Here's How to Take Care of Your Skin During Winter

We all want clear and amazing skin; there's no doubt about that. It can instantly boost your self-confidence and make you feel good about yourself. Different types of weather can take a toll on your skin, though, especially winter. Read more

Weekend Wanderlust: Embracing the Elements in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

A weekend road trip is a perfect way to unwind after a long week of hard work. When the wanderlust hits, self-drive rental car options in Manila, Philippines allow you to explore the hidden gems and not-so-hidden retreats the Read more

The Right Way to Do a 1031 Exchange

A 1031 exchange is a tax-deferred method of selling one qualified property and acquiring another like kind of property within a specific time frame. It is a tool to let go of a property today and exchange it with Read more

4 Smart Ways to Stop Leaks

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on 4 Smart Ways to Stop Leaks

water leakFew household problems are more inconvenient and frustrating as water damage and annoying leaks.

The worst part of it all is that it is easy for minor plumbing leaks to become a major problem and warrant costly repairs. Fortunately, though, you can make intelligent choices to prevent plumbing nightmares. This is possible as long as you have the tools, the time, and the most basic know-how.

Here are some smart ways to prevent leaks and water damage:

Find the Main Water Shut-Off Valve

The first thing you need to do is to locate the main water shut-off valve—normally found somewhere along the perimeter or maybe behind an access door. If you ever have a plumbing leak, you can go straight to the main valve and quickly shut off the water supply to the entire house. Call the plumbing experts as soon as possible to fix the leaking pipes.

Take Advantage of Technology

Flow sensors can detect plumbing leaks, and some even automatically shut off the water supply. Some plumbing contractors also use water leak detection devices. According to Perina Plumbing, a plumbing authority in Australia, this technology helps locate hidden leaks in pipes behind bathroom walls, beneath floors, and other areas of the house.

Fix Problems as Soon as Possible

Even the smallest drip can lead to the corrosion of pipes, which may cause more leaks as time goes by. This can lead to a significant build-up of mould, water damage, as well as wasted money and some headaches down the road. Take the time to check for signs of leaks periodically, and if you find any, have them fixed as soon as possible.

Do Not Overload the Sink Cabinets

Using the exposed pipes as hanger rods for clothes and other things may seem harmless, but they can loosen the fasteners and connections in the pipes. This will eventually lead to leaks. You do not want all your clothes hanging from the pipe if it happens.

No one ever wants to deal with a plumbing nightmare. Fortunately, with these smart tips, you can up the chances of avoiding it.

Things to Remember Before a Bathroom Remodel

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Things to Remember Before a Bathroom Remodel

bathroomRenovating your bathroom is exciting because you’re about to improve the way it looks and how it functions. Fixing one, however, is not all fun and games. The renovation can be time-consuming and overwhelming.

Below are some tips from Perry Plumbing to help you plan things accordingly and keep from missing anything important:

Improving Plumbing Features

A bathroom renovation is never complete without plumbing remodeling or repairs. Update your bathtub, toilet, shower, showerhead, sink, faucets, and bidet. Hire a certified plumber to get this job right and to prevent any mishaps.

Finding a Contractor

A bathroom renovation is too big a task for the do-it-yourself approach. Finding the right contractor will make the process easier and ensures everything goes smoothly. Save yourself from misery and taking too much time by asking for referrals from family and friends.

Setting a Budget

It is important to know precisely how much you can afford to spend on the project. A set budget (with some allowances) will make it easier to set limitations and determine what will work and what won’t. Don’t forget the cost of labor. Add them all up and see what fits into your budget.

Work Sequence

Once you hire a contractor, ask them to plot a work sequence to save yourself a lot of time and money for labor. They need to commit to this sequence and do the tasks in an orderly manner to get more done in less time.

Design and Functionality

How it looks and how it functions should go hand in hand. You must consider tile choices, paint color, vanities, tubs, showers, faucets, and how all of them come together. Do a little research first so you won’t be overwhelmed. Put these elements together in a way that takes your bathroom design and functionality to the next level.

Plan well so that you get a bathroom that you will love for the years to come. Work with a reliable and skillful contractor to make sure the execution is majestic as well.

3 Things to Avoid when Making a Video Storytelling Project

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on 3 Things to Avoid when Making a Video Storytelling Project

videoOne secret to making a good video is choosing which story to tell. Online videos, if done well, have the power to transform into an art that touches people, makes them understand something, and makes them care.

It seems like everybody nowadays is venturing into video journalism, or video storytelling, to get their message across more effectively. Many, however, still stumble as they fail to properly integrate the basic concepts of video making and storytelling.

To help you avoid any similar roadblocks, here are some of the most often overlooked video storytelling mistakes you’ll definitely want to avoid.

1. You Don’t Prioritise Sound

Videos are a visual medium, but don’t forget it’s also an aural medium. Videos are a great way to deliver any message because it blends both images and sounds. Make sure to give as much priority to sound and sound quality as you put in the animations and clips.

When using stock video clips and animations, for example, make sure to incorporate the right musical score or background music to accent the scenes. The right sounds for particular images give your story more depth.

2. You Don’t Understand Storytelling

There are many journalists and artists who see themselves as multimedia or digital storytellers, but have never really understood the right way of telling a story.

Storytelling is an art; one that does not have a specific set of rules. It does, however, have a goal: to connect with the audience and pass on a message. If your video doesn’t achieve either of these, your efforts may just be for nothing.

3. You Tell But Don’t Show

Many online videos nowadays stick to narration because it’s a popular style. This, however, doesn’t work well with certain audiences and industries.

Videos that feature long, rambling voice scripts, a few sound bites, and some pictures don’t really tell a story; it just ends up as a radio broadcast with some pictures.

Remember that the photos, clips, animations, and background music should be used to show the story, not to describe it.

Video storytelling only makes an impact to your audience if you get it right. Make sure you’re giving it your best shot by avoiding any mistakes that could be ruining your visual narrative.

Better Ways to Clear Your Driveway from Snow

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Better Ways to Clear Your Driveway from Snow

clear drivewayWinter is coming.

While kids often find the winter season fun and enjoyable, many adults may see it as a challenge. Driveways in Kent and many other cities across the country are likely to see snow again, and it is your responsibility to clear a path through the ice around your home.

No to Rock Salt

People often use rock salt to get rid of snow, but it is not exactly ideal for the environment. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Salt residue stops plants from absorbing nutrients and moisture.
  • Excess salt accumulates in the soil.
  • Salt can seep through heavy metals and eventually enter your water supply.
  • Salt can injure your pets if it stays in their paws.

Better Alternatives

There are better ways to melt snow, so just stop the salt method. One way to minimise ice and snow is by shovelling them. The sooner the snow stops, the better. You can also use an electric snow blower if shovelling is too hard of a task for you.

Go for Sand

Scatter more solid and firmer materials on your driveway, like sand or birdseed. These grains will not melt the ice or snow, but they will help you get a better grip on icy surfaces.

No to Products with Nitrogen-Based Urea

Products with nitrogen-based urea are expensive and ineffective in temperatures lower than 20°F. Moreover, the application rate during a single melting can be as much as ten times greater than what is needed to fertilise a yard.

No Effects

Contrary to popular belief, wood ashes and kitty liver do not melt ice and snow. In fact, they have a high tendency to get messed up when the weather starts to warm up.

Knowing how to handle ice and snow better will not only help you, but will also help the environment. Never use salt again. Instead, go for more practical and eco-friendly alternatives.

Of Caps and Raps: Hip Hop’s Influence on Urban Fashion

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Of Caps and Raps: Hip Hop’s Influence on Urban Fashion

snapback capsHip hop and fashion are two things you wouldn’t exactly pair together, but the history between the two runs deep. When you take a closer look at this interrelationship, you’ll see how a circa 1970s street subculture has made a mark on what we wear today.

Put simply, all those The Hundreds shirts and 10 Deep snapback caps you wear exist because of hip hop and its influence over fashion. Without the street culture this type of music created, urban fashion wouldn’t be the same. Given that premise, one question begs for an answer: how did hip hop culture influence fashion?

A study from Cornell University claims that hip hop has the natural “mix of influences” toward fashion. The paper goes on to describe how fashion diffusion comes into play, as the typical hip hop look that stood out in the streets got picked up by big brands in fashion.

At the core of hip hop is the principle of nonconformity, which prompted the shift of typical street clothing from the usual suit-and-tie combination to more casual pieces, such as tracksuits, overalls, and sporting gear. This “homeboy” look became a hit among the masses – and this proved to be something fashion brands cannot ignore.

Hip hop fashion became even more mainstream come the 1990s. This is the time when some of today’s well-established brands began. Soon after, even rap icons made their own mark in urban fashion. You can thank Run DMC for popularising tracksuits and Snoop Dogg for the boom of starter jackets. There are even more “formal” looks that stemmed from hip hop, thanks to the Mafioso appeal of Biggie Smalls and Jay-Z. Now, you have the likes of Kanye West who have their own clothing lines, designing clothes with hip hop influences.

Some might say that hip hop is just one area of urban fashion. Of course, there is truth to that statement, knowing how well the punks, the goths, and the hipsters have influenced streetwear as well. Nevertheless, when it comes to the intensity of the influence, nothing comes close to what hip hop has done to change the way we view urban fashion.

Welding 101: Basic Principles for New Welders

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Welding 101: Basic Principles for New Welders

weldingWelding is a complicated process. Mastering the process takes practice and persistence. Below are some of the basic lessons that every novice welder should remember to become effective in their job.

Making safety a priority

The welding process generates heat and electricity. This is why welders should always remember to protect themselves. The arc, for instance, is very dangerous to the eyes and skin. Wearing proper protective equipment can help minimise the risk. These protective items include flame-resistant clothing, gloves, helmet, safety glasses, and a long-sleeved jacket.

Proper ventilation is also important to minimise direct and prolonged exposure to the fumes and gases. Welders should be trained to protect themselves from the fumes. Inspecting the ground connections is another important safety measure. It protects welders by minimising the possibility of electric shock.

Knowing the properties of the material

Novice welders should learn that materials have varying chemical and mechanical properties and they react differently to heating and cooling. Understanding this factor will allow them to take the necessary precautions like clamping to avoid distortion.

Many materials also require heat treatments before and after the process to manage the cooling rate and avoid buckling. Knowing such aspects will help prepare them in case they need to make adjustments. Welding schools in Brisbane teaching poly welding course teach this to student welders.

Follow the welding procedures

Following proper procedures will result in consistent welds. The procedures for a particular application has been determined and approved by experts to make sure that the recommended parameters yield the preferred results.

Welding procedures contain details that include the necessary shielding gas mixture, suggested rate of gas flow, and voltage/amperage ranges. The procedures also inform the welder on things such as the filler metal’s diameter and the correct wire feed speed.

Welding is more than just setting the power source and holding the torch at the proper angle. It is also important that a welder possesses good habits and practices that he learns regarding a wide range of key points such as materials and maintenance.

The Culprits Behind Common Siding Problems

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on The Culprits Behind Common Siding Problems

sidingHome maintenance has always been on top of the priorities of every homeowner. While many focus on the roof and the rooms inside, some tend to overlook the outer shell protecting their home: the siding. At times, homeowners just find themselves dealing with a severe leak in the middle of a storm.

Fortunately, you can avoid such a problem, especially when you know its likely causes. Siding problems often stem from any of these:

Moisture

Moisture is always a problem in any home, no matter where you find it. The problem, however, is that many homeowners forget to factor in this issue when they check their siding. Just as you control humidity and moisture in attics, so should you do the same in your siding. After all, not every area of your home catches enough sunlight to eliminate moisture. Keep an eye out for those dim, damp spots for moisture buildup, which could lead to mold and algae growth.

Improper Installation

According to the Riteway Construction Group, the improper installation of siding can automatically reduce its service life by many years. Vinyl siding, in particular, requires special flashing trim pieces around the edges for it to hold up against bad weather. If the contractor fails to do this correctly, water can easily leak through the siding and ruin the structure from the inside. By then, it’s a possibility that your siding would break amid a storm.

Poor Maintenance

Poor maintenance is probably the easiest to solve out of the three causes. Your lifestyle plays a major role in how well your home would stand up against the elements and it’s completely understandable when you overlook home maintenance sometimes. But do know that as a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your siding is in top shape after a storm. While you can handle the inspection yourself, experts recommend calling in the pros to make sure that you cover all your bases.

Awareness about these three causes not only helps you keep your home in good condition, it also steers you away from costly repairs stemming from these issues. Keep your home and your budget intact by addressing these concerns before they worsen.

5 Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on 5 Tips for First Time Home Buyers

home buildingJust got married? Are you looking for a home where you will start your own family? Whatever your reason is, home buying is one of the most exciting parts of life, yet it is nerve-racking at the same time.

While the thought of beautiful back-splashes, granite countertops and white picket fences might be dancing in your head, you do not want to be left holding a serious bill.

Here are five tips to help you choose the right house for you:

Set a budget

This is the most important factor to consider before buying a house. How much are you willing to spend for your new house? It is important to stay within budget, but never not sacrifice the quality of your home. Your house is a place where you will be living your entire life so make sure to buy a quality property that will keep you and your family comfortable.

Choose the type of home that suits your needs

Ask any Brisbane home building company and they will note that your home should suit your needs and preferences. There are highly experienced designers and creative teams that will ensure you have a space you will never want to leave.

Visit a display home

There is no better way to find out what your future home looks like than to actually stand inside it. Visiting a display home gives you the opportunity to stroll around and imagine what it feels like to live there.

Check the security

Make sure that the place where you will move into is safe. Try to go to the local police station. They can provide you with statistics on crime. The place should be family friendly as well, regardless of your social status.

Talk to the seller

The seller should provide truthful information to be your best source about the house and community. Take the time to talk with them.

House hunting could be a fulfilling experience, but make sure that you make an informed decision. Look beyond the aesthetics and take the time to inspect.

Gardening 101: How to Grow a Lush, Green Garden

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Gardening 101: How to Grow a Lush, Green Garden

turfGardening is a lot of work, especially if you need to start from scratch. Your responsibilities include designing the layout, adding plants and furniture, choosing the right type of lawn grass, and ensuring its maintenance. When it comes to renovating or reseeding your lawn, you need to choose the right type of grass.

There are many reliable turf suppliers in Brisbane, but before you choose which grass will work best in your lawn, here are some of the important things you need to know:

Shade tolerance

Keep in mind that sunlight is essential to their growth and development. It is advisable that they get at least 4 hours of direct sunlight a day. Areas with much traffic require more exposure. For marginal light, fescues tolerate shade better than rye-grass or bluegrass. Another option you have is the Empire Zoysia, which is perfect for shady areas.

Drought tolerance

If you don’t have time to water plants or your soil is not good enough to retain much water, fescues again are your best option.

Wear tolerance

Fine fescue does not stand well in traffic. Look for other types of grass for lawn areas that are stronger and easier to maintain such as Zoysia grass or Buffalo grass.

Establishment

Perennial grass is one of the most popular choices when it comes to germinating and protecting the soil. Consider the stability of slopes. For example, Kentucky bluegrass is vulnerable to erosion. It might be better to go for grass with deep root systems like Sapphire Buffalo.

Growth habit

The Sapphire Buffalo spreads by underground stems called rhizomes. It grows quickly to the ground and forms a tough sod. When damaged, it can easily regenerate to cover the bare spot.

Leaf texture

If you’re looking for fine texture grasses, your best option is to grow some fescue or buffalo grass. They both have fine leaves, which is perfect if you’re planning for a picnic with your friends or guests.

Choosing the right type of grass for your lawn requires more knowledge and experience. Before making a trip to the nearest turf supplier, it is best to research thoroughly. It is advisable to consult a seasoned gardener to know which type of grass works for your needs.

Does Your Prospective Home Have These Features?

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Does Your Prospective Home Have These Features?

homeSudden, unexpected moves can bring about different sets of challenges. While uprooting and starting fresh elsewhere holds a lot of concerns, always remember that by no means should you settle for a new home that does not live up to your standards. Here are the essential features you need to look for when searching for a new home:

Curb Appeal

A house’s general charisma rests quite a lot on curb appeal. It is the first thing that people notice and it is usually the factor that leaves a lasting impression. It makes homes more inviting and pleasing to the eyes.

Great Structure

Needless to say, a home needs to be structurally sound. Signs of compromised structural integrity should be a big red flag to avoid purchasing a home. It will only cost you tremendous expenses on repairs in the end.

Ample Space

Look for a house that not only suits your needs, but also fits you. Keep in mind that your minimum space requirements can change. Do you plan on having a family? Are you just starting out in life? These are factors you need to take into consideration.

Improvable Aesthetics

Remodelling projects are inevitable for homeowners. This is true whether it is due to a growing family or whatever reason you might have. It is always advisable to keep future changes in mind; be sure that the house can be amenable to reconstruction projects.

Pleasing Neighbourhood

Keep in mind that the house alone is not the only consideration. Being that you will live in it for a while, also need to look into the surrounding neighbourhood. In addition, renowned home builders Novus Homes point out that homeowners need to check the accessibility of schools, hospitals, along with local business and commercial districts.

There is more to it than just sheer looks. While pure aesthetic value is indeed an appealing trait, it is worth noting that a new home needs to have the features you will need when you move in. If you find yourself in the midst of an unexpected move, make certain to look for these features in your prospective houses.