Creating Cheek Dimples Through Plastic Surgery

Dimples are depressions in the cheek skin which appear when one is smiling. They usually are not apparent when one is not smiling in those have them naturally. Cheek dimples are an inherited trait and are reported as a genetically dominant one. Cheek dimples are most always on both sides and rarely on one side of the cheek only.

The cause of cheek dimples has been anatomically studied. It has been found to be the result of an abnormality of the major muscle elevator of the upper lip and corner of the mouth, the zygomaticus muscle. This muscle runs from the cheek bone down to the corner of the mouth. When a cheek dimple occurs, it is due to a split or hole in this muscle. When one smiles, the muscle contracts and this hole gets bigger, sucking down the overlying skin into it so to speak. This explains why a cheek dimple may not be seen when one is not smiling but is when one is.

Some people desire to have cheek dimples as they view it as an attractive facial feature. In my Indianapolis plastic surgery practice, it is possible to make dimples (cheek dimple creation surgery) through a small operation. This is done by making a small incision on the inside of the cheek opposite the desired location of the dimple. Dissection is carried through the zygomaticus muscle and a small permanent suture is placed between the underside of the skin and the muscle. It is important not to overtighten this suture since it isn’t particularly natural to have dimples when one isn’t smiling. The procedure definitely creates some bruising and it’s biggest complication is that the dimple may not be permanent if the suture pulls through in the first few weeks after surgery. Usually small to moderately-sized dimples can be created but large or deep indentations require tissue removal which I don’t advise. It is best to do this procedure with the patient awake so I can see how the dimple looks when one smiles.

This procedure is reversible if one doesn’t like the results. It is relatively easy to cut the sutures within the first month or so after surgery which is in the time frame when one should know if the result is acceptable.

Plate Heat Exchangers – Design, Advantages and Disadvantages

Plate heat exchangers are obviously types of heat exchangers. It functions by transferring the heat from one fluid to another through the use of metal plates. Comparing it with conventional heat exchangers, these ones are favored specifically because the fluids work on larger surface areas and are capable of dispersing to the metal plates. Simply put, the procedure enables proper facilitation of heat transfer as it speeds up the changes in temperature occurring during the process.

Knowing more about the concept of plate heat exchangers involves looking at the design of the tool as well as setting apart the advantages from its disadvantages. Basically, a heat exchanger uses pipes in order to cool or heat a fluid through the process of transferring it to another fluid. The pipes’ walls are often made either out of metal or other substances known to be of high thermal conduction capabilities. This is to ensure that the transfer of heat from one fluid to another will be properly facilitated. Another coating is found outside the pipe walls, now made of plastic with thermal insulation to suppress the heat from coming out of the exchanger.

Design of plate heat exchangers

From the conventional design of heat exchangers, a plate heat exchanger is said to be more of a specialized one. The design was made to construe with its purposes of heat transfer for two types of fluids. For the heat exchanging process, semi-welded, brazed or welded exchangers are used. Instead of making use of a regular pipe, two chambers are used and are separated by the so-called corrugated metal plate.

The plate is designed out of stainless steel. This material has the ability to withstand corrosion and high temperature while it is also noted for its durability and strength. In between the plates, rubber sealing gaskets are placed.

A look at its advantages and disadvantages

The advantages of this type of heat exchangers are seen through its compactness, flexibility and ease of cleaning. Its compactness can be attributed to the fact that the entire output does not require a large floor space. Its flexibility is seen with its ability to cope with requirements of different types of fluids. The plates are removable thus making it easy to clean. If replacement is needed, the plates may be removed conveniently as well.

The main disadvantages of plate heat exchangers are classified into three. First, long gaskets are needed. Second, leakage is probable. And lastly, operation costs as well as investment should also form part of the consideration.

The Many Fabrics of Bed Sheets

Recently I went out shopping for bedding, specifically for a sheet set for my queen size bed. It had been awhile since I last purchased bedding, and I came away from the stores with a head full of questions. I’m not sure what happened in the bedding industry from the last time I bought sheets to this present day. They have so many different types of sheets, and fabrics and thread counts that range from 120 to 1000! What is a person to do? Well, I didn’t buy any today. I thought I’ve got to wrap my mind around the terms they are using and I came home and did some research. I wanted to be prepared to know which fabrics are best for bed sheets.

When I started researching I found so many different kinds of fabric I put them in alphabetical order. And since I spent so much time on this I thought others might like to use my list. This is what I came up with:

Bamboo: Fairly recent on the bed scene – it is made from the pulp of bamboo grass. This fabric is resistant to bacteria and is hypo-allergenic. It’s a great sheet for those suffering with allergies. It is an alternative to organic cotton since bamboo grows quickly while using much less water than cotton without fertilizers or pesticides. These sheets are soft, supple and silky to the touch.

Cotton: The single most popular fabric. Cotton is considered the best all season fiber. It is cool in the summer, and warm in the winder. Cotton breathes well and keeps body moisture away from the skin. You will find many of the popular cotton sheets listed.

Cotton Blend: A common blend of cotton/polyester. It is a blend of natural cotton with synthetic fibers producing easy care sheets. Blends are more durable than synthetic fibers, but they will wear out faster than 100% cotton sheets. And because polyester is not a very breathable fabric these sheets will be warmer than all cotton sheets.

Egyptian Cotton: Often referred to as the sheet for the Queen of the Nile. This cotton is grown along side the Nile River, best known for optimal cotton climate conditions producing exceptional quality cotton. This highly absorbent cotton is strong yet breathable and is known for its superior durability, luster, and silky feel because of its extra long fiber staple.

Flannel: A medium weight fabric in a plain or twill weave that is soft and fuzzy. Flannel is made of cotton with a napped finish on one or both sides. Napping is a brushing technique that gives a raised surface a fluffy soft appearance with a very cozy warm feeling. It is a great sheet for warmth during the fall and winter months. And many moms like flannel crib sheets for their babies.

Italian linen: This fabric is made only in Italy, made from the finest cotton grown exclusively in Egypt. It is a very luxurious fabric and sheets made of this caliber are truly a luxury item for only those who can afford them.

Jersey: These sheets are knitted in a circular, flatbed or warp knitted method. Jersey sheets are not woven so you will not find a thread count listed. They are very stretchy.

MODAL: A relatively new fiber made from the pulp of beech trees. This soft and silky material has excellent draping qualities. It is considered a type of rayon and is considered to be a bio based product, not a natural product because it is heavily processed using a number of chemicals. It creates a soft, smooth, absorbent sheet that breathes well, and will keeps its shape. It is similar to cotton.

Muslin: is considered to be at the low end of the cotton spectrum. This is one sheet you may want to stay away from as these tend to be quite rough. Its thread count ranges from 128-140. It is generally used for less quality bedding items.

Organic Cotton: A natural cotton that is grown without the use of chemicals, pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers. To be considered an organic product it has to be certified, and approved by a United States Government 3rd party certification process to ensure authenticity. It holds up well and makes a nice sheet.

Percale: Is a smooth closely woven weave. The way in which it is woven allows air to pass through easily, so it tends to be more breathable. It comes in 100% cotton or a 50/50 cotton/poly blend. It is finer weave then muslin and the thread count ranges from 180-200. Percale is a strong, long lasting fabric and can be finished to have a crisp or a soft feel and it will soften after repeated washings.

Pima Cotton: Named after the Pima Native American tribe. This cotton is grown in the Southwest United States and in South America. It is similar to the Egyptian cotton. The main difference is geographical. It is also made of high quality cotton with a long fiber staple. This cotton sheet has a very soft feel and is very desirable in bedding.

Sateen: Don’t confuse this with Satin. It has a more lustrous look, and is extremely soft, although a bit less durable than the standard, percale or pinpoint. It is the weave that gives the sateen sheet is satiny feel. Usually made of 100% woven cotton but occasionally you find it with rayon. A good quality sheet is made of mercerized cotton which will increase its strength and give it more luster.

Satin: Satin is a weave of various materials. Wool, cotton, acetate, nylon, polyester, silk are some of the materials that make up Satin. It is an extremely smooth and sleek fabric, which some people find quite sexy, and others don’t like because it is too slippery. Most satins will last longer if hand washed.

Silk: Silk is extremely expensive, and cannot stand too much sunlight. Silk sheets are usually dry cleaned or hand washed and easily tear. They are rated by a “momme weight” which stands for its weight in pounds. Silk bed sheets are usually around a 16-19 momme weight.

Supima Cotton: Supima is a trademarked name for the long staple Pima cotton, grown exclusively in the United States from the finest crops by certified farmers. Supima is an abbreviation for superior pima. Like the Pima cotton it has a very soft feel and is very desirable in bedding.

Synthetic: Polyester is the most common synthetic fiber used in making sheets. Synthetic materials are usually wrinkle resistant, and durable as cotton, however, they are not as soft or as breathable as cotton. It is a man made material and the material will most likely pill. Pill refers to those tiny balls of fabric you see that collect on the surface. Since polyester is not a very breathable fabric the sheets will be warmer than cotton sheets.

Well, we have come to the end of my list. I now have a better idea of what I want in my sheets, and I feel prepared to make a decision when I go shopping. I hope you find this list helpful in deciding which fabric is best for you.

How to Remove Carpet

As a carpet repair expert I’m often asked what the best way to remove a carpet is. The answer really depends on what type of carpet is in the room, how it’s installed and what you want to do with it after it’s removed.

Most carpet that a homeowner wants to remove will be installed on top of padding with tack strip along the edges. There may also be some sort of transition metals between the different floor surfaces.

– Start by removing the carpet from the transitions

A few different types of transitions and how to remove carpet from them:

– Carpet to something flat like concrete, linoleum, asphalt tiles.

You will probably have a z-bar. You know you have a z-bar at the transition if the carpet is folded over and you can’t see any metal at all. When you are removing carpet from a z-bar simply pull it out. The z-bar isn’t all that strong. When you pull on the carpet the z-bar un-clamps and releases the carpet.

– You might have a clamp down metal instead of a z-bar. If you have a clamp down metal you can use a chisel or stair tool to gently pry it open. Only pry it open just enough to pull the carpet out or else you may break it.

– You may have a flat gold or silver metal nailed on top of the carpet. If so, pull the nails out and the metal will just lift away.

– Carpet to ceramic tile or stone type floor transitions:

If you have a transition where the carpet meets ceramic tile or something of that thickness, chances are that there is nothing holding it in place except the tack strip. Just like with the z-bar, give it a little pull and it should come right out.

– After you’ve removed the carpet from all of the transitions you’re ready to begin to remove the carpet. If you would like to save some or all of the carpet cut that out first. This can come in handy if you have any patching to do in the rest of the house or if you would like to replace a few stairs.

– The easiest way to cut carpet from the backing. Pull the carpet up from along the wall and flip it over.

– Use a slotted blade knife to cut the carpet into easy to handle strips. When I don’t feel like working too hard I cut it into 2′ x 10′ strips and roll it up. If I want to dispose of the carpet into the garbage can I cut it into even smaller strips.

– After the carpet is all cut up and removed you can do the same thing with the padding. Cut it into easy to handle strips using the slotted blade knife. I normally will stuff it right into heavy duty garbage bags and take it outside right away.

– When the pad it removed you may find staples in the wood floor. Remove the staples with a pair of pliers. If the padding was glued down to the concrete it probably didn’t come out very clean. Use a scraper to remove as much of the stuck pad as is necessary.

– If there’s animal urine on the floor, this is the time to deal with it. Buy the product from the pet store that contains enzymes and use it liberally.

– Now that you have removed all the carpet and padding from the room. If you need to remove the tack strip you will want to use a pry bar to dislodge it. Be very careful to not get stuck with one of millions of little nails.

I hope you enjoyed this short article. It was my pleasure to write it. Steve Gordon.

9 Life Lessons From Snakes and Ladders Game

As I watched my two daughters play the traditional Indian game of “Snakes and Ladders“, I was realizing, at every step, that there was a striking similarity this game has with our life’s journey. There are so many lessons that this game can teach us, including how to go about executing the biggest game in our hands i.e. “our own life”.

Let me give you some background about the game just for those unfortunate souls who did not have the pleasure of playing this classic game during their childhood years, and then I will share how I look at this game from life’s perspective and what do I learn from it.

About the Game

Snakes and Ladders is a traditional Indian board game played in almost every household. Today, it is regarded as a worldwide classic. The historic version of this game was designed to teach moral lessons to the players and to show the game’s similarity to life and its teachings. A player’s progression up the board from 1 to 100 represented the journey of a life while the snakes and ladders represented the vices and virtues along the journey.

Here is my take on the learning from this game. Some of these learning were historically intended the way it is documented here, while most of them are based on my own personal experience in life’s journey thus far.

(1) Virtues and Vices

The game has been interpreted and used as a tool for teaching the effects of good deeds versus bad. The ladders represent virtues such as generosity, faith, and humility, while the snakes represented vices such as lust, anger, murder, and theft. As in life, the game shows that the number of ladders will always be less than the number of snakes as a reminder that a path of good is much more difficult to tread than a path of sins. In spite of this, stick to this,

(2) Life is Dual

One of the biggest implicit in the game is unchanging two-ness of things, the duality of up & down, good & evil, Alpha & Omega, Day & night, etc. Life is not meant to be a one sided affair. You will face both the good and bad times. You will face ups and downs. Just like ladders(ups) and snakes(downs), you will meet good and evil around you and you will also do both the right and the wrong things as you go through the beautiful journey of life. Life is dual. Accept it that way and you will be able to live much more happily. If today, things have not gone your way (you may have encountered more snakes), that is a part of the game. You must keep focus and move forward. You are likely to get hold of a ladder soon. Keep moving.

(3) Identify your Goal

The goal in the game is pre identified for you. It is very clear that to win, you need to reach 100. Those who have played the game might have realized that how focused we stay in the game to reach 100, in spite of getting any ladder or getting stung by any snake. Irrespective of what is happening to our competitor in the game, we continue to stay extremely focused to reach 100 defying all odds and not getting bogged down by any snake bites.

That is exactly how the bigger game (life) is supposed to be lived. First, you ought to define the goal of your life before you set out of your house to do anything else. This is the toughest thing for many people to do and most of us struggle till the end of our lives to find the goal of our life. I always recommend my readers to stop doing everything else before they have found the purpose of their lives. Living a life without a definite purpose is like playing the Snakes and Ladders game without knowing that your mission is to reach 100. All that you are doing in your life today is useless unless you have defined the purpose of your life.

If you are running hard in a vicious circle and are a part of the so called rat-race, and you are not sure that how would you find time to identify or pursue your true goals of life, you can adapt a process that I adapted a few years ago. First strive to get financially free doing what you are doing today. Post your financial freedom, you would have bought the time in your favor and then you can truly work towards your life goals. Make Financial Freedom as one of your biggest ladder in this game of life to reach your ultimate goals or pursue your passions of life.

(4) Keep your focus on the goal

Having once defined the purpose, align all your daily actions with the purpose of your life. You got to keep your focus on that end goal and that will drive your daily actions to make sure that they are aligned with the purpose. If you encounter things that you do everyday that are not aligned with the purpose of your life, start thinking and finding ways to eliminate them from your life slowly.

(5) Be humble but never give up.

Don’t look down on people who are less fortunate than you. Everything that you have with you today is temporary and can be destroyed within a fraction of a second. Be grateful with what you have. Likewise, when you fall down, don’t give up. Try again. Isn’t that exactly what you do when you fall in the game. You just look forward once again with renewed energy and fight back to the top. This is exactly how the life is supposed to be lived. Never Never never give up in life.

(6) Accept the outcome

Whatever the result (win or lose), accept it with grace. Do not be too elated in success and on the other hand, do not be demotivated in your failure. Everything is temporary and life is supposed to have a mix of both. That’s also the spirit of sportsmanship. Make losing a motivation, not an excuse not to play again. Convert your negative outcome into a positive energy to fight back again and reach the top.

(7) Have Patience

Patience is another virtue we can learn from this game. You may be down and out. You may be the last in the lot but if you keep patience and continue to do what is the right thing to do, you might soon be surprised at how quickly life can give back to you, exactly the way how it happens in this game. So, be patient, keep doing the right thing, do not get distracted, annoyed or demotivated. Life will take a turn… yet again. Give it a chance and continue to follow the right path.

(8) Keep Moving

At the end of the day, it’s not the number of ladders or snakes that you face in your life that will determine your fate. Has anyone won this game just because he or she got more number of ladders? No. Your future in the game of life is determined by one thing, and one thing only – “movement”. Just keep moving ever forward. Don’t stop at the foot of a snake and throw away the dice. Just keep moving. Get up again, and keep moving. You might like to pause for a moment to recharge the batteries, or even have a little cry, but then keep moving again. On the way learn from your mistakes or misfortunes – until you reach the finishing line as a seasoned victor.

(9) Enjoy Life

This is the biggest lesson of them all, according to me. Never be in too much of a hurry to reach the end of the game. Enjoy the lucky breaks, but realize that the steady patches and the snakes prevent us from getting to the end too quickly and add spice to our game. Enjoy your journey of this game, the twists and turns, the snakes and ladders equally. In the end, everyone will reach the end goal – sooner or later. Be a good player, making the most of all the journey brings. Enjoy and cherish every moment of life.

How to Meet UK Staircase Building Regulations

Whether you are planning a whole new staircase or just a refurbishment of your existing stair balustrade, you need to make sure that your stairs comply with current UK building regulations. Many older staircases may not meet today’s standards, so installing new handrails, spindles and newel posts will give you a chance to bring your staircase up to date in terms of safety as well as looks. Here is a short run-down of the main points relating to private domestic stairs that you should be aware of:

Stair pitch

The stair pitch, or steepness, is very important for safety. Every step must be level and have the same rise (height) and the same going (depth). For instance, you can’t have 190mm for the first four risers followed by 200mm for the rest, as this would be confusing for the user.

An exception to this rule is if there is a landing halfway up the stairs, in which case each section of the staircase can be treated differently. However, this is not recommended.

These are the permitted measurements:

· The maximum rise, or height, for any step should be 220mm, with the minimum being 150mm.

· Every step has to have a minimum going, or depth, of 220mm, and a maximum going of 300mm.

· The maximum pitch, or steepness, must not exceed 42°.

Stair width

Believe it or not, there is no recommendation for the minimum width of a domestic staircase. However, to ensure that your stairs are pleasing to the eye and comfortable to use it is best to make the staircase at least 800mm wide, with the optimum recommended width being between 850mm and 950mm.

When it comes to loft conversions, the widely accepted minimum width is 600mm, although between 700mm and 750mm is advised.

On staircases that change direction, you are allowed to make each flight a different width if necessary.

Stair length

A flight of stairs can include up to 36 risers, or steps, in a straight line. After that, they should change direction by at least 30°. This is to interrupt falls and prevent anyone tumbling a long way down to the bottom of the stairs.

Landings

A landing can either be a flat platform where the stairs change direction, or part of the floor at the top or bottom of the staircase. For safety, the landing must be at least as wide and deep as the narrowest part of the stairs. All landings need to be completely level except for the ground floor, where a slight gradient (up to 1:60) is permitted. In addition, no door should be able to swing nearer than 400mm to the front of any step.

Head room

There is a minimum head room requirement of 2m at all points both on and off the stairs. In the case of loft conversions the available headroom will meet building regulations as long as the height at the centre of the staircase is at least 1.9m, and does not reduce to less than 1.8m at the side of the stairs.

Some building control officers may be lenient if you are having real trouble with your loft stairs, but you should always check with them before going ahead.

Handrails

Your stairs must have a handrail on at least one side if the staircase is less than 1m wide, and rail on both sides if the stairs are wider than this. You don’t have to fit a handrail on the first two steps up from the bottom, but after this point you must make sure there is a handrail on any open parts of the staircase to protect people going up and down.

The handrail height needs to be between 900mm and 1000mm as measured from the pitch line to the top of the handrail. (The pitch line is an imaginary line drawn across the tip of the treads showing the slope of the staircase from top to bottom.)

Mind the gap

One of the most important rules, aimed at protecting small children and preventing falls, is that a 100mm sphere must not be able to pass through any opening on a staircase. This means you need to ensure that the spindles, or balusters, are not too far apart, and that any wide gaps between open risers are fitted with riser bars to reduce the size of the openings.

Stair balustrades should also be designed so that children are not encouraged to climb up them. For this reason old-fashioned ‘ranch style’ banisters with horizontal stair rails should be replaced with vertical spindles.

Please note that these rules only apply to homes in England and, for the most part, Wales and Northern Ireland. Scotland has its own set of building regulations.

Carpet Repair, Everything You Need to Know (But Didn’t Know Whom to Ask)

Carpet Repair: An Introduction

Let’s start with the basics: It is possible to do your own repair. If you would rather repair than spend hundreds or maybe thousands of dollars replacing then a carpet repair may be for you.

Although the average homeowner may be able to repair their carpet themselves, it’s not necessarily the best choice.

A professional can help you in a small fraction of the time it would take an untrained person, all while making a hard job look easy.

If you are a homeowner and want to try to fix it yourself, I caution you that if quality really matters, then hire a pro.

For now I’ll just skim the surface and describe the most common types of repairs. Later, I’ll go in depth and explain in more detail about each type.

Here are some different types of carpet repair:

• Stretching

• Patching

• Transitions

• Berber

• Seam Repair

• Pet Damaged (Including Removing Pet Urine)

• Repairing Flood Damage

• Reinstalling After Remodeling

• Removing

• Repair Stairs

• Stain Removal

When an original installation is done properly, you should never need to re-stretch loose carpet. Proper installation requires a tool called a stretcher or a power stretcher. (Not a kicker, kickers aren’t nearly enough.) When you see ripples, wrinkles, or bunched-up carpet, that’s when you know you need to have it stretched.

Most of the time, a loose carpet can be re-stretched without needing to take apart seams. If seams do need to be taken apart, it opens up a whole other can of worms.

If there’s some furniture in the room, we can often use our carpet stretcher without having to clear the room entirely. Often we can move the furniture from one side of the room to the other and stretch one side of the room at a time.

If you have a stain that you can’t get out or you have damaged carpet due to a burn (not the good kind), or your bad dog or cat thinks that carpet is a food group, then a patch may be the only solution.

Patching isn’t as easy as it looks. The patch needs to be exactly perfect. If there’s any overlap or gap at the seam (at all), you’ll be sorry.

You can use a leftover piece of carpet from the original installation or steal a piece of carpet from a closet to do your carpet patching. One thing you probably can’t do is go to the carpet store and buy a piece to match.

A carpet to floor transition is anyplace where the carpet ends and the floor begins. If it’s at a tile floor we call it a carpet to tile transition.

Many people install their own tile but don’t know how to finish the job with the carpet to tile transition. Often professional tile installers don’t know how to finish their job with a proper carpet to tile transition. There are several good ways to do a carpet to floor transition that I will explain in the carpet to tile transition article.

When people refer to a Berber carpet, they’re referring to a looped carpet with rows. It’s not really a Berber carpet but for our purposes here it’s okay to call it Berber. For an interesting read on the history of Berber carpet click here.

Berber carpet repair is often needed due to a snag in a Berber carpet or a pull in a Berber carpet. A pull in a Berber carpet happens when one or more threads get caught, either in a vacuum or some other way. Often times it’s the family pet or a child that pulls Berber carpet and creates the snag or run.

If there is just one Berber carpet row that has been pulled, it can be re-burled (glued back into place). If the Berber carpet run is more serious, say for example a dog was trapped in a room and tried to dig her way out, then a patch is in order.

If your Berber carpet is loose then it will need to be stretched. Stretching Berber carpet isn’t really any different than stretching carpet of any other type.

If a carpet comes apart at the seam it can be repaired in several different ways. One way is to glue it back together, another way would be to remove the old seam tape and do the entire seam over. If the seam that came apart is on a Berber carpet then it becomes a bit more challenging.

A seam needs to withstand a lot of use, and do so for many years. This is one place where it really makes sense to use the best products available. One thing you definitely should not use is the cheap two-sided carpet tape that some web sites sell. It won’t last.

Repairing carpet that’s been damaged by a dog or a cat may be as simple as using a solution to remove the stain and odor. Or it may require much more, such as removing carpet and replacing it with a patch, or even going deeper by removing and replacing the carpet padding and cleaning and deodorizing the floor below the carpet, the tack strip, and even the baseboard.

When a room becomes flooded, most often we will remove the padding, dry out the carpet and then replace the padding with new carpet pad. In most cases the tack strip does not need to be replaced. A flood damaged carpet can mildew quite quickly so it’s important to take quick action.

Removing, replacing, or installing new built-in furniture, walls, floor heaters, toilets, cabinets, and other fixtures are just a few reasons that a carpet installer will need install the carpet properly into the room. This will require some new tack strip and possibly some new carpet and pad to add to the area. Many times the customer will have some carpet left over from the installation. If not, we can often take carpet from the closet.

Removing carpet and carpet pad is simple but sometimes strenuous. If we are trying to save the carpet to use in a different room or to re-carpet the hallway or stairway, we will want to try to keep it in one piece. If the objective is just to remove old carpet and old carpet pad, we will make it easy on ourselves by cutting the carpet into strips approximately two feet wide.

Sometimes we charge to haul the carpet and pad away but most often we leave it in garbage bags for the customer to feed into their garbage can over a period of a few weeks (no charge).

The first stair always wears out first. One way to save a LOT of money is to use a scrap of leftover carpet from the installation or from a closet to replace just a stair or two.

If more stairs need to be re-carpeted, and if the stairway carpet matches the carpet in the hall and the rest of the house, you can save a LOT of money by replacing the stairway carpet with carpet removed from a different room. It’s far less expensive to replace just one room of carpet than to re-carpet your entire house, and the stairway carpet continues to match the carpet in the hall and the rest of the house.

There are literally hundreds if not thousands of products that you can use to remove stains from your carpet. If you want some great tips on how to remove carpet stains click here.

In conclusion

The preceding information only scratches the surface of what’s possible with carpet repair. In the future we do plan on writing additional articles describing in further detail every category that was listed.

We here at Creative Carpet Repair hope this helps you in your quest to learn about how to repair carpet and we are available during normal business hours to answer any question you may have. Good luck!

Scaffolding Towers Review: The "Gardeno" Mobile Work Platform

When you think about the phrase “scaffolding tower,” chances are you think of the type large scaffolding systems you see deployed on a construction site. While it’s true that scaffolding towers are used extensively in construction, as an avid DIYer, I’ve often wished there was a scaled down model designed for use by home-owners, especially in the garden. Well, my wait is over. I’ve found the perfect solution: the “Gardeno” mobile work platform. Read on to learn more.

About the “Gardeno” Mobile Work Platform

Since I have a fairly extensive garden, I’m always looking for products that will expedite its care. This is an exceptionally stable and strong mini scaffold designed with gardeners in mind. The “Gardeno” is mounted on two large (10in) pneumatic tyres, so it’s quite easy to move over many types of surfaces, hard or soft. By the way, a pneumatic tyre is one that’s filled with air, rather than being solid. Fitted with independent screw jacks at each corner, along with durable steel foot pads that are 6in in diameter, the “Gardeno” is easy to level. The footpads prevent sinking if the platform is located on soft ground. The platform adjusts to four heights: 50cms (20in), 80cms (32in), 110cms (44in), and 140cms (55in). The platform is sturdily built from plywood, which tends to be stronger than plain wood planks. Surrounding the platform is a strong steel frame to which it is securely mounted.

Features and Specifications

The “Gardeno” will support a maximum load of 200kg (31.5st). Remember that this rating includes both the weight of the person and the weight of any tools or materials that are present. When I was shopping for a work platform, I found many models to be quite difficult to handle. One of the reasons I chose this one is that it’s amazingly light and thus very easy for one person to handle. I simply use the inbuilt handles to wheel it to a new location in my garden, very much like a wheelbarrow and not much heavier. Quite well balanced! For durability, the “Gardeno” is finished in tough epoxy-based powder coat over heavy duty construction that uses strong 32mm (1.25in) quality tubular steel.

More about the “Gardeno” Work Platform

You should know that this product requires some minor assembly, but no tools are required. Just follow the simple instructions. When you’re done using the “Gardeno,” just remove a few pins to pack it flat for easy storage, even in small spaces. The platform size is a generous 115cms x 42cms (45in x 16.5in). I’ve been able to reach working heights of up to 3.5m (11ft6), so it’s great for trimming small trees and the ivy that grows on my house. Expect to pay about £85.00 for the versatile “Gardeno.” The price should include VAT and free delivery.

For anyone with an extensive garden or a list of DIY projects that require working at height, the “Gardeno” mobile work platform is a versatile alternative to large scaffolding towers.

Manufacturing and Retailing of Laminate Flooring

Where to find laminate flooring at a discounted rate

The latest in flooring solutions is the laminated. It is made from a process of sealing layers of paper or other materials, with a plastic like substance, which gives it the desired strength and hence is known to be very durable. Mostly laminate floor is available in a wide variety of patterns, mostly printed on the topside. One can easily find patterns ranging from single colors to natural, wood and stone and many other to suit one’s style and decor.

Shop hopping for a good bargain has become a thing of the past. With the introduction Internet, and online trading, the options available for customers have become much wider and one can shop from any where in the world and that too from the comforts of their homes.

Many flooring manufacturing companies have set up their online shopping stores displaying their wide range of products with discounted rates for their customers.

There are many online trading that stands above the rest. Facilitates offered by these companies like discounted rates and free home delivery make them the best in the business. They offer a good bargain on their products. Their websites as well as the staff employed offers valuable advice and service to the customers to make the right selection for their homes.

Fast Floors is an online company, which offers great laminate floors at discounted rates. They even have regular sales and special offers from time to time. There website is very user friendly and has a beautifully categorized brochures which proves to be a great help in making the right selection and help to complete the flooring job quickly.

More Flooring Companies

There are further flooring companies which are very well known names in flooring solutions. Their reputation is backed with an experience of more than 50 years in the field of installing floors. They not only offers discounted laminate but also guarantees quality services that stand up to its reputation.

Hardwood Brokers follow a unique business strategy. At Hardwood Brokers, one can get all kind of floors, including laminated as well other flooring products at a very discounted rate. Their business strategy is based on accepting bids from potential customers. The customer has to place a bid amount for their flooring needs, if the offer is found reasonable the company guarantees the bidder to meet all their flooring needs at discounted rates.

Floor One Company

Floor one is very well known for the branded products they offer at discounted rates. Along with flooring products, they also offer other valuable services like giving advice on different aspects like prices, shipping, tax, etc.

One can log on to their website to get quick and accurate solutions, for all the flooring problems from the live customer support team. The wide variety, discounted rates and branded products that Floor One offers make them the best in the laminate flooring industry.

Furniture Painting DIY – How to Paint Wooden Furniture at Home

With usage, paint of wooden furniture becomes fad and furniture looks old and worn. In fact the wood structure of furniture remains intact for many years, it only needs a re-painting process to look like new. Painting home furniture is not a difficult process and you can do it yourself by adhering the following suggestions.

Tools and Materials Needed For Job

  • Brush
  • Foam Roller
  • Sand Paper
  • Wood filler (Putty)
  • Wood Filler Knife
  • Paint-Primer
  • Paint
  • Lacquer or Sealant (optional)
  • Face mask
  • Gloves

Preparing the Home Furniture for Painting Process

Select a well ventilated place and use cloth or plastic sheets to place furniture over it. Clean the furniture and fill the pitted, uneven and scratched areas with wood filler. Apply wood filler and wipe off excessive with a filler knife. Also use wood filler in joints for firm attachment. When wood filler is dried, use sand paper to get smoother surfaces. Now clean the furniture well with a liquid and then with a lint free cloth.

Using Paint-Primer Before Painting

Primer is useful to make the coat of paint to adhere evenly to the wood as well as to get the paint long-lasting. Without primer, paint peel off after few months or a year. Use paint brush on corners and edges and roller on flat surfaces to apply the primer. Don’t worry for the even application of primer, it will be fixed in next steps. When primer has dried, sand it with a fine grit sand paper and then clean the sawdust.

Painting the Home Furniture

Now furniture is ready for applying the paint. Use foam roller on flat surfaces and then paint brush on uneven surfaces and where the roller could not reach. Use paint conditioner to slow down the drying edge of the paint. It helps to make the paint coat more even. Apply a second coat of paint if necessary and let it dry.

Sealant or Lacquer

Although you are done, but for a shiny look, you may like to use paint-sealant at this final stage. It protect the furniture from scratches and add a gloss over it. Again, let the lacquer to dry well before moving the furniture.

Safety Precautions

For personal safety, use good quality face mask to prevent the harmful effects of fumes of paint-chemicals. Carry out all this painting in a well ventilated and illuminated place. Use gloves and full cloths to protect the skin from toxic chemical effects.

CPAT – Candidate Physical Aptitude Test

As an increasing number of Municipalities across Canada and the United States make the CPAT their official physical test as part of the firefighter hiring process, recruitment candidates should familiarize themselves with this test, as well as understand how a metabolic and strength conditioning program can properly prepare them for it.

The CPAT began in 1997 as a result of what the IAFF (International Association of Fire Fighters) and IAFC (International Association of Fire Chiefs) viewed as a need to standardize the physical testing of candidates being hired into fire services all across North America. The rationale was that candidates who were incapable of achieving the physical requirements of fire fighting were slipping through the cracks. A task force consisting of the IAFF / IAFC and ten leading fire services and their unions created the Fire Service Joint Labor-Management Wellness-Fitness Initiative. In turn, the CPAT was developed.

Using 1000 randomly selected fire fighters from the ten fire services, various standards were developed based on averages. Averages such as; what kinds of tasks fire fighters are required to complete, how much the average gear and tools weigh, the average height and weight of the fire fighters, and even the average weight of patients entering the ER departments of the cities where the ten fire services were located. Using these averages, an ‘obstacle course’ was created that the task force felt best replicated what the average firefighter would experience at an average fire ground scenario. After running their fire fighters through it, they also came up with an average time that candidates should pass.

Municipalities that decide to run the CPAT as their official test must be licensed accordingly by the IAFF in order to do so. This results in an across-the-board baseline whereby every CPAT is essentially the exact same thing. All distances, weights, instructions, and sequence is the exact same. The individuals manning the test have received recognized training as well. Because the CPAT is a recognized standard that has been developed with such an excellent attention to detail, candidates are essentially unable to legally challenge the results as being ‘unfair’ – since thousands upon thousands of applicants and hires have set precedence before them as to the universal acceptance of this test.

The general rules of the CPAT are pretty straight-forward. Every step of the CPAT has a particular aspect to it that can constitute an instant fail. Sometimes you get to have a ‘warning’ before you fail, again, this depends on the step you’re on. There is a set time you must complete all eight steps in to pass.

The CPAT starts with a candidate being ‘loaded’ with a 50lb weighted vest. They are asked to make their way to a stair-climbing machine and given an extra 25lbs (12.5 add-ons on each shoulder). A 20 second warm-up at 50 steps per minute is quickly followed by a 3 minute, 60 steps per minute set. You cannot touch the rail twice, or you will fail. This is the only part of the whole CPAT where you cannot go more quickly than the time allocated for it.

Step 2, the hose drag, involves grabbing a nozzle on 200 feet of 1 ¾ hose and running with it 75 feet to a drum then turning 90 degrees and running another 25 feet. You then get on one knee and drag the hose until the first coupling, at 50 feet, crosses the finish line. This is the only part of the CPAT that you can run as fast as you can. If you fail to go around the drum, it’s an instant fail. If one of your knees is outside the finish-line ‘box’ you get a warning. The second time it’s a fail.

Step 3, the equipment carry, involves carrying two saws around a cone and back to the starting point. This starts by picking up each saw from a shelf and placing it on the ground, one at a time. Once both saws are on the ground, they are picked up at the same time, one in each hand, and carried around the cone and back. They are then returned to the shelf in the reverse sequence as they were removed, one at a time. If the saws fall or touch the ground during the carry in any way, it’s a fail. If you run at all, it’s a fail.

Step 4, the ladder raise and extension, involves raising a 24 foot aluminum ladder from a lying position to a vertical one against a wall. You then move to the side and extend the fly-section of an identical ladder to its limit, then lower it back down to the ground in a controlled, hand-over-hand manner. Any loss of control during any part of this step, including having the rope slip in any fashion, will result in an instant fail.

Step 5, forcible entry, involves striking a 10lb sledge-hammer against a mechanical measuring device which is meant to simulate the resistance of a typical front door. Once the buzzer sounds, signalling that a successful amount of force has been applied, the step is concluded. Dropping the sledge hammer will result in an instant fail. Stepping outside of a marked box that you are standing in to swing the sledge hammer will result in a warning. A second warning is an instant fail.

Step 6, search, involves crawling through a darkened 64 foot u-shape maze (two 90 degree angles) with obstacles in your path requiring you to feel and make your way through it. Any event that results in the candidate requiring assistance out of the maze, either by panicking or running out of time, will lead to an instant fail.

Step 7, rescue, involves dragging a 165lb dummy around a drum and back to the starting line, totalling 70ft. If the candidate fails to drag the dummy around the drum, or the candidate touches or rests on the drum, they instantly fail.

Step 8, ceiling breach and pull, involves using a pike pole to perform four complete sets of three repetitions of pushing up a hinged door, followed by 5 repetitions of pulling down on a hook attached to a ceiling device. Both the hinged door and the ceiling device provide a weighted resistance. Stepping outside the designated area will result in a warning. A second time will result in an instant fail. Candidates are allowed to drop the pike-pole once, a second time will result in an instant fail.

Even without failing any of the eight steps, you must still complete them in a set time. If you go over the set time unfortunately this results in an instant fail as well.

Like most fire fighters, I spent a few years working hard to get hired. This resulted in my having done more CPATs than I care to remember. Because most of these CPATs were out of town, I spent numerous hours sitting around waiting for my turn, and this enabled me to see hundreds of other candidates perform the CPAT. While the majority passed, a surprisingly large number also failed – I would never have guessed that the failure rate was as high as it was unless I saw it for myself. I saw people pretty much fail at every single step. While many people failed for technical reasons such as dropping the ladder, panicking in the maze, not running around a drum, running when not supposed to, dropping a sledge-hammer (pretty much every failure mentioned in the steps above I’ve seen happen!) – The majority of people failed because they simply were not in proper shape to undertake the CPAT, plain and simple. I’ve seen people give up after less than a minute on the stair-climber! What on earth were they thinking the job entailed? A lot of people managed to make it through the CPAT, but not under the amount of time allocated.

Passing the CPAT requires that you get yourself in fire fighter shape. Fitness programs such as the metabolic and strength conditioning combined with powerlifting workouts are perfect for the particularities of becoming a fire fighter. I’ve seen my share of body-builder types (the stereotypical types that you would have to assume are in excellent shape if you didn’t know better) who made it off the stair-climber with rubber legs looking like they just got off a boat that completed a 6 year journey at sea. They had no gas left in their tanks and couldn’t complete the rest of it in time.

The fact of the matter is that unless you train for all aspects of fitness, you will lack the strength, endurance, cross-training, recovery, and general conditioning required for not only passing the CPAT, but performing your job as a fire fighter. Barely passing the CPAT is also not enough. Most fire services one you get hired and are in their drill school have their own physical tests which are much more demanding than the CPAT and have no problems cutting you if you can’t handle it. The days of getting instantly hired for the rest of your life are behind us and recruits are at an ever increasing chance of being let go due to poor physical conditioning. Even more challenging than the drill school physical tests are dealing with an actual fire. Ask any fire fighter with actual experience what the difference is – it’s pretty much day and night.

The CPAT should be seen as an absolute bear minimum of fitness level. If you can’t smoke the CPAT in under 7:30, you may get a nasty wake-up call in drill school or worse, on the fire ground. You shouldn’t be walking around with your head high if you barely passed. Use the time between the CPAT and getting hired to increase your physical conditioning! Being in excellent physical condition is your responsibility once you get hired – and if you are not willing to put in the sacrifice to achieve a high level of fitness, this job simply isn’t for you. There are numerous programs out there that can take you to the next level, so look around and do your homework. We like to think our program, which takes you safely and effectively from beginner to advanced is great, but we’re obviously partial since we’ve seen great results from it and have been perfecting it for over 4 years now. Whatever fitness program you come across, give it your best. As a fire fighter, doing nothing is never an option.

General tips for passing the CPAT are as follows:

  • Get in shape!
  • Follow all directions
  • Familiarize yourself with all the steps
  • Hydrate yourself properly prior to starting
  • Eat a healthy breakfast on testing day (as you should every day)
  • Get a goodnight sleep
  • Don’t stress out – Getting in shape, knowing what to expect, and being fueled will result in your success!

5 Most Common Roof Problems Roofing Contractors Can Take Care Of

The roof makes one of the most important parts of your home or property. This is the part that directly defends you against harmful environmental and climatic elements. Your roofing system should therefore be designed to last long and keep your valuables safe and protected. However, depending on the type of roof you have installed and the conditions in your location, it is not uncommon to face several roof issues some of which require professional repairs or even call for roof replacements.

Fortunately, roofing contractors have what it takes to restore your roof and they are able to take care of any problem you could be facing with your roof. But considering that some of the problems can be costly, it is best that you have regular roof inspections and maintenance so that small issues are handled before they develop into bigger expensive ones. Below are the most common roof issues you might face.

1. Shingle damage – The aesthetic roofing option protects underlying structures of the roof from the elements. But over time they can weaken because of UV rays, wind and rain. Warped shingles, missing or broken shingles will necessitate roof repairs and your roofing contractor will be able to offer the solutions that you need for this.

2. Roof leaks – They are major roofing problems and they always should be fixed as soon as they are identified before they cause damage to your property and valuables. Because some of the leaks can be hard to identify until there is clear water damage signs, you are safer scheduling regular inspection of the roof and property to ensure that the roof is watertight and to have any problem areas handled before they develop into anything major.

3. Ponding water – If you notice standing water on the roof, then you definitely have a drainage problem that needs to be fixed. The best way to tell whether you have drainage issues is to check your roof after a rainstorm. For slanted roofs, the gutters need to be clear of any debris to ensure that the water drains appropriately. It is best to have such issues taken care of before you start seeing water stains on your ceiling.

4. Penetrations and punctures – They are usually a result of damage to the roofing material either by hail or wind. Usually the flashing and sealant around penetrations can get damaged leaving some parts of the roof exposed and not functional as they should be. It helps to have regular checks done on the roof to ensure that everything, including the sealant is actually in place and serving its purpose.

5. Tree damage – Trees around your home can be very beneficial in keeping the air around your home fresh and offering shade for sunny days. However, when you have tree branches hanging dangerously over your roof, you risk having lots of roof issues. The limbs could end up, rubbing and abrading the surface of the roof wearing offer the protective layer on top. There is also a risk of the branches falling onto the roof and causing serious damage.

Do’s and Don’ts of Painting a Wooden Playhouse Like an Expert

What better way is there to make an immediate change to your child’s wooden playhouse than with a new paint job? When you are ready to paint your kids playhouse and you want to keep it looking exceptional for years to come, there are several things that you definitely need to do and other things you want to avoid.

The following is a list of Do’s and Don’ts on how to expertly paint your wooden playhouse so it will last for years into the future:

  1. Do prepare ahead of time your playhouse for painting. Prepare your playhouse by gently scraping any loose, dried or flaking old paint using a putty knife or sander while being careful not to damage the wood underneath.
  2. Do seal any cracks around windows or doors. If there are cracks where two wooden surfaces join together use caulk to seal the cracks. This will keep the moisture outside of the playhouse.
  3. Do use a high quality primer to paint all of the wooden playhouse surfaces. Using a primer helps to increase the adhesion of the paint to wooden surfaces as well as increasing the waterproof properties of the exposed wooden surfaces.
  4. Do use an exterior grade paint. Exterior grade paint is formulated to withstand the weathering that a wooden playhouse will experience in its lifetime. Interior grade paint will not stand up against rain and snow. If an interior grade paint is used on surfaces exposed to the outdoors, in a few months after painting the paint will begin to flake and come loose.
  5. Do paint over using the same type of paint used previously. If a water based paint (latex) was used last, then use a water paint this time to paint the playhouse. Use an oil-based paint to paint over a previously oil-based painted surface. If in doubt, use a water-based paint because it is easier to apply, fast-drying, helps prevent moisture problems, and the clean up is easier.
  6. Do paint from the top down. Start with the fascia board and gables first. Then move to painting the sides of the playhouse, followed by the windows and trim. The playhouse door is the last thing to be painted.
  7. Do plan your painting around the sun and weather. Try to work your painting around where the sun is not. In the morning, paint the west and south sides and in the afternoon, paint the east and north side in the afternoon.
  8. Don’t prime or paint over caulk that has not dried fully. Upon drying, the wet caulking will crack and peel along with the primer or paint that was just applied.
  9. Don’t paint over chipped or flaking old paint. Painting over dried or flaking paint with new paint will guarantee that the new paint will chip off faster in the near future.
  10. Don’t wait to paint new wood. New wood should be painted as soon as possible to prevent deterioration of the surface.

A good exterior painting job will extend the life of your wooden playhouse. With these tips, you will be ready to paint like a pro. Your kids will be extremely happy that their newly painted playhouse will last for many years into the future.

The Importance of the Electrical Grounding of Mobile Cranes

Working in construction sites has always been considered as hazardous. In the period between 1997 and 1999, there were 158 accidents which can be considered as crane-related. 73 percent of these crane related accidents involved mobile cranes. Of this number, 10 accidents were caused by electrical contact. This gives people the importance of electrical grounding of mobile cranes.

Because of the crane’s height, there is a possibility that it will come into contact with electrical wires. And since the crane is metal, electricity can travel through it and can possibly injure the operator. Immobile cranes may not be in danger, but mobile cranes are another matter entirely. Mobile cranes, when being transported, have a very high potential of coming into contact with an electrical wire. This is the reason why mobile crane operators are very careful in their driving.

The importance of this grounding of mobile cranes is that this feature prevents accidents from happening. Electricity acts this way: when a crane comes into contact with an electrical line, electricity travels through the metal trying to find the quickest path to the ground. When an unfortunate person happens to be in contact with both the crane and the ground, the electricity will travel through that person. When the person is sitting in the cab, electricity will still travel through him or her.

This kind of grounding of mobile cranes prevents this from happening. The electrical grounding system provides the most direct route to the ground. In a sense, it provides a detour for the electricity. This means that the electricity won’t have to travel through a person. This is just one type of mobile crane grounding. There is another type for mobile cranes which does not really concern electrical accidents.

Cranes are heavy. They are also used for lifting very heavy materials. This means that they depend on stability to be used effectively. However, we all know that finding a level piece of land in a construction site is next to impossible. Cranes need to be stabilized correctly before they can be used. This process is called grounding.

Some would do this manually, making use of estimates in order to judge whether or not a crane is stable enough to be operated. However, mobile crane electrical grounding systems are now available to make this somewhat complicated job simpler.

 This kind of mobile crane systems judge the level of stability that the ground beneath the crane offers. This system then adjusts the position of the crane in order to maximize the stability. Because of this, people are assured that the stability of the crane is at the maximum.

Another advantage to mobile crane electrical grounding systems is the fact that they are easy to operate. People just need to push a button in order to render the crane stable. This means that they get to save a lot of effort. We all know how much of life we have reduced to buttons. This system is just another example of how we are able to make jobs more convenient for us.

Foundations – What You Need to Know

OK then, you have done your site investigation, the outline planning is through and you are ready to start designing your foundations. Here’s what you need to know.

There are five main types of foundation common to low-rise buildings within which category domestic housing falls. What type of ground you are building on will determine what type of foundation you will need to use.

Foundations and how they work.

· Trench Fill

· Strip Foundation

· Wide Strip Foundation

· Raft Foundation

· Piled Foundation

One Important note. When you expose your trench you need to get building control, NHBC or an independent structural engineer to inspect your ground prior to pouring your foundations. Forgetting to do this could mean digging up your foundations as a worst case, especially if the ground is not suitable for the type of foundation you intend to pour.

Stay safe get your inspections done.

Trench Fill.

Trench fill refers to a technique used to fill up deep foundations trenches. What happens is this, you go to site and dig out for your foundations, but you end up about 1600 or perhaps even 2000mm below ground level. Well obviously you don’t want to fill all of that depth with good strong foundation concrete, so you order a weak concrete mix from your ready mix company and pour that into the trench until you reach the depth at which you propose to lay your foundation concrete.The trench fill needs to be only as strong as a good supporting soil, to provide a suitable base for the strip foundation.

Strip Foundation.

A strip foundation is the simplest form of house foundation. It consists of a Gen 1 grade concrete laid to a width of 650m wide and usually to a depth of 350mm, with reinforced steel to either top or bottom of the foundation or in some cases both. It is preferable to have an engineer design the foundation for you, and provide you with dimensions prior to starting. Strip foundations are being replaced with wide strip foundations and are now relegated to supporting internal walls within the dwelling.

Wide Strip Foundations.

Wide strip foundations are similar to ordinary strip foundations except that they are wider. They are made wider in order to spread the load over more area of soil. The wide strip foundation is usually used in poorer bearing soil conditions.Wide strip foundations are usually 1 m wide x 450 mm deep, with reinforced steel to either top or bottom of the foundation or in some cases both, although an engineer can specify other dimensions depending on ground conditions and the load being imposed onto the foundations.

Raft Foundations.

Basically this is a slab of concrete laid over the base of the house with reinforced steel supporting the concrete. While the raft foundation is still used it is slowly going out of fashion, as there is a tendency for the raft to tilt in very poor soil conditions.

Piled Foundations.

As good quality sites become scarce, the poor weak soils that previously had been unexploited are now being built on. Weak or fluid soils or soils that contain a large proportion of compressible elements are prime candidates for piling.A pile is simply a square length of concrete with four reinforced steel bars running through it.

The pile is normally 350mm square depending on engineers specs and can be anything in length from 4m to 12m.The engineer specifies how many piles are required to support the house and where they need to be placed. This is normally at junctions and intersections within the house.Simple piles are driven into the ground using a ram. They are pounded down until they refuse. That is they won’t go down any further.

Once all the piles are driven in the tops are cut off leaving only enough to steel exposed to tie into the beams. Next a mud-mat or 50mm layer of concrete is laid over the site. Then the line of the house is marked out as well as all internal load-bearing walls. Then a small retaining wall is built to either side of the piles in order to form a trench within which the foundations can be poured.

Once the block work has been completed, reinforced steel is placed into the area where the concrete will be poured and as per engineers designs is laid and tied to form a steel cage that forms the basis for the foundations. These are tied into the top of the piles. Once the steel has been laid, fitted and tied the concrete is then poured in the same manner as you would pour a strip or wide strip foundation.The concrete is agitated using a poker in order to get all excess air bubbles out of the foundation.

All you have to do now is wait until the concrete hardens and you can start building your house. Normally with piled foundations you use pre-stressed slabbed floors. This is a very safe and fast method of building.