General Articles

Tips for an Organized Kitchen

It is more than appliances and sacks of flour; the kitchen is the heart of the home and a gathering spot for the whole family. Give your kitchen a good purging and reorganize it in a way that makes sense. However you use it, your home needs to be functional for you and your family.

Empty All Cabinets (Yes, All)

To save yourself from going mad, start with one cabinet at a time. Take everything out and dust the shelves, spraying them with an all-purpose cleaner and janitorial cleaning rags. Have a donation box on standby for things you no longer want or use, asking yourself as you touch each item:

  • Do I use this?
  • Is it functional?
  • Will I miss it if I get rid of it?
  • Replace Items in a Sensical Order

  • It can be a juggling act if you have a large family and little space when you’re refilling your cabinets. Follow some simple tips for logically fitting things back inside of them:
  • Dishes that you use daily should be placed in a central cabinet that is easily accessible. Bonus points if it’s a cabinet that is also close to the sink and/or dishwasher.
  • Avoid stacking items on top of other items: For example, don’t place a stack of salad plates on top of dinner plates. It doesn’t make sense to have to move the smaller ones to get to the larger ones every time you set the table
  • If you have the wall space, buy some hooks for things like mixing spoons, tongs and whisks. Hanging these items saves room in the drawer and keeps them easily within reach while you’re cooking.

Even though it might never look Pinterest-perfect, your kitchen is one room in the house that needs to have some semblance of organization. Get it back under control to make it work better for everyone!

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General Articles

Steps to Successfully Sell Your Home


Selling your home can be an exciting time, especially if you’re ready to move into your forever home and need to sell your current home fast. If this is your first time selling a home, however, you might not know where to begin. Selling your home doesn’t have to be an intimidating or complicated process, especially if you know what steps to follow. Here are some steps to help making selling your home a success so you don’t have to stress about having two mortgages.

Find a Realtor

Your first to sell your home is to find a good realtor. You’ll want to start by telling them, “I want to sell my home mount dora fl,” and then set up an appointment to have them come take a look at your home. Realtors are often a great way to get your home in front of the right audience and get it the exposure it needs to sell, so don’t overlook this valuable step.

Nix the Clutter

Over the years, clutter can accumulate around the home, making it look a bit overwhelming to potential homebuyers. To save yourself some time during your move and make your home look attractive to potential homebuyers, you should spend some time clearing out the excess clutter around your home. Doing this can make your home look clean and fresh to people when they’re viewing your home.

Be Patient

One of the most important things to note when selling your home is that it’s a process and may not sell overnight. The good news is that your home will eventually sell if you work with the right realtor and properly stage your home. Having a little patience is a good thing to keep in mind so you don’t go crazy worrying.

These quick tips can help you during the selling process and ensure that the home selling process goes smoothly.…

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General Articles

How to Choose the Right Contractor


When you get ready to remodel your home, build a new garage, or start a project that requires the assistance of a contractor, you will want to have a solid plan in place. By knowing the details ahead of the build, you will have more understanding of what you need from your contractor and can make the right hire.  These are some general tips for hiring a quality contracting company.

Start With a Referral

If you are looking for general contractors Halifax residents have experience with, start by asking friends and family for referrals. This is the best way to really see the quality of someone’s work. Once they give you a name, go online and read their reviews before deciding to schedule a meeting.

Prepare Your Plan

Your time with a contractor should not be a wasted chat of pleasantries. Have a detailed plan about what you are looking to have built, and include your budget and your timeline. Your contractor might be the best, but they might not have the time for your project. The more information you can present, the better the contractor can give you an honest estimate and accurate bid. However, don’t always go with your first interview. Get at least three bids before choosing your contractor.

Cross Your I’s and Dot Your T’s

While you are interviewing your contractor, check on their license and insurance. This will protect everyone involved with the build. Carefully read proposal contracts and bids before signing them, and clarify questions about warranties on the work or guarantees. Also be sure to apply for the proper permits and inspections required by local codes. Make sure your paperwork is complete and in order throughout the process.

With the right contractor, you can turn your dream of a new patio or backyard shed into a reality. Whatever your building project might entail, choose your contractor carefully so you can enjoy the building process and be pleased with the final result.…

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General Articles

Most Irritating Invasive Aliens

There’s no getting away from the unexpected consequences of introducing a new plant or animal in the age of global travel and trade. Whether it’s an ornamental plant that escaped its pot or a bug that hitched a ride in a box of bananas, invasive species are a part of modern life. They can be downright dangerous, but the ones that we notice most are frequently the irritating rather than deadly ones. Here are a few of the most annoying invasive aliens introduced to the US.

Stink Bugs

When waves of buzzing stinking beetles swept through America, many people went running to seek stink bug pest control only to find that there wasn’t much to be done. The Brown marmorated stink bug didn’t have any natural predators and could squeeze through the smallest cracks to make their way into your home. They smelled like concentrated cilantro, left brown spots on fruit in orchards, and stains on curtains and lampshades.

Kudzu

Kudzu is such a defining feature of the South, it’s hard to remember that it’s not native to the area, but “the vine that ate the South” was introduced to the area in the 30s as a way for farmers to help control erosion. It spreads fast and grows quickly, sometimes as much as a foot a day, and is immune to most herbicides. It’s hard to find anywhere in the South that hasn’t been completely swamped by the vine.

Pigeons

Pigeons are one of the great annoyances of city life. While some find them pretty and feed them in the parks, it can’t be denied that they’re not a natural part of the American ecosystem. Nuisances and disease vectors, making a mess with their nests and refuse, pigeons are as annoying an invasive as any other. They are a good example of how invasive species, over time, become an accepted part of life, not just an unavoidable irritant.…

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General Articles

The Importance of Deaerators

Steam generation systems in industrial and utility settings are highly sensitive, depending on various machines to maintain proper function. Among these devices is the deaerator. Though dissolved gases in feedwater are not often the first to come to mind for boiler safety concerns, a boiler’s efficiency and integrity can be compromised over time by aerated feedwater. Thus, the boost to equipment lifespan and function that deaerators provide is well worth understanding.

Why Deaeration Is Vital

Dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide can cause severe damage to steel, iron and copper pipes, as well as any other equipment aerated water runs through or remains in contact with. Oxygen is well-known for causing iron and steel alloys to rust if not properly treated, but water containing dissolved oxygen amplifies the risk because the oxygen can more readily bind to the metal. Additionally, carbon dioxide dissolved in water forms carbonic acid that also can corrode metals.

How Deaerators Work

Deaerators are designed to reduce the concentration of dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide in water to safe levels. The deaerator uses a flow of steam to ‘scrub’ feedwater, heating and agitating it to reduce gas solubility and carrying away the released gases. These gases, and a portion of the steam, are vented out of the system, and the treated water flows into a storage tank. In order to maximize the scrubbing effect of the steam, undeaerated water is either input as a fine spray of droplets or allowed to cascade down multiple trays while steam flows upward, depending on the models that the deaerator supplier offers. Many designs pass feedwater through two or more stages of deaeration, ultimately removing all carbon dioxide and reducing the oxygen content to below 10 parts per billion (ppb).

Effective deaerator operation, optionally combined with chemical ‘oxygen scavengers’, can significantly extend the life of boilers and other equipment, reduce operation costs and improve quality of steam output.…

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General Articles

Why You Should Consider Hiring an Architect for Your Dream Home

If you’re like many people, a home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. Living in your dream home can be a lofty pursuit if for no other reason than that it primarily exists only in your mind. Whether building from scratch or renovating an existing structure, this project requires careful planning. Consider hiring a residential architect to help you plan, design and build your dream.

Developing a Plan

You have a lot of ideas about what you want in a dream home. A trained provider of architectural design services has the knowledge and expertise to help turn those ideas into a thorough, workable plan.  The right designer not only sees the big picture but also understands the various details that comprise it. It is far easier and less expensive to move walls in the planning phase than during construction. Your architect will create schematic drawings and conceptual plans to get the project started the right way.

Designing and Permitting

The next phase involves generating detailed blueprints and specifications for the home. Your designer will produce drawings that merge the aesthetic details with requirements from governing building codes. These plans include details about the finishes and materials you have selected and discussed with a hired professional. Also, they can develop the documents necessary to secure permits for the next, exciting phase: construction.

Building Your Home

Your architect best understands the details of this project, so consider hiring them to oversee construction.  Not only will they know the best contractors and subcontractors to make your home a reality, but they can also provide construction administration services. Your professional can communicate the needs of the job to a contractor and respond to any inquiries or solve any issues that arise.

You have invested time and money into preparing for a dream home. Hire a licensed residential architect to guide you through the entire process from planning through construction. They have the knowledge and understanding to anticipate and address issues, and make this project a success.…

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General Articles

Safely Work at Night on Your Construction Project

Working at night has different risks than working in the daytime. Sometimes a job just requires working in the darkness to make sure it’s completed by the deadline. Roadways are commonly worked on at night in busy metropolitan areas to cause less traffic delays during the morning and evening commutes. Here are some ways to keep your project safe at night.

Lighting

Commercial led lighting Denver lights up the dark. A well-lit project helps workers avoid slips and falls and making mistakes. Temporary lights are movable, so you can have the light exactly where you need it. The bright LED bulbs have a wider and longer reach than incandescent allowing you to use fewer lights.

Employees

Working at night must be done safely for the sake of your employee’s well-being and health. The circadian rhythm in the body isn’t designed to work overnight. Over time, working long night shifts can have an impact on the mental and physical health of your employees. The circadian rhythm is more than just your sleep cycle. It affects blood pressure, body temperature regulation, adrenaline secretion, digestion and metabolism. Keep an eye on your employee’s stress, concentration and fatigue as they can lead to accidents on the job.

Management

Management isn’t immune to the negative effects of working overnight. However, as they are in charge of the project and employees, they should develop a risk assessment plan for dealing with the change in work conditions. A little pre-planning can go a long way to avoiding accidents and mistakes that can derail the project.

Plan

Have a plan in place before a set of night shifts. These plans should address the inherent risks associated with working at night such as those mentioned above. Prep workers ahead of time by giving them some guidelines to help them cope with the change in schedule such as eating well and maintaining a regular sleep schedule.…

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