Monthly Archives: October 2017

Winter is Coming – Snow Removal 101

Winter is Coming - Snow Removal 101

Winter is coming. All jokes aside, it really is and if you don’t live on a tropical island, this may pose some problems. If you’re from a warmer climate and have moved to where winters are really winters, you might be under-prepared. Luckily, it’s not to late to change that and be well on your way to adapting to your new frosty environment.

Welcome to where the whether is still beautiful, but in a different way

Those from a more tropical climate get to enjoy what is more often than not two seasons: rainy and sunny. As someone who’s had the opportunity to live in such a climate, it’s amazing. But, you’ll never know where life will take you and sometimes that’s north.

Maybe you’ve recently gotten married and your spouse wants to be closer to their home town. Maybe your reason for relocation is work. No matter what it is, there are some easy ways to prepare initially and some guidelines that will make taking care of yourself and home far easier.

The first step is to make sure you stay warm

The first tip is simple but important: get a quality jack and gloves. This is easily overlooked because they aren’t necessarily needed the closer you get to the equator but they’re essential. If you’re way up north you may want a down jacket or one with a multiple layers of fabric.

Your hands are your most used tool and even if it’s just for a trip from the front door to the car, gloves are great. They’ll also come in handy when it’s time for you to remove all the snow that will inevitably fall on your lawn. Dressing in layers is also suggested as you adjust to the new climate.
While you’re out and about doing your snow removal tasks a good pair of boots is also suggested.

Hypothermia is no joke and even people who have dealt wit the colt all their lives are at risk. A pair of quality insulated boots will ensure that you’ll be back in your house comfortable instead of frostbitten.

Snow removal: tools of the trade

On the topic of snow removal, what you’ll need will be determined by where you live and how much space you have. Your means of transportation can also determine some of what you may need. Details on what tools you’ll need for what job are below.

If the area you live in is metropolitan, chances are you need to maintain your part of the sidewalk. Some places have public workers that do this, but this simply isn’t the case everywhere. The most obvious choice for this is a shovel. You can buy a quality snow shovel at any hardware store.

If by chance you need something capable of more heavy-duty work than a shovel, a snow blower is your next option. While more expensive, the snow blower saves time and effort in task that most don’t enjoy anyway. While you may need to shovel smaller areas like near dryer vents, your lawn, driveway and other open areas are easily completed with the snow blower.

Before you head over to your nearest, keep in mind that there are some requirements. Snow blowers must be maintained. They’re mechanical, and many are gas powered, so there are steps that must be taken. Failing to start a snow blower early in the morning isn’t a great feeling and realizing you’re out of gas isn’t much better.

If you’re looking for info on a quality snow blower that won’t quit, check out this and other reviews by Snow Shifts.
They also require storage space. This can be an issue for people without a garage or those with minimal space in the garage this currently own.

These issues are small and the benefits drastically outweigh the cost when it comes to efficiency and time saving. Just make sure to take care of your tools. Something to keep in mind is that a snow blower blows snow, not ice. It makes life easier but it isn’t perfect. You just may have to come back to that shovel, or you can just keep some snow salt around just in case.

The final option, for those with an extra heavy-duty vehicle (preferably a truck) and no worries for time constraints, is a snow plow. When the forecast gives you the heads-up, attach the snow to your truck the night before and easily clear out your driveway the morning after.

Or, you can just pay someone else

If where you live is well populated, chances are there are other people more than willing to shovel, plow or snow blow your property for you. If you can afford to, feel free to save the time and effort. Take care and stay warm.

Fixing Car Scratches of Different Severity

You may find scratches on the paint job of your car annoying, but it is much more troublesome than that. A scratch is a possible means of entry for elements, such as oxygen and rain, to enter your car. Thus, your car may slowly rust inside and eventually break down. However, there are solutions for removing scratches, depending on its depth.

Washing With Soap

Start by washing the scratched area, since you can confirm whether it is a scratch or just a paint mark and other material. Typical car soap will remove paint marks and other stains. However, it is unable to get rid of scratches, so you need to do something else for that.

Clear Coat Layer

Running your finger around the scratch is a way of determining its depth. If there are no marks on your finger, then only your clear coat is most likely damaged. Thus, you only have to utilize a car buffer to remove any scratches on the coating. However, if your finger has marks on it, then the scratch most likely is deep.

Primers and Paints

A scratch can reach the paint job or the primer further below. Thus, you may require primer, paint, and a clear coat to fix your car. The tedious part is looking for touch-up paint for your vehicle’s color, but if you are unable to find one, then you may find services that offer a paint job.

Once you have the paint, you may opt for a thin brush for filling the crack up to the layer of the clear coat. If the scratch is sizeable, then you may use spray paint instead. However, you need to be cautious as you may only add paint a layer at a time. Then, you wait for that to dry and repeat the cycle. For clear coat, the same process would also apply when you add it. After the coating process, you may rub it with a fine sandpaper to make it much smoother until the scratch is no longer noticeable.

Rust: A Car’s Worst Enemy

The worst-case scenario for scratches is when they reach metals. If left unchecked, these cause oxygen and water to begin rusting the car’s body panel. Also, rust spreads beneath the paint, causing the top layers to slowly wear off.

To prevent further damage, you need to seal the scratch right away using the same method. Add primer, paint, and then the clear coat layer in that order, thus, protecting the inner framework from elements. If you fail to notice the problem early, then you should consult a certified technician to fix your car. A decent place to start with is Peter Mould’s BMW garage which offers top-quality maintenance and services. However, that only applies for the worst of cases, and it is unlikely that your car will break down from rust.

Conclusion

Scratches are a typical problem when driving and owning a car. There are various degrees to which a scratch can affect it, and you have different methods for fixing scratches depending on their severity.

Types of Espresso Makers According to Automation

Types of Espresso Makers According to Automation

Automation is the future. In the present technological age, every product is designed to reduce human effort and edge towards automation. Espresso coffee machines are not an exception.

The major difference in all kinds of espresso machines out there is how easy they’re to use. Based on automation, here are the four main kinds of espresso machines on the market. And if you’re getting an espresso machine for commercial purposes, it’s important that you examine all the parts of the espresso maker carefully.

Manual espresso maker

Manual espresso makers are perfect for people who don’t mind doing some work on their espresso. This extra work can pay dividends though as a manual espresso machine lets you control all aspects of making an espresso shot so you can potentially get the perfect shot.

Manual espresso machines are usually attractive and functional at the same time. They are expensive, but for the true connoisseurs who don’t mind putting in some work, they can make a great espresso shot.

Benefits:

  • This kind of espresso maker produces high-quality, tasty espresso
  • You have greater control over the espresso-making process
  • It’s an attractive kitchen appliance for your countertop
  • This espresso machine is known to be long-lasting

Super automatic espresso machine

As the name implies, super automatic espresso machines are extremely easy to use.

The idea behind a super automatic espresso machine is to make the work of making an espresso shot as simple as adding ground coffee and pressing some button. It’s fast and easy without any mess to tidy up. That’s it.

This kind of espresso maker is ideal for those who don’t want to put in any work and aren’t too bothered by the specifics of the taste, but instead simply want a shot fast. If you take lots of espresso all day, this could be the machine for you.

These espresso machines, especially top rated super automatic espresso machines, are usually more costly than other espresso machines, but you can still buy some smaller versions in the $200 range. They also come with plenty of features, including control panels, temperature controls, programmable system, LED display, simple to use buttons, and pre-brewing and pre-grinding features.

Benefits:

  • It’s the easiest espresso machine to use
  • It comes with plenty of special features, including programmable settings and built-in grinders
  • It’s basically an “all-in-one” machine with a lot of special features

Semi-automatic espresso maker

Semi-automatic espresso makers come with electric pumps, which make them that much simpler to use than manual espresso machines. Like manual espresso machines, they give you some level of control (but not quite the same control in manual machines) and the simplicity of use seen in different kinds of automatic models. Semi-automatic espresso makers are now the most popular machines on the market.

Benefits:

  • This kind of espresso maker is simper to use than a manual one
  • It can make quality and yummy shots of espresso
  • There are lots of affordable models from reputable brands

Fully automatic espresso machine

Apart from the electric pump, a fully automatic espresso machine also automates the quantity and delivery of water in the process of making espresso shots. Therefore, they’re even simpler to use than their semi-automatic counterparts, but they remove one more aspect of control from your hands—which may be a problem if you’re very specific about how you want your espresso made.

As with semi-automatic versions, this kind of espresso machine has a wide price range. Some models can go for $200 while others go for several thousand dollars. Whether you’re in your office or at home, a fully automatic espresso machine is the best for preparing your shots of espresso.

Five Awesome DIY Project Ideas

Five Awesome DIY Project Ideas

It’s every family’s dream to one day own their own home, and those first glorious few years as homeowners with a mortgage will see you taking care of all those little handyman tasks around the house that set you up for better living. As the years go on, however, it can be easy to let these things slip by as the days get taken up with work, kids, school, and meals. The house can get tired and worn as those little projects slowly start to pile up, soon to be forgotten about as it takes up enough time just living in the house, let alone working on things to make it more homely again. Here are five excellent DIY project ideas to revive that handyman spirit in you and make you fall in love with your home again as you tackle that long-forgotten list.

Planting a Garden

I’m sure the thought of looking out into that back garden of yours makes you cringe and wince, knowing that those shrubs and bushes are long overdue for a prune. It has been in the back of your mind for many months, but it’s always raining on the weekends, or the kids want to go out and do something. There’s no better way to get around to doing something than to have a goal beyond it and that’s where the veggie garden comes in. Planting a veggie garden is the perfect way to get stuck into that overgrown backyard and make it look presentable again, plus you’ll have the reward of having grown and produced your fresh veggies that you can enjoy as you gaze out across your beautifully sculpted landscape. You’ll feel better and eat better for it, too.

The Gazebo Effect

Now you’ve got this beautiful backyard and garden to admire, why not go a step further and make it so that you can admire by being amongst it? A gazebo is the perfect low maintenance outhouse. From wooden, steel and aluminum builds, a gazebo is an ideal way to create a little sanctuary in your garden without spending thousands on a custom built glass house or sunroom. It will quickly bring your garden to life, giving it an extra appeal that will attract everyone from the kids and their friends who can now see through the yard to play in it to your good friends. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a BBQ area – you can cook the food and serve the drinks then all relax in the sheltered warmth of the gazebo, rain or shine. From affordable to decadent, there is a make and model to suit every backyard.

The Loft Conversion

How long has it been since you ventured up those precarious stairs leading seemingly nowhere and braved the layer of dust settled over the door to have a look at what’s going on in the loft these days? While lofts are great places to store all those childhood memories you’ve kept around and art projects of the kids, they can also be used for something else just as practical. Converting a loft into another room can make your house just that much more liveable. Especially when those children turn into teenagers, you’re going to want your space and they’re going to want theirs. Turning your loft into a rumpus room is the perfect solution for a household of growing teenagers who now need more room than their bedrooms. Check out loft conversion companies Barnet for a state of the art loft conversion company, catering to whatever kind of place you want your loft to be.

Nature Calls

Let’s take a toilet break for this next one. It’s always a dream of most households to one day renovate the bathrooms entirely and turn them into the kind of sinks and toilets that they’re dreamed off but rarely do people get around to working on such projects because they can be costly and time-consuming. If you do decide to roll up those sleeves and persevere with the bathroom of a lifetime, it’s worth having a look into exactly what kinds of sinks and toilets are available. There are some pretty innovative ideas out there. One great thought is to ditch the man-made materials for the countertop and opt instead for a natural wood counter. This can ultimately transform the ambiance of a bathroom and get you back in touch with your wilder roots again.

Pallet Project

If you’re looking for ways to refresh the décor of your home, both inside and out, but don’t have the biggest budget for it, there are indeed affordable, thrifty ways to create those looks you’ve always wanted. The humble pallet crate can become incredibly versatile in how it is used beyond its life in the food industry. One way to use a pallet creatively is to stack them underneath and behind your mattress, creating a rustic-looking bed frame. You can even get romantic and place lit candles underneath the bed throughout these. Another way to use pallets is to pair them with that brand new Gazebo. You’ll need some patio furniture after all, so once again stacking them and piling them high with pillows will instantly give you comfortable, affordable outdoor furniture that you can cover with the last few dollars of that Gazebo budget.

Final Words

A home lived in for years can get tired and worn as the kids continue to make messes and break things well into their young adult lives – not to mention all those pets you’ve had to potty train. Taking some time out of that non-stop busy schedule to revamp the home a bit and see what you can do to make it look like new again will have you feeling accomplished and fulfilled. It will remind you of the early days of home ownership when everything was new and shiny. Take pride in the home you’ve loved for all these years.