Brick Paver Installation & Edging

Staging of material

Most paver projects will vary depending on access, site conditions, project size and of course, the weather. These situations can have an overall impact on your project from a timing stand point. Careful consideration should be taken to determine the time to start the paver installation. Always try to minimize or avoid any traffic on the prepared areas.

The foreman or project manager should always have the materials (sand / pavers) distributed around the project site for easy and efficient installations. Paver pallets/bundles should be placed in a manner not to interfere with the paver installation. The proper pallet/bundle placement can make the actual project installation easier and quicker by reducing the overall labor of handling the material.

Brick paver patterns

Pavers can be placed in many different patterns depending on their shape. Each paver shape will generally have several different hatch patterns that are provided by the manufacturer.

The laying pattern and shape of the paver is very critical to the performance of the application. Contractors need to take into consideration the traffic weight loads on their paver projects. 90 or 45 degree herringbone patterns are recommended in all street and driveway applications, as these patterns will provide the maximum load support needed and will resist creeping from the turning of tires and starting or braking of vehicular traffic. In most applications worldwide, it has been shown that pavers laid in a herringbone pattern have performed adequately.

Pavers that are 60 mm (2 – 3/8 in) thickness are suitable for pedestrian applications. Pavers that are going to be used in commercial or industrial applications should be 80 mm (3 – 1/8 in) in thickness.

Reference/starting point for brick paver installation

There are a number of conditions that determine the starting point of a paver project.

When starting to install pavers it is best to snap a true straight chalk line on the surface of the bedding sand or pull a true straight string line above the surface of the bedding sand at the finished elevation of the pavers. This will help as a guide for maintaining straight joint lines and will also allow the installer to make adjustments in the alignment of the pavers.

Buildings and concrete curbing are generally not straight and should not be used for establishing straight joint lines. The use of string lines is essential to determine the true straightness of the edge as well. As the paver installation progresses, the string lines will help minimize the need for small trim pieces.

Joint width between pavers should be between 1/16 and 3/16 in (2 and 5 mm ). There are some pavers with spacer bars on their sides. These will maintain a minimum joint width and allow the bedding and jointing sand to enter between each paver. Pavers with spacer bars are generally not laid in snug against each other since a string line will provide consistent joint spacing.

Installation of brick pavers

One of the most widely used methods for the installation of pavers is hand installation of each paver. It is best to install a single row of pavers along one of the true straight lines that you have pulled or above the bedding sand. This will give you a straight and true line off which to work. Once this row is established, you can continue to work outward into the field with the rest of the pavers. Always make sure to periodically check your joint lines to make sure they are true and straight. If not, adjustments to the pavers can be made as you continue installing. Pavers should be installed hand tight. The best method is to place a paver against another one and let it slide down into the bedding sand. Do not kick or tap the pavers into place as this can throw your lines out of true straightness.

When installing pavers on a steep grade, they should be installed at the base of the grade going uphill. This will prevent the pavers from creeping as they are being laid.

On large commercial and industrial applications, hand laying pavers would not be cost effective due to the labor intensity. The best way for installing pavers on large projects is to install them mechanically. The use of a mechanical laying machine can install approximately 6000 – 7000 sq ft a day. There are a couple items a contractor should consider before installing pavers mechanically:

1.) Mechanical installers are only capable of installing pavers in certain patterns.

2.) The contractor must make sure that the manufacturer is capable of manufacturing and bundling pavers in the desired pattern on the pallets for easy mechanical installation.

3.) Contractors may encounter a color blending situation coming off the bundles of pavers. Poor color blending could result in a patchy looking installation. Most manufacturers are consistent with color blending on each bundle of pavers, but it is the contractor’s responsibility to ensure proper blending in the field.

Cutting procedures for brick pavers

Contractors typically have two ways of cutting pavers. Pavers are cut either by 1). A double bladed guillotine or by 2). A gas powered cut off saw or brick saw which is equipped with a diamond blade. The diamond blade cut-off saw or brick saw will provide a much cleaner and more accurate cut. Most brick saws will have a hose attachment on them which will allow the operator to cut the pavers wet. When cutting pavers wet, it will help minimize dust and will prolong the diamond blades life as well. The operator of the brick saw should always cut the pavers away from the surface of the paver field when cutting wet, due to the fact that the pavers will create a slurry that will stain the paver surface. Pavers that are cut should not fit tight, sufficient spacing should be available for jointing sand.

The brick saw operator should always wear the proper protection that is needed for operating a saw, such as eye, ear, respiratory and hand protection ).

Edging types

Edge restraints play a major role in the overall success of an interlocking pavement installation. Edging restraints eliminate lateral movement of the pavers and hold the pavers tightly together. Especially at the outer perimeter of the paver application, without an edging restraint, your project is guaranteed to fail over time.

There are several different edging restraints from which contractors can choose. Typically manufactured edge restraints are the most commonly used by contractors. Manufactured edging restraints can range from, plastic edging, steel and aluminum, timbers or precast concrete and stone. An edging type that is used primarily in commercial and industrial applications is poured-in-place concrete curbs. This edging restraint is typically installed by other contractors.

Edging installation

When installing your edge restraint, it should rest directly on top of the compacted gravel base. The compacted gravel base course should extend a minimum of 6in beyond the perimeter of the pavers. This will provide a proper foundation upon which the edging restraint can sit. Manufactured edging ( i.E. Plastic, steel or aluminum ) should be firmly anchored into the compacted gravel base( check with the manufacturer’s literature for the recommended spacing of the spikes). There are some edging restraints that will extend deeper into the gravel base or beyond the base course ( i.E. Timbers or poured-in-place curbs ). Edging restraints should never be placed directly on top of the bedding sand. This could result in the migration of the bedding sand and eventual lateral movement of the pavers. If there is a possibility of losing bedding sand between the pavers and the edge restraint, then geo textile fabric is recommended. When a gap between the pavers and the edging exceeds 3/8″ (10mm), then the space should be filled with cut pavers. All edging applications should be properly back filled after they are installed to help provide additional stability.

Compaction of brick pavers

After installation, the pavers need to be compacted. The entire area that is to be compacted should be swept clean of any foreign objects and debris that can cause scratching or scuffing on the surface of the pavers.

It is important to have a compactor that can exert between 3000lbs. And 5000 lbs. Of centrifugal compaction force. In addition, it is important that the first compaction takes place before any jointing sand has been applied to the pavers. If jointing sand is applied to the pavers before compaction takes place, this can cause a bridging problem and will not allow the joints to be completely filled with jointing sand. This can also prevent the pavers from being properly set into the bedding sand.

When compacting the pavers, it is recommended that you make at least two passes in different directions across the pavers. This will allow the pavers to be properly set in the bedding sand and will force the bedding sand up into the joints from the bottom of the pavers.

The compaction of the pavers is very critical to the final performance of the pavers. Failure to do proper compaction can result in deformations and pavement failure over time.

How To Write A Song

Did you ever wish that it was your song playing on the radio? It could be. It is not that hard once you know the formula. With a little creativity, a little knowledge, a little luck and a good formula to follow, your song could be one of the next biggest hits.

Songwriting comes easy for some, and is very difficult for others. I have actually written songs in my sleep, and immediately upon awaking, written it as quickly as I could get the words on down on paper.

What I want to discuss here is popular songwriting, like the songs you hear on the radio. A good pop song, whether rock, country, middle of the road, is composed of two things: a catchy tune and some good lyrics.

There is a formula that most great songwriters use to write great songs. It regards the structure used to write a song. Granted, it is music and it is art, so the rules are not hard and fast. But if you want to increase your chances of getting your song on the radio, it is a good starting point.

Here is the formula. Verse, chorus, verse, chorus,   bridge , chorus.

Write that down on paper leaving plenty of space between each word and this will be your script.


The verse is the part of the song that tells the story, the part that leads to the chorus. Each verse is usually different, telling a different part of, or adding to, the story. It usually explains how you got to the things you are singing about in the chorus.


The chorus is the part of the song that is repeated after each verse. The lyrics are usually the same each time the chorus comes around. The verse usually leads to the chorus, and the chorus is usually the pay off for listening to the verse. Does that make sense?

Here is a lame example (you did not think I would give you my best work, did you?):


My dog is sick, he’s got a tick

He’s my best friend, don’t let it end


Oh, woe is me, can’t you see

Woe is me, will I ever be free


My car broke down, just out of town

It got towed in, but it’s broke again


Oh, woe is me, can’t you see

Woe is me, will I ever be free

Now, if you would kindly stop laughing at my lame song for a minute, I want you to think about whether or not you understand my point. Songwriting is story telling. The verse tells the problems, the chorus expresses the results or the emotions.

All right, now that you have that mastered, let’s tackle the  bridge . Ah, yeah, there is more to the song than the pain and the release. We need the diversion. That is what the  bridge  is; it is the diversion from the verse and the chorus.

The  bridge  may have a slightly different melody to it, or it could even have a different rhythm or a different tempo (Elvis’ “Suspicious Minds” did a great job on this technique).

Let’s go back to the lame song and add a  bridge :


My dog is sick, he’s got a tick

He’s my best friend, don’t let it end


Oh, woe is me, can’t you see

Woe is me, will I ever be free


My car broke down, just out of town

It got towed in, but it’s broke again


Oh, woe is me, can’t you see

Woe is me, will I ever be free

( bridge )

Tomorrow is a better day, I’ve got a new truck on the way

My dog just had a flea it seems, so once again I’ll live my dreams


Oh, woe was me, can’t you see

Woe was me, but now I’m free

The  bridge  offers a solution to the problems I was having. You don’t want to leave your listener on the edge of suicide, you want to give them hope.

Notice, I also changed up the wording of the chorus. This was done to reflect my new found joy.

One more thing on formula. It can be anyway you want, but most verses and chorus come in lines of 4. So, instead of this:


Oh, woe is me, can’t you see

Woe is me, will I ever be free


My car broke down, just out of town

It got towed in, but it’s broke again

it would be:

Oh, woe is me, can’t you see

Woe is me, will I ever be free

My car broke down, just out of town

It got towed in, but it’s broke again

The same goes for the chorus. Again, if you are creative, do it however you want. But for a new songwriter, this gives you some guidelines to scratch out and start carving out your new creation.

One more thing, do not make the notes to the melody so high that your fans cannot sing along. We are certainly all not Stevie Wonder.

Human Rights

We are all human beings but are we aware of our precious rights? This concept must be dealt as the integral component of our lifestyles, but does everybody believe in this matter? Or do we respect others’ these rights? You may have different ideas and arguments on the answer to this question but let’s start from somewhere. As you all know, it’s a wide subject that should be worked on in detail so I will try to focus on its definition and history in a chronological order. After being informed on the principles of the subject, it will be easier for us to make it improve together.

First of all, let’s describe what human rights are. Here is the definition of the most valuable achievement of our century which is the human rights. The famous phrase of it is: It’s a right which is universal and held by all people. In other words, a human right is a universal right that all people, everywhere ought to have and a right that no one may be deprived of, something which every human being has simply because he is human. Also a human right must satisfy some requirements such as being possessed by all human beings and being possessed equally.

Now it’s time to mention about its history. Although religious, political or economical ideas have adherents in various parts of the world, they represent an idea that has world-wide acceptance and international the above mentioned rights seem to be the world’s first universal ideology. For instance, the horror of Nazi oppression prompted the formation of the United Nations after the Second World War and today joining the United Nations, every government undertakes to promote universal respect for our rights without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion. In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly accepted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which defined the rights that governments have agreed to protect. In the course of history, these rights have gradually become universal constitutional principles. There are some dates which are considered to be the milestones along the path to the universality of human rights. For example, on June 21, 1776 the declaration made by Virginians was the first to be accepted as a constitutional principle by a freely elected parliament. On August 16, 1789 human rights entered into the European constitutional history when the French National Assembly proclaimed the Declaration of Rights of Men and Citizens. Finally on November 9, 1989 the wall of Berlin was demolished.

To sum up, human rights are the integral part of our lives and it requires everyone’s work, support and commitment. As a human being, everybody, from a student to a governor has to do something in order to improve the level of human rights all around the world. Now, it’s your turn. Don’t forget that we are the citizens of the world today and we can make it a better place to live peacefully and happily. Just be tolerant and sensitive, respect and help others.

External DVD Drives

Most laptop computers these days come with built-in CD-ROM or DVD drives. However, if you use an older computer model, you will either have to upgrade to get the DVD drive, or get a USB or external DVD drive.

Upgrading has its pros and cons over getting an external drive. First, an external DVD drive is usually slightly more expensive than a built-in device. Then, if you use the DVD drive frequently, you will have to hold the external one connected all the time, which will use one extra USB port and also take space on your desk.

However, there are lots of reasons why an external drive would be recommended. You can connect it to more than one computer. If you own several machines, like a laptop and more desktops, you don’t have to purchase a DVD drive for each of them: only one will do. Then, mounting an internal drive in your old laptop will render it useless once you decide to stop using it or buy a better one.

Also, some people only want an upgraded DVD drive, and are fine with the rest of their computer system; a USB external drive is a much cheaper alternative than replacing an entire computer.

Similar to buying a USB external CD-ROM drive, when planning to buy an external DVD drive, make sure that your computer has high speed, USB 2.0 ports. Otherwise, it will take you several hours to burn or read a DVD. Don’t worry if your laptop only has USB 1.1 ports, as they can usually be upgraded at a really cheap rate, if the computer’s motherboard allows it. It could work with a simple chip replacement or a BIOS upgrade. Make sure you ask your favorite computer repair shop if they can fix it before dropping the alternative altogether.

If you plan to use an external USB DVD-RW drive under Microsoft’s Windows operating system, make sure you get a CD/DVD writing software included in the pack. Windows XP and its successors comes with burning features, but they are kind of rudimentary and don’t provide the same nice user experience more advanced, specialized software packages do.

Nero Software Suite is one of the most popular and easy to use CD / DVD burning programs. Also, you most external DVD drives won’t need additional software to be installed, if used on Windows XP and higher. For any other operating systems, you should look up drivers on the hardware manufacturer’s sites, or ask in specialized forums and discussion boards if standard drivers will work. Otherwise, you might find the $200 gadget you have just bought will not work on your laptop running FreeBSD.

To the furthest extent possible, try to buy an external DVD drive that doesn’t need AC power and can function only with the USB connection, as you will want to use it together with your laptop in places where there is no power source (such as parks or restaurants).

Even though most retailers only sell these models, always look that your external DVD drive that can write Dual Layer DVDs. The difference in price is insignificant (shouldn’t be more than $20), and, with this technology, you can burn up to 8.5 gigabytes, as opposed to 4.5.

A Common Story

Total darkness. Complete silence. Absolutely nothing. Nothing at all. Except,… well,… the faintest of sparks far off in the distance. Really nothing. Dark. Silent. All was well, very good.

Well, except there was that spark again. So faint – so insignificant, hardly anything more than nothing. The spark is swallowed up by the nothingness. It really was nothing. It is gone, whatever it was. No awareness of time passing. No awareness of anything. And,… wait! That bothersome spark again, except now it was a little closer. Every time it would spark, there was some pain. How could that even be? Not much pain, but definitely more than was wanted. It just kept sparking and sparking and – then it stopped again. Relief came flooding through. Such wonderful peace and darkness and silence again. This was better than anything.

Oh no, here it was again, but not just a little spark! More like someone taking a hammer to the side of some metal garbage can. What was going on? Confusion swirling. And now pain – real pain, with each hammer blow. And with each hammer blow, bright flashes, colorless yet bright flashes. Sparks flying from the blows. Wincing with each blow, trying to brace for each one but it seemed futile, useless, helpless. Then with a suddenness that was almost as shocking as the blows, it stopped. Stopped dead. Just stopped completely. The wave of relief that washed through was incredible. Immediately everything was completely dark, completely silent, complete PEACE and REST after traveling through what seemed like a place of torture and torment, and now sweet nothingness.

The suddenness of what happened next would take your breath away. Blinding light, blinding pain! The hammer was now a wrecking ball hammering away, hammering, smashing, crashing. The pain was so immense it was not describable. There were no words, no chance to think. The pain came in huge waves like the highest of the largest waves in the ocean came the pain, washing over, penetrating everywhere, no place to hide, no place to go from the pain, the crashing, the shrieking horror. The light was so bright it would make lightning bolts look dim. Then, in one final tidal wave of pain and light and pure evil, Harold finally opened his eyes, slowly rolled to one side, and turned off his alarm. It was time to get up and get ready for the new day.

Stainless Steel Tile

To start, stainless steel is a metal that is resistive to corrosion and staining. Stainless steel is low maintenance, relative in expense, and maintains a brilliant shine. With these unique properties stainless steel makes an ideal material for many applications both in the home and outside the home. There are thousands of places we can find stainless steel at work in our daily lives. For example: cookware, cutlery, hardware, surgical instruments, major appliances, industrial equipment, and building material like stainless steel tile.

Focusing just on stainless steel tile I will introduce some ways that a home owner may use stainless steel tile in their home improvements projects, and for those that are designing a new home there are many uses for stainless steel tiles in kitchens, bathrooms, and in flooring.

Why choose stainless steel tiles when trying to design a kitchen backsplash or bathroom? Stainless steel tiles are smooth, radiant, contemporary, and innovative. For one, stainless steel metal tiles come in a variety of colors and finishes like copper or brass and even a stainless steel stucco finish that gives texture and dimension to the metal tile design. Most kitchen appliances come with a brushed satin finish; stainless steel tiles come in the same brushed satin finish making it easier to match a metal tile backsplash with the appliances. If you are looking for stainless tile for your floor then the 14 gauge tiles are most recommended. With a thicker stainless steel tile, durability, maintainability, and appearance are not an issue.

To better complete your one-of-a-kind metal tile design, what do you do about those light switches and receptacles? The answer is simple; there is a full line of switch and receptacle stainless steel covers that range from single gang to four gang toggle wall plates. Every possible plug/switch combo is available with most stainless steel tile dealers.

So you’re off and tiling your new kitchen backsplash and you come to the last row of tile when you find that a whole tile is just too big. What to do? Two ways to fix this problem, many stainless steel tile manufacturers provide custom pre-cut tiles that you can order with your full size tiles. Pre-cut tiles are more expensive because the buyer will have to pay for each cut, about a dollar and a half, on top of the cost of the stainless tile. Option two is to buy your own metal tile saw. For about one hundred dollars you can buy a small band saw and outfit it with a metal saw blade designed for cutting tile. A 100 tooth count blade works well. With the ability to cut your stainless tile as you install, the guess work on how many pre-cut tiles you need will be eliminated.

How to Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts

Cleaning the gutters is one of those necessary tasks that every homeowner hates. If you let it go, though, you’ll have gutters that won’t drain and tiny trees sprouting on your roof. To keep your gutters clean and channeling water away from your house, try the following tips. Gutter cleaning may be a chore, but at least it can be a simple one.

1. Be sure to take care whenever you do any work on your gutters, because of the danger of falling. It may be helpful to have someone else there in case of an accident. Use a strong, safe ladder that reaches all the way to the gutter. The last thing you need to do when you’re several feet in the air is stretch to reach your gutters. Be sure not to lean the ladder against the downspout or gutter to prevent breaking or damaging them.

2. Remove leaves and twigs from the gutters using a large spoon, small trowel, or specially designed gutter scoop. The more regularly you do this chore, the less onerous it will be. Routine maintenance of your gutters will keep them in good working order.

3. Wet any solidified dirt or debris with a hose or water from a pitcher. If there’s a lot of it, you can use the scoop to remove it once it has softened. If there’s not very much dirt in your gutter, you can wash it out with more water.

4. Check your downspouts for clogs on a regular basis. You can wash them out with a gentle flushing from a garden hose. Don’t use too much force when cleaning your downspout, as it could bend or begin to leak. If water doesn’t work, you may have to gently use a length of wire or plumber’s snake to clean the channel.

Caring for your gutters regularly is the best way to avoid clogs and nasty jobs. If you’re concerned about your ability to clean them safely, you can always hire a professional to do the work. However, if you want to do the job yourself, the above tips are the best way to get your gutters cleared out simply.

Remember that your gutters and downspouts aren’t strong enough to support much weight. Leaning your ladder on them or allowing your full weight to rest on them while you’re cleaning could ruin your drainage and earn you a hefty repair bill.

Linoleum Flooring

What was once old is new again. And that adage fits  linoleum  flooring, a type that is making a comeback. When you are choosing a new flooring for your home and considering  linoleum , you are leaning towards a good decision.

 Linoleum  flooring, no matter where you place it in your home, is durable and can last for many decades.  Linoleum  is made from non-toxic and natural components. This means that at the end of its long and useful life, it is biodegradable. This type of flooring has many great features, like

  • Affordability, compared to wood flooring
  • Easy of maintenance and cleaning
  • Durability
  • Environmental “correctness”
  • Color goes all the way through the material

And of course it has a few bad features too.

  • Affordability, compared to vinyl
  • Not a luxurious look
  • Hard to install

 Linoleum  floors are made from all natural materials, like linseed oil pressed from the flax plant, pine resin, wood flour, cork powder, natural pigments and jute. Based on these environmental factors, this type of flooring is increasingly chosen before vinyl. Because of its durability, there is more being installed in kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms than we’ve seen in a long time. Its toughness and comfort compliment each other, making it a solid investment.

Invented in England in 1863,  linoleum  was one of the most popular flooring choices for many years, until vinyl flooring. There are many people to this day who confuse it for vinyl because of their close competition in vinyl’s early years of marketing. Partially due to its growing popularity, it is being manufactured all over the world.

When you get tired of the  linoleum  flooring you have, you have various decorating options, such as painting it with a pattern or just a different color. By painting it, don’t have to get involved in removing your flooring. What a great environmental decision! It can be more expensive than other floorings such as vinyl, but the cost is worthwhile because of its durability. Because of its environmental attributes and longevity, it’s worth the effort of installing.

Did you know you can even use it for countertops? If it holds up to being walked on, it surely will endure kitchen abuse; I love my  linoleum  countertops! One advantage is that the color goes throughout the material, it’s not just a thin top layer. That means when it’s scratched or nicked, the damage isn’t as obvious because the same color comes through as is on the surface.

Of course with any type of flooring, there are a few drawbacks that may cause people to think twice about buying  linoleum  flooring. The price may be a little too high for some people because it is more expensive than the average vinyl. Installation is can be difficult, causing many people to hire a professional installer, adding to the cost.

If you take the time to compare the pros and cons of  linoleum  you will see that the pros outweigh the cons. It is a great choice for any room in any home. Go retro, and choose the long-lasting environmental flooring that will look great for decades to come.

Ladder Safety for Workers

 Ladders  are an important tool for many professions of which window cleaners, builders, decorators, and agricultural workers are just a few. Many thousands of people use  ladders  on a daily basis, but the frequency with which they are used can create complacency, safety standards begin to fall and accidents at work occur.

Domestic falls from  ladders  increased 62% between 1992 and 2002, with 48,000 people being injured in this way in 2002. These statistics suggest that people are unaware of important advice for the safe use of  ladders .

The injuries that people sustain from  ladder  falls are often serious, with 4,000 people being seriously injured in the UK each year. 2,300 people were treated for various head injuries in 2003 following a domestic  ladder  fall, although this number is thought to be an underestimate with many going unreported.

What are the causes of  ladder  falls?

In order to help improve safety standards for  ladder  users, it is important to know what the main causes of falls from  ladders  are. One in ten injuries and deaths in the workplace is caused by  ladders , and of these:

– 59% were caused by  ladders  slipping or skidding

– 27% were caused by workers losing balance

– 8% were caused by  ladder  breaking

Preventing  ladders  slipping and skidding

Here are some tips to prevent  ladders  slipping or skidding:

– Check the feet of the  ladder  are clean and are not broken

– Make sure the ground is firm and even, and is not slippery

– Lash the  ladder  firmly by strapping the two stiles, either top or bottom, but never around a rung

– Ask someone to hold it at the bottom, although if the  ladder  is over 5 metres it is unlikely they can prevent it slipping

– Ensure the top is resting on something solid, not glass or window sash

– Do not splice short  ladders  together

– Ensure the  ladder  is at the correct angle. It should be 1 measure out for every 4 measures up.

Reducing the chances of workers losing balance

Here is some advice to lessen the chances of having an accident at work by overbalancing on a  ladder :

– Do not over-reach

– Pay extra attention to safety when conditions are windy

– Do not go higher than the 3rd rung from top on straight or extension  ladders  or the 2nd tread on stepladders unless there are suitable handholds

– Keep the body centred so the belt buckle is between side rails

– Do not carry anything up the  ladder , have it hoisted up in a bucket instead

– Always try to keep 3 points of contact with the  ladder  – 2 feet and a hand

Preventing the  ladder  breaking

Here are some tips for preventing a  ladder  breaking:

– Inspect the  ladder  before every use

– Look for splits, excessive wear, loose or missing rungs, or splinters, and do not use the  ladder  if any of these are present

– Ensure the weight capacity of the  ladder  is not exceeded

– Make sure the  ladder  is kept in a dry environment, out of direct sunlight

– Use preservatives, such as clear varnish or linseed oil to protect the  ladder 

– Do not paint the  ladder  as the paint may conceal damage to it

If unsure about the safety of a  ladder  you are using at work, speak to your health and safety representative about it immediately. Over 100 workers are injured after falls from  ladders  every week, and around 78 die each year. Employers have a duty of care to safeguard the health of their employees, and if they fail to do this and an accident at work occurs, they have been negligent.

What to do if you are have been injured in a  ladder  fall

Any workers who have suffered injury after falling off  ladders  due to lack of training, poor maintained  ladders  or bad working practices should take legal advice on making a compensation claim against their employer. It could help stop a similar accident happening to someone else, as well as providing the injured worker with the financial compensation to which they are entitled.

Reasons for Staircase Collapse

Many people consider their homes or office buildings to be places that are safe from forces that may cause injury. However, these structures can cause their own problems when integral parts become unreliable and fail to function as intended. One of the most dangerous situations that can arise in a building is  staircase  collapse. It is a scenario that is often forgotten, although they are unpredictable and can lead to devastating personal injury.

There are many errors or moments of negligence that can lead to  staircase  collapse, including:

  • Design Errors- If the building is poorly designed or safety regulations are disregarded, the  staircase  may be susceptible to flaws that can lead to collapse.
  • Construction Errors- Mistakes made during this period may result in an unstable  staircase  or a support system that is unsound.
  • Inspection Errors- It is the job of the building inspector to ensure that design and construction were carried out correctly and that the building is up to safety codes. If this job is disregarded, the integrity of the building may be questionable, but occupants or businesses will remain uninformed, resulting in the potential for serious injuries.
  • Repair Errors- When a building is in need of repair, the professional in charge of overseeing and completing the task is responsible for ensuring that the structure returns to or remains in good condition. Any errors in this process can lead to instability and  staircase  collapse.
  • Owner Negligence- Overloading  staircases  or failure to acknowledge potential structural problems can lead to the injury of the owner or other individuals in the building.

Tips for your Outdoor Stairway Lighting

With the proper Outdoor  stairway  lighting you will have both an aesthetic and security access to your property or business.

In our modern Society there is a wide variety of outdoor stairs and there is also a very wide choice of outdoor  stairway  lighting. Your first concern should be to provide security. Nobody likes traversing stairs in the dark, especially if your not empty handed. As the years goes by many people renovate their houses by adding decks. Adding Outdoor  Stairway  lighting to these dark areas might be a very good aesthetic and safe choice.

The amount of outdoor  stairway  lighting you want will determine the type of light you need. There are multiple types available:

– Poles attached near the steps

– Wall mounted  stairway  lighting

– Miniature flood lights

– And lots more…

One of the most common problems associated with outdoor  stairway  lighting is to have a power source available which can be hard and impossible for some. If this is your case, and you don’t want to spend the extra money it would cost to get a power source, you could look for solar powered lamps. They are very easy to install and they require no knowledge of electricity.

Automation is the way to go for low cost Outdoor  Stairway  Lighting

Even if you are not using solar power lights, there is a real advantage to having your outdoor  stairway  lighting connected to an automatic sensor. Having them turn on at dusk and off at daybreak can provide the light you need, but only when it is most needed. And in the case you don’t want to use or burn your lights when no one will see them or benefit from them, you can always use a timer to solve that problem. On top of that most of them can be connected to a simple on and off switch, so having an automatic sensor really is a must.

One very popular choice would be to add flush-mounted lights that can be fitted into the riser of stairs. Unfortunately installing this type of outdoor lighting is not without problems. TO do this you will need carpentry skills and electricity skills. This type of installation is usually the business of professional which makes it more expensive. If you intend to do this alone make sure you do it properly otherwise you could experience electrical problems.

Another popular outdoor  stairway  lighting would be the use of short lamp-style fixtures. Depending on the style of your house and your landscape this could be a very wise choice, providing you with safety and security to your outdoor spaces. Whatever style you choose you can only benefit from outdoor  stairway  lighting it will make your house look better at night but most importantly you wont have to navigate steps in the dark.

Boss Camlock Advance Guardrail System

Since the introduction of Work at Height regulations, prevention of falling from height has become majorly important to Safety Officers, Site Managers and anyone required to work at height.

Aluminium Scaffold towers are one of the most widely used methods of access and Tower manufacturers, Hire Companies and contractors have had to supply towers which meet the 3T, Through the Trapdoor, or Advance Guardrail methods of assembly and dismantling. Both methods are supported by the H.S.E & Pasma. The through the trap door or “3T method” is the most commonly used mainly because to date, most Advance Guardrail systems have been difficult and unwieldy to use, and substantially increase the cost of the tower, although some building sites do insist upon it.

The Youngman Group has recently launched their new Boss Camlock Advance Guardrail system. This scaffold tower system comprises of frames that are erected before the operative ascends the platform, thereby providing full protection by a guardrails at all times. The frames are secured by the unique Camlock locking system which is incredibly easy and quick to use. The use of the Camlock action and frames also creates increased tower rigidity thus adding to the scaffold tower stability.

This System uses fewer components and is very much quicker and simpler to build. The AGR Frames are less susceptible to loss and damage than braces. Boss Ladderspan, Boss Evolution and Boss Clima towers are now available with Boss Camlock Advance Guardrail as an alternative method of assembly. The Camlock frames are available in 1.8m and 2.5m lengths.

The Specifics of Laminate Flooring

It is a practical surface for any home. It is great for families because it holds up to pets and kids and it is easy to clean.  Laminate  floors are easy to fit into the budget because it is one of the most affordable choices in flooring. Finally it comes in a multitude of choices that simulate wood, stone, and tile.

 Laminate  with less detail and texture are the most affordable.  Laminate  flooring that mimics wood or stone and includes texture will be more expensive. This is because the manufacturing process is more complex. A  laminate  that is more durable may also be more expensive but they do have a better warranty to match the increased price.

When buying a  laminate  floor consider the style of your home, the colors in your decor and the other flooring in your home. Choosing the right style of floor is important in making the room lighter or darker, in making the floor a focal point or making it a background to the other parts of the room. You can take samples home to see how they look in your home’s interior.

Consider the underlayment of a  laminate  floor. Normally  laminate  is laid on a padded surface that is placed between the subfloor and the  laminate . These are floating floors where the  laminate  is connected to each other but not to the underlayment. Glued  laminate  floors have slats that are glued to each other but not to the floor underneath. Once the floor is laid then a sealant is applied around the perimeter of the room to keep moisture from getting under the floor. If you choose  laminate  planks that lock together without the use of adhesives it is easier to replace a piece of the  laminate  if necessary in the future.

When buying  laminate  flooring calculate the cost, being sure to include everything needed to complete the project.  Laminate  is priced as a “cost per square foot”. Other costs to complete the project might include preparing the subfloor, removal of the existing floor, delivery costs, and moving the furniture in the area where the flooring will be laid. There will be a cost to install the flooring or additional materials needed to finish the project.

Ask your flooring retailer specific questions so that you can make an informed decision, including the manufacturer’s warranty. Also ask how the floor should be cared for and how frequently any maintenance should be done. A retailer that has many options and a good reputation will help to ensure that you get the perfect  laminate  floor to meet your needs.

Sanding and Sealing Hardwood Floors and Parquet Floors

Tips and advice on Sanding and Sealing parquet floors

This is a guide to follow please take time to read and understand and preferably seek more advice if needed.

Once you have finished laying your parquet floor blocks or hardwood floor start by using a 50 grit sand paper and work diagonally across the floor always with the grain of the floor. If you are sanding an old floor then use a lower grit of 36 to take off the old lacquer you can go all ways over the floor when taking off old lacquer but always finish by going with the grain diagonally across the floor. Once you have finished going over the floor once with a 50 grit sanding belt go round the edges with the edger in 50 grit sanding disk. Then repeat go round the edges working up the grits 50 grit then 80 grit then last of all 100.

Go all over the floor with a 80 grit on the big belt sander then repeat once over with a 100 grit always diagonally across the floor switching witch diagonal to take each once one way then up a grit and go diagonally the other. Once you have the whole floor up to 100 grit then fill. Mix up resin filler with the sanding dust out of the edger it is a finer dust. Then with a filling knife fill the whole floor making sure you push the filler down the cracks “the more the merrier”. Preferable leave to dry over night or three to four hours. Finish the floor with a final sand of 120 grit making sure all filler is removed and sanding with the grain diagonally. Clean the floor when finished with a hover, clean all skirtings and window ledges making sure all dust is up leave about half an hour for dust to settle then tack the whole floor with tack cloth or wet cloth.

Now ready for finishing, I recommend a water base lacquer like bona mega or similar or for high traffic areas bona traffic or similar. Start by applying lacquer to the edges with a brush then on to rolling out the lacquer with a roller on a pole, use a short mole haired roller and spread the laquer consistently. Don’t leave any big puddles of lacquer as this will show and take longer to dry. Cover the whole floor and leave to dry for about two hours then repeat and cover floor again using same process and leave over night. In the morning the laquer should be dry and ready for a light sand preferably with a screen machine or a fine sand by hand 150 grit or higher. Hover clean and wipe with tack cloth or wet cloth.

Then on to final coat repeat as before making sure this time you are perfect as this will not be sanded back. “Voila” you are finished preferably leave over night and that’s it, thanks for reading, if you’re interested in having a parquet floor please check out my website. if you need any more information please check out

We have oak parquet floor blocks £30.00 per meter special online price

The Truth About Rottweilers

Three years ago I knew virtually nothing about Rottweilers; or more accurately I knew a number of things that weren’t true. For example, I pictured Rottweilers as very aggressive guard dogs that didn’t make good pets and weren’t “people” dogs. Then about three years ago while browsing the internet looking at dogs up for adoption, my daughter fell in love with “Jade”, a two-year old three-legged female Rottie at a shelter in Texas. A few weeks later we were on our way to Texas to adopt Jade — a move which would lead to a quick re-education on my part as to the truth about Rottweilers.

When we first met Jade my impression was of a large, lurching bear of a dog, tongue hanging out one side of her mouth and stub tail wagging furiously. She had lost her right front leg when she was hit by a car as a puppy; her owners paid to have her leg amputated but decided they no longer wanted her and dropped her off at the local animal shelter. Then an older couple adopted her to replace their dog who had died, but quickly decided Jade wasn’t the right dog for them. They ended up dropping her at another shelter — where we eventually found her.

Once we got back home with the newest member of our family a couple of things quickly became apparent. Rottweiler experts will tell you that you need to establish control over your Rottie early on or it will become very hard to manage. In Jade’s case establishing control was a real challenge. After spending half her life in a kennel, she had obviously decided that humans, although nice enough, weren’t to be trusted. It wasn’t that she was uncontrollable – it was more a case of Jade having developed a strong sense of independence. Getting her to do what you wanted took a certain amount of give and take.

I did learn several things about Rotties while we were working on getting more control over Jade. First of all, I did some reading and found out that Rottweilers were actually bred as herding dogs and were also used to pull small loads; only later on were they used as guard dogs. They are in fact “people” dogs and enjoy spending a lot of time with their humans. Rotties are strong, tough, loyal — and as subtle as a sledgehammer. By nature they tend to be loud (Jade has a snarl that could peel paint off a wall), suspicious of strangers (outside of the house at least), and patient (their ability to remain calm and not over-react to situations is one quality that makes them good guard dogs).

As mentioned, Rotties usually like to “hang out” with their humans, but it took several months for Jade to really warm up to us. She would spend most of her time alone in the bedroom and rarely got up and moved around except to go outside. She got so little exercise that she began to put on weight and, since it took a certain amount of effort for her to get up with only three legs, she even started to drag herself around at times rather than go to the trouble of heaving herself up on her feet. Eventually an improved diet of weight maintenance dog chow and green beans took most of the weight back off and a lab pup we rescued gave Jade someone to play with and got her to get up and moving.

Now, two years later, Jade is an integral part of our family and I’ve learned several more truths about Rotties:

  1. They say you need to brush your Rottweiler at least once a week to comb out the loose fur from their undercoat and that’s the absolute truth. Brushing Jade is a major operation — my wife usually spends 30 to 45 minutes brushing her and even uses an attachment on the vacuum cleaner to try to suck up all the loose fur (and by the way, Jade seems to enjoy being vacuumed).
  2. Rotties are also supposed to be sensitive to both hot and cold weather. Considering the thickness of her undercoat, Jade does have a problem with really hot weather. We only let her out for a short time during the day in the summer. As for not tolerating really cold weather, I’m not sure I entirely agree with that. I’ve seen Jade lie outside in the snow for several hours at a time and have to be coaxed back into the house.
  3. Another “truth” I’ve discovered about Rotties that you don’t read much about is the “gas” problem. Everyone I’ve talked to who has a Rottweiler seems to share this problem. You’ll be sitting there and suddenly your Rottie expels some gas. Within moments the room becomes enveloped in a haze of noxious gas. This room-clearing effect probably has something to do with improper diet, but none of the owners I know have found an answer for it yet.
  4. Experts caution you not to give your Rottie rawhide. Jade does get rawhide chips, but not large pieces. Besides which, Cole (our lab) generally steals them from her before Jade has a chance to consume much of the rawhide. Oddly enough though, Jade does have a passion for paper products; leave a Kleenix, paper towel or napkin within her reach and she’ll down it in one gulp.
  5. One thing I’ve found to be especially true is that you do need to be careful about strangers and other animals. Inside our house Jade is always happy to greet new people and even at the pet store she’s friendly enough to others. Outside our house though Jade becomes much more cautious and can be very aggressive toward strangers at times (although since Rotties consider a bull rush and chest bump as a proper greeting, sometimes it’s hard to tell hostility from enthusiasm). As for other animals, Jade gets along fine with our lab, our cats and our parrots, but you can never be quite sure how she’s going to react to a new animal.
  6. Finally, Rottweilers are surprisingly intelligent (the ninth-most intelligent dog breed according to a recent study). With their size, strength, and somewhat aggressive nature it’s easy to assume that they’re not too bright. Be aware though, inside that titanium steel skull is an active, problem-solving mind.

All in all, I’ve become very attached to our brute of a dog. Jade may drool, pass gas, shed and let out ear-splitting snarls, but she’s also a lovable, affectionate, sometimes clownish, sometimes sensitive, sometimes scheming, and always entertaining member of our family.