What Are The Best Water Filters On The Market Today?

5-Simple-Ways-to-Prevent-Pollution-at-Home2

A kitchen of any house is a special place where the aroma and delicious taste of food is created and wonderful family conversations take place over cooking food. Most food preparations require water and you do not want to pose any risk to your family by using contaminated water in the vital act of food preparation and of consuming plain water. To ensure that pure water goes into your food and tummies, you must employ filter taps. These are fitted with a filter cartridge that removes all contaminants such as debris and chemicals. Out of the many filter taps available in the market, you should choose the ones which have a reputable name in the market. This is because, the filtering capabilities of a non- branded tap cannot really be trusted. It would be a bit like trusting burst pipes in the kitchen to prevent your house from flooding.

One of the most trustworthy companies of kitchenware is Franke. The company has been in the market since 1911 and has been innovating on kitchen products consistently. Moreover, Franke‘s filter taps come with a 5 year warranty on valve mechanisms and a 1 year warranty on their coatings and finishings, generating valuable trust among customers.

Along with trust, the company also offers variety in the form of a diverse range of filter taps that come in different designs, heights and functionalities.While picking a uniquely designed tap is a matter of personal taste, you must know which kind of tap serves which function. Thus, let us see the range of differently functional Franke kitchen taps below:

Single-Flow Spout and Bi-Flow Spout : A Single-flow spout tap implies that the flow of only one channel of water can be adjusted by the use of one available lever while a bi-flow spout tap has two levers, with which flow of two channels of water can be adjusted. You must use the former in places where you can do without water of two different temperatures.

When building a new home, you will do well to consider the inclusions I have mentioned here in this article. Another thing to remember is to make sure you have an adequate building inspector on the job, as a backup to your builder. You need to have the peace of mind that you are being treated fairly and respectfully and the presence of an independent building inspector is going to make your home builder aware that you are on to his corner cutting tricks.

Triflow: If you need water in three different temperature qualities, namely, hot, cold and moderate, then you must make use of a triflow tap. You can use hot water for cooking while cold water can be used for making a drink.

Boiling Water: This kind of tap not only delivers hot and cold water, but also water that is super hot (ie water of 100 degree Celsius). Such hot water can be used in cooking and brewing tea quickly.

Spray Tap: You can either buy a stand alone pull out spray tap or a bi-flow spout tap with a spraying handle as well. This kind of tap can be used for washing vegetables and fruits with speed.

Thus, with a diverse range of variously functional taps, you can enjoy clean water in different ways.

Funerals At Home – What Is Old Is New Again

The world’s knowledge was said to have doubled every century of human history before the 19th century. As technology was further developed, it got faster. As of today, it is believed that knowledge doubles once every year or so. What has not changed is the fact that humans die. Death is as natural as life. Although knowledge is doubling at record levels and technology is rapidly advancing, something old is becoming new again. Families are conducting funerals in their homes.

Considering that most of the world still buries their dead through the simple process of a home funeral, it is not surprising that the trend is gaining momentum in America. Families are opting out of the hiring of funeral homes and funeral directors and they are caring for their own dead. Until the time of the Civil War, or around 1860, families always cared for their own dead.

Funerals in the home are a simple, inexpensive, personal and fulfilling way of caring for the dead. Nothing takes the place of “hands on” experience. As a certified grief counselor, it is my opinion that families involved with home funerals experience a more natural and healthier grief process. I have counseled with individuals that worried if the funeral home buried or cremated the right person. There is no concern of this happening in a home funeral setting.

Home Based Funerals – Since The Dawn Of Time

Many families view the process of home funerals as a natural and normal part of family life. Parents care for babies when born. Parents raise, educate, train, develop and love those babies throughout their lives. Babies grow up to be the adult that cares for their parents when they die. The circle of life completes itself and nothing is more natural about life than death. Who is more qualified to care for a person that died than the very family that cared for that person when they lived?

Laws in all states do allow home funerals although particular laws concerning the involvement of funeral directors do vary from state to state. A family does not have to contact a funeral home or funeral director in some states. Unfortunately there still are a few states violating individual rights with unjust laws that force families to hire a funeral director whether they wish to or not. Hopefully those laws will be amended or changed in the near future.

Home Funeral Guides are available in many areas of the country to instruct, educate and encourage families through the home funeral process. A quick search on the internet using your favorite search engine will bring up any that may be in your area. Education seminars, one on one instruction or books are available through your local expert. You can also search on the website of the National Home Funeral Alliance (nhfa) http://homefuneralalliance.org/, which is full of great information concerning home funerals.

Home Building Advice

So you’re thinking about building your own home…

It’s a great idea, because you can get a lot closer to what you really want when you build rather than buy. But there are some critical things to be aware of, in order to keep risks and surprises to a minimum, and end up getting the home you want. We’ve compiled this helpful guide from a number of industry sources and our own experience. We hope it gives you a good introduction. This article is bought to by Avenue Building Group – www.avenuebuildinggroup.com.au

1. How important is it to choose the right builder?

Your new Melbourne home is going to be one of the most important investments you will ever make both financially and emotionally. You want to get the design and construction right so that it suits both your present and future needs and lifestyle. There are a lot of builders out there prepared to build you a house but which one is the right one? Which one will turn your dream into reality? Follow the steps in this information pack and you will be several steps closer to fulfilling your dream, especially if that dream is to have a luxury home builder do the job right the first time.

2. Your role in the process

Before beginning the design the following needs to be conveyed to the designer:

Your budget

The size of the house to be designed – including room numbers, their locations and functions

Facade type including exterior finishes for walls (e.g. rendered, face brick) and the roof type and finish (e.g. tiled, metal)

Individual design features that you would like

Specific details like ceiling heights, window sizes, and bathroom and kitchen fittings.

The time frame. Note that plans have to be submitted to various authorities and this may take longer than expected. Build this into the construction time frame.

3. The designer’s role in the process

When using an architect, building designer or engineer the charge for designing the house will be in addition to the construction costs. When using a builder who provides a design service as part of the package the design is factored into the price. This will have some bearing on the amount of time that can be spent in working with you on the design. Consider this as well when selecting who designs your home.

Designers must be up to date with the following:

o Latest legislation

o New building trends

o Environmental and energy considerations like insulation, water saving, building materials and energy saving systems like solar power and solar water heating

They should also be able to advise you on the most appropriate house orientation in relation to the sun and prevailing winds. They should also be able to advise you on how best to make use of a site’s topography.

For example it is often better to build a house on a sloping site that makes use of the shape of the site rather than bringing in a bulldozer to reshape the site. Earthworks can be expensive.

At your first meeting with a designer you need to assess whether they will be able to meet with your expectations in terms of being qualified to do the job.Attached is a checklist (see page 8) of questions that you should consider asking the designer.

4. Builder’s reputations

Once you have a list of builders your next step is to find out about their reputations and the quality of their work. Probably the best way is to visit homes they have built and talk with the owners. A reputable builder with satisfied customers should have no problem in providing the names and addresses of recent customers that are willing to talk to you.

Some questions you can ask:

Are you happy with your home?

Was the house built within the agreed time frame?

What problems did you experience?

Were they attended to promptly and to your satisfaction?

Would you have this builder build another house for you?

Some observations you can make and note down:

Quality of the finishes including cabinetry, paint and trim

Quality of the construction

Style of design

Construction type

Don’t hesitate to ask questions. Your new home is probably going to be the biggest investment you have made to date!

5. Advantages in working with a builder to design your home

There are some definite advantages in individual designs. These include:

Personalised and flexible design process

Design suits your lifestyle and budget requirements

Inclusions not limited

Tailored to your particular site

Reputable builders that specialise in individual designs have examples of their work in display villages. This gives you the opportunity to see examples of their work without confining you to the plans you see displayed.

6. Project homes

Project home builders usually offer a range of standard plans in different price ranges including varying fittings and inclusions. They may specialise in single or double storey homes but are limited in inclusions and colour selection choices, design changes and site falls.

7. Individually designed homes

Building designers, engineers, architects and licensed builders provide design services. Probably the most commonly used design service is that offered by builders who specialise in individual designs. They both design and build the homes and the service is included in the price whereas building designers, engineers and architects will charge for the service. The majority of builders who build custom designs will have a portfolio of plans of homes they have built or standard plans, often based on their display homes. They will quite happily adapt these plans to suit your requirements or design a completely new plan. In addition they may specialise in a certain style of home like colonial or federation or in designing and building homes to suit difficult or sloping sites.

Regardless of whom you select to design your home you should feel comfortable with them. At the outset you should ensure that you both clearly understand each other’s roles and responsibilities. This will reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings and disputes.

8. Designing your home

Design services are provided by the following:

Licensed building designers

Architects

Licensed builders

Engineers

Licences can be checked on the BSA website, www.bsa.qld.gov.au. or by phone. Note that architects and engineers do not require a licence but must be registered with their professional associations.

9. Design choices

There are effectively 3 design choices:

Make use of a standard design package supplied by a builder. They will usually have a range of designs from which you can make a choice. Often referred to as project homes.

Review the builder’s standard plans and adapt them.

Have a builder, designer, engineer or architect do a custom design.

10. Colour consultation

Uncertain about your homes finishes? Reputable builders have qualified colour consultants who can guide you through this important process. They usually have sample finishes available to view, either in-house or at their display homes. They ensure that you get the finish that suits you, right down to the smallest detail. Working with the colour consultant to choose your finishes usually occurs after the deposit has been paid and the design agreed (note not all builders provide this service so take this into consideration when selecting your builder).

You will be provided with a pack of information on finishes and invited to meet with the builder’s colour consultant for a several hour appointment to review the various options. This is your opportunity to ensure that all the finer details are not missed or taken for granted.

11. Inclusions

As mentioned earlier, project builders often have houses on view in display villages. Be warned that these houses are quite likely to have inclusions that are not included in the base price.The following items will probably not be included in the base price:

Inside:

o Floor coverings with the exception of wet areas like bathrooms, toilets and laundries.

o Blinds, curtains and light shades

o Items like wallpaper, fixed mirrors (outside of bathrooms) and picture rails

o Furniture that is loose

o Dishwashers and washing machines

o Security systems

Outside:

o Garages and carports, and car detailing companies

o Paths and driveways

o Security and fly screens

o Tiled and concrete floors under verandas and entry porches

o Landscaping

o Garden sheds, outdoor furniture, pergolas and fences

o Clothes lines and letterboxes

o Spas and pools

o Connections to services

However some builders will offer several levels of fit out as different price packages. Take care to identify exactly what you are being offered and ensure that the builder has an in house colour and fittings consultant to guide you through the process.

12. Additional costs

Do you have a sloping, timbered or difficult site on which to build? Be aware that the type of site on which you want to build can add considerably to the overall cost of the project. Note that builders are required under the Domestic Building Act 2000 to provide customers with foundations data before finalising the contract. Most project homes are quoted for building on flat stable sites with little underground rock. A site that is steeply sloping, unstable or has rock beneath the surface can add considerably to the cost of building a home.

If you have a difficult building site then it may be worthwhile to consider approaching a builder who specialises in building on this type of site. They usually design a house to suit the site minimizing the amount of excavation and making best use of the inherent benefits of a sloping site.

Check whether the builder has included the cost of soil tests, contour surveys and building approval fees in the required deposit.

Note that despite a soil test being done it is usually only from two or three boreholes and may not accurately represent the entire site. The builder may have rock removal as a provisional item in the contract and it may become very expensive.

Ensure that your contract has a fixed price for the footing excavation and footings (excluding rock removal) and that you have copies of the survey reports on which this is based. Also ensure that the contract specifies who is responsible for removing excess earth left after excavations.

13. Designer Question Checklist

1. Licence

Does the designer, whether a builder, engineer, architect or building designer have the appropriate BSA licence or professional registration? This you can check prior to your meeting. Yes No

2. Does the designer provide the following services?

o Site inspections to ensure the characteristics of the site are taken fully into consideration in the design process? Yes No

o Elevation sketches of the house in 3 dimensions to show what the house will look like when built? Yes No

o Preparation of documents and plans and lodgement with the authorities for their approval? Yes No

o Check for easements and utility locations (e.g. sewerage pipes) that could affect the design and siting of the house? Yes No

o Check with Local Government or private certifier to ensure that plans include any special requirements before lodging? Yes No

3. Contract

o Does the designer provide a standard contract? Yes No

o Have you obtained a copy and read it carefully? Yes No

o Will it accurately cover any agreement you have reached with the designer in terms of costs and service? Yes No

4. Deposits and fees

o Have you ascertained what deposit the designer requires up front? Yes No

o Have you ascertained how the designer’s fee is calculated? (e.g. fixed sum or percentage) Yes No

o Are there additional costs involved in varying the plans once they are complete? Yes No

5. Timeframe

o Have you ascertained how long it will take the designer to draw up your plans? Yes No o Does this fit into your timeframe? Yes No

14. Building complaints

The Building Services Authority has a website that keeps a record of disciplinary proceedings against builders. On the BSA site should check the record of each of the builders on your list against the information on this website. No guarantee that you will not experience problems with a builder but past history often determines future behaviour. You can then cull from your list any builders that you doubt.

15. Queensland Master Builders Association

The first step in process is to decide on the type of home you would like to build and to work out how much you can spend. You then need to make a list of local builders that can build your chosen home style within your budget. One way is to go to the Queensland Master Builders Association’s website at www.masterbuilders.asn.au. They have a search function that will provide you with a list of local builders in your region. Contact details and links to websites are included but no detailed information. This means that a lot of searching is required to find key information so you may want to consider other sources.

16. Other sources

If you want another way then advertisements in property supplements, magazines like Homebuild, website searches and display homes will provide more information in easier to use formats. Identify those builders that specialise in the style of house in your price range. Make a list of these builders. You might even want to create a file with information printed off their websites or sourced from property supplements and magazines.

The 10 Steps to Designing and Building your Home

1. The land Maximising the investment you have made in your land, not only as a financial investment but as an emotional investment is important. You’ll want to build a home that will make best use of your land and its aspect to enhance your lifestyle. Our design consultant will visit the site with you to ensure that the design incorporates what you want and makes best use of the attributes of the site.

2. The plan You have decided to build. You may know exactly what you want or you may just have some ideas. The first step is it to turn these ideas into a concept plan. Sit down with one of our design consultants and discuss these ideas. Look at designs and photographs of homes we have built. These will help clarify what you like and what you want in your new home.

3. The investment At this stage you’ll have a draft plan. Go through our inclusions brochure and decide what you’d like. Once you have done that our consultant will be able to give you an estimate of the investment you’ll be making in your new home.

4. Soil test and contour survey The next step is obtaining an engineers survey of the site. This is a legal requirement and it is essential safeguard in ensuring that your home is built with proper foundations and on the correct position on the site. This is also the point where we require a deposit to cover these costs. Once the design consultant has this information he can finalise the design with you and provide a base price with standard inclusions.

5. The final price quotation At this stage we can give you a quote which includes all the details. You’ll need to go through this thoroughly with the consultant to make sure that you are happy that it’s exactly what you want. With this signed off it’s time to turn your dream into a reality and that begins with signing the contract and paying the balance of the deposit. With that paid can get on with preparing the building permit applications and all the paper work that’s involved to get the plans approved.

6. Colour and finish selection Now it is time to meet with our colour consultant who will assist you in colour selection and those final touches which will your turn a house into a home. Our inclusions brochure is a great start here and it’s worth browsing through it before your free appointment with our colour consultant. And in the meeting you’ll see sample finishes too – so much easier when you can see the real thing.

7. Beginning the build This is your dream home – it can’t be thrown up in a few weeks from mass produced elements knocked up offsite and still maintain the quality you want. So we’ll agree with you on a reasonable time to build your home without compromising quality. With all the paperwork done we’ll begin the preplanning and within a few short weeks construction will begin…

8. During the build It’s hard to keep away from the building site while your home is being built! You are encouraged to visit the site on a regular basis however, it is standard practice to be accompanied by your site supervisor due to safety requirements. You’ll meet the building Supervisor at the beginning and he will keep you up to date on the progress and explain each stage.

9. Completion When everything is complete and when we have thoroughly pre inspected the house it will be time to hand over the keys. But before we do that we’ll accompany you on your own inspection to make absolutely sure that the home we have designed for you has been built as promised.

10. Moving in You’ve moved in but we still want to make sure that our promise to you to build the home you want is kept. The six month maintenance period is your opportunity to make sure that we have kept our promise and a further six year structural guarantee.

Beginning the process Give us a ring on 1300 858 177 or visit one of our display homes at Brookwater and in the QMBA village at Daisy Hill. You’ll get the opportunity to meet one our consultants and find out how easy it is to design your own home. We hope this information has been of assistance and wish you well in building your new home!

Matthew Dore
http://www.djbuilders.com.au

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Stephen_R_Johnson/239956

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2121659

Surf Better With Wellness Wednesday


It can be challenging staying surf-fit through the dry spells with our busy working schedules. Too many things can get in the way and many of us don’t want to sweat it out for an hour a day at the gym, even if we do have the time. Almost like the Swiss army knife of surfing app, it has a whole range of features that can be useful for both beginners and professional surfers competing in any surfing event.

The Laguna Real Estate Noosa Festival of Surfing has partnered with Luxe Escapes Noosa and Wanderlust to remedy this quandary with Wellness Wednesday, a day of activities, workshops, demos and talks to help us keep fit and stay healthy, always ready for the next swell to roll through.

Luxe Escapes Noosa’s Kelly Carthy is all about wellbeing. Her luxury retreats focus on taking time out for ourselves, for a week, a couple of days or even just for an hour. It can be quick and easy to stay in shape, but the majority of us either don’t know how or feel guilty and selfish taking time out for ourselves, even to go surfing.

“My philosophy around wellbeing is all about fitting wellbeing into people’s lives, not changing their lives to fit wellbeing,” says Kelly. “We’re all very busy with very full lives, so we need to make wellbeing efficient so that it supports and boosts our lives, not add another task to our lives.”

Wellbeing in every aspect will be brought to the Nine Sunshine Coast Pavilion on Wednesday, 8 March for Wellness Wednesday, and Kelly joined with the team at Wanderlust to organise a diverse collection of activities for all.

The Nine Sunshine Coast Pavilion will host a 90-minute morning yoga session presented by Wanderlust to kick off the day at 9am, helping ready surfers for a big day of competition, but also open to the general public to enjoy a dawn stretch. The Wanderlust Yoga Session will feature an expert teacher with ambient DJ, bringing rhythm and yoga together for a wonderfully energising way to start your day, whatever you may have planned.

Nutrition is the foundation of our fitness, and Kelly has created a workshop to help better understand the need for positive nutrition and the ways in which to achieve it, with food creation demonstrations and more.

“How do you get your best surf ever,” Kelly asks. “You make sure you’re feeding your body the right nutrients to surf longer, to power your muscles and for recovery. If you’re not putting the right things in your body, then you’re not going to be as efficient when you’re surfing.”

From there, the day takes a more physical turn, with a Pilates class focusing on the core strength so necessary for efficient surfing and to better protect our bodies, both in the water and through the rigours of daily life. A high-intensity training class will also be on offer, focusing more on direct fitness and strength, but carefully created to be accessible to all. Each of these fitness elements intentionally require no equipment and the classes are designed to be educational, providing knowledge and awareness that can be taken from the classes on the sand at First Point and implemented into our own lives.

“Wellness Wednesday is about finding simple tools and strategies that we can use in our existing lifestyles,” Kelly explains. “If we can protect our bodies, both physically and nutritionally, then we will be able to surf for longer; longer at any one time, but also longer through our lives, as so many people at the Festival of Surfing do.”

Whether you are competing, spectating or simply in town for the week, everyone is welcome to Wellness Wednesday – the perfect place to reignite those New Year’s Resolutions and to learn how to simply and easily bring health and wellbeing into your life a little more. Wellness Wednesday takes place from 7am, Wednesday 8th March at the Nine Sunshine Coast Pavilion, First Point, Noosa Heads.

For a full schedule and to find out more, visit www.noosafestivalofsurfing.com.

For more information about Kelly Carthy, her retreats and her wellness programs, visit www.luxeescapesnoosa.com.au and www.kellycarthywellbeing.com.au.

Details of Mandatory Building Inspection Scheme being worked out

The Government was working out the necessary details of the Mandatory Building Inspection Scheme by conducting more in-depth consultation with the key stakeholders and taking on board public comments received as far as practicable, the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, said today (November 24). Independent building inspections is a Melbourne based building consulting company specialising in Residential, Small Commercial and Light Industrial buildings.

Mr Suen was addressing the Joint Institute Conference on “Urban Survival” organised by The Hong Kong Institute of Architects, The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, The Hong Kong Institute of Planners and The Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors.

“In our society’s quest for a better and safer living environment, tackling building neglect must be given a high priority on the agenda,” he said, noting that it was generally accepted as a truism that a safe and sustainable environment was an overarching goal for urban survival.

Mr Suen said after the injection of substantial efforts and resources into fostering a building care culture within the community, it was encouraging to see a gradual change in owners’ mindset about the importance of proper building care.

To put in place a more permanent solution to resolve the long-standing problem of building neglect, the Government had also conducted a two-stage public consultation exercise on building management and maintenance to seek community consensus on the principle and the approach to tackle the problem, Mr Suen said.

During the consultation, the Government received a substantial number of views in favour of a longer inspection cycle to allow more time for owners to comply with the inspection and rectification programmes.

“From the building safety angle and the need to strike a proper balance between ensuring building safety and minimising owners’ burden, we are now considering the feasibility of a longer inspection cycle, say, every 10 years, by reference to the date when Buildings Department last issued the mandatory inspection notification to owners,” Mr Suen said.

Also to address the community’s concerns about the quantity and quality of service providers, Mr Suen said the Government was considering allowing more professionals with sufficient qualification and relevant experience to carry out building inspections.

“This will give due recognition to those professionals qualified for the inspection task and maximise the use of their expertise for the benefits of the community,” he added.

Mr Suen, however, emphasised that the Government would not go after the “quantity” of building inspectors at the expense of “quality”.

“To achieve this, we will consider creating a separate register by law to uphold the professional standard of building inspectors. The Buildings Department will, in consultation with the relevant professional institutes and industry, examine carefully the qualifications and experience of the professionals who will be eligible for registering as building inspectors.

“Upon the launch of the scheme, the Buildings Department will also put in place all the necessary relevant measures to ensure the standard and quality of service providers, including promulgating detailed guidelines for the building inspection and rectification works,” Mr Suen added.

While the Government’s consultation had pointed to a community consensus that owners needed to keep their properties in good conditions and to bear the necessary costs, the Government was always mindful that some sectors of the community might lack the financial means and technical know-how in complying with the scheme requirements, including some of the elderly and low-income owners.

“We attach great importance to coming up with ways to provide assistance to those owners in need for them to comply with the requirements under the scheme,” Mr Suen said.

Currently, the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) and the Urban Renewal Authority are providing assistance to owners in need in discharging their duties to properly manage and maintain their buildings.

“To support the smooth and full implementation of the future mandatory building inspection scheme, we are glad to have solicited HKHS¡¦s agreement to further strengthen its financial and technical support and assistance to owners in need, premised on the success of its Building Management and Maintenance Scheme. HKHS will also work hand in hand with the Government to facilitate owners in forming owners’ corporations,” Mr Suen said.

Mr Suen said that HKHS, with the assistance of relevant bodies, was also working on the establishment of a voluntary building classification scheme (VBCS) to give due recognition to buildings with proper maintenance and sound management.

“To give incentives to buildings accredited with good ratings under the VBCS, we will consider allowing such buildings to be exempted from the mandatory scheme,” Mr Suen said.

The Government plans to announce the results of the public consultation and details of the Mandatory Building Inspection Scheme early next year.

How to Get Your Building Permit Quickly!

There is an old adage that says” An emergency on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part!” In trying to obtain your building permit try to remember those words of wisdom. It’s really important that you will have a building inspectors Melbourne to check safety of the establishment.

All building departments have a set way of applying for a permit. Some have different forms for different types of projects. A house application may be more complicated say, then a small deck. Many have permits for roofing, plumbing changes or upgrades, fencing and the like. Many jurisdictions do not require permits at all for things like a concrete patio on grade or a simple gazebo. You find out if a permit is required by ASKING! A simple phone call to the building inspectors’ office will get you the answer. If a permit is required, follow these simple steps:

1. Visit the office and obtain a permit application.

2. Complete the application in its entirety. DO NOT leave half of the spaces blank. Inspectors are not mind readers. They will not remember the information from a permit you had 4 years ago. FILL in all the spaces. If the space is not applicable, mark it so or put N/A in the space. That way they know you did not leave out the information by mistake. (One of my favorite sentences from a prospective applicant is: “I spoke to you about a year and half ago, etc. etc.”. I always want to reply, ” Yes, and I’ve been patiently waiting for you” but I don’t.

3. Submit the application in a timely manner. Ask how long the average permit takes to issue and be patient. There are others in front of you waiting for their permits and depending upon the size of the department and the number of applications they receive, it could take 10 days or longer. PLAN AHEAD! DO NOT tell the inspector ” I have to have my permit tomorrow or my contractor says he can’t come back for 2 months”. You may hear “Tell your contractor you’ll see him/her in two months”. DO NOT ask to have your application jumped in front of others. No building department will do that and if they did, the next person who asks, will be jumped in front of YOU!

4. Submit the forms along with any required paperwork such as drawings, site plans, product information or other data that may help the building inspector understand what you want to build. They may ask for more information but if you submit it up front, your permit process will go that much more quickly. If they have to wait for more paperwork; the delay is yours, not theirs. Your 10 days (example) stops when they call, and restarts when you provide the information. If that takes you a week, just add that to the10 day period. Now your permit time is up to 17 days.

5. DO NOT call every day to see if your permit is ready. They will call you when it is done unless they tell you to call on such and such a date. DO NOT be a pest! Building departments do not purposely hold up your permit applications. Depending on the amount of permits being applied for, amount of inspections they have each day, number of walk-ins each day, is what controls the time frame for permit issuance.

6. DO keep a smile. Everyone reacts to the way they are treated so do unto others as the saying goes. During the busy building season in your area, the inspectors may have a larger workload to handle and everyone wants their swimming pool first!

Many permits have set fees and if that is the case, attach your check to your application so when you do go in to pick it up, it takes only a minute. You won’t have to wait for someone to receipt your money.

FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS-Read your permit paperwork once you receive it. In two of my jurisdictions both a plywood sign with the permit number painted in 8″ numbers is required at the end of the driveway and the permit card is required to be posted at the site on a plywood backer in a plastic bag. Many inspections are delayed or missed because the inspector could not find the house due to the plywood permit sign not being placed properly. When you call the office for an inspection, LISTEN to the instructions. Departments have different times required that you have to wait for any inspection. Many are 2-4 days but I know of a few that are 7 days. Ask if an inspection slip will be left in the plastic bag so you know the result of the inspection. Keep the slips for your records.

VERY IMPORTANT!!!! It is YOUR responsibility to make sure you have all the inspections required. Saying you thought he/she did the inspection will not work when you are asking for a final inspection or Certificate of Occupancy. Many departments have more than one inspector so the second inspector may not know if you had the previous required inspection done. The building department will give you a list of inspections required. Make sure you get ALL of them.

ACCESSIBILITY TO SITE: I can not tell you how many times someone calls for an inspection then chains the gates shut or cables the driveway. The house is a half mile

off the road, the drive is not plowed (in the North), and they can’t figure out why they didn’t get the inspection. If you call for an inspection, MAKE SURE THE INSPECTOR CAN GET TO IT! Many jurisdictions will make only two attempts and then mark it inaccessible. BE READY!

The quickest and surest way to get off on the wrong foot is to call for inspections that are not ready. ALL jurisdictions require the work to be ready WHEN YOU CALL. They may have a set waiting time you must wait, but many times the inspector is right next door and comes much sooner than you think. BE READY! Just because your contractor says the footing forms will be ready Friday does not mean they ARE ready. Check before you call. Unavoidable delays such as weather, unshipped materials or sickness can hold up the work. Don’t make the inspector make a useless trip only to find the forms were not installed. One jurisdiction I know of allows only two times for this type of behavior to occur and then the applicant must wait a mandatory five additional days to get an inspection. THAT really slows down the work but it sure does give you time to get READY! If after waiting the usual time for an inspection and you don’t see an inspection slip, call the office and find out why. Don’t just move on. It will only cause you grief in the end.

Lastly, if you are building a home or other complicated structure, keep the drawings on site for the inspector to reference if he/she has a question. They do not carry around every set of drawings with them. If an inspector has a question and drawings are not present, they must return to the office, pull the drawings and this will only delay your inspection. Inspectors may do 10 or12 inspections a day and read another 6 or 7 sets of blueprints for permits. They will not remember your details.

With all this in mind, start in plenty of time, have all your paperwork ready and the process will go quickly. Many building inspectors are builders themselves and are a wealth of free knowledge you may draw upon when needed. Although most cannot legally tell you HOW to construct something (they are not licensed architects or engineers in most cases) they can lead you to where the information can be found very easily.

Pete Your Friendly Building Inspector

http://www.Wagsys.com

BICES-Building Inspection & Code Enforcement System Software

Pete is a 30+ year building inspector with experience in both public and private construction industries. From schools to treatment plants, from private homes and condo projects, to large residential landscaping projects, he has worked both in the building design areas and field construction in the Eastern US. In 2006 he formed along with two other building inspectors, Wagsys LLC which produced software for municipal agencies in the fields of building departments, planning boards and Zoning Boards of Appeals.

Understanding What an Emissions Test Is

Image result for emission testIn some states, you have to have your car regularly inspected. Part of that inspection should include an emissions test. If your vehicle is new, you may not have to worry as much. However, older automobiles may have trouble. Catching potential problems and fixing them in advance can save you time and frustration.

What Are Emissions?

To understand how an emissions test works, you first must understand what the technicians are looking for when examining your vehicle. Simply put, as your automobile uses fuel to power the engine, combustion takes place. What is left over from this process comes out of your vehicle’s tailpipe. Because of the toxicity of the outflow, inspectors must ensure that these gases are within certain levels.

What Does an Emissions Test Look For?

To perform this examination on your vehicle, the technician places a sampler into the tailpipe. This piece of equipment samples the exhaust coming from your engine and reads what the level of gases are in parts per million.

The equipment is set to sense or “sniff” five different types of gases: NOX, O2, CO, CO2 and HC. NOX is the term for oxides of nitrogen and is produced by heating and compressing air containing nitrogen. This compound is very toxic at high levels.

Oxygen is always found in the exhaust as there is always some unburned oxygen being admitted into the air. While this is not a harmful residue, O2 tells how well the engine burns through the fuel. Excessive amounts may indicate that the engine has been tampered with in order to pass the test with faulty equipment.

In addition to O2 and NOX, CO and CO2 are also tested for. CO, or carbon monoxide, is a well-known, colorless, odorless compound that is deadly. CO2, better known as carbon dioxide, is a leading cause of global warming.

The final compound tested for is HC or hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbon is unburned fuel. As with CO and NOX, HC is not something you want to breathe. It is the leading cause of smog seen in large cities.

How Can You Pass the Emissions Test?

Your car must be in fairly decent shape to pass the test. If you have not had a tune up in a while, it is important that you do so before your next inspection. Changing spark plugs, changing the oil, and having a fresh air filter can address many of the issues that your automobile may have. You should also ensure that your gas cap is free of cracks and that it fits snugly.

In addition, if your vehicle has a check engine light on, you will not pass the inspection. Be sure to take your vehicle in for service when this light comes on. There are many different reasons the light could be on, and not all of them are expensive fixes.

The emissions test is designed to help keep our environment clean. While it might seem like a hassle, having cleaner burning vehicles is better for everyone. In addition, you can be certain that your car is in great running condition and will be less likely to break down.

Can The Wrong Car Cleaning Products Damage Your Car?

If you pay a visit to your local auto parts store you will discover a wall full of car care and detailing products. It’s no different on the web. Most retailers of car detailing supplies have so many cleaners, polishes and waxes that it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between even the most basic items. So how do you know what works and what doesn’t? More importantly, can the wrong products damage your car? Good news Waxit.com.au has a car polisher that can be used in cleaning your car dents.

Practically speaking, there are only a few categories of detailing products. For ease of discussion you can break it down into cleaners, polishes and protectants. A few products have more than one purpose. Chemicals that clean and protect in a single step are a good example.

Car Wash

A car wash is a gentle soap that’s designed to clean the exterior of your car without removing wax protection. A soap is not the same as a detergent. A detergent will remove wax protection with a single use. That’s why you should not use a household cleaner like Dawn dish washing liquid, unless you’re planning to wax your car.

I recommend selecting a car wash soap based on what works best for you. You may need to try a few because they all react a bit differently to water quality conditions. That said, all of the major brand names are pretty close in quality. I like Meguiar’s Gold Class. Mothers California Gold is another popular brand.

Tire and Wheel Cleaners

A tire cleaner is a detergent that has enough cleaning power to cut through old tire dressing and the road grunge film that builds up on tires and turns them brown. Be careful. If you find a product that contains petrochemicals or bleach, stay clear. These chemicals will really do a number on fine alloy wheels and they cause tires to age prematurely.

To properly clean your wheels, look for an all-purpose cleaner or an all-purpose wheel cleaner. Don’t use an acid based cleaner unless you have chrome wheels. If you don’t use a cleaner containing acid correctly it will permanently damage your wheels.

Engine and Undercarriage Cleaners

Most people don’t clean their engines, but it’s a great habit to get into because it helps reduce corrosion. Once a year of so is perfect. It takes strong chemicals to remove dirt, grease, oils and grime. The best cleaner for this job was d-limonene, but it is an environmental hazard, so it’s banned in many areas. I suggest a detergent cleaner, not petroleum, such as Meguiar’s new engine cleaner. They really did a good job formulating it for new engines with plastic covers and other composite components.

Leather and Vinyl Cleaner

Leather and vinyl are common throughout car interiors. Both materials are very durable, but the sun, dirt and oils from our bodies can cause rapid deterioration. Skin oils cause vinyl and leather to age and discolor, so frequent light cleaning is necessary to avoid issues. It’s difficult to tell where real leather ends and plastic or vinyl begins theses days, so I recommend using a product designed for both. Lexol is the recognized leader.

Upholstery and Carpet Cleaners

For your carpet and fabric finishes, including carpeted floor mats, you can choose sprays or foams. There’s no easy answer here because there are advantages and disadvantages to each. Foams have the ability to push dirt to the surface where it can be vacuumed away. They also put less liquid into the fibers so the carpet or fabric dries faster. Conversely, liquid cleaners thoroughly wetting the fabric and carpet fibers for deep cleaning. I prefer liquid cleaners.

Glass and Plastic Cleaners

Ammonia-based glass cleaners should not be used on your vehicle. It’s harsh on interior car surfaces and it’s a health risk when used in confined spaces. A better solution is a damp microfiber towel. They clean glass without using chemical cleaners. You can clean clear plastic surfaces, including window tint film, with a glass cleaner as long as it does not contain ammonia or alcohol. These chemicals will ruin clear plastic. A better solution is to use a plastic cleaner, such as Plexus.

Paint Polish

Paint polish, not car wax, is what gives paint its high gloss shine. Choose a car polish that matches the needs of your car’s paint finish. New cars need a fine polish that cleans more than polishes. This type of polish is typically called a pre-wax cleaner. If you have swirl marks, fine scratches or water spots, choose a polish that specifically addresses these problems, but don’t use heavy rubbing compounds.

Clay Bar

About ten years ago a new product came onto the market for general use that cleans better than car polish. It’s called detailing clay, and it works like an erasure. Using a spray lubricant to prevent sticking, you simply rub the clay bar over the paint finish to make it clean and slick again. All of the bonded contamination transfers directly to the clay.

Car Wax

The final step is waxing. These days, “car wax” refers to any coating you apply to protect the paint. Synthetic waxes are also called paint sealants. Be leery of false claims on paint sealants. Too many products claim to last a year or more, and it’s simply not true. Regardless of any claim, your vehicle needs regular cleaning and waxing to prevent surface oxidation. Waxing three to four times a year is optimal.

To learn more about car cleaning products visit David Bynon’s Guide To Detailing blog, a leading source of information about detailing products and DIY car care.

Avoid The Costly Auto Purchasing Mistakes Through Education

You may have had stressful car buying experiences in the past that are intimidating. You just have to learn all you can about the process. You no longer need to settle for whatever is given to you. Another purpose of buying a car is we can make it use by putting an advertisement car stickers Sydney to promote your business in the area.

Your wants and needs must be defined before buying a car. How much can you afford to spend? How many people need to fit into the car? How much gas mileage should the car have? Do you want a two-door car or a four-door car? Get it all down on paper, and bring it with you when shopping so that you don’t forget.

Don’t let a salesperson talk you into buying a vehicle you can’t afford. It is imperative to stay firm and in control while car shopping. Remember, the more expensive the car, the more commission he or she will make.

Before heading to the dealership, do some comparison shopping online. Don’t visit a dealership until you have a good idea of what you want in a vehicle, such as size, brand, and pricing. Spend some time online comparing your options and learning about the most important safety features. These are vital things, yet the salesperson might not tell you about them outright.

You should always have someone go with you when going car shopping. This person has the ability to act as the perfect sounding board, and they can help you leave a deal that is not great for you. You can take your significant other with you, your mom or dad, or a friend.

If you are looking for a new car, you need to find one that is safe. The car should have ABS or anti-lock brakes. Air bags are also important. After all, you’ll be in your vehicle alot. Therefore, safety is important.

When you’re looking for a vehicle, think about how the fuel economy can affect you. For instance, a V-8 that can tow may appear to be a good idea. But you should consider how often you will be using the towing feature and how often you will need the extra horsepower a V-8 offers.

If you already drive a nice vehicle, avoid taking that car to the dealership with you. The dealer will take one look at your vehicle and refuse to work with you on negotiating a lower price. The only time this is a good idea is if you are planning to trade in such a vehicle.

Get the cost on the car in stone before you discuss trade-ins, or any other monetary exchanges. All of this should come out of your agreed bottom line. You will end up with a better price if you negotiate the deal first, then discuss these “extras”.

Consider purchasing outside of a dealership. Checking local papers, listings and smaller vehicle lots may hold the key to finding the car you want without having to pay a big price. Make good use of your local classifieds and social media sites that can help you narrow your search and possibly find the right car at a great price.

Visit auto shows so you have a better idea of what interests you most. At a car show, you can make detailed comparisons of multiple manufacturers’ offerings in a single location. You can also find out much information from many knowledgeable sources there. After your visit to an auto show, you will have an inkling of the particular vehicles you would like to look at in depth.

Look on the Internet for a good price on the used car you have had your eye on. There isn’t much of a reason to go to a regular car dealer in this day and age. You can scour sites such as Craigslist, eBay and online classified ads for a car. Doing so can save time and money, and avoid a lot of the negatives associated with car purchases.

Don’t just sign–read! You could be getting in some serious trouble if you’re out there blindly signing money away. Your signature binds you legally, meaning you’ll have to pay or suffer severe consequences. Do not hesitate to ask if you can take the contract home to go over it carefully. You might be able to ask them for a photocopy of the contract.

When purchasing a used car, it’s important that you do thorough research. There are very useful Internet resources to help you determine a car’s worth. Utilize NADA or Kelly Blue Book in order to figure out the value of a car. If the dealer is selling a car for more than what these two sources price the car at, then go elsewhere.

Are you more confident with car shopping now? These guidelines should have helped you to make better decisions. You don’t have to feel confused anymore. This knowledge empowers you and puts the control back in your hands.

Know Why Your Car Brakes Squeak

Image result for car brakes squeakAll of you must be aware of the fact that brakes are quite an important safety feature for cars and that is the reason as to why squeaky brakes can easily cause a driver to panic. Sometimes squeaky brakes can be a cause of genuine concern as it may signify that our brakes are going bad and at other times there may not be any reason to worry. However, it needs to be noted here that certain sounds from the car’s brakes are quite normal and are caused by different driving conditions. For example, conditions like severe braking, dusty or sandy conditions or even humidity can cause various noises from the car’s brakes.

Some of the common causes of brake squeaks in the car are the following:
Rust on the Rotors: This is quite common and it has been seen that disc brakes of car have a tendency to squeak if they are parked out in the open air throughout the night. Most brakes squeak after sitting overnight because the moisture from the rain or dew or condensation collects on the surface of the rotors. When there is moisture on the surface of the rotors, a thin layer of rust forms on the surface. As the rotor turns, the pad scrapes the rust off the rotors and then the rust easily gets caught on the leading edge of the brake pad. The fine particles of rust get embedded into the leading edge of the pad which in turn causes a squeaking sound.

This squeaking sound will continue until the rust is removed from the rotors.

Brake Pads: Another cause of squeaking brakes can be thinning brake pads. This usually happens when the brake pads are worn out and has become extremely thin. In fact, this is an effective warning that the brake pads are in a bad condition and needs to be replaced soon so that it does not cause an untoward incident on the road.

High Metal Content: It has been seen that high metal content in brake pads also cause the squeaking sound. However, it is natural that there is some amount of metal in the brake pads but some of the cheap varieties are manufactured with high metal content. In fact, large chunks of metal are embedded into the pad material. The result is that the large pieces of metal drag on the rotor and causes the brakes to squeak while the car is on the move.

Lubrication: Sometimes a squeaking sound from the rear brakes are also heard after pushing the brake pedals. It indicates that the shoe-to-backing-plate contact points need to be lubricated. Once the contact point loses lubrication the metal begins to rust. When such a thing happens the shoes will scrape against the backing plate, which in turn causes a squeaking sound while the wheel rotates.

If your car brakes are squeaking, it is best to get your vehicle checked by a trusted car mechanic and get his opinion on the condition of your brakes and the reason as to why they are squeaking. Remember, car brakes play an important role in maintaining the safety of the vehicle while on road and so it is always better to be safe than sorry!