Patio Ideas – Stepping Out With Stone Patio Designs And Brick Patio Patterns

Tired of retro concrete with a boring brick trim? Or perhaps the pressure treated border timbers holding back a creeping riot of crab grass down the middle of your patio or drive? Making a stone patio design change has never been easier. New materials like interlocking paving stones, improved engineering and installation open a new world of landscape patio ideas to add class, and value to your home and lifestyle.

Outdoor Patio Ideas – The Creative “Ah Hah” Insight. Where does a new, bold and classy patio design idea come from? For starters, “think outside the box”… view your property fresh… eliminate all the conventional square edges and rectangles, and see whether new shapes and a wholly different integration of plants, patio and drive can be created.

Step #1 – Measurements And Layouts. Take your time. Measure your present drive or patio space. Add any features or re-shaping that you’d like to consider. Once you have the gross dimensions worked out… or square footage, you’re ready to look at some of the contemporary stone patio designs… drawing from the wide range of interlocking earth hued long lasting textured stones… or perhaps an innovative brick paving pattern to highlight your property.

Step #2 – Who’s The Right Contractor? Stone patio construction requires engineering knowledge, special measuring tools, excavating equipment and a trained eye for space and layouts. Unless you’re on the extreme edge of the do-it-yourselfer Bell Curve, you’ll be looking at local landscape construction firms to do the heavy lifting. Here’s the “inside scoop” on how to gauge the best artisans:-

* Tip #1 – Background Business Stuff. The background ‘business stuff” you need to directly look over includes (a). a copy of the contractor’s license to operate (b). evidence of workers comp coverage and (c). evidence of accident and property liability insurance, to insulate you-as-customer from potential legal actions based on the contractor’s fault.

* Tip #2 – Examples Of Job Performance. Here’s where your critical eye comes into focus. You want naturally to see current site work, in order to get a feel for how the contractor works, type of equipment, whether he shows up on schedule and so on. However, a deeper time-based view of the contractor’s skill will exist in past work… jobs that he performed 2 to 5 years ago! These are the sites where the “product quality” reveals itself. Did the patio or drive foundation buckle or sag? Did the paver stones or bricks move around? Did the edges collapse? Did crabgrass and other vegetation take over?

* Tip #3 – Get Customer References. You can’t talk to enough customers, or competent referring tradesmen, when you’re selecting your contractor. After all, you’re making a substantial investment in your property. You want your new stone patio design to look terrific… and last for years with minimal maintenance and cost.

Step #3 – Stone Patio Construction. Going from a stone patio design to a finished landscape is all about engineering know-how… building proper foundations, understanding the various materials and how they’ll integrate to create strength and long lasting durability.

* Site Prep. First, your site is “prepped”… old stuff like concrete, wood borders, excess gravel and so on are removed. Your patio or drive is marked and elevation or depths marked and measured with strings.

* Establishing Level “True” Grade. Small “cats” and back hoes scrape and re-position material, drawing down to around 7 inches below the final elevation. By hand, workman screed the patio or drive area, fine-tuning the grade so that it’s ‘true’ and level, even where it naturally slopes away for drainage.

* Sand And Compacting. Refined sand is spread across the patio ‘field’, then compacted and screed-leveled until a perfect grade and substrate has been created… at an elevation about 3 inches below “final grade”, or at the grade where your selected paving stone’s dimensions will complete the elevation.

* Laying The Brick Patio Pattern. No matter whether you’ve selected bricks or an interlocking paving stone design, the next step is where the patio or drive “field” is actually set out… all the stones or bricks are laid down, true to your stone patio design. Dry sand is spread over the bricks or paver stones, followed by careful compacting which shakes and distributes sand into all the cracks. Result? Sand plus stones plus substrate “interlock” to form a solid, long wear surface.

Bottom Line. Learn more about the patio ideas including stone patio designs and patio landscaping ideas that will create an outdoor living environment that will add a new lifestyle touch.

Apartment or House?

Apartment is defined as, a set of rooms which have all the facilities like a house. The major types of apartment are studio apartment, bedroom apartment, duplex, lofts, garden apartment. If I was asked where I would I prefer to live in a traditional house or in a modern apartment building, I think, I would hesitate to answer. This question, from my point of view, is a controversial one. In the following paragraphs I will analyze both these options and present my view.

It’s everyone’s dream to have a comfortable place to live. As the majority of people say, I want to get an attractive house someday, but unluckily it is not so easy to get because it is very costly. But there are several differences between owning a house and renting an apartment. The first difference is the noise. If you are renting an apartment and you are a noisy person, it is very painful for the rest of the people who live with you. For example if you are always playing melodic instruments, listening to loud music and cleaning the house with noisy machines you are really troubling the other people and I’m sure that you wouldn’t want to be in their place. But also, in a lot of cases the noise depends on if the owner permits it or not. In contrast, owning a house is more comfortable if you are a noisy person because you are the owner and responsible for all the things of your house and you don’t have to care of disturbing someone. For example, if you are the owner of the house you are free to even have a noisy party or whatever you want because it is your house. The second and most important difference for me is about the policy. When you live in an apartment, you have to comply with the owner’s policy. For example, you have to ask for him or her if you are free to have visitors, pets, parties, etc. On the other hand, when you rent an apartment, you are not as free as you are when you are the owner of a house to do whatever you want. In contrast, owning a house permits you to be free without caring that someone is dissatisfied with your ideas and decisions about your house. In this case you can paint your house, buy a big tape recorder or do all the things that you want. In conclusion, I prefer owning a house that is better than renting an apartment because I can be free to do whatever I want, without policy and it gives me more sovereignty and relieve.

From the one side, living in a modern apartment building brings many paybacks. First of all, it is cheaper than living in a traditional house and paying different kinds of fees I am not familiar with. For instance, my buddy, who recently bought a new house for his family, told me that it is much easier to live in an apartment and I tend to believe him when I see his bills. So, living in an apartment will definitely help me to save some money. Second of all, since I live alone, I do not need a big house with many rooms. I just need a bedroom and a living room where I can take my guests and have my work place. Another important benefit of living in an apartment is that I will not have to buy much weighty furniture in order to furnish all rooms.

Half Helmet – Benefits of Using a Half Helmet

DOT approved motorcycle half helmet are quickly becoming the most popular sort of motorcycle helmet. Fashioned after the German motorcycle helmet, these small and light weight helmets are among the best available today for the motorcycle rider.

Many materials are used in making a motorcycle half helmet. The best producers of motorcycle half helmets use super light-weight materials, and can have a helmet weighing as little as twenty-eight oz. Higher quality half helmets are made of a sturdy, yet light weight carbon fiber shell. Lined with a plush cloth, and double d stainless-steel rings for the chin strap, a half helmet can offer the best mix of comfort and safety.

Safety is a common concern of people who are deciding on a helmet. Some believe it is safer to employ a full-face helmet, but you can buy a DOT-certified half helmet. Some like them because they believe the half-style looks better. Whether or not they actually look better than full-face helmets is solely a matter of taste, but if you prefer the half variety, you may be sure that you have a lot of options for its specific appearance. You can get just about any sort of paint job you like, and many of them have patterns formed into them also.

There are many sub styles of half helmets available. Simply a shell and chin straps. There are some retro style half helmets having a patch of leather over where the ear would fit in the chin strap to supply some heat to the rider on cool nights or days. The beanie/shorty style is the most popular among the half helmet classes. Also, shoppers need to be sure that any other head accessories, like earmuffs or snap-on visors, will fit with the helmet they’re considering. While that might seem to go without saying, there are other choices for finding discounted motorcycle gear. It may be a wonderful bargain to buy a leather jacket from a private seller, or to find saddlebags or perhaps motorcycle parts on eBay or through other means. But you should be wary when buying a chunk of apparatus that would save your life.

If you purchase a reduction motorcycle helmet from a reputable dealer, then the chances that you are purchasing a helmet that doesn’t measure up to safety standards is much slimmer. That is’s not to say it couldn’t happen–it could. You do carry a little of the responsibility in making sure you get a quality helmet. You should confirm it meets the DOT wants before buying it and wearing it ; don’t just take somebody’s word for it.

When you find a shop that offers deductions on helmets and you know they are reputable, you’ve got more leeway. You can look among the DOT compliant helmets for a style, color and design that you like. No matter how crowd pleasing and on-sale a helmet might be, you do not need it if it is not up to safety standards. Half helmet has saved me from accidents frequently. Plus, I really like the various style I can choose from.Inexpensive helmets are oftentimes not durable enough to protect me from collision. I prefer discount motorcycle helmets. I get world-class standards with big discounted basic pay at Discount Helmet Factory.

Is It My Roof or Gutters That Is Leaking?

Do you have water dripping from your eaves and you need to find out how to stop it before it causes damage to the lumber and compromises the eaves structural integrity? Should you call a gutter contractor? Will he come look at it just to refer it to a roofer that will turn you back to the gutter guy to solve the leak? In this blog, I will give you a nearly fail-safe way to determine the cause.

First you need to know the components that usually make up an eave. Eaves are made up of: Fascia (the vertical component that the gutters would fasten to, and Soffit (the bottom of the eave). There are two main types of Soffit and Fascia eaves. 1) Aluminum Soffit and Fascia (this is maintenance free, paint clad aluminum that covers the lumber that is used to build the eaves) and 2) Open Soffit Eaves (exposed rafters visible from standing under the eaves and looking straight up). If you are reading this blog, it is probably safe to say you can identify the rain gutters as they fasten into the fascia and collect water run off.

Next, you need to study the eaves when they are leaking. If you don’t want to wait for rain, you can put a sprinkler on the garden hose and place it on the roof to simulate rainfall. Once you see it dripping through the eaves, study the nature of the drip with the following information in mind:

  1. If the water drip is coming from between the gutter and aluminum fascia, it is almost always because the back of the gutter was not installed up under the drip metal flashing (located under the first course of shingles). Below is an example of drip metal that does not flash into the gutter properly. You can see the white drip metal just above the gutters, does not flash down into the gutters. This allows water to get behind the gutters and run down, dripping between the gutter and fascia.
  2. If the water is dripping between the fascia and soffit, or from the soffit alone, it is most likely coming from the roof.
  3. If the dripping is coming from the gutters end caps, miters, or downspouts, it is a gutter issue.

Exceptions to these rules do exist, however, they are rare. This will give you an opportunity to call a contractor to fix the problem. This brings up the next challenge: calling the right contractor. I can’t tell you how often eave problems are misdiagnosed, even by professional contractors. I recently visited a home where the home owner was thoroughly and completely frustrated. In an effort to correct an eave leak, she had put a complete new roof on. When it didn’t stop the leak, the roofing contractor who was paid to put on the new roof, told her to contact a gutter contractor.

When the gutter contractor charged her a significant sum to repair the gutters, you can guess she felt trapped and at a dead end when it continued to leak. The two contractors blamed each other and so she called us. My estimator looked at it and new immediately it was not a gutter issue because it was leaking through the soffit and there was a roofing detail that was done wrong. He told her to contact the roofing contractor who installed the roof and give him the list of instructions we provided to fix the roof.

Many times a contractor is more excited about winning a bid than really taking the time to diagnose the problem. Knowing the steps outlined above, you will be able to be educated and feel confident in the solution.

Resin, Metal, Or Concrete Gardens Statues – The Pros and Cons of Each

Garden sculptures can be made from nearly any durable material.  The most popular are concrete, resin, and metal.  Here are some things you should know about each.

Concrete garden statues:  Because these are made from molds, you can get nearly any size, shape, or style of this type of statue that you would like.  Concrete statues are sold in both finished and unfinished styles.  It is very affordable and if you buy unfinished and paint it yourself then it is even more so.

One thing you should know about concrete garden statuary is that it can get very heavy, very quickly.  If you live in a high wind area this is great, but be sure that you have help moving big pieces.  The only real downside is that concrete is not as detailed as resin.

Resin garden statues:  Resin is a hard plastic material that can be molded into just about any shape imaginable.  Because it  takes detail very well, it is a great material for statues for your garden.  You will often find statues of children playing, Disney characters, and animals made out of resin.  

Resin is an extremely durable substance.  It is much lighter than concrete, but often more expensive.  Resin statues look great in cottage gardens.

Metal garden statues:  These are perfect for formal gardens & are generally absolutely beautiful.  However, metal statues for the garden can be quite pricey.   Also you need to be aware that many metal statues will develop a patina over time.  For instance, copper will turn a lovely shade of green (think the Statue of Liberty).  In general metal garden statues are well worth it.

10 Fireplace Smoking Problems and Solutions

There is nothing worse than coming in after a hard day and when you finally get a decent fire going, all you get is smoke coming back into the room. It burns the eyes and lungs, and you wind up having to open windows and doors to let the cold air in to air the room out. That smell gets into all of the fabrics in the house as well as in your clothes, and it seems to take forever to get rid of it.

Many of the common smoking problems deal with the fact that a fire needs to be supplied with a large amount of make up air as one of its three primary elements, as well as needing to have an adequate opening through the chimney to the outside in order to exhaust out the smoke and gases so that they don’t come back into the room. Below is a list of the top ten possible reasons and their solutions as to why you’re having that smoking problem.

1) Dirty or Obstructed Chimney- Have the chimney inspected and swept by a Certified Chimney Sweep so that the chimney can be checked for any obstructions such as a bird’s nest or tree branches, or your kid’s missing volley ball. Also, a dirty chimney cap will prevent smoke from freely exiting the chimney.

2) Closed Damper- Before starting a fire, always check to make sure that the damper is completely open. If you’re not sure, shine a flashlight up the chimney to see if the metal damper plate is open or closed.

3) Fuel- Cut firewood must be aged a minimum of one year. It should be kept dry and protected from the rain. If the log is larger around than 6″ in diameter, it should be split so that it burns efficiently. Also, some types of prefabricated “paper wrapped” logs can be prone to smoking.

4) Fire Grate Placement- The fire grate is where you place your wood in the firebox and should be placed as far back in the firebox as possible, preferably right against the backwall in order to create a good draw. Sometimes it’s necessary to raise the grate with bricks to help. This gets more air under the grate for better circulation and it also raises the height of the fire.

5) Chimney Not Built To Proper Dimensions-Many times the fireplace opening is too large or too tall, especially in relation to the chimney flue size. This can give smoke a choice of going up the chimney or coming into the room. The solution could be adding a metal smoke guard to the top of the fireplace opening, since it shrinks the size of the opening. Also, many two-sided fireplaces have inherent smoking problems due to their sensitivity to air drafts in the house. In this case you might think about installing glass doors. One more thing, if the chimney does not have adequate height, you may need to extend the height of the chimney to improve the draw.

6) Cold Weather- If the weather outside the house is either colder and/or raining, the air inside the chimney flue will be cold and heavy and block the smoke from venting out. In this case, it helps to ‘prime’ the chimney by rolling up a newspaper and lighting it, then hold the lit end close to the open damper inside the firebox for a minute or two to warm up the heavy air in the flue. Then you can light the fire and ideally should have a good draw.

7) The House Is Near a Canyon or Hillside- If the house is next to a canyon, hillside or slope, it can have smoking problems due to wind currents and downdrafts. The air is pushed down the chimney into the room. Many times a specially designed chimney wind cap will resolve this problem since the top part of it turns like a weather vane and the cap’s backside creates a barrier in the way of the wind.

8) Central Heating System- If the heater is on, you will lose the draw from the chimney which will cause a smoking problem. This is because the central air furnace is so strong that even if the air intake vent for the central heating system is not in the same room as the fireplace, it will suck the outside air down the chimney and will cause the fireplace to smoke when the fire is going. Do not run the heater when the fireplace is in use!

9) Air Pressure Difference- Because houses are built much tighter than they used to be, the air pressure inside the house can be different than outside the house and this will not allow for a proper draw of air through the flue as well as the fire not receiving adequate make up air. This will also happen if a house is retrofitted with new tighter windows and doors. To minimize the smoking problem, crack open a window or door (preferably at the same level as the fireplace) in the room.

10) Tall Trees and Buildings- A tall tree or added-on second story (yours or your neighbor’s) close to the chimney may change the wind currents and cause down drafts to go down through the chimney and not only cause a smoking problem but possibly an odor problem as well. Keep those trees trimmed! With the 2nd story problem, the solution will likely be to raise the chimney height, but in some cases the wind cap might help instead.

These at least hit the highlights of what could be the problem when dealing with that annoying smoking problem. There are other possible reasons for this problem, so if following the corrective actions presented here don’t take care of it, the best advice I could give would be to contact a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep in your area and put him to work figuring it out. Good Luck!

Guide to Basic Bricklaying Techniques

In this article we will discuss some basic bricklaying techniques that will help you get an idea on how to tackle any bricklaying job you may want, as an avid handyman.

A few bricklaying tips to take into consideration for a nice, neat and sturdy finish would be Getting the mortar right, using a trowel, and laying the bricks.

Getting the mortar right:

  • The sand should have a bit of clay in its consistency for body in the mortar
  • The sand should not be fine.
  • Clean sand, without any foreign matter, helps the finished quality of your joints.
  • For light coloured mortar finish use a lighter coloured sand, and for a darker finish use orange brick sand.
  • To get the best consistency out of your mortar follow the instructions on the cement bag for best ratios. i.e how many shovels of sand per cement. (where possible use measuring equipment, like buckets).
  • Water in the mix is crucial, it mainly depends on the amount of moisture is already in your sand. The mortar needs to be wet enough so that it sticks to your trowel, and dry enough to keep its body.
  • Apply small quantity of lime is used to make the mortar pliable.


  • Before you use the trowel get familiar and comfortable with holding the tool properly
  • Positioning yourself when laying bricks is very important for, neat, clean and tidy work. A right handed bricklayer should have his left-side of body (brick-hand) to the wall face, and right-hand side (trowel hand) to materials. Reverse this position if you are left handed.
  • A right-handed bricklayer should position their feet with the right foot slightly forward of the left, feet slightly apart to assume a well balanced position. Reverse this for left-handed bricklayers.
  • Maintain such a position at all times that will prevent clothing from fouling the line — approximately 100 to 150mm from the wall. Your head should be continually moved into such a position that will assist in hand- eye co-ordination.
  • The best way to apply the mortar to your trowel would be to scoop one full trowel and fold it one to two times, then scoop that up and apply to your brick wall repeating to cover about 3 bricks in distance. once applied using the tip of your trowel furrow your mortar bed.

Laying the brick:

The most important thing to consider whilst laying bricks is to take your time and not to rush.

  • Heap your mortar in the centre of your damp mortar board
  • Pick up enough mortar on your trowel
  • Spread brick bed with mortar for 2 – 4 bricks
  • Spread and furrow mortar bed, being sure to trim excess mortar off bed
  • Select your brick with your brick hand
  • Butter brick on each header face for your cross joints
  • Lay the brick on your brick line making sure to cut off excess mortar to keep the face work clear, and clean

Fishing – How to Rig a Trout Line

When it comes to fishing, especially in the spring of the year, fishing for trout is a very popular activity. The issue with trout fishing is that many anglers have no idea how to rig a trout line for trout fishing. In this article I will outline some tips concerning how to rig a trout line for fishing in the flowing water of a river or stream, the best place to fish for trout in my humble opinion. Many anglers make the mistake of thinking that using the same gear/outfit that is used for other types of fishing will be effective for trout fishing. The problem is that most fishing gear is much too heavy for trout, and thus is no way to rig a trout line.

The first key to rigging a trout line effectively for fishing in rivers is the size of fishing rod and reel that is used. When fishing for trout ultra light rods and reels should always be employed. Ultralight rods and reels give you the ability to use light line effectively, and the use of light line is a key to how to rig a trout line. The bottom line is that if you want to rig a trout line in any kind of effective manner, an ultra light rod and reel need to be used.

Now that you have the proper sized rod and reel, light line is the next key to learning how to rig a trout line. For more than two decades I have been using four pound test monofilament with great success. Some trout fishermen use line as light as two pound test and line as heavy as six pound test is also used by some anglers. Any fishing line heavier than six pound test monofilament should be avoided when fishing for trout.

The next key is to always attach your hooks or trout lure to your line by using a small swivel of some sort. When using lures, this means that a leader (or length of fishing line) needs to be added to the opposite end of the swivel. In other words your trout lure is tied to the leader, rather than directly to your line, with the swivel in between. This prevents line twist and allows the trout lure to perform as it is designed to perform.

In the case of bait fishing with hooks, gang hooks should be used (especially if live worms are the bait). Gang hooks are tied on a twelve to eighteen inch leader, which makes attaching your hooks to the swivel easy. If you want to know how to rig a trout line for bait fishing, gang hooks are the answer because they are tied with a leader attached.

Once your gang hooks or trout lure is attached to the swivel, split shot sinkers are added above the swivel for weight. The number and size of the split shot will vary depending on current flow and water depth. Adding weight is a trial and error process, so start with a couple of split shot and add or remove them as needed. The ultimate goal is to have your offering tap or touch the bottom of the river as it flows with the current.

The bottom line is that if these tips are adhered to, you will never again have to ask how to rig a trout line for river fishing, you will know. Now get out there and put these tips into action. The more time that you can spend on the water using these tips the better off you will be. Not to mention the fact that you will also catch a ton more trout.

Mortgage Contingencies in Real Estate Contracts

A contingency is a condition in a contract that must be satisfied before the contract is binding. A mortgage or financing contingency generally means that the buyer must secure the agreed to financing by the agreed to date or the contract is void. Most buyers finance their home purchases, even those who write cash offers.

Sometimes a deal without a mortgage contingency will be referred to as a “cash” deal even though the buyer is going to get a mortgage. That is because from the seller’s point of view, the buyer is obligated to go through with the deal even if she is not able to get a mortgage. (This is where a preapproval from a quality mortgage lender and earnest money are important.)

NOTE: A cash offer may look great on paper, but make sure the buyer actually has the money or the mortgage before you get to the closing table.

A mortgage or financing contingency gives the buyer a certain number of days within which to obtain a commitment from a mortgage company, for the stated amount, for the stated interest, and for the stated term of years.

For example, a mortgage for:

80% of the purchase price (expressed in a $ amount, such as $240,000, which is 80% of the $300,000 agreed to price. The buyer would be putting down $60,000 in this example.); with

An interest rate of 6.5%; for

An amortization period of 30 years.


You, as the seller, want the amount of the loan contingency to be as low as possible. (The lower the % amount of the contingency, the more the buyer has to put down.) The more the buyer has to put down, the greater the likelihood of her getting a mortgage. If you are the buyer, you want to put down the smallest amount of money. Therefore, you would want the % to be high. (Part of the current mortgage crisis is due to buyers putting down very little.)

You, as the seller, want the stated interest rate to be as high as possible. The higher the rate is in the contingency, the more likely it is the buyer will be able to get that loan.

If you are the seller, do not worry about the length of your buyer’s mortgage. The amortization term is more of a concern to the buyer than to you.

If the buyer cannot get a loan within the time stated or fails to meet any of the other requirements, the seller may, if included in your contract, have the right to try to get a loan for her.

If neither the seller nor the buyer can get a loan for the agreed-to amount and terms, then the seller must return the earnest money and the contract is null and void.

© 2007 Complete Books Publishing, Inc.

Interior Design Tips – Decorating With Picture Frames

Choosing frames for your art in your interior design can be tricky, but here are a few ideas to help you make you best selections.

  1. Modern pictures usually have simple clean lined frames. Modern art is usually an expression in itself and the frame is usually very simple, or no frame at all. The common materials used for modern design are black matte frames, metals like gold, silver or bronze or plastics, such as acrylic boxes.
  2. Traditional art can have more detail and ornamentation. Traditional art is softer usually and the frame may lend itself to more detail. Be sure that the frame is not more busy than the subject unless you want the frame to be more highlighted than the art subject.
  3. The finish of the frame should compliment the art. Darker art would usually have a darker frame, lighter art would more than likely have a lighter frame. The mat color would usually be complimentary to the main background color of the art and a secondary color mat would compliment one of the main colors of the art also.
  4. Choose the frame to the art, not the room. This is important because sometimes people choose frames to go with the entire color scheme of the room. This art may actually only go with one color in the color scheme for the room and that is fine. It is not necessary to have all the colors in you room color scheme associated with the art, so choose the frame that highlights the art best, not the entire room. Choose a style of frame that compliments the style of art. Modern frame for modern art, traditional frame for traditional art and playful frames for kids art. Darker frames for dark art and lighter frames for light art.
  5. The scale or size of the frame should be related to the scale of the painting. Smaller pictures can be made to feel larger by leaving space around them between the picture and the frame. This can be done with several layers of mats or the art can even “float” if you want to put it in a plexiglass frame for a more modern look. If the art is made to look larger by space around it, then the frame can be larger scale too. Very large art may have 4″-6″ or more frame width. Remember to consider this frame width in the overall size of the art. Some art may be framed to size with a smaller frame with a smaller picture and larger scale frames with larger pictures. There also is a trend to put a thin metal frame around a large piece of art. This highlights the picture and looks like a border around it, as apposed to a framed look.
  6. The frame does not need to “match” the picture, it should harmonize with it. Color matching is not necessary when choosing your frame with art. Stand back and see if the color of the frame harmonizes nicely with the colors in the art. Too much matching can make it look boring.
  7. Very formal settings many times have gold leaf or silver leaf finishes. Formality can be added to art by using metals such as gold leaf and silver leaf. It is like fine jewelry surrounding your art. Can be very elegant, pretty and accent the art perfectly. This can be used with modern or traditional art, smooth or ornate frames.

13 Different Types of Engineering Explained

As a student considering your options for college or university, the choices can be overwhelming. This is the case even within certain disciplines where there might be a dozen different subcategories and / or specialties within the profession. Let’s explore some of the more popular Engineering disciplines, shall we?

Agricultural Engineering is the engineering discipline that strives to apply engineering science to agricultural production and farming. In some circles it is commonly accepted that the scope of agricultural engineering is broader than all other forms of engineering, as it combines elements of mechanical, civil, and chemical engineering with animal and plant biology.

Architectural Engineering involves the application of engineering principles to building construction and design. In some parts of the world, the words architect and architectural engineer are used interchangeably.

Biomedical Engineering strives to apply engineering principles and technology to the field of medicine. Originally considered an interdisciplinary specialization, biomedical eng has grown to become a respected discipline of its own. Tissue engineering, while also considered a specialization within biotechnology, is one such example of biomedical engineering in action.

Ceramic Engineering relates to the practice of designing and creating objects from inorganic, non-metallic materials. The process generally includes the purification of raw materials, the production of compounds, their formation into components, and the study of their composition, properties and structure.

Civil Engineering is a discipline that deals primarily with the design, construction and maintenance of bridges, roads, canals, and the like. As a point of interest, this engineering discipline was enshrined to distinguish itself from military engineering. It is considered the second-oldest discipline, after military.

Computer Engineering is a combination of computer science and electronic engineering. Computer engineers design both computer software and computer hardware, in addition to developing solutions for the integration of the two.

Electrical Engineering is the study and application of electromagnetism, electronics, and electricity. It’s a broad-based discipline that encompasses the design and implementation of various electronic / electrical systems such as circuits, generators, motors, and transformers.

Environmental Engineering refers to the application of scientific principles to environmental improvement. Generally speaking, this discipline attempts to provide healthy air, water and land for safe habitation. Additionally, this particular discipline attempts to find ways to reverse environmental damages caused by pollution.

Industrial Engineering is a discipline concerned with the development and ongoing improvement of integrated systems. In manufacturing systems, focus is placed on finding ways to eliminate waste (time, money, materials, energy, etc). Industrial engineering is not necessarily limited to manufacturing, however.

Manufacturing Engineering, on the other hand, deals almost exclusively with the design and maintenance of different manufacturing processes, tools, equipment and machines. Lean manufacturing principles are one such example of scientific manufacturing in action.

Materials Engineering is concerned with the properties of matter and it’s application to science and technology. This generally refers to the study of the structure of materials at the molecular level, and includes elements of applied physics and chemistry. Nanotechnology is one such example of materials engineering in action.

Mechanical Engineering is one of the oldest disciplines, and is primarily concerned with the design, production and use of tools and machines. It is primarily concerned with the generation and application of mechanical power.

Nuclear Engineering is a discipline that is primarily concerned with finding practical applications of nuclear energy. This includes the development and maintenance of nuclear reactors, power plants, and weapons.

Husband Emotional Detachment – Discover How You Can Stop Emotional Detachment In Marriage

A husband’s emotional detachment and loss of sexual interest are the most common signs of marriage problems. There are a lot of couples that ended up in divorce because of intimacy issues and emotional abandonment.

Emotional detachment in marriage refers to a person’s inability to connect emotionally with his or her spouse. Instead of the usual physical absence, one of the spouses emotionally abandons the relationship.

The causes of a husband’s emotional detachment are lack of time and effort, being unable to forgive, ill-treatment, or no open communication. Your husband is emotionally detached when he is not talking or sharing his feelings with you as much as when you were still dating. He walks away from conversations and he does not show any effort to solve this problem.

Emotional detachment in marriage may also occur because of unhappiness and having an affair. The husband might find happiness and comfort with another woman and their friendship will eventually blossom into an intimate relationship.

The best way to solve your husband’s emotional detachment is to know its root cause. Find out how and why it started. Below are the top ways you can solve this kind of problem:

• Communicate – Do not be afraid to talk to your husband about the problems and issues you are facing. You cannot expect the problem to solve itself. Emotional detachment happens because the spouses stop talking and communicating.

• Compromise – You must learn to sacrifice and give up some of the things you like to make your marriage work. This does not mean that you will be a slave to your spouse but you have to understand that you are committed and that your husband also has his needs.

• Counseling – If you are having a hard time solving the problem on your own or that your husband is unwilling to cooperate, you will need professional help to save your marriage. There are also many programs and resources online that you can use.

If your husband is emotionally detached, you have to get help immediately. Show him that you care and that you want your relationship to work. You can make your husband open up and save your marriage.

How Does Reflective Insulation Work?

There are three types of heat: direct, convection, and radiant. Modern home construction techniques still primarily draw upon standards set up in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Since those times, advancements have been made in materials as the world seeks to reduce the wasteful use of precious resources. We’re learning to become more efficient, one day at a time.

Presently, your home may have traditional or mass insulation up in the attic. Typically known as “the pink stuff,” much of the mass insulation in homes today is made from fiberglass and exists in long sheets of batting or perhaps loose fill. When placed between the joists in your attic’s floor, mass insulation slows down the transfer of heat from your home’s interior up through the attic and into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, slowing down this process does not limit it all together. Once mass insulation absorbs all it can, it emits the excess heat. In this manner, your HVAC system may be constantly working to make up the difference lost through the roof.

Reflective insulation is a thin, lightweight product made of 99% aluminum and a polyester scrim inner core. While very easily cut, the product is difficult to tear, which makes it easy to handle and install with a simple box cutting knife.

Reflective insulation may be laid on top of traditional insulation in a loose pattern across the floor joists. Spaces between the layers are fine, and in fact may be necessary to prevent excessive condensation from building up. Overall, the effect should greatly lessen the amount of radiant heat lost into the atmosphere through your attic. Your HVAC system will work less hard, saving you money and wear and tear on an expensive home appliance.

Softball Conditioning – How to Keep Hydrated During Summer

Let’s face it. Since summer has come, all we want to do is to keep ourselves cool like a cucumber during this season. Some of us go to the mall to enjoy the air-conditioned environment. Some of us jump into the pool or go to the beach to cool off. Whereas, there are some of us who just basically want to stay at home to avoid getting hot and sweaty due to a warm weather.

But for softball players, it is important for them to keep their heads in the game regardless of season. They need to continually improve themselves in all aspects in order to remain competitive through many softball practice sessions so that, come game season, they would be able to stay ahead of the opposing teams. And they do so through exercise, practice as well as softball conditioning drills.

Because of the effort they exert physically in pitching and hitting balls and running on the bases, they are more prone than ever of dehydration when summer comes. They lose so much fluids and electrolytes in their bodies that they become sluggish and become more prone to muscle cramps, headaches, dizziness, fainting and irritability.

So aside from exercise, drills and practice, softball players must also keep their bodies well-hydrated in order to normalize body temperature as well as help in the recuperation of the muscles. Usually, players drink water or sports drinks but did you know that there are fruits that contain fluids and electrolytes that can help you keep cool this summer?

Since during summer, a lot of fruits become available and these are what you can snack on that not only satisfies your hunger or provide you with much-needed nutrients but they are also high source of water and electrolytes. Read on to know more about them.


Peach is a fruit that is, of course, commonly available during the hot season and what is good about it is that it is rich in Vitamin A, C and fiber. It is a perfect fruit for those who are calorie conscious and it can give you 87.09 g. of water per piece.


Strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, you name it. These berries have high water content and at the same time, they contain Vitamin C and fiber. In fact, if you consume a cup of strawberries, you get an equivalent of 138.24 g. of water. Also, they can even prevent some forms of cancer.


The saying, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away”, is definitely true as it contains fiber and it can even prevent cancer and cardiovascular diseases. In fact, it has 118.07 g. of water. Its skin even contains pectin, a nutrient that keeps your cholesterol balanced.


The king of the fruits, mangoes, usually grow in tropical countries and these are very rich in Vitamin A and C. At the same time, it contains water content equivalent to 134.82 g. of water.


Melons are present everywhere during summer and they are even more yummy when they are eaten cold. These fruits contain Vitamin A and lycopene that helps fight certain cancers. Even better, it contains 140.83 g. of water per serving.

Of course, nothing still beats water but now that you know which fruits to eat to help you stay fresh and hydrated during summer, you can opt for these tasty snacks to keep your body cool and refreshed.

So, enjoy those softball conditioning tips on how to keep hydrated even during summer.

Magnesium Hydroxide

Magnesium hydroxide has the chemical formula Mg(OH)2. It is available naturally as the mineral brucite. It is a white or colorless, odorless powder and is sparingly soluble in water. It is an alkaline hydroxide compound. It is generally prepared by reacting magnesium sulfate or chloride with sodium hydroxide.

The major use of magnesium hydroxide is as an antacid for stomach upsets. Magnesium hydroxide is alkaline and hence, it can be used to neutralize the acidic pH within the stomach. Thus magnesium hydroxide is a short-term cure for acidity.

Magnesium hydroxide is available in the form of tablets or capsules, which are orally ingested with water. They are mostly slow-release drugs and their effect sets in within 30 minutes to 3 hours of their intake. They are available in the form of combination drugs under brand names such as Maalox, Di-Gel, etc.

A serious problem with magnesium hydroxide is that it interacts with various other body nutrients, such as folic acid, iron and potassium. Magnesium hydroxide inhibits folic acid absorption, which is needed for the synthesis of vitamin B12 in the body. Persons who take digoxin or digitalis, both potassium-depleting diuretics, may suffer chronic problems due to intake of magnesium hydroxide. Magnesium hydroxide is also very effective as a laxative, but it reduces the potassium content within the body, which may cause muscle cramps. Hence it is necessary to replenish the potassium content in the body after consuming a magnesium hydroxide laxative. The diet must also ideally be supplemented with iron and folic acid.

Magnesium hydroxide should not be used very often as a laxative. The body may tend to forget its natural defecation process and become addicted to the use of laxative. A doctor must be immediately consulted if magnesium hydroxide fails to void the bowels even after a long time. The problem may be something other than simple constipation.