Making a Lean to Shed – Steps For Constructing A Slant Roof Shed

DIY home improvement projects can help keep busy, especially when it comes to improving the look of our homes. Making a lean to shed will make your yard look more organized and give it a more “homey” feeling.

A lean to shed is normally used for storage of firewood, animal feed, grill storage and outdoor equipment. Before preparing, make sure to decide if it will stand by itself or would require support of another building. While planning, it would be a good idea to pick the color of paint to buy it in advance.

The Perfect Size: By determining the size of the shed you will be able to decide the amount of space needed to fit the things that would be stored. Use a measuring tape to measure the area where the lean to shed will be on. Also calculate the height and width for estimate of dimensions.

Begin with a Sketch: Start out this process by referring to the pictures of lean to sheds to find a suitable one, and then sketch it out. However, you will also need to include the calculations and measurements to figure out how much lumber and other supplies would be needed for the entire project.

Lay out the Area: Outline the area that will be used for making a lean to structure with wooden 12 inch stakes, and wrap string tightly around the top of each one to keep others out of that area. A concrete slab base may not be needed if constructing a freestanding style structure. You will need concrete blocks for the shed base. The floor is constructed with 2″x4″ pieces of lumber that need to be cut to a desired length, and 16d galvanized nails will hold the lumber pieces in place. Use 3/4″thick plywood to cover the top of the 2″x4″pieces.

Building the Frame: Frame the walls using your sketch plans, and at each of the corners of the structure add metal braces to reinforce the framing. From there attach the wall framing to the exterior of any building and frame the sides and the front of your lean to structure on the ground. Then lift them into place if constructing a freestanding structure. Secure the wall frames to the floor of the construction.

The Placement of the Door: First determine the position of the door, then use your 2″x4″ lumber pieces that are cut-to-size to build the door frame. Also, use a ready-made door which is a faster way to finish the door on your construction, as it comes with the hinges and hardware needed.

Covering the Shed: Using the 2″x4″lumber planks, nail them to the entire lean to shed area in any pattern of your choosing. A better choice for nails would be the galvanized construction nails. Use hanging plumb line to ensure that your corners are perfectly square.

Constructing the Roof: Using the 2″x4″lumber that is cut to the right size, build the roof rafters on top of the shed. Different styles of roofs require different directions. After deciding on the style, bolt the rafters to the wall frames before installing the plywood. Finally, nail the shingles onto the roof so the interior of the shed will always remain dry.

Finishing Touches: After making a lean to shed, you can finish it by sanding the surface with medium grit sandpaper which will remove rough edges. Primer and paint can also be used for wooden exterior surfaces.

What Is a Bratt Pan?

A Bratt Pan is very versatile piece of kitchen equipment that can be commonly used for eight different methods of cooking, although some have limited functionality. These methods of cooking are: Steaming, Poaching, Deep-fat frying, Stewing, Boiling, Braising, Roasting and Shallow frying. Some versions have limited functionality.

Bratt pans have deep rectangular cooking pots and pull down lids and can be heated by either gas or electricity. They are most useful for multi method cooking of one particular dish or food substance such as browning cubed steak with the lid open and on a high temperature setting, followed by then closing the lid, adding liquid and turning the heat down to then braise the browned meat. This method could also be used for creating soups and stocks.

Bratt pans get their names from the German word ‘brat’ which means ‘fry’, although in Germany they are actually called ‘Kippentopf’ which means ’tilting pan’. This name relates to the tilting feature that Bratt pans have than can either be electric or manual.

The tilting feature is used for both cooking and cleaning. When cooking, the lid of the pan can be closed and the pan tilted, enabling liquid and other food stuffs to be poured into the pan through a v-cut opening, ensuring that there is little risk of being burnt or scalded.

When cleaning the tilt mechanism can be used to aid rinsing by swirling water around the pan. Some pans even come with the added function of being able to be connected to the mains water supply so that water can be directly piped to the pan for cleaning or cooking.

There is also a version of pressurised Bratt pan that works much the same as typical pressure cookers. Because the lid can be clamped so tightly, water temperatures above 100 degrees Celsius can be reached and so cooking times are reduced.

Bratt pans are typically used for producing large volumes of food and so are almost always present in large hotels, restaurants, hospitals and universities. They are rarely if ever used for domestic purposes as their size and nature of use do not lend themselves to home cooking.

Because these items are essentially industrial or commercial equipment they are designed to last for some years. They do still however require continual maintenance and especially need daily cleaning to keep them working efficiently and to maintain health and safety standards.

A Pleasing Spot Outside Your Home

It is a nice idea to make use of the space at your backyard to enjoy the sun and the fresh air. A home will look more lively and attractive if there is an outdoor facility. A patio deck is very suitable for that purpose. Furthermore, it gives an accessible place where you can entertain visitors, friends and even enjoy the moment being with the family and relatives. An efficient patio deck designs will really add beauty to your home that catch the attention of visitors. They might opt ​​to stay there rather than inside your home. A patio deck with dining area and a kitchen or even swing will really be enjoyable and fulfilling.

At first, you may be confused on what design to go for since there are plenty of designs in the market. Be sure to have plans first. If you are not very confident about your design, you can ask for expert's opinion or look for premade styles outside. Find a place or a specific area in your house where a patio deck will be appropriate. If you already have one, you can place additional materials to make it more fashionable. There are several purposes in constructing a patio deck. Identify those purposes first.

Since there are different options and style for a patio deck, proprietor must select wisely for the best type that is suitable for the house. The fashion of the house as well as the resources needed must be considered. Placing shade sails, flowers, awnings or a roof will provide a wider shade that will make you enjoy the hot summer without getting sunburns.

Patio deck comes in different types. Some are made of concrete, woods or even bricks and stones. It is very essential to know your budget before having one. You can choose and buy the materials personally or you can order the premade design. There are various shapes and concepts that will match perfectly to your taste. The most common shapes are round or quadrilateral. A roof can be added to your patio so that it can block the heat of the sun during sunny days thereby producing a shade. Nowadays, establishing a patio roof is very common. Moreover, putting up shade sails is a good option too. It adds to the shade in your yard and it is easy to install. They can be easily found in the market with reasonable prices.

Putting a sunshade or an awning in the house where area of ​​relaxation took place is very effective to avoid the direct sunlight striking on you. Actually, you may choose between a retractable and fixed awning but most people opt for the retractable one because it is easier to apply. However, you might need a support from an expert if you find it difficult to set up. On the other hand, if you really want to have a natural shade, try planting some trees. Aside from the shade that trees can offer, it also gives off fresh air. This concept looks very natural and unique.

Awnings – Learn About Awnings and All the Benefits They Can Add to Your Home


Awnings have been used since ancient Egyptian times. As air conditioning became a standard in homes awnings became less popular. With ever rising energy cost, ways to save money at home with a few simple changes has brought them back as a simple, inexpensive home improvement project that will save you so much money on energy cost that they will pay for themselves in a short amount of time. Of course the new longer lasting and beautiful fabric choices make installing awnings on your home not only a way to save, but also a way to add value and beauty to your home.

Energy Savings & Benefits

The Professional Awning Manufacturers Association has done a new study which shows awnings can save up to 50% on cooling cost. Byron Yonce, MFC, chairman of PAMA states “People don’t realize that there are more eco-friendly ways to stay cool.” “While turning up the air conditioner results in higher energy bills, awnings and shades work with the air conditioner to keep your home cooler and reduce the need for additional energy.”

Window Awnings can keep more than just the interior of your home cool. They also protect your furnishings and hardwood floors from sun damage.Window Awnings not only are attractive but more energy is lost through one square foot of glass than through an entire insulated wall. Window Awnings will reduce the internal temperature of your home and will reduce your cooling energy bills.Solar heat gain can be reduced by 65% on south facing windows.Solar Heat gain and glare from direct sun entry can be reduced as much as 77% by adding window awnings with sides to east and west facing windows on your home.

Retractable Awnings on your deck or patio can create an outdoor living space an entertainment area for your friends that will keep them cool on the hottest of summer days. With all the color choices from Sunbrella fabrics, it can turn your backyard into a “beachy” feeling oasis retreat with a retractable awning and some outdoor furniture. Sunbrella also makes upholstery fabrics that you will find on the high end outdoor furnishings. With Sunbrella’s long lasting fabrics, the awning and furniture upholstery will give you years of enjoyment.

Types of Awnings

There are several types of awnings you can use on your home. There are different styles for all uses around your home. You will find the higher end Sunbrella Fabric Awnings, may cost a bit more to purchase, but in the long run they last so much longer they will actually cost you less per year. Let’s take a look at the different types and styles of awnings.

Retractable Patio Awnings used to be seen only on upscale homes. Now they are more affordable and can last for years without needing any maintenance. These Retractable Awnings can be easily retracted or extended with a hand crank or motor. Motors are available with remotes and wind sensors that will retract the awning automatically in case a sudden storm comes and the awning was left extended. They are also great for outdoor entertaining and will keep any large slider or French doors shaded so your home stays cooler.

Window Awnings are available in traditional and contemporary styles. Traditional style window awnings have sides that will give you more sun protections than awnings without sides. Awnings with sides are especially needed for East and West facing windows. Spear Window Awnings are made with wrought iron frames with spear finials. Spear Awnings look great on adobe and more modern homes. Drop arm Awnings for windows roll up on a roller tube and can be motorized. Drop Arm Awnings with motors are convenient for second story windows so they can be retracted easily from indoors.

Porch Awnings around the perimeter of your porch adds privacy and protection. Porch Awnings can keep your porch cool will protecting it from rain and the sun. You can use Window Awnings around a porch or Canvas Porch Roller Curtains which will can roll up and down with a simple rope and pulley system. Porch Valances are also a popular decorative addition to porches. These Canvas Valances are for decorative purposes but do not have much sun protection because they are a small accent to a porch. They are 12″ – 14″ tall and wrap around a porch to add color and will soften the hard lines of a porch. They are especially popular on coastal homes on the East coast.

Shopping for Awnings

Buying Awnings online and installing them you can save a substantial amount of money. When shopping online for awnings, there are a lot of different price ranges and it can be confusing on which awning is the best value for your money. The best way to tell the quality of an awning is to look at the warranty that comes with the awning. You’ll find the least expensive models have a one year warranty, the middle grades will have a 5 year warranty, and the top of the line models will have a 10 to 15 year warranty. So what one is the best value? The top of the line models may be a bit more in price, but you’ll have the peace of mind knowing your awning is going to last for years to come without any inconvenience of fixing problems or needing to replace it. Comparing the time the awning will last, and the cost, you will find investing in a quality awning will cost less per year. Longer lasting high quality awnings will equal less cost per year and more time for the energy savings. With all the colors and choices, you can enjoy the savings knowing that your awnings will pay for themselves in just a short amount of time. Not to mention all the curb appeal and style it will add to your home.

A Simple Way To Renew Old Paving

Paving can look so attractive when it is first laid but like any outdoor surface it suffers from weathering. The most common things that dull the look of pavers are mould and weeds.

Pavers come in a wide variety of materials, including clay, concrete and natural stone and a variety of shapes and forms. Typically the most inexpensive materials are old house bricks and dry-formed concrete pavers, both of which are porous. For this reason they easily absorb moisture, particularly if they are laid in shady areas, which in turn encourages mould and weed growth. Mould can be very slippery when wet.

Natural stone such as limestone, sandstone, basalt and granite are usually very dense and absorb little moisture although I have come across some poor quality porous sandstone. Clay pavers fired at high temperatures are the most impervious to absorption although they will eventually go mouldy in very heavily shaded areas such as pathway or driveway edges where vegetation is overgrown. Concrete products vary considerably in their uptake of water but they are always the most vulnerable pavers to staining and are the hardest to fully restore.

Most paving is laid with a fine sand grout between bricks to allow the surface to flex and drain naturally. If the pavers are laid on mortar then they are grouted with mortar. This virtually eliminates weeds. Even when unconsolidated pavers are grouted with cement or cement-based grouts the grout crumbles over time.

The shape of a paver and where it is placed will have the greatest influence on eventual weed growth in the gaps between bricks. Rumbled, or cobbled, bricks with their rounded edges have a beautiful old-fashioned cottage look but trap weed seeds in the large gaps and depressions. Precise, sharp-edged pavers are the least vulnerable to weeds. If the paving is on a rural property naturally there is more availability of grass and weed seeds to sprout in the paving. Also, if water regularly flushes across or sits on one section it is bound to encourage growth.

So what can be done?

Well if you haven’t yet chosen a product and maintenance is a huge concern then make use of the above advice. Also considering using a sealant.

On the other hand, if you’re looking at your tired and grotty paving right now then I’ve got a very simple solution.

I’ve already established that weeds will grow. They don’t come from below; their seeds germinate in the tiny gaps. Moss grows on the surface and is easily removed manually (although some people like the look of a mossy path). Weeds are much harder to eliminate. You can pull them out, pour boiling water on them or use herbicides but those things are either laborious, pretty ineffective or quite toxic. Lastly, mould appears on the surface of bricks but is actually deeply embedded in the surface and scrubbing it off is a very temporary solution.

Try this:

Buy some granulated pool chlorine from a supermarket or hardware. You can get it in plastic containers in a variety of sizes from 1 litre to 10 litre buckets. If you have an area of 50m2 or less 2 litres will do.

1. Dampen down the area to be treated. Don’t saturate it so that water remains on the surface.

2. Wearing a pair of thick rubber gloves open the container and tip out small handfuls and broadcast the granules lightly and evenly over the paving. Don’t walk on it or get it on your skin and avoid breathing it.

3. With a garden hose spray the granules with a fine mist until they just begin to dissolve. Again, don’t saturate them or wash them off.

4. In about an hour, depending on how well the granules have dissolved, hose the paving off. While it is working it smells like a public swimming pool and it’s best to stay clear of it and don’t let children or animals walk across it.

5. That’s it! The chlorine will soak into the pavers and kill all the mould and burn off the weeds and moss. Sometimes if the weeds were heavily infested a high-pressured spray is necessary and any sand grout washed out can be easily swept back in when the paving is dry. If the chlorine is allowed to dissolve without being washed off first plants and grass next to the paving are unaffected because the chlorine becomes just ordinary salt after reaction.

Depending on where you live and what you’re using it on 1 or 2 treatments a year are plenty. I use it on old house bricks and they end up looking as new as when they were laid. You can also try it on stone steps and stepping pads.

Monet’s Japanese Bridge

When visiting the small town of Kitagawa in Japan, what you may expect to find there may differ widely from your actual experience. You may expect to find traditional Japanese bath houses, gardens of lotus flowers or maybe traditional farming. Maybe a memorial for Nakaoka Shintaro, one of the founders or modern Japan, who was born here in 1838.

However, a complete European style garden with European trees and flowers, two connected ponds and lots of water lilies might seem a bit out of place. In fact, the only local feature of the garden would seem to be the Japanese bridge spanning over the link between the two ponds. A closer look at the bridge, set among these ponds and surrounded by water lilies, might even make that seen a bit out of place. There is something eerily familiar about the setting, and even with bridge and all it is not something related to Japan. Rather, the idea of something French springs to mind. Because has not this exact scene appeared in European art? In fact, was there not one particular artist that painted this particular setting again and again?

And then it dawns on you. The Japanese bridge was painted by Claude Monet, French impressionist, in his garden in Giverny, most famously in the painting Water Lily Pond from 1899. And the water lilies in the ponds were similarly painted by him continuously. Only, of course, Giverny is in France and this is most certainly Japan. Something is still not quite right.

The explanation for this Monet garden in Japan actually goes all the way back to Monet himself. Many Impressionists, and most definitely Monet, were fascinated by Japanese art. He participated in the so-called Japanese dinners where Japanese art was discussed, he was close to some Japanese artists, he even portrayed his wife Camille dressed up in a Japanese outfit and he had about 250 Japanese prints decorating his house in Giverny. In Japanese art, Monet saw a reflection of many of his own views on art. The way Japanese art, especially the prints, focus on simplicity i.e. that from elements completely refined they draw the best aesthetics. The idea of simplified movement; the way a simple print reveals new details the more you observe it; the way beauty is in the indispensable elements, rather than in the amount of colors and decorations. Monet himself identified with these views and attitudes towards art. Meanwhile his own Japanese art collection also inspired him and helped him see there are more ways to do landscapes. This collection also introduced him to e.g. Japanese bridge design.

However, he did not install the bridge merely from his aesthetic requirements. Monet designed his garden so that one pond would be in the shade, one would be in the sun. However, with a curved Japanese bridge spanning the narrow point between the two pools, the rays of the sun passes beneath the bridge and light up the shaded area, where the water lilies are in the shades. This creates a shade and light effect, and it was the observation and study of this that was at the heart of his water lily paintings in Giverny.

The Japanese, in turn, also responded to Monet’s style, which in many ways reminded them of their own. That is why Monet still today is so popular in Japan, and that is why it was decided in that to mark the millennium, a copy of Monet’s garden would be established in Japan. More then 200.000 visitors came to see Monet’s garden in Japan on the first year alone, and they are still coming. So whether in Giverny or in Kitagava, you can be blessed with the view Monet shared as he painted his famous Japanese bridge, spanning over the water lily pond in his garden.

Printed Circuit Board Assembly Technology

Right from their inception, assembly services have gained momentum and are considered as one of the most renowned services. Many companies are always on the look out for best assembling technology and services and manufacturers give the best of their services.

But before proceeding, let us first know about a PCB Assembly-

When electronic components are attached to a PCB, it is referred to as Printed Circuit Assembly. It is done only after a Circuit Board Assembly has been created completely. Various kinds of techniques are available to attach electronic components to printed circuit boards. Surface mount and through-the-hole technology are mostly combined on a single Printed Circuit Assembly. This is because of the availability of very few electronic components in surface mount packages.

Though, high volume production is executed by machine placement. Printed Circuit Assembly is used to connect and support electronic components mechanically. This is done by using conductive pathways or traces, engraved from the laminated copper sheers onto a non-conductive substrate.

There are three ways to create PCB assembly. Those are:

• Surface mount assembly – This technology emerged in 60s and evolved in 1980s. And now, it is widely used. In surface mount technology, components have metal tabs, and can be soldered easily to the board. Higher circuit densities can be achieved if components are attached on both the sides of the circuit.

• Conventional PTH Assembly – Plated through-hole technology includes components with leads attached. Thee components are inserted with the provision of drilled holes in a circuit board. This is an expensive technique; however it leads to the most efficient boards.

• Box-build, Electro-Mechanical Assembly – This technology involves the use of custom metalwork, wire harnesses and looms, cable assembly, and moulded plastics. All this is done to create Circuit Board Assembly.

But, no matter how robust your PCB Assembly design is, it is still prone to wear and tear. And the damaged or outdated parts of the PCB Assembly are not available easily in the market. In this case, it becomes necessary to avail Circuit Board Assembly services.

Hence, manufacturers should provide effective and efficient Printed Circuit Assembly service to their customer. This will not only keep the customers happy, but will also help the manufacturer to gain trust and goodwill in the market.

Photovoltaic Module Building Integration and Mounting Systems

It is possible to fit photovoltaic modules to many different building types. There are various methods of affixing module arrays to buildings – both integrated and mounted.

Modules can be fitted to vertical facades, building roofs (pitched and flat) and ground mounted structures. On roof systems can be fitted to or between slate, tiled and glass roofing. Modules can also be glazed – giving a practical and functional method of adjusting a building temperature, whilst generating electricity. PV systems, as well as generating electricity, become an additional part of the buildings shell, offering it additional protection from weather, sun shading and noise insulation.

Flat roofs leave the Solar PV system designer a great deal of freedom, whereas pitched roofs dictate the orientation and elevation angle of the modules. Your Solar PV Installation company will therefore carry out a site survey before system planning commences, to check the roofs suitability.

In on-roof mounting, solar panels are fitted above the existing roof covering with the use of a retro fitted metal structure. This method holds the roofs water proofing capability, and is generally the most cost effective method of fitting a PV array to an existing roof. The only real disadvantage to this method is that the whole system is exposed, leaving it exposed to the elements.

The system layout will be decided and agreed before work commences – this is to ensure that customers are aware of the reasons for any non-grid like layouts. Shading should be considered also – as if any panel is partly shaded, the systems performance will suffer.

The metal framework which supports the PV array is comprised of three main components. Roof mounts, rails and module fixings are used to hold the panels to the roof structure on pitched roofs. Generally, on a domestic install, where the roof covering is tiles, the roof mounts will be fitted directly to the roof structure itself by removing a number of tiles. On a rood where the covering itself is strong enough, the mounts will be fitted directly to the covering. If on any roof the covering is structurally sound enough, the mounting brackets can be directly fixed to it as long as any forces applied to the mounting frame and panels would be directly transferred to the building’s structure.

PV arrays are seen as building structures, so must comply with building and planning codes. Loads and weather applied to the array should not make the system tilt, slip overturn or lift from the structure it is fixed to. To ensure this, consideration must be given to the amount of, and spacing between roof mounts.

Copyright (c) 2010 Aaron Dicks

Basics About the Reflex Hammer

Unlike most hammers, the reflex hammer is not meant for use in a building project. Instead, this type of hammer is a medical device. Here is some information on the different type of hammers used in medical testing and how they are used to check on the central and peripheral nervous system.

There are actually several types of hammers that have been developed to measure reflexive responses. The Tomahawk hammer has been around since the latter 19th century and is perhaps the most commonly used hammer to test reflexes, at least in North America. This type of hammer has a rubber head shaped like a triangle, with a flat metal handle.

The Queen Square reflex hammer was designed in the United Kingdom, specifically for testing on persons with known nervous disorders. This type of hammer comes with a cane or bamboo handle and is constructed to resemble a metal disk that has a rubber bumper attached to it. There is often a tapered edge that is understood to be ideal for testing plantar reflexes. This type of hammer is very popular among physicians in the United Kingdom.

The Babinski hammer was designed in the early 20th century and has a lot of physical attributes in common with the Queen Square hammer. One important difference is that usually has a detachable hammer, and may also have a telescoping handle, which makes it easy to carry along from one location to another.

Using a reflex hammer to test reflexes helps to gauge the possibility of developing health issues with the nervous system. There is a range of response that is considered to be within normal boundaries. Any type of reflex action that results from the use of the hammer that is either less than or more than this range can indicate the presence of one type of disorder or another. In order to use the hammer, the physician will swing the device at a tendon, using an arching angle, making a light contact. At that point, the doctor will make note of the type of reflexive response that is made and chart the activity. In the event that the first swing indicates some sort of possible health problem, a second swing will be conducted, to see if the results are the same.

Crazy Mosaic

Oldies, but goldies, there is a saying. The same can be said about the techniques of making mosaic.

There are three well-known basic methods of doing mosaics:

  • The Direct Method
  • The Indirect Method
  • The Double Indirect Method.

The basic idea is to fix small pieces together in order to create a design.

When we speak about the techniques, there are numerous ways of arranging the mosaic pieces (tesserae).

Opus‘, the Latin word for ‘work‘ is used to nominate the ways to cut and place tesserae.

According to this categorization, the mosaic pieces could be placed as a grid (Opus Regulatum), in more lines that follow the edge of a shape (Opus Vermiculatum), or they have irregular shapes (Opus Palladianum).

This last mentioned technique is also known as ‘crazy paving’ and it is used most frequently in gardens, for paving paths or sidewalks.

Making mosaic using this technique could be very effective.

I will show you how to do it.

As always, you must have all the materials ready and the tools working properly before starting:

  • Tile cutting machine
  • Pliers
  • Tiles
  • Adhesive
  • Grout
  • Float
  • Gloves

Using this technique, you need your project design just for guiding you, when you place the mosaic pieces.

On your mosaic platform, draw the basic design.

With the tile cutting machine, cut the tiles as lines from 2cm breadth.

Take the pliers and brake randomly the tiles lines in geometrical shapes (triangles, squares). Go on like this with all your tiles.

Take one piece at a time (any shape) and glue it, but carefully not overcome beyond the lines.

Let’s say you have a butterfly design in the middle of your mosaic project. Take colored tesserae and randomly fill the pattern. Go on like this, using different colored tiles for the rest of your work.

Put the same amount of adhesive on each piece and push hard towards the surface while fixing them.

Let the adhesive dry at least 24h before grouting it. When you are sure no piece is moving, start grouting. With a float or with gloved hands, spread the grout all over your mosaic, starting from the centre of it towards the borders.

If you want to make it more expressive, you can use different kinds of colored grout. It will give depth to the whole mosaic work.

You can use graduate colors, from light shades in the middle, to the dark shades at the edges.

Every time you grout a color, let it dry and then clean it with a wet sponge and with a dry cloth. Go on like this with every grout line: grout, let it dry and clean it.

Crazy, isn’t it?

With every new mosaic project you will learn something new, but also you will learn from your previous mistake.

Evaluate every mosaic project, in order to make the next one better.

Different techniques will match different projects, so keep an open mind when it comes to materials and the way of cutting them.

You will find a method that give you the opportunity to innovate and to explore. Because this is all about, reinterpretations of old ideas in your own personal way.

Solid Plastering – How to Render a Brick Wall

How many of you have ever wanted to have a go at cement rendering a wall at home, or even creating a feature wall? Well my name is Christopher and I have been a solid plasterer now for about 36 years. First I will start by explaining to you what you will need to begin.

The materials you will need are basically sand and cement. The sand is called plastering sand, and don’t get it confused with what brick layer’s use. That sand is commonly called brickies loam, which is too fine for what we want it for. Plastering sand is courser than brickies loam and finer than river sand.

The standard mix is generally 3:1, which means 3 parts sand to 1 part cement, usually measured out by the shovel. Now the other ingredient you will need is a liquid that goes into the water mix to push air into the mix to make it more easy and spreadable to use.

Here in Australia we have a few product’s which do this. One is a clear liquid that does exactly what I’ve just explained. Usually you use i cap into the mix. Now a standard mix in a cement mixer is usually 9:3, 9 shovels of sand to 3 shovels of cement. And don’t forget to add 1 cap to the mix.

Also you can use detergent which gives you the same result.

So now we know what material we need to make up a batch of compo. Compo is short for composition, so this batch of your mix is composed of these 3 ingredient’s. Now the best way to mix these 3 ingredient’s together is in a cement mixer. Just put about 6 pint’s of water in the mixer and start adding the sand and cement bit by bit.

Usually 3 shovels of sand then 1 of cement and repeat this twice more. So now you have your batch of compo mixing in the cement mixer. You need the mix to be not too stiff and not too wet, a bit like when you make mashed potato, but a little bit stiffer. You see what we want is a mix that is easy to spread over the brick work and get it as flat as we can.

Now remember do not make the mix too wet as this weakens it. If you do make it too wet be sure to add more sand and cement to the mix too make it up to the 3:1 mix. If you throw in an extra shovel of sand, you have to throw in 1/3 of a shovel of cement. Now we can tip the mix out of the mixer and into a wheel barrow.

The tools that you need for applying the compo to the wall are a # 1. hawk, this is like a small flat board with a handle under it, we put our compo on this board and then with a trowel we trowel it on to the wall we are rendering. #2. As just mentioned we also need a trowel #3 we need a float usually made of timber with a flat side, this is what we use to float the wall up to a flat finish.

#4. we need a sponge, now you can buy these from any trade center or even hardware stores. It looks like a float but it has sponge stuck to the base plate and this is what we use after we have floated the wall up to achieve a flat sandy surface. #5 you will also need a straight edge to rule the wall off. Years ago the straight edge was made out of timber and still are, but i use a metal straight edge now.

So now we can start laying on the wall we are going to render. Usually if you are right hand you start from the right and go to the left. Opposite if your left hand. Lay the compo on to the wall with a even thickness, and try to get it as flat as possible. This will help when you start the finishing stage. So once all the wall is covered with our compo, we use the straight edge to gently rule the wall off and making it flat and straight.

The area of the wall the straight edge does not touch, is called a slack and has to be filled in again. Then with the straight edge you rule off the slacks on the wall to get a flat surface. Now that the wall has been ruled off it is now ready to float the wall up. Gently start with the float rubbing the wall up. You will see what I mean when you start using the float on the wall, that it will pull the sand and cement all together and it will fill in any holes and blemish.

If the wall has gone a bit dry when you start floating, just throw a little water on to the wall with a brush. This will bring life back into the compo so you can finish floating your wall up. Some times the brick work you are rendering will suck all the moisture out of the compo, hence you need that brush to continually wet the surface while you are floating. You will get the feel of the wall as you continue. If the wall is going off (a term used when its drying too quick) then you

will have to sponge the wall as you go. Sponge the wall in a circular motion until all scratch marks have disappeared. Continue doing this to the whole wall until you have a flat sandy surface. This is the finish that we want.

Don’t be alarmed if your wall is going off too quickly, like I said that brush of water will bring it back. Just do a section at a time starting again from where you first started laying on the wall. Now regards painting cement render you are supposed to wait 28 days for the cement to cure but there are primers available to use on render that is 3 days old. Just talk to your paint shop and they will tell you what is available.

So I hope this article is helpful to you if you decide to try cement rendering a wall at your house, and remember just take your time and go step by step as I have explained and you will finish that wall. Please visit my blog at for more articles and information.

Find the Right Painter For a Successful Painting Experience!

Saving time and peace of mind may be worth the cost of hiring a pro, even if you would prefer to “do it yourself.” Keep in mind that each project situation is unique with its own challenges. You may be opening Pandora’s Box-as you attempt to fix one situation, another larger problem is lurking behind the original. This alone would increase your time on the project.

So begin by asking yourself should I dive in as a “do it yourself” project or do I need the services of a professional?

Each project has criteria: time, skill, budget and knowledge of hiring the right painter. There are different types of painters.

A House painter can be a tradesman, mechanic or laborer: responsible for painting of a house or substrate.

Decorative painter also known as an artist, faux finisher, decorators, custom house painter and normally does more specialty detailed work.

Do you need a painter or a contractor, with what skills?

Painters Skill-level: Master painter, journeyman, apprentice and handy man.

Professional painters need to have keen knowledge of tools of the trade, regardless of skill level. This knowledge includes safety, ladders, scaffolding, paint roller type, brushes, sprayers, sandpaper grit and power tools to perform the work.

Thought and preparation needs to be considered before simply applying paint. For instance, drop cloth, taping, wallpaper removal, repair techniques, dimensions of rollers or brushes, there are different sizes or types of brushes and rollers for different finishes; water-based VS solvent-based, material types, amount of paint, number of paint coats, amount of primer, types of primers and sheen finishes. The skill of cutting with a brush on the outline of the ceiling, making trim, doors, windows, molding, baseboard other trim work smooth and nail-hole filling techniques just to name a few.

Do not assume a painter or contractor can complete all tasks or has the skill set needed to complete your desired outcome; without asking, do you have the man-power and experience in all the tasks? Get references by following up and visiting past jobs. Some painters or contractors cannot use sprayers, match colors and make certain repairs, stain woodwork, faux finish or do custom work.

Painting Contractor: Person or entity able to quote, organize and perform a task by him/her or has qualified mechanics working as employees or sub-contractors. They enter into a contractual agreement directly with the owner to perform the repair and painting.

Larger contractors are generally capable of performing many painting, repairs and decorating services. They may have a number of skilled tradesmen or unskilled to perform certain tasks. Proper use of laborers, apprentices to do the set up clean up, preparation and helping with the painting, can save you money. Some jobs may require the following: a plasterer, drywall repair, carpenter, caulkers, master or journeyman painters, wallpaper removal, wallpaper hanging or a faux finisher.

Trade activities: The contractor or painter is primarily responsible for the safety, organization of setting up the job, protection of surfaces from paint spatter, preparation of the surface to be painted, such as patching nail holes, repairing drywall, plaster, caulking and applying the paint. The last of the items may include clean up, properly identifying paint cans and proper disposing of all hazardous material.

Category of each painter can vary: Residential repaint or new construction, interior/ exterior, economy, standard or custom, interior wood-staining & varnishing, repair-drywall, plaster, caulking, light carpentry, restoration work, popcorn-textured ceilings, faux finishes, wallpaper removal and wallpaper installation, deck-fence cleaning striping and finishing, power washing and cleaning, epoxy floors-residential garage floors and basement floors.

Commercial repaint or new construction interior/exterior – apartment, office, school, hospital, church & condominiums, industrial light or heavy, spray-brush-roll sand blasting-shot blast-media blast, epoxy floors-commercial and industrial, 24/7 emergency board up storm and water clean up, Insurance repair, wood replacement, line striping, paint removal and stripping, concrete and brick pavers-sealing.

Why hire an industrial painter to faux finish your bathroom? You now have the knowledge to talk intelligently about the services of painter or a painting contractor and ready to begin the process. Match a painter to your specific job requirements, meet with the painter or contractor to feel comfortable your personalities work well together, receive a firm quote, in writing, select the colors, brands, sheen finishes and have the job done the right way…YOUR WAY!

The Top Crystal Chandelier Designs

Crystal chandeliers have an exceptional and wonderful ability to produce the feeling of elegance and warmth to wherever these pieces hang. And since the lighting of your residence is a fundamental component, it makes sense to use it as a way of creating, augmenting and embellishing the ambiance in whichever manner you decide.

Well-arranged lighting will automatically give life and verve to the reception rooms that you want. You can adjust the lighting like ingredients in your favorite dish. Subdued light creates a restful environment; different colors set different moods. You can have fun selecting the types of lighting that you feel comfortable with. If you think you need to encourage certain aspects of your individuality, your personality, see if you can decide how to coordinate that.

Chandeliers Are Timeless Design Fixtures

You can use a chandelier in almost any room, since there are countless styles from which to choose from. For example, the Schonbek crystal chandeliers, or others dating back to the 16th century, are ageless and enduring. These fixtures have withstood the test of time. Since then, many other styles have evolved and are equally as impressive. Most modern fixture designs manage to offer both a nod to the past while fitting seamlessly into the decors and designs of present-day.

Tips On Buying A Chandelier

Buying a crystal chandelier can be an exciting experience, as well as a valuable investment. Below are some important tips to enable the shopping process to be more coherent and much easier.

– Choose a chandelier that can hang at the correct height when a table will be centered beneath it. Consider both the chandelier and the room you're lighting: if the chandelier has bare bulbs, for example, it will need to be hung high enough to avoid glare. At the same time, if you have an 8-foot ceiling, you'll want to avoid hanging a chandelier too high, unless you want it to look sawed off and stunted.

– Remember to stick with the classic designs. Remember that a colored chandelier will become dated in another 5-10 years. Match the chandelier to the room and the mood you wish to feel rather than with the times.

– Select a lighting fixture that blends with the mood and style of the other furnishings in the room such as the wall sconces, furniture, wallpaper, and other accessories. If a large and ornate chandelier would stick out in the room, consider putting something more muted so that the chandelier can be seen for its beauty rather than its girth.

Top Crystal Chandelier Designs

1) Schonbek Chandeliers. Schonbek offers a variety of original chandelier designs, from traditional to minimalist. The early crystal chandeliers, which date back as far as the sixteenth century, were ornamented with rock crystal, however in contemporary times, such chandeliers have rarely been seen outside palaces and museums. The new Schonbek collection of rock crystal chandeliers is an historic event.

2) Minka Lavery Chandeliers. With over 20 years of experience, The Minka Lavery line has grown to become a leader in the decorative lighting industry with a wide and unique product line from Chandeliers to Table Lamps, Wall Sconces to Floor Lamps, Chandeliers and Decorative Accessories.

3) Kichler Crystal Chandeliers. Kichler's exclusive line of Chandelettes, or mini chandeliers, offer the glamorous look of a chandelier over your vanity or desk, in your breakfast nook, or as a bed side light.

Chandeliers the Crystal – Http://

Information on Indoor Hot Tubs

Making the decision to buy an indoor hot tub can be very exciting. After all, having an indoor unit is a very luxurious thing to be able to do, and what better way to relax after a stressful day than to take a dip in the spa tub? But buying one can also be a little bit stressful. After all, there are so many different types of them out there and it can be difficult to know which one is going to be best for you and which ones fit into your price range or budget, if you have one. But with a few tips and advice when it comes to buying one, it can be a lot less stressful than you may think.

There are a few things that you are going to want to keep in mind when you begin shopping for your unit. First of all, think about the room in which you plan on having the hut tub installed in and consider the size of the space available for it. This will help narrow down a lot of hot tubs right away that are too big for the space you're working with. Another thing when it comes to space is to consider the capacity of the tub you're going to want. Do you plan on having a lot of people in the tub at once or just a few? This can also help you decide which size you will want to buy.

Aside from that, there are still a lot of other factors that need to be considered before buying one for the first time. One that is important to a lot of people is price. Hot tubs can range hugely when it comes to how much they cost depending on the size and the features that they include, so sometimes it can be hard to find one that if affordable and reasonably priced. Well, one thing that can really affect the price is the number of jets that the jacuzzi has. Typically, more jets will equal a more expensive tub. So if you're looking for something affordable, consider one with less jets. If you need to have a lot of jets, then you may want to consider a smaller tub overall.

One last thing that you are going to want to consider when it comes to planning for your indoor hot tub are the accessories that go along with the tub itself. Remember that not everything you are going to need to buy will necessarily come with the unit itself, so be sure to price and buy any accessories that you may need. These may include, but are not limited to, exhaust fans, filters, and chemicals to keep the water clean.

Overall, making a large purchase like this can be a little bit of a stressful experience, especially when it comes to trying to find the right one for an indoor space. However, by keeping the right factors in mind and planning carefully, you will be sure to be able to find the perfect one to fit in your home. And once it's installed and you are able to enjoy it for yourself whenever you want, all the trouble you went through will definitely be worth it in the end.

10 Money Making Ideas for Teenagers

Looking to supplement your allowance? If you do not have a regular afterschool job but want some extra cash here are some ways that teenagers can make money.

Snow Shoveling Did school get called off because of snow? Celebrate the snow day and then head out with a shovel. You're likely to find enough snow shoveling work to fill your day. Do not be shy – if you see someone shoveling ask the person if they'd like you to shovel. Many people will be happy to pay for someone to do the job. Consider pairing up with a friend or two. More shovelers will make the jobs go much more quickly. You'll each be able to make money every time the snow flies.

Leaf Raking Autumn brings money making opportunities. Walk around your neighborhood and if you see a yard that has not been raked knock on the owner's door. It's a good idea to print some flyers with your contact info that you can leave at the door. Leaf raking is not an emergency job like snow shoveling so you may get a call from homeowners days or weeks after leaving a flyer.

Moving Help Do you live in a neighborhood where plenty of people move in and out of apartments? If the moving vans and rental trucks start appearing on neighborhood streets there may be a chance to make some money. If your neighbors have rented a truck ask them if they'd like some help with the move.

Housecleaning Cleaning houses is a great way to make some money after school. Some people may want your to come every week to clean. Older homeowners need assistance with cleaning projects. Cleaning your room at home might not be your favorite thing to do but when you can make money cleaning becomes much more appealing. Word of mouth will help you to get jobs. Your parents may have a friend who would appreciate the help. Once somebody hires you to clean ask them if any of their friends need assistance.

Babysitting Babysitting has always been an excellent money making opportunity for teenagers. Wages have gone up considerably since my babysitting days. It's not uncommon for popular babysitters to have their choice of jobs. If you're babysitting in the evening there may be time to work on your homework once the kids are in bed.

Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Do you like pets? You can make some money walking dogs or pet sitting while pet owners are away. If you're comfortable with more than one dog you might be able to walk a couple of dogs at once and make twice as much money. Put up a flyer on a neighborhood bulletin board or in your apartment building lobby to find pet owners looking for help.

Computer Help There are always people looking for help with their computers. Computer tasks that are easy for you can be very difficult for people who did not grow up with computers. They will be happy to pay you to help them with computer problems. Many will become repeat customers and pay you to teach them about their computer and computer programs, to troubleshoot, and to show them time-saving tips and techniques. You can help them with email, word processing, computer clean up, social media, etc.

Kindle Book Publishing Do you like to write ? Amazon has made it very easy to publish your own books or short stories for the Kindle ereader. If your books take off you can make good money with Kindle publishing. You'll need to publish through your parents account if you're under 18.

Create Web Sites for Local Businesses Do you have your own blog or website? If you're able to create websites you can make money by putting together web sites for local businesses or organizations. You can use a template that will cut down on the time you'll need to create a new site. Include a link at the bottom that provides a way for new customers to contact you.

Sell ​​Stuff on eBay You can sell unused video games, toys, books clothes and more on eBay. Spend some time to create a good listing and you'll make more money. Take good photographs and write a full description. Your title and description needs to include the words and brand names that people will search for when looking to buy. Describe your item honestly and list any defects. You have to be 18 to have an eBay account so if you're not you'll have to list your items on your parent's account.

People are busy nowadays and often will welcome your help with a variety of tasks. Put the word out that you're eager to find work. Often people looking for teenagers for odd jobs like cleaning or yard care will call the local high school, youth center, or church. Make sure that the school secretary or the leaders at the youth center know that you're looking for jobs. Once you get a job you'll need to impress your employer. Do good work, show up when expected, and be friendly and polite. More money making opportunities will follow.