PVC, Timber, Aluminum Frames Or Frameless Patio Doors – Comparing Style, Technology And Price

Yesterday, for the first time in the three years of admiring my slimline aluminium framed bi-folding doors with integral blinds, I felt dissatisfied. This is because, for past few months, I have become increasingly aware of how much more visibility I could have with frame-less double glazed doors.

Time-travelling back a few years, the best option for doors between house and garden were central-opening double doors (French doors) which are still popular today. Fifty-ish years ago, sliding patio doors enabled us to embrace more light in the home. Typically, these comprised two panes of glass that could slide left or right within side-by-side parallel grooves so that, when closed, natural light and a good view could be enjoyed. To open, one door would slide to overlap with the other door so that the total width of the opening was similar to that of French doors. Another down-side of sliding doors is that they all too often became ‘sticking’ doors which became worse with the introduction of double glazing, doubling the weight of the doors and reducing the glass to frame ratio.

Moving forward to the next innovation… enter the bi-folding door: a combination of hinged doors that open in concertina style. Often called folding-sliding doors, bi-folds have various mechanisms that allow one side of the door panels to be guided along top and bottom runners while the remainder of each door panel is pushed out, together with its hinge-attached partner, and so on for as many door panels that are connected. In this way, a number of doors are swept aside in a zig-zag to reveal access widths of up to seven metres.

Since the turn of the century, the bi folding door has become increasingly popular with home-owners modernising their houses and flats. It is also the standard for many enclosed swimming pools.

Bi-folding doors are generally offered with three frame types: Timber, Aluminium and PVC. All are available in different qualities and therefore the prices vary. When comparing the cheapest PVC or wood-framed door sets from a D.I.Y. store with made to measure bi folding doors from a specialist manufacturer, remember that the built-to-order price generally includes installation by experienced bi folding door fitters.

Other points to consider may include the origin of your custom built doors.

  • Are they made locally or imported? There could be unforeseen delays if the measurements are inaccurate.
  • Does the company use an experienced team or cheap, untrained labour for installation?
  • Is the Company established with a good reputation, in case something goes wrong?


Good quality wooden frames look good in traditional homes. Hard woods, such as teak and oak are more expensive than soft woods but are also more resiliant. Timber frames are more prone to weather conditions – sun and rain can take their toll – swelling, shrinking or warping the frames, making the doors difficult to open or close and facilitating draughts. Stained or painted, wooden frames are high maintenance compared with aluminium or pvc.


The term thermally-broken aluminium basically means that the aluminium exposed to the temperatures on the outside of the frame and the aluminium on the inside of the frame are separated by a non-conductive material so that heat or cold doesn’t pass through. Aluminium itself can be quite ugly therefore the aluminium frames are powder-coated in a polymer that provides a smooth, warm finish. Colours can be added to the coating to produce a virtually maintenance-free frame (it will need a wipe now and then) in white, graphite, silver, green, brown, blue or up to almost 200 colour choices – including purple, orange, red or pink. Barbie and Jordan would love that!


Often available in wood-grain finish as well as white, PVC door frames vary from cheap and nasty that will probably be a nightmare to open and close, to metal-reinforced, high quality systems. The better PVC bifolds have many of the qualities of aluminium bifolds, such as low maintenance and good performance – but the frames are always wider, detracting from the potential view when doors are closed, and the profiles are also wider, reducing the access space when open.


For character homes, frameless glass doors are the stunning alternative to the traditional. For contemporary homes, there really is no alternative – this is it! The ultimate Lifestyle choice. Instead of having to consider the safety of natural wood versus repercussions of fashion fopars with copper, graphite or plum finishes, choose frameless. No frames.

Evolving from bifolds, an absence of side frames meant having to develop a method without hinges. This is achieved by having a main door that pivots open at right-angles just like a regular door, enabling each of the remaining doors to slide across the gap left by the open door and also pivoting at right-angles, to rest against the previous door. In this way, maximum access is achieved when all the doors are fully open.

And when the doors are fully closed, there are no frames to disturb the view. It should be noted, however, that because patio doors are double glazed, there is a small interruption between closed doors where the gasket seals the vacuum between the outer and inner glass panes.

Internal & Commercial Frameless

As a footnote, if you want frameless glass doors as internal room dividers, conservatory doors, doors to an outbuilding or on commercial premises, such as a removable front wall of a café, single glazed doors can be fitted. Not only are there no side frames but there is no gasket – just edge-to-edge glass (unbreakable quality, of course).

The price of frameless glass doors is a fraction over the cost of good quality bifolding doors. Browse the internet for photographs and companies that offer comparative, no-obligation quotations. Meanwhile, I’m wondering whether I should close off the kitchen with a frameless glass room divider – the dishwasher is quite loud sometimes…

Make a 5 Pointed Star Out of Wood

If you’ve ever seen a wooden, 5 pointed star and wished you could have one for your own wall, keep reading. Not only will you learn how to make one, you’ll also learn how to make one any size you want, and you won’t even have to be a math whiz to do it.

While not difficult to make, a 5 pointed star does require the use of some basic woodworking tools. The tools listed here are the minimal tools necessary to construct a star. If you have more advanced tools to use, the speed, accuracy and ease of construction will improve. You will need:

  • A jigsaw
  • A miter saw
  • Wood glue
  • Wood

Choose an Angle

We’ll be making a three-dimensional star that has a straight ridge, running from the center of the star to the tips of each point. The angle of this ridge can be anything you like, but I’ve found that a 30 degree angle looks great and gives the star a good amount of depth. Experiment to find the angle you like the best.

Cut the Wood

Begin by cutting 10 rectangular pieces of wood. Long, narrow pieces look the best, and the lengths and widths need to be identical for the points of the star to come together properly. An electric miter saw works well to cut the pieces to length, but you can always make the cuts by hand if necessary.

I would suggest starting with rectangles no bigger than 3″ x 10″. The thickness of the wood should be from ½” to ¾”. Once you get the hang of it, the size of the star is limited only by the woodworking tools you have available.

Bevel the Edge

Once the rectangles are cut, one of the long edges of each piece needs to be cut at a 30 degree angle (or whatever angle you choose). Set the base of the saw for the desired angle of cut and use a straight edge as a guide for the saw to cut along the entire length of the piece of wood. Be sure to start each cut at the same point on each piece so that the width of all pieces is identical after making the cuts. You can hold the beveled edges of two pieces together and see the basic shape of one of the star points.

Sort the Pieces

After all the cuts are made, put 5 rectangles in one pile and 5 in another pile. Mark each in the first pile with an L to signify it will be the left half of the point. The other pile gets marked with an R to show it’s the right half.

Cut the Points

Take a piece from the R pile and lay it down in front of you with the beveled edge on the left side, facing down. Measure down from the upper right corner, 1/5th of the total distance to the lower right corner. For example, if the length of the piece of wood is 5 inches, measure down 1 inch and make a mark. Now, use a pencil to draw a line from that mark, down to the lower left corner. Measure, mark and draw a line on the remaining pieces marked with an R.

All the pieces in the L pile get marked the same way, except the 30 degree bevel will be facing down on the right side, and the measurement will be made 1/5th the distance from the upper left to the lower left. Mark and draw lines on all remaining pieces.

Once all pieces are marked, make a cut along the lines of each of the 10 pieces. Make sure the saw is set to 0 degrees because you don’t want a bevel on this cut. Again, a straight edge may be helpful to make this cut nice and straight.

Glue the L and R Halves Together

With all the cuts made, you can now glue the L and R pieces together. Use good quality wood glue that will make a nice strong bond. When you’re done, you should have what look like five, star points. Set these pieces aside until they have dried completely.

Make 36 Degree Cuts

The last step involves making 2 cuts on each star point that are exactly 36 degrees from the centerline. If you have an electric miter saw, it’s a simple matter to set the angle at 36 degrees.

When making the cuts, line up the center ridge of the point so that it’s perpendicular to the back of the saw. The endpoint of the star should be pointing directly at you. It’s also very important when making the cut that the endpoint of the star is pressed down against the table. This is what assures the compound angle that each center point needs to fit together correctly. One cut will be made from the top, center of the point to the right at 36 degrees, and the other will be a mirror-image cut on the left side.

Glue the Points Together

Since 10 cuts will be made, each at 36 degrees, a complete 360 degree star will be made when you glue all the center points together. If the ends of each point were held down against the table when the cuts were made, each piece should fit together perfectly and the finished star should lie flat on the table.

Once you have the hang of it, vary the widths and lengths of the rectangles and use different types of wood. Use oak, pine, or old barn wood for just look you want. With a little searching and creativity, you’ll be certain to come up with a 5 pointed star that goes with any decor.

Facts About the Four Major Feng Shui House Types

Classical feng shui students learn about the four major house types within the first few days of instruction. These houses are described in broad brush strokes. Two of the four are supportive for health and relationships and two are not. Two of the four are supportive for financial luck and the other two are not. But to place too much emphasis on these four categories of house types, is like judging a book by its cover or a painting by its frame.

In the 20th century, these four house types were given catchy descriptions, translated from more non-literal Chinese terms, whereby we have one house type that is now labeled “good for people/good for money” (aka Wang Shan Wang Shui). The exact opposite house type is referred to as “Reversed,” as in the reverse of the best house. Then there are the two mixed house types, with one being deemed “good for people/bad for money (Double Sitting) and the other one “good for money/bad for people” (Double Facing.)

In reality, we know that life is more complicated, and yet we all know someone who is wealthy, but unhealthy or wealthy but very unhappy. We also know of people who are strong physically and mentally, with loving family members and close friendships, but maybe chronic financial struggles.

So it is easy to assume that these four major house “personalities” cast their influence on the occupants to create these real discrepancies. In studying Xuan Kong Fei Xing, there are actually 144 different house charts, but these 144 “flying star charts” can all be grouped into the four major categories. These categories are determined based on when a house was built and what direction it is sitting or facing, so it is not like seeing a house with certain physical characteristics which would be so obvious.

One of the most frustrating things I encounter frequently is a prospective client who wants me to assist them in house hunting and they have heard about this “good for people/good for money” house and they only want to live in that house type and no others. This is a very myopic way to go house hunting since what qualifies as good Feng Shui overall is based on a lot of criteria which is not determined based solely on the house’s orientation or year built. In fact, there are so many instances when a floor plan lay-out is flawed, that it seriously undercuts or over-rides the nature of the so-called best house of these four major categories.

For example, I had one client whose house was deemed this “Wang Shan Wang Shui” (good for people/good for money house type.) Meanwhile, the actual floor plan demonstrated that the bedrooms, entrance and home office were in the worst parts of the house. To backtrack a little, it should be understood that no house on the planet has all inherently positive areas. On average, there are about four of the total eight basic directional zones in any structure that are considered better or worse than the others. Here is a specific example: For a house which was built in 1985 and facing south between 160-170 degrees, the best locations (in the flying star chart) will be in the northwest, north, northeast and east sectors. The other directions (west, southwest, southeast and south) are not as inherently positive in the current times for that particular house type.

So at this point, we have not even studied the floor plan. We are just speculating about the most positive influences for that one house, being one of the 144 total flying star charts to consider.

So with this house in mind which was supposed to be so good, that client had perpetual financial problems, marital woes, problems with his children, legal issues, kidney problems for both husband and wife, as well as a serious burglary where they lost valuables totaling $100,000.00. So, I would not call that a “good for people/good for money” house. In contrast, I have a client who enjoys world-wide fame as an actor in TV and film and yet he lives in a “Reversed” house type, which is supposed to be “bad for people and bad for money.” He has a happy home life and does quite well in his career which has spanned more than 30 years. So, how is that possible? Well, aside from destiny which over rides Feng Shui, this man happens to naturally dwell in the most positive parts of his house instead of the most negative parts. His bedroom and office and convenient back door entrance totally support his good fortune. This is why I sometimes beg my clients to provide me with a floor plan when they are house hunting. So many people get the mistaken impression that all I need is an address, to look up the year built and compass reading on the internet. Without a floor plan to study, about 80% of the information is missing or based on guesstimates.

So, now I hope I have well established that the four major house types cannot and do not predict exactly what kind of fortune or misfortune the occupants may experience. The basic house type must be collaborated with the unique floor plan, and understanding of qi flow, the impact of the immediate exterior environment and even personal compatibility with the house based on the occupants’ birth data and occupation.

The lesser known fact about the four major houses styles still eludes many long time practitioners. And that important fact is that the four house types do not retain their status into perpetuity. Many practitioners assume “once a Reversed house, always a Reversed house.” And they assume the same fate for the other three house types. But this is actually, technically not so. What established the four major house types to begin with is based on criteria relevant to the Period in which a house was built. Once a house surpasses its own Construction Period, it relinquishes its title as one of the four major house types.

For example, Period 5 was from 1944 through 1963. For houses built during that 20 year Era, they are referred to as Period 5 houses. However, they are no longer the Wang Shan Wang Shui, Reversed, Double Sitting or Double Facing house type that they originally were. In each 20 Year Era, there are sixteen different house types based just on orientation and then they get further grouped into the four major house types. However, after 1964, those Period 5 houses ceased to be defined by those definitions. In Period 8, which is from 2004 through 2023, we have houses built during this time frame which are correctly classified as one of the four house types, but those terms will end in 2024 when Period 9 begins. At that point in time, only Period 9 houses will qualify as one of the four major house types. Houses from all other Periods are exempt. We have 9 Periods that each last for 20 years. This means that most houses are not one of the four major house types, even though it sounds like a category that all would fall into.

I was part of a large group of practitioners who were not initially taught all the ramifications of these house classifications. Old habits die hard and it may be a long time before the teachings are standardized to the point where every classical school or individual teacher will have this more nuanced and technically correct understanding of the four major house types, their duration, and their overall influence. Until then, many people miss out on buying or leasing great houses because they have a kind of Feng Shui-tunnel vision, as if the so-called “Wang Shan Wang Shui” house is the be all- end all of house types to seek out. Not so. This might be like a person feeling they can only function and be happy in one city in the world. We know that can’t possibly be true, but this is just one of many examples where people judge properties based on too little information.

The 5 Best Web Design Schools in the Philippines

Even if you graduate with a degree in IT or Computer science it does not give you complete training in web design and development. That’s because the discipline of web design is always changing and new internet technology comes out every minute. Even veterans and experienced designers can gain benefits by taking a short course in one of these design schools. You can also enroll for a refresher or just to stay up-to-date with the latest trends.

5. Meralco Foundation Institute / Informatics (TIE)

These are the two pioneer web design schools in the Philippines. Meralco Foundation Institute (MFI) is a non-profit organization therefore the training fees as cheap. If you’re on a budget, MFI is the best school to enroll in.

Informatics is on the high-end but has convenient locations in the city, mostly inside malls. Their curriculum is up-to-date and certification is recognized world-wide.

4. Philippine Center for Creative Imaging

“The Premiere digital arts and Graphic design School in Philippines”

Philippine Center for Creative Imaging or PCCI is a multimedia and web design school Philippines located in the bustling business sector,Makati City. Intensive hands-on application is given attention in each course. The professors and owners themselves are leaders in online and offline graphics and multimedia organizations. Aspiring designers can pick from a variety of digital arts fields ranging from photography, graphic design web design.

3. University of the Philippines Information Technology Training Center (UPITTC)

“The most unique website design training in the Philippines”

UPITTC’s tagline is “Helping you Build a Solid I.T. Career”. I think that’ what most of us want from all the training we take. It is known for is its out-of-the-box teaching style.This unique approach which consist of a lot of class discussion, lab work and more on “practical” real world training versus textbook learning.

The faculty and trainers are mostly UP professors and consultants in the important technology sectors of the country. If you complete the course chosen and pass the final exam you will receive a prized certificate.

2. First Academy of Computer Arts

First Academy of Computer Arts provides training courses which include design theory, specialized expertise and harnessing creative imagination in digital graphic arts projects..Students learn design principles and gain hands-on experiences in graphic arts, motion graphics, web design and 3-D software through rigorous training programs.This is a top tier website design school in Philippines to get a certificate in digital multimedia design.

1.De La Salle University College of Computer Studies

If I were a new student looking for an IT school to get serious training, this is definitely the school I would go to. Most of the professors and teachers their selves are popular among the Philippines web development professional circle. DLSU multimedia training school concentrates in the evolving study of web development, graphic design and digital media. Students have the option to choose a course which they want to master varying from design, programming and even video graphics. De La Salle University is the first to offer a B.A. degree in multimedia arts in the country.

After finishing the course you take, don’t forget to continue studying on your own. Self-studying will still be the best school when it comes learning web design.

A Buyers Guide – Divan, Wood or Metal Beds?

The average lifespan of a bed is usually 8-10 years, a bed can deteriorate by as much as 70% in this time, depending on use and how well it's looked after. If you have been difficulty sleeping, tossing, turning and waking up repeatedly or aches in your back, shoulders or neck, it could be time for a new bed.

Size Matters

Most sleep experts agree the larger the bed, the better the sleep. Your bed should be 15cm longer than the tallest person sleeping in it. This ensures that you do not end up sleeping diagonally which is bad for your back and uncomfortable for you and your partner.

A healthy sleeper will toss and turn as many as 30-70 times a night, making width important too. The width of the bed is particularly important if you sleep with a partner. A standard double bed (135cm) gives each person just 69cm of space, which is narrower than a single bed.

You'll need to consider the size of your bedroom too. Make sure there's enough room to fit in other bedroom furniture including sufficient space to open drawers and wardrobes.

Bed Frame Vs Divan

Manoeuvrability – A bed frame will always arrive 'flat-packed' so it can be assembled in the room. This can be an advantage if you live in a house with narrow walkways or tight turns on staircases rather than a bulky divan base.

Ventilation – A slatted or mesh base will ventilate your mattress as it allows air flow underneath for a fresh sleeping environment. Therefore a bed frame may be much more favorable for allergy or asthma sufferers.

Design – You can make much more of a design statement with a bed frame. Frames are available in a wide range of materials including wood, leather and metal beds. Whether you're looking for traditional and classic or contemporary and minimalistic, a bed frame offers much more design possibilities.

Height – Bed frames are typically lower to the floor than divans, this is particularly useful if you have trouble getting in or out of bed.

Storage – Divans are available with pull-out storage drawers, however space is actually optimized under a bed frame. You'll have the option to store larger items, whereas with a divan you're restricted to the drawer size.

Bed Bases

A divan base is merely a wooden box on which the mattress sits. Wooden or metal beds base will be made up of slats; either sprung or rigid. A sprung slatted bed will have curved wooden slats, normally made of beech, that sit inside the frame. Their natural bounce means that they'll adjust to your profile. A larger bed will have a double spring unit, supported by a central rail. This stops 'roll together,' ensuring you will not be disturbed when your partner gets out of bed. Rigid slats are fixed wooden slats with no give. They there provide an overall firmer feeling bed.

As a general rule, the gap between each slat should be less than 3 inches for proper support. The wear and tear on a mattress will also be greater the wider the gaps. Most manufacturers make their own recommendations for slat spacing to suit their mattresses, so be sure to check this out.

Wooden Vs Metal Beds

Durability – There is nothing quite as tough as metal beds, they are solid and sturdy and you'll never need to worry about the frame breaking, warping or getting weaker.

Design – While wooden beds look fantastic, metal beds offer you much more choice when it comes to style. As the bed is the focal point of a bedroom, you may want to go for a statement piece; metal can molded and shaped into unique, elaborate designs.

Color – Metal beds give you an option of color and finish. This is great if you're looking for children's beds or something that really makes a statement.

Size – Metal beds tend to be significantly less bulky than other bedroom suites. Wood can be chunky and cumbersome. This makes metal beds ideal for smaller bedrooms.

A bed is one of life's key purchases. Making the right choice will reward you with a better quality night's sleep, help your posture and health in general. Choose wisely and do plenty of research. Sleep in an ill-fitting, unsuitable bed and you could be setting yourself up for health problems in the future.

Renovate Your Room With Plexiglass Closet Doors

Giving your traditional bedroom, or any room in your home for that matter, a contemporary look has never been easy with plexiglass closet doors. You can have louvered, bifold, accordion or bypass style doors with plexiglass.

Plexiglass is a great closet door material for daily use because it would not break or crack easily. You would not have any problem fitting it with your modern home décor because it comes in various designs and finishes. Check out some of the offers from online retailers (eco-furniture.com, prontohome.com, etc) and compare their prices first before making a buying decision.

Coloran Acrylic Doors:

Resilient in style, this door is perfect for use in almost all closets in your home, from wardrobe to pantry to laundry. It is moisture-resistant, steam-resistant and can withstand humid or damp conditions. Therefore, there is less possibility that this door will lose its shape or warp.

Plexiglass Doors:

This sliding door can be a great addition to your shelving system. You can combine or mix and match the various available colors to create a unique look in your bedroom or any room in your house. You can combine the colors with clear or frosted door. The myriad of design options available for this door only shows its flexibility.

Armoire with Plexiglass Door:

This children's armoire features a plexiglass door making it safe for your children's room. The armoire has three adjustable shelves and a hang bar where you can easily hang clothes. Some of its standard features are hand painted designs and decorative iron scrolls. For optional features, you can have pull knob handles in gold and silver finishes, plain glass and decorative iron scrolls in finishes of either burnished gold, white and antique silver. Meanwhile, the door is available in four finishes, rarely red, white, navy and black. The door is constructed with Asian hardwood, solid medium density fiberboard. The dimensions are 19 and in inches in width, 39 inches in length, 60 inches in height and 125 pounds in weight.

SLIM-5 Series Doors:

This plexiglass door is ideal for any room in your house. You have the option of either right or left swing. Standard features are a flush pull and cam keylock. Prices vary according to your choice of design, hardware as well as weight. For example, a door that weighs 18.3 pounds sells for $ 550.34, $ 509.10 for a door that weighs 14.8 pounds, $ 687.94 for a door weighing 28.45 pounds while a 23-pound door sells for $ 591.62.

Chatsworth Products Inc.'s Plexiglass Door:

Chatsworth offer this replacement door in various styles, including solid plexiglass style, vented, spoiled perforated metal or high flow. You have the option to remove and install to open from either left or right. This door also perfectly fits kitchens designed with side panels. It comes pre-installed with locks and keys. An opening area of ​​63 percent is available for the perforated door style for greater ventilation.

Middle Atlantic SCRK Series Plexiglass Front Door-PFD-44:

This door can be installed either with a left or right swing. Standard features are cam keylock, attractive flush pull, metal hinge and lightly smoked plexiglass. It fits well with door opening clearance of 1.5 inches and has black textured powder coat. Sizes are 22 inches wide and 77 inches high.

The Insiders Guide to Buying a Lake Home

Bumper-to-bumper traffic. Heavy travel schedule. Job stress. The proverbial 'rat race'. Ugh. These are just some of the reasons that people dream of owning a lakefront home or cottage, a getaway within a couple hours drive time, where they can unwind from the stress of the work and the city, and have fun. Jet skis, fishing, sun tan lotion, barbecues, and crickets. Ahh!

For those folks looking to live the lake property dream, it's important to know that there's more to consider about buying lakefront property than just drive time and whether the water's wet. In fact, doing a little homework ahead of time will pay huge divorces down the road, maximizing the likelihood that the lakefront cottage may stay in the family for generations to come.

Taking some time up front is critical when it comes to buying lakefront property. It does not take long, but there are some important things to consider. You do not want to make the mistake of moving too quickly and regretting your purchase.

To help you, we've put together this quick read – a primer of sorts.

So, what are those key things to consider?

Well, there are a number of them. Some are about you, and some are about the lake and the property itself. And it's helpful to be familiar with them before you start looking at properties. That way, you can have your eyes open to the full range of considerations from the outside.

Let's start with you. These are the primary questions to ask before you begin your lakefront property search:

What do you want to do at the lake?

This is a simple question, and it may be the most important, so it's worth taking some time to consider.

Do you want to waterski and jet ski? Do you envision floating around on a pontoon? Is fishing important? Are you a kayaker? A birder?

Do you care what other people do? For example, do you want an all-sports lake, or do you prefer a quitter, no-wake lake?

2. How big of a lake are you looking for?

Size matters. Among other things, it will affect the types of activities you can do. For instance, just within 2-3 hours of Chicago, in southwest Michigan, there are lakes ranging in size from less than 50 acres, to the 2,680-acre Gun Lake. That's a big range.

3. How close do you want your neighbors to be?

Would it matter if they're close? Or would you prefer to have more open space between you and your neighbors? Naturally, some lakes are more populated than others.

What kind of lake home do you want?

4. How far are you willing to travel?

Most people have a desired drive time of less than two hours. Does that describe you too? Or are you open to traveling further? Your travel time will define a radius, within which will be your search area.

Now let's move on to the lake and the property. Let's say you've found the place that looks ideal. Congratulations! But before you move too fast – and you may need to move fast – these are important things to consider:

5. How deep is the lake?

The relevance of this question is that water clarity is a key sign of a youngger lake, and is naturally more popular for swimmers, while older lakes will have less clarity, and those nutrients make them more popular for fisherman.

6. What's the beachfront like?

Is it a sandy bottom or have more clay? Is it weedy or have lily pads? The beachfront will impact whatever you can have a dock, and influence what type of dock makes the most sense.

7. Does the property you're looking at have its own private beach, or is it a common beach?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but most importantly, you want to know the details that relate to the property you're considering buying before you buy it.

8. Is the property in a homeowners association?

It's not uncommon for lake properties to be in neighborhoods with private roads, and sometimes with other common areas. You'll want to know these details ahead of time, before making an offer. It's always a good idea to be comfortable with any by-laws or inmates of the homeowners association before making a purchase.

9. Is there anything of note about the lake?

Does it have a reputation, good or bad? Does it have characteristics that are likely to influence property values?

There are other things to consider, but these are the highlights.

The bottom line is that it's important to have a good conversation about these things before even looking at individual properties. And later, when you've found a place and want to make an offer, be sure that offer includes contingencies that allow you to do your full range of due diligence before closing.

Get Help!

Find an agent that truly understands lake properties – if they do not know enough about all the unique details that come with the lake lifestyle, they can not even represent your best interests. Do your own due diligence to find an agent with the necessary knowledge.

Take into consideration the full range of questions, do your homework and be careful to do your due diligence. Of course, in that regard, it's also important to work with a qualified and competent Realtor. With proper planning, you'll make a great decision, and then it's good times, here we come!

Drywall Repair – How to Make an Extra $300, $600 and More Per Week Specializing in Drywall Repair

If you have been a house painter for very long you have undoubtedly come into some form of drywall repair on every interior painting job. As a matter of fact, if you don’t get good at mastering drywall repair, your painting jobs will not be as professional as they could be.

In this article I want to reveal how small drywall repair jobs can mean big profits for you. I am talking about making $350 to $500 on average for just 7 – 10 hours of work. Each job is different of course and may turn out to be just a $200 repair or maybe a $1,500 repair.

The fact is that when it comes to drywall repair people always call someone to do the work. As a house painter I know that most people think they know how to paint and the keyword here is “think”. But when it comes to things like drywall repair they go running home to momma.

And this is why you can make good money doing small repair jobs like plumbers and electricians do. The things that most people are unskilled to do themselves are simple and easy for us that decide to specialize in them.

Some people have the money but lack the time and would rather have someone else do the work anyway. 99% of the time though, people just don’t know the trade. Drywall repair is a secret art. As for the ones that attempt to repair their own drywall themselves, the job always turns out lousy.

Where is the target market for getting business? The answer is residential, light commercial, rental properties, etc. As a house painter you can be limited to a higher end market if you wish to earn professional painters wages. But no so with drywall repair. Your market can be low end to high end simply because of the tremendous profits in smaller jobs that most people can afford.

Most of the time you get calls from people when they have water damage. Sometimes it is from reckless teens roughhousing. I had one job where bees ate a hole in the ceiling. I would say that 95% of drywall repair is from water damage and half of that can be from bad plumbing, a leaky shower that needs to be re-grouted, etc. A leaky roof is usually the other reason.

Sometimes you can get jobs hanging and taping small projects like a garage or part of a basement. You don’t have to take on these bigger projects though. Many times people want to sell their house so they are motivated to fix their walls or ceilings finally.

You may ask yourself, if drywall repairs are so simple how can I get good at doing them? First, You need to learn how to duplicate a few common textures, which is easy once you figure out which tool was used to make it. You will also get repairs for common drywall holes of all sizes, which includes plaster (thin set and lathe). And you will need to know how to repair loose tape seams.

And believe it or not, that’s about all there is to successful drywall repair. These techniques are hidden to the public but easy for you and I. If you ever have seen what homeowners try to do to repair their own drywall you will know instantly that this is an easy profitable business.

Here is the amazing part. Most drywall repairs that I see look awful. Yet the homeowner seems happy with it. The job looks like someone came in and slopped a little mud on the ceiling and left. Yet the repair guy ran off with something like $200 and the homeowner for some odd reason usually thinks the job was done O.K. I have seen this too often.

On a serious note though, doing good professional looking work at affordable prices will give you tons of referrals and repeat business. If you can learn the basics of proper drywall repair and even do a little touch up painting afterward you will do just fine. You can indeed earn $30 – $70 per hour due to the nature of the work.

How can I get business? Shopper guides, classified ads in places like Craig’s List, local online ads, small Yellow Pages ads, word-of-mouth, etc. Why should I start a small drywall repair business? Is there a big future in it? Yes for two reasons. First, self-employment is becoming the new work force and secondly, home repair will always be with us.

Who can do this type of work? Anyone who loves to restore things can do well. People who are gifted at home repairs, house painters, drywall, etc. Anyone who learns a few secrets to successful drywall repair.

Pipe Welding: What You Need To Be a Valuable Employee

As in most things, the more you know and the more you can do, the more you make.

A welder without a welding machine on his trailer or truck is called "single hand." A welder with a welding rig is a rig welder. A combination welder or "combo welder" is a pipe welder who is certified 6G in stick and TIG.

Pipe welders with their own rigs are making up to $ 12,000 a month in North Dakota.

If a rig pipe welder is selling itself and its machine, what is it getting per hour? Somewhere from $ 70 an hour to $ 100 an hour. If that same pipe welder has to use an employee's welder, he'll be making from $ 30 to $ 50 an hour.

Another pay factor which is part of the total equation is per diem – money for staying on or near the job, far from home. Still another factor that makes up the big numbers is the amount of hours worked. A welder can be on a job working twelve hours a day, seven days a week, for as much as sixty days straight.

What you need to be valuable to an employee starts with your welding skill.

Rig or no rig, you'll never get hired or stay hired without you can pass a code welding test for the company that puts you to work. There's a "Catch 22" here. (FYI, if you do not know what a Catch 22 is, rent or stream the movie). They will NOT invite you to test to weld pipe for them unless you have first certified as a 6G pipe welder somewhere else. What this means:

You're going to have to get your first 6G welding certification on your own, somewhere.

If you're a good welder now, and you think you can pass a 6G test, you can typically find a Certified Welding Inspector – a CWI (under the American Welding Society – AWS) at one of the junior colleges who'll certify you for $ 300 to $ 600. Now, you can look for pipe job, but it is not over yet.

If you are invited to take a weld test for a pipeline company or an oil rig outfit, and you pass, they still will not let you weld pipe if you have never field welded pipe before. They will put you on as a helper to a pipe welder. With any luck, that pipe welder will slowly work you in to welding pipe. Once it is evident that you're not going to be blowing joints, they'll let you weld fulltime.


Pipe schools are full. Your best bet is to get a good school welding book, and follow that to set up to practice pipe joints at home. You'll save a ton of time and money. You'll get more practice in then you would at pipe school.

The Best Nut to Eat

Just step into the supermarket and you can find a wide array of nuts available. But you may wonder just which ones are the healthier choices? To date, the perfect answer is still unknown.

From one health study conducted at the Loma Linda University in California, it was found that slightly more peanuts were consumed as compared to other tree nuts like walnuts and almonds. The results revealed that 32% nuts were peanuts that are ateen, 16% walnuts, 29% almonds and 23% are other types. However, researchers could not judge whether these nuts were oil-roasted, dry-roasted or fresh. From another study, it was found that peanuts, technically known as 'legumes', help to reduce risks of heart diseases as effectively as tree nuts.

Researchs also conducted experiments on a sample group of volunteers who were fed various nuts in a daily diet for a couple of weeks. The study shown that almonds, walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts and pistachio nuts all affect our blood composition in different ways which lower coronary disease risks. Chestnuts, having low fat, are still not being studied properly.

The advice to people is to eat different varieties of nuts, given that different nuts have their distinct nutritional value. Walnuts, for instance may be beneficial for our body as they contain n-3 fatty acids. Coconuts, on the other hand, should be avoided as they contain highly saturated fats which may cause high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

It is still not fully known why nuts are viewed as health-promoting food. For one, we know that nuts possess unsaturated fats at high levels and saturated fats at low levels. As compared to other fatty acids, nuts lower the level of blood cholesterol to reduce the risk of heart troubles.

Nuts are also a good means of obtaining Vitamin E, fiber, copper, folic acid, amino acid, arginine as well as magnesium. Each of these vitamins and minerals all play a role in keep out heart healthy. It is also wise to include nuts as part of your daily diet as they also contain minerals like manganese and plant sterols which have been found to reduce cholesterol adsorption from food.

Nuts can be a very versatile ingredient to include in your food. Besides using them as spreads on your sandwiches, include nuts in your recipes – walnut muffins, almond cookies, salads topped with cashew nuts! There are so many interesting recipes you can experiment with; just search on the internet and you can find a number of good recipes worth trying out.

Nut butters of peanut, cashew, almond, hazelnut may unduly be the most commonly found food in most households. Although these may be very tasty, beware that commercially made nut butters contain additional saturated fats, sugar and salt, then it is advisable not to consume them in large amounts. If you have the time to spare, try making your own nut butter at home by first roasting, grinding and then blending the nuts.

Can Peanuts Cause Acid Reflux Problems?

It is quite possible for someone suffering from acid reflux to do all of the right things only to find their symptoms are not getting any better, or that they may even be getting worse. This usually means that there is something else going on, and that someone has to look deeper into their diet to see if there might be another trigger they may not have noticed. You’ll no doubt be aware of the number of people suffering from peanut allergies so can peanuts cause acid reflux too?

Peanuts and Acid Reflux

Peanuts have high fat content and there is also suggestion that they can relax the esophageal sphincter and that means they should be avoided with dealing with heartburn. They go right along with things to avoid like alcohol, caffeine in any drink or food, deep fried foods, sugars of all types, tomatoes, tomato juice, and citrus family fruits and juices.

The other instance where peanuts might be a problem is if someone has food sensitivity. Those who are allergic to peanuts know it and will avoid them. However, food sensitivities can often go unnoticed, as there may not be a sudden reaction unlike an allergic reaction, so it can be very hard to pinpoint. Peanuts can definitely be a food that causes sensitivities.

Acid reflux can be aggravated by sensitivities to any food or indeed can be caused by them. Peanuts are found in many things, and if you look at the list of foods that someone who is allergic to peanuts must avoid, you will find a very long list.

So although peanuts pose a problem for some with reflux, many have no idea that some of the things they are eating contain peanuts. Which means they can have treatment for GERD without having any idea they also have a peanut sensitivity, which can result in the treatment being ineffectual.

If you are concerned you may have a peanut sensitivity that is contributing to your acid reflux symptoms the best approach is to keep a food diary and monitor your symptoms. Should you find that your symptoms are worse after eating food containing peanuts then it would be best to eliminate or moderate your intake.

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Though getting peanuts out of the diet seems like the easy answer, this may not always be as easy as it sounds.

A huge number of foods have peanuts in them, or even trace amounts from the way they were manufactured. However, now that there is more awareness about peanut allergies and serious side effects when allergy sufferers eat nuts most food manufacturers are labeling their products accordingly.

Look for the warnings on food packaging and to see if peanuts are present. You’ll find that many restaurants will also warn if dishes contain nuts.

If you try removing peanuts from your diet and acid reflux symptoms subside then you have found the answer to the question of can peanuts cause acid reflux or worsen symptoms.

Israel – Top 10 Biblical Landmarks of the Holy Land

Israel's Biblical Landmarks draw millions of tourists every year. Judaism, Christianity and Islam followers come to Old Jerusalem as one of the sacred places for any representative of these monotheistic religions. Israel's Holy Landmarks allow visitors from all over the world to witness incredible history in the making and sometimes reach God with their most sacred prayers.

Listed below you will find Top 10 holy places that should be seen by any traveler coming to the Holy Land of Israel.

1. Jaffa Gate is considered one of the eight entry spots to access the city of Jerusalem. It was built in 1538 by the Suleiman ruler. According to the Legend any attacker would enter the city specifically through Jaffa Gate. The gate is located at the western side of the Old City leading straight to the Armenian and Muslim quarters. Jaffa sea port had a remarkable historical and cultural significance since it served as a shipping route for delivering wood to build the temples of Jerusalem.

2. Western (Wailing) Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem is among the most important attractions of all Israel Holy Places. The wall is adjacent to the Temple Mount and is considered the holiest of all holly places in Israel to reach God with prayers. Jews from all over the world come here to pray and find peace; they also insert small pieces of paper with their most sacred wishes into the little openings in the Wailing Wall.

3. Bethlehem is considered the place where King David and Jesus Christ were born. Bethlehem is located 10 kilometers from the Old City of Jerusalem. The most significant attractions of Bethlehem are the Milk Grotto Chapel, Basilica of the Nativity and Rachel's Tomb.

4. The Sea of ​​Galilee is located within 25 kilometers of the city of Nazareth and provides a plethora of activities for any visitor to Israel. Jesus Christ used to preach at the picturesque shores of the Sea of ​​Galilee or Lake Kinneret that it is also referred as. A lot of miracles that Jesus Christ created were described to have taken place at the Sea of ​​Galilee, specifically, walking on water, taming the storm and feeding the hungry.

5. Mount of Olives is a holy place for all Jews and is named mostly for a large concentration of olive trees growing all over the mountain. Mount of Olives is a very important place since there are so many places of religious interest scattered around the surrounding areas. The Hebrew cemetery is a place where a lot of famous people through the Jewish history rest in eternal peace. The Russian Church of Maria Magdalene, Church of All Nations and Dominus Flevit Church are just a few places to visit in the Mount of Olives region.

6. Elijah's Cave is another important Holy Landmark that could be witnessed in Haifa. A lot of significant events were described to have taken place in the Elijah's Cave where the Prophet prayed and meditated. The cave is holy to many Jews and Christians due to the fact that Mary, Joseph and Jesus stayed here overnight on their way from Egypt. Elijah's Cave is located right at the foot of the Cape Carmel in Haifa.

7. Nazareth city is a must attraction for any tourist visiting Israel. According to the New Testament Nazareth was a place where Jesus spent part of his childhood. This area boasts a vast net of churches to commemorate the religious significance of this city. Do not miss the Church of the Annunciation, Mensa Christi Church, the White Mosque and Eastern Orthodox Church amongst its many attractions. Shopping at the Nazareth's Old Market is a great experience and opportunity to acquire wonderful souvenirs to take home.

8. Mount Nebo is one of many Israel Holy Places that is home to the Memorial Stone to Moses when he viewed the Promised Land. Mount Nebo opened a spectacular panorama of the Promised Land to Moses. Mount Nebo is also a final resting place for Moses and there before an important Holy Landmark in Israel.

9. River Jordan according to Judaism flows to create an eastern border for the Land of Israel. River Jordan was Jesus Christ's place of baptism by John the Baptist. Do not miss visiting this Holy Place during you visit to Israel.

10. Jericho is the City of Palm Trees and the most ancient known walled city. The story has it when Joshua entered the city the walls came down, though archeologists still have not recovered any remains of the actual walls. Cleopatra was known to favor Jericho due to a large plantation of persimmon plants that were used to manufacture the most sensual perfume that drove any man wild. The remnants of the tower and forts are considered the most precious pieces of artifacts in Jericho city. Jericho was considered an oasis in the desert and loved by wealthy people of the ancient times that used this city as their winter residence.

Visiting Israel Holy Places is a tremendous opportunity for educational and spiritual growth of every individual.

Education – An Indispensable Asset

“Education is the transmission of civilization.” – Will Durant (American Writer & Historian, 1885-1981).

Education is an indispensable asset to attain fame, power, money, freedom, social justice and peace. With the rising of global economic trends, education becomes more imperative in facing many challenges that the future holds for the humankind.

An ever changing and developing economy needs a well-educated workforce to thrust it forward to a newer world. With a recuperating economy, job market for new skill-set is born. Recruiters prefer people with fresh or recent degrees, attached to their existing education, to fill the vacancy. Today, a job seeker’s career may suffer due to lack of adequate education. Therefore, it becomes essential for each job seeker to continue evolving. Education, perhaps, is the best medium to improve knowledge, skills and personal development, resulting in building healthy relationships among individual, groups and nations for a better tomorrow.

Education has crossed boundaries and has become international. Today, distant learning has become a new face of education, recognized by the world over. Universities and colleges across the globe offer various programmes for individuals either seeking a continuing education or a professional degree.

Distant learning creates an educational experience outside the classroom. Teachers and students communicate either through a print & electronic media or through technology. Individual’s can now earn their degrees in the relative comfort of their homes.

Internet provides an array of online professional and educational courses, which comes with a price or free of charge. Many accredited universities, colleges and schools’ provide an online platform to revive and enhance continuing education. Individuals’ must wisely choose a virtual school from the whole gamut, and not be fooled by the freebies being offered.

Individuals’ must assess their need for earning a degree, first. Is it the need to graduate with flexible education program or increase the value of their resume for better jobs?

Making a choice of subject, curriculum, faculty, mode of correspondence and fee structure is the next step towards improving your future. Enrolling in an online degree course is the final step to improve your education credibility.

Credibility (Accreditation) and Learning Costs are the two parameters that should be kept in mind before pursuing online education.

Educational regulatory bodies are constructed to certify colleges and universities interested in providing online degree course. Based on which agency the college is affiliated to, individuals’ may choose their online education board.

The fee structure should be appropriate to the courses offered. It should be able to suit individuals’ pockets. After all, the purpose of online education is to impart knowledge to all humanity and the objective can be achieved when education is provided at a reduced cost.

Earning a degree at home can be achieved by choosing an option from the following six choices, which are:

– Correspondence conducted trough regular mails.
– Telecourse/Broadcast, in which content is delivered via radio or television.
– CD-ROM – student interacts with computer content stored on the CD.
– Pocket PC/Mobile Learning – student access course content stored on a mobile device or through wireless server.
– Integrated distance learning – interaction with distance learning curriculum integrated of live, in-group instruction program.
– Internet conducted programmes either synchronously (telephone, video & web conferencing) or asynchronously (message board forums, email, fax/voice mail, audiocassette & videocassette).

Online degrees encompasses subjects which are offered in the regular curriculum at the campus. Therefore, students enrolling for distant education can pursue subjects from the field of Science & Technology, Business & Finance, Humanity & Fine Arts as easily as a regular on-campus student.

How to Price Foreclosure Cleanup Jobs For Profit Using HUD’s Guidelines

A foreclosure cleanup business does everything from lawn maintenance, to trashouts, to cleaning, pressure washing, gutter cleaning, repairs and more.

The foreclosure trashout industry is proving to be a lucrative business option for hardworking entrepreneurs. With one in every 25 homes in foreclosure, per Michael Williams, Fannie Mae CEO, and with millions of adjustable-rate mortgages poised to reset in the coming years (creating the prospect of a new round of foreclosures), foreclosure cleaning startups are perfectly situated to have evergreen enterprises for years to come.

Though foreclosure cleaning is a burgeoning industry, due to the sheer number of jobs available, foreclosure cleanup can be a business with thin profit margins if entrepreneurs aren’t pricing their services for profit.

Pricing for profit can be tricky for new property preservation business owner who don’t know the ins and outs of how contracts are won, who gets paid first, where they are on the totem pole in getting paid, etc.

A good tool to use in pricing foreclosure and trashout type jobs is HUD’s pricing guidelines for property preservation type companies — BUT, to use this tool alone can be a grave mistake.

When using HUD’s guidelines to price jobs, business owners should be aware that the tables list the maximum amount HUD will generally pay the PRIMARY contractor of a foreclosure cleaning job.

As a smaller company, business owners should know where they are on the totem pole in actually getting paid to know how to charge using the tables. They should also learn how to figure out whether they are the primary subcontractor, number two in line, number three, etc. This will not only help them figure out how to price, but will also guide them in figuring out the best strategy to use in winning jobs.

Foreclosure cleanup business owners cannot simply look at the HUD pricing charts and use those figures for bidding, or they’ll certainly overbid a job and lose out. The tables have to be dissected effectively

Remember, the HUD pricing guidelines for foreclosure cleaning are what HUD will pay, maximum, for a service (though certain scenarios will permit them to go higher with substantiating information). The amounts listed in the charts are really for that primary contractor.

Anybody can price, but pricing “for profit” in the burgeoning foreclosure cleaning industry is an art. New foreclosure cleanup businesses should plan to do their research so they can learn how to dissect the HUD charts and price effectively for profit to win more cleanup business.

The 3 Biggest Mistakes When Making Homemade Kale Chips

Kale chips have become one of the nation's favorite healthy snacks. They're crunchy, crispy, and filled with all the nutrients of fresh kale, making them a no-guilty, delicious between-meal treat. But at $ 7.00 (and more) a bag, this addictive snack is a pricey one. To keep costs down, many people make their own kale chips. Fortunately, kale chip recipes are everyone online. Unfortunately, many people find that their finished kale chips look and taste nothing like those crispy tricks that they buy from their local health food or grocery store. By avoiding a few common mistakes, however, it is possible to create light, crispy, delicious kale chips at home.

Mistake # 1: Not removing the rib from the center of the kale leaf. This thick, fibrous rib is filled with moisture. When placed in the oven, it releases moisture into the air, causing the kale leaves to steam instead of crisp. The result? Flabby chips. To remove the rib, simply fold the leave in half lengthwise, grip the top of the rib, and pull down. Or you can cut the rib out.

Mistake # 2: Not using bone-dry kale leaves. If your kale has even the smallest amount of moisture on it, the leaves will steam instead of bake. Steamed leaves are pliable and flabby. Baked leaves are light and crispy. To remove the last vestiges of moisture, whir kale leaves in a salad spinner. You can even dry leaves with a hairdryer set to "cool" to remove excess water before baking.

Mistake # 3: Using too much oil. The type of oil you use for kale chips does not matter. The amount of oil you use very matters. Use too much and you get heavy, soggy, chewy chips. To ensure you use the bare minimum amount of oil, here's a trick: Place clean, dry, rib-free leaves in a large bowl. Drizzle with a baking teaspoon or teaspoon-and-a-half of oil. Using dry hands, toss leaves in the bowl until all oil is equally distributed.

You're now ready to lay leaves flat on an un-greased baking tray and bake. Do not forget to check your kale leaves half-way through baking and turn them when the edges begin to crisp. Chips are crispiest when they are baked evenly on both sides. Just be sure you do not over-bake your chips. Kale leaves can go from toasty to burned in less than a minute. And lastly, allow your chips to cool on the baking tray for the lightest, crispiest results.