What is Lean Manufacturing? An Overview

This is a comprehensive overview of the main aspects of lean manufacturing, which is a very popular approach to help businesses, especially manufacturing, to reduce waste and increase efficiency.

The old way of thinking was to work harder, and produce more. The Lean approach is focused much more on eliminating waste and inefficiencies, which will increase quality and production as a result.

Main areas of focus

  • Lean manufacturing
  • 5S
  • Six sigma
  • Kaizen
  • Value Stream mapping

Lean manufacturing is the general term that encompasses the other topics. Each of the various aspects of lean are like spokes of a wheel, each one supports the other to make the wagon roll.

5S

By far, the easiest program to begin the lean journey is 5S. This is because of the straight-forward nature of the application. Once a company embraces 5S in an integrated manner, the benefits are readily apparent.

5S is much more than slogans and banners, as are all the lean programs. It takes a huge commitment on the part of everyone involved to make it work. Once the decision has been made to move forward, top management needs to become visibly and actively involved. This direct involvement will act as a reinforcement for the workforce so they will feel a part of the program.

Six Sigma

Six sigma teaches how you can monitor and measure your progress, or lack thereof. It is a more scientific and specialized methodology than 5S.

Many lean consultants specialize in the application of six sigma. With their help, you can reap huge rewards by eliminating scrap and waste of all type. The rate of defects will dramatically decrease as the monitoring system is implemented.

The Motorola Corporation is actually the creator of this very useful and popular program. When the name Six Sigma is capitalized, it is because it is a registered trademark of Motorola.

Value Stream Mapping

Value stream mapping is a powerful tool to help visualize the entire lean manufacturing process. It might appear complicated at first, but, as with other aspects of your program, when it is broken down into small steps it is really quite simple.

Many things that are taken for granted take on a totally unique perspective once seen in a new light. Value stream mapping does just that: it helps you to visualize where you currently are and where you ultimately intend to arrive. If you don’t know where you are going, how can you ever get there?

Kaizen

This is Japanese for continuous improvement. Actually, there are subtle meanings to this, but for our purposes, this is what it means.

One very popular methodology is the Kaizen blitz. These are like mini-events that strive to bring about lean changes. This is a great way to make incremental progress in your quest for perfection.

The Toyota car company is credited with the continuous improvement idea, and it has made them the most efficient automotive company in the world.

Lean manufacturing is here to stay and will increase in popularity with all types of companies, not just manufacturing.

Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses – Which Model Should You Get?

The Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses range needs little introduction. The design is easily one of the most recognizable, copied and knocked off in the world of sunglasses.

It is also arguably one of the best-selling sunglasses of all time. However, some might say that another model from Ray-Ban, the Aviator, holds that title. That is certainly a tough call.

The Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses have been around for ages. Since 1956, if I am not mistaken. And they are still going strong thanks to its iconic design. Very few sunglasses can claim to have outlived so many styles and fads and still remain popular more than 50 years later.

The Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses did suffer a slight dip in popularity in the 1970’s but made a dramatic comeback in the 1980’s. It took another dip in the 1990’s but a simple redesign and use of different materials helped it to yet another comeback.

Everyone from presidents and movie stars could be seen donning a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses. It was just that cool.

I own a few pairs of Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses. The RB2132 model has been a favorite of mine for a long time. But although the RB2132 model and the rest of the Ray-Ban sunglasses in my collection all have that distinctive Wayfarer look, they each has is unique quality.

The Original Wayfarer

The RB2140 is also known is the original Ray-Ban Wayfarer design. It was re-introduced to the market in 2007 to meet the huge demand for that model. This design is for those who want nothing less than the original trapezoidal design.

Although it was designed to have an edgy masculine look, it had no trouble looking good on women too. An unlike many other frame designs, the Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses seemed to fit practically any face shape without much of a fuss.

I usually use this model when I go out for a drive in my convertible or bike rides with the family. The lens size is great for keeping harmful UV rays and debris out but please do not try perching it on your head while driving or cycling as the tilt angle makes it almost impossible to do so.

The New Wayfarer

The RB2132 model is also known as the New Wayfarer. The New Wayfarer model came about to address the popularity decline of the Wayfarers in the 1990’s.

What the Ray-Ban designers did was redesign the original Wayfarer. They made the frames smaller and less angular They used a different material for the frames in order to make them lighter. They also altered the tilt angle of the frames.

All of these changes were done to make the RB2132 easier to wear and to perch on one’s head. Even thought the lens is smaller than the original Wayfarers, they still do a good job of protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays. Plus, you can perch these babies on your head easily.

The RB4105

These sunglasses are perfect for people like me who have the tendency of losing their Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses. This is because you can fold these sunglasses. Once you are indoors, you may simply slip these folding Wayfarers in your shirt pocket.

I must admit that when I first got a pair, I still was not used to the habit of keeping them in my pocket and ended up leaving them at the park. Fortunately, Christmas was just around the corner and my loving husband got me another pair.

The First Years Wave Stroller

I know how important it is to own a quality stroller. I also know that the stroller being purchased is not only for one party, but for both parent, and baby. I have researched a lot of different strollers over the last couple years and have found a few quality ones, a few not so bad, and a few downright disastrous. Today, I will talk about one of the quality strollers, and it is, The First Years Wave Stroller.

The market today is flooded with luxurious style strollers but the main disadvantage is that most of these products are very expensive. In my opinion it is not logical for a parent to go out and pay $ 600 to $ 800 Dollars for a stroller if they quite simply have not got that kind of money at their disposal.

Fortunately though, if you shop around for long enough you might come across a company that offers a luxurious stroller for far less money but with all the necessary features reserved more the more high-end stroller. The company I'm talking about is " first years" and the stroller is "The First Years Wave Stroller"

Let's run through just some of the features on this product to entice and massage your impulses to see for yourself …

Reversible seat feature

This feature is unique to this brand because it allows you to have your little one facing either way simply by lifting the handle and rotating it a full 360 degrees whilst your baby is still on board.

Huge Sunshade

On those breezy days or those really hot days where the sun is splitting the trees, you can pull the sunshade right down over your little one for full protection. Believe me … the sunshade is a fantastic feature on this product.

Baby Positioning

If you take a look around these days you will notice that most strollers are positioned low to the ground. What I like about the first years wave stroller is how higher up off the ground it is compared to the rest. Your baby is closer to you and more importantly, further away from the dust off the ground which can be a bonus if you live in a much more built up area.

Bassinet and Seat Feature All in One

The Wave Stroller is a Bassinet, it is also a Seat if you want it to be. By simply making a few adjustments you can go from one to the other in a matter of seconds … it's that easy.

Telescopic Handle

This is another great feature on this stroller and it's something that could have been easily over looked when they were designing this product. So, no matter if your small or tall, the first years stroller's handle can be adjusted for comfort with ease.

For this very short article I could not possibly go through each feature on this stroller so I had to limit it to just a brief overview. Before I go, I'll tell you this, the Wave is extremely durable, It handles smoothly over rough terrain (grass, gravel etc), it is seriously easy to fold and pack away, and it comes with a universal car seat adapter for those long journeys outside of town.

See links below to read the full review of The First Years Wave Stroller.

Maria Sherperr

Boat Bookcase

You can give your home that nautical appearance by getting a boat bookcase. It is sure to generate a conversation in households that value great sailors and landlubbers. With the right kind of equipment and material, you will be glad to know that you can make a boat bookcase at home.

You can make the perfect gift using these bookcase for family and friends who love fishing and sailing. They are also very suitable for a lake house. You can also store and display various sentimental pieces like, books, photos, vases and many others that you can think of. It is a sure way to make your house look and feel distinct from others. Its style is unrivaled and no other piece of furniture can surpass its uniqueness.

There are several things you need to do while making your very own boat bookcase. First, know the size you want your boat bookcase to come in and a sketch will be very helpful. You will need plywood with the thickness of about 18mm. You are then required to draw a rectangle on it and directly at the center, measure and draw a straight line. The next thing will be shaping the boat and, you need to keep in mind that this piece will form the back of the bookcase. Dividing the length of the boat bookcase into five equal intervals, will enable you draw the boat's curved surface. To give the position for the bottom of the shelves, draw a line. You will need to mark the varying shelf lengths.

The next task will be to join the dots. According to their changing lengths, mark the center of each shelf. You will then hammer panel pins and this will be done at the ends of each shelf. At the tip of the boat, you will hammer two more panel pins, which will give you the preferred shape of your boat bookcase. Following this process carefully will see you create your desired bookcase.

The next thing you require after all the pins are in place is a flexible piece of wood which should be about 4mm thick. You will then hold it along the pins to make a curve. Tracing a line while holding in place will give shape to the bookcase. Using a jigsaw, cut a long the line. Cut out five shelves and this is so that they can fit into the cut out plywood. To match the curves of the bookcase, you will be required to plane the edges. The next thing will involve drilling and screwing each shelf into position and, this is onto the back of the bookcase.

A bow section will be required mainly to reinforce the tip of the boat so as to make it hold its position more permanently. The back of the boat bookcase will be used as a template. Cut a bow section to fit the top most shelf. Draw a line from each edge of the triangular shape then cut out the crescent like shape. You will then need a stem from timber, then plane the top edges of the stem. This is so that the plywood strips can be made into a visual curve. Finally, you can sand the edges and what will top it is a coat of varnish which will provide that final touch.

How to Prep a Driveway For Asphalt Paving

Although most people do not have the tools or equipment to actually install an asphalt driveway there are many things you can do to prepare the drive for paving work. The driveway without exception must have a solid base underneath to pave upon. Soft or wet spots are the most common reason for failure of the pavement itself. Cracking or alligatoring means the ground is unable to carry the weight of the vehicles driven over it. Severe wet spots will cause the pavement to fail totally and breakup into large chunks and cause the entire driveway to fail.

There are available today ground stabilization fabric materials that can be laid under stone sub base materials in wet areas to help solidify the sub base itself. The material is fairly expensive but may allow installation of a driveway where it would not be possible other wise. If placed directly on the earth below the sub base and over the wet area, once the sub base material is properly compacted the ground will support a great deal more weight without and shifting or movement. Many masonry supply stores carry these materials. It will take two people to roll out and handle the fabric as it generally comes in twelve foot wide rolls. A local excavating contractor may have some smaller rolls to sell. Give them a try as well.

Our first job is assure there are no wet spots either by installing some under drains, ditching along the edges to carry away surface water or actually replacing some of the wet earth with stone or other suitable materials. Sub base materials could be small and large stones, DOT item 4 materials, crushed gravel or bank run sand and gravel perhaps. The material needs to drain well and can be compacted with mechanical compactors. Drainage piping could be twelve inch corrugated piping which when installed will help water quickly pass under a drive or smaller four inch perforated piping run under the driveway areas encased in stone to provide constant pathways for water drainage without soaking the soils themselves. Water will always take the path of least resistance so any drainage piping installed will help the ground to dry much more quickly than nature would allow by itself.

Once you have solved any current or potential water problems you can move on to the actual asphalt sub base itself. Most homeowner driveways have a four inch base of gravel shale or item 4 installed when the home was built. Over the passing years, car tires break the shale down into very small pieces which will not provide a great sub base material. Adding new shale or stone can become a yearly maintenance project to maintain a smooth driving surface. As the stone or shale is pressed into the earth you are creating a thicker and thicker sub base. Depending upon whether you want your new drive to finish up higher or perhaps level than the adjoining lawns or gardens is how much sub base you want to have in the end. A typical residential driveway is ten feet wide with an actual driving surface area of about eight feet wide. For paving, you will need a solid ten foot surface to get a nine foot drive. Ten foot drive, eleven foot surface and so on. You need to have at least six inches of sub base beyond the actual finished paved width on both sides. The extra flat area is used to backup the asphalt and prevent the edges from crumbling. Remember also that asphalt and sub base may be as much as six inches thick and will require extra topsoil to backup the edge of the sub base and asphalt.

By adding sub base material and keeping the surface as level as possible, you will already have the sub base built for the paving man. In many areas of the US a material called blue stone screenings is available. This material is actually finely crushed granite and comes in three colors. Blue which will turn a darker blue when wet as time passes. Red that will also turn a lighter blue over time and yellow which stays yellow tinted forever. Once graded, this material becomes as hard as concrete on a driveway. I have seen blue stone screening surfaces snow plowed winter after winter without any plowing damage. A new dusting every few years maintains the crisp color and in-fills any depressions that may have developed. This makes a super sub-base for finished asphalt.

Well ahead of the time to have the driveway paved you should also install several conduits under the driveway for future landscape lighting. Depending upon the length of the drive, a crossing conduit every fifty feet or so should suffice. If an area is very rocky or wet, add additional conduits now before paving. Adding them later will require cutting and patching the asphalt and will not only destroy the driveways appearance but will provide a potential area for surface water infiltration. Conduit is cheap and if you never use it, it is better safe than sorry. Plastic (PVC) conduit is better than metal as it will last underground forever. Put caps on both ends to avoid any nasty surprises later on when you uncover them. Clearly mark the ends with stakes but also draw a little map and take measurements to each end from permanent objects in the yard. Once the grass grows back you will have no idea where the conduit ends are located. If you do this far ahead of the actual paving, your car traffic will compact the sub-base and will prevent any future sinking under the asphalt and thereby causing the asphalt to crack. You do not want to have to cross the new asphalt with anything later on..

Call several paving contractors for prices. The nicest guy may not do the nicest job. Make sure you tell each one exactly the same things you want. If you change the description of the work, you will not get comparable prices. Write down what you want done and then give them a copy. Ask for a written quote to make sure they included everything on your lists. Will they pickup all spillage? Are they insured against yard damages to flowers or trees or your house? How long is driveway guaranteed? How thick with the rolled asphalt be when done? Loose rolled asphalt 3 inches thick will be only 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick when rolled. Ask questions before they do the work. Get a written signed contract and a copy of their insurance policy. Be very careful with down payments. If they insist on one, make sure it is not a major portion of the contract value. Many times a down payment is paid and the contractor never shows again. Do not be suckered in by sob stories. Reputable contractors have open accounts at asphalt plants and do not need your money to buy the asphalt. If you sense something is awry move on to someone else. Ask neighbors about his work or stop at someone’s house who he has just paved their driveway. Most people are proud of their new yard and will glad to talk to you. Call the Better Business Bureau and check on the contractor as well. It may sound like you are a bit over cautious but after all it is your hard earned money.

Once you have selected a contractor ask him/her if there is anything else you can do to save a few bucks on the price. Maybe removing a pre-installed asphalt driveway apron or removing adjacent features such as signs or statues or whatever else that he figured on doing for you. If you save fifty bucks on the price, that is fifty dollars towards your next project.

Pete

Your Friendly Building Inspector

http://www.Wagsys.com

BICES-Building Inspection & Code Enforcement System Software

Relections on the Game of Bridge

Nobody appears to know who actually invented the game of bridge, but it is generally accepted to have come into play about one hundred years ago, at the start of the twentieth century. The probability is that people who played whist began to see that the game of whist, which was widely played in the nineteenth century, could be extended and made more exciting and challenging.

Going back a hundred years, and in fact even in parts of modern society, playing cards was held to be wicked, and in many homes children were not allowed to have any access to playing cards – they belonged to the devil. Nevertheless in the days before TV and universal access to transport, card evenings were a regular feature in many homes.

The most famous name in the popularization of bridge was an American, Ely Culbertson, who was a lecturer on mass psychology and political science as well as being an author. He wrote extensively on bridge particularly in the nineteen-thirties, and did much to make the game well known.

As recently as the nineteen-fifties, the Culbertson system was the most popular for learning how to play the game, but it was then followed by the Acol system, and more recently by the Precision system. Just to make matters more complex, there are now numerous variations on both the Acol and Precision systems.

Many of you reading this note may know that bridge is a card game, but not much more, except that a lot of people who play the game are described as old fogies. Well, if you think that then you are barking up the wrong tree as it were, because playing bridge is a marvellous way of keeping the brain ticking over and alert well after the normal retirement age. In fact, it is also a game for the young and middle-aged – everyone, and is a tremendous challenge for players of absolutely any age.

Bridge has lots of advantages. Apart from the mental stimulation, you do not have to be a world class athlete or fitness fanatic to play – all you need is at least one pack of playing cards, and three other people to make up the four players necessary to play the game . In this day and age, you do not even have to find three people to come to your home to play, as you can find partners and play the game on the Internet. If you do play at home or in friends' homes, there are tremendous benefits in getting to know other people and improving your social life.

If you are careful and wise you can even get to play at the homes of the best cake and cookie makers in town, and usually the coffee is pretty good too. Fees for playing the game at a local club are usually minimal, so you can have a great night out for just a few dollars. One word of warning though, bridge is a game for partners, and if you decide that you would like to play regularly with the same partner, then choose that partner carefully. The floors of bridge clubs are littered with rejected spouses and partners.

Hopefully this brief article will have encouraged you to think about learning to play the game. Go for it, and after a few weeks' of teaching and learning you will be able to play. The game is quite complex, but just settle in the first place for getting to know the basics, and the rest can follow in due course. YOU WILL CERTAINLY NOT REGRET LEARNING HOW TO PLAY THE GAME.

Regards to you all.

Work at Home Assembly Jobs

Work at home assembly jobs are all over your local paper and the advertisements show up on the internet everywhere. Though many of the advertisements promise big bucks for your work, you need to look at those advertisements with caution. You need to look closely at work at home assembly jobs before you get taken in by a scam.

Scams are everywhere today. With the advancement of society comes new ways for people to take advantage of one another. Many work at home assembly jobs my be someone just looking to scam you out of your money, yet there are some legitimate work at home assembly jobs out there, too. The risk to you from work at home assembly jobs comes from the upfront money you provide up front for supplies and then the time you put in to do the work.

With legitimate work at home assembly jobs, you will usually be sent supplies that you will need to complete the projects or you will have to purchase the supplies you need. The company will usually send you detailed instructions and patterns for you to follow. Once you complete the projects, you will send them to the company for review and payment.

Sadly, legitimate work at home assembly jobs are few and far between. In many cases, the company will have you send money for supplies, which they may or may not send. Then you spend the time to assemble the products and pay to send them back to the company where they will reject your work. With these work at home assembly jobs scams, you will lose your valuable time and money.

There are a number of ways that you can find out if your work at home assembly jobs are legitimate. Legitimate companies that offer work at home assembly jobs will often list their companies in the telephone directory. These same companies offering work at home assembly jobs will also have a real address, not just a P.O. Box or website. Also check with the work at home assembly jobs to see if they have retailers, distributors, or a customer base.

Another great way to check into the work at home assembly jobs you are considering is to check into regulatory agencies. For example, the Better Business Bureau has a number of affiliates that report on work at home assembly jobs, and you can investigate those companies on the Better Business Bureau website. You can even file a claim with the BBB is you have a concern. The Federal Trade Commission also offers the same type of information about work at home assembly jobs.

Read the rest of the article here: Work at Home Assembly Jobs.

Guide to Mounting Tires

Keeping the tires in well-maintained condition and properly mounted is very important. After all, one is kept grounded on the road because of the four round rubber patches. For getting the job done right, proper tools and an experienced technician is required to mount and balance the car tires. Here is basic information of what is involved in mounting and balancing tires on a car. Follow the simple directions.

Tools Needed
Spin balance machine
Tire irons or mounting machine
Bead breaker

Directions
Step 1:
First of all, let out the air of the tire which is desired to be replaced. For making this quick, use a tire stem removal tool.

Step 2:
Use a bead breaker to break the bead on the old tire. For maximum bead breaking leverage, just press just beyond the rim.

Step 3:
Make sure that you select a right sized tire for the rim. In case this is not right, then nothing else will be right either. A new valve stem would have to be put in as well.

Step 4:
For putting the tire on the rim, use a mounting machine or tire irons for this purpose. Be careful not to damage the tire or the rim during the mounting process. It is possible that the mounting machine may be a part of the spin balance machine. In this case the directions on the mounting machine would have to be followed.

Step 5:
Now, the tire has to be placed into the spin balance machine. The manufacturer's directions should be followed and the wheel weight has to be placed where required. A spin balance machine is big equipment and is available at almost every tire shop.

Step 6:
Now, the tires have to be properly inflated. The vehicle owner's manual has to be consulted for proper PSI inflation. For avoiding an unsafe condition, check the tire pressure every month.

Step 7:
An alignment is also important so try to get it. This will help to keep the new tires wearing evenly.

Additional Information & Tips
Tires are one of the most important parts of a vehicle. They need to be changed from time to time as the markings are worn out or when the tire goes flat too early. When this happens, the tires have to be dismounted and new tires are mounted according to their suitability. A local mechanic or technician would know the best fitting for your particular car rim.

For mounting the tires and wheels in a proper way, be sure to follow some necessary precautions:

-There Should be no build-up of mud or dirt between the wheel and the hub.
-The Wheel should not be bent or damaged.
-The Wheel has to be seated firmly on the hub.
-Every Lug has to be properly torque.
-Both Tire beads are securely mounted.

If I Had a Hammer

Pogo Cartoonist Walt Kelly coined the phrase: We have met the enemy and he is us. If we can accept that we are all our own worst enemy, the next step is to figure out how to become more of an ally? At the risk of really dating myself, I’m revisiting the 50s folk song written by Pete Seeger and popularized by Peter, Paul and Mary and Trini Lopez. Before I will hammer home some insight, let’s revisit the first verse of If I Had A Hammer.

If I had a hammer

I’d hammer in the morning

I’d hammer in the evening

All over this land

I’d hammer out danger

I’d hammer out a warning

I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters

All over this land. 1

Now that’s a lot of inspired hammering!

So Why Are We Talking About Hammers?

Let’s take the phrase “If I Had A Hammer” and strip away the hypothetical “if” and consider that, figuratively speaking, you do have a hammer. Your hammer is your most highly developed skill or skills. It is the thing or things that you’re the best at and enjoy doing the most. And because you are so good, using your hammer brings you the most enjoyment and fulfillment. It may also be hindering your effectiveness. The Trap We all have our hammers. They are what make us both unique and effective. The danger is in overusing your hammers. Because…

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. – Abraham Maslow

While your hammer is not your only tool, by definition, it is your favorite. If you enjoy hammering so much, where might you be hammering when you should be chiseling or puttying? All of your problems are not like nails. By relying solely on your strengths, you can occasionally miss the nail and hammer your own thumb. Ouch! The Solution to Over-Hammering Our tendency to hammer inappropriately is not a conscious choice, but a subconscious one. So the solution requires enhancing your awareness of what your hammer really looks like. Ask yourself: What skills do I use most frequently and effectively? And then determine where you have been hammering when there are better tools for the job. Your heightened awareness can also help you to recognize when someone with different toolbox is more equipped to solve the problem. In our coaching and development engagements, we use assessment tools to discover which skills have become hammers. Its an opportunity to meet the enemy and become better acquainted. Once that occurs, you expand your opportunities for improved results. And, you can avoid hammering your thumb and missing the nail.

Mosaic Tables

Mosaic is a form of art that is very appealing and attractive to the eye. Mosaic art is created using mosaic tiles that are glued together to get an interesting design. Similarly, mosaic tables are tables that have a tabletop made of mosaic art that can then be transferred to a wrought-iron base or wooden base to create a colorful table.

To make the tabletop, first a mold or stepping-stone is required. Then, adhesive paper has to be cut to fit the bottom of the mold, where a circle or outline of your design has to be used as a template to put glass pieces. This mold has to be coated with a layer of petroleum jelly and then covered with adhesive paper placed sticky side up on the bottom of the mold. Now, it is time for the arrangement of the precut glass pieces on the adhesive paper according to your design; then, the pieces are rolled with a brayer to push all the edges of the tiles down. Next, some quick drying cement has to be prepared with water, adding a little powdered colorant to give the concrete a tint. Pour this concrete into the mold, over the glass design, but not all the way to the top. To remove any air bubbles that may be present; the mold has to be tapped on the surface. Let it dry for an hour.

After drying, the mold has to be turned upside down and the adhesive paper peeled off. Remove excess concrete from the design using a sponge dipped in water and a scraping tool. Now the mosaic tabletop is ready; it just has to be placed on top of the wrought iron or wooden base.

When making mosaic tables this way, however, it should be remembered that this is the indirect method of creating mosaics. This is considered indirect because as you work from the bottom of the stone, and any words or numbers used should be placed backwards. Then, when you flip the stone over, the words will read correctly.

Fixing a Leaking Roof – Hard Or Easy?

One night, you’re sitting and watching your favourite show on television, having a drink and enjoying the cool breeze; then a drop of water falls right on the top your head, there’s a leak! The scenario may not be so common, but a leaking roof certainly is and nobody likes them.

So what do you do? Calling someone to fix it is the simplest but not the cheapest way of getting the roof fixed. There are many simple ways to fix a leaking roof, if the leak is easy to find. All you need are some tools and the location. So start by looking for where the leak is coming from.

There are two ways to look for a leak, from the inside and from the outside. Sorry to tell you but it may not be as simple as looking for where the drop came from and voila, leak is right above. It’s possible for water to flow along pipes and interior surfaces, short or long distance, before it drops onto your ceiling. It’s possible that the problem is right above the leak, so measure as to where the leak is on the inside and you’ll know where to look when you’re on your roof. If you have an attic however, look up there for any standing water, water stains, mould, wet insulation or other exposed insulation.

If that doesn’t work, you can try pouring water on your roof on a sunny day. Pour the water on a small portion of your roof, and if there’s no leak inside, check another spot till the leak starts. Do give enough of a time gap between pouring the water. When you’ve found your leak, get ready for the tools.

Some people have a bunch of tools in the garage or basement that they can use for fixing a leaking roof, but if you don’t then the hardware store is your next destination. Now depending on the cause of the leak, you’ll know what to buy. A small crack can be fixed with a little bit of work, a hammer and some nails or a sticky drying solution. If you need to replace a shingle or tile then you’ll need more than that. Depending on the type of roof you have, these are some items you’ll need:

Replacing Shingles:

• Pry bar

• Scraper

• Replacement shingle

• Utility knife

• 6d galvanised roofing nails

• Hammer

• Asphalt roof cement

• Trowel

Flat Roof:

• Utility knife

• Clean rags

• Propane torch with flame-spreader nozzle

• Safety goggles

• Asphalt roof cement or compound

• Trowel

• 6d galvanised roofing nails

• Hammer

Tile Roof

• Hammer

• Replacement tile

• Galvanised roofing nails

• Caulking compound or Roof cement

Now if the leak is not from something on the roof’s surface, then it maybe from open valleys. In this case you’ll need:

• Sheet metal

• Wire brush

• Metal shears

• Roof cement

• Trowel

If these items seem a bit alien to you, then I suggest you call for help instead. If you’re going to fix the leaking roof by yourself, then make sure you follow safety precautions at all times. Remember to work on a sunny day when the roof is dry, sliding down a roof and hitting the ground is not fun. Use safety ropes and secure, sturdy ladders. Dress appropriately, most important part of your wardrobe being your shoes. Rubber-soled shoes are the safest on roofs. Look at your surroundings, be careful of power lines and keep someone in the know about what you’re up to, ladders do fall sometimes.

Why Hire a Home Painter?

A home painter is a professional you can trust to do the job right based on his or her experience. Though you may think this is a do it yourself project, think again. The detail work, equipment and even the paint itself can be much harder for a homeowner to manage financially than just turning to an expert to handle the job. Additionally, not just any person who says they can paint houses is good enough. The wrong person could put you in a situation where you are spending far too much time and money fixing mistakes.

Your Safety

One of the reasons to hire a home painter is for your safety. Hire a licensed, bonded, and insured professional who has the proper equipment to get the job done properly. Safety is a big factor on any property. The ground may be uneven. The height, difficult obstacles in the way and even just the sun can all be factors to limit your ability to be safe. A professional will have no problem with this.

Professional Service You Can Trust

When it comes to finding a professional service, find one that has a solid reputation. When you do, you will get some added benefits from working with these professionals instead of managing it on your own. For example, these professionals have the ability to properly prepare and paint the home so that it looks good and lasts. They are experts that know the type of product right for the home. They also have the ability to help you to get all of the details taken care of too including the overhang, the gutters, and the shutters.

Saving Money

Though it may be tempting to hire the non-professional who says he will paint your home, avoid this. It may seem like these companies are less expensive but the fact is they often cost more. Professionals can purchase paint in bulk at discount prices. They also have all of the equipment necessary on hand, which means you do not have to go out and buy it. Moreover, they may guarantee their service. That means if there is a problem with the finished look, they will work with you to get it fixed. These are all factors that play a role in the cost of hiring painters.

A home painter is an expert and someone you can trust to perform the tasks with skill. Even if you have experience or the other person promises to do a great job, it may be simpler and more cost effective to turn to a professional instead. Locate painters that can show you the work they have done so you can be sure they will do the type of job you can be proud of.

Swaying With a Chandelier

I am here, sitting in our couch. I am just glad there is not much work to do. It had been quite a stressful week in school. I really had a hard time dealing with my professors. They were all so demanding. Would you believe I never had slept the past days?

My dear teachers and instructors are cramming because the exam week will be due soon. What they wanted to do is to discuss matters and have the lessons in an n extremely fast pace. Just the other day I went to school with no sleep at all. My eyes are blackening and my eye bags are growing more and more.

Seems that was not yet enough, our Science professor assigned a project, an impossible to pass project at that. Would you be able to run your electric motor for two straight hours using your 2 V batteries? Definitely not! It was impossible I tell you! It must be his happiness to see students failing. You know, he likes it when his students fail because his subject, Physics, is very difficult to pass because of his impossible demands. He would laugh his heart out and act like he has emerged victorious. He likes it when his evil plans are happening. And the poor little students, afraid of failing would be begging him for another chance.

Well, I am just glad that the week is finally over. And finally I could begin reading Nicholas Sparks novel A Walk To Remember. I have always wanted to read this novel but since school had been pressing me to push my patience further I have to forget about reading this book.

So I lie here in the couch reading through every line. I am trying to understand how every event leads to the tragic but still happy ending. I was so engrossed by the novel I have not noticed it is starting to get dark. I realized it is almost night time. I folded one page and turned on the chandelier just hanging above the couch. I really love this chandelier because the light it gives off is not annoying. With the fluorescent and light bulbs, I get so annoyed by the light. It kind of irks me at times because the light seems to reflect in the book pages especially the glossy ones making it hard to read.

The chandelier however, just seems to get the place a little more conducive for reading. You do not have to be irritated by the very bright light because the chandelier would give you that shady light something like that of the sun during sun rise or sunset.

I was glad mom brought the chandelier and got rid of those fluorescent lamps because reading had been so easy. In fact the chandelier gives you that romantic feeling. I do not know. Maybe there is something about the light that the chandelier gives that seems to get you more in love and romantic. Maybe the chandeliers light creates a more nostalgic ambiance which is very sweeping when you read romantic stuff.

5 Tips For Making a Small Room Bigger

If there’s that one room in your home that you wish had just a little extra square footage – you’re definitely not alone. Regardless of whether it’s your bathroom, your kitchen, or maybe even your bedroom – not every home owner can be given the luxury of a house full of big spacious rooms. Because knocking down a wall and throwing an addition on isn’t typically an option for the average American – there are plenty of little tricks and tips you can follow to open up the room and make these small spaces appear larger.

o If you have a small room, stay far, far away from dark colors. Dark colors are going to inhibit any light that comes into the room, making the space appear even smaller than it already is. Bright colors can be okay, but when used in a smaller room – they can be a bit overwhelming. If you want to play is safe with color, choose a pale pastel shade. The pale hue will help light reflect off the walls and fill up the room without feeling too constricted or overwhelming. A bright white color on walls will also help to liven up a small room.

o Keep accessories simple and coordinated. Even in large rooms, if you have too much going on – it can almost make a room feel like it’s closing in on you. One way to accomplish this is to stay away from patterns in the room. If you’re dealing with the bedroom, choose to go with a solid colored bedspread as opposed to one with a heavy floral pattern. A nice, white bedroom can be complimented by a beautiful light blue bedspread that isn’t too harsh or distracting.

o Once you choose a complimentary color for your walls, keep accessories to the room along the same lines. For example, if you’ve chosen to paint your bathroom walls light green and have chosen Kelly green accessories for the room, don’t throw in random punches of blue and orange. Adding too many colors into the room will have the effect that a heavy pattern will. By keeping things simple, but cute – you’ll end up with a perfectly coordinated space that does the most justice for the size of the room.

o If you can, stay away from carpet in smaller spaces. Wood floors work well in small spaces because they not only cut down on the amount of dust that tends to build up in smaller rooms – but the give the space a more open and airy feeling. If you currently have rugs in your small bedroom and are looking for a quick fix for the space, replacing the carpet with wood flooring should be your first priority. You’ll be amazed at the difference your flooring makes in the overall look and feel of your room. If you’re worried about furniture scratching the floor, choose to go with a throw rug that compliments your room’s color scheme.

o Finally, make sure your area is well lit and let in as much natural light as possible. Natural light and air are always great ways to make a room feel more open and larger overall. Instead of thick curtains, install blinds in small rooms that can be left open during the day and closed easily at night.

Many homeowners struggle with the headache that a small room can cause, but as you can see with these simple tricks – opening the room up may be much easier than you would think. Instead of just “dealing” with your space, make these subtle changes. You’ll not only have a more neutral palette to work with if you ever decide to change the decor of the room, but you’ll end up feeling less cramped overall.

Safe Digging Strategies

Digging, or any form of yard work, is an excellent way to squeeze physical activity into your daily routine. But it’s strenuous work, and can do more harm than good if not done correctly. The next time you break out your shovel, keep these safety tips in mind.

Use the right shovel.

Before you dig into any sort of outdoor project, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the best shovel for the job. According to nationally syndicated newspaper columnist Tim Carter, a round point shovel breaks into dense soil much more efficiently than the oft-used square point shovel, which is better used for loose materials such as sand and pea-sized gravel. Need to crack rocks within the hole you dig? Try a spud bar instead.

Call before you dig.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re building a new fence or planting a new shrub. Regardless of the size and scope of your digging project, you should always dial 811 before breaking out your shovel or you risk serious injury and a neighborhood service disruption. When you place the call, your local utility companies will have a professional locater come out and mark your utility lines so you can safely proceed.

Maintain good posture.

Digging can cause serious back strain if you don’t use the right form. To avoid aching muscles, remember that your arms and legs should be doing all the work, not your back. Use your foot to push the shovel in the ground, but don’t actually jump on the shovel with both feet. (If you’re exerting that much force, you’re probably using the wrong tool for the job.) It’s also a good idea to alternate feet – so if you use your left foot to break into the ground the first time, switch to your right foot the next time around. Bend at the knees anytime you lift, and don’t twist your body – turn your entire body instead. And anytime you feel winded, take a breather!