Installing Wallpaper

When you want to have wallpaper installed in your home, consider these things. Wallpaper has a longevity over paint. It will outlast paint 8 to 1. It gives your walls that “WOW” you cannot get with paint. Properly installed it will last a long time and can be removed easily when applied over a good primer/sealer. The horror stories I have seen when a contractor or home owner has installed wallpaper over a sub standard primer over my 27 years in the business have given this industry a undeserving bad name.

If you are removing old wallpaper before installing new, use a good stripping solution that can be sprayed through a good 1 1/2 gal. pump up garden sprayer. First you will need to strip the face (the printed surface) off before the solution will penetrate the backing. Make sure to cover all electrical plates with duct tape to prevent any water coming in contact with them. Don’t be shy with the amount you put into the sprayer and don’t be shy on how much you spray on the wall. Fill the sprayer with warm water to help the solution penetrate better. Cover the floor with painters drop cloths or use several towels to absorb the run off. I like to spray several light coats on the wall, waiting about 3 to 5 minutes in between. Let the solution do the work. The backing paper should start to bubble and you can start trying to peel, scrape the backing off. Make sure not to gouge the walls no more that you have to. If the walls were prepared with a good primer/sealer, the backing should come off clean. If they were not, say a prayer because you will most likely damage the wall surface trying to remove the backing.

If the walls are painted, then you are ready to apply a good primer/sealer that will prepare the surface for the new wallpaper. I like two bands “Zinzer 1-2-3 and” Kilz Premium”. there are others on the market that work well and are recommended for wallpaper, but I have used these two for 27 years and have had good success with both.

Please note though: These will NOT work on a High shine or oil surface. For those walls you will need to use a product called “Gripper” Most knowledgeable Paint stores can help you with this. Prime the walls and let dry over night.

Installing wallpaper is not for everyone. It takes a special skill and lots of patience. That being said, I will try and share my knowledge over the last 27 years to give you the best advice that I can.

When picking out the wallpaper, there are several things to remember. Shinny finishes on wallpaper will tend to highlight any texture or imperfections on the walls that are to be covered. If you are dealing with a textured wall, try and pick a wallpaper that will disguise (hide) the texture. The other option would be to have a sheet rock contractor come in a smooth out the texture. Some textures are less noticeable than others. Be aware that dark colored wallpapers will tend to show their seems slightly more that light colors. Large repeats in the pattern match will cause more waste and more wallpaper. Some wallpapers are pre-pasted and some are not. Wallpapers are sold in double rolls with widths ranging from 20 1/2″…27″ and 36.”

Your basic tools that you will need are: A plastic smoothing tool or a smoothing brush (I use the plastic), a sharp pair of scissors, a level, a measuring tape (at least 12′), single edge or snap off blades (Lots of these), a 6″ metal putty knife (for trimming along edges with your razor blade), some kind of table to paste and trim your wallpaper, a ladder (high enough to reach the ceiling without any danger of falling over, I use a 4′ ladder for 8′ and 9′ ceilings).

So, if I have not scared you off yet, let me try and explain how to install your new wallpaper. Always read the directions (I still do and learn something all the time, not to mention it saves my Butt if something goes wrong!)

I usually check the width of the wallpaper first and make small marks with a pencil (NO PENS) on the walls to see where the seams might land if I started in a certain area. After that, I will make adjustments back and forth to get the best seam placement that I can. Once this is done, I will make a cut list of the pieces I need. I would not recommend this to everyone. You might want to cut 3 sheets at a time, paste and install them before cutting anymore. I like to allow 3″-4″ over the exact measurement of the wall for my selvage edge trimming top and bottom.

I paste ALL my wallpaper. Pre-pasted is pasted with a thinned down version of the regular wallpaper paste that I use. This makes it much more movable on the wall and gives it an extra grip. Paste 2 -3 sheets, fold the sheets paste to paste so they will not dry out and let them sit 3-5 minutes. This gives them time to relax and expand

(yes wallpaper is made from wood and when wood gets wet, it expands). Take the first sheet and apply it to the line on the wall that you made (while waiting for the wallpaper to relax). Carefully align it next to the pencil mark, starting at the top, leaving about 2 inches wrapped onto the crown or ceiling. Continue to align the edge to the pencil mark down the wall. Use your smoothing tool to smooth out the wallpaper and the bubbles. That care not to treat the wallpaper to aggressive or it will tear. Use your 6′ putty knife to hold wallpaper down as you use a razor blade to trim top and bottom. use 1 blade per cut! Take care to wash the wallpaper with a soft sponge and towel dry.

Congratulation, You just hung your first piece of wallpaper. Continue with the next piece and align it up to the one on the wall, making sure that the pattern matches. Smooth, trim, wash and towel dry. Please note that small bubbles under the wallpaper are common and will disappear when wallpaper is completely dry ( about 2 days).

When working around windows and doors, take care not to tear the wallpaper at the corners. I use my scissors to make a relief cut, coming towards the corner of the door or window with my scissors and stopping right on or a little short of the corner. This will allow you to work the sheet around the corner without tearing it.

Remember to keep your work table clean of glue. Have several sponges handy to wash the table, your tools, hands and the finished wallpaper. Any glue left on the wallpaper could damage the finished surface over time (several months might go by and then the print starts to flake off the front) Also make sure to clean the ceiling, crown, baseboards, cabinets with clean water and towel dry.

Good luck and remember, when all else fails…..Call a professional!

Metal Roofing – Trendy Way to Go

Metal roofing is becoming a very trendy alternative for many homeowners. There are numerous reasons for this. It consists of incombustible material and resists all fires. There are a lot of types of metal roofs available in the market in new colors, shapes and textures which are long lasting and provide safety and durability for your house. You can even have a stylist and smart looking roof if you opt for metal roofing.

Metal roof is the best selection for the areas which experience heavy snowfall. It does not allow the snow to freeze down on it and snow slides down easily. Thus it prevents roof damage or collapse due to the weight of snow. It is also suitable in many other situations like hurricanes, fire and heavy rains etc.

So in case you are considering getting a metal roof for your home then, you need to know many things about a metal roof before deciding to install it. In broad sense, metal roofs for houses are available in three fundamental ways. They are available in individual shingles, large sheets and shingle sheets. This offers a wide range of option to the house owners while selecting a metal roof for their house.

In the past, metal roofing was considered as luxury and expensive. Everyone could not afford it as a highly professional contractor was required to install the roof. But nowadays more and more people are fascinated towards doing their home’s roofing themselves.

New roofs are huge form of energy savings as well. Many manufacturers are developing new techniques to manufacture eco friendly roofs and even offering special radiant coatings to improve them even more. The homeowner can enjoy reduced costs in energy bills throughout the year due to the reflective qualities, coupled with the pigments and coatings used in metal roofing.

For those who prefer eco friendly roofing, environmentalists suggest them to go with a metal roof made of recycled materials. Standing seam metal sheeting is basically recycled metal. It’s easy to install because it can be placed directly over asphalt shingles and maintenance cost is almost free and is very durable.

The rapid growth nationwide will likely continue to strengthen due the various benefits like durability, energy efficiency, environmentally friendly, protection and low maintenance etc. Now consumers have better understood the durability and both the short and long-term savings which metal roofs offer. Apart from this it adds beauty to your home and gives your residence an elegant look.

What You Must Know About Metal Roofing

Although not considered as traditional roofing, metal roofs are fast gaining popularity because of their amazing features. They are not only lightweight, durable, fire retardant, and energy efficient, but they also do not require any maintenance. Another amazing feature is that metal can be used to imitate almost any style of roof. Furthermore, metal roofs have a long life expectancy, as much as 30 years and more. There are some manufacturers that even provide a lifetime warranty. In this article, we will discuss about a few important things that you must know about metal roofing.

Materials Used

When it comes to metal roofing, the two most popular materials used are aluminium and steel. They provide durability and a light weight to the products. Both aluminum and steel can be successfully molded to form tiles or slates without the need for any additional support. Although stainless steel and copper may also be used, they are mostly expensive. Aluminium can be easily transformed into visually appealing slate, cedar shakes, and tiles. These features coupled with the fact that aluminum does not rust has made it a popular choice for metal roofing. It should be coated with a plastic coating as per the individual preference of the homeowners.

Easy and Quick Installation

The materials are formed into various shingles and sheets as per the requirement of the homeowners. This enhances the efficiency of the installation process and results in significantly low cost per square. Another advantage is the speed of installation, which implies that your home is not left open for a long time, thus reducing the damage caused by unexpected weather changes. Most of the metal roofing material is available in the form of sheets; however you may buy these products as separate shingles.


As metal is a noncombustible material, hence you get good fire resistant rating. Due to the Class A rating, several financial companies provide considerable discounts on home fire insurance when the roof is installed at home. However, it should be noted that the fire rating of the entire roof is not same as the fire rating of the materials used.

Thermal Conductivity

The radiant heat produced by the sun is effectively reflected off the metal, and this significantly reduces the heat gain during summer seasons. The R-value of the raw metal is usually low; however the manufacturers tend to include foam and other types of insulation materials below the metal sheets to substantially increase the R-value.

Finally, metal roofing can be easily installed on almost any type of roof that has a considerably low pitch. If the roof of your house has a low pitch, we would suggest that you check the product data sheet provided by the manufacturer to make sure that the material will work well on your residential property and whether the warranty will be considered.

If you are planning to install a metal roof then you must contact the local manufacturers in your area. They will send a professional to your home to determine the amount of time and cost required for the project.

Hang Curtains Anywhere Using Curtain Rails

The many types of curtain rail systems provide a selection of tracks and poles for mounting draperies not only at windows but in many unusual places. The simplest system consists of a pole held in place by brackets, mounted across a window frame. Drapery panels are affixed to the pole by way of a rod-pocket, tabs, clips or rings. A drawing system, either with or without cords, can be added to facilitate opening and closing.

Poles are made of wood, metal or plastic in a variety of textures and colors. Decorative end-pieces, or finials, keep the panels from sliding off the rod and hold the rod on the brackets. Because the poles and accessories are ornamental, they need not be concealed, but can contribute to the decorative elements in a room.

Special two or three-pole brackets accommodate multiple sets of draperies at one window. This avoids mounting a series of brackets on the wall. Brackets and poles are sized to support a defined weight. When choosing rail hardware, it is important to make sure that the particular system will support the weight of the drapery.

Corded and uncorded curtain rail tracks provide another way to hang drapery. A compact aluminum or metal frame houses a concealed track into which gliders are inserted. Special hooks are inserted into the panel and through the eyes of the gliders. The panel is then suspended from the hook which slides along the track on the gliders. Uncorded systems are drawn by hand or with a wand. Corded systems are operated by drawstrings that are threaded through the track. Drawing can be one-way, to either the left or right, or two-way, from the center to the sides.

Tracks come in standard lengths, although many manufacturers provide custom-made tracks for unusual lengths. Some brands feature telescopic tracks that allow adjustment; others can be cut to size. Track systems may be single, double or triple. As each layer of curtain is added, brackets must also be added along the run to support the weight.

Track systems are not only white, but brass, gold-tone, silver and wood. Most tracks are small enough that when closed, the drapery conceals the bar. When the fabric panels are opened, the rod is exposed. Using valances, cornices or pelmets conceals the hardware and adds interest to the window treatment.

Special hardware enables curtains to be mounted on ceilings, bay windows or corners. Several track systems are designed to bend, accommodating installation as room dividers, around beds such as in hospitals for privacy, or around bathtubs to hang shower curtains.

Curtain rails provide solutions for hanging draperies in problem areas. Hardware can be integrated into the decorative scheme to achieve a polished look.

Laminate Flooring Is the Smart Choice

Laminate  flooring  is a great choice if you have kids or use a room excessively. Laminate  flooring  offers durability and ease of maintenance that many other  flooring  surfaces can not offer. If you plan to remodel or add on a new room you may want to consider the many benefits of laminate  flooring .

Laminate  flooring  can add very nice style while not costing you and arm and a leg to install. In many cases you can do the installation of laminate  flooring  yourself and save a considerable amount of money. You could possibly use your extra savings to install some other nice features into a room for added value.

Laminate wood  flooring  is becoming so sophisticated that it is hard to tell the real from the laminated version. Yes, there are some noticeable differences in texture if you know what you are looking for, but the higher quality laminate wood  flooring  is exquisite.

Laminate  flooring  is very popular in dens and kitchens because it can resist stains and scratches much better than real wood or other real surfaces such as stone material and such. You can maintain laminate  flooring  with a wet mop and some mild cleaners. You may want to consult the manufacture to see what cleaning agents they suggest for their  flooring  surface.

You do not need to worry about losing value by installing laminate  flooring  as many higher end homes also use laminate  flooring  in many rooms. It makes sense to use a material that is durable and easy to maintain. That is why laminate wood  flooring  is such a popular choice among leading builders.

If you are considering the use of laminate  flooring  in your next home or home improvement project you can find some very nice examples and many of the larger home improvement stores. They may have some great deals if you shop at year end or season ending sales.

Evenflo Comfort Select Double Breast Pump Review

I bought the Evenflo Select Double Breast Pump pump a few weeks ago and I’ve used it pretty much every day, for 20 minutes per session. I decided to go with the double pump to increase my milk supply (I’ve been using a single).

It’s done the job I’ve bought it for so far, and it hasn’t shown anything in terms of wear and tear or breaking at all. It has its positives and negatives.


-Very comfortable. The Evenflo Pump was much more comfortable than the Avent Isis Uno Pump I had been using before. Pumping used to make my nipples sore for hours after, and now it doesn’t happen so much.

-Increased supply. It’s true that double pumping helps your milk supply. Since I’ve started my milk has increased by about 3-4 oz per session, and sometimes it does the job faster than 15 min.

-No backup. As long as it’s dry, this pump doesn’t require any maintenance as long as you wash it regularly with hot water after pumping.


-VERY loud. I wanted to take this to work to pump in the back room, but the thing is so loud I’m afraid my coworkers would be distracted by it or even be uncomfortable. I can’t take it to work for this reason, so there’s only a few times during the day that I can pump.

-The side without the motor is slightly less powerful. This isn’t a huge deal. All you have to do is switch the side half-way through pumping.

-Small parts. It’s kind of a bear to put together. Also, when cleaning it after pumping the parts are sometimes hard to reach because their so darn tiny.

Overall, it’s decent pump. I would really like it if it didn’t buzz so loudly, but for my purposes, I can live with it. I would recommend it to someone who pumps occasionally and likes a comfortable and effective pump.

7 Cures For a Lean Purse

A classic book on wealth by George S. Clason. This book is written in a fascinating and informative story format that is easy to read and understand. The ideas are so simple that you will scratch your head and wonder why you did not apply the useful theories in your life before?

If you follow the ideas that are written in the book, you are guaranteed a road to happiness and prosperity. So here goes the cures of the  lean  purse!

First Cure. Start the purse to fattening.

Do you spend all the money you received every month? People struggle in life and complained that life is hard because the boss is not paying them enough money to keep food on the table. So why are people not paying themselves first? No matter how much we earned, we cannot be rich without first knowing how to pay ourselves first. If you have a basket and everyday you put in 10 apples in the morning and remove 9 apples in the evening, what will happen to the basket over time? It will become overflowing with apples. So what will happen if you save 10 percent of your income no matter how much it is and what will happen to your bank account overtime? It will be overflowing with money!

Second Cure. Control the expenditures.

If you are thinking… if you are not even earning enough to feed yourself, what is there left to pay yourself? But we have seen people with different amount of income that ends up broke. So it is not the difference in income that is going to hinder you in paying yourself. You will need to differentiate between necessities and desires. If you buy everything that you desire and leave nothing to yourself, you can’t be rich. Instead of splurging, you may instead reward yourself with some of your desires that is still affordable within 90 percent and that is after spending on your necessitities. Warren Buffett one of the richest man in the world and Ingvar Kamprad owner of IKEA are some of the examples we can learn from. Buffett still live in his house that is bought in 1958 for $31500 and Ingvar Kamprad is still driving a 15 years old car and still flies economy and both man have a net worth that is in billions.

Third Cure.Make the gold multiply

To be rich, it is not enough to just save money. The amount we saved must be able to labour and produce more money. A man’s wealth is not in the money he have, it is the income he build that continually flows into his purse that keep it bulging. Investment like stocks, fix deposits or anything that allows your money to work will do the job. One important note, before jumping into any investment, gain an education first. I have lost some money due to lack of education before, don’t repeat the mistake.

Fourth Cure. Guard the treasure from loss.

Education, education and education. Learn and understand anything you want to invest before parting with your money.

Whenever you want to buy a 2nd hand car, what will you do? You will check out the car, test drive the car, check whether there is any welding to ensure that the car has not crashed before and asking your friend who is more of an expert then you before deciding to part with the money. In Singapore, whenever you buy a car, it is almost guaranteed to lose money and yet people will put in so much effort to research the car to determine whether it is worth the money. Yet when it comes to investment, people just throw money into it without doing a proper research. How many people are guilty to listening to your friend’s advice and just dumped money into stocks without research? Raise your hands up.

Warren Buffett’s Rules in Investing.

1. Never lose money.

2.Always remember rule number 1.

Fifth Cure. Own your own home.

Do rich people own their own home? Yes they do! So we will learn from the great role models. Maybe if we can own a few more house and start to collect rental and this will be one of the reliable income streams that we created.

Sixth Cure. Provide in advance for the needs of growing age and protection of the family.

We need to prepare for the time when will be old and for the needs of our children that are escalating with inflation. Keep money in plans that would provide money for the children’s education and insurance that you will know to take care of the family in any case of mishap.

Seventh Cure. Increase the ability to earn.

How much will a novice be paid compared to a master. If you think that you are not earning as much as the colleague beside you. Learn from them! Increase your capability and money will soon follow through. People will be rewarded if they are a master in their craft.

There is abundance in wealth and those who practice the stated rules are assured for success.

“Always bear in mind, your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing”

Abraham Lincoln

Hats Are Back – Here’s How to Wear One and Look Great

Hats for both men and women are making a big comeback in the style world. Have you always loved hats but never felt really comfortable wearing one? That’s probably because you weren’t really sure how to select a hat that suited you. Should it be a fedora or a pillbox? A beret or a panama? Here’s a few suggestions that will help you choose a hat that truly compliments you.

Hats Need to Fit Your Face There are so many styles of hats available, it’s no wonder you are having a difficult time choosing amongst them. When you’re trying hats on, remember to keep the shape of your face in mind. If your face is long, a tall hat will only emphasize that fact. A round face, however, is complemented by a hat that boasts some height.

Think about your skin tone as well. If you have a sallow complexion, you may want to avoids hats that are have a yellow or green tinge. Brown hats can tone down ruddy complexions and pale colored hats may accent pale skin.

Make Sure Your Hat is the Correct Size You don’t want to look wear a hat that doesn’t fit you properly. A correctly fitting hat will not come down over the top of your ears unless it’s a sock hat and your wearing it in the middle of winter. A hat that is too big will slide off when you   tilt  your head. If it is too small it will leave a red mark on your forehead when you remove it, cause a headache or perch awkwardly on your crown. The right size hat will be comfortable and almost allow you to forget you are wearing it.

Consider Changing Your Hair Style When You Wear a Hat Most hats look best when you’re hair is drawn back or your hair is styled simply around your face. Sleek styles are the best to avoid ‘hat head’.

Pick the Right Hat for the Right Outfit Common sense will usually guide you here. You wouldn’t wear a straw garden hat with a wool suit or choose a cowboy hat to top off your little black dress. Make the hat suit the occasion, just like you do with your other style choices.

Figure the Angles Most hats look best if they are  tilted  at an angle. Fedoras should be angled down towards the eyes while sun hats look best on the back of the head. A beret takes on a jaunty air when you give it a  tilt  towards the side. If the hat you like just doesn’t look quite right, try giving it a  tilt  in one direction or another. Personalize Your Hat

Don’t be afraid to add your own touches to your hats. Use a vintage brooch to pin up one side of the brim or wrap a gauzy scarf around a garden hat. Flowers, ribbons and feathers are good ways to add a special touch to a plain hat.

A hat can take a simple outfit from just okay to charming in only a moment. Why not top off your look with a hat that’s perfect for you.

How to Choose Commercial Blinds

Are you opening your own business? Or maybe you already run your own establishment and are in the process of decorating? If you answered yes to these questions commercial blinds should be on your list of decorating items.

Blinds for Commercial Properties

Offices, buildings, and institutions normally have many large windows that require blinds or curtains. Depending on the area you’re furnishing you have to take note of the sort of work, clientele, and patrons that will frequent the business to be able to determine the type and design of window treatment that could best meet your requirements.

For example, an advanced education or health institution might like to consider anti-microbial shades and drapes with flame retardant therapies. If your business houses expensive products you might like to investigate options that can help increase your current building or company security. If you house meeting rooms having large windows you ought to go for something designed to keep out harmful UV rays and also assist with regulating temperatures such as Roman commercial blinds.

When taking a look at coverings, remember that everything you purchase can also assist with your building’s or even office’s overall power efficiency. Blinds and drapes will help reduce electricity fees by controlling how much light enters a room or heat leaves the space. One option you might like to consider is motor-driven commercial blinds. These treatments can be pre-programmed to start and close at set hours, helping to regulate temperature while removing one item (closing and opening blinds) from your to-do list.

Assessing your business needs and clientele is a good starting point when contemplating window treatment selections. Once you learn your requirements, you will want to address your commercial blinds budget. A qualified consultant can help you find the right blinds that will perfectly fit your needs and price point.

How to clean your blinds

Materials shades

Monthly: Dust using the dust-brush tool on the vacuum (set on low suction).

Annually: have the blinds dry-cleaned.

Fabric up and down commercial blinds

Monthly: Close blinds so they lie smooth. Dust with the dust-brush tool on the vacuum (set on low suction). To spot clean, lay the blinds on a flat surface. Blot any stains with a sponge dampened with mild dishwashing liquid and tepid water. Treat major stains with a commercial upholstery product (test with a hidden spot initially).

Annually: Have a specialist clean your blinds using a dry ultrasonic method

Honeycomb hues

Monthly: Dust with a feather duster or the dust-brush tool from the vacuum. Spot clean with a white cloth dampened with tepid water and slight dishwashing detergent. Blot lightly; do not rub vigorously.

Annually: Have a specialist clean your blinds using the injection/extraction process.

Metal and plastic venetian and vertical blinds

Monthly: Close blinds so they lie smooth. Moving from top to bottom, dust with a feather duster, lamb’s-wool duster, barely damp smooth cloth, or your dust-brush tool on the vacuum (set on low suction). Close them within the opposite direction and do the same thing on the other side.

Twice a year: Wipe just about every slat individually with a damp cloth and washing up liquid. Never use abrasive cleaners, which will damage the finish. The slats connected with vertical blinds may be taken down several at a time and set flat to make wiping less complicated.

Eight Tips for Making Your Dream Home Addition a Reality

1. Consider the Neighborhood’s Character

A great home addition requires an understanding of your street, neighborhood and town’s distinct character. What makes homes from one neighborhood different from those in another? Are the homes Colonial or Federal? Striking or subtle? Your addition design, no matter what kind it may be, should consider the uniqueness of your street and neighborhood.

2. Think of the Surrounding Resources

When designing a home addition, consider your property’s orientation to its resources: its orientation in relation to the sun, shade, your neighbors’ homes, the street, etc. Your home addition can either block and hide or expose and accentuate the resources surrounding your house.

3. Fitting in With Your Home

Sometimes homeowners get excited about the prospect of an addition and think of it as a chance to design the home they never had. This is one of the most attractive reasons for building a home addition, but don’t forget the rest of your home in the process. The best home designers try to make home additions either indistinguishable from the larger home, or different but complementary. Your home addition doesn’t need to look identical to your house, but it should fit in with its style.

4. “Good Bones”

The phrase, “good bones” is used in Realtor circles to describe buildings that are structurally sound. A properly engineered home is absolutely critical, especially if you’re thinking of selling your house at some point in the future. Make sure to keep the foundation and engineering of your new addition in mind when talking to designers and remodelers.

5. Choose the Materials Carefully

The selection of materials for your home addition is very important; after all, they can’t be changed later. Make sure to put some thought into choosing materials, whether it is for the roof, windows, doors, siding, etc. The choice of material for the exterior, public façade is especially important since it’s a primary feature of your home’s curb appeal. But the materials used inside are equally important since the colors and textures will go a long way towards creating a comfortable space for your family.

6. Your Identity Should Also Determine Your Addition’s

In order for a home addition to be truly special it should speak to who you are and how you live. Your family’s activities, rituals, habits and passions should inform the design of your project. Letting your designer know about your habits and special tastes is the best way for them to make sure you’re happy with your addition.

7. Have a Little Fun With It!

Understandably, people often choose relatively traditional home addition designs. Sometimes it’s not worth taking the risk of a radical design choice. But don’t forget to still have a little bit of fun with your new home addition. This could mean anything from installing a fire engine-red kitchen range in an otherwise conservative color scheme to designing a special niche in a wall for family pictures. Home additions have so much potential because they give you the chance to really put your mark on your home. You won’t get this chance often so have fun with it!

8. Get to Know Your Designer/Remodeler

Your designer and/or remodeler is going to be a big part of your life for the duration of the project. Get to know them! They should be committed to building the best home addition possible for you and your family. Though you might not expect it, your relationship with your designer or remodeler is a pretty personal one. After all, they’re going to be spending a good deal of time in your home.

Space Saving Furniture

One of the problems I find with some space saving furniture is that I have little room to actually put it. An example of this is the freestanding Elfa tower into which sliding baskets are intended to fit. This item has been designed for kitchen storage, supposedly great for storing vegetables or dry food. Each shelf is 60cm long, with four in the pack. Four side baskets have been added as well as a tea towel hook rack. The whole concept is great, but I have a tiny galley kitchen and, with my fully fitted cabinets, I don’t even have sufficient room to place a waste bin, let alone this Elfa Tower – no matter how much of a good idea it is. It is also quite expensive, I think, for what it is. If you are changing your furniture it is OK to consider new concepts and modern designs – you might like them and they may work better for you than the traditional space saving furniture you have been utilizing up to now.

However, don’t be swayed by too much encouragement from the sales’ staff – they are generally paid a commission per sale. You need to make up your own mind and know what will and will not fit into your home. That is the reason I mentioned the Elfa tower not being suitable for my kitchen which is very contemporary but with absolutely no spare space. This brings me to the kitchen waste bin. As I mentioned, in my kitchen there really is no space for a floor standing bin so I have had to resort to an under-the-cabinet trash can. I say resort because, in a way, I resent having valuable cupboard space being wasted on a rubbish bin – I know it’s not wasted but, to me, I feel it is! Something I do like, however, and which would look good in my dining room, is the space saving table which comes complete with hideaway chairs that have been designed to slot beneath the table when not in use.

This space saving table comes as a flat pack self-assembly item which is, I must say, reflected in its economical price tag. The table itself is made of black glass, with dimensions measuring 94cm long x 79 cm wide x 77cm high. The chairs feature a contemporary design made from black resin to match the contours of the table. I like this and, while it would be no use trying to fit this table and chairs into my kitchen, it would make a lovely piece of space saving furniture for my dining room and I would certainly think of buying it for myself. Another kind of dining table that is really useful if you are considering space saving furniture is the gate-leg table. This kind of table can be stored flat against a wall and, within seconds, pulled out and the drop-leaf extension flaps lifted and secured by the gate legs beneath the table’s surface. These drop-leaf designs have been around for many years and, although they have evolved to take on a more contemporary design, space saving furniture such as this has stood the test of time and proved their efficacy.

No Animals Were Harmed – All About Animal Actors

ANIMAL ACTORS: Interview with Sandi Buck, American Humane, Certified Animal Safety Representative

Q: What is the American Humane Film & TV Unit?

A: American Humane (AH) Film & TV Unit is based in Los Angeles and we monitor the use of animals in media. American Humane is a national organization with headquarters based in Denver, Colorado. I’m one of the Certified Animal Safety Representatives who go on set and monitor the use of animals in film and television. We award the “No Animals Were Harmed® in the Making of this Movie” disclaimer seen at the end of the credits in a movie.

Q: How did the American Film & TV Unit start?

A: Back in 1926, AH set up a committee to investigate abuses of animals in the movie industry. At that time, horses were the most at-risk animal actors. But, then, as now, animals have no inherent legal rights, so we couldn’t mandate the safety of the animal actors. In 1939, for the film “Jesse James,” a horse and rider were sent hurling over a 70-foot cliff into a raging river for an action shot. The stuntman was fine, but the horse’s back was broken in the fall and it died. Outrage over this sparked a new relationship between AH and some motion picture directors and producers and caused the Hays Office to include humane treatment of animals in the Motion Picture Code. The following year, AH received authorization to monitor the production of movies using animals. We worked on set for quite a while after that until the Hays Office was disbanded in 1966, ending our jurisdiction and excluding us from sets. This was a pretty dismal time for animal actors who were being used in some brutal ways. Then, in the early 1980s, another incident caused another public outcry and American Humane was added to the agreement with SAG that mandated that union films contact us if they were using animals. This agreement now includes any filmed media form, including television, commercials, direct-to-video projects, and music videos. A more detailed history is on our website. Right now, we monitor about 900 films a year, maybe more. That’s not counting commercials.

Q: Did you say animal actors no have legal rights?

A: That’s correct. Animals have no “legal” rights in the sense that humans have. But because of our SAG agreement, animal actors in SAG films have “contractual” rights because the AH office must be contacted by productions using animals and an AH Film & TV Unit representative be on set during the filming.

Q: What about nonunion productions?

A: Nonunion productions are not contractually bound to contact us, but we find that a lot of people want us there anyway. I’ve worked with several productions that say – “We want you here. We want that rating at the end of our film and we want people to know what we had you on set.”

Q: So people on set are happy to see you?

A: Generally yes, but sometimes no. Actors always love seeing us there. They look at the AH patches on my jacket and come up to me constantly on set and say – “Oh, you’re here for the animals. That’s so great, I’m so happy you’re here.” That’s what we want. We want people to look for us, to know we’re there, and why we’re there. As for production, it depends on their perception of us and if they’ve worked with us in the past. People we’ve worked with before love having us there. The ones who haven’t worked with us before sometimes think “oh, no, here comes the animal police to patrol us,” like I’m going to stand there with my hands on my hips telling them what they can and can’t do. It’s not like that. We’re not there to criticize. We’re there to work with filmmakers, not against them. If we see a problem, we’ll address it and work it out together. In Florida, for instance, one of the big concerns is heat. During one production, the producer wanted a dog to walk back and forth across the   pavement . I told the director there was a problem with this. I already knew he didn’t like having me on set, but I told him anyway, “You take off your shoes and walk across that street.” He went out to the street, put his hand on the  pavement , and said – “Yeah, you’re right.” He wasn’t trying to harm the animal, he just wasn’t thinking about the animal, the heat, and the  pavement . That’s part of the reason we’re on set. We don’t expect filmmakers to also be animal experts. Even producers who personally don’t care about animals usually realize it makes sense for them to have us there. Many people say they won’t watch a movie in which they think or have heard that an animal was injured or killed. People look for the AH disclaimer at the end of movies saying – “No Animals Were Harmed® in the Making of this Film.”

Q: How do filmmakers get a “No Harm” disclaimer for their movies?

A: The process starts when production contacts our Los Angeles office to let us know that they plan to use animals. We direct them to our Guidelines which are available on the internet and we request their script. We review the script and arrange to come in and observe the animal action to ensure that the conditions in which the animals are working and kept is safe and comfortable. This doesn’t cost the union production anything – that’s part of the arrangement with the SAG office.

Q: What about nonunion productions? Can they get this “No Animals were Harmed®” disclaimer?

A: The process to get the disclaimer is the same, only there’s a $30 an hour fee for the hours we’re on set. The time we spend in pre-production script evaluation and then screening the films and writing up reviews is included in that $30 an hour on set fee.

Q: Can student and independent filmmakers get your disclaimer?

A: Definitely, if they meet the guidelines for it. If they have questions, all they need to do is call our LA office and ask. Our LA office is happy to help young and aspiring filmmakers with guidance and information on safely using animals in their films. If they’re in the process of writing a script, they can call us and ask if certain scenes are feasible and for advice on how to get the scenes and action they want. Productions who can’t get an AH representative on set because of cost or scheduling conflicts can write down what it is they plan to do, document the filming of the animal action with a little video, a behind the scenes – this is how we did it, kind of thing – and send it in. We review it and though we can’t say we were actually there, we can say that through our review, it looks like the production followed the Guidelines. That rating is called: “Not Monitored: Production Compliant.”

Q: How many ratings are there?

A: We have several ratings which range from our highest “Monitored: Outstanding” and receiving the “No Animals Were Harmed”® disclaimer which appears in the end credits of the film, to “Not Monitored,” to our lowest rating which is “Monitored Unacceptable” – where our guidelines and animal safety were disregarded and or negligence caused the injury or death of an animal. Striving for a good rating helps ensure that the production will go well. If a production is half way through shooting and an animal that is key to the movie gets spooked and gets loose or injured, it’s like losing a lead human actor. What’s the producer going to do? Re-shoot the animal scenes with another animal actor? Rewrite the script? Scrap the movie? Professional trainers have several different dogs with different talents that look alike. One’s a really good barking dog, one’s a really good jumping dog, another does something else. That helps in the event one dog gets sick or injured, it won’t halt filming. A lot of the worst scenarios can be avoided with planning. I look for potential problems and to keep everything as safe as possible for everyone. There can always be accidents, there’s no way to prevent that. That happens in life. You can work to make things as safe as possible, but there can still be accidents. We understand that. The bottom line is at that any time filmmakers plan to use animals, even their own pets, they should contact our LA office.

Whether or not one of us comes out to your set, they should refer to our Guidelines For the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media so they know what they need to prepare for, to say to themselves – this is what I need to prepare for if I’m going to use an animal on my production. Am I prepared to do what I need to do to make sure that everything is safe for my animal? Having us involved benefits the production in that if there’s ever any question as to how a stunt was done the filmmaker can say – call AH. Filmmakers with the reputation of abusing animals for the sake of producing a film or commercial won’t get hired and people won’t want to watch their movies. We are the only organization authorized to make and uphold these standards and people look for it. When people see animals in films, they look to see that no animals were harmed. If they have any questions on how things were done, they can go to our website and read about it. They can see that this stunt that looks absolutely horrible was actually done with computer graphics, a real animal wasn’t even involved.

Q: Are personal pets allowed to be in movies?

A: Our Guidelines recommend that filmmakers use professional animal actors obtained through trainers, but we know that filmmakers, especially small independent and student filmmakers are going to use their own pets or the pets of friends and family in their movies. We understand that, that’s a reality in this business. But even if it’s no more than filming their own pet cat or dog sitting in a chair or walking across the room, filmmakers should get in the habit of contacting our office. When producers choose dogs, for instance, they should look for dogs with outgoing personalities, dogs that aren’t afraid of people. Fear can cause a disaster. The dog can bite someone out of fear if they get in a situation in which they’re not comfortable. If more than one dog is to be used on set, the dogs should be used to being around other dogs. If one dog shows aggression toward another dog on set, the aggressive dog must be removed. Dogs that live together and are accustomed to being with each other are good choices.

Q: You mentioned education as being part of the goal of AH. Would you talk some about that?

A: We’d like to work more with film schools developing programs where as part of the curriculum, students take a course or attend a seminar held by an AH representative about using animals in film. If the school can’t put us into their program yet, just having our Guidelines available at the school or distributed to students will help educate them. The earlier we reach the students, the better. These filmmakers will grow in their careers and will eventually be involved in large productions where they might end up working on films with large animals. That’s the point where you really worry about safety, so the earlier we can educate students, the better.

Q: What can you advise students or aspiring filmmakers wanting to use pets? Your Guidelines can look daunting.

A: If filmmakers choose to use a pet instead of trained animal, we have no control over that but we still recommend they review and adhere to our Guidelines. If the Guidelines seem overwhelming, call our LA office with questions, say – “All I want is for my dog to sit in a chair or walk across the room while we’re doing our filming, what are the guidelines?” Most of it is just common sense. Know that the animal you’re using is friendly and completely safe to be around people and other animals. You don’t want an animal on set that’s aggressive, skittish, or snaps. Think about what you’re going to do with this animal while you’re setting up shots. How many times do you actually need the real animal? Can you use a stuffed animal if there’s any concern about using a real animal? You don’t want a real dog sitting under hot lights while you’re setting up. Go to a toy store and get a stuffie look-alike of whatever animal you’re using. Make sure the animal won’t be in the way of a moving dolly and that she won’t be in area in which she can get stepped on. When she’s not being used on set have a suitable place for her to hang out, that she’s not running around loose. There needs to be a safe area like a crate or separate room for the animal. Make sure the pet has breaks and gets to lie down and rest or get something to eat and drink. If the pet isn’t kept in a crate, make sure it’s on a harness or leash so that should she get spooked by a loud noise or quick movement, she can’t jump down and run away. Plan ahead and prepare for all possible scenarios. That’s critical. If an animal won’t do what you want, what are your options? Have back up plans. How far should you go to try to get an animal to do something? If the animal won’t or can’t do what you want him to do, forcing him is inviting disaster. Even if the animal normally does something, an animal is an animal. You can never predict what it’s going to do or not do. It’s like working with a child. The producer has to be prepared.

Q: Who is responsible for the safety of a pet during filming?

A: The ultimate responsibility lies with the owners as they will suffer the anguish and grief if something happens to their pet. I recommend that pets not be passed around to people on set to play with. That can be overstimulating to animals, and if they’re all excited, they may not be able to perform the action you want them to perform. Many trainers make a general announcement on set – don’t touch animals while they’re working. Obviously, with the exotics, people are pretty good about asking before touching them but a lot of times, with dogs and cats, people just walk up and pet them without asking.

Q: Does AH have a problem with certain action shots?

A: If filmmakers wonder if a certain action shot can be obtained safely, call and ask us. If a filmmaker wants a dog to run off the end of the dock and jump into a lake to get an exciting shot, they should make the obvious choice. Pick a Labrador Retriever who loves to swim and run and jump off the dock and has actually practiced this. They shouldn’t choose a little Chihuahua that’s never been in the water.

Q: How did you get into the field?

A: I grew up in Michigan in a very animal-oriented family. We had the house with the invisible sucker sign hanging on the front of it – animals could see the sign, but we couldn’t. Animals constantly showed up at our door and people dumped their puppies and kittens off in our barn. We had dogs, cats, horses, guinea pigs, and hamsters, and just about everything else. As a teenager, I raised and trained a working Seeing Eye dog. After that, I raised a wonderful Doberman for obedience. After college, I tried a few careers, but didn’t really care for any of them. In the early 1990s, I moved to Key West, Florida. That was about the time the series “Key West” with Fisher Stevens and Jennifer Tilly was being filmed as a pilot. I accidentally met the medic on set and we started talking. He learned that I was a dive master with dive master medical training and said they’d been looking for someone else to work on set when they went to series. He asked if I was interested and I was. So, I went and got EMT certification and worked on that series as the medic when the other medic wasn’t available. After the series ended, I worked fulltime as an EMT paramedic and part time as paramedic in film. I also volunteered with my dog in the education department at the Humane Society of Broward County. We went around to schools and taught pet education to the kids. Through that, I began working as a surgical assistant for the shelter. I was basically done the same things for animals that I was doing for humans. It was hard working for the shelter, for obvious reasons, but it was also very rewarding and I loved it. One day I was watching a movie through the credits and saw the “No Animals Were Harmed® in the Making of this Film” disclaimer and that a representative was on set to monitor all animal action. A light went off in my head – “Hey, that’s a job. If somebody was on set that means it’s an actual job.” I sent my resume to the recruiting office in LA and got an interview. My background with horses and dogs, and dog training, and medical and film experience worked well together for the position. I then went through the AH training which basically teaches film and set etiquette, which I already knew from my experience on set, and learning report writing and the Guidelines. Right now, I live in Virginia. As my husband is in the military, we move around a bit, but as my job requires a lot of travel, I can do it from wherever we’re based. Though most of my work is in this area, I’ve traveled all over the country. I’ve been to Mexico, Canada, Wyoming.

Q: What films have you worked on locally?

A: Susan Jackson, our representative based in Richmond, and I have worked independently and, in the case of large films such as “Dreamer,” we’ve worked together. During the filming of “Dreamer,” producers wanted something that looked like ointment to slather on an animal and they didn’t know what to use. Susan suggested a solution of milk and water. So they mixed the milk and water and said – “oh, that’s looks really good.” Another instance on “Dreamer” was a barn scene. The crew needed the barn cats out before they could start filming. Susan came up with and organized a plan to catch the cats and send them off to be spayed and neutered. By the time filming was done, the cats could come back. It helped everybody. These are simple solutions that have helped producers get the scenes they want. We don’t expect filmmakers to be animal experts; that’s why we’re there. We’ve been in this business a long time and have a lot of training behind us. A lot can be done with camera tricks, computer graphics, stuffie stunt and photo doubles and some creative solutions. Most recently I was one of the Safety Reps on “Evan Almighty.” “Birds and Animals,” a huge animal company for the film business supplied the animal talent. They have offices in Florida, California, New York, overseas and have all kinds of animals and I’ve worked with them for years since I started at AH seven years ago. They’re great to work with and have excellent trainers who very concerned about the safety and welfare of their animals. Another huge part of our job is perception. It’s often the perception of actors who aren’t familiar with animal training. For example, when I was on “Evan Almighty” there was a scene with all these different small animals. One way to lure small animals like skunks, rats, and porcupines from point A to point B is with a buzzer. These little animals can’t be trained to come like dog or even a cat. These little animals are taught that when they walk across the room to the buzzer, they get a food reward. One of the actors watching this came over and asked – “Are these animals being shocked?” I said, no, and explained the whole buzzer thing. Without someone like myself being there to ask, this actor could have walked off set thinking that the animals on set were being shocked. It was amazing to watch the whole process on “Evan Almighty.” A huge ark was built in Charlottesville, VA, and they had a special camera that exactly replicated every single move of the animals. Animal were brought in one at a time, so if there were forty animals in a scene, they did that take forty different times at least, each time with each different animal. Sometimes there were pairs of animals, sometimes there was only one – the same animal walked across the room twice. It was all put together by computer to look like all these pairs of animals were in the same room, even though they weren’t. That was a lot of fun to work on.

I also do the “Puppy Bowl” in Silver Spring, Maryland, at the Discovery Channel which airs on the Animal Planet at the same time as the Super Bowl. A little stage is built that looks like a football field and puppies go out there and play. They have “Kitty Half Time” and a “Tail Gate Party” for the dogs that didn’t get into the game. It’s hilarious. Initially, they were a little wary of me, but now we have a great relationship. It’s nice when you walk off the set and the people you met when you first came in were looking at you like – “here she comes,” then say – “thank you so much for being here, we want you back next year.”

American Humane was founded in 1877. It is the oldest national organization dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Through a network of child and animal protection agencies and individuals, the American Humane Association develops policies, legislation, curricula and training programs to protect children and animals from abuse, neglect and exploitation. The nonprofit membership organization, headquartered in Denver, raises awareness about The Link® between animal abuse and other forms of violence, as well as the benefits derived from the human-animal bond. American Humane’s regional office in Los Angeles is the authority behind the “No Animals Were Harmed”® End Credit Disclaimer on film and TV productions, and American Humane’s office in Washington is an advocate for child and animal protection at the federal and state levels. American Humane is endorsed by the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance and has been awarded the Independent Charities Seal of Excellence.

Animal actor “Angus,” Actor Ken Kline’s black Labrador Retriever was cast as “Dog with Man” in “Capitol Law,” an ABC Pilot filmed in Washington, D.C., and also on “Shooter” as a quadedestrian in Baltimore’s Federal Hill. Ken met American Humane Film & TV Unit representative Sandi Buck on the set of “Evan Almighty” in Richmond, Virginia, where she was overseeing the use of wild animals like bears, wolves, and mountain lions on set. Angus decided stay to home for that particular film.

Why Dental Implants Are the Treatment of Choice For Tooth Replacement

Dental implants have become the treatment of choice for many patients that are in need of restorative treatments to repair or replace decaying or lost teeth. There are a number of reasons for the shift in philosophy by most dental and periodontal professionals towards utilizing dental implants as a more favorable solution than   bridges  or crowns, as was often done in the past. They provide a permanent solution to tooth restoration and repair that avoid many of the problems sometimes encountered with other restorative dental methods.

One of the primary reasons that dental implants have become the favored alternative for tooth restoration is due to their longevity and lifespan. Most will last a lifetime, whereas restoring a tooth with a  bridge  is a procedure that often needs to be repeated after a certain period of time.  Bridges  are not permanent solutions when restorative treatments are needed. This is primarily due to the fact that they are more likely to break and decay can build up under the  bridge  or crown, causing additional dental or gum problems. Another problem with  bridges  is that if a tooth adjacent to the originally replaced tooth encounters a problem down the road, the  bridge  or crowns often need to be replaced.

Dental implants give patients the opportunity to replace a lost or decaying tooth with another that looks just like their real tooth. When a dental implant is used, the tooth that is attached to the implant looks and feels like a real tooth. Since the tooth is not connected to any other teeth nearby, the tooth also functions like a real tooth and can be cared for in the same way that a natural tooth should be cared for. They don’t require the extensive maintenance and cleaning regimen that  bridges  require in order to keep the underlying gums and bone healthy.

Another benefit to opting for dental implants is that no work needs to be done to the surrounding teeth, as is the case when a patient has a  bridge  put in. The implant affects the actual tooth that needs restoration only and does not rely on the adjacent teeth for any type of strength or stability. This means that the nearby teeth do not need to be ground down and to have crowns placed over them. Instead, they can be left alone.

Since the cleaning regimen for those with dental implants is more simplified than those with  bridges , opting for dental implants often means that the patient experiences fewer future problems with gum or underlying bone loss.  Bridges  require that the patient floss well and clean properly both under the  bridge  and also between the supporting crowns on either side of the replaced tooth. Failure to do so adequately can result in problems with the teeth, gums and bone.

Whether a patient needs to have just one or a series of teeth replaced, the best solution in most cases are dental implants. Plano, Texas dentist, Darren Dickson, DDS explains that even those who require a full or partial denture can utilize dental implants to affix the dentures permanently in the mouth, rather than having a removable device which many people are uncomfortable with and can lead to its own set of problems. Dr. Dickson says more and more patients are opting to use dental implants as a solution to their dental restoration problems rather than older, more traditional methods because the option offers more benefits for the patient.

One concern of some patients is the cost of dental implants. They initially cost about thirty percent more than a  bridge , but the difference in cost is somewhat misleading due to the fact that dental implants are a permanent solution that will not need to be replaced in the future and  bridges  need to be replaced periodically and typically only have a life span of around ten years. Over the course of time, patients also wind up making trips to the dentist for various problems that can potentially arise due to a  bridge  which will not occur with dental implants. Some insurance companies will cover the cost or partial cost of dental implants.

Not every patient is a candidate for dental implants. Factors such as the health of the underlying bone, the proximity of the tooth to the sinus cavity, the health of the gums, as well as other factors need to be considered before a patient can be cleared for the use of dental implants by a periodontist or dentist. Dr. Dickson, explains however, that for those patients who meet the criteria for successful dental implants, the procedure should be the treatment of choice due to the benefits it offers over more traditional dental procedures.

Food Preparation Areas

We’ll use the term “preparation areas” to refer to food planning. After all, a lot more activities than cooking are crammed into most kitchens. Right here are some of the major work sections you may find.


The fabrication area is wherever raw (or processed) foods begin their journey to their final destination: the guest’s plate. Sometimes referred to as pre-prep, it is here that we break down prime cuts of beef, clean and fillet fish, cut up chickens, open crates of fresh produce, and decide what gets stored and what gets sent on to the other parts of the preparation region. In planning for each region, begin with a flowchart to determine which functions should be included.

If the restaurant plans to handle its own meat-cutting duties (and numerous do to save money), you’ll require room for a sink, a heavy cutting board, portion scales, meat saws, grinders, and slicers. Some of these items can be placed on mobile carts and shared with other places of the kitchen.


Within the preparation region, foods are sorted further into individual or batch servings. The loin we trimmed in the fabrication area is cut into steaks, lettuce and tomatoes are diced for salad assembly, shrimp is battered or peeled. Ingredients are also mixed: meat loaves, salad dressings, casseroles. Salad and vegetable prep areas are found in nearly every foodservice setting. They are busy places, and their focus should be on efficiency. When designing the layout, remember the require for worktables, compartment sinks, refrigerators, and mechanical equipment. Order some worktables with food and condiment wells that are cooled from beneath with ice, allowing simple accessibility. A prep area with unique requirements is the garde manger, a term that encompasses both food planning and decoration

or garnish.

The garde manger region is the source of cold meals: chilled appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, salads, patés, sandwiches, and so on. Obviously, refrigeration is of paramount significance here, as are knife storage and room for hand-held and small appliances: ricers, salad spinners, graters, portable mixers, blenders, juicers. Colorcoded bowls, cutting boards, knives, scrub brushes, and even kitchen towels all assist to avoid cross-contamination among various kinds of raw foods.


Yes, it’s finally time to do some cooking, within the production area. This region is divided into hot-food planning, usually recognized as the hot line, and cold-food preparation, known as the pantry. Manufacturing

may be the heart from the kitchen area, and all the other places are meant to support it.


As its name suggests, the holding region may be the one in which either hot or cold foods are held until they’re needed. The holding area takes on various degrees of importance in various types of foodservice operations. Basically, the larger the quantity of meals produced, the a lot more critical the need for holding room. For banquet service and in cafeterias and hospitals, food should be prepared well in advance and stored at proper temperatures. In fast-food restaurants, the require isn’t as excellent but it still exists.


The final activity of the preparation area is assembly of each item in an order. At a fastfood place, the worktable is where hamburgers are dressed and wrapped and fries are bagged. At an à la carte restaurant, it may be the cook’s side of the pass window, where steak and baked potato are put on the same plate and garnished. Again, in large-scale foodservice operations, grand-scale assembly takes up a lot more room.

The menu and type of cooking you do will figure out the makeup of your manufacturing region. Will you need a fabrication region at all, if yours is a fast-food franchise that uses mostly prepackaged convenience meals?

Conversely, cooking “from scratch” will most likely require a lot of room for preparation, baking, and storage. Batch cooking, or preparing several servings at a time, will also affect your space allocation. Finally, the number of meals served in a given time period should be a factor in planning your room. Your kitchen area must be able to operate at peak capacity with plenty of room for everyone to perform efficiently. For a hotel with banquet facilities and for an intimate 75-seat bistro, this means very different things.

Choosing the Best Location for the TV Wall Bracket

Selecting a good place for the TV wall brackets should be secondary to choosing the place for your LCD TV. Your LCD television should be of primary concern and that should be your focus when determining the best location. The wall brackets will support your decision and facilitate placing the TV in your designated place. A LCD TV has a flat panel screen. The flat panel design has opened more options and alternatives when installing a television at home. It’s fairly light and the flat panel, like a painting, is conducive to being hanged on the wall. It is likely the concept of mounting the TV on wall brackets was initiated by the television industry since the flat panel concept started with them. Televisions are being marketed with wall brackets as part of its accessories. Independent manufacturers of wall brackets probably came into being when different types of wall brackets and aesthetic designs were sought by the people. Some people preferred a generic class of wall mounts that could be used for different television models and brands rather than stick to the brackets included in the television package which is specific to that television brand and model.

Since TV wall mounts become part of the house furnishings, people want TV brackets that are stylish, fashionable and blend with the other house furniture. The room where the wall mounts will be installed may have some bearing on the style and design of the TV brackets. Once you have decided on the location of the LCD TV, it is time to finalize the location of the wall brackets. Mark the horizontal and vertical sides of the television on the wall. You should try to be fairly accurate in your estimates. You should be firm in your decision since changing locations could result in many unsightly holes in the wall. Once that is done, get the center and mark it on the wall. Check if there are studs in the wall. Studs are upright posts in the framework of a wall for supporting plaster board or similar material. This step is not a concern if your walls are made of cement. If you don’t know how to locate studs in your walls, get friends and neighbors to help you out. Getting the center to put the holes is a critical step as a miscalculation could result in a misaligned or lopsided bracket. There are tools to make sure the measurements are level and straight. Do it slowly and carefully, and repeat the procedures several times to make sure your markings are exact and precise.

Most television shops will provide TV mount brackets when you purchase a LCD TV. They will explain to you the advantages of utilizing a wall bracket and may even give you some tips on how to set up the mounts. You can also choose your own stylish and fashionable TV brackets from the hardware stores. Be sure the brackets are right for the size and weight of your television.