Do-It-Yourself Poured Concrete Crack Repair

Many homeowners believe that repairing cracks and / or leaks in their basement will cost them a small fortune; in fact, many are convinced it will cost them 10's of thousands of dollars because they have been led to believe that it is necessary to excavate around their home to properly repair leaks from cracks in their foundation walls. In reality, invasive excavation is seldom actually required; in fact, most of the time it is possible to effectively repair basement leaks from inside the home for less likely money, and damage to the landscaping around the home is there entirely avoided. The fear associated with the assumed high cost of foundation crack repairs leads some homeowners to decide to undertake their own basement waterproofing.

Most do-it-yourself repairs for cracks in paired concrete foundations are underaken using 1 of the following 3 methods:

  1. The application of hydraulic cement or caulking onto the crack on the interior side of the foundation wall;
  2. The use of do-it-yourself crack injection kits using either epoxy or polyurethane; and
  3. Exterior excavation of the wall, with the application of some substance to prevent water from penetrating the crack.

Method 1 is absolutely a major mistake; here's why:

  1. This approach, while possibly stopping a leak in the short term, will trap water within the wall. Since poured concrete is porous, water trapped within the crack will saturate the concrete and weaken it over time;
  2. In northern regions, water trapped within a crack may freeze; the resulting ice will expand (similar to water in your ice cube tray), essentially forming a wedge that may extremely cause the crack to widen;
  3. "V-ing" out the crack to apply hydraulic cement is a waste of time because, while the "V" makes it easier to fill the crack with hydraulic cement, you are bonding 2 different materials to each other. Since each material expands and contracts at different rates during thermal cycling of the wall (heating and cooling), hairline cracking will eventually develop between the 2 materials, causing the crack repair to fail eventually; and
  4. The use of caulking will also trap water within the crack and the caulking will not withstand significant hydrostatic pressure (the pressure on the exterior wall attributable to the water table), so the crack may well continue to leak.

Method 2 can work well; however, the do-it-yourself crack injection kit has significant limitations:

  1. You must choose between an epoxy crack injection and a polyurethane crack injection. Each injection type has technical pros and cons of which the average do-it-yourselfer would not be aware; consequently, you run the risk of choosing the wrong type of injection for the crack that you are planning to repair;
  2. The crack injection kit that you purchase may not include sufficient epoxy or polyurethane to fully repair the crack;
  3. Polyurethane crack injections can be used for waterstopping on any crack; however, a do-it-yourself repair kit typically will not provide you with a means to flush the crack prior to injection. In most cases crack flushing is crucial in order to ensure that an injection will be successful;
  4. Unless you are installing professional injection packers, a do-it-yourself crack injection kit can not be used while a crack is actively leaking because these kits require the application of a paste onto the crack surface; if the paste is epoxy based, the paste will not adhere well to a wet or damp wall surface; and
  5. The dispensing tool provided with the kit can only offer a low pressure injection which may not be sufficient for ensuring that the injected material fully penetrates the foundation wall.

Method 3 can also work well; however, this involves a lot of work and must be performed correctly. Some of the basic rules and potential problems are as follows:

  1. Locates (identification of the locations of hydro, telephone, gas and other underground utilities) must be obtained before any excavation is undertaken;
  2. With any excavation there is always a risk of soil cave-ins which can be deadly;
  3. The exhavation must be undertaken all the way down to the footing;
  4. Cracks are not always visible on the exterior surface of the foundation wall (this makes it difficult to know where the crack is and where the repair should be); and
  5. Proper waterproofing materials must be used on the wall surface; gluing Styrofoam or plywood to an exterior wall over a crack will not provide a permanent repair.

Basement waterproofing is a specialty much like plumbing, law, engine repair, etc ,. There is a lot of science and technology involved in the basement waterproofing business; therefore, consultation with a truly professional waterproofing contractor is advisable.

For additional information on foundation crack repair and basement waterproofing in general, visit www.aquaguardinjection.com .

Custom Softball Pins for Sports Lover

The baseball season is just around the corner and therefore you must order your team trading pins well on time. Ordering them later would lead to unnecessary delays and this is why it is better to get them designed well in advance through a good manufacturer. These pins are an important part of any sports event and are considered to be inseparable. It is loved by players and their fans also and there before you should get it designed carefully.

There are many manufacturers who can provide you with custom softball pins in different designs. You need to look for the one who can provide the best quality product at affordable price. It is important to make sure that the pin is of the best quality as it creates a good impression and enjoys a longer life. In case you are using them as promotional tool then it is all the more important that the custom trading pins should be of the best quality.

If you use the pins as promotional tool then you can add the company's name and contact information on it. It would help people to know about the brand through it and would impress them as well. It should be designed with care so that it can easily remind people of your company. You can experiment with the colors, shapes and other elements and make your pin look more attractive.

In case you want to catch everyone's attention with your custom softball pins then you can look for more features. You can get them with glitter, bobble head, dangler, blinker, slider, or with spinner. Different kinds of printing options are also available to the buyers wherein they can opt for soft enamel, photo etching, or choose offset digital printing. The good manufacturers would help you get the customized pins and can also provide you with good designing option.

The right kind of design is very important for impressive custom trading pins. You should therefore look for a manufacturer who provides you with good designing options. Some of the stores provide the buyers with free designing facility that enables them to get attractive pins for their team easily. The free service also helps in reducing the cost involved and is therefore useful.

Buying these team trading pins for your sports team or for promoting your company does not involve a lot of expenses. This is why more and more companies are using them as promotional tool. If you want to get good products at affordable price then you can look for good online stores also that offer good discounts to the buyers. It is convenient to shop through such stores as it saves your time and allows you to design the pins online. Stores like tradingpinstore.com offer deliver services also which further makes shopping for them convenient.

How To Plan A Retirement House For Thailand – Essential Factors To Consider

Pitching Your House Specification – The Important Factors

You probably already have a good idea of ​​the type, size, layout etc of the house you are planning to build in Thailand for your retirement. After reading this article you may decide to review your ideas.

In the time it has taken to get my house half finished in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand, two colleges have seen their homes started and completed and at half the cost.

In fact the build of our house has turned out to be a nightmare of the kind you hear about in the news or read on the Thai forum websites.

On the other hand, these other houses were built quickly and easily with no hassles at all. (Compared to my problems anyway)

So what was the difference between their house and ours that made all the difference?

It All Begins With The Concept – What You Want Your House To Be

What you want your house to be will depend upon many factors, who will use it, how do they want to use it and more importantly who is the house for and what are their expectations?

Who Is The House Intended For?

Our house was especially my design. The layout of the rooms, style of house, type and quality of finishes etc. was based on what I wanted as a retirement house and was of quite a generous standard. My Thai wife of course loved it.

My colleges 'houses on the other hand appeared to be based on the minimum that they could "get away with" while satisfying their Thai wives' requirements. Essentially those houses were based on a Thai wife's expectations. They were designed for the Thai wife not for themselves.

The standard of houses in the west tend to be much higher than in Thailand and the westerners demand more 'mod cons', western kitchen, security doors and windows, high grade fittings and finishes etc. On the other hand, such features of western houses are not commonly found in Thailand, the Thai spouse is not aware of them and does not need them. Here a house based on a Thai wife's perspective can be much simpler and cheaper than a house based on western standards.

Sometimes the designs of these other houses were simply copied from one of the many pre-designed Thai homes that you can download from the Thai Government website. In short they were off-the-peg houses.

In contrast I had a set of construction drawings produced by a registered Thai Architect in Bangkok and the set of drawings comprised some 42 sheets! I'm glad I had those house plans made and for my large, high spec house, they are essential.

Key Thai House Configuration Considerations

Whereas there are a number of key considerations that will significantly affect the cost and time to construct a retirement house built in any country, number and size of rooms for example, there are some key consideration that apply specifically to a retirement house built in Thailand.

These key considerations refer to the differences in what is considered as normal practice in a Thai house and in a western house. The key considerations are related to the number of floors, the bathroom, the kitchen where there are fundamental differences in approach between western practice and Thai practice. Another key considerations is wherever the house is to be provided with air conditioning or not.

One Or Two Floors

What number of levels you intend to have is one of the most important criteria that can affect the price and speed of building your retirement house in Thailand. For thousands of years Thai homes are built with the living spaces lifted from the ground on timber or concrete columns, or 'posts' as the Thai describe them. A standard Thai house may exhibit, for example, a dozen posts set in a 3 x 4 matrix, and this is termed a "12 post house".

My own retirement house is a "16 post house" and the upper story containing the living spaces is 3 m above ground floor level. This is significantly harder to construct and costlier than a bungalow construction having all the living accommodation on the ground floor.

I unduly wanted to have a post house, and my Thai wife really likes it, but I'm convinced she would have been equally happy with a bungalow. I am paying for my idea to have a traditional Thai post house both in terms of cost and time to construct.

So think wisely if you definitely want a post house or if you can put up with a one-floor construction which will be less expensive and faster to build.

Bathroom Or Shower Room

This is a further decision that is most likely to s the price and period to build your retirement house and again, it is a Thai compared to Western subject.

Conventional style and basic Thai houses are often not provided with a bath as is usually common in a western bathroom. Surprisingly, I prefer not to have a bathtub, because I do not use one. I usually enjoy a shower that's why a basic shower room is all I want.

Unusual for a Thai, though my wife does like to relax in a bath tub filled with hot water and those smelly bath salts or bubble bath. So we are having a bath tub. Since we have a walk-in shower room, we are having two 'bathrooms', one is a western style bathroom with hand wash basin, WC and bat tub, the other a shower room with hand wash basin and shower only. Again, the decisions are made on the basis of answering the question 'who is the house for?'.

Type of Kitchen – Thai Style or Western Style Kitchen

The style of kitchen you decide to construct is another area that can have a large impact on the cost of the house. Traditionally a lot of preparation of Thai food for cooking is done on the floor. Even though we have a normal western style kitchen in our house in the UK, my wife still put the 'crok' on the floor to pound the ingredient eg for a nam prick.

Also the Thai food is often cooked on a single heat source, or at most two heat sources, one for the rice and the other for a pot of food, eg soup.

In line with this pattern of usage, Thai kitchens traditionally are very simple affairs, and do not have the long waist level counter tops and ovens like a western style kitchen. Frequently the Thai kitchen even in modern Thai houses, is not an enclosed room, but is a simple external area with a roof and sometimes a short table and sink.

So you do not really need the expense of a western style kitchen will all the counter tops, cupboards, cookers, grilles, cooker hoods etc that go into a modern western home.

In Thailand you will need a refrigerator but many Thai kitchens do not have a freezer or a washing machine for clothes or dishes.

Again, my retirement house in Thailand is designed with a western style kitchen, complete with long granite counter-top and integral dual sink, Fridge and Freezer. Provision of cupboards, drawers and washing machines is not part of the current scheme, however, but may be provided later.

How to Protect Your Home From Winter

The winter season is upon us. Just as we change our lifestyles and routines to fit with the seasons, we must also adapt our homes to the changes. While we're getting ready to cozy up indoors and bring out the heavy-duty winter wools, we need to make sure our home is ready to bear the coming onslaught of snow, dirt, slush, and salt.

The winter season brings with it challenges that are not purely seasonal in nature; the holiday season comes with a heavy increase in foot traffic around the house as people spend a lot of time indoors. This double effect can combine to do some real damage to your beautiful hardwood floors if you are not prepared. Let's take a quick look at how the changing season can harm your flooring and how you can prevent this from happening.

Common Winter Elemental Damages

Gap formation: The air that your air-conditioning systems will be circulating through your home in the winter season is much drier than the type of air that circulates during the summer months. The effect this has on wood is that it causes it to slightly lose its moisture content, leading to the creation of small gaps where planks meet. You should not worry too much about this, as it's to be expected. Once temperatures warm up, they will absorb a bit of moisture and return to normal.

Scratches and scrapes: Mud, salt, dead leaves, dirt, and snow can all combine to create unsightly scratches and scrapes on your floors once they are unintentionally brought into the house on the bottoms of boots and shoes.

Rot: If left to lie untouched for long enough, some of these winter elements can make their way into your flooring, causing the wood to rot. This is to be avoided at all costs, as serious cases may make it necessary to seek professional services to repair.
What Can I Do To Avoid Them?

Maintain temperatures: What leads to the creation of gaps in your flooring is the changing temperature levels and humidity. A good way to counteract this effect is to maintain your thermostat settings at a constant even temperature, avoiding turning your heat up and down.

Clean up: Regularly sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming your floors prior the build-up of sludge and leftover snow that may lead lead to rot.

Take the shoes off: Simply taking off shoes and boots before coming indoors will go a long way in avoiding most of the winter-borne floor difficulties. Before they come indoors, have your family and friends take note!

Cover up: Rugs, carpets, and floor-mats are a great way to protect your floors, especially in high-traffic areas which experience the most stress. Unwanted elements simply will not have the chance to get at your floors.

Know what you're dealing with: Gaining a good understanding of exactly what type of floor you're trying to protect will make your job a whole lot easier. Having information about your hardwood floor areas such as how old they are, how much money you have invested in them over time, etc. will help you determine just how much time, effort, and money would be reasonably used up in protecting them.

3 Must Have Kitchen Appliances

You can not a kitchen and enjoy preparing food without kitchen appliances. Other than the stove, the refrigerator there are a few essential products that can be extremely helpful. You might think that I would mention the microwave as one of the essentials in the kitchen but I do not believe so. I wish that I can own one but I always hesitate once I think about some of the risks that come with using a microwave. I just can not allow my family to be heating their food in something that is known to be harmful.

Sure it can be extremely handy but I would not want to get used to using it, besides it is completely normal for me to heat up food on the stove top. You might also think that the dishwasher is another essential but I also do not believe so. It might be a little more convenient than hand washing dishes but is not a must have.

Some of the must have appliances in the kitchen include a blender, a juicer, a toaster and a bread maker.

Having a blender can help you with many recipes. It is the best way to puree liquid-like vegetables like tomatoes. It would be very difficult to make the perfect spaghetti sauce without a blender. Most blender come with bean grinders that are great to turn seeds or course spices into a powder form. I have been able to blend granulated sugar into powdered sugar in minutes. This is the number one kitchen appliance to have after the essentials.

Every kitchen should have a juicer. How else can you make fresh healthy juices without one. If there was a way to make something like carrot juice without a juicer than it would not be on the list. Many people who decide to get healthy almost always head out for a juicer. You can get a glass full of vitamins and minerals in just a few seconds. The great thing about a juice maker is that it removes and separates the skin and pulp from the liquid so you do not have to use a strainer.

Top 7 Tips on How to Hire a Builder

Are you looking for a builder for your new house? If so, you can use the following 7 tips to choose and work with the right contractor. Read on.

Get Recommendations

You can discuss your needs with your friends and family. Beside, you can contact the National Association of the Remodeling Industry to get a list of good contractors in your area. It's also a good idea to consult a good building inspector.

Conduct Interviews

Once you have got the list, you can make calls to each of the contractors and ask them relevant questions. You can ask them about the projects that they took, the financial references, the subcontractors that they work with and so on.

Meet in person

Based on the interviews you conducted over phone, you can choose a few contractors. You can then meet them for further discussions about the project. Good contractors will answer your questions until you are satisfied. Generally, it's not a good idea to hire a professional with a track record of a lot of disputes. You can contact your local BBB to make sure the one you have selected is reliable.

Meet the former clients

You can contact the former clients of the contractor to know how their building project went. It will be great if they get ready to show you the finished building. However, you should not depend on the results alone. What you should do is visit the current site and check how the contractor is working on the project. Is he using safe methods? Are the workers careful enough? This will give you a pretty good idea about the reliability of the contractor you are going to hire.

Ask forids

Once you have shortlisted a few good candidates, you should look forward to the project. Qualified contractors need blueprints as well as a clear idea of ​​what the homeowner wants from the project. In addition, they need to know how much the homeowner is willing to spend. You can ask for bids to make sure you hire the best yet the least expensive contractor.

Deciding Factors

Your goal is not to hire the lowest bidder. The lowest bidder may cut corners or he may be desperate for work. In a strong economy, this is not a good sign. The most important thing that you should keep in mind when hiring a contractor is to make sure he will stay in touch with you through the project. It's better to spend a bit more and hire someone who will be easy to work with.

Put it in Writing

You should draw a contract that will show the details of the project. Make sure everything is in writing. Making verbal promises is not a sign of professionalism. Therefore, you should write down everything before signing the contract with the contractor.

So, these are a few tips that can help you hire the best builder for your project. By hiring the right builder, you can get the project done in a timely fashion while saving a good deal of money.

Road Rage and the Psychology Behind It

Road rage has been around for ages, but it is becoming an even greater problem. Many experts attribute the issue that is quickly becoming an epidemic to the fast paced nature of our lives in today’s society. Multitasking is everything which is why more and more drivers are focused on their phone or other things while driving. In other words, researchers think that distracted driving has a lot to do with road rage, but also the sheer desire to get where you are going quicker.

Overall, people seem more aggressive, more angry, and more likely to floor it when behind the wheel. Road rage can look like a wide variety of things, ranging from weaving through cars to racing other cars. There are even more severe forms of road rage hitting headlines such as pulling over and having fist fights or even worse, gun fights.

Statistically, road rage is mostly seen out of men, who tend to be more aggressive drivers overall which is why they also have higher auto insurance premiums. But, more and more women are showing aggressive behavior behind the wheel, too, providing evidence for the earlier theory that life is moving faster for everyone. But, men are still more likely to act outwardly, and the majority of fist fights are caused by male drivers.

So, here is some of the psychology behind road rage. Aggressive driving habits is an ailment that affects even people who appear mild tempered in their day-to-day lives which is all the more confusing. But, psychologists have found that one reason people may have road rage is that they feel people are violating their space on the road and they act out in desire of having more control. Others have some type of pent up or hidden anger that goes left unaccounted for in other areas of their life, so they lash out at other drivers on the road.

This behavior is always dangerous when operating a vehicle, but there are a few tell tale signs that you need to resolve your angry feelings that are unleashed while on the road. Experts say that it becomes a major issue when there are consequences. This means any sort of confrontations, so citations from police, arrests, fist fights, accidents, and more. One consequence that can also be brutal is having your license suspended which means court appearances, increased insurance rates, and possibly having to file an SR-22.

Other signs that your road rage is becoming unmanageable is when you let one event ruin your whole day or that it is always the other drivers fault.

There are a few preventative steps you can take if the road rage issue is slowly creeping up on you. Try the stress breathing method when you feel frustration bubbling up inside: inhale for a count of four, hold for count of four and repeat as many times as you need. Another solution is to concentrate on having positive thinking. Both steps are easier said than done, but the first step is realizing it is a problem and at least trying to prevent it.

Another extra motivating factor is if you have kids. Kids’ minds are sponges that observe and replicate your behavior due to lack of any other experience. So, it is crucial that you practice safe and calm driving habits to set a good example.

Road rage is becoming an even bigger issue as evidenced by the increased incidents in the media. So, it is vital to be self aware and prevent personal aggressive driving habits.

Employment Contracts

When you start working for someone, be it an individual or a company, you automatically enter into an employment contract. As an employee, it is essential you are familiar with the terms and conditions you have agreed to, and what implications these have. If you do then encounter a dispute with your employer, you can be confident of your legal position.

What is an Employment Contract?

A contract of employment is an agreement between an employer and employee. This may either be a written, verbal or an implied understanding. Either way, the contract is intended to set out the particular terms of the rights, responsibilities and duties of both employer and employee.

You enter into a contract as soon as resignation work. The very fact you have started your job is enough to indicate that you agree with the terms of employment, even if you are not certain what these are. For the sake of clarity, it is a good idea to request a copy of your contract in writing – something you are entitled to within two months of being employed. Should you later face a dispute with your employer, your written contract could prove very useful.

You are then bound to your employment contract until it comes to and end, either because you have been given notice, or because you and your employer have agreed to change the terms.

Terms of an Employment Contract.

The terms of an employment contract will differ in every case, and will be specifically dependent on whether you are working under a fixed term contract, part-time contract, in continuous employment or have flexible hours. However, if you do request a written document of your contract – known as a 'principal statement' – then this should at the very least contain: –

* The legal name of both employer and employee;

* The employee's job title, with a brief description of duties;

* The date employment commenced;

* Details of pay, how this has been calculated and when it is to be paid;

* Any entitlements – such as holiday leave and sick pay;

* The address of the place of work.

Contractual Disagreements.

Should you face any contractual disagreements with your employer – for example, because your employer has failed to comply with the terms of the contract – then you should begin by trying to settle the matter internally. Speak to your employer and attempt to discuss your grievance. It may be that it was a simple misunderstanding, and the issue can be easily rectified. If you feel nervous doing so, you may want to seek support from a trade union representative first.

If you are unable to resolve the disagreement between you, the next step is to contact Acas – the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. They will assist you with dispute resolution, often successfully helping conciliation.

However, should this fail, you may then want to consider taking your grievance to an Employment Tribunal. Before you do so, it is important to obtain legal assistance.

Seek Legal Advice.

If you have any questions regarding an employment contract, speak to solicitor who specializes in employment law. They will be able to discuss the terms of your employment contract with you, advising you on both yours and your employer's legal responsibilities, and whether or not these have been breached.

Moving With The Full Service Moving Companies

With the community people are at their works all the time. Such works sometimes definite the destinations for the people like us. People have to make the move whenever they need. But the moving is very stressful work, as there are lots of planning and activities to be done. That is where the movers’ websites come good for the people who intend to move to a complete different location.

The maximum part of moving revolves around of choosing the right Florida relocation service. There are hundreds of moving and relocation service providers across the United States both for the local and the distance move. Whatever move it has been, people have to decide on the accurate moving company with the proper planning and groundwork. As the process goes, the internet is the right thing to get in touch with the right moving company and people can compare their pricing as well.

When the initial research work has been done, individual who is about to move have to find out how the Fort Myers Moving Companies will insure for the belongings a person is planning to be conveyed. It will be wiser enough to know how the moving company get the effect of the moving work all phases of the move and ask to give details how it will move the possessions of moving. Get to know the company’s use of specific apparatus, types of shipping cartons and containers, and other services that may be required by the people who is going to move, including required services to the destination.

There are full services moving companies that offer wide range of moving plans and related moving services like packing and unpacking the some particular things, piano packing and reassembling and pet moving etc. They handle all relocation services from reserving the moving vehicles to packing your property to helping you with real estate related services in the city or the state people are moving to.

Most of reputed moving companies are the members of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) and kind of local moves are supervised by the Federal Department of Transportation (DOT). For these reason moving companies are provoked to be accountable for the damages and liabilities. The moving companies are attentive of the laws which they have to comply with.

Through the way of proper planning and the research moving can ease away the moving hazards, as the moving is made to a new destination based on some specific dreams.

How To Maintain A Clean Home With Carpet Cleaners

One of the most difficult challenges that you will probably face is keeping your home clean. This can be especially true if you have young children or teenagers. Maintaining a clean home is difficult because it often looks like the very minute that you clean a room, it is destroyed by something and in need of another cleaning. One of the most difficult things to clean in your home are the rugs and carpets that you use to make it beautiful. Carpets and rugs are difficult to clean because they are often made from fabrics that are very fragile and delicate. Because of the risk of damaging your expensive carpets and rugs it may be a good idea for you to hire a carpet cleaners to do the cleaning work for you. A comprehensive and thorough clean which will be done by the professionals will ensure that the carpet is cleaned all the way down to the very root of the fibers. A surface clean will only remove the top layer of dirt, its vital dirt and germs are tackled at the very base.

There are many reasons that you should find a reliable carpet cleaners to visit your home regularly, but one of the most important reasons is that these companies have special equipment and chemicals that can safely clean your carpets and rugs without damaging them. The carpet cleaners will help to provide a healthy living & working environment for the home and office. Often, people think that they can use any carpet cleaning agent on anything in their home. This can lead do discoloration and damage to the delicate fibers of expensive carpets and rugs.

If you find yourself in a situation where you think that carpet cleaning would be able to help the look of your home, you will want to get some information on the companies that are in your area. The first thing that you will want to do is pull your phone out and look for carpet cleaning. This will give you an idea of ​​how many cleaning companies are around and how much research you will have to do.

The next step is to get on the Internet and do a search for the different cleaning companies that you found in the phonebook. Doing this will give you information on each individual cleaning company so that you can take notes and compare the services that are offered with the prices that those services are offered. Try to read any reviews from current or past customers to get an idea about what kind of customer service and actual quality of carpet cleaning that each cleaning company provides. Once you have gathered this information, you will be able to make an informed decision on a carpet cleaners. If you are interested, it may be a good idea to invite a representative from the carpet cleaners business to your home to do an assessment and price quote.

Copyright @ Fast Cleaners Ltd

Simple WooCommerce Tips to Make Your Store Better

  • Consider the Navigation of Your WooCommerce Store

We recommend you to flatten the navigation of your website. A flat website architecture shortens the number of clicks a customer will need to perform to reach their desired destination, and it’s a pretty popular model. They will display the links to their most popular pages plus any new or highly relevant content (like sales, or limited-edition products).

With the help of this flattened, condensed menu structure the number of clicks between the homepage and the deepest layer (or customer destination page) is greatly reduced. As a result, a visitor of your online shop will find the needed page easily. The most important of this navigation model is a great way to improve your SEO since it makes your site easier for search engine bots to crawl as well.

  • Make your Products visible with Categories and Subcategories

One of the most common mistakes people make when designing a WooCommerce store it that they forget to add categories and subcategories. When a customer visits your store, it is very likely they need to sort items during their search and categories provide a quick way for them to do that. In addition, you can use the subcategories to further narrow results.

The first big reason is for SEO. The more specific pages you have with long tail key words the more likely it is that new customers will discover you in search engines like Google or Bing.

  • Add Live Search to WooCommerce

In an effort to make it easy for your customers to find exactly what they want we also recommend using Live Search. These prospects will be able to view out the most popular and relevant search results of your eCommerce site in real time speeding up the online shopping process.

  • Create Your Own Unique Product Descriptions

Here content is a king. You need to create a truly unique content without copy-pasting. In the end, duplicate content is another common mistake user do while building their WooCommerce stores.

It’s very easy to just copy and paste content from one product page to another. As tempting as this can be make your best to avoid it. You’ll find your pages will stand a much better chance of snagging a top search ranking if you write your own unique descriptions.

  • Improve Content Internal Linking

Internal linking has always been a must thing for any successful online business. The idea is that visitors to your site read one blog article and click the links to other related posts. But today we are talking about WooCommerce sites specifically, and this is another common mistake of eCommerce website owner.

  • Speed Up Your WooCommerce Store

Increasing your site speed makes your SEO better. Search engines like Google take page load times into consideration. It’s more likely for a page that loads in a second or two to rank higher than a page that takes thirty. Secondly, today even a 5-seconds delay will make your customers want to leave and it’s a top contributor to an increased bounce rate.

Basic Tool List for Minor Drywall Repairs

Drywall repair involves a lot of steps. It’s more than just mud and patching. In fact, you are wise to leave moderate to major drywall renovation in the hands of an equipped professional. They have the tools, training, and experience to manage any drywall repair project, regardless of size or scope. However, if you are ambitious about making your own minor repairs, you’ll at least need the basic tools to get you started.

Keep in mind that these tools are not cheap, so you must consider whether or not they are worth the investment. Unless you have future drywall renovation plans, it may be more cost-effective to outsource drywall work rather than invest in your own materials for just one job.

Here’s What You’ll Need

The basic tool kit for minor drywall repairs should consists of at least 6 particular items. These include a putty knife, mud pans, sanding sponge, sandpaper, drywall tape, and corner tools. You can find these supplies at any local home improvement or hardware store, such as Lowes, Menards, and Home Depot.

Mud Pans

Your mud pan is a staple in your drywall tool kit because it will improve work efficiency. You will use it to carry around your drywall compound with you as you work. Professional remodeling contractors use hawks, but mud pans are best for small jobs and beginners.

Putty Knife

There are several types of putty knives, ranging in sizes between 2 inches and one foot. You will need to be sure you choose one that is right for minor wall repair projects. Anything under 6 inches should work well.

Sanding Sponge and Sandpaper

With virtually all drywall repair projects, painting is expected to be on the agenda. And with painting comes sanding. You will need to smooth down the drywall compound for a smooth painting surface. The proper grit sandpaper or sanding sponge are two tools that will help you achieve the best results during the sanding steps.

Drywall Tape

For small holes and drywall cracks, you will need tape to secure them in place and ensure the crevices do not reappear beneath the compound. Larger holes should be covered with adhesive mesh or special self-adhesive sheets.

Corner Tools

You will need corner tools for drywall repairs in the hard-to-reach corners of walls. Not only will this reduce stress on your muscles, it will make your work progress more efficient. Just be sure to find the right corner tools for small repair jobs.

Choosing the Best Feeding Bottle

Do not Buy Too Many Bottles for Newborns
Before your baby arrives, it is necessary for you to buy his feeding bottles. Breastfeeding is still best for babies! However, if milk supply is lacking and your baby's demands are high, you may need to feed him on bottles. So, better be prepared than sorry. Buying a couple of bottles per brand is better than buying in bulk. Babies have exact preferences right from the start, especially items that touch their mouth. Let your baby try some bottles and see how he responds. If you think your baby likes a certain brand, you can always purchase more bottles later on. If your baby is not happy with the bottles you chose, try out new brand available in the market.

Bottle Nipple Shape May Be Important
If you are a breastfeeding mother, you might want to consider bottles with wide-base nipples that resemble a mother's breast and nipple. There are babies that have difficulties switching from the mother's breast to bottle nipples. However, if you are formula-feeding your baby, the shape of the nipple of his bottle is not that important as long as he is happily eating from it.

Nipple Flow Rate Matters, Too
It is also important to look at the flow rate of the feeding bottles you purchase. Different brands offer a variation of bottles which have different speed of nipple flow rate. There are brands that sell nipples designed for slow or fast flow. Newborns usually need slower flow nipples at first. It is important to that that they do not have to gulp away their dinner. Fast flow nipples can cause tummy troubles for newborns. However, some newborns may not like slow newborn flow nipples. You might need to try a bit to find the best for your babies. And also, you should plan to purchase nipples which have faster flow rate as your baby grows.

Bottle Materials – Glass or Plastic
Plastic bottles are easier to hold, considering the tiny hands of babies. Unfortunately, recent news say that chemicals are found in some plastics and because of this, a lot of parents choose to let their babies use the classic glass feeding bottles. These glass bottles are easy to clean and can last a long time. But it is risky to cuts if it breaks so we should handle it with extra care. There are several cloth covers for these glass bottles. On the other hand, plastic bottles are economical and can be easily found in stores. However, these plastic bottles may not last longer than the glass bottles. It is very important to look for BPA – free plastic bottles. Also, avoid putting plastic bottles in microwaves. There are liquid baby cleaning soaps to clean these bottles. Once a bottle gets scratched, cloudy or damaged, you should dispose it right away.

Bottle Shapes and Vent Systems
Babies are very fragile. Parents should know the abilities of their babies to be able to give them the best care they need. As for drinking milk and eating, some babies swallow more air than other babies as they eat. Other babies are more prone to tummy discomforts compared to others. For babies that tend to be irritable and uneasy after meals, bottles with an air vent system or those angled shape bottles are recommended. These can help prevent so much air from going inside baby's tummy. This may reduce post-meal fussiness. Always remember to buy bottles that can be easily cleaned. Check if a special bottle brush can fit inside. It is important that your baby's bottles are clean.

Drop-In Bottle Liners
Bottle liners are available in the market nowdays. If you do not like washing the bottles, consider the drop-in bottle liners. These adjustable plastic bags fit inside the bottles and can be disposed after your baby's meals. Only the nipple needs to be washed carefully and rinse the other parts in running water. This type of bottle is also good because there will be no chemicals leaching into your baby's meals. The downside of this is that you are adding more trash to your local landfill.

Nipple Materials – Preference and Safety
Clear silicone nipples are more popular than the dark-colored latex bottle nipples. Unlike those latex nipples, these clear silicone nipples do not pick up tastes or smells even after many uses. They do not also carry the implicit for allergies that latex can. Babies find it harder to chew the holes of silicone nipple that's why there is much less risk of choking on a material from this kind of nipples. However, you should still be careful and watch your babies when eating / drinking milk especially when baby sprouts new teeth.

Size Matters for Baby Bottles
Newborn babies usually feels full with 4-ounce of milk. They do not eat much in one sitting. Although you also need to change the size of your baby's bottles quickly because they require more food per meal as they grow. Babies grow fast! Try to look for bottles that have easy-to-read measurements on them, even if it is full with milk.

E-Commerce for Brick-And-Mortar Retailers and Wholesalers

Do you have a store that sells a product? Perhaps you have been serving your local community for sometime now, expertly selling your product. You would like find new customers and increase sales. You know that the Internet has been responsible for creating wealth for countless entrepreneurs, but you still have not figured out how the Internet can help your business.

If you are a small to medium size retailer or wholesaler who would like to learn how the Internet can create more revenue with minimal cost increase, then this article is for you. If you already have a web store, and are not happy with you current results, this article will be helpful to you as well.

Why limit your sales to your local community when the whole world is available to sell to? If you sell items that are shippable, then you owe it to yourself and your business to establish an e-commerce platform. The following information will help you get ready for this transition. You will either need to have a member of your staff who is very Internet and computer savvy, or you will need to hire an outside Internet Marketing company.

1. Prepare your inventory

First, make sure that you have an accurate count of your existing stock. There is nothing worse than selling a product on your website only to go to find that it's not on the shelf when you go ship. This creates multiple problems.

First, you need to figure out if you can actually fulfill the order. Can you restock the item fast enough so that the customer will still be satisfied?

Secondly, you will need to contact your customer and break the news. If you are unable to fulfill their order, I recommend offering a coupon with a discount-off their next order. You need to convince your customer that you are not in the habit of selling items you do not have. You also need to entice them to try your shop again when they have the need again. I usually offer a 10% off coupon code that can be used one time. Do not forget to refund their money PROMPTLY!

If you are able to restock and fulfill the order, tell the customer immediately that there will be a delay. DO NOT wait for them to contact you looking for their order. Its better that they know the same day they place the order. I recommend contacting them via telephone and following up with an e-mail. This will tell your customer that there is a living, breathing person behind this website that they justave their money to. I recommend offering to refund their money immediately if the new timeframe does not work for them. If you do these things, more than likely the customer will be understanding and accept the later shipment. Offer them a coupon for their next order!

The lesson learned here is: be sure you know what's on the shelf before you start selling to the rest of the world.

Specific Details on Inventory Preparation

For every item that you plan to sell on the web, gather and catalog the following information:
1. Item Name
2. A unique id number (if it has a bar code, use it!)
3. Item Description
4. Unit of Measure (each, case, etc)
5. Weight – Use pounds and ounces in the US
6. Item dimensions
7. Manufacturer Name
8. Manufacturer ID number
9. Your cost
10. Your listing price
11. MSRP (optional)
12. Any variations (color, size, etc.)

While performing this gathering of information, it is also a good idea to take a product photo or find one readily available on the web. Please try to size your photos to 800×600 pixels at 72 DPI. (Helpful hint: use your unique id number to name your photo: "uniqueid.jpg")

2. Prepare to accept web payments
• Go to your bank and request a merchant account. You can also call upon a virtually limitless pool of merchant services providers. Be sure to compare costs.
• Get an Authorize.net account
• Sign up for a Paypal account

3. Identify your shippers
• Generally, you will want to offer shipping through USPS, UPS and FedEx. If shipping large items that require a freight hauler, be sure to know who you will use and know how to access their rates.
• I recommend establishing online accounts with any agency you plan to ship with.
• If you do not already own a parcel scale, get one!

4. Gather sales tax information
In most states, you will need to charge sales tax to customers ordering and receiving goods in your home state. Some states have a different sales tax by county and municipality.

5. Construct your website and shopping cart
I recommend hiring someone who is knowledgeable in this arena. E-commerce websites are a special science. There are a few "do-it-yourself" platforms available, such as Network Solutions E-Commerce, but generally, these pre-packaged programs are very limited in design capabilities and you may find that there are certain features you would like that are not available. Support is very limited unless you are willing to pay for it.

Do your homework and hire an e-commerce consultant who has experience in building web stores. This person can either set you up to manage the website yourself, or be there for ongoing support.

6. TEST, TEST, TEST!
Be sure to run several test orders before going live. It is important that you are able to successfully receive order information, able to effectively transfer this data into your in-house inventory system and be able to fulfill the order in a reasonable amount of time.

7. Market your new website
• Submit your website to major search engines.
• Utilize social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc)
• Get listed on your Chamber of Commerce website
• Submit your listings to Google Shopping, Amazon, Monster Marketplace, etc.
• Exchange links with other websites – offer to advertise your collections' websites in exchange for them advertising yours.

Other Considerations

Mobile Version: More and more people are using smartphones, iPhones and tablets for browsing the internet and making purchases. Do not lose out on this valuable sector!

Data Handling: If you are successful in attracting new business, you may need to consider an automated method of moving sales information from your new website to your in-house accounting software. Your e-commerce consultant should be able to provide a method for doing so.

Drop-shipping is a very lucrative aspect to e-commerce. If you have an established relationship with a vendor, ask about their drop-shipping capabilities. This way, you will not need to actually stock the item you are selling. Once you receive an order, you can notify your vendor of the sale, provide shipping information and have them "blind-ship" the item to your customer. They may even be able to include a copy of your invoice and place your return address on the package. Be prepared to pay a small fee for this service if it's available. You can either absorb this cost into your profit margin, or pass the cost to your customer via a "handling change."

Coupons: I mentioned these earlier. I am a big believer in online coupons for many different purposes. You can give your best customers a special discount code. These codes can also be included in e-mail and snail-mail marketing. They can be used in social media. Advantages to using online coupon codes:
1. You set the discount.
2. You set the expiration.
3. You control how many times they can be used.
4. You can control exactly which products are eligible … and which are not.
5. You can easily track their usage and profitability.

Conclusion:
By taking your regular inventory and making it available to the rest of the world, you will certainly increase your revenue with minimal extra cost. Most of the extra cost does come up front in the creation of your e-commerce store. There are many different companies who offer these services. Be sure to do your homework and choose the e-commerce consultant who has considerable experience and success. If you or one of your employees are Internet and computer savvy, you can certainly build an e-commerce platform on your own … just be sure to take into consideration the learning curve. With today's technology, almost anyone can build and launch a website. An e-commerce website is a science all in itself.

Headed to a Ski Lodge? Here’s Your Shopping List

If a trip to a ski lodge is in your near future, it’s time to begin thinking through what you’ll need to pack. Many first-time and novice skiers wonder what to pack for their ski vacations. And, the packing list might require a trip to an outdoor sports supply store. In extreme temperatures, your primary goal is to stay warm, dry and safe. And, since you will be exerting lots of energy, you’ll want to stay hydrated and keep your energy levels up.

Headed to a ski lodge? Here’s your shopping list:

1. Waterproof clothing. First things first, you’re headed to a ski lodge and temperatures are likely colder than you expect. In addition to the typical items you might think of, such as heavy sweaters, hats and gloves, you’ll need to purchase items like wool-blend waterproof socks, waterproof ski jackets, gloves and pants to stay comfortable during long periods of activity on the slopes.

2. Ski socks. Ski socks are waterproof and will help keep your feet warm and dry. They also provide extra padding that you will be thankful for once you begin tackling the bumps and curves of the ski slope.

3. Neck gaiter. A neck gaiter is a tube worn around your neck that can also be pulled up over your mouth to protect you from the wind and cold while skiing or snowboarding. It may not be as fashionable as a scarf, but once you’re exposed to the cold temperatures, you’ll be glad you have it.

4. Long underwear. To stay warm, you’ll want to dress in layers, including long johns, or long underwear.

5. Ski equipment. You’ll need poles, boots and skis, but you can rent those items at your destination. You may, however, want to shop for ski goggles – which will come in handy should it begin to snow – and a helmet and pack those items for your trip.

6. Snacks. Don’t forget, skiing is physically demanding! You’ll want to keep your energy levels up by eating healthy snacks. Items like pretzels, fruit and grain bars, dried fruit and vegetables and nuts are great options to have on hand.

7. Hydration pack. It is important to stay hydrated while skiing and hydration packs are a great option if you’re unlikely to take frequent water breaks. Hydration packs can be worn comfortably on your back and allow you to easily drink while active. Remember to refill them on your breaks!

8. Moisturizer. Winter conditions are cold and dry. Pack moisturizer for your face and body to keep your skin healthy and comfortable. You’ll also want to purchase a lip balm with sunscreen to keep your lips properly moisturized and protected from the sun.

9. Sunscreen. The risk for overexposure to the sun’s UV radiation is increased for skiers due to higher altitudes and UV rays reflected by the snow. To avoid increased risk of sun damage and skin cancer, sunscreen should always be used during outdoor activities, even skiing!

10. Hand warmers. Hand warmers are small, disposable packets that provide on-demand heat. They can be activated by air, a solution or battery-powered and range in staying power for anywhere from one to 10 hours.