How to Care For a Violin

Today in this article I will give you some quick tips on how to care for a violin. If you want your instrument to perform well you should take good care of it. If you paid a lot of money for your instrument it makes good sense to maintain it.

Make sure that you avoid extreme temperatures, do not store your violin in areas that have extreme changes in temperature. Violins are very fragile instrument and if continuously exposed to extreme temperatures will break. When not using your violin store it inside a good quality case to ensure protection, do not leave your violin lying around where it can be damaged. Avoid putting too much rosin on your bow the rosin will drip onto the violin and cause staining.

If you want to clean the bow the best way is to use wood or ethyl alcohol which can be bought at most paint stores. Do not use rubbing alcohol most rubbing alcohol has oils and soaps which you do not want on your bow hair.

Remove the hair from the stick you do not want to get any alcohol on the stick because it will damage the varnish. Clean the hair using the alcohol and a clean cloth or tissue. Let the hair dry before attaching it to the stick and apply rosin. Cleaning the hair can help it to last for years.

If you want to polish your violin it is only necessary to do it every few years instead make sure that it lasts dust free by wiping it with a soft cloth every day. If you want to polish your violin be very careful make sure that you do not get oil or wax on the strings or bow hair as this will cause the violin to not play correctly.

Basement Fireplaces

What better way to turn your foundation from a dingy dungeon into a cuddly escape than adding a fireplace to the space? A fireplace adds both physical and emotional warmth to a space, making it feel more inviting. The flicker of flames is soothing, its gently glowing ambient light casting a soothing lull over a space.

In a basement natural light tenders to be lacking, due to the rooms location recessed in the ground. However the ever changing waves of a fireplace create a natural light focal point, which can actually turn the dim nature of this space into a cozy and private effect.

When choosing a fireplace for your basement, there are a number of things you have to consider. Gas or wood burning stoves / fireplaces are going to require some sort of venting apparatus. This can include a chimney, but is often as simple as hanging a tube out of a small hole or window.

Alternately, electric fireplaces generally do not require anything except a plug. They can simulate the look of a real fire reliably well, and they can even give off heat in whatever amount you like. The only problem with electric fireplaces is that they tend to have a shelf life, which is determined on the model you choose, and when they break, they are expensive to get repaired.

Another consideration when installing a fireplace in a basement is water damage. Basements in some areas are subject to occasional floods. An electric fireplace can be hazardous if it is left plugged in when a flood unexpectedly occurs. For this reason, you should leave the fireplace unplugged whenever you are not physically using it, and you should try and keep it in a place that is at least a little bit elevated.

To make this easier you may want to consider having a switch installed which cuts off the power to the plugs in the room whenever you turn it off.

Building Stages

At times you get confused on where to start from, how to move and what to do to jump-start your project. Knowledge of building stages also helps to save time and gives you the opportunity to plan ahead and reduce cost. When you are thinking of building a house what comes to your mind should be in this sequence.

(1) Concerning what type of house you want, what purpose is it going to serve? residential or commercial? or others, this will give you an idea of ​​the location, and the size of land you need to get. It is even important that you seek advice from your Architect on what type and size of land can suit your dream of what you are planning. After this you need to see-

(2) Your land speculator or agent, that will help you in getting a land that soothes your purpose, a lot of them advertisements on papers these days so getting one may not be too difficult. He arranges with the Omo Onile, pay their dues and you also get a lawyer to help you in preparing and checking the documents to make sure you are not buying a land that is Government acquitted from the wrong person, and to avoid land with dispute.

(3) Now you need the local town planning authority in your area to make sure that land can be used for the purpose you have in mind and they can give first hand information about development pattern in this area, Land under Govt acquisition would be be found out here.

(4) Meet the Land surveyor to demarcate your land and draw out the site boundary, he will also put the corner pieces demarcating your land from your neighbor.

(5) The drawings of the land surveyor is what the Architect will use to come out with a befitting plan after talking with you, he may also be responsible for approving the plan in town planning office.

(6) Is now time to move to site, for let's say 2-3 bedroom bungalow at starting, get 2 trips of sand, 2 trips of gravels, look for a secure place you can keep your bags of cement get a tanker or drum where you can always have water to use, after you must have cleared the site. Buy for a starter 1000 blocks or as calculated from your estimation.

(7) It is time of setting out, some bricklayers uses blocks to set out a foundation especially when it is a small building and the ground is level, or your architect or builder can collaborate with bricklayer to do this in a more complex plan. They will buy wood, roads, nails and you have to pay for the services or based on contract as you deem fit.

(8) After setting out digging begins, then concrete is scattered round the foundation, then blocks are laid by bricklayer on top of concrete to 3 or more coaches serving as the dpc level. It is then filled with sand and rammed (beating to make hard) then oversite concrete or German concrete is scattered round to cover the dpc (for waterlogged, sloppy or sandy area you may need to apply reinforcements or Iron at the edges of building and nylon -like membrane is used to cover some site especially when there is a threat of water disturbances).

(9) Blocks are now laid to window base, 4 coaches or layers after marking out the doors, then after the 4 coaches you mark out the windows and go another 5 coaches, the entire opening in the house is now ready for concrete lintel.

(10) Get your Iron benders or welders, they will have to make their estimate the carpenter and the bricklayers are all going to work here the welder is responsible for cutting and bringing in the Iron, the carpenter makes the frame or boxes to accommodate the concrete, and the bricklayer with laboratories or casters pours and see to it that the boxes are properly filled with concrete. After this, add 2 more layers of block and you are ready for roofing.

(11) Get your carpenter, cost the timber or steel for larger projects. The covering roof proper that can be aluminum, asbestos, plastics, galvanized zinc etc.

(12) If you are thinking of conduit wiring or plumbing, then you need the help of electrician and plumbers now, and you can be putting your ceiling after or simultaniously.
Digging of your soakaway pit and connection of pipe services by your plumber should commence, and tillers or terrazo contractor if you are using one comes after plastering by the bricklayer, Electrical work also continues, fixing of door frames, wardrobes by furniture maker, windows and other accessories can also go along based on taste, style or pocket.

Learning To Let Go – Detachment – Dealing With The Lower Mind – Transference

Physical need includes; security, safety, warmth, future happiness, financial, career, and even a spiritual sense of place in the world. You can see that physical attachment to someone is very complex because it captures so much of our unconscious communication with ourselves and with others.

Our Physical attractions encapsulate our need for mothering, fathering, care, kindness, acceptance, and feeling wanted in the world. So, we tie many subconscious agendas to the people we are attracted to. Now the fact that these ties are subconscious is the real trauma because it means we don’t know they exist. We can only presume they exist. For example: a child who is “diminished and put down” might grow into an adult who seeks sexual activity with many partners. They transfer their inbuilt and well hidden need for love (from their childhood journey) into the acceptance they get from an intimate engagement with a lover.

The Buddha said something like “the best way to clean mud from water is to leave it alone. The mud eventually settles to the bottom of the bucket” He even grew lotus flowers out of that mud. So, trying to purify ourselves by eliminating these subconscious attachments might be akin to stirring up the mud all the time. Goodness knows, there’s billions of these tiny threads of association lodged in our brain.

Osho claimed that the best way to eliminate those physical attachments is to take anything we seem to be attached to, and overdo it. His teachings were that if we are getting subconscious needs met through sex, then this is really distracting because we get highly attached to anyone we are sexually attracted to. So, his remedy for this corruption to our real capacity to love was to over do it.

He taught his students who had sexual issues of attachment to their lover, to go have as much sex with as many people in as many circumstances (always safe sex) as possible. The idea was that eventually the benefit of the sex would wear off. The same thing is taught in chocolate factories where employees “eat the profit” – in some factories they actually encourage employees to gluttonize themselves on chocolate, knowing that once you overdo the eating to the point of sickness, you’d never eat chocolate again.

I’ve met both the Buddha following students who prefer to say “it is what it is – leave it alone” and the other groups who either “do it till they drop” or analyse themselves in order to process their “baggage” – in my observation, none work authentically.

All those paths are subject to delusions. The indulgent one seem happy but always fearful that their “source” of pleasure might get taken away by someone else, so they tend to be insecure around love. The “out of mind out of sight” group, are so vulnerable to the uncertainty of the future, they become controlling and obsessive. The processing group who are always following a philosophy, trying to fit their real nature down the barrel of some prescribed “goodness’ are always nice people sitting on a powder keg of defensiveness and anger.

Now remembering that 90% of all war, addictions, pain, anger, expectations and human suffering belong to this lower mind, it is any wonder that there has been huge religious, spiritual, psychological and experiential energy poured into it. If we could solve this one mighty glitch in the human matrix of life, we’d make a massive transformation in global and personal dynamics.

If we could master this lower mind and all the complexity of its attachments, it’s psychological profile, its subconscious links between what we want and what we are holding onto, we’d solve 90% of the “world’s problems” – especially in domestic relationships.

Addictions come from this lower mind. In relationship, people become “addicted” to their lover, rather than in love. Remembering that love has no attachment, so, we can’t say “my pain in letting you go is because I love you so much” That’s a lie.

Here’s a few thoughts that might help provoke insight if you are one person who finds it hard to let go:

1. Love and attachment are two different things. If you love someone or something, you know you don’t own it. The greatest love in fact, is letting go. To be detached is to love. Many people are socially conditioned to “take responsibility” for other people, including their children as a form of what they call their “love” – but this is just lower minded ego attachments playing thought the subconscious. In other words “bull sh..”

2. You only want what you haven’t got. So, attachment means that this person you are attached to has something you need or want. But you have everything, you are everything, so it’s just that you think their “bundle” is better than your “bundle” – that’s a lie, a self corruption.

3. They are “the one” – this is a really romantic notion, sold a lot of movies too. But they are not “the one” You might think they are “the one” but that’s because you have such a low opinion of yourself, and such a high opinion of them. Eventually, after a few years in relationship with them you’ll see that this idea is wrong. They are human. Dual. Two sided. The only real way to resolve this dilemma is to list all the things you like about them, and become it.

4. Resistance; to change. We love change, as long as nothing changes. We change our undies or sox, we change our hairdresser. But changing our beliefs – now that’s another story. We change our country, our job, our house, even change our hair colour as long as our beliefs don’t change, we seem to be ok. So, sometimes what holds us stuck in attachment is not love, more, it is not wanting to change. We’re stuck with something we don’t like, and given the chance we’d change them too, as long as we don’t have to change our beliefs. Now that’s not right is it?

5. Projection; There’s always a deeper meaning. We hang on to the current reality primarily because we are getting something that is hidden from view. Something that we haven’t been able to identify with. So we might be attached but can’t explain it because it’s deeper than logic. Sometimes we use words like “there’s just a special something, or, we are just so perfect together” this is really masking. Underneath the attachment to another person lies a shark with big teeth lurking in the shadows of the deep. So, really, we are not happy with them but we are not happy without them. Revealing that there’s something else going on. That’s where I help people.

6. Association; For Self importance; sometimes being with someone who is beautiful, clever, famous, attractive, smart, wealthy rubs off and makes us feel important too. Especially when we feel a bit small in the world during uncertain times. When our tail isn’t up, and we’re feeling frail or not as important as we’d like to be, we associate. That means suck the life blood out of someone else in order to sustain ourselves. This association, in my experience, accounts for over half of all the “addictions” to past relationships.

7. Circumstances; The real issue with addiction is the cost of it which I believe to be more to do with your circumstances than anything else. Lets say a woman meets a man and she becomes infatuated (addicted) to him. They break up and we monitor her journey through the drama. If she has money in the bank, confidence in the future, a good solid home, a health program for her fitness and some sort of personal spiritual practice she will still experience the pain, no escaping that, but for how long and what would her reaction be to the break-up? This is what changes with circumstance.

8. Now, take the same woman and empty her bank account, reduce her confidence in the future, an unstable home, no fitness program and a materialized form of spiritual practice like alcohol or food, in other words no solidarity for her spirit, we would see her experience the break up totally differently. She’d certainly be “more attached” to her lover. She’d say “but he’s the perfect one”

9. Power; In every consultation regarding a relationship break up, there’s the dumpee and the dumper. The dumpee is always in the most pain because they lost their power. Of course, according to the Laws of Nature, the dumpee, (the one who got dumped) is usually the cause of the dumping. (nobody does to us more than we do to ourselves) – so actually the dumpee usually sabotaged the relationship because they wanted out. However, no matter who caused the dumping, the one with the least power in the matter of separation seems to feel that they have been made a victim. In that one experience of becoming the victim is more pain than most people can handle, so, people cling on to avoid that pain. They don’t really want the relationship, they just don’t want the pain.

Solutions to the Lower Mind Attachments in Relationship

Willpower. You’ll hear about all sorts of psycho therapeutic and spiritual mumbo jumbo that might or might not help you in love. But the one guaranteed way is discipline. It might not be the easy way. It might not be the most pleasant way. It might at times not be the most romantic and sexy way: but it is always the fastest and most accurate. Lower minded attachments in relationships are a problem, whether we are breaking up or getting into a relationship. Have the willpower to communicate with kindness – always. Have the willpower to know the difference between love and intimacy. Have the willpower to hold love but not get attached. Don’t blame others and respect their right to privacy. Have the willpower to know that all our fears, worries, reactions and uncertainties, come from us, our partner is just the mirror.

Authenticity: You have to become what you love in them. Take what you are attracted to in their personality and become it. Learn the art of integration. If they are creative, express your creative. If they are strong, experience your strength. Nothing is missing, it just changes in form.

Power: Empower yourself. Be the cause of the break up, no matter how it looks. Know that no body does anything to you that you are not doing to yourself. So, if they left, you left first, emotionally at least. Or if they left you – then you abandoned them first (emotionally at least)

Discern: Learn the difference between love and attachment. Learn that love is detached. Love releases people. Imagine that each person you know has a garden surrounding them as they walk, it moves with them. You can’t see it, but they can. You step on a weed but it could be a flower. So, to discern between love and attachment stay outside this fence don’t think you have the right to stomp in people’s garden. That’s not love.

Transference: One lady was very attached to her ex partner. I first taught her how to love a man she didn’t like. That was an important skill. Then I taught her to become whatever she admired in him. She did this and felt great. Then I asked her to determine the real cause of the breakup and why she manifested it. Last I asked her to witness how she had already, or was in the process of transferring all her affections and relationship needs to others. She invented some new ones like playing the piano and going for a jog but eventually she found nothing was missing, as long as her love for her ex was separated from her needs from him.

Higher mind – Conclusion

Living with higher consciousness means moving all of life’s experiences from emotional attachment or detachment, to love. Unconditional love is unique because there is no need, no holding, only love. In this space, you don’t need to have opinions about your partner, ex partner, just love.


Sound Insulation

Sound Insulation refers to the process or processes of minimizing or reducing sound pressure with respect to the specified receptor and sound source. There are many different ways to apply sound insulation to help cut down extraneous or unwanted noise.

One very effective and simple way to cut down noise is to increase the distance from the sound source to the receptor, or for example the distance between a residential area and an industrial area. If the residential area is built at a comfortable distance from the noisy industrial area, then the process of sound insulation or sound proofing becomes very straightforward.

The reason distance works so effectively is because the energy sound waves diminish as they spread out, so increasing the distance between receptor and the sound source results in lessening the intensity of the sound.

Another excellent way to absorb or block sound waves is to use structures such as noise barriers. These are simply constructed or placed between the sound source and the receiver.

There are many ways to apply sound insulation and soundproofing and some of these may include

· Noise barriers

· Damping

· Residential soundproofing

· Noise cancellation

· Room within a room

Noise damping may be applied or achieved in various different ways, and one effective way is to place a soft layer of heavy material between the receiver and the source of the sound. This type of application is ideal for placing into a wall or ceiling and is often best applied at the time of the buildings construction, although sometimes the material can be simply laid between floorboards walls and ceilings after construction as well.

This may require disassembling of these particular structures, or alternatively a false wall or ceiling constructed over the existing structures and the sound insulation placed between the existing and newly built wall. This latter type of application is very effective; however the size of the room is slightly reduced.

The soundproofing of residential areas is usually applied to reduce or decrease external noise. This may be because the residence is to near a busy road, motorway, railway track or even an airport. The best type of sound insulation for this purpose is generally considered to be double or even triple glazing. The soundproofing of windows is very effective as they are considered to be the main route by which external noise or sound waves penetrate a buildings exterior.

Another way to insulate a building from noise entering the windows is to use thick curtains as this will help damp down sound waves coming through the window. As mentioned before double glazing or triple glazing is very effective sound insulation. This may be even further improved if noise is particularly bad by adding yet another secondary glazed window inside of the double glazed unit. This type of glazing is separate from the double or triple glazed unit and works independently on a sliding mechanism, thus allowing access to the installed glazed units.

Other materials used for sound insulation include: foam sprays, acoustic foam, soundproof fibre boards and soundproof building materials such as damping blocks.

Eat Healthy Foods to Stay Fit and Live Longer – 8 Things You Should Be Eating!

Healthy eating is the starting place to creating last change in your life. Adding vegetables to your diet is recommended but not many people know what vegetables can do for them. Learning the great benefit of adding certain vegetables to your daily diet can help you feel better and live a longer life.

Below is a list of recommended vegetables to add to your meals daily that can give you specific benefits according to each one.

The list of vegetables that are highly recommended to add to your meals:

  • Collard Greens – these vegetables can provide beta-carotene, Vitamin E, and calcium
  • Sweet Potatoes – instead of eating regular starchy potatoes, try sweet potatoes. Antioxidants through the eating of these will be provided to your system. This may be necessary to provide nutrients to ailments in which you may be suffering. Sweet potatoes can often aid in controlling certain diseases with the properties that they contain.
  • Broccoli – eating this vegetable can help to keep cancer out of your system. They have calcium and add Vitamin C which is essential to a healthy body.
  • Onions – eating onions can provide lower blood sugar levels and increase flow in the cardiovascular system.
  • Carrots – aid in providing beta carotene that the body needs to be healthy.
  • Spinach – the raw spinach can add so many good nutrients and vitamins to your body. It is also good to eat when mixed with other types of lettuce varieties.
  • Kale – is another vegetable needed to add nutrients and vitamins the body needs
  • Eggplant – many people may not know this but it aids in providing nutrients to the brain. Eggplant also features low calories and can be added to pasta among other meals to give variety while eating this type of vegetable.

Dowelmax Review – For Making Fast, Accurate Dowel Joints

Traditionally, the joint most woodworkers learn in high school is the mortise and tenon joint.  Mortise and tenon joints are the woodworkers joinery method of choice because it’s a strong joint that also hides its construction well.  A fine quality piece of furniture usually has mortise and tenon joints in its construction.   But for the furniture maker, hobbyist or professional, making mortise and tenon joints involves a lot of preparation and setup time.  From figuring out how much stock is required for each piece to setting up your table saw.  It can be labor intensive.

For every piece that has a tenon or two you have to add the length of the tenons.  It’s very easy to make mistakes here because if you forget this step and cut the piece to the finished length you’ll have nothing left over to make the tenons with.  If the piece that you need to make 2 tenons for is 24 inches then you must cut it at least 3 or 4 inches longer to account for the tenons.  Also with your table saw, you have to sneak up to the thickness when cutting the tenons so they fit snugly into their mortises.  Mortises can also take a lot of time to make.  If you’re lucky and inherited a mortising machine then the job is much quicker, but, if you don’t have the money to buy a machine you will have to cut them by hand.

Dowelmax is easy to use, accurate and takes less preparation time than the mortise and tenon joint. 

Fast – With clear instructions on the included instructional DVD you’ll be making strong dowel joints that are just as strong as the mortise and tenon joints that you would have traditionally made before.  In less time!

Easy –  Check marks are used to reference faces of your material and matched to the check marks on the jig.  There’s no fuss about how long your piece should be.  If the side skirt of your table is 36 inches then the piece you make it from is 36 inches. No adding extra wood.  No sneaking up to dimensions with your table saw.  

Accurate –  The jig itself is machined to +/- .001″ tolerances for precise joinery.  A distance gauge is included to accurately drill matching dowel pin holes over longer distances.  Ideal for making wide panels for table tops or kitchen cabinet doors.

Strong –  Included with your Dowelmax is a booklet with some destructive tests comparing different types of joints.  Dowelmax is compared in strength tests to mortise and tenon joints, biscuit joints, double loose tenon joints and pocket hole screw joints.  Videos on the strength tests can be seen on their web site.  Clearly, the Dowelmax joint beats them all.

Stainless Steel Water Bottle Saves the Earth and the Economy

Send a fashion statement, an environmental declaration, and an economic encyclical with a stainless steel water bottle.

You are done with plastic. That innocuous-looking little plastic bottle in your hand is, in fact, a menace to society. Properly recycle it, and promise never to buy another one. Invest in a water purifier and good glass or ceramic containers for home use. For auto, gym, and trail use, invest in and cherish a new steel bottle. Not only will you help save the planet and contribute to a sustainable economy, but also you will get a fashionable little product that will deliver years of reliable service under the most trying conditions.

The short course in plastic economics.

Today’s economy very closely resembles the fragile American economy after World War II. Women skillfully and reliably had replaced men in manufacturing and other “smokestack industries,” and conversion from wartime to peacetime production demanded that corporate America preserve the jobs it had created and open-up more for war-worn vets eager to return to their “normal” lives.

“Disposables” offered a wonderfully viable solution. Paper towels create a lot more jobs than cotton towels ever could. Disposable diapers, a post-war innovation, create jobs in forestry, manufacturing, and waste-management. Aluminum cans create jobs in mining, manufacturing, bottling, and retail. It took seventy years for the downside risk to become apparent. Your not-so-harmless little plastic bottle is a relic of and icon for an outmoded way of doing business and disgracing the earth. In its tiny little way, your steel water bottle demonstrates your commitment to a new way of thinking about consumer products developed in a sustainable economy.

Your stainless steel bottle says and does a lot of good things.

Your metal bottle accomplishes a great deal of good by all that it does not do. It does not introduce BHP, PVC, and phthalates into the environment or your body; and it does not add a billion tons of waste to landfills every year. It does not consume 17 billion barrels of oil in production and distribution. Your steel water bottle does, however, encourage renovation of American manufacturing, bringing home thousands of outsourced jobs. Your steel water bottle will last a lifetime, and manufacturers may “up-cycle” it when you are finished with it. Best of all, your steel water bottle will keep your beverages icy cold and mightily refreshing with no strain on your conscience or the planet.

Ark Of The Covenant – Kenyans Now Claim Custody Of The Ark Of The Covenant

The original chest of the Ark of the Covenant is in Kenya, we can now authoritatively confirm. The chest said to contain the ten commandments that God handed over to Moses as stipulated in the book of Exodus 25; 6 – 10 has been in Kenya since the year 1210 AD.

In a paid up advertisement appearing in THE PEOPLE DAILY, dated 9th Nov 2007, the Chief Seer’s messenger has explained in detail how the Ark Of The Covenant was transported from its original location of king Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem. Solomon had a son with a foreign wife, Prince Menelik 1. At 19 years of age, he went to Sheba(Ethiopia) to attend his coronation and with consent of Levites carried with him the Chest. After years of temporary location in Ethiopia, the ark was put to rest in Axum.

In Axum, tunyaga (the people of the cross) or Nguo Ndune (the red costume) had conspired to steal Managi and Ikunjo (The Ark of the Covenant and Scrolls).This prompted the Kabiru (Hebrew) or the present day Gikuyu community to act. In the escape to hide the treasure, war erupted and had to be fought through to Thagana (Tana Island). From Tana Island the war entered the Somalia coast, Kaya forests in Kwale along the Kenyan coast. To divert attention, a replica of the Ark was made and broken into pieces in Digo, still on the Kenyan coast.

But that did not help as the war intensified pushing the Kabiru towards the mainland. They hurriedly buried the Managi and scrolls in secret locations in Mt Kenya. The writer continues to say that the location where the Ark Of The Covenant is, renamed by scholars as Tripple S, TSC shrine will never be subject to research. However, the scrolls which are of equal importance and which are concealed in sites renamed IKB and IKC, could be excavated and sited responsibly.

This revelation is likely to spark off renewed interest in the great search of the Ark Of The Covenant. In the article, the writer reveals that the Mt Kenya is regarded as a God’s Mountain. The shrines therein are held in trust by a college of 12 seers who operate in secrecy to guard their wisdom. People who pray with their hands raised and facing the mountain will always have their prayers answered by God. That mode of prayer was prophesied by David when he said “the Ethiopians will raise their hands in prayer to God”.

It was adopted as the Gikuyu mode of prayer when the Ark was put in their custody.

The revelation, and the events in the coming week, when the Gikuyu communities have been called upon to pray in unison to God, should be of great interest to religious scholars and historians.

Drainage Problems, Causes and Solutions

Drainage problems need to be addressed as soon as possible, as they can cause expensive damage if they are not repaired immediately. Structural damage caused by poor drainage can lead to cracks and settling in the foundation which in turn can cause cracks and settling of the entire structure. The soil can expand or contract by as much as 30% in severe cases.

Repairing damage to foundations are frequently not covered by your insurance. Since this type of damage can cost as much as $ 20,000 to $ 30,000 or more to fix, it is best to repair the underlining drainage problem at its earliest stage. Other damage can include damages to flooring, flooded carpets, drywall, door jams, bricks, etc.

Soil erosion is another effect of poor drainage. Loss of topsoil can ruin thousands of dollars of landscaping. It can also create ugly and dangerous depressions or "ditches" which will continue to expand until the core problem is fixed.

The most obvious indication of a drainage problem is water pooling on the ground and is most serious when this occurs anywhere near the structure. This could be caused by improper grading, poor soil conditions, or water runoff from an adjunct property.

The first step in correcting the problem is making sure you have found the real cause. An experienced grading contractor will typically visit your site at no cost and determine the cause, explain what needs to be done, and give you an estimate of what it will take to repair the drainage problem.

Proper grading will usually solve most drainage problems. The most important areas to grade are the ones within ten feet of your foundation, but the entire site needs to be evaluated to eliminate recurrence of the problem ,.

A typical grade should be about have a drop of at least one inch per foot for the first ten feet from the foundation and then a gradual downward slope in order to keep the water flowing away from the foundation.

Drainage problems can also be solved by installing rip rap rock, matting, shrubs, or drain pipes. Erosion can often be controlled by installing erosion mats. These can hold the soil in place until it gets established. On commercial sites and some residential sites you can install BMP ponds (rain gardens). This is a way that helps clean and filter the water runoff and looks nice with plants and trees.

Advantages of Building a Timber Frame House

People have been using timber to build their homes for centuries. Timber frame houses have always been popular because of their strength and reliability. They also allow you to design your dream home with ease. You can now build these homes in various designs and styles at very affordable rates. You can find a number of construction contractors and designers who will come up with great ideas for your houses. Another great place to do some research is online. You will find plenty of designs and styles to choose from on home building websites. Although timber is not the only material used to build homes these days I am going to discuss a few advantages of using timber frames to build your home. I am also going to give a few tips if you are thinking of building on of these homes soon.

It's very important you hire the right people to get the job done. This is why I strongly advise that you do some research before you start building your new home. You need to get some recommendations and talk to professionals who have experience with the timber building system. They will be able to answer all your questions and will help you understand the benefits of using timber frames. You need to get quotes from at least 5 different building companies or contractors. Make sure you get recommendations from family members and friends. You can ask local architects and designers as well. It's also a good idea to read a few design books and magazines. The internet is also a great place to look for more information. We live in an internet age which allows us to literally find anything online. I am sure you will find tons of helpful information on the internet.

So now that you know where to look for information lets discuss the advantages of building timber frame houses.

1. Faster to build – Timber frame houses take much less time to build. This is because they require fewer wooden pieces to build the house frame. This means your frame can be built very quickly. For larger homes the time taken is usually between 4 to 8 days. And for medium to small homes the time taken is 2 to 3 days. This way you will save lots of money on labor costs.

2. Easy to heat or cold – Because there are less pieces of wood used to make the frame it becomes easier for heating engineers to install heating and cooling systems. These homes also have great insulation properties. This is because these houses have insulated exterior sheathing.

3. Strong and durable – These houses are very strong and durable. They can withstand the worst of weather conditions and will last longer than most other wooden homes. People often save money by using old timbers which are also very strong and durable.

4. Cost – The biggest advantage I can think of is money. Building it is far cheaper than building traditional wooden houses. Although the wood is strong but sometimes hard to find, you save a whole lot of money on labor and heating and cooling.

So if you are thinking of building a new home soon do consider timber frames as an option.

Where to Find Plantation Teak Lumber

Teak lumber has been in vogue for centuries, but thanks to a number of limiting factors (deforestation, trade sanctions, etc.) it's not the easiest building material to locate. It's unlikely that your local lumberyard has teak decking stacked on a pallet, and the world's primary teak forests grow in a nation that's under a US trade embargo (Burma).

Fortunately, forestry experts are cultivating top-quality timber across many of the world's dry tropical regions, eg Latin America. Plantation teak is a convenient and eco-friendly choice for those in the market for teak decking or counter tops, because not only is it just as beautiful as Burmese teak, it's usually about half the price.

However, although this sustainable resource is now readily available to builders and designers, only handful of outlets carry the product. Therefore, few architects or designers feel comfortable calling for teak wood in their designs. Hopefully, that will not be the case for long, because a number of wholesalers are now offering ecologically responsible plantation teak, you just have to know where to look.

Pacific Coast Teak – Located in Paso Robles, Pacific Coast Teak is an excellent resource for high-quality, eco-friendly teak lumber for those living along the west coast. Boasting a high degree of environmental credibility, Pacific Coast Teak is the closest teak lumber source to the continental US, reducing shipping costs and emission emissions. Their website lists contact info, but no prices. Ostensibly, you'll need to contact a representative to get custom pricing for your project.

Proteak Renewable Forestry – With plants along the Pacific coast of Mexico, Proteak is both a producer and dealer of plantation teak products including cutting boards, counter tops and lumber. One distinguishing character of this company is its environmental record. Not only was Proteak the first FSC-certified company in Mexico, the company protects over 2,000 acres of tropical forests adjacent to its plantations. Proteak offers boards in the following dimensions (in inches): 4×4, 5×4, 6×4, and 8×4. Lengths: 4-10ft. – This teak supplier specializes in renewable "slow growth" teak lumber, cultured without the use of fertilizers or irrigation. This allows their trees to grow at a natural pace that reportedly gives it the look and durability of Burmese teak. Similarly, teak plantations utilize methods that accelerate the growth rate of their trees, altering the characteristics and grain pattern of the wood. Teakyard offers a number of teak board packages, ranging from 20 boardfeet of 4×4 lumber for $ 300 to 100 boardfeet of 4×4 lumber for $ 1,400.

Good luck with your teak project. Hopefully this article will be a valuable resource in your research on sustainable teak.

Extra Large Dog Houses For the Bernese Mountain Dog

With their calm and relaxed demeanor, the Bernese Mountain Dogs were historically used as draft animals for pushing or pulling carts. Their size, strength and cool temperament made them good candidates for this type of work on farms as well as aiding in herding cattle. With their long wavy fur coats they do well in the outdoors and seem to prefer cooler climates. They are dogs with great power and size, weighing up to 120 pounds and large dogs can reach 28 inches to the shoulder.

Having this beautiful good natured dog as part of the family can be an easy fit because of their temperament. The challenges occur in that they need physical activity to stay fit but they don’t have the endurance some of the smaller breed dogs would have. Also with their preference for a cooler climate, a fenced yard with an insulated extra large dog house would be a great set up. This will allow them a shaded place in warmer climates to escape the heat and protection from the elements like snow and rain when they are out enjoying a cool day. This is giving them the space they require and the ability to get up and move about when they want. With them being prone to skeletal problems, an orthopedic mat inside the house can also take the stress of the joints.

The long thick coats of the Bernese make this extra large breed well insulated and in turn, that means a lot of grooming and shedding. The typical challenges of being a pet owner however multiplied by 100 plus pounds which may also increase the need or desire to have them outdoors whenever the conditions permit and they are comfortable. The insulated extra large dog house can give your pet the comfort they require and you the peace of mind you need knowing your pets is safe and protected where they are happiest.

Why Choose a Local Website Design Company

It is commonly said that necessity is the mother ofventions. Your search for a local website design company is not any different. Because of the knowledge on the local market constraints, condition and the general perception of the people on the goods and services, a local company for the website design services , for instance, can do it pruned to your exact requirement / s there. Moreover, the local website design service provider will be able to reflect the local sentiments on your site in a flawless manner.

In short, there are a few coveted benefits such as the following when you go with a local company for the web development mean for your business.

Local flavor: You will be surprised to know that people around the world have different tastes and preferences. For instance, Indians love spicy food while Britons love less-spicy and usually boiled stuff. This essentially means a company that sells, say burger, has to go for a product innovation befitting the local flavor. You will get to the truth when you know the reason behind launching Indi McSpicy burgher in India from its original McSpicy. All these put together suggests that the local website design company has something unique on offer that makes your site a preferred destination for the customers and the prospects in your niche market.

· Economic service: You will by default find the services economic from a local website design company. Because of the local base, the local developers and the service providers for the websites have the cost advantage that they usually pass on to their customers like you without compromising the quality. This summarizes you to enjoy world class services for your site / s at the most economical price.

· On demand service: A local web developer is available within your arm's length. You can either call the people for a personal presentation at your end befitting your schedule for the day or can call them over the dinner, say for the finalization of deals. All in all, you will have the privilege of working pruned to your exact requirement when you hire a local website design company in any part of the world.

· Customer-friendly work culture: This is yet another unique feature of the local website design companies for many cities in the world. They work 24×7 and 365 days a year for you keeping your products, services and the data online while you enjoy sleeping at night. Many have witnessed this. It's now your turn to test the reality here.

Recycled Wood – Do You Know How Versatile & Eco-Friendly Rubberwood Is?

In the 1980s I had a rubber tree plant in my office as a decoration. Little did I know, there was a lot more hiding inside this versatile and eco-friendly tree.

While most people know that latex comes from the sap of the rubberwood tree, I for one, had no idea how really versatile and eco-friendly this tree truly is.

The sap of rubber tree has been used for 3600 years to produce latex, one of the most important substances we come in contact with in our everyday lives. Not a day or possibly even a minute goes by, when we are not in contact with something that is made from the rubberwood tree.

What makes this tree both versatile and eco-friendly?

Wood from the rubber tree has been found to have a high density grain, which makes for durability. This characteristic alone has helped rubberwood be seen as a high quality wood for use in the manufacturing of toys, furniture and wooden bathroom fixtures.

Because the rubberwood tree is a member of the maple tree family it is easily controlled during the kiln drying process which makes for a consistent finished product. It is also know for its compatibility to the adhesives used in furniture manufacturing.

A fine grain finish with a light color that excites staining to darker finish easily, makes rubberwood the perfect material for making high end furniture.

The new found discovery of uses for this versatile, eco-friendly wood in so many products means that the trees are no longer burned at the end of their 30 year latex producing cycle.

Not only does this help the environment from an air quality point of view, it also means that these trees live on through the products they become a part of.

It is not any one particular quality of rubberwood that makes it versatile and eco-friendly, but all of these characteristics combined, that make rubberwood a good choice for furniture and other products such as the high quality household fixtures and parquet flooring that will be durable and long lasting, no matter how hard they are used.