Art Gallery Lighting Tips

If you are confused as to what lighting solutions would be best for your art gallery, then the following tips would certainly be of help to you. Art galleries have very unique demands when it comes to lighting them up. Unlike most rooms that require a fine balance of task, accent, and ambient lighting, art galleries mainly rely on accent lighting to accentuate the art on display. While keeping the ambient lighting simple, you need to concentrate mainly on getting the accent lighting right for the actual artwork in the room.

Ideally, you must have a picture lighting system that can be easily reconfigured to light up relocated or new art pieces displayed in the art gallery. For several decades now, monorail lighting and track lighting are being used for lighting art galleries. Check the CRI (Color Rendering Index) A lamp’s CRI is nothing but its ability to display the colors of illuminated objects and falls in the range of 1 (monochromatic light) and 100 (the sun). Fluorescent bulbs that we commonly use have a very low CRI while incandescent lamps come with a high CRI. However, incandescent lamps are not really suitable for art galleries since they do not have the exact directional characteristics required for illuminating art galleries.

Low-voltage track and cable systems are commonly used for this purpose, as they use halogen lamps that are known for their almost perfect color rendering abilities with precise beam control. Another important factor that needs to be considered is the color temperature since it decides how colors would appear to the eye under a specific lamp. It is believed that warm colors would look more vibrant under ‘warm’ light sources while cool colors would look more pleasing under ‘cool’ lamps.

Pay attention to the beam spread abilities of a lamp. The size of the lighted area is one of the major lighting problems when illuminating an art gallery. For instance, a large cone used to illuminate a small art piece may not only look odd but also distract your attention from the artwork to the illuminated wall. It may not be always possible to change fixtures but you can certainly resolve this problem by choosing a lamp of the right beam spread. Simply put, beam spread refers to the width of the cone of light a lamp produces as you move away from the light source.

Beam spreads of lamps are specified in terms of spots and floods. While the term ‘spot’ refers to a beam spread of less than 15 degrees, ‘flood’ describes a beam spread in the range of 15 to 30 degrees. You must avoid directional cans as far as possible, since such recessed fixtures may not give enough light to illuminate an especially large piece despite their ability to rotate.

Veranda Composite Decking Makes the Perfect Long-Lasting Deck

Wondering what decking material you should choose? Don’t wrack your brains: just go for Veranda composite decking.

If you are planning to build a deck in your outdoor area, you should plan the whole thing. If you are not be careful with your planning, chances are you will be disappointed with the finished deck.

The first thing that you should do is to think about the decking material. One of the most recommended decking materials on the market these days is Veranda composite decking.

Wood is the traditional decking material in America. But considering the current status of the environment, it may not be reasonable to clear huge tracts of forest just to make wood decking. That is why veranda composite decking would be a great choice for homeowners who want to help minimize further damage to Nature. In making Veranda decking, not one tree is cut down. Manufacturers only use saw dust and other recycled wood products and combine them with recycled plastic to make Veranda composite decking.

Critics may say that Veranda composite decking is far more expensive than natural wood decking. Well, that is quite true: Veranda is rather expensive to manufacture. However, there are so many benefits that come with it that, over time, would offset the initial investment in the composite decking.

Essential Benefits of Veranda Composite Decking

Easy installation:

You do not really need to have advanced carpentry skills to do a Veranda deck installation. This product is very easy to install, and there is no need for you to purchase complicated and high-end tools. For cutting, drilling, and fastening this composite decking, conventional tools will suffice. With those simple but proper tools and safety equipment, such as protective clothing and safety glasses, you can install Veranda decking by yourself.

Low maintenance:

With wood decking homeowners are required to periodically purchase weather protectants and water seal products. Over time, purchase of such products would amount to some considerable bucks.

With veranda composite decking, though, you will save on maintenance cost. Although it is not 100 percent maintenance free, Veranda decking requires minimal maintenance. All you need to do to maintain the quality of your deck is to regularly clean it with soap and water. You can also use other equipment, such as a pressure washer, but it is fairly simple with standard cleaning materials.

Resistant from termite damage:

Wood decking is notorious for being prone to termite attacks. Most of the time termite damage can be prevented by application of expensive chemicals, yet there are times that even properly treated wood decking suffer damage from termites. It is just an irreversible natural process: termites were created to eat wood.

Arguably, repairing wood decking damaged by termites will cost you money that can be used for other purposes. That is why investing in Veranda composites is a pragmatic choice, as it is invulnerable from termite damage. Veranda decking is partially made of wood, but termites would not find its synthetic plastic component appetizing.

Durability:

Veranda composite decking is also durable. It can withstand the elements and will not easily split, warp, or cup. Veranda decking is also made to avoid splintering and corrosion. It is manufactured to retain its structural integrity for at least 25 years.

The Different Types of Excavator Buckets

The design of mechanical diggers has evolved since their creation in the late 19th century. As more tasks are carried out by heavy machinery and the manufacturing processes improved, the ability to tailor the attachments to specific jobs became more elaborate. The excavator bucket attaches to the end of the boom (the articulated arm protruding from the front or rear of a machine). Nowadays there are several commonly used excavator buckets which are used to perform particular tasks.

General Purpose

This design is intended to be useful for most excavation tasks. These buckets normally have teeth at the front which help to get purchase underneath the material that needs to be moved. This allows the bucket to cut through earth more easily than a flat fronted excavator bucket by dragging it toward the machine.

Ditch Maintenance

These excavator buckets are intended to move loose surfaces and carve gradients into landscapes. They normally have a straight front edge which makes them ideal for clearing away the surface rather than cutting through it. Due to the flat front it makes this kind of bucket unsuitable for heavy digging. They will also normally be fitted with drainage holes which reduce the weight and make them easier to work with in areas where water may have collected.

Ribbed Bucket

This type of excavator bucket is specifically designed to work with backhoe machinery which drags the bucket along the ground behind the vehicle. The outer of the bucket is fitted with wear strips which give it the ribbed effect for which it was named. These offer a surface which is designed to be worn from dragging. These plates can then be replaced which extends the working life of the bucket. As these buckets can be used on a multitude of surfaces they normally have teeth similar to the general purpose buckets.

Dedicated Bucket

These excavator buckets also have teeth, like the general purpose buckets and replaceable wear plates like the ribbed bucket.

Grading Bucket

This type of excavator bucket has a sharp edge with no teeth which make them ideal for carving gradients. The main difference between these and ditch maintenance buckets are the drainage holes which make up a larger area on the grading buckets which further reduces the weight.

Grain / Potato Shovel

This type of excavator bucket aims to reduce potential damage to crops during transit by having a rounded leading edge. They may also include wear strips from the toeplate to the back of the shovel which can be replaced to prolong the service life.

Rehandling Bucket

This type of excavator bucket is normally used for loading tasks. The leading edge may have a drilled toeplate which allows teeth to be fitted for tasks which require the bucket to cut through the material. Rolled backs make it easy to release the material.

Quick Hitch Mechanisms

Most excavator buckets can be used with quick hitch mechanisms which allow the operator to interchange attachments quickly. They are secured to the dipper arm with two pins which can either be released manually by the operator or remotely with a hydraulic ram. These mechanisms enable operators to change attachment more frequently but have also caused many accidents resulting in serious or fatal injuries. The majority of these accidents have been attributed to semi-automatic systems which require a pin to be removed manually before the operator released the bucket remotely.

Step by Step Cobblestone Paver Installation

If you have been considering installing a new walkway, driveway, or patio, cobblestone pavers are an excellent material choice. Cobblestone will add an attractive look to your home while also increasing the resale value of your property. Whether your project is straight or winding, using a mixture of these cobblestone pavers will create the look you desire.

To tackle this project, you’ll need these supplies:

– A Shovel

– Crushed Gravel

– A Rubber Mallet

– A Broom That Is Stiff

– Sand (Construction Grade Preferred)

– Sealant

– A Gardening Hose

– A Gardening Hose Spray Nozzle

– A Carpenters Level

– Yard Stakes and String (to outline the area)

– Trowel

– Pavers (these can be natural cobblestone or interlocking)

How to Install Cobblestone Pavers

Step One: Outline

Begin your project with a diagram. You will first want to draw out the project. Next, outline the area you intend to pave with yard stakes and string. This will aid you to get a visual and to get the proper measurements so you can purchase your pavers.

Step Two: Excavate

Clear the area. You will want to remove all rocks, roots, shrubs, etc, that will make the surface uneven. After you have completed this, start excavating the soil. You can do this with a shovel; make sure to dig out enough space to fit the gravel, sand, and pavers.

Step 3: Gravel

Lay your gravel base. You will want around 2 inches of gravel, then compact it with a trowel. If there are areas that have poor drainage, you should use more than two inches of gravel.

Step 4: Sand

Pour two inches of sand on top of the gravel. Then, compact the sand with your shovel; you don’t want any air pockets.

Step 5: Begin Paving

Pick a corner to start at, and then start laying your cobblestone pavers. You will want to do this one at a time, while making sure that each of them lies flat. If they seem a bit crooked, remove some of the sand underneath it.

Step 6: Pack

Be sure to pack the cobblestones with a rubber mallet. This will help to ensure that each stone is secure within the sand bed. You do not want any stones to be loose for this can cause trouble or cracking in the paved area in the future.

Step 7: Sweep Sand

Use any leftover sand to fill the cracks between stones. You can do this by using a stiff broom, sweeping the sand into the holes. Make sure that the sand is dry; you should wet it once you are done so it will compact.

Step 8: Sealant

Apply sealant to your finished product. By adding sealant, you are increasing the longevity of your project and decreasing the likelihood of weeds growing through it. The area will also be much more durable. Always read the label of sealants, each is different.

Cobblestone pavers are an elegant way to pave any area in or around your home. The process is much easier than many other pavers. You can find many assorted types and colors of pavers at your local home improvement store.

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.

7 Quick Ways to Easily Remove Stripped Screws

Picture this scene; you are trying to take apart an object. You get to the very last screw, and of course, it strips. What are you going to do now?

You have two choices. You can either spend an extremely frustrating half hour attempting to pry or dig it out, possibly ruining your project, or you can find an easy way to remove these fasteners and fixings. The second choice may be the best one, and it isn’t as difficult as you might think.

The following are a few helpful tips for removing stripped screws and bolts.

Tips for Removing Stripped Fasteners and Fixings Like Bolts and Screws

  • If you have a Dremel, or a tool that is similar to it, you can easily remove stripped fasteners and fixings. Take the Dremel and cut a small notch in the head of the screw. You can then use a screw driver with a flat head to remove the screw.
  • Use a drill and a drill bit to drill a tiny hole in the head of the screw. It doesn’t need to be deep, but it should be deep enough to allow a Phillips screw driver to sink into the hole so it can turn the screw easily.
  • Welding adhesives like JB Weld are an excellent way of removing stripped fasteners and fixings like screws and bolts. Simply choose a nut that is the same diameter as the screw head. Place it on the head of the screw and fill the middle of the nut with the welding adhesive. Be careful though! If you let the adhesive run, you will be making a mess that could prevent you from removing the screw at all. Let the adhesive dry, then use a socket wrench to grab the nut and twist out the screw.
  • If you have an item as simple as a wide rubber band, you can remove stripped screws as well. Put the rubber band over the head of the screw and then push your screw driver into the top of the screw. Many times, the rubber band will provide enough grip to allow you to turn the screw.
  • Is the screw partially exposed? If so, grab a pair of needle-nose pliers. See if you can grab onto the head of the screw with this tool and turn the screw until it is loose.
  • Take a hammer and the appropriate screw driver and carefully tap the end of the screw driver into the head of the screw. Sometimes, if the metal in the screw is soft enough, you can hammer the screw driver into the head enough to get a good grip on the screw. When you have a firm position, simply twist and remove.
  • One of the easiest ways to remove a stripped screw or bolt is to use a screw extractor. This tool was made specifically for this job and is a tool you should definitely have in your toolbox. A screw extractor will allow you to remove stripped fasteners and fixing with very little time, effort, or cost.

If you are constantly faced with stripped fasteners and fixings, consider these helpful tips. They will allow you to easily remove stripped screws and bolts and continue your do-it-yourself project.

Bolt – Christian Movie Review

A review of the movie, Bolt from a Christian perspective.

Movie Title: Bolt

Rating: PG

Director: Byron Howard and Chris Williams

Staring: the voices of John Travolta; Miley Cyrus; Mark Walton; and Susie Essman

Category: Children’s

Christian Perspective Rating: 5 out of 5 stars – AWESOME!

Intro: I had not really paid that much attention to the trailer for Bolt, so I was really “out of the loop” when the movie began. When you see it, you will know what I mean. Very exciting. I thought it was “real.” LOL!

Review: Bolt was a great movie. I loved it and so did both of my girls. We saw it right after The Tale of Despereaux and we thought Bolt was a MUCH better movie and WAY more kid friendly! No dark weird stuff.

The humor in Bolt is fantastic. Kids and parents were laughing. Very funny. Bolt was clueless, which made him funny to watch. Mittens was witty and sarcastic (my fav), and Rhino the hamster was hysterical. All together, it was a priceless cast!

There was some action violence that you would want to discuss with little ones. However, nothing very dark and nothing outrageous. The usual hero v/s bad guys stuff.

The only scene that I thought was not necessary was about how they gave Bolt (imaginary movie land Bolt) a dose of “science” to enhance his abilities. Basically making Bolt a super dog. It gave the aura of drugs…sort of. The kids will probably miss that though. I have to notice everything since I’m reviewing. LOL!

Conclusion: All in all, Bolt is a great movie of courage, loyalty, friendship and the power of love. The message is positive and the hero comes out on top. Great family movie!

General Maintenance and Concrete Mixer Parts

Concrete mixers are a very important piece of machinery that needs to be taken care of properly to prevent problems from occurring. If the mixer breaks down in the middle of a job, it could end up costing the company a lot of extra money that could have been avoided by following a general maintenance routine. In order for these machines to work correctly, they need regular maintenance to ensure all of the concrete mixer parts are in good shape and working properly.

It doesn’t matter if you have a small portable mixer you can move around easily or a large one that needs to be pulled on a trailer or moved with a crane, they all need to be taken care of properly in order for them to do the job they are designed to do. Concrete mixers may look like a tough piece of machinery but they still have a few small and simple parts that can wear out over time. For example, some of the smaller machines have belts and the larger ones have chains that can break, preventing the mixer from turning. It must turn to keep the concrete from hardening inside the machine before it can be used. If the chain or belt breaks and the concrete is not removed within a few minutes, it will set up inside the machine and this will cause a lot of problems and require a lot of work and time trying to remove the hardened cement. Thus even the most basic of concrete mixer parts, such as a belt or chain need to be maintained and inspected regularly to avoid the machine breaking down.

Concrete mixer parts include gears, clutches and hydraulic lines that can all wear out with regular use preventing the machine from working correctly. Even a bad spark plug could stall out the motor causing problems. These are simple things that the average person can replace with just a few basic tools. There is no need to hire someone to change a worn out belt or replace a spark plug. However, if you don’t keep the general maintenance up on the machine, then it can cause more serious problems that you will need a professional to take care of.

Finding cement mixer parts is easy. All you need to do is locate the industrial parts store nearest you and look for the items you need. If they don’t have what you need in stock they will usually order the part for you. You can also save some time and possibly some money by shopping online for the parts you need. Normally, you’ll have a larger selection when shopping online and you may be able to buy in bulk and save money.

Having spare concrete mixer parts available on the job is recommended. Even with regular maintenance, accidents do happen. It’s possible for a belt to snap without warning or a cold snap can cause a spark plug to go dead. Having spare cement mixer parts available will save you a lot of time and money in many situations. When something happens, you can fix the concrete mixer on the spot in a few minutes instead of having to run around searching for the part you need before you can even start to repair the machine.

Concrete Repair – Do It Yourself

Concrete bases like driveways, floors and walkways get occasional cracks and dirty patches in due course of time. Who would not want to get a completely new looking concrete surface without installing a new one? Concrete repair methods can make it happen! They are easy to implement and you would not need any professional help.

Concrete restoration procedures can impart a more pleasing look to your concrete walkways, floors and steps. Besides, such methods do not require you to spend big bucks. You can get them done at quite cheap rates. In a few exceptional cases of extreme concrete damage, complete replacement is the only way out, but in most cases, you can avail to the concrete repair methods.

Here are a few cases that would require a repairing procedure.

Cracks – Hairline cracks are pretty easy to deal with as you can just dip a rubber-gloved finger inside the crack and press it up. Deep vertical cracks would require some effort. Moistening the crack several hours before the repair process is very important. Mix Portland cement with water and make a paste out of it. With the help of a putty knife, you can apply the cement mixture to the crack. After doing so, smooth out the excess cement and level it with the rest of the ground.

Spalled Concrete – Spalling takes place due to flaky concrete surface. Poor installation and usage of excess water during construction result in such conditions. Latex can be used to deal with scaly and chipped concrete surfaces. In case of deeper spalled area, use more of latex to make a stronger patch.

Repair a concrete step – Steps of old houses are susceptible to chipping and breakages. Such steps not only look bad, they are dangerous also. It is a wrong notion most people has that repairing steps can be an intimidating task. But in reality, it is not so. Chipped steps can be repaired with minimal efforts.

Here are a few general tips that you need to follow are:

* One should not attempt any concrete work under hot and dry weather conditions.

* To make it easier to clean the tools with which you have done a concrete repair, pass a propane torch over them.

* In order to create a stronger bond to an old concrete slab, you can consider adding acrylic fortifier to the cement mixture.

Sanitred.com products are the most reliable when it comes to concrete repair. They impart permanent flexibility to rule out the chances of future cracking and are equipped with many user-friendly qualities.

The Advantages Of Installing Cast Iron Baseboard Radiators

When considering which type of heating system to install in their home people are increasingly choosing a system using cast iron baseboard radiators. Although sometimes seen as an ‘old fashioned’ form of heating, when integrated into a system using a modern source of heat generation such as an energy efficient boiler, ground heating system or even solar panels, a heating system using cast iron baseboard radiators has many advantages over many more ‘modern’ systems.

Domestic heating systems today are usually either a sealed hot water system using steel radiators or a ducted hot air system. A system using radiators has several advantages over a ducted hot air system. Radiators can be sited to minimise and eliminate cold spots in areas such as beneath windows and are far more flexible than hot air systems which need to be more centralized.

Also radiators can have very beneficial health advantages over a ducted air system. Their sealed nature means that they do not continually circulate air from ducting in which dust will inevitably collect, in fact many allergy sufferers have found a marked improvement in their condition after replacing a ducted air system with a sealed, radiator based system.

What advantages are there in using a cast iron radiator system over one using steel radiators?. Steel radiators tend to warm up quicker initially than iron radiators but will also cool down much faster. The increased mass of a cast iron radiator will retain heat far longer than a thinner steel equivalent, leading to a steady, more prolonged, diffusion of heat rather than an abrupt cooling.

Perhaps the most efficient and practical radiators you can install are cast iron baseboard radiators. Also known as floor moldings, skirting boards or mopboards, baseboards are simply the name given to the short decorative panels used in buildings to seal the gap between the wall and the floor. Because hot air rises, by placing the source of heat as low as possible a baseboard radiator system will help to eliminate any cold spots developing at floor level.

This type of cast iron radiator system is also far more unobtrusive than a more conventional radiator system. Whether you decide to install a long, low radiator or a system which is literally a baseboard and a radiator in one is a matter of personal choice. If you live in a period property you may wish to install a system of long low ornately decorated radiators to complement your other period features. Alternatively you may prefer not to be aware of your heating system at all, say if you don’t wish to obscure your decoration or you have features such as wainscoting. In this case baseboard radiators will enable you to not only replace more conventional radiator designs but the heating pipes are also carried within the radiator itself for the ultimate in low visibility.

Efficient, cheap to install and unobtrusive, it is easy to see why many more people are choosing a heating system which incorporates the many benefits of cast iron baseboard radiators.

A Primer On Model Train Benchwork

When I built my first model railroad, I didn’t even know what model train benchwork was. I bought a cheap door at the local lumber yard and attached some makeshift legs. Since I was working with N scale, the door provided plenty of room for a relatively interesting layout and it was pretty solid. I’m sure many other model railroaders have used similar solutions, including unused ping-pong and pool tables.

There’s nothing wrong with any of those kinds of solutions, especially for a first attempt at a layout and if one is on a budget. But if you are going build something larger and more elaborate, then the old door or ping-pong table isn’t going to work. You’re going to want to build something a little bit more “deluxe” for your model train. Benchwork is what we call the foundation of your model railroad.

There are several types of benchwork and no doubt many hobbyists have come up with completely unique solutions for their layout. Before we get into an introduction of the types of construction, a word of advice. It’s best to plan your benchwork around your layout. In other words, your design, including any special features such as mountains or valleys, should dictate the construction of your benchwork. It’s important that you have at least a basic vision of your completed model railroad. You don’t want to have finished building your foundation and then realize that you’d really like to incorporate a feature such as a dramatic bridge over a canyon that it can’t accommodate. So, don’t feel like you have to plan your layout down to the very last detail, but spend enough time on that phase so that you know at least the major parts of your layout design. This way you’ll be in a much better position to build your benchwork to serve the layout you really want.

Your benchwork needs to be:

  • Solid and stable. It can’t be shaky in any part and should be able to support your weight if you climb on top of it.

  • Accessible. You should be able to reach even the deepest parts of your layout without too much effort. You may have to fix something on your layout or reset a train that’s derailed. Generally this means nothing more than three feet deep.

  • User friendly. This means that you and your fellow model railroaders can move to different viewing points on your railroad with relative ease and also the height of the benchwork should be designed for the best sight-lines in order to provide maximum enjoyment.

Benchwork Types:

There are two main ways of constructing model train benchwork, Open Grid or L Girder. Think of Open Grid as a box frame. Ever seen a house in construction as they put up the framing for the walls? Well imagine those wall frames laid horizontally and you’ll have a good idea of what Open Grid construction is. Open Grid construction is very solid and comparatively more simple to build but it’s not quite as versatile as L Girder. Whereas Open Grid is fine for a layout that is flat and will have nothing but straight edges and right angles, L Girder is much better for a layout design that has curved, irregular edges and multiple levels. The L Girder is an L-shaped (hence, the name) construction typically made with a 1 x 2 attached on the edge of a 1 x 3 or 1 x 4 forming the L shape, except in this case the “L” is upside-down.

L Girder construction is employed by more model railroaders today because of it’s flexibility in working with their layout design, but there’s nothing to say you can’t use both methods or even another custom construction if you need to. Again, just remember that

  • your layout design determines the type(s) of benchwork that you build
  • it needs to be solid, accessible and user friendly

If you approach the project this way, you’ll stand a great chance of building model train benchwork that you’ll be happy with.

Wood Beam and Post Repair Tips – Construction Home Repairs

If you have any problems with wood beams or posts that need to be repaired and these structural framing components are holding up large areas of your home, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact a professional instead of repairing them on your own. Just a little something to think about, especially if you don’t know very much, about home construction and framing.

If you have a wood beam or post that is damaged and needs to be repaired and it can be done safely and efficiently, then feel free to tackle the job. However, and I’m stressing this lot in this article, you shouldn’t do any repairs that you don’t know anything about. This would include any types of wood beams or wood posts that are major structural components of your home framing system.

In the past, when I did a lot of work for other general contractors and builders, they would contact me to do some of the more difficult structural beam and post repairs. It wasn’t that these people weren’t capable of doing them, most of them were simply afraid to tackle a project like this.

If professionals in the construction business are afraid to tackle some post and beam repairs, you should be also. Make sure that you don’t ever repair something that you’re not comfortable with and if it’s holding up a large section of your house, you should think twice before proceeding with this type of repair.

Structural post and beam repairs should only be made by professionals who understand house framing and house construction methods.

Headache From Fumes? You Need A Breath Of Fresh Air

Fumes are a way of life. They can also cause headaches. With the amount of air pollution nowadays – it is amazing that we don’t all walk around with a permanent headache!

Just think for a moment about what is in the air we breathe. In the outdoors, cars are producing fumes. Factories are belching out fumes, soot, ash and many chemicals. Garbage is burned – releasing fumes. Chemicals are sprayed on our crops. Asphalt is rolled out – releasing fumes. Welding gives off fumes.

Indoors, the list is even longer.

Just take a look at this list for common fumes that we inhale regularly in our own homes:

  • Tobacco smoke
  • Perfume
  • Oven fumes
  • Insect sprays
  • Cleaning products
  • Paint
  • Flowers
  • The smell of a new car
  • The smell of a new carpet

Solvents:

  • Turpentine
  • Thinners
  • Acetone (found in nail polish remover)

All of these fumes and odors can trigger headaches.

Why do fumes give me a headache? It is the irritation caused by the fumes that gives you problems. The fumes can contain irritants or toxins which irritate the delicate lining of your nose, throat and chest.

The blood vessels in the nose react to the irritation by enlarging and pressing on nerves, which gives you the headache.

Bad smells can be good for you

Unpleasant odors can be a warning signal that this substance is not going to do you any good. Think of rotten meat and sour milk.

The headache associated with fumes is also a warning sign. It is your body’s way of telling you that it doesn’t like this substance and to get away from it as quickly as possible.

The silent killer

Everyone has heard of carbon monoxide. It’s particularly dangerous because you get no early warning system with it. It’s clear, so there is no haze or smoke to warn you. It’s odorless, so no smell to alert you.

How do I know if there’s carbon monoxide in my home?

You may be one of the lucky ones who suffer from headaches as a first sign. Sadly, many people don’t get that warning and become dizzy and black out. The most important thing you can do for you and your family’s safety is to get a carbon monoxide detector. Do it today.

OK – what else should I do?

If you are having headaches in your home, which go away when you are out in the fresh air, make these checks. It could save your life.

As well as headaches, do you suffer from

  • Tiredness
  • Muscle pains
  • An upset stomach
  • General lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Other unexplained illness

Check the flame on your appliances. If it’s an orange color you have a problem. Unfortunately, blue doesn’t mean it’s safe either. Get your appliances checked every year.

Is your flue blocked? If in doubt, get it checked.

Horizontal gas grills can be a problem, especially if it’s an older model. Again, get it checked

How’s your ventilation? Check air bricks and trickle vents. If there isn’t enough ventilation, your appliances will give off carbon monoxide.

If you’re a tenant, does your landlord have a safety certificate and get the appliances checked annually. He must do this – we’re talking about your health and life here. Insist upon it being done.

Regardless of the source you need to remove it. Once you do, your headache-at least the one caused by fumes-should disappear.

Arch Supports in Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is a condition caused due to inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that extends from your heels, through your arches, to the base of the toes. It acts as a support platform for your arches. Individuals suffering from plantar fasciitis often experience the most pain first thing in the morning. When resting, the fascia tightens and then gets stretched when you stand on it again. The pressure when stepping on the floor causes the fascia to stretch beyond its limit. The continuous pulling of the fascia can cause micro-tears where it attaches to the heel bone and allows bony growths called heel spurs to develop.

Overpronation can cause an inflammation in this area. When walking, the arch flattens and the ankle rolls inward. This also puts excess pressure on the muscles and ligaments of the foot and ankle and can cause a host of other foot problems as well.

Can Arch Supports Help?

The most effective solution for treatment of problems like plantar fasciitis is to treat the cause of the problem. In the case of overpronation, and for most cases of plantar fasciitis, improper biomechanics, or poor foot posture, is the problem. Arch supports are the best way to correct or accommodate the abnormal foot mechanics.

How Arch Supports for Plantar Fasciitis are Designed

Supports designed to improve the position of the plantar fascia include a longitudinal arch support to help decrease the tension that is placed on the plantar fascia by distributing weight more evenly throughout the foot. The heel is designed to help reduce the impact you feel with each heel strike as you walk. This can be done by the addition of a soft, shock-absorbing heel pad that is added to your arch supports. If custom-made or customized, your arch supports may also have rearfoot posting to limit your degree of overpronation.

They work to improve biomechanical deficiencies in your gait cycle. Improving this not only provides relief and comfort, but also decreases your chance of injury. Issues like plantar fasciitis can cause pain not only in your feet and heel, but incorrect mechanics can cause a lot of pressure on other areas of your body…including your knees, hips, or back. If you use arch supports to improve the mechanics you may be able to prevent the development of problems in other areas of your body.

Construction – The Most Dangerous Job in America

Working at a construction site is one of the most dangerous ways to make a living. On any day in the US, more than 6.5 million workers are at work on 250,000-plus construction sites. In 2007 construction workers on those job sites suffered over 135,000 on the job injuries and job-related illnesses. Nearly 1200 construction workers died from their job-related injuries. This reflects an incident rate of 1.9 injuries her 1000 workers one of the highest rates for any job category. The most frequent cause of injuries was contact with equipment and other objects, a category which includes trucks, cranes, bulldozers and other specialized construction vehicles, as well as power tools, and hand tools.

Back injuries are the most common kind of construction injury. Falls from a roof, from scaffolding, and from ladders are other major causes of injury. Other frequent causes are trench collapse, scaffold collapse, and failure of protective equipment, including failure to use required protective equipment.

The most dangerous trades were ironworking and electrical power installation. Ironworkers suffered a death rate of 68.9 deaths per 100, 000 workers, and installers’ was 57.3 per 100,000. Most deaths of electrical workers resulted from electrocution. General unskilled laborers had a lower death rate per 100, 000, but the total number of unskilled laborers who died was the highest of any workers’ group.

Many injuries and deaths on construction sites result from the failure of contractors or subcontractors to insure the safety of the work-site. Work-site safety includes maintaining all equipment in a safe, well-functioning condition, storing equipment and materials appropriately, and using equipment and machinery in the recommended manner. Hazard communication, which includes educating workers about all hazardous chemicals, and providing them with information about spill cleanup procedures, is another important element.

Work-site safety also requires that the site itself be adequately lit, and that appropriate safety measures such as secure scaffolding, guard rails, and elevator guards are in place. Stairways must be well lit and free of debris and materials, and slippery conditions caused by water or spills must be cleaned up promptly. Workers must be required to use appropriate safety equipment, such as eye protection, hard hats, and boots with steel toes and metatarsal guards, gloves, hazmat suits when needed.

Weather can create additional hazards. Workers should not be permitted to work on exterior scaffolding when snow, ice, or other materials have the footing slick.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury on a construction site, and you believe that unsafe working conditions caused or contributed to the injury, you should consult as soon as possible with an experienced construction injury lawyer, who can determine whether you have a claim against the owner or a contractor.

You should act as promptly as possible, because evidence can be lost or destroyed, and witnesses’ memories can fade. An experienced construction injury lawyer can mobilize the necessary investigations of the work-site, and interview essential witnesses even while you are still recovering from your injuries.

Most construction injury claims are undertaken on a contingent fee basis. This means that the attorney does not require payment up front from the victim, and agrees to be paid only if the claim is settled successfully.