Laminate Flooring and Excellent Choice for Almost Any Room

Laminate flooring can offer such a wonderful look, yet be much more economic than real wood flooring. If you're considering remodeling your home this year you really should look into the many benefits of laminate for your next project. This article looks at some possible solutions for your next home remodeling and flooring project.

Laminate flooring offers the homeowner so many wonderful choices of color and style patterns. This type of flooring surface offers many wonderful applications from kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and beyond. The prices are very economic to.

One of the main benefits of using laminate style flooring is that you can often times by large amounts very economically at your larger home improvement stores. By purchasing the product in bulk at a wholesale outlet you're able to then install the flooring yourself and save a reasonable amount of money.

If you have been thinking about adding a den, family room or a great room to your home – this type of flooring is an excellent choice of material. Many people love to add some nice amenities like a pellet stove or gas fireplace to the room.

Laminate wood is so realistic looking, often times someone has to look very closely to see whether it's real or not. This type of surface has proved to be very durable and able to handle a fair amount of heavy traffic, making it the perfect choice for your next project.

You'll want to make sure that you check with the dealer who manufactures the laminate flooring that you decide upon for proper care instructions. You will want to take some precautions if you plan on installing it yourself. However, it's a reliably simple job with plenty of information available online.

Work Ethics and Etiquette – Leaving Your Job Through the Front Door

About a year ago, my friend (and former co-worker) Steve was having issues with a manager. He is -or used to be- sentenced to bursting into flames when he disliked the way he was talking to or when he felt that something was unfair. One August afternoon, he had enough with this supervisor, confronted him (maybe even using some expletives) and walked away from the facility, never to be seen again.

Unless you've already gotten another job, leaving your current one in a tempestuous manner will certainly not help you in your quest to find a new job. Employers usually perform reference checks on candidates so if Steve applied for a job in a different company or decided to re-apply to the company where he quit, what do you think HR is going to say when required by the recruiter? That moment of "Wookie Rage" may condition your professional future for a long time. Diplomacy is mandatory.

This may be an extreme example of how not to end a job relationship. There are also grays.

Keeping your team on the loop

If you are transferring to another department make sure your boss and teams know beforehand about your intentions to leave (same rule applies when migrating to a different organization). Big companies have migrated to online recruiting platforms. Internal applications are now typically handled through the company's portal or intranet which have automated notification services that inform the person's direct supervisor when an employee is exploring new opportunities. And let me tell you, I (nor, I think, anyone) appreciates finding out that someone is leaving the team through an automated notification. Sadly, It happens a lot. People will find out you are planning to leave sooner or later. It'd Rather be sooner.

Letting your boss know you are leaving does not mean that he or she will start looking for ways to fire you if you do not get the job you are now applying for. On the contrary, it will give the company time to find someone to fill your spot and make an orderly transition. In the case you do not get the job … well, they get to keep you for a bit longer.

What you get from it

Letting those around you know about your plans can bring a wealth of benefits for you. When I left my last job I made sure everyone knew-before I applied for the new one, even knowing that it was not sure I would get it- my intentions and the reasons I was leaving. When I was finally given confirmation that I was accepted in my new position, I got not one, but 2 farewell parties (with cakes and everything), more than 30 cards (including a Gift Card: thank you Nurse Jan !!!) and the director of the program offered me her help, give references or advice if I ever run into problems or needed something in my new job. She did not have to do it, but she did it anyways. My former direct supervisor? We go sailing together every other week (or when our schedules permit).

The second possibility is that you could be tempted to stay either through a promotion or raise. If you do not say anything about your departure, this will never happen.

Sneaking behind everyone's back is bad work ethics, poor teamwork and a way to be remembered in an unfavorable light. This is particularly important in today's hyper-connected world. Some people fear what his / her boss may say or do if they applied for another job so they choose to keep it under the carpet until the " right moment to say it ". Usually that right moment is often known as too late . I'm sure there are a myriad of other possible reasons why people do not notify their superiors or co-workers but I sincerely do not know them. If you do, I'd love to know.

Romantic Spanish Phrases – How to Say Romantic Phrases in Spanish

They say a rose by any other name is still a rose. But somehow saying a “rose” as “rosa” makes it all that much more exotic. When it comes to romance, the exotic spices things up. One way to infuse some spice into your romance is to learn these romantic Spanish phrases.

Here’s how to say romantic phrases in Spanish.

I love you – Te quiero

Do you have a girlfriend? – ¿Tienes novia?

Do you have a boyfriend? – ¿Tienes novio?

My love – amor mío

To kiss you is like seeing stars – Besarte es como ver las estrellas.

I’ve been thinking about you – He estado pensando en ti.

Love song – canción de amor

Love story – historia de amor

Since I met you I do nothing else but think of you – Desde que te conocí no hago

nada más que pensar en ti.

Your love inspires me, your tenderness touches me, and your kisses drive me crazy – Tu amor me inspira, tu ternura me conmueve y tus besos me enloquecen.

My first love – mi primer amor

I’m very lucky to know you – Soy muy afortunado(a) de conocerte.

You are very pretty – Eres muy linda.

You are very sexy – Eres muy sexy.

I like you a lot – Me gustas mucho

You drive me crazy – Me vuelves loco(a).

I can’t wait till we can make sweet love again. – No puedo esperar a volver a hacerte el amor otra vez

It took me an hour to know you and only a day to fall in love. But it will take me a lifetime to be able to forget you – Tardé una hora en conocerte y sólo un día en enamorarme. Pero me llevará toda una vida poder olvidarte.

I adore you – Te adoro.

I want you – Te deseo.

Sweetheart – amado

You are divine – Eres divina(o).

You are spectacular – Eres espectacular.

You have the prettiest eyes in the world – Tienes los ojos más bonitos del mundo.

You have a lovely smile – Tienes una sonrisa muy hermosa.

Shall we dance? – ¿Bailamos?

You are the most wonderful person in the world – Eres la persona más

maravillosa del mundo.

I love to know that you’re with me – Me encanta saber que estás conmigo.

Each hour that passes seems like a second – Cada hora que paso

contigo me parece un segundo.

I can’t wait to see you – No puedo esperar a verte.

I miss you – Te echo de menos

My princess – Mi princesa

My prince – Mi príncipe

Honey – Cariño

Hugs and Kisses – Abrazos y Besos

I love you with all of my heart – Te quiero con todo mi corazón

I’m happy to spend each moment of my life by your side – Soy feliz de compartir cada

instante de mi vida a tu lado.

Will you marry me? – ¿Te casarás conmigo?

And isn’t that the most romantic Spanish phrase of all?

Why Reflexology Is Becoming More and More Popular

Put simply, reflexology is the application of gentle and controlled pressure to specific points on the feet, hands, or ears. Reflexologists work on the notion that these areas and reflex points correspond to different body organs and systems. They believe that applying pressure to these points has a positive effect on their patients’ organs and general health.

For example, reflexologists believe that a specific spot in the arch of the foot corresponds to the bladder point. When a reflexology practitioner uses their thumbs or fingers to apply pressure to this area, bladder functioning may be improved.

Although reflexology is not used to diagnose or offer a cure to health problems, millions of people around the world use it to help with their symptoms or to complement other treatments when addressing conditions such as anxiety, back pain and headaches.

Reflexology offers enormous and varied benefits. Helping with the symptoms of stress and aiding pain management are two of the most common reasons why people seek out reflexology therapy.

Reflexology to Reduce Stress

Reflexology techniques involve finger or thumb “walking”. In other words, reflexologists “walk” their fingers or thumbs across different areas of the feet in a set sequence. They also massage and knead the patient’s foot using their whole hand. The experience is typically firm, but gentle, and does not cause any discomfort or pain. Results vary from patient to patient, but the soothing action of reflexology generally induces a deeply relaxed and peaceful feeling.

Reflexology to Reduce Pain

Reflexologists work on the understanding that illness is caused by blockages in the meridians or energy channels. These blockages slow the flow of life enhancing energy, also known as ‘chi,’ causing a build up of negative energy, which results in pain or disease.

There are over 7,000 nerve endings in the feet. These are connected to the entire body through the central nervous system. Reflexologists work on the belief that massage of the feet (therefore massage of the nerve endings) encourages the body’s self-healing abilities.

Reflexologists believe that their techniques have the ability to restore the delicate balance between the different body systems and functions, thus restoring harmony within the body. As a result of this, tension is removed from the body, stress is reduced and pain is diminished.

Reflexology treatment is becoming more widely used and increasing in popularity due to the deep relaxation effects it typically has on the body.

Small Timber Homes – Maximizing Kitchen Space

When building a small timber frame house space can be limited, especially in the kitchen. Most of the floor space is used for the bedrooms and living area. When planning your timber home you should plan a kitchen that combines both entertaining and dining areas into one comfortable room. To attain this goal there are things that you need to consider to maximize your kitchen space and make it into the area you desire.

Assess what are your needs

The first thing to do is consider the ways in which you use your current kitchen. Think about when and how your family cooks, eats, and utilizes the current kitchen. Is it an eat-in kitchen or one that hosts large family dinners? If you are building a timber frame house for retirement, then there will generally be only two people in the house but if you have children, you need to consider space when they visit and if they have a family. If you have a small kitchen in your new timber frame house you will have other places for them to sit and eat.

Design the space

When you design your kitchen, you need to look at your lifestyle and your budget. You could design an open kitchen where it looks out into the living area. To create a personalized kitchen you can consider using timbers that are handcrafted, vaulted ceilings, and specialty woods. Having exposed beams and posts will allow you to distinguish visually separate areas without having intrusive walls.

Counter space

In addition to having counters, you could have a freestanding island where family and friends can sit and eat without being in the way of the food-prep area. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association if you have a large island they recommend that there be a thirty-nine inch walkway between the cabinets or walls and the counter seating so there is enough space for people to eat without hitting their heads on the wall Egypt cabinets. One configuration that is a popular design is a breakfast bar or island with a taller pub-table-height seating on one side and a food-prep surface on the side in the kitchen.

Dining table

If you have a small kitchen space but want to have a dining table, you could put a long table along one side between the living space and kitchen on one side of the cooking area. If you have figured in the plans a separate dining room, you could have a smaller dining table or a round one that is tucked into an alcove or corner.

After considering these things then it will be time to draw up your plans to build your dream timber frame house.

Benefits of Building a Shed With Plastic Lumber

Maintaining wood can be expensive, time consuming and a great effort, which are just a few of the reasons why it makes more sense to use plastic instead.

Plastic recycled lumber has many benefits over natural wood and it will not splinter, warp, crack or rot. Recycled lumber is also denser than wood and requires very little maintenance, and will last for more than forty years. Being resistant to UV rays, graffiti and stains, pleasing to the eye and available in a variety of different styles and colors are just more reasons why using recyclable plastic lumber for building a shed just makes more sense.

When considering whether or not to use recycled lumber to build a shed, it is important to remember this product requires no pre-treating before it can be used in the outdoors. One of the most attractive features of using recyclable plastic lumber is because it is made from recycled products. The lumber comes in many colors and can be dyed to emulate the appearance of natural wood. There are different grains of wood, colors and styles available and it can be used to erect a shed or to replace existing rotted wooden boards on a shed already constructed.

People elect to use recycled plastic materials on decks, patio furniture and sheds because of durability and value. Unlike wood products, recyclable plastic lumber will retain its appeal and is designed to withstand even the most sever of outdoor weather environments. Recycled plastic lumber will not bow or break, regardless of how old it is and it is lighter than wood, which means it is easier to work with.

Another benefit of using recycled plastic is the consumer's ability to order the planks with pre-drilled holes. Having the holes pre-drilled saves time and is less tedious when constructing a backyard shed and the material is not as heavy as traditional wood, which makes it extremely easy to use for whatever structure you are building. Recycled lumber planks will not experience color fading over time, which means it will always look attractive no matter how old the structure might be and you have no worries about needing to replace rotting or warped boards because of weather exposure.

You can save a lot of time and money when wanting to construct a shed, if you choose to use recycled plastic lumber. Instead of using wood to build a shed, by constructing it from recyclable plastic lumber you are doing your part to go green and using a material which has a longer life than traditional wood. Check out all the different varieties and colors available in recycled plastic lumber and you are sure to find something to suit your needs and requirements.

Starting a Cleaning Business, Get Free Cleaning Logo Ideas!

Did you recently get an LLC for your cleaning business but having a terrible time coming up with any logo ideas to go on your website and business card?

Have you been looking for free cleaning logo samples for weeks and all you can think of is a bucket and a broom or a mop?

Have you been surfing websites with pictures related to cleaning for your brand identity but to no avail?

Small startups face these issues because they do not have the appropriate knowledge and expertise of designing a logo but they still try to design it on their own. A well-designed logo has 3 key elements: Imagery, font, colors.

Here they are in detail …

Here Are 3 Free Cleaning Logo Ideas That Will Get Your Creative Juice Flowing ….

1) Best Color Combinations For Your Logo

Usually cleaning companies use shades of blue and white in their logos because these colors are associated with hygiene and purity. Not only this, blue color also symbolizes trust and dependency. Tans and grains appear good on a business card, but they do not really send the message of 'clean' like white does. Cleaning businesses are now increasingly using green and lemon color to signify the freshness and environmental-friendly element.

Green, brown, and some shades of yellow can give a feeling of dirt or grime, something you definitely want to avoid in a cleaning company logo.

2) The Imagery For Your Logo

Ensure that your logo makes sense. For example, a logo for a dry cleaning company that includes aircraft imagery serves no purpose, and will not be memorable. It does not mean that you should not be creative.

A leaf logo could be a great option if you focus on green cleaning. Just make sure that your imagination appeals to your target audience. The image to be used in your emblem depends upon what you want to covey to your target audience. It can be anything from shimmers, sparkles, glints, water, mop, duster and other cleaning equipment.

3) Logo Fonts

Decide one and stick with it. Make sure that it's very easy to read from a distance. Traditional font for details / small print is always easier to read than a script one, 'copperplate' is very businesslike. Select a crisp, elegant font but not a display font. Nothing bold. When designing your logo, use a different font for your tag line.

Once you have your logo designed, use it on every piece of marketing -no exceptions. Use the color palette from your logo to create your other marketing collateral. Get your cleaning business off to the best possible start by viewing free cleaning logos samples and getting cleaning logo ideas including carpet, window, house, dry cleaning, green, and blur business logos.

How Carpets Effect Allergies

Do not Toss' em … They're Awesome!
The science of indoor air quality is very interesting and relatively new. In the past, the focus was on the quality of the outside air and the interest was in lower emissions of all types into the air.

Since we now spend more time indoors – an average of 80% of our time – indoor air quality has become a concern to the EPA, as well as government and private health organizations.

Following the energy-saving efforts of the 70's and 80's, buildings and homes are now much more air-tight, leaving little opportunity for diluting the indoor air with fresh air from outside. Indoor air has so become more polluted.

But what's the connection between indoor air quality and carpets? In the past, doctors recommended that their asthma and allergy-suffering patients remove carpeting from the home. It was erroneously thought that carpeting exasperated their conditions. Recently, the EPA performed a study of hundreds of homes, schools and office buildings and concluded that the choice of carpeting as a floor covering was actually beneficial in the fight against asthma and allergies. When scientifically tested, the air in the "breathing zone" above carpets was found to contain fewer allergens than the air above hard surfaces.

Carpet tend to collect and hold the allergens out of the air, where they remain, until the carpet is vacuumed or professionally cleaned. In contrast, allergens that settle on hard surface flooring tend to be redistributed to the breathing zone with normal foot traffic or the simple act of running a broom over the flooring surface.

One unfortunate result of the EPA's study is that we now know that many families removed carpeting from their homes in an effort to reduce allergy symptoms, only to find that they gained no improvement in their conditions. Their carpeting was an asset, rather than a reduction, to the quality of their indoor air.

In concluding that carpeting is a benefit to indoor air, the EPA now recommends that carpeting be cleaned at least every 6 months – in most homes – to rid the carpeting of these allergens. A carpet that is not regularly maintained has a reduced ability to collect indoor air pollutants.

Tips for Reducing Indoor Allergens

Following, are some tips for reducing indoor allergens in your home and specifically, in your carpeting – helping you to keep your "home sweet home" a healthy one for you and your family:

Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. This can not be stressed enough. You should vacuum at least twice a week, more often if you have pets.

Vacuuming helps rid your carpeting of dust, dust mite feces, animal hair and dander, human hair and dead skin, mold spores, dead bugs and abrasive sand and soil. Make sure that you use a vacuum cleaner that has a high efficiency HEPA filtering system and ensures that the brush setting is low enough to agitate the carpet fibers.

Do not sweep your hard surface flooring. Sweeping redistributes allergens into the air. Vacuuming your floors, followed by a damp mop or swiffer, will help keep the air your family breathes cleaner.

Adopt a no shoes policy in your home. This will keep outdoor pollutants from entering the main areas of your home. You may also consider adding an air-scrubber as this machine will continuously circulate the air in your home through the air filters, removing airborne particulates. Make sure that you change the filter often. Also consider using high-efficiency HEPA air filters in the furnace and adding filters to the intake and output ducts to further reduce circulation of contaminants.

Follow these simple tips, and not only will you have a healthy home, but your carpeting will last longer also.

(Some statistical information contained here was collected from the EPA)

Brick Pointing Techniques For New and Old Brickwork

Brick pointing is the method of applying a small amount of mortar into the face joint between bricks. These bricks can either be newly laid ones or old brickwork. In new brickwork, pointing is done to apply harder mortar to increase weather protection on the exposed faces. In old brickwork, the method is used to repair the mortar joints that have been eroded by exposure to various elements.

For laying new and old brickwork, there are several techniques that need to be followed in order to do the task properly.

On new brickwork, brick pointing should be done at convenient intervals. Breaks at convenient points must be held to allow sufficient time for cleaning out the surface mortar of the section. The mortar in the joints should be scraped to a depth of about 12 mm from the brick surface. A wall can only be pointed when it has been completed.

In terms of old brickwork, the important brick pointing techniques include chipping out the old mortar and pointing it to a right depth. The standard depth is 12 mm from the brick surface. In removing the old mortar, angle grinders are often used. Take note that the process will cause a lot of dust, so you better wear face mask and goggles as you do the job.

Once the wall is ready to be pointed, the brick pointing techniques for the mortar follows. Make sure that the joints are wetted first before being filled with the pointing mortar.

Make a fairly stiff mix of the mortar and put a small amount on a hawk. In cutting off slithers of mortar, a small pointing trowel can be used. Hold the mortar up on the edge of the trowel and press it into the joints to be filled. Then, carefully draw the blade backwards. Repeat the steps until the mortar is flushed with the face of the bricks.

Do the brick pointing techniques by filling the vertical cross-joints first, followed by the horizontal bed-joints. When more than a square meter has been filled, finish it using the required style.

7 Tips For a Basic Tool Chest

If you're thinking about buying a home or are a new home owner, there are some basic tools you need to have around. There are lots of tools out there, but you need just a few basics tools to get started. I started out with a hammer, rubber mallet, hand saw, drill, pliers, socket set, an adjustable wrench, and two types of screwdrivers, buckets and for paintings and paintbrushes. You'll need them to drive a nail, hang a picture, put together bed frames, and tighten and loosen screws and nuts. Let me suggest to you what kinds of tools I think you are going to need to start out with.

1. Hammer
There are a few different types of mallets and hammers available. Your basic claw hammer is the best for driving nails and getting them out. It would also be good to get a rubber mallet for closing paint buckets and such, because using a hammer tends to deform the metal lids.

2. Saw
I started out with a simple carpenters hand saw. You'll run into small projects and need something to cut wood with. I think a power saw is over kill if you only have to use a saw periodically on small items.

3. Pliers
Pliers are jaws to squeeze things shut or to get a firm grip on to pull out. An adjustable plier is good to have around. I like the ones with a rubberized handle and jaws you can vary the widths with.

4. Drill
A basic 18 volt drill with some bits is a good purchase. Any time you want to screw something in it goes easier if you drill a hole first. You can also get accessory screw bits and have a drill do the screwing in for you.

Fasteners
There are numbers of type of fasteners, but many types you will seldom or never encounter. In your home your fasteners are going to be hex nuts and bolts, Phillips screws, and flat headed screws.

5. Screwdrivers
Both Phillips and flat head screw drivers come in all sorts of sizes but two very useful sizes, small (# 1) and medium (# 2) are what you will mostly need around the house.

6. Socket Sets
You'll also want a 6 point socket set in your tool box. Every nut you have in your house is a hexagon of varying sizes. Any time you assemble or disassemble

7. Adjustable Wrenches
An adjustable wrench is open on one side and has two jaws that come with a screw to adjust the width. The jaws come together on two sides of the hex nut, and can be used in places where the bolt or screw is deeper than a socket in the socket set. I'd start with one medium and one large adjustable wrench.

You'll only need these few types of tools to do almost everything you'll run into when going into a new home. Do not over buy. You'll be able to put these tools to good use, and you should not need more tools unless you start doing repair repair, or are building something for your house. anything in the home environment you will run into the six sided nut. The best basic socket set is a 40 piece hex or 6 point set. They have standard inch and metric millimeter size sockets and a ratchet handle.

Apex Acceleration – Accelerating Your Body Around a Point or an Arc

One thing a receiver in football or a high jumper in track and Field learns early is that you can accelerate around a point or an arc while running. By carefully positioning your body you can also transfer this energy in another direction. A football player will often make an arc and accelerate along and arc of travel and then turn and receive the ball which has been thrown by the quarterback. While still maintaining his speed he can sling shot in another direction.

A high jumper in track and field will use an arc to speed up his acceleration and then launch himself into the air and over the bar and in a Faulsberry Flop maneuver. Every athlete should learn the tricks to accelerating your body around a point or an arc.

If you watch a baseball player rounding the bases as fast as he can go you will notice that they use an arc motion when rounding the bases. Obviously it makes sense that they can not turn on a dime and go a different direction after they touch each base. It is true that the shortest distance between two points is a straight-line.

But speed is often more important than distance. The ability of an athlete to accelerate around the apex of a point or an arc will often determine their level of play and speak directly to their talents and agility in sports. If you are a good athlete and you wish to become a great athlete then you need to learn the secrets of acceleration and body placement during a sweeping arc run.

Why Do Spots Keep Coming Back In My Carpeting?

Do you have one of those spots on your carpet that just will not go away? You clean it again and again and in a day or two it just comes right back. Would you like to know what is causing it and how to treat it? I'm sure you would so read on and find out what is behind that mystery spot.

The reason that a spot comes back is because of residual. Some kind of residual is on your carpet causing soil to be attracted to and stick to the carpet. It may be caused by that can of Sprite that you spilt a few months ago or the soap from that carpet spotter that you used. There are various kinds of residue that could be on your carpet. They all do the same thing though. They slowly attract and hold soil. Because they do it typically you do not notice it until it gets bad.

So how do you get rid of it? What you need to do is clean the spot thoroughly with a good carpet spotter. Make sure that you use a spotter that says it is safe for stain resistant carpeting. After you clean the spot rinse it out with plain water. If you have a home carpet cleaner use it to flush out as much of the cleaner as possible with plain water. If you do not have a carpet cleaner use a sponge soaked in plain water to try to rinse out the spot. Try to extract as much water as possible with a dry towel. Now place a fan on the carpet to try to get it dry as soon as possible.

If this fails to do the trick you should call a professional carpet cleaner in order to clean your carpeting. They will have the power to take care of several residue problems.

History of Bowling

The history of bowling can be traced back to the Stone Age. The first evidence of the game was discovered by the British Anthropologist Sir Flinders Petrie and his team of archaeologists in Egypt in the 1930s. He unearthed a collection of objects from a small child? S grave that appeared to have been the primitive form of the game. However, some argument that the game evolved much later than that. William Pehle, a German historian, claimed that the game of bowling originated in Germany around 300 AD. In Germany, the game had its origin as a religious ceremony for determining absence of sin. This game, introduced by the German monks to the masses, flourished as a custom test of faith.

In England, bowling was started as early as the 1100s. Through England, several variations of bowling, such as half-bowls, skittles and ninepins, exhausted during the mid 1300s. But, the first written statement of the game was made by the King Edward III in the year 1366. In this reference, he allegedly imposed a ban on playing this game among his troops because it was distracting the troops from archery practice. Later, during the reign of King Henry VIII, the game gained popularity and was played as a symbol of nobility and social status.

Bowling has been popular in America since Colonial days. During 17th century, English, Dutch and German settlers imported their own version of bowling to America. At that time, the game consulted of nine pins which were regularly played in an area of ​​New York City still known as "Bowling Green". Connecticut banned ninepins in 1841 because of their gambling implications.

The American Bowling Congress was formed on 9 September 1895 and is accredited with standardizing bowling in the United States and organizing official competition. The Women's Bowling League followed in 1917, under the encouragement of proprietor Dennis Sweeny.

Through the years, the game has changed. A variety of tactics have been developed. The invention of automatic pinspotter in the 1940s revolutionized both the bowling game and industry. Currently, the sport of bowling is enjoyed by 95 million people in more than ninety countries worldwide.

So, You Want to Build Your Own Baseball Or Softball Training Facility? Part 2 of 3

PART 2 – Standard Components

The Optimal & Recommended Products

I do have my favorites. All tend to be associated with hitting and pitching, although speed, defense and strength products can figure into this category … dependent upon your business model.

Batting Cages & Tunnels

This is the backbone of your work space and is of paramount importance … you do not want to buy this stuff twice!

Most indoor facilities tend to use a cabling system to hang their nets as opposed to the steel framework you see at a typical ballpark. We can help you design and decide on your choices.

Standard sizes cages are more inexpensive and will fit most, so see if these sizes will fit you:

(and yes, we can custom-build for your unique building)

Recommended Standard Sizes

12 ft H x 14 ft W x 55 ft L

12 ft H x 14 ft W x 70 ft L

Please do NOT purchase 12 ft wide cages if you can avoid this … they are just too small for your LH and RH hitters and will potentially drive you nuts on a daily basis. You will probably have premature wear from RH hitters who follow through and graze the net.

We understand that many or even most facilities are housed in buildings that have been converted from another use … one more reason to be dealing with someone with experience.

Here's a few more helpful thoughts on the subject of batting cages and nets:

The length of your cages will not determine the future success of your hitters … but pitchers must practice at their game-distances. So, you can save some money and precious space utilizing shrighter cages for hitters. The weight (strength) of your netting is of highest importance … there are variations in materials, and how they are knotted … boring stuff but this will determine function, longevity and your ultimate price.

Please speak with us about your options if you are unclear as to your available choices … please DO NOT SHOP BY LENGTH, WIDTH, HEIGHT AND PRICE ONLY!

The ultimate price of your nets will include their years of service!

Pitcher's L Screens

Buy one for every batters cage. I like the 7 ft x 7 ft and absolutely recommend good ones … not necessarily the Pro Stuff. Much of that tends to be too big (8 ft x 8 ft), and too heavy for indoor use. Just make sure you are getting very heavy pillow case-style netting (we carry two strengths of net) because you will be very close to batters and need heavy double-sided netting that is thick enough to reasonably assure that you will see your next birthday . AND YES, do get the wheel kits … and thank me later.

Turf & Stance Mats

Concrete floors eat balls and are very difficult for coaches to stand on for hours every day.

Turf is a very popular but expensive piece of your budget. We happen to be based in Atlanta, Georgia where most turf is manufactured so we have spent many hours learning inside these plants. Turf is graduated and designed for various sports and applications so all synthetic athletic turf is not all created equal. Please call and let us help you in making these decisions.

Home Plate Stance Mats are 6 ft x 12 ft heavy synthetic turf batters mats that are both spike-proof and weather-proof and should last you many years without showing failure. Most have the parallel-only lines of the batters box tufted in with white turf, basic models have rubber painted homeplates , deluxe have flocked white homeplates , ALL our stance mats are matched with a heavy, thick backer for cushioning and support indoors or out and will last for many years without failure!

Turf Infield – An Ultimate Tool That Separates Your Facility From the Pack

Any facility that contains a large enough turfed area for taking infield practice can not be beaten by new or existing competition that does not have same capabilities … especially in colder weather areas. It is a large investment but one that totally escalates any facility to an elite status.

Please call us to discuss and for some advise. The info we will need are your dimensions and what type of existing floor that you have.

Pitching Machines

  • Iron Mike Arm Style Machines aka Master Pitching Machine Model MP4 or MP6.

These workhorses are almost identical but carry a hefty price difference.

Each can be set up for baseball or softball use (and changed in 5 minutes or less). You can dump up to 600 bb or 400 sb in the large hopper. Include is a FREE corded remote control, perfect for teaching and to help keep the area safer. These models throw accurate fastballs-only at speeds ranging from 25 to 85 mph every 7 seconds … with very little maintenance making them perfect for heavy users and pro ballclubs alike. They will perform for years without problem or issue!

  • BATA Brand Wheel-Type Pitching Machines

The advantage of this type of pitching machine is that many can be set up to throw LH and RH breaking balls as well as fastballs … all at various speeds (usually manually adjusted). The disadvantage is that they require auto ball feeders or a 2nd person to hand feed the machine. Although important and absolutely recommended, I would purchase only the good stuff, such as our Bata Brand, which we have transported for over 7 years without one motor replacement … and the wheels seem to go forever even in heavy duty Spring training or Institutional use … just a great machine (FYI – I recommend the BATA 2 but the newer BATA 3 is the newest and very popular facilities for its randomization of fastballs or breaking balls without adjustment).

Portable Pitching Mounds

6 "Tall Mounds for up to age 12

10 "Tall for adult size players (If purchasing one size, choose the adult sizes).

Leather Baseballs & Leather Softballs

Balls are a recurring expense and one you should think about from the beginning.

Pitchers must throw good leather baseballs though no pitchers ERA will improve because you purchased the best game balls you can find. Same goes for your hitters because you have more choices for them (see below).

I really like Wilson A 1030 practice balls that come with a 6 gallon TALL coaches bucket and snap-lid. Regular 5 gallon buckets are too short and can make your back ache over time … plus they hold 20% less. These are priced right and do seem to last as long as you'd expect.

Wilson A 1015 Baseballs is as good a ball as any training facility might need. Nice seams and good feel too. They have a "B" grade cover ("A" being the best) A better ball for a bit more money. No bucket included. Sold by the dozen and savings by the 10 dozen case.

My personal favorite ball for pitching machines is BADEN Brand Ballistic Leather Machine Pitch Baseballs . This is a new concept where the ball has lower seams to throw straighter pitches with less resistance from the high spin rate of the pitching machine tires or wheels plus it is stitched with KEVLAR, the bullet-proof vest material. This reduces the premature wear even good game balls will experience, as they are stitched with easily breakable cotton string.

Needless to say, these balls outlast most good quality leather balls when used in your pitching machines. Prices are surprisingly low. Purchase by the dozen with savings by the 10 dozen case!

Dimple Balls are absolutely practical and the choice for many heavy use facilities. They are graduated like anything else so many people who have had bad luck with them figure that they are all bad. The truth is that many are bad and we only carry a pro ball. This means that not only are they "sting free" (meaning that they are not hard as rocks, which can damage expensive metal bats and raise hell with wheel-type pitching machines). But they do not feel like you are hiring a tomato either … ours actually have a nice pop to them and they travel well.

Yellow machine pitch dimple balls – this is the standard … sold by the dozen and by money-saving 10 dz case for baseball and 6 dz case for our 12 inch softballs.

What a great idea … these longgoing dimple balls look like a real game ball to the hitter!

Turf Infield

This is the ultimate for any indoor facility … an entire turfed infield area for team and individual defensive work. Due to the cost, many who choose to do this will arrange their batting cage layout so that cages can be dropped to one end of the building by "shower curtain rod" method for double use of the same area. Again, you may want to call us to discuss ideas.

Sport Specific Speed ​​and agility training days or hours can also be added to more than justify this expense and build more streams of revenue while really helping players improve quicker … all under one roof!

Hitting Stations

Wasting practice time is a huge sin that we have all watched over and over … players are bored and skills may not get taught or committed to muscle memory while players are waiting for their turn in the cage.

Anytime you can use machinery to "multiply" your coaching staff, you and your players will benefit. Most equipment is not designed for your heavy, daily use so be a bit catious when choosing.

The above are great teaching and learning ideas that will also add revenue streams.

They combine the corners of building good repeatable swings and come from some great inventors of modern baseball training aids.

Please consider these as opportunities to both you as a successful and innovative innovator. Do not short-change your kids on the maximum quality learning that new and modern teaching ideas can give them!

Remember, any limited extra space can be put to good use IF you give it some thought. Consider every station you utilize outdoors and call us to discuss how we may be able to help you design and bring it indoors.

  1. Batting Tee Stations
  2. Soft Toss Stations – Automated

We have the best soft toss machine I have ever used … and it can be utilized for baseball and fastpitch with no change over or down time! Its also on wheels and moves in aand out of cages with no hassle.

  1. Soft Toss Stations – Manual – We have an excellent selection of portable and stationary net and safety screens … plus custom applications too!
  2. Stationary Hitting Stations – Many need only one person to operate. Some are attached to fence posts, some are free standing. Se what fits and extra corner you had no plans for. It all adds up!
  3. Underload & Overload Training Devises

See Bratt's Weighted Bats, Edge Power Weighted Gloves, SwftStick Underload Training Bats, Ripken Kinect Training Bats. Great stuuf that will hold up to your heavy use.

Additional Items We Find Useful

  1. Radar Guns – This link shows you all our offers but one good one with a padded case is all you need. The best radar gun on the market, bar none, is the Stalker Brand baseball & Softball Radar Gun. This is what MLB Scouts use … period. Our association with the manufacturer has given us a window into what the good radar guns should do (technology evolves and so do these fine instruments). The newest models are actually superior to the older standard models that still dominate Big League Baseball. But since they hold up so well, it will be some seasons before the new AND LESS EXPENSIVE models are seen beginning carried by today's pro scouts. Click to see the new and older model Stalker Radar Guns.
  2. Bleachers and Bench Seating
  3. Pitching Targets, Nets & Screens – we carry most all size and strengths in catch nets, hitters sock nets, baffle nets and cage dividers, Strike Zone Pads, ZIP Nets for garage opening types of applications. Many of our screens have optional wheel kits for true portablility (more important than you might think).
  4. Pitchers Rubbers, Throwdown Bases and related items.
  5. Aluminum bats, wood training bats, one handed bats, good quality one size fits all helmets with and without facemasks. These are all necessary as many of your students may not even own some of these basics.
  6. Shatterproof full length mirrors
  7. Video Software for pitchers and hitters (requires a video camera)

Asphalt Maintenance Aspects For Commercial Property Managers

Asphalt maintenance is one facet of property management that is overlooked on a regular basis. If a property owner has a hole in their parking lot, it is not furnished with the same urgency that a hole in their roof would require. Unfortunately, this neglect of their asphalt leads to more costly repairs in the future that could have been avoided if the property owner would have followed a preventive maintenance plan for their asphalt.

What is asphalt maintenance? Asphalt maintenance consists of protecting asphalt by employing the following methods (asphalt seal coating, crack repair and asphalt repair) to prevent damage to the existing asphalt.

So why should a property owner have their asphalt seal covered? From the very first moment that asphalt is installed it starts a deterioration process. The asphalt is eliminated when the binder that holds all of the aggregate (stone) together begin to oxide from sun light, water and other external conditions. Through the seal coating process, the asphaltic binder is now protected from the aforementioned external conditions. An additional benefit from asphalt seal coating is that the asphalt is now protected from the damaging effects from gasoline, oil, and de-icing salts. The most obvious benefit from asphalt seal coating is the restoration of the original color of the asphalt. The asphalt regains that new appearance for a fraction of the original cost.

Asphalt seal coating is a process in which coal tar emulsion or asphalt emulsion is sprayed or brushed on the asphalt surface. The seal coat material should be applied in two coats in general areas and three coats in the high traffic areas, such as drive lanes.

There is much debate as to what is the best application method for the seal coat material. There is a predominant mindset amongst "old school" seal coats that brushing the seal coat material is the only way to go. However, there are some short comings from the brushing technique. By brushing the seal coat material the natural indentations of the asphalt are filled in and the asphalt loses its traction. Also, contrary to popular belief thicker is not better when applying the seal coat material. The Seal coat material should be applied at .17 gal / sq. yd. and should never exceed. 51 gal / sq. yd. total.

With the short comings of brushing the seal coat material being stated, there is a better alternative. That alternative is spraying the seal coat material. This method allows the seal coat material to be applied evenly without filling the natural grooves of the asphalt. If a contractor states that they brush exclusively, take caution in dealing with these companies. Many times these companies have not invested in updated equipment, which will prevent them from completing the larger seal coating jobs.

Another aspect of seal coating that is overlooked by customers is the mixture of the seal coat material itself. The material should be mixed at 25 to 35 gallons of water per 100 gallons of concentrated sealer. Also, the seal coat material should be enhanced with 2-5 pounds of sand per every gallon of sealer. The sand is used to restore traction to the surface after the asphalt has been treated. When creating work specifications make sure to include the amount of desired sand required per gallon of sealer. The smoother the existing surface or the higher the traffic volume will require higher volumes of sand in the seal coat material.

In addition to asphalt seal coating, crack repair is vital to properly caring for asphalt. Due to the settling of the ground, poor base design and asphalt oxidation asphalt will crack. When the asphalt cracks it is exposed to water damage. Water penetrates the cracks and gravity pulls it into the sub-base (stones) which deteriorates that supporting structure. This deterioration leads to asphalt depressions, pot holes and further cracking. Also, in the winter when water expands in the cracks via the freezing process, the cracks widen over time.

Hot tar is applied to the cracks to prevent water penetration. Hot tar is melted to 375 degrees and poured into the cracks. To finish the crack repair process the hot tar is squeezed into the crack to create a 4 inch band. All debris should be removed from the cracks before treatment. Crack repair is a temporary fix and does not replace the need to actually replace the asphalt. However, crack repair is much more cost effective than actual asphalt replacement.

It is said that if 30% or more of asphalt is deteriorated, it is more cost effective to replace it. With that being said, the majority of property owners choose to replace certain sections at a time. One thing to keep in mind is that if an area of ​​asphalt needs replaced because it was sinking, there is definitely a problem with the sub-base and that should be replaced as well.

If the asphalt needs to be replaced there are two methods for replacement. The conventional method is to saw cut the area and replace the asphalt and seal the seams with hot tar. Another modern method consist of using a Infrared Heater to heat the existing asphalt, then additional asphalt is added and the area is compacted. The benefits of using an Infrared heater is that the fix is ​​a seamless fix that will no longer allow water penetration. The major fall back with using infared is that if there is an existing sub-base problem, the asphalt will not be properly repaired if it is only re-heated and not actually removed to replace the undering stone. In the right conditions, Infrared treatments to asphalt add extra benefits to the property owner because of the final aspect of seamless repair.

The bottom line is that property managers should incorporate an effective asphalt maintenance strategy into their overall preventive maintenance strategy. The benefits of asphalt seal coating, crack repair and asphalt replacement will pay dividends in the future through the avoidance of costly new asphalt. One last point, the asphalt maintenance and pavement marking industry has wide fluctuation in the quality of contractors, so always do your due diligence in the selection process.