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Clever Ways to Maximise Natural Light in your House

Natural lightNatural light is better than the artificial light from lamps and bulbs. Not only does it help improve your mood and health, but it also helps you save on electricity. Natural light bathes your room with a bright hue that light bulbs cannot provide.

It emphasises the house or apartment’s interior and at the same time, make space look bigger. Increasing natural light in your home or workplace will save electricity, reduce eyestrain and increase serotonin levels to make you feel better physically and psychologically.

Unfortunately, many houses are not standing to make the natural light come in. Here are clever ways to maximise natural light in your home.

Install Wide Glass Windows

Natural light enters the windows in the house. If your house lacks big windows, it is better to have them installed. Frameless glass balustrades fitted on a wall will bring in a fair amount of light into the room. Furthermore, Auckland Glass Ltd stresses it will give your home that contemporary look.

You can also install a big glass sliding door to harness maximum light. Moreover, avoid using heavy and dark curtains.

Use Light Paint Colours

Paint the walls and ceilings in a light colour because they reflect natural light the best. However, if you like to have a little colour, you can use blue, green or yellow. Do not paint your walls with dark shades because they absorb light.

Turn Some Walls into Mirrors

The higher the gloss level, the higher light reflects. Mirrors not only make the room look bigger, but it also reflects light, maximising the entry of natural light into a space. Mirrors and other reflective surfaces can double the reach of your natural light.

Allowing more natural light enter the house is a good step toward making it more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Natural light does not only make your home more attractive but also provide several health benefits.

April 25, 2017 at 7:10 pmStraight Study

3 Things You Probably Don’t Know about the Golden Gate Bridge

A Bridge

You’ve never been to San Francisco if you haven’t seen the Golden Gate Bridge. The IG-worthy landmark drives millions of tourists into one of California’s vibrant cities. But there’s more to the bridge than what you see.

Here are three facts you may not know about it:

1. Color

The bridge’s color confuses a lot of people simply because it doesn’t match the name. First of all, the Golden Gate Bridge got its name from the mile-wide strait from which it extends. Second, contrary to popular belief, it is not red but international orange. This also means the bridge was painted not only for aesthetics (to blend with the coastal surroundings) but also for protection against rusting due to frequent fogs that carry moisture.

2. Underwater Construction

Building the Golden Gate Bridge wasn’t easy. Not only did it face a lot of political and legal challenges with more than a thousand lawsuits, but engineers also had to deal with another enemy: nature. As a suspension bridge, wires attached to bulky cables carry the weight of the bridge. The wires connect to the towers. To build the towers, they had to work underneath as well. The strait, on the other hand, is famous for strong tides and winds, as well as salt air and fog. The site of the bridge is close to the San Andreas Fault.

The divers, therefore, had to descend more than 30 meters and loosen the bedrock to build the south tower by placing dynamite charges and using high-pressure hoses. They also needed to descend and help the crew above for the placement of the fender of the south tower.

3. Safety

If the bridge were to be built today, it would be impossible. Besides politics, it will turn out to be costly at $1.5 billion. If there’s any consolation, it is a safe bridge to build for the crew. Back then, only 11 people died.

What makes the Golden Gate Bridge iconic? It looks like it’s a combination of factors including architecture, story, and timelessness. If you want to build something memorable, think out of the box for its design and function, and work with an amazing team for marine construction, who will see to it that your bridge, whether as grand as that of San Francisco or not, can withstand the test of time. 

April 11, 2017 at 1:00 amDirections

Land Clearing and Excavation Tricks to Smoothen the Home Construction Process

Land ExcavationHome construction may seem fairly straightforward and easy, yet the whole process takes time, preparation, and careful management to build the home of your dreams.

Before you can even start construction, you first have to clear your California land and hire excavation services to know the depth needed for the foundation of your home. The excavation will also pave the way for the installation of your home’s plumbing and electrical systems. To smoothen out the excavation process, you can follow this guide:

Check the Laws

Before clearing your land, check the zoning laws and building ordinances in your area. Doing otherwise can only result in a messy battle with your town if you did violate a law. To avoid this, check ahead of time for any laws or ordinances that may affect your home construction.

Plan the Positioning

Now, you can prepare for another aspect of your home construction. Decide on the positioning of your water well and septic tank with a trusted professional. This preparation may seem difficult, although appearances may look otherwise. The earlier you plan the well and septic positioning, the more accurate you can do the land clearing.

Survey and Test

Survey the land and test the soil. You can discover details about your land’s leveling and the soil’s condition in this way. You can better plan for your excavation when you know such details, as well. These will prevent you from making mistakes, like excavating twice due to a leveling error.

Use a Pump Line

When you excavate, you can remember to place a pump line. The pump line will remove any groundwater your excavation team may encounter. Groundwater can flood your construction site, delaying the laying of the foundation. You can avoid such a disaster with the use of a pump line.

Land clearing and excavation are only the first stages of building your home. Pay attention to detail, so you won’t realize mistakes later on when it’s already too late.

April 5, 2017 at 4:25 pmDirections

What Does It Mean to Be an Owner-Builder?

Man standing inside a house that's being builtThere’s nothing more satisfying and gratifying than building a home on your land with your sweat, tears, and blood. In Australia, that makes you an owner-builder.

Despite the greater control and satisfaction being an owner-builder gives, it still comes with responsibilities you should never fail to forget. These include the following:

Permits and Licences

As the owner-builder, you are responsible for getting the necessary permits and licences before you even commence construction work. In Sydney, for example, you need to secure an owner-builder permit if your building work is more than $10,000 and the council requires you to have development consent.

Please note that as an owner-builder, you should be constructing a residential property you intend to live in once the project is complete.

Partners

You cannot expect yourself to know everything there is about construction work, so you need to hire experts and contractors to help you out. You can deal with a hardware supply company that can give you not only building materials but also other necessary services such as installation and design.

Australia allows you to enter into partner agreements with suppliers and contractors, but keep in mind some regions like Victoria may require a domestic building contract if the value of their services are beyond $5,000.

Responsibilities

Besides getting the right permits, as the owner-builder, you must secure the right and sufficient insurance coverage for your workers, ensure that the home follows the building standards and local regulations, and process completed work certification.

In Victoria, you need to have a construction induction training card from WorkSafe Victoria once your area becomes a workplace (based on the law’s definition). To get this, you should attend a construction induction training.

With your right to build on your land is the responsibility or duty that guarantees safety and compliance. Remember these, and you’ll have a better experience in being an owner-builder.

April 4, 2017 at 5:31 pmDirect Service

Looking to the Past: The Role of Title Insurance

Couple Looking at a House They Just BoughtBuying a house is often one of the biggest expenses you make in a lifetime. It takes years — or even decades — worth of working and saving to own your own property. Then, here comes another huge expenditure: title insurance. Is there really a need to get it? The short answer is yes.

Here are two simple yet important reasons you should set aside a budget for one.

Protection from the Past

Title insurance is very important, especially if you are purchasing a home from a previous owner. Unlike other types of insurance that offer protection from things that are yet to happen, a title company in New Jersey will offer you protection from the past.

A title search is one of the processes that comes with title insurance. It includes screening the title and ownership history for any liabilities and issues that might surface and cause problems to the current owner.

More often than not, a title search may lead to common title problems such as unpaid taxes. Keep in mind that any unpaid taxes will pass on to you once you close a deal. Title insurance helps protect you from such scenarios and related losses.

Other common issues include improper vesting of names, mortgages, and deed problems. These issues, though seemingly minor, may cause legal problems in the future.

Protection from Fraud

Over the years, fraud strategies have become more rampant and even more creative. Fraudsters are able to sell properties they do not even own more easily than before. Title insurance provides you with some kind of fraud protection. Furthermore, it keeps your savings secure.

Though most people skip it because of the amount they have to pay out, title insurance can help keep your investments safe from the past as well as from fraud. It is, in fact, worth getting.

March 30, 2017 at 8:56 amStraight Study

That Thing You Do Before ‘I Do’: Making Your Marriage Proposal Extra Special

A Romantic ProposalFor couples, a marriage proposal is the start of something new and better. There are many good things to look forward to after they decide to take their relationships to the next level. Are you planning to pop the question this year? Here are some ways to make your marriage proposal extra special and truly memorable.

1. Offer a Custom-Made Engagement Ring

Whilst there are many beautiful and outstanding engagement ring designs you can choose from, giving a custom-made ring is one of the best ways to make marriage proposals truly special. This is especially helpful if you already have a ring design in mind or if you have special details that you want to incorporate into the ring.

JewelCast Ltd recommends finding a jewellery designer that you can work with to turn your vision into reality.

2. Find the Perfect Spot

Finding the perfect spot to pop the question can be a challenge, particularly if you want to do it in a public area. Some people choose to do it during games or concerts, but if you are more of the low-key type, the perfect spot could be any place that means a lot to both of you.

Whichever you choose, make sure it is a place that both of you will instantly recognise as something special. It could be the restaurant where you had your first date as a couple or the place where you first met.

3. Make Sure Your Bases Are Covered

If you are planning to have someone play a musical piece, be it a solo artist or a full string quartet; make sure you inquire with the venue manager if you need any special permits or clearances. Even if it is just a small restaurant, talk to the manager and the staff about your plan, so they will be aware that something beautiful will take place. This will help them address any special requests or do some crowd control.

4. Ask Help From Friends and Family

You might want to include your family and friends in the exciting event. Do not be shy to ask help to get everyone together for the special moment. Planning and coordination are key.

People make a great deal out of marriage proposals, especially in this age of social media. Make sure yours is Instagram-worthy. Consider these tips to make your marriage proposal one for the books.

March 27, 2017 at 3:00 amHealth & Lifestyle

Spotting Termite Infestation in Indiana

Termite Infestation

Termite infestation is a serious home problem. It is responsible for more than $5 billion of damage to properties, primarily homes, every year! The bigger issue is this is usually not covered by standard home insurance policies, as they insure damages caused by natural disasters.

What can a homeowner do, then? Simple: pay attention to their presence and get rid of the infestation before it gets worse. Here are some of the most common signs:

Mud Tubes and Tunnels

Seemingly random linear patterns that run on the walls may need further investigation. Pest control companies say there’s a good chance they are mud tubes built by termites to transport themselves to their food source, which is wood. If you look underneath the homes and see tunnels, it’s possible you have a growing subterranean termite colony.

Hollow Sound of Wood

If you think you have a termite infestation, try boring a hole and accessing the wood part of your home’s structure. Knock on the wood. Listen. Does it sound like the wood is hollow on the inside? You may have a termite infestation.

Season

Springtime’s here. This is the best time to start checking your home for any presence of termites. Subterranean termites tend to swarm during this season, while the drywood termites, although rare in Indiana, can form a colony during the summer.

Noise

Termites do make noises, especially when they feel threatened or disturbed, but you may not hear them because of the concrete. A company specializing in pest control in Indiana can help you. It’s usually equipped with meters and other tools that can detect termite presence even if you don’t hear the noise or see any of the other signs.

Termites should thrive outside, not in your home. Don’t wait for them to create serious damage to your home’s structure. Be more attentive to the warning signs.

 

March 13, 2017 at 2:33 amDirect Service

Cosplaying: A Unique Kind of Fan Therapy

Cosplaying for Fans in AustraliaCosplaying has exploded across the globe and it’s more than just die-hard fans dressing up in elaborate clothing. The cosplayer performances have also kept the hype for fandoms alive and helped promote remakes of old movies/shows, making them a valuable asset to the entertainment industry.

While cosplaying is a hobby for some and a lifestyle to others, globalgear.com.au believes that it fosters a sense of self-acceptance among fans and helps them feel better about themselves.

Increases Confidence and Self-Worth

Roleplaying through cosplay enables a fan to experience their favourite character’s superhuman powers, inherent goodness and overall wit and charm. Identifying with a character and wearing a quirky costume in public can inspire people be better and feel comfortable in their own skin.

A Sense of Belonging

The cosplay community exists both in virtual platforms and in real life — fans bond through Reddit forums, Deviantart, Tumblr fandoms and cosplay conventions. No matter how weird a fan’s interests may seem, there’s a sense of belonging to a community of people with shared interests. People make new friends, take pictures and feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves.

Making the Fantasy a Reality

Cosplaying imbues fans with a sense of escapism by helping them take a break from their life. Being part of their much loved fictional series or video game world for a day can be a refreshing experience. The process of creating and designing a costume can be a healthy distraction and a rewarding hobby as well.

Caters to Fans of Every Demographic

The cosplaying world creates a safe space for fans free of body shaming, homophobia and racism. Fans have a sense of freedom to dress up as whoever they want to be — a black Harley Quinn or a female version of Doctor Who, for example. Most cosplayers are open-minded when dressing up as their favourite character, and there is little room for discrimination.

Cosplaying is a great way for fans to express love for their favourite characters and television shows. Beyond being just a place where people can play dress up, however, cosplaying has also helped foster positive attitudes among fans and makes them believe they’re capable of being as great as the characters they look up to.

January 26, 2017 at 1:50 amHealth & Lifestyle

Wedding Soon? What You Need to Know About Wedding Rental Services

Wedding PreparationWhen looking for party rentals, you will come across many different companies that claim that they're the best at what they do. Don't always believe them and talk to friends and family for a good recommendation. You may also search for party rental listings online and try your luck there.

Is your big day close and you are still looking for wedding rentals in St. Paul, MN. Here are the basic things rental companies should provide:

Setup, Takedown, Delivery and Pick-up Services

Not all rental companies offer setup, takedown, delivery and pick-up services. Though not common, be ready for anything and ask for the services you will pay for. Some companies include the delivery and pick-up services in the overall rental fees, while others don't. You wouldn't want to be surprised with big hidden fees.

A Variety of Rental Items

Party rental companies have a variety of items to choose from, such as chairs, tables, décor, and tents. They have everything your event might need. Before signing the rental contract, however, you should inquire for a showroom and preview their inventory to be sure of what you will be renting.

Your Budget Limits

What is the point of hiring party equipment if it rips off your budget? A good party rental company should be able to work with your budget. There should be different options for chairs, decorations, tables, and flatware ranging from the least to the most expensive. Talk to the rental company about your budget and look into your contract. Ensure that you will not miss on the services you should be getting.

Planning the most important day of your life takes a lot of work and can be stressful, but you'll know that everything is worth it if you do them right from the start.

December 30, 2016 at 1:00 amDirections

3 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Time While In Between Jobs

Taking a VacationA few times in your life, you may find yourself unemployed for various reasons. When these times come, you don’t have to sulk and feel sorry for yourself. Believe that this season of your life still has a reason and that soon enough you’ll get a new job to advance your career further. For now, you must take advantage of this time to focus on other stuff. Aside from looking for a new job, here are some things you can do when you’re in between jobs.

Take a Much-Needed Vacation

Taking a vacation, especially if your previous job has left you with little to no free time, is a must when you’re in between jobs. Vacationing is a wonderful way to relieve yourself from stress, get a better worldview, reflect about your life, and simply relax and have fun. Go to a place you’ve never been before, recharge your soul, take in the new sights, and cherish the freedom. You won’t get to do this often, especially once you get a new job.

Do Volunteer Work

If you have a heart of giving but your previous job made your time limited, now is the time for you to give back again by doing volunteer work. Find a volunteer opportunity that is close to your heart and that you believe in. Share your time, talent, and treasure for the benefit of less-unfortunate brothers and sisters. You’ll do good to the community and to yourself as well by giving through volunteering.

Figure Out Your Next Move

Do you want a career shift? Do you want to start your own business? Do you want to relocate? These are just some of the things you need to ask yourself so your next job can be something more fulfilling than your previous one. Figure out your long-term career goals so you could say yes not just to the first job offer, but to the right one.

Follow these tips and you’ll surely make the most out of your free time while in between jobs.

December 15, 2016 at 1:00 amHealth & Lifestyle