Creating Your Own Photo Mosaics

A photo mosaic has an attractiveness that catches the eyes instantly but then want exactly is a photo mosaic? A photo mosaic is usually made from a digital photo graph as well as other types of photo. The photograph is divided into equal rectangular sections to create a visual effect that is appealing to the eyes. So in other words photo mosaic can be said to be a type of imaging art.

In creating your photo mosaic every one of the rectangular divisions is replaced other images for instance you decide to make a photo mosaic of your parrot; you use different photos of your parrot to make up the photo mosaic. So when you look at the picture of your parrot from distance you will simply see it as one photo but upon closer observation you will notice the photo is made up of other smaller images of your parrot. So to create a photo mosaic you input other different photographs to make up one photograph.

You can make great photo mosaics to decorate your home, give as gifts and you can even make money from photo mosaics buy submitting such photos to stock photo sites where they can be used and downloaded by interior decorators, advertisers and many more.

To create your own photo mosaics you do not need extensive tools or equipments, all you need is a digital camera, software like Andre mosaic, and a colour printer. This can be a great pass time as well as a way to earn a little income by creating photo mosaics for commercial purposes such as stock photo sites mentioned above.

Some other software that you can use for your photo mosaics are, Pic to Brick, Photomosaic, Imosaic or you could also use the services of commercial establishments to create your photo mosaics if you want a professional job, but I assure you that it is something that any one can do with the right tool.

The Top 10 Gardening Tools Everyone Needs

Years ago, gardening tools were built to last and it was not uncommon for a good spade, to cost a week’s wages. As they were an expensive commodity, these gardening tools had to be made to withstand the test of time and were often passed down through generations. You find many of them still being used today.

These days, when you walk into any retailer that sells gardening tools you are met with racks of different items all proclaiming they are the ‘gardeners best friend’ or ‘what every garden needs’, researching on the internet is even more confusing, with pages of gardening tools results filling your screen claiming to be the tool that you must have.

Before you start looking at the hi-tech gadgetry available on the high street and online, you need to ensure that you have the basics. A good foundation of gardening tools will stand you in good stead for the future and give you a good base to build up an array of tools in the future. Below is a list of the top 10 gardening tools that every garden shed should be keeping safe.


We all know that many garden pests and weeds have thorns, stings or chemicals that irritate the skin so the first item in our gardening tools list is a good pair of gloves. Not only will they protect from nasty prickly pests they can help prevent blisters and stop your skin drying out.


There is no way you could do anything of note in a garden without a spade – it will help when turning soil in flower beds and veggie patches, dig holes for fence posts or larger trees and shrubs, and prove invaluable when clearing piles of rubbish.


The spade is designed for the big jobs in the garden, the next item in this list is the trowel. Without it, nothing would get planted – no perennials, annuals, borders or baskets. A good strong trowel is an integral weapon in any gardening tools arsenal.


This entry in our top 10 gardening tools list is pretty self-explanatory, if you have a lawn – you need a lawnmower!


Always have a good pair of secateurs to hand, they will help you all around the garden – whether they are used for cutting flowers for the house or tackling the thorny problem of brambles.


If you don’t want to get into trouble with the chef in the house then you need a knife for the garden – essential for your tools armoury when harvesting veggies, cutting string or attacking tall weeds! (Be careful!)

Ball of string

Never underestimate the usefulness of the simple ball of string, the average gardener will use miles of it during their cultivating life! If you don’t have one you will miss is greatly.


If you don’t have too much greenery to keep tidy in your garden, a sharp pair of shears will do as good a job as an electric trimmer and keep you fit at the same time!


The humble wheelbarrow has a multitude of uses in the garden and will, if used correctly, save you from dreaded back-ache. Whether for moving soil, transporting rubbish or ferrying your tools – a wheelbarrow is a must.

Weed Killer

The final entry in our top 10 gardening tools list is a good weed killer. For the best results when tackling weeds in the garden use a weed killer that not only targets the weed above the surface but one that also penetrates deep into the roots. An indispensable item in any gardening tools kit.

Snow Blowers – Why Should I Buy a Snow Thrower?

You may be asking yourself, “Why do I need a snow blower? I am in great shape and it is great exercise,” or you may be thinking, “Why spend money on a snow thrower when a shovel can do the same job for less?” Both of these are valid points. However, there are health benefits that a snow blower can give you that using a shovel cannot. Although using a snow thrower may be less strenuous than using a shovel. The risk of back injury can be greatly reduced.

People have been using shovels for hundreds of years, so why do you need a snow blower. Many people have been asking this same question for years. There are a number of reasons to purchase a snow blower. The health benefits are one of the main reasons to purchase one.

Using a shovel to get the snow off your driveway and sidewalk is very labor intensive task and can cause you to over use or pull a muscle in your back or arms, this in turn can cause you to take time off work; if you are older, shoveling snow could potentially cause a heart attack if you over do it. There is also the risk that you may slip and fall if there is ice under the snow that you do not see.

Snow throwers come in different styles so when you are looking for one you need to know what one will be best for you.

Buying a snow thrower does not have to be hard if you do a little research on which one you need. If there is not a lot of snow that you have to clear, a one stage or single stage thrower should be sufficient. This type of blower has one metal and one rubber auger that spins very fast and throws the snow off the path. If you live in a place where it snows heavier or more regularly, then a two stage snow blower would be the better choice for you. A two stage blower has a metal auger that turns slower than a single blower and the auger does not touch the ground, an added bonus because of this is that you can use this blower on gravel and other loose surfaces.

Brow Lift – What to Expect

To see how you might benefit from a brow lift, try this simple exercise. Put your hands above your brows and outside the edges of your eyes and gently raise the skin upwards. If you can see a noticeable difference – a smoothing out of a sagging brow or deep furrows, you may be a good candidate for this procedure. Also known as a forehead lift, this surgery tightens loose skin removes excess skin. In some cases, they will remove a part of the muscle that causes frown lines. The result removes forehead wrinkling and drooping brows, leading to a smoother brow and ultimately a more youthful expression.


There are several surgical options available for a brow lift. In order to evaluate the best one for you, your surgeon will analyze a variety of facial factors. This includes your bone and skin structure, skin elasticity, skin texture and brow position. Based on these characteristics, along with your goals and desired outcome the doctor will select a technique that will produce the best results. The doctor may also recommend additional procedures like eyelid surgery or wrinkle treatments to supplement the base surgery. A brow lift will not improve baggy eyelids, puffy eyes, or crows feet.

The procedure

Those considering a brow lift should spend some time researching the risks and complications associated with the surgery. While rare, these may include infection, scars or loss of sensation.

Scarring is another side effect. Doctors will make every effort to make the incision so that the scar will be as inconspicuous as possible. Incisions can be placed at the hairline, behind the hairline, or in some cases, above the brow or in the mid-forehead. Your surgeon will help select the best technique suited to your particular situation.

A patient should expect full recovery from a brow lift to take several weeks. A recipient should avoid heavy lifting, vigorous exercise, or other activity for the first few weeks after surgery. Most patients return to work in about 10 days. This depends on many factors including the procedure you underwent and your own personal rate of recovery. Work to closely follow your doctor’s post-operative orders for best results. You will likely experience odd sensations of tightness, tingling, or pulling around the surgical site. These usually subside within the first few weeks, be sure to notify your doctor if they do not. Also keep in mind that it may take some time for the site to settle into its final state. It’s important not to become discouraged if during the first few weeks the surgical site does not appear as you had expected.

Three Common Elevator Issues in Your Building

An elevator is intended to offer convenience, comfort, and ease of transportation from one floor of a building to another. They can be narrow, for passenger carriage only. Or they can be quite large for furniture, freight, and even automobile movement in any building space. A professional operator (for ambiance or necessity) can operate them, or you can man the controls to navigate your passage directly from the lobby to your home or office door(s). However, if you live or work in a low rise or high-rise building, at some point, you’ve experienced the scare and/or frustration of an out of order sign or a stalled elevator.

Like all machinery an elevator requires regular maintenance in order to avoid a few of the most common breakdown inconveniences and dangers. One of the three most common issues includes having to wait for extended periods of time for one to even reach your floor. There can be control system issues that result in missed requests or ignored request where it will service a floor above/below you or simply pass you by. The second of the most common problems, especially in older buildings, is overheating. This can occur when the traction that moves the individual cars are allowed to be cooled by outdoor temperatures which can easily overheat in warm weather or corrode with dirt and humidity year round. These are issues that can prevent you from entry, but what about when you are stuck inside?

When you are stuck in an elevator for the first time you should give it a second to adjust and start moving. If you know the car isn’t going anywhere you should definitely notify the operator of the car you’re in, the approximate floor, and how long you have been there. Although it is common to assume that maintenance neglect is the cause of your delay, there are several issues that could be at fault here. Every building with an elevator understands the implicit danger of faulty equipment, so they are serviced regularly. However, you may actually be stuck there because of vandal tampering.

Number three on our list of service issues is when a vandal may have broken into the control panel and their damage to normal switches has caused a slow down, break down, or temporary loss of service in your building. Or, you may be stranded there because of parts that are coming up short of their life of service due to overheating, high energy use, or low power to the parts. In all of these cases maintenance should and will be notified by the operator to look further into the issue that caused your stall or lack of access all together. This is not only a mechanism repair concern it is also a safety measure for the future use of this equipment. It is a convenience but it can also be dangerous if not operating successfully at any time during its use. So it is vital to notify the operator and building management when issues occur, in order to prevent any larger concerns in the future.

Orifice Plate Flow Calculations and Design

One of the key challenges when dealing with flow measurement using differential pressure flow meters is the design of the primary flow element such as an orifice plate, flow nozzle, venturi or other differential producer. The design of an orifice plate or any other flow meter starts with the accumulation of several data items. These data points are then used to design physical dimensions of the orifice plate including the outer diameter, the plate thickness, the handle requirements, and the orifice bore. Process data are used in a calculation iteration to develop the orifice bore, and once the physical dimensions of the orifice are decided, this information is then used to complete the overall flow calculation. Worksheets are often utilized in order to accumulate the needed data for the flow calculation. Sample worksheets can be obtained from online sources including those at the end of this brief.

The flow calculation takes into consideration all of the process flow conditions and the physical attributes of the orifice plate. It then provides key results such as discharge coefficient, beta ratio, flow velocity, expected differential pressure, total pressure loss, etc. The flow calculation also takes into consideration correction factors such as temperature compensation, compressibility factors, fluid properties and other variables to ensure the most highly accurate instrument possible.

There are many terms that are used for the basic flow calculation. Some of the common terms are: flow calculation data sheet, flow calculation, bore calculation; orifice bore calculation, orifice data sheet, etc. For the purposes in this brief, the outcome of this process will be referred to as the Flow Calculation.

Once the flow calculation is complete, the physical attributes of the flow meter can be designed. There are several standard making authorities who have developed guidelines for the physical design of primary flow meters such as orifice plates. These include ASME MFC-3M, ISO 5167, AGA 3, Performance Test Code 6 and Performance Test Code 19.5. Based on the details of these standards, the physical attributes of the meter such as bore design, bore location, pressure tap design, pressure tap location, required pipe straight run requirements, flow conditioning requirements, pipe material, pipe thickness, etc., can be determined.

These physical attributes are accumulated into an engineering design drawing which is utilized for the manufacture of the orifice plate or other flow meter. The product is then manufactured with very tight tolerances. In the case of a Performance Test Code 6 Nozzle, deviations in measured bores as small as 3/1000th of an inch can lead to a meter that meets the code requirements and one that does not. As such the manufacturing process is tightly controlled and detailed measurements are taken to ensure that the flow meter will perform as expected.

Steps required to design an orifice plate or orifice plate flow meter:

1. Identify the physical attributes of the piping system.

a. Pipe size

b. Pipe schedule

c. Flange rating

d. Orifice plate material

2. Identify and accumulate data on process flow conditions

a. Fluid to be measured

b. Pressure

c. Temperature

d. Viscosity

e. Flow rates (Minimum, Normal and Maximum)

3. Identify and accumulate information on other requirements of the flow meter

a. Desired differential pressure

b. Target beta ratio

c. Acceptable permanent pressure loss

d. Maximum flow velocity

Note: The flow calculation will provide much of this data, but consideration of this data is crucial to the overall piping system design.

4. Complete the pictorial or graphical depiction of the flow element including

a. Pipe size

b. Pipe schedule

c. Flange size

d. Flange schedule

e. Flange rating

f. Pipe length

g. Pipe bore attributes such as smoothness, roundness, etc.

h. Tap design

i. Tap location

j. Tap orientation

k. Orifice plate details

l. Tagging requirements

m. Other requirements such as welding and non-destructive examination procedures

The process of designing and manufacturing primary flow elements such as orifice plates and other flow meters involves a high level of accuracy not only in the manufacturing process, but also in the data accumulation and calculation process. Many information sources regarding flow calculations provide simplified versions of the detailed flow calculations. These should not be used for detailed design of orifice plates or any other differential pressure flow meter such as flow nozzles or venturi because they do not consider the vast number of correction factors and detailed fluid properties that are needed to ensure the most accurate meter possible. Reputable flow meter engineers and manufacturers can be useful as expert resources to support the flow meter design effort.

Wood Burning Stove Pipe, Pellet Stove Inserts and Firewood

Using a wood burning stove pipe requires understanding the basics of how they are made and the precautions to take when installing. There are many different stoves you can use, two different pipes for installation, and different steps to take to ensure the piping is secure and not affecting any walls, ceilings, and/or furniture in its vicinity.

The first thing to take note with your wood stove option is the placement to accomplish your goal of zone heating. You want to heat as much as possible in the house, but it must be done safely. Care must be taken to meet code requirements for proximity to combustible materials, such as wood and cloth.

The wood burning stove has about a 40 to 65 percentage of energy efficiency whereas an outdoor furnace has a 70 percentage in using available heat. Some high quality cast iron wood stoves have an efficiency of up to 90%. With the addition of a catalytic converter, it is possible to attain even higher efficiencies.

Another type of stove available for wood burning use is the pellet fed stove. This stove has a steady electronic feeder and it is also very easy to control. For many homeowners this is a a very attractive option. It is clean, safe, and predictable.

The wood burning stove pipe has two different options available. There is the Single Wall and the Double Wall – also known at the Close – Clearance pipe. The single wall pipe has been designed to connect the stove to a chimney or vent that has at least an 18″ clearance from the stove to the entrance of the chimney.

This pipe is lighter than the double wall piece and cheaper. The double wall pipe is more expensive but ideal for installing in a tight area and for maximum protection against fixtures. Both of these pipes can be trimmed to fit with any type of grinding tools or shears.

Using at least 3 screws to installation can also assist in making the connection stronger and more secure. When browsing for the pipe to use – make sure that all pieces are bought from the same brand, crossing over and combining will make installation difficult and will not have the most secure connection.

Walls and floors can be protected if they are covered in a bare concrete slab or if they are topped with either tile or brick. With installing new pipes, there can be smoke or an odor being emitted from the pipes. This is normal and is caused because the pain on the pipe is curing. If and when this occurs there is the option of opening a window or door to air out that space.

Why You Should Buy a Slow Cooker

There are many reasons why a slow cooker, or crock pot as it is commonly called should have a place in your home. They can be a wonderful addition to any kitchen, and can cook a variety of different meals and desserts, quickly and easily without much preparation, or time. There are a variety of styles and models to choose from as well, most have are well under fifty dollars, so they can also save on your pocket book.

For one thing, for busy people who don’t have a lot of time to cook, a slow cooker can provide their family with a hot meal. The nice thing about them is that you can fill the cooker with the ingredients you need, put the lid on, set the timer and away you go. The cooker turns on by itself at the required time, and you have a hot meal when you get home.

They provide much healthier food. Because the cooking process is slow, all the natural juices and nutrients are absorbed back into the food, instead of being cooked out with a lot of conventional methods. Because you are not using oil, you eat much less fat, which is healthy for your whole family. There is such a variety of different foods and meals that can be cooked in a slow cooker, that you can have not only a healthy meal, but a different one every day if you want.

Using a crock pot is convenient. Since you are using minimal cooking utensils, like pots, pans and fryers, you cut down on time you are in the kitchen. Since you are cutting down on the amount of things you need to cook with, this also makes clean up a snap. You don’t have to worry about hand washing a bunch of dishes, or wasting water by filling up the dishwasher every evening.

For people who don’t really know how to cook, this is a wonderful way to make great meals. There are many different recipes, and as long as you can follow simple instructions, add the right ingredients, the cooker does all the work for you, and you take the credit. No more burning meals, wasting food, or any of the frustrations that many people experience.

When choosing your slow cooker, there are some things to consider. Price of course is important, but there are also other factors. Find the right size to fit your family’s needs. There are crock pots that have stationary containers, and ones that can be removed for cleaning, so you really need to decide which one is the best for your needs.

There are several different brands of slow cookers available. The only one who can say which one works the best is you. Some of the top brands available are Hamilton Beach, Crock-Pot, and Rival. It is a good idea to look at these brands first, but the choice really depends on you.

It is a good idea to go online and look at product review sites first. You want to compare prices, features and convenience. You also want to find one with the best warranty available whenever possible. Some local retailers have online stores, and these provide free shipping to the store, saving you money.

C4 Corvette, Caring For Your Acrylic Targa Roof

Because of my background in plastics manufacturing I get a lot of calls and requests on how to care for your C4 Corvette Acrylic Targa Top. Basic maintenance of the roof goes a long way in increasing the life and look of the acrylic panel.

For a little background, when Chevrolet re-designed the Corvette for introduction in 1984, they designed a lot of great ideas used in other sports cars in the past. Instead of the T-Top roof panels that had been used in the Corvette C3 from 1968-1983, they opted instead for a Targa roof like the Porsche 911. The standard roof was a fiberglass panel painted the same color as the car. Chevrolet also had an optional moon roof which featured a bronze or blue smoked plastic. Originally Lexan was used in the roof in 1984, but was found to be easily scratched. Lexan is a very break resistant material, but the drawback for it’s break resistance is it’s soft surface which scratches fairly easily. As a side note all race cars use Lexan for their front windshields from the local tracks to the Nascar Nextel Cup Series. In the Nextel Cup and Nationwide Series the race teams use tear off films on top of the Lexan that can be removed during the race which minimizes the scratches to the windshield. Later in the 1984 model year, General Motors switched over to Acrylic with a scratch resistant coating to help prevent scratches in the roof.

Caring for a acrylic roof panel is easy. Wash the panel with mild detergent, standard car wash detergent from Walmart is fine. The key is to spray the roof with a hose well to remove any of the loose dirt BEFORE WIPING THE SOAPY RAG ON IT. After the roof is dry apply wax to the roof. It is important NOT to use a cleaner wax, repeat do NOT use a cleaner wax as it has abrasives to clean dirt and oxidation ground into the paint on a car and it WILL scratch the plexiglass roof. I suggest applying multiple coats of wax, and applying them often as the wax will burn off in the hot sun.

Removing deep scratches from the roof is a little more tricky, but if you are careful and cautious it should not be a problem. First you must sand the scratch out with 1200 grit sandpaper. Personally I use wet/dry paper and wet sand the scratch with water that has some dish washing detergent mixed in. The water acts as a lubricant to help keep surface scratches from the sandpaper to a minimum. After this step, dry the area and buff it out. If it is a small scratch, you can hand rub it out. Starting with heavy cut buffing compound buff out the area with a soft rag. Then buff it out with a finish cut buffing compound until all the scratches are out and the shine has come out. The last step is to apply a few coats of paste wax to the roof. If the scratch is large, you will need to use a buffing wheel. Before using a buffing wheel be sure you are experienced with it. If not, I suggest calling a car detailer in your area.

For fine surface scratches you do not need to use sandpaper, just hand buff the roof lightly with a scratch remover compound, like Maguire’s. It may take some time so be patience.

Wood Plank Look Porcelain Tile Flooring

Interceramic flooring range are very famous ceramic tiles in the market of late. They are a major part of the flooring market. Their shape looks like a wood and they are very diverse in nature which makes them very popular for these various reasons. The wood look ceramic tiles are very durable and look beautiful after finishing. This means that they last longer without losing their brightness and beauty. The wood look ceramic tiles provide both beauty and value to the consumer. Some interceramic Timberland tiles look like wood grain tile.

The common colors in which wood grain tiles come are Golden Saddle, country suede, mountain timber and nature valley. All the interceramic Timberland series have wood look tile appearance whether they are of golden saddle color or any other color.

Glazed Porcelain is the composition material of wood look ceramic flooring. Most often these tiles come in rectangular shape. The ceramic flooring range will provide you complete resistance from any chemical action that may occur between the layers of the floors of your home. It also prohibits the moisture from coming underneath the earth into the tiles which may cause their breakaway action.

The wood look ceramic tiles are most commonly used for indoor applications and floors. They are used on both residential and commercial scale. Some people prefer to make the interceramic wood look flooring in their TV lounges as this is the main entrance of their home. The most common use is to decorate one wall of TV lounge with these interceramic Timberland wood look tiles. They are also used in floors to give the look of wooden floor. These interceramic wood grain look will give a complete natural look to your home.

You can select a particular range of flooring in this vast and dynamic classes of ceramic tiling. Interceramic wood look tiles offer a simple and cheap way of decorating one’s room according to his personality. Because of their smoothness these tiles can be washed and cleaned easily. Interceramic Timberland wood look tiles are available at reasonable prices in the market. This ceramic flooring range is available in very economical and compatible pricing. Today the wood look ceramic flooring is well renounced all over the world and people render the services of this nice and smooth looking flooring in both their homes and offices. These wood look tiles are commonly used in high class offices and internet cabins.

What is in a Business Plan? The Key Sections

A business plan’s contents are no secret. Many books, articles, and courses describe the major sections of a business plan. Although variations exist, there are key sections common to most outlines in business planning literature.

Executive Summary

An executive summary, generally one page to a few pages at most, covers all of the main points of the business plan to come.

Company Overview or Description

The next section begins with an overview of the current situation of the company. This covers who the founders are and why they started the company, what the products or services offered are or will be, and what steps have been taken toward the launch to date.

Market Analysis

Sections detailing research and analysis done on the market for the business come next. This should begin with an overview of the market or industry, including its size, breakup, and trends it is experiencing going forward. Data on the specific customer segments and competitors for the new business follow.

Marketing Plan

A marketing plan then covers what is generally called the 4 Ps of Marketing: Product (description of the products or services offered), Promotion (the promotional tactics to be used), Pricing (the pricing strategy for the business), and Place (the location for a retail facility or other means of distribution for the product or service).

Operations and Management Plans

The next section or sections detail the plan for how the company will operate and be managed. This must include details on who the managers are and their qualifications, whether they are partners or hired employees.

Financial Plan

The business plan continues with a description of the financial results the business intends to see, and the underlying cost and revenue assumptions. The financial section also details the amount of capital needed, what the funding will be used for, and the sources of funding that are being sought.


Finally, a business plan concludes with appendices of documents which support the plan further. The appendices include full pro forma financial statements (income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement) as well.

Porch Railing Materials

Porch Railings – First And Lasting Impression

The porch railing is the first thing your visitors sees and in order that it makes a lasting impression, this article gives you tips for porch railings. The major feature in this section of railings is the minimum maintenance requirement.

The Form And Look – Essence Of Porch Railing

Since the porch is the first thing, a visitor observes after getting down from the car it always makes a lasting impression on the visitor. Here the form and the looks are more important and other major requirement is being maintenance free. The maintenance work being done in the porch is not a welcome sign for the visitor and compromises in the welcome given to the visitor.

Materials Used In Porch Railings

Materials have to be carefully selected for porch railings, workability is more important since the form, and looks are more important here. Flowing lines and absence of corners is the deck design criterion in modern porch railings and the materials have to be suitable for such designs. Most common materials are,

  1. Stainless Steel: Because of high workability and the fact that it maintains shine for a long time and that too in adverse conditions, stainless steel is the preferred material in porch railings. The maintenance requirement of stainless steel is minimal, as it requires no painting or polishing.
  2. PVC coated steel: The steel can be coated with PVC in multiple colors. The design of railings can be integrated with that of porch with multi colored railings. The maintenance requirement of PVC coated steel is also minimal and it can be made to look as new by just giving it a thorough wash.
  3. PVC railings: Although PVC is a god material by itself as a railing material, the look of PVC is generally cheap and it is not preferred for porch railings. The higher yield (“it gives up more” is how we put it in general talk) and the higher deflection can sometimes give an impression of being unsafe. Therefore, it is not used as material for porch railing.
  4. Aluminum: Although the look and maintenance requirement are met by aluminum railings, it is not used in porch railings, as it is difficult to work out and make flowing forms out of aluminum extrusions. Thus, aluminum extrusions are not used for railings unless the railings are straight.

Make your choice of material porch railings and make a good first impression on your visitor and it sure will last for a long time.

Wrought Iron Spindles – Everything Old is New!

Wrought iron has been the choice of home builders since a very long time. Many people who have built up their houses in 1970s and 1980s are still in love with this black magic. From among many items made from wrought iron, one very famous and popular home decor items are the spindles.

For a pretty long time, wood spindles were there in fashion. However, wrought iron spindles are back in style. They are, in fact, available in more styles than in past. You can find a variety of forged, twisted, or machined pickets available in stores- the local shops or online ones- all are offering a wide range of these spindles. There’s a reason for these spindles becoming so popular. The most important of these is the flexible nature of wrought iron. If you can imagine a shape, this metal can make it. Whether you are building a house or remodeling it, these iron spindles can very well bring in the classic artistry right into your home. And you don’t have to think much about where to place them. They will look beautiful anywhere- in stairs and balcony, doors & entryways and even gates.

Wrought Iron Spindles Replacing Wooden Balusters

Many people these days are replacing wooden balusters with iron spindles. They are an inexpensive option for renovating stairs that can really change the look of any home for better. Perhaps, this is the second most important reason for the preference shown to them. Yet another reason is the ease of installing and maintaining these spindles as compared to the wooden ones. However, one must always check particular area’s building codes for stairs. In many places, the law require spindles to maintain a specified distance apart, which is generally 4 inches. Many older homes do not comply with this. Renovation should always meet current building code.

Xactimate Software Training – How to Use the Staircase Tool

When using Xactimate to create a staircase there is really only one option – the stair case tool. This tool looks like an easy tool to use until you really get into things. Then you realize that the simple little tool is actually very complex due to all of its components!

So let’s look at how to use the tool. Once you have a room in place and you want to add a staircase there is one major thing to remember. A staircase cannot be placed inside of a room. Xactimate recognizes a staircase as a separate room so you must think of this when constructing the room that has a staircase in it. Once you get past this, the tool makes much more sense and things get easier.

From one stand point the last statement is true. You select the staircase you want from the drop down list and then just drop it on area where you want it. This holds true for about ninety percent of the estimates you write.

Once you select the staircase from the drop down menus and place it in your drawing, don’t think you are done just yet. You must consider the rest of the components involved with a staircase. Does the stair case go up between two solid walls, does it have a balustrade, does it have a partial wall, is the ceiling slope or boxed, what are the tread depths, how many risers are there? I think you get the point. Any of these factors can change the entire deal.

Remember, it’s not just a matter of selecting a staircase and dropping it in place. The first steps actually begin when you are out in the field doing your inspection. Don’t forget to get all the measurements. So if you have to actually replace a staircase using Xactimate don’t forget about all the other aspects, especially when you are doing your scope.

Decorative Railings – An Artistic Element For Your House

Balcony railings are necessary and we often do not think of them as something that could enhance the look of our house. But, just looking at the photos of old European houses, especially in London, you will see why decorative railings have kept their popularity throughout history. The most popular were wrought iron railings and, even today, they offer endless possibility for making your simple house stand out.

How to choose decorative railing for your balcony

Such can be made of any material and the choice will have to do with the architecture of your house, with your taste and with your budget. When you think of changing the look of your house, think of such as an investment. Sometimes, very ornate railing will look great with a simple house lines. Simple, modern railing, on the other hand, will not fit well with a Victorian or traditional house. The only exception is when the house has too many decorative elements already and cannot take one more.

Wrought iron railings

Wrought iron railings have been the must in London houses for centuries. The design and color fashion changed through history. In the first half of the nineteenth century, all London railings were painted green, to blend into a background of foliage. The same color was used for fences, gates and garden furniture. In 1840, Humphrey Repton, famous English landscape designer, recommended a ‘bronze’ finish, made by powdering copper dust. Following the death of Prince Albert in 1861, iron railings were painted black as a sign of mourning. The fashion, or a habit, continued to this day.

The use of iron decorative railings

Iron decorative railings have a distinction that they can be made in any number of shapes and forms in order to fit a certain architecture or particular taste. Decorative railings for the outside balconies, windows, roof gardens or stair railing can make a particularly striking addition to a house, even the simplest one, and give it the architectural distinction it completely lacked before. If your house has no balcony, add a few decorative railings below your upper story windows and you will have immediate decorative element. Flat roofs, even if they are not used, can benefit from a lovely decorative railing. Making a roof garden would not only provide a wonderful green space for your family, but would greatly increase the value of your house.

Inside of the house can also use railings: for stairs, landings, room dividers, spiral staircases, even as a decorative wall hanging.

Although the aesthetic value of decorative railing cannot be doubted, the safety is their primary role, and it is important to learn the existing codes and follow them to the letter. Safety of your family always comes first.