What Does a Customs Broker Do?

If you have never made a large overseas shipment, it can be easy to underestimate how much work this process involves. Many find the amount of paperwork and documentation to make sure their shipment clears customs nothing short of overwhelming. Many importers and exporters have reported filling out and processing their customs documents, acquiring the right signatures, only to have their shipment delayed at customs for days or even weeks! There often was just one simple requirement that was overlooked. To avoid this kind of catastrophe, many international shippers are partnering with a professional customs broker, making their lives far easier.

While there is no legal requirement to hire a customs broker to help ‘clear’ your goods through customs, it is often makes the process far more convenient and cheaper for the importer. A customs broker is licensed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to represent importers in the complex regulatory environment. When you hire a licensed broker, you remove the burden of obtaining bonds, filling out paperwork, assigning and classifying your cargo, and other tasks that would be difficult to the uninitiated international shipper.

As an importer and exporter, you are legally responsible for knowing and abiding by all Customs and Border Protection requirements. Your shipment must comply with all federal rules and regulations, and the U.S. Customs Code alone is thousands of pages long. If you fail to comply with any rule, you will likely be fined and your shipment held at port until the situation has been rectified. For a customs professional, knowing the ins-and-outs of customs regulations is his full-time job. Often he has go through extensive training and academic education to learn the code, and help importers successfully complete shipments.

In order to navigate the realm of customs requirements, multiple documents and/or electronic submissions must be prepared, and the importer must calculate and pay taxes, duties, and excise taxes on the shipment. Depending on whether your carrier is an air cargo carrier or a sea carrier, you are required to have different documents to prove the legality and contents of your shipment. You can remove this burden by hiring a broker who is experienced in the practice and will likely help you achieve significant savings you would not have seen otherwise.

Part of a brokers job is networking with government officials and authorities and a vast network of cargo carriers. Also, a broker takes advantage of scale by batching multiple shipments in the same containers, in order to further reduce the clients cost of shipping. By using this method, as well as instigating a bidding war amongst carriers, a broker can help you find the best possible deal on overseas shipping.

A broker has likely worked with many of the carriers who submit bids for your shipment before. In most cases a broker will only work with proven, trusted carriers. This allows you to rest assured your shipment will arrive safely and on-time. Should you ever have a problem or notice a delay in shipping, you need only place a call to your broker to find out what is going on and get it straightened out. In short, a quality professional broker can remove the burden of navigating the complex regulatory environment and help you achieve the lowest possible costs.

You Can not Trust Most Fireproof Safes to Protect Your Data and Photos on CDs or Flash Drives

What's Wrong With Fireproof Safes?

There is nothing really wrong with a home fireproof safe. They are well designed to keep paper products from reaching a temperature that will destroy or ruin them. However they will not prevent computer data that you have backed up on CDs, DVDs, or even flash drives from being destroyed. They will not protect photo slides and negatives either.

The problem is that we may not understand fireproof or fire resistant ratings that are assigned to safes. There are three basic ratings for fireproof safes by the Underwriters Laboratories. If a safe is rated for 1 hour then it must maintain the internal temperatures below the specified rating for the hour hour.

UL 350 – The safe must keep the interior temperature below 350 degrees Fahrenheit. That's below the normal temperature for most paper products to burn, char or become useless.

UL 150 is the rating for tapes, cartridges, microfiche, and microfilm. In addition to keeping the interior at or below 150 degrees, the humidity must be below 85%.

UL 125 is the standard for diskettes. In this case, the temperature can not exceed 125 ° F and 80% humidity.Humidity and water damage is important if you intend to protect electronic devices like flash drives.

Test Your Own Data Media

If you doubt the need to have a better rated home or office fireproof safe to protect your data, then you can try this simple test.

Find a couple of photo negatives or slide and a print or two that you do not care about. Get two old CDs or DVDs with some data on them. Put one of the CDs in a jewel case.

Preheat your kitchen oven to 200 degrees and shut it off so the elements do not turn on. The radiant heat could be greater and cause the plastic to melt even if the air temperature is only 200 degrees. Place both the CD in the jewel case and the other CD on a piece of paper and place them in your oven. Wait a few minute and you can watch the CD in the jewel case curl up. Obviously the data will never be retrieved from it. Remove the other CD carefully that you do not bend it. When it is cooled you can put it in your computer and see if the data is intact. Sometimes it will be OK.

Now preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Do not set it on 350 just in case your oven thermostat is not accurate. When the oven has reached the correct temperature, shut it off. Insert your photos, slides, and negatives on a piece of paper. Put your good CD back in the oven also on a piece of paper.

You will notice that a negative will almost immediately curl up and be destroyed. The pictures will curl a little and most likely be discolored slightly. The pictures will always flatten out again but there will be no hope for the slides or negatives.

The CD will remain flat but the data will be gone. You will likely be able to see bubbles in the plastic of the recording side of the CD.


Here are three alternatives if you want your data protected.

Get a fireproof media safe. It will protect your pictures, slide, negative, CDs, and DVDs. As shown above, a UL 125 rated fireproof safe will protect your data from heat and moisture. While a regular home fireproof safe may protect the data contents for a few minutes, the likely hood that the data will be safe longer than 15 minutes is extremely low.

Benefits of a fireproof media safe:

  • The ability to quickly backup to a flash drive and immediately store your data every night after doing a backup.
  • The data is available when or not you have internet access.
  • You do not have to pay any monthly or annual fees on you have your safe.

Drawback of a fireproof media safe:

  • The largest drawback to a fireproof media safe is the initial cost. They are not cheap.

Use an online backup system. This is a very effective way to ensure that your data is safe. Well, as safe as you can expect when you are using another company to keep your data. If you do not have very much data, you can find free services on the web.

Benefits of using online backup:

  • Your data is kept in a completely different location.
  • In many cases, your data can be encrypted for extra safety.

Drawback of:

  • You may need to use special software. Software changes over time and so do encryption methods.
  • You may find yourself converting your data or even moving it when a company goes out of business.
  • There are annual fees when you have a lot of data and that will cost you more over time than a fireproof media safe.
  • You can not store some purchased software DVDs online. They often require the original DVD to reinstall the software.
  • Uploading your nightly backup to the internet is not as fast as saving it on a flash drive.

Rent a safety deposit box at your local bank.

Benefits of a safety deposit box:

  • You have maximum protection.
  • You have offsite data protection.

Drawbacks of a safety deposit box:

  • Limited access to your data. It is not there when you need it and you can not secure it every night.
  • Deposit boxes are really small. You can store a lot of data on DVD but you can not put many slides and negatives in one.
  • The costs of a deposit box vary greatly but they also will cost more over time than a fireproof media safe.


Evaluate your situation. If you do not have much data then online backup may be the best option. If you have a lot of data and you have many purchased software packages then your best option is a home or office fireproof media safe. Whatever you do, do not be caught with a fire in your home and office and find out that you have lost your data.

Wallpaper Border Tips

A wall-covering integrated with the correct Wallpaper Border can greatly enhance the entire room decoration – with a little touch of professionalism, creativity and a few basic skills thrown in. Some of these tips may be helpful while hanging Borders for your wall.

First of all, decide which corner of the wall you want to start installing the Wallpaper Border. As for the height, a chair rail height is commonly used but should not be compulsory. Go for a design, which will best complement the overall décor of the room.

You can create beautiful architectural features by applying Wallpaper Borders around doors and windows. For example, outlining with thin strips from the border can really accentuate the shape of doors and windows, especially if you happen to have those big, ugly traditional ones.

Ceilings are often overlooked while decorating with Wallpaper Borders. What many people do not know is that installing bars on the ceiling can give a nice effect to the room décor, holding it together visually.

Experimenting with paintings can also be useful while decorating with Wallpaper Borders. For example, painting contrasting colors in and around the Border, in an array of different styles can really give a dull room some color and light. You might need to do a little sketching on paper first before applying the paintings.

Vertically applied Wallpaper Borders can create visually enhancing textures for your walls. With a little more imagination, you can also make unique designs by hanging Borders in unusual directions and shapes.

Creativity is always important while installing Wallpaper Borders. For example, double bordering and using multiple Wallpaper Borders can give a very nice coated effect, while a nice drop-ceiling effect can be achieved by applying the Wallpaper Border a few inches below the ceiling all around the room.

What Are Fireproof Filing Cabinets?

What exactly are fireproof filing cabinets? What are they used for?

If you are like most people, you probably have never heard of fireproof filing cabinets before. So what are they? Can they really be fireproof?

Sure nothing really is fireproof per say, but you can make something extremely resistant to fire and if you think about the 2300 degrees F it takes to melt steel, well that is some food for thought.

Just consider if a fire broke out in your place of business or your home. Everything important would go up in smoke. This is exactly why fireproof filing cabinets are made. All of those things you need protected will be protected. They fit right into any work office or home. Have you ever wondered how they work?

What do their fireproof capabilities really mean?

In reality, these types of cabinets act as safes more than cabinets. This means that they will be able to resist fire until firefighters can put the fire out and thereby safe guard your property.

For arguments sake, let's say that fire has broken out near this type of cabinet. Each cabinet will have a fire rating on them. These ratings are measured in hours. So the cabinet is currently on fire. We will assume that there is a 1 hour fire rating on this particular cabinet.

Understanding fire ratings

In comparison to a regular cabinet, this 1 hour rating sort of presents a unique opportunity. The firefighters will have at least one hour to stop the fire while your possessions remain safe!

The one hour could have all the firefighters need to get the blaze under control and save your things. So because of this, your possessions have a better life expectancy than normal. Be forewarned though. There are a lot of "so called" fireproof filing cabinets, but you should only choose those that have met the ISO standards.

Who would use a cabinet like this?

That's easy – anyone that needs a new place for storing files or desires to protect their belongings – including you never know when you may have a fire, right? You will need a reliable cabinet you can count on.

There are a large variety of fireproof filing cabinets for personal use and business use. At least now you know how they work and what to look for in a good cabinet. Why take a chance otherwise?

How to Properly Install a Wood Stove

Always wanted to add a fireplace or wood stove into your home but did not know how to go about it? Before you actually have it installed, you have to be aware that there is a lot of maintenance involved so that the fire stays inside the wood stove and does not make its surroundings catch fire.

If you have a place that can accommodate the wooden stove in your home then you should look over the safety guidelines that come with the house.

The first rule that should be observed when you want to install the wooden stove in your home is to never attempt it by yourself. Always seek help for the task is no easy feat. Sometimes you might overlook a safety aspect and turn a fire loose in the house. You must exercise extreme caution for the wooden stove is an old style device and may be vulnerable to many things.

Insurance may not cover fires caused by a wooden stove so it is advised to check wit them on this. Another is to check the manufacturers warranty for it may not be valid if the stove was not professionally installed.

It's a good idea to follow several safe regulations to help prevent and problems from popping up:

If the wood stove is installed on a wooden or combustible surface, you should build a non-combustible support. The coverage of the area should be enough to cover the stove underneath and also some feet in front of it.

Likewise the hearth extension fronting the wooden stove should be made of a non-combustible material and must extend at least 16 inches in front and 10 inches on each side and back of the stove.

Make sure that the stoves have an ash guard and spark resistant screen. Using additional metal or glass doors is okay.

Plan the location of the stove. Will it be placed in a place that has many items nearby that could catch fire? Is it near any gas outlets or gas tanks?

Never under any circumstances directly back up the stove against the wall. There should be a minimum distance of 16 inches of unprotected space in any case. The walls should also not become very hot for it means the stove is too close to it. If the distance is a problem, you should install a ventilator mechanism above to vent the air and heat away.

Decide how you want the smoke from the stove to be funneled out. Never have an open funnel stove for it can ruin your walls with soot and probably cause fires. You may want to invest in a single or double funnel system to vent out the excess heat.

Obviously, installing a wood stove is more tedious and tricky due to its antique-ness and old fashioned use. Always practice safety and caution.

Harmonics Laminate Flooring – Pergo and Bamboo – But What is Laminate Flooring Anyway?

Harmonics laminate flooring can we have read, be bought at Costco. Costco is a membership warehouse club, so the only way you're able to purchase their Harmonics laminate flooring is to become a member. Costco is able to sell Harmonics laminate flooring at a deep discount, but often the supply is limited. Once it's gone, you will not be able to quickly purchase more if you did not initially buy enough. Also, the next time round we assume that they may use a different supplier.

Pergo is a leader in both design and laminate technology. Also, Pergo has now become the leading seller of flooring in the world, so you know it is trusted worldwide. However, Pergo is only one of the more than 100 different brands of laminate flooring on the market.

Bamboo flooring is one of the newcomers in the flooring industry. Bamboo is more environmentally friendly than hardwood floors, and it is actually not wood. Bamboo floors are growing in popularity because they are inexpensive and can easily pass as wooden floors. Laminate floors are made of several different types of materials and also look great. Bamboo is really a kind of grass which is grown sustainably all over China and Southeast Asia. It's a high-quality alternative to expensive traditional hardwood flooring.

Installing laminate floors is something that many DIY's can do by themselves or with the help of a few friends. Laminate floors have become a popular home upgrade since they are easy to put in and do not take near as long as when installing hardwood floors or real tile or stone. Installation again is by floating the floor – gluing the planks together and ensuring a firm join by using a floor clamp.

A sheet of foam underlay is placed between the concrete floor and the hardwood floor to provide insulation and for warmth under foot.

Any type of hardwood floors can be scratched, but scratches are pretty easy to repair. If a laminate floor is scratched or tears, it is not very easily repaired. Hardwood comes in a variety of strip and plank options. Strip flooring is 21/4 "wide and can be used to visually enlarge the size of a room. Hardwood and laminate flooring is a durable, reliable investment, and Wood Floor Paradise has the best selection of textures and styles at the most affordable prices, so visit today!

Hardwood flooring needs continuous maintenance. You need to keep it clean, keep things that can scratch it off of it, and you will need to protect it with coatings when needed.

Prices can range from well under $ 10 dollars per square yard to well over $ 40 dollars, not including installation. Vinyl laminate flooring can be a mistake, if it is not done correctly. Price is not always a good determining factor when trying to buy a quality product. You have to consider your time in shopping for your floor, clearing the room, removing your old floor covering, installing the floor and replacing all the furniture in the room.

But, what exactly are laminates as used in laminate flooring? Originally developed in Europe, laminates are made of a high-density fiberboard core covered with a visible, outer layer that simulates wood, stone or tile. Some laminates are available in plain colors, too.

Originating as a company making lacquered boards for the shipbuilding industry, Alloc started production of high pressure laminate flooring in 1992. In 1996 it introduced a mechanical locking system that allows the laminate boards to be laid without glue. Originally, most laminate floors replicated only the most in-demand wood floors. As laminate larger in popularity though, other looks were introduced, including highly realistic stone and marble.

Unlike solid wood or engineered wood flooring products which are usually nailed or glued to the sub floor, laminate flooring floats on the sub floor. The individual strips or planks of many laminate systems snap together while other systems do require the application of small amount of adhesive along the joints. Unlike traditional hardwood floors, laminate floors do not require periodic sanding and refinishing. The top protective layer is all that's needed. Unlike hardwood flooring, there is no need to polish your laminate floor. You can simply clean it with wet cloth and vacuum cleaner to dust out the dirt.

Cleaning up dust or loose dirt is easily done with a dust mop or vacuum; for more in-depth cleaning, use a damp mop or damp towel, but do not saturate or allow water to stand on the floor. Do not use abrasives or scouring powder, polishes, or waxes. Clean the floor before starting the you start the planned work.

Designers recommend laminate for an upscale look without an upscale cost. Homeowners can make a house a home, stick to a budget AND get a warm wood look. Designed with a tough and durable wear layer, it is much stronger than most installed solid hardwood flooring, vinyl's, and carpets. It stands up much better to dents and scratches that the softer surface of solid hardwood floors, and is a much better surface to install if you have heavy foot traffic, kids, or household pets.

Food That Help You Burn Fats

What is better than fat burning food? Well, nutritionally speaking, fat burning food is good for your diet because they help you to shed those unwanted extra body fat. Paired with a good workout routine, you might just be on your way to successful bodybuilding and fitness. So what food is going to help you burn those fats?

Surprise (or no surprise), citrus fruits are in the lead for their fat burning qualities. Try including grapefruits, limes, lemons, mandarin oranges and tangerines in your daily snack plan. Stop chewing gums. These fruits are your new must-haves.

Beans too can help you burn fats. How is that possible? Well, beans are high in protein but they are proven to be low in fat. So you might want to add soy beans, kidney beans and lima beans in your diet. However, do not eat too much baked beans because they are high in sugar. You do not want sugar because they turn to fat. Do not fry them either. Are you trying to shed the extra fat remember? You can boil them until they are tender instead. Some people say it tastes better.

Dairy products are also your new best friend. Start eating those eggs and low fat dairy products such as cheese, low fat milk and yogurt. Eggs are rich in protein. Milk and yogurt, on the other hand, are high in calcium. In case you have no idea, calcium helps to keep your insulin (sugar) level from going up after your meals. You have just found out how to reduce belly fat! Congratulations and keep your dairy products in your diet.

Olive oil is also your fat burning food. No, we do not suggest you to gulp a bottle of olive oil. But instead of cooking your meals with cooking oil, cook with olive oil. Olive oil contains good fat or mono-unsaturated fat instead of the saturated fat that your usual cooking oil contains.

Remember the food pyramid? Yes. We bet you could recall that there are grains included in there. Include corn, barley, oatmeal and rice in your diet. Carbohydrates are good if you are serious in bodybuilding. They help to produce energy that enables you to work out. Just make sure you take your carbs in small portions throughout the day.

Lean meat is great. Yes, you want to burn fat but a good piece of lean meat is good for your fitness diet. Make sure they are lean though. You can try skinless chicken or turkey in exchange for ham and beef. Stop buying sausages or bacon. They are high in fat. That would spoil your diet too. If you're not a chicken or turkey lover, your alternative is fish. You'll be looking for salmon and tuna in particular. Do not fry your lean meat. If you must, use olive oil.

Dash Repair – How to Fix a Cracked Padded Dash

Weather change is here and the cracked padded dashes are rolling in. With every weather change I get the phone calls. "My dash is cracked and what can be done to fix it."

Due to the exposer to old mother nature, these materials became knocked out and crack over time leaving you with a crack in your dash. Left unattended this small crack can and will get larger.

There are measures that can be taken to prevent the dash from getting cracked in the first place. Now I know your dash is already cracked and your wanting to know how to fix it, but this will prevent further cracks and keep your car cooler and looking nicer, and well …. for further reference.

One way to prevent this is to use a sunshade. This will not only protect your auto dash from the sun but also keep your vehicle cooler keeping the plastic pieces cooler and less likely to warp and then crack.

Another way to prevent the materials from drying on your dash is to condition them with a good vinyl conditioner-protectant. Now I know I've always said to not put the slimy stuff on your interior pieces and parts … But if your vehicle is exposed to the sun on a constant basis, then I would recommend you use a vinyl conditioner. Now I'm not going to say that any old vinyl conditioner will work, because it will not. Tire shine is not vinyl conditioner! This is probably one of the biggest mistakes made, and I do a lot of repair because of it. Tire shine contains solvents, which as you know from previous articles, it does not mix well with the water based dyes being used on today's cars. What it does is lifts the dye from the surface, causing it to peel. So no tire shine … What I recommend to my customers is a product made from a leather conditioning producer that I feel from some of the research I've done is safe and should work very well, it's made by Lexol and it's called Vinylex . Designed by the guys that really know their stuff when it comes to interior conditioning and protecting.

The last and final tip to keeping your automotive interior, including your dash, looking it's best and lasting longer is window tint. Now in some states you need to be careful with the tinting laws to make sure you do not get it too dark, plus you need to think of your safety too. I have tint on our family Tahoe and I kinda wish I would have gone a little lighter, at night it's really hard to see, my Tahoe stays nice and cool, but it's a pain in the butt at night. I have to roll the window down sometimes just to see. So keep it light and you will be impressed with the results, plus it looks cool.

Now on with the fix for that crack in your dash.

Depending on where the crack is and how big it is will depend on how to fix it and how expensive the repair will be. If the crack is bigger then 2 "-3" and curled up on the edges, the repair will probably not look that great. There is a limit to the size of crack that can be repaired, too big and it probably will not hold and will look like crap. If the crack is too big, replace the dash pad, do not try to fix it. Another thing is location, if the crack is up close to the windshield then it's almost impossible to do a repair without removing the windshield, which can be costly. So with that said you be the judge.

The first thing I do before I start any repair is to mix my color, this insures that at least the color will be right.

Next I inspect the crack in the dash, if the edges are curled up then you will need to trim that off with a razor blade or Xacto knife. The goal here is to get the area as level as you can. Now when doing so cut at a 45 degree angle and do not bring the ends to a point, what I mean by this is trim all the way around the crack rounding off the ends of the crack, this will insure that the crack will stop and not crack further after your repair.

Of course your next step is prepping the repair area, use your prep solution with a scotch brite pad and clean the area thoroughly. You may need to clean the entire dash depending on where and how large the crack is.

Now it's time to determine what fix you going to use.

If the crack is smaller then an 1/2 "I usually grab the super glue and do a super glue repair. grain, then dye.

But there are times when your vinyl repair compound will need to be used, after all this is vinyl. The low cure usually works best because high heat tends to warp the repair area. This is where your patience comes in when doing your repairs. Thin layers of compound work best, curing and dye between coats until the area is level and smooth. You can texture while layering your compound with your grain pads. One little trick I use to help level the repair when using a grain pad is a little rubber squeegee for 3 "x5", it's what body shops use to squeegee the water off the painted surface when they wet sand. This little thing works great, when you use your hand to imprint your grain into your repair, your hand kinda molds around the area and does not leave a level area but with the rubber squeegee it gives you a little more backing when you go to imprint. Now digging your repair can be tricky, the low cure compound does not grain that well, but if all else fails make sure the repair is level, this is your best hide. If that is achieved then texture with your spray grain.

One last trick up my sleeve is the use of a great product from Urethane Supply Co. This is a two part epoxy like substance that is specifically designed for padded dashes and the name says it all, Padded Dash Filler.
This stuff is the bomb, when it comes to dash repair. Mixes like Bondo and is even applied like bondo, but its flexible. It's just what the doctor ordered when it comes to dash repair. If the crack is larger then 1 "this is the stuff to use.

Now this product will require you to trim the area and then sand around the area about 1 "to 2" out with a heavier grit sandwich like a 180 grit, this gives it something to bite too. Trim down into the foam a little to, so that you make like a little groove for the compound to lay in.

Mix your compound on a small piece of tile, I like using small tile pieces, they clean easily and are easier to hold when mixing and applying. Now when you get the product they send you the red catalyst, try the blue, it looks to set up a little quicker. The blue you can get at any automotive parts shop. But the red works just as good just takes it a little longer, time is money in my business.

Apply your compound liberally over the repair area, do not worry about getting your first coat really smooth, all you need is to get it covered, you'll be sanding it smooth later. Let it set up for a while, depending on the weather will depend on how long this stuff takes. You can speed it up a little with a heat gun but do not melt it just give it a little boost.

Once hardened start sanding, I usually start with a 180 grit to knock off the big chunks then progressively move my way up to a finer grit like 240 and then to 400.

One coat will not be sufficient, I promise, this is another layer thing. Sanding between coats. Each coat you apply you will need to make smoother. Again what your trying to achieve is a smooth level repair.

After all is smooth and level, grain with a spray grain then dye.

As far as texture goes, I use two types of spray grain. One is a water based spray grain and the other is Sems Texture Coat. In fact the Sems Texture Coat almost matches the some of the Pontiac dashes to a tee. Now the Sems Texture coat is a solvent based, but I have not had a problem with it peeling up against the water based dyes on the dash, so kudos to Sems.

One other trick I have found with the Sems Texture Coat is after sprayed if you let it flash out a little but not dry completely, you can take your grain pad and imprint your grain into the texture coat, pretty cool huh.

Dash repair is an art and a craft, just like all automotive interior repairs. If the steps are followed right and patience is used in your repairs you success will be good.

Hope this helps in your dash repair adventure. One thing to always keep in mind is to keep your repair as level as possible, this is your best hide.

Secrets of Commercial Retractable Awnings

Commercial Awning has to be a Fixed Awning – if you are a believer of this myth, let me tell you that ideas are changing and Retractable Awnings have made its way towards commercial concessions of late.

Retractable awnings offer loads of benefits over traditional fixed awnings and fixed canopies. People have started realizing the potential advantages of retractable awnings. That is the reason retractable awning has crossed the gaps of household premises and made its place in commercial buildings, offices, corporate houses, shops and other business concessions.

Apart from effective sun protection what else retractable sunshades can offer? And what extra benefits does it provide to a business that a fixed awning can not? The advantages of retractable commercial awnings include easy and simple maintenance, easy installation, durability, energy efficiency, branding and inexpensive building expansion.

The advantages of Retractable Commercial Awnings:

Bespoke commercial retractable awnings are certainly good for businesses from all the above mentioned perspectives. The monetary advantages associated with retractable awning are strictly lucrative. Better branding and effective marketing options make them more appealing to business-minded persons.

Let's go through the features of retractable commercial awning one by one. The features advantageous for commercial buildings are discussed here as the topic is commercial benefits of retractable awning.

1) Complete Element Protection:

Retractable awnings effectively protect the covered places from sun, rain and snow. Unlike a fixed canopy or sunshade, the slopes of these shades can be adjusted according to requirements. A higher slope can be good for rain protection whereas, an almost-horizontal surface provide better protection from the midday sun.

Retractable commercial sunshades provide you with this flexibility. Slope of the shades can be changed either manually or mechanically. Some awnings are equipped with switches that help you control the slope. Fixed shades can never give you this flexibility; you have to manage with the same angle of inclining through out the day and through out the year.

2) Durable:

Retractable sunshades are more durable than fixed canvases and canopies. They can be retracted during harsh weather, since they can be protected from sustained wind, heavy downpour and huge snowfall.

Today's awnings are equipped with sensor that automatically retracts the awning as soon it senses conditions that can damage the awning. Thus the fabric and frame of retractable sunshade go longer than those of fixed shades.

3) Branding:

Made to order commercial awnings are personalized for the commercial building wherein they are going to be used. Business owners can get their brand color, product names and imageries, phone numbers and other relevant information printed on their awning.

This is certainly a cost-effective way to promote any brand. Top of that, this helps you grab the attention of passersby.

4) Monetary Benefits:

Retractable awnings are easy to install and as they are more durable you need not spend on re-installation in next couple of decades! Being retractable the fabric and frame are protected against adverse weather.

Retractable sunshades keep the indoor temperature much lower than the outside; hence, it reduces the load on the cooling system and cuts on your electricity bill. Top of all, it offers a space for effective and compelling advertising.

These are the some of the reasons for increasing the popularity of retractable awnings in the commercial world.

Earn Money From Home Assembling CD Cases – Simple Opportunity Ready to Be Grabbed!

The next time you buy a CD from an Electronics shop, pay attention to the neat packaging done. You would also note that the packing of the CD, or the CD cover really seems to be all universal. Welcome to the newest opportunity for money making from home – Earn money from home assembling CD cases. What is it that you would have to do here?

The job role and responsibility depends on what your company wants you to do. Some companies may want you to pack the CDs on to the covers. In such cases, you would find that the covers are provided by the company itself making your job easier. The second variation to this, which can be considered very difficult at home, is the designing of the CD cover itself.

Very few companies would actually want individuals to design CD covers at home considering the complexity of the task and the uniformity required in the design of the CD covers. Importantly, you would find that companies would definitely want people to earn money from home assembling CD cases, but do not want people working on time consuming projects.

Thinking that these opportunities would take away a lot of your time! Not really, in fact the kind of revenue you could end up making from this opportunity, you should think of taking it. And just so you know, if you understand the expectations of your company from this opportunity well, you would stand a great chance of making a lot of money within no time at all.

Tips For a Successful TV Wall Mount Installation

A TV wall mount installation can be quite easy if you follow some of the guidelines available. Installing your television on the wall can be achieved in simple ways. Below are some of the tips that will help you do a good job of it:

The first thing that you will need to find is a mounting bracket. Basically, there are three types of brackets available on the market, such as the flat wall mounts, tilting wall mounts, and articulating wall mounts. Find their uses and characteristics, and see the appropriate one for your TV. Additionally, look for your user manual to see the type of mounting brackets that the manufacturer recommends. Make sure that the brackets you choose will be capable of holding the full weight of your television.

Before setting your screen, make sure to pick the right location. It can be frustrating if you have to change the locations every so often in case you do not find it comfortable enough, as the process is time-consuming and may damage your walls. To know if it is the appropriate location for your television, try to sit down on your sofa and imagine the height appropriate for the TV. Ensure that your TV wall mount installation is set on a level that is not too high and is comfortable for your viewing experience. Also, ensure that it is near any power or cable outlets, and there is not anything that'll block your view of the screen.

It is also important that you locate the studies first before installing your device. Locating the studies will help secure your TV, and it will provide support to its weight. Additionally, it will reduce the damage that may be done on your walls, and it will secure your TV in place if there are any mild earthquakes down the road. Lastly, find the rails attaching to the TVs, and fit them to the mounting brackets. Locate the studies and mark the location where you will be using your power drill. Secure the mounting brackets and make sure that they are set firmly before installing your television.

Milwaukee 2306-22 HammerVac: A Universal Dust Extractor Kit

When duty calls for a few good holes drilled into brick or concrete, there is no better tool than a hammer drill. It's synchronized spinning and hammering of the drill bit pulverizes these tough materials like no other tool. In this powdered form, though, brick and concrete present two serious problems: (A) it contains silica, a carcinogen (or a cancer causing agent) and, (B) it makes a really big mess. Thankfully, Milwaukee has engineered an extraction kit designed to virtually eliminate the risks of both A and B.

The Milwaukee 2306-22 M12 HammerVac is a universal dust extractor designed to attach to any brand's cordless hammer drill (including SDS plus rotary hammers and AC & DC hammer drills). Trapping debris at it's source, the extractor minimizes the risk of inhaling harmful silica particles and eliminates the inevitable mess that results from pounding holes into concrete. That's a pretty tall order, and the HammerVac not only fulfills it, but fulfills it while also being portable, maneuverable and lightweight.

Without the HammerVac, keeping your worksite clean and safe while drilling into masonry or concrete also keeps you bogged down with cords, hoses and a shop vac. This is far from an ideal working arrangement. On another hand, Milwaukee's vacuum unit attaches directly to the tool, it moves with you without hoses, collects debris at the source and pulls power from it's own 12V RedLithium lithium ion battery. The thing also has a 3-mode switch with an auto-on feature; the auto-on turns the vacuum on and off automatically with the hammer you're using. Helpful, right?

The 2306-22 also delivers a super-powerful suction for optimal dust collection and because the vac weighs only 3.3-lbs, difficult applications (like horizontal, overhead or extended use projects) are easier on your back and body. The HammerVac uses replaceable certified HEPA filters for the best possible particle filtration and because you can replace the filter independently of the dust-box, keeping a fresh filter and, therefore, optimized dust control is still cost-effective.

The 2306-22 HammerVac Extractor Kit includes two M12 RedLithium lithium ion batteries, a thirty-minute lithium ion charger, a carrying case, HEPA filter, nozzle and three side handle clamping collar assemblies. The extractor kit also offers a five year warranty on the tool and a two year warranty on the batteries. Because the battery that powers this vac is compatible across the entire M12 system, Milwaukee has also made the HammerVac available in a smaller kit without the batteries and charger. The 2306-20 includes everything from the 2306-22 kit excluding the two RedLithium batteries and the M12 lithium ion charger.

Altogether, this is a really great kit and an excellent product. Without a doubt, the HammerVac will keep you cleaner, safer and more efficient on the job.

Discover the Different Methods Used to Make Mosaics

There are different methods you can use to make your mosaics. The following is a description of the most popular methods. All have pros and cons depending on the type and size of your mosaic you are about to create.

Direct Method

The first method is the direct method. The direct method involves directly placing the individual pieces of tile, called tesserae, directly onto the surface where your mosaic will be. This method is nice when doing small projects such as flower pots, or for surfaces having a three-dimensional look, such as walls. You will have a dimensional look if your pieces of tesserae are not all the same thickness.

Another nice thing about this method is that you see your mosaic take life, and as it takes life you can make little adjustments. However this method is not suited for large projects and for mosaics requiring an even surface such as a floor mosaic.

Indirect Method

The next possible method you can use is the indirect method. This method involves gluing your tesserae face down on a paper backing. Once it is completed you can then transfer the mosaic sheets into your mortar where it will permanently stay. Once the mortar has discharged you then wash away the paper to reveal your art work.

This method is used for large projects because it allows you to work away from the site and gives you more time. You can also divide your mosaic into smaller sheets of one or two square feet. This method will also give your mosaic an even surface since it is the face of your tesserae that is glued to the paper.

The only disadvantage of this method is that you do not see your mosaic come to life since you are gluing all your pieces face down onto an opaque paper. Your mosaic will become visible only when you wash away the paper.

Double Direct Method

The double direct method is a modern version of the direct method. It is sort of a combination of the indirect and direct methods. This method involves gluing your individual pieces of tile onto a fiberglass mesh.

You can use this method for large projects, and it is a very good method when you are making mosaic borders. You also have the leisure of working where you want, like you would with the indirect method, and seeing your mosaic evolve as you are adding pieces, like you would with the direct method.

This is the method I prefer, I really can not see any big disadvantage using this method, it is a bit longer to create your mosaic but you can really see your mosaic come to life and make little adjustments along the way.

So the method you decide to use to make your mosaic might depend on your project but you have the final word, use the method you think will work for you. As a beginner I recommend you make small projects using the direct method. As you become experienced and want to make larger mosaics go towards the double direct method. Once you are at ease with this try your hand at the indirect method.

Marc Chagall – The Russian-Jewish Artist, a European Modernist Painter

The 20th century European Modernist, Figurative artist, Mark Zakharovich Shagal, or Marc Chagall was born Moshe Shagal on July 7, 1887 in Vitebsk, Belarus, the then part of the Russian Federation. The eldest of nine children, Marc hailed from a Russian-Jewish family. His father, Khatskl (Zakhar) Shagal, worked for a herring merchant and his mother, Feige-Ite, ran a small grocery store. During his early years, Chagall was not allowed to attend a local community school because of his Jewish descent. His mother had to bribe the head master fifty rubles to allow him in.

Chagall started drawing as a schoolchild. He copied portraits and other famous drawings. Jewish-Belarusian artist-painter Yehuda Pen tutored him on painting in 1906. In 1907, Marc joined the School of the Society of Art Supporters, at St. Louis. Petersburg. He was taught there by the Russian painter, Nikolai Roerich. During 1908-10, Marc Chagall studied at the Zvantseva School of Drawing and Painting. In 1909, at the age of twenty, on one of his travels back home, Marc met his future wife, Bella Rosenfeld.

On the professional front, Chagall graduated attained fame as an artist. Soon after, he moved to Paris, the then considered center for the artistic community. He befriended Guillaume Apollinaire, Robert Delaunay, and Fernand Léger there. In 1914, Marc was back home and married Bella in 1915. They had one daughter from the marriage in 1916, when the World War I also began.

The artist dabbled in every possible medium of art, ranging from his paintings to his book illustrations, stage sets, ceramics, stained glass windows, tapestries, and print-making. 'Cubism,' 'Symbolism,' 'Fauvism,' and 'Surrealism,' all were his forte. Bella posed as a model for many of Chagall's works. (1912), "Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers (1912-13)," "Red Jew (1915)," "Above the City (1914)," "The Artist achieved recognition for several of his works, 1918), "and" The Fall of the Angel (1923-1947). " Upon his return to Russia, Marc Chagall joined the Russian Revolution of 1917. He was also made the Fine Arts Commissar of Vitebsk.

In 1920, Chagall, his wife, and their daughter shifted to Moscow and to Paris in 1923. In 1937, Marc gained French citizenship. Owing to World War II, however, the family had to flee to Madrid. During 1941-1948, they stayed in the United States. Jewish martyrs and Jewish refugees were mostly depicted in most of Chagall's works of this time. Meanwhile, on September 02, 1944, his wife passed away. The artist did not paint anything for the next nine months. In 1945, however, Chagall stuck a romantic relationship with his thirty years old housekeeper, Virginia Haggard McNeil, with what he even had a son. The couple moved to Paris in 1950. The same year, Marc began with Graphics, coupled with "Cubism" and "Fauvism" influences. Here, Virginia left him for another man in 1952. Later, Chagall married Valentina Brodsky, who was 25 years younger to him. Valentina encouraged him to undertake large artistic projects, for example, the "Cycle Biblical Message," which was later installed in the National Museum of the Marc Chagall Biblical Message in Nice, France.

Marc's visits to Greece and Israel in 1957 helped him evolve the complete concept of Color Symbolism and Figurative Art. This was when he started with sculpturing, ceramics, and stained glass painting. Mark Chagall traveled extensively throughout the world and produced immunized bodies of work through his career. 'Russian Expressionism' and 'French Cubism' influenced Mark's style of painting. Chagall died on March 28, 1985, at the age of 97, at Saint Paul, France.