Remodeling Your Floors With Hardwood Flooring

When remodeling a house one of the most important decisions to make is what type of hardwood floors to use. Though other alternatives may seem like a bargain at first, wooden flooring is less susceptible to cracking and other forms of duress but has also been shown to greatly improve your home value. Not only does hardwood timber flooring make your house’s market price greatly increase, it also has a nice polished professional look to it that will impress both guests and yourself. While it may seem overwhelming at whether you home should have engineered flooring or solid wood floors, the choice is easily decided on by what you want the final product to accomplish.

If you want a nice rustic look to your house, than timber floor boards are a great pick for you. Despite being more difficult to install, the charming naturalistic look of timber floor boards will make your house truly feel new. The comfort and nostalgia of going with a timber floor board is one of the most satisfying home choices that a remodel can bring. Though solid timber floors require a good deal of maintenance, it will be worthwhile when you take in the lovely aesthetics they add. If you decide to go with timber floors, you will probably need to get assistance in the installation because they can be cumbersome to install without proper equipment.

When choosing your solid timber flooring houses often use a type of oak floors as they fit with the neighborhoods’ style and the area’s culture. Though the types of oak flooring vary depending on the area, European oak floor is by far the most common. The reason behind this is European oak flooring has a subtle yet sophisticated look making it very appealing to those interested in adding a refined taste to their house during their remodel. Even if you’re only interested in increasing the resell value of your house, oak flooring houses sell for much more than the cost of the investment. If you aren’t interested in installing oak floor buyers may also enjoy the textured look of Distressed Wood flooring. So don’t be afraid to experiment and deviate from the traditional method as the distressed look may go well with the rest of your interior.

If you want to enjoy the look of wooden floors without the maintenance and upkeep, then you may want to consider engineered wood flooring. While it doesn’t have the same thickness and form factor of hardwood floors, it is much easier to both manage and install. If you prefer to do all of your remodeling yourself, than engineered oak flooring is probably the right choice for you as it is much more straightforward to place down. Regardless of whether you choose to go with natural timber floors or engineered flooring, the look will be just the thing to make your remodeled house feel new and beautiful.

Causes of Fuel Pump Failure and Signs to Identify a Failing Fuel Pump

Fuel pump is one of the most important components in a vehicle’s fuel delivery system. If it is doing well, fuel delivery system functions normally. But, once it fails, the car engine ceases to run. However, the failure and the inconvenience it causes can be prevented by identifying the early warning signs.

In this article, we will discuss the common causes of fuel pump failure and its warning signs.

Causes of failure: There are more than a couple of causes for its failure. They are as follows:

• Broken wiring: Broken or faulty wiring in the vehicle’s fuel system prevents the current flow to the fuel pump from the relay. Even the corroded, loose, melted or burnt wires/connectors, and poor electrical grounding can restrict the current or voltage flow from the relay to the fuel pump, thus, affecting its functioning – pumping fuel to the engine.

• Problems in the fuel tank: Presence of dust/debris, rust or dirty fuel in tank can result in its malfunctioning. During cool and humid weather, when the tank is low, it gets moist leading to the oxidation of the tank and formation of rust. As it is located inside the tank, the rust will be ingested in to the fuel pump, bringing about its failure.

• Clogged fuel filter: Usage of dirty fuel or presence of contaminants in the tank can clog the pickup strainer or filters present in the fuel lines. This results in low pressure and low peak flow of fuel that weaken its functioning.

Clogged filters are generally associated with damaged fuel line connectors/splits or cracked hoses or kinked fuel lines that lead to leakage of fuel. These cracks or leaks on the fuel lines can create vacuum leaks, which disturb the air-fuel ratio, thus, making the engine run lean.

• Driving with low fuel level: Its durability depends on the lubrication and the cooling provided by the fuel. Running your vehicle on a low gas tank frequently, may heat up the fuel tank much quicker, ultimately overheating the fuel pump. As a result, due to the lack of lubrication, it becomes dry and gets damaged.

Identifying a bad fuel pump: It shows many warning signs, which when identified at the right time, will avoid complete damage. A few warning signs are quite clearly evident if thoroughly checked – broken hoses, fuel leaks, discolored electrical terminals, burnt or bubbled plastic at the fuse, etc.

There are a few other warning signs that are displayed by the vehicle itself. They are as follows:

• Strange whining sounds: One of the early as well as the clear signs of failing fuel pump is the development of a high pitched screeching sound, when the engine is first engaged. However, the sound will slowly disappear after some time. Moreover, the sound is not the same for every vehicle. It may vary based on the type. An early inspection, after the development of such strange sounds will help save it from further damage.

• Engine misfires: A failing fuel pump may cause engine misfires that in turn will cause the car to jerk occasionally. Engine misfires may happen quite often, most probably 3-4 times, and later the vehicle may run smoothly for many miles. This sign translates to the wearing out of the fuel pump, because it is unable to maintain a steady fuel pressure.

• Problem in starting and accelerating: A failing or dead fuel pump may also prevent the engine from starting. If you are sure that the starter and the battery of your vehicle are good, and still you are facing a starting problem, then it is the sign of faulty relay. As already stated, faulty wiring harness can result in improper power supply to the fuel pump, thus, resulting in sluggish acceleration and starting troubles.

• Extended engine cranking time: In order to cool down the components of the fuel tank, maximum amount of fuel sent to the engine will be returned to the fuel tank. An anti-drain back valve in the outlet aids in this fuel returning process. Whenever the fuel pump stops functioning, the valve gets closed preventing the fuel from running back into the fuel tank. This condition can be identified by the extended cranking time while starting the vehicle.

• Engine loses power: This sign of engine losing power can be typically seen when the vehicle is running at high speeds, especially when climbing hills. If you are sure that there is nothing wrong with the fuel filter, it is safe to assume that it is failing.

On identifying the above issues in your fuel delivery system, it is better advised to get your vehicle checked by a good technician, who will further diagnose the issues by conducting fuel pressure and volume tests (through fuel pressure gauge), and the electrical checks (through digital volt & ohm meter). It is only after these tests, should you decide as to replace or fix your fuel pump.

Timely repairs or replacement will help you to solve the issues quickly. However, while replacing the fuel pump it is always better to opt for the best quality aftermarket products, offered by reputed dealers, to get more durable and better performing products.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Lean-To Wood Shed

Advantages

A lean to wood shed is one of the easiest to construct because wood is a versatile material to work with. With the right tools in hand and some hard work, you can successfully build a shed in the style, size, and design you like. Wood has a certain look of timelessness in it. With a lean to wood shed, you would not necessarily have to worry that it might look a little out-of-place on your lawn or yard. Wooden sheds uphold tradition as the material has been used in building sheds for many generations.

A lean to wood shed serves your storage convenience. In addition to that, it can actually improve the look of your home. Wooden sheds are indisputably the best-looking sheds around. Home owners with some experience in carpentry work can easily design and construct their own lean to wood shed with the help of shed plans on sale. Wood is easily customizable and altered to serve an intended purpose. One interesting aspect of wood sheds is the interior, which can be fitted with wooden shelves and other additions the owner prefers.

Disadvantages

Wood, despite its characteristic strength, carries with it certain disadvantages that led to the development of modern materials in shed-building. For one, the material may rot, chip, split, or warm after prolonged exposure to the outdoors. It is prone to termite attacks, mold, and mildew, not to mention a fire hazard. A lean to wood shed demands careful maintenance. Its surrounding areas must always be cleared of debris and plant material. Rot-proofing finishes must regularly be applied for protection.

Protection

Paint or stains are dual purpose finishes that can protect the surface of the wood and add to your shed’s aesthetic value. They are especially recommended if you are doing standard construction using plywood or post and beam. Staining and applying preservatives can effectively strengthen the wood against UV light, rain, fungi, and insects.

The versatility of wood remains a strong point. There are plenty of wood shed kits you can choose from although the choices may be a bit limited if you are looking for a lean to wood shed. Still, storage sheds made of wood are undoubtedly an excellent choice. Easy-to-assemble wood shed kits are sold in a variety of sizes, and designs. You may even have the wood painted over in a color that matches your house’s exteriors. A lean to wood shed would look particularly inconspicuous if its color matches the wall of your house.

Maintenance

Expect maintenance costs to be relatively higher if you opt for a wooden lean to shed. If you are one of those people who believe that you cannot put a price on class and style, a permanent wooden structure is truly a good investment. Wooden sheds are too good to be used for storage. They are much more suitable for use as potting sheds, playhouses, a studio, or a workshop.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: Move Over Kegals, There Is a New Exercise in Town

According to physiotherapist Dr Pauline Chiarelli, pelvic floor problems can effect as many as one in three women. If you came to see us for advice on rehabilitation and help with an injury you would quickly notice that we ask questions that are not just related to your present concern but also questions about your health in general. We do this for a number of reasons; primarily we does this so that we can put your current concern into context but also it allows us to see if you have any other problems that you might have thought were “just normal”. When we ask these questions our clients frequently mention some sort of pelvic floor dysfunction with which they have just learned to live.

Is pelvic floor dysfunction more of a female than a male problem? Scientists, Ireland and Ott, say the male pelvis is denser and the bony part of the pelvis is generally smaller in diameter allowing faster coordination between all the muscles. This denseness combined with the smaller area means that the male pelvic floor is less likely to become dysfunctional. Conversely, the female pelvis is less dense and wider, as the bony structure is designed to house and deliver a baby. This means that the female pelvic floor is more susceptible to decreased strength and coordination between the pelvic floor muscles.

How is your pelvis meant to work and why do people get problems e.g. incontinence? In normal posture the pelvis should be anteriorly tilted allowing the bones of the pelvis to provide support to the internal organs, muscles, ligaments etc. In females the bladder is supported by the pubic bone at the front, which, in turn, creates support for the uterus. A large proportion of women with problems stand with a posterior pelvic tilt and decreased lumbar spinal curve. This puts more pressure on the pelvic floor by taking away the bony support from the bladder and uterus and creates pelvic floor problems. The good news is that this can be helped learning to correctly move your pelvis…. I will discuss a little later how to correct pelvic floor problems with exercises that are much more comprehensive than Kegals.

When looking at the muscular support of the pelvic floor it is useful to look at other muscles involved in its correct function: the abdominals, the spinal muscles, the hip and the respiratory diaphragm. These muscles work as a functional group. For example, as the respiratory diaphragm contracts it lowers, drawing air into the lungs, as it lowers it causes the organs that are underneath it to move downwards. This increased pressure in the abdominal cavity gently puts pressure on the pelvic floor causing a harmonious movement between the diaphragm and the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor assists in lumbopelvic stability (Markwell 2001) along with the muscles of the lower back, hips and abdominals. Anatomically there are connections as well; one of the hip muscles, the obturator internus, and part of the pelvic floor, the levator ani, are connected by a common tendon, the arcuate tendon. This means that if there is restricted movement in one or both of the hips, perhaps from arthritis, tight muscles or even ankle injuries, part of the pelvic floor will also be affected.

So it’s more than just the pelvic floor muscles then? Due to the interconnected nature of the pelvic floor and the muscles of the low back, hips and abdominals we always look at the “pelvic core neuromuscular system” or PCNS for short. This term was originally coined by my friends and colleagues, Christina Christie and Rich Colossi, physiotherapists specializing in pelvic floor dysfunction. By taking this approach we can determine if the current pelvic floor problems are actually being maintained by other things like poor posture, faulty breathing patterns or even by some thing as far away as an old ankle injury! Physiotherapist Gary Gray argues that in order to get the pelvic floor functioning optimally all the structures of the PCNS should be integrated subconsciously. For example, you don’t have to think about bracing your leg muscles to stop you from falling over, it just happens, and that should be the case for the pelvic floor as well. You shouldn’t have to consciously tense your pelvic floor to prevent leakage – it should just happen.

What is pelvic floor dysfunction?

It can take many forms, including but not limited to, pelvic pain, pelvic-organ prolapse, anal incontinence and urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence can be subdivided into three categories:

  • Stress incontinence– involuntary loss of urine with an increase in intra-abdominal pressure e.g. a sneeze or a hop causes a small leak of urine.
  • Urge incontinence– the urge to empty your bladder with only a small production of urine.
  • Frequency incontinence –urinating more than eight times in twenty four hours.

So what is normal? Generally you should be urinating every two to four hours during the day and zero to once during the night (although pregnancy does temporarily increase the incidence of urinary incontinence).

Are there any other problems I may have due to pelvic floor dysfunction? When we are talking about urinary incontinence it is worth noting that the loss of control and coordination of the pelvic muscles puts strain on other structures in the body. Many people do not realize that their back pain, sacroiliac dysfunction, sciatica, knee pain and ankle sprains could all be coming from dysfunction of their PCNS, and visa-versa.

What is an effective way to correct these problems?

Due to the PCNS’s highly integrated nature with the rest of the body it doesn’t make sense to continually isolate it and rely on exercises like Kegals. That would be like treating a sore knee that was caused by limping due to a sprained ankle. The ankle should be treated first, otherwise the knee pain will just keep coming back. Having said that, there are circumstances where specific pelvic floor work such as Kegal’s are useful, but if you are able to, it is more beneficial to strengthen the pelvic floor in an integrated way.

So what do we recommend to strengthen it? In order to create an environment where the pelvic floor and it’s functionally related muscle groups (diaphragm, low back, hips and abdominals) are working subconsciously we need to exercise the body in all three planes of motion using both the arms and legs to ‘drive’ or move the body to create a specific load to the whole complex of functionally related muscles.

Move over Kegals! Introducing the Pelvicore Exercise Ball…This simple device was developed by physiotherapists Christie and Colossi to help their patients get faster and better results from exercises they were doing. It consists of a small inflatable ball that fits between the knees and an elastic strap that goes round the thighs holding the ball in place. Strengthening the hip muscles becomes easy when wearing the pelvicore ball because if you step out to the side all the lateral hip muscles have to work against the resistance of the elastic strap and when you step back all the medial/adductor muscles work against the pressure of the ball. Depending on your level of ability exercises with the pelvicore ball can vary from simply sitting and slowly moving your legs apart and then back together to exercises that involve squats, lunges and alternate hand drivers. These are whole body exercises that involve all aspects of the PNCS right from the ankle up to the neck.

Try this exercise suggested by Christie and Colossi:

The Pelvic-Hip Complex Pivot Shift Matrix

  1. See if you can balance on one leg for about 10 seconds, if you can continue, if you can’t then practice that before you try this.
  2. Start with the more successful side, in this example we will stand on the right leg and move the left leg through space
  3. Sagittal Plane:Stand on your right leg and swing your left leg forward and back, do it with control, repeat 10 times.
  4. Frontal Plane:Still on the right leg take your left leg as far to the left as you can and then lightly touch your toe to the floor, taking care not to put weight on it. Then return to the middle, pause and take your left leg to the right across the body in front or behind, gently toe touch a the end of range, repeat 10 times.
  5. Transverse Plane:Again, on your right leg rotate your whole body to the right pivoting on the right hip, once you have gone as far as you can rotate to the left gently touching your left toe to the ground if you loose balance, repeat 10 times.
  6. Repeat all the above on the other side.

What Next? If you thought you were resigned to doing Kegals for the rest of your life you now know there are alternatives that may work better for you. Clients often ask us what they can do at home to help prevent problems returning. The pelvicore ball provides a simple, easy to use exercise program that can be done at home to exercise the

PCNS properly. We are the only suppliers of the pelvicore ball in western Canada. We are confident that for the one in three women who suffer from pelvic floor problems this offers a chance for them to get stronger and more flexible. What a relief to not be in fear of the familiar accidental leak that can happen all too easily when the pelvic floor is not working properly!

References

Chiarelli, P. 2002. Women’s Waterworks: Curing Incontinence. Wallsend, NSW; George Parry.

Christie, C., & Colossi, R,.2010. Paving the way for a healthy pelvic floor: Turn on the Pelvic Core Neuromuscular System with triplanar movement and functional education. Idea Fitness Journal.

Gary, G., & Tiberio, D. 2010. Seminar. Chain reaction transformation. The Gray institute.

Ireland, M.L., & Ott, S.M. 2004. Special concerns of the female athlete. Clinics in Sports Medicine, 23 (2), 281-98.

Markwell, S.J. 2001. Physical therapy management of pelvic/perineal and perianal pain syndromes. World Journal of Urology, 19 (3), 194-99.

Why Window Louvers Are A Great Idea For Your Home

A great thing any home or business owner can add to their property to make it look better is a window louvers exterior. These exterior accents can provide many wonderful benefits to home or business owners. Besides looking fantastic, they can also provide many practical benefits. They can add value to your home or office space instantly. These external sunshade systems are a great way to enhance the look and performance of any building. You can even purchase wooden louvers that will be custom fit for your house or business.

Custom Shutters

By adding these types of shutters on your property you will immediately begin to better regulate the temperature inside your building. It will help protect from the rays of the sun and allow you to use your air conditioning unit more sparingly. By doing this, you will bring your monthly energy costs down to a more affordable level. This is just one of the many benefits to adding exterior shutters to your home or business space. It is important to remember, however, that cheap and inexpensive shutters will not hold up over time and could actually hurt the value of your home. Only choose a reputable company that will install quality shutters on your property.

How To Choose A Company

Choosing which company to hire for your shutter needs should not be a decision you make hastily. It is important that you chose a company that offers quality assurance and good prices. If you go with a company that you quickly found in the phonebook you may end up paying too much and not getting as good of service as you would get from a more reputable company. Look at customer testimonials online before deciding which window louvers company you are going to hire.

Different Styles

There are many different styles and models of louvers you can choose from when deciding what to outfit your home or office with. It is important to choose a style that best accentuates your home or office's features. You should also be aware of the fact that not all louvers will fit your specific space. You need to hire a company that can create a custom solution for your home or business. That way, you will be ensured that you are paying for a product that will be a perfect fit for your building and withstand anything that nature can throw at them.

Coleman Elite Montana 8 Person Tent

As a young boy growing up in New York City I realized that camping and popping tents was something that other kids did. Not me. My imagination got me there but we didn’t have the ground space to really put my ideas into use. A couple of friends and I decided that if we could pop a tent down the street, in one of the yards, that we could accomplish our little get-away. Using our resourcefulness we got sheets, broom sticks, blankets, wire and whatever else we could find to realize out dream of “Camping Out”.

Mothers do not appreciate their stock of sheets, brooms, and mops being used along with whatever else was necessary to build our “home away from home”. We, however, were on our path to start our first camping trip down the street and build (pop) our own tent no matter what. The “what” of it was that it was just not allowed. My mother said that the city had ordinances and laws and whatever else that would prevent us from realizing our dream, and my mother got her stock of sheets back, so all was well from her point of view.

It took a while, once we moved out of the city, to really pitch my own tent thanks to my mother’s Christmas gift of a Coleman Tent. What a wonderful experience and one I could share with my friends and my mother could keep her sheets and whatever else she kept in storage for her own use. It didn’t matter any longer; I had a tent and a yard of my own. I wanted to pitch a tent everywhere. What an adventure!

I learned since that tents come in many sizes and there are wonderful gadgets to make your camping experience so much better. Design choices available nowadays come in Avain, pyramid, traditional A-frame, modified A-frame, hoop, wedge and dome. The size of your tent will be determined by the size of the number of people you want to accommodate. Amongst the many choices available, the Coleman Elite Montana 8 Tent is an excellent choice. Not only is it the best available, it will provide an experience that you and your family will enjoy time and again.

Coleman tents are not only adaptable to all kinds of weather but are very affordable, from $65.00 to $300.00 plus whatever other gadgets you may want to add.

Convenient features include:

• Reverse angle windows for comfortable ventilation, even in bad weather

• 350 lumen remote control LED Tent Power and Lighting System

• Fiberglass shock cord poles, continuous pole sleeves, and Insta-Clip attachments for easy setup

• Front awning/ porch and privacy wings for open air living

• 16′ x 7′ floor space

• Carrying weight is 25 lbs.

Coleman guarantees the utmost quality whether you are a trekker or a serious mountain climber. The “Weather Tech” system boasts easy set-up, whether large or small and all their tents are vigorously inspected at their factories.

It seems that everything has turned out nicely after all. Thanks to the Coleman Company and its wonderful products that have made a home away from home a wonderful experience for me and my friends.

How Do Plants Grow – The Biology of Plant Life

Plants are amazing, especially when you wonder how do plants grow. There are over 350,000 species of plants, above ground and underwater plants. Each one has to survive some harsh conditions to grow, and you can see the tenacity of plants to grow when you see them perched on the side of canyon walls, or pushing their way up through old pavement. Their will to survive and propagate is intense!

Plants include flowers, trees, shrubs, bushes, grass, moss, vines, herbs, seaweed, and green algae. These have much in common. They depend on Nature for survival, and the contents of other living and natural things. They need sunlight (except deep sea plants), water, air, bees and insects, soil, animals, and fire for life. Some pine trees only release their seeds after a big fire; they need the heat to open the cones and seeds.

Some underwater plants get their nutrients from water, surviving without sunlight. In hydroponic growing, plants are grown in just water instead of soil, and you can see the root growth. The water must have the nutrients needed, or the addition of plant food for the plant to thrive.

To answer the question of how do plants grow, you must look at propagation. Some plants have both male and female parts, others do not, but they all depend on wind, air, animals, bees and insects to help with pollination and fertilization. Others will send out runners and tubers, or create corms, bulbs, suckers, and adventitious buds to propagate new plants through the soil to new locations. Humans help with splicing for cross breeding and new growth on old plants.

Plants that have seeds create little packages (seeds) that contain a food store and a baby plant embryo, similar to a fertilized egg, and there is a protective seed coat over the seed. When fertilized through pollination, the seed forms after a flower dies. The flower contains male and/or female parts that create an ovum ready for fertilization. This becomes the seed or fruit containing seeds.

The seed drops to the ground and begins to soften with moisture until the seed coat opens enough for germination to break through with a tap root, root hairs, and the plant top begins to grow towards light and warmth. This is the seedling plant. The roots grow down to find more moisture and the top of the plant grows up to find food and energy.

Plant food comes from the water and soil. Plants take in food and energy through photosynthesis from sunlight, and respiration through their leaves (osmosis). They take in carbon dioxide from the air in the daylight and release oxygen during the night. It is important for plants to obtain the right minerals from soil. Fortunately, Mother Nature works just perfectly in most cases and plants thrive.

When you look at all it takes for Nature to be in perfect balance and answer the question of how do plants grow, it is an amazing thought, and a miraculous process.

Bridge Tolls

When possible, raising a bridging loan against commercial property can be one of the quickest ways for a business to access substantial amounts of cash. However bridging loans are pricey and this article discusses how such loans work and the risks involved in taking one.

Commercial property bridging is a small and specialist area of ​​short term lending. Advances are normally based on 'ninety day' property valuations where the valuer assumes there is only a restricted period within which to sell the property.

As this is an area where charges are high and it is possible for lenders to make significant profits from defaulting loans, it is an area where you need to be well advised as to your choice of lender.

Pre credit crunch, lenders had often been prepared to lend on the basis of these valuations almost on a 'non-status' basis where they did not consider the borrower's ability to pay. And while the mainstream banks would generally only give a bridging loan where the exit had already been arranged by way of a planned sale or refinancing (a 'closed' bridge); other lenders would give 'open' bridges secure in the expectation that they would be able to sell the property and 'collect out' if needed.

Some lenders were also developing alternative and hybrid products such as a two year 'super bridge', and a one year bridge that automatically converted to a normal 15 year term loan at the end of the period assuming that the account has been operated correctly.

The market was however very hard hit during the credit crunch as some lenders' bank funding lines dried up, while the commercial property values ​​on which they were relying also suffered.

As a result, those lenders that are still in the market are now generally more cautious about establishing both serviceability, the borrower's ability to pay the interest as they go; and the feasibility of the planned exit from bridging as to how the lender is to be repaid their capital.

However it is noticeable that funds are now returning to this market, and in the absence of the self certification commercial mortgages that had been available pre-credit crunch, bridging is becoming an increasingly important source of funding for both some transactions and raising working capital.

For lenders, the key criteria and issues in lending are firstly the quality of the property and its worth as assessed by a professional valuer on the lender's panel, followed by the viability of the proposed exit, and then the borrower's ability to service the borrowings.

The main players in the market lend at up to 70% to 75% of open market value (OMV); reducing to 60% to 65% on second charge loans.

Facilities are usually granted for six or twelve months and are interest only arrangements with the loan capital repayable at the end of the term. Both having your exit in mind at the outset, and checking the provisions in respect of renewal of the facility at the end of the initial term if that should prove necessary, are therefore critical in any open bridge.

Bridging is expensive money. As well as valuation, broker, and legal costs you can expect to pay a lender's arrangement fee of up to 2% to 3% and discounted interest rates of up to 1.0% to 2.0% per month. If not rolled up to the end of the term, interest is either collected upfront by way of a deduction of the total interest charge for the facility period from the initial draw down, or monthly in advance. Always also check to ensure there is not an exit fee as well at the end of the term.

It's important to note that the interest rates suggested above are the discounted rates for prompt payment and it is normal for the full rates to be almost double these. This is an absolutely critical point as in the event of default on a payment (such as failing to pay exactly on the due day), you will lose the right to pay interest at the discounted rate and can be charged at the full rate.

All lenders take robust and swift recovery action in the event of default to secure their lending by way of appointing receivers to sell the building. Lenders will also usually have the right to charge administration costs incurred in dealing with any default.

Where the interest on a bridge is deducted from the advance on draw down, this has the advantage that you do not need to find the cash to make payments during the period of the loan. Against this it reduces the funds you actually raise by entering into the bridge and do not forget that at the end of the period, you will need to find the cash to repay the gross amount advanced, not just the net received.

The alternative is to take out a bridge on a pay as you go basis, in which case ensure that you have sufficient funds to make all the payments on time to avoid the increased interest costs and charges that arise on default.

As defaults are an area in which lenders can make extremely high returns, and can recover these by appointing receivers to sell your property, you should take care that you are dealing with a lender you can work with. Brokers will all charge fees for arranging a facility (typically a 2% success fee, deducted from the advance drawn down), but using a reputable broker will assist you in finding a reputable bridging lender.

If you are considering using bridging funding to raise cash for property development, you should also be aware that there are specialist funding products for property development. Again a reputable broker should be able to advise you on the best option for your project.

Three Methods of PCB Assembly

A PCB, or a printed circuit board is a device that is used to connect electronic components in electrical equipment and machinery. It uses conductive pathways etched from copper sheets which are laminated onto non-conductive substrate.

Manufacturing PCBs costs more than making simple wire-wrapped or point-to-point circuits but for large scale manufacture costs are quickly recouped as PCBs then become the most cost-effective components to use. You will find PCBs in most of the electrical equipment you have at home such as computers, games consoles, i-Pods, TVs and so many more. There are a number of methods of PCB assembly used to create these essentials items, such as the following.

Surface Mount Assembly

This technique emerged in the 60s, increased in popularity in the 80s and became widely used in the 90s. Components have metal tabs on them which can be soldered to the board, It is now also common to have components on both sides of the circuit board, which means higher circuit densities are possible.

Conventional PTH Assembly

PTH or plated through-hole technology is a method of PCB assembly which involves components that have leads attached to them, which are inserted through drilled holes in a circuit board. This technique leads to strong bonds on the board but PCBs made by this method can be more expensive due to the amount of drilling needed.

Box-Build, Electro-Mechanical Assembly

This can involve the use of custom metalwork, cable assembly, wire harnesses and looms, and moulded plastics to make PCBs.

You might not realise it but PCBs are in most of the electrical items you own and without the above assembly techniques your X-Box or laptop would be in serious trouble.

Framing & Mounting Your Photos

Introduction

I often visit friends, relatives and customers and see out of the corner of my eye un-mounted photographs laying on the sideboard or propped up against the kitchen cabinets.

And often they are very good shots.

What a shame that they are not presented more thoughtfully – making a memorable photograph a visual masterpiece which will be passed down the generations.

Framing and Mounting is a specialist but significant part of our business.

Mounting a Photograph or Watercolour

Many schools photographs come presented in cardboard mounts. These are the minimum in transforming a piece of paper into a memorable keepsake.

That photograph can then be put into a frame – with or without the mount and placed on the sideboard in the lounge – or hung on the wall.

In general a mount enhances the photo.

We stock a range of mount boards which can be cut using a special machine to fit around a photograph – or indeed a watercolour – to enhance its appearance. It is conventional to mount a watercolour in cream card, but we have a whole variety of colours, which can be selected to bring out a particular colour in the image or to match the décor of the hanging environment.

Framing the Photograph or Watercolour

A frame is cut to fit around the mount and either clear or non-reflective glass cut to size and the whole assembly fitted together and sealed.

We stock in excess of 50 frame moulding that we use to make frames. But we have access to over 2000 different mouldings, which come in all colours and textures.

An antique canvas must be treated quite separately from a black and white photo or a group photograph taken at an evening event.

Framing Canvasses

Oil or Acrylic paintings which are canvas based require a quite different treatment.

The canvas must be ‘stretched’ before framing. This is done by cutting stretcher bars from mature wood. The stretchers must be of the right length to fit the canvas and follow the style of presentation required by the customer.

For example, it is a modern style to stretch the canvas such that the visible image continues around the edge of the canvas stretchers. These paintings do not require a frame; they are hung flat on the wall.

More conventionally the image covers only the front surface of the stretched canvas and the complete stretched assembly is framed using conventional framing techniques.

The canvas image is stretched over the assembled stretchers and then small wedges tapped into carefully cut slots at the rear of the frame to stretch the canvas a little further and tension it up.

Oil and acrylic paintings never have glass in front of the image! In a hot environment the paint will melt into the glass with disastrous results!

Framing Fabrics

We are often asked to frame thin silk or cotton souvenirs brought back from Asian or African holidays.

Such fabrics are a challenge because of their fragility. Using stretchers is generally unwise as the force of stretching might rip the material – to the dismay of the customer. Best to stretch the fabric gently over a board or stretcher assembly using glue to keep the material in place.

Specialist Framing

We have been asked to frame all sorts of things from a military hat to porcelain fragments.

These items often require a Box Frame, one that contains a lot of space!

We insert small specialist mouldings – called slips – behind the glass and the backing board to give the framing depth. Thus objects of considerable size can be placed within the ‘box’.

Framing for Antiquity

The materials that we use for mounting and framing are selected to be acid and alkaline free and the glues we use are chemically stable. While we would not claim that our framing will last for centuries, it should be durable and avoid long term discolouration.

It’s Hammer Time! Hammer Drill Time That Is

Busted every drill bit in your tool box trying to drill a hole in your concrete wall? It’s time to get the right tool for the job and when it comes to concrete that’s a hammer drill.

Hammer drills are designed to bore through tough materials such as concrete, masonry, stone or thick steel, materials that are just too tough for a regular drill. These tools work differently than regular drills and are more violent requiring proper safety equipment to be used.

In this article you’ll learn the difference between regular and hammer drills and how they function. You’ll also learn of the safety items you’ll need.

The typical drill that we are all familiar with is a rotary. The tool and the associated bits are designed to bore a hole by rotating a cutting blade through the material. A hammer drill differs by not only rotating the bit, but by adding an impact or “hammering” action to the movement. Hammering helps to force the bit into the material while cutting, to create the hole.

This hammering action requires special hardened bits designed for use with a hammer drill as a normal bit will shatter and can throw sharp pieces of metal around. Many hammer drills are designed with a special slotted tool head that will only accept the proper bits.

Hammer tools are much more violent in their action than a plain rotary drills and require the user to wear proper safety equipment such as safety glasses, gloves, dust mask, protective clothing and because of the noise that can be generated, hearing protection.

Like their counterparts, they are available both corded and cordless. Whether you choose a corded or cordless will mainly depend on the normal use you require.

If you need to drill multiple holes through thick concrete or masonry a corded drill will normally provide more power than a cordless. If on the other hand, an electrical outlet is not available, or you are drilling only a moderate number of holes, then a cordless battery powered hammer drill may be the right choice.

Now that you understand the difference between a normal rotary drill and a hammer drill you’ll be able to choose the proper tool for each job and prevent damage to both your tools and possibly yourself. Always wear proper safety equipment when operating power tools and don’t forget a dust mask when cutting or drilling masonry, stone or concrete.

When you go shopping for your drill consider the materials you’ll be drilling, how frequently you’ll be using it, and if electricity will be available in the environment that you’ll be working. For general around the house work you might consider a combination drill/driver/hammer drill, that can perform all three duties. If you have only a single job you might consider visiting the tool rental department and simply renting a drill for the day or weekend.

Mosaic Tiles – Creating Attractive Illusion

Have you ever seen attractive artwork on floors in churches, cathedrals or in old palatial houses? Do you know what makes such an attractive piece of artwork? That’s mosaic, made of small pieces of glass (plain or colored), marble, ceramic, colored stones or other similar materials. Use of Mosaic and Mosaic tiles is very popular in decorative art, interior decoration, and flooring. It creates a beautiful impact wherever used.

History of Mosaic The tradition of using mosaic in decorative art, interior decoration as well as in real estate is not new. Evidences show that Mosaic is being used by human being for a very long time. You can see extensive use of Mosaic in Macedonian palace-city of Greece, which was made during 4th Century BC. Mosaic was a hot product in interior decoration purposes during Roman Empire. The Mosaics of the “Villa Romana del Casale” near Piazza Armerina in Sicily are the largest collection of late Roman mosaics in the world and are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Preparation of Mosaic Nowadays different forms of Mosaics are in use. They are popular everywhere, from kitchen tiles to road-art, wall paintings, home flooring, and construction of domes inside churches and cathedrals. The way of mosaic preparation differs according to the intended use of mosaic products. It requires intense level of perfectness in terms of imagination and artisanship. Each piece of material used in making of Mosaic is known as tesserae and according to the techniques used in making of Mosaic there are three main processes:

o Direct Method – It involves direct placing of tesserae on the supporting surface. This process is suitable for smaller projects like making of tabletops, mirrors, and pictures.

o Indirect Method – This process is used for larger mosaic projects where artists prepare mosaic tiles separately and then install them to actual location. This is suitable for making of floors, walls, fireplaces, and splash backs.

o Double Direct Method – This is modern type if direct method referred as double direct method. This process is used in such a case where it is important to know the final outcome during the mosaic building process.

Mosaic tiles are multipurpose, robust and stylish. Numerous varieties of mosaic tiles are available in market with different designs, colors, and textures. There are several advantages of using mosaic tiles. You will not only provide a classic look to various sections of your home by placing mosaic tiles in and effective manner.

Mosaic tiles can be used in bathrooms, living rooms and even kitchens. You can give attractive look to your fireplaces by strategically using mosaic tiles. With mosaic tiles, you can enjoy virtually unlimited options of remodeling your home or office. Mosaic tiles can create a tremendous interior or exteriors for you if used properly.

Flower Boxes – Spice Up Your Routine

What’s better than a bouquet of flowers plucked by hand or vibrant taste of fresh herbs? Not having to spend hours of backbreaking work digging a plot of arable land into a garden. Planters are not just the easy; they are ideal for mobile and showcase your flowers and foliage. Before configuring a box in your garden or window, refer to this checklist handy if you’re prepared and ready to plant.

1. Plan ahead. Count how many pots you have in relation to number of plants you want, but take into consideration the space requirements of different species. Some plants need more space, while others have long roots here. Still others, like ivy or phlox are creepers that will eventually hang on the sides of the flower boxes.

2. Note where you are putting your boxes and how much sunlight is in these areas. Plants and flowers are generally grouped into three categories by the way they need lots of sun: sunlight, direct sunlight partial, and shade. For example, do not plant a shade looking flower with a sun looking flower. Beware: the shelves late afternoon are much weaker than the sun in the afternoon, because of the angle at which they hit the ground.

3. Play with different colors and structure combinations. The flowers come in many varieties, and combining adjacent to leafy green plants such as various grasses and ferns creates a nice contrast and look natural.

4. After bringing home plants have all the tools at hand so there is no need to stop halfway through the plantation to pick something that you missed. The items you’ll need are gloves, a trowel and a claw garden digging, potting soil, fertilizer option, and a hose or watering can.

5. Begin by filling pots about 2 / 3 of the way full with potting soil. Here you may want to add a layer of Miracle-Grow fertilizer, as if the soil you are using is not already expanded.

6. Then, take plants from the containers they came in, loosening the roots a bit, and then put in the box. Space plants evenly apart and do not overload. Be very careful trying not to break the roots.

7. While holding the plant upright, fill the rest of the potting soil to the edge of your planter. Press the base of plants to fix them up.

8. Finish watering plants with a hose or watering can. Be gentle when you use a pipe that the water pressure could damage the fragile stems, and make sure not to over water the plants, as this May kill. Depending on temperature, weather and humidity, water plants regularly according to their needs.

Build Your Own

If you are a real go-getter, try to build your own flower. They are relatively simple to construct, and that way you can have your exact size and shape specifications. Store bought planters generally come with rudimentary drainage system and window planters come with attachable hooks, but otherwise they are all basically open top square or rectangular wooden boxes. Just be sure to choose a durable wood such as cedar or cypress, which operates well outside. In addition, to increase funding for it is here that the weight of all the soil to rest. Finally, attach the sides as close together as possible to reduce discharges into the ground. In the end, if you buy or build, planters are a summer project with fruitful results that will keep the gift.

Two Words From a Greek Painter

Yanna Brouzou is a talented Greek  painter . She is also a member of my Yahoo Group. She said me: I am a classical  painter  (I do sculpture as well) and I am in search of a manager. There is no such thing over here! But that is all I need, you see artists usually are terrible sales people.

How many times I heard similar words… it is the typical condition of the artist, between two worlds, sometimes unable to reach completely one of them.

I paint as they used to paint. I do not use electronic tools, it is just me and my painting.

Yanna is a traditional  painter , she sent me a portrait and an ink sketch (high resolution images, download to your desktop and notice the details). Beautiful samples! We have to help her! Send her a message to congratulate and to tell her your ideas about how we could promote her. You can leave also a comment here.

And now, read her words, her two words… about painting, Art and being artists.

All I am attempting by these few words is to give you a true picture… of classical art, something almost obsolete and misinterpreted, but the little existing today is truly magical.

So let’s start from the beginning of time, when the artist in the caveman society was something like a magus. In those days, the dawn of men, instincts were unspoiled and true. These primitive people were in touch with the Universal Order of Things and they approved of any link that would uplift them. This uplifting is the reason of our evolution after all.

We should analyze what exactly is done by a classical  painter /artist. We should analyze what it means to have inspiration, or to be vague of the environment while working, or why we think that it is quite normal for a classical  painter /artist to be a little strange, hard to comprehend, but liked…

Well, it is quite simple really, you see these people live standing upon two worlds at the same time, one foot on one and the other on the other. I know this sounds ridicules, but follow me for a little longer, and think of your reaction when you visit an Art Museum. If you have not then do it, because if taken as it should it is a priceless experience.

Now let yourself free, and fall into the pictures. It may be a sunset, a clear day near the water, or the most moving of all a person feeling and transferring to you these feelings through time, always inspiring you to see something you may never have felt before, or to join you with something you are feeling.

This world of feelings is exclusive and by invitation only, invitation by the artist, and exclusive to the ones who are able to feel. You see this world belongs to higher frequencies and the artist is the link, the vehicle that can take you there, where the Universal Status of Things exist, where there is all we call transcendental, where you are inspired, uplifted and able to contact all and everyone you want.

That is all really, the artist is only a link in the chain, connecting transcendental with what you see around you. That is all… but, when you can see the transcendental then perhaps you can comprehend your world a little better.

The Beauty of Chandelier Lighting

A room with a chandelier it’s always more impressive than not. The chandelier always stands out and makes the person walking into the room where it is hung stand up and take notice. It brings the eye to the ceiling, and allows a person to take in the whole room rather than just what they see at eye level. A chandelier gives off an air of affluence and grace. A chandelier comes in a wide array of styles, looks, and even sizes. The most beautiful part of any room that is graced with a chandelier, is the way that the chandelier lighting has created the feel and warmth that it has.

When you’re speaking of chandeliers the first thing you must speak about is chandler lighting. The lighting coming off of a chandelier is always beautifully brilliant and magnificent. There are many chandeliers that actually enhance that brilliance. Chandelier makers have always strove to create the most light output. Many makers have created whole pieces that are made of reflective silver, so that they could increase the light output. Certain styles of chandelier have placed mirrors around or among the bulbs to increase the light going into the room. When you place mirrors on a chandelier, not only do you increase output, you also increase the ability to play with the lighting. With a small twist of a mirror the light is bounced to another part of the room or made to hit another mirror. With that thought in mind, you also have the ability to cut and etch the mirrors to create a large range of visual effects from rainbows, to circles, to a split beam that dances on the wall. The way a chandelier lights up the room is a magnificent sight.

The history of chandeliers is as varied as the styles and material that a chandelier is made out of. From the first time that someone realized how brilliantly lit a domicile was if you had multiple candles burning above people’s heads or their natural line of sight. Chandeliers jumped from mere light fixtures high above peoples head, to a craftsman’s work of art. During the early 19th century, chandeliers were made to look, shine, and display their light in a specific well crafted way. In fact, there are old rot iron chandeliers that the lighting itself is part of the style. There were many chandeliers made back in the turn of the century to create a desired shadow displayed on the walls and the floor of the room that it was placed in. Legend has it that Edison created a chandelier made entirely of mirrors, and it gave off so much light that it allowed the doctor to perform surgery on his Edison’s mother. Where the story is true or not, chandeliers have become more and more brilliant at time has worn on. As chandeliers have become more modern, the way they show off their light has also become more modern.

Gone are the days of just the rot iron candelabra looking chandeliers. The style of chandeliers have increased with time, and with these styles have come new and innovative ways to play with light, style, and design. Some of the more modern style of chandelier are designing them so that the bulbs are on a snake like retractable tube. These new modern chandeliers, actually allow you to focus the light directly on one spot, or in multiple different areas. No longer are the chandelier owners slaved to have just the one chandelier lighting option. Now you can place all the bulbs down so that it highlights the specific dinner pieces on the table below. There is one example I have seen on Thanksgiving where the host positioned the light to highlight the turkey, the ham, the delectable side dishes, and the deserts. The host positioned the other lights to shine on the lighter color walls to diffuse the light coming into the room. Another modern style has a pane of glass in front of each of the bulbs. This allows the light coming off of the bulbs to be more gentle and soft. It puts out more light, and the light is gentler to your eyes or the mod you’re setting in the room where you have it The modern chandlers of the day come adorned with leaves, flowers, roses, glass panes, and any other material that is available to use.

Chandelier lighting wakes up, opens up, and illuminates the entire room. A chandelier is a great way to bring attention to the ceiling, draw the eye to a focal point, or merely light a table. When you suspend a chandelier above a table or a chair, it enhances the look and feel of your beautiful and elegant furnishings.