The Feng Shui of Staircase Design

The Feng Shui of each and every part of our environment influences our life experiences. Whether you’re house hunting, remodeling, building or happy in your current home, you want to ensure every aspect is the best it can be.

For the most part, stairs go unnoticed even though we use them day in and day out. This wonderful mechanism we call “automatic-pilot” allows our bodies to function in ways that require little or no thought or attention – climbing and descending stairs. And then there was Feng Shui.

Just like putting on a needed pair of glasses, Feng Shui brings into focus spatial conditions we may not see or perceive as an opportunity or potential problem.

Believe it or not there are several factors when considering the Feng Shui of your staircase, especially since its function is to move the vital life force called chi (aka energy) from one location to another (i.e. 1st floor to 2nd floor and so on). Although they exist both indoors and outdoors, our focus will be primarily on interior spaces. So let’s consider the following characteristics of stairs: the shape, location, size and views.

Shape of Staircase Design

There are quite a few shapes to consider: straight, split, L-shaped, curved and spiral. Although each serves a purpose due to spatial considerations and constraints, there are those that do the job best and those that can harm individuals both physically and financially.

Often straight stairs do the job well. They efficiently move you and chi unobstructed to the next level. Where we find problems are when this staircase is aligned with the front door. This reveals loss of money and requires our immediate consideration. First, if you’re looking to purchase a home, put this home towards the bottom of your list! Second, if you cannot change the location of the stairs (which most of us can’t or won’t) then consider putting a divider between the last step and the entrance or, at minimum, a carpet to slow the chi flow down, discouraging its immediate exit.

As for split and L-shaped stairs, these can help chi meander in a more natural flow, instead of rushing. The drawback here is that often times they are hollow (that is there’s no riser or backing to the steps) causing energy to leak, reducing the chi that is reaching that next floor. The obvious correction then is to place risers between the stairs while a secondary, although not as effective, choice is to place potted plants beneath the stairwell to help lift the chi.

A grand curved staircase can be both elegant and beautiful. It channels energy between spaces in a pleasant and inviting way. But a spiral staircase is considered very inauspicious especially in the center of a home. Much like a corkscrew hurting the heart of the home, this configuration can negatively influence the heart and blood pressure of the occupants. It is simply best not to have a spiral staircase in your home.

Location of Staircase

As indicated, you do not want staircases leading out the front door or back door for that matter. It is also highly undesirable to have stairs in the middle of your dwelling. In fact, early on in my studies while I was still in corporate America as a Project Manager, I had a colleague who had stairs that half aligned with the main entrance and the other half was tucked in (in other words, when you walked into his house, you could see half of the staircase only). Within 6 months of moving into his new home with his wife and children, he was fired! Not only did he lose his job and income, he also divorced, causing him to split his income!

Let this be a guide to us all. The best location for stairs is tucked into the home, away from the entrance and sharing an exterior wall of the home ~ like the sides, back or front (as long as the orientation is proper).

Size of Staircase

When I say size I mean width, depth, vertical incline and landings. Obviously the best size is proportional to the space ~ not too big, not too small. Typically depth is not an issue unless using a non-standard depth which interferes with the cadence of one’s footstep ~ this can become a structural nightmare for some. But how about too narrow? This can lead to feelings of constraint, claustrophobia and lack. The incline should certainly not be too steep as this lends itself to a safety issue, which then can easily turn into a financial issue! And finally, landings should be spacious. I’ve been in homes where the steps are not only on a steep vertical incline but once I reached the top, the landing was so small I felt like I would fall backwards down the stairs! It didn’t feel comfortable to say the least. Others that had a wall no more than 3 feet from the top step felt offensive and imposing. My suggestion would be to make sure there is plenty of lighting and be certain not to block the pathway.

Views from the Staircase

We’ve already touched upon the inauspicious view of the front door at the bottom of the stairs. But what about the railings? When we don’t “see” one, we feel uncertain and insecure, even if we never use it! There’s something very important about the subliminal messages we receive when a side railing is installed. So make sure you have one. Also, many household members like to “store” items on the stairs as a reminder to take something upstairs. May I suggest otherwise? No matter how you slice or dice it, it is obstructing the chi flow, creating stagnant energy. Something we never want to see!

So there you have it! I bet you never thought staircases could be so interesting and so important to the vitality of energy on different levels of your home (or business) and carry so many influences on your life physically and financially! And of course, there’s always more! So if you’re in the process of designing your home or buying a new home, consider two things: 1.) The tips shared here today and 2.) A professional Feng Shui consultation. Please know, I offer both local and long-distance consultations for homes and businesses.

Here’s to uplifting your chi!

©2009 Kelly S. Jones

Stairway Accidents

Stairway Accidents

Tripping and falling on a stairway can lead to serious injuries, including head trauma and broken bones. Sometimes stairway accidents are caused by hazardous conditions that result from poor maintenance. When a property owner or manager fails to properly maintain a stairway and an accident occurs, he or she may be held liable for the victim’s injuries.

Premises Liability Law

Premises liability law is a subset of personal injury law that holds a property owner accountable for accidents that occur on his or her property. If an owner is aware of a hazard on his or her property, fails to address it, and another individual is injured because of the hazard, the owner may be sued for negligence. In the case of stairways, the property owner is responsible for ensuring that the stairs meet the appropriate building codes and that all floorboards and handrails are properly maintained.

Recovering Compensation

A stairway accident can leave a victim injured for weeks or months, possibly affecting his or her ability to work and perform daily tasks. The injured individual may be burdened with high medical bills and may worry that she can no longer support herself or her family. If this has happened to you, it is important to know that you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you fight to hold the liable parties accountable in court and to recover payment for your medical bills, lost wages from time off of work, recovery costs, and pain and suffering.

Types of Scaffolding, Structures and Construction

Scaffolding is a a temporary framework Around or even inside a building to support construction and repair of buildings and structures. Scaffolding is one of the major requirements in any construction field. May it be large structures or smaller homes, Scaffolding is an essential part. In Britain and most of the European nations, Scaffolding is done with Pipes whereas in Asian countries Bamboo is used still.

Scaffolding consists of 3 main parts, Tubes, Couplers for joining the tubes and Boards, to create a supporting area for human access. Scaffoldings are seldom alone, they are always attached to the building with ties. Independent scaffoldings are seldom seen and are usually not as stable as the ones attached to a structure.

Rules are regulations vary in every part of the world when it comes to construction. In certain parts of the world there exists rules for building scaffolding and norms and standards are practiced strictly. Britain has a strict code of conduct too and all scaffoldings are expected to meet certain standards based on Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations. Scaffolds in the UK have to meet the standards according to the BS 5973 Regulations and strictly meet its requirements.

Tubes are made of Steel or Aluminum. Steel is usually galvanized. The aluminum Tubes render more durable as its light and Flexible. Boards are made of seasoned wood and should be 50 mm-63 mm to meet the standards.

Scaffolds come in various Sizes and shapes but some of the most common scaffolds include:

  1. Independent or Bird Cage Scaffold: The Birdcage scaffold consists of 2 or more rows of vertical poles supported by horizontal Pieces of Pipes. This is a one level Scaffold. They are mostly used in work with the ceilings
  2. Single Fold Scaffold: this is a single row of pipes supported against the structure. This is used for painting or plastering a wall.
  3. Suspended or Swing Stage Scaffolds: This is the Window washer. A tall structure could use this kind of Scaffold which can be suspended , increased or decreased in heights.
  4. Cantilever Scaffold: this scaffold is supported only on one end.

There are variations on each types of Scaffolds. Its important to decide the type of scaffold for each job as a life will depend on it.

It’s also essential that anyone who will work on a scaffold over 12 feet take prior training and hold a competency certificate.

Conversion Varnish Comparison to Lacquer

Lacquer is a general term used to describe clear-coated over natural or stained wood.

In this article, we will be explaining the difference between a traditional lacquer and a conversion varnish. To the untrained eye, both finishes look identical. A lacquer is a single-component, pre-catalyzed, nitro-celluloid finish that has 12-18% solids by volume. It is air-cured. A conversion varnish is a high-end solids, two-part post-catalyzed lacquer, which means a hardener must be mixed with this product for the application. Conversion varnish is 40-60% solids by volume and is chemical-cured. Most lacquers cost $25/gallon. Most conversion varnishes are $60-80/gallon.

It takes a greater mechanical aptitude to apply a conversion varnish properly. A conversion varnish has twice the dry film thickness as a lacquer. CV is more durable and slightly more elastic than a lacquer. This elasticity is an advantage for wood joint expansion. Conversion Varnish is more expensive than lacquer; the material costs are higher by 30%-50%, which is substantial for larger projects. CV is higher in solids and has a higher buildup and is significantly more durable than lacquer. Conversion Varnish vs. Traditional Lacquer Exposed wood surfaces require a finish to preserve color, texture and prolong the life of the material. When searching for a proper finish, many will select one of two options: varnish or lacquer. But what exactly is the difference between these two products? What are the benefits of using one over the other? Though the results may look similar, there are some key differences to these two materials. Selecting the proper finish is not only a matter of protection, but also brings out the way you want the final product to look and feel. Traditional lacquers consist of a pre-catalyzed, nitro cellulose finish that has 12 to 18 percent solids per volume and is air cured. Being pre-catalyzed, there is no need for the mixing of hardeners, thus making lacquer a single component finish. Because of its low solid content, lacquers often have to be reapplied many times for proper build and solid film density. Most traditional lacquers will run, on average, about 25 dollars per gallon CV is a two component, post catalyst, chemical cure finish. This particular finish requires the mixing of an independent catalyst with the varnish itself. This is a delicate process as the mixture must have the correct ratio of the two chemicals in order to harden properly. However, with its higher solid content of 40 to 60 percent by volume and a dried film density of twice that of traditional lacquer, conversion varnish takes fewer coats for a complete build and satisfactory film density. Because of its ability to cure chemically, dry time is drastically shorter than that of traditional varnish. With its rapid hardening, this varnish does take more finesse in terms of even application.

Furthermore, conversion varnish is also more costly with prices ranging from 60 to 80 dollars a gallon. Nevertheless, the results speak for themselves. CV is more durable and has a higher elasticity, which allows it to hold up better through wood joint expansion. Though either product will provide protection for wood surfaces, it is the conversion varnish that will succeed in providing a long lasting, durable finish.

Sledgehammer Fitness

One of the more unlikely tools in our fitness equipment armoury is the sledgehammer. Surprisingly the manual-labour tool doubles as a superb total body muscular endurance exercise, a great power developer, a very effective weight management method and a way to increase both aerobic and anaerobic endurance. In terms of cost, effectiveness and versatility, sledgehammer training makes a great addition to almost any training programme.

Let’s look at the reasons why sledgehammer training is so good…

1) Swinging a sledgehammer is a full body activity. Swinging the sledge uses just about every muscle group…the muscles of the forearms are used in gripping, the latisimus dorsi muscles of the back are used in the downward phase of a strike whereas the deltoid muscles around the shoulders are used in the return to the overhead position. The core including the rectus abdominus and obliques work very hard in the downward phase of sledgehammer swings along side the hip flexors. And even the legs get involved as they have to keep you anchored to the floor. You’d be hard pressed to find a muscle group not involved in swinging the sledge!

2) Multiple fitness components can be trained with a sledgehammer. By using a variety of rep and set schemes (discussed later) it is possible to target power, muscular endurance, cardiovascular fitness and anaerobic conditioning. Regardless of your goal, sledgehammer training will probably make a fine addition to your current training routine.

3) Sledgehammer training is very cost effective. Many of you will have a sledgehammer in your basement or garage but even if you have to go and buy one especially for exercise they are very reasonably priced and easy to get hold of. My hammer came from a regular DIY store and cost $35 or about £16.00 and it’s very unlikely it will ever wear out. As a striking surface I like to use and old SUV tire I picked up for free from a local tire dealer. Most tire dealers are only too happy for you to take away an old tire as they have to pay to have them collected.

4) Training with a sledgehammer is fun! You get to hit something as hard as you can, as often as you like with no legal ramifications! It’s a great way to work off the frustrations of the day leaving you calm and relaxed after your workout. It’s very therapeutic!

5) The techniques are very easy to learn. Swinging the sledgehammer is a natural movement which is quickly mastered. It’s a very instant workout which, although simple, can be as demanding as you make it.

6) Sledgehammer training is great for fat loss. Any sledgehammer training will burn plenty of calories but probably the best way to get the most of your hammer workout is to utilise intervals. Interval training is probably the most efficient and effective method for fat loss available and out performs steady state cardio almost every time in calorie expenditure tests. Because of EPOC (what we used to call Oxygen Debt) your body will not only burn lots of energy during a sledgehammer workout but also continue burning energy at an elevated rate long after your workout has finished. It’s like getting two workouts for the price of one! Combined with a calorie controlled diet, sledgehammer intervals are a superb way to shed a few pounds while toning and strengthening the whole body.


Clearly, you’ll need a sledgehammer. You can pick one up from a regular DIY store for a very fair price. In terms of what weight to buy I suggest from 6lbs for lighter exercisers and those looking to swing at a higher cadence to 15lbs for bigger exercisers or for those looking for a slower cadence. I am an experienced and fairly advanced exerciser and I mainly use a 10lb hammer and have only recently started using a 14lb hammer and I have never found my lighter hammer to provide an easy workout.

For striking surfaces you have a couple of choices. As previously mentioned, an old tire is a great target. A tire will absorb some of the shock of the impact, thus reducing noise, impact on the hands/wrists as well as making the hammer bounce slightly to aid in setting a good rhythm. This is my preferred striking surface and the one you will see in the video accompanying this article. Alternatively you may choose to use your hammer outside where you may have access to a sand pit, an area of soil, an old log stump or something similar. There is nothing wrong with any of these surfaces so long as they have a “bit of give” which will reduce the shock you’ll feel when you use the hammer. I have used my hammer on a deserted beach which and that worked fine except I ended up with a light dusting of sand all over my sweaty head!

Which ever surface you choose for your sledgehammer training, always ensure you have plenty of space around you and clearance above your head and that the surface you are hitting has some “give” to it. Hard surfaces like concrete or cement are not recommended.

If you are using your hammer for high reps, I also suggest a pair of robust gloves. I use basic work gloves which I bought for about $10 to avoid any blisters however if I’m doing sets of 20 strikes or less I often don’t use my gloves and have had no ill effects.

Swinging Techniques…

Swinging the hammer isn’t technically demanding but it does require some coordination. It’s important to have sound technique before going crazy with your hammer otherwise there is a possibility of serious self-inflicted injury. There are a few “schools of thought” when it comes to hammer swinging – all of which work well and it’s really a matter of personal preference as to which one you select. In the accompanying video you’ll see the following swinging techniques…left hand lead, right hand lead, alternating hands and “no choke” where both hands are kept near the end of the hammer handle. In addition you’ll also see me stood on the ground and also on top of the tire which provides a unique challenge for more advanced exercisers…


Here are a few suggested methods for getting the most out of your hammer training. Be prepared to scale the workouts listed to suit your individual needs and goals. Make sure you warm up thoroughly before your workout and also start slowly, building up volume and intensity gradually so as to avoid any unnecessary soreness or possible injuries.

Timed intervals Decide on a work to rest ratio (e.g. 2 minutes of work, 1 minute of rest) and repeat for the desired number of sets. One of my favourite interval schemes is 3 minutes of striking (left hand on top) rest 1 minute, 3 minutes of striking (right hand on top) rest one minute, 3 minutes of alternating hand on top. This scheme provides a great finish to a regular workout or is a nice stand-alone mini session when time is short. No matter what set/rep scheme you select just make sure you work really hard during the “on” periods and you’ll find interval training a very effective, time efficient training method.

The duration of your work/rest intervals is very much goal dependent…

  • Shorter sets e.g. less than 20 seconds are excellent for developing maximum force and therefore increasing muscle power
  • Medium length sets are ideal e.g. 45 – 90 seconds are ideal for improving muscular endurance and anaerobic conditioning
  • Longer sets e.g. 2 minutes and above are best suited to the development of aerobic fitness and muscular endurance.

Tabata intervals The Tabata Method is named after Dr. Izumi Tabata – a sports scientist from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan and is a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) protocol which has been successfully used by the Japanese Olympic speed skating team amongst others to improve aerobic and anaerobic conditioning using very brief workouts.

During his 1997 study Dr Tabata compared the effects of longer, lower intensity exercise with bouts of short very high intensity exercise. Using a unique interval training method the athletes participating in the study increased their aerobic fitness by 14% and anaerobic fitness by 28% in just 8 weeks! It’s worth noting that the subjects Dr Tabata used for testing were already accomplished sportsmen and not just beginners which make this study even more astounding. Even more incredible is the fact that the total actual training time per week was an unbelievable 30 minutes.

The Tabata method involves performing 8 – 10 sets of 20 seconds very high intensity exercise separated with 10 second recovery periods giving a total training time = 4 – 5 minutes. The caveat of the Tabata Method is that all the intervals have to be done at 100% intensity – an absolute flat out effort. You have to strive to perform as much work in each 20 second interval as possible and try to maintain that work rate for the 8 – 10 sets. The old adage that you can train long and easy, or short and hard has never been truer than when describing the Tabata Method! As with any type of exercise, Tabata Method should be preceded by an appropriate warm up of 5 – 10 minutes and followed by a cool down of similar duration. All in all the session could take as little as 15 minutes…perfect for anyone who is short on time but still wants great results from their training.

Repetition intervals With this system, instead of using time as our measure of work, you’ll be using repetitions instead. For example you may do 20 strikes and then rest 30 seconds and repeat for as many sets as desired. Another one of my favourite sessions involves doing 20 strikes every minute for 10 – 15 minutes. Each set takes between 35 – 45 seconds leaving 15 – 25 seconds to rest before I start the next set. The beauty of sets starting on the minute is that you just need to be able to see the sweep hand of a clock so there is no need to push buttons or programme intervals into a stop watch.

Timed density blocks Allocate a time block e.g. 5 or 10 minutes and aim to perform as many strikes as possible in the allotted time. Whenever this workout is repeated you should strive do more reps than the last time

Timed repetitions Simply set your self a repetition goal and try to complete it as short a time as possible e.g. 300 swings, 500 swings or even 1000 swings. Whenever you repeat this workout you should strive to do it quicker than before.

Hammer & callisthenic combinations Alternate hammer swings with free-standing bodyweight exercises such as squats or lunges as seen in the later part of the video. This ensures the lower body gets a good workout along with the upper body and is a great way of getting a lot done in a short time.

As I’m sure you can see, sledgehammer training is a very versatile training method that can suit a large number of training goals so why not give it a go – I’m sure you’ll find it both fun and an effective workout.

Flat Roof Replacement

There are many misconceptions about flat roof replacement that are common and should be addressed; one of them is that they are actually flat. While there is not a pronounced angle in the design of flat roofs they are definitely not flat. If the roof was actually even all the way across then it would be virtually impossible for all of the water to be drained from the roof, which would do nothing but create problems from the beginning. When you are having a flat roof replacement done on your home then you should inquire as to what angle of attack the roofing company has planned to address the drainage of water.

Flat roof replacement has to be done in a manner that is going to resolve stagnant water issues; otherwise you will be in the exact same predicament within a short period of time. The last thing you want to do is pay for the same job twice. Where your flat roof is located and how it is built is going to dictate which tactic is going to be best for you.

If you have a flat roof that has at least one open side, you can have your roof built up to include a natural slope that will be installed in a fashion to propel the water towards the open edge. 1/8 of an inch slope per foot is what has been common in the past and worked fine to this point, but to insure that the water takes the hint and flows in the right direction it is suggested that you have a flat roof replacement that includes at least a ΒΌ inch slope per foot of roof. Having that extra slope will not create any visual difference but it will help minimize the ability of water to pond.

Your other option is to have a drain system on the roof that promotes the clearing of water off of the roof. A drain system is easy to install when you are getting a flat roof replacement done and should be discussed before the work begins. If your roof has a retaining wall around all four sides or otherwise blocks water from having access to the edges of the roof then you are going to have to go with this option. The two ways of accomplishing a proper drain system are through the use of scuppers and adding drain pipes with inlets. Scuppers are metal flashing that are inserted into an opening that has been cut into the retaining wall.

The scuppers will be sealed around all sides to prevent leaking and crickets will be installed to usher water to the scuppers for draining. Installing drain pipes is something that should be done before the actual roofing material gets applied, all that will be visible are the pipe inlets that are covered with a metal screen of some kind to prevent clogging issues. Crickets and strategically placed slopes will help the water go to where it needs to be. Drains will often work with the current gutter system already in place. Whichever way you decide to go, you should know that the slope of your flat roof replacement is crucially important to its success.

E.P.D.M. is the oldest and most seen choice in flat roof replacement. It is easy to recognize, it is black and looks like rubber. There are many positives about this type material; it is readily available and easy to repair. It does not release any pollutants into the water that runs off of the surface and it works as a good insulator, and it is the cheaper of the single ply options. The negative qualities are that it tends to come apart at the seams leaving it very susceptible to leaks. The material is easily torn by foot traffic on the roof, dropped nails, or weather related damage. Overall it is not a great choice, but it is still a good choice as a flat roof replacement.

The American Standard Americast Bathtub

American Standard’s Americast bathtub is made of a durable lightweight alternative to cast iron. The material called Americast is exclusively manufactured by American Standard. Americast bathtubs are half the weight of its cast iron counterparts; yet have the same structural thickness. The rich enamel colors provide excellent heat retention.

The Americast tubs were seven years of research and testing in the making. In 1988, Americast was introduced to the public. The unique three-layer construction consists of a smooth porcelain-enamel finish bound to high-quality alloy that is backed by an injection-molded structure. The backing structure material helps protect the porcelain finish from chipping and crazing. The composition of these tubs allowed for a deeper more usable bathing space.

American Std began marketing with the Princeton model. It is now available in six models and continues to be popular. Features such as a Luxury Ledge for holding toiletries has been added to the original design. The installation flexibility of the bathtub has been unsurpassed. The company’s plant in Salem, OH handles all manufacturing of the Americast tubs.

Installation of your American Standard Americast bathtub can be handled by yourself if you are comfortable or the contractor of your choice may perform the task. The bathtub may be shipped to your door in some situations. There are currently three different models available. These are:

o The Stratford features a glossy porcelain finish and full slip resistant surface. This model is available in the colors Arctic, Linen, Silver, Bone, Fawn Beige and White. This bathtub is available in a whirlpool model.

o The Princeton features a glossy porcelain finish, slip resistant surface, beveled headrest and built in lumbar support. This classic Americast bathtub has an innovative Luxury Ledge for toiletries. Colors available in this model are Bone, White, Fawn Beige, Black, Linen, and Silver.

o The Cambridge model is a five foot bathtub. Due to it’s rugged construction, several commercial institutions around the globe use this American Standard bathtub. This model is available in the same colors as the Princeton. A whirlpool can be added to this bathtub if you desire.

American Standard Americast Bathtub’s have easy cleaning recommendations and care instructions. Using a non-abrasive cleaner such as powdered Bon Ami, Spic ‘N Spam, didi seven or ZUD on stains; wet and wipe off the surface. A scouring pad or other abrasive material should not be used.

All American Standard Americast bathtubs feature a “Stan-Sure” slip resistant enamel surface. This finish is obtained by mixing porcelain and hard quartz to produce a safer surface. This built in safety feature can reduce the need for mildew and bacteria harboring mats and unsightly tapes in the bottom of your bathtub. Please note that soap and body oils may accumulate on surfaces, therefore routine cleaning and maintenance is recommended to protect you and your American Standard bathtub.

American Standard Americast bathtubs come with a limited lifetime warranty to allow you to make your purchase with confidence.

Maaco Paint Prices

Maaco paint prices can range from a couple hundred dollars to almost a thousand dollars. However, the average prices stick around $300 dollars, but will depend on what type of vehicle you have. Obviously the larger the vehicle, the more paint is needed to cover it; therefore the price will be higher. While I was researching Maaco, I did notice the average prices to get a vehicle painted in the market are typically around $1,000 dollars. So getting a car painted for only $300 dollars is a great deal.

Maaco paint is known for its cheaper quality of paint. Consumers who have received a Maaco paint job have complained about the paint chipping and peeling off more frequently then the competitors of Maaco paint. I however think you pay for what you get. If you have an older automobile and want a little bit of a touch up or if you plan on selling your car and not caring about investing a large amount of money, then Maaco paint is an ideal choice for you. If you have a brand new car in awesome condition, and need a paint job, then I would most likely vote against getting a Maaco paint job.

I suppose Maaco auto paint prices are similar to any other product out there. For instance, you go to fast food restaurants based on your need. Fast food restaurants are there for convenience and are very cheap. The atmosphere is obviously not something you are paying for, and either is the service. The same idea applies to their prices. When a consumer looks into Maaco’s prices they are investing in a service and product that will be a temporary fix as well as a cheap job. People do not check into their prices and pay them because the paint will last forever.

My suggestion to you and anyone else is even if you have a nicer and newer vehicle, I would still purchase the cheaper version first. People, who have said their vehicles paint peeled off really fast, may have left their car in extreme environmental conditions. Or maybe their car had a weird coat of paint on originally and it affected the coat of paint Maaco did afterwards. I guess I would rather pay the $300 dollars first and see how well it lasts and works out for me, than to purchase the paint job at $1000 dollars. Who knows, I mean the same problems that occurred for some people with the $300 dollar paint job, pay occur with the $1000 dollar paint job, you never know. I would recommend you to also go online and look up consumer reviews on Maaco and their competitors. I would probably look at as many reviews as I possibly could and then take the majority views and apply that to your decision. Plus just as a reminder people sometimes have it in their head that the cheaper a product is the worst off the job will be, and that is not always true.

The Importance of the Electrical Grounding of Mobile Cranes

Working in construction sites has always been considered as hazardous. In the period between 1997 and 1999, there were 158 accidents which can be considered as crane-related. 73 percent of these crane related accidents involved mobile cranes. Of this number, 10 accidents were caused by electrical contact. This gives people the importance of electrical grounding of mobile cranes.

Because of the crane’s height, there is a possibility that it will come into contact with electrical wires. And since the crane is metal, electricity can travel through it and can possibly injure the operator. Immobile cranes may not be in danger, but mobile cranes are another matter entirely. Mobile cranes, when being transported, have a very high potential of coming into contact with an electrical wire. This is the reason why mobile crane operators are very careful in their driving.

The importance of this grounding of mobile cranes is that this feature prevents accidents from happening. Electricity acts this way: when a crane comes into contact with an electrical line, electricity travels through the metal trying to find the quickest path to the ground. When an unfortunate person happens to be in contact with both the crane and the ground, the electricity will travel through that person. When the person is sitting in the cab, electricity will still travel through him or her.

This kind of grounding of mobile cranes prevents this from happening. The electrical grounding system provides the most direct route to the ground. In a sense, it provides a detour for the electricity. This means that the electricity won’t have to travel through a person. This is just one type of mobile crane grounding. There is another type for mobile cranes which does not really concern electrical accidents.

Cranes are heavy. They are also used for lifting very heavy materials. This means that they depend on stability to be used effectively. However, we all know that finding a level piece of land in a construction site is next to impossible. Cranes need to be stabilized correctly before they can be used. This process is called grounding.

Some would do this manually, making use of estimates in order to judge whether or not a crane is stable enough to be operated. However, mobile crane electrical grounding systems are now available to make this somewhat complicated job simpler.

 This kind of mobile crane systems judge the level of stability that the ground beneath the crane offers. This system then adjusts the position of the crane in order to maximize the stability. Because of this, people are assured that the stability of the crane is at the maximum.

Another advantage to mobile crane electrical grounding systems is the fact that they are easy to operate. People just need to push a button in order to render the crane stable. This means that they get to save a lot of effort. We all know how much of life we have reduced to buttons. This system is just another example of how we are able to make jobs more convenient for us.

Underground Exfiltration Trench Systems – How They Compare With Central Florida Agencies

Exfiltration Systems-Why They Work

Civil Engineers ordinarily calculate stormwater retention ponds to meet the requirements of your land development project. Nevertheless, any stormwater pond commonly will take upwards of 10% to 20% from the total available land area. The particular size of these storwater management basins is largely based on the types of soils encountered onsite; all other factors being equal. Your land that’s utilized by it can’t be utilized for vehicular parking, or for construction of buildings. In this short article I will summary the exfiltration trench requirements from the City of Orlando, Orange County, Seminole County as well as the City of Sanford.

Provide For Greater Utilization Of Land Area

In order to allow a greater use of the land for its intended use, “exfiltration trenches”, or underground vaults could possibly be utilized. Underground stormwater management systems are a viable method of handling the stormwater management needs of the project, especially where availability of land is limited. Utilizing an underground system for managing stormwater enables the use of the area above it for parking and buildings. This then allows the same area to be utilized for two complimentary uses and increases the yield of the project.

Exfiltration trenches are created from drainage pipes with smalls holes throughout its length. Underground vaults, conversely, are manufactured from concrete structures with a large open area underneath and open along the bottom. Both of these systems provide a traffic bearing surface for vehicular traffic and parking.

In order to create the necessary volume exfiltration trenches are made up of perforated drainage pipe situated within a graven bed. This provides both a means for percolating the stormwater volume into the ground and a structural support for the pavement above.

How The Regulations Differ From Agency To Agency

Orange County is just about the most developer-friendly agency within Central Florida except when it comes to exfiltration trenches. Orange County will allow the use of exfiltration trenches, however, the criteria for its use makes them undesirable.

Section 30-281(3) Orange County Land Development Regulations state: “in the event the exfiltration system fails, the stormwater will be retained on-site for the full twenty-five-year, twenty-four-hour storm prior to any stormwater being permitted to leave the site.”

This in essence necessitates the actual site to get designed like a bowl to ensure that all 8.6 inches of rain around the entire property is stored onsite. This demand requires the site to become a bowl for storing all of this rain. This may allow roughly One foot to Twenty-four inches of water over the property especially over the particular parking lot as well as landscaping areas. This is a very extreme requirement which makes the usage of this outstanding strategy for stormwater management unworkable as well as unlikely to be utilized. This is not shared by any of the nearby municipalities.

The City of Orlando, Florida provides advantageous conditions with regard to utilizing exfiltration trenches for stormwater or underground vaults. The City’s engineering manual is currently being revised to allow, civil engineers, to design these systems with a safety factor of 2. This is equivalent to the requirements of Seminole County, The City of Sanford and the St. Johns River Water Management District.

The particular exfiltration trench system needs clean-outs at one end and manholes at the other end. Clean-outs and/or manholes need to be spaced every three hundred feet in order to facilitate maintenance. Civil engineers find that this strategy adheres to good engineering practice without being over-kill..

Seminole County also offers positive requirements regarding the utilization of underground exfiltration systems.

The Seminole Code Appendix B, Chapter 4.2 c. (4) states: ” Exfiltration systems shall be designed with a safety factor of 2.0 (i.e., design using one-half of the permeability rate or one-half of the time for drawdown).”

This criteria meets good civil engineering practice and one that is conservative without having unnecessary negative consequences in the design of underground exfiltration stormwater management system.

The City of Sanford land development regulations includes equally beneficial criteria with regard to the use of underground exfiltration systems for stormwater management.

The municipality’s land development Schedule O, Section 2.4 states: “shall be designed with a safety factor of at least two… Furthermore, a sediment sump is required ahead of the exfiltration trench system in order to capture sediments that may clog the pores in the pipe and/or gravel.

The civil engineer designs this sediment sump to capture sediments in the stormwater runoff which may clog-up the pores inside the pipe or the rock bed. The City’s strategy is similar to that of Seminole County and without undue burden.

The regional agency in charge of stormwater management systems is the St. Johns Water Management District (SJRWMD). The District has criteria pertaining to exfiltration trench techniques which is actually very similar to that of Seminole County’s, the City of Orlando, and the City of Sanford. Orange County is the only municipality which discourages the utilization of these underground stormwater management strategies. Exfiltration trench methods tend to be a good effective means of managing stormwater and may assist increasing your property’s yield. This allows for a more cost effective stormwater solution which tends to increase the Return on Investment.

Increased Land Yield

Underground exfiltration systems allows an additional effective increase in the land area between 10% to 20%. Depending on the value of the land or its availability an underground exfiltration system may be the difference between a viable project and one that is not.

Learning More About Slide Ditch Gates

As you drive along the main road, or one of the routes you take to get to work, you may realize that there are many slide ditch gates at work. There are a number of things on the road and below the surface of the road working together to keep us safe during the day. Various devices, systems and mechanisms like slide ditch gates work in unison to keep the flow of water at bay.

This type of gate is watertight and is used by major companies, governments and even farmers all over the country. They are used to make sure that water does not overflow and they are made to distribute the rain runoff water flow. These systems are used, as said before, all over the country, and you will find them in cities, farms and small towns as well as urban areas, residential areas and rural areas. You will find that these systems are made to make sure that the water gets to where it is needed safely and without getting into anyone’s way.

Farmers like to use these ditch gates in ditch turnouts, as they are great for the prevention of flooding when the heavy rain days come along. If you are planning to make use of this type of system on your farm, or in your backyard, you will need to know how to install it and how to use it correctly. Installing alone is a big job, as the installation consists of laying large concrete pipes and you have to be super careful and sure that there will be no leaks when the water runs through.

This means that you have to know what you are doing, which is why you will find that people who are making use of this device have a team or crew come out for maintenance purposes on a monthly basis. Slide ditch gates will come in very useful when you need it.

You will find, when installing this gate that you are kind of using an electric device with a strong flow of water. Most of us know that water and electricity do not mix, but you can rest assured that these devices have been used for many years and no one has complained about getting electrocuted by them. The really great thing about these gates is that you will be left in complete control of any water running through your property. You will also have the ability to guide the water to a drainage system if you have no need for it, or you can run the water from the pipes into a storage container for later use.

One thing to remember is that if you have water flowing into something, you will have water flowing out of it. This means that you will have the need for yet another set of slide ditch gates, because you may want to control the flow of your water when it exists your storage container. This can easily be done, just speak to the people installing the gates for you.

What Are The Main Types of Contract: Sales

We all know the basics of what a contract is it’s what companies use when agreeing sales, purchases, employment and so on. But, what happens when we want to look after our contracts, make sure that they are properly looked after and we know what they mean? Well, first of all we need to know everything about the contracts we use, and then we need to find some contract management software that means you can create them, enforce them, check them and renew them. One of the main contracts is sales.

Usually referred to in the business world as a contract of sale, this is a legal contract that defines an exchange in goods, property or services between a vendor and purchaser. It shows the pay and promise of money that was agreed during negotiations. To say it was common would be an understatement, and they are signed every minute across the globe.

It was one of the first kinds of contracts, and is an ancient practice that goes back to when merchants began exchanging goods thousands of years ago. Obviously, times have changed, the contract has grown to be more complex and it is used frequently. Today it tends to be governed by statutory law, under jurisdictions of common law, and makes transactions between consumers and sellers very simple to understand and straightforward.

Across the United States and Canada, contracts for the sale of goods is governed under the uniform commercial code, article 2, which was published in 1952 and is around in attempt to harmonize sales law across the United States of America.

With a view on reducing your exposure to liability and other things, most sales contracts set up like this:

• Warranties – this refers to your business wanting to warrant certain products, a remedy for the buyer, showing how long your warranty lasts and check what is excluded from warranty.

• Consequential damages – remember to disclaim your liability.

• Delivery – check whether your contract contains a “time is of the essence” and a “force majeure” clause.

• Patent indemnification – Check the copyright, intellectual property and broad patent so that the contract protects your indemnification.

• Termination – can you terminate it at your convenience? Can it be terminated if terms aren’t met? Can you terminate on default?

• Acceptance – can you defer time of acceptance or reject goods that arrive after delivery?

• Most favoured customers

• Indemnity

• Entire agreement

• Modifications

• Confidentiality

• Product licenses

• Compliance

• Law

• F.O.B. point

• Taxes

As we can see, sales contracts can be complex things and to have them looked after by your contract management software can be a great weight off your mind.

How Many Boxes Fill A Container?

Ever tried to figure out how many pallets or how many boxes will fit into a container?

Let me show you a simple way which will assist you in calculating how many containers

you require to ship at a time. What you will need to know prior to making the calculation is

the internal dimensions of a container.

I am going to concentrate on the 20ft General Purpose and the 40ft General Purpose


Internal Dimensions of 20ft GP (6 metre dry container)

Length x Width x Height

590cm x 235cm x 239cm

Internal Dimensions of 40ft GP (12 metre dry container)

Length x Width x Height

1203cm x 235cm x 239cm

[For this exercise to work all your pallets or boxes must be of equal size]


If you have a pallet 110cm (Length) x 110cm (Width) x 120cm (Height) and you are

packing a 20ft GP container.

Divide your Length of pallet into Length of Container

590 div 110 = 5, 36

Divide your Width of pallet into Width of Container

235 div 110 = 2, 13

Divide your Height of pallet into Height of Container

239 div 120 = 1, 99

(Drop the numbers after the comma)

Now multiply your answers

5 x 2 x 1

= 10

Therefore 10 Pallets will fit into a 20ft GP container.

*You can do the same calculation for a 40ft GP container (12 metre dry)

Now that you know exactly how many containers you will require to ship, your costing per shipment will be much more accurate than a mere guessing game. With this in mind, I wish you every bit of success in your future shipments!

Air Conditioning – What Happens If it is Sized Wrong?

You have three estimates for central air conditioning in your house? Each estimate quotes you a different size unit. What do you do? Buy the middle one because they are between the other two? You may be happy and maybe not. Let me explain how this works and what the results are of not getting it right.

Air conditioning is not an exact science. There are many variables that can affect the way an air conditioning system performs. Also there are many factors that can affect the size of the air conditioner that you need. What I want to get into next is the problems that can show up from an air conditioning system being either too big or too small.

If your central air conditioning system is too big for the space being cooled you are actually worse off than if it was too small. Yes too large of a system creates some major problems! If your system has too much capacity and cools your house off too quickly, you will not get he secondary effect of that an air conditioner is designed to give you. The second benefit of your system is to dehumidify the air. If your system can cool the air very rapidly before it has time to take the water out of the air, you will not have a comfortable house. This also goes for any other building. Have you ever entered a store and it felt like you just walked into a refrigerator? That is because the equipment is so large that it is cooling the air, but not removing the water out of the air. The effect is a very uncomfortable cool. This can happen in homes, but usually to a lesser degree. The discomfort may not be that pronounced, but it will not be as comfortable as it could be.

If the air conditioning unit is undersized, this is actually the lesser of the two evils. If your system is too small the worst that can happen is not nearly as bad. An air conditioning system that is too small will just not quite keep up on a very hot day. This usually is not that noticeable because as long as there is a difference between the inside and the outside temperatures you will still be happy. If the house is 80 degrees on a 95 degree day, you still feel rather cool in the house. The other advantages to the under sized air conditioning system is that you still get very good dehumidification on a mild rainy day when you still want some cooling and everyday that you are running the air conditioner you are saving money. Yes, even if the air conditioner is running longer, you are still saving money because it is using less power. The efficiency of the slightly undersized system will be much higher than the oversized system.

So, as you can see size really does matter when it comes to air conditioning. The oversized system will give you an uncomfortable cool and waste energy at the same time. Neither of these things are something that you want. The undersized system may allow the temperature to creep up a bit on a very hot day, but will save energy and give great comfort most of the time. The ideal sizing is for the unit to be running constantly on the hottest day of the year and barely be able to keep up. When you are shopping for central air conditioning make sure that you tell the salesperson what you want and insist on seeing their heat loss/gain calculations for your building. No one can guess at what you need and do it correctly. Making sure you have the right central air conditioning for your house or building will make you comfortable and happy for many years to come!

The History of Air Compressors

The history of air compressors as a tool dates back to antiquity. Man has used air compression for thousands of years to heat his home, cook food, and move objects. The earliest type of compressor was a bellows used to blast compressed air onto a fire. These simple compressing units were either powered by man or animals to compress. These were replaced by mechanical air compressors which were used for industrial purposes. With advances in science, compressors were reduced in size and found uses outside of factories as aids for underwater diving or to power pneumatic tools and drills.

Air compression devices have been used since 2000 BC and were made of leather. These first air compression devices were pumped open and closed manually. This model was improved upon with the addition of handles and intake valves. But, the newer version was still a hand or foot powered low pressure device used mainly to fan fires. Later, the foot powered compressors were replaced by water wheels.

With science advancing, new air compressors were invented to expand the uses for compression. In 1650, German scientist Otto von Guericke, devised a single piston and cylinder air pump. In 1797, the first motorized compressor was designed by George Medhurst of England. By the 18th century, scientist discovered that compressed air could be used as a source of energy to power and move items. The discovery happened when water boiling in a container exploded and moved an item. After this discovery, compressed air was used for rock drilling. In the 19th century, Paris devised an air compressor grid system to power their clocks with a pulse of air every minute. Paris, also in the 19th century, experimented with the idea of air compressor systems as an alternative to electricity.

With the birth of the industrial age, air compression gained new uses in the field of manufacturing. The 20th century saw the use of piston compression air compressors in industry. In 1930, the screw compressor, first invented in 1878 Germany, offered quieter forms of air compression. By the end of the 20th century there were three main types of compressors used. The reciprocating, or, piston compressor, was used for oil refineries, gas pipelines, and refrigeration plants. They draw air in through an intake valve then out through an outlet. Its pistons are driven by a crank shaft to deliver air at high pressures. The rotary compressors, a type of gas compressor, emerged after the piston compressor. They deliver larger volumes of high pressure air which is good for industrial use. These compressors use a continuous sweeping motion to limit pulsation. And, the jet compressor uses pressurized water or gas to force air out a cylinder or diffuser.

Today, compressors are used in all walks of life. They are found on construction sites, factories, medical offices and homes. The history of air compressors will continue to evolve as technological advances create different demands for compressed air and the quality of compressors improve.