Home Improvements on Your House

Home improvement projects are ways to make your home more beautiful, attractive, cleaner and more cozy and comfortable to stay and live in. They are not just ways to improve or beautify your home, they also assures security and protection. Improving your home offer many benefits, one thing is that it can also be a reasonable investment. Home improvements in addition, can make a house more livable and may even increase the value of your home.

Here are the top most important home improvement projects to help improve your homes:

Home repair involves the diagnosis and resolution of problems in a home. It also includes home maintenance to avoid problems. Most types of repairs are Do it-Yourself projects, where you can simply maintain and repair it by yourself in order to cut down your repair and maintenance costs. It is best that you handle your home repairs and maintenance because other types may be complicated and usually time consuming and risky because you need to hire professionals or handyman to the job. Home repair includes heating and cooling repair, plumbing repair, exterior home repair, electrical and plumbing repair.

Part of improving your home is energy saving. Normally, energy used in homes is responsible for over a quarter of all emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas causing climate change. That’s why making your home as energy efficient as possible will reduce carbon emissions and could also save you money on your fuel bills. Insulate your home to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels which add to the greenhouse effect. By doing so, you are actually helping the environment. Insulation is also an excellent sound absorbed and can assist in reducing noise transmission through walls, ceilings and floors making your home or your work environment quieter and peaceful.

The most important project in improving a home is security and safety. It’s undeniable that crime is increasing every year and is invading any home even those considered safe communities. Keeping your family safe is always the first priority. Install electronic devices such as home alarm systems for doors and windows. Attach motion detectors that sense movement or the heat given off by one’s body. The most common incident that could happen into your home is fire. That’s why it is necessary to be aware of fire safety measures. Be prepared by installing fire alarm systems, purchase fire extinguishers and smoke detectors.

Improving a home can make you spend hundreds of dollars, but the return on investment is all worth it. A beautiful, comfortable and safe home is what matters most. Anyway, it is a very rewarding feeling seeing the great results of your newly improved home.

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Contractor

When choosing a contractor, it is important to know as much as you can about the contractor’s qualifications, experience and reliability. These are just a few of the questions you should ask when choosing a contractor for your home improvement or home repair project.

Is the contractor licensed in your state/county/city?

Some states require contractors to have a license, while others will accept trade organization membership, job experience and education credits in lieu of a license. If the contractor is licensed, you can verify their credentials by calling your state licensing board, or by visiting the license boards website (available in most states). Also, the requirements vary from state to state, so it may be helpful to know whether the contractor was required to pass a licensing exam, or simply pay a fee for the license.

Is the contractor a member of any professional trade organizations?

If so, you can verify that the membership is in good standing.

Is the contractor well insured?

Most states require contractors to maintain certain insurance levels as a condition of the license, and you can often view insurance information on the state’s website (in the same place you verify the contractor’s license information). You should verify that the contractor has at least general liability coverage (property and injury), workmen compensation coverage, and automobile coverage.

Is the contractor familiar with current building code requirements?

The contractor should be familiar with building code requirements for your area, and should know what permits will be required.

Does the contractor have references and a portfolio of previous work?

Contacting previous customers is a great way to verify the reliability of the contractor and the quality of work that you can expect. Also, a portfolio of previous jobs with detailed photos can help you see the quality of work that the contractor is capable of.

How long has the contractor been in business?

A contractor that has been in business for several years will generally be more stable, with less risk of sub-standard work or leaving a job unfinished. It can also be helpful to verify the contractor’s financial standing via a bank reference, to insure the contractor will have the means to pay for supplies and materials.

The answers to these questions will be a good start towards finding a qualified contractor to help you with your home repair or home improvement project.

Large Dogs in Small Apartments

As the mom of a 75 lb Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, I’m constantly hearing about how big my dog is. To me, he’s just “Cooper,” a part of my family, and will be moving with me regardless of where I land. Then we moved from a town requiring a 45-minute commute to get work done (hello carbon emissions) to a swanky new apartment in an exciting suburban city, Birmingham, MI.

This meant our big space became a small (albeit gorgeous) space. With this move, Cooper’s backyard was nixed for a bit of a new lifestyle. I’ve compiled six must-do’s for keeping our big dogs happy and healthy even in the smallest abodes!

  1. Make the small walks with your dog count. Getting the mail is an opportunity to stretch. In fact, take the long route. Think of it the same way you might a store-park in the back and get the extra steps in.
  2. Give your dog (or her) his own space. Even his small bed is a place to call his own. It’ll make him feel more at home.
  3. Chose an apartment complex with a courtyard. City life doesn’t often offer a backyard or park across the street. Even if it did, you wouldn’t be as inclined to visit as you would if it were literally outside of your door. I chose an apartment complex with an almost completely enclosed courtyard, which allows Cooper running space to fetch a ball. (Thankfully Cooper’s recall trained. Never let an unleashed dog run without this critical skill.)
  4. Chose a first floor apartment. Early mornings are early. Don’t fool yourself. Keep slippers by the door and eliminate falling down stairs before breakfast.
  5. Play tug. Tug games don’t require much space and can wear your big dog out without giving you frostbite (or sunburn if you’re not here in the North).
  6. Keep chewies around. Though there’s some controversy regarding rawhides, makes sure to keep the chewable toys around for restless moments. You’ll avoid losing your favorite shoes and keep your dog-human relationship happier.

Isn’t It Time to Wake-Up?

People (at all ages), often say things like, “you made me feel this way”, etc. It just simply isn’t true. Only you decide how you’re going to feel. No one has that power over you.

You get to decide whether or not to react or respond to someone/something. Not the other way around. Now, if you notice you constantly feel bad around someone, you will want to look at why that is. Are you needing to work on setting boundaries with others, is there another reason why this is persisting, or does this person have a negative energy about them and it’s time to take control of who you’re surround yourself with? In any event, it is still your decision on how you react. I remember being told this by someone years ago when I was first entering the self-development arena. I got it intellectually, but didn’t really “get it” on a deeper level. This involves a lot of inner work, and it starts with taking responsibility for every single thing happening in your life.

It amazes me when people complain about not getting the results in their life. You are your only problem. If you aren’t getting what you want externally, something is off internally. What is happening on the outside of you is a direct result of your thinking. Always. Regardless if it’s negative or positive. You need to look inside. Who are you being or not being? What type of thinking is causing you to stay stuck? Do you believe you have to struggle or think the potential clients you are talking to just aren’t ready to take action? You are fooling yourself. This is your subconscious trying to keep you stuck. It has a positive intention, which is to keep you where you feel safe. Growing a business involves risk and putting yourself out there. This can be scary and to the subconscious it’s not a safe zone.

In order to figure out where your thinking is off, you will need to look. If you are speaking to your ideal client and they decide not to move forward with your service, the problem is you. Something is going wrong in the sales conversation. It is likely that you’re stopping yourself from asking those tougher questions because you care too much what they think of you. However, if you don’t ask those tougher questions, they will not see that they need your help and that you’re the one to provide the help.

Look at the results you’re getting/not getting and determine if you’re where you want to be. If they’re in line with your vision, then awesome! If not, take a hard look at your thinking. No one is to blame but you.

Those are some common themes that I see preventing business owners from moving forward. Running a business involves a commitment to doing whatever it takes to succeed. Are you willing to take responsibility for your life / actions / results? Once you do this, you will be amazed at what starts to happen.

Your Guide for Finding a Reliable Commercial General Contractor

As you can probably guess, a commercial contractor specializes commercial construction. A general contractor is involved in all steps of commercial construction, and they typically handle both private and public projects, from construction of schools to buildings, commercial spaces and more. They are responsible for overseeing a number of tasks, such as obtaining permits, design, purchases, adherence to codes of the building industry and compliance to state laws and norms.

When it comes to selecting a premier commercial general contractor, you have to be more careful because a lot of money is at stake. In this post, we will talk of the things that need your attention for finding a reliable commercial general contractor.

Start With the Basics:

You cannot work any random contractor you find online. Start by looking for licensed companies that have a good name in the local market. If a company claims to be the best in business or has worked in many projects, they will have enough clients. They should be able to offer references on request, which large tells about their portfolio. You need to understand the nature and range of projects they have completed so far, and whether they can handle your project, keeping the scope and other aspects in mind.

Ask for a Bid:

It is important to contact at least three to four commercial general contractors for the same job. You need to check if their pricing and bid is fair and transparent. Bids are meant to be detailed in all aspects, and you might need to check what’s included in the proposal sent to you and the things that have been excluded. Make sure that all bids are made around the same scope of work, otherwise it would mean comparing applies to bananas, which isn’t the ideal way to move ahead.

Communication Matters:

No matter how small or big your project may be, communication with your commercial contractor is more than important. If you are happy with the bid, ask them about the development process and find reasons why you should hire the company in the first place. The concerned company must explain their approach to the job, so that you can understand their areas of expertise. It is wise to use some of their projects as point of reference in your conversations, so that the overall process of discussion remains on the same line.

Know Their Team:

A contracting company usually has a team of professionals who help in deciding a lot of management considerations. You need to know the team that will be working on your project and whether they are good at maintaining client relationships. Don’t shy away from asking questions, no matter how stupid they may sound, as long as your queries are relevant to the project. You can also ask them about their work ethics and practices and what sets them apart from other companies in the same industry.

Check these things, and finding a commercial contractor shouldn’t take a lot of time.

Received a Copyright Infringement Notice? Now What?

Are you one of those who just received a TCYK LLC letter? In order for such a letter of claim not to become a TCYK LLC lawsuit eventually, it is a must to know some what-to-do guidelines when receiving notices for copyright infringement. So, read on; this article might help.

Let’s start with some FAQs:

Who sends a letter of claim?

Only 3 sources are authorized to send you a letter of demand for copyright infringement, and these are:

  • An exclusive licensee or someone who has an exclusive copyright license of a certain creative material
  • The owner of the copyright
  • The solicitor/s and anti-piracy entities who have been hired by copyright owners to chase infringers

In some territories and selected cases, the ISP may also have the right to send a copyright infringement notice to warn subscribers of their illegal downloading and/or file-sharing activities.

What to do next?

You need to respond to the letter of claim within the period specified on the letter. In England, it is a general rule to reply to a letter of demand or copyright infringement notice within 14 days after receiving the letter, whether you are guilty of the allegation or you are not directly responsible for the infringement. This is why proper understanding of the letter’s content is a must before even thinking of responding through email or phone call. Take your time knowing the details of the allegation, and consider seeking professional legal assistance if there are things you want to be clarified. Aside from asking legal advice from a solicitor, you may also get in touch with the letter sender directly through the hotline provided on the letter. This way you can easily get more information regarding the allegation against you as well as prevent any more serious consequences like litigation. Responding to a letter of claim immediately also lets you clear your name if ever you did not really commit the infringement.

So what should you do to stop receiving another copyright infringement notice?

  1. Stop downloading copyrighted materials. Yes, it is as simple as that. Most things you see online are owned by someone, and it is better off not to take something that’s not yours, unless you have already acquired permission from the rightful owner. However, there are also copyrighted materials that are made available by the copyright holders themselves through a Creative Commons License, which means you are actually free to make use of certain music and other creative materials online. Although there is this exception, it is still important to note that most free films you see online should not be really free and are still owned by people or entities, therefore you are most likely required to pay for downloading and/or sharing them.
  2. Check your internet connection usage. It is also important to know everyone who has access to your Wi-Fi connection to easily track the person/s responsible for any infringement, especially if you are very much aware that you haven’t really tried downloading or sharing copyrighted materials through your PC and other devices at home. You can check who accessing your wireless router by looking into its logs of connections, which most routers do have. You may also acquire assistance from your ISP in order to make sure that only you and your family or anyone in your household are the only ones accessing your internet connection, therefore not putting you at risk of any illegal downloading and other copyright infringement allegations.

These are just some of the basic precautionary measures you can do to stay away from letting a letter of claim turn into a TCYK LLC lawsuit.

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Repairing Loose Carpet

When carpeting is installed in a home, it is stretched over your floor onto tack strips which secure it on the sides. Over time with general use and age your carpet will actually stretch out. This will often show itself as wrinkles and loose spots in your carpeting. So how do you repair these wrinkles, is there a way?

Yes, to get rid of these unsightly wrinkles, you need to have your rugs professionally stretched. If your carpet is less than a few years old, you might actually have a labor warranty that will cover the stretching costs. Before you hire anyone, check to see if your carpet is still under this warranty. If not, you will have to pay for the charges out of pocket. Unfortunately stretching is not cheap because it involves quite a bit of work. The technicians will have to move all or most of your furniture out of a room, detach the carpet from the tack strip, cut off the excess carpet and then reattach it to the tack strips. This can take hours. Expect to pay around $3 to $4 per square yard for this service. That makes 900 square feet of carpet cost around $300 to $400 to stretch. Sound expensive? Well it is but it is better than the alternative.

If you do not have your carpeting stretched the problem will only get worse. The carpet will continue to get looser and the wrinkles will get larger and more noticeable. This not only causes the carpet to look bad but it can also shorten the life of your carpeting. Loose rugs wears quicker than properly installed and stretched carpet. As expensive as carpet is today it makes since to get the problem taken care of soon as possible to prevent expensive replacement costs.

If you are not sure what to do, it doesn’t hurt to call a carpet repair service. Most will be happy to give you a free estimate and can give you recommendations as to how you should proceed. Who knows, you may only need one room stretched instead of your whole house. You do not know until you call.

What You Need To Know About App Notifications

Notifications rank amid the most widespread features in mobile apps. Whatever they may concern – a message or a comment in a social network, an update of an app, an announcement or a reminder – notifications are made to bring useful information to users in a convenient way. However, these seemingly simple parts of your software require as much thinking as anything else, especially in terms of the message you want to send. After all, if you pay less attention to tinier things, it’s much easier to make them bad.

What’s In A Notification?

Apple divides notifications into local and push (remote) ones. The difference has been very clearly set by Apple:

– Local notifications are scheduled by an application and delivered on the same device.
– Push notifications, also known as remote notifications, are sent by your server to the Apple Push Notification service, which pushes the notification to devices.

Aside from alerts and banners, notifications include sounds and badges, as exemplified by iOS. This is what’s visible to users. Badge numbers usually indicate a number of specific things (upcoming events, unread messages, or updates /files to download). An app can also specify a short distinct sound to alert the user.

Functional Notifications: Right Time, Right Place

Local notifications are delivered to users when the app runs in the foreground. They are often used for asking users to rate the app and write a review, offering rewards, offering to download and install a new update, as well as offering to show new features afterwards. All this works for encouragement of users, for the sake of rich experience.

Push notifications involve interactions with the server, and they are usually delivered to users when the app runs in the background. While local notifications engage users, push notifications draw users back to the app.

In a nutshell, quality of the message defines its success. Both push and local ones are widely used in mobile marketing. And it’s quite easy to keep in mind the following things that will help your notifications be healthy.

Notifications In Marketing: How Not To Overdo

Notifications are made to draw users’ attention. But for the same reason they get overused, since any app owner can find so much to inform users of. But notifications in marketing must mean effective dialogue and clear answers to their questions, not mobile spamming. Let your users decide whether they want to receive anything, how they will receive it, and which topics would be relevant for them.

– Abusive apps are generally hated – irrelevant and interruption notifications are treated by many as eye-offenders, and are hated as much as irrelevant ad banners with striking colors. While users love the value that’s given by apps, they hate everything valueless.

– Content and frequency of notifications matter. The less personalized these notifications are, the more annoying they will seem to users. Different users find value in different information and different message. Then they can decide whether to open the app or dismiss the notification.

– Timely notifications mean success. The schedule of notifications must be properly written, with adjustments to time zones. They can be recurring – daily, weekly, monthly, etc.

– It is always recommended to take notice that push notifications, requiring Internet access, drain the smartphone battery – another good reason for not to overdo it.

The rule here is turn to the right people with the right offer and be moderate at that. Unfortunately, each of us must have encountered at least one app where this rule is broken to a certain extent. Instead of location-aware and relevant offers, news, and reminders, users can simply get a perfect anti-engagement tool, which will be abandoned.

Denver Real Estate For Sale

Denver streets are lined with beautiful homes for sale. There are charming little retreats, family homes, vacation homes, vast country estates and small cabins. Whatever your preference, there’s Denver real estate property perfect for you and your family.

Denver communities

Denver Metro has about 42 municipalities and 7 counties with several neighboring mountain and valley districts. Each of these areas offers a unique living experience. The city of Denver has more than twenty exceptional neighborhoods. There are also beautiful real estate properties in the surrounding Englewood, Lakewood, Arvada, Broomfield, Greenwood Village, Centennial, Littleton, Highlands Ranch, Castle Rock, Parker, Thornton, Wheatridge, Aurora, Lafayette, Brighton, Boulder, Superior, Westminster, Northglenn, Golden, Cherry Hills Village and Evergreen to name just a few.

Denver’s population is very diverse, with a healthy mix of singles, families and senior citizens. This is why Denver has facilities for everybody – restaurants that cater to all ages and tastes, different churches representing different faiths and different recreational facilities. Denver also has a bustling nightlife and plenty of casinos. You’ll never run out of places to go to when you feel like having fun.

Remember that the cost comparisons, infrastructures, amenities and available properties vary in different areas, so do your research before deciding what area to buy real estate in.

New real estate projects across Denver

Real estate is booming in Denver, and more and more real estate developments are being built. Aside from the many existing properties in the Denver area, there is also a very active market for new properties. The population in Denver is ever-growing, so developers are offering new projects for all kinds of buyers. You can choose to have your home constructed instead of buying existing Denver real estate properties . This way, you can get involved in just about every aspect of your home’s look and feel.

Finding a Good Family Lawyer

Family lawyers are needed in different situations including divorce. Such situations are very stressful and if you are not careful, you may have a very hard time during such times. There is a need to have a professional with a deep understanding of the law on your side so as to handle different situations that you may not know how to handle completely. This can make the process much easier for you and the whole family.

When you are looking for a family lawyer, there are some qualities that should be outstanding. These will help you know whether the person you have chosen to represent you is capable of handling himself and the case at hand. Some important qualities include:

  1. Communication: the lawyer should be able to communicate and communicate well. This is very critical. The lawyer needs to be able to communicate in an easy and clear manner. When you have a lawyer, it is necessary that you are able to voice your expectations and concerns. It is the job of the lawyer to explain things clearly to you as well as those that have to do with the case and to give you expectations that are realistic. The lawyer should also be able to communicate with other parties to the case. Good communication leads to effective negotiations keeping costs down. A good communicator will also be very helpful should the case go to court.
  2. Experience and skills: while it is important to have an attorney to represent you, it is important that he is able to represent you well. So as to do this, skills are required. A case such a divorce can touch on many aspects of family life as we know it. This may include career, retirement, finances and so on. The lawyer should be experienced and very knowledgeable so as to make sure that all your interests are protected. Experience in family law cases is an added advantage especially if such a case has a lot of similarities with yours.
  3. Availability: when you are searching for a representative, make sure it is a person that is available in all the important points of your case. If he can’t be present all the time, he should have support available to cover when he has other matters to attend to. The lawyer should avail himself to respond to questions in a good and timely way, he should work with timeframes so as to reassure you of his dedication. He shouldn’t be too held up with pother cases so as to be able to pay attention to yours.
  4. Composure: your family lawyer should be able to maintain his composure at all times. This isn’t only about staying focused and calm, but also exhibiting a lot of self-control when in the courtroom or when dealing with other lawyers, even if he feels frustrated, your interests need to represent very strongly but he shouldn’t take things too personally when the turn of events isn’t completely to his favor.
  5. Support and resources: lawyers have other clients too, and it is not possible that they will always be available to answer questions every time something comes up. It helps when the lawyer has a team working with him so that even emergencies can be handled swiftly.
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