How to Drill a Hole in Concrete

Drilling into concrete is a fairly easy process if you know the right technique

It does not matter if you are a professional craftsman or just a casual zealot as both should know the right technique of drilling into hard concrete. This is one of the most basic things a tradesman should excel in. Sometimes you need to hang paintings in your living room and sometimes you are required to put up wall shelves in your bedroom. There are various tasks where you will have to show your expertise.

WHAT DO YOU NEED?

If you are a hobbyist and do not own a power drill, you could rent one. However, if you are a professional guy or an enthusiast who needs to perform drilling tasks regularly, you should probably buy one. You could choose from many brands, but well-known brands like Black & Decker and Bosch are great choices because their products offer reliable performance over a long period of time.

While any decent drill would do the job, for effective results you should look for the following attributes in a power drill:

• You should be able to grip the power drill firmly. If you can not hold the drill properly, you should not be using it.

• Availability of adjustable or variable speed function.

• It's also good to have a depth setting so you do not have to mark the drill bit manually.

• Hammering feature is a welcome plus.

• Power and torque.

Never go for the cheap drills as you would probably end up with underwhelming results and lots of frustration. Branded drills are expensive, but they're worth every penny.

KNOW WHAT YOU ARE WORKING WITH

Many craftsmen ignore or overlook the instructions of the manufacturer which is an erratic step to begin with. Get to know your tool as if you're meeting a new person. Make yourself aware of its strengths and weaknesses. Reading the user manual is not embarrassing and does not mean you do not know your craft. It simply means that you are a smart craftsman who respects his own safety and wants to complete the task as it is supposed to be completed.

THINGS TO DO BEFORE STARTING DRILL

If your drill has a depth setting or a depth regulator, learn to use it with the help of given instructions. It would allow you to drill an accurate hole in terms of depth.

However, if your power drill does not have a depth setting, you would need to measure and mark the drill bit manually with a tape or a thread. It's recommended to use a bold colored tape (red, yellow, navy blue) so you have a clear vision of it all the time and you know when to stop.

Using a pencil or marking pen, mark the point on the wall where you want to drill a hole. Put your power drill on the mark and apply some pressure so it does not move. Abstain from pressing the drill too hard. Now, if your drill allows variable speed, drill a small shallow hole at low-speed. If your machine does not allow variable speed, you can achieve similar results by applying short drilling bursts. This shallow hole will act as a guide for your drill.

START DRILLING

Now, hold your drill properly in a firm manner while keeping your index finger on the trigger. If your drill provides the options, set it on high-speed and enable hammering function and start drilling into the small hole you made earlier. If you are using a low power drill you may need to apply some force against the wall, but do not exert extra pressure as it will only damage the drill bit.

If your power drill does not provide the facility of hammer function, pull out the drill slightly and press it back into the hole after every few seconds. If you feel like the drill is not making its way into the concrete, pull it out of the hole completely and let it cool down for a while and then start again. Stop when you achieve the desired depth and unplug your drill immediately.

Using Timber Veneer For Home Renovation

Timber veneer is from a natural and sustainable resource. Timber veneer is able to cover forty times as much as 25mm timber and is easily the most economic & environmentally friendly way of using wood.

History of Timber Veneer

Veneers have been used by furniture makers and joiners for more than four thousand years. The earliest examples of veneer applications have been found in Egypt. Wood was a very scarce raw material and it was especially valued for its aesthetic qualities.

Maximum Utilization

In Egypt, a country which apart from its lifeline, the Nile, consists entirely of desert, timber was rare and it was just as highly valued as the precious stones that were used for the elaborate decoration of furniture. As a result, veneers came into being where no lush forests marked the landscape, but instead in a place where timber, as a raw material, was rare and its products were highly sought after as a personal possession. Logs were sawn into very thin boards Evidence suggests that ancient Egyptians sourced exotic timbers from Lebanon, Phoenicia and Syria. These were adzed into thin sections and glued onto more sturdy material.

The beautiful shrines in the tomb of Tutankhamen clearly show that, although the woodworking techniques of that time were still quite rudimentary, people in this age people already knew how to reveal the inner natural beauty of wood. Artefacts recovered from burial tombs indicate that delicate marquetry techniques and veneer panelling were an integral part of Egyptian cultural life. There is also evidence that suggests that veneering was widespread throughout much of classical civilisation.

Industrial Revolution

Beginning of the 19th century, new processing methods were developed. Sawing was replaced by slicing with knives instead of saw blades “Peeling” of logs with machines. New production techniques slowly gained acceptance

Furniture manufacture, originally elevated to artistic perfection by the great masters during the Renaissance and Baroque periods as well as subsequent centuries, demonstrates how a simple need can become a cultural legacy, eventually developing into a form of expression for each successive age. The heritage of furniture manufacture has been refined and perfected in modern times in response to demand, and has grown from a handicraft into a highly mechanized industry. At the same time, veneer manufacture, although an industry, has remained very much a craft.

Technological advances made during the Industrial Revolution saw both the level and quality of veneer production dramatically alter during the 19th century. The traditional inaccuracy of veneer sawing was eliminated by the development of specialised machines for slicing and peeling.

Modern Manufacture of Timber Veneer

By the middle of the twentieth century, veneer was being manufactured across the world and its application beyond furniture design steadily increased. Veneered wall panels appeared in shops, restaurants, offices, banks and other public buildings. Exotic veneers decorated luxury vehicles, railway carriages and ocean liners. In the domestic furniture industry, veneer applications became dominant.

Today, offices and public buildings continue to employ veneered wall panelling, flush veneered door panels and matching furniture. Advanced manufacturing techniques and growing public awareness of the values of real wood veneers together with the need to maximise resources have made the craft of veneering more popular than ever.

Applications

Custom Made Furniture can be used in the same applications as natural timber decorative veneers. Like natural timber veneers, it is not generally suitable for use in wet areas such as vanity tops, or exterior applications such as external doors and walls. Veneered panels should never be used in the raw state but must always be finished with a suitable coating. Like natural veneer and dyed materials such as fabric and paint, TrueGrain may fade or discolour on exposure to light. Using the correct type of coating can significantly reduce this, but it can never be entirely eliminated .

Australian Sustainable Timber Veneers Species

Specie include; Acacia, Rose, Ash, Tasmanian, Ash, Victorian, Blackbutt, Blackwood, Tasmanian, BrushBox, Eucalypt, Tear-drop, Gum, Forest Red, Gum, Rose, Gum, Southern Blue, Gum, Spotted Australia, Gum, Sydney Blue, Ironbark, Red, Jarrah, Jarrah Burr, Jarrah, Karri, Leatherwood, Marri, Myrtle, Flame, Myrtle, Tasmanian, Oak, Figured Tasmanian, Oak, Tasmanian, Pine, Celery-top, Pine, Hoop, Pine, Huon, Pine, Knotty Radiata, Sassafras, Black Heart, Sassafras, Golden, Stringybark, Tallow Wood, Turpentine, Wattle, Silver

Teak Wood

What is Teak Wood?

Teak wood is the eye-catching lumber that comes from a tree species native to South and Southeast Asia called Tectona grandis. More commonly today, teak is seen in the form of nice furniture, cabinetry, flooring, cutting boards and boat decks.

What makes Teak Wood so special?

Teak wood is special for three main qualities: its beauty, its strength, and its self-preservation.

Teak lumber is known for being a very attractive wood. It’s recognized specifically for its yellowish color and its unique grain pattern. The distinctive beauty of this wood has resulted in an increased demand for household furniture and flooring made with teak lumber.

While the aesthetics of teak are obvious, what may not be so clear to the naked eye is the wood’s strength and flexibility. Teak is a very durable wood. It is resistant to water and varying weather conditions, which is why its usage in shipbuilding and outdoor furniture is so widespread. It is also pliable, which makes it easier to work with and less likely to get damaged.

While most woods need to be protected from water stains, termites and rotting, teak wood protects itself. Teak lumber produces an oily resin that resists rotting and keeps termites away without requiring any extra maintenance.

Where can I find eco-friendly Teak?

To protect the environment and, more specifically, the teak forests in Southeast Asia, you should buy from a sustainable teak wood plantation. In these plantations teak is able to grow without using fertilizers or irrigation. Because plantation teak is sustainable, it is now actually considered a renewable resource!

Latin America is home to many of the sustainable teak plantations. Because of its close proximity to the United States, the use of these sustainable plantations is not only helping the environment, but it reduces the shipping costs. Purchasing teak from sustainable plantations in Central and South America is a more eco-friendly and ethical alternative to “Burmese teak.” Burmese teak is one of the main sources financing the military junta in Myanmar. Although direct importation of Burmese teak is prohibited by the US Treasury Department, it still manages to find its way (indirectly) into the United States. Contrary to common belief, teak grown in the jungles of Myanmar does not have a longer life or greater durability.

Purchase the beautiful, eco-friendly teak from a nearby sustainable teak plantation and you and your environment will be happy.

Large Cork Board – Various Uses For Display

A large cork board can be used to hold posters, playbills, photos and other memorabilia. It can also be used for class schedules, lunch menus and event reminders can also be put up beside your calendar. Placing one beneath your bed is also perfect for showing off band posters and photos. You can paint the board or cover it with wrapping paper to give it some extra oomph. Get a large cork board that can hang on the wall beside your bed or over your desk so you can admire and study at the same time.

A framed cork board come in various styles and shapes. It would also work well particularly those that have glass doors to prevent people from removing notices. Another neat idea is displaying your pins on it. Just hang the board up and stick your pins on it. Stylish and functional, such boards adds just the right touch to your interior decor.

These are perfect for family areas, game rooms, bedrooms, entryways and dorm rooms. You can actually do a lot of things with a framed cork board. In fact, you can express your artistic and creative self by making a framed cork board. Secure all these items on a framed board and decorate with ribbon and garland. Continue to add and update memories each and every year.

A cork notice board allows information signs to be pinned to the board. When glazed these can be used as outdoor notice boards or as open fronted office pinboards. A cork notice board large enough to take either an A4 or A3 sheet of paper depending on the scale at which you wish to work. For scanning into your computer A4 size is ideal. Just buy a cork notice board and cover it with velvet using a staplegun. They can be laid flat or propped up on stands like artist's easels or cookbook stands. Use a cork notice-board and coloured pins to hang your earrings. This makes a colourful display and makes it easy to find a complete pair exactly when you want them.

A wine cork board is a great wine gift idea. These wine accessories are an easy eco friendly way to recycle those wine corks from your wine cabinet. The next time you complete a bottle of wine, think twice about what you can do with the cork, as making a board out of used corks is very simple and easy to make yourself. This is a perfect craft to make if your father happens to be a wine lover! It would look great hanging in a kitchen, in his garage, or his workshop.

Essentially, a large cork board is an ideal enclosed bulletin board for community centers, student unions, and numerous other locations. Large cork boards are cost effective compared to the alternatives, environmentally sound, and easily found.

Decorate A Dollhouse Porch For Spring

Does it ever feel like time stands still in your miniature? The dolls stay the same age, and there’s no sign of holidays or seasons passing them by. Every season, I like to decorate a dollhouse with special accessories to help bring the outdoors in. When it comes to decorating, whether your own home or a miniature home, spring is the most important time of year. It’s time to get excited about giving the space a fresh new look inspired by the vibrant colors and burst of activity all around you.

With springtime on its way, now is the time to decorate a dollhouse porch with all of the miniatures of the season. The expansive porch of many houses provides the perfect opportunity for a springtime scene.

Every porch, large or small, needs seating. Install a porch swing to give your house the charming feeling of a relaxed springtime morning. Next to it, place a small table with a tiny glass of lemonade. Can’t you imagine a member of your dollhouse family relaxing on the porch, sipping lemonade and reading a good book? The key to furnishing any space for spring is to switch from darker and deeper hues to lighter spring tones – picture a whitewashed rocking chair or oak porch swing.

Get inspired by the appearance of your own home this spring. Color is the cornerstone of any exuberant springtime look. Your dollhouse should not be an exception! Add a window box filled with colorful blooms or a few hanging baskets. Small potted plants will bring the colors of the season to the door of your house. Marvel at the tiny, delicate leaves and blossoms that make flowers one of my favorite accessories when I decorate my miniatures.

Finally, don’t overlook the more practical accessories when you decorate a dollhouse. These will help your home looked lived-in rather than stuck in a time warp. With nature a major theme of spring, a watering can and other gardening tools complete your miniature porch scene. These little details are so often forgotten, but really do make your miniature look like someone lives there.

When the season comes to an end, don’t forget to change them out with beach balls, sand pails, and other summertime delights. Decorating your house with the right accessories is a great way to welcome the change in seasons. These special touches will instantly make your dollhouse feel more alive.

How to Find the Best Home Remodeling Contractor

It's finally time to tackle that big home improvement project you've always wanted to do. Or, you may have waited so long, now you NEED to do the project. Which leads to your first question – "Where do I start?"

Well, the truth is … some jobs are simply too big, too complicated, or require too much time to handle on your own. Whether it's remodeling a kitchen, installing gutters, or electrical rewiring for your business – you'll likely need an expert.

A contractor, or subcontractor, can be your 'knight in shining armor' when it comes to completing your project. But, wait … you've heard so many horror stories connected with "shady contractors" that you're starting to re-think this re-model. But statistics show that the huge majority of contractors out there are honest and hard-working professionals. Most people are happy with any improvement project they undertake.

"Fine," you say. "How can I protect myself and make sure I find a great contractor?" I'm glad you asked. Here are some standard tips you can follow to make sure your repair, remodel, or installation goes well:

o Got License? Most states require that a contractor have a license to operate in that state. The find you a Once contractor (referrals from friends Friends, the Yellow Pages, or you can click here at Http://www.constructiondeal.com to the find an expert), you shouldnt lands check to see the if he or she has a license directories to local contracting do the job.

o Check References – get at least three references from satisfied clients. And if you want to get really fanatical, go to the contractor's current job site. See if the site is messy. Are the workers taking care of the property?

o Get Bids – if you have the luxury, get multiple bids from several contractors. Do not always assume that the lowest bid is the best, because that contractor may be desperate for work or might cut corners on the job. But if you get contractor's from several sources, you could get a really great deal.

o Get it in Writing – the days of the "handshake deal" are far behind us. Get a detailed contract together and throw everything in (even if the project does not involve the kitchen sink!) The more you clarify, the fewer headaches you'll have if things go wrong.

o Do You Take a Check? Do not ever pay in cash. Can you say, "Proof of payment"? I thought you could … Keep logs of all payments (for example – 10% down, 20% by one date, another 20% by another date, final payment when work is complete, etc.) and pay with a check or credit card only.

"Wait a minute!" you protest, "That sounds like a lot of work!"

Sure it does. Because it is a lot of work. If you think a renovation or remodeling job is expensive, imagine having to pay for it twice! Do your homework and you'll avoid being one of the horror stories.

"Are there any warning signs of a bad contractor?" you ask. Boy, you sure do ask a lot of questions. And that's good. Always ask a lot of questions. The more you know, the better prepared you'll be to handle the unexpected.

Okay, these are signs a contractor might be one step away from going to jail:

o If required by the state, your contractor does not want to show you his or her license. Or will not give you references. Or you two do not get along. Keep in mind: this person may be in your home, working side-by-side with you, for several months – you'd better get along!

o Your contractor wants you to pay for the entire project … up front. Run for the hills.

o Your contractor has a "friend" in the financing business that can get you a "good deal" on a loan for your project. What will really happen is that you'll end up with a huge "2nd mortgage" at a ridiculously "high rate" and your "contractor" just got a juicy "commission" on the deal.

o Your contractor does not have a business address, a business card, and it looks like the contractor sleeps in his or her pickup truck. Run really fast for those hills …

Okay. Now that you know about the warning signs, you need to take a look at some signs you may have found a really good contractor:

o The contractor has at least 4 to 5 years experience. It shows they can manage their business and complete their projects.

o The contractor has insurance. Liability and worker's compensation are the most important types of coverage to make sure everyone is covered.

o The contractor has more than references – he or she may even carry a book of photos showing past work projects that have been completed.

o The contractor provides cost breakdowns for the job. These breakdowns show specific details of what the project will cost to complete.

o The contractor is flexible. Communicate all your requirements and specifications for the project. Whether you two decide that you want to supervise the work or you want to let the contractor make all the decisions, your contractor will be flexible enough to work with you.

"Okay, am I ready?" Yes, now you're ready to hire a professional to help get your home or business improvement project off the ground. One of the best ways to protect yourself is the act of due diligence. Webster's defines due diligence as: "The care that a prudent person might be expected to exercise in the examination and evaluation of risks affecting a business transaction." In simplified terms – Do your homework. And you'll do just fine.

Have fun and make the most out of your experience.

Waxing Instructions — Waxing with Soft Wax

Waxing is the one of the best, oldest and most popular hair removal methods. Its popularity is based on several factors including it’s effectiveness and relatively low cost. But the practice is as much an art as it is a science. Done improperly waxing can lift the skin and cause permanent scarring. For safety reasons and to achieve best results, waxing – especially in hard to reach and sensitive areas – is best left to professionals. If you are determined to do it yourself it is highly recommended that you visit a waxing professional at least once so that you can see how it is done properly before trying it yourself.

Whether you are a professional or a home user it is important to follow some basic guidelines to achieve safe and effective waxing results. This article describes key concepts in how depilatory waxes are formulated and the basic techniques and best practices for safe and effective waxing with soft wax. A later article will describe techniques and best practices for hard wax.

First, we must define the difference between soft wax and hard wax. It is important to note at the outset that the difference in quality from one brand of wax to the next can be significant. Cheap waxes typically use inferior raw materials resulting in finished products with inferior performance and safety characteristics.

Both soft and hard depilatory waxes are designed to be melted and applied to the skin. How the products “cure” or dry on the skin and how they are removed are the essential difference. Soft wax cures slowly and remains tacky. Once applied it must be removed using a waxing strip (a piece of fabric designed for the purpose). Hard wax, often called no-strip wax, cures firmly so that it may be lifted without a strip.

Hard or no-strip waxes tend to be more gentle than soft waxes and are often the esthetician’s choice for waxing sensitive areas such as the lip, bikini and underarm. In general, soft waxes bind and pull hairs more forcefully than hard waxes. However, depending on how the wax is formulated and which secondary ingredients are included, there is considerable variation from one soft wax to the next.

For example, Bombshell Wax sells two types of soft wax, Bombshell Wax Lavender Tea Tree Wax and Bombshell Wax Rose Petal Crème Wax. Bombshell Wax Lavender Tea Tree wax is a translucent wax that goes on in a very thin layer, almost like cellophane. It is ideal for speed waxing larger body areas such as full legs or arms, backs and chests. The Bombshell Wax Rose Petal Crème Wax formula includes titanium dioxide to create a slightly thicker, opaque, cream style wax that goes on a bit thicker to surround and lift even coarse, curly or stubborn hairs. The Bombshell Wax Rose Petal Crème wax is gentler than the Bombshell Wax Lavender Tea Tree wax and is therefore better suited for the face and sensitive areas. The point is that subtle variations in product formulation can make an appreciable difference in how a particular wax performs.

To wax with soft wax, begin by choosing a high quality soft wax such as Bombshell Wax or Cirepil.

Melt the wax in a professional wax warmer on low heat until just liquefied. Alternatively, if you use Bombshell Wax or another wax packaged in a polypropylene container, heat the wax in the microwave in 1-2 minute increments until just liquefied. Do not overheat. Keep in mind that waxes vary in how fast they heat.

Clean the skin with an antiseptic, antibacterial, mild exfoliating liquid such as Tonic 86(TM) or Tend Skin. Apply the liquid to a cotton ball or cotton round and apply a very thin layer to the area(s) you intend to wax. Do not use Tonic 86(TM) or Tend Skin on previously exfoliated skin, especially the face.

Pat the skin dry and powder lightly.

Test the temperature of the wax on the wrist using an applicator or spatula. If it’s too hot, allow the wax to cool.

Dip a wooden applicator or spatula (think tongue depressor) into the wax. Scrape the underside of the spatula on the edge of the wax jar so that wax is on only one side of the spatula. Twirl the spatula over the jar until you have control of the wax and you have an ounce or two on the spatula. Spread a thin, even layer of wax in the same direction as hair growth. Repeat: spread the wax in same direction as hair growth (if the follicle is the start and the tip of the hair is the end, spread from the follicle towards the tip).

Do not allow the wax to harden.

Cover the wax with a high quality waxing strip such as Bombshell Las Vegas Strips(TM) and press firmly in downward strokes in the same direction as hair growth.

Hold the skin firmly with one hand. With the other hand, quickly whisk the strip in the opposite direction of hair growth staying close and parallel to the skin. Warning: it is extremely important to remove the strip low and parallel to the skin. If you lift straight up you risk lifting the skin, causing bruising.

Using your hand, immediately apply pressure to the just-waxed skin to soothe tingling nerve endings.

Using a waxing strip, press over and lift and wax residue left on the skin.

To prevent ingrown hairs and break outs, immediately after waxing apply an antiseptic antibacterial, mild exfoliating liquid such as Tonic 86(TM) or Tend Skin. Apply the liquid to a cotton ball or cotton round and apply a very thin layer to the area(s) that was waxed. Apply regularly between treatments (3-5 times per week) to clear and prevent ingrown hairs.

To decrease redness or irritation, apply a soothing cream such as Cream 100(TM) Calming Balm to instantly reduce redness, calm inflammation, soothe the skin, and promote healing.

How to Find Free Piano Sheet Music

Let’s face it… finding musical piano sheets can be a drag. We are fortunate to live in an age where we have access to virtually millions of sources of information, right at our fingertips. Ahh yes, the Internet. All you have to do is go to your favorite search engine, type in the title and composer of your piece, press “Search,” and voila! Results in less than a second.

Now, finding some specific pieces can be harder than others. And unfortunately, it’s not always going to be free either. Before the Internet, people had to actually go to a music store and BUY all their sheet music! Today, we don’t even have to leave our home to get free sheets, and we can print them in just minutes to our home printers. How convenient!

Before the Internet, it was difficult to find free resources. You basically had to know someone who already had those pieces, so you could borrow or photocopy those sheets. Today, there are many options to find sheet music… absolutely free of charge.

Take Advantage of Search Engines

This is the most basic way to find free pieces. Just go to your favorite search engine, type in the title and composer of your selected piece, press search, and see what comes up. You can even search for more arbitrary keywords like, “free piano sheet music,” “free piano sheets,” or “free sheet music.” When you use an Internet resource such as Google, you will basically receive search results with a mixture of purchase options or free options that you can choose from in your search results.

Search Blogs

Over the years that I have personally searched for free pieces, I have found blogs to be one of the best resources ever. There are a lot of regular people just like you and me, who create music blogs on Blogspot or WordPress or whatever free blog software, and they will either compose their own arrangements or upload pieces to their blog, absolutely free for download to share with the world.

Public Domain Resources

If you are searching for sheet music that has been composed very long ago by composers who have long been dead (like Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, etc.), you can most likely access this sheet music completely for free because the copyright licenses on these works have expired. In general, as soon as something is written, drawn, painted, composed, and so on, it is automatically copyrighted by the creator. However, anything that has been composed before 1922 is in the public domain. That’s why it’s much easier to find very old, classical sheets on the Internet than it is to find more modern, popular sheet music. Popular sheet music is copyright protected, and therefore MUCH harder to find on the Internet without directly purchasing it.

Search Popular Piano Websites

Some of the most popular piano resource websites include 8notes.com, PianoWorld,com, and GMajorMusicTheory.org. These are great websites for searching for all kinds of free piano sheet music.

I Still Can’t Find It!

Now, if you’ve tried all of the above and STILL can’t find your favorite piano piece… it may be virtually impossible to find it for free on the Internet. I experience this all the time, most likely because I am looking for a very advanced, popular, or relatively new piano piece.

Sheet Music Plus

Sheet Music Plus has the world’s largest selection of instrumental sheets. Sometimes, if you cannot find your music for free, it’s worth paying for it. This website offers individual songs for prices as low as less than $5.00. This is definitely a small investment for receiving authentic piano sheets. You can download it right away to your home computer and print it out straight away. You can also buy full piano books by different musicians/composers, books focused on technical work, or books catered to different genres.

Virtual Sheet Music

Virtual Sheet Music is another option if you are willing to pay for. Basically, you pay a flat fee of $37.75 per year and you are granted access to unlimited free music sheets (for several different instruments, not just including piano). If you downloaded five or six pieces, it would be worth the fee. But with their membership fee, you can download hundreds of pieces, as often and as much as you desire! One of the best things about this website is that they are dedicated to providing very high quality music sheets. The scores won’t be visibly photocopied, they won’t have splotches everywhere, and they won’t be too small to read. You are guaranteed to receive the highest quality of sheet musical notation when you sign up for their membership.

Believe me, I have spent YEARS searching for piano music, and I know that these resources are well worthwhile. If you are interested in receiving free sheet music, visit my website to sign up to receive over 250 pieces of free piano sheets!

Marriage and Finances

If you're getting married you probably have a lot of questions on how your life will change in regards to finances. It can be tricky business merging to financial lives together. If you want to have a long, healthy, and happy life together you have to sort things out financially. The leading cause of divorce is money matters so if you do not have a clear understanding on how you both operate in regards to money, you're stacking the odds against you. Here are some quick tips you can use to make your marriage stand the test of time:

Are you compatible? Money is a sensitive subject and many couples avoid discussing the finances with each other. Finances are just one of the many issues that you need to talk about before getting married. You need to know what you're getting yourself into before you say "I do." Many officiates will offer pre-marital counseling and this is a good time to bring up the subject of money, especially if you suspect you might have problems with it down the road.

Think of the taxes. Your tax bill could be higher as a married couple than it is now. So considerably higher that you might want to plan your wedding around it. The only way to find out exactly how it will effect you is to break out a tax return, put in you and your partner's numbers and see how the IRS will treat you after you're married.

Make joint goals. If you both have differing ideas of what you should be doing with your money it's as if you're both tethered to each other but trying to run in different directions. You will not get very far until you synchronize your efforts. You will not know what the other person feels is important until you sit down and talk about your financial goals.

How will you handle finances? Some married couples pool their money together while others keep things mostly separated. Mixing money can have its good and its bad qualities. Talk with your partner about how you both think money should be handled once you're husband and wife.

Team up on employer benefits. If you 're both employed full time and are receiving benefits you'll want to compare them and see which one offers better coverage for you both. One of you will likely have better benefits than the other, and you'll want to switch your coverage to the better one.

Talk about insurance. If you both are dependent on each other's income then you'll want to insure each other in the even that something happens. If you can make do without the other's income then you probably do not need to worry about the added cost of getting insurance.

Keep your wills current. Updating your wills is an important thing to do and you should make one if you have not done so yet. With any major life change you'll want to keep your will current and also reconsider the beneficiaries you have listed.

Replace Linoleum With Tile In 5 Steps

So you're tired of that 1970's gold and green linoleum in your kitchen, huh? You want something nice, modern, but not too expensive right? Look, on some level we all have a champagne palate with a beer budget, but if you do a little digging and are not afraid of work, you can do your new floors cheap.

First Step- remove all base boards and threshold strips. Do not bother trying to peel linoleum off of the underlayment just try to get your pry bars between the underlayment and the sub floor. Depending on how well it was stapled and if it was glued or not will decide if this is a 2 hr or 2 day job.

Second Step- Once all underlayment and linoleum have been removed, as well as all nails and staples from the underlayment in the sub floor, it's time for concrete backer. There are a few products that basically do the same thing but Hardy Backer is the leading product in the industry today. Nail the backer down to the sub floor over the floor joists as well as 6 "on edges and 10" in the field with 1 1/2 "roofing nails.

Third Step- Determine size and layout of tile desired. Snap chalk lines on floor in desired patters. Start at the far side of the room and glue down all full pieces first with approved tile mastic using rubber "X" 's to keep proper spacing. After full pieces have dried in place you can measure mark and cut the specialty and corner pieces. Once those have been set, the baseboard pieces are ready to be cut and set.

Fourth Step- Find a color of grout that matches your tile colors and mix it to manufactures specs. Using a combination of buckets, sponges and floats, follow the instructions on the packages to apply grout to seams of tiles (remember to remove rubber spacer before installing grout). spread grout evenly and clean off regularly with clean water sponge until desired grout size. allow to dry completely.

Fifth and Final- Sealing the grout is a step that most people skip but everyone that skips it regrets it. spend the extra 2 hours and make sure that your hard work will stay beautiful for the years to come. Sealing the grout is cheap and easy so do not forget to do it!

So that's it. Sounds easy, but some skill is involved, Do not forget to take your time, relax and be a bit of a perfectionist. If you start to get upset or feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath, re-read these steps and think about all the money you are saving by doing the labor yourself. As always feel free to contact us with any specific questions!

Extra Protection With a Ladder Cover

A ladder cover is an effective way to protect users from slipping on worn or slippery ladders. This protective device are specially designed to to be fitted in traditional steel ladders. Since steel steps when wet are slippery, covers provide enough friction between the user's shoes and the steps. A ladder cover widens the step's surface area for better footing stability. It keeps the user secure by providing better foothold.

Ladder cover not only secures its user but also protects the ladder steps from being easily worn out. This ladder protection device also prevents the ladder from ruining any surface that it comes in contact with.

Take an extra caution by using a cover for your ladder when climbing. This is especially advisable for workers working on extremely high areas. The higher you climb, the more protection and safety measures you should employ. Here are some ideas on how ladder covers can give you the peace of mind while working on ladders.

Only the Best Materials

To ensure that ladder covers will be able to fulfill its promise of added safety and protection, there are a variety of materials that you can choose from. Your choice of the covering materials will be dependent on the type of ladder that you own.

Rubbery caps – Ladder covers made ​​of rubber caps can prevent any possible damage to the surface the you are working on. These rubber caps are placed on the top most ladder rails which protects the surface from getting scratched. The caps are very easy to put on as they are specially designed to be snapped over the rail ends of a ladder. Rubbers are also good materials to improve the user's grip, providing them enough confidence to move from one step to another. Durability of rubber caps are unquestionable since it can stand against chemicals in paints and any destructive solvents.

Chemical resistant fiber glass – Fiberglass are materials that can provide best support to a climber's weight. This material provides improved traction that helps users avoid slipping. Fiberglass-made ladder covering can also provide additional protection from slipping in wet and icy surfaces. These ladder covers usually come in a standard size of 25mm x 25mm x 25mm or 38mm x 38mm x 38mm and has been proven to fit most industrial ladder rails. Customized cuts that are free of charge are also available. This is also easy to install because you just need a high strength marine grade adhesive to attach it to the existing rails. When it comes to durability, fiber glass are also considered corrosion resistant.

Stainless Steel Made Ladder Covers – This material is strongly suggested for top quality construction. This can be used to refurbish old slippery ladders as approved by ADA and OSHA. Installation needs to be done by a professional since the stainless steel needs to be welded into the ladder rungs. Erroneous installation and wrong fitting of the cover might lead to increased risk of falling.

Using a ladder cover is a holistic approach to protect yourself, your ladders, and the surface you are working on. Ladder covers may cost extra bucks but the safety and protection it provides makes it definitely worth investing in.

Proper Stair Parts For a Good Stairway

If you grew up in a home that has stairs you will most probably have the memory of playing in the railings of the stairs and sliding down the handrail.

This memory might not be possible if your staircase is not sturdy enough to support your weight. With this, you know that you will have to be careful in finding the right stair parts that you will use to create the proper staircase in your home.

If you have a home and it has two or more floors, then you should start considering the stair parts that you will need for your stairs. The stairs are present in your home for practical reasons. You will have to use the stairs to go to one floor to the other. For other homeowners, they use the stairs to add décor in their home. This is also an important aspect especially if your staircase is big and visible in your home. If this is the case, then you will have to ensure that your staircase is not only safe but it should also be pleasing to the eyes of your visitors. In achieving this, you will have to ensure that you will get the right pieces that will help you get a sturdy staircase and also one that has interesting designs to match the look of your home.

The stair parts that you need are easy to find but this does not mean that you will already stop searching once you find one that you like. It is possible that you can easily find one type that you think fits your home but it will be better if you will continue searching and compare the pieces that you see in the market. If you are able to compare the stair parts, you will have a bigger chance of getting the one that you will really like. This will also be a good way to avoid future problems.

You can start thinking of the design that you like and get a professional help when it comes to constructing it. The carpenters will do their job this time but you can instruct them on the kind of outcome that you want from your own staircase.

Now, your home will only get the right staircase if you will invest on the stair parts that you will use. It would be best to start the search now and continue with it so that you can cover more types in the market and really get the kind that you can enjoy having. You should remember that the staircase is not only important because you want to play with its railings. The safety of your family will depend on it and it will also have a big impact in the look of your home.

Modern Stair Lifts

Stair lifts are a type of medical equipment that has been used for almost a hundred years, but the lifts of today are much different from earlier models. In part as a result of some manufacturing techniques and improvements upon their design, there are many lifts available that are inexpensive and can be installed in a straight forward manner. Due to these changes in production, they are more popular than ever today.

Modern stairway lifts are designed and tested with durability in mind. Several of the more popular manufacturers rigorously test their units, simulating over 15 years of everyday use. Most consumer products, from cars to computers could not hope to provide this much service, but many of the lifts available will still remain strong after even this much use.

On of the largest groups of people that use and benefit from these devices is the over sixty-five. These people are more likely to fall down the stairs and quite often these accidents end up resulting in hospitalization and serious injury. This is one of the reasons that preventing falls is so important.

While these devices are generally fairly easy to use and operate independently, there are many caretakers that rely on stair lifts to help them take care of their ward. Caretakers who use these devices will want to ensure that the lift comes with at least one wireless remote and has chest and possibly shoulder restraints. Most, but not all, lifts come with two wireless remotes and others can be purchased if necessary.

Most of these lifts use a tracked system that mounts directly onto the stairs. The rider then moves up and down the track, most frequently while sitting in a chair. The chair lift is the safest, because the user does not need to worry about maintaining balance and can just sit back and enjoy the ride. A few types of lifts use a very small platform instead of a chair, but these are usually only used when required medically. Most people will be better off avoiding the types of lifts that use platforms, because they are not as safe as a chair lift is.

Most often a stairway lift is installed indoors, but some are available for outdoor use. The outdoor lifts though, must be of a special type that is constructed using weather proof materials. Usually these lifts are more costly, but are built to be resistant to the elements. When installing one of these lifts, despite being very resistant to the elements, you will want to position it in a place to reduce its exposure, For instance if it is placed beneath an overhand, it is a good idea to make certain that gutters are installed. This will help protect the unit, but also allows it to be used in a safer manner, by preventing slipping accidents and keeping the area from becoming muddy.

Individuals who use these types of lifts are able to prevent accidents and also are able to generally retain complete independent usage of the stairs.

Best Ways to Prevent Accidents at Work

Most of the common accidents at work can be prevented provided both employees and employers consider it as their duty to prevent accidents at their work place. Employers are required to perform risk assessment for probable accidents that could happen and adapt necessary methods to prevent accidents in the health and safety procedures practiced by them. Employees must strictly follow the health and safety measures adapted by their employers and help to avoid accidents at work.

Slips, trips and falls are one of the most common accidents at work which can cause minor injuries to serious injuries. The preventive methods suggested to reduce this type of accident includes providing safe flooring design, hiding irregular cables, providing warning signs if some place is temporarily slippery or wet, cleaning the floor regularly and providing sufficient lighting and hand rails wherever applicable.

Manual handling of heavy things by lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving can cause accidents where injuries can be sustained is common in work place. The best ways and preventive methods required to reduce this type of accident is as follows.

o Worker should not be made to handle heavy things to a long distance.

o Should train the worker with adequate lifting practice.

o The work should not involve massive reaching upwards, twisting or stooping.

o Should allow taking sufficient rest periodically.

o Wherever possible should use goods lift equipments.

Electrical shocks are common accidents at work which can cause electrical burns to electricians and employees who need to operate electrical equipments. Following are the best ways and methods required to prevent electrical shocks.

o Should ensure that the electrical equipment is well maintained, designed and appropriate for working.

o Provide safety cutouts in the equipment.

o Train the staff properly to operate the equipment.

o Provide warning if there is any electrical danger is involved.

o Persuade safe working practices.

Scaffolding accidents are common building work place accidents which can cause injuries to building workers. To avoid scaffolding accidents the following precautions must be considered.

o Scaffolding should be constructed properly.

o Should ensure that the base plates are in place.

o Slippery planks must be replaced.

o Should provide sufficient guard railings.

o Check for missing planks and replace wherever needed.

o Ensure that the foundation is strong enough.

Apart from the above common accidents there can be some common specific work place accidents which can cause injuries in the respective manner. Some such areas of working are working with dangerous chemicals, with heavy machinery and where fire is involved. These accidents can be prevented provided the respective health and safety measures assigned to their specific work place are followed carefully.

Generally most of the common accidents at work can be prevented if you as an employee consider health and safety as your own accountability. The employers by making their work place safe for working by adapting the prescribed safety measures can prevent accidents at work. Employers must also provide supervision for health and safety where it is needed.

Laminate Flooring Cleaning and Care Tips

If you have laminate flooring in your home, you know that it is one of the most durable types of flooring available as well as one of the most easy types to take care of. Even though laminate is low maintenance, there are still certain cleaning and care tips that you should follow to keep your flooring strong and looking new and shiny and beautiful for years to come.

Laminate flooring is designed to resist scratching and gouging, but it is still vulnerable to abrasive cleaners, soaps, and the biggest source of all scratches-dirt tracked in under shoes. If you are not careful, the protective coating on your laminate flooring can wear away and will need to be replace. You can prevent this by placing protective casters on your furniture and enforcing a no shoes rule inside of your house. Also, be sure never to drag furniture across your floors, since this can cause scratching and gouging as well. Area rugs can also be used to protect your floor, and floor mats should be used in case family members and visitors forget to remove their shoes. You should also wear socks or slippers whenever possible, since the oils in your feet can cause damage, and also cause dirt to cling to them which is then transferred to your floor.

The best way to prevent permanent staining on any surface is to clean up spills as soon as they occur. Again, avoid wet mops, abrasive cleaners, and soaps, and purchase a cleaning solution that is specially formulated for your floor type. Clean your floor every two weeks, making sure to let your floor dry thoroughly before walking on it. You can also use a vacuum in place of a broom to clean up dirt and debris. Static cleaning systems, like Swiffer sweepers and other brands work well for this purpose. Make sure never to apply wax or acrylic finishes over your laminate, since this can actually destroy the protective coating, and be sure to only use the stain removal products that your manufacturer recommends.

When properly cared for your flooring can be a thing of beauty in your home for years. Following these easy care tips will help to ensure that your floors stay looking their best. For specific questions, be sure to read the tips provided by your manufacturer and contact them or visit their website when necessary.