Angel Boy Art – Online Gallery for Kids With Special Needs

I was recently asked to review Angel Boy Art which is a non-profit organization that hosts an online gallery for kids with special needs to show off and/or sell their masterpieces. I was touched by mission statement of this organization which is as follows:

Angel Boy Art has three main goals: To help children with special differences flourish, communicate and express themselves through art; To raise money for special needs children and their families by selling their art; and To raise public awareness about special needs children and break down the stigma that a handicapped child cannot communicate.

I spoke with Sara Vitale, founder of the organization, and she had this to say about her project, “Many special needs children have difficulty communicating in the standard ways. Art is a universal language that everyone can understand. Special needs kids flourish when they get involved in art for many reasons. First, it provides physical and occupational therapy that the child wants to do. Many times getting a child with physical limitations to stretch is difficult because the child is resistant to having to work. Art eliminates that issue as the child strives to reach a little further because they want to. Completing an art project gives a special needs child a sense of accomplishment and it is wonderful to see how proud they are of their creations. The color choices alone are a way for the child to communicate, and as they gain experience, their art begins to tell stories they could not otherwise share.”

When asked to elaborate on the mission statement’s third goal, to break down stigmas about special children, Sara went on to say, “It is important for people in the community to see the beautiful creations created by special young artists. There are many stigmas about children with handicaps that can be broken down through the beauty of art. One thing the art does is it gives people who are not sure how to approach a handicapped child a way in. By talking with the parents about the child’s art they can learn about the child’s disability in a natural way.”

This unique art gallery for children with special needs was founded in 2006 because of a special young artist named Louis Angelo. When Louie was ten months old he began painting as part of his physical therapy. It soon became clear that the painting was not only good physical therapy, but also a means of communication and building confidence.

Louie is the original Angel Boy Artist. He has complex medical issues including severe arthrogryposis, skeletal dysplasia, tracheostomy, feeding tube and a nervous system disorder which severely limits his mobility and confines him to a wheelchair. His mother began painting with him when he was about ten months old. He uses strips of fabric and velcro to strap the paint brush around his arm to help him hang on to it. He loves painting and especially loves to put a blob of paint down and then scratch it with his fingers and you will see this trademark in every painting he does….at least every one so far!

Louie’s mom is also the founder of the gallery and an artist herself. She says, “The painting is a great form of exercise for Louie. It helps him gain range of motion and control of his upper extremities and he is motivated to push himself because he enjoys it so much. It is so wonderful to see how proud he is of himself after creating a masterpiece! His art is also a form of communication. He has a very picky eye and insists on choosing his own colors which he does by pointing to the color he wants. Louie loves to feel the paint and will often paint his own hands and face! Don’t worry, it’s non-toxic!”

All special young artists are encouraged to join this wonderful organization, and it will never cost them a penny.

Knee Replacement Pain – How Long Does it Last After Surgery?

You have finally made the difficult decision to have knee replacement surgery. To get to this point, you probably have been on that long road of seemingly never-ending pain. Now you want to find out what you can expect to happen after your surgery. Just how long will you continue to be in pain after you replace your knee joint, and what kind of pain should you expect? Well, the standard answer is to say that everyone’s body will respond differently to the surgery, and you might have better or worse results than the average patient. While that is certainly true, it doesn’t help one bit to get you prepared for how you will be feeling after your surgery.

A better answer is to say that you will experience swelling and pain after your surgery. You will be giving medications to help you manage that pain. After the initial healing period following your surgery, it is up to you whether you make a full pain free recovery or not. If you find yourself sitting in bed or on the couch all day, chances are you will not make a complete recovery and you will still have pain in your knee. If you follow your doctor’s instructions and make it a point get moving a little more each day, your chances of seeing the results you hope for are much greater.

Your physical therapist will help you with exercises to speed your rehabilitation, but you have to have the right attitude. You must take responsibility for your own recovery. To get to the point where your knee no longer aches and you can return to a normal lifestyle takes hard work. There is just no way around the effort that you must put in to achieve a successful surgery outcome. You can get back to having a pain free joint and to doing the activities you once loved, if you are willing to do the work.

Of course, never do any exercise without the approval of your doctor and your physical therapist. Even with your positive, can-do attitude, it is not a good idea to try to play tennis a week after you are discharged from the hospital. You must take your recovery plan one step at a time. The point is to keep taking those steps to reach your goal of a pain free life. For some helpful ideas to get you started on the right road to recovery, take a look at:

Fun T-Ball Drills

T-ball is a wonderful way to acquaint young children with the sport of baseball. Being so young, the most important aspect is making sure that the children are enjoying the experience while learning the basics. There are many fun t-ball drills that players will enjoy while learning and practicing the fundamentals.


Catch is perhaps the most famous and basic of all t-ball drills. It is even used in the major leagues during pre-game warm-ups. Catch is one of the fun t-ball drills that is easiest for children to learn. Catch is the best way to learn the essentials of catching and throwing.

Bounce to the Bucket:

Bounce to the bucket is a fun t-ball drill that requires a large basket or a cooler, placed on top of a base. Outfielders then try to throw and bounce the ball into the open container. It’s fun to make this game a competition by giving ten points for every ball that goes in, five points for hitting the bucket, and one point for bouncing the ball closest to the bucket. This drill is important because it allows players to practice throwing from the outfield to the bases.

Catching Contest:

The catching contest is a great drill to practice catching and throwing. Break the players up into groups of two and then have them throw the ball back and forth between themselves. The last two players that have not dropped the ball are the winners.

Catch the Coach:

Catch the coach begins by having the coach run from home plate to first base. After he starts running the coach should yell out “tag me,” and the player holding the baseball should run after the coach and attempt to tag him out before he reaches first base.

Catch the Players:

Catch the players is a fun drill to practice base running. The coach lets four or more players begin running the bases, starting from home plate, each player separated by about seven seconds. The coach starts running last, attempting to catch the players and tag them out one by one by grabbing the cabs from their heads.

One and Two:

One and two is a drill which is good for practicing catching and throwing accuracy involving two players playing catch. The thrower is awarded two points if the ball is caught at or above the shoulders. One point is scored if the ball is caught between the waist and shoulders. No points are awarded if the ball if caught below the waist or not caught at all.

Track Meet:

Track meet is one of the fun t-ball drills that begins with two players at home plate. At the start, one runs to third base, the other runs to first base. They continue running in opposite directions around the bases, and the first player to return to home plate wins. In order to avoid collisions, instruct the runner that begins at first base to touch second base from the outside corner, and the runner coming from third base to touch the inside corner of second base.

Making Money With Heavy Equipment


One Market that makes big money is the Heavy Equipment market which I have done lots of research on and bought many machine for great prices. The thing is that it takes a while to get the hang of this market. There is lots to know about buying heavy equipment but once you find out the right machine you will be set. As we all know our economy is still growing and new construction projects are forming along the way. with forming of projects their is always going to be a demand for tools, supplies and most of all heavy equipment. Now most of you are thinking that it is nearly impossible to afford heavy equipment due to its expensive cost; but your mistaken these machines are pretty affordable, I could say the machines that I own are priced between 3 to 40 thousand dollars and most of them are fairly newer machines as well. Now you may wonder where I must of got these machines and thats a simple question to answer; auctions; but do not be fooled it was not any auction I had to attend a very large auction totaling about 1 to 2 thousand machines maybe even more and many people from all over the country flying and driving just to attend this auction. This is one very large auction lasting 2 to 3 day just getting rid of everything that you see. This information is to just get you motivated into thinking about a great business to start, If you are interested, Just visit my site listed below by contacting us for any questions you may have.

Buying Heavy equipment is probably one of the most exciting things that I have done. I like the task of finding the right machine; Once I do, I know that machine is going to make money for me no matter what. Some of you maybe wondering how on earth are able to make money from these machine; well their is many ways. One of them is renting the machine which on average you can make $600 a day, resell them for 3 to 4 thousand dollars extra, or depending on which brand of machine that is bought such as Caterpillar you can export them and sell them for double the price that it was bought for. Now does that sound like enough money for you? But the thing is figuring out how these money making matters are done. Like I said these machine are high in demand so it would not be that large of a task to have machines getting sold ,rented or exported.

The auction that I usually attend to is run by a very large heavy equipment auctioneer company called Alex Lyon, I usually attend the one in Atlantic City, New Jersey; which is one of the largest auctions that they hold for the year. There are other company’s similar to Alex Lyon as well which I will list below. The auctions are very intense they go around the clock bidding, they do not stop until everything is sold. If your new to the auctions, I suggest that you do not bid the first time and that you attend these auctions, just look around and see how things run and get a feel of how competitive the bidders can be. usual the more the machines the less the prices are and the less competitive.

Usually a good machine that is of decent size that runs and operates fine could cost you between 10 to 40 thousand dollar it also matters what brand of machine your buying. The decent machines that are good brands and do not cost much are usually brands such as Hyundai, Samsung, Kobelco, Allis-Chalmers, Case and many more. Those machines where just very few of many other brands. Do not be afraid to buy older machines you would be surprised how well they could run and operate after so many years. I own a 1960 Caterpillar D7 and it runs better then my other machine that was made in 1998.

When buying these machines you need to buy machines that are mostly in demand such as bull dozer’s, wheel loaders, excavators, skid steers and especially backhoes. If you buy machines such as those; things will move much easier and faster for you. I find machines such as these used in job sites all the time and they are mostly rented for large sums of money. When looking over the machines make sure there is no hydraulics Oil leaking at all cause fixing those seals cost big money. Also do not be deceived when a machine looks very clean because most of them are usually painted to make them look clean, you would be surprised how many they paint just to sell them. Also if possible buy a set of machine keys they usually cost about $30 on eBay they really do wroth buying it to help determinate lots of problems we all know this. Usually the diesel engines in those machines run fine; Problems that mostly occur are clutch ,electrical and hydraulic system problems.

Over all If you figure out how to make good money from a market like this you would not like to stop since there is so much to do and cover that you want to know it all. But I recommend to get to know somebody that deals with a market such as this I have one guy that tells me everything about these machine and all the things that you can do with them to make money, I can not say I gave you the best information here but I am still learning this market as well but I find it a very fun and enjoyable market to be in theirs lots of movement and lots of demand in it get to know. For any Question to be answered please

Good Sites for this Field





Bulldozers, Crawler Tractors and Their Advantages Over Wheeled Tractors

Bulldozers or “Crawler Tractors” first appeared in the 1930’s have proven themselves over the decades for earth moving, ground clearance and demolition, the most popular and well-known brand of machine is Caterpillar (CAT).

Bulldozers with their high-powered diesel engines are crawler type tractors. Bulldozers are for far more heavy-duty work than standard tractors typically using heavy-duty tracks instead of pneumatic tyres allowing them to spread their weight far more evenly over the surface, and allowing them to go places that rubber tyres would fail. Although they run slower than the average tractor they will be far more stable on uneven ground and due to the far greater surface area they are far less likely to sink into soft surfaces.

Bulldozer tracks allow these huge machines fantastic manoeuvrability and mean they can spin on their own axis. The bulldozer relies on its weight and strength to get the job done and are seen around the world re-shaping and clearing the ground.

Usually the bulldozer will have a front blade for moving and grading the soil and moving large objects. The front blade will be able to move up and down and tilt from side to side using its hydraulic pump. A ripper blade is sometimes fitted at the rear of the machine and using its hydraulic pump is forced into the ground to tear up any obstacles in the ground that were preventing the bulldozer from moving the earth.

Bulldozers will always be used in the building, forestry and agricultural industries due to their massive power and heavy-duty tracks. Other brands include Komatsu, JCB, John Deere, Case, Terex and Fiat-Allis. The main purpose of the bulldozer will always be to either clear the ground or move the dirt.

How to Reset Your Printer? Troubleshooting for Resetting Your HP, Dell, Lexmark, Brother or Samsung

Ever faced problems with resetting your printer? Well, here we provide you invaluable tips to help you troubleshoot your HP, Dell, Lexmark, Brother or Samsung Printers in easy steps.

Resetting an HP laser printer

There is a technique known as cold resetting. It basically will set all your HP printer settings to the factory default levels. It is important to note that any settings made at the control panel of your printer are going to be reset. Hence, in case you happen to have a JetDirect card then even the IP address will be reset to the factory defaults. You can try to reset NVRAM. To do this, switch off your HP printer and then hold down the ‘Go’ key for around 20 seconds while switching the printer back on again.

– HP 1200 and 1100 models resetting: To do this, simply change the data by going into the service mode. This is applicable if your HP printer has a display panel. Otherwise you need to hold down the ‘Go’ button for around 5 seconds while the printer is switched on.

– HP 2100 printer resetting: You need to press the ‘job cancel’ key after switching off the printer. Then switch the printer on and only then release the key called ‘job cancel.’

– HP 2200 printer resetting: Switch off your printer and then hold down the ‘Go’ key. Switch back the printer on while holding the ‘Go’ button till the light comes on. Then release the button.

– HP 6P and 5P models resetting: Switch off your printer and then press the ‘reset’ button and within 20 seconds switch on the printer back again.

Resetting a Dell printer

You can reset your Dell printer fairly easily by simply double-clicking on the ‘Reset Dell Printer’ icon. You can reach this icon by clicking on the folder ‘UAN’, then clicking on ‘System Utilities’ and you should find the icon. However, one word of caution – this method will function only if the USB cable has been directly connected from the PC to the printer.

Resetting a Lexmark printer

You will firstly need to switch off your printer. Then simultaneously press the RETURN and READY keys while switching the printer on. This will take you to the Diagnostics Mode. The display unit will show the message ‘Performing self test’. Choose ‘Maintenance count’. Reset the count to make it zero. Then select the RETURN key and go back Diagnostics Mode. Then you can reset the printer to go back to the normal mode.

Resetting Brother Printer

You need to keep pressing the DOWN or UP keys a couple of times till you see ‘Maintenance 99’ displayed on the display. Then hold down the ‘Set’ button to go to standby mode. Please note that if you press the exit key only after typing in a single digit then the machine goes to maintenance mode in initial stages.

Resetting Samsung printer

You need to press the following keys in quick succession – MENU # 1 9 3 4. Then you should see a message on your display saying ‘TECH.’ Then again select the MENU key followed by ENTER. The display will now show ‘TECH MODE.’ Then select the ‘

Concrete Vs Pavers

When designing a residential landscape, cost is always a factor that must be considered, especially if you have a fixed budget. Installing pavers for your outdoor living area is an inexpensive way to beautify your landscape. There are many cost benefits of using pavers compared to other materials including the purchasing of materials, the installation costs and of course the long term maintenance.

Pavers will last a lifetime if properly looked after. Pavers are low maintenance, giving you more time to enjoy your outdoor living area rather than maintaining it. Pavers just need a regular hosing down to remove any excess dirt or debris that may appear from the surrounding garden. High pressure cleaners can be used but make sure the force is not too fierce or it could damage the pavers. A simple wash will ensure your pavers preserve that pristine appearance for many years to come. Also using a paver sealant when installed properly will ensure your investment will last for many years to come and it also enhances the colors and makes it much more easier to clean.

Concrete has traditionally been one of the most common paving materials used. It’s low cost per square foot makes it the natural choice of many homeowners as it initially seems to be a relatively inexpensive option. In reality, the inevitable cracking of concrete leads to a long-term cost that’s far greater than installing paving stones, without providing any of the benefits pavers offer.

However, you must consider the long term benefits and costs involved. The costs of repairing pavers can be far more beneficial that those for repairing a concrete slab.

Cracking can occur in a pavement of any kind, most commonly caused by earth movement and weather conditions. If there is a crack in a paver, that one paver can be easily removed and replaced and look brand new again. There would be no evidence of the cracking. However, if there was cracking in a concrete slab, to repair this would mean the whole slab would have to be removed and laid again. The only other alternative is to leave the slab as is which will look very unattractive and can become hazardous over a period of time.

Realistically, the costs benefits of installing a concrete slab may initially seem to exceed the installation of pavers, however the costs benefits of pavers will far outweigh the concrete slab in the long term.

Shiba Inu Temperament – The Good and the Bad

The Good of Shiba Inus

1. A Shiba Inu is a beautiful, spitz dog. You will get many compliments and turn many heads while walking next to a Shiba. Get used to hearing, “He/She looks just like a FOX!”. In fact, it is this foxy look that often gets Shibas into trouble. Many people fall in love with his look but are not equipped to handle his larger than life personality.

2. A Shiba Inu is a dog that is more like a cat. Shibas are independent and clean. My Shiba spends a fair amount of time not just grooming himself, but also helping to groom my Siberian Husky. Shibas are extremely easy to housebreak. My Shiba was housetrained when we got him at 10 weeks old.

3. A Shiba Inu is a good watch dog. Shibas do not bark much; but when there are strange people or strange noises around the house they will bark to alert you.

4. A Shiba is graceful and agile. Shibas can leap tall fences in a single bound and can scale walls like Spiderman. They are great hiking buddies, and can easily learn and conquer an agility course. A Shiba running is a sight to behold and a Shiba at play is poetry in motion.

5. A Shiba is extremely intelligent. Shibas can learn many commands and they can learn them very quickly. Shibas can also quickly figure out complex interactive toys and puzzles.

6. A Shiba is small in body but has an enormous personality. My Shiba always surprises me, makes me laugh, challenges me, and keeps me on my toes.

The Bad of Shiba Inus

1. A Shiba Inu is bold, strong willed, and stubborn. Shibas have a “Never give up, Never surrender” attitude. They will not back down from a challenge and will often fight back when they perceive a threat. Because of this, many owners face aggression issues with their Shiba, including resource guarding, dog aggression, and people aggression. To successfully live with a Shiba, you must be extremely patient and have a good sense of humor. Work with a Shiba’s innate personality and use it motivate him in the right direction. Reward based techniques work best with Shibas.

A Shiba will hand you many lemons, which is good if you like lemonade. Otherwise, just cut one up and squirt it on his muzzle. ~~ [ just a joke! ]

2. A Shiba Inu has a sly, roguish, kind of intelligence. Shibas will do whatever they want if they can get away with it. If they can’t get away with it, they will figure out another way to get away with it. When they are caught with their nose in the cookie jar, they will give you the innocent “what did I do?” look and then come over and lick your hand. Once you turn your back, they are back in the cookie jar.

3. A Shiba Inu is like the evil, black, Spiderman. Shibas are capable of great feats of agility but if untrained, they will use it to destroy and cause great havoc in the household. If bored and lonely, they will escape by jumping over or burrowing under your fence. They can squeeze through small holes, bite through leashes, and achieve amazing great escapes that will make Houdini proud.

4. A Shiba is a drama queen. Shibas will whine, mope and act like it is the end of the world when they are hurt or think that they are hurt. My Shiba acts like he is close to death’s door even for small things like getting grass stuck between his teeth. Woe be to you, woe be to your vet, and woe be to anyone who tries to help. Shibas are extremely touchy when in this state, and may snap and bite at anyone who comes near them.

5. A Shiba is an accomplished singer. Shibas don’t bark much but they have a wide range of vocal stylings. The most well known is the Shiba-scream, which is a high pitched, loud scream that will make your blood curdle and make your neighbors call 9-1-1. Shibas will quickly learn to use this scream against you if you let them.

6. A Shiba knows that he is royalty. Shibas want their subjects close enough to serve them but not too close as to sully their royal persons. As a result, handling a Shiba (e.g. cutting nails, bathing, or a vet examination) can be tough work.

7. A Shiba pretends not to understand the word “obedience”. Shibas think that you should be obedient to them, not the other way around. If you want them to do something for you, you had better make them a good offer.

How to Remove Rust From Bolts and Screws!

Are you stuck in rusted bolts and screws and have tried all your strength to open it up but failed in every attempt? Don’t worry, this is a very common story and almost everyone has been across such a situation at some point of time in his or her life.

Especially if those bolts and screws are left open in moisture for long, they will grow rust very soon. And once they get rusted it is often very tough to unscrew if not impossible. For example screws and bolts in car parts, boats or even lawn mowers often get rusted as they are almost always open to moisture. And the biggest problem is, it is tough to keep them away from moisture. The problem becomes more intense once rust gets into the threads or when rust eats up the metal head of the screw making it difficult to grip with a screwdriver.

Sometimes you can just throw away those rusted screws and blots but in many cases you need to restore the existing one as it is impossible to find a replacement for a lot of screws in local hardware stores. In these situations it becomes crucial that you can clean up those screws and bolts properly so that you can reuse them after cleaning.

People try different things in similar situation to remove rust and open those screws and other metal bodies. Some of them are effective and some of them do not have any proven record. Here are some common ways that people use to effectively remove rust:

The most common solution is using penetrating oil bought from local hardware store. All you need to do in this situation is to pore a few drops of penetration oil on the screw, keep things as it is for a few moments and than use screwdriver to open it. If necessary you may even need to use a narrow chisel and a hammer to move the rusted screw inside. If the condition is too poor, you may even need to leave those screws in penetration oil overnight – it should loosen up by the morning. Though this is a heavily used process to remove rust, it is not very effective.

Some people prefer using hydrogen peroxide on rusted screws and bolts. They pour some hydrogen peroxide on the screws and bolts and leave them as it is. After a while you would need to use a hard brush and clean the rust from the screw. You may also need to use some oil after cleaning the rust on it so that the screw comes out easily. It is always better to avoid Hydrogen peroxide as it often leaves some residual elements on the spot.

Another common and effective solution is using rust cleaner. You would easily find a lot of good quality rust removers in some local stores or you can even order them online. Good quality rust cleaners do not require scrubbing and brushing – all you need to do is to dip the rusted metal into the cleaner. However, it is always recommended to buy some organic rust cleaners so that you can use in for other things too.

If you want to do that in harder way, try using some fine grade sand paper and sand out all rust from the screws and bolts. However, do not forget to use some lubricant before reusing them.

There are lots of other ways people employ to remove rust from metal items. All you need to do is to find out the best solution to your problem. Whatever process you select, make sure that it is effective to remove rust from metal items of any kind so that you can use it in different ways.

How Fast Can a Crossbow Bolt Get?

A lot of people in the hunting and archery community have been debating on whether crossbows are faster than compound bows. The fact of the matter is that this discussion has from time immemorial favored crossbows, up until a certain point. You might have noticed that I implicitly added “up until a certain point” in the previous sentence. The reason for this is the fact that compared to compound and traditional bows the velocity of a crossbows quarrel slowly decreases or decelerates over longer distances. This makes them less than ideal when they are in competition with arrows and the targets are much farther than their intended range. But in terms of raw power and speed the crossbow is king in the 30 to 40 yard categories and you’d have to look for a bow with a draw weight that’s equal or much heavier than what the crossbows have.

So how fast does a crossbow’s quarrel travel to reach a certain target that’s around 30 to 40 yards away from it? Well, there are a lot of things that can affect the velocity of the quarrels once they’re in motion and among these factors would be the power stroke. The power stroke is basically the length the string travels from being drawn fully up until its rest position. Together with the draw weight, these two factors dictate the velocity of the bolts or quarrels fired from crossbows. Consequently, with these two factors in mind, anyone who would want to get the fastest crossbows in the market need only to make sure that they get the weapon that has the right combination of these two factors and they could easily make the speediest kills of the game that they usually hunt down.

One advantage of a bolt or quarrel that’s moving fast is the fact that once it hits, the target will immediately feel the force of the hit. This makes maiming or killing game much easier because you really would not want to have game surviving your initial shot. If you have plans on skinning the animal, then you would not want the skin to have a lot of holes in it right? This also lessens the suffering of the animal because nobody wants game to thrash around and possibly also ruin their coat once they’ve been hit. Additionally, there are other factors that might affect the velocity like wind speed and direction but usually these are considered negligible.

A Husky Concrete Mixer Takes Care of All of Your Mixing Needs

Husky Tools has been making quality tools for over 50 years. But if you are looking for Husky tools in most hardware stores, you will be disappointed-Home Depot is now the only distributor of Husky tools. So, make a trip to your neighborhood orange big-box store to browse the big selection of Husky tools.

One of the popular Husky electric tools is the Husky Mortar Mixer. This Husky mixer features a removable 5 gallon bucket with a 50 pound mixing capacity. The height of the fixed drill motor is adjustable, and mixing paddles are provided to mix drywall mud, cement, paint, stucco, and mortar; just about anything you could need to mix for a do-it-yourself project at home.

The Husky paddles make quick work of any mix, and are specially designed to thoroughly mix mortar or other mixture quickly and easily. This Husky electric concrete mixer is very portable with the attached wheels and integrated handle. The bucket also has a dolley, which allows you to move your mixture just about anywhere you need it to go.

The THD800 mixer has a 1.5 HP motor, which draws 9 amps. It also features a ground fault contact interrupter (GFCI) electrical connector with a reset button to keep you safe and prevent electrocution.

So if you are planning a project and will need to mix a good amount of mortar or other mixture, the Husky Concrete Mixer is a great choice. And with a price of around $150 for a new model, this can be cheaper than renting a used mixer. Good luck on your project!

Concrete, Metal, Or Resin Garden Statues – What is the Best Choice For Your Garden

Garden statues come in many different materials.  The most popular though are concrete, resin, and metal.  Here are the benefits and differences between them.

Concrete garden statues:  These are very affordable and are sold in both finished and unfinished styles.  You can get almost any type of concrete statuary that you want in nearly any size you want.  The big benefit of buying unfinished concrete sculptures is that if you decide to paint it then you will not only get it cheaper, but also get the exact colors you want.

The only bad part about getting concrete statuary for your garden is that they can get very heavy if the statues are big and they are not as detailed as resin statues.  However, if you live in a high wind area, heavy can be a big advantage.

Resin garden statues:  Basically resin is a hard plastic material.  The big advantage of resin is that it takes on any shape in amazing detail.  Because it produces very detailed results you will often see statues of animals, children, and Disney characters made out of resin.  

Resin is very durable.  It is often more expensive than concrete, especially when you get into larger pieces.  These types of pieces look great in informal gardens.

Metal garden statues:  These are generally both very beautiful and fairly pricey.  But, if you have a formal garden then a metal statue may be just what you want.  Be aware that many metals used in garden statuary develop a patina over time.  Only you can decide if this is something that you want.  Copper statues for instance turn a beautiful shade of green – think the Statue of Liberty. 

Radiators for Those With Dust Allergies

Which radiators should you install to help minimise the symptoms caused by allergies to dust, dust mites, pollen or other air borne particles?

If you are allergic to dust, dust mites or other air borne particles, then you should avoid installing radiators that work by convection i.e. that blow heat up into the air.

Convection radiators force hot air out which then circulates around a room. Accordingly convector radiators will cause dust and other particles to be circulated around the room. Such movement of these particles will aggravate an allergy.

If you are an allergy or hay fever suffer, you are best to look for radiators that work by radiating heat, as opposed to convecting heat, as these designs cause less air and dust movement so are a better choice.

Popular radiators that work by radiation are made of cast iron or stone, so offer a good solution for those who suffer from dust or pollen allergies. Other options to consider are radiant panel heaters, electric radiators or glass and mirror radiators.

Consider the ability of the radiator to retain dust and the ease of cleaning. Flat panel radiators that are easy to wipe down lend themselves particularly well to those who suffer with allergies. There is now a host of slimline radiators offering the practical benefits of radiant heat and easy cleaning alongside minimalist style and affordable prices.

Also, it is advised against drying clothes on radiators, as humidity can exacerbate symptoms. Think about other ways of decreasing humidity levels such as improving ventilation.

Some people also may suffer with allergies caused by chemicals that are used in some paints. This means standard panel radiator may not be suitable for many sufferers and other products should be considered. For instance, stainless steel radiators offer a stunning finish, alongside good heating performance and have no chemical coatings that may aggravate an allergy. The range of stainless steel radiators is now huge and this is a popular option for those looking to avoid radiators that are painted. It is also worth considering stone radiators, made of granite, marble or limestone, or even glass radiators, though these tend to have a lower heat output than their metal equivalents.

For further information on suitable products for those suffering with allergies, it is worth contacting a radiator specialist or expert such as Feature Radiators. An expert such as this can provide practical and affordable yet attractive solutions to meet any specifications and are used to dealing with all sorts of unusual requests.

Butt Joint? See What it Is

The butt joint is the simplest form of joinery. When the end of a square-cut (90 degrees) piece of lumber (#1) needs to be fastened to the face of another flat board (#2), the (#1) piece simply “butts” into the face of the other board (#2). Since a butt joint has no real integrity by itself, hardware fasteners must be used sometimes wood glue or construction adhesive is needed, as well.

They are used extensively in house framing. Squared end cuts of dimensional framing lumber — like 2 by 4’s, and 2 by 6’s for wall framing, and 2 by 8’s and 2 by 10’s for building floor joist framework — are butted into outside board faces, and fastened with nails or screws.

When doing wall framing work, the carpenter will nail the butt joints together using a method called “toe-nailing”, which simply means nailing through the end of a board at a 45 degree angle, tying the two boards together like a “T”. Floor joist butt joints usually require the use of “joist hangers”, which are zinc plated or galvanized steel brackets, that work like a saddle.

It should be noted that boards joined together with these joints aren’t always square cut.

Roof trusses are a good example and trusses generally call for different fasteners. Roof truss boards are usually joined together with steel plates that have tiny spikes or “prongs” on them. The steel plates are stamped this way at the factory.

These steel plates are simply hammered over the whole intersection of the joint, tying the two boards together, and sometimes supplemented with nails or screws.

Smaller versions of these steel plates, used to connect butt joints together on smaller wood projects, are called “mending plates”.

Mending plates typically have counter sunk holes in them, for using screws, the mending plate is placed over the butt joint, and screwed into place.

The Three Basic Types of Home Foundations

There are three basic types of foundations in use today in the construction of a home.

Slab Foundations

A slab foundation is a foundation built directly on the soil with no basement or crawl space. Slab foundations are common in areas where soil conditions are not suitable for a basement, and are the most common foundation found in warmer areas such as Florida, Arizona, California and Texas, or anywhere where the depth between the soil and stable underlying rock is very shallow. Slabs are the quickest and cheapest foundation because they require less labor, skill and materials cost. They consist of a concrete slab that is typically 6 to 8 inches thick. Embedded within the slab is a grid of supporting ribbed metal rods known as “rebar.” Even in locations where basements are prevalent, slab foundations are typically laid to serve as the base for structures like garages, pole barns, and sheds. Slabs are the least expensive of the three main foundation types but provide no storage or utility space, as the home actually sits directly on a large platform of solid concrete. Slabs have the disadvantage of being difficult and expensive to repair when they settle and crack, and plumbing lines that protrude from the soil upward through the concrete can also be expensive to repair. In areas where the underlying soil is thick or prone to excessive expansion and contraction, cables are embedded which can be tightened to provide better horizontal support and minimize the width of cracks.

Crawl Space (Pier and Beam) Foundations

A pier and beam foundation consists of either vertical wood or concrete columns (piers) that support beams or floor joists above the ground. The areas between the soil and the bottom of the house floor is known as the crawl space. These foundations are built either at ground level or over a shallow excavation that varies in depth, but is commonly about 36 to 40 inches deep. The best crawl space foundations have a load-bearing concrete perimeter wall and concrete or steel piers, both having footings below the freeze line of the soil, along with a good barrier over the soil to keep moisture under control. Less expensive versions have no load-bearing perimeter walls, piers with shallow footings, and no moisture barrier at all over the soil. Crawl spaces that enclosed by a wall or by skirting must have vents on every side to allow air to circulate and help keep the soil dry under the home. These vents must be configured to prevent the entry of rodents and snakes. Crawl space foundations are most often used in areas where there is heavy clay content in the soil that can severely damage (crack) slab foundations, or in waterfront or flood prone building sites where the necessary floor height to prevent water penetration of the living space must be higher than a slab can normally provide. The primary advantages of crawl space foundations are that plumbing lines are readily accessible for repairs, and foundation settlement problems are easier and less expensive to correct than with slab foundations. A primary disadvantage occurs when these foundations are not properly maintained or are constructed without adequate ventilation, allowing water or pests to cause damage. Crawl space foundations without adequate insulation applied to the bottom of the house floor can be very energy inefficient in a cold climate.

Basement Foundations

A basement is a type of foundation which includes an accessible space between the soil and the bottom of the first floor of a home. This foundation provides living space below the home, below the ground elevation. It is basically a slab foundation with walls and a floor. Basements are most often built in cold weather climates such as the Northeast, Midwest and Rocky Mountains, and in places where the cost of excavation is not prohibitive. Basements start with a hole approximately 8 feet deep, however, some homeowners will opt for a 9 or 10 foot deep basement wall to increase height and volume of useable space. The floor and walls are built, then the house itself is built over that. Basement foundations have the advantage of providing useful space for utilities, mechanicals systems, and storage not available in the previous two types of foundations. The primary disadvantage of basements is that because they are mostly below ground level, they are vulnerable to leakage, mold formation, and flooding. Basements in wet climates must always have a working drain and pump in the floor to combat flooding.