Commercial Construction Tips – Completing the Project On Budget

There are times it feels like it's newsworthy to announce a commercial project that came in either on budget or even under budget. But the truth is most projects are undertaken with the expectation that they will be completed on budget, even though that can also be the hardest aspect of the project to complete. Here are a few tips to keep in mind so you, too, can bring your commercial construction project in on budget.

Few contractors are willing to take less profit to compensate for any cost overruns that happen on the project. As such, there is almost no contract written that expects a contractor to take a loss. Change orders are de rigueur, so expect to see them. Even if a contract is based on a fixed price or bid, the contractors and subcontractors can still pass cost overruns on to you. A time and materials contract often means your contractor will end up paying for overruns himself or herself, but even this is not guaranteed.

To keep this from happening, look over the contract carefully. Omissions are the leading cost overrun category. Check the contract to be sure it covers things like permits, licenses, fees, and so on. Also make sure that every aspect of the project is covered in the plans and contract documents. A clearly crafted contract ensures that all parties involved understand exactly what is expected. Never assume anything when it comes to a contract.

Before anything is finalized, have an engineer and / or an architect look over the specs and the plans to be sure they are complete. You should also make sure your project manager is on the same page you are and that he or she fully understands the plans and the project scope before anything gets started. A consultant may be able to give you some advice as well, and because it costs more up front, you could end up saving thousands in the long run.

If your project has anything unusual about it or it will be using exotic materials, be sure these are accounted for in the contract. Also do an inspection if you can of the job location so you know exactly what condition the property is in. Will there be a lot of trees to clear? Is the existing building that will be retrofitted in good shape or does it have water or insect damage?

Make sure you build in an allowance for price increases that may occur between the time the contract is granted and the project completion. This is also very important in a rapidly changing market to keep you on budget.

One last big thing you as the project owner can do is ensure you are all set with the materials that will be used and that the plans meet your specifications. Changing your mind part way through and deciding you want tile floors instead of concrete or a wall removed that was not called for in the original drawings can cost you a lot more than you had bargained for.

No one has a crystal ball and can look into the future with absolute certainty, but doing everything you can ahead of time to anticipate the project's needs will go a long ways towards saving you money and frustration.

Pest-Proofing Tips From Professionals

Spotting an unwanted pest in your home can ruin your day and cause unneeded stress in your life. Is it time to call in a professional at the sight of a spider or cockroach? It could be, but at a minimum it means you need to do some further inspection.

Depending on what you find, it is either time to call in a pro or for your to pest-proof your home. The following are the top pest control tips from professionals to get you started!

Keep Pests Out of Your Home

Your best defense is keeping them out in the first place. Your goal is to make it difficult for pests to find an entry point into your home. Check screens for holes, and repair if you find any. Check around your doors and windows for gaps, and replace window stripping when needed.

Here’s a great way to inspect your home for entry points that you may not have noticed. At night, turn on all the lights in your home and inspect your home from the outside. Light shining through indicates where undesirables could potentially enter. Any openings will need to be sealed with a sealant appropriate for the surface it will be applied to.

Keep Your Kitchen Clean

A few innocent looking crumbs here and there on your kitchen counter or floor is more like a feast to ants and other insects. Be vigilant about kitchen clean up – wipe counters, sweep floors and remove the trash often and put food away immediately after eating.

Another place in the kitchen that can attract vermin is the recycling bin. Make sure to wash out all food containers before placing in the recycling.

A drawer used for storing pots and pans is yet another spot that crumbs tend to gather – make sure this is kept clean. A little extra attention to cleaning in the kitchen goes a long way towards prevention.

Reduce moisture in and around the home

Pests thrive in areas where moisture is present, so by reducing moisture around the home, you will be limiting the opportunity for them to invade the home. Some moisture reducing actions: clean out gutters, grade soil properly so that water moves away from the foundation, ventilate crawl spaces, and seal cracks in the foundation.

Pest-proof Storage Areas

Cluttered storage areas make attractive homes for mice, spiders, cockroaches and others. You can keep them away by regularly cleaning and reorganizing your basement, garage and other storage areas. Avoid using cardboard boxes – instead use durable plastic totes that cannot be chewed through.

Store Your Firewood Properly

Termites and ants are attracted to wood piles and can easily find their way from your firewood to your home. Firewood should be stored on racks above the ground and as far from your house or shed as possible.

Use Outdoor Lighting That Does Not Attract Insects

Did you know that the type of outdoor lighting you use can reduce the attractiveness of your home to insects? It’s true. Sodium vapor bulbs will reduce the attractiveness of your home to insects and in turn reduce the number of predators that feed on insects such as spiders and bats.

Know When To Bring In A Pest Control Professional

Sometimes by doing it alone homeowners can mistreat a problem and make it worse. When a problem seems to be getting worse, it’s time to call in a professional. Considering how important your home is for your family’s wellness and safety, knowing you have an expert protecting your home is invaluable.

There are a lot of things a homeowner can do to prevent vermin around the home. Whether you choose to do it all on your own or hire a professional pest control service, keep these tips in mind to keep your home safe.

Split AC Units

The distinct advantage of a split AC unit is that it may be used to cool a room during summer season and also to heat a room during winter. This means that split air condition units are not such an item which are used in one season and have no use in other season. The size of a split AC unit is generally small as compared to a conventional window air conditioner. Normally, a split aircon unit has been designed to regulate the temperature of an area of ​​400 square feet. Neverheless with the recent advances in technology, such split AC units have been invented which can serve the purpose for larger areas. The great thing with these is that they do not make use of much power.

The cooling capacity of the split air conditions unit is a significant aspect and is measured in terms of tones. This actually refers to the total ability to cool. The energy efficiency ratio value makes a comparison between the cooling efficiency of the split air conditioner to the quantity of power which the unit uses. This means that the machines with higher EERs will extremely save more power.

The split unit can also eliminate moisture from the room while it cools the air. The removal of moisture is measured in liters / hour. This feature is also very cruel since it reduces the humidity of the room. This is the major reason why split AC units are mostly used in humid regions as opposed to air coolers which are preferred mainly in drier regions.

Installing a split AC unit is generally not a tough ask since it comes with a line set which is used to join its indoor components with its outdoor components. They have fully charged coolants with them and then there is no need of any chemicals or refrigerants to be added while installation.

How to Select the Best Air Compressor for Use

Buying an air compressor requires careful thought and consideration. An ideal compressor requires focusing on many performance factors. An Air Compressor Buying Guide is the starting point before you make this decision. This article discusses the factors you need to consider before making your last choice.

Check the needed Standard Cubic Feet per Meter output – S.C.F.M.

This is one of the most important factors. It is the Standard Cubic Feet per Meter output of a compressor. This is also the volumetric output of a compressor. It is normally higher than or almost equal to your consumption. A high output is achieved with a bigger compressor.

Check the pressure capacity of your compressor

In order for the targeted flow rate to be achieved, pressure is needed. This pressure is normally given in pound per square inch. It changes according to the compressor size, brand and design. If it is needed for heavier applications, the pressure should be higher. With an increased pressure, even the flow rate or output is also increased. Most importantly, the flow rate has to match your targeted consumption.

Why do you need that compressor?

The usage of your compressor dictates the ratings you should be looking for. If you only need it for some domestic purposes, something smaller would be enough. However, if you have a number of air tools and other equipment to use the same source, then you need a bigger compressor. The rating of each tool is easy to check from the indicated values. Add up the capacities of all the tools and include a 30% allowance.

From where are you going to tap electric power?

Your source of power is critical because it even dictates the size of compressor you can use. If there is a constant supply of electricity, then a single stage reciprocating compressor can be a good choice. But if you are in an area that is persistently hit with power cuts, shut downs and load shedding, the reservoir type is your right choice. You can run it when there is power, and use it whenever there is need. It will keep the needed pressure for long hours depending on your usage.

How much space do you have for your compressor?

Before your compressor is installed, you need to arrange enough space for it. This means that if you have enough space, a bigger compressor would be ideal. But if there is no space to accommodate a bigger compressor, buy a portable one. However, space considerations need to come only after you are satisfied with the performance. In some cases, you may even need to create space.

What are some common horse power ratings?

The horse power rating of a compressor needs to be considered just like the other factors. A variety of compressors may have their ratings ranging from 1.6 to 6 horsepower. However, this factor is normally governed by the pressure and S.C.F.M. of the compressor. The power rating should not be a standalone factor. It should meet the requirements for your usage.

Summary of requirements

In conclusion, your compressor should match the usage you are buying it for. Therefore, the best Air Compressor Buying Guide you need should answer your performance questions. Most manufacturers provide the needed details. With the best guidance, you will stand a chance of buying the best equipment to work for many years to come.

What You Don’t Know About Moroccan Berber Rugs

The beginnings of the Moroccan Berber rug, its origins and the significance of its motifs go back a long way. It does not come down from the oriental carpets of the Islamic era but the similarity of the technique of knotting and certain patterns indicates common roots.

Away from the great civilizations of Antiquity and far from the cultural exchanges of the Silk Road, the Moroccan Berber rug has retained its originality in the mountainous regions of the Atlas and the Atlantic plains.

When the motives of the Moroccan Berber rugs are brought together with the signs of parietal art and the artifacts of the first cultures of man, the same principles are found in the use of signs and forms, and there are surprising similarities or Correspondences, even with the phenomena of the Upper Paleolithic of Europe, the Neolithic of the East and the Mediterranean basin. Thus, the Moroccan Berber rug may perhaps be considered the last testimony of this archaic world.

The abstract and geometric language of the Moroccan Berber rug is derived from the body, the form and the functions of the human sexual organs. Based on the duality and the meeting of the two sexes, it becomes the expression of a magic of universal fertility, including all nature.

As an artistic creation of the Berber woman, her carpet mainly reflects the phases of her life and the experience of her sexual life: as a virgin, as a new bride, union with man, pregnancy, and childbirth.

In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the beauty of carpets and wall hangings, as well as the place this production occupied in Morocco, was already emphasized.

In the Middle Ages, Moroccan Berber rugs were among the gifts offered to the foreigner ambassadors and were an important component of the trading caravans where camels were seen in silk and golden thread.

Among the different meanings of the term “rug” in the Arab origin, we can retain the term of “flower bed” or “which is stretched on the ground used as support”.

The Moroccan Berber rug is a luxury gift, and in the 19th century, the Moroccan Berber rug was one of the most exported products to Europe. It was very present in France during the universal exhibitions of 1867, 1878 and 1889. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, carpet weaving was very present in almost all Moroccan cities.

The Moroccan Berber rug is an art based on the knowledge of ancestral civilization of people who have, throughout history, expressed their knowledge through decorative means, sculptures, poems, drawings, colors, etc.

A Moroccan Berber rug is, therefore, an artistic object made in families of great pastoral tradition and who relied generally on the breeding and the agriculture for their living. The manufacture of traditional carpets, in all their forms, requires the presence of certain conditions, basic tools, and equipment, including:

– Pure and healthy wool, as a raw material which will be transformed into yarns of different sizes and properties, natural dyes.

– A suitable material of different shapes, depending on the intended use

– Competent staff who master traditional weaving techniques and decorative patterns.

The Moroccan Berber rug weaving is an essential activity in some regions, as it plays an important economic role for the livelihood of families. It then follows a traditional mode of marketing, based on barter. In a household, men and women work cooperatively. The woman is in charge of carpet weaving and modeling, and the husband takes care of marketing in the weekly markets and buys the food and other products they need to live.

From an artistic point of view, the best Moroccan Berber rug is still made in some Berber regions based on local natural products (dyes). The decorative motifs used are the expression of the culture of the tribe from which the product originated. These motifs relate the spirit of coexistence that has always existed in these tribes since a distant history with people of different convictions and different civilizations

Mastery of the art of weaving carpets is passed on from mother to daughter, which is a tradition of learning in rural areas.

The traditional common visual language of the community, as well as techniques for tying the weaving yarns with fingering, are also learned on the job.

The decorative patterns on the different weaves are very significant and differ from one tribe to another. The carpet is a Berber-speaking tradition because it was in southern Morocco, in the Upper and Middle Atlas.

Rugs of Berber tradition are the most important and most representative category in the world of Moroccan carpets.

The Moroccan Berber rug is a reflection of the History of Morocco, is a reflection of the daily living and the daily feelings of the berber women, each type of Moroccan Berber rug has its own characteristic based on the are where it comes from, and the History of that area.

A Few Hints for Performing Your Carpet Cleaning Services

Carpet cleaning services can be easy if you follow a few insider tricks. It is surprising how much a clean carpet can transform the look of a room, and you will be impressed with how the room will make you feel every time you enter it. Keeping your carpet clean can take a little work so be aware of any spills or stains and do not hesitate to clean them immediately after they occur. The best tip for preventing a stain from becoming permanent is by stretching it right away, before it has time to settle and dry into the carpet fibers.

When you are maintaining your carpet, it is best to treat the spot gently using a dabbing technique and not rub it vigorously, because this can push the stain deeper and disrupt the carpet foundation. Rubbing too much in one spot can wear out the fibers on the surface of your carpet, making it look and feel aged and damaged. Also it can be irreversible, so be careful and blot or gently wipe a spill instead. One of the best ways to initiate a clean up a spill is to get a dry, thick towel and weigh it down on top of the stain with something heavy for a while. Press down hard and leave it there allowing the dry towel to soak up the mess in the carpet.

Many times you may think you have gotten rid of a stain, but that pesky residue can resurface in a couple of days. Even if the stain looks like it has gone away, you may want to lightly treat the spot with a carpet cleaner solution. There are many places that sell effective products for carpet cleaning services, and there are homemade remedies that you can find on the internet for just about any type of carpet spillage. Do a simple search and find a solution that is specific to the stain you have to deal with and follow the directions accurately for some great results. Test out the homemade remedy on a small area of ​​your carpet that is out of sight to make sure it does not discolour or damage the appearance of your carpet or rug.

Another tip for carpet cleaning services is to keep your carpet clean all year round by vacuum cleaning on a regular basis and getting your carpet cleaned by professional carpet cleaners at least once a year.

Neglected carpets will only build up on filth and bacteria, sometimes making it more difficult to clean thoroughly even by the most capable carpet cleaners. Use a good vacuum cleaner, and do a thorough job by going back and forth over the same area to be sure that you pick up all dirt and debris.

You can find a lot of carpet cleaning services or rentable steam cleaning machines that can sanitize your floor, leaving the area spotless and clean. As you can see, in order to have a clean and beautiful carpet, your work starts with prevention methods and ends with immediate action and treatment.

Copyright @ Fast Cleaners Ltd

Social Media for Small Businesses

Social media has become an integral part of our day-to-day lives. Businesses of all size and shapes have started making the most of available mediums. Today we will try to anatomize tips on social media for small businesses. There are a plethora of small businesses eyeing social medium to promote their business/services. However, majorly these small businesses are failing or not being able to make optimum use of social media for their business growth. There are many theories and strategies on how to effectively use social media for established brands, but the topic social media for small businesses is seldom addressed. According to Digital state of eMarketing India 2017 Octane Research:

60% small businesses promote their business on social media. 50% focus on SEO and 35% use multichannel marketing funnel.

70% small businesses consider content strategy as their primary marketing activity.

52% business owners are using social media as to efficiently address customer engagement.

More than 20% of business owners said that they are making 50% plus profit using social media.

The primary reasons for the low turnout are uncertainty on an application of social media, calculating return on investment and persuade employees/stakeholders to clinch social media. Hence it is important to address the elephant in the room and analyze how beneficial is Social media for small businesses.

Social media for small businesses is a great way for emerging businesses to generate lead and build a reputation. If regularly updated, social media can deliver more results as compared to traditional mediums. Social media for small businesses gives brands an edge of control over the content that they want to post. Also, since social media is a two-way dialogue process, it helps businesses to instantly identify what is benefitting them. Social media for small businesses also helps generate Word of Mouth, which is one of the best tools for emerging businesses.

Social Media for small businesses | 10 Tips to effectively use Social Media

Define your Target Audience

The first and foremost important part that small businesses should focus on is to define their target audience. This helps small businesses to device their social media strategy accordingly. The target audience should be defined basis age group, sex, location, users’ online behaviors, their likes, interests, and preferences. For niche products, business owners can even target users based on their birthdays, anniversaries and important milestone. Audience targeting plays a very crucial role in the outcome of the results. For e.g.: a local shop selling footwear should not target users with interest in entertainment. The shop definitely won’t get the desired results.

Set achievable goals

Overnight success is a myth. Small businesses must understand this basic fact. Generally, when a new business starts selling on social media, there is palpable excitement is achieving more than set targeted sales. Businesses need to set goals which are upwards and forward. To achieve enormous goals, small businesses start updating social feed with multiple updates in shorter duration. This leads to user’s disinterest in the product/service. The set goals should be in sync with brand’s core capabilities and expertise. For e.g.: if a business is into selling shoes, they shouldn’t set a goal to repair maximum shoes in their area.

Choose the right medium

By now everyone knows, social media is for free. Even paid campaigns can be conducted at a relatively low cost as compared to traditional mediums. It is in this scenario, that we often see small businesses jumping the bandwagon and creating profiles on all the available platforms. Creating social profile doesn’t hamper brand image, but aggressively promoting a brand on wrong platforms can lead to brand losing its potential customers. Hence it is advisable for SME’s to first identify the right platform through which they can maximize their business. For e.g.: If a shoe selling brand tries to aggressively sell on LinkedIn, they won’t get a plausible response as compared to promotions on Facebook/Instagram.

Promote your core product/services

Since each and every business is riding in the social media wave, it is important for a them to promote their core product/services. Nowadays, we see a lot of businesses promoting their services as well as promoting peripheral products/services, which revolves around their core product/services. Majority of the times, this SME’s doesn’t have capabilities to fulfill a requirement, which can lead to a bad word of mouth for their business on social media platforms. Let us go back to our example; if a shoe seller is trying to aggressively promote socks instead of shoes, it is not going to benefit the business in the long run.

Create quality content

Now that we have covered the topics of identifying the target audience, setting achievable goals, choosing the right medium and promoting the right product/services let us now take a look at the type of content a business should promote on their social pages. A business should always focus on creating good quality content rather than not-good quantity content. Even if the business updates their page once in a day as long as it is relevant to their business, advocates about its core products send across a clear message it is considered as a good quality content. Antagonistically, if a business posts multiple updates which aren’t even relevant to the business’s products and services leads to users considering the business as fake/spam. Also, new businesses should try and refrain from promoting other businesses on their social platforms initially.

Create a content calendar

Making a small business successful on social platforms is no small task. It takes a lot of efforts for the businesses to keep up their conversion ratio. One such effort is to create a content calendar. Small businesses must anticipate important events and create a content calendar accordingly. Ideally, a content calendar must be planned a month in advance but an even weekly content calendar is highly recommended. This helps businesses to avoid any last minute hassles, strategize much more effectively and it also helps in creating curiosity amongst its loyal fans/customers.

Test and re-test

Social media is highly unpredictable. The content a business posts today, might not work for tomorrow. Hence, small businesses must always test their content before publishing it on their pages. Testing content also applies to the platform a small business chooses to promote. Small business owners must always don the consumer’s hat before posting about any product feature, updates, schemes or offers. A consumer’s perspective is the key when testing the content that has to be uploaded.

Look for inspiration

Small businesses must always look for inspiration from a competitor who is successful in the same category. Copy pasting competitors idea or content is not the answer. Small businesses must look for the kind of content its competitors are putting up and derive their own strategies subsequently. Inspiring content/stories always make a business to strive to create their own content that is appreciated by one and all. It helps in increasing brand consideration, brand visibility thereby increasing conversions for the business.

Calculate ROI

Even a small promotional budget is not justifiable if there is no mechanism to calculate its return on investment. It is more important in case of small businesses. It is very important for a small business to keep a tab on the budgets allocated to any promotions and the subsequent ROI related to it. If a certain promotion is not doing well or the business is not getting desired results, the brand custodian can always look for other platforms to generate quality conversions.

Analyze and Re-strategize

There can be umpteen instances where a particular campaign/promotion might not work for a business. That doesn’t mean that the promotion is wrong or the product/service is not good. Doing an analysis of the campaign is as important as setting the objective. This helps the business to formulate their upcoming strategies in more effective ways. At the end of every campaign, brands must note down the learning’s from that campaign and identify if the content/idea was appreciated by their fans or not. This helps businesses to skip the non-performing updates from future communications.

Final Thoughts

Social media for small businesses is definitely beneficial and fruitful. If followed correctly, small businesses can benefit tremendously from the power of social media promotions.

Modular Construction: The Greener Way to Build

Traditional construction faces many issues when it comes to the handling, creation, and recycling of waste materials. In fact, an NAHB study found that an estimated 8,000 lbs of waste is created from the construction of a 2,000 square foot building. These squandered materials are all standard materials that you would use to construct a building: wood, brick, insulation, drywall, etc. However, only an estimated 20% of these leftover construction materials are actually repurposed or recycled, according to the American Institute of Architects. On top of that, the AIA states that "it is estimated that anywhere from 25 to 40 percent of the national solid waste stream is building-related waste." [1] And In 2009 the Construction Materials Recycling Association, estimated that construction and demolition waste from building construction was around 325 million tons annually. So, in a society that consistently pushes for greener solutions across all facets of life, what alternatives do companies have to be more eco-friendly?

Modular Sustainability

The processes that go into modular construction allow for more accountable and ecological building methods. Modular construction takes advantage of a process known as "Mass Customization." When constructing a modular building, the same paneling that used to create one building can be snapped into place on another building. However, you can still design the building practically however you want! Therefore, any paneling left unused after a job, can simply be used on the next one. Plus, they will not need to be moved very far because all structures are built in our own facilities, ensuring they will not go to waste. And we use CAD software to map out all our prefabricated projects, so we know the exact amount of materials that need to go into each job.

The factory setting also allows us to better control our inventory and regulate the working conditions, in comparison to traditional construction. While most construction sites have delays due to inclement weather, the modular construction process takes place indoors, keeping our moisture levels low in our materials, preventing damage. While our employees construct the building indoors, the project site is being set up for installation. Therefore, with these two processes occurring simultaneously, the building site receives far less disturbance from foot traffic, machinery, equipment, and materials.

Ultimately, the same paneling that allows us to use Mass Customization also supports recycling efforts. Our buildings are designed to be installed and disassembled easily. So when a building is no longer of use, instead of being demolished like traditional construction, the paneling can simply be taken apart and reused. This allows you to drastically cut down on waste in the deconstruction process as well. Many of the structures are also moveable, so the same building can be moved to another location to serve another purpose for you.

The Modular Difference

The first step of waste reduction comes in the attention to detail in the design process. Having sales people work with clients to ensure every detail of your project is mapped out and taken care of. Then, the project and all of the details should be sent to engineering, where they should meticulously design every aspect of the structure. From this point, all the materials you need should be mapped out, down to every last nut and bolt. From there, simply take the required pieces from inventory and get to work on the factory floor.

In the factory, inventory is easier to control than a traditional construction site. All materials have set storage areas that provide easy management and movement. In fact, WRAP, an organization dedicated to resource efficiency, stated that "Volumetric (modular) building systems are the ultimate in offsite manufacturing technology and their substitution for traditional building methods typically leads to a virtual elimination of all waste bar excavation spoil for ground preparation . "[2] They also showed that an estimated 70-90% of construction waste can be eliminated through offsite construction practices.

Overall, modular construction permits for efficiency and sustainability in all aspects of the construction process. The factories are designed for our employees to quickly grab and transport materials. The construction process is designed to ensure every piece of material is used to its full potential. And the products are designed to be quickly put together, durable, and perfectly customizable for the customers. Modular buildings and structures provide world class construction methods for your company, while also providing an ecofriendly solution for the environment.

Source:

1) AIA: Construction Waste Management Strategies; July 2008

2) WRAP: "Current Practices and Future Potential in Modern Methods of Construction", January 2007

Stop Stomach Bloating and Get a Flat Belly

Are you ready to stop stomach bloating and finally get your flat belly back again? It can be easily done by making changes to your diet and lifestyle. Here are some tips to help you.

There are many causes of stomach bloating such as intestinal gas, constipation, air being taken in when eating, and by eating certain foods. Some people may even suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) which is a common disorder that causes bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and stomach cramping and pain.

There are several quick fixes which can stop stomach bloating. One of the most common causes of stomach bloating is constipation. Constipation can be cured by slowly increasing your fiber intake by adding more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts to your daily diet. A psyllium husk tablet can be taken before meals to increase fiber and help reduce constipation. Psyllium husk is all natural fiber and is not harmful to take on a regular basis. An additional benefit is that when it is taken before meals, it will give you a full feeling and you will not eat as much.

You should drink lots of water – aim for one glass every hour that you are awake. Exercise is also very important for fighting off constipation. Try to walk for at least a half an hour each day.

Eating fast can cause you to take in air which will bloat your stomach. Slow down when eating and thoroughly chew your food. You should not swallow until your food is almost completely liquid. To train yourself to eat slower, put down your fork after each bite. It will help if you do not watch television while eating. You need to concentrate on your food and your eating habits. You will find that when you slow down and chew your food completely that you will also eat less.

Another cause of stomach bloating is too much salt. Most processed and canned foods contain excessive amounts of salt. Read all food labels and avoid the ones with high sodium. Also be careful of how much salt you add to your foods.

Some vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower can cause belly bloating if you are not used to eating them on a regular basis. Beans can also cause belly bloating. But instead of eliminating these from your diet, you should add them slowly and eat them more often, so your system gets used to them and they do not cause gas. Beano can be used until your system adjusts to them.

Instead of eating three large meals, break your meals into five or six smaller meals. It is much easier on your digestive system and it keeps you from bloating.

Artificial sweetened drinks, food, and carbonated drinks should be avoided. Fructose, especially high fructose corn syrup can cause your stomach to bloat. Read labels and avoid it.

Probiotic yogurts and pineapple will reduce stomach bloating. Eat a probiotic yogurt or take a probiotic tablet every day. Also eating pineapple on a regular basis will help with digestion.

Following a healthy eating plan is essential to your good health.

IPTV – Turnkey Solution for TV Operators

Imagine being able to provide content to your users whenever and wherever they feel like watching your shows. This can be made possible with internet protocol television (IPTV), which lets your viewers watch your programs online using any device. IPTV is a turnkey solution for TV operators that would like to make their content more available to viewers who may prefer to watch their favorite shows whenever or wherever it is more convenient to them. Through the internet, they can watch your TV programs on demand.

IPTV can become a reliable and secure way for you to deliver entertainment and other related services like video-on-demand, live TV, and interactive television to your subscribers. These services are provided across a packet-switched, access agnostic network that uses internet protocol to transmit control, video, and audio signals. An IPTV solution for TV operators ensures high-quality network performance and security to ensure outstanding viewing experience. This way, TV operators are able to provide better viewing experience to everyone, even when watching online.

Working with a reputable IPTV solutions provider will make it easier for your TV station to set up an IPTV network of an unlimited scale. The service is backed by a professional team that will set up and configure the right solution in your area. You can leave the training of your staff to those professionals, too.

One of the most popular IPTV solutions for TV operators is video-on-demand. It is a high-performance software solution that you should look into if you are planning to improve your video-on-demand service. Some services can cover up to 8,000 concurrent connections at a single server, while allowing operators to prepare their content automatically for high-quality adaptive streaming.

Middleware is another important component of an IPTV turnkey solution. It is also referred to as an ‘interactive portal’, which is the graphical user interface viewers will see. It is composed of the navigation, electronic program guide, and other visual guides that viewers will interact with. A high-quality middleware is a web application that is multi-operated and capable of allowing control over all modules while letting you manage your IPTV or over-the-top operation. It should come with dashboards for both subscribers and operators, management systems for customers and content, efficient billing platforms, geo IP blocking, real-time statistics, API for developers, and load-balancing. Some of the best middleware solutions support prepaid cards, a system of sub-dealers and dealers, and ad insertion, too.

IPTV systems with high-quality middleware and video-on-demand will be better than conventional cable TV systems. All the content will be digital for improved viewing and picture quality. Moreover, viewers will have access to their favorite shows no matter where they are. These benefits could leverage your business and make your channel more preferred by viewers.

The Reverse Mortgage Process Explained

Picture this … you're a senior homeowner and nearly every time you go to your mail box, you get 1-5 solicitations for a reverse mortgage. You keep all the postcards and letters handy in case you decide to make a decision to proceed with a reverse mortgage. You're starting to learn a lot about the program just from all the direct mail pieces you have received. Your phone is starting to ring almost daily with reverse mortgage telemarketers. You hear the buzz on the news and with your friends that reverse mortgages have created. You see TV commercials with Robert Wagner, James Gardner, and Pat Boone among many others. You now have a stack of solicitations higher than three Los Angeles phone books and your interest has peaked. You know you want to start to look into a reverse mortgage but you do not know what steps are involved or how to you proceed with a reputable company? Yes you do have hundreds of mail pieces, but what company will truly offer you the best service and best fee structure.

The above scenario is very common. The entire reverse mortgage process can be very overwhelming for some people. The decision of what company to choose to process itself can cause a lot of seniors who would greatly benefit from a reverse mortgage to turn a shoulder and not even explore the idea. Fact is, with the right reverse mortgage lender, a reverse mortgage may very well be the easiest transaction a lot of seniors have ever been a party to.

The first step is to choose a reputable company. Look towards friends and family who may have received a reverse mortgage. If you are unaware of anyone who has received a reverse mortgage, or perhaps you friends or family did not have a good experience with their reverse mortgage professional, look to NRMLA (National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association). Members of NRMLA have subscribed to their code of ethics and will always deal in a professional manner with their senior clientele.

Once a reverse mortgage lender or broker is chosen, it's time to start to learn more about reverse mortgages. The first conversation you have with a reverse mortgage professional will generally be gather all important information from you such as birthday, property address, home value, existing loan amount and most importantly the reverse mortgage professional will explore with you why you're looking into a reverse mortgage to help determine if it's the right decision for you. At this point in time, you and the advisor will discuss how much money is available to you as well as all the fees involved. They will also send you a quote in writing that will contain 4 items. 1. Reverse Mortgage Estimates page, which shows a comparison of three programs. 2. A Good Faith Estimate that shows a breakdown of all fees involved. 3. An Amortization Schedule that shows how the loan balance grows over time. 4. A TALC (Total Annual Loan Cost), which shows the cost of the loan over time.

Now, after the first discussion, this is a good time to discuss the reverse mortgage with friends, family or a trusted advisor. They may also have questions for the reverse mortgage professional and it's a good idea to have them touch base to make sure that all questions are thoroughly answered.

Next, if you decide to proceed, you will need to go through a counseling session done by an independent third party counselor. Counseling costs on average $ 125 and is due at the time of your counseling session. If you have a hardship and can not pay for it upfront, please notify your counselor. Your reverse mortgage professional should provide you with a list of at least 5 counselors that are in the portfolio of your home. This counseling session can be done over the phone, or in person. At your counseling session, the counselor will review the 4 items that the reverse mortgage professional sent you earlier. The counselor will make sure you understand the reverse mortgage program as well as other alternatives to reverse mortgages.

After counseling is complete you will receive a counseling certificate in the mail. You will need to sign it and return it to your lender or broker. Once the lender or broker has the certificate, then the process can continue. The next stages are like any other mortgage. The lender will order an appraisal, title report and open escrow. In the mean time, the reverse mortgage professional will take a full application from you, either in person or over the phone, which takes about 10 minutes. Just a side note, the lender can take the application prior to your counseling session, however there can be nothing done by the lender that would incur an expense to you prior to counseling. Once the lender has taken your application, it will be sent to you for signatures. Another point to note here is that signing the application does not obligate you to do the reverse mortgage. You may back out at any point in time during the process for whatever reason. Attached to the application will be a list of items required by the lender such as verification of your social security number, a photo ID, a copy of your mortgage statement (if you have a mortgage), copy of your trust (if applicable) copy of the Power of Attorney (if applicable), copy of your homeowners insurance declaration page, etc. All you need to do is sign and return the requested items specific to your loan scenario.

When the lender receives all items from you, the appraisal, title report and any other necessary items, the loan will be submitted to underwriting. During this stage, the underwriter looks at the file and makes a determination if any other items will be necessary. If so, they let the lender know, who in turn will notify you of any additional items needed. Once those items are met, the underwriter will issue a clear to close.

Once a clear to close status has been received, you will receive a phone call from the reverse mortgage professional verifying how you would like to receive your loan as well as setting up a time to sign your final loan documents. When it comes time to sign you final loan documents, most lenders will send someone to your home to accomplish this task.

After the loan documents are signed, they are sent back to the lender for final review. After your three day right of rescission is up, if all outstanding items have been met, the lender will fund your loan. Once the loan funds, title will receive a wire from the lender. They disburse the funds as requested and release the loan to record with the county. Then you are free to enjoy your loan even though you see fit. Your job after the loan closes is two fold. One, enjoy life to the fullest and two, spread the word about reverse mortgages to those who you feel could benefit from the product. Oh yeah, if your reverse mortgage professional did a good job, feel free to refer him / her to your friends and family.

Board Calendars – An Essential Tool for Smart Nonprofit Leaders

One of the most predominant traits of a well-managed organization is their ability to create a plan and to achieve that plan. To think strategically and then make a series of changes based on that strategy is a key skill that sets well-run organization's apart from poorly managed organizations.

To keep the board and organization's plans on track, the Board Calendar is a useful tool that I often recommend to boards with whatever I consult. It's a simple, yet powerful, tool for a Board Chair and CEO to plan out what decisions the board needs to make – and to communicate those decision points to everyone involved.

Start by thinking about your own calendar year – and decide in advance what board decisions need to be made during the next twelve months. Remember, only governance-related, board-worthy decisions need to be made by a vote of the entire board. All other decisions can be delegated to the staff or board committees. Governance discussions and decisions related to these six topics:

(1) the organization's mission
(2) the organization's strategy
(3) the organization's policies
(4) the organization's financial health
[5] the organization's CEO
(6) the board's sustainability.

These six topics should be the focus of your board meeting discussions and the basis of your board's decisions. For a more thorough explanation of governance see my article entitled "Board Governance – Six Keys to Successful Oversight."

To create a calendar for your organization, make a chart with the date of each board meeting across the top and each board committee down the side. Include the staff as the last row on the bottom. This grid will become your calendar. Now think about each committee (and the staff) – and what decisions the entire board will need to make that result from the work and recommendations of that committee.

Here are three examples of standard board decisions:

1. The Finance Committee will need to work with the staff to develop and review next year's annual expense budget before it goes to the entire board for their approval. So in the finance committee row, in the column of the last meeting of the year, put "Approve Expense Budget".

2. The Fundraising Committee will need to see and approve the staff's fundraising budget before it's presented to and approved by the entire board. In the Fundraising Committee row, in the last board meeting of the year, put "Approve Fundraising Budget".

3. The Board Development Committee will need to be looking for and recruiting new board members throughout the year. In most cases, the entire board must approve all new board members. So, decide which board meeting will include that agenda item – and put "Approve new board members" in the appropriate portion of your grid.

The more clearly you can determine in advance what needs to get done by the board, the more likely you are to make that happen. Because board meetings involve board decisions that usually require recommendations from board committees or the staff, planning the board meeting decisions in advance is critical for your success. This board calendar is an essential tool to keep everyone on track as you work through the decisions your organization must make this year.

3 Important Reasons Why You Should Get Sound Insulation

If you are a fan of music or love playing a musical instrument, you may find it necessary to practice in your home. However, there are sometimes when you may find that this has certain limitations. For instance, most neighborhoods have laws regarding how much sound one can emit in their homes so that the rest of the neighborhood can be in peace. If you are the kind of person who loves practicing loudly, you may find that you end up conflicting with many people. To be fair to them, it may be a good idea to make sure that you try to find a means of practicing without disturbing them.

The advantages of getting soundproofing

One of the ways of doing this is by investing in sound insulation Batts. There are many companies that can offer this kind of service, and you can easily go online to find one that suits you. Some of the benefits of using insulation of this kind include:

• It makes it much easier for you to avoid any conflict with the members of the neighborhood. When you have this kind of soundproofing, you can be sure that even if you play your music really loud, your neighbors will not hear it, and they will not therefore complain about it. Of course, this depends on the quality of insulation that you get. If you work with a very good company, you can be sure that the services they provide will be of very high quality, and you can then enjoy playing your music in peace.

• The ratione behind the use of insulation is that sound is blocked from entering or leaving the room. This means that if you are a keen musician, you can then avoid the interference from the outside world, since the noises from outside will not be able to reach you. This means that you can perform in a more acoustically privileged environment, and this can make the process of compositing music much better for you. The fact that there is no sound from the outside also means that you are less likely to get distracted by sounds, so you can focus better.

• There are times when music can be so loud that it interferees with the structure of your house. Although rare, it is sometimes possible to find defects such as cracks on a house that has been subjected to very loud music. By using insulation, you can reduce the effect of the music on the rest of your house, and this means that you could end up being safer as well.

Therefore, if you are keen at learning how to play music or have a housemate who is, it may be a good idea to invest in the use of such insulation to make the process of learning how to make music much easier for you. If you need such services, you can easily go online and find one service provider that you can use. When doing this, always remember that the quality of the end result is dependent on the quality of the service provider, so always try to get the best.

Wrinkles and Aging Lines – How to Control Them With 5 Natural Tips

Let's admit it. Anyone using anti-aging skin care products is thinking of effectively removing aging lines from the skin. The question to ask is whether the people have had success with the skin care products that are available in the market today? Most of the products that are marketed today are only filled with formulas and ingredients that can chemically change the tone of your skin, making it doubtful if in the long-run it is beneficial to the skin. Here are some great natural tips to help prevent wrinkles and aging lines.

The best way is to go natural which is in the long run, beneficial to your overall health. There are five common tips which are not over-night remedies but they are safe and effective.

1. Hydrate your skin

Drinking at least 8 glasses of clean, pure water or eating water-rich foods can hydrate your skin. When the skin is properly hydrated it gets firmer, and wrinkles do not form as easily.

2. Avoid chemicals

Using products laden with chemicals like parabens, dioxanes, and chemical fragrances can increase aging and cancer effects on the body. It can also lead to serious, debilitating health problems. To be safe, avoid chemicals.

3. Moisturize

Since dry skin can get wrinkled much easier, keeping the skin moisturized is important. Using natural moisturizers that stimulate increased production of collagen, elastin, and new cells are recommended.

4. Get nourished evenly

Majority of diets can lead to deficiency in more than one nutrient. Check your diet and supplement on the lack of nutrients since a well-nourished body is able to keep up ant-aging functions better and rejuvenates the skin. A recommended diet is a mix of organic fruits and vegetables since they contain no harmful aging chemicals.

5. Get some sleep

Beauty sleeps which last 7-8 hours are when the body replenishes vital nutrients and heals at a cellular level.