Hacksaw, Handles & Blades – No, You Don’t Know How to Use One

Hacksaws are one of the most common hand tools. Nearly everyone owns one, and if you don’t have one, you need to buy one. Hacksaws are inexpensive and very economical to use. But most of you never use it because the one time you tried to use it things didn’t go well. You broke the hacksaw blade, the blade kept falling out of the handle, or it kept getting stuck in the piece you were trying to cut. If you did manage to get the piece cut, it took forever and the cut ended up crooked.

The main reasons most people have difficulty when sawing metal with a hacksaw are:

You have the blade in wrong

You aren’t using a sharp blade

There is too much flex in the blade

The number of teeth is to low for the project

You are putting too much pressure on the saw

You don’t clamp the work.

I will cover each of these difficulties as you and I go through this article.

Hacksaws and hacksaw blades are designed to cut metal (I will tell you how to use it to cut wood and plastic) and most people find cutting metal very difficult and frustrating. The reason, most of the time, is that they don’t really know how to use the metal hacksaw.

What is a Hacksaw?

A hacksaw is a metal frame designed to hold a tempered metal blade. The blade is typically 1/2 inch high and the majority of them are 12 inches long. The blade has a hole on each end that fits into pins on the hacksaw. Hacksaws are designed to cut on the push stroke. The handle (grip) on a properly designed saw is angled just right so you put a little pressure on the blade when you push it through the material you are cutting. Even though some so-called “experts” will tell you that you can put the blade in the other way a hacksaw does not work well if you have the blade in backwards.

Do you need a Hacksaw?

You can cut almost anything with a hacksaw. Although it was designed to cut metal, you can use it to cut plastic, wood, metal tubing, aluminum, copper, and brass. It works very well to cut electrical tubing (conduit), BMX (flexible metal tubing), plastic water pipe, (PVT & CVT) and even nuts and bolts. You can use it to cut a 2X4 in a pinch and with the right blade porcelain tile.

Setting up the Hacksaw to Cut.

Step 1. Determine which blade you will use to cut the material. Use a 32 t.p.i. blade for conduit, an 18 tooth blade for cutting off a bolt or plastic pipe and an 8 tooth for wood. In practice you want at least three teeth in contact with the material at any time. If you are cutting deeper than the depth of the blade use a blade that has wavy teeth. The wavy blade leaves a wider slot (kerf) that keeps the blade from sticking in the groove you are cutting.

You can use it to cut wood. It will cut a lot slower than a wood saw, but it works if you don’t have anything else. Use a 8 or 10 tooth blade and mark the cut line on the board both horizontally and vertically. Use the horizontal mark to make you initial cut (groove) and the vertical mark to keep your cut straight. Take your time and don’t put a lot of pressure on the hacksaw.

Step 2. Insert the blade so that the teeth are pointing forward. If you can’t see this, rub your finger gently over the teeth of the blade.

You will feel the teeth “grip” your finger. Put the blade so it grips when you push the saw. The holes of the blade go into the pins on the bottom of the frame. Many hacksaws are designed to take different length blades so if you have an adjustable frame you may have to shorten or lengthen the frame to fit your blade.

The teeth should try to “grab” your finger when pushed. If they don’t feel sharp, the blade is dull and should be replaced. Blades are inexpensive so don’t be afraid to replace it.

Step 3. Tighten the thumbscrew until you can’t turn it with your hand (Hand tight) This amount of tension on the blade should keep the blade from bowing as you cut. Sometimes when I am have problems with the blade falling off, I will tighten it another 1/4 turn with a pliers.

Ok, Let’s Cut Something.

I am going to use a metal pipe for this example. It is easy to cut and once you get a little experience using the hacksaw, cutting metal will be a breeze.

To really use a hacksaw well you need to clamp your work. I have a vise on a workbench that I usually use.

If you don’t have a vise, screw a 2X4 onto your bench and hold the pipe against the 2X4 with your left hand. When possible use a vise or clamp to secure the metal you want to cut.

Step 1. To use a hacksaw properly, grip the frame with both hands. (I am right handed so I grab the handle with my right hand and use my left hand to hold the other end of the saw.) Hold the hacksaw so that your right hand index finger is pointing ahead to help guide the saw. As you push the blade (forward stroke) use your left hand to guide the saw so that it cuts straight. DO NOT use your left hand to apply pressure, just use it to guide your cut. Use most of the blade. If you apply pressure on the forward stroke with your left hand the teeth will usually grab too much and the saw will “stick”. Again a hacksaw handle is angled to give you the proper down pressure on the blade.

Step 2. When you get to the end of the forward stroke, stop and pull the saw back with your right hand. As you pull back don’t apply any pressure with your right hand. (It only cuts in the forward direction and putting pressure on the return stroke will just wear out the blade prematurely). A lot of teachers will make you lift the saw on the return stroke so you don’t destroy the blade. Move your body forward and back as you cut, pressing on the forward stroke and easing off on the return one.

Step 3. Repeat this until you saw all the way through the pipe. With a little practice you will be able to cut at about 1 stroke every second. Don’t stroke any faster than this because it will create too much heat and again wear out the blade prematurely.

Don’t put too much pressure on the blade. You may have to break a blade or two before you get the feel of how much pressure you can apply. Don’t worry, they are cheap. Don’t saw too quickly as that can cause the blade to break as well. Always check to make sure that the blade is secured tightly in its frame.

Reviews. Or Don’t buy one at Wally World

Believe it or not, I could tell you a lot more about using a hacksaw, but this is enough to get you cutting properly. Buy a good quality hacksaw I recommend on my website. Even the cheap one I recommend is good quality and will last you years. With a quality saw it won’t take long before you get good at using one.

DON’T buy a cheap one at the local dollar store. Why? The hacksaw handle has to be strong enough to keep the blade tensioned correctly and the cheap ones will give you nothing but years of frustration. Also buy a hacksaw with the handle tilted like the Stanley 150565. Some hacksaws have a straight handle and are very hard to use for a beginner.

Blades are cheap, so buy a box of them in at least two “teeth” numbers (32 teeth for metal conduit and 18 teeth for solid steel, plastic pipe and general use. But don’t buy cheap blades. The cheap blades are too brittle and you will end up breaking a lot of them. A good hacksaw blade cuts on it’s own with very little pressure from you so change the blades as soon as they get dull. To tell if a blade is dull pull your finger over the blade. If it is still sharp the teeth will try to “catch” on your finger. A dull blade won’t. I prefer Milwaukee blades because they will flex without breaking, and last a long, long time compared to the cheap blades. Better yet, buy two inexpensive hacksaws and keep different blades on each. Dull, worn blades take a lot of work to cut an item, so change them as often as you would a utility knife or razor blade.

Follow the link below for ToolBoxHero to buy your new Hacksaw, read reviews and get more information:

How To Assemble A Futon Frame

Most futons are made very similar and use the same parts to assemble them. When shoppers buy their futon they often have a set of instructions that came with the futon frame. Time passes and these instruction disappear or get misplaced and it’s time to move the futon. Not having assembled futons on an everyday basis, it may not be immediately clear how the futon goes together. In this article we’ll examine the parts and assembly of a standard futon frame to hopefully help those who may have lost instructions.

Laying out the parts:

When you purchased your futon you most likely had 6 main wood parts. 2 arms, 2 rails and a seat and back section. The back section looks different than the seat section as it has 3 pre drilled holes on the sides with the wood sides extending down to allow the seat section to be connected to it. Versus 1 or 2 holes on the seat section. Your hardware will consist of 8 bolts, 8 barrel nuts (shaped like a barrel), 4 nylon rollers, 6 metal pins, 6 washers and 6 cotter clips, allen wrench.

Attaching the hardware:

Take the 4 nylon rollers, 4 metal pins and 4 cotter clips and locate the wood backrest of the futon. It will have the three holes drilled into each side. Two of these holes are close together and the 3rd hole is towards the bottom of the side. This hole by itself will connect to the seat section. The nylon rollers have two ends. A small round top and a larger round bottom. The larger round bottom is placed against the wood over the hole and a metal pin is pushed down through the small round top through the roller and out through the hole in the back rack. On the other side slide a washer over the pin use your cotter clip and push it through the small hole in the metal pin to secure it. Repeat this step for the other three nylon rollers.

Next find the wood seat section and locate the hole closest to the end on the side. (Sometimes wood seat sections have two holes. The second hole towards the middle is for attaching what is called a kicker block. Your frame may or may not have this.) After you have located the holes on the ends of the seat section lay the wood seat and back sections face up meaning the slats in these section are facing up or are closest to the top. Now take the 2 remaining metal pins and push them through the remaining holes in the sides back section in through the holes in the seat section. Slide a washer over each pin and secure it with the remaining cotter clips.

Attaching the arms and stretchers.

Locate your two wood arms and two wood stretchers. Look at the arms and notice that one side of the arms has two routed out grooves. During assembly these routed out grooves need to face inward towards each other. Next, locate your two stretcher rails. These rails will have 4 small circular holes drilled out on the one side of the stretcher on the ends. During assembly make sure these holes face in towards the holes of the stretcher across from it. Take your barrel nut and place it inside one of the holes intended for the barrel nut. Barrel nuts usually have a phillips or flat screwdriver point and make sure this is facing out. Also make sure the threaded hole in the barrel nut lines up with the holes in the ends of the rail as your bolt will need to thread into them. Now take the bolt and push it through the outside of the arm and into the rail threading it into the barrel nut and use your allen wrench to wind the screw into the barrel nut. Repeat this step on the other bolts leaving them loose. On the rail that is closest to the routed out grooves in the arms leave two of your bolts out and make sure this area allows you to move the arm outward somewhat. [The reason for this is to make sure we can spread the arms enough to get the seat and back section into the frame without scratching our arms.]

Moving the back/seat section into the frame.

The backrest has 2 nylon rollers on each side. The top roller needs to be lined up with the routed out grooves in the arms that go up and down. If you installed the rollers correctly, the end of the nylon roller will fit into the groove and will push into it. (If it doesn’t, your rollers are installed backwards, take them off and flip them around so that the larger part of the roller is against the wood.) Now take the bottom rollers on each side and line them up into the routed out groove that runs left to right. [This step might require a helper to get the rollers lined up in the grooves.]Important Note: Make sure that the seat and back section slats are facing upwards to where the mattress will rest right on them. If it looks like the mattress will sit down into the back and seat section because the slats are facing the ground, you’ll need stop and flip the decks over and do this step again.

Finishing assembly.

Now finish putting the remaining two bolts and barrel nuts into the back arm and connect them together as discussed in the above step about attaching arms and stretchers. Go ahead and tighten all of the bolts. Tight enough but not too tight. Your futon should now be ready for use.

I wrote this text version of futon assembly instructions as a guide to help those who are missing assembly instructions. Often you can contact the futon company you purchased your futon from for a set of replacement instructions. However, if that isn’t an option, I hope this guide will get you through the process of re-assembling your futon so you can start using and enjoying it once again. Many websites also include picture instructions you can use and this page futon assembly instructions might also be of help to you.

Primasil Silicones – Overview of Environments Where Silicone Rubber Is a Suitable Material

Silicone can be supplied as an oil, grease, sealant, or rubber.

The rubber is typically supplied in one of three forms – a room temperature vulcanisation (RTV) kit, as a liquid, or as high consistency rubber (HCR). In its uncured (un-vulcanised) form, the consistency of HCR silicone ranges from soft putty to cheddar cheese! This is in sharp contrast to most other rubbers, which have a much higher viscosity.

Silicone is resistant to very high and very low temperatures, and so is ideally suited to applications that must perform in the harshest of conditions. This includes engine parts, furnace seals, and components used in outer space!

Phenyl-based compounds have been developed for products in operation below the -55°C which general purpose silicone can withstand. These can be moulded, extruded, or calendered, and offer excellent resistance to temperatures down to -100°C.

High temperature resistant silicone compounds can withstand temperatures of up to 300°C for periods of up to 3 weeks. Temperature peaks above 300°C can be tolerated for very short periods of time but they are not recommended for continuous operation at these temperatures. The effect of high temperatures tends to lead to a hardening and increasing brittleness of the silicone so it loses its elastomeric properties.

Silicone will retain its properties regardless of the weather conditions to which it is exposed.

Wet, dry, cold, hot, or humid, parts made from silicone rubber will also not be affected by ozone or UV.

This has led to widespread use in the construction industry (e.g. coatings, fire protection, glazing seals), and automotive industry (external gaskets, external trim).

In addition to being resistant to rainwater, parts made from silicone are not adversely affected by immersion in seawater. This has enabled diving gear, seals and gaskets on submarines and ships, and components on oil-rigs to have a longer operational life.

Because silicone can be formulated to be electrically insulative or conductive, it is suitable for a wide range of electrical applications, including cable covers, insulating gaskets, conductive gaskets, and keyboard components.

Outstanding physical and mechanical properties are enhanced by exceptional resistance to ageing factors such as oxygen, ozone, humidity and moulds. These silicone compounds can be supplied with a high ash cohesion level if required and low burning toxicity.

Specialist insulating materials resist combustion arc tracking and environmental degradation. As such, they are ideally suited for use with high voltage and power transmission equipment such as insulators, surge arresters, and casing pipe.

Silicone is suitable for use in clean environments as the polymer does not support microbiological growth. This makes it ideal for medical devices.

Joint replacements, tubing, catheters, and all manner of medical devices are manufactured using medically approved silicone. Most processing methods can be used for these devices, provided they are carried out in a suitably clean environment.

As a low taint, non-toxic material, silicone can be used where contact with food is required. Coupled with its high temperature resistance, this makes it an ideal polymer for food moulds, baking machinery components, and vending machine tube. Over the last few years there has also been an increase in the number of household utensils manufactured from silicone rubber. Specific grades of silicone rubber are used widely in the production of baby bottle teats due to their cleanliness aesthetic appearance and low extractable content.

Concrete – What to Do About Dusting, Crumbling, Cracks and Discolouration

Concrete is one of the most common materials used in modern construction; the reason for this is that there is no other material that can provide the same results as concrete. The use of concrete for construction provides some great advantages, such as ease of use and strength. When concrete is in it’s liquid form it is very easy to use, but when it dries it provides incredible strength that will last for years. Despite the fact that concrete is a great source of construction material for everything from concrete floors, to building foundations, bridges and tunnels, there could be some problems with the concrete over time. Some issues that may arise include the overall strength of the concrete itself, as well as corrosion due to the concrete being exposed to excessive moisture; in addition, the surrounding soil composition could also cause some problems. Not only could low quality materials and improperly mixed concrete be costly later, but it can also be dangerous if the result diminishes the concrete’s strength. To avoid these problems it is advisable to always use high quality concrete and to stay vigilant for possible problems with the concrete.Some of the most common concrete problems include,

  • Dusting: The surface of the concrete will form a loose powder, which indicates that the surface of the concrete is disintegrating. This can be caused by water bleeding into the concrete during finishing. This may cause the concrete to have a high water ratio, leading to a weakened surface. Additional causes of this concrete problem may include using heaters during a cold weather operation without adequate ventilation, which may cause excessive carbon dioxide, leading to carbonization, or allowing the surface of the concrete to freeze.

  • Flaking & Peeling: The freezing and thawing process of finished concrete often causes flaking and peeling; some of the factors that may contribute to this problem include, not using air-entrained concrete, which is a must to protect the concrete from the affects of freezing and thawing. In addition, if there was too much calcium chloride used as an accelerator, this may also cause a problem with peeling and flaking. Some other situations that may cause concrete to flake and peel include working the surface of the concrete too much, insufficient curing, water bleed, or using deicer.

  • Fine Cracks in the Surface of the Concrete: In some cases the surface layer of concrete may begin to form a network of fine cracks. This problem is often caused when a rapid drying procedure was used, or there was inadequate curing of the concrete. Other contributing factors may include water on the surface during finishing, or the sprinkling of cement on the surface in order to dry the water bleed.

  • Cracking: The most common reason that concrete cracks is due to the expansion and contraction of the concrete without s sufficient means of relieving stress. This could be the result of improper jointing, shrinkage, and settlement. Other contributors to this problem include freezing and thawing, or external restraint, such as flooring.

  • Shrinkage: Another common problem with concrete is cracking due to shrinkage. This may occur when there is a rapid evaporation of the surface before the concrete has set.

  • Reduced Strength of Concrete: This can happen when improper casting, handling and curing procedures are used; additional causes may include high air content, too much water, or an error in the manufacturing of the concrete.

  • Delamination: This is a situation where there is a separation between the top slab and bottom slab that may be caused by a thin layer of water or air. Some situations that may lead to this problem include when air entrained concrete is used for hard finishes, sealing the surface while there is still bleed water present, overworking the surface, or using a polyethylene vapor barrier.

  • Discoloration: Some of the most common causes of concrete discoloration include using calcium chloride to speed set times, changes in the mix proportions or material sources, uneven curing.

  • Curling: When curling occurs, essentially what happens is that there is a distortion of the flat surface into a curved shape. This is frequently the result of a difference in the temperature of the moisture content between the top and bottom of the slab.

  • Uneven or Spotty Setting of Concrete: The most common cause of this problem is not mixing the concrete thoroughly, and the use of some superplasticizers with normal setting or retarding admixtures.

Many of these common concrete problems can be avoided when the proper procedures and materials are used during construction. Concrete admixtures can help to ensure a perfect concrete finish, if they are used correctly. This is why you should always purchase your products from an experienced construction chemicals supplier. Concrete sealant is an important aspect of preserving a concrete finish. These sealants are designed to inhibit liquids from being absorbed by concrete. In addition, this will also help protect the concrete from water erosion or freezing, as well as from substances such as salts and acids. Making mistakes when laying concrete can be very costly; to avoid the added expense of having to repair the concrete at a later time, you should always ensure that you use the best concrete products available, and that you follow the proper procedure for laying concrete.

Gymnastics Balance Beam Basic Training Program Complex

Balance beam is the most critical competition event for women because of the relative ease of falling off and the harsh deductions for a fall. A single fall can eliminate gymnasts from winning a medal in the beam event and often also in the All-around. Beam medallists are often the All-Around winners.

Complete Beam Basics in One Training Program

Because beam is different from the other gymnastics events, gymnasts and coaches find the need to work on a special and complete basic training program for balance beam that is designed to build strength for beam, develop balance, completely eliminate falls, and improve balance beam skill consistency.

Beam Basics are Critical to Future Beam Success

Successful mastery of such a program can allow gymnasts to acquire more complex beam skills with less effort, more confidence and in a shorter period of time. Mastering such skills and drills has short and long term benefits. Skipping the basic beam building blocks puts a gymnast in a position where at some point their bad habits can stop them from having success in staying on beam.

Train Basics Before Trying to Learn Advanced Skills

As with building sufficient strength and flexibility for the skills that need to be learned, working on this basic beam training program before attempting to learn more difficult skills will pay the largest dividends.

Continue with the Beam Training Program Through Your Career

Every level of gymnast, from beginner to advanced, will want to continue this training through their careers to prevent bad habits from seeing in and to rein beam equipment and landings and to further improve their beam capacities. A program like this is not only a supplement for an advanced team training beam program but can and should serve as the major part of the basic development of younger and lower level beam basic training, even in a recreational program.

Romanian Beam Complex

A relatively well-known program that accomplishes some of these goals is the Romanian Beam Complex which is specifically designed to build the necessary habits of balancing on the feet and with proper foot and body position.

Soviet Beam Complex

A relatively unknown program is the Soviet Beam Complex, which emphasizes becoming comfortable on your hands in the handstand position and on increasing and developing specific strength for beam skills.

Build In a Margin of Error for Beam Landings

There is an additional need to develop a series of good skill landing habits for both front and back (and side) beam tumbling skills. When landings are practiced and done in a particular way, it can create a margin of error to avoid falls. This additional margin of error can be utilized to stabilize landings and eliminate falls.

Have to Expand Original Beam Complexes

Both the Soviet and Romanian Beam Complex systems will have to be significantly expanded to deal with new and more difficult skills and to train for skills that are now frequently done to comply with the updated difficulties requirements.

Oily Skin Care Tips – Get Rid Of Those Pimples And Greasy Spots On Your Face Forever

Oily skin is not a disease, its just a skin texture that makes you uncomfortable from which you want to get rid of. Due to lack of proper guidance and information on oily skin care available, it has turned into one of the major skin problems resulting into pimples, acne, blackheads and many more.

Several factors are said to be responsible for the aggravation of an oily skin:

CAUSES OF AN OILY SKIN

1. Heredity is quite responsible for an oily skin, but so do hormones. Pregnant women sometimes notice an increase in skin oil with the changes in hormonal activity. So do women going for birth control pills.

2. Stress can also lead in the overdrive of the oil glands.

3. The wrong cosmetics can easily aggravate an otherwise mild case of oily skin.

Some of these causes are within your ability to control, but others you will have to learn to live with.

In most of the cases, oily skin can be treated at home. But sometimes, the situation demands more than just a home remedy. You need to call for a doctor if you develop sever acne or notice notice any sudden change in your skin. Otherwise, go for these tips and try them at home:

TIPS ON OILY SKIN CARE

1. Keep your skin absolutely clean – You might be quite aware of the fact, that oilier the skin, the dirtier it looks and feels. And to get rid of this, keep your skin clean by washing it at least twice a day.

Generally, some doctors recommend you to use detergent-type soaps on your face. As a substitute to it, you can add 1-2 drops of dish washing detergent to your regular soap.

While some doctors condemn the use of detergent-type soaps as they are too harsh for your oily facial skin. Instead they recommend glycerin soaps to be used to clean your face twice a day.

If using a detergent soap irritates your facial skin then try the glycerin soap,easily available over the counter.

2. Give Aloe-Vera a Try – This wonder plant of the household is the best at absorbing skin oils. Slice open a leaf and smear the gel on your face 3 times a day. Let it dry. Or you can also keep a small amount of gel in the refrigerator during the summers for a refreshing face-lift.

3. Wipe with Astringents – Wipe the oily spots on your face by rubbing alcohol or a combination of alcohol and acetone that helps degrease your oily skin. Many drugstores even sell pre-moistened, individually wrapped alcohol wipes that are really portable, you can carry them in your purse for quick touch-ups all day long.

4. Carry Tissue papers with you – Paper facial tissues are the best substitute of astringents as they help soak up excess oils in a pinch. Get those special oil-absorbing tissues from a cosmetic counter that are very in removing excessive oils between cleansings.

5. Rinse your face with cold water – Simply splashing your face with cold water and blotting it dry a couple of times a day is equivalent to applying chemicals to your skin. These cold water rinses remove excessive oils from your face.

6. Say NO to moisturizers – Do not ever go after those tempting advertisements compelling you to buy facial moisturizers for oily skin. These are the fatal temptations taking you to disastrous skin. Instead apply a sunscreen on your face before facing the sun or going outdoors. And yes, do not forget to check the labels for products especially designed for oily skin.

7. Make your own scrub – Make a paste of a small amount of ground almonds with honey and apply as a facial scrub for removing oils and dead skin cells. Now gently massage this paste on your face with a hot washcloth. Finally, rinse with cold water.

Another scrub from oatmeal mixed with aloe vera can prove to be very beneficial for you. Rub gently on your skin and leave on for 15 minutes, Then rinse thoroughly. And if suffering from acne on your face, then you should probably skip the scrub, as it can aggravate your already-irritated skin.

8. Apply Masques on your oily face – Masques prove to be very beneficial in reducing the oiliness. Either Clay masques or you can mix Fuller’s Earth (easily available) with a little water and make a paste. Apply this paste to the face and leave on for about 20 minutes and then rinse off.

9. Go for water-based cosmetics only – Try to make your skin breathe by living without make-up, especially foundation. Using make-up or foundation that are oil-based blocks the pores of your skin thereby resulting in blemishes. And if necessary, then use water-based make-up only, especially spot concealers rather than coating your entire face. In general, prefer stick with powder or gel blushers, and avoid cream foundations as much as possible.

10. Tie up your hair properly – Keep your hair away from your face as oily hair accompanies an oily skin.

11. Do not touch your facial skin – Avoid touching your face throughout the day as your hands deliver excessive oils and dirt.

12. Choose a powder for you – For that extra shine-free protection, use simple products for your oily face such as Johnsons Baby Powder. This makes a superb face powder when fluffed lightly over your makeup.

13. Splash on the hot suds – Hot water is a great solvent. So, warm water should be used to wash an oily face and that with plenty of soap. Hot water plus soap dissolves skin oil better than cold water and soap.

So, what say now! You are just a few clicks away from getting a new fresh and non-oily skin! Go ahead and check out for the home remedies for oily skin care at my health blog.

Architecture Firms Design Floor Plans

There are a number of reasons to hire a professional architect. For people that are looking at building a custom home, the floor plans that are drafted by architectural firms offer the flexibility to add exactly what a person wants in their ideal living quarters. Whether it is a dedicated home theater room complete with tiered seating or an oversized whirlpool tub for a spacious and elegant master bathroom, people that want their home to be perfect often call on Tuscan architecture firms to provide the designs that fit their Southern Arizona lifestyle.

But it is not just customized plans for executive homes that bring people. Businesses that are looking for complete construction plan also use the firms to make certain that every detail has been taken into account. For the large scale buildings that require HVAC, electrical, mechanical and plumbing work the architects are responsible for creating a series of schematics that layout the pathways for conduits to carry pipe and wiring between floors. By understanding each of the vital systems and components of a floor plan and working up scale drawings of the final plans, The firms can present their specifications to the corporations that need to approve the plans before construction can begin.

After designing each of the technical schematics and overlaying them with the blueprints for a building the Tuscan architecture firms can also provide onsite construction management to make sure that permits and schedules are met. With the turnkey solutions that are provided to private citizens and corporations throughout Southern Arizona the architecture firms are making an impact on the skyline of Tuscan and Phoenix.

Wedding Arches With Flowers to Delight Any Bride

Wedding arches with flowers is one of many wedding flower arrangement ideas that is worthy of your consideration. There are actually many attractive options for using these arches, both with styles of arches and flower applications.

Arches appear in many architectural designs and are a great way to take advantage of the structure to enhance the wedding. Many churches have arches over the front door or along a walkway and some have arches inside. Garlands of greenery with or without flowers are lovely ways to enhance the beauty of these details.

Architectural arches in buildings make great backdrops for outdoor weddings. Some public formal gardens have arches carved in tall shrubbery. What an ideal setting for a wedding. Fresh flowers can be added for an awesome display.

Roses and climbing hydrangea are often grown on wooden or metal arches. If you have enough time to plan well in advance, a potted plant can be trained on an arch and moved to another location for the wedding.

When trees are planted across from each other, they can grow together to form a natural arch. So be aware of the lovely settings that we sometimes overlook when planning an outdoor wedding.

Wooden pergolas make wonderful structures to grow climbing vines such as wisteria, honeysuckle, roses, and passion flowers. With a little planning, you will have a lovely natural and inexpensive backdrop for your wedding.

Smaller arches can be purchased at a garden supply store. They are light weight and easy to decorate. They can be used to train vines and flowers to grow on or cuttings of ivy or boxwood can be wired in place to cover the arch for a beautiful wedding accent.

Flower arrangements really enhance all green arches. They can be as simple as a few roses scattered throughout the greenery or large showy arrangements made in florist containers and attached to the structure. Boughs of gardenia, magnolia or camellia are simple ways to enhance arches and a great price too.

If you wish to create your own arch with greenery, a simple way is to use a rope and attach greenery and flowers. It does take a little time, but it is a huge cost saver for a DIY project. Another fast and easy way is to staple sprigs of greenery directly to a wooden structure. Be sure to submerge the branches in water for several hours to hydrate them. This will keep them from wilting for several days. If the arch will be in full sun, be sure to mist it to keep it fresh.

A flower preservative is a liquid mixture used by florists to extend the life of flowers and greenery. It is available at floral supply stores and florists and will ensure fresh, lush flowers and greenery for your wedding.

To make an ivy “garland” to cover an arch, measure and cut a rope to fit the shape of the arch. Cut sprigs of ivy about six to eight inches long and wire them onto the rope. Start at one end and place the sprigs around the end of the rope. Wire in place. Start the second row a few inches below the first row, but overlap the ends of the sprigs to cover the wire. Flowers can be added after the ivy is in place. Attach the rope garland with wire or staple in place.

Flowers can be added to arches in several different ways depending on how many you will be using. If you want a large arrangement, it is best to use floral foam containers to hold the flowers. There are a variety of containers available.

Berry baskets are great to use and can be taped, wired, or stapled to a frame. They are inexpensive and make great holders for floral foam. The grid shapes also help when designing the arrangements. The baskets can be used alone or in groups for a large arrangement.

Arrangements in floral containers can be rested on top of an archway and secured with florist tape or wire.

As you can see, there are numerous wonderful possibilities when using wedding flowers with arches. When used tastefully as a complement to your overall design you will be delighted with the results.

Top 6 Construction Site Hazards!

Construction sites are considered the most potentially hazardous and accident-prone parts of any working environment. Excessive exposure to these construction site hazards exposes workers to injury and possible death. To prevent this, a company should know how to identify and be aware of all possible dangers that can be encountered during normal business operations. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) wants every employee to have sound knowledge of their susceptibility to harm or injury in the workplace.

Listed below are the top six construction site hazards identified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):

  1. Electrical- Electricity is one of the greatest hazards to people either at home or at work. Power line workers, electricians and electrical engineers work continuously with electricity and can face exposure to this hazard on a daily basis. At the construction site, the best way to prevent this kind of hazard is for the power line workers to be a safe working distance away from the power lines. Other precautionary measures includes guarding and insulating of the vehicle from which they might work. This would help prevent electrical hazards from injuring them while working.
  2. Excavation and Trenching – OSHA has recognized excavation and trenching as the most hazardous construction site operation. From the year 2000 to 2006, the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics (USBLS) recorded 271 worker fatalities in trenching and cave-ins. These hazards are preventable yet injuries related to these hazards are still happening. Both employer and employee must follow safety standards and use protective equipment to minimize hazards while trenching and excavating.
  3. Falls – Falling from scaffolding over six feet or a fixed ladder over twenty feet is the most dangerous and common construction site hazard. Falling from high places such as a ladder, scaffolding and roofs account for more than fifty percent of the accidents that happen at the workplace. The usual cause of this incident is slipping, tripping and using unstable ladders. There are thousands of reasons for fall hazards and to eliminate such risks, employers must have a fall protection program as part of any overall workplace safety and health program. Workers should be trained to identify and evaluate fall hazards and be fully aware of how to control exposure to such risks as well as know how to use fall protection equipment properly.
  4. Stairways and Ladder – According to OSHA’s construction safety and health standards, stairways and ladders are major sources of injuries and fatalities among construction workers. These recorded injuries are serious enough to put a worker out on sick leave. OSHA registered approximately 24,882 injuries and 36 fatalities yearly that are related to falling from stairways and ladders used at the construction site. To prevent such accidents and injuries, employers and employee must comply with OSHA’s general rule for the safe use of ladders and stairways.
  5. Scaffolding – Every year, approximately 60 workers die by falling from scaffolding; one out of five construction site falls are fatal. The most potential risk of scaffolding is due to moving scaffold components; scaffold failure related to damage to its components; loss of the load; being struck by suspended materials; electrical shock; and improper set-up. Construction workers who assemble and dismantle scaffolding and work platforms at construction sites face the risk of serious injuries due to falls. The scaffolding hazard is addressed by stated OSHA standards. They give specific requirements for the maximum load, when to use scaffolding, bracing and the use of guardrails.
  6. Heavy Construction Equipment – Approximately 100 construction site workers die each year due to heavy construction equipment. The main causes of such accidents includes: ground workers struck when a vehicle is backing up or changing direction; equipment rollovers that injure the operator; mechanics run over when brakes are not properly set; and ground workers crushed by falling equipment from backhoes, buckets, and other moving construction vehicles. To prevent this kind of risk, workers should follow all construction safety guidelines necessary to eliminate the exposure to such injuries and accidents.

Safety risks on construction site are unavoidable; however, these can be prevented if workers are instructed on how to identify the hazards that might be present at the work-site. The employer must establish proper safety standards that meet the maximum requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This will ensure that workers will have a safe working environment during normal operation.

This is not meant to be an all-inclusive list of construction site risks; however, these top six items are certainly important ones that all construction site employers should be aware of and continually working to eliminate them from happening.

Property Development – What’s an Entitlement and Why Do I Need it to Build?

What is An Entitlement?

The definition of entitlement with regard to land development is the legal method of obtaining approvals for the right to develop property for a particular use. The entitlement process is complicated, time consuming and can be costly, but know what you can and can’t do with a piece of property is vital to determining the real estate feasibility of your project. Some examples of entitlements are as follows:

Entitlement Examples:

1. Zoning and zoning variances for building heights, number of parking spaces, setbacks. Your land use attorneys and zoning experts come into play here. My advice is to heavily rely on their expertise and follow their directions to avoid unnecessary delays in your approval process.

2. Rezoning. Depending on the current use allowed for the property, you might need to have the site rezoned which is a complicated process and sometimes cannot be done.

3 Use Permits. You may need to obtain conditional use permits and this goes hand in hand with zoning and zoning variances.

4. Road approvals. Do you need to put in existing roads? Who maintains the roads? Are there shared roads via easements? These are all questions that you need to have the answers to and be prepared to comply with in the regulatory process.

5 Utility approvals. Are utilities available to the site? Do you need to donate land to the city in exchange for utility entitlements? Again, you will need to comply with the municipality regulations and standards.

6. Landscaping approvals. The city planning and development agencies must also approve your design and landscaping. Your architect and engineers will be most helpful in this area.

Hire an Experienced Development Team:

The best advise is to hire an experienced development team of architects, developers, lawyers, project consultants, civil, soil, landscape and structural engineers and consultants at the onset to help you analyze, review, interpret and advise you regarding design studies, applicable zoning and code requirements, and maximum development potential of the property. Without an experienced team, it is extremely difficult and a lot of time will be wasted in trying to complete the regulatory process because the very nature of the regulatory process is so complicated.

Here is how the process works. First, remember to keep in mind that the process is very slow and frustrating and can take approximately 3 to 12 months or sometimes years depending on how complicated the project is. Part of the reason is that each city planner has different interpretations of their local rules. Today, approvals involve jurisdictions overlapping such as city, county and state and these jurisdictions do not communicate with each other. It is extremely crucial that you establish good working relationships with these planners to obtain your approvals. Again, this is why you need to work with a development team that has already built these relationships with local staff of the local jurisdiction where your property will be developed. These relationships will streamline and help to expedite your approval process. Your experienced team of experts will be able to negotiate issues for you and eliminate additional requests by the local jurisdiction to avoid further delays in obtaining your approvals.

Regulatory Process:

Majority of development projects must go through certain aspects of the entitlement process and some projects will be required to go through several public hearing processes for approval depending on each jurisdiction’s rules. To begin, commercial development of land requires a review and approval from the local Development Review Board or Planning Department Review Division. Each municipality has a different name but the functions are similar.

  1. The process starts with obtaining site approval from the local Planning and Development Department. By contacting the local Planning and Development Department Review Division, your expert team will then put together a land use pre-application which complies with the codes of that particular jurisdiction. By complying with the codes, this will eliminate additional requests by the jurisdiction, further review and extension and unnecessary delays of the approval process.
  2. Next a meeting date will be set. You and/or your representatives will meet with the Planning Department to discuss the proposed project and review process. The process includes approval of your site plan, elevations, colors, landscaping, vicinity map, etc. Environmental information will need to be submitted also. There is usually a fee that accompanies the application. The fees vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
  3. If for some reason your site plan is denied, you can appeal to the City Council. The appeal process varies from each jurisdiction.
  4. Once you obtain site approval, then you will need design approval, master use permits. The design approval process is where your architect will design the building shell, core layout, exterior appearance, building height, site layout, landscaping concepts, traffic impact, site access and utility layouts and submit them for approval.
  5. Neighborhood hearings are generally required for all general plan conditional use permits. You may be required to send out written notice or post information on the site. Normally the City will send notices to the neighbors also. Signs should be placed on the property, and an open house meeting is generally held. Your development team will be instrumental in advising and assisting you so that you have a higher probability of achieving success in obtaining neighborhood approval. Be prepared, even if you comply with the regulatory process codes and regulations, there is always the possibility that the neighborhood may have their own agenda and that the hearings and decisions may not be favorable to your project going forward. This is where your attorneys and the rest of your development team’s expertise and participation are crucial.

If wetlands are located on the property you will need special documentation that states whether the Wetlands Act applies or not. If it does, either it will result in significant or insignificant impact as granted by evidence of a permit. Sometimes it is best to set aside or donate the wetlands portion of the property and avoid development issues. Your development team will be able to advise you on the best course of action once they have assessed all the information and reviewed the reports.

How To Sew A Lined Tank Top

Sewing projects like this one can be so much fun and save you so much money. Here are two different sewing methods on how to sew a lined tank top.

Reversible tank tops are so versatile. They are perfect to take when you travel. You get a 2 for 1 top if you use another color for the lining. You can even get 4 for 1 by using 4 different color fabrics. . . 2 colors for the 2 fronts and 2 colors for the 2 backs. This works great under suit jackets since only the front shows when you wear it.

Test for show through first. It’s a great way to use up a lot of your stash!

The necklines can even be different front and back if you like. Try sewing a v-neck front and a scoop neck back. If you have no darts for the bust, you can wear the top backwards for a different look.

Try both sewing techniques to see which one you like best.

Method I – Sew a Binding on The Neckline and Armholes

Directionally staystitch the necklines and armholes to help keep them from stretching.

That is, stitch 1/2″ from the edge through a single layer of

fabric from the shoulder to the center front and center back

on the neckline.

Staystitch from the shoulder to the underarm on the armholes.

Staystitch the bottom edge of the tank 1/4″ from the edge front and back on both layers.

Join Shoulder Seams

Lay a front and a back with 2 right sides together.

Stitch the shoulder seams from the neckline to the armhole.

Repeat for the lining layer.

Sandwich press the shoulder seams.

Press the seams open.

Trim the lining shoulder seams to 1/4″

Stitch Side Seams

Stitch the side seams from the bottom to the underarm on both layers.

Sandwich press the seams.

Press the seams open.

Trim the lining side seams to 1/4″.

Try On To Check Fit

Before you sew the two layers together, try on the tank top to see if the neckline or the armholes gap. If they do, now is the time to fix it either with darts, easing or other neckline or armhole adjustments too involved to address here.

Sewing Tip: Use a fusible stay tape on necklines and armholes to help eliminate the gaposis problem.

Once you get the top to fit your body, make the same adjustments to the lining.

Put Tank Top and Lining Together

Lay the 2 wrong sides of the tank top and lining together.

Pin the shoulder seams one on top of the other to hold in place at the neckline and the shoulder point.

Line up and pin together at the underarms.

Pin center fronts and center backs together at the neckline

Pin the armholes together

Beginning at a shoulder seam, stitch the neckline 5/8″ to 3/4″ from the edge.

Trim off the seam allowance close to the stitching. This edge will be bound and will be the finished edge of the garment.

Stitch the armhole seams 5/8″ to 3/4″. Trim off the seam allowance close to the stitching.

Now the neckline and armhole edges are ready for binding.

Sewing Tip: You might like to try serging the edges with a

decorative thread or look for a decorative purchased trim to bind them. You are the designer.

Cut Fabric Binding

For a fabric binding, cut matching or contrasting bias binding to go around the neckline and both armholes 4 times wider than you want the finished binding to be.

That is, if you want 3/8″ finished binding, cut the bias 1-1/2″ wide and the length you need it to be.

Test the width of bias on scraps of your garment and lining fabric (double layer) to make sure you have enough width for the “turn of the cloth”.

Sew Binding

Sewing Tip: Use fusible thread in the bobbin of your sewing machine to sew the binding to the neckline and armholes.

Lay the right side of the binding against the right side of

the tank top with the raw edges together.

At the beginning of the binding, fold back the raw end.

Place this fold at one of the shoulder seams for the neckline. You may start the binding at the center back if you prefer, however, if you plan to wear the tank backwards, it may look better to have the binding end at one shoulder.

Place the fold to start the binding at the underarm for the

armholes.

Stitch the binding as deep as you want it to be when finished. Example: 3/8″. Slightly stretch the binding as you stitch a curve.

Overlap where you started the binding and trim off the excess. The folded edge of the binding will show when the binding is finished.

Turn the bias up over the garment edge, fold under and pin.

Lightly press to fuse the binding to hold it in place.

Either slipstitch the edge of the binding so the stitches won’t show from either side or “stitch in the ditch” or “well stitch” on the right side with the stitches showing on the lining side.

Note: The fusible thread is not enough to hold the binding

permanently. You must stitch it.

If you aren’t going to wear the tank top inside out, just leave the raw edge of the binding on the inside and “stitch in the ditch”. It eliminates bulk. Since it is bias, it won’t fray.

Hemming Options:

Hem the two layers separately. Hem the outside layer first.

Let it hang a while. Try on the garment and mark where the lining should be hemmed. Then hem the lining layer so that it doesn’t show.

Note: If the garment is not reversible, hem the lining a little shorter than the garment. If the garment is reversible, you want both layers the same length.

Hand sew a small “swing tack” at the bottom of the side seams to keep both layers together.

Optional: You can stitch both layers together at the bottom and bind it, too.

Another Option: Or, bring the 2 right sides of the bottom of the garment and lining together and stitch leaving about a 4″ opening near a side seam to turn the tank right side out.

Slipstitch or fuse the opening closed.

Method II – Create a Center Back Seam For More Choices

This is another favorite sewing technique for sewing a lined

tank top. This method requires either a center front or center back seam in the garment. It is the same technique often used for a reversible or lined vest.

If you don’t want a plain seam line down the center of your tank, then turn it into a pleat or tucks or some other design element on the garment. Be sure to allow extra fabric for the center seam plus the pleat, pintucks, etc.

How To Add For An Inverted Pleat

Here is an example of how to add for an inverted pleat. This

pleat folds toward the seam line and helps to hide it. You can add decorative or top stitching or trim, etc. to the pleat if desired. You are the designer. Do whatever suits your fancy. Get ideas from ready-to-wear.

For a 1″ inverted pleat down the center back or center front of a tank top, you need to add double the pleat (2″) plus a seam allowance (5/8″). That adds up to 2-5/8″ total that you need to add to the center front or center back fold line in order to make a 5/8″ seam and have a 1″ pleat.

You might also like the seam exposed as the focal point of a box pleat and run a row of trim or buttons down the seam line. Just fold the pleat to create a box pleat instead of an inverted pleat.

How To Sew The Tank Top

Directionally staystitch the necklines and armholes on both layers to prevent stretching as specified in Method I.

Stitch the shoulder seams on both layers. Press and trim as in Method I.

Do NOT make the center seam. For our example, we will use a center back seam.

Put the 2 right sides together of the tank and the lining together

Stitch the armholes, trim and understitch. Use short stitches (18-20 per inch); trim to 1/8″ and understitch.

For the neckline, beginning on the back about 2″ before the

shoulder seam, stitch around the neckline and stop 2″ beyond

the other shoulder seam.

Trim seam and understitch. Use short stitches to stitch a curve (18-20 per inch); trim to 1/8″ and understitch.

Leave the back neckline unstitched until after you make the seam and pleat in the center back. It is fine for now.

Turn Right Side Out

Now, pull the split unstitched right and left backs through each shoulder to turn right side out.

Press the stitched neckline and armholes well with understitching up at the board.

Stitch Center Seam

Stitch the center seam at 5/8″. Sandwich press. Press seam open.

Mark Pleat

With the face side up, mark fold lines 2″ away from either side of the seam line. Bring those lines over to the seam line and press the pleat in place.

You can stitch 1″ from the marked fold if desired.

Repeat for the lining.

Finish Back Neckline

Now, finish the back neckline. Stitch with short stitches, trim, understitch, press.

Shoulders, neckline, and armholes are finished.

Sew Side Seams

Lay the right sides together for both the garment and the

lining.

Pin the underarm seams one on top of the other matching exactly.

Start at the bottom of the garment and stitch in a continuous seam up to the armhole, stop, walk your sewing machine over the pin, and keep stitching down the lining side seam.

Sandwich press the seam.

Press the seam open.

Do not trim this lining seam in case you need to let the garment out.

Turn the lining layer down inside the garment.

Finish The Bottom

Finish the bottom as described above with either separate hems, or. . .

Stitch the two layers together leaving an opening near a side seam and turn right side out.

Design Your Own Tank Style Garments

Change your necklines, add slits to the side, or lengthen

the tank top pattern for tunic, knee length, or floor length. Just make sure to allow room for hip width plus ease.

Perfect the fit on your tank top sewing pattern. Use it to sew blouses, dresses, beach cover-ups, night gowns, vests and sleeveless jackets.

Sew a whole wardrobe using different fabrics like silk, lace, fleece, leather, suede, denim, upholstery fabrics, sheers, cottons, knits, quilted fabric, whatever you want.

Add decorative stitching, appliques, embroidery, fabric manipulation; try out all your sewing techniques, paints, etc.

Have fun designing your own unique tank wardrobe. They are

quick and easy sewing projects.

It just makes sense!

The Pros and Cons of Infrared Fireplace Inserts

I first noticed the inclusion of quartz infrared heaters into the design of electric fireplaces and inserts at the beginning of the 2012 heating season.

From a marketing perspective, expanding into the electric fireplace product line is a no brainer given the popularity of quartz infrared heaters in general.

But are infrared inserts just a gimmick, or do they provide additional benefits not found in conventional inserts?

Pros:

Superior Heat Quality

If you already own an infrared heater you don’t need to be convinced that its moist, even heat creates a more comfortable environment than the harsh, arid heat that comes from an electric coil heater.

And if you’ve never experienced the difference you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you do.

More Powerful Heater

The typical electric insert comes equipped with a standard electric coil heater rated at 4,600 BTUs, or the equivalent of 1,350 watts.

A quartz infrared heater, by comparison, is rated at 5,200 BTUs, or 1,500 watts which works out to 10% more heating power.

And, since it has a radiant heat source that directs its warmth to inanimate objects such as funiture, which retain heat, it uses less energy to maintain the room temperature.

Flame Display

The identical flame display is used for both infrared and non-infrared inserts of similar sized models within a brand name’s product line. For example, the same SpectraFire flame display is used in all of Classic Flame’s 28″ models.

Although the flame display quality isn’t an issure for the purposes of this article, it’s understandable why it would be more important than the type of heater for some consumers

By the way, the reviews I’ve read for the Classic Flame SpectraFire flame display have been good to outstanding.

Cons:

Heating Coverage Area

I don’t know why everyone who sells infrared heaters claims they will heat 1.000 square feet, but they persist in doing so. I know my 1,500 watt DR Heater will comfortably heat around 600 square feet of my Boston condo, but that’s about it. There are just too many obstructions (doors, walls) that prevent a heater of this size from reaching every corner of a home’s layout.

Or, if you have an open floor plan, it’s impossible for any 1,500 watt heating appliance, quartz or otherwise, to keep up with the demand.

So the answer is yes, a radiant heater will do a better job at heating larger areas than most conventional heaters, but it’s not going to heat 1,000 square feet unless it’s a self contained room in a home built to LEED standards.

Price

Although the additional cost of an infrared heater is not mentioned as a drawback by people who have purchased and reviewed them, it might be a deterrent to some.

Fireplace Inserts Are Versatile

Electric fireplace inserts are popular with RV owners as an after market installation. They can also be used as a stand alone heating unit or, if you’re into woodworking, you could custom build a mantle and surround to suit your taste.

Afraid to Steam Clean Your Carpets Because You Think Your Stain Protection Might Be Compromised?

Currently many people are spending more money on their carpeting. Carpet manufacturers have realized that people are not willing or able to replace their carpets every five or ten years, so they created an effective way to help prevent staining. Yes you guess it, Scotch guarding. However many homeowners are faced with a new dilemma “How can I effectively clean and maintain my Stain Protection on my carpet”? is the most common question they ask themselves.

Most people operate under the assumption that having their carpets professionally steam cleaned will ruin their stain protection. This is simply not the case, any professional Kansas City Carpet Cleaning company will tell you that while steam cleaning DOES remove some of the stain protection it is a small amount, and that it WILL NOT harm the protective nature of your carpets protection. In all actuality not having your carpets cleaned by a professional Kansas City Carpet Cleaning company on a regular basis is far more damaging.

To illustrate how this happens I will give a brief explanation on what exactly scotch guarding does. It is a liquid barrier that coats the individual fibers that make up carpet. It is designed to delay the absorption of liquids that will stain these same fibers. By delaying the absorption of spills it gives the home owner the opportunity to clean up the damaging substance before it is absorbed. That in a nut shell is all professionally applied stain protection does. Non-professionally applied stain protection is diluted and this reduces its effectiveness. What the carpet manufacturers do not tell the consumer is that simple everyday use of their carpet breaks down the protective layer on a daily basis.

A Professional Kansas City Carpet Cleaning company will tell you that everything from walking, dirt, animals, Pet Urine, Vacuuming, furniture moving and poor indoor air quality actually breaks down the stain protection on a microscopic level. It also damages the carpet fibers themselves which overtime will cause matting and bare patches in the carpet. Having your carpets professionally steam cleaned by a Kansas City Carpet Cleaning company will remove these particles and there fore will help prevent the damage from occurring.

Most professional carpet cleaning companies in the Kansas City area offer their customers the additional option of having stain protection applied after their steam cleaning. For consumers this is the most effective way to protect their carpets. By first having the carpets professionally steam cleaned they remove the stains and any potential damaging debris from not only the carpet but anything that has reached the padding as well. Then by having the stain protection applied they are adding to the all ready existing barrier and reinforcing the stain protection further.

5 Flatshare Rules: Create a Contract With Your Flatmates

Living in a flatshare is a great way to meet new people and save money on living expenses. However, some tenants have had problems with their flatmates such as space invasions, noisy nights, messy situations, and more. You can avoid all of these problems by meeting with your flatmates and laying out some rules on paper. Lay out the rules together and have everyone involved sign the agreement.

1. Security

Safety should be number one on the agreement. It’s vital for everyone. Flatmates must lock the doors when leaving the property, even if it is just down the street. If you open a window make sure it is locked when you close it. Protect your house keys. Don’t let others borrow them. It is way too easy to make copies.

2. Food and Drinks

Everyone buys their own food and drinks and labels them. If it’s not labeled; it’s up for grabs. That will ensure flatmates label their food and drinks. Assign refrigerator shelves, cupboards and drawers in the kitchen for each mate. Yes, you should put this in the agreement too. It’s hard to argue about something you agreed to earlier with your own signature.

3. Noise

Set a noise curfew for everyone in the apartment. Generally, 10 at night is a good time. A noise curfew means that no loud noise will be made after the agreed upon time. This includes loud music, loud guests, etc. Agree upon a time and write it in the agreement.

4. Cleanliness

There are two general types of space in a flatshare: public and private. Public areas are usually the kitchen, living room and bathroom. If you make a mess clean it up right away. Flatmates should not have to clean up after each other. It’s inconvenient and annoying. All public areas need to be kept clean. Private areas should also be kept clean. Filth can lead to pest problems that no one wants. Chores will also need to be outlined in the flatmate agreement. Write down who will do what and when. General chores include dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, and washing dishes.

5. Space

Flatmates need to respect each other’s space. Designate the apartment’s space for each flatmate. What is not designated is public space. A flatmate should use her own space and no more.

It would be wise to invest in an attorney to have a professional meeting with you and your flatmates, and to have him write up the contract for you. Your contract will be in writing, signed and written by an attorney so you and your flatmates can enjoy your stay together.

The Flat Belly Solution – Isabel De Los Rios Gives Hope For Effective Weight Loss

The Flat Belly Solution, created by certified nutritionist Isabel De Los Rios, is quickly becoming the premiere weight loss plan for women. Uncomplicated and sensible, it provides women with a concrete set of principles to lose belly fat and thigh fat…and keep it off forever.

Dieting has almost become synonymous with “discouragement.” Tens of thousands of women have started all kinds of popular and hype-inflated diets…only to see their dreams of getting the slender body they want spiral into a crash landing. What starts out with incredible results, abruptly stalls and they regain, not only the weight and inches they initially lost…but EVEN MORE!

It takes several months for a woman’s spirit to heal from a misfire like this until they can rachet-up the motivation to begin anew. Once more, they pin their hopes on the “newest, secret diet” only to rinse and repeat their previous experience.

This is Yo-Yo dieting in its most complete form…and it tears up women indiscriminately.

Why Do Novelty Diets Fail?

  • They are too complicated. They require too much measuring, calculating, and journaling.
  • They are too extreme. Many promote starvation-type measures, (which actually slow your metabolism.)
  • They require expensive pre-packaged meals or worthless supplements.
  • They are too controlling, restrictive, and unforgiving.

The Flat Belly Solution has an entirely different approach. Women are drawn to it because it is NOT a diet. It is a concrete and comprehensive guide to creating significant and positive changes in your eating habits that can be extended lifelong. Instead of a temporary adjustment for cutting back a few pounds, Isabel De Los Rios gives women the tools for safe, sensible, and effective weight loss that effectuate a life without fat.

She drives this premise home in the Preface of her book when she states, “People don’t need another diet book; they need to change their lifestyles. They don’t need to be told how and why to go on a diet; they need to learn how to change their eating habits and their thinking for life.”

Why Does The Flat Belly Solution Appeal To Women?

  • You will discover how to eat consciously…and know how different foods affect fat storage.
  • You will discover why sugar foods and starch-laden processed foods pack on the pounds and inches.
  • You will discover how eating naturally, with foods selected from Mother Nature, automatically make your food choices more beneficial.
  • You will discover how to identify your individual Metabolism Type, and create meal plans that enhance the metabolic process…NOT grind it to a halt!
  • You will discover how to progressively integrate Isabel’s simple principles of continuous weight loss/weight management in a secure and realistic manner.