The Grand Chandelier

Lights are mainly used to render brightness in our homes. However, they also serve as adornments inside the home. That is why they have been designed with different colors and they are used to highlight our surroundings and to present a specific mood and relaxing ambiance in every part of the house.

Big houses and not so big houses are decorated with ornamental hanging frames with branches for holding lights. These are called chandeliers. Chandeliers are lighting fixtures with candles or lights attached to a ceiling, and have glass festoons such as glass chains, prisms and drops. They have wonderful effects in the house. They make the home more brightly adorned and elegant.

Mansions or large, imposing homes usually have crystal chandeliers hanging in the ceilings. A crystal chandelier can create a tasteful manner and appearance for these magnificent houses. The light reflects on the crystal. The light reflected on the chandelier can bring brightness to the house. This is the main reason why it is fixed to a high ceiling.

A chandelier is a stylish addition to a front entrance or a dining room. It can help set the character of the dining room. It can also make the room sophisticated and grand. If you want to create a formal dining room, a crystal or a polished brass chandelier is good. However, to provide a more informal ambiance to the room, a chandelier with an antique look is a good choice. This can harmonize the colors in your room.

Installing a new chandelier can be done in a few simple steps using tools that you can find around your house. But just a reminder, a chandelier should be properly installed because otherwise, it can create a big crash and a terrible accident in the home. If you want to install a chandelier above a dining table, it should hang about 30 inches from the surface of the table to insure good illumination and safety; that no heads are bumped. A chandelier should be more or less 12 inches smaller than the width of the table.

Sometimes it is difficult to choose the right chandelier for your home. Its size is influenced by several factors. Consider the room where you want to put the chandelier, the style of the chandelier, and the amount of illumination that you need in the room.

A chandelier does not need frequent cleaning; however, it should be cleaned so that the light will not become dim. The problem is that it is somewhat difficult to clean. One thing is that it is located in a high ceiling. For some, it is a good way to clean it using a broom stick to remove dust. But this method is not very efficient. It can only remove spider webs but it will definitely not remove all the dirt. It is better to use water and mild soap to clean the pendants. Never ever use harsh chemicals for this can react with the soft metal.

Choosing Gardening Tools

There are many tools that are available to gardeners. Indeed the range can be quite confusing to the newcomer to the hobby who may be unaware about which tools are needed to perform given tasks. Hand tools are very important for both garden creation and subsequent maintenance. However, the spade, fork, hoe and rake are the most important. Few gardens can function successfully without all of these.

Spades are essential for digging, for planting and for removing various materials such as soil and sand around the garden. They are available in varying lengths and weights, some being lightweight and especially designed for ladies. There are two main types of spade, the digging spade and the border variety. The latter is narrow-bladed, light in weight and used for general maintenance and planting purposes, while the digging spade is a robust tool which is intended for turning over raw garden soil during fall and winter.

Garden forks come in similar variety, there being both border and digging kinds. The border fork is mostly used for pricking over the soil among plants. The digging variety can perform a similar function to the digging spade except that it provides only a complete inversion of the soil, whereas the spade can be used for both trenching and double digging as well.

Hoes come in a number of configurations and are used to knock down the lumpy soils created by the spade and fork. They are also used for cultivating between plants and rows of plants as well as for taking out seed drills. The Dutch hoe is a flat-bladed tool that is used solely for cultivating while the swan neck hoe is excellent for taking out seed drills as well as mounding-up potatoes.

Rakes are usually solid tined and made of metal. They put the finishing touches to soil preparation before seed sowing. Spring-tined rakes and wooden landscape rakes are mostly used for raking up cut grass and fallen leaves, although the spring-tined variety is tough enough to be used as a scarifier. A dummy rake, which consist of a flat board on edge that replaces the tines of a wooden landscape rake is used for grading soil, especially during lawn preparation.

Apart from spades, forks, rakes and hoes, most gardeners require a number of smaller complementary hand tools. For planting small plants a trowel is necessary. This is like a much-reduced version of a spade but with a blade, which is curved and bowed. While the trowel may be regarded as the diminutive version of the border spade, the hand fork is the equivalent of the border fork. It is used in confined spaces, such as the rock garden, for pricking over the soil among plants.

Onion hoes are like large swan-neck hoes in shape but much reduced and with very short handles. They originated in Europe and were first intended, as the name suggests, for using amidst commercial onion crops, not only cleaning the rows of weeds, but also removing crowded plants. Now they are utilized for all hoeing tasks where a larger hoe is difficult to manoeuvre.

Secateurs and loppers are essential in the majority of gardens. Secateurs are well-balanced hand cutters which are used in pruning and for cutting back herbaceous plants. It is always worthwhile buying a high quality pair so that they not only last for a long time, but also do a good clean job of cutting. For left-handed people it is possible to buy left-handed secateurs and there is also a design with rolling handles, which are easier for gardeners who have a weak grip to use.

Loppers are enlarged versions of secateurs used two-handed. They do all the same things that secateurs do, but on larger branches. They are usually straight bladed, but there are cases with curved blades that are often referred to as parrot bills. To complete the array of tools necessary for pruning, there are special small hand saws with narrow blades and coarse teeth that are especially designed for pruning.

There are many mechanically operated tools for the garden, but the lawnmower and rotavator are probably the most commonly used. Hedge trimmers are also important along with shredders and chippers.

Lawn mowers are available in two basic types, the cylinder mower and the rotary type. Both are well suited to specific jobs. Cylinder lawnmowers are used on fine decorative lawns. The more blades the cylinder has, the finer the cut, those mowers used for very fine lawns having as many as sixteen blades. Rotary mowers on the other hand can do a good job of cutting a domestic lawn in a backyard, but with adjustment can be used for much longer grass than might be thought conventional. They are available both electrically and petrol driven.

Rotavators cultivate the soil with a series of fast rotating slashing blades, sometimes on a spindle, occasionally on a drum. They are very effective at creating a tilth on sandy or medium loam soils, but on clay soils can often produce a polished pan benefit the surface at a spade's depth, thereby creating drainage and rooting problems. Most models are driven by petrol engines. With both mowers and rotavators it is wise to have a demonstration in the garden before purchasing. Not all are as good as they at first might appear and they really should be tested under realistic conditions.

Hedge trimmers are available powered by a small petrol engine or by electricity. Most of the modern brands are excellent value being of very light weight and in the case of electrical models having built in safety cut-out facilities. They have various cutter bar lengths, the size varies depending very much upon the configuration of the hedge or topiary to be trimmed. Shredders are available as both petrol and electrical models. These shred garden waste prior to composting. Chippers on the other hand pulverize woody material and are best rented in rather than purchased.

Finally we have the most useful and probably most used tool in the garden – the wheelbarrow. A builder's wheelbarrow is far better than any garden wheelbarrow, unless you are not strong enough to wheel it when fully laden. Modern garden wheelbarrows are fine for pushing a few weeds around in, but the builder's wheelbarrow is what is necessary for moving soil, rocks or paving.

If you decide upon a standard garden wheelbarrow, then choose one of the models with two wheels. These are more stable and resilient than the traditional one wheeled kind. Generally avoid the kind of wheelbarrow where a ball replays the wheel, unless you garden on very wet, heavy clay soil. They are not very efficient and most gardeners find them quite tiring to use.

Elevator Safety During Entrapment

A not-so-pleasant experience in the urban world today is getting trapped in an elevator. Since electricity is the main source of power for these machines, power outages may result in elevator entrapments. Elevator passengers may panic because of sudden enclosure – no lights, no movement, and little space. People may feel suffocated and anxiety starts to see in. Elevator entrapments are not very easy to resolve because it does happen very rarely, and not much awareness and training is done to deal with this unfortunate event.

Many elevator manufacturers today are reinforcing safety equipment and measures to elevator facilities, as indicated by state and federal rules and regulations. It is strongly recommended that these measures must be implemented and administrated by qualified elevator technicians. However, building administrators have also the responsibility to implement their own safety measures in case of elevator entrapment.

Elevators must be equipped with emergency lights and phones so that whenever there are passengers entrapped, they can still see in the dark, and call the admin security. It is also strongly recommended to install elevator-lowering devices using battery back-ups that will activate automatically when power goes out. This way, passengers can still exit and avoid being entrapped. If your building has its own generator during a power outage, the generator can be used as a power supply for the elevator as well.

Elevators must also have safety warnings posted inside to warn the passengers what to do when power goes out. Inform the passengers to activate any alarm systems right away, and never force the doors open to escape. Calmness and cooperation must be ensured to avoid any panic, and passengers must not do any attempts to escape at all. Building administrators must always be ready to communicate with entrapped elevator passengers in case of power outage so that elevator technicians can take charge right away in providing a safe exit for them.

Having these elevator safety tips during entrapment will reduce any chance of injury and will promote greater elevator safety in the long run. Communicating these safety tips to building personnel, elevator technicians and personnel must be met in order to avoid further unpleasant experiences from a power outage entrapment.

The Endless Possibilities of Custom License Plates

Vanity license plates and vanity plate frames are one way for automobile enthusiasts to add a touch of individuality to their ride. In areas where authorities only mandate a rear plate, vehicle owners can use custom license plates on the front end of the car to distinguish themselves, or to announce their affiliation with some cause or sports team. Other drivers use the rear window area as a display case of texts, and line up one or more prints in a row. This is a particularly wise option for those drivers who live in areas that mandate both front and rear identification. In either case, personalized frames are the practical way to decorate those items that are required to be on the car by law.

While custom license plates and frames add an exciting visual cue to any truck or car, they are a much more versatile accessory. For instance, these customized accessories make for a stylish addition to any teenager's room. One can integrate them into the motif on the walls, or use them to adorn the entrance to the room. Another idea is to purchase one for each of a favored sports team, and place them on stands, or mount them along the sides of a mirror or bookcase.

Vanity plates and frames are so popular that collecting them has given rise to a niche community of enthusiasts. Much like hobbyists who collect spoons, bumper stickers, and postcards, these collectors try to get a new plate each time they go somewhere new. Typically, they will target an item that reflects the place of purchase in some way. Due to the sheer size and emptiness of most garage walls, they make a solid choice for mounting this collection. Over time, the wall display becomes a celebration of all the places one has been.

Personalized license plates and frames also present an opportunity to celebrate different occasions, and as an item to be used for fundraising. They provide a more endearing and lasting effect than say a pencil or pen or some other doodad that people quickly discard. For instance, during spirit week at many schools, cheerleaders will fundraise by selling school-oriented memorabilia. Plates and frames customized to celebrate the school and the upcoming big game are hot sellers, and a great way for the squad to earn the money they require.

The Internet has opened up a new world of opportunity for people to custom tailor these items. It's much easier to get the creative juices flowing in the comfort of one's own home rather than standing in some shop somewhere. With today's technology, imagination is the only limit to one's creativity.

The Best Wood Cook Stoves

A discussion ensued with a call from a potential client. She stated that I had so many items on my website that are all Amish, why I did not have any wood cook stoves that the Amish currently use and a lot of people will want. The striking blow to me came from her was the promise to purchase one when I found which wood cook stove I considered the best. So I made sure that I had her name, address, telephone number and of course her email address before I would embark on this journey.

I figured that this could have been a wonderful item for the site and my extensive background in steel manufacturing, welding, manufacturing and business knowledge from being in corporate business for over 40 years would serve me well for finding the best wood cook stoves on the market. I set forth a list of requirements as to the type of refractories utilized and its composition, thickness of the steel, length of being in business, location of manufacturing was limited to the United States and Canada, their customer service and how they treat their representatives and customers. There was a lot more technical details that we need not dwell on at this time.

The journey begins and I get a listing of the cook stoves manufacturers in the USA and Canada and started contacting them. One company I contacted, I was called back by a representative who was one of the rudest persons I have ever met. So, off the list they came. Others suffered similar fates for various reasons but if they were not the best of the best, I wanted no part of them.

I have heard through my Amish channels of several Amish and Mennonite manufactures and I contacted them or tried to contact. The Mennonite manufacturers of which there are two are located in western Canada and I have not been able to contact them, so if I could not find them, how could you work with them. But I do understand that some people like them and they seem to be popular only in western Canada and that is a long way for parts if needed and some parts to wear out.

There was a final four that I had agreements with to sell their stoves and I thought that I had the best until one of these four broke his word without any given reason and the real strange part is that I spent monies advertising his stove and he broke his word and the agreement and he is Amish. I work with a lot of Amish builders and some are no different than us and break their word and that tells me to stay away from them because if he did it to my clients so I do not nor ever will carry his product. He is not the original manufacturer anyway but both the business from the innovator whose shop was located in Montana and this person resides in Indiana.

The three I have selected are for different reasons and all of them have been in business for a long time


The Mealmaster was introduced in 1944 and has been continuously produced since then. It was based on the Model L-LB which was first produced in the early 1930's. This is a well recognized name in the industry and they have a superior product at I consider a very reasonable cost to the buyer. I is available with a 30 gallon hot water reservoir and for those that are thinking of Hydronic heating for your home, this large capacity heater is a great benefit. Its other feature is the many styles that are available and one of the few cook stove left with a warm oven.

The Torridiare line was purchased from Tennessee Stove Works in 1967. It was introduced in the 1950's. They have several models for coal heating of a home or cabin.

And I can not forget my favorite part of the line is the pot belly stove. Here is history still available for those that want this heater. I have plans in the future for this to be a featured part of my upcoming new Design Showroom that is designed for Interior designers. This would be great for that barn or very large roon just for its d├ęcor value alone without ever using it for its intended purpose of heating.

Ashland Stove:

This is a truly 100% Amish cook stove and the way I found him was through my Amish friends and he makes an excellent stove also at a very reasonable price and he has the largest oven on the market with his new Deluxe model. He has another model called the new Decade. He has been making these cook stoves for over 40 plus years and his sons are getting ready to take over the business and that is a wonderful thing. He has some great new innovations in the new Deluxe stove and the way the firebox is built, that you bank the fire at night and in the morning spread out the hot ashes, throw on a bit of kindness and within a few minutes you will be adding some larger wood for the fire box to really come alive. This cook stove is also a very affordable addition to your home.

I have worked with some people on using this stove and using the Hydronic water system heat their home with this stove of over 1600 sq ft and with an added hot water tank heat another 1400 sq ft and they are doing this with the temperature outside well below freezing. This is now another tool in the box for those people that want to go off line, but you will need some power to move the water through the lines and that can be done by battery which is charged during the daylight hours or through wind power. It does not require a lot of power to run the small pump, but it must run all of the time or disconnect the system when not in use

Enterprise Fawcett:

This is the top end of cook stoves and worth every penny. Extra heavy gauge steel, nickel styling with the old Victorian styling. It is just pure art with grand functioning for a remarkable cook stove. It is just beautiful.

If I was ever to have a really large home with a chef's kitchen, I would have one of these in the kitchen to use on the rare occasion of cooking a special meal on it but for also the accent it would lend to the whole kitchen area. I would design the kitchen around this cool stove and there is several to choose from.

This cook stove is made in New Brunswick Canada and has an outstanding and wonderful customer service. They do not run production but only a couple of months out of the year, so proper ordering is essential. These people are so wonderful from answering any questions to even assisting with freight. One interesting side note is that the time zone they are in is an hour earlier than Eastern Time and it is way up north in a beautiful area with short summers and long winters.

I enjoyed my venture into wood cook stoves and have worked on some innovative projects and am working towards methodology for people to live "off the grid" and I would love to join them and this is one of the first steps.

If you are looking for a wood cook stove, do your research, talk to people and a bit of a secret is if you know an Amish, talk to them, especially the Old Order Amish because they are still using a wood cook stove and it is more than likely an Ashland or even a MealMaster. But if you want class, you must go to the Enterprise Fawcett cook stove.

Family Holiday Reps

Holiday Reps

Holiday reps are one of those phrases that either makes you feel safe knowing that there is always someone onsite to help you when you have a problem or it's one of the phrases that sends shivers down your suntanned spine.

Why do we need holiday reps, what's the purpose of a holiday rep?

Well, let's have a defect look

The Pro's and Con's of holiday reps.

They certainly can be extremely useful to holiday-makers when on site, the main function of a holiday rep is to greet you upon your arrival, make sure you had a safe and enjoyable journey, show you to your accommodation, go over any functions that you make like to know like how to light the gas burners on a cooker or how to start the gas BBQ, they should have already cleaned your accommodation to a high standard.

After letting you settle in they will then make a rendezvous with you so that you can ask any questions about the parks facilities or information on the surrounding area.

Problems do arise on holiday, the most common problem is that customers expectations of the accommodation, these expectation sometimes are not met and the customer is unhappy, "it was not like that on the website" or it's smaller than you said on the web "now this is where the holiday rep could get into difficulty, he only has a limit of accommodation units to offer and these are generally taken, so offering the customer a different accommodation can be a difficult task, unhappy customers on holidays normally stay unhappy because the complaint is rarely sorted by the holiday rep because of his limit of authority, his superior will definitely be unavailable.
Holiday reps are paid for by YOU, there wages, rental of their tent on the park is all accounted for in the cost of your holiday – and they are not cheap.

Holiday companies without holiday reps,

There are holiday companies that operate on high quality holiday parks without holiday reps, so how do these fair?
What happens if any of the above problems occur while on holiday without a rep?

If a holiday company operate without a rep, then this can be beneficial to the holiday-maker and the company. Firstly the park direct will greet and welcome you to their park, they will have first hand knowledge of the park and surrounding area, usually far more knowledge than a rep would have. If you are unhappy with the accommodation then the park will have at its disposal hundreds of accommodation units so it will be likely that they can swap the unit or upgrade you, something that a holiday rep will struggle to do.

Cost – well, no rep wages to pay or pitch rent for the holiday season, so this will be reflected in the price of your holiday.

Overall opinion.

In my opinion holiday reps are an old fashioned traditional expense that you can live without, but being British it's the thing to ask, very much like asking for a brochure – but it's the thing of the past, but you just have to start to get used to doing without one.

Installing Deck Porch Railings

Getting the Right Deck Porch Railings

Deck porch railings come in many styles. Unlike years ago, when we could use any style we wanted, today parents need to be careful of what types they use for safety reasons. Deck balusters or deck porch railings need to be no more than 4 "apart, the average size of an infant's head.

Deck balusters are the vertical pieces of decking that are located at regular intervals between the posts you have in your deck railing. The reason for the maximum distance is for unfortunately reason so small children will not fall from the deck. Children love trying to maneuver between small spaces, so the measurements must be of such that they do not pose a threat to their safety. Whereas years ago deck railroads were all similar and very simple, today they come in a variety of colors and materials.

New Look in Balusters

The old time balusters were wood pickets or boards that were located in a straight line. As beautiful as wood can be, it had a tendency to splinter over time as well as needing maintenance periodically. Painting was also required from time to time, which tended to be difficult. Although you can still purchase wood balusters, many people prefer these; they can now be purchased with many other materials. Many of these new materials will give you the old style classic look that's become so popular today. Many people do not like change, but consider checking out some of these new styles of balusters, which now require less maintenance.

Different Styles of Balusters

The traditional balusters are now available in powder-coated aluminum and come in either square or round shapes. They are easy to install, requiring only screws that cot into the railing. Color coordinated screws make it almost impossible to see them. With these new aluminum balusters, you'll no longer have to spend time sanding or painting to keep them looking fresh and new.

Aluminum balusters are becoming very popular when used with deck porch railings. Their appearance is very similar to forged wrought iron, but cost a lot less then balusters made of real wrought iron. The two most popular colors are available in, bronze and black, go with almost anything. These colors go with the very popular wood railings, but there are other colors available as well. Some of the designs and styles these come in include colonial, baroque, arc, etc. Installing them is very easy with the screw connectors. Stainless steel is another easy to maintain material for balusters and require little or no painting or maintenance.

Another decorative material, glass, is very popular. Glass balusters are made of transparent Perspex or thick safety glass. Their stainless steel screw kit that accompanies the glass balusters make them very easy to install. Many people that do not have rambunctious young children choose glass balusters.

As you can see, no longer will your deck include boring and drab balusters or deck porch railings. With the many different styles and colors available, your deck can become a real showcase of beauty and comfort.

Glass Balustrades for the Ultimate Style in Your Home

Are you decorating your home? Do you want to add an extra touch of stylishness without making it too tacky? That's a fine line we have to learn to cross, and some of us learn this the hard way. You do not have to make a mess of your home to realize what you should avoid in its decoration though, all you need is some information and a good sense of taste. And of course, the right company to manufacture the ideas you have in mind.

When you're replacing the balustrades around the house, both internal and external, you should consider some modern solutions if you want to make your home look more stylish. Glass is an amazing idea when used right, and although it also has the risk of making your home look tacky, this can be avoided as long as you use it with caution.

The first step in this is to contact a balustrade design company and discuss your options with them. Yes, there are actually companies that specialize in the design of this type of home decoration element. And although you can always buy ready-made balustrades from any hardware store and have them installed in your home, it's a completely different story when you're ordering yours custom made.

Especially when you have a good vision for what you want your home to look like! And with the help of a good balustrade design company, even if you have any gaps in your imagination those can usually be filled up. If you're not sure how exactly to approach this design, all you need is to have the company take a look at your home's current setup, and propose some solutions.

You do not have to agree to everything they propose either, and sometimes the best designs will come up as a result of brainstorming ideas between you and the balustrade design company. As long as you have some vision about your home's design, even if it's a vague one, you should be able to implement those glass balustrades nicely.

You can achieve some pretty amazing things when you're decorating your home with glass balustrades, especially if you go for a more modern design like one that removes the frames. And while frameless glass balustrades might not be the ideal solution for everyone's home, they're definitely worth a try if you have not thought about how your home will look with them.

When you're purchasing more advanced types of balustrades like those, it usually pays to have the company install them instead of trying to do that yourself. Of course you're going to have to pay a bit extra for that, but at least you'll know the job is going to get done properly, without any accidents, and you'll also cover by your warranty no matter what happens. Sometimes deciding to do the installation yourself can void your warranty, which is always important to remember when you're investing in a long-term product which should last you many years without any damage.

Ideas for Deck Entertaining

When you are planning to build or buy your house, take into consideration the entertainment possibilities of having a deck. A deck could be useful for all types of social events, from light dinners to cocktail parties. Because decks have columns and banisters, you can decorate them up in the theme of the party.

One deck event could have been a cocktail sundowner. Add soft lighting by hanging white lights from the top of the banister to turn on when it becomes dark. Remember to place chairs and tables on the deck, with ashtrays and candles. For the cocktails, choose a couple of recipes that are easy to make.

An example of a good sundowner cocktail would be a Blue Lagoon. This is a popular drink among cocktail bars and is simple to make. Fill a glass with ice and pour over a shot of vodka and blue Curacao liqueur. Pour the lemonade to the top and add a cocktail cherry for garnish.

Although you are watching a sunset, try making a Tequila Sunrise for a cocktail. For this drink you need a tall glass filled with ice. Pour in two shots of tequila and top it up with orange juice. Tilt the glass to the side a bit and pour in about two dashes of grenadine syrup so it sinks to the bottom. The grenadine will then filter itself to the top creating shading from red to orange in the glass. You could garnish the drink with a slice of orange and cherry on the top of the glass.

Once the drinks are served, guests can socialize on the deck and watch the sunset go down. If you are having a large sundowner cocktail party, invest in some heaters so guests can stay warm once it becomes dark.

On larger decks, you could entertain a barbecue. A table could have placed on the wooden planks with chairs. This results the table from wobbling as it would on the soil. Decks also have the advantage of easy access into the house. Instead of carrying plates, salt and pepper and glasses from the garden to the kitchen, the access is just a few feet away.

The barbecue cook could roast up some chops and sausage. For vegetarians, create some vegetable skewers by pushing different types of vegetables onto a long pointy stick. Vegetables you could use include chopped peppers, onions, marrow and pineapple. Place them on the barbecue and drizzle with olive oil every now and then to prevent them from drying out.

At different holidays the decks could have been decorated according to the theme. On Halloween, place pumpkins on the stairs and drape white sheeting on the banister. You can tie bats made from cutting out black paper on to the columns.

During Christmas you can stick cotton wool on the banister to mimic snow if you do not already have the real deal. You can weave Christmas lighting through the banister and place decorations all up the banister.

If you are not having a party or there are no holidays to celebrate, invest in a hammock to hang on the deck. You could relax in the shade by swinging on a swing bench bolted into the roof on the deck. There are plenty of seating options specifically created for porches to choose from.

To have a deck around your house adds a feature. It is not only pleasing to look at, but adds wonderful opportunities for memories. How many first kisses have been stolen on the porch and how many snuggles on a swinging bench? It is a place in a home that everyone can enjoy wherever you are sitting in rocking chairs reading, or enjoying a beautiful sunset.

Inventions – How To Get Your Product Manufactured

If you are planning to manufacture and sell your invention on your own, this is where your prototype and design plans will be really useful.

Manufacturing can be simplified when you have a working prototype of your invention. To start out, contact a manufacturer who is familiar with new product development. That way, you will have the benefit of designers and developers who can identify and fix design flaws. They may even offer a more effective design solution for your product.

If you are going to have your manufacturing outsourced, that is, manufactured by a foreign company, make sure you research the company very well. Look them up online, research them at the library, find out everything you can about them. Foreign sourcing is a big undertaking, and should not be taken lightly.

However, if you have a solid CAD design, a competent manufacturer can produce your product with little trouble. A CAD design will also make it easier to divide your plans among multiple manufacturers, to avoid giving the entire design to one manufacturer if you choose to do that.

You can contact the Thomas Register at 1-800-699-9822 or check out their website to find thousands of manufacturers for everything you can possibly imagine. You can visit or for lists of foreign manufacturers for your particular product.

When considering your product with manufacturers, always ask if they are open to reducing or waiving up-front production costs for a percentage of future profits, or sometimes some other deal that they may have in mind. Sometimes a manufacturer, seeing the potential in a new product, is willing to produce the product on more creative terms for a guarantee of future business, or a percentage of sales (sort of like royalties).

Be careful, however, with deals like this. Be sure to put a ceiling on the duration of this deal, otherwise, you can end up locking yourself into a lifetime partnership.

The deal should just be financially worth the manufacturer's effort. For instance, I may offer fifty percent of future sales up until production costs are covered, and then ten percent of sales for a year after, with a guarantee of the manufacturer remaining my exclusive provider for the next year. There are literally trillions of ways to put deals together; it's all in how you negotiate it.

How To Practice Eco-Friendly Real Estate While Simultaneously Saving Cash

A major issue that is negatively influencing both the environment and the financial standing of the people around the world, is the rapidly increasing power consumption. Electricity bills have become a major constituent of the overall spending for most people around the word. A cost effective way to bring down the power consumption as well as promoting environmental preservation, is sure to kill two birds with one stone. Here are some tips for the same:

Administer A Power Audit

Identifying the main source of power consumption in your house can go a long way in helping you reduce your electricity bill. Once you realise which of your appliances is consuming the most energy, you can limit its use. Not everyone knows the correct way to conduct the power audit, so you can always hire a professional for the job. This will prevent any health hazards that might occur while you tinker around with equipments you are not acquainted with.

Replace Incandescent Lighting

One of the biggest consumers of power are incandescent bulbs. You must replace them with compact fluorescent bulbs, as they will help you save up to 44% of energy consumption. Another way to reduce the energy consumption is by cleaning light bulbs, since dust can cut light output by at least 25%.

Change The Cooking Appliances

If you notice a sudden hike in the energy consumption, then the first thing to do is replace all your old appliances with new ones, since they will consume less energy. Also, if you are using an oven for baking purposes, switch to a microwave as microwaves use 40% less energy and will not heat the kitchen in the process.

Create A Hot-Cold Equilibrium

Another way to limit the power consumption is by using a programmable thermostat. This allows you to enjoy ideal temperatures without running up your electric bill. Also, it is recommended that you install a ceiling fan as well as an AC, because AC’s are extremely power hungry. You can also insulate your water heater with a water heater jacket. This will keep the water warmer for a longer duration and prevent the need to switch on the heater again.

Invest In A Recycling Station

Instead of throwing away the garbage, what if you could recycle and reuse it in your backyard? This eco-friendly practice is available to you, if you install a recycling and compost station in your home. As a result of this, you will not only help the environment by preventing improper garbage disposal, but will also cut down on your expenses of buying the same articles repeatedly.

In today’s smart age, nobody wants to be the one causing environmental degradation. The steps mentioned above will not only help you with protecting the environment, but will also lower your overall spending.

Those Shrinking Frontal Lobes

No doubt all of us know a senior citizen who has a tendency to say things he should not. My friend Bob was telling me that his father was sitting with him in church one Sunday morning when he noticed one of Bob's neighbors sitting a couple of pews in front of them. "Her hair looks terrible," he whispered. The woman roled her head a quarter-turn in their direction acknowledging that she heard the old man. Bob and his wife Mary Lou were mortified.

I laughed and told him that his father could not help himself. I said, "Bob, the frontal lobes responsible for inhibiting unwanted speech, shrink with age." How would I know that? A study reported in Newsweek said that very thing. Indeed: It turns out that after a certain age we can not be held responsible for the things we say. Most of us have thoughts that we do not express aloud. The boss says, "Where's the report you were supposed to have on my desk by noon?" We think, but do not dare say, "Are you in the Twilight Zone? I've given you that report a week ago."

Your husband says, "I was thinking about buying a new truck." You think, but never say, "Maybe you should just wash your truck."

These days older men and women talk uttering something unkind have just two options. They can dismiss any criticism by saying something like, "I've been around a long time." permission to hurt people's feelings with abandon. Another response when done in the act of saying something horrifying is to deny the transgression. "I did not mean anything by it. This, after Uncle Salvatore tells his nephew that if he keeps eating like that he'll need two seats at the movies.

Of course, the baby boom generation will not stand still for these equally unpalatable choices. Boomers have learned how to change the rules better than any generation in history. In the first place, the World Health Organization will probably add frontal lobe shrinkage to the International Classification of Diseases. Imagine having carte blanche to say whatever we like to not mention being bolstered by the inevitable support groups that will raise money to fight the problem. Consider the possibilities! We can all have a diagnosis on parade during happy hour. In fact our conversation, remarks we make about someone's weight, their skin tone or their skinflint ways, will be like having trump cards in a game of hearts. The more outrageous we are the better.

Notwithstanding the promise of being blessed with a legitimatosis diagnosis, I am worried about that what I say may still offend some people. No doubt someone will spoil things for those of us saying to say whatever is on our minds. A university research assistant will certainly posit the notice that frontal lobe shrinkage is an avoidable problem if only people would jog eleven miles a day. In spite of the protection we can expect from senior citizens groups, there's a chance that saying something we should not even be thinking will still be frowned on. No problem. Even if I can not completely edit myself, I can at least say what's on my mind sotto voce.

Or so I thought. My friend Bob just told me why the woman with the funky hair heard his father's comment. "My father spoke with a senior citizen's whisper." Obviously a whisper has to be soft, yet loud enough for the intended recipient to hear. Being able to hear your own whisper is a good way to gauge your success when you want to transmit a secret. Being the jokester that Mother Nature is, just when the frontal lobes are shrinking, it's also getting harder to hear what we have to say. That's when we acquire something more akin to a stage whisper. So, even if we are editing ourselves, more or less, we can still be overheard, apparently with ease.

Another thing Bob told me was that after observing comments made by seniors in his life, he decided to apologize to his children in advance for the things he might say in the future. He's a wise man. I've decided to follow his example. Therefore, to anyone who knows me or may meet me in the future, I want to apologize right now for the things I might say that should be left unsaid.

Anatomy of a Kitchen Countertop

The kitchen, being the contemporary centerpiece of every home, requires a countertop which (1.) meets the functional needs of daily cooking preparations and (2.) complements the beauty of the entire area.

Whether you are building a new house or doing a major kitchen renovation, it is important to know a few useful information which will help you decide on the final design of your countertop.

Furthermore, should you intend to have your local supplier install it for you, he or she will most likely ask some of the details which we will discuss in this article. Therefore, it is best to have a list of some of your ideas beforehand. Keep in mind that the installer will charge you accordingly based on the specifications of your project.

The Frontage, the central part of the countertop, is the working area of the kitchen. It is here where we perform mostly the various tasks, such as kneading and chopping. Moreover, it is the surface which absorbs the constant use and abuse of daily meal preparations.

During layout and design, it is important to note that a depth of at least 0.60 meters is required for the countertop’s frontage to function efficiently. This figure ensures, too, that there is a sufficient area to work on while allowing enough space to accommodate the sink, the stove top, and some other small kitchen accessories.

A countertop can either be a continuous space or a connection of two or more slabs joined at angled corners. Often, kitchens with an “L-shaped” or a “U-shaped” layout require seams to accommodate the size of the countertop. Alternatively, you may also consider using gangsaw slabs (slabs which have a depth of more than a meter) to minimize the number of seams.

A Backsplash is a vertical panel installed above the frontage of a countertop. It has three essential functions. First, it serves to protect the wall from splatters and blocks spills and drips from seeping behind the cabinet. It helps keep both surfaces clean and dry, which, in turn, prevents mold from growing inside your kitchen.

Second, it hides the gap between the rear end of the countertop and the wall behind it. Considering that most walls, almost always, are not straight, a void becomes inevitable. The backsplash, therefore, covers this particular problem fittingly.

Lastly, it provides a stunning visual treat to anyone in the kitchen. It adds depth, color, and texture in the room. Whether you prefer a 4″ high or a full-height backsplash, it surely is worth pairing with your countertop.

The countertop’s base is another important factor to consider during the design process. A countertop placed over a wooden cabinet typically requires a Laminated edge profile to hide the substrate supporting the slab. On the other hand, when installed on top of a concrete base or a metal or a stainless steel frame, a Skirting is recommended to conceal the structure underneath.

Planning the location of the sink, the stove top, and, even the wall outlets is a must, as well. Employ the concept of the Work Triangle to ensure you can move freely between each workstation of the kitchen. Once finalized, the installer identifies the position of the Cutouts based on your decision.

He or she may recommend adjusting these locations sometimes, as cutouts make the stone very fragile. There should be at least 50 mm clearance between the nearest edge of the slab and the lip of the cutout. In some cases, the installer may even require to place it with seams.

Hence, it is highly necessary for wooden cabinets and frame bases to have a substrate which supports the stone slab underneath. The underlay prevents cracks and fissures from occurring, especially around the cutouts.

Often an overlooked feature, the Edge Profile is a subtle detail which makes a huge statement. It is a design element which affects the appearance and functionality of the countertop, as well as the whole kitchen itself.

Standard designs range from Eased, Bullnose, Chamfered, etc., but the spectrum of choices are limitless. You can even create your own design. It is a great way of personalizing your kitchen with nothing more than an edging detail.

Every countertop, regardless of its material, must not only appeal in form but must also achieve its function. Thus, every little detail requires careful planning before making a final decision on the design. Finding the right countertop for your home may look easy at first, but it becomes increasingly overwhelming once you consider all the details.

Nevertheless, it is worth your every effort. The countertop, after all, is both the workhorse and the focal point of your kitchen.

Types of Curtain Wall Facades

You know when you enter a beautiful, spacious museum or hotel lobby and there is this incredible stone wall design that catches your eye? That is a curtain wall. It obviously does not involve the type of curtains you put in your living room, nonetheless the name remains, and these fabulous works of art continue to span the globe where possible structures are found.

And what type of facade can you create for your space? The possibilities are endless, and even companies that engineer these amazing wall designs will tell you that the challenge to create a feature with a material that they never used, or a design that seems impossible, is an exciting opportunity.

Metal – Metal facades can be created with materials such as brass, copper, aluminum, or silver-nickel, to mention a few, and are commonly assembled to create incredible abstract designs. Since metal is generally very heavy, most metal facades consist of a thin coating of metal that is mounted to a "substrate" like melanine, laminate, fiberglass, concrete, or porcelain.

Glass – Glass facades are basically what you see in a downtown area – those glass paneled skyscrapers. Those are a form of "glass facade." Inside a corporate lobby, along a wall, floor-to-ceiling glass is an attractive addition to an ambience with all kinds of tempered, frosted, or crystal clear glass panels, sometimes paired with a water feature.

Stone – Stone facades are everywhere. They are on residential houses – you know those cottage-looking chimneys with the round river rock? They are fairly expensive if you use real rock, but many builders nowdays use the composite type that looks like stone. Of course, stone is actually used, but it is much more expensive. Stone curtain wall design is one of the most common ways to dress up a space and does not even need to coincide with a fireplace or water feature. Many developers pair stone with copper or bronze for a modern rustic look or stainless steel for a very modern look.

Soldering Copper Pipe

Many older homes have copper pipe and if you need to fix a leak of any kind you will have to do some soldering. There are other ways to make these repairs, but in this article we will focus on the skill of soldering.

You can only sold copper with copper or copper with brass, everything else will not work there before you would have to use a MIP or FIP. Which stands for male iron pipe threads and female iron pipe threads. Once these fittings are attached you can then use black iron or galvanized pipe to complete your joints.

Back in plumbing school we learned a method that worked well for soldering, therefore this will what I am going to write about today.

First thing you need to do is make proper measurements. Measure twice and cut once. When you cut into the pipe you need to use a proper copper pipe cutter. These come with a cutting wheel and two steering wheels to help you get a perfect edge to solder with. You can use a hacksaw if you have to, but if your edge is crooked you may not get enough of a bead of solder through the joint to make a leak free seal. Sure it might last a week or two or maybe even a year, but in time this can fail.

Now you need to clean the pipe. There are two types of pipe cleaners out there, and both are pretty much the same. One is a numbers sand paper that has a paper backing and the other is more of a mesh. In both cases these are called emery cloth.

Take your emery cloth and clean the pipe. This is more of a scraping than cleaning as small particles of copper will come off. Not like if you were using a file, but a little does come off. Now you need to do the same thing with you fitting. If the fitting is too small to get your finger or thumb into then use a pipe fitting cleaning brush. These are small wires that point outwards in a circular fashion at the end of the brush.

Now that your fitting and your pipe is clean you need to apply some soldering flux to the outside of the pipe and to the inside of the fitting. This also helps to clean the copper as you heat it, but is also meant to help the solder flow while you are soldering the copper pipe.

Oh, by the way, I am using the term copper pipe quite loosely here, in actual fact the term is called copper tube. There are three types of copper for plumbing, tubing, tube, and pipe. The long straight lengths you see on trucks and in your local hardware store are tube, while the coils come in longer lengths and are more used for gas fitting where it is against the code to solder. In these cases the gas fitter would use flared fittings to join the pipe. The tubing can be used for water lines in which case compression fittings are used. You may have seen these on dishwashers and ice makers. Real copper pipe is threaded and not soldered and is used for industrial purposes.

Before you start to sold the copper pipe you will need to have the right kind of solder. If you are soldering a joint for a vent or drain then you can use 50/50 which is 50% tin and 50% lead. Do NOT USE this on water lines. Also not recommended for heating systems as the melting temperature is lower than other types of solder. For water lines you can use 95/5 tin / antimony or lead free solder. Both are lead free just have different names.

Now let's get soldering, make sure you have proper ventilation and some sort of fire resistant material is you close to anything flammable. Turn on your torch and point the blue part of the flames tip at the joint you want to heat up. Now touch the joint from time to time with your solder to see if it is hot enough yet. Once the solder starts to melt you should pull the torch back a little so you do not over heat the fittings.

Make sure you get a good bead of solder all the way around the joint. In school it was mandatory to wipe the joint, but in reality nobody ever does.

If you have problems soldering because there is water in the line you will need to get all of the water out to make a proper joint. There are tools that allow you to solder on a valve with water in the line but these are expensive and can only be used to solder on a valve, MIP or FIP to tie onto later.

A quick fix if you can solder fast is to shove a slice of bread into the pipe and poke it up the pipe as far as you can. If the leak is small this should give you anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes to get the job done. If the leak is bad enough that the bread does not hold for thirty second you may have to get someone in to freeze the pipe. If the bread holds the leak for more than 3 minutes then most likely you could have used a hotter torch and kept the steam back while you soldered the copper pipe.

The reason you can not sold with water in the line is because when water expands to steam there is an increase in volume of about 1700 times. Even if the joint did get hot enough a lot of times this increase in volume causes steam to push the solder out of the joint. Watch your eyes in this case as the solder will spray and is very hot.

I hope this helps you one you copper soldering project.