Dog Party Ideas – Bolt the Movie

It’s no wonder Bolt party ideas and party supplies are one of the most popular kids party themes today. Since the release of this fun kids cartoon movie it has been one of the top kids party ideas! Disney movies are always very popular with kids and usually end up being an interesting and fun party theme.

Bolt the movie is a story about a movie star dog of the same name. All his life he has lived a fantasy world of nonstop action and super powers- without any inkling that all these are make-believe. In the early part of the movie, the TV canine’s owner, Penny, is kidnapped during a scene in their TV series. Believing it to be a real kidnapping and fearing the worst for his owner, the Super Powered Dog went out to rescue her. However, Bolt is mistakenly shipped from a Hollywood studio to New York City. Upon realizing this, he embarks on his most exciting adventure as he journeys back home. Along the course of the movie, he meets two unlikely characters- Mittens the cat and hamster the Rhino.

Though adults in the movie were rarely drawn attention to, these three characters are what make the movie really entertaining- they’re funny, witty and 100% adorable. Bolt with his super power illusions; Mittens the cunning and skeptical alley cat who helps the Hollywood dog find his way back home; and Rhino, the TV-crazed little hamster who is Bolt’s number 1 fan. These three characters compliment each other well- Bolt lightens up Mittens, Mittens sheds some sense into Rhino, and Rhino boosts Bolt’s confidence in himself! Mittens tags along with Bolt because she gets to eat food with him around, Bolt enlists Mittens because he thinks she is one of the spies of the “green-eyed” man, and Rhino, well he just follows Bolt everywhere because he is his biggest admirer.

Since Bolt has been a super dog all his movie star life, he really believes that he does in fact have super powers. In the movie, these characters encounter many challenges and mishaps, and he always handles these situations the way he does in his movies, of course with the help of his friends.

This Walt Disney animated flick is something that will surely have everyone laughing. It is full of surprises and funny scenes, that there is absolutely no dull moment in it. An animated movie that’s full of depth, character and humor, Bolt is considered to be among the best family entertainment films to hit the cinemas in 2008.

Buy some plates and napkins with Bolt on them…there are also some favor boxes filled with fun accessories to give as thank you gifts. Make some dog bone shaped cookies for your little guests…they will get a kick out of that! Find some fun party games to play…how about a dog bone pinata! Put a Bolt cake topper on your homemade cake and you will be ready to entertain your guests. Some unique party ideas for this Disney theme can be found online along with loads of party supplies that work with this fun theme. Dog party ideas are up on top of the popular party theme list this year. Other fun dog party themes include The DOG, Pink Poodle in Paris, Scooby Doo and even Barn Yard Pets includes a dog in it’s animal party! Why? Because kids love dogs and anything kids love make a great party idea!

Rent Small Concrete Mixers For Small Jobs Around the Home

When you think about concrete mixers, you may think about those big trucks you pass on the highway. You know they’re on their way to some construction site where they will pour the cement foundation for a school, apartment building or some other big project. Most people never think about small concrete mixers and the benefits they have to offer homeowners. Nevertheless, there are many jobs around the home that could be made much easier with these mixers.

For example, are you still waiting to build that patio that you’ve been putting off because having a company to come out and pour the cement just seems like such a hassle? Not to mention the fact that this could be very expensive. Well, you don’t have to wait any longer. You can rent a portable mixer and do the job yourself. It will greatly reduce the cost of the project and the machine makes the task much easier than trying to mix the cement in a wheelbarrow and distributing it before it dries like they had to do years ago. There are companies available where you can rent a portable concrete mixer such as United Rentals and RSC Equipment Rentals. You can go online and search for one of these companies in your area and get more information on your rental options. They have several rental options available and you can usually rent them by the day, week or month, whichever suits your needs the best.

Portable cement mixers also work great for other small jobs around the home. For instance, you can repair a sidewalk, lay a pad for a small storage building or use it to secure the poles when putting up a chain link fence around your property. As you can see, there are a lot of benefits to using small concrete mixers because they can make many of the jobs around the home much easier. A mini concrete mixer can be carried around with you easily, so they would be ideal for putting up a fence where you need to move from one location to another. Small concrete mixers will maximize efficiency and save money because you won’t have to hire a professional to come in and do the job for you. Your main concern would be to make sure you have the time to take care of the project when you rent the machine because you will be working on a deadline. Of course, if you do a lot of projects around the home, you could consider purchasing one. Many times the rental companies will sell used concrete mixers at great low prices.

Before you go out and rent small concrete mixers, it is recommended that you get familiar with them and learn as much as you can about how to operate one. Not only do you need to know how the cement mixer works but you should know a little something about the different types of cements available. Some of them dry faster than others so you’ll need to know how long you have to get the cement poured before it begins to dry.

Concrete Paint – Which One Do I Choose?

Ok, you finally decided to paint that nasty looking old concrete. But, which one do you choose? The answer is there are many answers, the answer to which type of Concrete Paint you need to choose all depends on what type of concrete you plan on painting. Stairs?, Sidewalks?, Pavers? Are you getting my point? So lets take a look at the “Concrete Project Guide” provided by and the recommended usage for each product.

** IMPORTANT always prep and clean your concrete according to manufacturer specifications to ensure quality application of the product. (usually with oil stain remover or some type of concrete cleaner) This article is for reference only. Please double check your specific needs.

* Garage Floors:

If you are looking to clean up that garage floor a little bit with some concrete paint you are going to want to look for a good “Epoxy Style Garage Floor Coating” Epoxy is usually more durable than most of the other types of concrete paint and will hold up to high traffic area’s, You can usually get Epoxy style concrete paint in a variety of colors including clear which makes it pretty convenient. If you look around they also have Etching Stain, High Gloss Sealers, etc. Just try to make sure you get a reputable product because garages will accumulate a lot of traffic on the concrete paint.

* Interior Concrete Floors:

For interior concrete floors the currently most durable application type is an “Epoxy type Multi Surface Coating” Textured or not is completely up to you and your specific application needs. There is also Stains, Anti-Skid Coatings, Clear Coats, Sealers and more for this type of application. You should be able to find just about anything based on your design and application needs. (or matching requirements)

* Driveways and Sidewalks:

For a driveway and sidewalks your going to need a simple “Multi-Surface type Concrete Sealer” you just want something to protect against the natural elements including the sun, rain, salt, etc. And a few of the un natural ones. A good concrete paint for driveways and sidewalks should not only water proof and protect against UV rays. A common feature, the concrete paint usually carries is protection from gas, oil, & other house hold chemicals. Again if the product doesn’t already have a “Texture” you may want to check into a texture additive so you are not looking at slick surfaces where you walk.

* Stairs and Pools:

The stairs are another high traffic area, with the added slippage danger involved. For the stairs you are definitely want to get some type of “Anti-Skid Textured Coating” type concrete paint. The stairs are a dangerous place and wouldn’t do well with the smooth surface normal concrete paint would offer. This coating is also available in a variety of colors and finishes including granite and various dies. There is also various stains and sealers that can be used in combination with a “Anti-Skid Floor Texture Type Additive” that is a much cheaper solution to painting the concrete on the stairs but you get what you pay for.

* Pavers:

Now pavers usually have some sort of edges or texture already in them, not always the case, but usually. But when this is the case You don’t necessarily need a texture, some sort of “Concrete Sealer” type application to protect the from the elements and normal wear and tear. You can get just about any color, style, shade, paint, or clear coat. Personally I like to use a “High Gloss” type concrete paint just because at night every little bit helps. I forgot my porch light a few times Let me tell ya, I was so glad to have a shiny sidewalk to help me get into the house.

* Patios:

Patios are your choice really, it all depends on how you intend on using it. If you are on the patio a lot and it’s possible it could get wet you may want to look into a texture style concrete paint. But there are so many different applications and different types of concrete paint available, It would take a whole book to explain them to you. I am gonna have to leave this one to you and your common sense. Or better yet call a concrete paint professional. Most contractors offer free estimates and can tell you exactly what you need by looking at what you have up close and in person.

* Interior Concrete Walls:

If this is a new or untreated wall seal it with a concrete sealer before painting. If this is new or untreated: Staining and Sealing is also an option instead of concrete paint For interior concrete walls you can use just about any latex paint. Unless the wall sweats, then you will need to identify the problem before proceeding.

* Exterior Concrete Walls:

If this is a new or untreated wall seal it with a concrete sealer before painting. If this is new or untreated: Staining and Sealing is also an option instead of concrete paint For exterior concrete walls look for a “Masonry Water Proofer” type concrete paint. This will always be exposed to the elements so protecting your walls from the sun and rain will only help protect your investment. A good exterior concrete paint usually has the ability help protect against mold and mildew too. Mold is not supposed to be able to grow on the paints texture. I have added my two cents in, please before you jump into anything do your research. Don’t just take my word for it.

Are Electric Radiators Efficient?

Radiator experts are frequently asked whether electric radiators are “efficient” and, more specifically, whether storage heaters are more “efficient” than other types of electric heating.

When it comes to radiators, the word “efficiency” can be interpreted in many ways. From our experience, when a customer asks “Which radiators are the most efficient?” they could mean:

  1. Which radiator gives out the most heat for its size?
  2. Which radiator is the cheapest to run?
  3. Which radiator uses the least fuel?
  4. Which radiator heats up the quickest?
  5. Which radiator is most environmentally friendly?

Electric radiators are generally regarded as being 100% efficient as almost 100% of the electricity consumed by the radiator is converted into heat and released into the room. (This differs from piped hot water central heating systems where some of the heat can be lost through the pipes on route to the radiators and the boiler.) Therefore it could be argued that all electric radiators are equal in efficiency as the energy put into the radiator will equal the amount of heat put out.

So the questions above cannot be answered by looking at efficiency; instead the key to choosing the best electric radiator is to decide which would be most effective in your specific situation.

This article aims to give clear information and facts to help you choose the electric heating product that best matches your unique lifestyle and heating needs. This will then enable you to minimise any wasted energy, which in turn will help reduce the amount of fuel you use, therefore reducing the cost of your electricity bills and your impact on the environment.

Whichever form of electric heating you opt for, we always suggest looking at the various energy providers’ tariffs to compare pricing as the cost of electricity can vary significantly; pricing does not only vary between suppliers but also between the wide varieties of tariffs offered by each supplier.

Below we have provided a summary of the electric heating options available on the market detailing their pros and cons to help you choose which option is the best for your home.

Electric heaters or electric radiators generally come in two distinct styles:

  • Storage heaters; or
  • On demand heaters, namely;

    1. Radiant heating panels;
    2. Convectors; and
    3. Liquid-filled electric radiators.

Storage heaters

These make use of the cheaper electricity that is available at night on an economy tariff. Electricity is used to heat up ceramic bricks within the heater overnight which then “store” the heat and slowly release it gradually over the course of the following day. Storage heaters were historically seen as the only real alternative to gas central heating and are still a common sight in homes across the UK.

Example: Using a storage heater in a room that requires 1kW of heat

  • Require a storage heater that consumes around 3.2 kiloWatts or kW per hour.
  • Economy 7 tariff = 7 hours electricity at a cheaper rate during the night.
  • Storage heater is set to “charge” for these 7 hours, consuming 3.2kW per hour for 7 hours.
  • Consumes a total of 22.4kW per night.
  • Releases the 22.4kW of heat consumed over a 24 hour period = heat output of 0.933kW of heat per hour.

This means that storage heaters are efficient, insomuch as they give out all the energy that they consume, however they do consume a lot of energy. Interestingly, storage heaters were originally developed during the strikes of the late seventies and there is an argument that the government encouraged their use at this time as they were keen to keep the power stations running to make the country dependent on the coal industry.

Storage heaters can offer a practical solution for many homeowners; for example, as the heat is released throughout the day, storage heaters are more suitable for people who are retired or at home throughout the day. Alternatively, if you work full time and do not require heating during the day, storage heaters may not be the best option as heat will be emitted even when you are not there, resulting in unnecessary energy wastage.

The nature of storage heaters does make them harder to control than “on demand” heating products. For instance, consider the following scenarios:

  • You spontaneously decide to go out for the day, but you have already paid for that day’s heating;
  • You go on holiday and turn the heating off, but there will be no “charge” in the heater when you return, meaning time sat in a cold house; and
  • You may want to turn the heating off in summer, but an unexpected cold snap might mean you need to do an urgent “boost” on the heaters during the day, which would be charged at a high peak rate.
  • This lack of controllability makes homeowners reluctant to deviate from the pre-determined charging hours and standard usage.

Also as storage heaters age, their internal insulation can break down; resulting in heat being expended too fast and so supplementary heating may be required for later on in the day; this supplementary heating would be charged at the peak rate per hour, rather than the economy rate. Bear in mind that the peak rates on Economy tariffs are usually significantly higher than at any time on non-Economy tariffs and these rates apply to all appliances used during peak hours, not just radiators.

Storage heaters are often deemed unattractive and the nature of their design makes them quite bulky protruding significantly into a room.

On demand heaters

The following 3 forms of electric heating consume electricity “on demand” unlike storage heaters. “On demand” heating products allow you to only turn the heater on when you need heat, and turn it off when you don’t need heat. This makes them the better option for avoiding wasted energy as you only have the radiators on as and when needed and there is no need to second guess what the weather will be doing 24 hours in advance, which is particularly useful with the unpredictable British climate. On demand heaters are normally used with regular, non-Economy electricity tariffs, which do not use cheaper night-time rates.

Example: Using an on-demand heater in a room that requires 1kW of heat

  • Require an on-demand heater that consumes 1 kW per hour.
  • Standard electricity tariff = same rate at all times of the day.
  • For someone who works 9am to 5pm; On-demand heater timer is set to come on at 7am till 8am and 6pm till 11pm, so consumes 1kW per hour for 6 hours.
  • Consumes a total of 6kW per day giving a heat output of 1kW of heat per hour.

This example shows a significant reduction in the amount of energy used by someone who works standard hours; when comparing a storage heater with an on demand heater, despite the electricity being charged at a higher rate than on the rates for the Economy 7 tariff, this could still be the most cost effective option in this type of scenario.

On demand heating products, as detailed below, usually provide a better solution than storage heaters to the question “which radiator is most efficient?”

  1. Radiant heating panels are either hollow, or, more commonly, are a sealed unit. An electric element is concealed within the radiator, which heats up and radiates heat out evenly from the front of the radiator. Radiant heat is absorbed by the furniture, fabrics and carpet in a room, so the warmth is retained for longer. This type of radiator is particularly good for people with dust allergies as their flat panel makes them easy to clean and they don’t “convect” heat or promote air circulation to heat a space; these factors help to reduce the amount of dust being circulated around a room.
  2. Convectors, or heaters that make use of convection, warm a room by following the principle that hot air rises. Electric convectors usually consist of a hollow case; open at the top and bottom with a visible coil heating element. (Quite often, when these radiators are switched on and you look inside them, you can see the heating element glowing red inside the radiator.) Convection heating works by creating a cycle of air circulation; cool air comes from underneath the radiator, it is drawn up from the bottom of the radiator and then warms up and rises or “convects” as it passes the heating element, emitting warm air from the top of the radiator. This warm air rises to the ceiling, cools and falls back to the floor then repeats the process. Electric fan heaters also work on the same principle; the only key difference being that the fan forces air across the electric element speeding up the movement of warm air. This means that fan heaters will blast warm air into a room very quickly, but as soon as they are turned off, the room will cool almost immediately. Radiators that work on convection can sometimes be the cause of black marks seen on walls above radiators; these are caused by the residue of dust being drawn up into the radiator and burnt onto the open element.
  3. Liquid-filled electric radiators operate in similar way to radiant panel type heaters; they are sealed units with an internal heating element that releases this heat via the outer case, however the elements are submerged in a liquid such as oil, water with corrosion inhibitor or heat transfer agent/gel rather than being dry. Depending on the design of the radiator, the heat generated can be entirely radiant or a combination of radiant and convected heat. Historically, oil was used to fill electric radiators. However water is now increasingly common as this offers a cleaner option; for instance, The National Trust uses water-filled electric radiators as they do not want to risk using oil which could cause damage to a historical property or its contents.

So in summary, a radiator is just a vessel designed to release energy in the form of heat and the amount of heat that a radiator releases will depend on the amount of energy put into it; this is particularly true of electric radiators, where they will perform at approximately 100% efficiency.

  • Storage heaters use a large amount of cheap electricity, but lack controllability resulting in energy wastage. “On demand” heaters use less electricity and offer greater flexibility, but this electricity is not available on an Economy tariff.
  • Convected heat immediately warms the air in a room, but the heat dissipates almost immediately as the heat source is turned off. Radiated heat takes longer to warm a room as it heats objects not just the air, but this means that the room stays warm for much longer.

In practice, there are many aspects that will determine the best radiator(s) for your project including your lifestyle e.g. working hours, size restrictions, interior décor, budget and availability; your choice will be governed by which factors take priority. The research proves that when it comes to heating, there is no magic “one-size fits all” solution.

For more advice on choosing the most effective electric heating product, speak to an electric radiator specialist.

Structural Framing Beams

Let’s start with the beams. They can be Glulam, Parallam, Microlam or even wood beams. What are all of these and why do I need them in my house. The beams are used to hold up parts of the house and are located in your walls, roofs and floors. Beams are used to transfer a load from one point to another.

Structural framing beams allow the architect to create large openings, floors and roofs in your house. The beams are also used to support the weight over the doors, windows and other openings in your home. These beams support massive amounts of weight in some cases and are even made of steel if needed.

Another growing problem is the lack of old growth trees in the forest. If we just used wood beams with out using the new engineered beams we would have to cut down a lot more of the bigger trees. So you can add these guys to your Christmas list. The lumber or wood engineers have come up with all sorts of alternatives for new building products. These new beams are just some of them. Keep up the good work guys…

Glulam is a engineered wood product comprised of wood laminations, or 2 x 4s that are bonded together with strong, waterproof adhesives. If you use a Glulam beam on the buildings exterior you will have to order a exterior Glulam beam. In this case the manufacture will use special exterior rated glues for the beam.

When ordering any wood engineered beams specify to the lumber yard what you are using the beam for. Exterior or Interior of the building. If you use a interior glulam over time there is a good chance of the beam delaminating or cracking apart.

Parallam is made from almost all of the wood on the log using veneer strands that are aligned parallel for maximum strength. The end product is a rectangular beam; which is longer, thicker, and stronger than solid-sawn lumber. They are often used as beams, headers, columns, and posts, among others uses.

Microllam is an engineered wood product that uses multiple layers of thin wood assembled with adhesives. It offers several advantages over typical milled lumber: it is stronger, straighter, and more uniform. It is much less likely than conventional lumber to warp, twist, bow, or shrink due to its composite nature. Made in a factory under controlled specifications, Microllam products allow users to reduce the onsite labor. They are typically used for headers, beams, rim board, and edge-forming material.

These beams come in all sorts of different lengths, widths and heights. They are engineered to hold amazing amounts of weight. They really are great engineering marvels.

Tip: I have had to replace almost all of these types of beams over the years due to some form of damage. Like anything else in your home if it is used improperly there is a good chance your are going to have some sort of failure. I have seen people add weight to these structural beams with no thought of them ever failing.

If you are planning on building a room addition, rebuilding your roof, adding a floor or any other type of construction where you are adding a addition load to your house. You might want to consult with a building contractor or structural engineer.

Thanks Greg For Another Super Article On Home Building. For more great articles visit Greg at

Is Nail Polish and Remover Safe to Use During Your Pregnancy?

Numerous potential mothers are probably wondering, “Is it okay to do my nails during pregnancy?” Fortunately, you can do your nails while pregnant. However, do so with caution. Listed here are some approaches regarding picking a safe nail polish during pregnancy.

Where to Polish

For starters, consider where to do a manicure or pedicure. It is recommended to avoid beauty salons while expecting. The foremost risk presented by nail treatments is smelling dangerous fumes. A bit of the substances in the treatments could also soak in through your skin or mistakenly be consumed if you touch your nails up to your lips.

In the event that you go to a beauty salon to have a manicure or pedicure, you will likely be vulnerable to the harmful substances in the nails treatments not only applied to your nails, but also those associated with everybody else having their nails painted simultaneously. A few people suggest bringing along your personal safer polishes to the salon, unfortunately you will still be around any other fumes in the salon.

Choosing a Polish

It is wisest to select a water-based safe nail polish during pregnancy. In case you are not willing to transition to a water-based formula, at a minimum, pick out a formula that is three free. A good number of labels of lacquer nowadays are 3 free, indicating that they do not incorporate dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, or formaldehyde.

DBP is very destructive to pregnant women because it is a toxin that targets fetal growth and reproduction. Toluene is also toxic while expecting and could cause developmental injury to the unborn infant. Formaldehyde causes cancer and might cause annoyance or an allergic reaction on your fingers.

Even when you decide upon a solvent-based polish which is 3 free, it will nonetheless include volatile fumes, so be sure there is reasonable ventilation when you are polishing and drying your fingernails or toenails!

Why not pick a water-based formula during pregnancy? Some safe nail polish brands to go with are Acquarella, Keeki Pure & Simple, and Scotch Naturals.

What About Polish Remover?

Traditional nail polish remover is utilized to remove traditional nail polish and artificial nails and contains acetone as the main ingredient. Shellac nail polish is taken off using pure acetone. The possible health problems of acetone can include eye discomfort, drying of the nails owing to repeat or extended exposure, and breathing in excessive concentrations can potentially result in nausea, headache, lightheadedness, unconsciousness, and respiratory irritability.

Possible substitute types of pregnancy safe nail polish remover are Scotch Naturals soy-based remover, Acquarella water-based remover, and Keeki Pure & Simple non-toxic remover.

What About Acrylic Nails?

The safety concerns for wearing fake nails while expecting include smelling the dust and harmful chemicals and developing a bacterial or fungal problem in between the acrylic and true nail. Even though you may have applied fake nails before getting pregnant, you may be much more susceptible to the smell and more likely to have a hypersensitivity to the chemicals.

The High Arch – Problems and Solutions

What is a High Arch?

The arch of the foot is that area between the ball of the foot (at the base of the toes) and the heel. In normal arches there is a gap between the ground and the foot along the mid-section at the inside part (big toe side) of the foot. This is known as your arch. When this gap is greater than the average space, you are said to have a high arch. The medical name for having high arches is pes cavus.

A lot of people who have a high arch have ankles that roll slightly outward when standing. This gives the appearance of being bow-legged and can cause stress elsewhere in your body due to an altered approach to walking.

What Problems Are Associated With a High Arch?

You may find you have pain in the arch of your foot, heel pain, ball of foot pain, knee pain, or even lower back pain. Feet with high arches typically do not absorb shock properly, which can cause problems in any of these areas. Some people with high arches never develop these problems, but many do.

There is a thick fibrous band that runs through the arch from your heel bone to your forefoot called the plantar fascia. With high arched feet, when you step, it may be strained and you can experience a great deal of pain through the arch and heel. This often happens first thing in the morning when you step down and stretch the plantar fascia. With high arches, the fascia usually tightens up too much, especially overnight.

People with a high arch are more susceptible to ankle sprains and may develop corns and calluses as well. They typically have an increased risk for stress fractures due to poor shock absorption when their feet hit the ground.

How Do I Know If I Have A High Arch?

For a simple test to see if you have a high arch, step on a dry surface with a wet foot. If the line connecting your heel to the ball of foot area is the same width as the rest of the foot, you most likely have flat feet. If the line is half of the area, your arch is in a normal range. If the line is very thin, mostly to the outside of the foot (or the ball of foot area and the heel are not connected at all) you have a high arch.

Check with your doctor, pedorthist, podiatrist or another foot professional for an evaluation if you think you have high arches that are causing pain or problems.

What Can I Do About A High Arch?

If you are having pain in your foot and think it may be due to a high arch, visit your doctor. They may prescribe arch supports (orthotic insoles) to wear in your shoes. For a high arch, your orthotic insoles will be designed to cushion the heel of your foot, help absorb shock, and to distribute your weight more evenly when walking.

If you have a high arch, your choice of footwear is very important. Make sure you look for a shoe with good shock absorbing capabilities. Shoes that don’t jam your toes and that have a stable heel are important. Lace up shoes with lots of room in the instep (the area through the top of your foot under the tongue of a shoe) tend to be best for feet with high arches. A proper pair of running shoes would generally be the best option with all of these qualities.

What Is Commercial Construction?

The term commercial construction is used to refer to any kind of construction project where the eventual outcome will be a commercial property rather than a residential property or industrial property. It can include warehouses, hospitals, sports centres, shopping centres and hotels, as well as some types of reconstruction and refurbishment of historic buildings. One commercial construction firm may not necessarily be responsible for all aspects of the creation of a commercial property from conception to completion, and a variety of different people may be involved, however some well-established construction firms are able to take complete control of all aspects of the construction process.

Commercial properties differ from residential properties because commercial properties are not intended as full time homes, and therefore the needs, rules and regulations connected to commercial properties differ from those associated with residential properties. Those who are wishing to build a commercial property, or adapt a former residential property into a commercial property are usually required to get planning permission in order to be able to do this. If special planning permission is required, it must be properly obtained before any physical work is carried out, or else the owner may be required to undo or remove all the work which has been carried out.

There are different types of commercial construction companies available. Some construction companies will only be contracted once planning permission is received, and once all surveying etc has been called out at the place where the construction will take place. These companies will work according to the pre-approved architectural blue prints which have been commission by outside investors who wish to develop or build a property for commercial use. Other types of commercial construction company will take charge of the whole process from conception to completion, having either designed and funded the project themselves, in the hope that they will be able to sell or lease the property when it is completed, or having been contracted out by a private investor.

It is one of the construction company’s responsibilities that all commercial properties adhere to all local commercial building regulations, and if any of these regulations are not adhered to fully, then the construction company may be liable for any damages. In recent years, building regulations for commercial properties in many countries have been extended to take into account changing environmental standards.

As well as being partial responsible for the health and safety of those who will use the commercial property once it is completed, commercial construction companies must take partial responsibility for the health and safety of its own workers. Any building site is a dangerous place to be, so it is important that all workers in construction companies understand the rules and regulations which are put in place and designed to help to keep them safe. All construction workers should be taught the importance of wearing the correct protective clothing whilst they are on the building site or using building equipment: hard hats and high visibility jackets can help to save lives.

4 Most Effective Muscle Building Exercises

The first thing to remember before you start your training and muscle building exercises is that creating your beautiful body is going to take a lot of time, energy, and effort. If you are not willing to give some of those, than there is no reason for you to start. It has to become the part of your routine.

The most powerful muscle building exercises are the exercises with compound movements. Compound movements involve different muscles in one exercise. For example if you are making an exercise on the bicep, like bicep curl, only one muscle is involved. Your routine work out should involve all body muscles for the best effect.

There are 4 main exercises that are based on compound movement and are the absolute must for every training.

  • Squats. This exercise involves your legs, particularly squads, your back, and neck. You have to follow the technique on how to perform that exercise; otherwise you can seriously damage your back.
  • Dead lifts. This exercise involves lower and middle back muscles, hand muscles, and leg muscles. This exercise is the one that should be performed in the middle of the training, because your muscles should be already warmed up.
  • Bench press. This exercise develops chest, triceps, and other hand muscles, as also back muscles. The technique for this exercise is also essential. One of the common mistakes is the extreme weight lifting.
  • Military press. The exercise is mainly for the shoulders and arms. The advice for this exercise is to press the weight behind the neck, not in front. That way you can get the most out of the exercise.

Income Statement (P&I) Debits and Credits Simply Explained

If a Balance Sheet is like a picture, a snapshot of a point in time, then the Income Statement is like a movie. Think of the statements going in this order: Balance Sheet snapshot, then Income Statement movie, then another Balance Sheet snapshot at the end of the movie, and so on. It shows you what went on in the business over a period of time, usually a month, quarter or year. Remember, the Balance Sheet’s left side (List of Assets) is the Debit side, and the right side (Liabilities & Equity) are Credits. The Income Statement’s (a.k.a. Profit & Loss or just P&L) job is to show a breakdown, by category, of how the equity in the company changed as a result of doing business that period. It shows that either the company made money, which increases equity (a credit), or it lost money, which decreases equity (a debit).

Knowing this allows you to figure out the debits and credits on the Income Statement. If the company made money, which we know increases equity, then credits must have exceeded debits, therefore, income is a credit, because we need more income (and credits) to increase equity on the balance sheet, and so expenses must be debits. If the company lost money, it’s expenses exceeded income, therefore, debits exceeded credits. Whatever the “bottom line” is on the income statement, profit or loss, flows through to add to, or subtract from, the equity on the end-of-the-period balance sheet.

All these statements are designed to answer the question, “what is going on in my business?” so that the owner is not guessing, or going on hunches and gut instincts. Another one I see a lot is relying on whatever the bank balance says, as a way to tell what is going on with the business. That is not good. The owner needs certain information to make better, longer-term decisions. A good bookkeeping system gathers this information efficiently and is able to give the owner these reports easily, quickly, and efficiently. If you think it’s good to operate a business based on how much cash is in the checking account, you really need to go back and learn the fundamentals of business accounting if you don’t want to be fooled by false information!

The Income Statement answers the question, “WHERE did we make or lose money”? This is why income and expenses are grouped into categories, or “accounts”. These accounts are further grouped by major category such as “Cost of Goods Sold”, which are the direct costs, such as materials and labor. Another major category of expenses are “Selling, General, and Administrative” or SG&A, which might be listed separately as Selling Expenses, then G&A. Again, when properly designed and setup, this quickly shows the owner which area of the business is OK and which ones are out of whack in relation to the others or in relation to your past history. Efficiency means, for instance, the owner can quickly see “General & Administrative” (your overhead) has been climbing over time, pinpoint a particular account that’s the culprit, and narrow the search to those bills that hit that account. Quick and efficient, and no guessing! That’s what a good accounting system does for you.

Finally, I will share with you a debit and credit secret insight. I hope it is obvious that every transaction involves an equal amount of debits and credits. After all, things must remain in balance! Knowing one side, leads you to figure out what the other side should be. OK, here’s the secret: most normal, daily transactions that are part of the business that the company conducts with the outside world, in other words, transactions which affect income or expenses, involve BOTH the Income Statement AND the Balance Sheet. You record a sale: Credit Sales (I/S) and Debit Accounts Receivable (B/S). Enter a bill: Debit an Expense (I/S), Credit Accounts Payable (a B/S Liability).

Receiving payments or paying bills are transactions but they don’t add to income or expense, because those were already recorded as such. You receive a payment: Debit cash and Credit Accounts Receivable (both B/S asset accounts). Pay a bill: Debit Accounts Payable (Liab) and Credit cash (again, both B/S accounts). Note the distinction, a transaction that is part of the normal business with the outside world affects both statements. That’s why if the business borrows $100,000 from the bank, that’s obviously not revenue from customers, even though it increases cash. In that case you would Debit cash and Credit Long Term Debt (both B/S accounts). Buying a piece of equipment with that $100,000 has nothing to do with customer transactions (normal expenses) so you would Debit Equipment (asset) and Credit Cash (also an Asset).

To summarize, only outside-customer-related transactions will end up as part of the Income Statement, with the other side of the transaction affecting a Balance Sheet account. This is why a properly done accounting system is essential to the owner. Cash in the checking account increased so we must be making money, right? Wrong! Where did the increase come from? That’s the question! Did you simply borrow money? Did you collect a lot of receivables (sales from past months) but you had few current month sales? Remember the fundamental question, did THE BUSINESS generate money? That is the question that the Income Statement, or Profit & Loss Statement will answer!

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Drivers License Search – How to Get Someone’s Drivers License Number

Getting someone’s driver’s license is not an easy matter because such personal information is protected to a great deal by privacy laws, as it should be. The last thing you need is a stalker or prankster to be able to get your personal information with little effort, a few bucks and no legitimate reason to have it.

Indeed, the DPPA (Driver’s Privacy Protection Act) is a federal law passed in the 1990s and updated in 2000 specifically designed to protect drivers’ personal information from searches and clearly restricts the reasons why anyone can have access to drivers license records.

Online ads for drivers license searches often state they can get this information easily, but careful reading of their sites…at least legitimate sites…makes it clear that access is restricted to people with a legitimate need for such Department of Motor Vehicles records…for example, employment or court purposes.

Now, while the DPPA restricts access to personally identifiable information such as a person’s name, license number, and address, it does not cover information about the person’s driving record, status, moving violations and other non-personal information, so it’s easier to see a person’s records if you already have their driver’s license number (particularly if you also have their signed permission).

On the other hand, if you already have a legitimate reason to see their driving record you may not have to search for their drivers license number as driving records often include the driver’s license number. They may not, however, provide other personal information, such as the home address.

Should you opt for using one of the online third-party services that help people search for drivers license numbers, be aware that they are not free. They also must meet the various state restrictions as the DPPA allows states to have more restrictive policies about revealing driver license records, and you may find you don’t get the information you’re hoping for. (California, for example, only includes the driver’s name.)

Even with those restrictions, using a third-party service will generally be more cost-effective than hiring a private detective, and will certainly will likely be more successful than you trying to find this information on your own.

How to Clean Laminate, Linoleum and Vinyl Floors

Dents, scratches and spills can be quite a predicament on your hard or semi-hard floors. On the other hand, they are very easy to maintain. It can typically be done in two easy steps. First dust and sweep away the dry dirt. Then mop. By mopping the floor without sweeping beforehand, dry soil becomes wet and gritty, leaving unwanted scratches on your floor.

Cleaning Laminate Flooring

The installation of laminate floors can be done as a DIY project. However it is important to remember that while the individual planks are factory sealed, there are gaps between these planks and the edge of your floor, which are not sealed. The planks may lift up if too much water seeps into these gaps.

To clean laminate floors, you have the following choices:

  • A dry mop or electrostatic stop mop especially for laminates.

You can choose from various brands that attract the dust that sticks to laminates.

  • Use a vacuum cleaner with the brush bar setting off.
  • Sweep the floor using a soft broom.

For laminated floors found in bedrooms and living rooms, any of the above-mentioned methods should be sufficient. However for laminated floors found in the kitchen, a follow up with a just-damp mop would be ideal. For especially dirty floors, a specialist cleaner should be used. Alcohol-based mop cloths are effective on tough dirt and the alcohol evaporates quickly.

Polishes, general floor cleaners and multi-surface cleaners should be avoided. The use of detergent will dull the floor.

If you have many laminated floors, a steam mop would be a good investment. Wetting the floor with steam is safe and effective and it usually dries within 30 seconds. A steam mop is also effective for windows and sofas. It is also highly effective in killing germs on hard floors.

Ground-in dirt may be highly tempting to clean using a liquid wash. A gentle soapy wood cleaner can work in a room with low humidity. However, it must mopped dry afterwards. I’ve done this successfully for many years in my kitchen, where constant dry heat is provided by means of an AGA cooker and have never encountered board lift up.

Cleaning Linoleum and Vinyl Flooring

Linoleum and vinyl both are both used to make waterproof, hard-wearing surfaces for the wet rooms in your home. Linoleum consists of natural fibres while vinyl is completely man-made.

Both types of surfaces can be cleaned with the following steps:

1. Remove grit by either sweeping or vacuum.

2. Use of a floor cleaner, either a diluted detergent, or even a homemade multi-purpose cleaner.

Apply water sparingly. Wring the mop thoroughly before you apply onto the floor.

Use two separate buckets – one containing cleaning solution, the other containing plain water. The bucket of detergent solution can be kept fresh and made to last for the entire floor by submerging the mop in the plain-water bucket after every sweep of the floor, wringing it out before dipping it again in the soapy water.

3. Rinse the floor thoroughly by mopping it with clean water.

Care must be taken to not get the floor overly wet. A glossy finish can be maintained on the floor by coating with a water-based polish for vinyl or linoleum. For best results, repeat this twice a year.

Safety Requirements for Portable Wood Ladders

In addition to a wide range of shapes and sizes, ladders come in many different material types. The most common are wood, metal (iron or aluminium) and fiberglass. In its regulation, OSHA makes a main distinction between metal and wooden ladders, and thus publishes separate regulations. In this article we detail the safety requirements for portable wooden ladders.

The 29 CFR 1910.25 OSHA standard addresses wooden ladders, and is divided into sections that specify their applications, the characteristics of the materials, the construction requirements, and their care and usage by the user. It should be noted that this standard applies to wooden ladders of common use, and not to specialty tools such as library, attic, extension, tripod ladders, or other tools that may have specific operative and construction characteristics. The construction wood that is used must be high-density, and provide a surface free of splinters and sharp edges.

A table published in the standard defines the maximum admitted length for each typology of wood ladder. Type 1 Industrial Step-ladders must have a maximum length of 20′; for Type 2 Commercial Step-ladders the limit is 12′; Type 3 Household Step-ladders can’t exceed 6′. For these three types, there are additional requirements: the minimum width between side rails at the top, inside to inside, shall be not less than 11 1/2 inches; from top to bottom, the side rails shall spread at least 1 inch for each foot of length; a metal spreader or locking device of sufficient size and strength to securely hold the front and back sections in open positions shall be a component of each tool. The other types listed in the length limit table are: Rung (30′), Two-Section Rung (60′), Trestle (20′), Painter’s (12′), Mason’s (40′) and Side-Rolling (20′) Ladders. For Two-Section Rung Ladders there’s the additional special requirement that their rails must fit into each other and that the upper section can be raised/lowered.

Wood is a perishable material, so special care must be assured to ensure the serviceability and safety of portable wooden ladders. All joints must be kept tight; wheels, locks and pulleys need proper lubrication; ropes must be checked and replaced if needed; a periodical cleaning of the wood surface must be done. Also the place where wood ladders are kept when not in use is important, because if they are stored on the outside, rain and other atmospheric agent may damage its parts and structure.

The OSHA standard also specifies how these tools have to be used to ensure the climber’s safety in all operative conditions. The distance from the foot to the top support (where it touches the opposite wall or leans against a roof) must be about four times bigger than the distance from the foot to the opposite wall; this ensures that the tools is placed at a safe angle. No more than one person at a time should climb a wooden ladder. The foot of the ladder must be placed on the ground, and no object should be used to increase its height.

Following these prescriptions is mandatory for wood ladders manufacturers; moreover, users should be aware of these indications as well, in order to ensure that they always work safely and keep their tools in proper conditions.

Traditional Scaffolding Vs a Scaffolding Tower

Traditional scaffolding, also known as pipe and fitting scaffolding, has been an industry standard since the Egyptians used it to make the pyramids; the Greeks used scaffolding in the early 5th century B.C., and the Chinese used bamboo to build very early tall buildings. In fact, in some areas of Asia, bamboo and natural twine are still used as scaffolding material.

Traditional scaffolding is versatile, and can be reconfigured to fit any job site; its use however is usually reserved to work on taller buildings. Often today’s DIY building projects are using scaffolding towers because they are easier to erect and dismantle, or move on site. They provide easy and safe access and descent from the work area by incorporating stairs or ladders within the tower its self.

The question of whether to use traditional scaffolding or a scaffolding tower is often answered by the degree of safety and simplicity needed for the job. Today the questions of cost effectiveness and safety are more important than ever. OSHA is very critical of contractors who use what they consider to be marginal scaffolding systems that result in worker injury or even death. Tower scaffolds are a cost effective alternative when purchased by builders who previously used contract scaffolding.

Today the materials used to make scaffolding have evolved to include all the durable synthetics that engineers have deemed to be safe to hold the weight required for the job. This can be steel, aluminum or one of a variety of composites that may include polyester or nylon with glass filament for the pipes and couplings, and aluminum or seasoned lumber or a laminate for the boards. There are a number of alloys on the market for scaffold manufacture.

There are a multitude of government requirements on the quality of scaffolding materials. These can be found on the OSHA website and they are constantly being revised. To OSHA safety means stabilization of scaffolding, training of employees, and using the appropriate scaffolding system for the job. Booklets and assistive material is available to enhance compliance with OSHA rules for any scaffolding system by contacting them directly.

If your question is should you use traditional scaffolding system or a scaffold tower, the answer is in your requirements for safe ascent and descent; your ability to erect and dismantle the scaffolding and your method transporting the scaffolding on site and to different job sites. The bottom line to a cost conscious contractor is the minimal cost to achieve the best performance possible.

Taking Care of Laminates, Wood Floors

Laminate Floors – The Perfect Flooring Choice for Any Home

When looking into the various flooring products on the market, take the time to consider that laminate floors might just be the best option for you, your family and your home. Laminates is extremely versatile in that it is available in a variety of finishes and is ideal for use in both high traffic areas and areas that don’t see much movement.

Laminate floors have a photographic layer that ensures it is able to replicate other finishes perfectly. This means that you could have a home with floors that look identical to real wooden floors, but without having to pay nearly as much. The fact of the matter is that laminate flooring is extremely cost-effective and you can expect for them to be installed in an exceptionally short space of time. Laminate flooring panels are designed to simply click into the next panel which makes it possible to form a somewhat floating floor. There is no time required for the floor to settle – simply install it and Bob’s your uncle!

These floors have an outer laminate layer which protects the photographic layer from damage. It also ensures that laminate flooring is extremely resistant to stains, spills, moisture and even scratches and scuffs. Thus, making laminate flooring a good choice especially for parents and owners of pets.

Having your laminate flooring installed by a professional is the best way to go. They will know of all the dos and don’ts and will certainly ensure that their workmanship and the actual flooring product are guaranteed for quality. When taking on the advice and services of a professional flooring company you can expect for the installation team to work swiftly due to the fact that laminate floors install easily. Plainly put – your flooring is going to offer exceptional product quality and undeniable value for money.

Taking Care of Laminates Requires Less Effort than Real Wood Floors

Taking care of laminates is not quite as difficult and demanding as taking care of real wood floors. Laminate flooring will of course need to be swept or vacuumed regularly to ensure that dust particles and stones are removed and cannot scratch the surface. Keeping the flooring clean and stain-free thereafter will merely required a damp mop down with a gentle ammonia based detergent. Of course you should also try to avoid exposing the floor to water, spilled liquids and moisture for extended periods of time.

There are literally no polishes or waxes required when taking care of laminates. These types of wooden floors do not need the constant treatment to keep them in excellent condition, but if you do follow the simple care routine mentioned above, you can expect for your flooring to last a life time.

Seeking Professional Assistance

Chatting to the various professional flooring teams on the market about installing new laminate floors in your home will have you promptly provided with all the required information and advice on these particular floors. Some flooring companies have well stocked showroom premises to offer you while others might arrange for a mobile show room to visit your premises to present you with a variety of flooring options to consider, samples to view, and of course catalogues to browse through. This is ideal as it will provide you with the opportunity to ask as many questions as possible and ensure that you are settled on the type of flooring that you want installed.

Wood floors from the laminate range are designed to be durable and long lasting. Product quality is certainly not to be questioned as each investor in a laminate floor is known to only but sing its praises for years to follow. Take the time to consider your existing furniture, décor and colour schemes in the home before deciding on the type of finish you would like to go with.

Another important aspect to discuss with the flooring expert is the type of underlay which should be used to improve the air quality in your home once your laminate floor is installed. An underlay helps to take care of the laminates as it removes present contaminants such as mould, spores, allergens and dust mites; ensures that no recontamination can occur and also protects the flooring from the negative effects of spills, moisture and of course rising damp. Thus, it is important to choose a quality product will enhance the lifetime of your laminate floors.

At the end of the day it all boils down to doing your research before choosing the company to help you or the product you install. One thing is for certain, however, and that is that you will never regret installing laminate floors.