Foam Insulation 101: The Types of Insulation

With all the different choices in foam insulation today, how do you know which is best? This article reviews the different types of foam insulation and the benefits of each.

The Types of Insulation and the Benefits of Each

Insulation is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to reduce energy waste and lower your monthly energy bills, but with all of the different types of foam on the market, how do you which option is best for you? There are four main types of insulation including spray foam, rigid foam and blown foam. In this article we will discuss each type and the benefits of each.

Spray insulation is a very popular type of insulation in the home improvement industry today. Its unique ability to expand and serve as a barrier as well as an insulator makes it a very popular option. Once sprayed into the desired cavity or crevice, the foam expands filling all holes and acting as an air tight seal. This type of industrial insulation helps keep cool air inside during the summer and cold air out during the winter thus lowering your energy use. Spray foam is also considered a "green" option because it is a permanent investment and many state and federal tax rebates are also available for this reason.

Rigid insulation is also becoming a popular choice due to its ability to block sound. There is not much worse than a noisy neighbor playing drums (I can testify personally to this) so the demand for rigid foam is quite high in places such as condominiums and town homes. Made from closed cell foam boards, rigid foam is also water resistant, which helps control moisture and mold growth in your home. Rigid foam insulation can also be a very economically friendly method of insulation and is quite popular for this reason.

Blown foam insulation is also a very popular choice due to it being an eco-friendly option. The primary content of blown insulation is in fact mostly recycle material and therefore lessens energy waste. Another benefit of blown in insulation is its ability to conform to the size of any gap. This type of insulation allows reduction of all air leaks inside the house and thus saves energy and money each month.

You can see color : as, there are On: many different types of foam insulation and Factors : many to think about when Considering Which is best for you and your family. The best option for you depends on your particular wants and needs; no matter what option you choose, it is always a wise investment.

Elastic Composite, Reinforced Lightweight Concrete (ECRLC) – A Brief

The mentioned “Elastic Composite, Reinforced Lightweight Concrete (ECRLC)” is a type of “Resilient Composite Systems (RCS)”.

– Resilient Composite Systems (RCS):

“Resilient Composite Systems” (RCS) are the compound materials with particular structural properties, in which, contrary to the basic geometrical assumption of flexure theory in Solid Mechanics, strain changes in beam height during bending is typically “Non-linear”. (As well, Elastic Composite, Reinforced Lightweight Concrete; ECRLC is a type of RCS with the mentioned specifics.)

Generally, Resilient Composite Systems comprise these components, as the main, necessary elements:

1) Mesh (Lattice);

2) Fibers or strands;

3) Conjoined matrix, having disseminated suitable pores and/or disseminated appropriate lightweight aggregates beads or particles. [Here, the general term of “lightweight aggregate” has a broad meaning, also including the polymeric and non-polymeric beads or particles.]

Resilient Composite Systems are made by creating disseminated suitable hollow pores and/or by distributing appropriate lightweight aggregates in the supported reinforced, fibered conjoined matrix so that “the strain changes in beam height during bending” is typically “non-linear”. Thereby, by using the mentioned method to make the said particular composite systems, we could considerably increase the modulus of resilience and bearing capacity in bending “together with” significant decrease of the weight and also possibility of beam fracture of primary compressive type. Through making these particular integrated functioning systems, for the first time, the said (paradoxical) properties have been concomitantly fulfilled in one functioning unit altogether.

Generally, in these integrated functioning units, the amount and manner of the mentioned components use in the organized system are always “so that”; the mutual (reciprocal) interactions among the components finally lead to the “typically non-linear strain changes in beam height during bending” (as the “basic functional character” of these systems with the specific testable criteria and indices) and fulfillment of the practical functional specifications of the system.

In RCS in general, the main strategy to raise the modulus of resilience in bending is “increasing the strain capability of the system in bending” within elastic limit.

Here, the main method or axial tactic to fulfill the stated strategy includes “creating suitable hollow pores and/or using appropriate lightweight aggregates, all disseminated in the matrix”, for providing more possibility of expedient internal shape changes (deformities) in the matrix, which could lead to more appropriate distribution of the stresses and strains throughout the system. Conversely, only creating hollow pores and/or using the lightweight aggregates in the matrix, “by itself”, not only won’t lead to the mentioned goals, but also will bring about weakening and fragility of the matrix! Hence, concomitantly, the matrix should be supported and strengthened. Here, this essentially strengthening and ameliorating are performed by giving attention to the internal consistency of the matrix and employing the reinforcements in “two complementary levels”: 1) Using the fibers to better distribution of the tensile stresses and strains in the matrix, and increasing the matrix’s endurance and modulus of resilience in tension and bending; 2) Using the mesh or lattice to better distribution of the tensile stresses and strains in the system and increasing the system’s endurance and modulus of resilience in tension and bending.

In these systems, the presence of the mentioned disseminated hollow pores and/or lightweight aggregates in the conjoined matrix (which has been ameliorated through forming an integrated, reticular structure) provides the possibility of “more internal deformities in the matrix” during bending. By the way, this could lead to less accumulation of the internal stresses in the certain points of the matrix during bending, better absorption and control of the stresses, and providing the possibility of more continuing the bending course, particularly within elastic limit.

Occurrence of the stated internal deformities in the system’s supported matrix during bending also includes occurrence of the deformities in the mentioned hollow pores and/or lightweight aggregates disseminated in the conjoined matrix, in two different forms. Indeed, we have the internal deformities in the fibered lightweight matrix of the system throughout the bending course, in two main different forms: A) Tendency to increasing the thickness (height) of the in-compressing layers (particularly in the upper parts of the beam) and conversion of some internal compressive stresses to the internal tensile stresses (in the axis perpendicular to the mentioned internal compressive tensions) in the in-compressing layers; B) Tendency to decreasing the thickness (height) of the in-tension layers (particularly in the lower parts of the beam) and conversion of some internal tensile stresses to the internal compressive stresses (in the axis perpendicular to the mentioned internal tensile tensions) in the in-tension layers.

In the under-bending sections of the “Resilient Composite Systems”, the established deformities in “conjoined and perpendicular to load applying direction layers” during bending are so that “the initially plane and perpendicular to beam axis sections” typically remove from “plane and vertical state” to “curve shape” during bending. Thereby, the basic geometrical assumption of flexure theory in Solid Mechanics (“linear” being of strain changes in beam height during bending) and its resulted trigonometric equations & equalities are being overshadowed in these systems.

In this way, through occurring of the stated internal deformities in the strengthened matrix, the stresses have been more “distributed” and “absorbed”, and the “rate” of increasing the internal stresses in the matrix (could lead to the plasticity and crush of the matrix) are reduced. Indeed, in these systems, the mentioned internal deformities bring about the tendency of the so-called Neutral Axis to move downward. “This tendency is opposite to the natural tendency of the neutral axis to move upward during bending.” Hence, more possibility for continuing the bending course is provided.

Indeed, due to the manner of the mentioned particular internal shape changes (in two different forms) in the system’s fibered lightweight matrix, we have “typically non-linear strain changes in beam height during bending” so that this non-linearly being is counted as the basic functional criterion (with its own indices) for Resilient Composite Systems.

– The “Elastic Composite, Reinforced Lightweight Concrete (ECRLC)” as a type of Resilient Composite Systems (RCS):

The Resilient Composite Systems (with the mentioned general structural properties and specific functional criteria), whose cement materials include the “C-S-H (Calcium Silicate hydrate) crystals”, have been named as “Elastic Composite, Reinforced Lightweight Concrete (ECRLC)”. [For instance, the composition of “Portland cement and water”, “Portland cement and water and Pozzolanic materials”, and “lime and Pozzolanic materials” all are among the cement materials that comprise C-S-H crystals.]

Regarding the special pattern of strain changes during bending in the particular Resilient Composite System called as the ECRLC, this system as an integrated functioning unit with the reticular arrangement and texture has more strain capability (particularly within the elastic limit), energy absorption and load bearing capacities in bending compared to the usual reinforced concrete beams.

Obviously, use of the said used hollow pores and/or lightweight aggregates (such as the Polystyrene beads) leads to decrease of the density. In this way, we could also get access to the so-called (thermal) insulating materials according to the case.

Thereby, through employing this applied structure, possibility of solving some of main problems of lightweight concretes application, especially deadlock of brittle and insecure being of fracture pattern in many of the usual reinforced lightweight concrete structures, is provided; reaching to bearing high capacities in bending elements (even with low dimensions & weights) is to hand, and getting access to a simple and practical opportunity for “qualitative development of capabilities of using lightweight concretes” is conceivable.

Here, it is worthy of mentioning that, if needed and “according to the case”, simultaneously using some auxiliary methods and additional, accompanying elements (such as the supplementary reinforcements, connection strips, foam pieces, reinforcing in different levels, etc) in proportion with these systems could be taken into consideration. “However, in general, these supplementary elements are not necessary for counting a system as the so-called Resilient Composite Systems (Resilient Compound Systems).”

Naturally, by more studies in the field, these structures and their applications in various fields could be developed more.

– Some Applications:

Considering the subjects and particulars mentioned for the simple, practical system named as Elastic Composite, Reinforced Lightweight Concrete (as a type of “Resilient Composite Systems”), this system could be efficiently employed as the “in-bending” and in-torsion elements and also for construction of the elements that perform the act of shielding and absorbing impacts, shocks, vibrations and dynamic loads (in bending).

As well, with respect to the properties as lightness, insulation, durability, work-ability and high forming possibility of some components used in this system (such as a special type of the lightweight concrete with high strain capability), and regarding the possibility of employing supplementary elements and auxiliary methods (according to the case), this system and some of its main components, such as the mentioned special lightweight concrete, can be employed in various cases.

Thus, they can be employed in: construction of the slabs, roofs, floors and decks, bridges, shields and pieces against blast and expulsion, road side guards, walls & partitions, kinds of the Slab Tracks and Traverses (under the rails), and various structures and objects such as multi-floor parking garages, buildings & towers, marine structures & floaters, intervening structures, lightweight facade pieces, lumbers, cabinet, counter, pips & ducts, etc.

The said particulars of the system could have high importance also in constructing high buildings & towers and in constructions in seismic areas. Lightness, high resilience and capacities of energy absorption and reserving in bending, secure fracture pattern, appropriate behavior against the disseminated high impacts and vibrations, suitable integrity, and not utilizing of the high weight & separated materials with discordant behavior are among the specifics, which are important in this regard. [As a general rule; in many cases, “Lightweight and Integrated Construction” could be counted as a crucial and practical attitude to effectively increase the resistance & safety of the constructions against earthquake and lateral forces, in the large extent. (For example, employing some lightweight and insulating, non-brittle, reinforced sandwich panels for construction could be considered in its turn… )]

In the literature about “Elastic Composite, Reinforced Lightweight Concrete (ECRLC)”, this system and some related structures & components have been presented, and some instances of the said structure with related details and the results of the replicable performed experiments have been also pointed.

Naturally, by more studies and practices on this new innovative system and the “Resilient Composite Systems” in general, these structures and their applications can be developed more.

How Much Water Should You Drink A Day To Lose Weight? On Water and Weight Loss

A lot of time, thought, and effort is put into losing weight, changing dietary habits and re-shaping body composition. Are you one of the thousands trying to eat less, control appetite, reduce cravings and lose body fat? Most people try very hard and the whole effort to lose weight just gets too hard. The good news is that you do not need to change your work ethic or will-power, in most cases you just need to work on your water and nutrient intake, with emphasis on both the quantity and quality of the water you drink.

Water Quantity:

So, how much water SHOULD you drink a day to lose weight? Studies and opinions on this vary but one of the most popularized concepts over the past 10 years (in terms of water consumption quantity) has been to drink eight, 8 oz. glasses of water every day. This guideline is based upon people of average weight and therefore you should adjust your intake according to your own weight.

For example, if you are a 225 lb. person, your recommended daily consumption would be more like ten, 8 oz. glasses of water per day while if you only weight 95 lbs., then six, 8 oz. glasses of water should be sufficient.

Taking in a satisfactory quantity of water every day is important because water helps your body perform a large number of tasks, including its ability to metabolize food and carry waste nutrients out of your body – important factors in losing or maintaining your weight.

Water Quality:

However, when trying to lose weight, perhaps even more important than the quantity of water you drink is the quality of the water! Simply put, drink waters (and eat foods) that are high in natural nutrients and you'll lose weight naturally.

Our primary reason for eating and drinking is to acquire nutrients. Your body craves the nutrition it needs to keep our bodily processes running 24 hours a day for the length of your lifetime. So, if the water you drink and food you eat are basically lacking in nutrition, your body will continue to seek it through continued hunger, cravings, and more eating.

It's not your fault, most bottled waters and tap waters have been through a filtration or reverse osmosis process and are lacking natural minerals and nutrients, while our foodstuffs are continually losing their nutritive value due in part to poor farming and environmental practices, not to mention processing and preservatives. So, your body ends up not getting the nutrients it wants and needs. You end up deficient in life's necessary materials.

You can easily correct this dietary deficiency by choosing to drink and eat right – for your body and life longevity. Choose fresh, organic fruits and vegetables and choose drinking water that is a natural well water with dietary elements and dietary compounds like calcium, magnesium, potassium and even alkaline substances like sodium bicarbonate.

Organic fruits and vegetables are now in much bigger supply and easier to find. Unfortunately, finding a natural, healthy mineral water here in the United States is not easy to do. We are fortunate in Texas to have one of the best natural water alternatives nearby in Mineral Wells, Texas. This water, with its naturally occurring blend of so many vital dietary elements and compounds, not only hydrates your body with clean, natural water, but also fulfills your body's needs for essential nutrition. With a surplus of natural nutrients through healthy eating and drinking, you body will crave less food and you'll end up with what you want, a leaner and healthier you with much less effort! So count your nutrients and not calories and look and feel your best … and live longer!

Hydroponics Nutrient and Feeding Tips

Basic nutrients such as potassium, nitrogen and phosphorous are fundamental to the biochemical processes for a plant when it is making its food. To ensure maximum health, you can consider adding other nutrients such as magnesium or iron.

Nitrogen is an important part of growing leaves. The air is about 79% nitrogen, but plants will still need a supplement of it to grow. The molecule of N2 in the air is not very stable and plants can not break apart the compound to find the single atom. Phosphorous affects the growth of roots. Potassium, on the other hand, helps to fight diseases since it is a big part of enzyme formation.

There are other elements that are very important to the life and health of your hydroponic plant. Calcium is necessary to help build the cell walls and also will help to deliver ions to various parts of the plant. Chlorine is a part of chlorophyll and is a very big part of photosynthesis. Iron, meanwhile, is a big factor of the hemoglobin molecule and is formed by plants and animals to help transport oxygen for cellular respiration.

You can find pre-made solutions that will give your plants the nutrients they need. Just like with anything, the right dosage is essential. You can find young plants that will need a specific dosage, while flowering plants will require a completely different amount.

Maintaining a steady water temperature is crucial as it affects how the plant obtains its nutrients. You can find a range of solutions, but they should all be fed at room temperature level. The hydroponic plants themselves should also be in water that is room temperature for best results.

Dry plants need nutrients and nitrogen burning is possible. You can find the aeroponics, which is when one branch is grown in air and can suffer the problem of nitrogen burning.

If you get your water from the tap, leave the water overnight to allow chlorine to evaporate. Mineral water is preferable to distilled water as it contains calcium and other positive nutrients.

Make sure the soil is at a neutral pH level if you want to see positive results in your plant. You can keep your plants neutral to keep the water alkaline. You can add a little bit of sulfuric acid to make sure that the water is very neutral for your plants. If you have very acidic water, you can make it more neutral pH with sodium hydroxide.

Of course, you can also find testing kits that will help you accurately measure the pH of the water for your hydroponic water. Your hydroponic plants will be more sensitive to nutrient levels and can not self-regulate themselves like soil-based plants so you will need to keep an eye on your plants.

Tips When Using LimeWire

Here are some tips and useful features that will help you get the most out of LimeWire 4.9.

1. LimeWire is written in Java programming language and will run on any computer with the ability to run Java version 1.1.8 that is connected to the Internet.

2. It’s best to use different P2P programs to get certain files. LimeWire is best suited for songs and video files, especially recent ones. For CD images and programs, I use BitTorrent/Azureus. I only use WinMX if I can’t find the files I want on those first two, and I don’t even have Kazaa installed (too many viruses and trojans!).

3. When searching for files, first do a general search and find the specific file you want. Then do a more targeted search on that file, and you will get more results, and thus, a faster download.

4. If you’re like me and fetch download speeds from 30 kb/s up to 200 kb/s per file, downloading more than 4 files at once may put a strain on your computer. If this happens, your computer will get extremely sluggish, and it will become difficult to do anything else on it. Because of this, I recommend choosing your downloads in the morning or at night, and leaving the computer to do its hard work while you sleep or away during the day.

5. LimeWire has a cool “Recently Added” button that lets you search for new files. Also, there’s a place that lets you see what other users are typing in their search boxes. Both of these features help when you are bored but you don’t know what to download.

6. When you remove a download from the transfer list, it isn’t deleted; it’s actually in a folder called “Incomplete”. If you are tight on hard drive space, it’s a good idea to check this folder (found in the library screen) and delete its contents every so often. Make sure you empty the trash bin too!

Come check out my software blog to find more awesome software and advice to use them!

Chin Up Bar Exercises – Benefits and Technique

There are certain standard exercises that are classics. The push-up, the crunch, the chin-up. Each one has been performed and perfected for years, and is abandoned for the latest fad and then returned to when wisdom prevails. Each requires no piece of fancy equipment, and relies instead on gravity and your body weight. Today let’s take a closer look at the chin-up, and ask a few basic questions. Why do them? What are the benefits? What do you do if you can’t even do one? Is there a way to perfect your form, and what common mistakes should you be looking out for?

A chin-up is where you simply pull your weight off the ground by grabbing onto an elevated bar. If you grip the bar with your palms facing away then you are doing a ‘pull-up’, which focuses less on the arms and more on the shoulders and back. If your palms are facing toward you, then you are indeed doing a ‘chin-up’, and will immediately notice the strain placed on your biceps as they come into action.

They’re simple to do, and the benefits area as varied as they are intense. First and foremost you build muscle. Chin-ups and Pull-ups force you to lift your own bodyweight, and this places stress on your body, from the large muscles of your back to your shoulders to your arms. They also increase your grappling strength which will benefit you in any sport that includes gripping, grappling, and pulling such as rock climbing, rowing, or the like. You’ll also find that the benefits carry over to such exercises as the overhead press and bench press, as they same, improved muscles are able to perform better in those exercise routines. Finally, chin-ups and pull-ups will greatly increase your shoulder health, in that these ‘pull’ exercises will balance out any ‘press’ exercises and thus keep the muscles equilibrated.

But they’re hard. Most people have trouble doing even a couple, and some can’t even do the first. Should you become discouraged, throw your gym towel into a corner and stomp off to chow down on some sweet chocolate cookies, convinced that there is no hope for you? No! Instead, learn to assist yourself till you can manage a pull-up alone. Some common techniques include placing a chair beneath the bar onto which you rest your tip toes and push off as little as you can. Or you can have a buddy your trust implicitly help you raise up. Conversely, you can wrap a resistance band from the bar to your knees, and allow that to raise you, or use momentum to swing yourself up.

So how exactly do you do a perfect pull-up or chin-up? Easy. Start in a dead hang with straight arms. Squeeze the bar tight, with your fingers curled around the bar, not in the palm of your hands. Breath at the bottom, taking a big breath before pulling yourself up. Don’t let your shoulders go forward; rather, rise with your chest arched as if you were going to press your sternum into the bar. Look up! That will help you keep the right posture. Drive your elbows to the floor, and bend your legs and cross your feet. Squeeze those glutes on the way up.

Despite keeping all those factors in mind, it’s still easy to mess up. Here are some of the common mistakes people make when seeking physical perfection. You might, for example, fail to straighten your arms when you hang in a dead lift. Or you might push your shoulders forward instead of your chest. Many, many people will rock and buck their hips up, using their core muscles to build momentum in order to cut their shoulders a break. Don’t do this! If you’re flailing like a salmon trying to get upstream, you’re doing it wrong. And finally, make sure your chin clears the bar. If it doesn’t, it’s a partial pull-up.

There you go. A classic exercise that delivers classic results. Do your chin ups, try to be able to do at least 15, and then start using weights to raise the resistance level. Good luck!

Choose the Right Airsoft Gun

When you go to purchase an airsoft gun you will want to have done your research on the different types of them. There are three different types of airsoft guns; spring airsoft guns, electric, and gas-powered guns.

An airsoft spring gun is a type that uses a spring to assist the firing of the BB. It is an affordable type of airsoft gun and is normally styled in the pistol or handgun form. This is a great type to choose if you are a beginner or new to airsoft guns. Spring guns in the form of rifles are not for beginners. It shoots out a more powerful force and is considered stronger than most electric or gas powered guns.

It is so cheap because it does not take any external power like gas or electricity. However, you still need to cock and re-cock the slider every time you go to shoot. This is what you can not shoot automatic or even semi automatic. Airsoft spring handguns are the least powerful form if you compare them to the other two types. Keep in mind that spring guns are only good for ten feet shooting ranges.

Gas powered guns are powered by gas that is inserted in the butt of the airsoft gun. They are also called GBB. The gas for the guns is sold in the form of tin cans and looks a lot like an aerosol can.

In most cases, CFC-free gas is used. Most of the one that use gas use HFC134a. Some do require a more powerful type of gas, so beware when you are purchasing your GBB. You will always want to use the right type of gas because it will damage the gun and could cause harm to yourself. People purchase gas airsoft guns because they are more accurate than any other type. They are also heavier and have more detail for design than the other two types of guns. Gas powered airsoft guns are not for beginners because they are more difficult to handle and care for. This is more of an automatic, machine gun.

Electric guns are powered by battery. Normally, your electric gun will take four AAA batteries. You will most likely want to get the rechargeable batteries because they do not last long. Airsoft electric guns are also spring guns. Electric guns have to have a spring to be compressed, but with an electric gun you do not have to manually cock the slider for every shot. Because you do not have to cock the gun yourself, you are able to get fully automatic shots from an electric gun. Normally an electric gun can shoot up to 280 feet away with a .2g pellet BB. You can also find semi-automatic guns that have electric power.

How New Taps Can Refresh Your Bathroom

Even if your bathroom is clean, spacious and modern, it may lack that extra zing to make it perfect. You can enhance your old or new bathroom by adding the smallest of items: new taps! But what type of tap do you choose? Can you fit them yourself? The range of tap styles is huge. From minimalist to luxury, modern to traditional, classical to contemporary there are taps to suit your bathroom style. Don’t take your taps for granted; there’s a lot about them you probably aren’t aware of.

History at Your Fingertips

The humble tap has evolved a lot over the last few thousand years. The ancient Egyptians and Greeks were the first to invent simple valves. They diverted water from streams and rivers which was then used for drinking and farming. Water was now under control! The Romans took this idea further and piped water from wells and tanks into homes and public buildings. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that the tap we are familiar with today was invented. The modern tap is a simple and very effective device. Inside the tap there is a valve or stopcock which stops of allows water to flow. Most taps have this design. The rest of the tap is just a means of directing water from your pipe. This means that designers have had a lot of fun creating ornate styles without affecting how the tap works.

Types of Taps

Taps are made from a range of materials, some more practical than others. For a bathroom, it’s best to choose a hard-wearing tap made from brass rather than plastic. They will stand up to more knocks and have a longer lifespan. The most recognisable tap to most of us is the traditional Victorian tap. It’s elegant design fits in with most types and styles of bathroom. Lever taps are very popular with people who like a modern look. They are easier for small children and the elderly to use as turning them on places less stress on the joints. You can opt for traditional sink taps or mixer taps. The advantages of mixer taps is that they save energy and water and allow a constant flow of cold, warm and hot water.

Washer or Ceramic Disc?

There are two ways the inside of a tap works, and both have pros and cons. Washer taps are the more traditional design and have a spindle, valve and washer. They are for use with both high and low pressure water systems, but washers will need replacing. The alternative is a tap that uses ceramic discs instead of a valve and washer. Upon pulling the lever two ceramic discs move apart and allow the water to flow. You’ll never have to change a washer, they don’t drip, are easy for the less able to turn on and off, and have a very long lifespan.

Fitting and Changing Your Taps

Someone with basic plumbing skills can fit or change a tap. Ease of fitting depends on your type of connector: a flexible hose or a rigid pipe. A flexible hose is easier to work with as it bends into any shape or space but is not as hard-wearing as a pipe. You need to make sure your water supply is turned off before you start! Loosen the nut that connects the pipe or hose to the tap with a spanner or wrench. If the nuts won’t budge and space allows, try cutting them with a hacksaw then prising them apart with a screwdriver. Remove the taps. Give the area around the taps a good clean. Check the connectors on the end of the hose or pipe for any damage and replace if need be. Give them a good clean with an old toothbrush. Replace the rubber or fibre washer in the pipe or hose connector. Connect the taps to the pipe or hose using a spanner or wrench. Turn the taps on full to flush out any debris. Turn off the water if you get any leaks and recheck the connectors and replace if any flaws are found. As always, if you are in any doubt about what to do, contact your local plumber.

If you want to bring your bathroom up to date or just fancy a change, shiny new taps are a quick, easy and cheap way to bring new life to your bathroom.

How to Create Shoe Closet Shelves

Another way to avoid shoe mess is to create some shoe closet for arranging, and finding, the kinds of shoes that are used on various occasions. Simple layered shoe closets are the best choice for this as you could use them in some closets and are customizable. Creating shelves in the shoe closet is an easy project. There are power tools that’ll be utilized, so safety must always be practiced.

Materials and Tools Needed:

  • 1×8 boards
  • Table saw
  • Tape measure
  • Drill
  • 1 1/2 inches wood screws
  • 3/4 inches plywood
  • Router
  • Sander
  • Paint or Stain

Step #1

When creating shelves there are various designs that you could follow, think about the amount of shoes that you have and how you’d like them to be arranged. For this DIY project, the design is just a 2-leveled rack that’ll hold some pairs of shoes for excellent organization.

Step #2

Making use of the table saw, cut the 1×8 boards into 4 feet sections. You’ll need to have four of these.

Step #3

Utilize a tape measure and put a position 12 inch up from the base of the board. Utilize a protractor and mark a 20-degree angle. Put a line from this marked part to the edge of the board. Draw a line exactly 1-inch above. Repeat this procedure another 12 inch above the 2nd line that was made. Do the similar set of lines on the other boards. These slots must be angled away from the front part of the board.

Step #4

Make a straight cutting bit in the router and make the depth so it is 3/4 inch of the way through the board. Cut out the wooden board from between the two 1-inch lines. Ensure not to go through the marks.

Step #5

Draw a mark for a piece of the 3/4 inches plywood for a 4 ft by 4 ft section. Cut this with a saw.

Step #6

Drill four holes in the plywood backing. There must be 1 in each corner of the wood. Set the two pieces of 1×8 on their sides and place the plywood above them. Line the edges up and secure it with wood screws. Utilize a small nail to tap the screw heads in the surface of the board.

Step #7

Utilize some putty to cover the screws and sand it smoothly. Continue sanding the whole shelving unit before painting or staining. Take note to sand the other pieces of 4 ft 1×8. These would serve as shelves.

Step #8

Once the shelves are sanded, utilize your choice of stain or paint. Once the stain, or the paint, has dried, drop the shelves in the slots and begin organizing your shoes.

How to Write a Short Story

Everybody knows writing a story is not easy. Like the drama or the poem, it is imaginative literature that should appeal to the emotions of the readers. Since it communicates the writer's interpretation of reality, there must be an artistic use of language to signify human experience. But how do we write a great short story? What are the things to keep in mind in order to come up with a short story that works? Here's a quick guide to get you started:

1. Read

Reading is essential to anyone who wants to write. In order to be able to write a good short story, you must read other short stories first. This will not only give you the motivation and inspiration for your own story, but it will also help you learn how other authors made an impression on the reader and use their style as basis to create your own style and impression.

2. Get inspired

For seasoned professionals, there is no need to obtain inspiration because thoughts naturally flow and they only have to put them into words on paper. But for novice writers, it is important to have one because it will not only help you begin your first paragraph but also keep you going throughout. Your inspiration may take the form of an object. a person, or an event that you just can not seem to forget.

3. Conceptualize your story

Think of something you want to talk about with your readers. Let's say you want to relate a story about a couple who fell in love with each other. What about the couple? What is it about them that you are interested to let your readers know? Focus on this idea and think of other concepts that you want to associate with this couple. Suppose the girl's parents discommended their relationship. What about the parents? What did they do to stop the two from loving each other? This could signal a good beginning for your story. From here, you would have the notion what to write down.

4. Map out the scenes

In order to keep your writing aligned with your pre-conceived story events, it is good to briefly map out scenes of your story on a different piece of paper. Write down the possible characters of your story and list the main events in order. You do not have to put so much detail on them because this only serves as a rough sketch of how your story will look like.

5. Chooose your point of view

Who tells the story and how it is told is very critical for a short story to be effective. The point of view can change the feel and tone of the story radically. Hence, you must decide carefully before finally resolving with the angle of vision to use for your story. But whatever it is you decide to choose as the point of view, make sure it stays constant throughout your story to maintain consistency.

6. Conceive your characters

For a short story, create a maximum of only three main characters. Too many main characters will make your story confusing since each new character will provide a new dimension for the story. Each character should be more than cardboard caricatures. Make your characters speak naturally in proportion with their traits. Make them believable but mysterious.

7. Furnish a good introduction

When you have everything planned out, start scribbling your first paragraph. Introduce your main characters and set out the scene. The scene must be some place you know much about so that you'd be able to supply the necessary snapshot for a clearly described setting. Make your introduction interesting to hold the reader's interest and encourage them to read on to the end. It is also important to hold back significant details and the greater part of the action at this point so the mystery is kept.

8. Build up a great plot

From your introduction, draw out events that will eventually create a problem or a conflict for the main character / characters. After that, begin laying out an array of clues to keep the reader interested, intrigued and guessing. Intensify the conflict as the story moves forward. This will not only make your reader enthused to read more but will also keep them riveted to your story.

9. Show do not tell

The characters should be the ones responsible for expressing the story through their actions and dialogue and not the writer telling the reader what is being expressed. Rather than saying, "Annette was really mad at her bestfriend Christina for stealing her boyfriend", say "Annette felt an ache in her stomach and a strong pang of betrayal as Christina approaches her and flashes her with a sweet smile. She breathed hard trying to calm herself as she speaks with suppressed anger: "I hope you're happy now that you've proven yourself as a friend."

10. Use active verbs

Put as much life into your story as you can. In order to do this, employ verbs in the active voice in your story. Instead of saying, "The flower was picked by Johanna", say "Johanna picked the flower."

11. Use some dialogue

Dialogue is important in bringing your story to life. Do not just use it to pad out your characters. Use it to convey your characters to identify with the reader. Use it in direct quotes like "Go there!" instead of indirect quotes as "She told him to go there."

12. Keep references handy

A good reference such as a thesaurus or a dictionary is crucial in creating a good story. You can use them to check your spellings and to find the words which best fit your description. Instead of using one lengthy sentence or paragraph, you can utilize one or just a few words to convey what you want to say. Oftentimes, one strong word has a greater effect than a paragraph full of fancy language.

13. Conclude briefly

Conclusions are tough sledding. For a good ending, it is advisable to experiment and to add a little twist. Make your ending unique but not hanging in a loose end. Make it satisfying without making it too predictable. Keep in mind to keep it short but concise and lingering so that the reader is left with a feeling of resonance. Your conclusion should wrap up everything from start to finish.

14. Edit and revise

After fashioning the last words of your story, it is time to begin the editing cycle. Carefully go through your work and fix all your mistakes regarding sentence construction, word usage, formatting. punctuation marks, diction, spelling, grammar, and descriptive analysis. Scratch out words, phrases and even paragraphs which do not seem to contribute to the basic elements of the story. After you're done, let it sit for a while for days and even weeks, then edit it again. Reread your story over and over again at different occasions. This will make you see various things you may want to change to make your story shine at its best.

15. Let others proofread

Have your friends take a look at your work. They may just be able to see mistakes which you have missed. For instance, they may be distracted with some words or lines which you adore dearly. In this case, you have to decide on changing it or cutting it off completely.

Writing a short story may not be easy but it can surely be done. With some knowledge on the basic elements and some passion and patience, it's effortless to pull together a story with just a few ideas. Just keep in mind that you're writing not because you have to, but because you want to. Give it a go now!

© 2005 Rachelle Arlin Credo. All rights reserved.

How to Deal With Problems With Your Neighbors

Everyone has been in the position where they have had problems with their neighbors. They might just be a little nosey, but some neighbors take it so far that they are interfering with your life.

There are ways to deal with neighbors like this without things turning violent. You could give them a taste of their own medicine by making a point to get involved in their business, or you could contact the authorities and ask for some help.

One of the main problems with nosey neighbors is because all new build housing estates are open plan. So, there is no clear boundary between your area and theirs. There are some people who have gone out onto their own front path and found the neighbors sunbathing on their land. That is how intrusive some people can be.

Most people would just cut their loses and move to a neighborhood that is more private, but that would be a big step. They might be so desperate to move that they take a loss on the price of their home, just to get out.

If you are in this position and you feel that you have to move, you should not settle for a lesser price on the house, just to get out. You should not feel like you are being pushed out of the house either. This step should be a last resort and there are some steps that you can take beforehand.

Talk to Them

You do have the option of talking to them and asking them to keep out of your business. This should be done calmly and no matter how angry you feel you should not raise your voice at them. This will just make the matter worse and it will cause an atmosphere when you drive into your street.

Just stay calm and explain how it is making you feel and how you do not feel like you have any privacy. That should do the trick because they might not even know that they are making you uncomfortable. They might have had a close relationship with their other neighbors and they have just assumed that they will have the same relationship with you.

Cut off all Communication

If that does not work, then you have no choice but to just ignore them. Even if they try to make nice and say hello when they see you, you have to just be polite but do not engage in any other conversation with them.

This is the only way that you are going to get the message across. This might cause friction with them but if you are not interested in having a relationship with them and you want to remain completely private, then you should not have a problem with this.

Fencing

If that does not work and they are still encroaching on your privacy, then you have no choice but to put a fence up around your land. You will probably already have a fence around the back garden, but you will definitely want to get one around the front of your property.

If you are going to get some fencing put in, to make sure that they stay off your property, make sure that you ask the local housing authorities first. Even though it is your land, they can object if the fence is too big. So, ask them if they have any specifications that you need to stick to and then buy a fence that suits the look of your house.

Fiber Optic Security for Intrusion Detection

On September 11, 2001, the world changed. It will never be the same – not just in the United States but around the world. Where as people thought about security in the "What can I afford" mentality ", they were boosted into the" What do I need to do now to secure my property and people "mind set.

CCTV cameras, a DVR and maybe a security officer are just not enough anymore. Chemical and pharmaceutical companies, schools, corporations and utility services are looking for more accurate, cost effective ways to secure life and property. This article will focus on two Fiber Optic Products: Fiber Fence and Cover Cop.

Fiber fence and Cover Cop are a development of Fiber Instrument Sales of Oriskany, New York and Sandia National Laboratories. FIS and Sandia developed the patented Fiber Fence fiber optic intrusion detection and perimeter security system in response to a need for a more durable, yet sensitive, intrusion detection system for the US Military.

Fiber Fence can detect and locate intruders anywhere along a fence line up to 10 miles in length further if multiple units are networked together. The System can be installed on existing objects such as perimeter fencing, walls, and gateways. An alert occurs when someone causes a disturbance to the optical fiber, or to the Mouse Trip sensor to which it is attached. Fiber Fence is relatively inexpensive, and easier to install than other fiber optic intrusion detection systems. The system includes an OTDR (optical time domain reflectometer) for system monitoring and testing. There is also a portable version available making it's use even more diverse.

If the fence takes a direct electric strike from lightning or transformer near the perimeter, Fiber Fence will continue to work since there are no expensive electrical components to change. This dramatically increases efficiency and lifespan of the sensors. It also lowers overall maintenance costs. The attenuation of an infrared light source is at the heart of the intrusion detector.

Another fiber optic security system, part of the Fiber Fence family, is Cover Cop. A non electric sensor that will guard against any intrusion to a manhole or utility cover.

Mr. Richard Martinez, CPP – President and CEO of Homeland Protective Group, Inc. in New York City states, "Fiber Fence and Cover Cop, when integrated with the FIS Strike Zone Software, provides the ultimate form of security for correctional institutions, military installations and any other sensitive areas requiring perimeter security."

Direct fiber optic cameras are also being brought into play due to their ability to be near high electric output devices without being disturbed by EMI (Electro mechanical interference). Many different lenses can be utilized for just about any application. Since the transmission is over fiber optic cables and not traditional copper wire, the effective distance is increased to miles rather than under 2,000 ft. without a booster. The video signal is also clearer.

The Benefits of Fiber Optic Security-

Applications – It is ideal for large perimeters such as those around factories, water reservoirs, electric grids and airports. Fiber Fence has been installed to protect military facilities, nuclear power facilities, factories, storage yards, hazardous waste facilities and more. Since the system requires no additional electric to the fence line, it is much more affordable than other systems.

Anti-Spark Optical Technology – The mechanical detection mechanism, called Cover Cop, is a hermetically sealed sensor that does not use electricity. It can not spark an explosion in underground utilities where combustible gases may be present.

Affordable Protection – Up to 500 or more utility covers can be monitored within a single system, over a distance of 80 or more kilometers. These monitoring distances are many times that of electronic systems, and eliminate the need for expensive inline repeaters to amplify the signal. Power is NOT required at the protected entrances or anywhere along the fiber optic cable run.

The patented Strike Zone Security Solution combines advanced optical technology with specialized sensing devices and high tech security systems to achieve performance and reliability superior to other intrusion detection systems. Adopted by the US Military, The Fiber Fence can monitor up to 16 km (10 miles) of fence line without requiring power anywhere along the perimeter. Systems can be cascaded to provide monitoring distances of up to 80 km (50 miles)

Regardless of the manufacturer, pound for pound and dollar for dollar, Fiber Optic Security is the best bet for securing perimeters and sensitive properties around the world.

Discount Amsterdam Hotels

Discount hotels are another way to save on accommodation but splurge on leisure activities. Amsterdam is a happening city offering varied tourist delights along with hotels to match budgets and specific needs. Whether looking for a discount hotel or 'the ultimate-in-luxury' Amsterdam has more than 300 accommodations – including rooms in 17th-century gabled houses lining the canals or in residential areas away from main city. These 'pensions' or 'century old rooms' generally retain the old antique look and with a view of canals are good bargains. The main hotels are clustered around Central Station, the Leidseplein and DamSquare. The Royal Palace is situated near this Square that is considered the heart of the city, with Anne Frank's House a mere five-minute walk away from the shopping centers and museums.

It is advisable to book through the Internet in advance and enquire about extra costs such as VAT (Value Added Tax) of 6% and the city tax of 5% that are often included. Another issue to be straightened out is the meal plan. Amsterdam hotels operate on a European plan – without meals – or on a Continental plan – with continental breakfast. So it is better to check when booking. Other issues are whether pets are allowed; whether there are a mini bar in the room, family rooms, a safe deposit box, heating, and luggage storage. Also find out with the check-in / check-out times are. Some of us are particular about room service and if traveling with family may require baby sitting / child services, dry cleaning, ironing services, Internet services, car rentals and tour desks to plan on different tours. Even if on discount, the hotel should provide a clean living area, presentable ambience, and breakfast.

If you are looking forward to a peaceful break to enjoy long walks, swim, bike or canoe, then select discount accommodations in camps in within the city or in the country side. These are available with 2/3/5 bedrooms with communal kitchens and bathrooms. They are ideal for interacting with companionable people. Private rooms and cottages with attached bathrooms, kitchen and heating are also available. Some of these hotels or camps provide you with free parking during the off season. To take advantage of the best discounts, avoid the Tulip Season from late March to June, all summer, and convention time towards September.

Family Skiing Holidays in France Are Special

Book a Holiday Home Rental in France that Offers the Comforts of Home

A family skiing holiday in France can be a very memorable experience. It just needs good planning and good resources to help you bring it all together. Skiing as a family has to be one of the most enjoyable holidays, particularly if the whole family is learning to ski or snowboard for the first time. Ski villages and ski holiday home rentals in France with well-established amenities and easy/quick access to the slopes are very well suited for families and groups.

Ski in the Alps – Enjoy Family Time at the Most Famous Ski Resorts in France

• Ski in Chamonix – it has something to suit everyone; whether you are searching for a luxury chalet to treat the family to a magical winter holiday, or a catered ski chalet to share with friends. If you’re looking for a private chef, in-house spa facilities, lift passes and equipment, or ski lessons, Chamonix is the ideal destination for a family skiing holiday in France.

• Ski in Meribel – take advantage of its great network of rapid ski lifts. The quick and easy travel options make this resort a top choice for a family skiing holiday in France. Meribel has excellent beginner skiing in the Altiport area and some excellent off-piste for the adventurous. With a wide choice of accommodation, restaurants, boutiques, ski rentals, French ski schools and cultural events throughout the winter sports season, Meribel promises a wonderful time both on and off the ski slopes.

• Ski in Courchevel – this is a wonderful choice for families; there is plenty of convenient lodging and gentle slopes. The resort was one of the first to use the magnetic system, ‘Magnestick’, to hold children securely on chairlifts. It is now installed on six lifts. The ski resort accommodation in Courchevel gives you access to very good quality of shopping, sports stores, bars, restaurants and children’s’ activity areas for the complete family skiing experience.

Ideal Accommodation for a Family Skiing Holiday in France

Choosing the right ski resort for a family trip is important. Not every ski resort is the best for total beginners to either learn to ski or snowboard.

• Catered ski chalet holidays have always been popular with families. They are far less formal than hotels and not as much hard work as a self catered holiday in apartments that allow restricted space.

• Childcare and amenities enable parents to relax knowing their children are safe and having a great time. Several resorts specialize in family skiing holidays with in-house crèches and nannies to look after children.

• The key to a memorable family skiing holiday is to be with other families. Ski chalets range in size from small chalets for just one family to larger ones for big family gatherings or for families to share.

• The accommodation should be as close to the ski area as possible; preferably within walking distance to the slopes, shops, restaurants and ski schools.

• Gentle runs and nursery slopes are a must for children (and adults!) learning how to ski or snowboard. Many resorts also offer ski lessons for children in the afternoons to avoid the colder mornings.

• Service matters! You should be able to stay with your friends or family in a ski holiday accommodation where someone cooks your evening meal, provides breakfast and cleans the rooms while you are on the slopes. You want to feel as comfortable as you do at home and not have to worry about a lack of good housekeeping.

The sheer variety of resorts suits anyone looking for the perfect family skiing holiday in France. Online ski holiday planners can help you find the ideal family ski holiday accommodation, whether catered chalets, self-service apartments and holiday home rentals in all the leading French ski resorts.

Home Buyers and Sellers Real Estate Glossary

Every business has it's jargon and residential real estate is no exception. Mark Nash author of 1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home shares commonly used terms with home buyers and sellers.

1031 exchange or Starker exchange: The delayed exchange of properties that qualifies for tax purposes as a tax-deferred exchange.

1099: The statement of income reported to the IRS for an independent contractor.

A / I: A contract that is pending with attorney and inspection contingencies.

Accompanied showings: Those showings where the listing agent must accompany an agent and his or her clients when viewing a listing.

Addendum: An addition to; a document.

Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM): A type of mortgage loan whose interest rate is tied to an economic index, which fluctuates with the market. Typical ARM periods are one, three, five, and seven years.

Agent: The licensed real estate salesperson or broker who represents buyers or sellers.

Annual percentage rate (APR): The total costs (interest rate, closing costs, fees, and so on) that are part of a borrower's loan, expressed as a percentage rate of interest. The total costs are amortized over the term of the loan.

Application fees: Fees that mortgage companies charge buyers at the time of written application for a loan; for example, fees for running credit reports of borrowers, property appraisal fees, and lender-specific fees.

Appointments: Those times or time periods an agent shows properties to clients.

Appraisal: A document of opinion of property value at a specific point in time.

Appraised price (AP): The price the third-party relocation company offers (under most contracts) the seller for his or her property. Generally, the average of two or more independent appraisals.

"As-is": A contract or offer clause stating that the seller will not repair or correct any problems with the property. Also used in listings and marketing materials.

Assumable mortgage: One in which the buyer agrees to fulfill the obligations of the existing loan agreement that the seller made with the lender. When assuming a mortgage, a buyer becomes personally liable for the payment of principal and interest. The original mortgagor should receive a written release from the liability when the buyer assumes the original mortgage.

Back on market (BOM): When a property or listing is placed back on the market after being removed from the market recently.

Back-up agent: A licensed agent who works with clients when their agent is unavailable.

Balloon mortgage: A type of mortgage that is generally paid over a short period of time, but is amortized over a longer period of time. The borrower typically pays a combination of principal and interest. At the end of the loan term, the entire unpaid balance must be repaid.

Back-up offer: When an offer is accepted contingent on the fall through or voiding of an accepted first offer on a property.

Bill of sale: Transfers title to personal property in a transaction.

Board of REALTORS® (local): An association of REALTORS® in a specific geographic area.

Broker: A state licensed individual who acts as the agent for the seller or buyer.

Broker of record: The person registered with his or her state licensing authority as the managing broker of a specific real estate sales office.

Broker's market analysis (BMA): The real estate broker's opinion of the expected final net sale price, determined after acquisition of the property by the third-party company.

Broker's tour: A preset time and day when real estate sales agents can view listings by multiple brokerages in the market.

Buyer: The purchaser of a property.

Buyer agency: A real estate broker retained by the buyer who has a fiduciary duty to the buyer.

Buyer agent: The agent who shows the buyer's property, negotiates the contract or offer for the buyer, and works with the buyer to close the transaction.

Carrying costs: Cost incurred to maintain a property (taxes, interest, insurance, utilities, and so on).

Closing: The end of a transaction process where the deed is delivered, documents are signed, and funds are dispersed.

CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange): The insurance industry's national database that assigns individuals a risk score. CLUE also has an electronic file of a properties insurance history. These files are accessible by insurance companies nationally. These files could impact the ability to sell property as they might contain information that a prospective buyer might find objectionable, and in some cases not even insurable.

Commission: The compensation paid to the listing brokerage by the seller for selling the property. A buyer may also be required to pay a commission to his or her agent.

Commission split: The percentage split of commission compen-sation between the real estate sales brokerage and the real estate sales agent or broker.

Competitive Market Analysis (CMA): The analysis used to provide market information to the seller and assist the real estate broker in securing the listing.

Condominium association: An association of all owners in a condominium.

Condominium budget: A financial forecast and report of a condominium association's expenses and savings.

Condominium by-laws: Rules passed by the condominium association used in administration of the condominium property.

Condominium declarations: A document that legally establishes a condominium.

Condominium right of first refusal: A person or an association that has the first opportunity to purchase condominium real estate when it becomes available or the right to meet any other offer.

Condominium rules and regulation: Rules of a condominium association by which owners agree to abide.

Contingency: A provision in a contract requiring certain acts to be completed before the contract is binding.

Continue to show: When a property is under contract with contingencies, but the seller requests that the property continue to be shown to prospective buyers until contingencies are released.

Contract for deed: A sales contract in which the buyer takes possession of the property but the seller holds title until the loan is paid. Also known as an installment sale contract.

Conventional mortgage: A type of mortgage that has certain limitations placed on it to meet secondary market guidelines. Mortgage companies, banks, and savings and loans underwrite conventional mortgages.

Cooperating commission: A commission offered to the buyer's agent brokerage for bringing a buyer to the selling brokerage's listing.

Cooperative (Co-op): Where the shareholders of the corporation are the inhabitants of the building. Each shareholder has the right to lease a specific unit. The difference between a co-op and a condo is in a co-op, one owns shares in a corporation; in a condo one owns the unit fee simple.

Counteroffer: The response to an offer or a bid by the seller or buyer after the original offer or bid.

Credit report: Includes all of the history for a borrower's credit accounts, outstanding debts, and payment timelines on past or current debts.

Credit score: A score assigned to a borrower's credit report based on information contained therein.

Curb appeal: The visual impact a property projects from the street.

Days on market: The number of days a property has been on the market.

Decree: A judgment of the court that sets out the agreements and rights of the parties.

Disclosures: Federal, state, county, and local requirements of disclosure that the seller provides and the buyer acknowledges.

Divorce: The legal separation of a husband and wife effected by a court decree that totally dissolves the marriage relationship.

DOM: Days on market.

Down payment: The amount of cash put toward a purchase by the borrower.

Drive-by: When a buyer or seller agent or broker drives by a property listing or potential listing.

Dual agent: A state-licensed individual who represents the seller and the buyer in a single transaction.

Earnest money deposit: The money given to the seller at the time the offer is made as a sign of the buyer's good faith.

Escrow account for real estate taxes and insurance: An account into which borrowers pay monthly prorations for real estate taxes and property insurance.

Exclusions: Fixtures or personal property that are excluded from the contract or offer to purchase.

Expired (listing): A property listing that has expired per the terms of the listing agreement.

Fax rider: A document that treats facsimile transmission as the same legal effect as the original document.

Feedback: The real estate sales agent and / or his or her client's reaction to a listing or property. Requested by the listing agent.

Fee simple: A form of property ownership where the owner has the right to use and dispose of property at will.

FHA (Federal Housing Administration) Loan Guarantee: A guarantee by the FHA that a percentage of a loan will be underwritten by a mortgage company or banker.

Fixture: Personal property that has become part of the property through permanent attachment.

Flat fee: A predetermined amount of compensation received or paid for a specific service in a real estate transaction.

For sale by owner (FSBO): A property that is for sale by the owner of the property.

Gift letter: A letter to a lender stating that a gift of cash has been made to the buyer (s) and that the person gifting the cash to the buyer is not expecting the gift to be repaid. The exact wording of the gift letter should be requested of the lender.

Good faith estimate: Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, within three days of an application submission, lenders are required to provide in writing to potential borrowers a good faith estimate of closing costs.

Gross sale price: The sale price before any concessions.

Hazard insurance: Insurance that covers losses to real estate from damages that might affect its value.

Homeowner's insurance: Coverage that includes personal liability and theft insurance in addition to hazard insurance.

HUD / RESPA (Housing and Urban Development / Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act): A document and statement that details all of the monies paid out and received at a real estate property closing.

Hybrid adjustable rate: Offers a fixed rate the first 5 years and then adjusts annually for the next 25 years.

IDX (Internet Data Exchange): Allows real estate brokers to advertise each other's listings posted to listing databases such as the multiple listing service.

Inclusions: Fixtures or personal property that are included in a contract or offer to purchase.

Independent contractor: A real estate sales agent who conducts real estate business through a broker. This agent does not receive salary or benefits from the broker.

Inspection rider: Rider to purchase agreement between third party relocation company and buyer of transferee's property stating that property is being sold "as is." All inspection reports conducted by the third party company are disclosed to the buyer and it is the buyer's duty to do his / her own inspections and tests.

Installment land contract: A contract in which the buyer takes possession of the property while the seller retains the title to the property until the loan is paid.

Interest rate float: The borrower decides to delay locking their interest rate on their loan. They can float their rate in expectation of the rate moving down. At the end of the float period they must lock a rate.

Interest rate lock: When the borrower and lender agree to lock a rate on loan. Can have terms and conditions attached to the lock.

List date: Actual date the property was listed with the current broker.

List price: The price of a property through a listing agreement.

Listing: Brokers written agreement to represent a seller and their property. Agents refer to their inventory of agreements with sellers as listings.

Listing agent: The real estate sales agent that is representing the sellers and their property, through a listing agreement.

Listing agreement: A document that establishes the real estate agent's agreement with the sellers to represent their property in the market.

Listing appointment: The time when a real estate sales agent meets with potential clients selling a property to secure a listing agreement.

Listing exclusion: A clause included in the listing agreement when the seller (transferee) lists his or her property with a broker.

Loan: An amount of money that is lent to a borrower who agrees to repay the amount plus interest.

Loan application: A document that buyers who are requesting a loan fill out and submit to their lender.

Loan closing costs: The costs a lender charges to close a borrower's loan. These costs vary from lender to lender and from market to market.

Loan commitment: A written document telling the borrowers that the mortgage company has agreed to lend them a specific amount of money at a specific interest rate for a specific period of time. The loan commitment may also contain conditions upon which the loan commitment is based.

Loan package: The group of mortgage documents that the borrower's lender sends to the closing or escrow.

Loan processor: An administrative individual who is assigned to check, verify, and assemble all of the documents and the buyer's funds and the borrower's loan for closing.

Loan underwriter: One who underwrites a loan for another. Some lenders have investors underwrite a buyer's loan.

Lockbox: A tool that allows secure storage of property keys on the premises for agent use. A combo uses a rotating dial to gain access with a combination; a Supra® (electronic lockbox or ELB) features a keypad.

Managing broker: A person licensed by the state as a broker who is also the broker of record for a real estate sales office. This person manages the daily operations of a real estate sales office.

Marketing period: The period of time in which the transferee may market his or her property (typically 45, 60, or 90 days), as directed by the third-party company's contract with the employer.

Mortgage banker: One who lends the bank's funds to borrowers and brings lenders and borrowers together.

Mortgage broker: A business that or an individual who unites lenders and borrowers and processes mortgage applications.

Mortgage loan servicing company: A company that collects monthly mortgage payments from borrowers.

Multiple listing service (MLS): A service that compiles available properties for sale by member brokers.

Multiple offers: More than one buyers broker present an offer on one property where the offers are negotiated at the same time.

National Association of REALTORS® (NAR): A national association comprised of real estate sales agents.

Net sales price: Gross sales price less concessions to the buyers.

Off market: A property listing that has been removed from the sale inventory in a market. A property can be temporarily or permanently off market.

Offer to purchase: When a buyer proposes certain terms and presents these terms to the seller.

Office tour / caravan: A walking or driving tour by a real estate sales office of listings represented by agents in the office. Usually held on a set day and time.

Parcel identification number (PIN): A taxing authority's tracking number for a property.

Pending: A real estate contract that has been accepted on a property but the transaction has not closed.

Personal assistant: A real estate sales agent administrative assistant.

Planned unit development (PUD): Mixed-use development that sets aside areas for residential use, commercial use, and public areas such as schools, parks, and so on.

Preapproval: A higher level of buyer / borrower prequalification required by a mortgage lender. Some preapprovals have conditions the borrower must meet.

Prepaid interest: Funds paid by the borrower at closing based on the number of days left in the month of closing.

Prepayment penalty: A fine imposed on the borrower by the lender when the loan is paid off before it comes due.

Prequalification: The mortgage company tells a buyer in advance of the formal mortgage application, how much money the borrower can afford to borrow. Some prequalifications have conditions that the borrower must meet.

Preview appointment: When a buyer's agent views a property alone to see if it meets his or her buyer's needs.

Pricing: When the potential seller's agent goes to the potential listing property to view it for marketing and pricing purposes.

Principal: The amount of money a buyer borrows.

Principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI): The four parts that make up a borrower's monthly mortgage payment. Private mortgage insurance (PMI): A special insurance paid by a borrower in monthly installments, typically of loans of more than 80 percent of the value of the property.

Professional designation: Additional nonlicensed real estate education completed by a real estate professional.

Professional regulation: A state licensing authority that oversees and disciplines licensees.

Promissory note: A promise-to-pay document used with a contract or an offer to purchase.

R & I: Estimated and actual repair and improvement costs.

Real estate agent: An individual who is licensed by the state and who acts on behalf of his or her client, the buyer or seller. The real estate agent who does not have a broker's license must work for a licensed broker.

Real estate contract: A binding agreement between buyer and seller. It consists of an offer and an acceptance as well as consideration (ie, money).

REALTOR®: A registered trademark of the National Association of REALTORS® that can be used only by its members.

Release deed: A written document stating that a seller or buyer has satisfied his or her obligation on a debt. This document is usually recorded.

Relist: Property that was listed with another broker but relisted with a current broker.

Rider: A separate document that is attached to a document in some way. This is done so that an entire document does not need to be rewritten.

Salaried agent: A real estate sales agent or broker who receives all or part of his or her compensation in real estate sales in the form of a salary.

Sale price: The price paid for a listing or property.

Seller (owner): The owner of a property who has signed a listing agreement or a potential listing agreement.

Showing: When a listing is shown to prospective buyers or the buyer's agent (preview).

Special assessment: A special and additional charge to a unit in a condominium or cooperative. Also a special real estate tax for improvements that benefit a property.

State Association of REALTORS®: An association of REALTORS® in a specific state.

Supra®: An electronic lockbox (ELB) that holds keys to a property. The user must have a Supra keypad to use the lockbox.

Temporarily off market (TOM): A listed property that is taken off the market due to illness, travel, needed repairs, and so on.

Temporary housing: Housing a transferee occupies until permanent housing is selected or becomes available.

Transaction: The real estate process from offer to closing or escrow.

Transaction management fee (TMF): A fee charged by listing brokers to the seller as part of the listing agreement.

Transaction sides: The two sides of a transaction, sellers and buyers. The term used to record the number of transactions in which a real estate sales agent or broker was involved during a specific period.

24-hour notice: Allowed by law, tenants must be informed of showing 24 hours before you arrive.

Under contract: A property that has an accepted real estate contract between seller and buyer.

VA (Veterans Administration) Loan Guarantee: A guarantee on a mortgage amount backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Virtual tour: An Internet web / cd-rom-based video presentation of a property.

VOW's (Virtual Office web sites): An Internet based real estate brokerage business model that works with real estate consumers in same way as a brick and mortar real estate brokerage.

W-2: The Internal Revenue form issued by employer to employee to reflect compensation and deductions to compensation.

W-9: The Internal Revenue form requesting taxpayer identification number and certification.

Walk-through: A showing before closing or escrow that permits the buyers one final tour of the property they are purchasing.

Will: A document by which a person disposes of his or her property after death.