How to Select Artichoke Lamps For Your Interiors

As the name suggests, artichoke lamps mimic the design of the simple artichoke. Proper lighting plays a vital role in creating visually appealing interiors. Good lights and lamps can convert any ordinary or drab space into a visually appealing space. That is why there has been a spate of innovating designs in lighting in the recent years. First released in 1958, artichoke lamps may be used as table lamps, wall mounted lamps and for overhead lighting. Although the lamps may be used on the wall, its greatest appeal is when it is used as central lighting in a room.

The design of the lamp is such that light is diffused by overlapping sections of the lamp. As light shimmers in between the leaves and builds off the various surfaces, there is a play of light and shade that looks mesmerizing. The lamp looks best when it is placed above eye level. It has a chrome diffuser on the inside that reflect light. The source of light could be a fluorescent bulb, metal halide or an incandescent bulb. In fact, artichoke lamps look just like chandeliers, but with a modern twist to it. No wonder these designs are hot favorites! Even after 55 years in the market, artichoke lamps are considered fashionable and desirable. Many of the designer lamps are quite expensive and can not be afforded by ordinary folks. Typically, expensive lamps are those made in the period between 1958 and 1970. The affordable lamps come in a very stylish design. They may be in stainless steel, white painted or copper.

Tips to select artichoke lamps:

* The first step is to decide where you want the lamp and how it should be. Night lamps and table lamps are attractive but they are small and almost always placed at eye level or even below it. If you want the lamp to look spectacular and become the focal point in the room, it is probably best placed in the center of the room attached to the ceiling.

* Select the lamp according to the decor of the room. So, if the room is futuristic, the lamp could be made of stainless steel or copper. White is exceptionally beautiful in a room that contrasts with the white color of the lamp.

* In case the lamp is to be the focal point of the room, it is important to place the lamp in a space of its own, where its light will not be cut off by anything else. A wide open space is the best.

* Artichoke lamps must not be placed where there is a lot of dust. They are a little difficult to clean.

Lamps and lights have always been vital to the visual appeal of a room. If you want your room to look spectacular, you can not ignore lighting. Of all the available options, artichoke lamps are one of the most stylish, stunning and magnificent.

Flooring Solutions: Different Types of Screed

The solution which is used for preparation of the floor of any house is known as screed. Screeding is considered to be one of the most essential steps in flooring, which plays an important role in ensuring the quality and durability of the flooring.

Different Types of Screed

The most popular kinds of screed that are available are sand cement screed and liquid screed. Screed is available in different varieties, some of which are mentioned below. Check them out:

• Sand Cement Flooring Solution

Sand cement flooring solution is considered to be the traditional way of preparing the floor before applying the final touches. In the traditional screed, sand and cement is mixed at a ratio of 3:5. This type has been used since ages for flooring because they are suitable for receiving any type of floor covering. In fact, fibers can be added in proper ratio into the mixture to eliminate the micro cracks and scratches from the surface.

• Sand and Cement along with chemicals

Chemicals can be added with the cement and sand screed to improve the screed property. Additives are often mixed with such screed to bring extra strength in the application and these help the liquid dry faster.

• Liquid Screed

Nowadays, everyone wants their house to look attractive with colourful or functional floors. This is where the importance of a screed comes into the picture. A screed which is laid well, helps in extending the light of the floor and increases its quality, whereas, a bad screed can adversely affect the quality of the floor and reviving the floor to good condition can drain your pocket. So, utmost care should be taken while choosing the perfect screed.

• Calcium Sulphite Screed

Adding calcium sulphate with sand and water also makes a screed that has unique properties. Though it takes longer time to dry, but the application process is easy and effective.

How to Take Proper Protection of the Application?

The flooring screed works on electric power and so it is very much essential to ensure that no electrical fault takes place. Health and safety of the workplace should be conserved at the very beginning. The depth of the floor prevents the under floor heating to take place, so a specific floor depth should always be maintained. Also, it requires proper observation to ensure the building is water-tight or not. Proper measurement and crack control are two other factors that need good attention.

Among other protection measures taken by the contractor, the below mentioned two should be appropriately taken care off:

• Allowing sufficient time to the floor to dry up properly

• Mixing of sand and cement screed at proper proportion

The screeds may experience wearing or cracks and can only be subsided if the floor cover is fitted on time. So, to ensure durability and quality of the floor, selection of the proper screed is indispensable. And the professional companies know it well how to choose the perfect one for your floor.

Modern Sunglasses – Transforming One’s Lifestyle With Proper Vision

Sunglasses are fashion tools to protect your eyes from high intensity lights and harmful radiations from the sun, thereby providing a stylish eye protection and good feel of comfort for your eyes. Sunglasses are basically, the by products of commonly known as spectacles or eyeglasses, which are used for correcting your eyesight, which uses powered lenses for improving your visual disabilities. Spectacles are tools to cure some common eye defections, whereas sunglasses are known to prevent them from getting damaged, hence sunglasses are preventive measures on a long term basis. In this modern world, sunglasses are not only used for protecting your eyes, but also to give you a proper fashion look and styling sense. Sunglasses are used extensively in various conditions, where your eyes need to tackle tough lighting environments, where high intensity lights causes discomfort and could possibly damage your eyes. Most common situations like watching a television, or working on your computer screen for hours, go out to watch a football match in a sunny day, driving during the day or at night, sports activities like swimming, cycling, driving, skiing and almost every possible sports uses sunglasses. The most common of all, sunglasses are extensively used in the world of fashion and style by men, women and kids. In the late 1930s, Hollywood actors and actresses started to use sunglasses in movies, this created a huge trend in the fashion world, where people started to accept this change in their lifestyle, which led to a widespread increase in sunglasses with different styles and design.

Lenses And Frames

Older sunglasses used glass lens and metallic frames, but modern sunglasses uses light plastic lens, plastic frames, alloy frames and even wooden frames. Modern lenses comes with thin coating of photographic material, which prevents high intensity lights from reaching your eyes and causing damages to your eyes. Lenses comes in different colour shades like blue, black, brown, green and red to match your fashion and your skin tone. Most lenses are 100% polarized, made out of polaroid plastic films, which prevents glaring and reflection, hence is useful during fishing when you need to see beneath the water surface for fishes. The most common of all is the photochromic lens which changes colour when exposed to sunlight. Corrective glasses uses photochromic lens so that it could be used as a corrective tool as well as a sun shade during the day. Modern glasses used UV400 lens which protects your eyes from harmful radioactive radiations from the sun, by blocking those radiations from reaching your retina.

A Brief History Of Sunglasses

Sunglasses existed since prehistoric ages, the Romans used sunglasses made out of emeralds, the Chinese used crystal sunglasses to correct vision. In the start of 1920, sunglasses were used extensively by actors and actresses, which led to a widespread increase in demands of sunglasses among general public, especially for fashion and giving themselves a boost in lifestyle. People started to discover new designs in the field of lenses and frames, more stylish and protective sunglasses were invented, which became widely used by everyone all across the world.

Common Uses Of Sunglasses

  • One of the most common use of sunglasses is to protect your eyes from harmful radioactive ultraviolet radiations from the sun, which could damage your eyes and lead to various eye diseases and vision impairment, possibly cancer. Most people feel uncomfortable with ultraviolet radiations, thus modern sunglasses prevent these radiations from reaching your eyes, as everyone knows well enough, that in recent years the amount of ultraviolet radiations have increased considerably, thus modern sunglasses are equipped with high quality protective films to stop these harmful radiations from reaching your retina, these lenses are called UV400 lenses. These modern sunglasses can filter out more than 99% of UVA and UVB radiations from the sun.
  • Sunglasses are comfort gadgets during high intensity lighting conditions with properties like anti glaring and anti reflection. Modern sunglasses give you extra comfort by providing all possible properties in the design of lenses and frames. Sunglasses also uses thin anti dusting films to give it a long lasting finish with anti scratch properties as well. Comfortable nose pads and well designed temple just gives you a stress free vision throughout the day.
  • Sunglasses are tools to cover your eyes and prevent people from keeping a direct eye contact, hides wrinkles seen around your eyes, hides redness in eyes, hides eye disorders and common eye diseases, prevents the exposure of your inner feelings like sadness, crying or weeping to the outside world. The most common of all hides identity, sunglasses with proper apparel can completely hide your identity and make you look completely different.
  • The extensive use of sunglasses in the field of movies and entertainment, has transformed fashion to the next level. Mostly used for style and fashion, sunglasses has been widely accepted as a fashion gadget and a must have fashion accessory. Fresh new design and eye catching coloured lenses keeps emerging, leading to a better business with increased demand and sales every day. Newer brands have emerged with their own unique style and modern technology.
  • Sunglasses are extensively used in the field of sports and outdoor activities. Activities like surfing, skiing, swimming and cycling uses sunglasses most of the time. Pilots uses sunglasses as a means to prevent glaring, reflection and UV radiations. Sunglasses are also used for driving vehicles during the day and at night, during high intensity lighting conditions, like glaring during the dawn.

Types Of Modern Eyewear

  • Aviator Sunglasses – The classic pilot aviator sunglasses with drop shaped lenses and thin metallic frame, has been an all time classic, from movies to common public, it has been the longest trending design which people have accepted at all times and all seasons. The aviator sunglasses were widely accepted and used by pilots in the early 1970s, hence the name pilot aviator sunglasses, since the release of movie ‘Top Gun’, it has been in fashion till now.
  • Oversized Sunglasses – The common style and design of early 1980s, mostly adapted by actors and actresses, the round rectangular thick frame oversized sunglasses was a common fashion trend. This oversized sunglasses have recently bloomed in the fashion world with a twist in design as compared to the older design, where you can find oversized butterfly sunglasses for women, a common modification to the old model. Oversized aviator sunglasses, oversized round sunglasses, oversized oval sunglasses, oversized square sunglasses and oversized rectangle sunglasses are all modification of the old oversized sunglasses with square design.
  • Teashades Sunglasses – Also called `John Lennon` sunglasses, is characterized by perfectly medium round lens with thin metallic frame. Dark lenses are very common, but modern sunglasses comes with different shades and coloured lenses. Teashades glasses are quite rare but give you a perfect fashion boost in style and increases your overall lifestyle by giving you different kind of uniqueness.
  • Rectangular Sunglasses – This type of sunglasses comes in different variants like perfectly rectangular, square, round rectangular and thin rectangular sunglasses. Mostly used by men, this type of sunglasses is used extensively during sports activities and professional work. The most common example of rectangular sunglasses is the one used in the movie ‘The Matrix’, after which it has been widely accepted by professional and software executives all around the world as a mark of style and comfort with stress free vision while using computers screens and televisions. Rimless and semi rimless rectangular sunglasses are extensively used for swimming, surfing and other related beach sports.

Sunglasses are the most common and one of the most important eye gadget for fashion, style and eye safety. People use sunglasses in different ways, some use it for protection and some for fashion and style. This tool has always been one of the most closest fashion gadget to humans. A clear eyesight always keeps you healthy both physically as well as mentally, gives you a sharper and clearer sensation of the world around you. Eyes are the most precious organ in our human body, hence we should protect it in every possible way so that we can see this world in a better way everyday.

Waterproofing Your Deck With the 5 Layer Deck Coating System

Who wants a leaky deck? Who wants to be strolling around their garage looking for an umbrella during a rainstorm and get an unwanted shower? Not me. Not you. What we need is a waterproof deck coating that stands up against even the heaviest of downpours. The first step in eliminating leakage and insuring a watertight deck begins with the corners.

What that means is securing the perimeter. Like in war or sports, when you secure the perimeter, nothing can get out, it is trapped. The same is true for waterproofing your deck. By securing the perimeter of your deck with proper flashing installation, water on your deck has only one place to go: in the drain. To execute this vital goal, only custom fitted and situational specific metal flash should be used. Both on the deck surface and high up the walls, cut the 90 degree waterproof flashing and fabricate to adhere to your deck in a seamless fashion. Next, fasten the flashing tight to the floorboards and wall studs with industry grade power staples and galvanized deck nails. Waterproofing the corners is the primary step in securing your perimeter.

The next key to the successful deck waterproofing is the foundation. Houses built on sand are illegally to last long. But, a foundation serves no function if nothing is built on top of it. Who wants to take a stroll on their new waterproof deck and find that they are only walking on reinforced plywood? Plywood is not waterproof, and plywood is not aesthetically pleasing either. So, after laying an expert foundation of reinforced, industry grade, custom cut plywood and anchoring a 2.5 lb. diamond shaped lathe system, the 5-layer deck coating process begins.

CEMENT BASE-Layer 1 . Proper installation begins with a hearty cement base coat mixture, which slow dries to eliminate unwanted cracks. This layer is for strength of deck and bonding to the plywood / lathe foundation. The strength of the bond is enhanced by the cohesion to the metal lathe level, which is in turn securedly stapled to the stud anchored, plywood floorboard. Your deck coating success depends on this patient and skilled process.

FIBERGLASS-Layer 2. This is where we can take a tip from the surfboard and boat making tradition. How do they keep away from leaks, water invasion and sinking? Fiberglass. Yes, one of the keys to deck waterproofing mastery is a second layer of bonded fiberglass. Next in the process, 1/8 inch fiberglass is plastered with industry grade bonder, in order to completely seal your deck from water intrusion. Time tested methods combined with pertinent technology, a winning team!

SKIM COAT-Layer 3 . Once the fiberglass layer has slowed discharged for maximum impenetrability, it is time to apply layer three: the cement skim coat. Only half the material is used in this layer, as its main purpose is to produce an even and flat surface and to protect the fiberglass layer.

TEXTURE-Layer 4. Before the paint, another cement coat is applied. This layer produces both an attractive pattern and doubles as a slip deterrent.

PAINT-Layer 5. The most important step in this process is the finished product. Functionally, this layer gives the deck coating a final watertight seal. The choice of custom color adds a personal touch of flair to the deck.

From the double-reinforced foundation, to the 5-layer deck coating system, you can expect a superior product and service from Prestige Deck Coating, Inc., Orange County's premier choice for all your deck building and waterproofing needs!

How to Choose the Best Motherboard For Your Computer System

The computer motherboard is a key internal part of a computer system. If the CPU or processor is considered as the computers brain then the motherboard can be thought of as the heart of the computer. Although the motherboard does not boost the speed of a computer, it plays a pivotal role for the overall functionality and features of a computer system. It can at times be a really daunting task to choose the best motherboard for your computer. For getting the best output from a motherboard you should follow some of the below strategies that will help you to find out the best motherboard for your computer.

Try to find out as much as you can about the brand name or manufacturer name while choosing a motherboard. A motherboard from a well known company gives many added features like a good warranty or product quality, so try to get a motherboard from well known and reputable company. You must also make sure about the availability of technical support from the manufacturer so when you need it, it is then available. Tech support is crucial here as it is needed during troubleshooting. Among the manufacturers to consider, Tyan, Asus, Intel and Soyo. They are the market leaders and have a positive brand image among consumers.

After brand selection you have to focus on the compatibility of your motherboard with your processor. Different manufacturers provide a variety of processors such as Celeron PPGA, Pentium III, AMD Athlon and AMD K6-3. These processors need specific types of motherboards. The compatibility of the motherboard with a particular processor is the most important factor to consider.

Advanced graphics port or AGP is an appealing feature for the gamer and users who are interested in graphic design. AGP allows quicker communication between the video card and the computer thus increasing the frame rate of graphics programs and video games. So if you are a gamer or have enthusiasm about graphics design, you should choose a motherboard with higher AGP performance.

The number of PCI slots in a motherboard are an important criteria to consider when choosing a good motherboard. Plenty of PCI slots allows for the attachment of ethernet cards, sound cards or modems and for future expansion. The more PCI slots that exist in the motherboard the more ports you will have to connect such devices. Also do consider the number of USB ports on the motherboard as these are also needed to connect with modems, mice and with other devices. For video capturing and editing, you should also have a firewire port. So make sure you have a firewire port if you are interested in video capturing or editing.

While choosing your chipset, you should bear in mind the memory type that is compatible with your selected motherboard. Compatibility of the motherboard with high performance RAM is also important. For getting better performance always choose the motherboard that is compatible with all the components of the computer.

Before purchasing a motherboard you must make sure all important features are reviewed that you need. You can browse the motherboards manufacturer’s website to get all the important information related to what you will need. You can download the manual from the manufacturer’s website and compare the features on various motherboards. So do consider everything covered above and make sure you get the all the information you need to end up with the best motherboard for your computer system needs.

Qualities of a Good Bike Shop

Everybody knows that they’re just doing their jobs, but we usually can’t help but feel annoyed every time a store attendant comes to us as asks “Can I help you?” Sometimes we just don’t want to be bothered; that we want to look at a few items ourselves. But when it comes to bike shops attendants that “pester” you is often a welcome gesture; especially if we don’t know what kind of bike we are looking for.

Bike shops should meet certain requirements that make them a quality establishment. If you think it’s just all about selling the most expensive and well-known brands of bikes, you’re wrong. With bikes, it’s all about personal preference. While anyone can ride and get used to a type of bike, there’s always one out there that’s just right for you. And bike stores should be able to help you find it.

A good bike store should offer bikes in a wide range of sizes and types. They should be selling at least a few variants of the most basic types: road, mountain, single speed, fixed gear, and whatnot. The more they have to offer, the more chances of you finding exactly what you need.

You can’t really feel how good a bike handles until you actually test it. If you’re in brick-and-mortar bike store, feel free to ask if you could take it for a spin. Most of the times, they won’t allow you to, but the good stores would at least let you ride it stationary so you can get a feel for it.

Another good quality of a good bike store is if they offer fitting services, or at least its attendants know anything about fitting a bike. Simply put, they recommend bikes according to your body type and various measurements. This way, you get to take home the most comfortable and ergonomic bike that you can.

Finally, good stores have attendants that will not force any bikes on you. Sometimes, they’ll feel pressured for their sales stats, commissions, and the like and will try to trick you into getting a bike that you don’t even want. As mentioned above, the perfect bike for you is what you want to ride. If you’re set on a fixie, for instance, don’t let them talk you out of it because they seem to hate fixies.

It’s a small checklist, but there are tons of good bike stores out there. Some of the best ones offer customized bikes, and if you’re up for it, you may save a bit of money out of it.

Buying a Wheelchair Lift

In small buildings and residences where elevators are not present, wheelchair lifts are installed for use by handicapped or disabled persons on wheelchairs. They make it easier for the handicapped to move through different floors of the building. These are available in various sizes, shapes and weights. When buying a wheel chair lift, it is important to decide what kind of lift should be chosen depending on the décor and space available in the building.

Different Kinds of Wheelchair Lifts

They are available in two models, hydraulic and electric powered lifts.

Hydraulic Wheel chair Lifts – These operate using fluids and are there smooth and silent. They have the ability to adjust to sudden changes in speed or surface levels. They are safe and quite reliable, and there is no need to worry about power outages. However, these are very expensive.

Electric Wheel chair Lifts – These operate on electricity and have emergency back up battery for use during power outages. These are cheaper than hydraulic wheel chair lifts.

Depending on what the users need to access, wheel chair lifts are of two types ie van lifts and stair lifts both of which are hydraulic or electric powered. Wheelchair van lifts make it possible to step into vans without any difficulty whereas wheelchair stairlifts are used to move up and down on different floors of a building. The most common wheelchair lifts are vertical, portable and wheelchair platform lifts.

What to Note before buying

When buying a wheel chair stairlift for long term purpose, it is crucial to buy from trusted and reliable brands or a company that will provide quality products and after sales services. One should take into consideration whether the lift is for indoor or outdoor use, the size and type of wheelchairs, kind of surfaces, home or office use etc. These accessibility devices should be purchased wisely, keeping in mind the comfort level and needs of the users.

Choosing the Best Roofing Contractor for the Job

Depending on the size of your building's roof, replacing it could be an expensive proposition. To ensure your money is well spent, hiring a quality commercial roofing contractor is essential. If you hire a bad contractor, the roofers who work on your building could leave it in worse condition than before. If you need a roofing contractor for your building, below are tips for selecting one who will do the job right:

Be Sure the Contractor Is Licensed, Bonded, and Insured

Unless a roofing company is licensed to perform construction, bonded to protect you against property theft, and insured to protect you against property damage or injury, it should not set foot on your property. Regardless of the experience or low price a company offers, if it is not licensed, bonded, and insured, hiring it is simply too risky.

Insist on a Contractor's Warranty

Roofing materials are ensured by a manufacturer's warranty, but roofing work is guaranteed by a contractor's warranty. If a roof is improperly installed, and the contractor did not provide a warranty, the building owner can have an uphill battle to receive compensation for the faulty work. As some building owners find out the hard way, never hire a contractor who does not offer a contractor's warranty. anti-slip

Evaluate Customer References

A bad roof will be found out eventually. It will leak, buckle, and show other signs of poor work. When commercial roofers perform poor work, their customers are soon aware of it. This makes customer feedback an invaluable resource for assessing the quality of the contractor's work. If the references of a contractor are dissatisfied with their roof job or sub-par labor, and extenuating circumstances were not at play, the contractor is probably to blame.

Be Sure the Contractor Has a Permanent Business Location

Roofing contractors who do not have a permanent location are risky to hire. When a contractor lacks a permanent business location in an area, it usually lacks a stable customer base in that particular area. Some contractors in this position have a lack of dedication to quality work, as they have no reputation to maintain.

Be Sure the Contractor Has the Right Experience

There are numerous types of commercial roofs, and most roofing contractors do not specialize in all of them. Therefore, be sure a contractor has experience applying the type of roof your building needs. Roofing technology is constantly changing, and a contractor who specializes in the type of roof you need should be up to date on the latest techniques for applying and maintaining it.

Get Everything in Writing

Once you find a contractor who has the right qualities and qualifications, be sure to have the work contract put in writing. In particular, be sure the contract stipulates the completion date for the project, and that the work to be performed is clearly described.

Conclusion

Installing a commercial roof is an important investment, one that should be approached by carefully evaluating commercial roofers. For help locating quality roofing contractors, contact your state's Construction Industry Licensing Board for a list of licensed contractors in your area.

Common Building Materials

Part of the Civil Engineering industry, the building sub section is responsible for producing bridges, dams as well as roads and the houses that we live in. Although other materials can be used the most common are iron, steel, concrete, timber, blocks and bricks. Building is a huge industry and is a major player in any countries economy.

Studies have been made of ancient civilizations to find the techniques and materials that have been used in building their communities. It has been found that the Roman, Mayan and Egyptians all used blocks, local stone that was available and made their own bricks and types of concrete. There structures were complex and science based in design. Today we still emulate these styles and techniques.

The North American Indians used slimmer trees and branches for their homes with smaller twigs and sticks for the roofs. The Zulus of South Africa and the tribes in Kenya used a mix of soil and cow dung with water as the major material in the building their homes. Further east in Asia trees were also used for their homes, all these methods and traditional building styles are still in use today.

The use of iron has become the most common material in larger constructions, it has been used in the UK since the eighth century and many of the structures that were created then are still to be seen today.

The use of local stone has always been a popular material, these are mined from quarries and have become popular for house building. Kiln based bricks are used in-house building and with so many colors and sizes being produced can provide ample variety for the building constructors.

Wood will always remain popular although it can not be used in substantive buildings like bridges but now tend to be used for the interior of houses, either ceilings or floors are the most popular areas for its use.

Since the discovery of crude oil it has been put to many uses in the building trade, tar is made from bitumen mixed with gravel and is mostly seen as a surface for our roads and runways.

A mixture of lime cement, sand and gravel makes concrete and has been in constant use for many years. In all large and heavy construction projects typically with steel or iron concrete is a fluid material used widely in modern construction.

The building industry is heavily dependent on steel, it is the backbone of most projects and again an important part of any countries economic strategy. It is one of the products whose value is watched in financial markets worldwide.

Finding The Best Painting Company For Your Business

Keeping your business looking neat and professional is very important. The colors you pick for your exterior and interior need to send a great message to customers as well as those interested in being part of your business ventures. Yet you don’t have to with just white. You can pick other colors and even add a variety of designs or murals to make it come to life.

Finding the right commercial painter to complete this work for you is very important. You need to know they have the right skills and they are able to get the work done in a short period. You don’t want your business to be interrupted due to the work they need to do.

Typically, they can take care of the bulk of the work after hours so they aren’t bothering your customers or getting in the way. However, not all businesses close in the evening or close on the weekends. If your business is open 7 days a week, you will need to work out a plan of action with them. Most commercial painter businesses strive to be accommodating.

Prep Work

Once you decide on your provider to do the work inside and outside of the business, they can get started with the prep work. This involves getting the surface ready for the paint. Depending on the structure of your building, they may need to scrape away the older paint to give a nice surface for the new pain to adhere to.

The prep work completed by a commercial painter needs to include any repairs to the walls inside and to make sure they block off areas that aren’t going to be painted. This can include windows, business machines, and anything that happens to be around the place. They may need to move some furniture to reach the walls and ceilings in the business.

It isn’t uncommon for all the prep work to be first. Then the painting can be done in sections. However, it may be better for them to prep and then paint a given section of the business first so they aren’t interruption the normal flow of business. It will depend on how long the work is going to take and other factors.

Painting

The commercial painter can discuss with you the various options and tell you what they feel would be the best solution. If you have any certain requests or questions, you need to ask them before they get started. Once you are in agreement of what they will do and when they will do it, they can complete that prep work and get busy painting.

If the provider has a crew, they can actually have both going on at the same time. Some of the employees will prep areas while others come along behind them and paint those areas. The prep crew will start first to stay ahead of the painting crew. Find out how many coats of paint they will offer for the project.

It is typical to add a primer coat and then at least two coats of paint on top of it. However sometimes a commercial painter will apply a paint that has primer in it so they can skip that first step. The number of coats of paint often depends on the quality of it. Better paint can be used to complete the project with fewer coats.

It is a good idea to ask the commercial painter about their crew, their qualifications, and the types of equipment they will use to get the job done. Many of them have high-tech equipment so it allows them to get the painting completed in less time. It also allows them to offer a professional look when it is all done.

Working With Coin Dealers

Often enough, lots of people forget about seeking some reliable coin buyers when they are negotiating or making investments. Coin dealers let you receive better returns on your investments and, at the same time, they offer a great deal of benefits. They can be accessed easily, and they will treat you the way you deserve, regardless if you are a coin investor or collector. Following you can find a couple of advantages you get when working with coin dealers:

Ubiquity

It does not matter where you are, because you will surely find a great coin dealer for you. The fact that they are high in number will definitely help you because you will have more chances to succeed. There are many options from which to pick, and there are lots of valuable coins on the market (from gold to antique). Better for you!

Accessibility

In this business, you are not going to be suffocated by different norms when it comes to making investments. In fact, you can run this business like any other business, without any worries. Just walk into any shop held by a coin dealer, and purchase coins across the counter. In addition to this, a business of this type works for long hours and even in the weekend. If you are to compare this to an investment house (in this case you might need to leave your work in order to make investments), guess which one you will like best? And you can trade coins whenever you feel comfortable.

Flexibility

Another advantage of working with coin buyers is represented by the large range of products (precious metals). It is hard to find a company that can beat the coin Buyers in terms of flexibility. What is even better is the fact that coin buyers deal with rare coins, bullion, and even damaged or scraped silver coins and dental gold.

Credibility

Most coin dealers have a great deal of experience. And to be honest, there is no way that you can survive in this business if you are not reliable and serious. Normally, they should guarantee you solid business ethics. And since there are lots of dealers that keep in touch with their costumers for a long period of time, it is harder for them to cheat or sell bad products. This is a possible aspect, especially when it comes to dealing with items that have a high value (coins).

Liquidity

Buying or selling coins does not require a lot of paper work. This means that you can finish your work extremely fast. All you have to do is call a coin dealer, go to his store and, after a brief discussion, seal the deal and leave with quality coins. Selling coins is also very easy. Coin dealers evaluate your stuff fast and easy, pay a certain amount of money and you are done. You have bought the coins of your desire and everyone is happy.

If you are likely to invest in precious metals, you should consider finding a reputable coin dealer with what you can work on a steady basis. Try finding a trustworthy person that can take care of your needs when it is the case. This is extremely important especially when working with coins or precious items. You have to make sure that your funds are safe and they are handled by experienced people. This way you can focus on something else while the money keeps on coming!

Insurance: Avoiding Companies Quick To Collect Premiums But Slow In Claims Payment

In fairness the refusal/inability of companies to honour financial obligations is not a problem unique to insurance companies. All organisations rightly focus more on generating revenue but some become reluctant when called upon to fulfil promises to their clients involving financial outlay.

I conducted an experiment recently involving my mobile phone provider. As my contract was nearing the end after a two-year period, I contacted them and as usual followed the steps as directed by the automated answering machine. Astonishingly, after waiting for 20 minutes to speak with a staff, I was disconnected. This happened twice so when I rang the third time, I went for the option that linked me to staff in the sales unit and was instantly connected to a staff. Of course when it became clear to the staff that I was not after a new contract I was transferred to the cancellation team and continued to wait.

Without exception all countries where insurance companies operate will have some unscrupulous operators who are no better than the ordinary con man on the street using dishonest methods to trick people into parting with money. Though I praised insurance companies in earlier posts, feedback I have received coupled with a few personal experiences have led me to accept that there are insurance companies operating today that the authorities need to monitor closely.

Even the so-called hub of insurance- London has its share of insurance companies that use specially trained staff backed by fancy TV advertisements and publications to persuade unsuspecting members of the public into parting with money in exchange for badly worded insurance contracts.

How To Spot Crooked Insurance Companies

Premium

We are all hungry for bargains and most are quick to run to comparison sites for quotes. These sites unfortunately rank quotes from insurance companies based on prices with the cheapest ranked topmost. As with most goods and services, the cheapest is not always the best. This is especially true for insurance because it involves pooling of funds with each insured expected to contribute to the pool, premium commensurate with the risk it presents.

So when the price (premium) appears too good to be true, please avoid. When an insurance company undercuts the competition by quoting ridiculously low premium, it follows that in the event of a claim, that company may not have sufficient fund to meet its obligation after making provision for overheads.

Reviews

A great advantage of the internet is that people are able to post reviews of goods and services detailing their experiences. Reviews are also available online for companies with the customers rating services of companies. Most of us already read reviews for most goods and services before purchase and should therefore extend this practice.

I usually troll the web for as much customer review of a company as possible as some of these companies with the aid of their IT staff attempt to counter the negative reviews by posting fake reviews.

Referrals

Akin to points highlighted about reviews above. The old-fashioned way of deciding whether to patronise a company offering a service is usually to ask for the opinion of friends and family. Often we extend the enquiry to professionals we have had dealings with and trust/value their advice.

Company Annual Report

For those comfortable with numbers, the traditional method of reviewing a company’s standing is the annual report which is a comprehensive report of the company’s activities for the preceding year.

With a few clicks these reports could be accessed on the web offering access to useful information like the balance sheet of the company, its profit and loss and cash flow statement as well as helpful notes to aid understanding of the financial statements.

Opting for legal cover extras

This is particularly useful when you need to pursue an uninsured loss. Insurers are more likely to honour a claim which falls within the purview of their policy if lodged through a solicitor because prolonging such claims cost them a lot more in legal fees if they eventually lose the case.

However if you find that you are no match for the might of insurance companies but must invest in insurance regardless, you may want to seek the services of an insurance broker.

Energy and HVAC Optimization

Let’s talk about 30-40% of your electricity bill. That’s how much it costs the average homeowner or commercial building owner to provide proper heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC). A good HVAC system is the key to maintaining a comfortable, healthy and interior environment. Through the years, I have been asked by many owners for a strategy to reduce their cost of energy and HVAC. They don’t want to sacrifice the interior environmental conditions, but they do want a point-by-point plan to follow. The interesting thing that often happens is that energy bills are lowered substantially and the HVAC system performance is improved. This is a standard function of any mechanical engineer specializing in energy and HVAC.

The information on this page will help homeowners, building owners and building operators make informed decisions about existing HVAC systems or future upgrades.

  • Load Reduction
  • HVAC Systems
  • Control Systems
  • Operation and Maintenance

Load Reduction

The first step to achieve energy and HVAC system optimization is load reduction. This step normally consists of a long range plan which itemizes the actions to be taken based on best return on investment. Reducing your building load allows the existing HVAC system to operate more efficiently. If a new system or systems are being considered, it will be more cost effective to design for the reduced load as opposed to the existing load. A few common load reduction strategies include:

  • Tighten the building shell and add additional insulation. Adding insulation in existing buildings may not be achievable in some instances, so more consideration should be aimed at the exterior shell, especially windows and doors.
  • Installing energy-efficient windows. This is a big item on some buildings that still have single pane windows. The installation of double pane windows with a thermal break is a great return on investment. Make sure they are ENERGY STAR qualified windows. Tinting or Low-E coatings will even be better.
  • Upgrading lighting systems. The average commercial building has a lighting density of 2-3 watts per square foot which maintains proper lighting levels. This is a significant part of the HVAC load and almost any efforts in this direction will lower the cooling requirement for the building. Accent lighting (sometimes called architectural lighting) are not always energy efficient and should not be considered if you want to reduce energy and HVAC costs. Energy-efficient lighting systems emit less heat into conditioned space than older incandescent technology. If you have a return air plenum instead of return air ductwork, consider light troffers so that some of the heat from the lights is returned to the HVAC system instead of going into the occupied area.
  • Selecting efficient equipment and electronic devices that have a power saver option will reduce the sensible heat gain in the space. Items to consider include copy machines, kitchen equipment, computers and refrigerators.
  • Control ventilation by having your outside air balanced. Most building owners have drawings of the original HVAC system installation. Have the drawings reviewed by a mechanical engineer to confirm your outside air flow rates conform to the latest code requirements. If no drawings are available, your mechanical engineer should still be able to make recommendations for improvement.

Addressing these items is your first step to reducing energy and HVAC costs.

HVAC Systems

The second step to achieve energy and HVAC system optimization is knowing your system. Your HVAC system is critical to your interior environment, but it also represents a large component of your utility expenses. While it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss every system, a few recommendations can be addressed. Every HVAC system component has increased in efficiency over the years. If your system is more than 13 years old, it’s time to begin planning for an upgrade to new equipment. Well maintained residential systems have a life expectancy of about 15 years or so but seem to fail at the worse times. Have a replacement plan ready for the day your equipment fails.

Commercial systems vary, but if your building is using packaged equipment or split systems, the same lifetime can be expected. For larger commercial systems and industrial applications, the HVAC system may be more complex and require an individual analysis by a mechanical engineer. As I said, HVAC systems vary and no one-size-fits-all analysis works for larger systems. What all these systems have in common is they are normally fueled by electricity. Electricity cost money, so any efforts in the direction of increased efficiency is a plus.

HVAC System Tips:

  • Find a qualified consultant you trust. If you are a home owner or small commercial building owner, find a good HVAC company or mechanic to evaluate and maintain your system. If you are a large commercial building owner, find a commercial HVAC company for normal maintenance and a good mechanical engineer for specific guidance. I do not recommend using a mechanical engineer employed by the HVAC Company; find a third party engineer for unbiased information.
  • Verify your HVAC system load. Home owners should use ACCA’s Manual J calculation method and all others should have a load conducted by a mechanical engineer. Commercial buildings have more requirements related to code conformance, minimum ventilation rates, etc and are individual to each building.
  • Load reduction-Read the information above.
  • Select equipment sized for your load. NEVER OVERSIZE! More-is-better does not apply for HVAC systems. It will cost more to purchase the equipment as well as operate it. Get the load and the equipment selection right the first time.
  • Purchase high efficiency or Energy Star equipment. Many of the new systems include variable speed drives for fans and compressors. Over the years of ownership this will be paid back many times over. Compare standard efficiency equipment to high efficiency equipment in terms of initial cost and life cycle costs. Any good HVAC company or mechanical engineer can obtain this information.
  • Consider some form of energy recovery for any air exhausted from the building and use it to condition the incoming fresh air. This is air you have paid to condition, so extracting some of the energy before exhausting it should be a priority.
  • For large commercial buildings, consider conditioning the outside air with a dedicated outside air unit. This will eliminate any problems related to humidity control in most instances. It will also increase occupant comfort and allow for further downsizing of equipment.
  • Commercial buildings should consider economizers on their equipment. Most current codes require economizers on equipment over 15 tons in size. Often available at a low incremental cost, these units draw in fresh air from the outside when the temperature (sometimes humidity) outside is lower than the temperature inside.
  • Home owners and small commercial building owners should install programmable thermostats. Commercial building owners should install a Direct Digital Control (DDC) system. The investment in either of these will pay back more than the cost in a small amount of time. Read more below.

Control Systems

The third step to achieve energy and HVAC system optimization is controlling your system.

  • Programmable Thermostats-The age of digital controls has made saving energy easy. One of the best investments for the homeowner or small commercial building owner is a programmable thermostat. These are simple to use and incorporate strategies based on time scheduling. Most manufacturers offer 7 day programs and setback/setup programs which will turn the HVAC system on and off to compliment your schedule and desired indoor temperature. This is a great way to ensure HVAC systems are used only when necessary.
  • DDC Systems-For the large commercial building, I consider this as a must have system. Installation costs have steadily decreased and the performance reliability has steadily increased. They can be integrated into any system and expanded as required. Some of the more popular features of these systems are optimized start/stop of the HVAC system, multiple zone control, multiple temperature sensor locations and ventilation control. The best part of these systems is their ability to be scaled up to the largest of commercial applications. This means you can install a simple system and add more controls later to incorporate your whole HVAC system. Again, the payback is short and well worth the investment.

Operation and Maintenance

The fourth and last step to achieve energy and HVAC system optimization is operation and maintenance. The most efficient HVAC systems are well maintained. Ensure reliability, efficiency and a long life for your HVAC system by following these tips.

  • Find a qualified consultant you trust. If you are a home owner or small commercial building owner, find a good HVAC company or mechanic to evaluate and maintain your system. If you are a large commercial building owner, find a commercial HVAC company for normal maintenance. Make sure you record and document all servicing with dates, times and names of the servicing person.
  • Home owners should always get a seasonal tune up. The operation of your system will vary with the seasons of the year.
  • Replace your air filters regularly. Don’t use anything less then a MERV 5 filter to assure dust and fibers are removed. Clean filters will save fan energy.
  • Coil Cleaning-This is always a big item overlooked by residential and commercial building owners. Condenser coils collect dirt and debris on their surfaces because they are outside. This makes the compressor work harder and results in a higher refrigerant temperature in your refrigeration system. Evaporator and heating coils collect dust and fibers that circulate inside your home or building. Clean them at least once a year

Summary

Energy and HVAC optimization will reduce your electricity costs. A little time getting to know your system and familiarizing yourself with improvement strategies will save money and increase the life of your equipment.

Filipino Recipes – Longsilog Recipe (Breakfast) – Pinoy Food

Silogs, popular term for sinangag (fried rice) and itlog (egg), are certainly every Pinoy’s favorite morning meal. Because of its popularity, you can even consider it the national breakfast of the Philippines, if there is such a thing.

These early morning delights come in several combinations with tapsilog (with tapa), tocilog (with tocino) and longsilog (with longanisa or Filipino sausage) topping the list. There are still many variations of silogs like cornsilog (with corned beef), chiksilog (with chicken), chosilog (with adobo), dangsilog (with danggit or rabbitfish), bangsilog (with bangus or milkfish), hotsilog (with hotdog) and many more.

But for this recipe, we are going to prepare a combination of longanisa or the famous Pinoy sausage, sinangag or the savory garlic fried rice and eggs. Yummy! My mouth is already watering just thinking of it.

Ingredients:

  • 5 links of longanisa sausage
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 cups of left over rice from the previous night
  • 1 cup of water for cooking longanisa
  • ¼ tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • oil for frying
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • ¼ tbsp MSG

Cooking Procedure:

  • To cook the longanisa sausage, place the longanisa in a frying pan together with the water and place under medium heat until it comes to a boil. Allow the water to evaporate totally until oil starts to ooze from the sausage links. To cook evenly, constantly roll the sausage links and fry for about 5 minutes.
  • For the eggs, beat two eggs like the way you prepare an omelet. Add a pinch of salt to taste then cook in a frying pan. Take out from the pan then set aside. Get another egg and for the sunny side up. Cook using the same pan. Take out when done and set aside.
  • For the garlic fried rice, break the rice up especially the big chunks and set aside. Put oil in a heated pan and cook the garlic until the color turns golden brown and the aroma is wafting in the air. Add the rice and stir for about 1 minute. Add the MSG, salt and pepper for added flavor. Cook for another 5 minutes stirring constantly to prevent the rice from scorching.
  • Arrange the fried rice, longanisa and eggs in a serving plate and serve while hot.