How to Lay Tile on Stairs

Installing tile flooring on stairs is not much different than installing tiles on a level subfloor. So long as the staircase is strong enough to support the weight of the tiles, you should be able to install them without a hitch (you may need a professional to help make this determination). Stairs made out of concrete are best for tile installation as they are usually strong enough to support the weight of a variety of tile types.

Possible tile types you could install on stairs:

  • Ceramic Tile (glazed or unglazed)
  • Marble Tile
  • Encaustic Tile
  • Porcelain Tile
  • Terrazzo Tile
  • Glass Tile
  • Granite Tile

Wooden staircases are not a good fit for tile installation. Wood has a tendency to shift over time, especially under vibrations. This could loosen and dislodge the tiles and may even lead to cracking. If you have a wooden staircase, consider laying down a cement backer unit (CBU) or a mortar bed on top. This can help provide an unyielding base on which you can set the tiles.  

Before getting started, make sure that each step is flat and level. Any dip or groove will make your stair tile installation that much more difficult. Installers recommend using a carpenter or laser level for tile floor work. Make sure that the level is accurate by first testing it out on a surface that you know is flat, such as your floor or countertop.

Once you’ve assessed each step, you’re ready to get started. Professional installers recommend that you begin at the top of the step and work your way down. This way you won’t have to worry about standing on newly installed tiles while you’re working on the next step. 

Tile floor accessories are essential when installing on stairs. Riser tiles and tread tiles are examples of floor accessories that are needed to help stabilize each step. When installing, it’s important that you follow the instructions very closely so the end result is a secure and stable staircase. Since tiles can be very slippery, you may even want to consider putting non-slip nosing on the end of each step to help minimize the chance of a fall. 

Here are a few tips to follow when installing tile on stairs:

  • For added stability, make sure that the riser tile extends beyond the back edge of the tread tile.
  • Tiles should never extend over the edge of the step.
  • Start out by installing whole tiles before using the tile pieces.
  • If you’re using metal or rubber stair nosing, do no let the tile overlap the riser.
  • Always allow the tile to set according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

LED Step Lighting Offers Versatility, Appeal, and Safety

Designing the interior design of a home or business is as much about visual appeal as it is about function and efficiency. Even when you are looking to create the most practical of spaces, you want it to offer a look that is pleasing to the eye and that complements your space and your overall design. While this is easy with many facets of design, it has long proven a difficult task to achieve with stairways. Overhead lighting tends to create shadows and to produce uneven lighting, but many homeowners feel that they have few options. LED step lighting, however, offers a viable alternative, and it is one that can offer as much visual appeal as it does function and efficiency.

With LED stairway lighting, you will find that there are options to suit almost any space. When you are looking to illuminate a traditionally dark location, such as stairs leading into a basement or when your purpose is to help eliminate the risk of falls, white LED lights can be the best option. LEDs offer a much clearer form of lighting than traditional bulbs, while also offering remarkable energy efficiency. In terms of stairway lighting, they also offer much greater flexibility.

Most modern LED step lighting is designed to accommodate a wide range of needs. This helps to ensure that a lighting strip can be ideal for illuminating ramps for wheelchairs and assistive devices, yet be equally suitable for cutting to fit traditional staircases. With quality LED stairway lighting, you will find that strips can be safely cut into certain lengths without causing damage or a decrease in function and that they can be equally easily bent or cut to virtually any angle to help meet a variety of needs and purposes.

LED step lighting is equally suitable for both home and residential applications. Many hotels prefer to use LED staircase lighting due to its visual appeal and increased safety versus traditional overhead lighting, particularly in hollow staircases, where fixtures must be placed on side walls and a single bulb outage can create not only decreased appeal, but a hazard for guests as well. It is also quite common for businesses to implement LED lighting for outdoor staircases, where it can easily be ordered in the same color as the company's logo to help complement branding strategies while offering a greater aesthetic appeal to the property.

In short LED step lighting serves numerous purposes and offers a variety of benefits. Both commercial and residential consumers find that the lighting is generally safer due to low heat emissions and its ability to fit within narrow spaces to prevent causing a trip hazard. When beautification, cost efficiency, and safety are all primary concerns, LED stairway lighting simply offers a better alternative to overhead and wall fixtures as well as a more effective option than the use of spotlights along walls or walkways. LED lighting technology has come a long way in recent years, and with various options in terms of color, size, and application, these lights are simply versatile enough to meet any need.

How to Form Your Child's Good Habits of Love For Reading

Reading to a child "The Three Little Pigs" or "The Little Mermaid" or "Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs" or "Cinderella" or "The First Man on the Moon" or "What Are the Colors of The Rainbow?" and the like … can really develop listening and thinking skills – both creative and critical– form values, etc.

Yes, without the guidance of a mature adult like the mother or father, a child would never have a chance of developing love for reading. Not only fiction materials, but also non-fictions such as science books, magazines and others.

When it comes to reading, a child must know how to read and comprehend the texts, both expository and narrative. Expository texts can be found in essays, advertisement, and so on while narrative texts can be found in fictional materials wherein elements of the story such as characters, setting, events, etc. are found. Of course the proverbial … "what- is- the- moral- of- the- story? Is ever present at the end of the QA portion.

To help the child gets the value of the texts, it is not important to memorize the facts, but instead his impressions on those facts. These come in the form of drawing out his own experiences, dreams and the like about the most striking part of the story to him. It is personal so let the child decides which part in the story he finds valuable, and so on.

Reading really is fun. Provided the mature adult or guide really knows how to scaffold him (child) in understanding the story based on his experiences and the like. Often times, a child encounters difficulty in reading the texts. It might be because of the material is beyond his level of ability, interest, maturity and so on – or simply, he does not have the background knowledge or information about the setting, culture or the intention or purpose of the writer. Here, scaffolding by way of supplying him the needed info or background knowledge comes in.

Once a child has developed the love for reading through the help of a parent, well, what comes next is: his journey to never-never-land, or anywhere would be fantastic.

Laminate Flooring Part 2 – Find Adjoining Rooms

The rooms did have a common exterior wall with which we could take measurements off of. The trick was that there was an opening between the two rooms where things needed to line up nicely. The floors would be installed in the same direction in both rooms, and when they came to that opening, they should line up.

Adjoining Rooms
As it turned out, we would have to start laying in the hallway that was in the dining room. Normally, try to install on the longest wall first. That did not work out in this situation. In either case though, you need to establish a common point between the two rooms and have a line to go off of.

Getting a Reference Line
I measured the living room in both of these locations and found the room to be only slightly out (1/2 ") of square. I split the difference and marked each end of the room. I then had John hold a chaulk line on one end of the room away from the kitchen. Then I went into the kitchen and pulled the line tight. I had another one of my little helpers watch the line as it hovered over the mark at the other end of the dining room. This was about the middle of the string. When it was dead on, I placed the string on the floor and had him push the string onto the floor in the middle. John and I then snapped each half of our line. This gave me a place to measure off of in the kitchen and insured that I would be straight and lined up with the dining room.

Another thing to mention is that these marks should be set as multiples of whatever the plank width is. For example, our planks were 3 "wide, so the mark was something like 96" from the end of the hallway. That line represented where a course of planking should come to. John and I then decided that because of the way the kitchen was laid out (see the diagram) it was going to be very hard to measure off of the line and guarantee that we would be perfectly straight so I asked the customer if it would be OK to place a plank perpendicular to the planks in the other two rooms. We would put it right in the threshold of the door. This still kept a great look and solved our problem. Even if we were of slightly, it would not be noticed. Later I almost regretted doing this because we ended up being dead on. Taking the chance was not worth it though.

Buying Chinese Antiques

Chinese antique chair Qing Dynasty 250 years old $400. Ancient vase 300 years old $250

Do these people really think they can sell such items on eBay or from their business with any sort of legitimacy? Absolutely and they do time and time again. I guess the people paying $20,000 USD for the 300-year-old vase at an auction in New York have been living under a tree and are not aware of eBay.

Unfortunately, the consumer is ripped off every time they purchase an item from these people. 250 years to 300 years old, maybe it was made last week, in a little factory out of old wood. Hmm, but why would they lie to me?

One of my goals is to educate the customer on what is antique and what is not. Yes, even industry experts are fooled by the world’s best artisans, but I can assure you that you will not be buying any legitimate antiques from the Ming dynasty for less than the price of a Porsche.

The Chinese government also forbids the exportation of antiques and associated items over 250 years old, that is not to say that none have ever left the country, but the chances of you buying them from eBay or a quaint little shop is extremely rare.

Often a retailer will provide a certificate of authenticity or age, but unfortunately, these are often not worth the cost of the paper they are written with. Unless the certificate is written by an industry expert or someone of relevance, it is just another piece of advertising designed to entice the unsuspecting customer.

With that little piece of knowledge, we can then sift through a lot of the rubbish that is on the market today. Most pieces that are sold are well under 150 years old, which is still an antique in my eyes.

If you are buying from a dealer, ask them as many questions as possible to help determine how genuine the piece is.

Did they source the furniture direct from China or from a wholesaler locally?

Do they travel to China themselves?

What type of timber is the piece made from? The type of timber will often dictate the value of a piece combined with its age.

Do they know what province the piece came from?

Does the piece smell of fresh paint and or lacquer?

Are the painted pieces fresh and distinct or faded and smooth?

Are there wear marks on the drawer runners?

Are the dovetail joints small and universal in shape? They should be large and chunky if they are hand-made.

A very old antique lacquered cabinet will often show cracks running through the lacquer, this type of ageing extremely difficult to reproduce and is often a good indication of age.

Unfortunately, there are also many companies that are also deceiving the unsuspecting retailers of the world, which unknowingly pass the incorrect information onto the public. They manufacture “antiques” from old lampposts and the like so the timber is old, but the construction is new. This type of furniture is hard to detect from the genuine antiques, but asking the right questions and looking at some of the details discussed above should help.

Another indicator though not often realized until your treasured piece is at home is the movement of the furniture. Chinese furniture is designed to move with the seasons, however excess cracking and continual movement is often an indication of young timber that has not yet dried properly.

All of the above should be taken into consideration when deciding to purchase a genuine Chinese antique. This should be a basic guide for those of you who wish to purchase genuine Chinese antiques.

5 Steps To Improve Your Snowboard Progression

The majority of us would like to improve and grow our skiing / snowboarding, but why is it that some seem to advance significantly quicker than others? You're investing the countless hours and trying to learn, but it's not going quickly.

Here's a few strategies that you can do to advance and progress more quickly.

1) You should not go too far outside your comfort zone. Nevertheless, this does not mean that you need to stay inside of your current comfort zone constantly. Step beyond your boundaries every now and then!

If you're comfortable with intermediate ski runs, maybe you should give a basic expert ski run a go? If you ride a lot of freestyle, perhaps you should have a shot at trying to learn to spin in a new direction.

You'll likely fall a bunch or maybe even face plant, but this really is a part of learning. I would recommend planning to learn new techniques on days when the snow is not rock solid.

2) Spend some time to determine what the proper method is for whatever you happen to be trying to pull off. Practicing the incorrect methodology can not only hamper how well you're progressing, but can also give you loads of bad habits, which will be hard to do away with in the future.

Applying flawed methodology is much like striking your face on a brick wall and expecting to break through. However, having awesome technique is like having a sledgehammer to break down that wall. This still takes some work, but it sure makes a heck of a lot of difference utilizing that sledgehammer!

3) Learning with a friend that can provide you with that helpful push is definitely helpful. You might notice that when you ski / snowboard with anyone more advanced than you, they motivate you to have a go at new things which you might typically not want to have a shot at. These friends can also be a great reference for helpful tips and tricks.

4) Take lessons. This is rather straightforward, but you might be surprised at how much difference a week's amount of classes may make. Great instructors will make things easier to learn, as well as help to fix your riding technique.

5) Video yourself skiing / snowboarding. This tends to make a massive difference. Having the capability where you view your actual riding technique and find out what mistakes you make is an eye-opening experience.

Have a buddy video your riding and view the recording later. Review your technique and look at what actions you can take to further improve. It's handy to have a friend who's experienced watching with you, but if you're alone, you can look at examples of good technique on the internet and then compare your own footage to see what you should change.

Becoming a Roof Contractor

In the construction and building industry, a vital aspect is to repair roofs and roof contractors are the experts. Usually it requires the required licenses from the licensing authority from state contractors. However in some states, roofing can be done by general contractors and do not require roof contractors to do it. Although there are stringent laws in place for licensing, many states need to see the experience especially on-job training and work experience before you are eligible to apply for the license. In many states, an examination is conducted to ensure that you have the required knowledge about the job.

Becoming a roof contractor can be a difficult goal, but it is possible. You want to be trained and go through the proper channels to prevent damage, harm and fees.

This construction specialty means you first need to be licensed to do the work and meet requirements specified for the state you will be working. States usually require a roof contractor to have experience in the field as well as an education in the work. This is often required before issuing a license. If you work without a license then there will be expensive fines to pay. Even if you have a roof contracting license a business license is usually required as well if you are going into your own business.

You can start the process of becoming a roof contractor by going on the internet and search the state website for information. You will want to do research in the licenses category often found on the toolbar. This will help you find out what is required. There should be a link for roof contractor licenses. When you click on it the information you will be right there for your review

Once you know what you need and you feel it is time to apply there is usually an online application available. You can fill it out and submit it right then through the internet. Otherwise, they might want the application printed out and mailed to them. Just remember to fill out the application completely and if any particular area does not apply to your situation you can right “not applicable”. You will want to list your references as well as experience on the application as well.

If you don’t have enough experience to apply as a roofing contractor yet then it is better to contact the area union. This is a good way to get experience as well as making connections and adding references. It will also help you decide if you really want to do the job of a roof contractor.

Remember when you apply to become a roof contractor there is an application fee. This is usually something that can be done online. It is the quickest way to handle this using a credit card or bank account. Otherwise, send the payment with the application in the mail. The address is usually included on the website information. It could take up to a month using this option.

You may browse online and know more about the requirements to become a roof contractor. There are numerous websites dealing with the terms and conditions for applying for the license.

Top 9 Choices in Modern Coffee Tables

The coffee table which has become an indispensable furniture particularly in the living room is a long low table which is placed in front of the sofa. It functions as a resting place for beverages, magazines, a coffee table book or two, occasionally even the feet.

In this day and age, these tables of this type are made from a variety of materials or a combination of materials which makes this piece of furniture more appealing with designs that range from the simple leggy types to those with ornate designs that show the artistry of the table's maker. This table can come in many colors as well and shapes such as round, rectangular, square, and irregular shapes such as the kidney bean.

Here are the top 9 resting places for coffee based on material or materials used, color, and shape, starting from the most popular.

1. Wood Coffee Tables

Wood is the most popular material in a coffee table, they are perfect for those who have rustic or traditional design themes in their home. There are also many wood selections that a furniture buyer can choose and they are: oak, pine, cherry, oak, walnut, cypress, and teak. If you're going to make your own table, your choice of type of wood will be determined by the use (and abuse) the table will incur and the design you're making (simple or carved). For heavy duty use, you can choose strong wood and if you're just using this type of table as an accent piece, then you can choose softwood.

2. Glass Coffee Tables

You can purchase an all glass table or a glass table paired with wood or paired with wrought iron. Glass gives the room an illusion of width because you can see through it which is great if you live in a small apartment or house. The author does not recommend glass on homes where there are small kids as glass has the tendency to break. When buying glass tables always be sure that you ask for tempered or treated glass because when this type of glass breaks it will not have sharp edges unlike untreated glass which has the tendency to break in large shards.

3. Noguchi Coffee Tables

Designed by Isamu Noguchi over 50 years ago, table resulted from a match made in heaven by sculpture and furniture. This table features an interlocking wood base and a glass top. This is so popular that it's design is often imitated, so if you're in the market for one, checkout the glass edge and the wood base for the artist's signature. The Herman Miller Company is the one who exclusively manufactures Noguchi tables.

4. Stone Coffee Tables

Different kinds of stones can be used in constructing a stone table: marble, granite, and slate. The most popular is the marble. If you want a Victorian style theme, this furniture will be the best table to put in front of the sofa.

5. Bamboo Coffee Tables

This material is three things at the same time: strong, beautiful, and sturdy. This material is popular because this is perfect for establishing an island or Asian design theme or a traditional theme for the living room. Furniture that use this material will be very expensive as this grass does not grow locally, they have to be imported. Moreover, the process of preparing bamboo for constructing any kind of furniture is a long process that involves stripping bamboo, boiling the strips and gluing the strips together is also what makes bamboo furniture expensive.

6. Wrought Iron Coffee Tables

"Wrought" is an Old English term for "work" therefore literally it's "worked iron". When you buy a wrought iron furniture, you can be sure that artistry is incorporated in that piece because wrought iron is hammered and bent into shape by highly skilled master craftsmen making the iron long lasting and more resistant to corrosion than other types of metals. Wrought iron tables are elegant pieces by themselves but their beauty is enhanced (or they enhance the beauty) of another material paired to them. For instance wrought iron and glass or wrought iron and stone.

7. Lucite Coffee Tables

If you're looking for the perfect table that is visually appealing and gives the eye the illusion of space but that you have reservations with a glass table, then Lucite ends your search. You can now show off that beautiful Persian rug with a coffee table made from Lucite a material which is also known as acrylic that is stronger and clearer than glass.

8. Black or White Coffee Tables

Tables for your coffee can come in many colors but the most popular of these colors is the black or the white colored tables. This is because these colors go with any design theme.

9. Round and Rectangular Coffee Tables

Lastly, a coffee table regardless of any material or color does come in many shapes. The most popular shapes are rectangular and round. Choosing a table's shape should depend on the amount of space in the room, suitability of the shape to the other furniture, and / or whether or not you have young kids at home who might accidentally bump onto rectangular table edges.

Acrylic Painting 101

Acrylic paint is very versatile as well as fast-drying. You can use it right from the tube or add water or another thinner to it and use like watercolors. For those who are new to the use of this material, Acrylic Painting 101 offers a few tips to help you get started.

1. Keep your paints in working condition

Acrylic paints dry very fast, so make sure you only squeeze a little paint out of your tube at one time. If you are using a plastic palette while you are painting use a plastic spray bottle to regularly spray a fine mist over the paint so that it will remain moist. Another option is using stay-wet palettes that sit on a sheet of wax paper atop a damp piece of watercolor paper. Though these types of palettes eliminate the need for spraying the paint, they also lack a hole for your thumb which makes them more difficult to hold than an ordinary plastic palette.

2. Blot your brushes

While you are painting keep a paper towel or cloth next to your jar of water so that you can wipe your brushes on them after you use them. If you get into the habit of doing this you will decrease the chances of water drops getting on your painting and creating blotches.

3. Opaque or transparent

The effect of your colors depends upon how you treat the paint when you prepare to use it. If you use it straight from the tube or with very little water you create an opaque effect while diluting it with water allows you to use it like water colors or for airbrushing.

4. Acrylic vs. Watercolor washes

There are advantages to both methods, but you need to understand the difference. An acrylic wash is permanent when it dries, is insoluble and you can paint over it without worrying about disturbing the original wash. All future washes will mix optically with prior washes while a watercolor glaze can be removed with a damp cloth.

5. Think thin when you're thinking about glazes

If you want to achieve a transparent glaze, it's necessary to build it in thin layers. You will achieve a glassy surface if you use a heavy layer.

6. Improve the flow of your colors without losing the strength of your colors

If you use a flow-control medium instead of just water you will be able to increase the flow of your color without losing any of its strength.

7. How to blend acrylic paints

Because of the fast-drying nature of acrylic paints, you must work quickly to blend colors. If you're working on paper you can dampen it to increase your working time.

8. Hard edges

Masking tape is an excellent way to create edging because it is easy to apply and remove from dried acrylic paint. Make sure the tape is firmly secured in place and do not paint too thick along the edges or your line will not be clean when you remove the tape.

9. Washing up liquid with masking fluid

You can use masking fluid with both acrylic washes and watercolors. When this material dries in a brush it is extremely difficult to remove. If you dip your brush into some washing-up liquid first will allow you to wash the masking fluid from your brush much easier.

10. Using acrylic paint as a glue for collage

You can use acrylic paint as glue in a collage if it is used thickly and the item you are trying to glue is not very heavy.

How To Make A Hit TV Show

The TV industry is a difficult and fickle one, and making a hit is an elusive craft. You’d be forgiven for thinking that it all boils down to a mix of a good idea, script, cast and production, but even they aren’t guarantees that a show will be popular. Instead, successful TV is often marked by a mix of common quirks as hard to explain as it is to manufacture, and clever choices with the cards they’re dealt. But whether it’s genetics or gumption, some of the most prodigiously successful pieces of television ever made have scratched their initials onto these rite of passage pillars:

Give an auditioning actor another part apart from the part they went for:

Successful TV shows have always managed to accommodate talented actors in ways they didn’t initially intend. McLean Stevenson auditioned for the role of Hawkeye Pierce before becoming Henry Blake in M*A*S*H*, the last episode of which garnered the biggest audience in history. Michael Rispoli auditioned to be Tony Soprano but was made Jackie Asprile Senior instead. January Jones attempted to become Don Draper’s assistant Peggy Olson in Mad Men before being promoted to wife duties. Kristin Davis of Sex And The City could have made Carrie Bradshaw much less equine. Sarah Michelle Geller and Charisma Carpenter originally auditioned for each other’s eventual roles in Buffy. Courtney Cox was originally asked to play Rachel in Friends before becoming Monica. And John Ratzenberger aimed to sit at the edge of the barstool as Norm Peterson at Cheers, except he was the subject of another successful TV phenomenon.

Create a character for someone:

Having struck out as Norm, Ratzeneberger resolved to bug the producers of Cheers with inane chatter to the point where they made Cliff Claven on the spot based on his tirade. When a good deal of those same producers spun off and created Frasier, casting director Sheila Guthrie brought to their attention a photo of the actor David Hyde Pierce, who she considered to be a dead ringer for a young Kelsey Grammer. They created Niles Crane largely on the strength of that photo. Steve Van Zandt, headhunted by David Chase for a role in The Sopranos, was so concerned about bumping another actor out of a role that Silvio Dante was created specifically for him.

Promote a bit player to the big leagues:

The most successful shows habitually have minor characters come to life on screen that didn’t exactly jump off the page. M*A*S*H*’s Corporal Klinger was intended to be little more than a one episode gag but made enough of an impression that he was there until the final episode. Lilith Sternin was meant to be a Frasier Crane one-date-wonder but ended up becoming his wife, while The West Wing’s Donna Moss was only intended to be a recurring guest, but her chemistry with Josh sealed her fate as one of the more popular members of the cast throughout its run. And 30 Rock’s Kenneth Parcell is nigh on the dictionary definition of a break out character.

Replacing characters wisely:

A good way of determining the TV wheat from the chaff is how they handle the departure of a pivotal character. Do you remember for instance who replaced Eric in That Seventies Show? Of course you don’t. The guy who played him probably doesn’t even remember. The best approach to take is go for a character wildly divergent from the last one: In M*A*S*H* the inept busybody Frank Burns was replaced by the brilliant blueblood Major Winchester and the hapless Colonel Blake by the much more together Colonel Potter, and in Cheers the passing of old timer The Coach made young Woody Harrelson a household name. Other shows practically made a habit of constantly getting in/shipping out new stars, just to show off. The West Wing disposed of Mandy Hampton and Sam Seaborn without breaking a sweat. Between them LA Law and ER had an ensemble cast larger longer than the extras lunch queues on the set of Gandhi, but they both managed nearly a quarter of a century between them. The show runner of the former, David E Kelley, got so used to bringing big characters in and out that on his most recent success, Boston Legal, he regularly disposed of senior cast members without the slightest explanation. And he got away with it too. Now that’s a sign of success.

How to Dig Out a Fence Post and Concrete Footing Using Hand Tools

Confirm Digging is the Only Option

To begin, evaluate the condition of the post and the concrete. Intact posts are a significant benefit and will make removal much easier. Posts in good condition that are still sound make their removal much easier. Also evaluate the concrete base (if present) – is it still solid or is it cracked/crumbling?

If the post is broken or the concrete is cracked there may be no other way than to dig out the post and concrete base, but before resorting to heavy manual labor try the Wood Post Puller method – its biggest strength is that is works in synergy with all of the lifting and digging methods to improve effectiveness and can easily remove posts and concrete bases that stymie other techniques.

After you determine there is no other way than to dig out the post, the following instructions will make this difficult task as easy as possible:

How Deep and How Much to Dig?

Dig a hole next to the existing post and concrete base approximately the same size as the post and base – don’t dig all the way around the post and don’t dig a hole that is larger than the post – it is just extra work digging and then re-filling the hole after you are done.

Do you know how deep the post is buried? The following are typical starting lengths before posts are set in the ground:

  • 4×4 wood posts will typically be 8 feet long set 3 feet in the ground
  • Metal t-posts will typically be 7 feet long set 2 feet in the ground
  • Galvanized posts are typically 8 feet long set 3 feet in the ground

If you are not sure, you can also measure the height of the post that is above ground (or the length of the piece if it is broken off) and approximate the length that is buried. Dig your hole at least 75% as deep as the post that is buried – for example, a typical wood post will be buried in the ground 3 feet or 36 inches, so dig down to a depth of at least 27 inches (36 x 0.75 = 27).

Digging Technique

Start the hole using a round point spade to get through any turf, roots, or other surface debris. As the hole gets deeper, a trench spade (also referred to as a ditch spade or trenching tool) will make the digging easier until you are down to about 16-24 inches. With shovels and spades you are using your legs and body weight to loosen the soil for removal – keep going until the hole becomes too tall and narrow to gain leverage at the bottom and then switch to the next stage.

This is where you transition to tools that are driven by arm power – the post hole digger and digging bar.

Tip – Choose a post hole digger that is smaller and lighter – unless you are a weightlifter type, the large heavy post hole diggers with the fiberglass handles will wear you out – the smaller, lighter post hole diggers are more maneuverable and will be more effective for most people, even if they sacrifice some reach.

Tip – Use a digging bar – a San Angelo bar is designed to make digging easier – it has a chisel head to loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole and to trim the sides of the hole, the other end of the bar is a point for breaking up difficult soil. Other types of digging bars will include a tamper head on one end for packing loose soil. Look for a bar that is high quality heat treated carbon steel – no need to pay extra for a brand name, digging bars are available at discount supply stores for approximately $25.

After you have reached the target depth, use the chisel head on the digging bar to clear out any soil remaining between the post and your hole. As you dig a round hole next to a round post foundation there will be a ridge that should be removed.

Removing the Post

Now you begin the removal process, the general concept is to tip the post into the hole you just dug. Start by simply pushing the top of the post towards the hole, it may break free from the soil and slide into the hole – then you can insert the pry bars underneath the post and concrete and lift it out. If the post doesn’t move, try jamming the pry bar into the ground next to the post or concrete footing on the side opposite the hole and pry it towards the hole. To increase the leverage from the pry bar, use a scrap piece of 2×4 or other wood on the ground to form a fulcrum and prevent the pry bar from sinking into the ground.

If the post still won’t move, use the digging bar to expand the hole around the circumference of the post footing by digging sideways. Continue prying the post out and enlarging the hole around the post until it breaks free and tips over into the hole. The critical part is to break the post loose – sometimes a few well-placed hits with a sledgehammer are needed for persuasion to get the post moving – after it moves even a fraction of an inch the war is won and the post will come out.

Methods of Investing Money – An Overview

If you are looking to expand your portfolio of investments in an attempt to make a profit, check out the various ways you can go about investing money. Investing money is a make it or break it type of dealing where nothing is static; however there are some investments that provide a return that breaks even with your original amount, but these are few.

When investing money you want to assure that you can afford to lose the amount you plan on investing, taking a pray for the best but prepare for the worst type of mentality. Within investments lies the opportunity to reap a huge profit, as well as an opportunity to lose it all, so be sure to do a little research into the various investment methods you choose to utilize before making a solid money lending choice.

The first thing you want to do when looking to invest some money is determine the amount of money you can afford to lose. If you are using investments as a last ditch effort to make a quick profit, be sure to do an extensive amount of research into your investment choice. Once you have an amount you can afford to invest, you go about checking into the various investment opportunities both locally and online.

The stock market is the king of all investment activity with stocks being traded and invested in nearly twenty-four hours a day, so if you are looking to leap into the investment ocean, check out the stock market. When purchasing stocks you can either do this online at the various penny stock based websites, or you can hire a broker to help negotiate your trades.

Besides the stock market there are investment opportunities all around the world with people looking to start up a business, but lacking the necessary funds. If you come across a person with a passion and profitable business idea, but a lack of funds, you can offer to invest in their company putting yourself out there both as a person and financially in the hopes they will make their business profitable.

Overall if you are looking to make some money by doing research and a baseline form of gambling, check out the various methods of investments you can utilize. Something that was not spoken about in this article but is also worth investigating is bonds. Investing in bonds can be safer than investing in stocks.

Electronic Contract Manufacturer

This is a term used when companies offer out a contract for the assembly of electronic components for other companies. It is known as ECM (Electronic Contract Manufacturing) and is a service often used by OEM companies; instead of the OEM Company having to manufacture complex components and motherboards themselves they outsource their manufacturing task to Electronic Component Manufacturing companies. ECM companies do not brand their components in any way at all; instead the components remain un-branded and gain the name of the OEM Company that offered out the contract.

It was in 1981 when IBM entered the computer market that the CM (Contract Manufacturing) Industry was born. IBM started a trend by outsourcing certain jobs, they classed this as outside core competence and this in turn sparked a trend of contracts being outsourced which gave ECM companies a method of increasing economies of scale. In time the market power shifted from OEMs to larger ECMs, this was largely in part too many OEMs selling off all of their old production units to Electronic Contract Manufacturers. An example of this was a Swedish company that specialised in telecommunications (Ericsson) and they sold seven plants to ECM companies Solectron and Flextronics in 1997.

There are a lot of ECM companies today with the leading (key) companies being: Foxconn, Jabil Circuit, Solectron, Benchmark Electronics, Flextronics, EE Technologies, Tresmine, Celestica and Sanmina-SCI. Some of the above companies are operated from Taiwan and North America. There are other companies that offer these services however all of the above are trusted well established ECMs

How to Grow Vegetables in Small Spaces

When you think vegetable garden do you think of wide open spaces with rows and rows of vegetables. It does not need to be that way. You can grow vegetables in small cramped spaces and have vegetables all year long. Growing vegetables can be very rewarding and economical. Think tomatoes in tubs at the edge of your deck or strawberries in containers on a window sill. Maybe some lettuce in an old window box or some scarlet runners on a trellis beside your deck or patio.

A space no bigger than your washer and dryer can supply you with vegetables all year round. The trick to gardening in small spaces is proper soil mix, fertilizer and finding plants and seeds that are suited to small growing spaces. Look for plants that are bush compact or dwarf. Many seed companies now offer miniature plants to fit the needs of people with limited space.

Growing vegetables in containers is different than other types of gardening. But there are advantages. The advantage of vegetables planted in small containers is that you can move them around. Lettuce needs about four hours of sunlight but tomatoes beans need about 8 hours of sunlight. If you live in an area where you have small critters like moles or squirrels container planting is the answer. Another advantage to container gardening is that you can treat each plant individually especially if one plant requires a particular type of soil. Container plants can also be moved in doors for the cooler months and you can even grow vegetables all year if you have a grow light and some extra space.

It is easy to create an artificial light system to get the seeds started. Purchase two 40 watt fluorescent tubes, a warm and cool, from your local hardware store. The tubes do not need to be the expensive plant growing tubes. You will need to keep the lights very close to the seedlings for a least 12 hour a day.

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Split System Air Conditioning Advantages

Anyone can really appreciate a cool environment on a hot summer day. The thing is nowadays such convenience cannot be easily achieved especially if one is living in an area where there are limited or no trees around. In such areas, a favourable option to do is to install a cooling device such as a split system air conditioning unit installed in a property. Nowadays, there are several kinds of air conditioning systems and the one mentioned above is just one of them.

A split system air conditioning unit is at times referred to as ductless split, mini-split, ductless or duct-free air conditioning system. It attaches an indoor evaporator unit to a condenser installed outside a house or building using a tiny tube. It permits cooling of an area in your house or many areas depending on your preference. There are even those that come with a heating option as well.

Above is mentioned an advantage of having a split system air conditioning unit in your house. However, there are more to expect from it which include to following:

• Easy installation

Generally, it is easier to install compared to a conventional air conditioner. When attaching the evaporator to the condenser, it is necessary to have a three inch hole in a wall intended for the conduit. It is unnecessary for the condenser to sit near the evaporator which is situated inside since the conduit connector can be used in varying lengths. As a result, cooling any indoor space can be conveniently implemented.

• Versatility

The indoor blowers for the said air conditioning system could be set up in three areas whether in a wall, ceiling or floor. Meanwhile, there are also purchasable independent standing floor units. They are tiny and generally are covered in an ornamental jacket for indoor consumption. Moreover, they are also typically go together with a remote control in order for the temperature to be easily regulated. The remote control is in each room where the unit is set up.

• Operating silently

Noise is unfortunately an inconvenience in other air conditioners unlike a split system type. The reason for this is that the compressor is located outside. As a result, it is hardly heard when the unit is operating.

• Energy Proficiency

Though central air conditioning systems have turned into more energy proficient all these years, these systems lose more than 1/3 of their energy consumption due to the duct work needed in order for the system to work appropriately which is especially real if the duct work has to voyage through an area not conditioned such as a basement or attic. On the other hand, split system air conditioners do not necessitate ducting since it only requires a three-inch conduit cable to connect a tinier outdoor compression unit.

• Cost-effectiveness

It is preferable for those who want to save money on an air conditioning unit. Though it is more expensive than window units, it is still less costly than setting up an air conditioner with a central system.