Fix it and Flip it – How I Lost Money on Real Estate

I’ve known a lot of people who have lost money when they sold their homes. In fact, I’m one of those people, and it’s happened to me more than once.

There are a number of factors can cause a financial loss when you sell your house, including the need to sell at the wrong time due to divorce or an impending foreclosure, or a downturn in the local real estate market. However, it’s also common to lose money simply by making too many expensive changes to the house before putting it on the market. This is how I lost money on real estate, before I wised up.

My most resounding failure in the fix it and flip it market was a house I bought in Spokane, Washington. Knowing what I know now, I would have restricted myself to replacing the carpets and the kitchen and bathroom fixtures, painting inside and out, and buying new appliances. I probably would have replaced the old-style windows, too, to make the place look nicer and appeal to the energy-conscious buyer. These fixes could have been done easily within the two years I needed to live there to avoid capital gains taxes.

Since I didn’t know what I know now, I made major renovations, which included moving the bathroom. I did most of the work myself, but the materials alone cost more than I could get back when the house was sold. With the exception of repairs done to the house to make it eligible for an FHA loan and watering the grass, I doubt that any of my major projects really helped me sell the house or increased its value.

If a house is actually sound, with no structural damage or insect problems, the biggest reason it will sell for less than its worth is usually cosmetic. This was certainly true of the house I bought in Spokane. Dirty carpeting, and a wall in the living room covered with mirror tiles, kept most buyers from going any further into the house. I could see past the cosmetic problems and see the home’s full potential – but my imagination went a bit too far.

The floor plan was odd, and slightly inconvenient, but leaving the bathroom where it was would have been far more rational, financially. Why didn’t I do that? Because my emotions and my nesting instincts took over, pushing aside all thought of future gain or loss.

Let’s face it – most people don’t buy their own homes with the intention of making a profit, although they certainly hope the house will be a good investment. In fact, the emotional stress caused by the process of buying a house and moving into it can be enough to completely erase any thought of moving again a few years later. However, I know several families who have made a very good living by buying underpriced homes, living in them and fixing them up, and then selling them when the IRS will allow them to do so without paying extra taxes. Clearly, these folks don’t make any changes to these houses without carefully considering the bottom line.

After my Spokane adventure, I decided to learn from my mistakes, and find out how to stop losing money on houses. I read books by authors who are experienced in fixing and flipping houses – and then read them again. When I saw that most remodeling projects almost never recoup their costs when the house is sold, I was a little shocked, because I had been guilty of almost every mistake on the list at one time or another. I know many people who have also made the same mistakes, even when they started those remodeling projects with the intention of increasing the value of their homes.

When I bought my next house, I kept that list very firmly in mind. For instance, my kitchen was badly in need of a major overhaul, (or so I believed), and it was far too small. I pored over the latest home decorating magazines, and ideas came flooding into my head. I thought about knocking out some walls, and I even tried to imagine adding on to the house to make the kitchen bigger. New cabinets would be needed, and new appliances…

In the end I painted the kitchen cabinets and replaced the sink with a new one I purchased at Ikea. I covered the chipped orange Formica counters with printed cotton fabric, and coated it with many layers of water-based Verathane that was intended to protect wood floors. The complete “remodel” cost less than $400, as opposed to the thousands of dollars that I would have spent if I followed through on my idle dreams of a “perfect” kitchen. Since the house sold at a very good price within two weeks of listing it, my buyer obviously didn’t mind that the kitchen didn’t meet my idea of perfect. Because I kept my costs down, I made a handy profit on the sale.

Would I have been able to sell the house for more money if the kitchen had been remodeled and expanded? Perhaps, but not enough to cover the cost of the remodel. Although the National Association of Realtors lists a kitchen remodel as one of the projects that will increase a house the most, they still advise that you should expect to get back only 80% of the costs. If your new kitchen is far fancier, bigger, and more expensive than any other kitchen in the neighborhood, the returns will be even less. A full kitchen remodel can cost thousands of dollars, so the 20% you don’t get back can be a big chunk of change.

Does this mean that you shouldn’t make changes to your home that would make you happy? Not at all, especially if you intend to live there for many years. But it does pay to sit down with your spouse or partner before you start making your remodeling plans, determine exactly how long you’ll be staying in the home, and then think about the full financial implications of the remodeling project. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a professional house flipper, it might pay to slow down a bit and find ways to improve the home without spending money you’ll never see again. As a bonus, your family might be able to avoid the stress and disruption of all that remodeling mess.

How to Prepare Your Home For Replacement Windows

If you are reading this article, chances are you’ve made the decision to have your windows replaced, or you are at least considering it. Good decision! Your home will look great and feel comfortable with your new windows installed, and you’ll even save money on your energy bills if you’ve chosen to replace your old windows with energy efficient models. Here are some tips to make sure the installation process goes smoothly.

Clear the windows. Take down all curtains, blinds, and any other window treatments, and check your yard for any plants or bushes that may need to be trimmed away from the windows. The replacement crew will need about two feet of space in front of each window, so go ahead and prepare this area for them. This will reduce the amount of time it takes the workers to install your windows, which will also save you money if you are being charged by the hour.

Call off security. Remove any security sensors from the windows, and turn off your security system. Contact your security company to inform them that you are installing new windows and will need them to reconnect the alarms once the windows are installed.

Clear a path. Make sure that the workers have a clear path from their truck to the windows and enough space by the windows to bring in their equipment. Anything that might get in their way should be moved aside, whether it is as large as a sofa or as small as a rug. Also, if you have any pets, make sure they are secured while the workers are present.

Cover up. A good replacement window company will clean up a worksite after the installation, but it doesn’t hurt to take some precautions just in case. After all, old window sashes are often very dirty. Cover up your furniture, and ask the workers to bring a tarp or drop cloth to protect the floor.

If you have done your homework and chosen a good replacement window company, these tips should help the installation go off without a hitch. Enjoy your new windows!

Standard Tests for Carpet Tiles

Specifying floor covering for a commercial application requires at least a passing understanding of how it will perform in the workplace.Unfortunately, markings like “contract quality” or “heavy domestic” are open to interpretation, making it difficult for the specifier to make an informed decision.

Simon Lawrence of UK carpet tile specialist, Bürofloor, offers some insight into the standard tests that can be applied to carpet that has to perform – and last – in the punishing commercial environment.

Commercial premises place heavy performance requirements on any sort of floor covering. When coffee gets spilt at home there’s an immediate flurry of mopping and spraying with stain remover. In the workplace it’s more likely to be ignored and then walked on by unwiped outdoor shoes. Your sofa at home gets moved when you need to remove dust or dinky toys from underneath it. The castor chairs in your office travel miles, boring holes in the carpet tiles as they do so.

This means that we need a benchmark by which we can judge the suitability of carpet or carpet tiles for commercial contract use. Fortunately there are standardised tests to provide Euronorm (EN) and International Standards Organisation (ISO) certification. Genuine heavy contract products should carry the standards described here.

ISO 8543 – Effective Pile Weight

Carpet tiles need dense, closely-grouped pile to provide the required wear resistance. To provide a standard for this, ISO 8543 specifies a method of shaving the carpet down to its backing. It simply measures the mass of the pile removed in grams per square metre. In general, the greater the pile mass, the harder-wearing will be the carpet tile.

ISO 1765 – Total thickness

This is another relatively simple test. In this case the carpet tile is compressed by a standard weight, and then its thickness is measured to the nearest 0.1mm.

EN 1963 – Lisson Treadwheel Test

This test measures the carpet’s resistance to scuffing, in particular highlighting how strongly the pile tufts are secured. The treadwheel is positioned above the carpet to be tested and rolled to and fro across the sample 400 times. The wheel turns slightly faster than it moves across the carpet creating a severe scuffing effect. The tested carpet sample is compared to the master samples and is rated accordingly. This is a particularly aggressive test, literally ripping some types of carpet tile to shreds. A pass under EN1963 is a strong indicator of good wear resistance.

ISO 10361 – Accelerated Wear Testing

This standard is particularly relevant for carpet tiles that will be used in an office. It’s composed of two tests, the Vetterman drum test and the castor chair test.

Vetterman Drum Test

The Vetterman Drum Test is intended to simulate heavy, focused footfall. Foot traffic tends to be concentrated around doorways or narrow passages between desks, and these areas can quickly become threadbare.

The carpet for testing is fixed inside a revolving metal drum. A heavy (7.5Kg) ball, covered in hard rubber protrusions, is placed inside the drum and is allowed to bounce around freely. The carpet is subjected to two test programmes, one of 5,000 rotations of the drum and one of 22,000 rotations.

The carpet is then visually judged against master wear samples and is given a rating for how well it has withstood the effects of the test.

The visual inspections of the carpet give results from 1 to 5 for both 5,000 and 22,000 rotations and the final result is a combination of the two results according to the formula below;

Total Result = 0.75 x Result after 5,000 rotations + 0.25 x result after 22,000 rotations

A result of 2 or more is a pass

A result of 2.4 or more is a pass for intensive use

Castor Chair Test

Castor chairs are particularly damaging, and the ragged holes they wear in floor coverings can represent a tripping hazard. The results of this test should be an essential part of the office carpet specification.

The test rig rolls a three-castored chair, carrying a weight of 90kg, across the carpet. Two samples are used, one run for 5,000 and one for 25,000 cycles.

The tested samples are visually assessed against standard samples and are rated on a scale of 1-5. The final result for the test is given according to the formula below;

Total Result = 0.75 x Result after 5,000 rotations + 0.25 x result after 25,000 rotations

ISO/DIS 10965 – Electrical Resistance

This test is particularly important for contract carpet that could well find itself in computer rooms where a build up of static electricity could damage valuable equipment.

The carpet sample to be tested must be acclimatized for at least 7 days before the test at a temperature of 23+/-1°C and 25+/-2% relative humidity. This is because humidity impacts so greatly on conductivity of textiles and must be controlled rigorously to get a meaningful test.

In this test regime the horizontal resistance and vertical resistance of the carpet is measured (in Ohms).

Horizontal resistance: An isolating underlay is placed under the carpet tile sample which should be pile upward. 2 electrodes are connected to the tile 200 mm apart and the resistance in Ohms is measured between them.

Vertical resistance: Here the electrodes are above and below the carpet tile and the resistance in Ohms is measured between them.

Measurements of less than 1010 Ohms are necessary for computer rooms.

ISO 3415 – Static Loading (Compression test)

This test is designed to see how much the carpet is compressed by a weight placed on it. It replicates the effect of furniture on the carpet.

The thickness is measured before compression

A pressure of 220 kPa is applied for 15, 30 and 60 minutes.

The result is simply given in the loss of thickness in mm after

a recovery period of 1 hour.

ISO 140-8 Acoustic Properties

The test equipment for this standard consists of two spaces, one above the other and 5 hammers, each of 500 gr. The first test is to measure impact absorption – i.e. how much impact noise is absorbed by the carpet sample.

First of all the hammers are allowed to free fall onto the floor of the upper space from a height of 4 cm, each striking the floor 10 times / second. The noise in decibels is recorded in the space below.

The test is then repeated with the addition of the sample carpet to the floor of the higher space.

The difference in decibels is the amount of impact noise that has been absorbed by the carpet sample. This test is interesting in that it shows how well carpet performs to stop noise transmission compared to other floorcoverings like wood or vinyl.

For ISO 354 the absorption of ambient noise is measured. Noise of different frequencies; (125 – 250 – 500 – 1000 – 2000) are broadcast down into a room of 200m³ and the amount of noise bounced back from the floor is measured. This is then compared with the noise reflected by the floor when covered with sample material. A result of 0.5 in this test shows that 50% of the noise that would have been reflected was absorbed by the test sample and that the remaining 50% was reflected by it.

ISO 2551 – Dimensional Stability and EN 986 for tiles

Carpet tiles must maintain their dimensions ±0.02% after the following treatments:

Heating to a temperature of 60°C for 2 hours

Bathing in water at a temperature of 20°C for 2 hours

Further heating to a temperature of 60°C for 24 hours

Conditioning in normal atmospheric conditions for 48 hours

These treatments demonstrate that the tiles will retain their integrity in the toughest conditions like hot water cleaning and extreme temperatures.

Cost of Ownership

All floor coverings carry a hidden expense in the form of replacement costs. In commercial premises this cost is raised further by the business disruption of installing new carpet tiles. Buying unwisely will inevitably lead to higher expense. A reputable supplier should respond positively to a request for test data. Hopefully the information in this article will help make sense of the test specifications and support a properly informed choice.

Use Effective Natural Remedies for Chest Congestion

Excessive production of cough or hardening of cough inside chest causes chest congestion which can cause uneasiness and even problems in breathing, natural remedies can melt this phlegm to pass it out of the body. Mostly it occurs due to infection which causes excessive production of cough in the body and makes its movement sluggish to congest the chest and block the breathing path to cause uneasiness.

Honey has many anti-bacterial properties and provides many effective remedies for chest congestion. Drinking a teaspoon of honey with lukewarm water helps in meting down the hardened cough in the chest to pass it out and relieve the symptoms of congestion. One teaspoon of ginger juice mixed with some honey and consumed as first thing in the morning is very good to relieve cough and cold symptoms. If a person is having lot of trouble in breathing due to chest congestion inhaling vapors of eucalyptus oil mixed with some peppermint can clear the breathing passage immediately for quick relief.

Tea made of anise seeds is a good natural remedy for chest congestion as it promotes secretion from throat and lungs linings to melt down cough and relieve the sufferer. Vapors of cardamom with thyme also helps in relieving chest congestion as cardamom is a good decongestant, cardamom is also advised in the diet for relieving cold symptoms. Drinking mint tea or coffee also relieves congested chest and promote comfortable breathing.

Almond is very useful in relieving chest congestion. Seven to eight cloves of almonds can be kept in water to be soaked overnight, in the morning these can be grinded to form a paste after peeling off the skin. Fry them in half teaspoon of butter and later add half teaspoon of honey in it, this paste can be consumed in two three times in a day. Drinking hot milk mixed with two teaspoons of turmeric powder mixed in it also relieves chest congestion. Another effective natural remedy can be prepared by mixing half tablespoon of carom seeds in glass of water and a teaspoon of turmeric powder in it, this mixture is boiled on a low flame till is volume is reduced to half. Later a teaspoon of honey can be mixed and this syrup can be consumed 2-3 times in a day for quick relief. Orange juice with warm water also relieves chest congestion; 2-3 cloves fried in oil can be chewed during the day for softening cough in the chest.

Consumption of hot food also helps in relieving chest congestion. Drinking tea made by mixing basil leaves and ginger few time in a day is a good natural remedy for passing out cough from the body. Eating yellow fruits like papaya and pineapple and vegetables like spinach, capsicum and berries also help the body in meting down the hardened cough. Using peppers and chilies more as spices in the food helps in passing cough out. Drinking lot of water is very beneficial as hydrated body can flush out the infection as well as cough easily and quickly. Using essential oils as aromatherapy for chest congestion is also an effective natural remedy. Inhaling vapors of these oils helps in softening the mucous by more fluid secretion to relieve the problem.

In Defense of Custom Online Lettering Design Tool for Vinyl Lettering Design

Now-a-days, people are driven with online design tool development for creating own personalized vinyl lettering design by using online lettering design tool. Vinyl lettering is the highly cost-effective way to create unique commercial signage design that can stand out. The easy-to-install web application tool is the better option to creating a high-quality and professional vinyl words instead of struggling to create fantastic designs on other designing software. People are using vinyl lettering for advertising work to display company name, phone number and website address on the different platforms.

Letter design software application is gaining momentum among people when it comes to create vinyl and self-adhesive signage. The powerful online design tool enjoys strong position among people when it comes to customize design for vinyl words. An online letter software has been widely used across the world for vinyl words signage for vehicle, boat, custom boat registration, decorative wall, window, vinyl signs, semi truck and standards truck, custom wooden, special textures applied letter etc.

The web designing letter tool is the smartest option enables a person to create, submit and purchase fantastic vinyl word artwork quickly and efficiently. There are various lettering application tools available online which allow a user to create word artwork in minutes. By using the instant vinyl lettering design software, an individual can create professional and appealing letter art and personalize it according to individualistic requirements. Online lettering tool helps to design eye-catching lettering in real-time by using vinyl color schemes, endless variety of fonts and sizes which can be used for both interior and exterior signage.

Benefits of custom online lettering design tool:

  • Easy to install and implement
  • Fully customizable
  • Multiple fonts, colors, and effects to choose from
  • Multiple letter size option
  • Assign categories and sub-categories
  • Product-wise Purchase Register
  • Bulk Order
  • Customer bulk order history
  • Multiple Category support
  • Add Special Effects

An instant vinyl lettering design software is the most convenient option that streamlined the overall process of designing a custom vinyl letters and helps to save total cost.

Where Do Cut Crystal Figurines Come From?

Cut Crystal Figurines

Crystal and glass figurines have been made through the ages. Famous producers of crystal figurines are for instance Lalique, Baccarat, Daum and Cristallerie d’Argues. These are beautiful sculptures made out of glass or crystal and they represent people, animals, flowers, etc.

But these are not the kind of crystal figurines we are talking about here. Cut crystal figurines are made out of full-cut faceted, lead crystal stones. Because the use of a high lead-content in the crystal, the light is reflected, actually diffracted, and this results in a beautiful palette of colors.

Basically these figurines are composed out of cut crystal lamp pendants and cut crystal beads, glued together in such a way that they represent for instance an animal or a flower. But that was basically. The modern cut crystal figurines are made of specially designed cut crystal components.

History of Glass Cutting

Bohemia was the area where most of the glass and crystal cutting was concentrated in the 19th century. They produced most of the crystal pendants for chandeliers and also the cut crystal beads and pendants for the jewellery and the fashion industry.

Cutting and polishing glass and crystal stones was a tedious job and needed much skills in those days.

The son of one of the best Bohemian glass cutters at the mid 19th century, was a young man named Daniel Swarovski.

After a visit to an exhibition in Vienna in 1883, he became obsessed with the possibilities of electricity. He wanted to use electricity to power the tedious glass cutting process. He succeeded after nine years of experimenting! and could patent the first semi-automatic, electrically driven, glass and crystal cutting machine.

This was such a revolutionary invention that it changed the glass cutting industry forever. His machine could cut glass and crystal with much more precision and at much higher speed than the manually cutting method.

The Perfection of Crystal Cutting

After the invention of the electrically driven cutting technology, Daniel Swarovski did not stop inventing. He started a factory where he constantly improved the cutting but where he also mastered the making of flawless, high lead-content crystal.

His jewelery stones made him the number one supplier of the fashion industry in Paris. All the famous couturiers used his cut crystal stones and Swarovski became an established brand.

The Swarovski company never stopped developing new ways how to make better crystal and new ways how to cut crystal better. Needless to say that they are today still the no.1 crystal cutting company in the world.

The First Cut Crystal Figurine

It is not so long ago, actually in 1976, that the first commercial cut crystal figurine was made and, again, that one was made by the Swarovski company.

In 1976 the winter Olympics were held in Innsbruck in Austria, not far away from the Swarovski factories (Wattens, Austria). Swarovski designer Max Schreck made a mouse out of cut crystal stones and it became a best seller during the games, immediately after it was launched into the market.

The reason why it took so long before the first cut crystal figurine saw the daylight is because there was, until the beginning of the seventies, no glue which could glue the stones together. The glue is a solution of an acrylate which hardens out to a clear acrylic substance under UV-radiation. That kind of Chemistry only developed after WWII.

The smaller version of the original mouse is still available and is sold under the name ‘replica mouse’. The replica mouse is not alone anymore. The collection of cut crystal Swarovski figurines is still growing and the beautiful cut crystal figurines depict themes from the world of flora and fauna, childhood memories, Christmas themes and more.

Famous Brands for Cut Crystal Figurines

The most famous brand is, without any doubt, Swarovski. There is a whole army of collectors of about 325,000 people who are a member of the Swarovski Crystal Society. Being a member of the largest collectors society in the world makes it possible to buy limited editions. The limited editions are special models which are produced in limited quantities only.

Many companies have started making cut crystal figurines after Swarovski started with their collection. And many of them have stopped after a while.

Making cut crystal figurines is not just sticking some stones together. The companies who survived during the last four decades and who still make cut crystal figurines are the companies who put lots of effort in design and quality.

Preciosa from the Czech Republic is such a company. They have a great collection of beautifully designed figurines and they also use the finest crystal for it. After all Preciosa is world’s no.2 crystal cutting company and they have a name to keep up.

Crystal World is another top brand. This company, with a team of Japanese designers, is already making beautiful pieces since it was founded by Rudy (Ryuyu) Nakai, in 1983, in the United States.

In Egypt is the company Asfour. Asfour is like Swarovski and Preciosa also a giant crystal cutting company. Asfour also makes a high quality crystal and they design beautiful crystal figurines.

You’ll find other producers of crystal figurines in other countries but usually they are not as specialized as the four companies above. China and Turkey have quite some producers of crystal figurines. Some of those companies have nice models but for most of them, crystal figurines are not their main business and they usually offer a range of other crystal products alongside the figurines.

Cut crystal figurines have a magical attraction to many people. The clarity of the material, the breaking of the light into many colors and the timeless designs make people want to surround themselves with them.

What once started as a single crystal mouse in Austria in 1976, is now collected by hundreds of thousands people around the world and brings joy everyday to many. We can only thank the innovative, world-famous crystal cutting company Swarovski for inventing the cut crystal figurines which bring that special touch to many people’s life.

Using Class Codes 0042 and 9102

Workers’ compensation insurance in Florida and roughly 40 other states, use a classification code system designed by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) to rate insurance premiums differently for groups of employees. There are roughly 600 class codes, and the two main codes used for employees in the landscaping industry are 0042 and 9102.

I often encounter landscape maintenance businesses that have their employees misclassified and are able to not only receive a 50% reduction on their current insurance premiums, but are also able to file for reimbursements from overpayments on previous workers compensation policies.

These experiences and multiple other questions about how these classification codes may be used together on a policy, have brought to my attention a need to communicate specific information to the landscaping industry about the uses of workers compensation codes 0042 and 9102.

First, let’s start with a brief description of each classification code with quotes from NCCI’s official descriptions:

Class Code 0042 – Applies to employees primarily engaged in planning, clearing, grading, laying of sod, seeding, and planting necessary for landscape installation operations. Planting of trees, shrubs, and flowers are classified to this code along with general gardening activities.

Class Code 9102 – Applies to employees that perform maintenance of lawns, grounds, and gardens. “The maintenance may involve lawn mowing, raking, application of liquid or granular fertilizer, spraying and trimming of shrubs or small trees from the ground, and thatching or aerating. If any one or all of the above operations are performed by a lawn maintenance risk classified to Code 9102, then minor and incidental landscaping operations performed by the same risk, such as the replacement of dead shrubs, the planting of a few flowers, and the placing of rock or brick as edging designs are included under Code 9102. This minor landscaping operation is distinguished from work performed by an insured at a job or location where the primary work at the job or location is landscaping. Since lawn spraying is a maintenance operation, a risk engaged exclusively in work of this nature is classified to Code 9102.”

In Florida, the 2010 rates for theses class codes are 6.36 for code 0042 and 3.49 for code 9102. In the other states, class code 0042 also has a significantly higher rating than class code 9102. For businesses in the landscaping industry, this emphasizes the importance of distinguishing between the two classification codes.

In many states, employees that engage in both landscape installation and landscape maintenance activities can have their corresponding payroll divided between the class codes if proper records are maintained. Consult with your insurance agent for the specific classification rules in your local state. According to the state exception wording under the 9102 class code, Florida landscaping businesses can use class code 0042 and 9102 on their workers’ compensation policy only if those “operations described by these classifications are conducted by separate crews.”

House Or Apartment Number Eight – Numerology For the 21st Century Reveals All

Continuing with this series of articles giving you insight into where you live, in the meantime consider this: the house or apartment of where you live, even the block of land – chose you ! That's right, even though you might think you chose where you live I have news for you, it chose you …

House Number Eight: Older people live here and even if you're young you'll be or become mature in your thinking. Unfortunately, you can expect to be misunderstood by your neighbors and if you live in an apartment block you'll feel the odd one out! Clocks are often a hobby of those who live here and time will fascinate you even to the concept of reincarnation. Check the foundations of this house for there are usually a few hidden problems that'll need your attention or, save you money before you purchase of move in.

Capricorns will find this a lucky address, yet Aquarians will find it unlucky! If born on the 8th 17th or 26th of any month this is the place for you. If born on the 4th, 13th, 22nd or 31st of any month be careful signing on the 'dotted line …'

Look after your diet, keeping in mind the body needs alkaline the skin needs acid. Grow a veggie patch, a few fruit trees or, start a regimen of health and fitness, making sure you get enough fiber and if your large intestine plays up attend to any problems immediately. Look after your knees and the bones in general keeping in mind if you have any specific medical conditions to seek the appropriate health practitioner.

The Chinese 'love' this number and will do anything to own it yet; the numbers 26 or 62 (the reversal of 26) is considered a problem no matter what your nationality! Legal hassles moving in or moving out are on the agenda and if pressured by your 'friendly' realtor or lawyer seek a second opinion! Linked to the planet Saturn and the 10th house of the zodiac and as you may know, anything or any one linked to the planet Saturn is tested or challenged in many ways.

On a brighter note: Those of the same sex are likely to meet and mix at this number (boy's nights and girl's nights, etc) with business partnerships another indication. Those who are in a same sex relationship will find this a great place to live and if you're looking for a flat or room mate seek the same sex as yourself, not forgetting what I said above about Aquarians or those born to Birth Number 4 .

Do not forget, when analyzing any house number allow your intuition to guide you in your interpretation. I've given you the canvas it's up to you to paint the picture. Working from home does well at this address so all you Internet Entrepreneurs get to work on increasing your 'hits.'

Soon, we'll have completed this series of articles on House Numbers (there's more in my book) and we'll take a look at the sexuality of your birth date. Until then read my other articles on EzineArticles and paint your canvas accordingly.

Djent Guitars – Get Low With Your 7 and 8 String Guitars!

Djent Guitar players usually use Lower tunings and guitars that have extra low strings. Unlike the everyday common six string guitars Djent Guitar players are utilizing seven and eight string guitars! The reason is because you can get extra low strings and depending on how they are set up, different pickups, string gauges and even picking techniques are crucial to getting that Djent sound.

Djent Guitars:

Lets take a look at some popular Djent Guitar players and what they use to help you get an idea on how to achieve the sound you are after. Djent pioneers Meshuggah use their signature 8 string Ibanez M8M. This guitar has a 29.4 inch extra long scale neck that helps them produce characteristic sound catered to the Djent style. Their guitars also have Hand-made Lundgren Model M8 pickup’s installed in them for tight bass response & defined highs. Very helpful for playing constant lower notes and help them cut. This is just one of many guitars you can choose from in the 8 string category. Granted Meshuggah has coined and popularized this style years ago, this is a good starting point gear wise if you choose to pick out an 8 string.

Another very popular band Periphery utilizes multiple guitarists in their band to achieve the layered sound they produce on their records live. Thats a lot of strings being played! They primarily play 7 strings tuned to drop A flat (or G sharp). You can do this by simply tuning your guitar down half a step and then lowest string down from F sharp standard down to A flat.

Periphery’s main axe man Misha Mansoor plays and assortment of guitars primarily: Bernie Rico Jr, Blackmachine, Ibanez, and others. They sometimes use Bare Knuckle War Pig pickups in the bridge position for some songs, on certain guitars, to give them that distinct Djent Guitar sound out of their guitars.

There are a number of things you can do to achieve the Djent Guitar sound if you don’t own a 7 or 8 string guitar. Before tuning, you can pull out your passive pickups and replace them with a known active pickup brand to help get faster and cleaner note clarity. Re-string your guitar with heavier gauge strings, this will help with the lower tunings and keep the notes from fluttering out too much. The last step is to pick a tuning to play in, staying in standard is fine, but most Djent Guitar players have a lower tuning to make the riffs they play feel heavier and give more impact. Some fun tunings to try are Drop C, simlpy tune your whole guitar down a whole step and drop the lowest string just as you would if you were putting your guitar in drop D from a standard tuning. You can even go as far as putting a F# string and string your 6 string as if it were a 7 string, but you will be missing the high E string.

These are just a few of many guitar settings and configurations you can do to achieve the Djent Guitar sound! But remember these are merely guidelines, experiment with your own Djent Guitar setup and who knows it might just be the next best thing!

Some Interesting Facts About Lamborghini

The technology behind each Lamborghini masterpiece is said to be a beast. From its unique aerodynamic features and looks, it comes to no surprise that most sports car enthusiasts prefer the exotic car brand. Almost everybody dreams of owning one.

If you’ve ever been to any place in the UAE, you’ll immediately notice their culture for luxury cars, including Lamborghinis. But there are many features to consider, like the most advanced safety options, entertainment technology, and customization.

Interesting Lamborghini Facts

Known for their exotic cars, Lamborghinis have been praised from the engine, to the body. It was first started to build better cars than Ferrari’s infamous vehicles. If you’re planning to buy your own Lambo, here are some interesting facts you should know.

1. Lamborghini was a master mechanic.

Most people consider Ferruccio Lamborghini as the original Tony Stark. He was stationed on an isolated island during WWII for the Italian Royal Air Force as a vehicle maintenance supervisor. Because it was difficult to secure parts, Lamborghini cobbled together scraps to keep his machines running.

2. The first Lamborghinis were tractors.

He used his WWII experience to put together tractors out of spare parts. From there, Lamborghini officially started his business, and people loved his products. Today, Lamborghini Trattori operates under a different company, but are still designed by the same firm that created the Gallardo and the Maserati MC12.

3. Ferrari’s mean customer service.

Ferruccio actually owned a Ferrari 250GT back in the days. He wanted a replacement for his clutch, so he went to the Maranello headquarters. After asking Enzo Ferrari, the reply he got was, “You’re just a silly tractor manufacturer, how could you possibly know anything about sports cars?” Four months later, he released Lamborghini 350GTV.

4. Current model with scissor doors.

Murcielago is the only current model with scissor doors. These rotate up and forward on a hinge, near the front of the door. The Countach, the Diablo and the Murcielago all have scissor doors, but the Gallardo does not. Both the Countach and the Diablo are no longer being produced.

5. No less than a V8 engine.

Most of the Lamborghini models throughout the history of the company have come with the legendary Lamborghini V12 engine. The newest model, Gallardo, only has V10. No Lamborghini have ever been produced with less than a V8 since production of the Silhouette stopped in 1989.

6. The fastest Lamborghini

The fastest Lamborghini is the Le Mans version of the Murcielago R-GT model. It has a top speed of 370 km/h. Meanwhile, the fastest street model from Lamborghini is the Murcielago LP640, which has an estimated top speed of 340 km/h. Both of the models have a V12 engine with more than 6000 cc.

Lamborghini Dubai Service Center

The Lamborghini line is divided into two segments, Gallardo and Murcielago. Maintenance ranges heavily based on what you select. Specialists recommend that you change the oil and oil filter every 7500 miles. The cost of new transmission could cost you 180-200K Dirhams.

Top 10 Compressed Air Rules of Thumb

Here are the TOP TEN Compressed Air “Rules of Thumb” – designed to respond to the questions that industrial air compressor users ask about most.

1. CFM delivery per Horse Power expected at 100 PSIG:

o For “home owner” type of air compressors—2 to 2.5 CFM per HP

o For Industrial Air-cooled 2-stage air compressors—-3.5 CFM per HP

o For Small Vane & Screw air compressors (25 HP or less) 4 CFM per HP

o For large Piston, Screw & Centrifugal air compressors–4.5 to 5 CFM per HP

NOTE: THE MORE CFM PER HP – THE LESS ENERGY USED.

2. Air Receiver Size needed for these types of inlet control:

o Modulating Control—————0 to 1 gallon per CFM

o On-Line/Off-Line—————– 3 to 4 gallons per CFM

o Stop-Start/ Variable Speed– 4 to 6 gallons per CFM

NOTE: THE MORE AIR STORAGE  – THE LESS ENERGY USED

3.  Amperage per Horse Power:

115 Volts——-  1 phase——– 10 amps per horse power

230 Volts——-  1 phase——– 5 amps per horse power

208 Volts——-  3 phase——– 3 amps per horse power

230 Volts——-  3 phase——– 2.5 amps per horse power

460 Volts——-  3 phase——– 1.25 amps per horse power

574 Volts——-  3 phase——– 1 amp per horse power

NOTE: THE MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT THE MOTOR – THE LESS ENERGY IS USED.

4. Air Piping Size by CFM and Pressure Drop:

o Compressor Room Header—0.25 PSIG pressure drop per 100 feet of piping

o Main Line—————–0.5 PSIG pressure drop per 100 feet of piping

o Loop Line—————–1 PSIG pressure drop per 100 feet of piping

o Branch Line—————2 PSIG pressure drop per 100 feet of piping

NOTE: THE LESS AIR PRESSURE DROP – THE LESS ENERGY USED.

5. Size your Compressed Air Line Filters to be twice (2x) your compressor CFM flow rate.

o This will lower your pressure drop 2-3 PSIG and save an additional 1% on electrical energy costs.

o Elements will last twice (2x) as long and this can save on your maintenance costs.

6. Lowering Air Compressor Pressure settings by 2 PSIG will result in a 1% energy savings.

7. Lowering Air Compressor Inlet Air Temperature by 10° F will result in a 2% energy savings.

8. The average energy cost to operate an air compressor is approximately $0.10 per horse power per hour.

9. Compressed Air system leaks totaling the size of a 1/4″ orifice, at 100 PSIG, running 24 hours a day will waste approximately $15,000 worth of electrical energy a year.

10. Using Synthetic Compressor Lubricants can save you up to 9% of the energy cost of operating your compressor as compared to using a non-synthetic lubricant.

COMPRESSED AIR DEFINITIONS:

CFM= Cubic Feet per Minute  – Volumetric air flow rate.

Inlet Pressure = The actual pressure at the inlet flange of the compressor.

PSIG= Pounds Per Square Inch Gauge

AMPS=Abbreviation of the plural for Ampere, a unit of electrical current

Pressure = Force per unit area, measured in pounds per square inch (psi).

Pressure Dew Point = For a given pressure, the temperature at which water will begin to condense out of air.

Inlet Temperature = The total temperature at the inlet connection of the compressor.

Knowing these “Rules of Thumb” can assist you in understanding many of the basics of compressed air. Applying these tips can help save you time , energy and money.

Winter Pool Covers-How To Put Them on Right

Solid winter pool covers are by far the most common type sold today. They do a good job of protecting a pool during cold weather and retarding the growth of algae as the weather warms prior to opening a pool. Unfortunately, improper installation destroys many covers long before they should require replacement. Improper installation is often the reason. Here’s how to do it right and save money.

Once your pool is drained to the proper level, lines blown out, anti-freeze and winter chemicals added it’s cover time. The correct way to install a cover is very similar whether your pool is above ground or in-ground. Lay the cover over the top of the pool and ensure that the overlapping material is even all the way around. Once this is done place the securing hardware in position. For above ground pools this means threading the cable the loops or grommets and attaching the winch or tightener. For in-ground pools, install the water bags or Aqua Blocks through the retaining loops sewn into the cover.

The next step is to form the cover to the sides of the pool around the entire perimeter. The idea is to have the cover lie on top of the pool water for support and stay against the sides to prevent wind from getting underneath. After the cover is in properly in position, get out the garden hose and spray water on the cover to the depth of an inch or so. This holds the cover down. At this point you’re almost finished. For above ground pools, tighten the cable as tightly as possible and get the cable up under the top rail. For in-ground pools, fill the water bags or blocks about two-thirds full of water and make sure they are securely in position.

Tips and Tricks:

-Always buy a solid cover with as much overlap as possible. The standard 3 ft. above ground cover overlap in particular is a bare minimum. Four feet is better. Wind is a pool cover’s worst enemy. The best ways to ensure that wind doesn’t destroy a cover before its time is having enough overlap to more than cover the top rail. A new product called cover seal provides great insurance. Essentially a roll of industrial stretch film, cover seal is wrapped around the top rail over the cover and down the sides of the pool virtually eliminating any way for wind to get under a cover.

-Air pillows can save you money. Don’t use them and you’ll save.

-Hanging milk jugs on a winter cover is the best way to ensure you’ll replace it right away. Not only does the weight of the jugs put unnecessary stress on the cover, they virtually invite wind damage.

Installing your winter cover correctly pays dividends. Your cover will last longer and your pool will be easier to open in the spring. This is also the method winter pool cover manufacturers recommend. Not following their directions could void your warranty!

What Should A Lender LOI Include?

A Lender LOI or also a Letter of Interest is a document that a Commercial Mortgage Broker or Lender will provide to you when you submit a loan package. This document will state the terms of the proposed loan that the lender will give you.

The lenders LOI is based on the information you provide. So the more information you provide, the more accurate the loan quote will be. Too many times I’ve seen a lender quote a good rate with good terms, then turn around and not be able to provide those terms. Why? Because during the due diligence phase, the lender finds out the borrower did not provide accurate or all of the information. Remember, lenders are in a business and their business is based on known risk. A lender won’t be in business too long if they keep lending out bad loans!

So what kind of information should you expect to see in a Lender LOI?

Well, it should have the brokers or lenders name and contact information. Also the Lender LOI should include the following information.

Loan Name

This is usually the property name or address.

Loan amount

There is a requested loan amount and the loan amount the lender is going to lend. They will be listed on separate lines and the numbers may be different.

Quotation date & expiration date

The lender will only give you a specified amount of time to review their loan quote.

Loan terms

This is usually listed in years or months.

Amortization

This is usually listed in years or months.

Interest Rate Spread

This is a percentage over the current index yield.

Current Index Yield

The index yield on a given day.

Final Note Rate

This is the interest rate you will pay. It is the interest rate spread plus the current index yield.

Interest Rate Index

This is the index that is used in determining the current index yield. Examples are 10 yr Treasury, Prime or LIBOR.

Loan Type

This is stated as either fixed or variable loan.

Interest Accrual Method

This is how the lender will calculate your amount of interest.Proposed DSCR

This is debt service coverage ratio for your loan amount.

Proposed LTV

This is the loan to value that the lender is willing to loan to you. This determines how much money you need to put down.

Prepayment

For paying off your loan early, some lenders charge a fee or penalty. That should be outlined in the lender’s quote.

Recourse Options

The loan will either be full recourse, partial recourse or non-recourse. Recourse determines if you are personally liable for any loan default.

Assumption & Assumption Fee

With most commercial loans, the loans are assumable for a new borrower for a small fee.

Junior Debt

Whether the lender will allow a 2nd to be taken on the property.

The lender will also state what conditions must be met for the loan. Examples are clear title reports, inspection, occupancy, etc. Also, the lender will give an estimate of the fees (due on acceptance of loan and at closing).

Basic Uses Of Marble Tiles In Home Decorations

Home decoration with tile materials is a popular trend nowadays. Many house owners seem to appreciate the beauty of tiles now more than ever. These are many and different. Marble tiles are good examples, and their beauty and elegance never cease to lure the eyes. Just as other metamorphosized limestone rocks, marbles undergo intricate transformations before they are ready for mining. Because of its exceptional qualities, a marblerock has survived the tests of time. Both native Europeans and Americans utilized it a lot in the past.

Today, marble is a common ingredient for interior and exterior home decorations everywhere in the world. Professional architects and other building and construction experts support use of these tiles because they symbolize sophistication and riches. Over the centuries, marbles have retained their usefulness and beauty. Now, anyone who wants to redo his or her home interiors could consider this type of tile. It does look good if combined with granite and glass tiles too. For a long time now, marble floors have been the latest trend featured in most home and style magazines.

In other words, any home would really look different and classy if its owner chooses this type of floor cover. This flooring is even perfect for commercial properties. It is strong and durable, not to mention its sheen and beauty. Marble tiles are very versatile because of their wide ranges of color. Usually, each overlay has distinct embellishments set on earthy color backgrounds. There are both simple and bold products available on the Internet today. Due to the huge collections of tile in various colors and patterns, lacking a perfect choice is virtually impossible. Today, anyone can choose among dark and vividly colored marble floor coverings. Shoppers should not forget one thing, that marble floors are not perfect for busy areas.

For instance, they are not very good for decorating kitchen floors, although some people choose them for doing up a countertop. Commonly, marble tiles uses occur in modern bathrooms, corridors, fireplaces, walls, and even for exterior decorations. If one is concerned about marble floors cleaning, it is not a problem. Dirt on this natural stone tile does not show easily. Note that it requires regular sealing using available sealants to ensure proper maintenance. Overall, a marble surface maintenance is not very complicated and anyone can do it. To find plenty of options, it is good to use the Internet. Many websites that sell this product today exist and they offer many different variations.

Blinds Between the Glass and the Energy Efficiency Myth

“Blinds Between the Glass” refers to an innovative window system that features blinds or shades that are permanently sealed within a double-glazed cavity. Surprisingly, they have been around for a long time. According to Pella, one of America’s leading window manufacturers, they first introduced between-the-glass blinds in 1966. It’s only in the last few years, however, that they have surged in popularity to become a mainstream window option for homeowners who like a clean, modern look and the idea of minimal maintenance.

Companies that manufacture them cite their hygienic, maintenance-free convenience, their uniform and stylish good looks, and their innovative sun-shading and privacy features. As for homeowners with children or pets, their cordless design is a safety feature that is especially appealing. For allergy sufferers, eliminating dust-collecting draperies and airborn allergens seems like a pretty good incentive to purchase.

But are they energy efficient?In these days of soaring energy bills and dwindling resources, both personal and planetary, absolutely every homeowner is most concerned with energy efficiency when buying replacement doors or windows. It’s the one issue that probably trumps all others, because no one wants to see their hard-earned dollars vanish out the window.

So the question must be asked: Are blinds between the glass windows and doors really as energy-efficient as some claim? The only way to truly answer that question is to understand (a) what energy efficiency means in terms of windows and doors specifically and (b) how this type of window option is put together.

Window and Door Energy Efficiency 101

Modern windows are smart windows, and window science has completely changed how we understand energy efficiency. The measuring stick we use to gauge the energy efficiency of a window is sophisticated indeed.

We’ve known for some time that glass by itself is a poor insulator; however, double-paned windows created a revolution in the window marketplace. With double-paned windows, the two pieces of glass seal a layer of air between them, thus providing added insulation.

But there was another revolution in energy efficiency on the horizon, thanks to Low-E glass and argon gas. Low-E (low-emissivity) is a thin coating of transparent metallic material that’s applied to window glass for insulating purposes. The Low-E coating helps to prevent heat gain (or loss) in your home by acting as a kind of reflective shield, pushing radiant heat that tries to pass through the glass back to the source it originates from. Argon is a heavy, invisible, non-toxic gas that is a far better insulator than air-the weight of this gas dramatically reduces the amount of heat that can pass through the space between two panes of glass.

Today’s windows are in large part energy efficient because of the treated glass and the use of argon gas. Using stainless steel spacers for insulating performance and paying special attention to framing materials that permit only a low coefficient of thermal expansion so temperature variations don’t loosen the bond or create gaps are also important. But a Low-E coating is the critical element in making windows energy efficient.

How Do They Do That?

A popular TV ad asks, How do they get the caramel in the Caramilk bar? One could well ask the same question of blinds-between-the-glass windows and doors. How do they get the blinds in between the glass?

There are two ways in which these windows and doors are manufactured. First, many blinds-between-the-glass windows and doors are constructed like a glass “sandwich.” In other words, the blinds are inserted between two panes of glass. A Low-E coating is not applied, because silver oxide is especially sensitive to scratching. And there is minimal room in a glass sandwich with a blind for the maximum benefit of an argon gas fill. In comparison, there’s simply no way a window with between-the-glass blinds can reduce your energy bills as much as a sealed double-pane window.

The Triple Pane Option

With time, and in an effort to make windows with blinds between the glass more energy-efficient, some window companies turned them into triple-paned windows. That means they have three pieces of glass with two spaces in between: one space holds the between-the-glass blinds, while the other space has a Low-E coating and argon fill.

While triple-paned windows with blinds between the glass may be more energy efficient, just be aware that the extra piece of glass makes the windows bulkier. The biggest drawback to the triple-paned windows however is the cost. They are significantly more expensive because you’re basically paying for two windows-one with modern, energy-efficient technology, and one with between-the-glass blinds.

The Blinds Between: Innovation without the Science

One of the arguments put forth claims that the Low-E glass and the internal blinds together contribute to making the entire glass unit more energy efficient, that the internal blinds absorb solar heat gain. Let’s take a closer look at that claim.

There are no blinds-or window covering of any kind for that matter-that can significantly increase thermal efficiency and match that of a sealed glass unit with an argon gas fill and a Low-E coating. In fact, the blinds between the glass actually diminish the amount of argon gas you can put between those two pieces of glass, ultimately compromising the energy efficiency of the total package.

But most notable of all is this very simple fact: blinds, drapes, shades, and all other window coverings only marginally impact energy efficiency in one way: by blocking visible light transmission. In other words, sunlight! So even if your blinds are on the inside of the glass, it’s going to amount to the same heat reduction and light reduction that you would get from just pulling the drapes across or drawing a regular blind on a sunny day. You are simply blocking light, not increasing the actual energy efficiency of the window.

The Bottom Line

To sum up, this “augmented” energy efficiency derived from blinds between the glass is largely unfounded, and for two main reasons: internal blinds cannot absorb the solar heat gain and Low-E is absolutely essential for any sort of significant energy efficiency. It’s the only way to reflect radiant heat back to the source. Otherwise, heat transfers easily through the glass sandwich-blinds or no blinds. Inside or out!

You could save a lot of money and get equal or better energy performance from energy-efficient, double-paned windows with Low-E coatings and argon gas. But if you really love the look, then by all means go for it. Just know that your best energy efficiency option will be the triple pane solution.