Carefree Awnings – Colorado's Finest

Located in the Denver suburb of Broomfield, Carefree Awning is
considered one of the finest awning companies in the country.
Using only the highest quality materials and the finest
workmanship, awnings are available for several industries to
include marine, RV, and residential. With a 140,000 square foot
facility, Carefree Awning strives every day to create awnings
that people will be proud of owning. With gorgeous designs and
high-tech processes, everything made is top notch.

Carefree Awning has been around for more than 30 years. In
fact, the first automatic roll-up awning for RVs was introduced
by Carefree Awning. Making travel more convenient and
comfortable, this awning design was a huge success. Over the
course of several years, a couple of business changes occurred,
making Carefree Awning an all-American based and owned company,
providing consumers quality solutions for awnings.

Although Carefree Awning is known around the country for many
things, their traditional or creating innovative, stylish, and
quality awnings is at the top of the list. Additionally, this
company backs every awning sold with exceptional customer
service and on-going support well after the sale is made. With
this, you have confidence in your purchase and the company.

Without doubt, Carefree awnings are made to last. This coupled
with the beautiful colors and designs, sets the company apart
from its competition. Every single awning made uses superior
materials and workmanship. Owning a Carefree awning means
traveling in your RV, camper, or enjoying your backyard patio or
deck in absolute comfort. With this, you can eliminate the hot
sun's rays, spend time outdoors even in the rain, or avoid dusty
winds.

With Carefree Awning, quality is the most important thing. This
means that each employee is specially trained not just to
understand the importance of quality but also to uphold the
standards. Setting the bar high, each awning created meets and
exceeds this level of quality. Even if the design or
functionality of the awning is changed to a small degree, the
employees are all retrained to again, understand this change.
In other words, the owners of Carefree Awning keep the employees
in the loop at the lowest level.

This company is a mass producer of custom products but to keep
the degree of personalization, service is again a huge factor in
what makes Carefree Awning so successful. This starts with the
product design, going to the sale, to the factory, making sure
shipments are both accurate and on time, that all awnings are
backed for customer satisfaction, and that customer support is
in place should there be a problem. The entire operation of
Carefree Awning makes this an excellent place to buy your new
awning, providing you with customer reassurance like none other.

Different Types of Paving

The pattern chosen by you for your paving plays as big role as determining color of your driveway, courtyard or garden path. From simple stretcher-bond to amazing radial patterns, you can easily ble to you. Happy Paving!

create a huge variety of effects with your pavers. There is several type of paving options available. Following are some of the ideas on using paving patterns in the range of different contexts.

Basket weave paving

Basket weave is regularly found in traditional European style courtyards and driveway. This neat 2×2 basket weave pattern is normally bordered by using a header course in matching colors. The combination of delicately contrasting light and dark bricks defends the area from looking plain.

Stretcher-bond path

A stretcher bond paving pattern is one of the simplest paving designs. Depending on the land clearing area and the position of the viewer, the paving pattern could make an area look larger or smaller. In this instance, the pavers are laid lengthways that makes the path look longer that it actually is. A header course at the edge of the path assists defines the space.

Stretcher/header combo path

Alternating stretcher and header courses unite on this curving path to make a striking effect. Header courses in complementary colors add up visual variety and define different areas.

Herringbone driveway

Herringbone patterns orients at 90 degrees so that the home tends to be less noticeable, creating more natural flow into your home. This driveway is laid in a herringbone pattern and is bordered by header courses in contrasting colors. Orienting pavers at 45 degrees to the house grabs attention to the area, turning it into a feature.

Radial driveway

Radial driveway elaborates effect in achieved by rings of alternating header and stretcher courses. A section of herringbone paving forms the core of the driveway, as the complete area is bordered by a contrasting header course.

Large pavers

Large square and rectangular pavers have become extremely well-liked choice for outside entertaining areas in recent times. The owners of this patio have filled in the gaps among the pavers with river pebbles. Low-maintenance grasses could as well be used to add a textured effect between pavers. You can use the paving options as suita

Learn To Play Bridge – Can I Learn From Home?

Bridge is a very popular game. If you are a bridge player you are guaranteed a full and active social life.

I remember when I moved into my second flat. One of my neighbours stopped me in the hall way and asked if I played bridge. Back then I did not, but I know now that playing, or learning to play, bridge is a great way of meeting new people.

I have been on two cruises – both had bridge sessions in the afternoons – a great way of meeting your fellow passengers on those boring days at sea between ports.

Many people learn to play bridge as a child. If you are brought up with bridge playing parents or grand parents then learning the bidding system and play just becomes a normal and easy thing to do.

Many other people learn to play bridge by attending classes. This is great if there are bridge classes in your local area. I live in a rural village. We do have a bridge club, but it is not for complete beginners and there are no classes within easy reach.

There can be many reasons why you can not go to classes. Like me, there may not be classes in your local area. You might find that there are classes but they clash with another commitment. It's amazing how often you will find that all the activities you want to do take place on the same night!

Many classes take place during the day, which makes it impossible to attend if you are working or have child care or caring commitments.

You might find it hard to attend classes because of illness or disability. I have ME and my ability to attend any course of any kind is compromised. I can usually attend some of the classes, but with something like bridge classes once you have missed a session or you just fall behind your fellow class mates and get frustrated.

There is another way of learning. Find a good quality source of online bridge lessons. I was lucky to find just that. A site where you can start right at the beginning, as a complete beginner knowing nothing at all about bridge.

The joy of online bridge lessons is that the computer does not get bored and you can not fall behind your fellow classmates. You can repeat each lesson as many times as you want. You'd be amazed at how many times I go right back to the basic lessons to try to fix some of it in my sieve-like brain.

As you start to improve you might want to find a local, relaxed club that will allow improvers to join. I was recently surprised when a client of mine (I'm self-employed) told me about the bridge club he belongs to. He tried to persuade me to join. When I protested that I was not good enough he loaded a bridge playing program on his computer and asked me to bid a hand. I bid it correctly, and for all the right reasons. He got it wrong!

Home Assembly Jobs, Are They For You?

Have you been searching around the internet for a home assembly job that is a legitimate source of income and can not seem to find it? Searching for a home assembly job online can be a tedious effort. However with the right resources and correct information, your home assembly job is just a few clicks away.

When searching for a home assembly job online, you must be very careful when committing yourself to one. 90% of all home assembly jobs that come up when searching online are usually scams to take your money and run. Be very selective when choosing.

Other ways of finding home assembly jobs can be by visiting a craft fair or store that is in your area. Sometimes the owner's have lists of where they receive their assembled crafts. Contact wedding planners in the area as well. Many planners need customized items that only the home assembler can achieve. Last but not least, walk around your local malls, some of the small booths offer customized items that have home assemblers as their employees.

Home assembly jobs are perfect for those stay at home mom's or dad's who have the extra time to make some extra money without leaving their home. Most of the home assembly jobs include making crafts such as holiday ornaments, baby dolls, doll furniture and if you are lucky you can find jewelry to make. All home assembly jobs do come with extensive instructions on how to assembly the pieces correctly. So there is no need to worry about not knowing what to do.

There are some legitimate sites online where you can find home assembly jobs that will help you make some extra weekly or monthly income. Two sites that I have found that are legitimate include American Home Crafts and New England Crafter & The Magical Gift Company.

These two specific companies are an excellent source of at home legitimate work. With these home assembly jobs you order the kits which include all the materials you need to make the crafts. You then assemble the crafts at your pace, send them back to the company and wait to be paid once the products have been approved by the buyer. Payment can range from $ 200 – $ 500 depending on what you have assembled.

Before committing yourself to a home assembly job, be sure that you have done the necessary research you need to make sure that they are a legitimate paying company. Check out forums for home workers and read other people's experience with the company you have chosen. Check the company out on the Better Business Bureau to be sure no negative information has been reported. Once you have done all of this, and everything checks out good, you will be on your way to earning great money.

TV Wall Mount Brackets – What You Need to Know to Install a TV Wall Mount

Getting a new TV is exciting and mounting it to the wall will ensure that it is safely out of the way of harm, as well as being convenient to view from most angles in your room.

First, you need to determine which type of TV wall mount bracket you will purchase. There are three main types: low profile, tilting and full motion.

Once you purchase the tv wall mount bracket that you will use, you need to install it, obviously. Make sure you have all of the tools that you will need before you get started.

You will need:

o Stud sensor

o Screws (the ones that come with your tv wall mount kit)

o A good drill (or a screwdriver if you like manual labor)

o Measuring tape

o Pencil

o Level

First thing, determine which wall you will be mounting the tv on. Using your eye, find the approximate place you want the tv located. Next, measure about 45 inches from the floor. Make a small pencil mark on the wall where you will be installing the bracket.

Next, using your stud sensor, locate the wall studs behind the drywall where you will be hanging your tv. You need to mount your tv wall mount bracket into solid wood (studs), not just drywall, or your tv will fall right off the wall as soon as you hang it up.

Mark the stud location with your pencil with a small “x”. Next, measure the vertical distance between the screw holes on the mount. After you determine this measurement, place the mount against the wall over the mark you made previously for your stud location just about your height measurement from the floor.

Using your level, check that the location will be level once you screw the tv wall mount in. Using large screws – #14 is recommended, pre drill your holes. Next, attach the mount to the wall stud with the screws. Check again with your level to make sure it is actually level. At this point, you can decide if you would like to run your cables through the wall. Get this done first before you go further.

Once your mount is level and the cables are run, you are ready to hang your TV. There are rubber mounts on the back of most tvs that attach them to your wall mount. Hang your tv on the mount and allow it to settle securely into place. Double check to make sure your tv is securely in place before you let go of it.

Emergency Roof Repair – Six Tarping Tips

If you’re looking for “Emergency Roof Repair” information, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some pointers for tarping your own home.

1. First off, you need some good tarps. If you are in an area devastated by a hurricane, look for a FEMA assistance trailer. They may be able to get your home tarped for you. If not, they might have tarps you can use to do it yourself. Although they have been criticized in the past for various things, I WILL say this about FEMA — they have HEAVY DUTY tarps. They probably pay $800 a piece for them and chose them after a five-year multi-million dollar study, but they are really good. Try to get those if you can.

2. The problem with most of the cheap blue tarps you get at the home improvement stores is that they just don’t hold up very long in the sun and wind. It may be months before you can get a new roof. Go for the heavy-duty ones or you may find yourself doing this emergency roof repair twice.

3. Wood battens will help to secure the tarps in place. The size to get is 1″ x 2″ and they come with or without pressure treating. Either one is fine. Get enough so you can run them VERTICALLY about every four feet apart from the eave to the ridge. Don’t run the battens horizontally if you can help it, as that tends to trap water that can get in at the nail holes.

4. You will also need nails to hold the battens on. Although a framing nail gun makes short work of this emergency roof repair, a hammer and eight-penny common nails will do just fine. Drive the nails about two feet apart and keep them at least a foot away from the valleys.

5. Don’t tarp any more than you need to. Areas that have been tarped usually need to be re-roofed because of all the nail holes through the roofing. If only the back of your home is torn up, just tarp the back. But you do need to make sure the tarp is “counter-flashed” to make sure water can’t run under it. That means tucking it under the roofing or running the tarp all the way to the ridge.

6. A word to the wise… Some tarps are slippery to walk on and especially treacherous when wet. Plan your work so you can avoid walking on them as much as possible. You should also be tied off to the roof with a rope and harness. If you can’t do it is safely, don’t do it. It’s better to wait for FEMA or a roofing contractor than risk life or limb.

9 Tips For Designing and Making Outdoor Pebble Mosaics

Time and again, the same questions are raised by pebble mosaic beginners, so here are answers to a few of them.

1. HOW DO I PREPARE THE SITE?

A solid base must be achieved. Depending on the compaction of the site and the type of traffic that might use it, there can be plenty of work to do or very little. Topsoil should always be removed, and the site evacuated down to the level of solid subsoil. Then, depending on whether the mosaic is to be subjected to foot-traffic alone, light vehicles or even heavy vehicles (a fire engine perhaps?), the base beneath the mosaic must be designed to withstand that type of load. Bases for both in-situ and pre-cast mosaics are the same.

The edges of the mosaic are particularly vulnerable to damage, and must be well protected. A stout edging of bricks, settings or stone flags should be set on a concrete foundation.

Remember that heavy duty specification is necessary for vehicle use. For in-situ work, the edging may be required to serve as the final level for tamping down the pebbles, so it should be carefully set to the right fall so that rainwater is shed from the mosaic surface. If wooden battens are being used to establish the final level and fall, then they are placed in position with pegs or mortar and checked with a spirit level.

2. HOW MANY PEBBLES DO I NEED

To calculate the pebbles required, the easiest method is to make a measured trial in sand and count the number of pebbles used. Such trials are always useful, not only to calculate the number of stones, but to check if you really like the pattern you have in mind. Also, you may find that you haven’t enough of the special stones required, in which case you can re-design before you start.

3. HOW DO I MAKE BEST USE OF THE PEBBLES AVAILABLE

There will always be a lot of variation in the size and the shape of the pebbles. Bought-in ones will have been graded, using a screen of a particular mesh-size; a typical example for in-situ work would be 2-3 in (5-7.5cm). If you are lucky enough to be able to collect you own, you can aim for uniformity, but you’ll need a lot of persistence!

Take time to sort the pebbles thoroughly. Discard any really bad shapes: they are more trouble than they are worth. Keep to one side the ‘short’ ones that you’ll need for the ends of the rows. Mostly you’ll be sorting according to ‘fatness’ so that you can get uniformity of a width for each row. And, as you start another row, use the different lengths of the pebbles to off-set the gaps created in the previous row between the pebbles. Keeping a brickwork type ‘bond’ both looks good and gives the greatest strength to your work.

4. WHICH WAY UP SHOULD A PEBBLE BE?

Every pebble has a ‘best’ edge. For ‘long’ pebbles this means the longest and flattest. An edge with a protruding point will show les surface when the mosaic is finished, and will not look so good.

As you go along, examine each pebble and decide which is the ‘best’ edge for showing on the top surface, bearing in mind the following tips;

  1. Make sure that its deep enough. A good rule of thumb is that every large pebble should be 5 cm or more in depth.

  2. Large long pebbles can often be placed either way, like the one in the picture above left which is deep enough on both sides.

  3. Try to place the pebbles so they touch the sides of the previous row and touch each other end to end. The tighter the pebbles are packed together the stronger the mosaic will be.

  4. A small tool like a pointed paint-scraper will be most useful for digging and loosening the base mix. Dig, place the pebble and then firm the mix around its base.

5. WHY DO PEBBLES FALL OVER?

When the pebbles are tamped down there is a tendency for the deepest pebbles to lean over because of the resistance of the firmed mix beneath them.

  1. Remember the ‘dig, place, firm’ routine.

  2. Place the pebbles so that they stand only just above the finished level.

  3. Tamp down every row, making sure that all the pebbles go down vertically rather than tipping over. Any tendency to lean over should be corrected immediately.

6. WHAT ABOUT THE GAPS?

When the section is completed, it’s best to make all the pebbles firm by filling up the gaps and bringing the top surface of the base mix to ¾ in (20-25mm) below the tops of the pebbles. Sprinkle carefully; you don’t want to have gritty particles showing through the final surface of the top mix.

7. HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD BE USED?

Plenty! As soon as you begin to spray the mix with water, the cement begins the chemical reaction which eventually results in hardening, so make sure that the water has penetrated the full depth of the base mix. This first spraying also helps to clean cement dust from the pebbles and wash down any loose particles. Water each day’s work as you go along and cover it with polyethylene sheet. The next day it can be walked on and used as a level for adjacent sections if necessary.

8. HOW MUCH TOP MIX SHOULD I USE?

Before you begin with you top mix, remove the polyethylene and make sure that the pebbles are completely dry. Then there is a choice to be made;

  1. Less top mix you use, the better the pebbles will show their shape;

  2. Use more top mix and the surface will be less liable to trap leaves and dirt, and will stay cleaner and easier to sweep.

9. WHAT ABOUT THE FINAL SPRAYING OF THE TOP MIX?

No watering cans now! This operation needs care and only a small amount of water. A pressure-sprayer (like a pump-up garden bug sprayer) will produce a suitable fine jet of mist. Make sure that the sprayer is pumped to a high pressure. Make a test burst on the ground and then spray the mosaic evenly until the surface just floods with water. Then stop the surface is smoothly bound, and you’re done.

Andrew Wyeth – Painter of the People

One of the most renowned artists of modern times, Andrew Wyeth continues to hold the American public enthrall with his almost photographic quality paintings. Using watercolors and egg tempera to create masterpieces from the familiar people and landscapes that he grew up around, Wyeth has an unmistakable style that infuses emotion into the mundane. Often using shades of gray and brown, his work combines subdued colors with his mastery of shadows to create incredibly detailed portraits and landscapes.

Born in a small town in Pennsylvania called Chadds Ford, Andrew was the youngest child of five. In the third grade he suffered a bad case of whooping cough which left him sickly for much of his childhood. His parents decided to educate him at home at that time and so his father, Newell Convers (NC) Wyeth became his main teacher.

The elder Wyeth was a well known illustrator whose work was featured in many magazines and in other mediums so Andrew was exposed to art from an early age. Seeing the budding talent in young Andrew, his father taught him the basic concepts of drawing and Andrew began working in watercolors. He was to do many watercolor studies of the sea and shoreline while at the family's summer home in Port Clyde, Maine. His first exhibit was of these paintings in 1937.

The success of that first show in New York City launched a career spanning seventy years. By 1950, he was named in Time magazine as one of the greatest American artists. One of his works, "The Hunter", was featured in the Saturday Evening Post. Wyeth paintings hang in museums across the country including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA., The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. In 1987, his "Helga" collection was displayed in the National Gallery of Art – the first time they ever exhibited the works of a living artist.

Despite his popularity and many awards, Wyeth's work was and remains a controversial topic among critics. His representational style contrasted sharply with the abstract art that was favored during the twentieth century. Art critics have often said that his work is too close to illustration and too sentimental in flavor. While some critics describe him as a genius, others are hostile and derisive of his work. His most famous painting, "Christina's World", is even deliberately left out of the listings of masterworks for The Museum of Modern Art where the painting hangs.

Electrical Contractor Duties and Responsibilities

An electrical contractor is a professional who install, repairs, maintains and services equipment and other electrical installations. These installations need not be of his making or may not be previously installed by the electrician. In spite of this, many of these professionals may decline work due to the fact that they are not familiar with the installation if it were installed by another electrician.

Educational Attainment

The electrical contractor may have finished a post-secondary education in electrical engineering. This means that they have actually passed college with this as their major. There are also some electricians who may not have attained a college education but have finished high school and continued on to courses which are related to electrical studies.

The difference between the two is that the individual who have gone through electrical engineering is more likely to be able to handle bigger projects since he is sure to have graduated from a reputable school and is sure to have studied the principles and the dynamics concerning the course.

This is not to say that those who did not undergo the college course are not as skilled but they will have a difficult time being qualified and certified without a degree. There are also short term courses that can help individual who wish to be an electrical contractor achieve this. These courses usually last about two years and the graduates can be certified with a different diploma from the electrical engineer but can also work similarly as them with certain restrictions.

Duties and Responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of the electrician may vary depending on the contact that is brought up between him and the client. The electrical contractor may have work centered on construction sites such as the erection and installation of electrical devices and wirings which are needed to service the structure once it is finished. The estimation of the cost of both the materials d the labor falls on him and so with the purchase of the materials for each project, depending on the contract.

The safety of the project is also another priority that the electrical contractor should have. He has to ensure that his instructions as per the safety of the site and, more specifically, his area, are followed to avoid any untoward accidents. The coordination with other contractors who are responsible for other fields of the construction is also another thing that he should look out for. The timing of the construction and the melding of the different fields, such as the plumbing and the electrical ones should be coordinated well.

The hiring of other subordinates to help with the construction project is also included in the responsibilities of the electrician. The welfare of the one she has hired is also one of his lookouts. Progress reports which are usually given to the client to keep him up to date with the construction progress may be requested by the client from the electrician.

What Does A Kate Spade Handbag Have To Offer?

It is safe to say that Kate Spade handbags have come along way over the past ten or so years. Kate Spade opened its first store in 1996, and since then these handbags have taken off worldwide. And not only are Kate Spade handbags becoming quite popular, but their wide range of accessories is also on the rise as well. This includes items such as shoes, sunglasses, and baby items among many others. In fact, the name Kate Spade has become a household name in the handbag industry. In such a competitive industry it is amazing to think that Kate Spade handbags have made their way to the top in such a short amount of time. A Kate Spade handbag is often the first choice of the fashion conscious woman.

The Kate Spade classic nylon handbag took the fashion world by storm in 1993 and it still remains the top choice of women the world over, which is quite amazing in the the constantly changing fashion world.

The number one thing that you will recognize about Kate Spade handbags is their clean lines. This is something that a lot of designers are after, but when it comes down to it none do it better than Kate Spade. And in addition to these clean lines it seems that every Kate Spade handbag stays in style for quite some time. In other words, when you buy a Kate Spade handbag it will surely be in style for a few years. This makes it easy to justify the amount of money this type of designer handbag will cost you.

You should find it easy to find a fabric Kate Spade handbag to suit your needs, whether you need to match it with a work outfit or if you are going out on the town there is bound to be a handbag that is perfect for your requirements. The fact of the matter is that with so many options to choose from you will always be able to find something that is perfect for your style.

As you can see, Kate Spade handbags have a lot to offer. If you are interested in buying a new handbag you should at least look into what the Kate Spade line has to offer. You may be interested to know that Kate Spade handbags are among the best in the industry, and at the same time they do not cost nearly as much as some of the other designer handbags.

The Tiger Shovelnose Catfish

The Tiger Shovelnose Catfish or Pseudoplatystoma Fasciatum originates from the Amazons where it lives in flooded forest areas and also from the Essequibo, La Plata, Corintijns, Essequibo, Orinoco and Paraná River basins. During the day it normally hides underneath logs or stones, preferring to venture out for its food at night, where it will scout around near the bed looking for smaller fish and crustaceans. It is now found in many places around the world where it has been introduced over the years. There are several parts of South Africa for example where they are quite popular. Tiger Shovelnose Catfish breed in January. One female fish can produce several million eggs which become fertile as released into the water. In the early stages of its life, the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish will stay hidden in-between roots to avoid being eaten by predators.

The name Pseudoplatystoma Fasciatum is constructed from – Pseudos = fallacy; platys = broad; stoma = mouth; Fasciatum: Banded. They have a distinctive bronze/brown pattern of blotchy marks and bold stripes along their flanks. Although it isn’t until they reach a length of around 15cm (6 inches) that this design begins to form. The Tiger Shovelnose Catfish can grow to a length of 1.2m (4ft), although some people claim to have seen them being up to twice that size. When kept in an aquarium though, it is unusual for them to grow any larger than 1m (3.3ft) in length. Their eyes are small but, as is common to the catfish family, the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish have barbels and sensitive whiskers surrounding their mouths. This enables them to detect prey in murky waters or darkness.

It is not advisable to considering getting a Tiger Shovelnose Catfish unless you have had a lot of experience of keeping fresh water fish. You will need a large aquarium. It will have to be 1000ltr (200 gallon) as they will grow to be large fish. It is quite normal for a fish that is only one year old to measure in the region of 40cm (1.3ft). If you reduce the amount of food that you give them then you might be able to slow their growth but remember that these fish will still become very large! As for food, the fish like earthworms, scraps of meat, tablets and other fish that are smaller (bear this in mind and stick to companion fish that are not much smaller.) Do not give them feeder fish as a main food but they will benefit from the occasional one.

You should have some large areas for your fish to have plenty of room to swim. These fish have been known to jump out or to even have broken the glass when they are too cramped. Don’t bother with any small plants as they will more than likely end up getting buried or pulled out, you will need larger ones with good, strong roots. For a natural environment you should introduce some wood or rock, creating hiding places. It is advisable to use fine sand and not gravel as the fish may eat it whilst foraging and not pass it through its digestive system. You need to maintain a water temperature of 22-26c (72-79f). Ideally, water hardness should be 4-30dH. The pH level should be 6-7.5. Make sure you have good filtration as these fish are affected by poor water quality. With these conditions your catfish should be quite happy. It is advisable to make water changes twice each week. Do not keep them with other fish of a nervous disposition as they are naturally jumpy.

There is no known way to breed a Tiger Shovelnose Catfish and breeding them is very difficult as they need so much space. Some people believe that breeding may be possible in a pond and that muddy water is beneficial, although this is not definite.

Stair Lift Or Vertical Platform Lift – Which is Best?

People who must use wheelchairs or power chairs can be severely limited in their own homes by a staircase. But even people who don’t use chairs may be unable to climb an entire staircase. A variety of medications and physical conditions affect balance and vision, which can make even a small set of steps hazardous. When someone finds himself or herself unable to climb stairs for any reason, that can make a home feel small and isolating. The ability to get to the second floor or any level of the home is something most people take for granted, and something everyone can do with products like stair lifts and vertical platform lifts.

Each type of lift has a special purpose and can make mobility possible in multi-level homes, whether there are people present who use wheelchairs or who simply have difficulty climbing stairs. It’s important to really consider the needs of the users when you’re deciding which product is best for your home. In some cases, both are useful.

Vertical platform lifts are suitable for use by anyone in a wheelchair, power chair or scooter. These operate like elevators and are commonly used outside. Many people call them porch lifts because they’re used to lift chairs onto the porch when it’s high enough that a wheelchair ramp is impractical. It’s important when purchasing a vertical platform lift for outside to make sure that the model is suitable for use outdoors, as some are designed for interiors only.

These lifts can be operated by the person in the wheelchair and so allow for more independence. The person never needs to get out of the chair, as is required with a stair lift. So for someone who cannot stand to transfer into another seat, a vertical platform lift is the best choice, for both indoor and outdoor staircases. Stair lifts offer the ability to go up and down a staircase, but are designed for people who don’t need to stay in a wheelchair. Anyone can use a stair lift, so these are an option for anyone who has trouble climbing or descending stairs. Stair lifts can be used on outdoor stairs, too. Just make sure that the brand and model you choose is rated for outdoor use.

When choosing a stair lift, you also have to choose between battery-operated or electric. Both types must have an outlet nearby that they can be plugged into. The battery-operated models have a rechargeable battery that will allow the lift to work for a while without electricity. If the power goes out, the person with mobility problems will still be able to get up and down the steps several times.

The drawback to this is that the rechargeable batteries do wear out over time and need to be replaced, but the cost is about the same as a good car battery and not a huge burden. If the stair lift is used about 4 times a day to go up and back down the stairs, the battery will last about a year. One trip up and down per day should let the battery last 4 years, so don’t let the idea of replacing the battery discourage you if a rechargeable model is something you’re considering.

Stair lifts are also an option when there’s nowhere to put a vertical platform lift or the renovation to add one would be too expensive. Keep in mind that some people who use wheelchairs will need help transferring in and out of a stair lift, and won’t be able to use it independently.

The Dangers of Elevator Malfunction

Elevators have been around for quite some time. When they were first introduced, elevators had to be operated by hand. There were few safety measures in place in the event that an elevator became stuck or started to fall. Modern elevators have more sophisticated safeguards against uncontrolled falls, but many people nonetheless die in elevator-related accidents every year. Unless they are well-maintained and designed to standards, even modern elevators put their occupants at risk.

Due to the way elevators function, they are inherently at risk of an uncontrolled drop. More recent designs use a number of safety systems to prevent that from happening, such as counterweights, emergency brakes, and other mechanisms to halt a falling elevator. Well-designed safety systems can prevent nearly all accidents, but companies that cut corners on their designs or manufacturing may find themselves liable for the deaths of innocent people.

Elevators become stuck more frequently than they experience uncontrolled falls. If the motors cease working for some reason, the default fail-safe behavior is to stop in place. Some elevators are assisted by backup batteries in the event of a blackout to prevent occupants from becoming trapped. Every year there are many cases of people attempting to escape when stuck between floors, only to inadvertently fall down the shaft as they try to make it out.

But elevators can become stuck even when there is not a blackout. If they are not maintained properly, they can lock up and become inoperable, stranding passengers between floors. Emergency telephones inside elevators are meant to help occupants reach help, but it may be hours before they can safely exit. If an elevator's brake mechanism is not properly maintained, it may be at risk of falling down the shaft.

Victims of elevator malfunctions have the right to seek compensation for their injuries and losses. Building owners who do not keep their elevators in good condition can be held responsible for injuries caused by their negligence.

How Arthritis Can Be Helped With a Vibration Exercise Machine

So how can vibration exercise machines help in alleviating the suffering caused by arthritis?

The treatment of arthritis is quite difficult in that if not performed carefully, and in line with the patient's needs and wants, the illness can become chronic. It can hit anyone at any age, although presents itself most frequently in middle-aged women.

It is caused by the body reacting to numerous diseases or injury, and shows up as swelling and pain in a joint or joints. Indeed the very word itself, ie arthritis, actually means joint inflammation. Damage to tissue can be caused if the inflammation appears often or is not totally cured. Not only do the affected joints get swollen, but they are also warm, hot even, to the touch. The skin underneath the joints redden, and over time the joints can actually change shape.

Apart from the numerous reasons already touched on, the causes of arthritis can have many other roots, one of which being heredity, and another being a negative impact of one's environment.

People who have been active in sports of all types, and who have had several injuries, suffer arthritis quite frequently as they have subjected their joints to increased loads, and this can apply to both large and small joints. In addition, it has been shown that being overweight, and the overuse of both caffeine and smoking can also cause it.

Possible disability and the avoidance of continual pain can only be prevented if the disease is diagnosed and treated at an early stage. You can minimise the onset of it, even prevent against it, through the use of a healthy diet and consequential weight control, properly carried out physical exercises and using a vibration exercise machine.

These vibration exercise machines are incredibly simple to use and can replace standard physical exercises if a person is unable to carry them out for reasons such as muscle weakness, pain in the joints, and lack or loss of balance or muscle coordination.

In the event any classical exercise training regime utilising running, walking, cycling or weight training does not fit into your daily schedule for reasons of time, one of these vibration exercise machines can become invaluable to you in helping keep your body fit and your muscles toned . It has been shown that vibration exercise machines can help you achieve just the same benefits as standard exercising, but in a lot less time. In addition, vibration training stimulates blood circulation with all the benefits that can bring to an arthritis sufferer.

The vibration machines alleviate and even remove stress, fatigue, and pain in the back and the body core, and their use strengthens both bones and muscles. To put it into a somewhat technical explanation, low-frequency vibration waves spread over the muscle fibre and make the muscle contract with more dense amplitude, which is of course not the case with conventional exercising. These vibration waves also speed up metabolic processes in our body which cause the muscle fibres to become active, as opposed to classical exercise workouts during which they are inactive.

So, in the event you do think you may have arthritis, get it properly diagnosed for what it is. And so as to prevent the occurrence of this ailment, make sure you take note of what has been said in this article, but in general look after your health and make vibration exercise therapy a major part of your training regime.

Wood Stove Efficiency – The Secret To Low Cost Heating

Wood stove efficiency varies wildly from stove to stove and yet is poorly understood in terms of what it means for heating your home with wood. Open fireplaces typically operate at about 10% efficiency, basic wood stoves between around 30% and 50% efficiency and modern high performance stoves can reach as high as 90% efficiency.

If you are heating with wood the difference between using a 30% efficient and an 90% efficient stove can mean you burn 3 times as much wood over the course of a year. Not only is this wasteful it is loads of unnecessary extra work; cutting, splitting, stacking, seasoning and then moving your firewood before burning it. Life is simply too short!

What Is Stove Efficiency?

Simply, wood stove efficiency is a measure of how much of the chemical energy in your firewood ends up in your living room, compared to going up the chimney. To measure it you need to very carefully control the conditions and in practice this is done in environmental testing laboratories.

The chemical energy stored in wood is actually quite easy to find. Most types of wood have rating in BTU’s per cord. There is some variation between different tree species but basically each kilo of dry wood contains pretty much the same amount of energy. To find the energy going into the stove you weigh the wood before you burn it.

Calculating the heat transfer into the room is harder – you can get a reasonable figure by measuring the temperature of the air in different places, air speeds due to convection and so forth. there are some relatively complex bits of fluid dynamics involved but it can be done. The stove efficiency is therefore the percentage of energy transferred to the room compared to the total amount of wood burned.

These figures are impossible to calculate meaningfully in the home, which is why it is so important to know the rated efficiency as provided by the manufacturer. Generally older style “airtight stoves” are less efficient and cheap imports tend to be very low efficiency, sometimes as low as 20 or 30%.

What Affects Wood-burning Stove Efficiency?

These factors fall into two main categories.

  • Those which effect combustion, how well the wood burns
  • Those which effect how well heat is transferred from the stove to the room it is in

We’ll look at both of these separately, and talk about ways that you can improve the efficiency of your existing stove.

Combustion Efficiency

Efficiency of combustion concerns how much of the possible energy in the fuel wood is actually released in the stove. As a general rule hotter fires give more complete combustion and so tend to be more efficient. We can manipulate this thorough wood stove design where we insulate the main stove box to keep as much heat IN the main firebox as possible. This seems counter intuitive when we are trying to get as much of that heat as possible out of the stove!

The hotter the stove is the more the chemical structure of the wood breaks down to smaller and smaller molecules as it burns. The very smallest of these are carbon monoxide and hydrogen. If we have a cooler stove the wood breaks down far less and the larger molecules do not burn properly and pass up the chimney as smoke.

High temperature is only the first step – to make the most of these small, ready to burn, molecules we need to add extra oxygen. The best of the modern stoves add preheated air to a separate part of the firebox where the combustion gases are burned. This is usually referred to as a secondary burn. If we choke off the air these molecules go straight up the chimney without releasing their heat energy in the stove – this is both polluting and wasteful. I’ve heard it described as “turning down the heating by blowing out the gas but leaving the tap running”. The best modern stoves have this secondary air carefully regulated, sometimes beyond the control of the stove operator. This is to help the stove meet air quality regulations but the added benefit is the boost in efficiency!

Turbulence within the stove helps mix the gases so that all parts of the flame have sufficient air to burn. Open wood fires tend to have “lazy” flames and the same can be seen in some wood stoves if you turn the air supply down. Designing the air inlets so that they create turbulent high velocity jets of air yields a nice clean burn.

Heat Transfer

Given that we need the firebox as hot as possible the question remains how to get as much heat as possible from the stove before the hot gases go up the chimney. In an existing stove there is nothing we can usually do about the stove internal features – we might be able to direct the flue pipes around the indoor spaces a little and gain more heat that way. Sometimes we can install a heat exchanger in the chimney pipe, above the stove itself.

The best modern stoves have this heat exchange component built in to the design, so that they extract as much heat as possible from the gases before they reach the chimney.

External to the stove we sometimes improve efficiency marginally by installing a wood stove fan. These increase the flow of air over the surface of the stove, increasing heat transfer to the room. The improvement is small and given the price tag you may find a new stove a better investment!

Are High Efficiency Stoves A Good Investment?

Stoves with efficiencies approaching 90% cost considerably more to purchase because the interior design tends to be a lot more complex and the quality of workmanship tends be be higher. You may consider this a good investment if you do a lot, or all, of you heating with firewood. Firewood costs around $200 per cord (varies considerably with location and type of wood) and upgrading from 30% efficiency to 90% may save you many cords worth of wood over a heating season.

If you are buying a stove for using a few evenings per year then a cheaper stove is probably adequate.