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

Surfing Lessons — Learn to Ride the Waves

Want to learn to surf but don’t know where to start? Surfing lessons are all about taking your surfing to the next level regardless of how much experience — or lack thereof — you may have. It’s all about conquering fear, learning water safety, expanding your ocean and wave knowledge, and returning to the true essence of surfing — fun and relaxation! If you need good surfing app to match your passion for the waves, look no further than these top 5 apps that every surfer should try.

You’re never too old to learn to surf. People of all ages are drawn to the majesty of our beautiful oceans. If you feel the call of the sun and surf pumping through your veins, it’s time to find an instructor!

Learning to Surf — Finding an Instructor

The internet is a great place to find instructors and research their backgrounds and qualifications. Regardless of your reason for seeking out a surfing instructor there are a few things that you should consider mandatory: A long history of surfing (preferably professionally to some extent), up-to-date first aid certification, proven (preferably certified) surf rescue experience, and a thorough knowledge of wave, weather and wind conditions (which should be commensurate with the instructor’s experience, i.e. The more time that they’ve been spent in the water, the greater their understanding of the ocean and weather conditions).

There are many excellent surfing instructors throughout the world. Many have been involved in competitive surfing of some description or have at least spent enough time in the water to have a sound knowledge of the demands of the sport.

If you’re on holidays at the seaside and just want to experience surfing as a holiday activity then you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a local surfer or local surf school that can give you a quick rundown of the basics and give you a quick ride or two on a board. In some of the more renowned surfing spots you’ll likely even be able to find a pro surfer to guide you to your first wave.

If you’re a little more serious about your surfing, or want the complete surfing experience in the hands of a true professional, there are many professional/ex-professional surfers who can guide your development as a surfer and help you to get the most out of your surfing experience.

Surfing greats such as Nancy Emerson, Corky Carroll and Frieda Zamba offer surfing lessons at some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Whether you’re a beginner and very wet behind the ears, or a professional surfer in your own right, these experienced professionals can help you hone your skills and develop your style, giving you more confidence in the water and in your ability to navigate waves and the surf zone.

Depending on how serious you are about the sport, you’ll be able to choose from surfing lessons of a couple of hours at a time to surfing clinics and camps for more intensive training. You can learn to stand on a board and catch a small wave in a day, or work on form, style and ocean awareness with surfing legends over the space of several days to a week or more.

Going It Alone?

You may be fired up and ready to surf, but don’t jump the gun. It might be tempting — especially in a beachside location or if you have friends that surf — to just grab a surfboard and go for it.

This is a bad idea for two reasons: One, it’s much easier to learn the right way to do things initially than to rectify bad habits and, two, you don’t want to spend your hard earned money on surfing gear (and, in particular, on a surfboard) before you’ve had some training and experience, because you won’t know what board best suits your style of surfing.

Many surf schools will provide equipment for you to learn with. If you come across one that doesn’t then it’s usually possible to hire the necessary equipment from a surf shop. Have a couple of lessons first, maybe try a few different surfboards of various shapes and sizes (on hire from the surf shops), and then think a little more about what board is best for you. Your instructor should also be happy to give you some advice about where to start.

Another good reason to not go it alone initially is because surfing, like any sport, can be dangerous for the uninitiated. The awesome power of the ocean doesn’t discriminate according to experience and even small breaks can have dangerous rips and currents. It’s far safer at all times to only swim and surf in the company of fellow beach goers. That warning stands for both new and experienced surfers — an unknown break is always potentially dangerous.

Any surf instructor worth their salt will make sure that you only surf in conditions that are safe for your level of experience. Aside from the possibility that a serious spill might put you off surfing for good, big water surfing without the necessary experience is irresponsible at best, suicidal at worst — never surf in conditions you aren’t ready for, and only experiment under the watchful eye of a professional surfer or an experienced buddy!

Most surfers will tell you that surfing is more than just a sport; it’s an existential experience, the ultimate rush, and it can be addictive. So get yourself an instructor, suit up, grab a board and hit the beach!

Resources

Written by Sara Schell. [email protected]

Experience the exhilaration of riding the most awesome power on Earth – contact Nancy Emerson and book your surfing lesson, clinic, or course in beautiful Hawaii! http://www.surfclinics.com

Sara Schell is a freelance writer and operates SpellCast Advertising, based in Australia. Sara specialises in search engine-optimised articles and text for websites. Services available: copywriting, ghostwriting, creative writing, SEO copywriting.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Sara_Schell/28454

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/208786

Surf Products and Accessories-What Do You Need For Surfing

Surf Products and Accessories-What Do You Need For Surfing

Surfing is one of the best recreational sports and an activity that is healthy, fun, and thrilling. Surfing is an activity that can be enjoyed by all. So, what type surfboard, surfing product or accessories will give you a day of fun and enjoyment? What do you need to go surfing? Download the Surf comp app from the App Store and then just get your club member details organised in a spreadsheet.

Waves are the most important thing you need for surfing. You may ask, what type waves do I need? The answer to this question is simple; any wave that is available to you. There are all types and sizes of waves from rippling little ones to the giant waves of Hawaii. Recreational surfers need and prefer the little waves. However, you need the proper surf products and accessories for all conditions.

In order to enjoy the waves, you need to be prepared. This means that you may need several different surfboard types and surfing devices along with the necessary accessories to ride the waves that are available for you to surf on any given day. Every day is different and the conditions will dictate that you need a different type surfboard or surfing device to take advantage of the waves at your local beach break.

Here’s a list of surfing products and surfing devices for you to consider:

  • Swimfins
  • Bodyboard
  • Skimboard
  • Wakeboard
  • Soft surfboard
  • Short surfboard
  • Long surfboard
  • SUP

On some days, the waves will be perfect little peelers for bodysurfing. In order to really take advantage of the waves, you need to have a pair of good fitting swimfins. Fins will allow you swim faster and to get into the wave earlier, which will allow you to ride the shoulder of the wave just like the board surfers and boogie board riders do. You want to get on the corner of the wave and ride the green water out of the soup. This is a thrill and you need swimfins to catch the waves and stay with it. The fins will allow you to also ride the bigger waves as you get more proficient. Bodysurfing is a great way to have fun with your friends. Getting your group together and going to a spot that is suited for bodysurfing is really fun.

Body boarding, or boogie boarding as I like to call it after my friend Tom Morey who invented the little board, is something you can do under almost any surf condition. It is especially fun in little waves, which allow little kids, those who are beginning surfers and senior citizens to ride and enjoy the sensation of riding waves. You can ride the foam and the little waves right up onto the sand. As you get more experienced, you will want to ride the shoulders of the waves like the surfboard riders. Eventually if you are experienced and good in the water, you can ride the bigger waves as some do in Hawaii and other select surfing spots throughout the world.

Skimboarding is another surfing sport that does not require large waves and is done right near the shoreline, typically in smaller waves or even no waves at all. Some kids even skim on wet grass where there are little knolls. Another thing you can do when there is no surf is to ride your wakeboard. Wakeboarding is done behind a boat and can be done on wakeboards made especially for being towed behind a boat or you can ride your short, long, soft and hard surfboards. Some surfers, when they get proficient, let go of the rope and surf the waves generated by the wake of the boat. Don’t let the fact that there are no waves to surf at your chosen surf spot keep you from enjoying the water and riding the surfboard or other surfing device that will make your day a fun filled experience.

You really need to have at least one surfboard type that you can use for most surfing conditions. It’s better if you have more than one, but stay with what you can afford. Selecting a surfboard or surfboards is a fun process, but selecting the right one is very important. You ask yourself, should I buy a soft surfboard or a hard surfboard? What length board should I buy? What are the surfing conditions where I will be surfing the most? Is it shore break, point break, big, average or small type surf? What is my experience level that will justify the surfboard type that I choose? All of these questions need to be addressed. The surfboard type and design that you choose should be suitable for the normal conditions of the waves you will be surfing most.

If you live on a lake, bay, lagoon, river, or an ocean where there are calm surf conditions, you will probably want to have a SUP, which is also known as a Standup Paddleboard. SUPs have become one of the most popular surfing devices because they are large, stable and the fact that they are also very easy to learn to paddle and ride. Persons of all ages can ride them and the SUP has become a board that all members of a family can own and ride. SUPing has become a terrific group and family activity, which requires no surf and can be done on almost any calm body of water.

How about surfing accessories? What accessories do you need? Here’s a list of the more essential ones:

Wetsuit(s)
Rash guard
Wax
Surfboard leash
Variety of fins and fin key
Travel bags
Surfboard rack for your car
Plastic container for wetsuits and changing
Large towel
Board shorts; more than one pair
Sunscreen
Hide-a-key
Carry bag
Money
Water
Swimfins

Surfing is a sport that is conducted away from home. I recommend that you have all of these accessory items listed above to meet the conditions of the water and the surf activity of the day. You will need different items on different days, but on some days you will use all of them. Plan ahead and you will have success and fun on your surfing days.

Before you go surfing, you should check the local surf report from an online source like Surfline.com. What is the water temperature? Do you need a wetsuit? If so, what thickness suit do you need? Do you need booties or a hood to keep you warm? Maybe all you need is a spring wetsuit or maybe the water is warm enough to wear only your swim suit. The choices are many. Some of the wetsuits have short sleeves and or short legs or combinations of long legs and short sleeves or vice versa. I would suggest that in moderate climates you have a spring suit and a full suit. The spring suit should be 2.0 and the full suit should probably be 4/3 or 3/2 depending on the prevailing water temps. Rash guards should be worn under wetsuits to prevent chaffing. You may also want to wear one on a sunny day to prevent sunburn. These items will be worn for all types of surfing.

Don’t forget to bring wax and a leash for your board. It seems that surfers forget this item or lose it in the water and are always looking around for some. You need specific wax for the water temperature conditions. Ask the surf shop people what kind you need or read the labels and use the type you need based on the surf report. A handy tip is to keep your surfboard waxed and ready to surf at all times. It’s no fun not to have any wax and go out into the surf with a slippery deck surface. You’ll be slipping and sliding and falling off your board and end up not having a good surf. The other thing you need is a leash, especially if you have a long paddle out, rough surf, or if you are surfing in a rocky area. Loosing you board and having to swim back in is no fun. If your surfboard is damaged in the rocks, that makes it all the worse and will ruin your day fast.

The rest of the items on the list are self explanatory. Make a check list and make sure you check your accessory items before you leave to go surfing. There is no use leaving something behind that will cause you to have a bad day.

With all of these thoughts in mind, get the right surfboard type products and go Surf Life! It’s a blast!!

Oak Street Surf was founded by Chuck Herpick, a Stanford graduate and former Naval Aviator, an accomplished surfer who has spent his lifetime in or near the ocean surfing most of the California and Hawaii breaks over the many years.

Oak Street Surf, [http://www.oakstreetsurf.com], is an online surf shop representing the latest surfboard products and accessories. You can get a good review of top of the line surfboard types and designs including bodyboards, skimboards, Custom SUPs, longboards, and shortboards.

Chuck believes that surfing, whether it is bodysurfing, boogie boarding, board surfing, skimboarding or riding a Standup Paddleboard (SUP) will change your life forever. You will be able to apply the love you will obtain from surfing to everything you do and will learn how to Surf Life! What a joy!!

Visit Oak Street Surf at [http://www.oakstreetsurf.com], the one-stop online surfboard and surfing equipment store, to find out more about surfboards, surfing, Standup Paddleboards, and what types and designs of water sports products are available. You will be able to talk to the experts with over 70 years of surfing experience. Visit the site now!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Chuck_Herpick/1477936

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7827720

Emergency Electrician Blue Mountains Is Popular Among people

Australia (30-09-2017) What’s the Electrician Blue Mountains? An electric re wire simplifies some or most of the electric wiring of a home so as to keep safety and protect against harmful threats, such as faulty pipes. When emptied, such flaws could result in structural fires or damage, especially in elderly possessions. An electric adjuster will upgrade your premises to complement the current standards, consequently boosting your security and potentially supplying you with additional and more conveniently placed electrical sockets. Additionally, it may incorporate features like modern security apparatus and fuse boards that’ll offer protection against electric shocks and flame. One way to avoid issues with your electricity is to repair or replace any old or defective wiring before a problem arises that’s what we do as your 24 hour electrician Brisbane.

When If a Rewire Be Accomplished?
There are various motives to rewire your residence. A number of the most frequent motives are as follows:

• Rewiring’s are essential approximately every 20 25 decades.
• Failed electrical reviews.
• Constant issues like tripping RCDs or blowing off fuses.
• Buzzing sounds or heat from electric sockets.
• Electrical appliances turning off and on or lights rusting.
• Out-dated, shameful rubber-coated wiring (which is more than 50 yrs of age).

Factors Affected with the Expense to Rewire a Home
Mature homes, even though full of character and charm, may possibly call for whole-house re-wiring for safety and also to meet local construction codes. There Are Lots of questions which decide the cost of rewiring a home, for example:

• What’s the charge of choosing a certified electrician?
• Just how much can a construction permit to perform a home cost in your region?
• are you going to have to use a brand new electric panel?
• Just how much do the substances cost to mow the home?

Hiring a Power Contractor to Rewire a Home
Re-wiring a home can be quite a time-consuming endeavor and thus it goes without mentioning that hiring a seasoned, licensed electrician would be well worth your investment. Make sure you request references, and also ensure the electric contractor is licensed and properly insured. The design of a residence is just a sizable project both concerning financial and time investment, which means you ought to ensure that you’re in great hands on your approach. Have you been searching for inside details about 24hr Electrician Blue Mountains? Visit our official website right now.

Unlocking The True Potential Of Search Engine Optimization

It is clear to see that the world. If you don’t have your site optimized for searches within Google (or Yahoo! or Bing), you will not get the most from SEO. Being one of the best seo companies is not hard to show when you are the best so that is why heliumseo.com.au shows our live results.

You should be patient when performing SEO for your website. You will not see any huge changes or an influx in your traffic overnight. It can take a lot of time if you are new sites. Just as with an offline business, it will take time to build your name.

Using a product feeds can help draw traffic and business to your site. Feeds like this detail your services and products with images, descriptions and pictures. Submit your blog posts to shopping comparison websites and to the major search engines.

Use a properly descriptive title tags to ensure that all search engines can best understand your web page. Your title tag should be 60 characters or less, as this is the limit of the majority of search engines. They also give less importance to terms after that point.

People think that this happens on its own. Check back from time to time to make sure that your site is still present and being found.

You won’t find many image links if you are using SEO correctly. Image links only give the search engine.

These alt tags are read and indexed by the search engines, and improve your site ranking in searches.

You will help your SEO by using off-site linking to reputable websites. This is by far an extremely vital part to linking. Search engines place more than internal links than to the internal links that connect pages on your own site. Look for available link exchange options also, so your ranking and your traffic can increase.

The initial paragraph on your webpage should have terms that are also usable HTML META descriptor tag. There are search engines that use this information rather than the tag itself as the blurb for your site is about in their results. Bad content here can hurt your efforts.

Join the local Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau for better search engine ranking. This assists with local searches as they are generally automatically linked to you automatically.

Don’t just make a wall of links on a single page without any context. Blend them into the other content on your page. Pages filled with links tend to be ranked poorly by search engines.

Make sure to write for human readers when doing your content is easy to read and understand. While you will need to include important keywords that the bots are looking for, they are not the ones making the purchases, so you can optimize the content afterwards. You want your site to be readable at all times. You could fail if it is not.

Social media websites have a valuable tool in search engine optimization process.

Use the companies to help market your advantage. These companies will help you design your site a search engine. Many different companies offer reasonable prices and promotions on this type of service.

Think like a consumer when you are coming up with tags to include. Determine which common words your target audience are typing into search engines.

Search engine optimization takes time and consistency. It is only natural response to want to see immediate results for all of your hard work. You have to remember that building a solid web presence online takes dedication and time.

Use SEO to gain additional traffic to your website. Making your website spider friendly is imperative for success. Spiders cannot read images, so it is critical that you tag each image that appears on your site. Be sure to utilize descriptions that is rich in keywords.

If you don’t monitor your page standings then you will not know if your seo efforts in SEO are paying off. You can use either Alexa or Google toolbar to determine your ranking.

Focus on phrases rather than single words. Most people don’t just use one keyword. You have to choose phrases that people use to find the types of products you are offering. ” as opposed to just advertising a sale! This will take away from the quality of your keyword phrases properly.

Google Analytics is a must have. This program will help you track your website’s success so that you can tweak it and improve upon it. You can look at it to do things like find out exactly which keywords are helping to bring traffic by using this tool. You then able to make changes to your site in order to be more focused on certain keyword phrases.

Focusing excessively on SEO techniques and strategies can make you to forget what the point is after all. Don’t forget the goal of both constantly attracting traffic and keeping visitors. You will want to have fresh content regularly updated on your rank. Having a site that has great content on your website also among the best search engine optimization techniques. Make sure your content it relevant and updated content.

You should always use keyword phrases for all links associated with your site and also the ones that are already there. This can help search engines rank your site content is relevant to your targeted keywords. You should make time to go through your site includes internal links that use keyword links.

Registering your site with multiple search engines can allow them to better crawl your site. You will find a link for site submission on each search engine’s page. Use strong descriptors and relevant keywords to help the crawler index your site it properly categorized.

Include keywords and phrases on your site. This means you to maximize your visibility. Your website should always trace back to the keywords that you are promoting.

Use what you have learned here and stay on top of the online business. The more relevant a search engine considers your website, the higher up it will end up in search results. Implement these tips today and get ahead of the game. Your competitors are going to implement these strategies if you don’t.

Bathroom Renovation Ideas to Transform a Small Bathroom Into a Personal Spa

The most ignored part of your home can become the most beautiful part of your home.

Do you ignore the bathroom space? Are the bathroom walls dull and lifeless? Do you think of it as a simple space for washing and bathing? Homeowners ignore the bathroom space and do not give much thought to how much more they can get out of it. If you do not think of the bathroom, you will end up with a simple room that satisfies your basic needs only. But, if you want to increase the importance of the bathroom in your home, you have to pay attention to it and convert it into a personal spa. Northern Beaches bathroom renovations are qualified to do whatever customizations or design that you want for your new bathroom.

Size does matter!

One problem that homeowners often face while renovating a bathroom is its size. Do not despair if you feel that the bathroom is too small to give you a good spa-like experience. By making a few changes, you will be able to add more value to the bathroom.

Ideas than can make a Small Bathroom Comfortable

It is all in the Mirrors

One trick that works wonders for any small room is the use of mirrors. Using large mirrors in the bathroom will help you to create the feeling of a larger room. It will enable you to make your personal spa look less cramped. Alternatively, you can opt for glass partitions for the shower area. It will ensure that the room appears bigger than usual.

Do something about the Lighting

With the help of lighting, you will able to give the bathroom a brighter look. Also, lighting is the key factor for creating a spa-like ambience in your home. Opt for lighting fixtures that you can dim or adjust to desired levels. It will create a relaxing atmosphere. If the bathroom has access to natural light, make maximum use of it. And, if you do not have access to natural light, use artificial lighting to make the room appear bright. Do not shy away from looking for subtle crystal lighting fixtures because they will add more light and character to the bathroom.

Choose the Right Color

A single change in the color scheme can not only make the room spacious but also create a relaxing atmosphere. Light or neutral colors such as beige, light green or gray can be effective for a successful bathroom renovation project. You can use the same shade of tiles to create an impression of increased space.

In addition, you can choose tiles that add a natural touch to the room. Use textured pebble-tiles that are soothing to the feet. You can opt for faux wood tiles that are not made from natural wood but still give the same feeling of warmth and peace. Heated flooring will also keep you warm during cold days.

Accessorize and Choose Appropriate Fittings

Accessories have a way of enhancing the design of the room. Finding the right accessories for the bathroom can help you to transform it into a personal spa. You can use simple accessories such as candles to fill the bathroom with a relaxing fragrance. You can also add towel holders and other accessories that will give an organized and clean look to the area. Even the towels that you choose for the room should evoke the feeling of being in a spa. Choose fittings that make the room appear big and comfortable. You can opt for a suspended or floating vanity that will allow the floor tiles to extend all the way to the wall. It will create an illusion of space. Alternatively, an open vanity can also add more space to the bathroom.

The idea of transforming a small washing space into a relaxing retreat is a great way of making optimum use of the bathroom. It is important to list your ideas because a well-planned renovation project can ensure a successful transformation. Once you are ready with a clear vision, prepare a budget. Make sure that you use quality products and fittings that guarantee minimum maintenance.

Hire a Professional Bathroom Renovation Contractor

Do not think that renovating a small area doesn’t require the services of a professional. Hiring an experienced bathroom renovation contractor will transform your ideas into a beautiful reality. So, ask your friends and family members to recommend professional contractors who can handle the task of transforming a dingy bathroom into a comfortable personal spa.

Affinity Renovations offers professional assistance for small as well as big renovation projects. The bathroom renovation contractor of Greater Toronto Area is the perfect choice for transforming dark, shabby bathrooms into magnificent masterpieces. Get in touch for all types of home renovation services such as basement renovation, kitchen remodeling, home painting, etc.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Christine_Delongte/2157989

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9551518

Top 10 Best Logo Design & Brand Identity Firms

Top Design Firms reviews, ranks, lists, and advertises some of the best web design firms, logo design firms, responsive design firms, and mobile app design firms across the U.S. and internationally.

NEW YORK, NY, July 25, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ — Every month the Top Design Firms (TDF) team ranks the most brilliant design firms nationwide. Based on project scope, client rating, originality, and innovation the firms are assessed. As of July 2017, the ranking group is pleased to announce its newest top 10 in the category of best logo design & brand identity firms. Blue Fountain Media, Deluxe, and Lounge Lizard Worldwide secure the top three spots, with Maxburst and Hudson Integrated following close behind. onlinelogomaker can create you a logo based on the story of your brand.

More about July 2017’s Top Rated Logo Design & Brand Identity Firms:

Blue Fountain Media

Bringing your brand into the 21st century begins with a stellar logo and an even better brand identity. Trust the branding firm of Blue Fountain Media to turn your business into an iconic brand.

Deluxe

This team of artists create truly stellar work with the goal of exceeding all client expectations. From intricate design to marketing created to perform, you can rely on the branding firm of Deluxe.

Lounge Lizard Worldwide

Turning your business into a brand is no easy task, but the branding firm at Lounge Lizard brings creative strategy and business-oriented solutions to create the ultimate brand identity.

Maxburst, Inc.

Maxburst gets that your brand is the most important aspect of your business. They work hard to make sure that no detail goes unnoticed, and that your brand’s culture is represented in every detail they create.

Hudson Integrated

Branding takes strategy, creativity, and innovation. One of the most talented branding firms, Hudson Integrated has exactly what it takes, and more to create a brand you can be proud to call your own.

eDesign Interactice

The branding team at eDesign Interactive surpasses all expectations in logo design and branding with incredible skill and creativity. With an expansive portfolio of client work and a true passion for the industry, eDesign Interactive is a true top choice for all your logo design/branding projects.

Dotlogics

Dotlogics is changing the way we see brands. Every tiny detail that goes into creating a brand is thoroughly analyzed and thought out in order to create something truly amazing for your business.

Brockton

From unique logo design, to innovative branding methods, Brockton takes creativity & genius marketing to create branding that inspires and motivates.

LogoWorks

One of the best branding firms, LogoWorks works hard to make sure that each logo they produce is truly outstanding. It’s more than a design, it’s a unique symbol that represents the culture and value of your business.

Makespace

Extraordinary Design & Branding Firms – Makespace is one of those branding firms that transforms branding into a true representation of everything good your business has to offer. From strategy, to logo design, this innovative team works hard to create truly amazing work.

The TDF team is thrilled as more businesses submit their work for review in the competitive marketplace, with the opportunity to see where they fall amongst the top ranked in the nation. The well-established rating group is looking forward to expanding its reach, and continuing to rank the best web design agencies for clients nationwide.

About TDF:

Top Design Firms was founded in 2003 to recognize the best work in the web design industry. Since then, TDF has seen some of the best, most innovative web design work from around the world. While the firm only ranks United States-based firms, its also one of the largest web design directories online, listing international firms as well. TDF’s mission is to push digital design to new heights while providing those seeking design services a curated list of high-quality design firms.

To learn more about Top Design Firms, or see one of this month’s Top 10 Rankings, visit www.TopDesignFirms.com

Media Contacts:

Company Name: Top Design Firms
Full Name: Todd Daley
Email Address: [email protected]
Website: https://www.topdesignfirms.com/

Can Press Releases Impact SEO Performance?

Yes, but…oh, you thought you could just stop there? You should know us better by now. The answer is it’s complicated. Here’s why:

The type of press release that creates SEO benefit is not the one you syndicate, nor the one that you post on your own website about yourself (psst – your blog should not be made up of press releases!), and certainly not the “news” sites that just copy/paste your release onto their site and slap on their own byline. People are searching for you all over the web. Internet searchers today are typing in keywords that apply to the products or services you offer, if you want to at the top of search results look for seo company Sydney.

First, let’s talk a bit about what a press release is supposed to do as a public relations tactic. A press release is a conduit from a company, firm, or an organization to a journalist or news outlet with the intent of gaining coverage for the company, firm, client, or organization. Meaning, if we send off a press release to a news outlet or a reporter, we’d like to net a third party piece written in a journalistic manner regarding the (hopefully) newsworthy item we pitched to them. This would, in turn, create a link on the news outlet’s page with unique content that we could then share anywhere, or it would appear via print somewhere in hardcopy like a magazine or newspaper. The press release is NOT the news article. It’s not written in a storytelling manner, it’s not fit for print as is – it’s meant to entice a reporter with a newsworthy story in order to get them to research, investigate, and then write a story from that release.

Knowing the function of a press release now, the benefit of this is obvious, right? A mention of your company, client, or organization news somewhere else on the web racking up SEO value and linking to your organization in some way online.

However, there is a commoditized form of press netting that PR pros use which is akin to syndication. Using sites like PRweb or pitching through a software like Cision – which then mass-broadcasts the press release to journalists, bloggers, influencers, and key personas that may be interested in it as a potential story – has created an odd side-effect. A link is often created by these pitch companies that is a complete reproduction under a unique URL that essentially appears to be a third party story or use of the press release, but is really just a copy/paste and byline change (and not even this sometimes) in order to attempt to index the site and gain referrals.

You might remember that somewhere in back 2013/2014, commoditized press releases, or “spun” press releases, as they are commonly called (a word that’s the ultimate middle finger to a PR person who values transparency and solid strategy), were penalized by Google and then challenged, with mixed results. Google took on several algorithmic changes to discount the validity and value of these types of publications and URLs, sometimes deeply affecting the source site or originator (company, client, or organization) attempting to “fake” third party links in order to further SEO without PAYING Google for it (via advertising).

In 2014, Authority Labs had a spirited debate among industry leaders regarding the use of press releases, in which about 50% of those surveyed basically commented that they didn’t understand how PR pros USED press releases, so the article left us scratching our heads a little bit, as did some of the commentary in a few online forums. In 2015, Rand from Moz had a Whiteboard Friday posting of a similarly abused tactic for advertising, but didn’t really put to bed whether or not using PRWeb, etc. is a negative tactic for public relations pros to use.

Then in 2016, SEOPressor compiled a great reference guide (minus all the overt selling for a syndication provider) for folks who want to use press releases as the universe intended: to solicit third party news coverage (good for SEO), NOT as the release BEING the news coverage (bad for SEO). That article has strong points about Google’s “philosophy” regarding links and press releases (which is very similar to what we know already…no keyword or link stuffing). Also helpful is the Search Engine Journal discussion of what makes for “good” versus “bad” content creation with the aid of press releases. In general, you have to think about the role of Google as it relates to duplicate (aka verbatim) content, which is a discussion we have had for a few years now regarding platforms like Medium and LinkedIn with syndication or crossover in full reproduction glory.

The skinny is…don’t syndicate it. Press releases in and of themselves AS content are NOT an SEO strategy – we totally agree with Search Engine Watch on this. However, we would like to clarify that the SEO result based on the third party (journalist, blogger, etc.) coverage that a press release can elicit when properly pitched is still pretty great.

So if you work in public relations, work a little harder! If you want to talk about your company, client, or organization through the lens of unique (or even third party) content, don’t be lazy and syndicate. Properly pitch your press release to outlets that will cover it, research the appropriate channel, and use your relationships to create outlets for your newsworthy content. They WILL pick it up if it is newsworthy. If not, re-purpose the idea held within the press release. Create unique and relevant content for Facebook, LinkedIn (remember, don’t just cut and paste), Twitter, your company blog, a white paper or editorial, or guest blog for a popular industry site. No matter what it is, create content worth sharing or covering, and Google will not penalize you. Nor will your audience.

At the end of the day, you should be trying to generate as many unique content pieces about your subject (news) as possible. Keep that at the heart of your strategy. Do the right thing, use the right tools, and work to create content worth sharing or picking up by a news outlet, and you stay above the fray.

Your Next Home Should Be A Truly New Home

Learn why you need to choose a better custom homes builders

Questions on new homes?

Your search will find new homes & communities, floorplans, photos, videos and deals available in your area. Refine results by price, beds, baths, schools & more! When you have a list of potential custom homes builders Sydney, it’s time to start asking lots of questions — of both the potential custom homes builders and the owners of their homes.

Not sure where to start?

One of the first decisions to make in the new home process is rather to go with a production versus custom home builder. Do you know the difference?

As you plan your new home, one of the firstquestionsto consider is whether working with custom home builder or a higher volume home builder (also referred to as a production builder) is the best choice for you. Both types of builders are excellent options and each can deliver a great new home for you. Much of the decision will rest in how many choices you wish to make — as well as how much design input you’d like to have during your home’sconstruction process. At its core, the difference between a production home builder and a custom home builder is simple: A production builder simultaneously builds a community of homes based on a library of floor plans, each with a limited array of personalization options.

A custom builder typically creates a one-of-a-kind home that offers an even greater range of design choices that’s often built on a single lot.

Custom Builders As the name implies, the process of building a custom home is less scripted because there are no pre-defined choices or menus to choose from.

The home can be built on land you own orland that you acquire. You can supply a floor plan or commission a set of floor plans to be drawn from scratch. You can work with a separate architect and builder — or with a design-build company that manages both the architectural design and the construction process. You’ll be more involved in the process and have the opportunity to make many decisions.

You can pick from nearly any product in a category — within your budget, of course – rather than selecting from a defined menu of choices.

The Production Home Process A production builder can usually deliver the same size home for less money than a custom builder. The reasons lie in volume purchasing power when buying building materials and land and a higher volume, often systematized approach to construction. Buying the right type of land is a big part of a production builder’s strategy. Many larger builders construct homes in large, master-planned communities.

A production builder’s scale and access to a large number of lots in such communities also allows the construction process to be fine-tuned for greater efficiency. Higher volume builders can also pass on cost savings by purchasing building materials in bulk. Just as large airlines can lock in low fuel prices by ordering in volume, production builders can use their size to order materials for hundreds of homes at a time, often at lower prices. An advantage of production home communities is that the community developer also works closely with each builder to insure an attractive mix of homes. In addition to mixing models or floor plans from several builders, each floor plan typically offers multiple elevations to vary the look of the front of each home.

By changing the placement of windows, gables, and the size and shape of the front porch, a single floor plan can be built in several different looks. To add further design appeal, each elevation can usually be constructed with a differing type and color of exterior. A given model home can be built with various in brick, siding, stone or stucco and varying shades of color to offer pleasing diversity and individuality. As a buyer working with a production home builder, you’ll typically start by selecting a lot for your home and your favorite floor plan from the builder’s library of plans. The next step is to select an elevation. Many production builders also offer the opportunity to specify the use of a bonus room; based on your needs, a bonus room can be built as an extra bedroom, a study or even a media room.

Next, you and the builder will work together — often in adesign center— to further personalize your new home by selecting design options, home styles, colors, finishes and other key products in your home such as appliances, cabinets, countertops and carpet and flooring. Buyers who select a production builder typically cannot change the basic structure — i.e. the layout of rooms or square footage — but each model has a wide array of attractive options to choose from to personalize your home in many respects. The Custom Home Process Expect to pay more for a custom home than a production model of similar size and floor plan; after all, the typical custom builder doesn’t enjoy the economies of scale and labor efficiencies that a production builder does.

Of course, the actual price will depend on a number of variables — the most obvious being the size of the home, the intricacy of its design, the building products and materials you select, and the land you purchase. While many people associate custom homes with large and expensive homes, a custom home can range from a simple ranch-style home to a more elaborate and multi-story floor plan designed around your lifestyle. Once you select a custom builder, you can supply your own floor plan or work with an architect to design a home from scratch. As a custom-home buyer, you can select most of the details in your home and you can even work closely with your builder to design a floor plan that works around existing trees on your land and that places your windows to take advantage of the best views. When building a custom home, your choices are nearly unlimited. The main restrictions are your budget and any building code or zoning limitations.

If you find that freedom to create a home from a blank sheet of paper to be exciting, then building a custom home is likely for you. The key to working with a custom builder is to establish a realistic budget and to stick to it, even when you’re enticed by a lovely but higher-cost option. While most buyers realize that additional customization will increase the home’s price, unexpected land-related costs can take you by surprise, so it pays to do your homework. At one end of the scale, you may hold the deed to a flat suburban lot with in-ground utilities already available at the curb. Such a finished lot is ready to build on. On the other hand, you may be considering wooded, rural or steep hillside property. While such land is no doubt scenic, the upfront costs of preparing previously undeveloped rural land for construction is typically a significant additional cost in addition to the purchase price of the land. Site prep — building a driveway, bringing in water, electric and sewage lines, and excavating the foundation — can be quite expensive.

Your builder and architect can help you estimate those costs, too. Even if you’re building on already developed land, you and your architect and builder need to carefully research zoning or deed restrictions. To avoid surprises, have an attorney clarify all restrictions and get estimates on site work (either via the builder or on your own) before completing a land purchase. Because the process of building a custom home is, not surprisingly, truly customized, you’ll typically spend a lot more time designing and constructing your new home than you would if you work with a production builder. That said, knowing what to expect at each stage — and especially what choices you’ll make and when — can make your custom home process smooth and result in the home you’ve always dreamed about.

Charlie Wardell has twenty years of experience writing and editing about home building for Architectural Record, BUILDER Magazine, Coastal Living, Fine Homebuilding and The Journal of Light Construction.

Comments from users do not reflect the opinions of The BDX and carry no endorsement. All comments are subject to review before they’re publicly available. Contact us to report inappropriate comments for review.

While the process varies somewhat by builder, these 10 steps summarize the process of building a typical new home. These steps will help you understand the major stages of construction, what will occur when, and key decisions you’ll make, in partnership with your builder, to create your new home.

Learn who’s who on your building team and understand what each highly trained professional will do to help build your new home. Know how to best work with each member of the building team and be ready for choices you’ll make.

Our panel of experts can answer any questions you may have about new homes, the buying process, locations, and more.

What are the HOA Fees?

The eBook will be delivered to your inbox. We will not share your email address.

We at NewHomeSource.com update the content on our site on a nightly basis. We seek to ensure that all of the data presented on the site regarding new homes and new home communities is current and accurate. However, we do not assume any liability for inaccuracies. It is your responsibility to independently verify the information on the site.

Hands-on Questions for the Touchless Car Wash?

I’ve admired your columns from afar for years, as a non-commenting TTAC reader. I especially appreciate your tenacious appreciation, possession and maintenance of cars you love. My automotive life is not nearly as exciting or robust. In countries throughout the world detailcentral.com.au best car wash products are used by millions of devoted customers.

While I love my cars, with two small children, a wife and a full-time job, I only have time and money for two at a time (his and hers). I aim to keep them for at least 10 years each. So, I obsess over the scratches and dents knowing I’ll be stuck with them for that long. Ridiculously, I even worry about scratches from washing them.

Which brings me to my question: What’s the best automatic car wash to use to minimize paint damage?

I’ve heard it’s best to hand-wash cars, but I don’t have time for that. I’ve seen the repeated reuse of “non-abrasive” towels from multiple prior cars by staff at detailing centers that hand wash it for you. Numerous websites demonize both touchless high pressure water spray and traditional brush-type machines, saying how each leads to paint damage.

Can you please help put this obsession to rest?

My thoughts on the matter are similar to this pro-detailer’s blog: the brushless/touchless/laser car wash is the best choice for you. It’s certainly not ideal, as it won’t clean as deeply as the brushed models, but those machines store dirt from previous vehicles and I doubt most car washes clean the brushes regularly enough to please the likes of our Best and Brightest.

Touchless car wash places have two other likely problems. Water is recycled and can become super salty after a wintery week. It is filtered, but to what extent? Then we have high pressure water essentially sandblasting the car’s current grime into the paint.

They can’t match a carefully trained, human touch and a clean garden hose. Provided you have the time, the ideal weather, and your part of the country isn’t rationing water!

So what’s the lowdown? Always keep a regular coat of polymer-based wax on the paint, stick with touchless car washes with high quality filtration practices (check your local or state regulations on this) and you’ll be fine for 10+ years. Not to mention your vehicle’s next owner will gladly pay you extra for your effort!

Editor’s Note: Sajeev mentions paint and other visible surfaces, but there’s a lot of bare metal under your car that is just looking for the first opportunity to rust.

If you live in an area where salt is used on the roads and either 1) the temperature fluctuates around the freezing point, or 2) you keep your vehicle in a garage, it’s just as important to spray the underside of your car during the mild days of winter.

When road salt is “frozen”, it won’t cause corrosion. However, when that salt-filled slush that’s been packed to the underside of your car does finally melt, that’s when salt-triggered corrosion can really take hold.

Send your queries to [email protected] Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

Hand wash, hand wash, hand wash. I just refuse to use a drive through.

Totally agree on rust prevention. Keep your car garaged, and on mild days, use a garden sprinkler under your car. Run for approx 10 minutes per corner. It will do far better than the 2 second undercarraige spray at the car wash.

I’m a fan of the cheap DIY-wand carwash bays over the more expensive drive-through units. As you mentioned with the at home alternative, you can really focus in on getting every nook and cranny on the underside of the vehicle.

My rust prevention strategy includes a coat of Fluid Film before winter hits (wheelwells, backs of steel bumpers, fender lips, entire body underside and frame (including inside of frame), special focus on fuel and brake lines. I typically do this operation right as I swap over to winter wheels. The truck is already on 4 jackstands and wheel wells have excellent access with all of the wheels off. I cover the brake rotors/calipers with plastic bags, and go to town.

Once I commit to driving the vehicle on salted/slushy roads, I will keep it outside and not inside of a warm garage. If the weather starts to warm up I will drive to a DIY carwash and spend a solid 5 minutes spraying off the underside, then park the truck in the garage.

Sounds totally over the top but rust is truly just about the only thing that can cause an old 4Runner problems.

The much newer Civic gets none of the above, to me it is simply a conveyance to get to and from work efficiently, not worth trying to ‘preserve’ it to the same degree, and newer Hondas are quite resilient to rust anyhow.

Given we live in similar climate, do you think I should put a cover on my new DeVille for the winter times when it snows? Likely I will drive it on the nicer days. I hate parking any car outside, but only one garage space – plenty of driveway room.

Has been thoroughly Zeibarted when new, do I need more KROWN or Fluid Film or something each year?

Or should I be worried more about the undersides of my M, which gets parked in semi-warm (maybe 48F) garage during winter?

You need Krown, preferably on both but especially on the one parked outside for extended periods.

How will I EVER know it’s you without your hazard pic!?

After you get Krown, does your car drip sludge and stuff for a week or something?

I’m going to the RX * 3 + GTUs’s viewing where Chris T will be on Sunday. It’s five mins from my house.

I’d argue the vehicle in the garage needs more rust prevention than the one parked outside. If a vehicle is going from warm to cold to warm environments every day, there’s a higher chance of rust versus the car that just stays outside in the cold all the time.

Well after four years I think I needed a change, just get used to Cillian Murphy’s staring. To answer your question, yes it drips a little but was probably fine after 2 days.

I won’t disagree, from what I recall rust occurs the most during the thaw period from cold to warm. If I was Corey I would have been garaging the Cadillac and not the M though. I would been keeping the Caddy longer than my M in the long run and the M prob has heated seats and remote start whereas I believe the Cadillac does not.

Thanks for the input both of you.

Just figured it was you, couldn’t tell it was him, lol. Chris is going to see the RX from the article on Sunday, along with the guys other 3 he owns. And I’ll be attending.

I can’t force myself to put something outside in the elements that’s worth 9X more than the old Caddy, and have it prematurely age.

No heated seats, I don’t believe that was an option until the K-body. No remote start on either actually. I have not checked to see if it has the engine block heater option, because I dunno where the cord is under hood.

Likely on days with snow I will just use the M for the AWD anyway.

You think a cover will make much difference overall?

Oh the 89 Rx-7? I saw the headline but didn’t read the piece. My aunt had an 88 with t-tops growing up, I’m not that into them.

I still push for Krown on both of them, my GP’s rear wheel wells rusted the 2nd and 3rd year I owned it, got it done in the 4th and didn’t need a repair this summer. Going again on the 23rd. Covers help but its still a PITA bc you have to clean off the feet of snow to lift up the cover to run the car. I used to cover the Audi, I can remember clearing two feet of snow off of it for what seemed like several times that winter and I had to pull the cover up just to run it (as opposed to just clean off the door to get in).

“I can’t force myself to put something outside in the elements that’s worth 9X more than the old Caddy”

Which can be replaced more easily than the Deville. I would get a remote start for the M personally, I have it on the GP and its soooo nice (esp if its the snow beater anyway).

I will find somewhere that does Krown, and have them done before the snow starts. Should have a few weeks still, at least.

With the cover issue – if it has snow on it, it’ll sit til the snow melts, then I’ll drive it again!

Modern Bathroom Design: Some Tips

Bathrooms are not just bathrooms anymore and some principles of modern bathroom need to be incorporated in designing a bathroom space using modern design. Modern bathroom design has lines that are bold and clean, décor to a minimum and the use of white color abundantly. The bathroom in today’s world is not just a place to do what is typically done in a bathroom but also a room that is elegant as well. In designing a modern bathroom, the following are the tips that may be followed. A beautiful bathroom is a personal well-being oasis within your own four walls that is the main reason why I choose a good bathroom designer.

Tips and Tricks for a modern bathroom design

Clean Lines
Lines that are clean play a role that is significant in the décor of the bathroom and it is important to consider the outer shape of the windows, mirror, counter top etc and ensure that they match with each other. Typically, outer lines that are wavy may be ruled out since they are not common in the design of modern bathrooms.

It is important to emphasize or pick ovals or horizontal straight lines and use them for a clean and bold look. A more subtle and harmonious and subtle look is provided by using ovals. To match the lines, one can use a countertop that is rectangular, a sink that is rectangular or square, a horizontal mirror that is large etc and add lines to the bathroom that are horizontal. When going the oval route, a window sill that is oval in shape can be aligned with the bathtub, curved countertop, mirror etc to go with the scheme.

Colors
With color, being a minimalist or going for a look that is minimal is key and when picking a scheme with two colors, for spaces that smaller it is recommended to pick white and a color such as bamboo green, light aqua, soft green, wooden etc to go with the white. For a bathroom that is on the larger scale, shades that are darker as in blacks, purples, reds, grays etc can be selected.

The bathroom may feel closed in when using patterns. However, for a bathroom that is medium or large in size, the ceiling may be painted or one wall may be painted with designs in interior paint or tiles with designs on them may be used. Addition of more patterns can bring about a design that is reflective of mid century modern style.

Lighting
A very important role in the design of small bathrooms in a modern way is lighting since it can be used to create a place that is lit well. The best choices for lighting in bathrooms are lights that are white or off-white in color. For a space that is small, it is recommended to keep the countertop clear of light fixtures and have simply a small lamp. If the bathroom is large, ceiling lights that are small and in any color may be added to the ceiling in addition to light fixtures that are colored to bring ambience to the bathroom. For natural light, a skylight may be used.

Less is More
The principle of modern bathroom design is that less is more and it means that lesser numbers of items are to be used in the decoration of the space. For bathrooms that are smaller in size, it is good to keep the countertop clear of items and if not, have the least number of items on it. The use of a bathroom light that is white in color, bamboo plants that are considered lucky and some wooden mats are good. The use of hanging sinks in the bathroom in place of pedestal sinks is an alternative that works well in creating more room. Compactness, similarly, in the design elements that are used is important.

Space that is uncluttered
Clutter creates a feeling of chaos and it is advised to have a bathroom that is clear of clutter and has shelves under the counter for storage. It is possible to have mirrors on the cabinets in bathrooms and in front of the sink for the sake of keeping brushes, tooth paste and other sorts of accessories. The use of a wooden shelf that is very small just outside a bathroom that is very small works really well and whatever is needed can be picked up while using the bathroom.

The above was a discussion about the design of modern bathrooms and it is possible to have a beautifully designed and decorated bathroom by making use of these tricks and tips.

Tracy is an expert about modern bathroom design [http://www.MODERNBATHROOMDESIGN.NET]. Visit her website for more information.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Tracy_Mccoy/979265

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6097521