Outdoor Step Lighting

Outdoor step lighting is a great way to light your stair cases so that guests can easily find their way up to your front door or onto your deck in the dark. You have several choices for where you might want to install your step lights, and a few choices about what kind of light fixtures you want. The overall purpose is to make sure your steps are lighted properly to avoid falls and slips.

There are some stop lights that are meant to be installed in the ground at the bottom of the staircase and pointing up so that the entire set of stairs is illuminated, but these are not very common. The vase majority of step lighting choices are recessed lights. This means that the light is installed recessed into the step or riser so that all the electronics are hidden from view and just the plastic or glass that covers the bulb is visible. The light fixture will be flush with the surface it is recessed into.

Within the category of recessed lighting, there are a few choices. First, you can have fixtures with a smooth and clear covering so that the entire light is visible. Another choice is a grate like covering over the light bulb so that the stream of light is more filtered and directed in one direction. Carrying that concept a step further is the domed recessed light. Domed lights might have a clear covering over the bulb and they might not. The light is forced to shine in one direction by a dome that covers one half of the bulb.

Because you want the outdoor step lights to be as bright as possible, you need to run wiring for each individual light to the transformer so they do not have to share the available voltage. Most recessed outdoor step lights have a small hole in the casing to allow the wires to leave the light fixture and make their way to the transformer. If you have access to the underside of your steps, it will be easy to run the wiring under the stairs where it can remain out of sight. If you do not have that luxury, then you might have to hide wires under railings or behind rungs in the staircase railing.

If you want to avoid having to run wires at all, then you might consider solar lighting as an option. Solar lights capture energy from sunlight with solar collecting panels and then store that energy in a battery that in turn powers an LED. LED lights are not as bright as regular bulbs, but that is alright when you are only trying to offer a little light for your stairs.

Once you have chosen the type of step lighting you want, you need to think about where you will install it. You can install recessed lights in either the step or the riser. The rise is the more popular choice for several reasons. First, you can direct the light onto each individual step with either grate or domed light fixtures. In addition, having the step light on the riser protects the fixture from both people stepping on it and the elements so they will last longer.

21 Killer Ways to Ethically Increase Your RSS Subscribers

Let me start out by being honest – Increasing your RSS subscriber count can sometimes be horrendous. It seems like no matter what you do, when you really want them, and you pour your heart out into providing helpful information on a daily basis, they still aren’t subscribing! /end rant

In all seriousness, boosting your RSS subscriber count is quite the task, and you need to put in a little legwork to kick it off. As you’ll read in one of the tips below, once you’ve done the work, and get the count up to a respectable three digit number, as long as you keep the content coming, it seems to take over on its own at that point. Working to get that first 100 subscribers can be a pain for many new bloggers, especially if they don’t take their blog serious enough to get the job done.  

Below are 21 different ways that you can start building your RSS subscriber count, and the more of these suggestions you follow, the more success you should theoretically have. I need to work on a few of these myself, and writing this post was just the motivation I needed to get going. Enjoy!

1. If You Don’t Have It, Don’t Show It! I’m talking about your feed count widget. If you’re a new blogger, and you just landed your 4th subscriber, we’re all proud of you, but seriously, don’t put that little feed count widget on the front of your blog showing the world that 4 people read your RSS feed. I’m not trying to be mean, but the reason being is that if someone lands on your blog that doesn’t know you from Adam, they have no clue that it’s a new blog, and when they see that feed count widget displaying 4 readers, it’s a huge turnoff. It almost appears that no one cares to read your posts. It’s totally psychological. If they see you when you have 100+ subscribers, then it’s something to show off, and they just might subscribe for themselves – but until then, lose it. Blog readers are a lot like sheep (I mean that kindly), and they’ll use only follow the popular Shepard’s.

2. Display Your Subscribe Button Proudly These days, when your average blogger is browsing through different blogs, and they see one that they like, the first thing they usually look for is that famous orange RSS subscribe button. Blog readers, for the most part, have short attention spans, so if they can’t find it right away, you may lose them. Make sure you have your subscribe button and/or links prominently displayed and easy to find.

3. Email Subscription Option Believe it or not, there are still plenty of visitors out there that aren’t quite familiar with RSS feed readers, so giving them the option to stay updated by email is very important. Feeburner, FeedBlitz, and all the others give you an option for feed deliveries via email, and it’s also a great way to build a list! Always present the option of subscribing by email if you can.

4. Be Ad Free In Your Feeds Chances are, if you’re a blogger, you’re running a decent amount of ads or some form of advertising on your blog. The last thing people want is to receive a feed that’s also full of ads. I’ve subscribed to feeds before on some blogs I like just to avoid going to the actual site and seeing all those ads. So somewhere next to your subscribe button, proudly emphasize that they can read your feeds “ad free”. It just may be the tipping point to get them to subscribe.

5. Focus Your Writing This is more of a long term strategy, but if you’re known for writing a variety of posts that differ from topic to topic, the chances of me subscribing after reading one post is slim. The last thing I want to see in my feed reader is what you had for dinner last night. I don’t care. I subscribed to learn what you have to teach, not what you have to eat.

6. Contest Entries Here’s a cool one that may give you a boost, but you have to play it carefully. Come up with a killer contest, and make it so the primary and best way to enter the contest is to subscribe to your RSS feed. If your prize is large enough, and you promote your contest on other blogs, this could mean a huge boost in your feed count. Here’s the trick – you must be absolute sure to keep delivering top notch content, because when the contest is over, you can count on about half of those subscribers unsubscribing. But if you keep feeding them good material, you may have a chance at maintaining them.

7. Guest Blog Do you think you have what it takes to write for one of the big dogs? If so, try your hand at writing up some killer guest posts and submitting them to a-list blogs. Even if you land just one guest blogging gig, you can definitely count on an increase in RSS subs. I’ve done this before with other blogs, and have sometimes seen massive jumps in my RSS count. These new subscribers are more likely to stick around if I keep writing the content that they seek. Guest blogging is also a great way to make a name for yourself.

8. Help Out In Your Favorite Forum Do you have a forum or two that you regularly post in? I know I do, and I receive quite a bit of traffic just from the signature link in my posts that I make there. The more helpful you can be, and the more quality posts you make at your forum of choice, the more likely people are to click through to your site to see what you are all about. You could try linking to a special landing page in your forum signature that subtlety asks them to subscribe to your RSS.

9. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask! Often times, visitors who regularly read your articles are just used to coming to your blog in their daily routine, reading the material, and leaving. While they’re there, why not ask for the subscription? At the end of each post, politely say something like “If you enjoyed this post, would you mind subscribing to my RSS feed?” or whatever…bottom line, no salesman ever closed a deal without asking. Also, there are plugins that will do this for you, and when I find the name of it, I’ll add it here.

10. Network With Your Peers Getting to know your regular readers and other bloggers in your niche can often be very beneficial, not only in your efforts to boost your RSS count, but also in forming important relationships, business ventures, and all sorts of other things. Take the time to shoot a few emails to other bloggers, and in no time at all you’ll probably be subscribing to each others feeds, which brings me to my next point….

11. Don’t Be Selfish! What I mean is, don’t expect 7000 people to sign up for your feed, if you don’t subscribe to a few yourself. Here’s what you do – go subscribe to 20 blogs within your niche, and when you do, drop a comment on each blog letting them know that you subscribed, and that you would appreciate them coming over and having a look at your blog. Chances are (and because people are generally good natured) they’ll subscribe to your feed, making it a win-win situation.

12. Tell Your Readers What An RSS Subscription Is To be honest, a fair portion of your readers, depending on the niche your in, may have absolutely no idea what the heck RSS is. Write a post explaining to them the benefits of reading your articles via and RSS readers (it will save them time, easier, etc…), and that just may be all the coaxing they need to be comfortable enough to click your subscribe button.

13. The Free eBook Or Report Bribe This is a powerful and awesome way to gain additional subscribers. Here’s what you do – take your time and write up a nice report or eBook about the subject you blog about, and offer it to your readers free. Make it so that they only way they can have access to the download is that they subscribe to your feed via email. Obviously, when they subscribe, they get an email with the download link. Point being – if your eBook takes off and gets some good publicity, it could mean hundreds or even thousands of new subscribers in a very short amount of time. People love free stuff, especially free quality information – so give it to them!

14. Lead Your Readers To Great Information Make sure that when you link out to articles on other blogs, that they’re valuable ones. When you recommend to a reader that they follow a link to another blog post with helpful content, they will often subscribe to you because they count on you to provide them with a path of good, valuable information. Even if it means them leaving your blog through a link to another one, they’ll definitely be back if you keep their best interests in mind.

15. PodCast Your Way To RSS Stardom Podcasting is still a highly sought after way of getting information. Your readers will almost always listen to a podcast if you give them the chance, and nothing is easier than asking your readers during your podcast to subscribe to your blog. Submit your podcast to podcast sites and directories, build a following, mention your RSS feed in your podcasts, and it will definitely boost your subscriber count.

16. Offer A Full Feed This one is more important than you think. Offering partial feeds is the easiest way to kill your subscriber count, because the whole point of someone subscribing to your feed, is so they can read the whole post in their favorite feed reader without having to visit 50 blogs to get all their daily articles read. Always offer a full feed – there really are no good reasons why you shouldn’t. It only makes people mad when they get half a feed in their inbox or feedreader.

17. Write Outstanding Articles Writing good content is perhaps the most common and popular piece of advice given by any blogger, but you know why? It’s true. Why in the world would I want to subscribe to your blog if you don’t provide me with topical, valuable, and helpful information? Take your time, and write quality stuff, and it will definitely help your chances of boosting that subscriber count. Also, make sure you continuously provide good content, or they’ll drop your feed faster than you can click “publish”.

18. Posting Frequency Counts This is one aspect of increasing your RSS subscriber count that you seriously need to be aware of. Here’s the deal, if I know you only post 2-3 new articles a week, no matter how good they are, chances are I’m not going to miss anything, and I can visit your blog at my convenience to catch up without much hassle. On the other hand, if I know you post at least once per day (if not more), then I would seriously conclude that the best way to stay on top of all the information you offer is to subscribe to your blog. That way, I can read your posts in my feedreader at my leisure, and not worry about missing anything.

19. Feedvertising Plugin This plugin is a cool one that allows you to offer specific content exclusively to your subscribers. Make it known that one of the benefits of subscribing to your feed is the fact that subscribers often have access to bonus and extra content. This is a great way to keep people subscribed, because you can offer periodic smaller contests for your subscribers only.

20. Try The “What Would Seth Godin Do” Plugin This plugin is a handy one that displays a message towards the top of your blog that asks new readers to subscribe to your feed. It only shows the message to new visitors 3 times, so that way they don’t have to see it every time they land on your blog (assuming they have cookies enabled). This makes #9 a lot easier, as you have an automatic way of asking for the subscription without being too intrusive.

21. Social Bookmarking Traffic Does Convert! Last but not least, makes sure you’re following the routine I mentioned in my “Simple Ways to Improve Traffic [http://clubblogger.com/a-few-simple-ways-to-improve-traffic-to-your-blog] to Your Blog” post. Although social bookmarking traffic can be shaky, it’s all a numbers game. Any time I get 1000 hits from StumbleUpon or whichever site, chances are I’m going to end up with a few extra subscribers. It never fails. Even if it only means a few extra subscribers per day, that really adds up when the month is over, and combined with the other methods, it’s a good supplemental way of driving up your RSS subscriber count.

I hope you’re able to use some or all of the above methods to help with your subscriber situation. It takes time to build up a respectable number, but using the above ways definitely won’t hurt. Good luck and if you have any questions, feel free to drop by ClubBlogger sometime!

22 Towers Within The Tower Of London

The Tower of London is not one single tower but a complex of buildings. The towers that make up the Tower are:

1.Beauchamp Tower

Built by Edward I, the tower takes its name from a fourteenth-century prisoner, Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. The Beauchamp Tower is home to some of the most elaborate inscriptions carved by those who were kept prisoner in Tudor times. Some show remarkably detailed heraldic symbols but one of the most moving is simply the name ‘Jane’ which refers to the nine-day queen, Lady Jane Grey, executed at the age of 17 in 1554, and was probably carved into the wall by her husband, Lord Guildford Dudley, who was imprisoned here before mounting the scaffold himself.

2.Bell Tower

The second oldest of the towers, the Bell Tower was built in the reign of Richard the Lionheart. Sir Thomas More was imprisoned there in 1534, as was the future Elizabeth I, who was confined there during the reign of her sister Mary.

3. Bloody Tower

Originally the Garden Tower, the Bloody Tower gained its more familiar name in the sixteenth century because it was the place where the young princes, sons of Edward IV, were supposed to have been done to death on the orders of their wicked uncle. The Bloody Tower has undoubtedly seen other murders. It was the place where the Jacobean courtier and writer Sir Thomas Overbury met his end, finished off by a poisoned enema applied on the orders of a powerful noblewoman he had been foolhardy enough to cross.

4.Bowyer Tower

According to tradition, the Bowyer Tower was where the Duke of Clarence, troublesome brother of Edward IV and Richard III, was drowned in a butt of malmsey wine. Shakespeare shows the murder in Richard III, although his setting is described simply as ‘The Tower. London’.

5.Brick Tower

Sir Walter Raleigh was imprisoned in the Brick Tower in 1592 after incurring Elizabeth I’s displeasure by seducing one of her maids of honour, Elizabeth Throckmorton, making her pregnant and having the temerity to marry her in secret. The queen’s servants were expected to seek her permission before marrying and, although Sir Walter was released from the Tower, the Raleighs were in disgrace for many years.

6.Broad Arrow Tower

Part of Henry Ill’s extensions to the Tower in the middle of the thirteenth century, the Broad Arrow Tower took its name from the motif that was stamped on goods to show they were the property of the crown.

7.Byward Tower

Probably named for its proximity to the old Warders’ Hall, this is the tower from which the chief warder emerges each night to perform the Ceremony of the Keys before locking the whole Tower complex for the night.

8.Constable Tower

In the past, this tower has been the used as the official accommodation of the Constable of the Tower. Today it contains a model of the Tower of London as it appeared in the Middle Ages.

9.Cradle Tower

Built in the middle of the fourteenth century, the Cradle Tower owes its name not to a bed for a child but to a kind of hoist which allowed boats to be raised from the river to the level of the tower’s gateway. It was from the Cradle Tower that the Jesuit priest John Gerard made his escape in 1597.

10.Develin Tower

The furthest east of the towers and one not open to the public, the Develin Tower once opened onto a drawbridge which ran across the moat to the since-demolished Iron Gate.

11.Devereux Tower

The tower is named after Queen Elizabeth’s favourite, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, who was imprisoned here after his abortive coup against her in 1601. Essex had hoped that Londoners would rise to join him but most watched with indifference as he marched through the streets with a handful of men. He was captured, imprisoned in the tower that bears his name and executed on Tower Hill.

12.Flint Tower

The tower is so named because of the flint stone used to build it. Like many of the towers within the complex it was largely reconstructed in Victorian times.

13.Lanthorn Tower

The tower was named for the lantern that was placed at its top as a guide for boats on the Thames.

14.Lion Tower

The Lion Tower, no longer in existence, stood on the site of the present ticket office and refreshment room and it was where the Royal Menagerie was once housed. The menagerie was established during the reign of Henry III after gifts of three leopards from the Holy Roman Emperor and a polar bear from the king of Norway. With a chain around its neck to prevent it escaping, the polar bear would swim in the Thames near the Tower to catch its supper. Other animals followed, including an elephant from the king of France which is buried somewhere within the Tower of London, and the menagerie became one of the great sights of London for centuries. The animals were eventually sent to Regent’s Park to the new London Zoo in the early 1830s. The tower was demolished some twenty years later, although the Lion Gate still stands.

15.Martin Tower

Built by Henry III, the Martin Tower was where Henry Percy, the ninth earl of Northumberland, known as the ‘Wizard Earl’ for his scientific and alchemical experiments, was imprisoned by James I for sixteen years on suspicion of involvement in the Gunpowder Plot. Also known as the Jewel Tower (the Crown Jewels were kept here from 1669 to 1841) this was the scene of Colonel Blood’s attempt to steal the Crown Jewels. Eleven German spies faced a firing squad outside the tower in World War I.

16.Middle Tower

The main entrance for visitors to the Tower complex today, the Middle Tower, as the name suggests, once stood between the demolished Lion Tower and the Byward Tower.

17.St Thomas’s Tower

Standing above Traitor’s Gate, the tower takes its name from St Thomas a Becket who was Constable of the Tower in 1162. Sir Roger Casement, the former diplomat and Irish Nationalist who was accused of treason after attempting to transport arms from Germany for use in Dublin’s Easter Rising, was held in this tower in 1916 before his trial and execution.

18.Salt Tower

The Salt Tower contains a number of elaborate carved inscriptions including one which was created by a man called Hugh Draper who was imprisoned on suspicion of witchcraft in 1561. This complicated diagram cut into the stone and intended for casting horoscopes has the words ‘Hew Draper of Brystow made this sphere the 30 daye of Maye anno 1561’.

19.Wakefield Tower

Henry VI died in the Wakefield Tower and a ceremony in which lilies are placed on the spot where he was believed to have been murdered was instituted in 1923, paid for by Eton College as a mark of respect to the college’s founder.

20.Wardrobe Tower

Partially demolished in the reign of Charles II, the Wardrobe Tower was originally built on the foundation of a Roman bastion and was the place where the king’s clothing, armour and equipment were kept in the Middle Ages.

21.Well Tower

Built at the time that Edward I was expanding the Tower complex in the thirteenth century, the Well Tower contained two shafts used for drawing up water.

22.White Tower

The oldest part of the Tower, this was built in the reign of William the Conqueror.

Look for holiday rentals London to visit some of this great Towers and have wonderful holiday.

4 Benefits of Laminate Flooring in Your Home

As you look around your house, you may not feel satisfied with your current carpets or designs in your kitchen and bathroom areas. For a quick upgrade, discover how laminate flooring can make a massive difference and really give your house the boost it needs.

Affordability

Compared to tile and wood, laminate flooring is extremely affordable for most budgets. If you’ve always wanted a wood-like effect in your living room and kitchen, then you know that this kind of luxury can cost upwards of $3 a square foot, depending on the type of lumber you use. If you go with this cost-effective alternative, however, you can get a design that looks surprisingly authentic for under a few dollars a square foot. You can use this type of floor to replicate ceramic tile as well to make your laundry room, kitchen, or bathroom really pop without spending a lot of money.

Variety

Another benefit to having laminate flooring in your home is that the possibilities are literally endless as far as design. If you want a checkerboard print in your dining area, then there is a style that fits you needs. If you want a modern tile design, that can be done as well in a variety of colors. If you want a natural wood design in a majority of your home, you can choose from many colors, grains, and styles that fit your decor best.

Ease of Installation

If you are looking for a great do-it-yourself project, laminate flooring is one that you can really enjoy. Your local home improvement store can show you installations that are easy for a person who doesn’t have a lot of experience. You can choose a self-securing style that doesn’t require gluing. All you have to do is measure the room you want to update, cut the material to fit, then set it down, either over a bare floor or existing tile, and you have excellent, long-lasting results in a short amount of time.

Durability

Laminate flooring is very durable, and it’s made to withstand foot traffic, stains, or even scratches. The only thing you have to worry about is tearing or poking holes in your surfaces, which is caused by moving furniture or dropping sharp items. With a little bit of care, however, you can keep your new floors looking amazing, and you don’t have to worry about using special chemicals or tools to clean in areas that get dirty. Common household cleaners work like a charm and don’t destroy either the material or the vibrant colors. If you do tear or rip your surfaces, your home improvement store experts can give you advice about prevention and fixing any damage.

Your home is important to you, and feeling great about where you live is important. When you choose this kind of material for your home, you can feel great about how everything looks and feels. This kind of project is quick, affordable, and easy to install. It looks wonderful, and you can love the results right away.

Cracked Bumper? Fix It the Smart Way

A cracked bumper is one of the most common car body repairs carried out by smart (Small to Medium Area Repair Techniques) repair operatives. Bumpers are designed to handle low impact collisions such as being hit by a shopping trolley, low speed scraping collisions with other vehicles and car park barriers and other minor impacts. Often this kind of accident results in dents, scuffs and scrapes which can be repaired quickly and easily by a mobile car body repair technician with some car body filler, primer, paint and lacquer. Sometimes however, a crack will appear and split the bumper and this has to be dealt with differently.

If a cracked bumper is not repaired or the repair is carried out with normal filler, the structural integrity of the bumper is compromised. It is essential that the bumper crack is treated and rejoined with a hard yet flexible resin. There is a specific technique used to accomplish this which should be carried out every time.

Usually the crack does not look severe, it often has the appearance of a hairline crack and it is tempting to run a little filler over it and treat that as repaired. The result of this is that the next time the bumper is put under any pressure at all, the crack will reappear and often widen. The crack must be widened, effectively worsening the damage, initially so that there is enough of a gap for the resin to fit in. A hole is drilled at each end of the crack, half on and half off the very end. This permanently stops the crack from running again. Next, a v-shaped groove must be made right down the centre of the crack, wide enough for the drill bit to make a hole without going off the edge of the crack.

A series of holes, one on each side of the crack every inch or so along the whole length of the crack need to be drilled. A strip of mesh is then placed on the inside of the bumper all along the damage – this will hold the resin in place while it hardens and can be left there afterwards. A mix of resin and hardener, specifically formulated for bumper repairs such as this, is then injected into each of the holes that have been drilled. The mesh backing provides the purchase needed to prevent the resin going straight through. The aim here is to effectively “stitch” the repair together.

After applying the resin, a body filler spreader (or ideally specialist contouring film) is used to smooth the repair on the top side of the bumper to minimise the sanding that will be required later. Care must be taken as the bumper resin can melt if sanded too vigorously. After the resin has fully hardened the bumper is structurally sound again and can be sanded, filled, primed, painted and lacquered as normal. Result – a perfect bumper repair

Computer Forensics – A Beginner’s Guide

Computer forensics is a new and growing specialty that serves both the public and private sectors. IT forensics specialists are not only competent in software related matters, but in those relating to computer hardware issues as well. Computer forensics comes into play in both ethical and criminal issues, including intellectual property law, theft, and fraud. There was a time when those people committing computer crimes weren’t at risk from the law – now they are.

These forensics follows traditional principles for scientific investigation. Work in computer forensics is systematic, well recorded and documented, and acceptable within a court of law. The methodology of computer forensics follows several steps. The first is to identify sources of digital evidence. The second is to preserve that evidence from loss, change or corruption. The third step in the process is to analyze the evidence, and the fourth is to present the evidence within the context it is required.

A good forensic specialist can manage the computer system and the data it contains while protecting sensitive evidence. Computer forensics explores both the individual computer, and any relevant networks or server connections. Forensics allows for the discovery of obvious and hidden data, as well as allowing access to password protected, encrypted and otherwise secured data on a computer system. Forensics may also allow for the recovery of deleted files.

As a matter of fact a lot of modern IT forensics work involves recovering files that have been deliberately deleted from computers and cellphones. The drugs trade relies on cellphones to communicate but now they’re realizing that a good forensics team can retrieve information on every text message and phone call they’ve ever made.

You can think of these specialist forensic teams as like the ultimate data recovery specialists. No matter what lengths the guilty have gone to trying to hide the evidence of their crimes these guys can find it and use it against them in court. An example is the guy who set his laptop on fire but realized it was going to take forever to burn. So he threw the laptop into a river and figure that was enough.

It wasn’t. Police were able to recover the laptop and almost all the data from his hard drive. He was prosecuted for the crime in question and is now serving his sentence. The only safe way to protect your data against a computer forensics team is to set the computer on fire, smash it to bits with a sledgehammer, put it in a container and have it shot into the heart of our sun on a rocket. And even then you can’t be sure….

Industrial applications, the insurance industry, legal professionals, the courts and more rely on computer forensics for many functions, ranging from preventing the spread of illegal materials to avoiding corporate fraud. Computer forensics is a growing field, and one that will continue to provide evidence and insight to prevent growing criminal computer related activity.

Residential Roof Warranty

Your new roof is a costly investment, but with the proper maintenance and care, it is an investment that can virtually last a lifetime. Indeed, it can cost thousands of dollars, yet since roofs provide important structural support and protection to your family and belongings, it is always important to have a sound and functional solution. Many of the most respected contractors include residential roof warranties that may or may not cover all damage to your roof. As such, it is important to speak to your roofing contractor about the warranty they offer, how long the warranty covers your roof, and what types of repairs are included in the warranty.

Defects

As is the case with many major construction projects, roof systems are naturally susceptible to damage but defects in roofing materials or workmanship errors may be the reason a roof leaks. However, not all residential roof warranties cover manufacturing defects and workmanship errors so you need to speak to your contractor about which problems are likely to be covered. The most well built roofs can function effectively for anywhere between 25 and 40 years, while a residential roof warranty is often only valid for 5 to 10 years. If you notice any problems with a new roof, you should contact your roofer immediately to avoid letting your warranty expire before repairs can be made.

Warranties for Manufacturing Defects

The vast majority of manufacturers provide warranties against defects in their roofing products; unfortunately, coverage can vary widely depending on the brand and cost of these roofing materials. While some shingles may carry a lifetime warranty against defects, others may only be covered for 20 years. As such, you probably want to speak to your contractor about the materials appropriate for your job and which of these material manufacturers will offer the best warranty for the price. Other components of your roof may be protected for a period of a few months to a few years so it's important to understand the intricacies of each warranty.

Warranties for Workmanship Errors

Roofing contractors will generally offer their own residential roof warranty which is designed to protect the homeowner against workmanship errors. The best warranties can be upwards of 10 years, but coverage is usually only valid while the contractor is in business. As such, homeowners should carefully vet potential roofing contractors because you want to choose a qualified, experienced, and respected roofer that is likely to be in business for the duration of your residential roof warranty.

Ultimately, it is very difficult to define all the elements of a roof warranty because of the wide range of materials used and the fact that workmanship warranties will vary from on roofing contractor to the next. Subsequently, it is always in the best interest of the homeowner to discuss the warranty on materials and workmanship with their contractor before installing a new roof.

Psychological Effects of Color

Choosing a new color for your living space is not just about making sure the walls match the furniture. Colors can have a profound effect on your moods as well as convey certain emotions. The psychological effect created by various shades is an area of ​​study that has produced some interesting results. Here are a few points of reference for choosing a desirable psychological effect from your color choices.

Common Color Associations

Red – exciting and stimulating. Red is a warm, masculine color. It stands out in comparison to other colors, making it appear closer. It is associated with passion and vigor.

Pink – soft and sensuous. Pink is more of a feminine color, and often has a youthful feel to it.

Orange – stimulating and intense. Orange is more whimsical than red; it's still an intense and fiery color, but with more fun.

Peach – soft and warm. This is definitely a feminine color without the teenage feel to it.

Yellow – sunny and cheerful. Soft shades of yellow can create an open, spacious feel to a room. Intense yellows are great as accents, but in large amounts can be overpowering and irritating. As yellow pales, it loses its energy and requires a cool color nearby.

Green – restful and quiet. Deep greens may appear somber on their own, but place a warmer color nearby and they perk up. Pure greens have an association with plants or the outdoors. Mix pale green with yellow and it livens up, but when combined with blue, it appears quiet and meditative.

Blue – peaceful, calm and tranquil. Large amounts of pure blue can create a sense of cool and melancholy. Pale blue has a receding effect making it great for opening up those small spaces or for use on high ceilings.

Blue-green shades tend to change character with the changing light. They have a dense, atmospheric quality, but without the dramatic receding effect of pale blue.

Purple / violet – rich and mystical. Purple can appear calm yet mysterious. Deeper purples have a powerful, introspective association. Pale purple and lavender are more sensual with a feminine connotation.

White – purity, light and cleanliness. In large amounts, white can feel sterile. When used with black or gray it can appear very modern and trendy, with an absence of warmth.

Black – power and elegance. When used excessively, black can feel oppressive.

Gray – conservative and calm. Combine gray with browns to create a warm richness with the sense of quiet dignity.

Brown – earthy and secure. Associated with nature and the earth, it conveys a sense of familiarity and home.

Paint Color Ideas For A Living Room

The single choice of paint color will change the entire atmosphere of your living room. To find the perfect color for your home, start by deciding what you want the room to feel like.

Making the choice of what color to paint your living room can be difficult because of the myriad of colors available at every paint store. Don’t start out trying to pick the right color and the exact shade. Break down the decision process and begin by looking at the big picture. Try to decide what you want the room to feel like. If you want the room to be peaceful and relaxing, think of light, natural colors, such as soft whites, creams, beiges, sage greens and other earth tones that give you a soothing feeling. If you want a cheery room, pick cheery colors, such as bright white, yellow, warm pink or any color that feels sunshiny and happy. For an invigorating, classy room, choose warm, dark colors, from burnt orange to eggplant to chocolate. To make your living room cool and posh, pick stark black, white and cool blues.

No matter how light or dark or rich colors are, about half of them are warm and the other half are cool. You’ll be able to tell pretty easily which category each color falls into, but don’t get distracted from the way it will make the room feel by how pretty they are. Cool colors will give your living room a more impersonal, peaceful feel, while warm ones create an atmosphere of warmth, hospitality and excitement. Cool colors often coordinate with blue, and include pure white, black, gray, blue, all shades of purple, pink, and pastels. Warm colors have a closer relationship with gold, such as cream, brown, golden yellows, orange, orangey reds, and most greens.

One of the unique and often unnoticed qualities of color is that it can psychologically change the size of the room. Light colors make rooms feel bigger. This is why ceilings are often painted white, making them feel higher. Dark colors draw the walls of a room together, so people rarely paint rooms in very dark shades. If your living room is small, go with lighter shades. On the other hand, if you have a large living room, especially if it feels too big, a darker color can make it feel more homey and intimate.

No matter what shade of color you choose, the way to make it work is to put your efforts into creating balance. Unless you’re going for a monochromatic look, pick a wall color that contrasts with your furniture and decor. Balance is very important with dark paint colors. When a room has lots of windows, wide trim and light colored furniture, a dark color can be the best idea possible.

Don’t be afraid to pick a wild color. Take into consideration the way color affects the mental size of the room, get advice from friends and decorators and go with it! Keep a balance between bright or dark colors with light furniture and trim. Choose the atmosphere of the room first and select a color that achieves that atmosphere. You’ll make your living room a decorating success!

Butterfly Symbol Meaning in Feng Shui and Chinese Culture

In China, butterfly has been a popular symbol for centuries. The butterfly is called ‘hu tieh’ in Mandarin language. The word ‘tieh’ translates as seventy years, and because of this the animals are taken as a symbol of long life. Butterfly to the Chinese also represents love, specifically young love. It symbolizes an undying bond between lovers.

In feng shui applications, the use of butterflies is considered the same as the use of the birds symbol. Both butterflies and birds are flying free, and this speaks to the deep human longing for a free and joyful life close to sky/heaven. Since love is the most transformative feeling that makes people feel like flying, the butterfly is the most common symbol used as a feng shui cure for love and romance. Another excellent use of this symbol in feng shui is in the Creativity and Children area of the Bagua as this will energize the free flow of your life’s creative energy.

The image of butterflies can also be used as a temporary cure for any area of your life that needs transformation. When you are experiencing difficulties in specific areas of your life, try to bring the energy of these butterflies into the corresponding Bagua areas of your bedroom or home. Butterfly knows how to gracefully go through stages of transformation in order to become the beauty they are, and you will be guided to do the same with grace and ease in your life.

The butterfly design embroidered on towels is a perfect gift for a new couple. Although butterflies have been depicted through various mediums of art but there is nothing more popular than Chinese kites that feature these insects. The butterfly kite is one of the most popular kites on earth. In ancient times, the kites were actually used as wall hangings in homes. This was due to the meaning of the symbol that butterfly had for the Chinese. With the butterfly, they sought to ensure a healthy and long life by making use of the art works to decorate their homes.

Other butterfly art is manifested in the body art of tattooing. This butterfly symbol is a hot favorite especially amongst the ladies. These butterflies have also been represented through the unique, beautiful art form of scroll painting. Images of butterfly were painted upon silk screens in different colors and sometimes accompanied with some Chinese calligraphic text stating some inspirational words.

Building Construction: Foundations

Types of Foundations

The building construction can be a simple process or a complex one. The complexity depends upon the nature of construction. House construct is much simpler than making structures for manufacture or research. Nevertheless large or small technology is always involved in modern buildings. Even in ancient structures technology and team work was involved. Some of the magnificent monuments dating back in history are an architectural marvel.

One prime example of architectural magnificence is the Taj Mahal at Agra. There are many such examples of superior building construction in India.

Constructing a building is a process that requires team work. The process begins with conceptualization of the building. This is put is a design by the architect on a laminated design poster. The engineers work their way out to interpret and add security and safety measures in places. In many countries specified codes exist which are followed as norms. These are basically concerned with safety and environment. Local municipal bodies may places guidelines and limitation of residential and commercial constructions.

Engineers conduct many tests including check the soil and the terrain before the construction can start. Laying the foundation is the first step executed as per the specifications set by the engineers and the architect. The foundation varies depending upon the type of structure, soil conditions and the impending load of the building itself.

Materials to be used also make the difference. Light gauge steel construction requires a different approach to laying the foundations

The involvement of the labor starts at this stage, brick layers and masons are involved. The basic foundations are of the following types;

Shallow Foundation: These are of the following types

Spread Footing Foundations
Mat Slab Foundations
Rubble Trench Foundations
Earth Bag Foundations
Common in residential construction the weight is spread over a wider area for support and stability.

Deep Foundations: This is resorted to whence the upper layer of soil does not promise stability. The foundation is established in the deep layer of the soil where it is the strongest.

Types of strong foundations:

Driven Foundations

Pile Foundation Systems

Monopile Foundations
Augercast Pile
Drilled Piles
Under reamed Piles
Pipe Piles (Steel)

Besides there are many types of specialty piles used in building constructions all over the World.

In all building constructions the cost matters hence use of optimum in materials consumption and limitation in design and infrastructure comes into the picture. The technology put to use may differ from region to region.

Finding Domain Name Availability in an Instant

Domain names play a key role in how visitors to your website perceive your business. This is precisely why you should spend sufficient time to find a domain name that best suits your business. Choose a name that not only enables visitors to relate with your site instantly but also helps in achieving higher search engine rankings. However, many a times finding a suitable name for your website can be a very demanding task since the name you choose may already be taken. Though this can be quite disappointing, you can get over this by using tools that can help you find domain name availability in an instant.

Domain Name Search

With literally millions of businesses on the internet, finding a specific name that identifies your business can be quite difficult. The name may have already been taken by someone else. So, what should be done in such situations? Well, the answer is quite simple really. Use a domain name checker to find out whether the name you want for your website is available or not. What if the name is not available? Well, it really depends upon how serious or how committed you are to having a specific name.

Buy Domain Names

If you already have an existing brand that is well known, it does not make good sense to ditch it just because you could not find a domain name of your choice, is not it? After all, you would have spent a lot of time, effort and money to establish the brand. Just because the domain name is owned by someone else does not mean that you can not buy it from the existing domain owner. Just look into the "whois" information of the domain so that you can get the contact details of the owner. Next, contact the owner and find out if he or she is willing to sell the domain name. As it happens in most instances, the owner may be willing to sell the domain name for a premium. This means you will have to pay more for getting the name you want than what you pay for a new domain.

Few Suggestions

It may be quite disappointing to know that the domain name you want is not available as it is already owned by someone else. If it is not up for sale, what are your options? Well, there are different ways of getting over this. You can try a few domain name suggestions that will enable visitors to instantly relate with your business. One way of doing this is by adding the word 'site' at the end of the name. This is a common technique that most domain owners use. For instance if you want 'jewelry' and it is already taken then you can try 'jewelrysite' to get over the issue. Likewise, you may also use the word 'online' before or after the domain name you want so that it makes perfect sense to your visitors. Another domain name suggestion is to use your own name or use the word 'reviews'. For instance you can use 'jamesjewelry' or 'jewelryreviews'. Lastly, these suggestions will help you find the domain name you want, with some variations.

Condominium Sales Contract Form

A condominium is often mistaken as a type of construction or development. It is actually a type of ownership in real estate property where all of the owners own the property, common areas and the building together. The interior of the unit is owned individually, and the owner has a title to it.

A sales contract is a contract of sale for the purchase and sale of real estate property. The contract stipulates the price to which the buyer agrees to pay and the seller agrees to convey the title to the property by way of deed or an assignment of lease. It is an enforceable document which binds both parties outlining the mechanics of the transaction. It is the blueprint of the entire transaction.

A condominium sales contract is much like any real estate property sales contract, only the property to be conveyed is a condominium.

A condominium sales contract covers the following legal topics:

Details regarding the property, description of the property and exact address.

Condition of the property, usually referred to as property disclosure which includes information on unit improvements

Provisions relating to earnest money, amount, initial payment, terms, rate of interest etc.

Contingency clauses including financing and inspection of the property

Provisions governing what happens if property is not delivered at closing and other kinds of default

Limitations and conditions of ownership also including covenants, encroachments, liens and encumbrances.

Whether the seller or buyer pays or receives a credit for property taxes, condominium special assessments and similar expenses.

Gel Candles Are Fun to Make

Making gel candles at home is fun. If you are very creative and love to burn beautiful and colorful candles at home or want to just use them as decorative pieces or you enjoy using them as gifts to those near and dear to you, then you can easily create your own beautiful gel candles in few minutes. You might be surprised to learn that you don’t use real wax while making gel candles. They are made from a semi-solid gel.

To make a gel candle, the materials you are required to use include: gel, fragrance oil to make scented ones, zinc wicks, embeds or decorative pieces and liquid color dye. You will get these materials from a local hobby shop or exclusive shops supplying candle making materials.

While choosing essential oils and colors, be sure to look for the ones that are specially made for use in making gel candles, otherwise you will be running into problems immediately. If you are a beginner and trying your hands out at making gel candles for the first time, then purchase a candle making kit which contains all the materials required for making a gel candle. Don’t forget to get a glass container. Glass containers are the best, as they can reveal the color of the gel and the decorations you have used in it. Select a container that is non-flammable. You can also use wine glasses and glass bowls or vases.

For decorations you can use anything that is available at home are have a look at the hobby or craft store nearby.

Now, follow these steps to make gel candle.

Firstly, inventory then keep all the materials ready and assemble the equipment to make these candles.

Melt the gel over a medium heat in a non-glass container. You should not overheat the gel as it will lose clarity. Remove from fire once the gel melts into syrup like consistency. Now take the container and pour in the melted hot glue in the center of the container. Now stick the wick in the center of the container’s bottom by using a wick tab and allow the glue to set.

To make these colorful types of candles, add the desired color dye to the melted gel. If you are using embeds in the candle, keep the colors very light so that the decorative objects are visible. Once you make the color too dark, it is impossible to lighten the gel back up to a transparent shade.

To make scented candles, add the required fragrance to the melted gel. Add half to one tea spoon full of fragrance depending on the amount of the gel you have used. If you want more bubbles to appear in the candle, you have to pour in a very hot gel. Maintain the temperature of the hot gel between 180 and 200°. You will need a thermometer to check this temperature. Check if the wick is straight and allow the candle to cool.

Once the gel cools down, your candle is ready to be lit. Isn’t making gel candles at home easy and more enjoyable. What better way to feel good than putting your creativity to best use this way and also spread happiness by gifting them to loved ones?

14 Things You Should Know About Air Conditioning

1. My home summer air conditioning bill is bigger per month than the winter heating bill per month. Traditional air conditioning is less efficient than heating and natural gas is less expensive than electricity.

2. Air conditioners have two motors that use electrical power. The compressor is the machine that makes the refrigerant cool the air. The other motor drives the fan that moves the air. Motors are energy hogs.

3. Every degree that you set your thermostat below 78 increases your air conditioning cost by 3 to 4%.

4. While your AC is working normally, you should feel the amount of airflow from your window unit or register for central units. You need to know what is normal to be able to trouble shoot problems.

5. Use a thermometer to check the room temperature and the temperature of the air that the AC is putting out. The air coming out of the AC should be about 20 degrees F cooler than the room temperature. Make a note what the difference is. This is good trouble shooting data for future use.

6. Air conditioning reduces the water vapor in the air turning it into liquid water. This makes us more comfortable by lowering the humidity in the home. The condensed water will flow down hill.

7. The water is supposed to drain outdoors from the back of a window unit, or to a basement floor drain for central air conditioning. There is a drip pan at the bottom of the window unit. There is a drip pan located under the cooling coil, inside the ductwork above your furnace for central air conditioning. The drip pan is there to catch the water and direct it the proper drain location. Seeing a lot of water going to the right place is very good news. It indicates that your AC is working as designed.

8. If water is draining to the wrong place, it can make an unpleasant mess. Window units should be tilted so the outdoor end is a little lower than the indoor end. If it is tilted, too much the wrong way water will drain into the house and make a mess.

9. Water from a central AC draining down inside of the furnace, will rust the furnace and destroy it before it wears out.

10. If the water is not draining, it will make ice and stop your AC from working. When the drip pan fills with water ice will start forming on the cold coil. The ice “grows upward” starting at the bottom of the cold coil. As the ice builds up it blocks the air flowing through the cold coil. You are likely to be unaware if the problem until the temperature in the house goes up. Given enough time a mixture of dust and dirt from the air, will plug the drain. Cleaning the drip pan and drain needs to be part of the pre-season maintenance.

11. How do you know when the coil inside the ductwork is iced up when you cannot see in there? If the fan is running but the airflow is reduced or stopped, it is iced up. See number 4 above.

12. If you do not take corrective action, the AC will continue to run wasting expensive electricity. The ice will continue to build up and the house will continue to get warmer. Action plan: Turn the AC off. Let the ice melt. Fix the drain problem. Turn the AC back on.

13. If the AC stops cooling but the air is flowing normally, the problem is not ice. If there is good airflow but the AC is putting out air that is not 20 degrees cooler than room temperature the problem may be due to low refrigerant level in the AC. See number 5 above. When the refrigerant leaks out the AC will continue to run wasting electricity. With low refrigerant, the AC will cool poorly and waste power.

14. What to do if your AC puts out a normal amount of air that is 20 degrees cooler than room temperature but the house does not cool down? The AC may be too small for the job. It needs your help. Action plan: Reduce the amount of outdoor hot air that is sneaking into the house. Shut off heat producing appliances and old style light bulbs. Close the storm windows and doors. Add more insulation to the attic. Spray water on the outdoor part of the central AC. Spray water on the house. Make shade for the house. Make shade for the AC. Buy another window unit. Pack up and move North.