5 Best Android Tablet Live Wallpapers

Indeed, tablets with a blank appearance are too boring to look at. Even the toughest of men would pick a wallpaper design that mirrors his personality. True enough, default home screen backgrounds might not look very appealing, which compels you to search for your own wallpaper from the Android market.

There are several live wallpapers that you can have for your home screen, and all of these can give you a colorful 3D experience that your home wallpapers cannot. Are you having difficulty in settling on what wallpaper design to use? Just keep searching, and you will find these 5 best live wallpapers for your Android tablet:

1. Bubble Pro

Bubble Pro is a pleasure to watch on your screen. Bubble Pro is free to use, and once you have this live wallpaper set on your home screen, you can play with it by tapping the bubbles, where they will burst right from your fingertips. You can personalize the background, as well as the image of the bubble from your gallery. You can also choose tweak the settings that you like to apply, like the number bubbles floating and the colors of the bubbles.

2. Vortex Galaxy

Vortex Galaxy will take you to the deepest and most unimaginable depths of space. Colorful backgrounds of galaxies and stars are displayed in this live wallpaper from your Android device screen. You can feel the energy beyond the distant galaxy from this background. You will enjoy viewing vivid colors of fascinating stars, constellations and comets. Vortex Galaxy is free to use, so you can download it anytime.

3. Jumpgate

Jumpgate is a live wallpaper for your tablet that mirrors the mysterious beauty of outer space. From your screen, you will be able to see the Green Android soaring through space with a jetpack on as it maneuvers its way against the dense asteroids. You will enjoy viewing this free live wallpaper which has several adjustable settings, like asteroid frequency, background color, flight speed, camera speed, star brightness and many more. You can also remove the Android icon, or better yet change it to a full-blown spacecraft for the full version priced at only $0.99.

4. Aquarium

Adding color to a lovely aquarium with lots of underwater plants is something nice to look at from your Android device. You will get to enjoy this live wallpaper by tapping the fish to change their direction, to let them eat, or to simply get their attention. You can also customize the scene by changing the tank toys, plants and number of fish. Aquarium provides you a refreshing colorful experience which you can have for free.

5. Asteroid Belt

Experience the wonderful world of the universe with the Asteroid live wallpaper. From your home screen, you will be able to see asteroids floating from space. This 3D live wallpaper looks great, and what is even better is that you can have this for free. You can change the settings, like the asteroid count, background image and asteroid speed. You can also set the solar system for the background display if you want a more colorful screen to look at.

The Advantages Of Using Concrete

Concrete is the most ubiquitous human-made material in the world. Here are some advantages to choosing it as your principal building material:

It’s extremely durable and resilient and it can withstand a wide range of natural disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes. Because concrete gains strength over time, you won’t have to worry about repairs or maintenance as much as you would with other, less hardy materials. It is also essentially impervious to integrity-weakening pests, mold, and moisture. This resilience makes it an ideal choice for structures that have to withstand high winds and severe weather, such as storm shelters.

It’s easily workable and can be molded into any shape you can think of for a variety of purposes. It is the go-to material for roads, bridges, dams, tunnels, runways, and other public structures that are built to be heavily used and relied upon for many years. It is also a non-combustible material and it is quite fire-resistant, making it a highly effective barrier for the spread of fires.

It can be produced and used locally. Very little concrete is produced and shipped internationally, because land transport remains relatively costly. Generally, the material is produced within easy driving distance of a building site, and the molds can even be produced and cast on-site. This reduces the amount of carbon emissions from the transportation, making it a much better choice for the environment. It also uses less energy to produce in general, when compared to other building materials like wood or steel. In fact, the production will generate very few CO2 emissions at all, as 80% of a building’s CO2 emissions are created not by cement materials but by utility costs over the course of its life, such as lighting and heating.

However, it offers great energy efficiency overall. It has excellent thermal mass, and it slows the passage of heat through walls and floors, allowing for more consistent temperatures. This property significantly reduces utility bills for heating and cooling all year long.

When the ingredients are readily available, it’s affordable. Compared with other durable building materials, like steel, the cost of concrete is manageable and economical. Its longevity and low maintenance requirements also make it a sound choice for affordability. Because it is non-porous and inert, it won’t lose any of its key properties over time, so you shouldn’t expect to worry much about the cost of repairs or replacement.

It generates something called the albedo effect, which is good for the environment. Light-colored cement reflects more light and absorbs less heat, resulting in cooler temperatures. The solar radiation is reflected as light that can pass through greenhouse gases, so this process actually offsets global warming. It also reduces the "urban heat island" effect that makes temperatures soar in the warm months in concentrated urban areas. As a result, there is less need for the expenditure of energy through air conditioning.

5 Types of Ceilings

Planning a new room? Before you make too many design or decorating decisions, think about the ceilings. Some options are:

1. Stretch fabric:

Stretch fabric ceilings give a rather dramatic effect and so tend to be reserved for big venue events. One can get very creative with stretch fabric ceilings. Possible uses can range from colour, fabric type, using the ceiling as a projection screen and displaying video or photos. Fabric can be installed in a variety of ways to give the room a three-dimensional effect.

2. Wooden beam:

Wooden beams on a ceiling can give any home or space a grand and country feel. Beams can be independent of the ceiling itself, hanging a bit beneath it, or they can be attached right onto it. Beams can be slanted on an angle or straight, they can be rectangular and smooth or they can look a lot like imperfect logs. For a very attractive look it’s always nice to have dark beams on a white ceiling.

3. Slanted:

Slanted ceilings are often seen in attics or what they call ‘cathedral’ style rooms. They are very attractive and give a room a very warm feeling, almost as if they hug the contents of the room and bring it all closer together, including the people in it. A disadvantage is that they make the room a little bit smaller. This is less of an issue when the ceilings are high, but when they are low, people can often bash their heads, can’t store as much stuff etc.

4. Industrial:

It’s been a bit of a hot trend for some time now to have industrial looking ceilings in lived/worked in buildings. This of course is mores so the case for properties such as lofts, warehouse, design firms and other edgy businesses. The whole idea with industrial ceilings is that everything is exposed, including piping, fans, vents, even wires, depending on the owners style.

5. Textured:

Textured ceilings are a good alternative to plain painted ones. They add a bit of dimension to the room while keeping it simple and relatively basic. Stucco is a popular choice amongst those looking for a bit of a textured ceiling. Others prefer a pattern of some kind. This might be craved right into the wet plaster or even stuck on with some sort of stencil or thick paper.

Ceilings can have a big impact on a room. High ceilings make a room feel bigger, slanted ones cosier, beams, rustic, and industrial urban. What type of ceilings will you choose for your new room?

Options For Replacing Discontinued Flooring Products

Everyday I have customers calling me trying to locate discontinued products.

They have damaged floor to be replaced. They had a flood, or someone dragged some furniture across the floor. Or, they just want to continue existing floor to another room. But, because the manufacturer discontinued the product, they can’t find what they need.

Manufacturers discontinue products that don’t sell well. After a product has been discontinued over 2 years, it is unlikely to be found. Manufacturers discontinue items all the time, so I always suggest to my customers that they buy 1 or 2 boxes of extra flooring. It has always been my experience that damage will occur, and product will have to be replaced.

When you can no longer find the product you have several options. For Laminate, Tile or Stone, you can call the manufacturer and ask for a cross over. Many time manufacturers will make a small change to an existing product. They will either change the locking system, the wear layer, or the finish. Otherwise the product looks the same. But, manufacturers are required to change the product sku number if they make any changes to the product at all. You can also ask the manufacturer if the product was created in a cabin grade or second quality. It won’t be a perfect match to the original, but extremely close.

If there is no cross over, you can try to replace damaged areas from closets, under appliances, etc. If this is not an option, you can pick the closest matching product to fix the repair, or reinstall the room with new flooring.

In regard to Hardwood products you have more options. If you can’t find close matches or other product in your home you can use, you can get the product custom made. There are two ways to do this. One, you can send a sample to a specialty manufacturer; they can make it for you. Or, you can buy an unfinished hardwood, and take an old piece of the product to a local hardware store and have them match the stain color. You can then stain and finish it yourself. Or, you can hire a local handyman or flooring contractor to do the job for you.

So, you can find the closest matching product, search for a cross over via the manufacturer, get a custom made hardwood, or get unfinished hardwood you stain yourself.

We offer all these services at our store. Designer’s Touch Flooring in Vero Beach, FL. If you are in our local installation area, we can do the job for you. If not, you can buy either the custom made product or unfinished wood.

Lean Six Sigma Tools & Techniques

One of the most popular methods of improving business production and service quality is through system management known as lean Six Sigma. It is a new and improved version of the old Six Sigma methodology, it went from the successful system management to an actual real time system management that adapts to any situations and eliminates mistakes thus creating a better work environment that results in quality production and service. It depends on a number of techniques which we will go through.

Lean Six Sigma heavily relies on several tool and techniques, one of the most used one is CPM or  Critical Path Method. But one amazing fact is that CPM was not designed for Lean Six Sigma in the first place. This tool was invented way before the Lean Six Sigma was even a concept, but its full potential was discovered with the implementation of Lean Six Sigma. Critical Path Method is used to schedule the start of and completion of any sub-process, at the same time it help the green belts and black belts keep their eyes on the improvement of the Lean Six Sigma process.

Other Lean Six Sigma tool commonly used are FMEA or Failure mode and Effects Analysis, which is used to identify and eliminate any potential issues,. Then there are Kano Analysis and VOC requirements translation. These two tools are used to interpret the customer feedback and translate it into measurable statistical terms.

There are also Lean software tools, they use the basic concept described above for the mentioned Six Sigma techniques, the only difference is that they make the process easier and faster.

They are used to improve the efficiency which is the goal of Lean methodology. The most used Lean Six Sigma software tools are:

–         SixNet Intelligence

–         MiniTab

–         RapAnalysit

–         Six Sigma Calculator

The last parts are the Lean Six Sigma judgmental techniques and tools. These are the very basis of Lean Six Sigma. These tools and techniques play the most important part in decision making process. In other terms, these are the processes used for the Six Sigma experts to identify the issues and problem in the production or service and find an effective way to solve them. The most commonly used tools are:

–         Though Maps

–         Ishikawa Root Cause Analysis Diagram or the so called Fishbone diagram

–         Brain Storming and Affinity Group Tool

–         Regulation diagrams

All of the mentioned techniques and tools are essential in completing any desired goal through Lean Six Sigma methodology with success.

Retractable Patio Awning

When looking for a retractable patio awning there are some features you should look for:

1. Made with the highest quality internal parts. Basically when it comes right down to it, you do not want to spend the time and money to get what appears to be a great and quality awning, just to have the motor malfunction or break down shortly after installation. Because the internal parts are internal, you can’t see them to verify by sight that they are quality. So, to protect yourself from inferior internal parts that will cost you money, ask for a full coverage warranty on the motor, and verification that the parts used in the motor are only of the highest material. This alone will help you love your retractable patio awning for years to come.

2. Frames and fabrics that are made here, or that have guarantees that are really good. While the motor that makes the awning retractable is essentially the most important part, getting an awning with a high quality frame and fabrics is important as well. The best thing to do is make sure they are made in the USA, this generally means that you can contact the manufacturer directly should you have a problem, and you will find that your service is better, and the guarantees are better and easier to understand. The higher quality the materials, the higher your satisfaction will be.

3. Options that are both manual and motorized. Unfortunately as we have seen from the cars we drive, motors do not always function properly, and sometimes they break. You want to make sure that the retractable patio awning you have has a manual override option. This is important because if your motor quits working halfway through retraction, you do not want your awning half open, half closed, this could ruin it. So, make sure you can manually retract the awning should you want or need to.

4. Wide selection. Buy your retractable patio awning from a source with a wide selection. Generally if the selection is good, the product will be as well. Also, a wider selection means you have the luxury of finding the perfect retractable patio awning for your home.

5. Look for quality and outdoor durability. While this has already been mentioned, it is important to realize that some material might be quality for indoor use, but for a retractable patio awning, it will be outdoors, and have to be able to withstand the abuses that come with being out of doors. So, be sure that it has a nice outdoor durability.

6. You want something that is unique, beautiful and functional. Your retractable patio awning is going to be a great pleasure in your life. It is going to mean you can expand your living space, and enjoy the outdoors even in imperfect weather. So, to make your awning even more comfortable, and more enjoyable for you, be sure that it is unique to your personality; beautiful and fitting for the style of home and material you have on your patio; last but not least, make sure it is functional. No matter how pretty it looks, if it cannot withstand a windy day, or protect you from the sun, it is a waste of money.

7. Look for a retractable patio awning that does not need any supports. Many homes have great vies, and those poles needed to support an awning can really obstruct the view, or be a hazard. So, find one that allows you to retract it against your home when you want sunshine, and put it out (without poles) when you want the shade, or protection.

8. Provide adequate sun protection. The point of an awning on your patio is often to protect against the sun. Your awning will not just provide shade to those under it, but having a patio awning can mean your furniture and carpeting will be protected from fading and you may even have an indoor temperature that is lower by as much as 15 degrees and also a lot less glare.

9. Good prices. A retractable patio awning will be worth its weight in gold if you use the space often, and if you use it to your best advantage to keep your home cooler, etc. However, you still should not overpay for it. So, look for a retractable patio awning that is well priced.

10. Fits your taste and style. There are plenty of styles, designs, fabrics, and other coverings available for retractable patio awnings. You will enjoy your awning more if it is a style and design that fits your style and taste. So, do not settle, find something you love, and you won’t regret it.

A retractable awning will add value to your home without the problems and high cost of construction. So, they are a smart investment for your home. Retractable patio awnings are a great way to enjoy the out of doors and protect your inside furniture and carpet from fading due to the sun.

Driveway Pavers – A More In Depth Look

The most durable and aesthetic choice for your driveway pavement is interlocking pavers. The interlocking field of individual bricks helps to spread heavy weight better than their concrete or asphalt counterparts. Additionally, since pavers are not mortared together, they can flex with freeze thaw conditions. The affects of upheaval and cracking that occurs with concrete slabs and asphalt are reduced with interlocking concrete pavers. Furthermore, the aesthetic difference between a paver driveway and a driveway of any other surface is unparalleled.

Pavers are arguably the most beautiful hardscape product available today! They are produced in hundreds of different shapes with countless color options. Pavers are made with cement, aggregate, sand, water, and a color dye. This batch of material is then poured into a mold, sent through a machine to properly vibrate and compact the ingredients, and finally they are set out to dry for a day or two. Pavers typically have a compressive strength of eight thousand psi or more. They are produced in varying thicknesses ranging from seven eighths of an inch to three and a half inches.

For vehicular applications, a minimum of two and three eighths inch pavers should be used. This product is installed on top of four to six inches of compacted base material and sand. Base materials vary by location, but common options are concrete fines and limestone. Depending on soil conditions, a geo-textile fabric should be used underneath the base material in order to prevent the base from being sucked into the sub-soil. A concrete edge restraint is troweled around the perimeter of the driveway once the pavers have been installed in order to retain the border pavers and prevent horizontal displacement. In areas with clay or slit soils, a curb restraint can be used in lieu of a trowled concrete edge restraint. This curb restraint is typically plastic, but it nailed to the ground using eight inch stakes. Next, sand is swept over top of the newly installed paver field in order to fill the joints between the bricks. Finally, everything is compacted once more and the job is complete.

Concrete pavers provide homeowners with the absolute best pavement option. They have been used throughout Europe for centuries and are finally gaining a strong foothold in the United States as the new standard for driveways. Since they are made with cement, they are maintained in the same manner. Pressure washing and light chemical washing is permitted to keep everything looking fresh and new. For more information on how to transform your home’s curb appeal, give a Florida Driveway Paver Contractor a call.

West Bengal Assembly Election in 2011

The year 2011 is probably the biggest year in political prospective for West Bengal. The Assembly Election is scheduled to take place 2011. Although the date of election is not declared yet but we all know the name of the upcoming chief minister of the state. After the successfully dominant the state for 34 years by the Left Front Government they are about to taste their defeat in 34 years in assembly election.

The Left front government in West Bengal is one of the longest running successful government in the world? In 1977 people of Bengal elected Jyoti Basu,who passed away recently, and his team of efficient people to run the state. The main agenda of the successful government of West Bengal was the betterment of the society, mainly the poor people. They have done everything perfectly and they have huge mass support till 2007. But after taking some steps towards Industrialization and some faulty land acquisition the left front government loss their support.

In 2007 during the Nandigram Mass killing and the main opposition party of west Bengal All India Trinamool Congress headed by Mamata Banerjee managed to gather huge support of people and win their trust by taking some steps for the betterment of the poor people. After that incident in all election from Panchayat, Assembly By-election, Lok Sabha election and in civic pool they defeated left front. The people of Bengal want change. They not only want change in leadership, they also want change in our society.

In 15th Lok Sabha election in 2009 the All India Trinamool Congress won 19 seats out of 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal. In 2010 Civic pool election Mamata Benerjee and her party defeated left front government and won in more than 50% of Municipality.

The communist government of West Bengal gets some time to regain their power in many parts of the states. They have changed their strategies and try to reach more and more people. It’s Now 50-50 Battle between the Communist Government and Trinamool Congress.

How to Properly Mount a Rifle Scope

There are no mysteries to shooting accurately and precisely. Other than choosing the right equipments and the right ammunition, mounting the scope the right way is part of it.

If you prefer to mount a scope yourself, you will need a sound and steady vise in a well lit area. There are many ways to mount a scope and everyone will formulate his own way after a few attempts. However, improperly mounting the scope could be costly and makes it hard to shoot a target precisely.

  • Mounting a scope excessively close to the barrel may cause it to ward off the scope’s modifications since one end can be contacting the barrel.
  • Mounting the scope excessively low may cause some insufficient distance headroom within your head and the cheek piece in order to see the target’s image.
  • Conversely, if the scope is mounted too high, you may find hovering over the cheek piece, and your head would not be touching the stock that can cause some imbalance when seeing the target.

In any case, it could cause unsteadiness while seeing the target through the scope.

Mounting the scope the right way will lead to achieve its best accuracy.

  1. First and foremost, make sure the rifle is unloaded. Fasten the rifle firmly in a padded gun vise
  2. Even out the rifle by placing a level on the base horizontal to the rifle bore
  3. Take out the plug screws and degrease the base of the screws with a cleaner or degreaser
  4. Clean the top of the receiver and the bottom of the base to leave proper contact between the receiver and the base
  5. Tighten the base screws down
  6. Attach the scope rings and tighten them down with a scope ring tool to make sure the rings are adjusted and lined up
  7. Test the scope for any shifting with the crosshair. Position the scope between two V-blocks and spin the scope. Look at the crosshairs for wobble and adjust the scope until there is no visible shifting. This is important for your accuracy
  8. Lay the scope into the rings and tighten snugly the rings to leave room for adjustments. Make sure the gap between the ring base and top strap is even on both sides to maintain the pressure level uniform all around the body of the scope
  9. Take out the rifle from the vise. Set the scope to the widest field of view while maintaining the rifle flat on your shoulder. Align the vertical post in the scope with a level line on a wall and spin the scope until the cross hairs are aligned. Make sure is plumb vertically and horizontally
  10. Once the scope is lined up, position the rifle back in the vise and fasten the rings screws fully

With your scope properly mounted, you must check if the rifle is operating with no interference from the mount. The scope should be at its true and exact mechanical focus point and it’s geared up for target shooting.

How to Design the Best Pebble Mosaics Your Friends Will Envy!

A pebble pavement should be reserved for places where something is called for; where care and skill in design and making will reflect the importance of a particular location. It should be a focal point, but always placed where pedestrians can choose to walk around it. Given the choice, most of us prefer our everyday walking to take place on a smooth surface, so that we don’t always have to look where we are going.

A pebble mosaic is always affected by it’s surrounding, associating well with natural stone paving slabs and bricks, but visually uncomfortable in association with concrete and asphalt because their lack of natural divisions presents too great a contrast in texture. Equally difficult surrounds are gravel and grass, which will tend to invade from the edges; and the proximity of trees will present problems of dampness and leaf-fall. Ideal locations are open spaces where wind, sun and rain act as natural cleaning and drying agents.

Designing should never be done in isolation. The context is everything. Become familiar with the space, its colours and textures and materials; and take time to learn the resonances it holds for other people. All this will give you a context in which to dream and come up with the kernel of an idea. Then you’ll need to ask some more precise questions.

How to Decide on the Size of the Motif

Deciding the size of a motif or pattern needs care. It’s difficult to get a clear impression of some patterns unless they are big enough. You can manage to make a daisy look like a daisy with just a few long pebbles for petals and a round one in the centre. But try a bird, and you need much more information for it to be at all recognizable. Even a small bird like a robin will be most effective if you actually make it the size of a chicken.

Drawing Your Design

Making a drawing before you start is invaluable. It’s not a good idea to improvise at this stage; save that for the pebble details. If you draw your design to the actual size that the mosaic is going to be, you’ll be able to test whether the pebbles you intend to use will fit the design.

It’s a common mistake to try to make a design which is too small for the size of pebbles to hand. Consequently, you end up searching for smaller and smaller pebbles to realize the idea, to the point where it gets impractical and frustrating. If your design is larger than the largest paper you have, you will need to make a scale drawing; 1:10 ratio is the easiest. At this scale you can sketch actual pebbles on you drawing, and you will be able to tell whether the pattern is the right size.

Drafting up to the Actual Size

From the scale 1:10 scale original, draw a grid of 1 in (2.5 cm) squares onto the design. On another piece of paper, as large as the finished mosaic, draw a grid of 10 in (25 cm) squares for every 1 in (2.5 cm) of the original. Then systematically copy the lines of the original to each large square.

What Materials Will you Need?

The pebbles that are available will greatly influence your choice of design. Their precise quality will suggest certain themes. Very marbly quartz, large and lumpy, is my favourite for fish scales. Spotty granites are wonderfully suggestive for a bird’s plumage. Hard-to-find green stones are effective for patterning of a frog or snake. Practicalities will often dictate a choice: whether it is possible to obtain enough stones of a certain type to be able to carry out the idea you have in mind.

What Will Your Mosaic Look Like?

How much of the mosaic can you see? This depends on where the viewer is standing: at ground level, on a balcony or on a tower. A large mosaic design can only be seen as a whole from a high viewpoint. On the ground, you can only take a radius of around 2m (7 foot). Try it! The rest is out of focus at the edge of your vision, so the only way to view each part is by walking over it. Designs for large mosaics must therefore be considered from both the overall viewpoint and the smaller focus within it.

If a mosaic will be seen from a variety of viewpoints, it should not be designed with a definite top or bottom. Patterns which twist and turn, with a variety of interest from all directions, are to be aimed for.

Make Sure Your Mosaic Fits the Environment

Colour is so important! In a stone-built environment choose pebbles that tone with the colour of the predominant stone: warm tones for sandstone, grey and white limestone. Try to get the mosaic looking as if it always belonged there. Touches of “foreign” material for contrast and highlights are OK, but the general effect should be one of a more detailed and refined texture than that of the environment. The general rule is to try to use local material for most of the mosaic.

There’s no point in being too subtle here; go for maximum contrast, bright coloured stones and interesting materials. And make it strong: there’s bound to be a lot of heavy use, vehicles and pollutants.

Once the First Plaster Application is Completed Onto the Wall, What Next?

Although it is correct to double coat (2 sets) of skimming Plaster onto the surface, knowing when it is time to lay on the second coat of Plaster onto the first one will depend on a few factors to consider before you can apply this second coat, such as, the size of the wall area to Plaster onto, verses the drying time of the first coat of applied Plaster. The surface background & how it is sealed prior to Plastering it in the first place. The room temperature, and even how you mixed your Plaster to name but a few.

Once you have laid your Plaster completely onto your wall for the first coat, immediately clean off your trowel & commence to take out some of the lines & ridges of this first coat, by starting at the very same place on your wall that you began laying on Plaster in the first place, by following the same ‘Plaster application method’ only this time you are Trowelling out some of the ridges & Trowel lines.

Please remember, at this Trowelling up stage, you are not trying to get the perfect finish to your surface, you are just aiding it by making it flatter ready for the second coat of Plaster.

Trowel out, from the top left hand side corner of the wall, nearest the ceiling, that is, if you hold your Trowel in your right hand, remembering to pay attention to your edges & ceiling lines, squashing in excess Plaster, & filling out any voids as you go along, with Plaster that is overlapping onto the wall edge/ceiling next to it, (if it hasn’t too gone solid) moving over towards the far right side corner, and then move back over to start Trowelling out from the centre to bottom left hand corner & finally finishing towards the bottom right hand side of the wall.

Then once you have completed this, you can then mix some more Plaster to apply this second coat onto your reasonably smooth & flat (Plastered) surface.

Ideally, the first coat of Plaster that you have applied, and then Trowelled out some of the marks and lines, should now be reasonably firm to the touch once you have finished Trowelling out, but you should not allow this first coat to become too solid to the touch otherwise when you apply the second coat of Plaster onto it, it will dry into the first coat too rapidly, therefore not adhering, and it will dry too quickly so that you can’t finish it to the required smooth and flat finish.

In summary

1: Apply the first coat of Plaster onto a well sealed surface.

2: Once completed, clean your Trowel and commence to Trowel out some of the ridges and lines.

3: Once completed, touch the Plastered surface and check it is firm to the touch, but don’t allow it to dry out too soon.

4: Mix up a fresh bucket of Plaster and commence to apply Plaster onto the surface to second coat it and follow the same procedures listed above to Trowel out any ridges and lines.

But once the first coat is applied, and then Trowelled out for the first time, if you should find that the Plaster has dried too rapidly to work it further, you can always apply another coat of (mixed) PVA sealer, mixed into cold water, average 50 percent PVA and 50 percent water, coat this onto the surface, let it become tacky to the touch, then apply your second coat of skimming Plaster onto this.

Dale Ovenstone 2009

Go on, Create a Craze!

How Much Will It Cost To Paint a Room?

There are some calculations you can do to help you how to figure out what it will cost to paint a room. Every room is different and every contractor has a different way of figuring out what he will quote you to paint a room. Because of that prices can have quite a bit of spread between multiple quotes. As a professional painter I will help you in figuring out the cost of painting different rooms.

First thing all contractors must know is how long will the job take. A normal sized bedroom should take 1 day unless there is a lot of preparation and repairs. The rooms we will discuss in this article will be bedrooms, foyers, great rooms and dining rooms.

So lets dive in and get a feel for what you may be dishing out for cash to paint your room. The first of rooms to discuss will be Bedrooms. There are various sized bedrooms and there can be paint-able windows and there can be closets with multiple doors, there can be decorative moldings, there can be vaulted ceilings. Lets start with a basic room of 12 foot by 12 foot the prices we will discuss here can go up to 15 foot by 15 foot, we will then add to the quote for any extras that can raise the price.

The basic room takes 1 day to paint. Now just how much should a paint contractor get paid for 1 day of work and what variables can make the price go up or down for just the basic room. Where you live will determine what a contractor may need for a days work. Say we are in New York City, then obviously the cost will be higher. On the low end we will say 200 for a days work and on the high end 500 dollars for a days work. Most folks fit into 300 to 400 a day for labor. This is just a gauge though. Lets put a quote together.

And Guys and Gals – come on and empty the room you will pay some extra if a lot has to be moved – you will not know you did though, because the quote will not specify a cost for moving things. Please have respect and gather all small stuff and small furniture like night tables and get them out of the room. Remove window treatments and pictures.

Paint costs are around 30 to 50 dollars a gallon.

Bedroom 12 x 15 ft.

This room has a couple of nail pops and two small cracks that need to be patched ( this is average and does not really affect price)

Walls painted with two coats

Ceiling painted with two coats

Trim, baseboard, 1 entry door and two closet doors, two windows painted with two coats

Paint for this room will be

1 gallon of ceiling paint

3 gallons of wall paint

1 gallon of trim paint

Paint 40 dollars a gallon

Labor cost………. 350 dollars

Material cost……. 160 dollars

Total…………… 550 dollars

Now lets add variables That add to cost

If you live in an affluent area add 100 to 200 dollars to the cost.

If there is much more in repairs add 100 to 300 more dollars.

If there is wallpaper to remove add 300 dollars

If that wallpaper is difficult to come off and messes the wall up add another 100 dollars ( A word on wallpaper. If you attempt to remove wallpaper yourself if it does not come right off with no damage – go for it

If it does not STOP NOW Before it costs you dearly especially if your walls will need to be skim coated to fix it!)

If there is crown moldings add 50 to 100 dollars depending on what kind of crown (like dentil molding).

If there is a chair rail add 50 dollars

If there is other decorative moldings add 100 to 500 dollars ( this is very rare )

If you want to use two different colors on the walls like an accent wall or on color on top of a chair rail and another below add 50 dollars plus the cost of another gallon of paint.

If you are using deep colors add 50 dollars – They can be difficult to work with and may need extra coats

If you have windows that have the crosses that need to be painted add 25 dollars a window.

Add 25 dollars a door for extra doors.

Add 15 dollars for extra windows and if they have the crosses in them add 25 more

If you have a closet add 100 to 500 dollars ( depends on closet – walk-ins can get elaborate)

Add 100 to 500 for a sitting room.

Add 25 dollars a pillar if there are pillars.

Add 50 to 100 dollars for chauffeured, vaulted or tray ceilings.

Now lets add variables that can subtract from cost

Re-coat same color to freshen up as long as the walls are not that bad thus needing only 1 coat – less 50 dollars (setting up is the hard part a second coat is easy to do when your all set up already. It is possible you can reduce a gallon of paint

so less 40 dollars more.)

All one color, ceiling and walls – less 50 dollars

No trim and doors or windows – less 50 dollars

No ceiling – Less 50 dollars

I think you should now be able to get a good idea on how much the cost to paint a room will be with the above calculations. Make sure to get at least three estimates and do not just go with the lowest price.

Now I will just rattle off some prices of other rooms.

A dining room – same as a bedroom

A foyer – same as a bedroom – variables here are adding stairwell, halls, coat closets, ceiling height, moldings, repairs, windows, doors

A high foyer – 800 to 1500

A Great Room – 600 to 1500 and above for elaborate stuff such as moldings, windows, pillars etc.

A Kitchen – 300 to 800 dollars

A Bathroom – 200 to 800 dollars if it is like a master bathroom with high ceilings etc.

A Master Bedroom – Larger sized room 500 to 800 high ceilings 800 to 1500 and add for any other bedroom variables above.

A Powder room – 100 to 300 dollars

This is labor only cost, the material has not been added. But for every gallon you get anywhere from 300 sq ft to 400 sq ft.

Example – 10 x 10 ft room…. Ceiling 100 sq ft but two coats so it is 200 sq ft- you need 1 gallon. Walls are 100 sq ft each for 400 sq ft with two coats that is 800 sq ft and that is a possible two gallons but maybe 3. Contractor will ad the third gallon. 1 gallon for trim. 5 total gallons.

These should help you gauge what it may cost to paint a room. Also if the square footage of the house is 3000 sq ft then you can expect to pay around 2 dollars a sq ft so it would be 6000 dollars. But again it depends upon variables and where you live. I hope this has been helpful!

Shears and Shovels – Quality Garden Tools For Your Lawn and Garden

Shears and Shovels are a couple of quality garden tools you really can’t do without if you do a lot of gardening and lawn work. Their primary function is to assist in removing plants and soil from area to another. They have a mountain of uses to the average gardener.

Let’s talk about shears. Shears are really a simple looking tool. They look like a giant pair of scissors, and basically that’s just what they are. They both work under the same principle. Their job is to cut certain items. So the shears have to be able to cut, not necessarily just sharp. The blades have to come together just right to make the whole process work. There are a lot of different shears out there. Some are curved and have to come together just the right way. There are many designs to choose from. The only way to really know if a pair of shears will work the way you want them too is to test them out.

The second thing you have to look for in a pair of shears is do they fit your hands just right. If they don’t fit your hands properly you will not be able to operate them to high efficiency even if they are the sharpest shears in the world. When choosing a pair of shears for trimming bushes, weight becomes an important factor in picking the right pair. If you don’t pick one that fits your hands and is heavy enough you will not be able to close them and cut the branches. The curved shears, which are used to trim small plants, have to fit your hand precisely. If it does not, you will not make the cuts you need to make.

Now let’s talk about shovels, they come in a variety of sizes and shapes and are an invaluable tool for any lawn and garden. With the progress in super hard plastics, the handles for shovels have been made more light weight than ever before. They have not made a plastic yet though that can replace the metal used in the shovel blade. You want a shovel that won’t rust and a blade that won’t go dull, so that it will hold up to the hard rocky ground that you may have to dig in. You want a blade that is solid and is connected to an unbreakable handle as well. The first thing to normally go in your shovel is the handle. The shovel blade is very durable, but the handles come and go. Handles need to be able to withstand the rugged work ethics a shovel has to go through.

Metal handles are more durable but tend to be too heavy for constant shovel duties. Wood handles are great too if you get a piece of wood that is strong enough to stand the test of time. Plastic handles have come along way. They still need some work before they can hold up for the long haul. There are basically three types of shovels, the rounded blade, the triangular square blade and the long handled narrow blade.

If you have all three of these shovels than you are on your way to success and you can avoid some back breaking work. Well, no more work than you would normally do with a shovel. The long handled narrow shovel is excellent for removing weeds without having to bend over and kill yourself and for digging small holes and getting into smaller areas that a regular shovel just can’t seem to reach. Yes, these tools are great to have around any lawn or garden and will make life so much easier. You have to pick out the right design for you and then make them work out. They are quality garden tools you can depend on.

Is a Snow Plow Better Than a Snow Blower?

Which is better a snow plow or a snow blower? That is the question many people ask when it comes time to remove snow from sidewalks and driveways. Snow removal is a common event in most parts of the world. You prepare for it and come up with ways to quickly remove snow so you can get on with your life. Everyone at one time or another has had to shovel their way out. And it only takes one time to realize that using a snow plow or snow blower is faster. But which one is better? Let us compare…

A snowplow is a blade that is attached to the front of a vehicle that pushes snow to the side or straight ahead. There isn’t a whole lot to snow plows. A mount is attached to the front of a vehicle and the blade is attached to the mount. The blade has safety trips in case it hits a curb or stump or any solid object. This allows the blade to bounce over or around the object without damaging the blade. Using a snow plow can be very quick, little maintenance, simple push the snow out of the way and you are done.

A snow blower or snow thrower is a machine that picks up snow and throws it out of the way. Instead of just pushing the snow to the side it actually tosses the snow a distance away. No threat of the snow just falling back down behind you or creating large piles of snow. Snow blowers can be a stand alone machine or attached to a vehicle. Greater maintenance is required and because there are moving parts possibility of break downs can occur.

So which is better a snow plow or a snow blower? That is up to you. Each has its’ own benefit and downside, but it comes down to personal preference and how much time and money you want to spend. Either one is a lot better and faster than shoveling.

Aerial Lifts – Guide to Selecting and Buying

Aerial lifts are mechanical devices that provide temporary access to objects at a height or inaccessible location. They are commonly used in manufacturing plans, fire fighting missions, maintenance services, retail stores, warehouses and construction sites.

Types of aerial lifts

Broadly, aerial lifts are classified into slab lifts and rough terrain lifts. Slab lifts are usually used indoors. They are suited to work on smooth surfaces, are electric powered and have solid rubber tires that do not mark retail or warehouse floors. Rough terrain lifts, as the name suggests, are suitable for uneven ground. They work on gas, diesel or are dual powered. Pneumatic tires given them a firm grip on the ground. Some have foam filled tires which are expensive, but don’t go flat.

Designs of aerial lifts

These are available in many designs. Important factors to check in any design are the platform height (vertical reach of the lift platform), power choices (gas, diesel, battery-operated, self propelled, electricity) and lifting capacity. The three major designs are:

Boom aerial lifts

Boom lifts have a bucket at the end of the extended arm. Platform height is in the range of 20-110 feet. Lifting capacity is 500 pounds. There are three types of boom lifts:

  • Telescopic boom lift has telescoping sections in its arm lengthening its reach to 120 feet at any angle.
  • Articulating boom lift has bendable arms that can reach around and over unmovable obstructions such as trees and power lines.
  • Trailer mounted boom lift is battery powered and has a platform height of 30-50 feet. It is towed to work.

Scissor aerial lifts

These have a platform height of 19-50 feet and a lifting capacity of 500-2500 pounds. It has a large workspace that can lift a number of people, heavy equipment and products. The platforms are extendable for even greater flexibility.

Vertical personnel aerial lifts

Vertical personnel lifts have a platform height of 12-50 feet and lifting capacity of 300 pounds. These are operated by single users and are economical in moving people and equipment up and down on a vertical plane.

Safety is paramount

Lifts lift people to dangerous heights. Safety measures and safety features are of utmost importance. Some safety features are described below.

  • High speed cutouts slow it down after a certain height is reached.
  • Pothole protection is the projection of arms to stabilize lift on uneven terrain.
  • Level warnings are alarms that sound when the lift is not level. The boom operation is automatically disabled at this time.
  • Static straps are used to ground the lift to protect workers from static shock.
  • Manual descent valve is used to lower the platform manually in case of a power outage.
  • LCD displays provide sensory information and diagnostics for safer operations.

Most dealers offer maintenance and servicing and an yearly inspection and warranty. You should get references from businesses similar to yours before finalizing a purchase from a dealer. If the use of the lift does not justify the cost, you can consider renting one. Aerial lifts increase the efficiency of your operations, save time and allow you to do a better job. Assess your needs carefully before selecting the design that will work best at your location.