Category Archives: Products and Services Reviews

stained glass

Wall Decorating 101 Raw Brick or Fancy Mouldings?

stained glass

Walls are important parts of your home. Not only do they literally shape your house and protect you from the elements, their shape, color, and presentation also affect the mood and tone of a room. Unless you put an art piece up or repaint a room, their look tends to be permanent, too.

But with the turn of the seasons comes the opportunity to refresh the look of your walls. Feel like that’s the case for your home? Go grab the stained glass, plaster, and other materials and tools you need for your home’s new look.

Stained Glass Finish

Stained glass seems like it’s reserved for fancy places, but knocking out a dent on your wall and fitting in this colorful finish can brighten up a room. The finish also works for your ceilings. Choose a theme that suits the room you’re planning to put it in and bring in colorful, natural light into your home.

Faux Finish

faux stone

Feeling like adding stone walls to your den without spending big bucks on a faux stone? Invest in faux finishes. These materials resemble stone or brick without the extra weight or labor. Slap on these 6mm thick-finishes on a wall for your desired effect at a fraction of the cost.

Stencils and Chalkboards

Homeowners who change their mind on a design every month may find it useful to invest in stenciled motifs. These are easy to apply and remove, allowing homeowners to change the visuals of a blank wall whenever they want.

Chalkboard walls are also a great option for fussy homeowners. The drawable surface produced by chalkboard paint means you can change the look of your wall with a simple swipe of chalk. Painting a child’s room with chalkboard paint can also save you the hassle of cleaning up if they love drawing on walls.

You’ve done up your walls, but you think it’s not enough. The new walls you did could use a few paintings or banners to really get it to pop. Or you’re a renter and you can’t do anything permanent to your walls. Wall decorations can help you get over your home decorating crisis in a jiffy.

A trip down to a charity or discount store can yield amazing finds: antique paintings, throw rugs, shirts you’d rather hang up on walls than wear, and fancy clocks that still look great despite no longer functioning. Drop by a hardware shop to get some tacks and long strips of wood to create a shelved gallery look, a bookcase, or a small greenery.

Savvy decorators may also play with neon lights, washi tape, and decal stickers to create unique, disposable looks. Fashion-minded decorators can turn their extensive wardrobe into statement pieces. An old jacket, hat, or a pair of shoes can be cleaned up and hung as wall art.

Like any home improvement project, the ceiling for your wall improvement journey likely involves three things: budget, practicality, and maintenance. Living in an area with frequent water problems will dry out your wall fountain a lot, having a back condition could make dusting your built-in shelves a problem, and you may only have enough in the budget to cover half of your wall with new wallpaper. Renovators keep these three factors in mind to limit the disruptions to their renovations.

Car passing speed limit sign

Are Speed Radar Guns Inaccurate? These Technologies Beg to Differ

Car passing speed limit sign

Speed remains as one of the primary factors that cause road accidents. As such, there are policies in place to ensure that drivers will keep themselves in a specified speed limit to reduce accidents.

Among these is the use of radar speed guns by law enforcement officers to assess the speed of each car passing by. Though radar speed guns have been around for ages, not all states are using them. This is because drivers have come up with devices that disrupt the transmissions on speed radar guns. Moreover, many lawyers are now disputing the reading of a speed radar gun when used as a primary form of evidence against a speeding driver.

Most states have been fooled into thinking that radar speed guns are no longer valid for the accurate speed measurements of drivers on the road. Manufacturers, however, have come up with various technologies that boost the accuracy of speed guns and make them less prone to interference by any device. The following are some of these technologies:

Digital Radar

The only option for speed guns in the past was an analog radar gun. Nowadays, there are digital radar guns that measure speed on 1-inch travel distances of targeted vehicles compared to the 10-15 car lengths used in analog guns.

This means that the speed readings on digital radar guns are immediate and you can record car speeds for up to two miles from your location. As such, you have an increased speed tracking range of a vehicle and more convincing evidence that a driver was over speeding.

Ka-Band

In the past, there were two primary frequencies for speed guns — the K 24.150 GHz and the X 10.525 GHz bands. Nowadays, there is the Ka-band. This has a smaller beam divergence compared to the X and Ka bands, meaning you will have fewer vehicles within a beam and the reading will be highly precise. Furthermore, you can change frequencies with the Ka-band, making it hard for radar detectors to pick the speed gun’s signal and distort it.

Fast Vehicle Mode

Analog radar guns will show the strongest reflected signal in its range. This is frustrating if you are targeting a small speeding car in a fleet since the gun will pick the reading of the largest truck. A fast vehicle mode technology, however, displays the speed of the fastest car in an approaching group of vehicles in addition to the most reflective one.

Direction Sensing Radar

Police officer aiming radar gun

Older speed guns are two-directional in their reporting and will show speeds of approaching and departing vehicles. This loses the accuracy of a speed reading since an officer cannot confirm a target vehicle’s identity. Direction-sensing radar guns, however, only record speeds in a single direction picked by an officer hence eliminating the confusion caused in bi-directional guns.

With the above technologies, the inaccuracy and interference of your state’s speed guns will be a thing of the past. They will be your best bet to getting speeding drivers convicted. Though a bit costly compared to the speed guns used in the past, the cost is worth the accidents you will prevent on your roads.

oils extracted from plants

Essentially Extravagant: Expensive Plant Oils

oils extracted from plantsThe Philippines is no stranger to herbal oils for medicine and cosmetics. In fact, albularyos (Tagalog: “herbalist”) was an actual profession back in the Colonial period and was even practiced way before the Spanish colonized the country. These days, we have started going back to our “roots”; organic and all-natural ingredients are prized and favored over manufactured chemical products.

With global trade, the Philippine market has gained access to natural ingredients that are endemic only to other regions of the world such as cranberry seed oil used in lotions, or the renowned argan oil which is often infused in shampoos.

The words “organic” and “natural” do sometimes come with a higher price tag. As a matter of fact, pure argan oil is aptly-named “liquid gold” for its plethora of scientifically-proven benefits, its amber-hued appearance, and its price-tag which could cost around $8.00 (or PHP 400.00) per ounce (roughly 2 tablespoons). That may seem a lot, but it’s practically chump change when compared to these 3 expensive natural oils:

Tuberose Absolute (up to $345.00 / PHP 17,250.00 per ounce)

Tuberose Absolute Oil boasts an overwhelming fragrance and price tag. Quite overwhelming that it is often mixed with other scents since it may make the perfume wearer sick. This potent oil is extracted from the Tuberose flower plant and is also believed to be an aphrodisiac. The French Queen Marie Antoinette favored having tuberose in her perfume, and Louis XIV (the Sun King) of France had ordered to have tuberoses planted in the flowerbed at the Palace of Versailles.

Bulgarian Rose (up to $535.00 / PHP 26,750.00 per ounce)

Also known as “Damask Rose”, “Rosa Damascena” or “Otto” is considered an ancient holy herb. The oil extracted from this plant is considered to have the best floral scent and has been cited to improve the health of one’s heart, liver, brain, and circulation. It takes 500 pounds (or 227 kilograms) of flower petals to produce one ounce. The plant, itself, has been an important part of Iranian traditional medicine and has been used to treat a wide range of diseases. Laboratory studies have even confirmed its antimicrobial, antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and anti-depressant properties. Iranian people have named it “Gole Mohammadi” or the “flower of the Prophet Muhammad”.

plant oil

Agarwood Oil (up to $1,080.00 / PHP 54,000.00 per ounce)

Agarwood Oil or “Oudh” is made from the endangered agarwood tree which only grows in a handful of countries. This fragrant oil possesses a unique and pleasing aroma, and has been known to treat joint pain, inflammatory ailments, and works as a stimulant or a sedative depending on the preparation. The tree and its oil has cultural and religious importance, as well, being highly revered in Islam, and has even been cited in the “Sanskrit Vedas”, one of the world’s oldest written texts.

Taking the organic route may be costly, but it’s well worth the benefits. Of course, you don’t need to get a loan or sell your car just to buy a few drops of those expensive oils listed above, but you may want to start considering investing in healthier and more natural alternatives. Why not start with that argan oil-infused shampoo?

cement working in progress

Ways to Clean Up Cement Stuck on Masonry Tools

cement working in progress
Of course, it can get messy when working with cement. The concrete can stick to a tool and dry up to form a coat that can be difficult to remove. Although removing concrete from masonry equipment and tools can be difficult, builders can try a few ways to keep their concreting tools and equipment clean. However, a builder might need to experiment a bit before removing a coat of cement from their equipment.

Concrete Oil

Builders can save themselves a lot of stress and hassle by ensuring their masonry tools stay clean all the time. Spraying the concrete slab or any masonry tool or equipment with oil will make sure the paint and material of the masonry tool don’t contact the concrete. Concrete form oil is made of mineral oils, which cannot discolour a masonry tool or concrete. The oil also contains release agents that ensure that the concrete doesn’t stick to a wooden, plastic, or metallic tool. You can use either a brush or spray to apply the oil to a masonry tool or concrete. A release agent renders a superb finish to the pavement and makes it easier to remove concrete from a masonry tool or equipment.

It will be wise if a contractor doesn’t apply concrete oil to a hot surface to prevent scorching. Clean the tool or equipment a few hours before using the oil and work under a shaded area to avoid chances of scorching. The nature of the oil might also require a builder to adopt precaution around surfaces that are coloured.

Concrete Cleaner Solution

Concrete Mixer

The market is cluttered with a lot of concrete cleaning solutions that contractors can use to remove cement from their machines and tools. Cement cleaner solutions will foam up and break the mortar and concrete bonds, which has made the coat to harden. You can use a cleaning solution on any surface, machines, equipment, and tools that have been smeared with cement.

Although using a concrete cleaner solution isn’t as challenging as it sounds, builders might need to follow specific steps. For example, contractors might need to adopt safety measures when handling any chemical. It might be prudent to wear a mask and construction gear such as gloves and glasses. For further safety, pre-test the chemical before applying it to the concrete or any tool or equipment. Pre-testing the compound will enable a builder to determine its effectiveness and the time to let it sit on a concreting machine.

Wax

After removing concrete that has built up on masonry tool, use wax to clean the painted surfaces to make the equipment sparkling clean. You might need to use an aluminium cleaner on some parts of the machine such as rods and handles. The best way to keep concreting tools clean is to wash them after every use.

Of course, allowing cement to dry up on a masonry tool can be messy. However, with little patience and concrete removal solutions, cleaning them up can be easy. Combining several cement removal procedures can yield the best results.

Backyard

These Cabins are All You Need to Give Your Outdoor Space a Total Makeover

Backyard

Transportable cabins for purchase or sale have become even more popular today, because it’s multi-purpose and can easily be found online, too. Find out how you, too, can make use of this efficient, budget-friendly and eco-friendly building material and how you can use it to amp your backyard space up.

A Workspace

Having a dedicated space in your home where you can work whenever you need to offers a lot of advantages compared to working in a common area in the house. Ideally, a room or a backyard office is the perfect place for those who work from home full time or for those who do so from time to time.

A cabin used as an outdoor office is the perfect workspace where one can work undisturbed and away from any other forms of distraction.

A Creative Space

There’s nothing more fun than having a space that’s specifically designed for arts and crafts. Container sheds are big enough to serve as storage and workplace in one. This kind of setup makes it easier to access any necessary tool or material while working and storing it afterwards.

You can even set aside a corner for any gardening or building tools so that these aren’t lying around outside or anywhere within reach of children.

A Mini Entertainment Room

Entertainment room

With the dawn of streaming subscriptions, one can see movies all day without having to leave the house. A mini theatre right in the backyard of your home is a great entertainment place and a perfect relaxation place at the same time.

Use it as a library or a study area, or a reading spot to enjoy some downtime when it’s not being used as your private movie theatre. Amp it up with some really nice and comfortable recliners and you’ve got the best entertainment spot in town.

A Test Kitchen

For those who love to cook, having a place where they can create meals and experiment with different cooking recipes is the best way to get the creative juices flowing. A cooking lab is the equivalent of a work shed, except in here, one works with food.

It’s also the perfect venue to show kids and other family members some tips and tricks in cooking and a great family bonding spot to enjoy a nice meal and the outdoors.

A Game Room

Lastly, these tiny portable structures also make the perfect game room. This setup keeps the clutter and piles of toys out of sight and out of the house, and it serves as a place where kids can play to their heart’s content without taking over the entire space in the household.

A dedicated play area and game room make for an awesome entertainment area for kids and adults alike.

There are plenty of other brilliant uses for these cabins and these are just five of our favourite ideas. This building material offers durability and portability — two of the best qualities a building material can ever have.

You can build a single level or a two-level structure with it, making it the ideal building material for a sturdy, transportable structure; completely safe and weatherised, too.

Read more at The-Gaku.

boiler

Finally, a New Boiler: What to Expect During Installation

boilerThe worst of the cold months is beginning to bite. Your home’s heating system has not been at its best for the last few years. It is time to have a new boiler. To find quality service for boiler installation in Salt Lake City, you can rely on local listings as they teem with providers, considering the city can reach nearly sub-arctic during winter. When you have made a choice, expect a lot to happen before, during, and after installation.

Before Installation

The technician will do the rounds first in checking your system. They may ask the number of radiators you use, your water pressure, and even how many bathrooms there are in your home. The boiler’s location, as well as the flue’s, will be evaluated next.

During this time, you have the opportunity to talk to the technician on what best suits you for a new boiler location. You may also ask if a new type of boiler is better or if retaining the same model is more advantageous given your need. Normally, if old boilers often break down, a new setting seems more fitting. You can start from scratch so as to avoid same issues over and over.

During Installation

Typically, a boiler installation will be done in one day, barring any major home re-adjustments such as new location demands to have a section of the area removed. Of course, there will be some disruptions during installation, but you have to deal with it.

Being present during installation will allow the technician to do the installation smoothly as he may need some assistance in moving stuff. You can choose not to be around all day, but it helps to communicate with the technician to know how the installation is doing and learn new things on the best way to care for the new boiler.

Installation of a water softener in boiler roomInstalling the boiler is the main job of the day, but technicians also do some pressurized cleaning of the central heating system. This guarantees that the new boiler will work properly. After following a strict procedure, checking every part and parcel of the new boiler and the rest of the system, the technician will make some minor tests and runs.

After Installation

After installation, the technician will teach you how to operate the new boiler. Make sure that you receive the new boiler manual after. It is also advisable that they leave you knowing everything about the new boiler.

Also, the provider will give you a guarantee of the services rendered. This is often included in the contract terms. Reliable providers ensure that you have the best equipment installed plus a warranty of up to 10 years. You must also take time to seek for maintenance schedules, especially if the company has a program for it.

A new boiler will definitely save you from your winter blues. Still, it is noteworthy to also consider the price of the boiler and the installation fee before you sign up with a provider. Boiler technology can be expensive since it is bought rarely, so make sure that you get the best value from the best provider you can find.

Important Considerations When Choosing an Internal Door

Interior of corridor

Internal doors play a significant role in creating and designing the interior of your home. Aside from their primary function of providing for your family’s safety and security, internal doors can change your room settings. They can increase space and help create a style that is uniquely yours. For their maximum functionality, great care should be considered in choosing an internal door.

Here are some factors to consider in choosing an internal door:

1. Door types

Hollow core doors can stand the heat and changes in humidity. They are made of plywood exterior panels with a cardboard honeycomb between them. They cost less and feel lighter. However, they provide less insulation and are damaged when smashed by a heavy object. Solid core doors are made of plywood filled with wood fibres. They have a fire resistance rating higher than hollow core doors. They provide the same level of heat and sound insulation as that of solid wood doors but cost less.

Furthermore, solid wood doors provide extremely good heat and sound insulation. They last longer, look great, and feel heavy in the hand. They are the most expensive. If you are looking for wooden doors for interior use, there are various hardware shops in town that you can visit. They sell high-quality internal doors for all your needs.

2. Door styles

Your door style will depend on your home décor. If you prefer a modern touch, flush doors are the best. They are well-polished and simple yet more attractive. If you prefer a traditional décor, panelled doors are great. They create intense depth and dimension. In addition, glass panels create a brighter and more spacious atmosphere. Remember that the style of your door is vital to your home’s interior. You should also consider the size of your room when choosing your door style.

3. Door swing

The direction a door opens matters. Make sure that there is no wall or furniture that can interfere as the door swings when it is fully open. In relation to that, the door should not obstruct traffic or access to other rooms in the house. Furthermore, choose between a right-hand and a left-hand door swing. Then decide where to put the hinges and handles.

4. Door frames

white door

Door frames can increase or decrease your door’s value. Cheap framing materials can damage your door. A pre-hung door has a frame with hinges that are attached to the doorjamb, while you still need to install hinges with a slab door. Consider using the same materials used in skirting or wooden board along the base and the architraves or the moulded frame around the door.

5. Door sound ratings

Sound transmission class (STC) measures the sound loss through the door. Normal speech can be heard in a door with an STC of 25 while it is almost soundproof if the door has an STC of over 60. A higher STC means that less sound will pass through your door.

Internal doors can greatly affect your home’s interior. Because of that, you need to consider the door type, style, swing, frames, and sound ratings when choosing internal doors. To purchase the finest and highest-quality products, make sure to buy only from trusted dealers.

Water Heaters: The Essential Information You Need

Plumber checking the water heater

Many homes have a need for hot water for bathing or other purposes. Homeowners often choose to have water heaters so they could stay clean even through the winter.  But there are other benefits a water heater could give households, as long as you maintain them properly and know when to look for water heater repair experts near your Salt Lake City home. There are benefits of having a water heater at home

You can conserve water

You could choose a water heater with a tank or a tankless water heater. It all depends on the amount of hot water you need in your home, but it also helps you save water when you know that you only have a limited amount. Consider the number of people who need it in your home so you know the size of the tank.  If you don’t want a tank with your water heater, the water directly goes from your pipes to your heater for your immediate use.

You can conserve energy

Tankless water heaters can help you conserve energy. This type of heating system has the capacity to keep your water at a constant temperature even if you are away on vacation. It won’t heat the water until you turn your tap on; therefore, you get to save energy.

You can save money

Having a water heating system helps you save on water and energy. The water heater can keep the water hot for a time, and consequently, you won’t need to turn on the heater until the hot water is gone.

How Should You Take Care of Your Water Heating System?

Water heaters are expected to last for at least eight years. That is the minimum for a well-maintained water heater. If you want to make sure it lasts for at least that long a time, you need to follow these maintenance tips.

Put the thermostat in vacation mode when needed

Water Heater

Doing this will not only help you save on energy, but it will also help prevent your heater from breaking. If you have an electric water heater, you can just turn its breaker off. Just make sure to turn your heater back to its original settings once you return from your vacation.

Maintain a clearance around the heater

One common mistake that homeowners make is placing their water heaters in a corner of the garage or behind a closet. Don’t keep it behind something else (unless the manufacturer tells you to do so) as doing so will make you forget about doing your maintenance tasks.

Check your heater regularly

When things don’t seem right, check your water heater immediately. But it is better to have them regularly checked. One of the parts you should check is the sacrificial anode rod because it contributes a lot to save your money.

Ask the help of professionals

While you may want to do some minor tasks, it will always be best to ask the help of experts. There are reliable professionals in Salt Lake City that you could consult, should you need water heater repair and other related services. They can help guide you in maintaining your heating equipment whatever the season.

Any piece of equipment in your home needs the proper maintenance. A water heater is one of the most important appliances especially when you live in a country with four seasons.  yet it is one of the most neglected. Knowing the benefits and the proper way to take care of your water heating equipment will keep it from breaking down.

Types of Modifiers in Epoxy Resins Used for Concrete Repairs

concrete crackMost property owners disregard the formation of cracks in their concrete structures. They assume that these will not impact their structure’s integrity, much owing to the sheer strength of concrete. In most cases, however, the cracks keep expanding and over time can bring down your entire structure.

Prompt repair of concrete cracks regardless of their location and magnitude is hence essential. There exist different concrete floor repair products you could use to repair concrete cracks. One of the commonly used products is epoxy.

Epoxy has a low risk of shrinking when curing, does not melt and is highly resistant to chemicals and harsh environmental conditions. It is also known for its high adhesive strength and flexibility since some of its chemical and physical properties can be modified to suit your application.

Here are some of the modifiers you can pick for your concrete repair epoxy.

Rubber Additives

These are primarily used to increase the fatigue and crack resistance of your epoxy. Rubber additives will also boost your epoxy’s flexibility and energy absorption. The additives are polymers, which can be particulate, solid or liquid components.

Diluents

These are used to reduce your epoxy resin’s viscosity and hence improve its handling characteristics. Diluents are further grouped into non-reactive and reactive. Reactive epoxy diluents have glycidyl ethers, which have low molecular weight and viscosity.

They are primarily used to reduce cross-links in your epoxy resin. Non-reactive diluents, including xylene, toluene, and other aromatic hydrocarbons will reduce the thickness of your epoxy more than the reactive ones.

Flame Retardants

concrete crack

Most epoxy resins have a high hydrogen and carbon content, which makes them highly flammable. In applications where fires are a risk, you could add a flame retardant to the epoxy to minimise this risk. The flame retardant could be a filler and introduce halogens in the epoxy, which reduces flammability.

Dyes and Pigments

Concrete repair does not necessarily mean the introduction of ugly marks in your concrete structures. If a high aesthetic appeal is a concern for you, you could add dyes and pigments to the epoxy resin.

Pigments are insoluble particles, which will disperse the resin and form colour. Dyes, on the other hand, are soluble organic molecules. They are unfortunately unsuitable for composite applications since they react differently depending in the temperature.

Non-Reactive Fillers

These include metals, ceramics, minerals, glass, fibres and carbon, among other miscellaneous organic compounds, which confer different properties for your epoxy. Metallic fillers, for instance, enhance the epoxy’s corrosion resistance, while ceramic fillers boost its chemical resistance and enhance its compressive strength. Non-reactive fillers are available as short fibres, whiskers, powders, flakes, micro-balloons, and spheres.

Epoxy is primarily used for concrete crack repair through injection. It will efficiently seal cracks as narrow as 0.05mm in bridges, dams and buildings. The resins are also used for the restoration of concrete structures that have eroded, grouting of cracks and correction of cracked concrete beams and columns. With the modifiers mentioned here, you can choose the epoxy that meets all your application’s needs.

Laser cutting and 3D printing can create highly detailed designs

Why Designers Should Focus More on Using 3-D Printing with Laser Technology

Laser cutting and 3D printing can create highly detailed designsThe use of C02 laser engraving and other laser tools will help architects in maximizing the benefits they derive from using 3-D printing technology by producing more accurate design models at a shorter time. Architects had to work with their bare hands when crafting models before the introduction of 3-D printing. Today, the process of cutting and building drafts for their work has become faster and even more cost-efficient.

Efficient Production

Laser cutting and engraving expert AP Lazer explains that unique designs require complicated shapes and figures, so producing models by hand would require a lot of time. Some designers may still use hand-built models for smaller projects, but most professionals have relied on 3-D printing for faster delivery.

Manual production of models is also expensive compared to 3-D printing. Since the design phase typically goes through several changes, updating models by hand can be costly and impractical on the project’s budget. Many companies have used 3-D printing almost every day. They create custom lighting pieces for different spaces.

Laser Engraving

The advantage of using 3-D printing with laser machines involves the latter’s versatility for different kinds of surfaces. Whether it’s wood or plastic, you could use a laser engraver on a wide variety of products for customization.

Glass is another surface that’s perfect for laser designs. In fact, some companies have used it to create unique designs for office spaces. Laser-engraved glass walls are considered safer, unlike sandblasting or mechanical engraving as well. The material doesn’t have to come in contact with laser beams. This also means that tools last longer because of no wear and tear.

Laser engraving technology allows commercial designers to produce more accurately detailed models for their clients. Some service providers are willing to lease a unit if you’re still unsure about having one, which allows you to try it first and balance your finances at the same time.