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Sep 4, 2013

Our Reinforced Fire and Security Door Kept the Thief out of the House

Our lawnmower was stolen from our garage a few days ago. The kids were in school and my wife and I were at work. The garage was closed and locked. It was still closed up when we got home. When I opened the garage door with the remote, I noticed that our brand new lawnmower had been stolen. There were also a few tools missing. I guess they didn’t want the old weed trimmer. We were now victims of a break in, but we got off easy. I was not going to let it happen again and went to besthomesecurity.net to get an alarm system installed.

It looked like the thief busted open the door around the back of the garage. Continue reading »

May 12, 2013

Painting My Way Through College

File:Orange County Sheriff's deputies dumping illegal booze, Santa Ana ...You may have seen those signs that advertise that they are looking for college students to paint for the summer. I was looking for work one summer and I saw one of those signs so I called and before I knew it, I was a painter for the summer. I learned how to paint a house within one day and by the end of the second day my technique was perfect. My parents couldn’t believe that I painted their shutters in one day and then hung them. There weren’t too many girl painters other than me so when a person saw that there was a girl painter in the crew, they immediately asked me if I needed to use the bathroom or even would offer me a cold drink while the other guys in the crew worked.

Nov 9, 2012
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Installing a Home Steam Room

Steam room installation inside of your home is a relatively simple task. You have the option of adding steam to a new building, renovating your existing bathroom or building a new piece of property. Regardless of what method you choose to use, the benefits that accompany relaxation are definitely worth it.

If the DIY approach doesn’t do it for you there are plenty of bathroom installers such as Ripples in Dublin who can help you with the task.

Health Benefits Associated with the Installation of a Steam Room

  • Through perspiration, your body will eliminate roughly 30 percent of all its toxin stores. Since your body is eliminating toxins, it will help improve upon the way you feel
  • If you are feeling stressed or in pain, your steam room can help alleviate those issues and leave you feeling relaxed and less tense. Your muscles will become more flexible and pliable thanks to the incorporation of steam into your system
  • Steam helps to cleanse your skin. As a result, you will look radiant. Oils and other chemicals can lead to acne and other skin problems, which is what the steam room helps to overcome
  • If you have issues with circulation or regulating your body temperature, the steam room can help bring both of these complaints under control
  • Many individuals suffer with asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis and other respiratory ailments, which is where a steam room comes into play and opens up your nasal passages to promote breathing

Installation of a Steam Room in Your Residence

One of the ideal options for installing a steam room inside of your home is to implement it as part of a new construction. Since the steam room is intentionally being built for this purpose, it will yield the best results. In reality, it can be quite difficult to enter into the ideal situation for your new steam room. Upgrading or renovating your existing home to incorporate a steam room into the picture is not as complicated as you think. Some things to consider are outlined below:

  • Home steam baths are going to require their own generator or integration of one into your shower or bath
  • When it comes to steam showers, generators can be fitted easily. Units need proper sealing to help prevent any water vapors from escaping. Even though this may seem simple enough, it could end up costing you more than a complete renovation to get your steam bath

A few other things need to be remembered when it comes time to build your steam room. Steam can damage your environment if it is unable to handle it, so you will need a bathroom composed of ceramic, glass or granite to eliminate the potential for any water damage. The unit will need to be insulated and sealed, proper drains need to be installed and sloping ceilings would be ideal. All of the steam produced can cause serious damage to your home, so all of the aforementioned requirements are imperative.

If you are working to convert a smaller room into a steam room, you will want to make sure there is a small gap for air. For larger rooms, it is not necessary to have a gap. The generator can be stored wherever you choose, but they should not be stored on the inside of your home.

One final thing to consider is that before you embark upon your steam room installation, you will want to ensure you have all of the extras in place to provide the complete package. Make sure you include multiple showerheads, telephone, music, lighting and other aesthetics that work alongside your individual wants and needs. In the end, you are in complete control of your steam room and the way it looks.

Nov 3, 2012

Do you qualify for a disabled facilities grant?

Wouldn’t it be nice if the physically disabled could have accommodations to meet their needs right at home? Each room might reflect the design that provides adequate space, easy access, and storage for what is needed to maintain independence and a quality of life some people simply may take for granted.

Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) benefit recipients regardless of age. For those who face the challenges of maintaining independence, Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) are available. These grants address quality of life issues and focus on creating supportive home environments regardless of age. Through a DFG, a more active role at work, at school, and around town may be enjoyed.

Children, families, and adults with physical disabilities all can benefit from what Disabled Facilities Grants provide. There are grants for the elderly, for older and younger adults, and for veterans. Beyond the home, this assistance extends to facilitating everyday activities. But do you qualify for a DFG?

Do you qualify?

Since living independently is one goal of the DFG program, Disabled Facilities Grants are awarded to recipients to provide improved mobility around their homes and the essential facilities within the dwelling. Many services and professionals may be involved in expediting changes however; local councils are responsible for administering Disabled Facilities Grants.

Local councils determine if a recipient qualifies for a grant. In addition, local councils offer advice on how to obtain application forms and apply for assistance. Supporting documents will be needed when the application is made.

As part of the qualification process, applicants will need to consider the desired adaptations, the amount and type of work, and the implementation budget. If remodelling a bathroom or creating an extension will be a major project, applicants may call upon the services of a qualified architect or surveyor to present plans or drawings in advance. Two written estimates may be needed even before eligibility for the DFG is decided.

To qualify for a DFG, an assessment from an occupational therapist is required. Here, an outside contractor such as Oak Healthcare in Dublin may help with the grant application in liaison with the occupational therapist. There will be a review of adaptation plans and estimated costs from the local Home Improvement Agency as part of the application process.

There is latitude for those interested in applying for a DFG. One may apply if he or she is disabled. In addition, if anyone living on or at a property is disabled, the owner occupier, tenant, of landlord may also apply for a grant.

Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) and what modifications they may fund

When a DFG is awarded, a certificate for an amount of money is allocated to the recipient. Funds may include items essential to living an independent life including: zero-step entries and ramps for ease of entry and exit from home; improved access to and from the garden; and inside, increased door width, updated lighting to ensure better visibility and safety, improved access to the bedroom, kitchen, bath; adaptations to HVAC heating and lighting controls to make them easier to reach.

When many are involved in providing the physically disabled accommodations to meet their needs at home, each area of the dwelling may reflect a design for independence and a quality of life.

Jul 25, 2012
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The Entrepreneurs Guide To Using Your Garden To Become Rich

Everyone seems to be struggling for money these days. Maybe it has something to do with being in the middle of the worst financial disaster of our time. If you’re entrepreneurially minded you could change all that if you have a garden. It doesn’t matter how small the garden, though bigger would be better. There are lots of ways you could turn your garden into a money making machine.

Now you won’t need to worry about next months credit card bill. You won’t be spending next summer at home if you can afford to get away somewhere beautiful. All because you dared to be different. You took that entrepreneurial mind of yours and devised a plan to make money from the comfort of your own home. Although you may not be comfortable with all these suggestions, let’s go see what you could possible do.

People need allotments

You might be blessed with a huge garden, but unfortunately others are not so lucky. People love to plant their own vegetables and are unable to because they don’t have the space. Why don’t you give it to them? People would pay you money to rent a patch of your garden. You can make sure it’s away down the bottom so they don’t get in the way. They will pay good money for the right piece of land and it gives you something to buy more lovely food with.

Let people throw parties

Another thing they are unable to do if they have a tiny garden is throw birthday parties. Even if they could throw it at their own house they may prefer somewhere different. A change of scenery. You only get one birthday per year, unless you’re the Queen of England, but it’s always someone’s birthday every day. Maybe you could try renting it out on a day you’re not at home. It’s basically a license to print money.

Camping out

If you live in an area full of tourists you could try renting out the garden as a campsite. All you’re basically doing is letting people sleep in your garden and they pay you for the pleasure. It would work out great if there is any big events in your town or city. Usually places will fill up quite quickly and you should be able to find someone willing to hand over money. Just don’t rent it to a young group of lads that are going to be spending the night raving away at a party. You don’t want your garden turned into a bomb site.

A work of art

Do you think your garden is more beautiful than everyone else’s? Does your scenery leave everyone else in the shade? Well this would be the perfect place for painting groups to come and turn your garden into a work of art. For a price, of course. Just make sure it’s not a still life class and you have some random naked stranger lying about your grass. You might get some funny looks the next time you speak to the neighbor.

Jamie Kirk is a freelance writer and an environmental blogger. He reccomends the use of  Talk Solar Panels for your home, which will greatly contribute towards saving the environment.

Jul 10, 2012

DIY Family Command Center

If you find the constant scheduling of tasks or general chaos in your household is too much to handle, then perhaps investing in a family command center is good idea. There are many versions of a family command center and each one is specifically designed to fit different household and family needs. The best thing about creating a family command center is that it is a great DIY project, so it won’t end up costing a fortune to get your family’s duties back on track.

How to Create a Family Command Center

Materials & Location

The general materials you will need to create a simple family command center are:

  • Bulletin/dry erase/chalk board
  • Nails/screws
  • Hammer/electric drill
  • Measuring tape
  • Writing utensils (markers or chalk)

Depending on the complexity of your creativity skills or budget, you can also add decorative measures, such as ribbons, bows or picture frames of each family member, but feel free to be as basic as possible. After gathering the materials, you will want to choose a location for the family command center. This area should be centralized and should be a place that is often visited so that the command center is utilized. Examples of areas could be the kitchen, hallway or dining room.

Assigning Tasks & Chores

A family command center will only work if it is realistic and suits the needs of every family member. For each family member, write down the current tasks or chores they do and factor this information into the creation of the command center. You’ll want the assigned tasks or chores to be visually appealing so that there is no confusion. This is where creativity will come into play, if you choose, and can be done by using different colored markers, paper, stickers, etc.

Putting the Family Command Center in Action

Once the above steps are completed, you are now ready to physically create the command center. Begin by measuring out the space that will be needed for the command center. This will depend on the size of the board you used as well as any accents that will go with it, such as hanging hooks or a shelve. Once the measurements are taken and accounted for with pencil markings on the wall, start hammering nails into the designated spots or drilling screws in. If it’s possible, locate the studs within the wall for a sturdier hold. Place the board onto the nails/screws, if it calls for it, or hammer or drill through the board into the wall. Start placing or writing down the assigned tasks and there you have it!

Making your own family command center is inexpensive and can be a great tool within the household if it is used on a regular basis. The overall time spent creating tasks for family members, gathering the materials and putting everything together will become highly beneficial in your family and will teach everyone in the household about responsibility and accountability. Remember to completely personalize it so that it never becomes an eyesore or a problem, but rather a valuable resource to help sort with daily tasks and duties.

Hi, I am Jamie and I am a home improvement blogger. I specialize in low price conservatories and I also like writing about Family Command Centers (home improvement project). You can follow me on twitter (@jamiekirk11) to get regular home improvement tips.

Jul 6, 2012
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SMA and Aurora Solar Inverters – Premium Solar Inverters

Keeping the Lights on With High Quality Solar Inverters

No matter the size of a solar photovoltaic installation, it requires a solar power inverter in order to convert the current provided by the solar panels into usable AC current. Due to this, hobbyists and industrial concerns alike should only select the highest quality inverters for their use. Fortunately, SMA and Aurora solar inverters are examples of premium inverters.

The Importance of Quality

When selecting a solar power inverter, quality should always be the most important consideration. Not only are premium solar inverters more efficient and cost effective, but they also are more reliable. In addition, high quality solar inverters incorporate safety features that make working with them, whether they are grid-tied or independent inverter systems, much safer than using lower quality inverter systems.

SMA Inverter Systems

SMA Solar Technology has been one of the world’s largest producers of solar inverters and related equipment. They are a popular choice of solar power installers across the world. With a wide variety of inverter designs, SMA can provide the perfect inverter for any use, from large scale industrial or to small-scale home solar photovoltaic power systems. SMA’s Sunny Boy grid-tied inverters allow full integration with local power grids, allowing the user to sell energy back to his or her utility.

SMA is also known for its very reliable inverter designs which reduce maintenance requirements. Additionally, SMA inverters have extensive safety provisions, including anti-islanding systems for grid-connected inverters.

Aurora Power One Inverters

Aurora Power One is a company that is known for the design of premium solar inverter systems that combine an elegant appearance and durable build with highly effective energy harvesting capabilities. Aurora inverters are designed to function across a wide variety of solar panel installations, whether the inverter is an outdoor or indoor model.

In addition to their durable and safety conscious design, Aurora inverters are known for being among the most efficient inverters available. In fact, some Aurora inverters have Euro-rated power efficiencies that can exceed 96 percent. This allows photovoltaic systems, no matter their size, to realize the best possible return of energy for their owner’s investment.

The Economy of Premium Inverters

The higher quality, dependability and efficiency of premium inverter designs provide ensure that the investment in the highest possible quality will be one that no owner will regret. By focusing on the high quality premium power inverters manufacturers provide, the owner can ensure that his or her solar photovoltaic systems continue to provide the power that is needed, whether it is to run exterior lights or to defray a factory’s power costs.

Jun 22, 2012

TLC Hoarders – Are you a hoarder?

Are you a hoarder?

Many Americans are obsessed with their collections. Collectors search the world for the items that they need to complete their collection, often paying thousands or even millions of dollars for that perfect piece. Some collectors search for nostalgic items like action figures, baseball cards or metal lunch boxes while others search for items of great beauty like sculptures and paintings. Others collect coins and other possibly valuable items, searching for the piece that will allow them to retire to a private island in the Caribbean.

Hoarders, on the other hand, collect everything. Their houses fill to the brim with items that most of us would consider trash because they are unwilling, or unable, to throw anything away. While most of us get a lot of joy out of our collections, a hoarder’s collection is likely to ruin their lives. Are you a hoarder or just a collector? Find out with the new infographic, “Are You a Hoarder?” from My Move.

Visit My Move today to learn more about collecting, hoarding, and to get tips for your spring cleaning.

May 30, 2012
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Achieving A Victorian Look In Your Bathroom

The recent bathroom trend has been to go for the modern look; incorporating stylish travertine or granite tiles, with an unusually shaped bathtub and a walk in shower. However, modern bathroom designs don’t suit every property and owners of period buildings have to take a different approach. Victorian themed bathrooms are becoming increasingly popular and are a great way to add a touch of class and individuality to your room. But how can you create such a look?

An ornamental sink

Sinks tend to be the focal point of any bathroom and people are naturally drawn to them due to the fact that a mirror is usually hung right above. If you are looking to make a statement with your sink but have a tight budget, you should opt for a classic white porcelain basin, with squared off edges. Look to add some detail with a nice pair of chrome taps, perhaps with ceramic detailing and a decorative pedestal. If you have a bigger budget then consider going for a marble basin, with some chrome legs.

Finding the right bath

When it comes to choosing a Victorian themed bath there really are some amazing options available. First you have roll top baths, which as their name suggests, incorporate a lip that is rolled over. They are often double ended, with the taps positioned down one side and mounted on feet. You should of course go for chrome for your feet and bath taps in order to compliment the ones on your sink.

Your next option is to go for a slipper bath, which has one raised end. Not only does this really help to create that chic Victorian look; it also provides great comfort as you lie back and take a soak. Your final choice is to go for a cast iron bathtub that has outer fascias made from copper or polished steel. The reflective property of the metal surface delivers a truly striking effect.

Toilet options

The toilet is perhaps the least exciting of the bathroom suite items – however, you can still add to aesthetics of the room with the right choice. If you have a tall enough room then you should opt for a high level cistern that is mounted on wall, close to the ceiling. Where the ceiling is lower there are also mid level cisterns available which achieve the same look.

Finishing off

Having settled on your bathroom suite it is time to add a few finishing touches with some carefully chosen accessories. If you have gone for chrome taps then look to add a matching toilet roll holder and heated towel rail. Alternatively you could go for a traditional cast iron radiator to compliment your metal bathtub.

May 3, 2012
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7 Easy Steps to Shipping Your Plants Safely

The thought of moving into a new house or apartment is known to cause a lot of stress onto the average person. Added onto that stress is the thought of your plants and flowers, of which you’ve spent precious hours and effort to grow, either dying during the move or needing to be thrown out. We’ve listed 7 easy steps for you to keep your green thumb alive as you move and transport your plants from one location to another!

Step 1:

Get some shipping boxes from your local grocery store, Wal-Mart, or post office. Aim to ship your plant(s) out early in the week so that your package doesn’t get stuck in transit at the Post Office over the weekend. Priority mail takes three days, and costs around $3 for a 2 pound package. The priority-mail boxes are usually free for the taking and are available in several assorted sizes.

Step 2:

It’s a good idea to plan on digging up your plant(s) from the ground the day before you ship it and let the roots soak in water over night. You can also leave your plant in the soil right up until you are ready pack it, but make sure you soak the soil around the plant for a day at least. Make sure you soak the roots as best as you can to ensure the life of your plant after shipping.

Step 3:

Softly rinse off the soil from the roots of your plant. Moisten paper towels and wrap them around the roots to keep the moisture locked in.

Step 4:

Place the roots wrapped in your damp paper towels into a plastic bag, while wrapping the bag up towards the stems. Get a rubber band and wrap it around the plastic bag to make sure your damp roots stay together within the bag. This will also ensure that your plant doesn’t dry out during the shipping process.

Step 5:

Next, lay the plant diagonally on a section of old newspaper, and roll the paper around the whole plant gently so the foliage is protected by the cone-shape of the newspaper. Label the plant with a waterproof marker. Make sure you keep the whole plant in a cool location and out of the sun until you put it in the mail.

Step 6:

Once you’re ready to mail your plant, put it in the priority box you’ve gotten. Place crumpled up newspaper or cloth in the box to act as a buffer or padding for your plant so it doesn’t move around. Tape up the box, put the mailing address on it and ship it.

Step 7:

If you’re mailing it to a friend, make sure to let them know once you mail the plant so they’re ready to receive it and re-plant or re-pot it asap!

About the Author: This guest post is brought to you by the team of Transit Systems, Inc., one of the nation’s top residential and commercial moving and by freight companies. TSI specializes in both large and small moves, and can also assist you with furniture shipping. For more information about TSI, visit their website or follow TSI on Twitter @TransitSystems.


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