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Learning The “Secrets” of Community

Best Ways of Involving Yourself With the Community

The local community consists of all the people that live in your area. Every person’s involvement makes life to become more rewarding. Your hometown becomes a better place to live in as a result. Human beings are social beings who live in a sophisticated society which revolves around people who join hands and support each other.By coming together they form a vibrant local culture that enhances the lives of all the members.If you have not yet convoluted yourself with your local community or you have moved to a new place, there are countless ways in which you can join in.

Far less would be achieved without people contributing their time and skills to the community activities and even the local amenities and events would become non-existence. It is therefore crucial that as many people as possible step up and ensure that the things that make the local areas unique are passed on into the future. In addition to the satisfaction that comes as a result of contributing your services for the larger good of the community, you are also able to meet beautiful people and make new friends. Getting involved in the community activities makes you stand a good chance of receiving invitation to social functions which in turn enables you to meet new friends who enrich your life

Knowing more people in the community you are living incomes as a result of getting involved in their activities. It is essential to find out the best person you need to communicate to know whatever is happening in your area. The significant place where you can obtain the contacts in the library around your area. From the community library, you have an idea of how to get in touch with the organizations and committee available.From The library, you might get a newsletter that informs the residents about the projects in the community thus getting an opportunity to find essential details about relevant personnel.

Churches and school are other places where you can to know people in your community. By visiting your local church, you can as well get to know each other with the members of the same area, and in return, you can make friends with people who are like-minded. To get involved in your community, you can enter a church which is at the heart of the community and through joining the activities and project in the church, you can interact with the people in that place and in return you tend to know many people.

You can also get tangled in your community in case you have children in schools, kindergartens or other playgrounds by meeting other children parents. Becoming a volunteer or joining the parent school association can also be a suitable method of getting involved in the society.To get more information about getting involved in your community; you can click other website containing similar information.

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Bench Footing – The Effortless Technique for Lowering the Basement

In order to create an additional space in homes, people are resorting to the option of lowering the basement. And, bench footing is one of the widely used methods for it.

What is Bench Footing?

It is a process through which you can lower the basement and provide extra structural support to the foundation. There is no need to dig under the foundation in order to provide extra height to the basement. Instead, with bench footing, you can lower the basement floor level and widen the structure of the foundation.

How is Bench Footing done?

· A general contractor designs and creates a perimeter around the inside of the basement walls.

· He will dig up to the desired depth around foundation.

· After completing the digging process, he will construct new footings that extend deeper than the depth of the new floor.

· Once the new walls extend upward to the original basement depth, he will cover it with concrete. The finished effect will be as if the house has a concrete bench extending along the foundation wall.

· Thus, it gives a ‘benching effect’ and an extra support to the foundation.

What are the Advantages of using the Bench Footing Technique?

It is less time consuming.
It is cheaper than underpinning.
It makes no changes to the existing foundation walls.
It involves less excavation work.
It is a viable option if your house has a common wall and the neighbor does not consent you to dig under the foundation.
You can use the newly created ‘bench effect’ as a display area and make the space attractive.
It adds a luxury appeal to the basement, making it eye catching for guests or potential tenants.

What are Disadvantages of the Bench Footing Technique?

· The technique is called a ‘thief of space’ because it reduces the square footage area of the basement. Also, it leaves you with limited options for using the bench structure effectively.

· It may not add to the market value of your home.

· It does not involve fixing any cracks in the existing structure. If you want the general contractor to repair the cracks, you may have to pay extra money for it.

What Precautions are necessary before starting the Process of Bench Footing?

· Examine preliminary factors such as the following:

o The soil on which the house is built

o The required depth of the area

o Intended use of the basement

o Maintenance cost in the long run

· Hire an expert such as a structural engineer. Get him to examine the entire area, even the outer walls of the house to know whether bench footing is the best suited technique for your house.

· Ask the engineer to check the basic design of your house and consider factors such as the level of sanitary sewer connection.

· Usually, lowering the basement requires a building permit from the Municipality, so make sure you get one before starting the process.

· Do not forget to clear the basement of all the furniture or storage items.

Not all homes can withstand the process of bench footing. So, it is vital to understand the structure of your house before you begin any work in the basement. Remember that bench footing is an effortless technique for lowering the basement. But, if it is done in an incorrect manner, it may cause harm to the house in the future.

Foundation Waterproofing Materials

Foundation waterproofing is a method in which a protective membrane is applied to the outside of the foundation wall to restrict water from entering the basement interior. It helps in keeping the interior area dry. Without this method, water can easily enter through the cracks in the foundation wall.

No one would not want to come home to a flooded or leaky basement, therefore it is important to be cautious from the start and take preventive measures. Foundation Waterproofing helps in preventing sump pump malfunctions and mold damage. Not all basements and its conditions are same, so it is important to hire an experienced contractor for the job who will offer a comprehensive solution which will last for a long
time. Here are some options for foundation waterproofing:

Cement- It is a relatively cheap and easily available material for foundation waterproofing. It can be mixed easily and applied with a brush. To make it bond better to the surface and create a more strong coating, an acrylic solution can be added to the cement.

Rubber Membrane- It is an effective and eco-friendly way to protect your basement from flooding. It contains no toxic substances and cause no damage to the surrounding property. This can be applied to both the interior and exterior surfaces to stop not only water, but also insects and moisture. You can apply it by painting or spraying.

Tar- Thick and sticky liquid tar can be applied to the surface to act as a barrier for water to enter the basement. It can be applied in layers to prevent water from passing through.

Bentonite- It is a clay like material which has the ability to absorb water. It can create a permanent seal and can be combined with butyl rubber to form a sheet which can stop water from passing through walls and cracks. It is non-toxic, therefore it is easy to use and apply. It also protects any damage to the nearby property.

Excavation- In this, a drain or a trench is installed underground to prevent water from making its way to the basement. It is the most effective method, if done properly.

Foundation waterproofing can be done from both inside and outside. You can select either interior or exterior foundation waterproofing method according to the requirement. It is easy to keep a basement dry through waterproofing, drainage and sealants. Whether you are suffering from a wet basement or looking for ways to prevent basement flooding, it is a good idea to invest in foundation waterproofing.

Three Signs You Need Advanced Foundation Repair

Moving into your first home is a great experience simply because you feel about as grown up as you might ever feel (aside from parenthood). While the exhilaration of this rite of passage may be what’s making each packing box easier to carry, it’s things like advanced foundation repair that can be the cold water in your face you don’t want to think about. Who would blame you, right?

Then again, your foundation serves as the, well, foundation of your home. The biggest material investment of your life is held up by the foundation, so it’s health should be a priority in your life. For some reason, however, it usually isn’t until something comes up that demands your immediate attention. It’s this cycle of putting things off that needs breaking, and this starts with you.

Let’s face it – you’re probably not a home repair wiz who can handle just about any repair needed around the old homestead. Yet, you are probably good at spotting things that seem out-of-place, and this one small skill may be the best tool for tackling the rough world of advanced foundation repair.

If you see these three signs (any one in particular or all of them at once), advanced foundation repair is in your immediate future:

Sloping and Uneven Floors – Walk around your home, and see if you notice any places where your floor slopes or feels uneven under your feet. Use a simple ball to find hard-to-see ups & downs. Also, walk outside and see if your home may be showing signs of a slope.

Trouble Opening/Closing Doors and Windows – Doors are usually quick to spot as being hard to open or close, but with so much reliance on HVAC systems, opening & closing windows doesn’t happen as often. Take the time to check them out, and you’ll certainly know something is off if you see cracks in the glass.

Noticeable Cracks Larger Than 1/4″ Thick – Everyone has heard the old saying, “Oh, that’s just the house settling.” It’s often regarded as no big deal and something that helps explain odd noises in your home. While some cracks can occur as a result of a home settling a bit on the soil underneath it, you want to be sure to watch the width of the cracks. If you’re over the 1/4″ marks, that’s not settling – that’s foundation movement & not acting quickly can have consequences.

Advanced foundation repair, if you’re lucky, will not be something you’ll have to face early in your life as a homeowner. That said, home foundation issues are different from home to home, which is why it’s imperative to be a proactive homeowner & look for warning signs. Being able to see when something may be on the horizon can get an amazing foundation repair company on the premises early. Failure to do so can mean more costly repairs down the road.

5 Types of Kitchen Tools You Cannot Do Without

A kitchen is an area where you strengthen the bond of relationship with the aroma of food. Every kitchen looks different depending on its owner. But it has few essentials that can be seen in every household kitchen. If you are a creative home keeper, you would like to keep your kitchen in the best way.

When it comes to tools, kitchen has an amalgam of various types of equipment that support everyday functionality. No matter, how big or how small kitchen you have, you cannot do without these tools:

Cutting Tools

The cooking job is not easy but cutting tools ease it off. Various types of cutting tools make chopping easy and fun for you. No matter how much food you have to prepare, cutting items make it easy and reduce your time and efforts.

Knife
Cutting Board
Peelers
Potato Masher
Graters
Shears

Food Preparing Tools

When it comes to preparing food, it involves various steps like washing, chopping, freezing, and cooking. To prepare the food, you need to take care of different steps carefully. Food preparing is an everyday job. So the more tools you have, the easier it will be. Why not having a set of ideal food preparing tools to get the work done smoothly and efficiently? The list may vary depending on your kitchen but few items are a must like:

Measuring Cups
Sauté Pan
Measuring Spoons
Spatula
Ladle
Food Storage Containers

Garnishing Tools

Well, when it comes to garnishing, it adds to the taste of cuisine. Nowadays, food presentation really matters. Whenever you host a party or you have guests around, you want to present everything that looks perfect. Garnishing tools include these items:

Slicer
Skewers and Picks
Covers
Wedges
Mandolins
Chop Frills

Pie & Cake Tools

You may or may not love desserts but if you have kids, they love pie and cake. Preparing cakes requires skills and accurate knowledge of using ingredients as well as tools. These tools not only help you make delicious desserts but help you present them in an attractive way. Following are the pie and cake tools to add to your kitchen:

Over Mitts
Saucepan
Blender
Tongs
Mixing Bowls
Splatter Guard
Whisk
Grill Pan
Baking Sheet Pan

Cleaning Tools

When it comes to hygiene, cleaning tools are a must. No kitchen can look perfect without them. Who does not like to see spick and span kitchen? It boosts up your mood and makes you feel energetic to cook in a neat and clean kitchen. Whosoever wants to cook with love, must use cleaning tools to serve the perfectly cooked food for a healthy family.

Scrub Brush
Dish Cloth
Scrubbing Pads
Steel Wool
Cloth Towels
Plastic Scraper
Rubber Gloves

Who Needs a Kitchen Anymore?

Here we find ourselves in the 21st century and cars are driving by themselves, refrigerators are ordering food automatically on the interweb, and most shocking of all, Millennials have become the largest buyers of new homes! You could have fooled me. (See the Millennial Song link below).

And, as we move inexorably into the future, technology is progressing faster than ever before in the history of mankind. A perfect example of this is Virtual Reality. It has made tremendous advances in just how real the virtual word that is created tricks us into thinking it is the actual world. (Read Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, written all the way back in 1992, for a glimpse of the future). My nephew works for Microsoft in the virtual reality department and he let me try out the latest hardware/software. In one program I felt I was at the top of Mount Everest and another at the bottom of the ocean, picking up clams. I really thought I was there!

So how does this directly impact our future, or more specifically, mine? The days of the modern kitchen are drawing to a close. Ever since Eve, with Adams help, messed up in the garden, they had to start preparing food for their family by themselves. Hence the need for a functioning kitchen. But picture Adam or Eve putting on their VR (Virtual Reality) headsets and dialing into any restaurant they had a yearning for. Open the virtual menu, tell the avatar (fake [virtual] person) waiter what they would like, and pay with a Bitcoin!

A few minutes later a driverless car would pull up to their home with their virtual dinner (probably just some mush) and a robot would ring the doorbell. They would certainly think it was by far the best meal they ever had. Virtual Reality 1; Kitchen 0.

Fortunately, it’s not as bleak as it sounds. Although we’re all aging in place as you read this, we’re not quite there yet (even though I am using Word 2003 on a Virtual Windows XP program, residing somewhere inside my Windows 10 computer). Fortunately we still need kitchens and we’ll always need bathrooms (I think). Our best bet is to try to slowly adapt to the new technology. Talk to Siri and Alexa which are good ways to begin and you’ll still be able to sit in your kitchen to eat, do homework, have coffee and read the newspaper (while they still exist).

I figure kitchens as we know them will be around for at least another twenty or thirty years, so if you are thinking about remodeling don’t wait until they are obsolete. Remodel now so you can enjoy it for many years to come. And, if you want to get a jump on things, fall is the best time to start planing and getting projects moving.

Finding the Right Sink Style

Finding the right sink for your kitchen and bathroom can be a bit overwhelming. With the vast selection of sinks available in the market today, it is quite confusing, and sometimes frustrating, to decide which product would fit perfectly inside your home.

You may already have set yourself into buying a similar sink you’ve seen at a friend’s house, but a visit to the local home-improvement store will surely make you consider other options. Walking between the extensive collection of sink products on display, you become more and more undecided. You spend hours choosing: 1. which material should your sink be made of; 2. which style would complement your interior; and 3. which added functionality should you consider necessary.

As you leave the checkout counter, you feel like a lot of your time, money, and effort slowly goes down the drain. You drive home thinking you made the best decision. Upon arriving home, however, you begin to realize that the sink you have just purchased seems a little out of place.

Much like any other fixture in the house, your kitchen and bathroom sinks require the needed functionality and design which suits the lifestyle of everyone at home. To help you choose among the common sink styles you’ll find in the market today, here is a list that will guide you in your planning and purchase:

a. Drop-in Sink

Placed fittingly inside a hole cut out of the countertop, the Drop-in Sink is a traditional style of the fixture long since. Also known as a “Top-mount Sink,” it hangs on the countertop, with its rim or lip resting on the perimeter of the cutout.

Pros

The Drop-in Sink is easy and inexpensive to install.
An overlapping rim protects the edges of the countertop’s cut out from chipping.
It is widely available at most home improvement stores.
Should there be a need for a replacement, it can be easily done without damaging the countertop.

Cons

Dirt and gunk can build up between the rim and the countertop.
The sink’s rim covers a small part of the countertop, which many find unsightly.

b. Undermount Sink

The Undermount Sink provides a sleek and uninterrupted look for your kitchen’s surface. It attaches below the countertop, which hides the rim from plain sight.

Pros

You can conveniently wipe spills or crumbs straight into the sink.
It provides more countertop space compared to other sink types.
An Undermount Sink imparts a higher resale value for your home.

Cons

Not only is it much more expensive to buy, but the installation also costs higher than all other sink types.
Gunk can build up on the underside where the sink attaches to the countertop.
Replacing the sink requires having the right set of tools or the need for professional help.
It only works with solid countertop materials, like granite, marble, quartz, etc.. It can not be combined with laminate or tile countertops, as they may not be able to support the weight of the water which the sink will bear on a daily use.

c. Farmhouse Sink

The Farmhouse, or Apron Sink, is a popular pick for rustic or vintage-style kitchens. Its prominent feature is a large forward facing section (apron) which replaces a part of the lower cabinet and countertop.

Pros

Compared to other sinks, it has a deeper basin that can accommodate big baking pans and large casseroles.
It eliminates the need to bend over when doing the dishes as it sticks out slightly from the supporting cabinetry.

Cons

A Farmhouse Sink requires a custom-made cabinet, which can be a bit costly.
Scratches may occur on the front face of the sink (e.g., a user may unintentionally scrape the apron with the metal button of his or her jeans when using the sink).
Water tends to drip down the apron and onto the floor or cabinet doors.

d. Vessel Sink

The Vessel Sink makes a beautiful addition to any home as it adds uniqueness and creates a focal point for the bathroom. It is basically a basin fixed on top of a vanity top or is placed partially recessed. It is paired with either a deck or a wall-mounted faucet.

Pros

It is eye-catching yet highly functional.
The Vessel Sink is available in glass, porcelain, copper, stone, and other materials to match the elements of any interior.
It is the easiest type of sink to install (and replace, if needed).
This sink allows more space for toiletries, decorations, and other bathroom items.

Cons

Splashing may occur if the faucet’s height and placement do not match the with the sink.
Extra cleaning is needed as you are required to wipe both the inner and outer surfaces of the bowl.
It may cause problems to young children, who may be tempted to grab on to the sides of the basin to pull themselves up.

Tips to Observe When Re-Modelling Your Kitchen

Kitchen re-modeling is costly and therefore it’s necessary to have a clearer plan so that you can operate within your budget. Therefore, it’s necessary to balance between the functionality and aesthetics aspects of the equipment you intend to use. For example, a good designed kitchen without storage for utensils and food items is not necessary. It’s therefore necessary to look at some factors before you re-model your kitchen.

RESEARCH ABOUT THE REQUIRED EQUIPMENT.

As homeowners, you need to have a clear plan on how your re-modeled kitchen will look like. You should first determine the number of equipment you intend to replace. You should consult your technician about the size and the model of the appliances. Visiting your nearest hardware shop is a noble idea as you can determine whether the items you require are available. You can also delve information about the information from magazines, friends, books, and kitchen- items show rooms.

BUDGETING

After deciding the type of equipment you require, it’s necessary to formulate the scope of work and estimate the preliminary budget. You should visit several outlets to compare prices for the appliances. You should also look for different technicians and inquire about their charges before hiring. Finally you should calculate the total cost and compare it with the amount of money you have.

HIRING THE TECHNICIAN.

It’s necessary to hire a professional technician when re-modeling your kitchen to ensure the work done at the required standards. You should inquire about the technician’s academic qualification and experience. The technician must have knowledge in different academic aspects such as plumbing, masonry and electrical engineering. Sometimes you may hire more than one technician depending on their specialization.

DESIGNING THE KITCHEN.

With the help of a technician, you should draw a simple sketch of your kitchen. You should increase the room of kitchen in case you intend to use larger cabinets. Designing the kitchen also assists you in determining the total amount of materials such as cement to be used.

You should also decide on the general appearance of your kitchen. You should also decide on the types of lights to install.

PREPARING FOR THE WORK.

Before the actual work day after submitting your permits you need to carry out some preparations. Some of these activities include taking away things that you don’t require, wiping the cabinets, and arranging for a temporary kitchen which you will use within the construction period.

Moving out of the house for sometime may be necessary but it’s a good idea to be there to ensure what you planned is implemented. Communicate with the contractor whether you can offer some help in small duties such as debris removal.

DEALING WITH THE DREADED LIST.

After the construction is over there may some items that may be faulty, wrong, or even missing. These items may be sent back to the seller to be reviewed or changed. The contractor may therefore visit once more to fix them and you need to know whether there is extra charge or whether you will stick to your initial payment.

Kitchen Trends For 2018

The kitchen is the heart of every home. It is the place where families spend a majority of their time together. With the beginning of 2018, we can predict some brand new kitchen trends. Home designs present you a few of those trends that will pop-up this year.

Appliances

This year, very much like the year before, the matte-black trend is popular. The matte finishes are recommended, regardless if we are talking about bigger or smaller appliances.

The typical chrome, bronze or stainless-still finishes are replaced with smooth matte-black ones. We can obviously see that the number of matte-black fridges, dishwashers and ovens is increased. Black is becoming the new white for those who are prepared to push the boundaries. You shouldn`t be pretentious with all this blackness if you don`t want to lose the natural look of the matt finishes.

In the past, designers have used their skills to hide appliances from sight. Now we are making them a feature statement in the kitchen. Nowadays, modern appliances are made to highlight their beauty, not their functionality.

Flooring

The flooring kitchen trends for 2018 have diverged; from hand-made carpets and rugs, concrete or marble floors to graphic floor tiles. If the carpet is a hand-made creation with carefully coloured threads and unique patterns – it becomes a piece of art. Concrete is still popular, especially with under-foot heating. Natural cork has come back, which is nice because it captures a softer finish. Marmoleum is proving to be popular, too. It requires regular maintenance and care to keep it looking beautiful.

In terms of the graphic floor tiles, home designs have one important advice for you: either keep the surrounding scheme light and neutral to let your floor tiles take centre stage, or pull out a colour from your tiles to bring to your cabinetry.

Colour

In general with kitchens, designers are always advocating the natural look no matter if we use darker or lighter tones. Last year, the grey and black were favourite colours among the designers. The prospects are that the trend will continue over 2018.

You can combine matte-black cabinetry with warm metallic sinks and tapware in brass, copper or gold metal. Keep your palette simple if you don`t want a chaos in your kitchen.

Customisation and personalisation

Now more than ever your kitchen can feel personal and unique. With the rise of custom-made furniture and personalized appliances, the concept of the kitchen is pushed to the next level. You can create a design that works best for you and your lifestyle. Also, remember to consider your type of cooking, as this has a big impact on the design. For example, if you love to cook – invest in quality appliances to make this everyday experience more enjoyable.

7 Fatal Kitchen Tools

1. Hand towels

Hand towels are the most common kitchen item used everywhere. But did you ever give it a thought that the hand towels can be the dirtiest thing in the entire kitchen! This is because we often tend to use the same towel before washing our hands, after washing our hands, for wiping the utensils or for holding the hot utensils. Just read it again and think that the same towel being used for every purpose! In order to avoid, keep at least 3 towels for different purpose and make a regular habit of washing them in every 2 weeks in warm water. This will keep them clean and free of germs.

2. Plastic containers

Plastic containers are commonly used in kitchens but in order to retain their quality of preservative and freshness, they include huge amount of toxic chemicals. Avoid keeping fresh vegetables in plastic containers as they add up to harmful chemicals. Also it is advisable to use glass or borosil containers for heating dishes in microwave as microwave contains harmful rays and using plastic containers only add up to the health risks.

3. Sink

Kitchen sinks can be a regular place for the bacteria to breed and cause health diseases. Dirty utensils kept in the sink for a longer periods of time builds a mini house for the bacteria and make an environment filled with germs. Ensure that the kitchen sink is regularly cleaned and dirty dishes must not be kept for long.

4. Burners

Gas stoves carry a huge risk in kitchen. Ensure that the burners are always closed when not in use. Gas stoves or burners release harmful gases and can lead to fire in the kitchen. Nowadays the use of LPG pipelines have increased in comparison to gas cylinders. Unlike gas cylinders, pipes are comparatively more safe and feasible but they too can cause short circuit in case of any small leakage.

5. Sponge

Sponges are used as a cleaning material but it can itself be one of the harmful kitchen substance.

Once the dish cleaning is done do not leave the sponge wet. It attracts bacteria and germs very quickly. Rinse it thoroughly after the use or keep it in the microwave for 30 seconds. This will dry put the sponge and retain the bacteria entering into it.

6. Grinder

Vegetable or meat grinders can be very harmful tool in the kitchen. Though it is fast enough to chop off the vegetables fast yet it is risky and requires presence of mind while using it. Just be ware that you do not chop off your fingers along! They have a tool that pushes the vegetable and the it gets chopped in small pieces. One should always read the safety instructions before using them.

7. Garbage disposal

This essential item of the kitchen is found everywhere. It is important and requires regular cleaning. Vegetable peels or any kitchen garbage material have foul smell and they are the favorite area for flies and mosquitoes. Since these are thrown in the kitchen garbage, regular cleaning of dustbins is required. Kitchen dustbins should be cleaned on a regular basis and try changing it within six months.