing to investors who want their piece of easy, quick money. The sad reality is that if investors are driving the market, not real, actual users…its destined to fail.

For business inquiries or paid one-on-one real estate investing/real estate agent consulting or coaching, you can reach me at GrahamStephanBusiness@gmail.com

Suggested reading:
The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: http://goo.gl/TPTSVC
Your money or your life: https://goo.gl/fmlaJR
The Millionaire Real Estate Investor: https://goo.gl/sV9xtl
How to Win Friends and Influence People: https://goo.gl/1f3Meq
Think and grow rich: https://goo.gl/SSKlyu
Awaken the giant within: https://goo.gl/niIAEI
The Book on Rental Property Investing: https://goo.gl/qtJqFq

Favorite Credit Cards:
Chase Sapphire Reserve – https://goo.gl/sT68EC
American Express Platinum – https://goo.gl/C9n4e3

Read more: youtube.com

3 Types of Electric Heated Floors

10 months, 16 days ago

Floor Coverings & Electric Heated Floors

FH07DJA_474_54_128 heated floors

Ceramic and stone tile are the most common type of heated floor. Heat doesn’t harm them and they hold and conduct heat best. Solid wood floors can develop gaps if they dry and shrink when heated. If you opt for solid wood, leave the installation to an experienced pro who will test the moisture content of the wood to avoid shrinkage. Floating floors made from wood or plastic laminate don’t develop gaps because they’re not fastened directly to the subfloor. But you’ll have to limit the floor temperature. Flooring warranties often limit the temperature to 85 degrees F.

Vinyl floors have similar temperature restrictions, whether they’re sheet vinyl or tile. Carpet or rugs can go over a heated floor, but they act as insulators and reduce heat flow to your feet and to the room as a whole. If you choose electric heated flooring under hard flooring and plan to use an area rug, consider installing the cables only under the flooring that won’t be covered by the rug.

Types of Electric Heated Floors:
1. Loose Cable

For this type of electric heated flooring, the cable comes on a spool, just like any other wire. Loose cable is by far the cheapest way to heat a floor and it’s just as effective as the other systems. The drawback of loose cable is installation time; you have to position the cable in a serpentine pattern, fasten it with lots of hot glue or staples, and then “embed” it. Most loose cable systems include end channels that guide spacing (photo, below). You can place cables close together to make the floor heat up faster and reach a higher temperature or farther apart to use less cable. Manufacturers offer various cable lengths to suit the floor’s square footage. You can’t splice sections of cable together to serve a larger room or repair damaged cable (this is true of all electric systems). Fasten the cable every 6 in. so it can’t shift or float while you embed the cable.

Caution: Work carefully with your trowel. If you nick the cable, the entire system won’t work.

112_FHMB_HolidayHints16 loose cable heated floors

Thin-Set Technique

There are two ways to embed cable: You can install the cable over tile backer board and then cover it with “thinset,” the mortar adhesive used for ceramic tile (photo above). The thin-set shrinks as it cures, so you may have to add a second layer after the first hardens to level it out. But creating a perfectly flat, smooth surface with thin-set is difficult. You can make it smooth enough for ceramic tile or a floating floor but probably not smooth enough for vinyl flooring.

FH07DJA_474_54_012 electric heated floors loose cable

Self-Leveling Technique

For a faster, smoother surface, install the cable without backer board and pour on “self-leveling compound,” or SLC (photo, above). SLC is a cement-based powder that you mix with water and then pour over the cable. It becomes rock hard in a few hours. Reinforce the SLC with plastic lath; metal lath can cut the cable. You can then lay tile, carpet, vinyl or a floating floor directly over the SLC.

2. Mesh Mats

112_FHMB_HolidayHints16-1 mesh mats heated flooring

The cable comes already woven into a plastic net. The prepositioned cable installs quickly—in less than half the time for loose cable. You simply staple or hot glue the mesh to the floor. As with loose cable, you then embed the cable and mesh.

Mats are available in lots of different dimensions. You can cut the mesh into sections to cover your floor or fit around corners (photo above). But you can’t cut or splice the cable itself. Some manufacturers recommend combing thin-set directly over the mesh and setting tile all in one operation. But this is difficult. Most tile setters prefer to embed the mesh first with thin-set or SLC just as with loose wire. The mesh tends to “float” as you embed it, so fasten it to the floor every 6 in.— even if the instructions recommend less fastening. After embedding it, you can lay tile, carpet, vinyl or a floating floor.

3. Solid Mats

Solid mats are often the most expensive electric system, but they’re also the easiest to install. The cable is completely
enclosed in synthetic fabric, plastic sheeting or metal foil. The big advantage is that you don’t have to embed it as you do loose cable or mesh mats.

113_FHMB_HolidayHints16 under tile solid mat heated floors

Under-Mat

With under tile versions, you simply smooth the mat onto a bed of thin-set (photo above). Then you spread more thin-set with a grout float over the mat. And after it hardens comb more thin-set over the mat to set ceramic or stone tile as you normally would.

113_FHMB_HolidayHints16-1 heated floors under floating floor

Under Floating Floor Mat

The under a floating floor solid mat systems are even easier to install; you just roll out the mats, tape them together and you’re done (photo above). You can then lay a floating wood or laminate floor directly over the heated flooring.

113_FHMB_HolidayHints16-2 under floor heated floors installation

Under-Floor Mat Technique

Mats are available in various dimensions, and you can combine mats of different sizes to cover your floor. Some mats are sized to fit between joists, so you can heat the floor from below as shown above—a big advantage if you don’t want to replace an existing floor. And you can staple mats between joists to heat the floor above. Then insulate the underside of the mat with R-13 or thicker fiberglass batts. However, don’t install electric heat under a subfloor unless the system is specifically intended for that method.

Read more: familyhandyman.com

Republicans call on the FTC to investigate Trump’s ludicrous Google search claims

10 months, 16 days ago

There are a lot of reasons to investigate Google. Its near-monopoly over digital advertising alone is reason enough to crack open the books. Recent changes to the way it manages YouTube payments chopped away potential revenue from thousands, only to slide even more money into the company’s giant maw.

But all of that hasn’t ruffled a feather on the right—until now. Reuters reports that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch has asked the Federal Trade Commissions to look into the “competitive effects of Google’s conduct in search and digital advertising.” Hatch’s move is clearly designed to appease Trump, who on Monday made a ludicrous charge that the search engine was ”suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information” by returning search results that featured more regular news outlets than alt-Reich blogs. 

Not only did none of Google’s monopoly powers previously warrant attention from Hatch or other Republicans, but the last time Trump tweeted about Google, it was to complain that the European Union was fining the company in an antitrust action. But now that Trump has conceived an imaginary plot to make bad news stories appear next to his name, Hatch is all over this thing.

Stay tuned for Hatch to launch fresh investigations into how vaccines cause autism and how world governments are covering up the raging Ebola pandemic.

Read more: feeds.dailykosmedia.com

Screen House Plans

10 months, 23 days ago

Screen house design
Screen House Plans

Porch interior

The screen house, built as shown in the plans below, is large enough for two families to while away the best of days in. The warm glow, and the fresh scent of cedar, plus the detailed doors and a gorgeous 1×6 cedar board ceiling, make the inside of this screen house as inviting as its outside.

Our porch is built over a hefty foundation of 6×6 preservative-treated pine timbers sunk in a crushed-rock base. Upright timber posts at each corner are notched and lag-bolted to the buried timbers. Each post is also lag-screwed to 2×6 treated joists. The joists hold the posts firmly in place and provide a decay-resistant framework to elevate the cedar decking above ground level. The spectacular open rafter roof is supported by cedar headers bolted to the posts and by stationary doors fastened to the corners. The curved corner brackets not only provide elegant detailing to each corner, but act as reinforced structural bracing (whatever you do, don’t eliminate them).

Making the finely detailed doors is simplified by building a jig to hold the door parts square for accurate and foolproof assembly. The same jig also holds the door securely for stretching the screen, stapling it to the frame and then applying the decorative door moldings.

Time, tools and cost

A project like this requires a fair amount of carpentry experience. If you’ve built a wooden yard shed, a complex deck or an intricate fence, you’ll have the confidence to tackle this project. It’ll also take a huge chunk of time, so plan to take a couple of weeks off work along with a few dedicated weekends (now is the time to call in all those favors from friends you’ve helped over the years).

You’ll need basic carpentry tools for this job, with additional help from a table saw and router. You’ll need a couple of stepladders for this project as well; we recommend a 6-ft. and a 12-ft. You may also want to rent a section of 6-ft. scaffolding to help with the roofing. Figure on spending about $4,000 to $5,000 for materials (see Cutting List in Additional Information, below) and get as much delivered to your home as possible.

Figure A: Overall Details

The total size of the screen house DIY gazebo at the roof is 18 ft. by 15 1/2-ft. A printable, PDF version of this plan is available in Additional Information (below). Note that building codes in some regions require additional seismic and high-wind anchors. Ask your building inspector about local requirements.

Fig. A shows a cutaway details of the screen house plans.

Planning

This is not a small-scale DIY gazebo project. At its longest points (the roof overhang) it measures just over 18 ft. long and 15-1/2 ft. wide. Keep these numbers in mind as you look for a place to nestle your structure. We shoehorned our screen house into the back yard of an average-size city lot and crowding the existing fence and surrounding trees. This nestling effect made it look as if the screen house grew into its surroundings.

Before you do any digging, call local utilities (gas, electrical, phone, cable) to locate any buried lines. Also make some plans to get rid of the extra dirt and sod you’ll dig up. We ended up with about 1-1/2 cu. yds. to haul away.

Figure B: Completed view

Figure B shows the completed DIY gazebo screen house. For a larger view, see Additional Information.

Figure B helps you visualize all the parts in the screen house plan.

The foundation
Screen House Plans

Photo 1: Place the beams

Level the 6×6 treated beams (A) over a trough of gravel. The gravel helps drain excess water and provides a stable bed for the foundation. Spread gravel along each beam, leaving only about 1 in. of the beam exposed.

Screen House Plans

Photo 2: Fasten the corner posts

Fasten the notched upright posts (B) to the outer foundation beams (A) with 1/2-in. x 5-in. galvanized lag screws and washers. Be sure to plumb and brace the posts as you drill a 3/8-in. pilot hole for each lag screw.

Screen House Plans

Photo 3: Install the joists

Install the joists at each end first, then string a line between them. Align the ends of the other joists 3/4 in. from the string (use a spacer block on each end joist as shown). Then tack them in place, mark them and join them with blocks. The joists that butt against the posts must be lag-screwed to the sides of the posts to keep them from racking out of alignment.

Screen House Plans

Photo 4: Nail the decking

Nail the 5/4 x 5-1/2 in. decking (D) to the tops of the joists with 10d finish nails. If your decking feels moist when you’re nailing it, butt the sides tight. If the decking feels dry, leave a 1/16-in. space between the boards for expansion during wet weather.

Once you’ve staked out your perimeter on well-drained level ground (see Fig. C for the foundation dimensions), you’ll need to dig trenches for the 6×6 treated beams (A). (Be sure they’re .60 treated, rated for underground protection. Special-order them if necessary.) Follow the foundation plan in Fig. C for the correct placement. Dig each trench about 10 in. deep and 12 in. wide. Fill each trench with about 5 in. of crushed rock (we used crushed limestone because it packs well).

Now cut the beams to length and lay them in the trench (Photo 1). Level them with each other and make sure the diagonal measurements from the ends of the two outer beams are equal. This ensures that the foundation will have square corners. The beams should sit proud of the surrounding grade about an inch so the joists that lie over them can clear the soil. Once the beams are in place, pour crushed rock around them to lock them into position.

The next phase involves setting the posts (B) onto the beams. First, cut them to length and notch the bottom as shown in Photo 2. Measure in from the ends of the outer beams (A) as shown in Fig. C. Get a helper to hold the notched end of the post perfectly vertical (plumb) on the beam and aligned with the mark. Drill two 3/8-in. pilot holes through the post and into the beam. Now insert your lag screws (1/2 x 5 in.) and washers and tighten them (Photo 2). Repeat this for each post. TIP: If you’re working alone, you can tack each post into position with nails and 2×4 braces.

Now you can lay in the joists as shown in Photo 3 and Fig. C. The joists that connect to the posts must be cut and blocked as shown in Fig. C. You can cut and block each pair of remaining joists, or you can overlap 10-ft. joists on the center beam. Just be sure the joists that butt against the posts are screwed to the posts with 1/2 x 3-1/2 in. lag screws, and all the joists are toenailed with three 16d galvanized nails where they overlap each foundation beam. To finish off the foundation, nail the five-quarter (5/4) decking (D) to the joists with 10d galvanized casing nails.

Figure C: Foundation Plan

The overall size of the base framing for this screen house plan is just under 18 ft. by just over 15 ft. For a larger version, see Additional Information.

Figure C shows the foundation plan for the screen house.

Headers
Screen House Plans

Photo 5: Attach the headers

Screw the inner headers (E1 and E2) flush with the top of the posts. Drill a 1/2-in. deep recess with a 1-1/4 in. spade bit, then a 1/2-in. dia. clearance hole for the lag screws. Be sure to drill a 3/8-in. pilot hole into the post.

The upper headers (E1, E2, E3 and E4) fastened from post to post (Fig. D) are the main support for the roof. The stationary doors that fit later under the lower headers (M1 and M2) help support the roof as well.

When you install the inner headers (E1 and E2), be sure your posts are plumb and that the distance from post to post is identical at the top and bottom of the posts. Lag-screw (1/2 x 3-1/2 in.) the inner headers to the posts as shown in Photo 5, then nail the outer headers over the inner headers with a pair of 10d galvanized nails every 16 in.

Figure D: Roof Framing

Bolt the upper headers to the screen house posts, as shown in this plan. Then add the rafters.

Figure D shows the screen house roof plan.

The rafters
Screen House Plans

Photo 6: Common rafters

Install the common rafters (G1) first. These rafters are all identical and get nailed to the ridge (F) above and to the headers below. Temporarily support the ridge with a long 2×6 nailed to the decking and to the ridge.

Screen House Plans

Photo 7: Compound angles

Cut the compound angles for the hip and jack rafters. Remember that opposite hips and jacks are mirror images of each other.

Screen House Plans

Photo 8: Nail the jack rafters

Nail the jack rafters to the hip rafters (8d galvanized) and to the header below (16d galvanized). Sight all the tails to make sure they’re aligned. Trim slightly if necessary.

Think of these supports as a structural skeleton to hold the roof skin in place. Our roof has three basic types of rafters: common, hip and jack. Pick your lumber for the rafters carefully because they’ll be visible when the project is finished.

The common rafters (Photo 6) are all the same length and have the same miter cut at the top and the same “bird’s-mouth” or notch cut near the bottom. Cut them to the dimensions in Fig. E and nail them to the ridge board (F). Support the ridge board temporarily with a 12-ft. 2×6 toenailed to the decking and to the ridge itself. The top of the ridge should be roughly 123 in. up from the decking (you may need to raise or lower it slightly for a tight fit for the miter cuts on the rafters). Once you like the fit, fasten all the common rafters to the ridge board with 16d galvanized nails. Nail the rafters through the ridge from the back to hide the nailheads.

The four hip rafters (Photo 8) rest over each corner and meet the ends of the ridge board. You’ll notice that the upper miter is a compound cut. This miter angle differs from that of the common rafters (Fig. E), and you’ll notice it has a 45-degree bevel cut on each side along with the miter cut. This allows the hip rafters to fit snugly between the common rafters. The bird’s-mouth notch is also unusual because it sits at an angle to the common rafters. You can leave a bit of extra length at the overhang of each hip rafter and trim it to final length once the other rafters are in place.

The jack rafters (Photo 8 and Fig. E) rest on the header just like the common rafters and have the same degree measurement at the top. However, the edge of the jack rafter has a 45-degree bevel (a cheek cut) so it fits tight against the hip rafter. Toenail each of these cheek cuts to the side of the hip with three 8d galvanized nails. Note that the cheek cuts (Fig. E) on each side of the hip rafter are mirror images of each other.

When you’re finished installing the rafters, nail the subfascia (H1, H2) to the tails of the rafters and install the 2×6 lower headers (M1, M2) directly beneath the upper headers. Also nail (8d galvanized casing) the 5/4 header trim (M3, M4) to finish off the transition between the upper headers and the lower header.

TIP: Before you set the roof boards over the rafters, nail temporary 2×4 braces on two sides of the structure, from the middle of the header diagonally to the bottom of the post. This will minimize any racking during the building process.

Figure E: Rafter Details

Follow the measurements shown here when you cut the hip, common and jack rafters. See Additional Information for a larger version.

Figure E explains the rafter details in the screen house plans.

Roofing
Screen House Plans

Photo 9: Attach the roof boards

Nail the 1×6 cedar roof boards (J) to the tops of the rafters after installing the subfascia (H1 and H2) over the exposed ends of the rafter tails. Leave a 1/8-in. space between the boards and alternate end joints so they don’t all fall on the same rafter. We used a combination of 12-ft. and 8-ft. long boards. Finish opposite sides first, then trim the board ends to length all at once (set your circular saw at a 15-degree bevel).

Screen House Plans

Photo 10: Add a plywood overlay

Install the 5/8-in. CDX plywood over the top of the 1×6 cedar roof boards. Use 10d nails to secure the plywood through the roof boards to the rafters. Leave a 1/8-in. gap between plywood panels to allow for weather changes.

Screen House Plans

Photo 11: Shingle the roof

Install the shingles over 30-lb. roofing felt using 4d galvanized box nails. Overhang the shingles 1 in. beyond the face of the fascia.

Much of the beauty of the interior comes from the 1×6 cedar boards visible between the rafters. These boards alone, however, aren’t enough to give stability to the structure, so they’re backed with 5/8-in. CDX plywood. The plywood also adds enough thickness to keep the shingle nails from poking through the underside of the roof.

First, nail the 1×6 roof boards to the rafters (Photo 9) with 8d nails. Start at the bottom flush with the ends of the rafters and work your way to the top, leaving a 1/8-in. clearance between the boards. Overlay the plywood onto the 1×6 and nail it through the plywood and roof boards into the rafters with 10d nails.

Once the plywood layer is complete, nail the finished fascia (L1, L2) over the subfascia and align it with the bottom edge of the plywood. Next, roll on the 30-lb. roofing felt and overlap each layer by 3 in. Then nail the No. 2 cedar shingles to the roof deck (Photo 11) with 4d galvanized nails (follow the positioning instructions that come with each bundle). The first course of shingles must be double thickness and overhang the fascia (L1, L2) by 1 in.

You’ll need to trim the cedar shingles to conform to the angle above the hip as you lay them. Once you’ve finished shingling, cover the gaps over the hip by ripping 4-in. wide pieces of shingle to create a cap over the hips and ridge.

Figure F: Eave Details

Construct the eaves and roof for the screen house as shown in this cutaway plan detail.

Figure F of the screen house plan shows a cutaway of the eave and roof details.

Making doors
Screen House Plans

Photo 12: Cut the half laps

Rout the laps for the door frame joints using a homemade router jig screwed to a plywood work surface. The door frames are made from 2×4 and 2×6 cedar. The side stiles and top rail are 2×4. The bottom rail is 2×6.

Screen House Plans

Photo 13: Build the doors

Assemble each door using a jig to ensure each frame is square. Apply construction adhesive to the lap joints on each corner, then screw the parts of each lap joint together with five 1-1/4 in. decking screws. Keep the screws at least 1 in. from the edges of the frame because you’ll need to trim the door to size later.

Screen House Plans

Photo 14: Attach the screen

Flip the door over once you’ve assembled the frame. Cut your 30-in. wide screen to length (leave an extra 2 in. on each end for stretching) and staple it to the frame every 2 in. with 1/4-in. staples. It’s best to start at the top and work your way down each side for a tight-fitting screen.

Screen House Plans

Photo 15: Attach the trim

Cut your screen molding and muntin trim to size from 2×6 cedar using a table saw. Attach the screen molding to the door frame using 3d galvanized finish nails.

Making the doors is the most time-consuming part of the project, so we broke it down into manageable tasks. Since you can build them in the garage on a work table, it’s the perfect job for rainy days.

First cut the door stiles (side pieces) and the rails (upper and lower horizontal pieces) to length. Then set up a simple jig (Photo 12) to use with your router to make the half-lap joints on the ends of all the stile and rails. Use a 3/4-in. straight bit. If you have a table saw, you could make the half laps with a dado blade.

The next step is to set up a 3/4-in. thick, 4 x 8-ft. plywood work surface over a pair of sawhorses. Use scrap wood to make blocks (Photo 13) to hold the door parts square.

Before you apply screen to the door frames, flip them over so the screws are on the back and then staple the screen as shown in Photo 14. Once the screen is applied to the doors, you can cut the moldings (see Fig. G) from 2×6 cedar (use a table saw) and nail them to the door frame with small screen molding nails.

Figure G: Door Assembly

Build the door frame first, tack on the screen, and then add the bars and molding.

The screen house plans call for half-lap doors with screens and trim.

Installing the doors
Screen House Plans

Photo 16: Attach the cleats

Install the floor cleats (P1 and P2) even with the outer edges of the posts. Then fasten the cleats to the stationary doors to secure them to the decking.

Screen House Plans

Photo 17: Install the stationary doors

Fit each stationary door, trimming the top or bottom if necessary. Once each stationary door fits snugly from the floor to the header, screw it to the upper doorstop (P3) and the floor cleats (P1 and P2) with 2-in. galvanized screws.

Screen House Plans

Photo 18: Install the operable doors

Attach the freeswinging doors to the stationary doors with self-closing face-mounted hinges. Use three hinges per door and make sure each door has a bit more than 1/8-in. clearance on all sides.

Before you install the doors, nail the cleats to the deck (Photo 16) and the upper doorstop to the inside edge of the lower header. It’s best to use a string line to mark the deck to get the floor cleats positioned in a straight line. To align the doors properly in the opening, find the center of each side and measure each door width (mark it off on the deck) back to the corners.

You may have to trim each door’s height slightly to fit the opening. The stationary doors should fit snugly, and the operable doors need 3/16-in. clearance on the bottom and 1/8-in. on the top. Screw the corner doors to the post (the door edge should cover roughly half the post), the upper doorstop and the lower floor cleat. The longer side has an additional door, which should be positioned tight to the corner door and nailed to the floor cleat and the upper doorstop.

The operable doors (the double doors on the front and back, and the single on the long side) must be shimmed on the bottom and top (Photo 18). This will hold them in place while you screw the self-closing hinges to the adjacent stationary door frame and the swinging door. Remove the shims and make sure the operable doors swing freely. To finish the door system, you’ll need to install the vertical stop (P5, P6, P7) as shown in Fig. A to the back of the doors. This trim runs from the floor cleats to the upper doorstop, covers the gaps between the doors and finishes off the interior.

Finish each exposed post with a cedar 2×4 and a 2×6 (T1 and T2; see Fig. H) that are ripped to width and then cut to length. Be sure the front of the screen house has the wider piece to overlap the longer side post trim.

The corner brackets
Screen House Plans

Photo 19: Corner brackets

Install the eight corner brackets (U2) to the bracket cleats (U1) with 3-in. galvanized screws. The corner brackets are structural as well as decorative. See Fig. H for details.

Cut the bracket supports and the curved corner brackets (U1, U2) as shown in Fig. H. Notice that the top of the bracket support is notched to fit over the header trim. Screw the bracket supports (predrill all these holes) to the corner trim with 3-1/2 in. galvanized screws (use three screws for each bracket). Next, screw the curved corner bracket to each bracket support (two screws on each side) and to the upper jack rafter (four 3-in. screws here).

Now you’re ready to clean up the work site and enjoy the rest of the summer in your beautiful outdoor space.

Figure H: Corner Details

Lay out the corner brackets using the grid diagram, then cut and attach them according to the screen house plan shown here.

Figure H of the screen house plan shows the corner bracket installation details.

Project PDF Files

Click the links below to download the materials and cutting lists as well as the drawings for this project.

Project Drawings and Materials and Cutting Lists

Additional Information

Figure A: Overall Details
Figure B: Completed View
Figure C: Foundation Plan
Figure D: Roof Framing
Figure E: Rafter Details
Figure F: Eave Details
Figure G: Door Assembly
Figure H: Corner Details
Cutting List
Hardware & Miscellaneous

Required Tools for this DIY Gazebo Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY gazebo project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration. 4-in-1 screwdriverAdjustable wrenchAir compressorAir hoseBrad nail gunCaulk gunCircular sawCordless drillFraming squareHammerJigsawLevelMiter sawRouterSafety glassesStepladderTable sawUtility knife You’ll also need a 12-ft. stepladder.

Required Materials for this DIY Gazebo Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list. See the Cutting List and Hardware List in Additional Information.

Read more: familyhandyman.com