Contractor Compliance and Outsourcing – What You Need to Know

With increased competitiveness in industry as well as the need for a more diverse range of specialist skills, changes in the way we work have resulted. One of the most significant changes is the move to the increased incidence of outsourced personnel and skills. Outsourcing can yield some important and extensive benefits for businesses, but it does have implications in terms of contractor management and contractor compliance.

What are the advantages of outsourcing work?

There are many advantages that may result when a company outsources work to specialist contractors. Funds can be saved through buying in expertise to complete a task or project that may otherwise have been spent to train up an existing employee or recruit a new employee who will then be on the payroll in the long term.

Outsourcing also offers increased flexibility of skills. When done well and when underpinned by a robust and clear contract, the skills that a contractor may bring in can enhance practice and offer new dimensions and possibilities for your business.

Are there disadvantages of outsourcing work?

Like any business arrangement, there is potential for problems to arise when work is outsourced to people who are external to the company. Thorough and attentive contract management is crucial to ensuring that problems are avoided or identified early and contractor compliance checks are pivotal for ensuring that those to whom work is outsourced are capable, skilled and equipped to successfully complete the work.

If outsourced work is poorly managed, a negative effect on the quality and standard of work can quickly become apparent. Similarly, occupational health and safety standards can be compromised and the reputation of a company can suffer. Of course, no business wants to see a deterioration in the reputation that they have worked so hard to establish.

What should be done to protect a business and contractor?

Ideally, there will be solid and positive working relationships that exist between contractors and businesses that outsource work.

Prior to confirming a contractual arrangement, a business should ensure that the necessary checks have been done and verified so that contractor compliance with their obligations is assured and they are qualified for the work being undertaken. Contractor compliance requirement may include (but not be limited to):

  • Insurance certificates
  • Safety practices and performance
  • Qualifications and education
  • Licensing
  • Training
  • Any other specific criteria that may be related to your industry or the distinct needs of your company.

Many businesses and contractors can be quite daunted by all that is required and some aspects of contractor compliance can be a little difficult to understand. Specialist companies exist to support and advise businesses and contractors of their obligations and requirements. Many of these companies oversee contractor management at all sorts of levels and will verify and maintain detailed records and evidence of obligations being successfully completed and kept up to date.

No business can afford to put themselves at risk of using contractors that fail to meet their obligations. Similarly, no contractor should risk liability by carrying out work when they have not met their obligations or have allowed them to expire. Peace of mind and confidence results when contractor compliance is assured.

Snowboarding Flatland Tricks – Tips to Help You Land 8 New Tricks

Snowboarding flatland tricks are great fun to do on flat boring slopes, cat tracks, and whilst waiting for the chair lifts. Here are some step-by-step tips to get you throwing down some new tricks.


  1. Choose a gentle slope. Set up by travelling straight and be on a flat board (using the whole base, don’t be on an edge).
  2. Transfer your weight to the back foot and lift the nose off your snowboard and use the tail as a spring to push/pop off. Now suck both feet up evenly under you.
  3. Land with even weight on both feet, bend your knees to absorb the landing and ride away.


  • Exactly the same as the ollie above except you pop off the nose and not the tail. Hence the name Nollie = “Nose-Ollie.”

Ollie Frontside 180

  1. Setup to perform and ollie as above.
  2. As you pop off the tail, throw you arms and hips in the direction of the spin.
  3. Your board will follow you around, orientate in down the hill beneath you.
  4. Land on the tail to make it easier to butter the last bit if the board hasn’t come all the way around. This will also reduce the chance of you catching an edge.
  5. Stomp the landing and ride away.
  6. You can do a ollie snowboard 360 as above except you will need to pre-wind your shoulders and arms to throw the rotation harder.

Ollie Backside 180

  1. Set up similar to the frontside 180, and pop off the tail.
  2. Turn your head, shoulders and hips back up the slope and let the board come around for the 180.
  3. You will need to be looking back up the hill as you land. Landing blind like this stops the rotation and sets you up to land correctly.
  4. Again, by landing on the tail it is more forgiving if you having got the spin exactly right and reduces the chance of catching an edge. You can butter the last few degrees if need be.


  1. The most stylish way to get into the tailpress is to nollie into it.
  2. Setup as for the nollie and pop off the nose, now transfer all your weight to the back foot.
  3. Continue to pressure all your weight on the tail of the board by having your hips over the tail of your board and your back knee bent more than your front knee. Your head will be behind the tail of your board and back arm trailing behind to get the balance.
  4. Hold it for as long as possible for more style. Come out of it by moving your weight forward. For more style ollie out of the tail press.


The nosepress appears harder than the tail press, but a lot of people actually find it easy once they overcome the fear of catching the nose of the board which is very unlikely.

  1. Setup as per the tail press.
  2. Ollie into the nose press, weighting the front of the board. Aim to have your centre of gravity in between your front binding and the very front of the board.
  3. Nollie out of it for extra style, or even try a nose roll 180 (explained below).

Noselide (frontside)

  1. Set up as for an ollie.
  2. Ollie into the air and rotate the board frontside 90 degrees.
  3. Transfer all you weight to your front foot by shifting your hips over your front foot (or try thinking of moving the board underneath your hips).
  4. Land on the nose of the board, with some pressure on your heel edge so you don’t catch the toe edge of your board.
  5. Hold it for as long as possible for style points and extra steeze.
  6. To come out of it, nollie to pop off the nose and then rotate the board down the hill.

Nose Roll 180

The nose roll 180 is a great stylish way to change to switch stance and revert back.

  1. Start a heelside turn, and pre-wind your shoulders slightly.
  2. As soon as you start the heel-side turn throw all your weight over your front foot and reduce the pressure on your heel edge so the nose of the board is almost flat on the snow.
  3. Release you shoulders into the spin, once the board is flat on the snow, the momentum from you heelside turn will help rotate the board around on the nose of the board.
  4. After the board comes around, even your weight up and ride away on your toe edge.

These snowboarding tricks are a great way for when you are learning to snowboard to get more accustomed with your board and what it can do. Even beginners can have a try at these, for more help get some snowboarding lessons on your local ski hill.

Free Piano Sheet Music

Music lovers and pianists usually search for reliable sources of piano sheet music. Amateurs typically have a constraint in terms of financial resources and prefer to look for free options. There are many websites available on the Internet that offer free piano sheet music. One of the many prominent free piano sheet music sites is Sheet music is available on the Internet in a number of formats. The most common formats used to present sheet music are Postscript, GIF or graphics interchange format, adobe acrobat and finale. For music lovers that need a music score urgently, these websites are quite helpful. They have piano sheet listings for different music genres that make the task of finding a specific music sheet rather easy.

Free piano sheet music is rare to find, as most websites that provide piano sheet music require site visitors to acquire a membership by paying a fee. Free piano music downloads from sites such, as are very few in number. Indeed, even such sites offer only limited pieces of music for free. The entire music scores on the site cannot be downloaded for free.

Another free piano sheet music website on the Internet is This website has free piano sheet music made available to all age groups. It also provides music lessons with piano scores, which can be downloaded for free. This is helpful for those who are complete novices when it comes to playing music on the piano.

On the Internet, free piano sheet music can be found for many different music styles such as classics, rock and roll, country, pop, rock, oldies music from the 1930’s to the 1960’s and spirituals. It is essential for music enthusiasts looking for piano music sheets to identify their requirements in terms of the type of music and search for them extensively on various sites.

Talking Dirty – The Lost Art Form

When things are getting hot and heavy in the bedroom, dirty talk can make things even hotter and heavier. It’s hard to do it if you’re not used to it. Maybe your partner likes it, but you don’t have much experience with it. If you’ve grown up in a religious or a conservative household, you might find it hard to get yourself to utter some of the more sexual thoughts that are in your head. It’s OK to let it out, and it can be quite therapeutic, not to mention arousing. Here’s some tips to get you comfortable with it:

Tell your partner what you want to do to them. You’re human so you have lots of sexual thoughts every day. You might have an image in your head of a particular move or position that you want to try. Start by telling your partner what you have in mind. You could say something along the lines of “I want to put your head over here, and you’re legs over there, and…” Don’t be afraid to be graphic. You’ll be surprised that your partner will follow this exercise in imagination.

Tell them what you want them to do to you. Almost better than telling your partner the things you want to do to them is letting them know what you want done. You don’t have to wait for your partner to ask what you like. Let them know. Do it in a seductive and sultry manner and you won’t look selfish, you’ll look suggestive!

Don’t get too carried away. You should know your partner well enough to know what they’ll consider sexy and what they’ll consider sleazy or scary. Be sure to know your limits. It’s OK to test them every once in a while, but if you don’t think your partner is quite feeling it anymore, tone it down a bit. Some people

Take it seriously. If you are grinning and giggling like a school girl you’ll take away from the effect. Don’t play around with it, get into character and show your partner that you have a nasty side to you.

If they’re into it they’ll love it, and if they’re not, at least now you know. If you try it out and they don’t like it, just tell them you read about it in the latest issue of Cosmo and you won’t do it again. If you really like it but they don’t like it, you might not be compatible as partners. If you give it an honest try, and you avoid going over the top, most reasonable partners should be game to go along with it. They might need to warm up to it a bit, so don’t break it out until the time is right.

Earth Friendly Linoleum Floors

Invented in the mid-nineteenth century, linoleum has a long history of popularity. Made from all natural, biodegradable materials that can be recycled, such as linseed oil, wood or cork powder, and ground limestone. This earth-friendly flooring option has experienced a recent resurgence in sales as consumers have become more concerned with sustainability. Linoleum flooring can last for decades and, upon removal, is still biodegradable and toxin-free.

Linoleum is known for its vivid colors and marbled patterns, but it is available in a variety of other styles as well, including geometric patterns and subtle earth tones. One of the unique qualities of linoleum is the fact that the color is consistent all the way through the material up to the cloth backing. Because of this, if the linoleum is scratched or scuffed, the damage will be nearly imperceptible, as the color and pattern will not change. Linoleum’s durability makes it a great choice for high traffic areas, or homes with small children or pets.

Because it is resistant to moisture, linoleum is a good flooring choice for kitchens and bathrooms in the home, or hospitals, where sanitation is critical. It is also considered to be a non-allergenic floor covering, and is often used in non-allergenic homes and medical centers.

Another benefit of linoleum is the fact that it is easy to clean and maintain. Regular sweeping and damp mopping will keep your floors looking great without the use of harsh chemicals, and spills can be easily wiped clean with a damp cloth.

If you are looking for an attractive, environmentally friendly floor covering that will look great in any home, consider linoleum. It is perfect for both retro and contemporary settings, comfortable underfoot and easy to maintain. Contact a flooring specialist today to learn more about linoleum.

Little Giant Ladder System – Reach New Heights

Little Giant Ladder system is a superior climbing system that can work for home and professional use. The manufacturer has been proven to be the leader in manufacturing articulating ladders. The innovation of Little Giant ladders has redefined the centuries-old traditional step ladder.

Little Giant Ladder system has kept its focus on expanding their climbing product line that will include unique features for safety, stability and ease of use. Their continuous search to change conventional industrial ladder ideas made them successful in creating innovative product lines catering to both homeowners and professionals.

With a lot of emerging ladders in the market you would probably ask why invest in Little Giant Ladder System? Here are major reasons why this ladder system will work best for you:

  1. Efficient mobility. Every Little Giant Ladder is installed with Tip and Glide wheels which allows you to move the ladder easily.
  2. Unquestioned Durability. This ladder system has been engineered and manufactured as a solid and sturdy piece of equipment. You can count on using their ladders for many years regardless of whether it is made of aluminum or fiber glass.
  3. Overall Safety. Little Giant ladders are equipped with adjustable features. This makes it easier for the users to change the ladder position to conform to any type of surface. There are several configurations available depending on the surface that you are working on. For example, you can configure it to a 90 degree angle to help you work closely with walls. This is an adjustment that can give you maximum safety while working against any vertical surface.
  4. Convenient transformation. There are several Little Giant ladders that can be transformed into 24 ladder configurations. And you can do this in just one click on its patented hinge.
  5. Safe Scaffolding. This ladder system provides you with a removable work plank to make it easier for you to work on your scaffolding. The ladder trestles allow you to work with your tools while maintaining a safe and solid work surface.
  6. Easy storage. All Little Giant ladders are made of lightweight and portable aluminum. Using aluminum makes it easier for the user to carry the ladder around. And its folding option allows you to shrink it to a manageable size for easier storage.
  7. Admirable Strength. Each Little Giant ladder is made of 6005-T5 aluminum. This is a heavy-wall aluminum grade used in aerospace construction. Even if it is lighter compared to other metals, it provides extra strength allowing the ladder to carry a maximum of 250 lbs workload.
  8. Competitive pricing. A lot of companies are getting into price wars due to the global economic recession. They may offer cheaper pricing but low quality ladders. Little Giant ladders are regularly sold at a range of USD 200 to USD 500. This may not be the most affordable ladder in the market but its superior quality is definitely worth it.

Little Giant ladder system has increased its presence in the global market. They are leveraging on manufacturing extra versatile and safe ladders. Their ladder designs are supported by their focus to enrich the users comfort, safety and convenience.

Best Flooring Option for Stairs

What is the best flooring option for stairs? That is something many people ask, especially when they don’t want to opt for the same as everyone else. It will depend on a number of factors including the size and style of your staircase. Here are a few considerations to make sure you find flooring that is safe, secure, and looks good.

Cork for Closed and Open Staircases

If you have a closed or open staircase, one of the best flooring options is cork. This is safe to use and will be secure to walk on. At the same time, it collects minimal dust, so it is great for those with allergies. The material also comes in different colors, which is perfect for those who want to match their flooring to their walls with a small budget. Cork is also the safest option for stairs since it does not become slippery.

Using Hardwood Flooring Safely

Hardwood flooring is great for various types of stairs, especially open and curved staircases. However, you need planks that are long and wide enough to cover the stairs. This is for safety reasons. If you have two or three planks per stair, you run the risk of not leveling them and they can cause a trip hazard or problems with laying carpets, etc.

Laminate Flooring for Easy Maintenance

When laid along the stair in one piece, laminate could be beneficial. This is more the case for curved or open staircases. Laminate is one of the best options when you want easy maintenance. It is very easy to wash, often just wiping it down. However, it can become slippery. This is very important to think about considering safety on stairs.

Cork is another easy maintenance option that you could consider. If you’re considering carpets, consider the vacuuming that needs to be done periodically. Getting the vacuum cleaner up and down the stairs will take a lot of work and can be dangerous. Hardwood floors stain very easily, so if there is a spillage it needs to be cleaned quickly.

The best flooring will depend on the type of staircase you have and your needs. Cork is one of the easiest and safest options for all types of stairs. However, laminate is one option available if you have an open or curved staircase. Hardwood flooring and carpets may be easier, look professional and stay warm, but they require more maintenance.

Choose the Most Suitable Straight Stairlift

Millions of people in the United States have mobility problems that restrict them from easily accessing staircases. Straight stairlifts are ideal devices to help such individuals negotiate straight stairways. When buying these equipments, it is important to choose the most suitable straight stairlift system catering to individual requirements.

A range of stair chair lifts with great utility features are available in the market and users can choose the ones appropriate to their houses. Besides passengers, straight stair lifts can carry heavy loads between floors.

Space saving stairlift models are available in the market for outdoor or indoor applications such as B.07 straight stair chair, Step saver straight chair, Citia stair lift, Flow stair lift, Electra-Ride LT, Electra-Ride Elite, StairGlide stair lift, Electra-Ride II and outdoor Electra-Ride Elite. Most standing and sitting stairlift models work wonderfully on staircases.

You have to be cautious when choosing chair lifts since these are devices that move between floors and safety is therefore a major concern. Choose the most suitable stairlift that comes with safety features such as seat belt and lockable option for extra security. Other utility features to look for are swivel seat, fold-up seat and footrest, smooth start / stop action, remote call stations and charging points. Straight stairlifts are available in a variety of color choices to fit your home or workplace décor. When buying a stair chair lift, it is also important to take account of the user's weight. Also make sure that the length of the track you select is a perfect fit for your stair and that the controls can be easily operated by the user.

Most of the stair lifts are fitted with electronic and mechanical braking system to stop immediately whenever necessary. These have built-in sensors, which automatically stop its ride whenever they sense obstacles on the path. Chair lifts operate both with AC electricity and battery, the latter option being the better one since the devices powered by battery can function even during power outages.

Today, you can choose from stairway lifts that feature silent operation; these are designed to work on narrow, as well as steep staircases. These safe-to-use stair chair lifts are easy to install on staircases that do not have any curves or bends.

Manufacturers and dealers can recommend the stair lift most suitable for your purposes. Take care to buy these products from reputable manufacturers who provide stairway lifts that have warranty.

Know More About Fishing Knots

There are various types of fishing knots commonly used around the world by anglers; however, knots and their tying styles vary from region to region or location to location where conditions like the lay of water, type of fish, kind of fishing line and technique used etc. Differences also exist between first-time anglers and experienced fishermen who have learned to perfect the art of tying fishing knots mainly through experience and the number of fish 'they have let go'! That simply can not be overlooked in a fisherman's angling experience.

Experts' advise the use of complex knots such as the Bimini Twist, Surgeon's Knot etc., assuming perhaps that every angler can easily get the intricacies of knot -tying soon enough. But that's easier said than done because a fishing knot is only one feature of assembling fishing line and tackle in its entirety. Joining line to swivel, a swivel to trace and then to hook calls for practiced perfection in any type of condition.
Some of the popular fishing knots are:

• Loop
• Uni-Knot
• Scaffold
• Hangman's Knot
• Clinch Knot '
• Palomar
• Blood Knot
• Surgeon's bow and many others.

The strength of a fishing line may depend on the material used but the fishing knot is an important aspect to prevent line breaks, snags and twists, thus enabling the fish to get away! Hence, it all depends on a fisherman's ability to tie a fishing knot in the right way. Some useful suggestions and tips are:

• Moisten the knot before tying and snagging it reduces friction heat and abrasions on the material when it is tightened

• A strong smooth pull at the end of the line where the knot is to be tied will ensure it is tied correctly; it is better to test it couple of times with hard tugs

• Leaving a little extra bit of line at the tag end before clipping it off will ensure that even when knots slip slightly they do not unravel completely

• Retying the knot before every fishing trip and checking the knot frequently even while fishing will ensure that the bow is stable; even the sturdiest knots can weaken with use.

The varieties of knots in other activities besides fishing include camping, climbing, sailing and sea-fishing. However, unlike fishing in lakes and other fresh water bodies, sea-fishermen can take to salt water fishing by knowing just the basics of a few knots. In olden days, anglers took a lot of pride in learning to tie complicated knots but the reality of modern day fishing rigs is that they are made with very few knots. The Uni-Knot is the most adaptable and strong although it is relatively smaller compared to others. Specifically developed for monofilament fishing lines it is the main knot used in a majority of the modern fishing rigs.

How To Fix Your Laminate Floor

Even though a laminate floor is extremely durable and is created to be able to withstand a high amount of foot traffic, from time to time it needs to be fixed. There may be nicks or scratches that need repaired or perhaps an entire board needs to be replaced. Many laminate floors will buckle or peak and this may be what the problem is. No matter which one is causing your laminate floor to look less than perfect, there are ways that you can fix the floor yourself.

You will need to purchase a laminate flooring repair kit and have that on hand. You will also need a hammer, screwdriver and the laminate flooring. The repair kit can be purchased at a local or large hardware store. Bring along a sample of your laminate so that it matches perfectly.

The easiest fixing would be the nicks and scratches. You can simply read the instructions on the repair kit and easily eliminate those unsightly scratches.

If you need to replace part of the laminate flooring boards, you will need to do more than just read repair kit instructions. Using a screwdriver or a hammer, loosen up the molding around the floorboard. Be very careful to not damage the molding because it needs to be put back once the floor board is replaced.

The next step is to remove the floor boards that are beside and that lead up to the board that needs to be replaced. Once you have taken up the board to be replaced, simply click the new board right into it's' place. After the new board is correctly positioned, the other floor boards that were taken up first can then be put back in their places. It is then time to hammer the molding back in it's' place. Pound it carefully to avoid accidentally harming the molding.

If you have the peaking or buckling problem, you need to reduce the tensions of the boards. The age of the boards and the weather can expand the flooring and that is what causes the buckling. Once again, it is necessary to take out the molding with a hammer or screwdrivers. Do this carefully and save it because it will need to be put back down. Then take out the spacers from the original installation of the floor. These are the units that give support between the wall and laminate board.

To replace the old ones by putting in much smaller ones. Then very gently, push down on the peak. If the peak does not go down right away, do not panic. The floor may just need to settle on its own and without any force from you. It will have to expand by itself at some point. Then you need to carefully put back the molding by using the hammer.

If there is a gap that has formed between the boards themselves, this will also cause the buckling or peaking. In this situation you will need to put larger spacers in right along the wall and this problem will be solved.

Ideas to Give Old Furniture New Life

The best thing about old furniture is the new life you can give it. It doesn’t take much talent – just a little creativity and patience if you’ve never taken on a furniture project before.

Accept this challenge: instead of throwing out that old chest of drawers from your child’s room, think of a new use for it. Recycling furniture can be a lot of fun, plus it’s a good way to get a new look at a fraction of the cost. If you are not happy with the finished product, start over or then give in to purchase a new furniture piece.

Think about that old chest of drawers. Is there a drawer that’s broken? Maybe you can take out that drawer and create a shelf from the opening. Would it make a nice TV stand if it was just a little taller? Consider screwing finials that you can find in your local discount store onto the bottom to create “legs” or “feet.”

And never underestimate the power of a coat of paint! Old furniture gets a quick update when painted. If you like the shabby chic look, tatter the fresh paint job a bit by sanding around corners and other heavy use areas to create a worn look. If it’s your first time to try this furniture painting technique, invest in an inexpensive kit that can be found at any retail discount store.

If you are really creative and not afraid to try new things with your old furniture, you can create some funky new accessories for your home. Use an old dresser as a sink basin for your bathroom. Use the headboard or footboard from a twin size bed as the back of a bench.

Giving your old furniture a new look does not always include creating a new function for it. For instance, drape and tuck fabric over an old sofa or love seat to give it a “slipcovered” look. Or, hot glue some fabric on top of the old rattan panels on the coffee table you’ve had for years. Trim it out by hot gluing some braided trim around the edges and you’ve created a new look for the table.

If your piece of furniture was painted but you’d like to give it a stained look, give it a try. Most woods are easily stripped of paint and stain can be applied in the color and intensity of your choice. Just follow the directions supplied by the stain manufacturer.

Give the lacquer-look furniture popular in past years an up to date look by using a combination of painting and staining. To get a brown leather look, brush your lacquer furniture lightly first with sand paper just enough to rough up the surface so the paint will adhere better. Then, use a red primer color spray paint on the furniture. Once the primer dries, use an oil-based brown stain and a plastic bag to create the leathery look. Working with a small area at a time, use a sponge “brush” to paint on the stain. Crinkle a plastic bag and open it up. Press the crinkled bag on top of the stain and sweep the bag quickly off the furniture. The motion will pull the stain around, creating the lines associated with leather. Kits are also available for this technique.

How to Fill in Your In-Ground Swimming Pool

In my case, my in-ground pool was in need of some costly repairs, so my wife and I decided to fill in the swimming pool. Hiring a demolition company to do the job can also be very costly. In the range of about $5000 – $8000, as I found out. So we decided to tackle the job ourselves. This is a step by step process of how we did it.

This project is for avid do it yourselfers. Make no mistake. It is a physically demanding job. However, you will save thousands of dollars. First of all, be safe filling in the swimming pool. You must take every precaution to be safe as with any do it yourself project. Always wear ear and eye and face protection. This is simply a step by step account of how we did it.

Let’s get started! Drain any water that may be in the pool. Disable all power going to the pool.

The first thing I had to do was go to the City where I live and get a permit to perform the demolition of the pool in my backyard. This permit only cost me about $35. The City simply wants to make sure that the pool will drain sufficiently once you fill in the pool.

Next, I had to punch holes in the bottom of the in-ground pool to allow for drainage. You don’t want a big mud bog or standing water that will breed mosquitoes (or other creatures). To accomplish this, I rented an electric jackhammer. I made a series of holes close together near the drain at the deep end. Then using a sledge hammer, I began to break through the concrete. The rebar that is embedded makes this a little difficult, but just keep working on it. Every time I exposed the rebar, I would cut it out with an electric grinder with a 4 inch abrasive wheel. Keep hitting the edge of the hole you created to make the hole bigger and bigger. I made the hole in the deep end of the pool about 3 feet by 3 feet. Make sure you go deep enough to the underlying dirt.

I also dug a trench across the shallow end of the swimming pool as well as punching several random holes in various places. I wanted to make sure the pool would drain with no problem.

Now to break up the pool. After a couple of good rains and running some water in the pool, I was confident that I had good drainage. I notified the City that I had completed the holes. They then sent someone to inspect it and gave me the OK to start filling it in.

I began breaking up the Cool Decking around the pool with sledge hammers and jackhammer. (My wife also got out there frequently to swing the hammer, I was impressed. This activity will keep you in shape, that’s for sure.) Throw all of the broken pieces into the pool as well as any rocks, bricks, broken concrete you want to get rid of. I also put out the word to all of my friends that I needed some filler and to bring anything they have as well. You need bulk at this point to fill the bottom of the pool.

I chose to cut about a foot off the top edge of the pool. I had to cut deep enough to cut the rebar in the wall. A concrete saw was used for this. I also used a walk behind concrete saw to cut the concrete and rebar going around the top edge of the pool. (All tools rented at Home Depo or anywhere that rents tools). I made these cuts about 8inches apart. This makes it a bit easier to break up with the hammer. I simply throw all these pieces in the swimming pool as well.

After all of the concrete demolition of the pool is complete, now I needed dirt and lots of it. I found a great resource. Craigslist. If you look under the Free or Materials section, you can find people or construction companies looking for places to dump their dirt. Some will dump it for free. Just keep looking, you will find what you need. I found a guy that not only brought me about 8 loads of dirt, he also had a tractor that he brought over to level it all out, photo. It cost me a whopping $350.

Top Flat Roof Repair Tips

Who else lives in a warmer state? Cause’ I sure do! Due to the extreme temperatures, just about all roofers in Arizona will want to specialize in managing and laying rooftops. Along with the extreme temperature of the summer months in our thoughts, we install roofing systems that will both keep your building cool and put up an enduring fight against the dry heat of the state of Arizona! Flat roofs are a safe bet for a wide selection of different kinds of architecturally particular dwellings; yet still they serve their best purpose in waterless locations.

The key reason why these roofs are a smart choice for dry climates is basically because they are setup in two separate steps. To start off, they consist of an under layer and then protected with a thick substance such as an artificial rubberized finish. Even while flat roofs are fitted in two layers; it is always a good idea to invest in scheduled check-ups to be positive the stability of the structure is upheld.

Alongside the benefit of owning a double layered roof, flat roofs are also massively secure, simple to move on, and provide superior treatments to roofing systems that experience routine leaks. Flat roof systems are great solutions for leaky roofing systems due to their multiple layers, and moreover, the rubberized sealer that is adequately installed to thwart continual leakages in the future.

Flat roofs that are incorrectly mounted can often be problem areas for house owners that are developing these recurring water leaks. Frequently, weak roofs fail to be equipped alongside the most suitable amount of sealant recommended to seal the framework and suffer a loss when attempting to eliminate such water leaks from developing. After hearing this, if it so happens that you are thinking about complete re-installation or requesting that your flat roof examined, verify that you are selective about going on to the top of the roof on your own.

Although we encourage remaining careful on top of a seeping roof, it is important that it acquires rapid inspection of the diminished segments. These weak sections can be risky, so we recommend that you do not venture onto the building by yourself since you run the risk of falling through. Although these roofs give a more sturdy foundation to function on than their sloping alternatives, you nevertheless should be cautious. In case you are skeptical about the strength of the roof top you currently possess, call up a flat roof repair expert to wander on egg shells and do what they know how to do the best; locate and eliminate the issue!

As professionals, we actually calculate and provide a thorough assessment of the actual damages and accommodate you with a quote for the treatment to your flat roof dilemma. To be able to fix your water leakage, most people detach the compromised part of your rooftop and replace it with state of the art roofing applicant and the acceptable levels of top quality sealant that prevents additional leakages from taking place.

Even though any excursion to the top of the roof needs to be dealt with using care and precaution, flat roofs provide you with significantly more reliability and horizontal areas than sloping roofs do. A further appeal of flat roofs is that they are far more affordable to re-coat and install as opposed to sloped roofs.

The Right Roofing Material for You

When you are in the market for a roofing job there are numerous factors that you will have to take into consideration. For most people the first is that of price and the kind of durability you get as well as the aesthetic look it provides. Making this decision is much easier when you have a comparison of popular roofing materials in one place.

One of the most common materials used is asphalt shingles in residential spaces. These last two to three decades depending on the quality you choose. In most cases people tend to move out of a home before it actually needs a replacement. Asphalt shingles are a minimum maintenance material making it very popular.

Another type of roofing material is wood shakes. These are commonly made of cedar and are considered by many to be a more attractive option as compared to asphalt shingles. These are most often used on older homes with classical décor. If installed correctly they can last for as long as three decades. In some cases a replacement or repairs are needed at 15 to 20 year intervals. One of the considerations to keep in mind is that they do pose a fire hazard and attract mildew. In some areas they are banned by home owners associations or city ordinance.

Tiles are another roofing material and these are primarily made of concrete or clay. If you want a distinctive look to your home this is the choice of roofing material to go for. They give your home a distinctively attractive look and are much longer lasting than asphalt or wood shingles. They tend to last as long as 40 years up to a half a century. These tiles are usually much more expensive as a result of their durability and potential insurance savings. They are fire resistant, heavy and should be placed only in homes where solid support pillars are in place.

With metal roofing materials you can choose from a range of shapes and colors and give you flexibility in designing your home. They also come in most cases with a 50 year guarantee. It is not prone to mildew or moss and is rather maintenance free. And finally, slate – one of the longest lasting of roofing materials can last more than a century. There are several buildings that attest to this. They are resistant to fire, mold as well as the onslaught of insects and several other natural threats.

Depending on where you are located and you can choose from all or at least most of the roofing materials options giving you a beautiful home to show off to friends and family.

How To Paint Like Rembrandt

Rembrandt van Rijn was born in Leydn, and later moved to Amsterdam to study in the studio of Peter Lastman. Lastman, who had traveled to Italy and was familiar with the works of Carravagio, likely instilled a love of chiaroscuro in the young Rembrandt. Rembrandt’s early paintings, however, were done in the Dutch seventeenth-century style, consisting of thin layers.

With age came the development of Rembrandt’s signature style. His use of impasto in the light areas grew heavier and heavier, while his shadows became increasingly transparent. His series of self-portraits document the evolution of his technique, offering an invaluable glimpse at the growth of a true ‘Master’.

Painting Medium

Rembrandt’s medium seems to have been a very thick jelly that became tacky relatively quickly, judging from the light areas in his paintings. It’s clear that the paint was put down and then moved around with great difficulty, producing his distinctive brush-strokes. The shadows, transparent with dark tints of color, are equally thick, the brush-strokes standing in high relief. There is some question as to Rembrandt’s talent for drawing, as he seems to have been correcting his drawings after the paint had already begun to resist the commands of his brush.

Painting Surface

Despite the existence of some alla prima sketches on panels, Rembrandt’s preferred surface was a gray-toned canvas. The canvas is better suited for paintings carried out over several sittings, and the majority of Rembrandt’s works were executed in this manner.

Painting Sequence

As mentioned earlier, Rembrandt did not have the gift for drawing possessed by many of his contemporaries, most notably Rubens. When painting from life, which he usually did, he needed several sittings to get the drawing up to his exacting standards. With warm brown tones of oil paint and medium, he would sketch the portrait on the canvas, blocking in the transparent shadows with the thin mix. Then, loading his brush with an opaque, muted skin tone, he painted into the light areas and modeled them with the shadows, creating powerful contrasts between the two.

Next, mixing black and white, Rembrandt created a cool gray for the mid-tones between the lights and shadows. He also used an optical gray, allowing the toned canvas to show through rather than painting in gray tones. Unfortunately, the grays in Rembrandt’s paintings often appear green today, due to the yellowing varnish.

Rembrandt then worked feverishly against time and drying paint, building up the contrast between his heavy, opaque lights and his much thinner transparent shadows, as well as that of his warm and cool tones. Only when the paint became tacky and hard to move would he start the process of blending, creating the remarkable texture unique to Rembrandt’s style of painting. Finally, when the paint could no longer be moved, he stopped painting and allowed the canvas to dry.

The second sitting consisted of glazing the entire surface of the canvas with medium and a tint of umber, or possibly black, which he would then carefully remove from the light areas using a cloth. The heavy impasto of the light areas retained some of the glaze, creating an even more three-dimensional appearance. This process was repeated over several sittings, resulting in the brilliant lights and darks that Rembrandt is so famously known for.

For a more in-depth look at Rembrandt’s technique, visit James Groves at for a truly remarkable painting demonstration.