When Do You Need To Have SR-22 Insurance In Illinois?

If you have been looking for SR-22 insurance in Chicago, IL, you may have noticed that rates are more expensive since this document indicates that you are most likely convicted of a More »

A Guide on Hand to Navigate the Immigration System

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truck driver

Be a Better Driver: The Keys to Defensive Driving

truck driver

There are a few skills in life that you need to acquire in order to survive. Unless the place you live in provides an efficient transportation system like buses and subways, driving a car would be considered as one of those few necessary skills. From having the comfort of the space of your own car, and the benefit of not waiting for the next train to come or for the next bus, driving could be a really useful skill especially when you are in a rush.

But just like any other skill, it requires proper training and practice. Once you start to drive, it is important to know that you are not alone on the road so being extra cautious is a must. Road safety solutions are everywhere, yet even those who have been routinely driving all their lives are still prone to any type of accidents. Thankfully, there are a few ways that could be prevented.

Keep your emotions in check

Once you start to drive, you must know that you are not alone on the road. This means that traffic would be inevitable and sudden bursts of anger are bound to happen, but it is a must to keep it in check. Road rage would not help anyone in any way. It certainly would not make the cars go faster, so having patience is a must when you start to drive.

Be a defensive driver

Some common causes of road accidents are road aggression, driving faster than the speed limit, not following traffic rules and swerving lanes in heavy traffic that prevents other drivers from merging. A good, defensive driver would be observant of other aggressive drivers or any other potential hazards on the road and ultimately avoid those hazards and drivers to avoid any potential accidents from happening.

Stay away from distractions

driver drinking beer while driving

If you are driving, make sure that your focus is on driving only and not elsewhere. It is prohibited by the law to drive under any influence of drugs or alcohol or anything that could potentially harm your focus and put your life (and others’) in danger. Although, focus is not only limited to these prohibited substances.

It is also heavily advised for a driver to stay off his phone while driving, and as much as possible do not answer any unnecessary calls or texts while on the road. If it is really urgent though, you may stop and step aside for a while. The road is constantly bustling, and even the slightest focus away from it could cause dangerous accidents.

Follow traffic rules

It should be obvious that a good driver follows traffic rules. Even as simple as following the speed limit and wearing seat belts ultimately amount to being a good driver since it lessens the probability of road accidents. If you are not familiar with some traffic rules, take the time to study them around your area to become a more self-aware driver. It could be really helpful.

While it is fun to drive nice cars that often appear in rap songs, it would not mean anything if the driver is reckless. None of it would remain as nice anymore if the driver would not be careful.

Different kinds of bent steel pipes

A Short and Simple Guide on Pipe Benders

When you look at random parts of your car or a building, you often see pipes connecting different areas to another. We don’t give them that much attention because they are always there but have we, at one point in our lives, stopped and thought about how and where these pipes are created? A portion of the answer to these questions might be ‘Pipe Benders’, and this article will talk about precisely that. There are various pipe benders for sale in the market, on the internet and big names such as Baileigh pipe benders have put a dent on the industry that purchasing pipe benders has become such an easy task.

What are Pipe Benders?

A pipe bender is a tool used to bend piping of different materials, such as stainless steel and copper to create various curves and angles. Generally, pipe benders are made of die-cast aluminum or steel. Aluminum is often used as it is strong enabling it to withstand pressure during bending. It is also more preferred compared to steel as it is lightweight. For steel pipe benders, they have a case-hardened steel roller that will allow it to withstand the pressure of bending.

Usage of Pipe Benders

Pipe benders are used to bend a range of piping, but most commonly they are for plumbing and conduit (electrical) piping. These are used to bend pipes in different directions and around obstacles rather than creating a fitting. They can also be useful for creating refrigerator connections. Bent tubing can also be used for moving water and electrical pipes around obstacles such as light boxes and stairs. Also, bent tubing is extremely useful in and among motorcycle exhausts and accessories.

Instead of a fitting, bent pipes are much rather preferred because fitting is prone to leaks and they are way cheaper than using fittings for your water lines.

Types of Pipe Benders

Tool used to bend steel pipes

There are various types of pipe benders, the most popular of which is the Dual Pipe Bender. It has two differently-sized formers for the pipe to be bent around. It can bend pipes to a range of angles. There is also the Mini Pipe Bender which bends piping no longer than 10mm. It works similarly to the dual pipe bender. The Ergonomic Pipe Bender has curved handles that are designed to lessen the effort exerted in bending pies. The free-standing pipe bender allows the user to bend longer and thicker piping. The free-standing base and long handle allow more pressure to be exerted without more force from the user. The ratchet pipe bender has a notch grip that pushes upwards. This upward motion pushes the pipes to bend between two blocks. This bender is more compact and can be used easily in tight spaces. The ratchet mechanism also requires less effort from the user. The conduit pipe bender is designed especially for conduit piping. It only has one handle, and the floor is used as leverage. As conduit or electrical piping is generally smaller than your ordinary plumbing piping, it typically requires less strength and force to bend.

As for maintenance, keeping it indoors and providing lubricants for stiff joints will suffice. Taking good care of your tools will save you money in the long run. There are various high-quality pipe benders for sale out there and taking good care of them will last you a lifetime.

What It’s like to Retire to Indiana

IndianapolisHow Indiana got the nickname of the Hoosier State is still up for debate, although you have probably encountered the term “Hoosier hospitality”. But will you really experience this famous hospitality if you choose to retire there? This article might give you a clue.

The Hoosier Hospitality

Sporting a median age of 37.2, it is obvious that retirees do not make up much of the population in Indiana. This is nothing to worry about though, because you might easily feel at home in the Hoosier State. Hoosiers pride themselves on being caring and polite. As a tourist or a newcomer, you might find that the people make sure that you feel welcome, especially in the smaller towns.

The cost of living in Indiana is also relatively low. With the median home price of approximately $114,100 (for comparison, the national average is nearly $280,000), you may say that it literally does not take much to find your home there.

The arts and culture scene

The small town of Nashville in Brown County, Indiana has dubbed itself the “artist’s colony of the Midwest.” You can see this justified by the galleries and artist studios that line the streets of this tiny town.

If the arts and culture scene is already large in such a small town, what more in the more in the bigger cities? Indeed, Indianapolis and the suburbs surrounding it have an opera company and a symphony orchestra. The Center for the Performing Arts, a three-venue performing arts center in Carmel, Indiana, also attracts musicians, performers and artists from all over the world.

The flourishing art scene of Indiana may be attributed to the numerous college communities in the state. Being the home to more than 50 colleges and universities, the state provides a wide customer base for locally-owned shops, ethnic restaurants and music events that some towns might not have.

retired senior couple enjoying breakfast

The climate

Winters in the Midwest are notoriously gritty. From December up until March, the normal temperature is normally below freezing point. There are lots of things you could do when the weather is nice enough though. Pete Dye, who is considered as one of the fathers of modern golf course architecture, has designed seven brilliant courses that you can enjoy at the Pete Dye Golf Trail. Indiana also sports miles of shoreline on Lake Michigan. If you want to go canoeing, try the Chain O’ Lakes State Park that features a cluster of eight beautiful lakes.

Healthcare and medical services

You may find the healthcare in Indiana to cost less than most parts of the US. Several hospitals that are renowned nationally are located in Indianapolis but, sometimes, the people who live in the northern part of the state prefer to head to Chicago for better medical services. The costs to avail of assisted-living and hospice in Indiana are significantly lower than the national average too.

Normally, people from colder states in the US prefer to retire someplace warmer. This might be part of the reason why the Midwest is not a particularly popular region for retirement. But if you are the kind of retiree who would not mind experiencing some real winter and warm, welcoming neighbors, Indiana is perfect for you.

Applying tint foil on a car window in a garage

Drivers’ Primer on Car Window Tint Care

Applying tint foil on a car window in a garage

Window tint has become necessary for drivers battling the daily commute in sunny and warm parts of the world. Protective car tint for Scottsdale, AZ residents reduce glare and improve road safety.

Is car tint necessary?

Some drivers manage to go by for years without tint, and they’re okay with it. However, in a warming world, and in time of the year when the sun’s rays hit the windshield without mercy, even the most stubborn car owner would start considering quality tint. Darkened glass looks cool and current. The best car tint material is scratch-proof and does not tear readily. When it’s time to choose remember there are legal restrictions as to how dark you can go. Make sure you are compliant to local and federal regulations.

When it’s time to clean the windows of your car

Along with the benefits described above, there is a downside. Tinted car windows come with precise cleaning instructions. No matter how well the tint has been applied it would have to be cleaned in time. After all, the thin film adheres to the inside surface of the windows, and are exposed to various chemical compounds and environmental conditions. Remember to refrain from cleaning a newly applied car window for the first 30 days. You may be tempted to do so, but trust us when we say you’d best leave the film alone.

Cleaners containing ammonia should be kept away from tinted car windows. Ammonia is harsh, and it weakens the tint. If you continue using chemicals with ammonia you’d be dealing with torn or scraped tint. When cleaning windows, you must prepare a dry cloth for removal of the cleaning compound.

Essential tools for window tint maintenance

Cleaning tinted window glass should be done with a soft rag or cloth. If you only have paper towels, head out to the supermarket, and look for microfibre towels. They’re not difficult to find. If you already have a sponge for the car, or a squeegee, abandon the plan of using them. You need a microfibre cloth and soap that does not contain ammonia.

When applying a cleaner solution, stay out of the edges. When wet cloth touches the edges, the fluid could seep into the microscopic layer between the glass and film. When this occurs, you’d see bubbles building up—a terrible sign. Bubbles will go away if the patch is rather small, and can still be addressed with a heat gun.

Watch out for a white film on the windows

Installing tint film on car window

The white film is the bane of many car owners. If you don’t follow window cleaning instructions, the while film will remind you of your filly. The film also arises from road salt, hard water exposure, and the action of pollutants. To avoid this unfortunate development and unsightly water spots, wash the windows under the shade.

Cleaning is an essential aspect of car tint care. If you are new to car window films, you’d better know how to maintain them properly.

woman with the flu

How Flu Affects the Respiratory System

woman with the fluOne of the deadliest natural disasters in the world is an all-too-common disease: flu. Back in 1918, Spanish influenza infected more than 450 million people and eventually wiped out about 3 percent of the global population.

In spite of the vaccines today, flu continues to kill men, women, and children. Most of these deaths, though, were associated with complications, such as respiratory infections.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to 650,000 people die each year due to respiratory diseases that can accompany seasonal influenza. These include pneumonia. The risks of death are higher among certain groups such as children.

Unlike bacterial infections that can disappear with antibiotics, flu is viral. The most practical approach is to deal with the symptoms as early as possible to reduce the complications. If a child suffers from flu with wet cough (it has phlegm), it’s best to provide them with a mucolytic agent.

What’s a Mucolytic Agent?

Medication such as a Fluimucil sachet is mucolytic since it targets the buildup of mucus on the lungs and throat. It’s normal for people to produce mucus. In fact, the body needs it since it helps trap the pathogens that enter the nasal cavity. The body, though, has the mechanism to get rid of it without the person knowing it.

When a person contracts the flu virus, the pathogen can attack the respiratory system, particularly the lungs and airways. As an immune response, the body can produce more mucus.

woman sick on her couch

To remove the buildup of mucus, the body tries to expel it by coughing. The problem is, when there are excessive amounts, mucus can become viscose or sticky. It becomes more challenging to get rid of it. A lot of mucos can trap more viruses and bacteria, which can still multiply in the respiratory system.

A mucolytic medication can help provide breathing relief and decrease the likelihood of infection by thinning out the mucus. In the process, it becomes easy for the body to cough it out.

The Challenges of Giving Mucolytic Medicine on Children

Depending on the age, a child with flu and cough might have to take a mucolytic medication, which can be a tablet, syrup, or drops. There are pros and cons to each option. Syrups and drops are the easiest to administer since they’re liquids. Those meds for children usually have a fruity or sweet flavour to make them more appealing. These drugs, though, are ideal for little ones only.

Older children might have to take the tablet form, and it can be challenging for the parents. One, they typically don’t have the best flavour. Sometimes they even leave an aftertaste. Some children have difficulty in swallowing pills. They have a condition called dysphagia, or they might have had a negative experience with medication. In these situations, parents can consider effervescent tablets or granule sachets, which they can dissolve in fluids such as water.

Influenza doesn’t have a cure, but the symptoms are manageable, especially with the right medication. To know more about how to fight the flu, the Ministry of Health provides more information.

person loading boxes for shipping

Ways to Reduce Your Shipping Costs

person loading boxes for shippingShipping costs often eat into the bottom lines of many companies, especially if they can’t pass on the additional fees to the customer. However, you can lower these costs without compromising the customer experience.

Due to the constant increase in gas prices, some businesses end up spending a fortune in transportation costs. Sometimes, these costs can be as high as 50 percent. To avoid bleeding money, you have to pass on these costs to the consumers.

Doing so increases the price of goods, sometimes putting them just beyond the affordability of the market. A slowdown in sales can hurt your bottom line. Working with European road haulage companies can help lower your transportation costs.

Stick to one carrier

As with all businesses, you will get better prices when a logistics company handles all your shipping needs. High volumes entitle you to better charges, which can lower your transportations costs. You only need to find the carriers with the best rates.

In addition to looking at the charges, you also need to be sure that the carrier has a large fleet to cover all your delivery routes. Picking the company covering most routes spares you from the shipping headaches. Offering a carrier large work volume elevates your status with them, which gives you sufficient leverage to negotiate the best possible rates.

It transports your firm into a critical business account, which means that the carrier might go to great lengths to retain your business. However, you need to be sure that they can avoid loss and delayed deliveries as these can lead to dropping customer satisfaction.

woman receiving shipment

Consolidate all your shipments

Unless you’re dealing with perishable goods, you can opt to gets all your deliveries in one day. In most cases, the pay rate with haulage companies is negotiated on distance, weight, and other variables. Consolidating shipments increases the size of the load, which lets you reap the rewards of larger purchases. Your ability to make changes depends on the type of cargo you handle and the size of your business. It’s imperative to crunch the numbers and consider other relevant factors before making a decision.

Rethink your packaging strategy

Typically, you want to ensure that all your shipments get to their destinations in one piece. However, the need to protect your goods shouldn’t cause you to incur a fortune in shipping fees. Refining your packaging strategy enables you to pack more products in a pallet.

You can switch to cube boxes as you can stack them well to take a few spots on the pallet. Your preferred carrier can help you with the process of building more efficient pallets to increase product safety and efficiency.

In the end, you should remember that lowering your shipping costs can give you an edge on the market. Due to the reducing overhead costs, you can price your products affordably while ensuring a healthy bottom line. Working with a reliable hauler can help you meet these goals quickly. If you feel unsure, you can seek the advice of an expert.

father and son

Solo Dads: Simple Ways of Showing Them Love and Appreciation

father and son

Parenting is an enormous responsibility and requires great sacrifice to make sure that your family’s present and future are secured. It’s all the more challenging for those individuals who become single parents because of circumstances. Although it is a difficult situation regardless of gender, it still hurts to see an individual undertaking the responsibility of two people.

Many adults begin to realize how much a single father or a mother sacrificed for their child. For many fathers, the problem may be more difficult, as they may lack some skills in taking care of toddlers and babies. If you know someone who is a single father, you know how difficult their life can be. Here are some things you can do with your friend, brother, or father to celebrate their fatherhood.

Travel together

Do you remember when your dad used to take you to places of fun such as the carnival or video game arcade? Now that you’re an adult, you might say that it’s your turn now. Being a father is a busy undertaking, let alone being a single parent. Therefore, your dad wouldn’t have much time for himself because he dedicated a big portion of his life to raising you. Despite that, he’s still human, and the longing for entertainment and adventure won’t be answered by watching TV. Ask them what kind of place they’d be interested in going to and travel there. You can prevent interruptions when you travel together, stick to your car’s regular maintenance schedule.

Take the time to talk

father and son

A good old-fashioned conversation doesn’t require much preparation or spending. You only need to dedicate a bit of your time to engage your dad in an interesting discussion. Fathers aren’t usually expressive of their emotions, so you won’t see what they feel until you try to break the ice and talk to them. It could come as simple as grabbing a few beers in your garden and talking about anything and everything under the sun. Tell him how you appreciate him for the little things such as taking you to your game or buying you that toy you’ve always wanted as a kid. Such simple sentences can travel miles and would mean a lot to them.

Token of appreciation

For sure, you’ve asked a thing or two from your dad back in the day, and without a second thought, he made sure to give it. Now that you’re a working adult, you’re not reliant on him anymore and can now purchase items with your own money. What better way to use that than giving your dad a gift or two? Regardless of its price, your donation will surely be appreciated. No tag is too big or small for a father that sacrificed so much of him so that you’ll grow up to be a happy child.

Father’s day is a celebration of the sacrifice and loves our dads gave to us. However, we don’t need such special days to make them feel special. After all, whether it’s an ordinary school day or Christmas, he’s never ceased to fulfill his role in your life as both mom and dad.

Getting an insurance

When Do You Need To Have SR-22 Insurance In Illinois?

If you have been looking for SR-22 insurance in Chicago, IL, you may have noticed that rates are more expensive since this document indicates that you are most likely convicted of a serious driving offense, such as a DUI or avoiding payment of damages from a traffic accident.

Drivers normally pay an average of $1,222 on vehicle insurance in the state, and requiring SR-22 insurance will definitely increase your premiums based on your record. Even those who fail to pay child support may need to have this type of insurance, while those with suspended licenses should also have one despite not owning a car.

The Nature Of SR-22

An insurance provider files an SR-22 on your behalf to prove that you have the minimum coverage as required by the Illinois Driver Services Department. Aside from DUIs and not paying damages, those who are required to have this document include being caught driving without insurance at least three times; causing an accident while doing so, and evading tollway fee payments.

You must maintain your SR-22 coverage for at least three years. Otherwise, your license and car registration will be suspended. It’s safe to say that you need to start over again to reinstate your driving privileges. You should renew the insurance at least 45 days before the expiration date since the filing process takes up to a month.

A sample quote for a 30-year-old male driver in Chicago costs between $1,800 and $2,250 for annual SR-22 insurance. This is around 50% to 80% of the price for a similar driver without a DUI conviction or other traffic violations. You could sell your car to qualify for non-owner insurance coverage if you need to drive a car. Non-owner coverage may cost as low as $183 per year, and it only provides liability coverage for occasional driving.

Alternatives To SR-22 Insurance

If you don’t wish to pay for SR-22, an alternative requires you to make a cash deposit of $70,000. You also have the choice of depositing the amount in the form of securities, real estate or surety bonds. This serves as a guarantee in exchange for being able to drive again. These options are definitely not any cheaper than paying for SR-22 coverage.

The only ways to avoid spending on a high-risk insurance policy will involve taking public transportation, riding a bike or carpooling. In case you leave Illinois, it’s possible to file a waiver of responsibility for SR-22. Take note that you may still be required to purchase it in another state, as SR-22 laws are similar in most parts of the U.S.


Insurance benefitsIt’s important to ask for as many quotes as possible from different insurers before making a purchase decision. Once you find an insurer that offers SR-22, they will submit the form to the state department. You could check with the Driver Services Department about the paperwork status. You could start driving as soon as your license is reinstated even if you haven’t received the paperwork yet.

two men making a construction plan

Increasing Property Value by Successful Remodeling Projects

two men making a construction planSuccessful home remodeling projects can increase its value. This, however, requires thorough planning and execution to make the most of your investment. It’s not just about making your property look more appealing to other people. You also need to be efficient on how to allocate your resources. This means setting your priorities right in place.

Running a Thorough Inspection

The first thing you need to do is to inspect your property room by room. Take note of the areas you need to improve. Focus on the fixtures or hardware that require immediate repair. Before proceeding to the overall design of the house, it is advisable to prioritize the functionality. Remember, there should always be a balance between aesthetics and functionality.

Make a draft of everything you need.  As much as possible, start with the simplest tasks such as decluttering, cleanup, and other quick temporary DIY fixes.

Creating a Home Renovation Plan

Once you have an idea of the things you need to accomplish, you may now start with the actual plan. This should include all the important details such as the budget and your desired output for each area. This is where you should audit and allocate your resources accordingly. Weigh the pros and cons of each renovation project.

Find ways on how to cut down the costs without compromising the quality, especially when choosing the materials. Remember, the goal is to make your investment worth it from these renovation plans.

In addition, there should always be a timeline for each project. Create an organized schedule so it would be easier for you to keep track of the progress and ensure the tasks can be completed on time. Make sure to coordinate with the contractor, as well.

Making your Property More Attractive

modern houseWhen it comes to increasing value, you need to identify the best features of your property. According to real estate investors, home buyers usually pay more attention to the most functional areas of the house. Curb appeal is also a big factor. Here are some of the areas you might want to prioritize:

  1. Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most functional areas and could be one of your best selling points. According to real estate investors, a successful kitchen remodeling project in Kansas City can actually up to 100% of your investment, as long as you don’t go overboard.

There’s no need to spend a fortune to come up with a well-designed kitchen. The key here is to maximize floor space. Check those bulky kitchen cabinets and other storage containers. Aside from they eat up most of the space in the kitchen, they are also more expensive. Some of these furniture can cost around $1,000. On the other hand, mounted or hanging shelves can only take around $100 or even cheaper. It also saves up a lot of space in the kitchen.

For countertops, you may check out granite materials for style and durability. Others also use vinyl to match the overall design of the kitchen.

  1. Bathrooms

Well-designed bathrooms can increase by about 50 to 70% of your investment. Again, you don’t have to overdo this. Focus on efficiency and functionality. Fix faulty pipes and leaking faucets. Just like the kitchen, you need to maximize the space. For smaller bathroom areas, you can make it look bigger by putting mirrors strategically.

You may also enhance those countertops and vanities by simply repainting them. Upgrading the light fixtures is relatively a small investment that can give you instant results.

  1. Exterior Area

Updating the exterior area can boost your property’s curb appeal. You can invest in small landscape projects to make the entryway look more inviting. The objective here is to give other people the right impression of your property without even entering the house just yet. Check those interior windows, as well. Replace them if necessary.

Revamping your property before making them available in the market is a good idea. These remodeling projects can even make the selling process faster. Always put yourself in the buyer’s perspective.

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.