Home furniture construction is every bit as important as its looks – perhaps even more so. Most home furniture manufacturers offer much the same type of furniture, with not a great deal of intrinsic difference between their overall design and appearance. It is how furniture is made that matters, because you want it to be comfortable, hard wearing and last a long time.

The standard of furniture craftsmanship employed is very important, whether you are purchasing a table, cabinet or sofa. Here is what to look for in your own home furniture before you part with a single cent:

The Construction

You can always tell how well a furniture manufacturer builds it furniture by checking a drawer. Just one drawer is all it takes to make a fairly accurate judgment. Remove the drawer and check the joints. There should be dovetail joints all round, signifying strength and durability. The front joint should be hidden dovetails, so they don’t show on the outside face.

Inspect the outside and inside of each drawer to make sure everything has been properly smoothed down, and its contents are unlikely to be snagged. The sign of good furniture craftsmanship is that even the outside surfaces of the drawers, including the bottom, have been properly smoothed and finished. They should also open smoothly, preferably with a central drawer guide rail to prevent any lateral movement.

Rails and framework should be fitted using proper carpentry joints: cross rails using dovetails or pinned mortise and tenon joints. Mortise and tenons should be used on the main frame of chests, cabinets and armories. The wood finish should be added in steps. This should begin with a preservation coat and then the staining and finishing coats added.

Back panels should not be stapled – these frequently loosen, and the furniture could be weakened. In fact, if the correct jointing techniques have been employed in home furniture construction, the back panels should not be needed for strength – the frame should be strong enough itself. Nevertheless, panels should be attached using screws and corner blocks. An important aspect of taller furniture is that it has been tested for stability. You don’t want a tall chest tipping over when you pull out a filled top drawer.

Furniture Craftsmanship in Upholstered Furniture

Here again the strength of the frame is all-important. You sometimes find upholstered home furniture construction given less attention than that of cabinetry because it is not so visible. However, the frame should at least be constructed from a properly jointed hardwood frame, and not just from plywood panels nailed together as you sometimes find. A well-built frame provides a solid base for the springing and other upholstery, and your chairs and sofas will last a long longer because of it.

The base of the seat should first be correctly webbed and then sprung using steel springs of the right size for the depth of the seat. The springs should be properly secured to a solid wood frame and tied together so that the seat is comfortable to sit on. They should then be covered with canvas or synthetic burlap, and then stuffed using a suitable natural or synthetic stuffing material before adding a final cotton batting that acts as a base for the cover.

The External Covering Fabric

The cover fabric should be hard-wearing, meeting industry standards for upholstery fabrics and also meet any fire-resistance regulations applicable. The cover should be properly tacked to the frame, although it is common these days simply to use a staple gun. The cushions should be filled comfortably, some preferring a coil sprung filling wrapped in a layer of foam or batting. Whichever type is used, the internal fiber should be effectively secured and distributed evenly.

Finally check the overall appearance of the furniture. If your upholstered furniture has been manufactured using proper standards of home furniture construction, it should look good, feel completely stable and also be comfortable to sit on. The covers and cushions should fit correctly, and be neatly sewn, and the seat should offer support at the front edge and not sag.

Home furniture construction is very important, and without being sure that proper standards of good furniture workmanship have been employed in its manufacture, you should not expect it to last. While furniture hand-crafted from solid wood and the best materials can be expensive, you should assess that against the cost of replacing poorly made furniture that fails to last.

‘Millionaires Mile’ has become the place for luxury hotels and villas on Phukets west coast and hosts some of the finest residences the island has to offer and so the name suggests is home to many millionaires.

The road starts on the very south end of Kamala beach and winds along the coast to the headland and the last development on the road, Jomchang, that overlooks Patong bay. The road was home to the very first $1m + villas many years ago and so the name ‘millionaires row’ was born. The road is a dead end at present and stops at the Jomchang development. In time the road may be extended the short distance through the forest which would allow a quicker route into Patong, but also increase tourist sightseeing traffic. The trip from Jomchang at the south end of the road down the windy road into Kamala takes 10 minutes by car with only half of the road newly resurfaced. Once the rest of the road is finished this should knock off a few minutes more.

There are a number of developments still under construction along the road, a few newly opened and of course many older properties, that still would be considered the height of luxury.

At the start of the road just out of Kamala town is Cape Sienna, a new luxury hotel with all you would expect from such a 5 star hotel. Andara is next door and again is a top of the line hotel with amazing facilities and views. Ayara resort is further up the hill and is built right into the rocks on the Andaman sea giving amazing views. Further still is Paresa hotel which sites high on the rocks overlooking the ocean and offers luxury seclusion. Paresa was opened late 2009 and has already had great feedback.

Nestled amongst these luxury hotels are a number of private luxury villas and villa developments with their own gated community. Jomchang, at the very end of millionaires row has a handful of luxury villas all above the US$7 mark. True luxury comes at a price and being on the very well healed millionaires row will of course attract a premium.

The fantastic island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands is still very popular with people looking for villas and apartments in Spain for rental. In particular, there has been an increase in the numbers of people taking golfing holidays here and wanting to book a holiday in Spain villa. This is partly due to the fabulous mild weather that the Canary Islands enjoy even in the winter months and partly because of the investment which has been made by the local authority adding upmarket resorts and marinas. The local authorities realised that visitors looking for holiday rentals in Spain on the Canary Islands could not always find the type of holiday in Spain villa they wanted and they have spent a lot of money to rectify this.

Many towns have undergone a dramatic transformation from cheap package holiday resorts to a desirable location for the discerning traveller who is looking for upmarket villas and apartments in Spain for rental. For the last three decades the Canaries have been popular with British tourists seeking cheap winter sun. Unfortunately with mass popularity came mass construction of hotels, which were often built quickly and cheaply and started to give many resorts a bad name as well as the feel of a concrete jungle. Of course back then renting a holiday in Spain villa in the Canary Islands from the owners direct was not widely available.

Holidaymakers who stayed in Tenerife in the seventies and eighties would see a real change if they visited the island now. Gone are the concrete monstrosities built to cope with the influx of package holiday tourists, and in their place are buildings more in keeping with the surrounding countryside and exclusive villas and apartments in Spain for rental which can be booked direct from the owners. There is a definite increase in the number of visitors who want to plan and organise their own holiday and who are looking to book luxury villas and apartments in Spain for rental direct.

Could it be that cheap package holidays to places like Tenerife are finally on the decline? It is certainly true that, as more people have home computers and internet access, it is very easy to book your own holiday rentals in Spain direct with the property owners. Many people bought holiday homes in Spain in the last twenty years and consequently there is a fantastic choice of villas and apartments in Spain for rental direct from the owners. Most people find that the self-catering accommodation available to rent is often better quality than the similarly priced hotel accommodation.

Tenerife is only one of the Canary Islands which have undergone some updating. Another significant revamp has taken place on the popular island of Lanzarote in the resort of Puerto del Carmen. Holiday rentals in Spain are bound to benefit from the expensive facelift which has been completed in the harbour area. A modern marina with moorings for luxury yachts and a first class golf course have been built for the benefit of discerning visitors who are booking villas and apartments in Spain for rental or are considering a golf holiday in Spain. Even the shops, restaurants and bars on the beachfront are having a makeover to complete the transformation!

Villa Grock, a.k.a. the “Villa Bianca”, in Imperia, Liguria, is a monument and a unique site. Grock worked with Armando Brignole to design it. The characteristic note of this stylistic construction was Brignole’s imaginative, personal and rich “Liberty style”, ideal for the extravagant mansion of an eccentric clown. Grock played a fundamental role throughout the entire house project history. The villa and the park had to the recompose the owner’s spirituality, his way of understanding and living life. Their design and decoration give an almost alienating sensation to the visitor because of their baroque redundancy. As a maximum rationality, combined with constant references to symbolic details and to the latest technologies, the result of this concerted work was a structure able to astonish, surprise and be a stage for the representative functions for which it was designed: the rooms were ideal for Grock’s circus ring, for inviting friends to parties and meetings, and for the creation of his shows, gags and music. It can be said without the fear of contradiction that the Grock Villa really is the home of the Clowns’ King, in its literal sense and without any irony. Symbolic elements referring to an almost continuous mystery trigger can be found throughout the villa’s architecture: Grock’s self-initiation journey through the lights of his mystery and metaphorical beliefs. The villa’s entire symbol system in fact reveals Grock’s personality splitting: he can, on the one hand, be directed towards the lite and carefree reality (actually profound and subtle) that defines the clown’s humoristic figure, and, on the other hand, towards the world’s darkest and most disturbing life mysteries.

The sumptuous and original residence of the greatest clown in history, Grock, is reborn thanks to a unique cultural route, based on new technologies. An exciting, immersive and magical journey dedicated to circus professionals and, in particular, to the Clown art has been imagined in this exemplary restored Villa.

The route goes, with a subtle reference to elegant music, as a creative journey through the clown’s common gestures and expressions, insolent jokes and corrosiveness. The guest is immersed in a fabulous setting and reflected in magical mirrors. He opens wonder closets where ancient happy merry ghosts appear out of nowhere. He is in his own “Alice in Wonderland”, that is in an unexpected place between laughter and nostalgia, between East and West, between culture and evidence of physical prowess. The circus’ world, made of sounds, colors and smells that everyone has known at least once in their lifetime, has always given birth to an intense fascination immediately capturing the imagination. Writers and artists have always been sensitive to the wanderers’ appeal and inspired by these fantastic exotic influences to revive, almost as in a dream, acrobats, dancers, jugglers and clowns who have constantly captured the spectators’ imagination. The circus’ microcosm’s sudden street appearance and ephemeral passage make it magical: it somehow always disappears in thin air again!

Staying in own home is a dream of everyone. People see dreams of owning home at their own choice, but everybody doesn’t able to afford that. Nowadays in the country like India, money is not a barrier of the dream of owning a home. Because all the government and on-government banks in India offer Home loan. These loans are specially given to those people who wants to build-up their own home or purchase a home.

Indian banks offer home loan under different categories, these include:-

Home Purchase Loans – This kind of basic loans are being provided for purchasing a new home.

Home Construction Loan: Banks provides this kind of loan for construction of home.

Home Extension Loan: One can get the loan for expanding or extending his existing home.

Home Improvement Loans: People can avail these loans if they have the requirement for implementing repair works and renovations of their existing home.

Bridge Loans: This loan is the best loan for those people who wants to sell his existing home and wish to purchase a new home. Banks help people by giving this loan to finance the new home.

Balance Transfer Loans: This kind of loan is given to pay off an existing home loan and avail the option of a loan with a lower rate of interest..

Home Conversion Loan: Banks provide this kind of loan to those people who has already purchased home by taking home loan and then wants to move on to another home and for that he requires some extra money. Under this category of loan the existing loan is being transferred to the new home and the extra amount is to be included.

Land Purchase Loans: One can avail these loans for purchasing land. The bank will give the loan without checking whether the borrower taking the loan for construction his home or using it for some other purposes.

Refinance Loans: Those who have taken loans from their friends or relative to purchase their homes, this kind of loan helps them a lot to repay that debt amount to them.

Stamp Duty Loans: To purchase a property, stamp duty is essential. This kind of loan helps people to pay for the stamp duty.

In India, banks provide home loans against fixed and floating rate of interest. Under the fixed rate home loans the interest rate remains fixed for the whole period of the loan. By taking loan under this category the borrower will get the facility of getting a fixed interest rate. But in this case they have to pay a higher rate of interest. On the other hand, under the floating rate loans the rate of interest fluctuates accordingly. The borrower will get the facility of getting a low interest rate. But the interest rate can rise any time and the borrower has to pay a much higher interest rate than the fixed rate of these loans. The repayment of home loans are to be given through Equated Monthly Installment (EMI). The home loan EMI depends on the amount and the repayment period one takes.

In this age of technology, one can apply for the home loan Online. By applying online one gets relief from the lots of hassle like visiting to the lenders, seeking for the best home loan deal, do the huge formalities and fulfill the long paper works. By availing these loans online one just has to sit on a Internet enabled computer, make a search for the best home loan deal and after choosing one just has to fill a form, that’s it. By doing some simple procedures you dreams can come true.

From: The Serious Speculator

Twenty five years ago, I can remember discussing the markets with a very astute and successful investor. He possessed a wisdom that only comes from years of experience. I was telling him about a speculative company that I thought was the hottest thing ever and how everyone was getting involved and were going to be rich.

He listened patiently while I went through my pitch then calmly asked me, “During the gold rush, thousands flocked to the gold fields to strike it rich but, aside from a very few miners who got lucky, do you know who made a fortune yet avoided the limelight?” I thought about it and came up blank so he smiled and told me, “It was the guy that was selling picks and shovels.”

Using that analogy, Chang-On International (OTCBB: CAON) is the proverbial pick and shovel company in the midst of the construction gold rush in China. Construction is booming in China big time. US government statistics reveal that “Construction spending in China increased 165% in the last four years, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, and is still expanding at 25% annually.” Source: BuyUSA. At the same time, the Chinese government is putting an emphasis on the greening of the construction industry, both in the quality of construction and construction methods.

A key component in construction projects are the tools used to manufacture components from pipes to concrete walls and water tanks. Most of these components share one thing in common. They all need a mold or “formwork” to be made. In China traditionally these molds have been made out of bamboo or some other wood or steel. The problem with these materials are that steel is too expensive and needed elsewhere and wood molds don’t last very long. Enter Chang-On International.

Chang-On International has developed its own proprietary technology which allows them to build these molds out of a special resin composed primarily out of recycled plastic and fly ash, a byproduct of burning coal. The result of this amazing development is a mold that is less expensive than its counterparts, lasts longer than wood, is lighter than steel and seals better making for a higher quality finished product. What’s more, being made entirely out of recycled materials, Chang-On’s products satisfy the Chinese Government’s mandate for green construction.

Led by an experienced management team headed by Guomin Li, 47, a pioneer in the field of manufacturing building materials from waste products, Mr Li has been the Chairman of Harbin Hongbo Environment Protection Material Ltd since 2004, now the operating subsidiary of Chang-On International. Over the last 4 years, Mr. Li and his staff of researchers have developed and perfected the proprietary technology that is the basis of their newly implemented marketing strategy.

Imagine, not just a usable product, but a superior one, one that capitalizes on the convergence of need, government mandate and demand, made from ground up soda bottles, an inexpensive and plentiful resource and fly ash, an abundant product that, until now, has offered little utility other than as a filler in concrete. Just as often its nothing more than a disposal problem for coal fired plants.

Focusing initially on Northeastern China, Chang-On already has orders and revenues flowing in and they have already begun to draw plans for expansion of their production facilities and for international expansion through organic growth or licensing.

Consider that China currently uses 43% of all the concrete consumed in the world. It’s a primary material for building construction and, that concrete needs a mold to harden in. The right product, the right time and in the right place. Add to that, the diligence and fierce commitment to accomplishment Chinese achievers are globally respected for along with an amazing frugality (less than $100,000 in salaries since 2004) and you have a winning combination that is worth more than a passing glance.

Note: We have been hired to feature Chang-On International on our websites. Please read our disclaimer for more information

At one time the largest airport in the world was in Bangkok, Thailand. After being built the developers wanted to use the most groundbreaking ecological technology in their design so they decided on nanotechnology based heat barrier paint to provide a clear lining that protected their aluminum air-bridge walls from weathering and moisture.

The coverings protected in a thin, transparent coat with a much longer lifetime than old-style fibrous insulation, while also matching beautifully with the design aesthetics.

Since the initial 2005 installation, that same insulation coating is still keeping the Suvarnabhumi International Airport green and energy efficient.

Applying this insulation is also very cost efficient and does not require costly machinery or manpower. The coatings are coated on like paint, with a sprayer, brush or roller, onto walls, ceilings, roofs, or attics.

Nanotechnology-based heat resistant paints have been used around the world since first being introduced in 2004, and are surprisingly just now growing popular in the UK, which is a bit lagging behind other countries in usage of this cutting edge tech, although recognizing its value years ago. In 2007, Nansulate, a patented portfolio of heat barrier paints, were brought up in a report titled, “Environmentally Beneficial Nanotechnologies: Barriers and Opportunities” by the Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). Under scientific analysis, five nanotech applications were put through a detailed study, and nanotech was found to have the capability to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 2% in the near term and up to 20% by 2050.

Nanotechnology and Energy Savings

Nanotechnology is merely the manipulation of ingredients at a smaller scale than previously able to. By manipulating material at the nano scale, materials can be built from the atomic level upwards with much less waste. Materials can take on dissimilar characteristics when you handle them at this level, such as silver having anti-microbial properties or the ability to insulate in a much thinner layer.

Nansulate heat barrier paint technology incorporates a harmless micro-sized nanotech based matter with nano sized makeup that has a very low heat conductivity. Furthermore the matter is hydro-phobic, which offers mold and mildew resistance without the use of toxin or poisons. This matter is delivered in a uniquely formulated clear, love VOC, water-based coating that has outstanding adhesion and light resistance.

Reduction of heat as tested to ISO 8990:1990 “Standard Test Method for Steady-State Thermal Performance of Building Assemblies” over 8 centimeter plastered, brick walls, was 34.8% at a standard 3-coat, which is approximately 6-7 mils dry film depth, and average energy savings reported by home and building owners is between 20%-40%.

Nansulate gained the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive certification for building construction standards in the European Union from the UNI EN ISO 8890:1999 tests, in regards to building lining specifications. Nanotech Coatings UK Ltd has also been given a contract with the British Board of Agreement, (“BBA”) for tests for the stated utilization of the product on inside walls and ceilings, and outside walls in residential houses for application over inside plaster and outside paneling.

The most difficult of buildings to provide insulation for are old ones. Lots of these contain solid block wall constructions that make it hard to insulate with traditional insulations. Furthermore, outdated fibrous insulations are very vulnerable to humidity, dirt, and other impurities which damage their effectiveness over time. By utilizing a fluid insulating technology that is applied just like a paint, life of the insulation is increased dramatically as well as constancy of performance. Nansulate coverings typically last from 5 to 10 years in outdoor applications, and over ten years in protected inside environments. The coat line is meant to last in all forms of severe environments from offshore oil platforms to freezing climates in Alaska.
Applying the paint is also very cost efficient and doesn’t need costly material. The coats are put on like paint, with a regular sprayer, brush or roller, onto walls, ceilings, roofs, or attics. The job is much like painting a wall; just it is done with a transparent insulation.

Mexico’s Government Health and Social Security administration (IMSS) – applied the Nanocoating in 2009 on the roof of their data center in Monterrey. This site holds the data servers which houses their digital patient information, and these servers were dying due to too much heat in the summer. Following the application of the coating and comparing year over year temp measurements, they confirmed reduction of the inside temperature by 27% and their issue with sever shut-down was resolved.

Homeowners benefit greatly from the ease of use and energy savings, with one Canvey Island residents Nansulate review being, “Prior to painting, our heating costs were quite high compared to what they are now. In fact, since applying the Nansulate I have been able to lower the thermostat from 5.5/6 to 3, basically halving the temperature.”

The future of insulation and energy efficiency is with nanotechnology. Just as computers and cellphones have become smaller and more efficient, so has our insulation technology. Heat resistant paints are the way of the future as the world gravitates toward more Eco friendly and efficient technologies that are inexpensive.

Whether you are a first time buyer or have existing installations of plasma and/or oxy-fuel shape cutting systems, continuous advancements in technology and a growing landscape of low-cost manufacturers and integrators has clouded the automated plasma shape cutting machinery landscape.

Plasma cutting is the result of introducing an electrical arc through a gas that is blown through a nozzle at high pressure, causing the gas to turn into plasma and producing a focused flame that reaches temperatures of 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Automated plasma cutting systems are classified as either conventional or precision (high-definition), based on the characteristics of the cutting flame. Precision plasma systems are capable of producing parts to tighter tolerances, achieving faster cut rates, and producing less kerf and bevel than conventional plasma systems. The cost of these units can also be significantly higher than conventional plasma systems. It is therefore extremely important to properly match the shape cutting machine with the appropriate plasma cutting system.

One of the most common and costly pitfalls buyers encounter is when manufacturers or integrators mismatch machines and power sources. This is often the result of manufacturers not taking the time to understand the buyer’s requirements, having a limited or single-product line of machines, limited OEM access to power sources, and/or a lack of industry/application knowledge. These manufacturers will then often sell with a focus on lowest price instead of lowest cost of ownership, highlighting the strong point of the plasma system or the machine without regard to the limitations of the other. The best precision plasma power source available will not provide users with the desired cut quality and accuracy if it is not mated to an appropriate base machine.

There are many types of plasma shape cutting machines available in the market today. The most common machines are bridge or gantry style machines made from either fabricated steel or extruded aluminum. Construction of the machine is extremely important relative to your application. Machines constructed of extruded aluminum are typically considered to be hobbyist or artisan machines and most appropriate when doing a limited amount of cutting or when cutting light gauge materials. The plasma and oxy-fuel cutting processes create large amounts of heat which is retained in the materials being cut and can cause deflection or warping of aluminum machine components traveling over the hot cutting surfaces, greatly effecting accuracy and cut quality. Fabricated steel machines are highly recommended for any type of continuous cutting process, cutting of plate steel, and where auxiliary oxy-fuel torches may be used. Auxiliary heat shields may also be available to further protect the machine and components from extreme heat conditions.

Cutting machines are available with a variety of drive systems including single-side drive, single-motor dual-side drive, and true two-motor dual-side drive systems. A well constructed single-side drive system or single-motor dual-side drive system will perform extremely well in conventional plasma applications. The benefit of the extra precision offered by two-motor dual-side drive systems will not be realized in conventional plasma applications due to the limitations in the precision of the conventional plasma cutting process itself. Two-motor dual-side drive systems will provide the accuracy and performance required to achieve optimal results from a precision plasma process.

Sizing of the motors and gear boxes relative to the mass of the machine is also extremely important. Undersized motors and gearboxes will not be able to effectively change the direction of the mass of the machine at high traverse and cut speeds, resulting in un-uniform cut quality and washed-out corners. This not only affects the cut quality, but will also lead to premature mechanical failures.

The CNC control is the unit that ties together all of the functionality and features of the machine and plasma source. There are basically two classes of controls used on most of these machines today. Most industrial applications use industrial PC-based control systems such as those produced by Burny or Hypertherm. These units have user-friendly touch screen control panels and are housed in enclosures that can stand up to the harsh environments they operate in. Smaller machines of the hobbyist or artisan types often utilize standard PCs with I/O cards to control the drives and plasma systems. Industrial based controls are highly recommended for any application, are designed for industry specific requirements, are less prone to the typical PC problems, but can be cost prohibitive in smaller applications.

Another important, and often overlooked, feature to consider when selecting a machine is the construction of the rail system. Plasma cutting machines produce and reside in a harsh environment. It is therefore important that the components used in the construction of the rail system be robust enough to exist in this environment. All rail surfaces should be constructed of hardened materials and cleaned frequently so that they do not become pitted and gouged by the splatter of molten steel that will inevitably fall on them. Self-cleaning wheels are also a recommended feature to keep the wheels clean between regular preventive maintenance (PM) cycles. Sizing of the rails should also be robust enough to prevent deflection as the machine travels across them.

The combination of all of the above factors results in the precision and accuracy of a system. Unlike other mechanical machining processes, it is difficult to assign a standard tolerance to plasma cutting processes. Many manufacturers will strongly promote the fact that their machines have positional accuracy of +/-0.007 in. and repeatability of +/-0.002 in.. The fact is that just about any machine on the market can hold tolerances that far exceed the tolerance and capability of the plasma cutting process itself. There are many factors that will influence the cut quality you will achieve on your parts including: the characteristics of the part itself, power settings, consumables, gases used, material type, gauge/thickness of material, part layout on plate, etc.. Ask the manufacturer to provide you with cut samples of your parts or parts that closely approximate the parts you will be cutting, made on a machine/plasma combination that is comparable to what you are looking at. This will give you the most realistic representation of what to expect from a specific machine/plasma combination and the plasma cutting process itself.

Before talking to any cutting machine manufacturer, clearly identify your requirements:

  1. Identify the types of materials will you be cutting with your system (ferrous/non-ferrous, mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, etc.).
  2. Identify the range of material thicknesses you will be cutting.
  3. If you will be cutting a variety of materials and thicknesses, estimate the percentage of each type and identify the primary types and thicknesses.
  4. Determine the size (length, width, and thickness) of plate you will be purchasing in order to properly size the table, effective cutting area, and weight capacity of your new system.
  5. You may also want to look to the future in anticipation of any future types and sizes of materials you may need to process. The upfront cost of anticipating these requirements may be substantially less than upgrading or retrofitting your system in the future.
  6. Identify the tolerances you will need to maintain. This will help determine whether you need a conventional or precision plasma system, as well as the type and construction of the base machine.
  7. Determine how many hours-per-day and days-per-week the machine will be operated. This will determine the type of base machine construction you will need, help estimate the cost of operation, and allow you to compare the cost/benefit of consumables life of various manufacturer’s power supplies.
  8. Determine how you will exhaust your equipment. Water tables do not require exhaust systems, but down-draft tables do. If there is an existing exhaust system in place, identify the capacity of the system in cubic feet per minute (CFM).
  9. Determine if you will need the flexibility to expand the system or add additional plasma and/or oxy-fuel cutting stations in the future. Some machines are capable of only carrying one or two torches, while others can accommodate slave stations for up to a combination of 10 plasma and oxy-fuel torches. Likewise, some machines have fixed cutting areas while others can be extended in length to increase cutting area or accommodate multiple cutting tables.
  10. Define the area in your facility where the machine will be located. Make note of any obstructions, hazards, or access points that will need to be taken into consideration when laying out the new system. Also, identify how your material will be handled in and out of the area (forklift or crane, aisle locations, etc.).
  11. Identify the power you have available, both voltage and amperage.

A reputable manufacturer should ask you for most of this information before making any proposals on a system. If a manufacturer does not have this information, they cannot adequately evaluate your requirements and propose a system that will best work for you and your specific application. Spending the time to identify your requirements up front will not only save you countless hours of frustration resulting from living with the wrong machine, but also save you money by not over- or under-buying a system to meet the requirements of your specific application.

Do You Pass The Mortgage Lender Analysis? When a mortgage lender reviews a real estate loan application, the primary concern for both home loan applicant, the buyer, and the mortgage lender is to approve loan requests that show high probability of being repaid in full and on time, and to disapprove requests that are likely to result in default and eventual foreclose. How is the mortgage lenders decision made?

The mortgage lender begins the loan analysis procedure by looking at the property and the proposed financing. Using the property address and legal description, an appraiser is assigned to prepare an appraisal of the property and a title search is ordered. These steps are taken to determine the fair market value of the property and the condition of title. In the event of default, this is the collateral the lender must fall back upon to recover the loan. If the loan request is in connection with a purchase, rather than the refinancing of an existing property, the mortgage lender will know the purchase price. As a rule, home loans are made on the basis of the appraised value or purchase price, whichever is lower. If the appraised value is lower than the purchase price, the usual procedure is to require the buyer to make a larger cash down payment. The mortgage lender does not want to over-loan simply because the buyer overpaid for the property.

The year the home was built is useful in setting the loan’s maturity date. The idea is that the length of the home loan should not outlast the remaining economic life of the structure serving as collateral. Note however, chronological age is only part of this decision because age must be considered in light of the upkeep and repair of the structure and its construction quality.

Loan-to-Value Ratios

The mortgage lender next looks at the amount of down payment the borrower proposes to make, the size of the loan being requested and the amount of other financing the borrower plans to use. This information is then converted into loan-to-value ratios. As a rule, the more money the borrower places into the deal, the safer the loan is for the mortgage lender. On an uninsured home loan, the ideal loan-to-value ratio for a lender on owner-occupied residential property is 70% or less. This means the value of the property would have to fall more than 30% before the debt owed would exceed the property’s value, thus encouraging the borrower to stop making mortgage loan payments. Because of the nearly constant inflation in housing prices since the 40s, very few residential properties have fallen 30% or more in value.

Loan-to-value ratios from 70% through 80% are considered acceptable but do expose the mortgage lender to more risk. Lenders sometimes compensate by charging slightly higher interest rates. Loan-to-value ratios above 80% present even more risk of default to the lender, and the lender will either increase the interest rate charged on these home loans or require that an outside insurer, such as FHA or a private mortgage insurer, be supplied by the borrower.

Mortgage Closing Settlement Funds

The lender then wants to know if the borrower has adequate funds for settlement (the closing). Are these funds presently in a checking or savings account, or are they coming from the sale of the borrower’s present real estate property? In the latter case, the mortgage lender knows the present loan is contingent on another closing. If the down payment and settlement funds are to be borrowed, then the lender will want to be extra cautious as experience has shown that the less of his own money a borrower puts into a purchase, the higher the probability of default and foreclosure.

Purpose Of Mortgage Loan

The lender is also interested in the proposed use of the property. Mortgage lenders feel most comfortable when a home loan is for the purchase or improvement of a property the loan applicant will actually occupy. This is because owner-occupants usually have pride-of-ownership in maintaining their property and even during bad economic conditions will continue to make the monthly payments. An owner-occupant also realizes that if he/she stops paying, they will have to vacate and pay for shelter elsewhere.

If the home loan applicant intends to purchase a dwelling to rent out as an investment, the lender will be more cautious. This is because during periods of high vacancy, the property may not generate enough income to meet the loan payments. At that point, a strapped-for-cash borrower is likely to default. Note too, that lenders generally avoid loans secured by purely speculative real estate. If the value of the property drops below the amount owed, the borrower may see no further logic in making the loan payments.

Lastly the mortgage lender assesses the borrower’s attitude toward the proposed loan. A casual attitude, such as “I’m buying because real estate always goes up,” or an applicant who does not appear to understand the obligation he is undertaking would bring low rating here. Much more welcome is the home loan applicant who shows a mature attitude and understanding of the mortgage loan obligation and who exhibits a strong and logical desire for ownership.

The Borrower Analysis

The next step is the mortgage lender to begin an analysis of the borrower, and if there is one, the co-borrower. At one time, age, sex and marital status played an important role in the lender’s decision to lend or not to lend. Often the young and the old had trouble getting home loans, as did women and persons who were single, divorced, or widowed. Today, the Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits discrimination based on age, sex, race and marital status. Mortgage lenders are no longer permitted to discount income earned by women even if it is from part-time jobs or because the woman is of child-bearing age. Of the home applicant chooses to disclose it, alimony, separate maintenance, and child support must be counted in full. Young adults and single persons cannot be turned down because the lender feels they have not “put down roots.” Seniors cannot be turned down as long as life expectancy exceeds the early risk period of the loan and collateral is adequate. In other words, the emphasis in borrower analysis is now focused on job stability, income adequacy, net worth and credit rating.

Mortgage lenders will ask questions directed at how long the applicants have held their present jobs and the stability of those jobs themselves. The lender recognizes that loan repayment will be a regular monthly requirement and wishes to make certain the applicants have a regular monthly inflow of cash in a large enough quantity to meet the mortgage loan payment as well as their other living expenses. Thus, an applicant who possesses marketable job skills and has been regularly employed with a stable employer is considered the ideal risk. Persons whose income can rise and fall erratically, such as commissioned salespersons, present greater risk. Persons whose skills (or lack of skills) or lack of job seniority result in frequent unemployment are more likely to have difficulty repaying a home loan. The mortgage lender also inquires as to the number of dependents the applicant must support out of his or her income. This information provides some insight as to how much will be left for monthly house payments.

Home Loan Applicants’ Monthly Income

The lender looks at the amount and sources of the applicants’ income. Sheer quantity alone is not enough for home loan approval; the income sources must be stable too. Thus a lender will look carefully at overtime, bonus and commission income in order to estimate the levels at which these may reasonably be expected to continue. Interest, dividend and rental income would be considered in light of the stability of their sources also. Under the “other income” category, income from alimony, child support, social security, retirement pensions, public assistance, etc. is entered and added to the totals for the applicants.

The lender then compares what the applicants have been paying for housing with what they will be paying if the loan is approved. Included in the proposed housing expense total are principal, interest, taxes and insurance along with any assessments or homeowner association dues (such as in a condominium or town-homes). Some mortgage lenders add the monthly cost of utilities to this list.

A proposed monthly housing expense is compared to gross monthly income. A general rule of thumb is that monthly housing expense (PITI) should not exceed 25% to 30% of gross monthly income. A second guideline is that total fixed monthly expenses should not exceed 33% to 38% of income. This includes housing payments plus automobile payments, installment loan payments, alimony, child support, and investments with negative cash flows. These are general guidelines, but mortgage lenders recognize that food, health care, clothing, transportation, entertainment and income taxes must also come from the applicants’ income.

Liabilities and Assets

The lender is interested in the applicants’ sources of funds for closing and whether, once the loan is granted, the applicants have assets to fall back upon in the event of an income decrease (a job lay-off) or unexpected expenses such as hospital bills. Of particular interest is the portion of those assets that are in cash or are readily convertible into cash in a few days. These are called liquid assets. If income drops, they are much more useful in meeting living expenses and mortgage loan payments than assets that may require months to sell and convert to cash; that is, assets which are illiquid.

A mortgage lender also considers two values for life insurance holders. Cash value is the amount of money the policyholder would receive if he surrendered his/her policy or, alternatively, the amount he/she could borrow against the policy. Face amount is the amount that would be paid in the event of the insured’s death. Mortgage lenders feel most comfortable if the face amount of the policy equals or exceeds the amount of the proposed home loan. Less satisfactory are amounts less than the proposed loan or none at all. Obviously a borrower’s death is not anticipated before the loan is repaid, but lenders recognize that its possibility increases the probability of default. The likelihood of foreclosure is lessened considerably if the survivors receive life insurance benefits.

A lender is interested in the applicants’ existing debts and liabilities for two reasons. First, these items will compete each month against housing expenses for available monthly income. Thus high monthly payments may reduce the size of the loan the lender calculates that the applicants will be able to repay. The presence of monthly liabilities is not all negative: it can also show the mortgage lender that the applicants are capable of repaying their debts. Second, the mortgage applicants’ total debts are subtracted from their total assets to obtain their net worth. If the result is negative (more owed than owned), the mortgage loan request will probably be turned down as too risky. In contrast, a substantial net worth can often offset weaknesses elsewhere in the application, such as too little monthly income in relation to monthly housing expense.

Past Credit Record

Lenders examine the applicants’ past record of debt repayment as an indicator of the future. A credit report that shows no derogatory information is most desirable. Applicants with no previous credit experience will have more weight placed on income and employment history. Applicants with a history of collections, adverse judgments or bankruptcy within the past three years will have to convince the lender that this mortgage loan will be repaid on time. Additionally, the applicants may be considered poorer risks if they have guaranteed the repayment of someone else debt by acting as a co-maker or endorser. Lastly, the lender may take into consideration whether the applicants have adequate insurance protection in the event of major medical expenses or a disability that prevents returning to work.

When a mortgage lender will not provide a loan on a property, one must seek alternative sources of financing or lose the right to purchase the home.

Along with the increasing concern on the need to preserve our environment more tightly, nearly all parts of modern people life have now being ruled. It is a good step to help people become aware and also feel like this is also their part to participate in this revolution of the environmentally friendly attitude. In housing management or architecture, the environmentally friendly attitude is also renewed. Green construction is a term that is given to this new trend of green and ecological attitude towards anything related to life style. Green construction is basically a concept that tries to break down the possibilities of making architecture with the essence of environmentally friendly attitude.

It also usually embodies the more detailed concept of green sustainable design which consists of guidance in how to consider architecture and building housing and managing it dealing with the urgent needs of our earth to breathe ad to be preserved by human being, the one, and us who contribute the highest level of earth destruction. It usually consists of some consideration including the place of housing, the interior design, the exterior design, the sanitary, and the materials and so on. It is valuable to make us feel relieving to buy something on this fragile earth.

The green building, from its name has explicitly talked about the need of any kinds of building that should meet environmental analysis on the appropriateness of the environment to be fitted with the need of the building design. By compromising the design without sacrificing the beauty of the building, the green building tries to fulfill people need along with the environmental needs to revitalize themselves. So, it is very important o consider the products of the building that must be very valuable regarding our environment vitality. It is a very solution for our present problems of buildings.

All home owners have a dream of setting up a dust free hardwood flooring scheme in their house to provide a sense of durable style that is extremely pleasing to the eye. The advantages of a hardwood floor are numerous, ranging from sheer strength of structural design to an elegant and beautiful aesthetic outlook.

The flooring pattern forms an integral structure of any home and it is a coveted desire for owners to come up with an attractive flooring option that can make their house a figure of admiration and envy for all neighbors. To maintain such a delicate design, it’s essential to have a proper construction and maintenance plan for the entire flooring architecture.

Hardwood floors have an extremely polished look when newly constructed that adds a brilliant shine to the house. However, such floors are extremely sensitive to dust and dirt and keep getting infiltrated by it with the passage of time. After a few months, most floors are dug deep in dust that ruins the original sheen of the flooring and make them look extremely rugged and filthy.

The accumulating dust also damages the entire structural build as the floors start to develop cracks and a creaking sound indicates the slow but steady deterioration of floors. If the floors are not maintained properly, the damage aggravates even further, forcing owners to search for ways to refinish hardwood floors dust free and bring back some of the lost glory.

Many owners try several self oriented methods for proper flooring work to reduce professional expenses but their lack of experience and skill usually help up making matters worse. A concerned owner should always be in contact with a local flooring agency that specializes in offering dust free wood floor refinishing with a technically proficient team.

They utilize several cutting edge technological options to provide owners with the best flooring experience that can last for a long time without any form of maintenance required. Skilled workmen survey the design of the floor and make personal arrangements based on house design. A floor consultant is always in discussion with the customer to decide how to refinish wood floors dust free and present a number of design options to make an attractive finish.

Dust free sanding in Utah help in making spotlessly clean floors by removing all dust particles using a self propelled vacuum system which deposits the dust at a desired point outside the house. Dust free flooring has multiple benefits as the furniture is not ruined by dust and small particles do not get inside electrical items to cause short circuit problems.

The quality of work is excellent which make the floor spotlessly clean and allows the owner to choose personalized floor colors based on individual preferences. The dust free sanding is done by providing high quality materials, giving more owners across Utah and Salt Lake City have access to high quality dust free hardwood flooring services.

Building a new construction home in a master planned community in the Phoenix Arizona area provides many advantages. From the superior resort-style amenities such as aquatic centers, fitness complexes, tennis, water parks, lakes and lush green parks, to having day to day conveniences within easy access, a master planned community offers a connected neighborhood feel. If this is what you are looking for in an Arizona lifestyle, a new build in a master planned community is a must. Some of these communities are family friendly while others specialize in attracting the active adult 55 years and over.

Most of these communities are conveniently located near major freeways and often minutes from one of several airports.

Because of their sheer size, often exceeding 100 acres, a master planned community can offer elegantly manicured 18-hole golf courses, schools, hotels, retail and a variety of commercial shopping centers, typically featuring anchor grocery chains. Many of the newest master planned communities offer extensive recreational amenities often incorporate lakes and parks, tennis courts, unique and engaging child play areas, and extensive biking and walking paths. Elaborate community centers feature athletic and aquatic centers, spas, education classes and numerous activities for all ages. The developer’s goal is to create an all inclusive attractive environment in which residents can live, work, learn and play all within the walls of a city within a city.

Master planned communities are well planned out residential developments that typically include several builders who join together to offer a wide variety of living concepts and building styles. Often five to ten builders will offer different neighborhood themes and living options from modest condos priced in the $100,000-200,000 range to sprawling luxury estates priced well over $1,000,000. Within each neighborhood one can choose from a wide variety of architectural styles, floor plans, lot sizes, landscaping designs and more. With so many green minded consumers entering the home building market, today’s home builders also feature Energy Star-rated homes and exceptional energy-efficient features that result in major saving on yearly energy bills.

Phoenix Arizona is home to growing list of outstanding master planned communities to choose from when considering building a new construction home. Some of the most active family friendly communities include the unique lake themed Ocotillo in Chandler, Vistancia in Peroia, Verrado in Buckeye, Mountain Bridge in Mesa, The Bridges in Gilbert, Eastmark in Mesa, Estrella Mountain Ranch in Goodyear and Johnson Ranch in San Tan Valley.

A retaining wall design is a structured plan on building retaining walls to restrain soil and other loose material where sudden changes in ground elevation may occur due to environmental factors. The material which was held back by the structure may exert an effort towards the wall where it may overturn or slide it. The most usual type of retaining the wall is the cantilever where it is used for walls that have height ranges of 10 to 25ft. The cantilever beam will compose of the stem, heel and toe of the wall.

A retaining wall design calculates the soil bearing pressure under the foot of a cantilever concrete retaining wall sustaining any type of backfill material with extra loads and condensed peripheral masses staging on the wall.

The retaining plan for walls also includes proper examination of the strength of the entire structure of the wall and then the actual design is executed, either based on the Working Stress Design Method of the ultimate strength design method of ACI or the lateral pressure designed by any of the Rankine or Coulomb theory. The Seismic design is according to the Mononobe-Okabe approach. The wall plans will also consider the possibility sliding of the entire construction. This should be taken into account as the possibility may cause malfunction of the wall.

The necessary input data embraces all wall measurements, backfill slope, concrete and steel concentration, admissible soil bearing load, and backfill properties. The wall plan will alternatively make an allowance for additional peripheral loads applied to the wall, and replacing the pressure. A surcharge may possibly be defined as an equal height of the block. Deep loads might also be used on walls. This is for the most part functional in the design of bridge abutments wherein beams or girders reactions have to be used with support.

All data are necessary to compute the right dimensions in coming up with the wall layout. Designers and engineers will go through in depth research, geographical measurements and critical thinking so that retaining walls are built with quality and durability that is able to stand the assumed environmental conditions that may affect the wall structure. Tools are used to computer the highest soil pressure that is under the toe and heel of the wall and it is compared to a tolerable soil pressure. The safety factor to avoid sliding is then increased according to the comparisons.

The procedure in creating a retaining plan for walls should not be taken for granted. It is critical that the right dimension and calculations are determined so that the right materials are assessed and used for a better retaining wall. A quality retaining wall is able to withstand allowable pressure to prevent unwanted damages. This could be achievable with the right retaining wall design.

Teak home furniture for outdoors is ideal because it is attractive, weather resistant, and is longer lasting than most other types of outdoor furniture available on the market. For centuries woodworker have chosen teak hardwood to make furniture, because it easy to work with plus it offers structural strength and durability. Teak wood is made from large trees that grow 90-120 feet tall and they shed their leaves in the dry season. Myanmar is the country that accounts for one-third of the world’s teak production.

For decorators it is a no brainier, the wood is high in natural oils, therefore resistant to rain, snow, and all other conditions. Plus the grain of the wood is tight making it resistant to splintering, with these qualities coupled the material is perfect for construction of outdoor projects. And because it’s almost maintenance free with a warm color and satiny smooth surface the wood is used to create patio furniture, outdoor decking, indoor tables, chairs, and executive office furniture.

When it comes to maintenance the owner of this type furniture has a free reign. Teak home furniture requires very little care, the only concern is the owners’ choice for appearance, if no maintenance is preferred then eventually the pieces will turn a light shade of silvery gray, which is ideal for some decorators. Others prefer the beauty of the new wood and retain the original color of their pieces by applying annual coats of teak oil, even though the application isn’t necessary because of the durability of the wood, some claim the oil extends the life of the furniture and is very easy to apply.

A tip if you prefer to oil teak home furniture: always apply the oil before the color begins to fade, if you somehow neglect your wood, simply sand the pieces and then apply oil for that like new beauty of this type of home decor. Ensure the surface you apply the oil to is clean; trapped dirt may turn the color of the wood black. It is a fine line of furniture and there is no need to bring in the patio set for the winter months, even if oiled it will look the same when spring returns the following year.

The History Of This Cash Cow

This type of wood was used in the eighteenth century, primarily on vessels as decks and railings. The wood offers the unique qualities of not-rotting, resistance to weather conditions and water damage, and resistance to insect infestation, because of its high oil content. Even after these vessels were no longer operational, the wood was refurbished and used to create the first teak outdoor furniture.

Because teak home furniture will last longer than most other outdoor furniture, which has to be replaced every few years, the cost of the material is a bit more expensive than other materials used for outdoor furniture. The idea is because the material used to create this type of furniture will last a lifetime, the owner of this style of furniture will save money.

We have just had a discussion on teak furniture, this type of furniture is appreciated by decorators who know the quality and longevity of this style of decor. By the same token this decor has a reputation for a rich warm color plus a satiny smooth surface used in patio furniture, outdoor decking, indoor tables, chairs, and executive office furniture. Look for more articles with my name and visit my blog, for future discussions on the exciting topic of home decor.

Trends in furniture design have seen significant changes over the last several years, as more people look to increase the value of their life at home. Some want new furniture to compliment the home improvement projects they’ve undertaken to improve the resale value of their homes. Others are looking for ways to make home life more comfortable and convenient. Whatever the motivation, a desire to add luxury and personality is evident in trends in home furniture design.

Luxury Modern

The emerging Luxury Modern design style features the clean lines, open feel and spare color palette of contemporary decorating styles, with an emphasis on luxury materials. Quarry tile work is preferred over laminate or vinyl, leather fabric over synthetic textiles, and gold-toned metallic accents over chrome. While the house furniture retains the sleek, unadorned lines of contemporary decorating styles, natural materials, such as wood and leather, are more likely to be featured. Glass is frequently used for coffee, dining room and end tables, primarily to better showcase statement decorative objects.

Eclectic Style

With the eclectic style, the focus is on rich colors, materials and textures, rather than on adhering to any single period decorating style. Furniture may be purchased in sets, but it is unlikely that the set will be grouped together. Instead, the pieces may find their way into different locations throughout the home, serving as unifying elements that tie the design together. Whereas in most decorating styles, the intent is to present a cohesive whole, in the eclectic style, each individual piece provides visual interest.

Furniture for an eclectic room may feature an unusual design, fabric or shape. When shopping online or brick-and-mortar home furniture stores for the eclectic style, look for lush fabrics, decorative detailing and interesting forms. Search by color and material, not simply by decorating style.

Old World Style

The continuing trend to present interiors that look as if they have been assembled over time has many homeowners turning to the Old World decorating style. This style features quality house furniture that looks as if it has been handed down for generations. In home furniture, leather is the star of the Old World style. Furniture like sofas, loveseats, ottomans and chairs crafted in fine leather add a feeling of history to home décor.

An earth-tone palette is favored in furnishings in the Old World style, with surfaces such as wood, marble and leather that offer depth and texture, rather than gleam and shine. Textured walls, fine upholstery and heavy fabrics for window treatments are hallmarks of the Old World style.

Trends in furniture design are leaning towards styles that allow personal expression, with an emphasis on quality materials, fabrics and construction. Searching online home furniture stores for the latest trends in furniture may be more convenient than wandering through warehouse furniture stores. Browse stores today to discover that latest designs!

Okay, you have decided to play your part in reducing the carbon footprint and preventing global warming. You have chosen to have a large solar panel constructed on your roof so you can make use of solar energy for various lighting and heating purposes. This would not be possible if your house has a sloping roof. Opting for a flat roof construction has a number of benefits, one of which is that it helps you set up a solar panel to harness the natural source of energy.

There are a number of techniques that you can choose from. Let us take a quick look at three of the most preferred techniques which are being used by various people all over the world.

Membrane Roofing

If you are looking for long lasting roofs that are water resistant as well, then membrane roofs is the best choice. This flat roof construction is put up using multiple polyvinyl chloride sheets. The thickness of each sheet used in this construction varied from 30mm to 60mm. You need not install a separate moisture resistant barrier on the roof prior to installing membrane roofing. You can place these membranes directly on the roof along with insulation that can offer thermal resistance. Once the membranes are installed, they are bonded together. You can either use a special sealer that helps the sheets chemically bond with each other or you can heat the seams so they melt into each other, thus holding them in place.

Built up Roofing

Built up roofing is the oldest roofing technique which is the most preferred technique in the United States. Moisture barriers are installed over the roof prior to proceeding with built up roofing. Alternating layers of waterproofing elements and bitumen are installed over the moisture barrier. It is the number of layers that determines the quality of the roofing. More the number of layers, better is the quality of the roofing.

Spray Foam Roofs

This is the flat construction roofing that uses foam made of polyurethane in order to provide a protective covering to the roof. Rigid sheets of foam insulation are fastened to the roof. The next step of this technique is to mix a foam solution and apply it to the roof with the help of a spray gun. In order to facilitate proper drainage, the thickness of the spray foam roof varies across the entire surface. An elastomeric coating helps hold the spray foam roof firmly in place. It also helps prevent fire accidents and provide water resistance.

Stud wall design plays an important role in noise transmission from room to room in your home. Staggered stud wall design can help soundproof any area of your home.

Construction begins with a wider than normal top and bottom beam, usually a 2 x 6 or a 2 x 8 instead of a 2 x 4. 2 X 4 studs are screwed in an alternating pattern along the base plate. The studs are spaced 16 inches on center across the beam and two 2×2’s are security each end to support the weight of drywall. This creates form of discontinuous construction. This prevents noise from being conducted from one sheet of drywall, through the studs, and into the next room.

Metal studs can also be used in place of timber to further reduce the conduction of sound vibrations. You may also consider increasing the amount of dead space within the walls to accommodate larger amounts of thick insulating material to help absorb sound. All seams in the drywall must also be properly sealed in order to block out unwanted noise.

Finishing the wall with denser materials such as brick, sheetrock, or plaster can also significantly reduce the noise level that is transmitted from room to room. Double layers of sheetrock can be used with an adhesive layer of glue or silicon caulking in between. By alternating seems out of wall covering, the soundproofing qualities of a room are greatly increased.

Special order thicker doors such as those used in commercial applications may also be needed to prevent sound from being transmitted. Common interior doors are lightweight and have a hollow center. Heavier commercial-grade doors block sound more efficiently. If you are installing double layers of drywall or sheetrock, you may also have to special order thicker doorjambs to accommodate the increased width.

Discontinuous stud wall design is ideal for walls separating the garage and the living space of your home, as well as typically noisy areas such as children’s playrooms and laundry rooms. Incorporating discontinuous stud wall design into areas such as your home office and bedroom can enrich your levels of rest and productivity by keeping out unwanted noise.

Discontinuous stud wall design used in conjunction with double layers of dry wall provides an adequate level of soundproofing for a fraction of the cost of using specially design soundproofing materials. The level of soundproofing achieved by changing the design of the stud walls and selecting denser building materials is usually adequate for the purposes of most homeowners.

The home roofing job is the most critical of them all. Proper protection for your house depends on the right roofing techniques. You need to choose the right roofing materials for the particular climatic condition you have in your area of living. The well-made roof gives you the right stability and protection from all-weather related hazards. You can contact a professional roofing expert for proper home construction works. You should pick the right roofing designs like ridged, reinforced, hip, and corrugated metal roofing for perfect functionality and protection. The cost for roofing depends on the materials and the service charges of the technicians.

A planned design of roofs

You need a proper plan before you can start the new sheeting project for your home. An architect or a construction firm can provide you a constructive roofing plan. You can also appoint an all-inclusive service provider for roofing and remodeling. The roof should be designed to protect the interior and outside walls from direct UV rays of Sun. The aerodynamic roofing designs help the home in standing still during a major storm. The ridged roofing design is the most traditional roof of all times. It gives you proper protection from storm, heavy rain and shade from the sun.

The materials you need

There are a number of choices for you in choosing the right roofing materials. You can choose iron and steel sheets, aluminum sheets, wooden and metallic shingles, vinyl sheets, earthen tiles, and concrete blocks. You can choose any of them according to the functionality and your budget. You need to keep in mind that the roof is a protective covering for your home. The materials should be stable enough in enduring natural hazards. You can choose steel sheets over the iron because iron can get rusted within a few months of mounting.

Save your roofing cost

You can save on your roofing job by following some simple guidelines. You need to determine the right quantity of materials you need for roofing. A professional roofing expert can help in this job by proving you a quotation. You can save money by searching online for the cheapest roofing service provider in your area. You must see the past projects of such as roofers before appointing. The technicians must carry the required tools with them. In case they need some extra tools for the roofing job, then you go for the rentals. This way, you can save a lot of money on the construction process.

Nursing home furniture needs to fill a whole host of special needs: from its look, to its ease of cleaning and durability. The best furniture for nursing homes answers all three of these criteria affordably and well – allowing residents and temporary patients alike to live in the closest comfort they can to their own homes, whilst affording nursing staff the maneuverability and solidity they require in order to do their job effectively. As such, good furniture for these places presents quite a design and construction problem – though one, fortunately, that is being answered well by some new corporate furniture web sites: including the UK’s own Triangle Interiors.

Triangle, which has made a pretty successful business out of designing and supplying bulk furniture for conference centres and hospitals, has recently added a quality range of nursing home furniture to its list. The range answers the three design criteria of good nursing furnishings extremely well. Triangle offer living room chairs, for example that have clearly been designed to replicate the kind of chair one might expect to find in the home of a person of that generation: pleasant, naturally colored arm chairs, with high backs and furled armrests. They look almost indistinguishable from the “real” thing – but are stuffed with ergonomic design features that ensure ease of use in the nursing area situation. This nursing home furniture is easy to clean – it can be wiped down and disinfected in minutes. It’s extremely durable, which means it holds its brightness and color, as well as its working features, for a length of time that makes it economically practical to order. And it can be altered to make taking a patient out of it, in an emergency situation, extremely efficient and easy.

There are also ranges of bedroom furniture, built with the same three golden rules in mind. All the beds are comfortable, the tables are ornamental and simply built – but everything works in accordance with the daily requirements of a nursing establishment. This is nursing home furniture at its best: designed to look and feel like “normal” home furnishings, but well capable of withstanding the more intense stresses and strains of supporting less mobile patients. In effect, it’s a trick, albeit a very kind heart one: hospital furnishings, when all is said and done, made up to look like home decoration.

This, of course, is the most important trait of all. A nursing home is a place intended to give dignity, peace and as much happiness as possible to people who can no longer live in their own houses or flats. As such, the better ones are trying to take care of a wealth of memories and habits – and to detract attention from the frustrations inherent in having to be looked after. Nursing home furniture has a vital role to play in this illusion. Everyone knows that it is, really, hospital grade, designed to facilitate treatment rather than ornament: but, in the best of all possible worlds, it’s also reminiscent of the homes the patients have been forced to leave.

This article will provide a general guide on how to and what is required in the construction of your own putting green. It is split into sections, each sections representing one stage of the design and construction of the green.

Design the shape and layout

The first step to take when building your own putting green, is to design it. This will involve deciding on the overall size of the green, its shape, and where you wish to place the holes.

Locate the perfect ground

With our design in hand, we now need to locate an area of ground that will be suitable for our putting green. It needs to be a flat area of ground, or an area of ground that could be made flat with little effort.

Prepare the ground

Next, we need to clear the ground of any obstruction, thus leaving the grass and underlying turf to deal with in a later stage.

Sketch out the putting green’s shape

We now need to use a means to mark out the shape of the putting green. This is done by using a paint spray can on the grass, or some other marking medium that gives the desired clear result.

Top soil and grass removal

The grass and top soil that currently lies within the putting green area will need to be removed. To do this you will need to cut 4 inches deep and remove that grass and soil.

Drainage system installation

With the unwanted top layer removed we now need to implement some sort of drainage system. Obviously, this being a small sized putting green for personal use in your own home, it will not be necessary to install the type of drainage system that exists on golf courses. For the home putting green, all that is needed, is a layer of gravel that has been crushed until it is smooth. With the crashed gravel in place we now need to apply a layer of stone dust and limestone. Note that if your chosen area is below sea level than you will need a proper and very expensive drainage system as the this simple system will not suffice.

Besides ensuring a decent level of drainage, this combination of materials and the compacting of the materials, will also create a nice and firm and robust surface that will be able to handle the many footfalls that it will have to endure during its lifetime.

The putting green’s holes

The putting green uses cups for the holes, and we now need to dig out the holes based on their position in the original design. Once the holes have been dug we need to secure the cups, and this is done by using concrete. The concrete will secure the cups in place.

The final stage – laying the green

Now we are ready for the last stage, the laying of the green itself. Once the green has been laid out, it needs to be secured. This securing is done by the use of sod staples. Note that you do not need to use real turf, especially for a home putting green, as synthetic ones have proven to be very popular and lend to a lot less maintenance. If you wish to take the easy maintenance route than just search out your nearest synthetic grass dealer.

So, there we have it. The many stages of putting green construction in brief, from the initial design and choosing the ground, to ground preparation, and laying the green itself. A more detailed article for each of the above stages or combination of if there is insufficient material for just one of the stages, will be posted in due time.

The campaign for living an Eco-friendly lifestyle has never been so intense compared to how it was in the previous years. One definite reason for this is because we can now obviously see the earth’s deterioration and feel its impact on our lives. Where else could there be the best place to start green living but right in our own homes.

For the exterior of the house there are Eco-friendly construction or building materials that can alternatively used to create an Eco-friendly home. As for the interior, there are of course some green alternative such as Eco-friendly home furniture and decorations. Going green for furniture could be done in three possible means. First is to buy used home pieces. Second is to create your own pieces and choose organic and green materials. Third is to buy brand new sets which are guaranteed to be made from Eco-friendly materials.

Whichever of the three is chosen, there are some guidelines to keep in mind so as to ensure that that the furniture will really be a contribution for a greener earth. Thrift stores are generally selling low cost items for the home, some are pre-used home furniture and furnishings. Other places where second hand home furniture may be bought are garage sales and antique shops.

Most furniture for the home is made of wood. However, look for a kind of wood that is quick to grow compared to other trees like mango or bamboo or other kinds of woods which comes with certification from the Forest Stewardship Council or FSC. This FSC is a nonprofit group that promotes preservation of all forests worldwide and sets healthy wood standard for use in the industry. Recycling is always a good alternative when it comes to greener living at home or in any other areas. When it comes to home furniture, there are times when a new furniture is not at all needed. Sometimes all the furniture needs is repainting and refurbishing and it will again look like new.

Choose a paint or varnish that is non-toxic, add a few pieces of new and highlighting hardware like knobs. Upholstering is also another means to make the furniture look brand new. Use seat covers that are made or organic cloth and fiber instead of leather. Vintage cloths would be nice to cast a classic interior home style. Leather seem like a good option when it comes to durability for it will definitely last long. However, various elements in the environment are affected with the processing of leather. Leather comes from animals pastured and allowed to graze in cleared forests. The raw material needs to be processed in factories thereby consuming energy and fuel. So leather is not a good option for Eco-friendly home furniture.

Buying local produces is also a helpful way in living a green lifestyle. There are stores nearby that produces, creates and makes their own furniture pieces out of locally grown materials like bamboo. Buying local product also lessens the cost and the need for shipping fees and fuel costs.

In fashion history, there are few brands like UGG in terms of legend of a twist. This branded boot achieved some notoriety during the world wars when air force aviators searched for cozy boots on their cold flights in high altitude. Once called ugs, uggs, ug, or ugg, these branded boots now become a hit on the fashion arena. Trendsetters are tripping over themselves to grab a pair to signify their sensible fashion tastes. Regardless of age, occupation, sex, nobody can just turn around seeing a pair of Ugg.

Search through the fashion market, a large number of UGG boot styles are available, ranging from waterproof sheepskin styles to knit designs. In this branded lineup, the Classic Tall boot is characteristic with various patterns, while embracing the freezing feet with extreme comfort and excellent traction. Ranging from romantic flowers to marbled prints and solid colors, the patterns of this mainstay of the UGG classic collection enable a multitude of options for different style statement. However, these boots are never known out of the Australian boundaries until the surfing crazy in the 1960s. When swimmers and surfers across the ocean gathered on the coastline of Australia, seeing local surfers wearing some big shafts all the time, they noted that and also took to wearing them in public and carried them along when they were en route.

Since then, these boots became more popular out of Australia and even gained worldwide exposure. The debut of this branded downright sheepskin footwear really shocked the western world and there were some fashion conscious people parading to ask it banned. Although it is not a plain sailing, UGG boots have finally won the hearts of the world with their incomparable comfort and now they are considered as a must-have for any stylish winter wardrobe.

Generally speaking, ugg boots are styled for casual wear. That is to say, they can go great with your favorite jeans. Actually these branded sheepskin boots have a versatile performance in terms of fashion expression. They can dress up most outfits from your closet. However, the best bet would be skirts and colored leggings, denim jeans and tights. To be more fashionable and chic, various decorative yet functional designs are added on this classic boot construction, which is also the precious heritage from ancient Aussie.

Sleek and unique, the most popular UGG sheepskin boots are blend of function and fashion to help you withstand the harsh weather in winter. Coming in oodles of styles and colors, it is hard to keep track of them all. The men’ s versions of this brand come in more basic, classic hues and styles but for women, the possibilities are endless in terms of hues and designs.

Now owned by an American company, Deckers Outdoor Corporation, UGG Australia dominates the fashion trend when it comes to winter footwear. Nothing would be short of trendy tastes with any pair of this branded sheepskin boots. A light-hearted winter will be felt!

The green revolution is slowly but surely taking root in the construction industry like in all other arenas of modern life. Today world awareness of global warming and environmental issues becomes common knowledge and all around the world people are starting to act on this very critical problem in many ways, and as we shall see, the most immediate way to adapt good “Green Habits” is at our home. We don’t need to go out there and fight with all the big destructive “Red industries” such as the petroleum industry, to save our precious planet, but rather we can do it quietly yet effectively with green design and construction of our home. More then ever the old saying “charity begins at home” proves to be right, only now a days this charity can have far reaching ramifications that can benefit also our big home – our planet.

Green construction will become the convention as more and more ecological regulations and laws supervising the industrial sector are mandated. The cities of the future will be completely self sustainable in terms of energy consumption, and architects will need to follow strict green design and construction criteria. As a matter of fact, most of the technology for environmental friendly construction already exists and it is only a question of time until we see it being implemented on a regular basis in home and building design.

General contractors too will need to reassess their approach to home improvement and remodeling, putting Eco friendly concepts on green construction to use on every job they do. For instance, recycling of old materials from the job site is completely easy to do with huge benefits to the environment in terms of waist control and reduction. Builders and general contractors only need to do a small attitude revision and a little learning to upgrade and take part in this global change of going green.

The industrial revolution that started 150 years ago brought advances but also marked the beginning of dangers down slope to the environment. Now is the time to start using technologies that can work harmoniously with the wonderful world we live in without compromising our quality of life. Smart green design and construction is the way to go and general contractor and re-modelers as well as home owners are obligated to consider how to implement green construction technologies and products on every remodeling project, small or big!

The rise of fast food restaurants in the world is a current phenomenon. McDonald’s was the first major chain, and it stood unchallenged for many years providing inexpensive fast food and an entertainment experience. The market exploded suddenly, with a numerous variety of franchises spreading to the reaches of North America and eventually to the world. Although the fast food restaurant is a product of modern culture, it has remarkable similarities to church. This may sound like an outrageous statement, but consider the likeness of their history, beginning with the official Catholic Church which “stood unchallenged for many years”; then numerous other denominations were created. Today, churches and fast food restaurants have an easily recognizable physical structure and a set of consistent routines and procedures. They also both teach desirable values through their interaction with society.

Churches are easily recognized by their outward appearance: some are very ornate stone with spires, bells and stain glassed windows, while others have a simpler or conservative construction. Each denomination has a distinct appearance that is duplicated in the towns and cities of North America; likewise, restaurants are easily recognizable. Even a child can spot the ‘Golden Arches’ of a McDonald’s from a distance. Just as there are numerous flavors of churches, there are also many different fast food franchises, that offer a customized menu and atmosphere. Each restaurant has an individual style, but they are all colorful, stylish buildings with bright, large windows.

The inside of franchised restaurants are decorated in the same style, just like in churches of the same denomination. There are standard decorating and furniture by franchise or denomination. For example, churches have seating in a main hall or sanctuary where sermons are received. In a Catholic Church there will be wooden pews in rows, whereas in a Brethren Church there will be modern cushioned chairs, placed in an arrangement of sections and rows. Likewise, all fast food franchises have fixed seating of tables, chairs, and bench seating, but each has its own manner and style of arranging the seating. Inside or out, fast food restaurants and churches are easily recognized by their physical appearance.

Both institutions have predictable routines and procedures that are followed by the people who go there. When going to a church service, you are greeted by an usher; likewise, when going to a fast food restaurant you are greeted by a server. Both can be visited alone, with family or with friend, and offer a social aspect as well. During both social experiences, you will consume food and drink. During the church service you will take communion, bread and wine, and during your restaurant experience you will eat a meal of your choice. One feeds the body, while the other feeds the soul.

Routines will vary by denomination or franchise, but will be consistent in each. For example, all church services involve singing, preaching, offering, and praying, but the order and style will vary by denomination. A Baptist Church service generally begins with a couple hymns and an opening prayer. Then announcements, special music, and scripture reading before the sermon. Sermon. Closing prayer and/or hymn. It’s a predictable experience. Attending a Catholic Mass will be different from a Baptist service, but it will be equally predictable each week.

Likewise, going to McDonald’s involves getting in line at the counter, ordering your food, taking your tray to your table while picking up napkins, ketchup, straws, etc., on the way, eating, and cleaning up your own mess. Then kids can play, while the adults relax. No matter what McDonald’s you visit the experience will be the same. Going to Burger King provides relatively the same experience, but the food, atmosphere, and play items will vary. You could be dropped into a church or fast food restaurant blindfolded, and it’s absolutely certain that you’ll know what’s expected of you when the blindfold is removed!

Finally, both churches and fast food restaurants teach values through their respective institutions. Churches teach biblical values for how people should live their lives. “For the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness,,,… and self control” is an often quoted verse that names virtuous qualities for people to develop in themselves. There are also many parables that teach about making right decisions. Beyond believing in God, Jesus and the sacrifice of the cross, people are encouraged to strive for good qualities so that they can be good people.

Fast food restaurants teach values, although it is done more implicitly. They encourage cleanliness and responsibility by expecting people to clean up after themselves. The words “Thank You” on the garbage receptacles are an encouragement to dispose of your waste instead of leaving it on the table. Kindness is also exemplified through their advertising slogans. Dairy Queen has trademarked the slogan, “We treat you right.” McDonald’s uses the slogans, “We like to see you smile” and “The smiles are free.” These are feel good, positive statements that encourage the consumer to respond in kind.

Both institutions are involved in charity, collecting money for worthy causes that will help people. Churches collect money through collections to offer programs to the people in their community, while fast food restaurants provide change receptacles at the cash where you can donate to various charities. These are ways that both institutions teach values to the people who frequent them.

Although there are many striking similarities between churches and fast food restaurants, there are also differences. While church is offered at fixed times during the week, fast food restaurants have lengthy and flexible hours. It’s very convenient to eat dinner quickly, inexpensively, and without the work of preparing it. Church services are offered at fixed times and it’s unlikely you will get out of there quickly. As well, going to church is meant to meet a spiritual need, while going to a fast food restaurant is meant to meet a physical need. At the restaurant you are feeding your body, but at church you are feeding your soul. Attending church helps people maintain a balanced life, while going to fast food restaurants merely provides an unhealthy meal, which contributes to an unbalanced diet.

One experience is free, but the other has a cost. You can willingly give a donation or politely decline during offering, but at any fast food chain you will not be given food unless you pay. Fast food restaurants are money making ventures, in contrast to the non-profit nature of churches. The restaurant owner offers this food and service to make a living; whereas, the minister or priest is collecting money to use for the physical or spiritual service of others. It may be argued that the church overseer also receives a salary, but idealistically the salary is given for self-less service and not personal gain.

I have presented this comparison to a variety of different people over the last few years. Curiously, the initial reaction of most people was to adamantly argue against the idea that these institutions were similar. The main reason for their persistent protesting was that they thought it was heresy to make this comparison – between the modern, pagan fast food establishments and rituals and the long-standing Christian churches whose establishment and rituals’ purpose is to reunite the human race with God. For many people, the comparison becomes intensely personal and they feel that it’s wrong.

Overall, there is a sense of strangeness in the similarities that exist between fast food restaurants and churches. The remarkable likeness between the two should not be surprising as they were an invention of people who have been raised in a church-going society. Whether they are active, religious church goers or not, they cannot help but be implicitly affected by this pervasive institution. People are comfortable with predictability; thus each familiar experience, whether in church or a fast food restaurant, is like an old familiar shoe.

“Green construction” is the hottest term in construction right now, but what does it exactly mean? “The practice of creating healthier and more resource-efficient models of construction, renovation, operation, maintenance and demolition” is how the Environmental Protection Agency defines it. Experts say that green construction is not only environment friendly but also has the additional perks of being healthier for ourselves and is highly cost effective as well. The term ‘sustainable development’ is also used for green construction meaning our use of the environment’s resources without jeopardizing its use for the future generations.

At the commercial and industrial level green construction may include anything ranging from water free urinals to making own electricity, but small home owners who would like to follow the path of green construction are often stumped about how to go about it. What can be installed and how much can it save? Who defines green anyway? These are the questions that we must provide answers to, to spread awareness about it.

This new concept has helped attend to one of the gravest threat that modern humanity is facing. The increasing population is consuming more and more resources which are bound to run out- and soon too if some check and balance is not maintained. There is only so much recycling and waste management that one can do. Bigger steps need to be taken and eliminating waste production during construction will be one such step. Green construction can be one step for man but it will be one giant leap for humanity. It is a powerful solution to our problems, but is still not being used to its full potential.

The green revolution is slowly but surely nesting itself in the construction industry like in all other areas of modern life. Today world awareness of global warming and environmental issues becoming common knowledge has made it mandatory for each and every individual to make an effort at his own level. Perhaps the easiest way to fulfill that responsibility is to adapt the habit of green construction at our homes. We do not need to go out there and fight a war against the big bad bullies of the petroleum industry; we can do the same quite effectively by starting with green construction in our own homes. More than ever the old saying, “charity begins at home” proves to be right, though nowadays this saying has more serious ramifications if not implemented.

Apart from personal responsibility, as awareness spreads green construction will become the convention as more and more rules and regulations supervising the protection of the environment are being implemented. The world of the future will be completely self-sustainable if the objectives of green construction are implemented in their true sense. To be precise the technology for it already exists, it is just a matter of implementing it which will be not only beneficial for the environment but will also help you economically as well as for your health.

Energy costs are skyrocketing and climate change is a legitimate threat. With traditional energy resources depleting at an alarming rate, it is imperative that we begin utilizing green concepts into our construction technology and building maintenance. It should be our goal as a responsible society to become energy independent and self-sufficient as soon as possible.

Taking measures to increase energy efficiency should not be thought of as a future endeavor. The time to begin modernizing our office buildings and commercial facilities is now. Building designers and architects have come up with amazing ways to support green development and healthy lifestyles from within small towns to expansive cities. Builders and planners are now on board with constructing facilities that meet or exceed LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. With new green technology being developed every day, new energy efficient and LEED certified buildings are going up at a monumental rate.

Wind and solar power are just two ways that a new green building can be energy independent. Clean solar or wind energy can power entire city blocks, not just the building where the instruments are installed. It is easy to see how a large commercial building has an impact on the surrounding community. By installing solar panels or wind turbines, a modern skyscraper can be a positive force for change to the entire city. When one giant leads by example and demonstrates how beneficial – economically and environmentally – operating a green facility is, it won’t be long before the entire city follows suit.

Obviously, not all buildings are new construction, and no one will tear down a perfectly good building in order to build a more efficient one with new green technology. But there are some steps that can be taken that will make even the oldest commercial building operate more energy efficiently.

Taking measures to decrease water waste is just one way a building can save money and have a positive impact on the environment. Installing tank-less hot water heaters and water-regulating faucets and toilets will have a significant impact on the overall amount of money saved in utility bills. Other steps a building maintenance department can take are making sure the HVAC system is operating correctly and replacing all incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient fluorescent ones. Cleaning and maintaining a building’s HVAC system will keep it operating at optimum efficiency, ensuring clean airflow and ventilation, while swapping out traditional light bulbs for fluorescent ones will drastically reduce electric bills and electricity consumption.

By incorporating green standards and green construction techniques into our commercial buildings, we will all enjoy the benefits of lower utility bills and clean, renewable energy. By reducing carbon emissions and water waste, we are creating an environment that the entire global community can enjoy for many years to come.

Industrial vs Non-industrial Plasma machines

Plasma cutting technology is a widely used process that has gained widespread popularity for its ability to cut most forms of metal and is quite favored for its simplicity in use. It’s versatility with its range of capabilities and applications have made it a universally accepted metal cutting process.

Non-industrial Plasma

Non industrial plasmas are best suited for garage users of steel fabrication who require plasma cutting perhaps 2-3 hours per day 3-4 days per week. A plasma in this class is best suited to small operations that work on mostly customised jobs. Non industrial plasma units are much cheaper to purchase than industrial plasmas but cannot tolerate the ongoing high volume that an industrial Plasma is designed for. Air plasmas and lower end conventional mechanised plasmas generally fall into the category of non-industrial plasmas.

Industrial Plasma

Industrial plasmas refer to plasma units geared towards high volume large production facilities that have enough work to elicit a machine to operate a full eight hour shift five days per week. Plasmas in this class usually can operate up to three eight hour shifts per day, seven days per week if necessary. If your operation fits into this category then an industrial plasma is not only preferable, but an absolute necessity.

Higher end Conventional plasma and High Definition Plasmas fall into the category of industrial plasmas. With modern day advances however High definition is generally the plasma of choice due to the higher levels of automation they provide as well as the higher level of cutting proficiency they are capable of achieving.

Advantages of Industrial Plasma (high definition plasma)

• Lower operating Costs

• Oxygen and multi-gas capability for improved

• Faster Cut speeds

• Improved weldability

• Significantly longer consumable life

• Thicker cutting capability

• Quick disconnect torch

• 100% duty cycle

• Hi-Definition technology

• Best cut quality including squarer edges and rounder holes

• Mark, cut and bevel with the same consumables

• More process options for optimizing cut quality

• Remote (CNC) gas switching capability

• Patent TruHole technology for best plasma cut holes – unique to Hypertherm high definition plasmas

• Hdi thin stainless technology

• Optimal gas mixing for mid-range stainless steel

• Higher pierce capability

• Much higher automation

• Higher resale value

• Much longer life on machine

• Significantly higher production capability

• Significantly higher computer aided design capability

Essential components of an Industrial plasma cutting machine

What is most essential to a plasma machines ability to provide continuous quality cutting are the ‘Controllers’ of a plasma unit. A well-engineered, well-constructed control unit is essential to providing consistent high level cutting precision and quality, carried out at high speeds over long hours. A poor to average control unit is incapable of achieving consistent precision especially over long production intervals where it is likely to overheat or break down.

Controllers consist of five main components: Power source, controller, a lifter, drives and servo motors.

Power Source

It is very important to get a renown plasma source for your machine to achieve a high performance and reliability to deliver consistent cut quality, high productivity, lowest operating costs whilst lasting you a long time for your business.

Lifter

The lifter is an essential component providing precise height control of the plasma torch. Utilizing a quality THC height sensor will reduce the cut to cut cycle time (up to 60%), provides better cut quality due to proper assembly of torch height, savings on power and longer consumable life.

In addition the quality torch height controllers automatically adjusts voltage for proper torch height to optimize cut quality and consumable life. Traditional torch height controls require an operator to periodically adjust arc voltage to ensure proper cut height.

Control

The controller needs to have all the process expertise built in resulting in flexibility and ease of use for the end user. A quality controller has a digital I/O sercos system that will deliver reliable motion system quality and will improve the cut quality and productivity.

The software should allow flexibility and ease of use for the end user, so a person with little or no experience on the controller can cut like a seasoned professional in as little as a day.

High End Servo Drives and motors

High end drives like Bosch help ensure high stiffness essential for accuracy, minimal backlash and easy adjustment. The servo drives receive command signals that amplify and transmit electric current to the servo motor in order to produce motion proportional to command signals.

Their main advantage over DC and AC motors used in non-industrial plasmas is the addition of motor feedback which can be used to detect unwanted motion or to ensure the accuracy of a command motion. Servos in constant speed changing use typically have a better lifecycle than DC/AC motors and can also act as a brake by shutting off generated electricity from the motor itself.

Bosch Servo motors

Bosch servo motors allow for precise control of angular position, velocity and acceleration. It consists of a sophisticated motor coupled to a sensor for position feedback.

Stepper motors typically used in low end CNC machines provide no feedback encoder as drive signal specifies the number of steps of movement to rotate. This lack of feedback limits performance as the stepper motor can only drive a load that is well within its capacity otherwise missed steps under load may lead to positioning errors.

Low rails

Industrial plasma’s usually feature low rails secured to the ground to ensure the highest level of stability driven by helical drives to provide optimal accuracy during the rapid fast moving of the plasma beam during long production intervals.

Table design rails usually seen on non-industrial plasmas won’t have the same level of rigidity and are thus less suited to high volume rapid pace production. In addition with rails built onto the cutting table and so close to the plasma, with constant long duration cutting the rails are at risk of distorting in shape (over time) due to the constant exposure to heat.

CAD / CAM software

To greatly improve the efficiency of production in a high volume settings you require a more advanced software to provide a much wider range of functions which greatly enhance the productivity of that operation. Using a more advanced software unit can provide some of the following advantages just a to name a few:

• Import CAD and CNC files

• Separate multiple parts from a single CNC file

• Group Parts into clusters for nesting

• Automatic and manual nest sequencing

• Control cut directions and cut sequencing on part by part basis

The addition of a quality software allows a much higher level of automation, significantly reducing key punching and is user friendly enough to allow even the most novice operator to cut parts like a seasoned professional.

Cutting table

For the purposes of industrial fabrication it is essential that a cutting table is well constructed, heavy and durable to meet the demands of an industrial operation. In most non-industrial plasma units, cutting tables are constructed from thin sheet metal and alluminium castings to reduce the cost of the overall unit. The problem with this is that due to the thin, light construction, the table can shake or wobble, adversely affecting the accuracy of a cut part. Furthermore over long production periods, due to the ongoing exposure of heat generated from the plasma these tables are likely to distort over time.

The durable robust construction of an industrial plasma table is essential to give the table stability for the highest level of accuracy and to prevent heat distortion.

Industrial plasma units usually offer the choice of a water or dry table with a dust collection unit. Water tables are cheaper to purchase but require much more ongoing maintenance and cleaning which over time becomes more expensive than using a dry table with a fume extraction unit. In an industrial environment both are acceptable.

Non-industrial plasmas usually come with water tables once again to reduce overall the cost of the unit though some are offered with a dry table and fan which is only sufficient in removal of dust and fumes in a light fabrication setting.

Having a Support team

The purchase of a Plasma machine whilst being an expensive investment can provide enormous returns to any business where there is a demand for work, the correct facilities are utilized and they are maintained with the right level of care.

It is essential therefore that a full support team is available to service your machine for ongoing maintenance, in the incident of a breakdown or where any other form of technical support is required.

In any high volume industrial environment any down time can translate into large losses in profit so it is important to have a local service team, but more to the point a team who knows the full operation of the machine from bolt to bolt, to shorten the time required to fix the machine, though also to provide phone support for quick fixes that do not cost any call out fees.

Why Non-Industrial Plasmas are so much cheaper to purchase than Industrial Plasmas

Many first time buyers of Plasma machines may look into purchasing a non-industrial plasma as a form of entry level use not fully understanding the full capabilities or limitations they have especially when compared to industrial level plasmas.

A cheaper price tag is often the motivator to go with a non-industrial plasma but in the long run once users have been able to thoroughly compare the two in performance, reliability and productivity it becomes very clear why non-industrial plasmas are so much cheaper.

In most situations fabricators who start out using non-industrial plasmas find with ongoing use that their functional capacity is very limited and with further research and exposure to industrial plasmas that they eventually upgrade to one as they provide much greater productivity, more flexibility in use and better quality cut parts with consistent precision. In addition industrial plasmas have a much greater lifespan, are a lot more durable and are built to handle a much higher degree of volume equating to far better value.

Many manufacturers of non-industrial plasma machines try to capitalize on the lower end cheap market by providing only the bare essentials of plasma cutting. Many of the reasons they can offer a plasma machine at a cheaper price is due to reasons including:

– Often software is not included in the package and in many cases users need to integrate a separate laptop/PC to operate the CNC cutting function. Even when software is provided usually they only provide very basic functions.

-Table and beam are constructed of thin light constructed sheet metal, not suited to heavy duty fabrication and are highly likely to distort in shape over time, due to ongoing heat exposure generated from the plasma. Rails are also built onto the table rather than being bolted into the ground.

This type of design does not provide the stability required to support quality precision during fast rapid movement due to the lack of rigidity and lightness of the table construction.

-Use of DC/AC motors and stepper motors as alternatives to drives and servo motors translate to limited performance, slower cutting, inconsistent poorer precision and positioning, slower acceleration and velocity.

-Fume extraction units are not included and another way to reduce the price on non-industrial units. A water table or dry table with fan are usually what are provided, though with light fabrication this is usually sufficient.

-Cheaper components are normally incorporated that don’t have any real brand reputation for performance or reliability.

-Aside from the above non-industrial plasmas can generally operate perhaps 2-3 hours per day 4-5 days per week and have an average lifespan of about 3-5 years.

Conclusion

For those considering the purchase of a plasma unit it is very important to be clear on the capability of the unit and whether or not that unit can meet all their requirements not just that of a single part.

Plasma machines have been designed to provide varying levels of functionality with a price range to match. Industrial plasma machines are logically more expensive but when the components are thoroughly broken down, one can clearly see that the cost is commensurate with the performance and capability, and in retrospect this is also true of non-industrial plasma machines. When matched in the suitable environment, business owners often see a return on investment within 2-3 years and as smaller businesses grow, industrial plasmas become a very natural progression.

Astonishing is the fact that while environment degradation has been included in the official list of ten threats by High Level Threat Panel of United Nations; we are getting more careless about this phenomenon. We have increased the use of toxic products that reduce the sustainability of the environment. Are we not mindful of how this carelessness can harm the life of humans and wildlife? If we are, why don’t we try to practice ways that make our environment sustainable?

There are several ways to avoid causing further damage to the environment. One of the easy ways to protect environment is by practicing green construction or green building. For those who are unaware of this term, let me give you a flavor of what is it all about. Green construction is the simple process of designing building in ways that make efficient use of resources and conserve energy. If you have cooling units installed in your homes you are going against green construction. Can’t you replace it with ceiling fans and large windows which will keep your home naturally cool and will use less energy than giant sized and heavy powered cooling units? The point is to conserve energy and make your home a healthier place to live in. Along with saving energy, it will save your cost as well.

Once you have made the structure of your house green, an additional change you can bring to add further value to your house is hardwood installation. Especially made for people who are prone to environmental allergies, hardwood installation is a byword for cleanliness, shine and elegance. It makes your interior cozy and warm. No more would have to spend a lot of time on cleaning food spills, for hardwood installation can be cleaned with simple mop or vacuums. It has replaced all other types of flooring because it is durable and easy to maintain. However it is expensive and thus it is out of reach for those who deem costly living an extravagance. Moreover this type of wooden flooring is more vulnerable to moisture. Even a little contact with water can decay hardwood installation.

But all pros and cons considered green construction and hardwood installation definitely enhances the value and functionality of the house. With the level of environment degradation reaching fearful heights, all of us need to practice green construction to avoid long term costs. Green construction increases resource efficiency, reduce the need for maintenance and saves the energy. Similarly hardwood installation complements green construction in its purpose of making the house Eco-friendly and maintenance free. The next time you plan to renovate or build your house don’t forget to make these two styles a part of your construction scheme.

Introduction

Developing countries are characterized in one way by shrinking economies. Sierra Leone is one such country that despite government and donor support, education has been a major challenge. The situation has been worsened, due to the fact that libraries have been neglected. According to the African Development Bank (ADB) Sierra Leone Country Office (2011), the total funds provided for education by the ADB/ADF finances up to 2010, was about US$ 22 million. The project supported the construction of Ninety Eight (98) primary schools, Fifty Four (54) Junior Secondary Schools (JSS), Eight (8) Vocational Skills Training Centres and Twelve (12) duplex housing blocks for teachers. The project also provided training for Four Thousand and Fifty (4,050) teachers. Teacher manuals were also made available. However, nothing was ever made available for library development. This neglect of libraries, means that libraries in Sierra Leone with limited resources, have to work together in order to meet the information needs of their users. One library may not be able to effectively and suitably meet the information needs of all its users. Library cooperation is therefore, urgently needed.

Library Scene in Sierra Leone

The country has all the different types of libraries; they range from public, academic, special to school libraries. In addition to these are information and resource or documentation centres that provide library and information services. Furthermore, there are museums, such as the National and the Peace Museums, and the National Archive which also provide information services.

However, the Sierra Leone Library Board (SLLB) which was established by an Act of Parliament in 1959 serves as the domain of the provision of library and information services in the country. It functions as both the National and a Public library. To date it has a Central library and headquarters located in Freetown, Regional branches in Provincial headquarter towns, and branches in all District towns, totaling twenty one (21) libraries [One (1) central and headquarter library, three (3) regional libraries, sixteen (16) branch libraries, and two (2) sub-branches].

Libraries in Sierra Leone are therefore, institutions for the storage and dissemination of information; are for users; they provide users with guides and other finding lists; they provide adequate access to the documents or records users may wish to consult; they have subject arrangement; and they are cost-effective.

Library Cooperation

The term cooperation describes the joint action of two or more parties for mutual benefit. Library cooperation means exchanging cataloguing records, building complementary collections, exchanging library materials by inter-library loan and document delivery service, joint purchasing of library materials or automated system, providing services to each others’ users. Library cooperation is also described as an agreement, combination, or group of libraries formed to undertake an enterprise beyond the resources of any one member.

There are different types of cooperative activities and some of the most popular activities are reciprocal borrowing, union catalogues or lists, photocopying services, cooperative reference service, delivery services, cooperative acquisition arrangements, subject specialization in collection development, centralized cataloguing and card production, as well as central storage of materials.

Burgett, Harr and Phillips (2004) asserted that there is evidence that cooperation among libraries to share resources goes back to a long way, at least to the first half of the 13th century, when monasteries developed what we would today recognize as union catalogs of manuscripts to aid in their scholarly activities. Musana (1991) indicated that information resource sharing has been in existence as long as libraries and other types of information services. The existence of a library is itself a form of cooperation. Many libraries came into existence because a group of individuals with a common desire and aspiration wanted to put a collection of materials together for use by the group members. Historically, the driving force behind the evolution of resource sharing concept was the desire to satisfy the felt needs of the user population. Earlier, each library was an entity, serving or trying to serve the needs of its own users and purchasing materials to meet their primary needs.

Beenham and Harrison (1990) however noted that a combination of circumstances made it increasingly difficult for an individual library to be self-sufficient. These circumstances include:

a tremendous increase in knowledge and a corresponding growth in publishing;

the spread of education from primary to university level which lead to greater and more diverse demands on the public library services by a much more literate public;

the advance of technology with its effect on industry and commerce and the necessity for employers and employees to develop new skills and techniques; and

increased opportunities for travel and international economic cooperation, which demand up-to-date information about foreign countries.

Existing Library Cooperation in Sierra Leone

There has been increased pressure for libraries in Sierra Leone to cooperate, including plans to create networks thereby making way for resources to be available to users. As such what has obtained is as follows:

Lending of materials – libraries lend materials to each other officially and unofficially to help their users;

Donations – large libraries donate to smaller libraries materials mostly books for their users;

Photocopying – these are available in most libraries. The lending library will copy the needed material and send a copy to the requesting library without having to send the original;

Exchange of cataloguing data – cataloguing data is given to other libraries. The Sierra Leone Library Board (SLLB) provides its data to school libraries that cannot do this technical work properly.

There have been some benefits with these kinds of cooperation existing in the country:

Availability and access to information – there has been significant reach to information by users, since other libraries’ resources can be tapped from;

Lower cost – funds are saved due mainly to the fact that some expensive materials are not purchased as long as they are accessed in another library;

Experience sharing – the exchanging of staff and information provides a platform for learning from each other, especially with cataloguing data; and

Collection development – each library tends to build its collection to the maximum point, narrowing the focus, and at the end building a strong collection.

Notwithstanding, the real benefits that such cooperation should bring about have not been fully realized. Thus, there are certain steps that libraries should take to make this workable.

Building the Infrastructure of Cooperation

The following are essential steps to be taken into account for an efficient cooperation between libraries in Sierra Leone if significant achievements are to be made.

Ensure common understanding and trust. There must be an established better working relationship among and between libraries where common understanding and trust are built up. A continued interaction and exposure of one another resources must be maintained. This can be done by sharing of expertise and experience, signing of Memoranda of Understanding, dialogue to allay fears, and to respect what each party can offer. Exchange of staff if necessary must be done.

Learn from advanced libraries. Furthermore, lessons can be learn from how other national and international cooperation is being conducted. Cooperation is not a day event but something that must be encouraged and built upon. There must be room for trial and error as well as correction of past mistakes.

Management must provide the leadership. Each library management must take upon itself to lead the process successfully. There must be the political will and the willingness to share resources, as well as prioritizing the move towards cooperation. Management must be willing to make positive compromises to reach the desired goal.

Networking and collaboration. The move towards cooperation should not be a one man show. Cooperation can consist of voluntary agreement among libraries, or it can be imposed on libraries by Library Laws or by responsible ministries that fund libraries. It is essential that the participant libraries be willing to work together towards common goals.

Provision of funds. One of the benefits of cooperation is to save cost. However, every library must provide funds for the processes involved. This is particularly so for processing and technical services functions. These must be taken care by individual libraries. As such funding should be provided.

State intervention. In the context of the developing countries state intervention would be called for to enable coordination of a nation’s total library and information resources and ensure adequate funding. This is particularly important given that on the whole libraries in Sierra Leone do not have large enough capital base of their own to invest in such equipment as computer hardware and software, and telecommunications. However, state control must not be allowed to exceed co-ordination as this may to some extent have an effect on the zeal, initiative and the goodwill of participating libraries, institutions and the individual professionals.

The Challenges in Building the Infrastructure of Cooperation

In spite of the benefits accrued in cooperation, there are real and perceived challenges, which, unless properly dealt with, could minimize the chances of even the best conceived scheme taking off. In Sierra Leone, these are:

Overcoming the culture of hoarding – the culture of greed and selfishness that has eaten up the very fabric of society. This has affected even library practice. Libraries are to amass information for the general good of the society.

Limited collections – where participating libraries have not built up their collection to a minimum standard to allow for exchange, they are to grow their collections to some measurable status to ensure fair participation.

ICTs infrastructure – the marked lack of sufficient Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) is a worrisome issue for cooperation in this 21st century.
Purchasing and installation of ICTs is very crucial, as well as the education and training of staffs for use.

Staffing – some of the participating libraries have untrained and unqualified staff as a major obstacle. Also, most staff are concerned about their status, efficiency, job security, salaries, and autonomy or independence, and this has affected the synergy. If the fears of staff are to be dispelled through proper sensitization and education, capacity building also must be undertaken.

Management – management must take decisive steps towards cooperation.

In conclusion, information to libraries is as money to banks; it is an indispensable input in the development process of the nation. However, to be effective it has to be optimally available and accessible from every corner if possible. Library cooperation if properly planned and executed offers a solution to a lot of problems faced by libraries, librarians and other information professionals in developing countries as Sierra Leone. Valls (1983) has provided the last words, “cooperation between information centres and the co-ordination of efforts needed to efficiently share resources implies the existence of an infrastructure linking the centres to one another.” This library infrastructure must be built up as it would assist in fostering self-help, exchange information, change society, improve productivity and work life, and share resources.

One of the most explosive industries over the last five years has been in sustainable economic development. Automobile companies are offering smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles along with fleets of hybrid fuel vehicles for environmentally conscious consumers. Furniture retailers are beginning to offer chairs, couches, and tables made of wood grown in responsible forestry preserves. Grocers, restaurants, and major retailers are offering organic food and clothing for customers who want to spend their money more responsibly. However, the most lucrative aspect of the green movement is in green construction. From energy efficient homes to buildings that run on a minimal amount of electricity, billions of pounds are invested annually into green construction.

Graduates with backgrounds in architecture, design, and management should consider breaking into this promising field. The green construction movement is only in its infancy, ensuring long careers for young professionals with the foresight to apply for these jobs. Construction companies of all sizes are beginning to expand their green construction operations, requiring graduates and young professionals interested in learning about this socially responsible field. As well, the possibilities are endless for professionals in the UK who invest their time in this industry. After all, most new commercial and residential buildings and additions will be done with environmental concerns at the forefront.

The skills needed by graduates in the green construction industry are varied and a successful skill set is still developing in this young industry. However, green construction firms are looking for creative, hard working, and committed graduates for design and management jobs. Graduates who can think outside of the box and provide innovative building designs will be successful in the green construction field. Managers, designers, and architects alike need to demonstrate a strong work ethic and an ability to sacrifice some of their time in order to ensure the most environmentally friendly buildings possible. Finally, everyone involved in green construction needs to be committed to the underlying idea of building homes and offices that meet their client’s specific needs.

Graduates who enter the green construction field will find a lot of competition but great financial incentives for successful work. The field of applicants is still small for these positions, giving committed graduates the opportunity to showcase their abilities to hiring managers. Once these professionals get their foot in the door, they will receive between 28,000 and 40,000 pounds per year depending on position. As well, many green construction employees receive stock options through their company which provide a nice bonus on an annual basis.

Whenever, we see an advertisement in daily newspaper referring to Apartments available in 13 Lakhs to 14 Lakhs, we do not try to understand more about it. People rush to the Apartment office or the site office. I myself was very surprised, when I went to the Mero City Apartment office in Hattiban. The site was packed with visitors cars, as if a wedding reception was going on. Inside the office were around 20 Sales girls. All were busy explaining their apartment features to the customers. In fact, when I asked for the brochure, the number of brochure also had finished. The hall was packed with customers and I could see some bookings were done.

The model apartments and the computer aided 3D movie were in display. People were busy viewing it.

The price range of the Apartment was amazing. The price range of the Mero City Apartment varied from Nrs 1,500,000 for 1 BHK (386.45 sq.ft) to Nrs 4,000,000 for 3 BHK (1013 sq.ft)

Similarly Eastern Apartment by Aayusha Developers a subsidiary of Oriental Builders Pvt. Ltd in Kaushaltar also was a huge attraction for Apartment buyers.

The builders have opened the booking for only 348 of the total 448 apartments. However, they were able to sell 50% of the total booking in just first 5 days. The huge response from the customers surged the developer to call all the 448 units on booking.

Due to the huge demand, the developer requested the interested buyers to fill up an application form along with a cheque of NRs 10,000. The applicant would get the apartment on first come first serve basis.

These are the basic strategies for Developers which was already been implemented by Guna Colony for their sale of their Bhaisepati Apartment. Then, they had opened booking for the Bhaisepati Apartment price starting from 13 Lacks. There was huge respondent to the Apartments in Bhaisepati which was organized in the Real Estate Expo in Bhrikuti Mandap, Kathmandu.

Most of these apartment sizes is ranging from 386.45 sq.ft to 548 sq.ft. The apartment size of 300-500 Sq. ft is very small for a family to live in and are similar to Studio Apartments abroad. These kinds of Apartments can adjust 1/2 people in a family to live in. The Rooms are very tight and no space for adding more luxury items.

The customers must not just make their decision by viewing the 3D Modeled video. The actual room and the customers view before buying the apartment might actually just not match.

Another important factor to decide before making the booking is that the customer must check the background of the Apartment Developers. Normally, we must only trust experienced Apartment Developers. These low cost apartments that are coming up in the market have been raising huge amount of funds from the market for the Proposed Apartment/Housing. The delivery and execution of these apartments is a real challenge and we must wait and see, if they can really develop these projects and their handover to their customer. So far, the construction of any of these low cost apartments has not started yet.

Some established developers claim that the price the low cost apartments are offering is suspicious. Some claim that these low cost apartments are very expensive if one calculates the rate per sq ft. Such small apartment size is not feasible for a family to live in.

The Eastern Apartment is the least expensive with price per sq. ft of Nrs 2,890 followed by The Sun City. The most expensive is the Imperial Court. However the target market for both the apartments is completely different as Imperial Court is a Luxury Condominium.

And when we compare the different apartments, all has different facilities. Some important comparison factors of the facilities for different Apartments are as following:

1. Location of the Apartment
2. Number of Lifts
3. Size of the Balcony
4. Project Land Site Area
5. Size of the swimming pool
6. Open Area
7. Distance from the city
8. Quality of finishing goods and specification
9. Developers profile & Construction company associated

The Apartment buyers must also think in mind the extra facilities the Apartment has. Normally, these apartments will have very poor infrastructures and facilities. They might actually come up with a very small swimming pool & very less open space.

And not to forget is the fact that these low cost apartments come with hidden cost. Mero city Apartment comes with cement flooring. If you want a Parke ting or tiles on the floor, you will have to add all the internal decorative items for the Apartment.

Mero City offers the following features:

* Kitchen: Tiles, Sync

* Flooring: Cemented

* Wall: Distemper

Things you have to add by yourself

1. Mostly, the modular kitchen
2. Bathroom sanitary items
3. Electricity bulbs
4. Flooring Tiles or Parke ting

This will at least cost you Nrs 400,000 to 500,000 for the completion of the Apartment. So the Total cost for the 391 sq.ft Apartment is now Nrs 2,000,000 which actually brings the price per sq.ft for the Apartment to Nrs 5115.

Similar is the case of the Eastern Apartments. The Eastern Apartment comes with no finishing in the bathrooms. The buyers will have to finish the bathroom costs & Tiles which will also cost them minimum extra NRs 400,000 to 500,000 for their flats. This will cost the buyers of Eastern Apartment an average cost per sq ft of Nrs 3,608.

This is actually expensive than some of the other Apartments with better facilities. So the customers must be aware of the concept of the low cost apartment that is coming in the market and not be fooled by the price they are offering. One should always calculate the Rate per sq. ft.

Working with outstanding Phoenix real estate agents is one of the best ways to find the perfect Phoenix homes that will best meet you and your family’s needs. Once a Phoenix realtor understands the type of property you wish to purchase, he or she will apply that criteria when searching every Phoenix real estate listing until the best property matches are found, thus saving you time and money. As you begin settling in, you will have ample opportunities to explore this beautiful city. Phoenix is home to several prominent architects whose talent is on display in remarkable buildings in Phoenix that they have designed.

Phoenix-based Gould Evans Associates, LC + Wendell Burnett Architects were honored with the 2007 American Institute Honor Awards for Architecture for their design of the Palo Verde Library/Maryvale Community Center owned by the City of Phoenix. The connection of the mind and body was used as a design theme that features two equally sized “volumes,” which are lit at the bottom and top, so you can see the activity going on inside from the outside. The library is housed in one side, and the gymnasium in the other. Care was taken to incorporate “green” building products, including floor tile made from recycled tires and cork, while walls were made from oriented strand board made from recycled wood. Formaldehyde-free insulation was also used.

The award-winning Phoenix architectural firm of richard + bauer Architecture was the design organization that created the Meinel Optical Science Research Building for the University of Arizona in Tucson. Principals James Richard, Kelly Bauer, and Stephen Kennedy’s building features a concrete wall that is covered with red-bronze copper treatment to relate in tone to bricks used on the campus. To give the feeling of a darkroom, openings allow light into the building, and the light plays off the rooms within. For their work on this important building, richard + bauer Architecture were also awarded the 2007 American Institute of Architects Honor Award.

There still occasionally come on the Phoenix market vintage homes designed by Ralph Haver. Haver was a prominent Phoenix architect in the 1950s who made his mark in contemporary-styled single-family homes. His designs often feature window walls, clerestories, beam ceilings, carports rather than garages and a low pitch to the front facing gable roof style.

Probably the most famous architect in American history has his foundation in Scottsdale, and that is Frank Lloyd Wright. Known for organic architecture that allows the building to fit into the context that the land itself provides, Taliesin West in Scottsdale is where Wright had his home, his studio, and was the site of his architectural school. Archives of Wright’s work are housed at the Foundation as well.

A house without furniture often sounds like a flower without fragrance. Furniture takes away the emptiness of a home, and makes it attractive and functional. For those reasons, it’s important to choose the right furniture items that function, add to the appeal, reflect your taste, and provide a great value for the price. It turns out not too many shoppers exhibit satisfaction when they are exploring choices for quality home furniture. One of the major reasons for this dissatisfaction is the lack of priorities that a shopper must set to determine what exactly to look for. Also is there a group of buyers who finds it a nerve-wracking task to select right furniture for their homes out of the multiple choices being offered by internet today.

If you have happened to be facing any of the afore-identified situations, you should seek some guidelines for a better understanding of finding and buying good-value furniture and accessories. Below is brief list of points-to-note to be kept in mind and considered before going on a shopping spree:

Room and requirements: Every house comprises different rooms; the main being living room, drawing room, dining room, guest room, and TV lounge. Each room requires different furniture items for its distinctive classification. For instance, a dining room requires to be filled with a dining table set instead of sofa set whereas a bed room needs to be graced with a dressing-table set instead of a utensil storage cabinet. It is important to determine what room requires what kind of furniture.

Similarly, if you intend to buy a sofa or a cabinet, create an appropriate place for it in your home. A sofa fits well in a living room or a drawing room whereas cabinet should find its way to a bedroom or kitchen depending upon its use.

Furniture replacements: If you decide to redecorate your old home by replacing its furniture with a new line, do it systematically. Choose the living room to begin with, for being the most occupied place of your home. This is where your family members or friends sit, relax, chat and enjoy. Make sure you find and buy living room furniture items in colors and designs that match with the colors of walls and/or floor of your room or house. Once done with your living room, go with the redecoration of a guest room, drawing room, dining room, so on and so forth.

Furniture size: Consider room space before settling on any furniture item. If your room is too large, choose mirrored furniture which will make your room look small.

Wholesale living room furniture: Go for online stores of wholesale furniture where you’ll have more chances to get your favorite furniture pieces at the most competitive prices and get discount deals on your purchases.

A common misconception attributed to cheap furniture is that it is neither durable nor reliable. If truth be written, cheap furniture is the line of furniture that is offered at a cheap price. Quality remains the same though. Hope, you are pretty sure how to choose and buy right furniture for your home now!

Many of you reading this article are thinking to yourselves ‘why travel solo… are you crazy’, while others are reading this in total agreement. Like for all travel needs, individual tastes, interests and goals will be the concern for any person traveling.

For me personally I prefer to travel solo myself but It all boils down to the type of trip you’re taking and what you plan on doing… obviously there are times where group or couple travel is inescapable and is of course still going to be a great experience… all travel is. These times could be team getaways, events such as weddings or corporate and clearly for a romantic getaway or honeymoon where I’ll assume that you would prefer not to travel solo.

Maybe you don’t have a partner or perhaps you didn’t know anyone else you wanted to travel with you… but you know with all your heart you want to go, have to go. Are the people who said no going to stop your travel? If so, why? Is it safety concerns, is It the unknown? Those questions might be on your mind, but think about it this way… doesn’t it make it more exciting? Wouldn’t you feel more accomplished if you did it by yourself?

Let me explain why I travel solo and the reasons why.

Avoid The Drama Of Others

Drama is often inescapable as all people including myself has some sort of drama in their lives. However in my experience below

A few years back I backpacked Europe and after about a week or so met up with a group of friends for roughly a month. In this time the couple traveling with us had a bad break up, which in turn almost severed another relationship. That night while this couple was fighting, bags were snatched, wallets stolen and because of the public outburst questioned by the police… and this was just the beginning of the drama, we still Christmas to get through after this. When the whole group of my friends had left I felt relief and like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

You may not want to travel solo but if you’re single then my recommendation is that you at least don’t travel with a couple, not without at least some other single people there.

Indifference Of Ideas

All travelers have their own ideas of what they want out of their travel and so they should. Compromise can be much easier in a couple and certainly traveling solo but in a group it can be a nightmare. You may want to go to a museum you’ve always wanted to see where as the others in your group want to just hit the pub.

Whoever has the numbers or the dominance will most likely win which puts you in an awkward situation. Yes, you could leave and go the museum by yourself but then what do you friends think of you and say about you later on. You may also not be contactable by phone, being in another country without a sim card which makes it much harder to meet up and find out when others will be back etc.

I remember road trip we took just 2 hours away from home with six guys and we had one of the worst weekends away possible. Some of us wanted to go prawning, others wanted to go somewhere else for fishing and some of us just wanted to hang out at the hotel by the beach and drink. The problem was we were all stubborn and because we only had the one car and two sets of keys it caused arguments left, right and centre.

Living In Close Quarters

When traveling with others, particularly for long periods of time you need to ensure that your travel buddy is someone you could live with in close quarters for however long it is you are traveling. We all have friends that we know that are good friends but you could never live with them, maybe they are messy, maybe they are snappy and the list goes on. If you can’t live with them… what makes you think you can travel with them?

Be Who You Want

A bonus to traveling solo as well is that others you meet along the way and you get to be the person you’ve always wanted to be or at least be able to interact differently with others. I truly believe you meet a lot more people when traveling solo as you have more reason to talk to others and you will meet more like-minded people to you as there are no indifference to ideas of what to do.

These are four of the main reasons why I travel solo but there are many more personal reasons like independence my goal when backpacking Europe was to get out there in the world and do it all myself. Escapism is another big reason for me sometimes with work and the same old routine you just need to escape the daily grind and get in some alone time.

Traveling solo isn’t for everyone and isn’t for all kinds of travel but if you’re after a fulfilling holiday and experiences then there really is nothing like traveling solo. You will not only meet more like-minded people, get to be who you want, gain independence and a sense of fulfillment as well avoid an indifference of ideas, living in close quarters and avoid anyone else drama while you enjoy what you want to do on your dream holiday. This is why I travel solo.

Imagine: millions of students nationwide start their day by getting on and off the school bus. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that year after year, pedestrians who are usually below the age of 19 have died in school bus-related crashes. More school-age pedestrians have been killed between the hours of 3 and 4 p.m. than any other time of day. The NHTSA has even formulated several safety tips for both drivers and children:

Take note of the crosswalk/school zone sign.

 

  • Drivers: This means that during mornings and afternoons, these areas are likely to be crowded with children — some even on their bicycles or in-line skates. All of them are no match to a bus, so extra care in part of the driver is needed.
  • Children: Do what you learned in pre-school: look left, then right to see if vehicles or people are going to pass before crossing the street. If you could, go along with other children/people using the crosswalk.

Learn the “Flashing Signal Light System”that school buses use.

  • Drivers: Alert motorists if you are preparing to/stopping the school bus using the yellow/red light.
  • Children:Just because they are in a stop position does not mean there is no more danger. Take note of the danger zones around a stopped school bus, namely, the front and back (which are the most dangerous zones) and the driver’s side of the bus.

Slow down.

  • Drivers: Be alert around school zones. Young people may be rushing about on their way to class or to meet a parent.
  • Children: No need to rush when getting on or off. Wait until the bus hits a full stop, with the doors wide open before getting in. Use the handrails to avoid falls.

Visibility.

  • Drivers: For a vehicle such as a school bus, you really can’t see what’s directly below you. Be careful before speeding on.
  • Children: When crossing in front of a bus, put a safe distance (say, 10 feet) between the bus and where you plan to cross. Use sidewalks and walkways where you’re sure the driver sees you.

Backing up.

  • Drivers: Be aware if children/bicycles are crossing behind you.
  • Children: Never be the children/children-in-bicycles who cross behind buses.

To enforce traffic safety, the state of Florida has enforced tougher penalties for passing a stopped school bus while loading or unloading children. Previously the fine was $65.00, however now they are required to attend a 4-hour basic driver improvement course. This course explains Florida traffic laws and provides a refresher on defensive driving techniques.

So, for all drivers before you rush to pass a stopped school bus remember that the school bus uses the red flashing lights for a reason. And for pedestrians and children always but safety first and proceed with caution when exiting or entering the bus or in school zones.

When buying for home furniture, there are a lot of tips that you need to be aware of in order to get the best out of the quality and from the price. There are numerous stores that sell furniture for the home and you may get confused on which place is the best for you. It is never recommended to buy the first furniture that you like. Always look for more items and selections first so that you can make sure that what you are buying is the best in the market.

The bedroom is one place in your home that you may want to redecorate. When choosing home bedroom furniture the best tip to follow is finding the best and the most comfortable. The bedroom is your private sanctuary and it is very important that your bedroom furniture is comfortable. For instance, when you are buying a bed for your room, choose the one that you find at ease with. Do not be afraid to test out the bed, its foam and how it feels once you lay on it. Also do not forget to measure the size of the bed that it can fit perfectly in your room. For the home bathroom furniture, choose the ones that can fit into the space of your bathroom. Keep it elegant and simple.

For the furniture in your home, the trick is finding the perfect design and color that can match your place. One home furniture store can carry countless furniture that have different color, designs and materials to suit your home. Some of them may have offers of making made to order furniture if you cannot find the design and the color that you want. These made to order furniture may cost more than the regular ones in the store, but if you have the budget and you are willing to wait, this could ensure that you will get the furniture that you want. When shopping for home furniture, it is important that you are getting items that are of good quality. You may want your furniture to last for years. Paying for cheap but low quality furniture will only cost you more in the long run because you will need to repair or buy new furniture from time to time.

When choosing the sofas or armchair of your living room, the rule is like that of the bedroom, choose the sofa or armchair that can give you comfort. Your guests or family will be sitting in these sofas when you get together or watch television, a comfortable sofa means a lot. Also make sure that the sofa can match your room color. It does not have to be the same color, but something that can compliment your home. There is also other home décor furniture that you may want to add like coffee tables, side tables or a small chair or tea table. These are good furniture to add to your room if you have enough space. Overcrowding a room with furniture is never a good idea. It will only make your home look smaller and disorganized.

Travel Pre Internet:

I’ve been traveling for over 40 years – by thumb in my early days, by boots in the Scouts, a Lambretta came next and then my first old banger followed by newer old bangers to the beaches of the Costa Brava.

My thumb, boots, bikes and bangers took me all over Europe and the UK before finding that a charter flight to Spain on an old ‘Connie’ could get me to the beaches and bars a lot quicker and allow more time to enjoy the local travel opportunities by horse and cart and the occasional bus and train.

‘Go West and Prosper’ seemed to be a good idea so instead of taking an 8 hour flight I took an 8 day transatlantic crossing from Tilbury to Montreal on the Stephan Batory of Polish Ocean Lines ensuring that jet lag did not trouble my travel plans. Some years later I crossed the pond again on a ship but this time it was 5 times bigger and I traveled in style on the QE2 and dined in the Queen’s Grill somewhat removed from my earlier experience. I highly recommend ocean voyages but cannot see myself on one of the modern cruise ships going from port to port with constant line-ups to get on and off to buy t-shirts. However, I have done 10 Windjammers and a Star Clipper cruise in the Caribbean which were all memorable (let’s hope Windjammer Barefoot Cruises recover from their woes). But I digress.

I had read that Canada is a spectacular country, from sea to shining sea, and my entrance into the St. Lawrence River to Montreal and then heading west in an old Econoline van from the Great Lakes, across the Prairies to the Rocky Mountains before ending up whale watching off of the Pacific Coast of Vancouver Island was a trip of wonder to a bloke from London. Today the scenery is still spectacular and the best way to go is still by road so rent or buy a car, motorhome or motorbike, take the train or tour bus but remember the maps, a fly rod, good boots and take your time.

My favorite part of Canada / USA for adventure travel has to be Northern BC / Alaska, to hike the Chilkoot Trail in the steps of the goldseekers of 1898. The Northwest Territories to canoe the Nahannie River and the Yukon to drive from Dawson City to Chicken, Alaska. If you like the outdoors and can put up with a few bugs, cast a fly and scale a few hills or drive on endless dirt roads sharing the space with moose, caribou, elk, bears and eagles, then these are the places to put on your list. The pleasures and experiences in driving to Inuvik on the Dempster Highway or to Prudhoe Bay on the Dalton Highway or even the Canol Road can only be felt by doing them. I would have mentioned the Alaska Highway but now it is an easy drive unlike the aforementioned.

Today the costs of driving these distances may mean that sharing the journey with others is required, but RVing or simply vanning and camping is a great way to see beyond the horizon. Some enroute adventures now need to be booked in advance whereas when I hiked Denali and the Chilkoot Pass it was just a case of turning up, registering with the local ranger office and heading on out. A little more forward planning is needed for today’s traveller and cost considerations of lengthy flights or drives have to somehow be countered with more careful planning. In the days of reasonable gas prices I would not even consider the driving or flying costs and have driven to Key West from the northwest coast, down the west coast to the Baja and to the west coast from New York. I once even flew my 1946 Fleet taildragger from the Pacific to the Atlantic and back using around 5 gallons an hour of avgas. Before the oil and credit crisis I drove from Rio de Janeiro to Lima, down to Tierra del Fuego and back to Rio covering over 15,000 miles of spectacular scenery and with no consideration about the cost of gas. South America should be on your itinerary too! Some other memorable drives that may now require a mortgage with the gas companies include London to The Nordkapp, Norway, Skippers Canyon in New Zealand and the loneliness of the far north of Australia and the amazing coast of Western Australia stopping by at Monkey Mia and Wave Rock.

We tend to forget that the real cost of traveling is often less today than over the 40 years of my travels. In 1977 my round-trip airfare from Canada to Australia cost over $1700 in 1977 dollars so today it is far cheaper to fly, even with the airlines gouging for fuel, extra baggage, no service and no pleasure. The ‘Big Mac’ method of price comparison as developed by The Economist newspaper gives us a good gauge for most expenditures of today compared to yesterday but my $1500 cost to get a private pilots license in the 1970’s seems cheap by comparison to today, but obviously not when using this Big Mac principle. Other travel costs are also far cheaper today but this should not mean that travelers should disregard the many methods of saving costs that can then be put to extended or improved travel experiences

Travel Post-Internet:

In my 40 years of travel I have had to use travel agents to make even the simplest of reservations and buy tickets, not even thinking to ask them if they had “been there, done that?” It was just a case of there being no other options to buying travel. Now we have unlimited choices and can seek out better travel agents, better prices, better selections and information about anywhere in the world for our travels – without even leaving home.

The Internet now gives travelers ideas and options of Where to go, When to go, Why to go, What to do, Who to book with and How to save money and offset costs. We can search and find experts for every travel option. If we are comfortable with the Internet we no longer have to go to a travel agent to make reservations and buy tickets except to book with some of the larger travel companies that still produce glossy brochures and offer all inclusive packages or tours that only sell through the agency system. The Internet also allows those of us who are smart enough to know when to seek out a top travel agent with knowledge, experience and expertise (KEE skills) of destinations and activities about where to find them. There is no longer any need to only use our local agents when we can find one somewhere else in the world. When we do not need ‘the knowledge’ and can do it ourselves we simply surf the web so that we can book directly with tour and travel operators wherever we have decided to go.

Some travel agents operate their own tours, some are both wholesale and retail, some limit consumer selection by only selling their ‘preferred’ suppliers and some have professional consultants with years of experience invested in gaining knowledge, experience and expertise and are worth their weight in gold to the savvy traveler. Beware though, as some are also called destination specialists and some of these designations merely require the agent to take a rudimentary test offered by tourism offices, destination marketing groups or even tour operators and in my opinion can harm the reputation of the travel industry. A specialist is not necessarily an expert.

Travel is probably the most used commercial aspect of the Internet and if retail agents want to harness this exciting medium to offer ‘the knowledge’ and their ‘kee’ skills to a global audience, not just their local community, they must embrace the changes that are happening. Travelers now have the ability to seek answers to the 5 W’s of travel and the important ‘How to’ save money and offset costs by having information just a click away.

And then it occurred to me that even internet travel prices often include a commission element even when sold directly to the consumer. If we book directly with operators we should not have to pay full retail prices as we are doing for ourselves what a retail agent would normally do for us. A dilemma for the operator is that to show a both a retail and a cost price option could deter many agents from selling the services as travelers could use an agent for free advice and book directly with the operator to get a ‘net of commission’ price. Obviously this two tier pricing is not often available but travelers who do not need advice should also not be penalized by retail pricing. A new way had to be found and I think I have found it!

The need for fairer fare prices is why I developed the Top Travel Voucher program at The Top Travel Club and I even found a dot com for it. All travel selections on the site are at ‘net of commission’ prices for members who handle there own travel arrangements directly with the operators linked on the club website using our voucher program.

I am inviting travel operators from around the world to join this program, from B&B’s, Motels, Hotels, Luxury Lodges, Eco Resorts, Beach Resorts and Tour and Adventure Operators who want to promote their products and services to travelers who are comfortable with direct bookings and reservations.

I am also inviting Travel Agents with knowledge, experience and expertise of destinations and activities to showcase their skills to a global audience of travelers and to the members of this new travel club. I am leery of ‘specialist agents’ and only want experts to showcase their services.

This opportunity is available to the travel trade at no cost except for them to offer net, wholesale or outlet prices to club members and visitors to the website using top travel vouchers. I believe this program offers fairer fare prices to direct-booking travelers. The operator would normally be paying commission anyway but now travelers get the savings because they make their own arrangements.

The Top Travel Club opened in mid-April 2008 offering thousands of top travel vouchers for travel in over 70 countries with around 150 travel operators on-board. Every week we add more travel operators with more choices for members. Currently you can get savings on accommodations, adventure travel, boat charters, culinary tours, hike, bike and dive tours, auto and RV rentals fishing lodges and guides, safaris, vacation rentals, single travel, women only and dude ranches. Members get the vouchers free of charge by paying an annual membership fee and non-members can buy the vouchers on the internet at Top Travel Sites at deeply discounted prices to the face-value. The future growth will include restaurants, travel clothing, travel insurance and the opportunity to access air ticket consolidators who want to deal directly with consumers.

The way I have traveled and the way I see travel is that consumers should have unlimited access to every travel opportunity with the ability to do their own due diligence or to find a professional who can offer quality advice and services at fair prices, and to find all of this without needing endless hours of searching.

To find out more about the new way of cost offsets for travel please go to The Top Travel Club and my apologies for some of the spelling (traveler / traveler) but that is what I was taught. As long as we all understand the meaning, vive le difference!

Part 1: Health, Medicinal Benefits of Garlic:

There are many reasons that adding raw garlic to your diet will increase your health. In part 1 of this article you will learn 10 facts about how garlic affects your health.

1. Garlic supports a healthy heart. It can help you lower your bad cholesterol levels, and prevent hardening of the arteries, among many other benefits for your heart.

2. Organic garlic has a higher amount of sulphur in it, and the higher this amount the more health benefits there are.

3. Garlic that has been aged has more antioxidants than garlic that is not aged.

4. Garlic can be used in diabetics to lower blood sugar, or continue to keep it low.

5. Too much garlic can cause irritation to your bowels.

6. One of the compounds of Garlic can be used as an anti-fugal.

7. Microwaving garlic will completely kill the antibiotic and anti-fungal properties of it.

8. By crushing fresh organic garlic you will get the most medicinal use out of it.

9. The fresher the garlic and the freshest chopped or crushed the more taste you will get out of it.

10. Garlic has been used for over 5,000 years for medicinal purposes, starting in India.

From reading this you can conclude that by buying raw organic garlic bulbs and only opening them right before you crush or chop them for immediate use, you will get the most medicinal purposes out of your garlic. The smaller the garlic pieces when you are done chopping, mincing or crushing the more of the healing components you will get out of it, these components are activated when you cut the garlic, as time goes by the benefits will diminish, that is why it is very important to only get the garlic ready just before using it. You may also want to note that by using garlic this way you will get more taste out of it, so you can actually use less.

The luxury travel industry has been the core of my business world for many years. In my role as marketing consultant have seen travel companies grow and fall as the trends for vacations and short breaks changed in line with needs for the industry’s most important component – the customer.

From just one holiday or vacation a year, the trend has grown to a pattern of two maybe even three vacations. For those with more disposable income, a sprinkling of short breaks throughout the year has become a typical indulgence… until now.

With the onset of the financial recession from 2008 onwards large families and travelers in their 40-50s were hardest hit in terms of the number and quality of holidays taken. Excited at the opportunities afforded by budget flights and exciting destinations many families looked forward to a few weeks in the sun with cheap food and drink plus the opportunity to pick up some duty free luxuries and a tan.

But the fall out from flight route closures on the cheaper airlines, the rising costs of hold baggage and the affects of currency fluctuations have made larger numbers of potential holiday makers taking the cheaper option and staying at home.

The younger singles market still managed the short luxury breaks to European cities such as Prague and Barcelona and the island retreats of Ibiza and Mallorca. But even this market is being eroded as salaries dip in line with recession. Currency fluctuation and exchange rates have hit the cost of bed and board rises dramatically in the once celebrated destinations. Add in the effect of ‘global warming’ on the conscience of the younger travelers and its easy to see why so many of the budget holiday companies are falling on difficult times.

And what about the luxury end of the market? Believe it or now but some of the top end companies are having a very profitable time. How? They have talked to each other, joined forces and shared resources to help bring their marketing costs down and in many cases their market coverage up.

I have seen groups of top Scottish Hotels who might have been fighting for a customers attention, become a collaborative marketing group whose aim is to sell the destination first and then divide up the spoils among their spa resorts, golf complexes, boutique hotel partners and city centre apartments.

I have also seen small specialist travel agents collaborate by forming a collaborative venture specializing in high end luxury travel destinations – each member having a unique destination or service. With one innovative marketing message they have a louder voice than they might have as individual travel operators.

On the customer side collaboration is also proving very beneficial. Instead of taking lots of individual holidays there is a growing trend for groups who might have booked separate hotels and a similar destination to team up and book a large villa or apartment. Combining their entrepreneurial skills, purchasing skills and cooking skills they are able to eat well, organize great activities while staying at some of the most exclusive holiday destinations.

Wearing the latest in fashion is what every one of us likes to do. But it is very important to carry the clothes in style. Having a great wardrobe is definitely essential but some basics of style should also be adhered to in order to make a striking fashion statement. There are lots of online wholesale apparel shops that cater to the fashion conscious generation. But apart from stocking up a fantastic collection, there are a few other issues that need to be paid attention to.

• A well groomed appearance is very essential in order to carry any ensemble with style. Nobody looks good with straggly, greasy hair, chewed up fingernails, gross skin, unplucked eyebrows, and leg stubble.

• Taking good care of your clothes is also very important. Well maintained clothes are the basic requirement of carrying off any stylish look with elan.

• Over usage of accessories can kill any fashionable ensemble. It is always best to make minimum use of accessories so that they can act as a compliment to the basic outfit and add some style.

• Try to choose outfits based on which colors and styles look nice on you. It is a good idea to match what you are wearing with your own personality. This helps in bringing out your true colors and helps you look and feel great.

Each year new fashion trends are born and it is time for the old ones to retire. Though it is definitely a great idea to go with what is in vogue, but at the same time you should keep an eye out for the comfort factor as well. Comfort and style goes hand in hand and choosing apparel based on how comfortable you feel wearing them is the smartest decision. Fashion trends appear unexpectedly and fade away even quicker than they appeared.

There is no limit to the permutations one can think of in terms of mixing and matching clothes and creating a style that is comfortable yet elegant. If you want to achieve a great look, be in line with new fashion styles that are influenced by different seasons. In recent we have seen the rise of new brands as well as the comeback of some old fashion trends. To wear something different and with style is to create fashion and with a bit of creativity you can come up with unique combinations that can become a personal fashion statement.

There’s a famous saying that goes, ‘the clothes make the man (or the woman).’ This simply means that what one wears can say a lot about him; some actually judge people on the kind of clothes they wear. Ever since that time when man decided to put on something to cover his naked body, he has always been paying attention to what he wears not only in terms of how it protects his body, but also on how he’s going to be perceived by other people. Today, fashion trends come and go as fleeting as the latest smartphones.

If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t necessarily keep up with the latest trends in fashion but don’t want to look old-fashioned either, you can follow these tips on how to dress up in style without necessarily spending a fortune or without looking like you’re trying to follow the trend:

Choose clothes that complement your skin color, height and size – Some people make the mistake of putting on something that they’ve seen their favorite celebrities wear that may not necessarily be ideal for them. Always go for outfits that will highlight your good features and downplay the not-too-good ones.

Don’t go for too much: It’s okay to make a statement with what you wear, but you don’t necessarily have to go over the top for it. You can be bold sometimes, but don’t make yourself appear like a human placard.

Have a few pairs of jeans: Jeans always work with almost anything and are never out of style. Jeans can also be used to neutralize your overall look in case your top looks too formal or too elegant if you’re only attending a small soiree. However, you should still stay within the bounds of good taste and decency by not going too low waist-ed with them. Tattered jeans are fine, too, but overdoing it may just result to a fashion disaster.

Know how to mix and match: When shopping, look for clothes with neutral colors and plain prints so you can match them with anything in your closet. But this is not to limit your shopping range. Of course, you can always go for shirts that have different colors and exciting prints, but nothing too outrageous.

Create your own style – There’s nothing wrong with looking like your favorite celebrity, but wearing exactly the same shirt, pants, shoes, and accessories he or she has worn in a picture you’ve seen in a magazine makes you look like a copycat. Some people would even think it’s creepy. Experiment with different combinations and create a style all your own.

Looking stylish with the clothes you wear is certainly not rocket science. Just know who you are and what looks good on you and you can strut your stuff with panache wherever you go.