Construction Options For Garden Sheds

When thinking about building a garden or storage shed, most homeowners have several options to consider. Depending upon your financial resources, size and purpose of shed and other resources, such as: time and personal mechanical skills, these options are confusing, complex or very simple. Let's look at a few of the options available for homeowners.

One option is to hire a local contractor. The contractor can design and build your shed. This is usually the simplest and easiest, but it also the costliest, especially if it is a small shed. While it may save you time, communication, between the contractor and you, is critical to getting the shed you want and where you want it built. My wife and I decided to go with a local garage specialist to build our two-car garage, 20 'x 30', five years ago.

The contractor's crew dug out the foundation, poured the concrete and put up the garage in two days. This also included digging the trench for the electrical and complete wiring of the garage and installing the garage doors. However, it did come with a higher price tag than if we had done it ourselves. At the time, it was the best decision for us. (More on this project in another article.)

Buying a pre-made shed can also be simple and easy. They are cost-effective and may fit better into your budget. It also may save you the headaches and hassles of designing and building your own shed. They are available in wood, metal and plastic. Plastic and metal sheds are a real economic choice. Their assembly is similar to are large erection set. The plastic units are mostly preformed flat pack units. Plastic is immune to putrefaction. They do not rust and are virtually maintenance free. Since plastic sheds are made of PVC, they do not need painting.

Metal sheds, in my opinion, are a little harder to erect. The instructions are confusing. Taking the time to layout the different pieces and metal screws is well worth the investment. Metal sheds should be put together quickly, usually within a two-day time period. While metal sheds may not come in all sizes or offer a lot of variety, they do provide for better security if you have a lot of tools and garden equipment. From my personal experience, being patient and paying attention to details is paramount with metal sheds. However, when purchasing a pre-made shed either wood, plastic or metal, they are limited in design and functionality options.

In the case of metal and plastic sheds, the color is also predetermined. When you purchase a shed someone else has built or designed, you'll end up compromising on a number of things or paying additional money to have their standard model customized for your needs. Also most metal and plastic sheds do not come with options for attached shelving. If there is an option for shelving, there will be additional cost involved. Most of these sheds come without a floor or foundation so some prep work is required. While the units are less expensive initially, beware of the additional costs and tradeoffs with these types of sheds.

If you have specific needs and design concerns, constructing your own wooden shed is the best answer for you, especially, if you have carpentry skills and are mechanically inclined. The shed can be build to your specific lifestyle and requirements. The shed's exterior can also be predetermined to complement your home and garden. Building a garden shed from wood provides a lot of options for current and future projects and accessories. Whether you need to store lots of tools or you want a spare area where you can have space to work on outdoor project or hobby, you can create and build the solution just for your needs.

Pistonhead – Funny and Entertaining Rock Music Novel

A friend who is also in the music industry recommended "Pistonhead" to me and it was a revelation! I spent many years in the trenches of rock and roll and this book hits a bulls-eye.

We meet Charlie Sinclair, a blue-collar factory worker in Boston (they used to have factories there, believe it or not) who plays guitar in a heavy rock band called Pistonhead. The band is not quite successful – the book opens on a Thursday night at the Big Ditch Club, where the band has drawn an audience of 500 people (heavy drinkers, and a violent bunch). There is a crisis: Jack "Rip" Taylor, the band's lead singer, has vanished, presumably to score some dope in the parking lot from those friendly dealers the Dust Twins.

The audiences, the flaky manager who makes a fortune from a dead client, the smarmy concert promoter, the wacky road crew, the sleazy girlfriends, the violence and sex and drugs, the Dust Twins (I knew those guys!), The stuff that goes through Charlie's mind while he is performing on stage – it's all here.

What makes Pistonhead different is that it gives you the complete picture and devotes attention to the "real world" of Charlie's mind-numbing day job on the assembly line with the Mass Rehab clients. I remember being jolted out of bed at 7 am after playing a gig until 3 am, and dragging my tired carcass to work and falling asleep in the break room with my ears still ringing. And at every workplace there's a Lisa … the sweet and beautiful woman who seems to come from some different and better world. And we all know guys like Charlie's brother-in-law, who leeringly wants to hear all about Charlie's supposed sexual exploits. There's so much more – I definitely recommend this book to anyone who has ever had a dream worth working for.

Derivative Contracts

Derivative is a financial instrument whose price is dependent upon or derived from one or more underlying assets. These are generally used as an instrument to hedge risk, but can also be used for speculative purposes. The most common finance derivatives are futures contracts, forward contracts, options and swaps.

There are two types of financial derivatives,

1. Over-the-counter (OTC).

These are contracts that are traded directly between two parties, without going through an exchange or other intermediary.

2. Exchange-traded (ETD).

These are the contracts that are traded via specialized derivatives exchanges or other exchanges. Options and futures are the financial derivatives which are considered as ETD derivatives. Due to number of traders on single and centralized system chances of manipulation by operators is absent in exchange traded markets. The financial markets have become subject to interest rate movements more than these were in the past decades. As a result, financial derivatives have appealed to corporate treasurers who wish to take advantage of favorable interest rates in the management of corporate debt without the expense of issuing new debt securities.

Standardized derivative contracts (e.g., futures contracts and options) that are transacted on an organized futures exchange. Futures and stock options are the two most widely publicized leveraged derivative instruments in the world today.


Futures involve a financial contract that requires the buyer to purchase an asset (or the seller to sell an asset), such as a physical commodity or a financial instrument, at a specific price on a predetermined date in the future. If you buy a futures contract, you are basically agreeing to buy something that a seller has not yet produced for a set price. Whether you are dealing in orange juice, wheat, pork bellies, silver or gold, if you are investing in commodities, you are dealing in the futures market. Actually you are betting on the future of the commodity.


A contract that permits the owner, depending on the type of option held, to purchase or sell an asset at a fixed price until a specific date. An exchange traded option is an option that is traded on a regulated exchange, where the terms of each option are standardized by the exchange. The contract is standardized so that underlying asset, quantity, expiration date and strike price are known in advance.

In the field of options, binary options are getting popular in market traders, due to their limited risk ration and simplicity involved in their trading.

Glossary of Basic Freight Terms

The freight industry has a unique lexicon, much of it rooted in a long transportation history. The vocabulary can be a bit overwhelming and confusing to a newcomer.

We’ll explore some of the most often-used terms here:

Abatement – A discount allowed for damage or overcharge

Accessorial – Some service that is not considered ‘standard’ and will incur additional fees. This can include inside delivery, insurance, lift gate service, and other services

Bill of Lading (BOL) – Essential shipping documents which state relevant names and addresses, places of origin and destination, description of the shipped goods, instructions for payment and other relevant information

Booking – Arranging for the transportation of freight by a carrier

Boxcar – A closed rail freight car

Carrier – The transportation entity which agrees to move freight by rail, truck, sea, air or any combination of these modes

Cartage – Local (as opposed to interstate or international) freight hauling on trucks

Claim – A demand made upon carrier for payment due to damage or other loss as a result of carrier’s negligence in transporting

Classification – Assigned rating for particular type of product, generally identifying the size, value and inherent difficulties in transporting that product. The correct class is imperative for an accurate freight quote

Consignee – The person or company to which the freight is shipped

Consignor – The person or company identified as the shipper of freight

Container – A large metal box resembling a truck trailer body that can be shipped via vessel or rail and then attached to a trailer chassis for further transport, containers come in many sizes and types

Deadhead – When a truck delivers a load and then completes one leg of a trip without any cargo

Declared Value – A shipper can sometimes receive a lower rate if it declares a lower than actual value for a shipment, this can be risky in the event of a loss

Density – The weight of cargo per cubic foot, this measurement is important to an accurate freight quote

Double Drop – An open deck trailer with a raised section in the front and rear and a lower section in the middle which can be used to transport unusually tall cargo

Drayage – Local hauling of cargo by truck Same as Cartage

Dry Van – Refers to a 53′ trailer which can be heated or vented but is not refrigerated

Exception -When a shipment is received by a carrier (usually at their terminal), the carrier notes any actual or suspected damage to the cargo prior to transport

Freight – Used in several different manners, can refer to the actual cargo or to the charges assessed to a shipper by a carrier for hauling that cargo

Gross Weight – Cumulative weight of cargo, packaging and freight car or container

HAZ MAT – Hazardous Material

Intermodal – Use of multiple modes of transportation to move containers of cargo – can include sea, rail, road and air freight transport

LTL or Less Than Truckload – Shipment in which cargo is not large enough to require an entire truck by itself, LTL shipments are generally in the 100 lbs to 20,000 lbs range

N.M.F.C. – National Motor Freight Classification (see Classification above)

Piggyback – An intermodal transport arrangement in which loaded truck trailers are placed on a rail car and moved to a destination

PRO Number – The tracking number assigned by the carrier to a specific shipment

Proof of Delivery – Receipt of delivery for a shipment

Pup – A short trailer used together with another short trailer to create a twin or tandem trailer

Quotation or quote – An offer to provide freight carriage at a specific price based upon certain shipment information and terms

Reefer – Refrigerated container or trailer

Stack-train – A specialty rail car which can carry containers stacked two high

Step Deck – An open trailer with a standard flatbed section at the front and a dropped section in the rear, used to transport taller cargo

Tare Weight – The weight of the empty railcar or empty container in rail, sea or intermodal shipments

Tariff – A publication establishing the rates and requirements of a specific transportation company

Terminal – An area in which freight is organized and prepared for loading and dispatch to final destination, cargo will often go to a carrier’s terminal after it is picked up and then placed in another container or trailer for transport to its destination, Inter modal cargo is often unloaded to a terminal before being organized and placed for final delivery

TL – Truckload freight (where the amount of cargo is sufficient to fill an entire trailer or container

Tractor – The power unit used to pull a trailer

Trailer – The portion of the truck in which the freight is loaded and hauled

Ventilated Trailer – A trailer with small openings in walls to allow air to outside air to circulate through when doors are closed

Warehousing -Storage of cargo

While this list may seem long, there are hundreds of other industry terms and catch-phrases that you might run across. Whether you are a novice or experienced shipper, you may hear a new term from time to time. Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out what any freight-related word means at any time.

Air Conditioning Services

The term air conditioning could refer to any form of cooling, heating, ventilation that modifies the quality of air inside a building. Basically, an air conditioner stabilizes the air quality within an area. If you are planning to repair your air conditioner, you need to be very careful while choosing the company. There are many companies bringing to you high quality air conditioning. Denver, which is a city in the populous state of Colorado, has outstanding repairers of air conditioning systems. Places having a climate with too much of heat or cold require good air conditioner systems. Choosing a company is an important decision if you life in such places. You just need to take care of a few guidelines before opting for the right company:

  • Firstly you need to make sure that the company that you are going to hire is a legal entity and have their certificates and licenses with them.
  • Ask the management about their years of existence in the market. This will bring out the experience of the professionals and also the reputation.
  • Do ask your close acquaintances, friends and family about the various companies that they have hired for air conditioning service. Your acquaintances will not misguide you for sure.
  • Choose companies that give you rebates and discounts on a number of services related to air conditioning. Denver companies have the amazing trend of providing valuable customers with discounts.
  • Make sure before you hire a company, you make written agreements about the payments, timings, and number of visits to avoid misunderstandings in the future.

There are many companies that assure you of all kinds of services but when the crisis comes, you do not get the kind of service you want. Make sure that the service you regularly want is in your plan. With regard to air conditioning, Denver has many companies that clearly tell you about their services and costs that will be incurred. They are of transparent about costs. This is why most of the people are satisfied with of companies in Denver.

How to Airbrush

The airbrush is a popular choice for painting craft and hobby projects. This tool is versatile enough to paint plastic models, rc airplanes, t-shirts, nails, and other items.

Equipment and Materials:
A single action airbrush is the simplest design. It is easier to learn to handle, and economical as well. So it makes a great beginner's airbrush. However, the double action airbrush gives you much greater control over the paint process.

Your best air source is a good compressor. Disposable air cans are a good introductory air source, but these will become costly in the long run.

Use the manufacturer's recommended thinner, and thin the paint to the recommended ratio.

How to Airbrush:

1) Prepare the work area. Lay down plastic sheets to protect the area from over-spray, if necessary.

2) Prepare the work piece. Use gloves to handle it.

3) Prepare the equipment. Turn on the compressor and set the spray pressure. Assemble the needle and nozzle into the airbrush if necessary. Attach a color cup or bottle as appropriate.

4) Mix the paint, following the maker's directions. Use plastic droppers to dispense paint and thinner into a small mixing container. Mix the paint with a toothpick or similar.

5) Test spray! Make this a part of your routine. You never know how the initial spray will come out of the nozzle, it will sometimes make a big mess. If possible, spray on something similar to your actual subject; that way you can test for color and chemical compatibility, as well as spray pattern.

6) Now that you've test sprayed, time for the real thing. Always start and stop the spray off or away from the work piece. This will result in even paint coverage, and alert you to any spray issues.

7) Hold the airbrush at an angle to the work piece (vertical is not practical), about 6 to 18 inches away. The distance will depend on the size of the part and the volume of the spray.

8) Apply Multiple Coats. Your first coat will be just a light dusting. For this first coat, make several passes but do not attempt to cover completely with color. Follow the manufacturer's recommendation on length of time between coats. Expect to take at least 3-4 coats to get good even color coverage.

9) Clean Up. Do not omit this step! Do the recommended cleaning when changing colors, and when you're done for the day. Many airbrush problems are caused by improper cleaning methods; dried paint can result in clogs that make it difficult to achieve proper performance.

Visit the RC Airplane Advisor for more information about
Airbrush to How .

This article may be reprinted if proper credit is given and all links left

Copyright © 2005 RC Airplane Advisor

Life Can Be Crazy, Get Grounded – Create Peace, Relaxation, and Happiness With Nature and Meditation

I’m sure you could list off ten reasons why your life is busy right now. Me too, and the first two would be my twin sons. Yoga, meditation and nature help me maintain patience and a sense of who I am amidst toddlers and the-things-that-must-be-done.

One of the easiest ways to re-center yourself is to “get grounded.”

This involves literally connecting yourself to nature, also called earthing. Even if it’s for only ten seconds, science has shown that physical connection with the earth has myriad biological and emotional benefits.

I live in Canada, where I look out upon a beautiful blanket of snow. Not exactly conducive to getting barefoot, right? But I can stand near a tree, take off a glove, and touch the bark. It still connects my body and bioelectric currents to that of the planet.

Have you hugged a tree lately? Trees themselves have extraordinary vibrations of peace, wellbeing, and stillness. My kids are tree huggers because they see me do it so often. Am I a hippy? Well, only partly. I’m a lot of other things too, including a little bit redneck out here in the country. But I love trees and always have. They make me happy. What about you?

If you live in a place that’s warm, getting grounded could be as easy as slipping off your shoes outside. Again, only ten seconds can make a difference, but longer time brings increased benefits.

Some ways to get grounded and centered: Take a deep breath, touch the earth, hug a tree, put your hands in wild water, take a bath with salts and crystals, meditate (more on this below), do yoga.

Coming back to yourself in a balanced way doesn’t have to take long, but consistency counts. Can you give yourself six minutes each morning to meditate and set your daily intention? It’s a game changer for sure.

One meditation that helps you get grounded is this:

Grounding to the Earth: Connecting yourself energetically to the Earth is one of the most common and powerfully stabilizing practices that you find when working with subtle energy.

Here’s how to do it:

Sit or stand in alignment. (You can also do this lying down but it can be harder to visualize and feel).

Take a few deep breaths to center yourself.

Turn your awareness to the root chakra at the base of your spine. (You can also include the chakras in the bottoms of your feet).

From your root chakra (and possibly foot chakras) extend an energetic connection down into the Earth. A good way is to think of it as a cord of light-your grounding cord.

Send it deep, straight down, way down into the very center of the Earth.

Imagine your grounding connection anchor firmly into the core of the Earth, wrapping around an illuminated crystal or anchored in a pool of light.

Then, from that limitless source of pure, loving energy, drink light up from the center of the planet into your root chakra(s), up through your central body and out through the crown of your head. You can continue with the Pillar of Light visualization that follows, or simply use the grounding cord.

Feel your whole being fill up with light.

Feel yourself grounded, supported, nurtured, and clear: connected to the Earth.

Accounting Sub Journals and Cash Book

The accounting procedure, for recording information, involves two steps, namely journalizing and posting. It follows that every business must maintain a journal (books of original or prime entry) and a ledger (principal book). Thus the system of book-keeping originally envisages that all the transactions must be recorded first in the book of original record, i.e., journal and then each transaction so recorded in the journal should be posted in the principal book, i.e., ledger. Subsequently it was experienced that the labor of recording each transaction with narration in the journal and then posting each entry in two different accounts in the ledger was enormous. The procedure was more time-consuming and resulted in higher establishment cost.

It is but natural that in every business most of the transactions relate to receipts and payments of cash; purchases of goods ;. sales of goods etc. It was found to be convenient and economical to keep separate books to record each particular class of transactions. Each separate book meant to record transactions of a particular class is the book of original or prime entry. It is also known as sub-journal or subsidiary book. The system under which transactions of similar nature are entered in the relevant’ subsidiary book and on the basis of which ledger is written is known as the ‘practical system of book- keeping’. This system reduces labor and time of recording the transactions as impersonal accounts, viz., sales account, purchases account etc., receive the posting of totals and not of individual transactions. However, this system also conforms to the basic rules of the double entry system.

Generally the following subsidiary books are used in the business:

(1) Cash book : records receipts and payments of cash including transactions relating to bank;

(2) Purchases book: records credit purchases of goods meant for sale or for conversion into finished goods;

(3) Returns outwards book: records return of the goods to the suppliers due to several reasons;

(4) Sales book: records credit sales of the goods dealt in by the business;

(5) Returns inwards book : records the return of goods by the customers to the business ; (vi) Bills receivable book: records the receipts of bills of exchange, promissory notes and hundies of various parties;

(6) Bills payable book: records the issue of bills exchange, promissory notes and hundies to the various parties:

Advantages of sub-journals

(1) It results in saving of time by (a) enabling the recording procedure to be carried on simultaneously in different subsidiary books and (b) by posting the periodical totals in the impersonal accounts.

(2) It makes information available regarding each particular class of transactions.

(3) At the time of preparing trial balance the checking is easier because books being many, different persons can carry out the job.

Cash Book

In any business, perhaps, the largest number of transactions of one nature must relate to cash and bank. It is so because every transaction must, ultimately, result in a cash transaction. Now if every cash transaction is to be recorded in journal, it will involve an enormous amount of labor in debiting or crediting cash or bank account in the ledger for each transaction. Therefore, it is convenient to have a separate book, the cash book, to record such transactions. Maintaining of cash book removes the necessity of having cash and bank accounts in the ledger. This book enables us to know the balance of cash in hand and at bank at any point of time.

Cash book consists of cash and bank accounts taken out of ledger and maintained separately; thus it is a substitute of ledger for cash and bank accounts. It is also a book of original entry because cash and bank transactions are not recorded in any other subsidiary book.

Types of cash books

The type of cash book to be used by any business will depend upon its nature and requirements. It may be anyone of the following:

(1) Single column cash book (cash column).

(2) Double column cash book (cash and discount columns).

(3) Triple column cash book (cash, discount and bank columns).

(4) Bank cash book (bank and discount columns).

Generally, each business will use anyone of the above types of cash book along with “petty cashbook” which is maintained on memorandum basis.

Distinction between cash A/c and Cash book

Actually cash book is a perfect substitute of cash account. In both, cash transactions are recorded date wise in order of occurrence. Cash balance as on any date can be ascertained by balancing both on any day desired. Yet there are some differences between the two as given below:

Cash account

1. Is an account in the ledger.

2. Cash account is part of the ledger. Cash account is opened in the ledger in which posting is done from some book of original entry i.e. journal

3. In cash account posting is not followed by narration.

4. It only records one aspect of transaction involving cash and bank.

Cash book

1. Is a separate book of accounts forming part of accounting system.

2. Cash book records entries directly from transactions and these is no need for a book of prime entry.

3. In cash book entries are followed by narration also.

4. It records both the aspects of this transaction in cash and bank columns to complete double entry posting.

How to Make a Reptile Egg Incubator Step-by-Step

Making your own reptile egg incubator can be a great way to avoid the high costs of bought incubators and still achieve a good hatch rate, if you know what you’re doing that is.

Here I will be giving you some step-by-step instructions on making a homemade reptile incubator, from buying the equipment to putting in the eggs.

Shopping List

Most people think that they will save a lot of money by making their own incubator, however, if you don’t already have a lot of this equipment at home, costs can start rising. Try to evaluate how much you’re going to need to spend beforehand as you may be better off buying an incubator in some cases.

You Will Need:

1 polystyrene cooler with a tight fitting lid
1 heat mat roughly the size of the base of the cooler (may need two for larger projects)
1 thermostat
1 thermometer (you may prefer more for larger projects)
1 humidity gauge
A pencil or screw driver
A plastic cup or tray
Some thick pieces of doweling (optional)

Where to Find the Equipment

If you buy frozen food for your reptile the chances are it gets shipped to you in a polystyrene cooler that you can use as the shell of your incubator. You can also visit local pet stores or garden centres with aquarium departments and ask if they have any spare coolers they’d be willing to give you (they get the fish in these and then generally just throw them out).

Reptile stores will have the heat mat, thermostat, thermometer and humidity gauge if you don’t have any spare, but shop around for the best deals as these can be expensive.

I’m thinking that most people will have a pencil lying around somewhere.

You can buy plastic cups from the grocery store or just use a plastic yoghurt pot or something similar.

You can get plant support canes from the garden centre and chop them down to size for the doweling, or visit a local hardware store.

How to Make the Reptile Egg Incubator

Now you have all the equipment it’s time to put it together.

1. Gather the equipment onto the space you will be using for your incubator (i.e. a flat surface in a room with a fairly constant temperature).

2. Place the heat mat in the base of the polystyrene cooler so that it lies flat and covers most of the area (you can use two for larger projects)

3. Plug the heat mat and thermostat in (don’t switch them on just yet) and make a groove in the side of the cooler where the wire rests so that the lid can still sit on tight when it’s all set up.

4. If you would prefer to keep your incubation tubs off the heat mat you can now insert some doweling rods through the sides of the cooler to make a shelf.

5. Use the pencil or screwdriver to make a couple of holes in the sides of the lid for air exchange (only make a couple for now, you can add more later if the humidity is getting too high)

6. Put a little lukewarm water into the plastic cup or tray and place it inside the base.

7. Consult a care sheet to set the right temperature for your eggs on the thermostat.

8. Add the thermometer, replace the lid and switch everything on.

9. Allow an hour or two for the temperature and humidity to get to the right levels and make adjustments to the number of holes in the lid as necessary.

10. Once the right atmosphere has been achieved and maintained you can safely add your eggs in their hatching tub and wait for them to hatch!

Alternatives to Making Your Own Incubator

Making your own incubator is all the rage amongst reptile breeders nowadays, but it isn’t necessarily the right option for everyone.

If you’ve never incubated eggs before I would strongly recommend buying your own incubator at first as they are much more reliable and easy to set up.

If you don’t have spare equipment such as thermostats and heat mats it may also be worth your while to buy a ready-made incubator as you can get hold of the most popular one (the Hova Bator) for as little as $60 if you know where to look.

How to Make a Barbie House

The real estate market for Barbie’s house is a limited one. Barbie is a material girl, and she needs a house that can hold all her stuff. Most of the Barbie houses you can buy in the store are just too small for Barbie’s clothes and show, not to mention her car collection. If you want a Barbie house big enough for the average Barbie collector, you’re going to have to build it yourself.

Building a Barbie house should only take a few hours. Your first step is to gather the right materials.


Paint brushes

Plastic “bookcases” or shelves


One or two yards of indoor/outdoor carpeting



Scraps of wallpaper


Small saws or knives

Building Barbie’s House

1. The shelving units you use for the body of the house are the most important part. They should be tall enough for Barbie and friends to move around in. Figure out the number of “rooms” Barbie needs and buy the right size and number of bookshelves.

2. Assemble the shelves. Most Barbie houses are at least two stories–if you want to put in a front or back porch, go ahead and buy a three-shelf unit so you can remove a shelf and use it for the porch itself.

3. Is Barbie a carpet or hardwood girl? If she isn’t into carpet, you can buy imitation wood at most hobby shops. Either way, you’ll need about a yard of material for the floor. You can glue down either carpet or imitation wood or tile directly to the shelving units.

4. If you want Barbie’s house to “open up” for play, you can hinge two shelving units at one edge. But either way, you should use cardboard to cover up Barbie’s plastic walls.

5. Now you have a decision–either use scrap wallpaper to cover both sides of the interior walls and one side of the back and side walls or you can paint the interior of the house. Scrap wallpaper is cheap at most home improvement stores.

6. Barbie’s new house needs a paint job on the exterior. Plastic outside walls are ugly, so cover the exterior with either shelf paper, imitation wood or paneling, or paint. Your local hobby store should have plenty of imitation wood and brick exteriors to choose from.

7. Barbie’s house needs lots of windows and doors. Using a sharp hobby knife, cut holes for windows and doors. Barbie’s house needs at least a front door and a back door–get creative. Maybe Barbie has a side door or a door to an exterior porch. A few windows of different sizes should work, but you should either decorate the exterior with small imitation shutters or decorate the inside with curtains and drapes.

8. If you want to take it a step further, you can attach cardboard walls to Barbie’s home’s interior so you can apply paint more neatly or attach wallpaper with ease. You can glue or paint cardboard as much as you want and it will look nicer than paint on plastic.

How to Install Cork Flooring

Here’s a great idea for flooring your home, it’s called cork flooring and is a fantastic material very popular with eco friendly people.

Here a few good points as to why it would be beneficial for you to use cork flooring instead of lino of wooden flooring.

Cork is harvested from trees making it a renewable source of environmentally friendly wood, which re-grows very quickly.

Using cork can be cheaper than using even bamboo.

Cork is resistant to such things as mold and mildew.

Cork is a good metarial to use in many varying temperatures and is naturally flame retardant.

This material is light weight and can even float on water, giving it many uses.

Cork is hard to scratch and not even insects can cause damage to the material.

As you can see in the points stated above Cork is harvested from trees, the tree that it is taken from is called the Cork Oak tree. The bark is stripped away from the rest of the tree meaning that there is no reason for cutting it down leaving the tree still very much alive. The cork is then taken and ground and flattened into sheets, these are then placed into a kiln and literally baked and then cut into tiles, this helps with it being so durable. Each Oak that is used must first be over 25years old before they can even lay hands on it. Once the bark is stripped away the tree instantly starts to re-grow new bark and this is why it’s a renewable resource. Of course this may still be unfair to the trees, so there is a limit of nine years for the trees to be harvested. A good place to use Cork flooring would be places like the kitchen or if you have pets, why not put the Cork flooring everywhere in the house. Since Cork is made using the bark from a tree and the way it’s processed it has many microbubbles in and can for that reason be a great insulator of sound making it perfect for covering walls in say your music room (e.g One of your children play the Drums).

So you can get a hard wearing material that doesn’t scratch and has multiple uses while also thinking about the environment for a small amount of money.

Don’t worry if you have a wonderfully decorated room and don’t want to ruin the room with the Cork flooring. For Cork can come in a wide variety of colours and even different styles to match and style of home. You can install the Cork over most surfaces such as the most likely concrete and wooden subfloors.

Cork flooring is so easy to lay down it doesn’t make sense. But before you start installing the flooring here’s the equipment you’ll need.

A Tape measure, you will be needing this to make sure you have the right measurements of the room you wish to install the Cork in, otherwise you might find yourself with too much or too little of the material you need.

Something to cut the material with such as a stanley knife. You’ll need to cut down some of the tiles or planks to make sure it fits perfectly into the room.

You’ll also need a Paint brush and some rollers.

Something to mark the ground where you are placing the Cork, something like chalk would work.

A rubber mallet , don’t use anything other than a rubber mallet or you’ll ruin the surface of the Cork.

Some sort of adhesive to stick the material down. Try to get a water based adhesive this will make things easier.

100-150 lb Roller to press the material firmly onto the ground.

To make your job a little bit easier and to ensure that the flooring goes down well here is a list of some things you’ll need to do before starting.

First it would be a good idea to place the Cork in the room you plan on flooring, when the Cork changes temperature it’ll change in size, if you place the material on floor and it warms up it may warp and then ruin your hard work.

Second, you need to clean the surface, the adhesive won’t work well if it stick to the dirt instead of the floor. So you will need to sweep then mop the floor leaving it to dry after.

Use the tape measure to find out the length of each wall to find out the surface area of your room, this will help to find out exactly how much material you’ll really need. You can get a bit more material then you need just to be safe and not leave your room half completed.

You’ll need to check the the floor is level, if not you’ll need to use some sort of floor leveling compound that you’ll have to spread across the floor, latex seems to be a popular one to use.

Finally after all that you can begin your installation of the Cork flooring.

First thing is to do a layout test place all the tiles or planks on the floor by placing them without the adhesive. If you find some tiles or planks do not fit measure the gap left over and mark the shape onto one of the tiles then use the cutting tool to cut it into shape. When the tiles are down mark out sections.

Starting off with a fairly small sized section place your adhesive on the floors surface then leave it to dry slightly so that it is tacky, this should give you some moderate control.

Then place the tiles or planks onto the floor, after this use either the Mallet to lightly knock the tiles securely into place or go over the tiles with the roller making sure to go over several times in different directions. I suggest using the roller this will give a better finish and will make sure the tiles are firmly placed.

Using a damp clothes wipe off any excess adhesive after placing each section.

Depending on the time it takes for the adhesive to dry, do not walk on the cork flooring this can cause some warping in the material.

When cleaning the Cork flooring try not to use things such as bleach or anything else strong this can ruin the surface of the Cork just use a mop with a small amount of surface cleaner.

There you have it, a brand new flooring at a next to nothing price.

Avoid harsh cleaning products when keeping your cork flooring clean. Regular mopping using a damp mop will be sufficient. Use paper towels or a sponge for spill to avoid permanent stains.

Brick Suppliers

Bricks are a popular building material for many reasons. Bricks are readily available, versatile, cost effective and rarely require maintenance. However with literally 100’s of ranges to choose from, it can be a little difficult to find that ideal brick. Arguably the right brick is the most important and hardest material to source in a building project.

Of course the easiest place to start your search is the internet. Many of the large brick manufacturers and suppliers in the UK now have websites and online catalogues, all of which allow you look at their full product range quickly and easily. Within a few clicks you can be searching through many of the most popular brick samples, whilst simultaneously viewing them in use on projects around the UK.

The correct brick for the job can be picked from a vast choice of colours, sizes and textures, all of which can be tailored to match your specific needs and budget. Other options include handmade and reclaimed bricks both of which have their own unique qualities. In fact some handmade bricks have become so popular that suppliers offer machine made alternatives which have the same characteristics as the real thing.

These companies have been in the business for many years and understand their customers’ needs; not only offering bricks but other project critical materials. With many offering nationwide delivery, they really can claim to be a one stop shop for all your brick and construction materials.

Whatever your background, use a reputable supplier’s website to help you find the right bricks and materials for your project.

Renting An Austin Apartment? Now’s The Right Time

Apartment renters are usually renters for one of two reasons. Either the renter cannot yet afford the costs associated with a new home or he/she does not want the responsibility of home ownership. Either way, there are things that one must consider. While it is cheaper to stay in an apartment, many feel that money is just being thrown away rather than invested in a property with an eye towards ownership. Others say that it is best not to move into a home that requires you to live beyond your financial means. Both of these views are true. While owning a home is the ultimate duty of some, it is imperative that the full budgetary impact be considered prior to signing any papers. Of course, there is the amount you will pay for the home monthly but there are property taxes, home repair, increased utilities, maintenance and up keep costs that need to be factored into any decision. Living in a home that is beyond your personal financial means proves to be a very frustrating experience, when bills are always coming due that you cant pay. Fees paid for apartment rentals don’t provide equity but is great for a temporary place to stay without the hassles and expenses of home ownership. There are rare occasions where an apartment is a good long term fit. Though less stressful and less expensive to maintain, an apartment has its issues as well. If you have lived in an apartment for more than 2 years or more, you will identify with this

Ever come home to your apartment and find a notice on the door informing you that your current lease is nearing its end and by the way, your current apartment rent rate is going up by $100? Or maybe you have just been among the unfortunateones that finds himself or herself paying for services that you used to normally get for free, like trash pick up, and water service. Most apartments complexes see a lease about to run out and think now it is time to renegotiate the contract. They know that you are settled in and dont want to move. Raising the rent price and causing once free services to be directly paid by apartment renters is the norm once a lease runs out. Truth be told, services such as trash pick up were never free. They were simply included in the initial cost of renting the apartment. Requiring rentersto pay the fees now is nothing more than a justification for raising rental rates even further than the direct raise represented by the initial rental rate hike. It is part of the game that properties pay. Dont misunderstand, I understand that apartment complexes are businesses and want to make a profit just like any other business. However, lets not fall for the required rate hike story every single time. The potential rate hike threat is also a tool used by apartment complexes to cause potential renters to sign longer leases to prevent a possible rent hike in the future. Add these rises in cost to the to the other rising costs of living such as gas prices and taxes and you have a perfect storm for relieving you of your money.

My apartment complex has raised my rent three times in a row says LeAnne Cook. Im looking for another apartment complex to move to or I may buy my first home.

When surveyed , eight out of ten renters say that they have had their rental rate raised by more than $25 per month in the last year. Six out of ten were hit by more than a $50 per month increase and five out of ten renters received a notice of an increase equal to or greater than $100 per month. To many, this may not seem like a lot of money but for others this can be a budget breaker.

Fortunately, there are options for coping with rising rental prices.

Renters are turning to the internet for a means to supplement their living cost budgets. The toolbar at Apartment Rent Toolbar dot com interfaces with and allows renters to earn extra cash online to pay for their rent and utilities. Its simplicity is what makes this service so attractive. Because it is a free tool there is no reason for renters to add an additional drain on the household budget. Thats why people are talking about this all over the web.

The apartment renters that use the apartment rent toolbar are able to earn money for rent by pointing out errors that exist online. Now misspelled words, punctuation errors, even broken links on websites are worth two dollars or more each. There are trillions of website errors online and web surfers only have to point them out to the website owners to earn cash.

This opportunity to earn money places options in the hands of apartment renters for paying rent, utilities and other living expenses without requiring them too much of their time.

Flat LCD Screen

It doesn’t matter if you’re a movie fan or sports fan, if you spend lots of time watching TV, there’s nothing like watching it on a flat LCD screen. Now that HD is pretty much the norm, it seems a shame to watch TV on a standard television set.

TV shows, news and sports; it’s all HD quality now. So why watch it with only a fifth of the pixels available on a standard television? It’s not just about resolution either. Newer HDTVs have astonishing color and sound quality giving you the ultimate in TV viewing pleasure.

The popularity of flat LCD screen TVs isn’t just down to viewing quality either. Flat screens are so much slimmer and much more elegant than standard TVs. Old TVs are massive and bulky and take up so much room in the living room. Flat TVs are mere inches thick and are perfect for those who are tight for space.

You don’t even need a TV stand for flat screens as many of them a capable of being wall mounted. Even more incredibly, a lot of models have an integrated DVD player. Not only gorgeous, but they are much more eco friendly. This is not only good for saving energy but also saving money on the electric bill.

Many people might be unsure about buying a flat screen TV because of the cost. The truth is, nowadays you can pick up a 32 inch flat screen for less than $400. Ok, this might sound a little expensive, but considering their prices when they first came on the market, it’s a bargain.

HDTVs are much more affordable and often you can pick one up at a huge discount at a sale. So, what might be the things to look out for when shopping for a flat screen TV? Well, for starters, there are actually 3 types of flat screens available and they are plasma, LCD and LED TVs.

Flat LCD screen and plasma screen televisions are perhaps the most popular currently. In terms of the two LCD screens are brighter and are not affected as much by light reflection. This is why they are used in public places such as airports.

Furthermore LCD screens are not prone to screen ‘burn in’ unlike plasma screens. Flat plasma screens do have advantages over LCD screens however. For one, they handle colors better and have better contrast levels. They also handle moving frames better.

Buying a Helmet – Decision 3

Fitting the Helmet to Your Head

Now that we've got an idea about how hard of a helmet we're most comfortable with, and which helmets fit that need, it's time think about fitting a helmet to a head. How a helmet fits is important for a couple of reasons. Since we'll likely be wearing it for an hour or more at least occasionally, comfort is important. It's no fun to have helmet liner scrubbing skin off your forehead while you're cruising down the road. Also, the protection that a helmet can give your brain is lessened if our head is rattling around inside it.

The idea is to find a helmet that fits your head with an even snugness, one with no "hotspots." A hotspot is a place on your head where the helmet is to tight and will become uncomfortable after a while. If a helmet you're considering is too tight in one place, it does not fit your head correctly and will likely be too loose in another place. The thing to do is to try on helmets from various manufacturers. Each one is designed with a different head shape in mind. Some are more round, some are more oval. When you've tried on enough helmets from enough makers to have found which one's fit you best, it's time to get the size right.

Arm yourself with two pieces of information before starting serious helmet shopping; your hat size and your head measurement. If you do not already know your hat size, find a hat that fits and look at the tag. Enough said about that. To get your head measurement, use a cloth tape if at all possible. It will conform to your head better than other types of tape measures. Starting about one inch above your eyebrows, wrap the tape around the largest part of your head above the base of your skull until you've found the largest possible measurement. These two sizing methods will be starting points for getting the right size.

Most helmets will have one or both of these measurements on a tag inside the helmet. If your exact measurement falls in between your manufacturers sizes, try both the larger and smaller sizes on. While the helmet is on your head, make sure of a couple of fit points. The cheek pads should touch your cheeks while putting minimal pressure on them. Use a finger to check for gaps between you and the helmet lining. Gaps are bad. For maximum protection, your skull and the liner should be in contact. If you try different sizes and still have gaps, try different manufacturers again.

With the helmet on and the chin strap off, grab the helmet with your hands and rotate it front to back and side to side on your head. Notice whether the helmet's movement causes your skin to move. Also note skin movement while lifting the helmet up off of your head. If these actions do not cause skin movement, the helmet is too large. If skin does move, the next step is to buckle the chin strap, grab the back of the helmet at the neck and try to pull it up and over your head. If you can, the helmet is definitely too big. If you're buying a full face helmet, lower the face shield and push the front of the helmet back towards your face. The shield should not make contact with your nose.

Once a helmet has passed all these tests and exerts a comfortable, even pressure around your head, you have the right brand and size that will work best for you. Now all you have to think about is ventilation. If you live in a colder climate, ventilation might be a bigger consideration as more air flow through the helmet may keep fogging to a minimum. In hotter climates, ventilation may also be a bigger concern. For me personally, I can not really tell the difference between riding with vents open or closed. Some people say they can. There may also be a correlation between huge vents and wind noise but again, it's nothing I notice. In my opinion, ventilation is purely a personal preference.

Now just choose the color and style that makes you happiest, get yourself in the wind and have some fun.