11 June 2015
The Daily News

The Social Impact of Civil Engineering

The Sydney Harbour BridgeThe world may have lots of problems, but living in it isn’t all about difficulties. If you think about it, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the benefits of modern living without the things that we just take for granted.

Concrete streets provide a smooth way of getting to your destination. You can cross rivers with ease because of well-constructed bridges. You don’t have to worry about having reliable water and energy because of dams. You can travel by sea or air because of ports and airports. There is more efficient use of space because of all those office buildings.

These are some of the great works that civil engineering can boast of. So just how important are engineers to society? They practically build and maintain it.

The Importance of Engineering

Without infrastructure, society would not have progressed. Civil engineers are knowledgeable in building the things that we need for all of our activities.

According to DreiseTucker.com, reliable engineers are responsible for planning, designing, constructing and even repairing structures that support everyone’s way of life. Transport facilities, roads, bridges, utilities and any others you can imagine—civil engineering is behind all of them, whether in the public or private sector.

Engineers are also involved in solving environmental concerns like waste treatment and management. They also make sure that buildings are suited to their surroundings.

Landmark Achievements

Civil engineering companies in Australia have also done some major works. The following are just two stand-out examples:

1. The Goldfields Water Supply Scheme

This is a massive water supply system in Western Australia. It originally had eight pump stations. Today, the system has 8,000 kilometres of pipes and still serves the state’s agricultural areas.

2. The Sydney Harbour Bridge

This bridge has the fifth longest spanning arch in the world. Completed in 1932, it still has the highest steel arch of any bridge.

These examples clearly show the social impact of civil engineering. Now you can understand why it is important to the continuous progress of the country.

10 June 2015
The Daily News

Forks and Combat Boots: 3 Ideas for a Military-Inspired Restaurant

Military inspired restaurantIn this day and age, diners and restaurants come in all shapes and sizes. They all come in different themes as well. Many adhere to a café, sports, and even theatre-themed designs. All these are done to cater to a certain crowd, to attract them to dine. This phenomenon has become prevalent that restaurants have every gimmick you can think of.

If you are a restaurateur and looking for a theme, you can always go back to one of the most solid institutions in history: the military.

Below are three ideas for restaurant themes inspired from the three main branches of the military service.

The Air Force

Nothing beats the appeal of aviators in their flight suits walking away from their plane with words ‘top gun’. You can capitalise on this by designing a menu that shares the same concepts and ideas of the air force.

For example, you can start serving chicken wings or other poultry, and name the order as ‘the wingman’. Decorate the walls with photos of famous aviators, planes in formation during air shows and the like. You can even build your restaurant from an aircraft hangar to seal the deal.

The Army

The classic ‘boots on the ground’ theme, the army theme can get you a long way if you play to its strengths. Army soldiers are characterised are grunts, so you better think of a menu that caters to the average bloke’s taste.

Just do not serve MREs (Meals Ready-to-Eat) though. They are not for the faint of heart. Interior-wise, you can start hanging portraits of known Australian army officers, and even group pictures of soldiers. You can even surround the outdoor dining tables with sandbags for effect.

The Navy

This is where the seafaring blokes will rejoice. For starters, a good set-up is near a body of water, say a lake, or the beach. Port cities can be quite busy, so you will not have difficulty in the market. For the menu, explore seafood choices. If your place is in a coastal area, then there is no excuse to get the fresh

catch. People like to eat fresh. Popular innovations for the design can be building on cargo containers from the freighters.

These three are the basics of the military themes for your restaurant, but do not hesitate to tweak them a little to your fancy. Enjoy building your diner.

7 June 2015

5 Things to Consider When Renting Party Wares

PartyThere is nothing new with renting party needs. Renting is better and more practical than buying, especially if you are only using them for a once in a lifetime event, like weddings. It is not as if two people in the family would use the same party decor or use the same curtains and wares.

This is where party rentals come in. For moments when you want something new without shelling out hundreds of dollars and without keeping it on your basement until it rots, you want to call a supplies renting company.

Before you do that, though, ApresParty.com gives you hints to get the most out of renting party wares:


There is no doubt that you are getting more savings when renting. But not all rentals will give you fair price for a set of two hundred pairs of forks and spoons. Make sure that you are getting a package that will suit your budget. You can ask for the breakdown of charges and if you can make substitution to further save money.


Everyone wants to celebrate a momentous day in style. Rent from a professional company that updates their inventories so you do not rent the same stuff as your neighbors did. Do not settle for anything less – if the current inventory does not include the specific china you want, dial another rental company.


Check, too, that the quantity of your chosen ware design will suffice the number of your guests. Party organizers always see to it that even uninvited guests are covered in the party.


Look for durability. You never know when a kid might rip off your linen or when the stemmed glasses are too fragile for the clinking-of-glasses. Also consider the vulnerability of the plates when loaded during buffet.


It is common in a party with over a hundred guests to lose or break a glassware or soil a mantelpiece. Clarify with your rental supply how these incidents will affect your billing or if you will be held liable for every shattered glass. Some catering supplies provider deducts charges for damages and losses from the down payment. Choose one that will be more forgiving.

To save you time and money, try to look for these qualities from just one rental shop

5 June 2015
The Daily News

Wall Cladding: Choosing the Best Material for Your Property

Best Wall Cladding MaterialMost homeowners would want to make their home look more beautiful. You would also want to find ways to protect its structural integrity. One way to protect the exterior of the house is to get wall cladding.

Now, before you call your contractor and sign that work agreement, take note of the relevant information about wall cladding. Understand how to choose the right material and know the benefits you can get from it.

Cladding Goes Green

Your choice of cladding materials determines how your home impacts the environment. Lean on the positive ecological side by thinking of life cycle assessment parameters when selecting products such as fixings, joints and seals. Think about thermal performance as well by considering emission, insulation and weather resistance.

Feature Profile Defined

Cladding materials of diverse textures form varied patterns, giving you not only an added layer of protection for the house, but also a beautiful addition. Whether you go with Palliside, vinyl, Colorbond or other kinds of cladding, think about the option that will go well with your house design.

Decide on the cladding colour as well. Find colours and materials that work well with your structure. For instance, slate-grey brick cladding contrasts well with the yellow brickwork of a house.

As the cladding colour will determine how much heat it can absorb or reflect, make sure to choose the appropriate colour for your location and weather. While you may prefer light colours, dark finishes are more suitable for cold weather.

All in with Legalities

Choose cladding materials that comply with the minimum standards set by the government. Refer to the Building Code of Australia. Note that innovative cladding systems may need additional certifications to prove that they comply with environment-friendly standards.

Your choice of cladding will depend on weather patterns, government directives, environmental considerations and your designer’s creativity. Choose wisely and enjoy the benefits of this house improvement.

4 June 2015
The Daily News

Staircase Design: Make Smart Choices and Avoid Accidents

Staircase designAlthough stairs have a practical purpose, they can also make or break the aesthetic value of a home. Realise that there are factors affecting the functionality and safety of the stairs, so choose wisely.

Choosing the right design

Some staircase designs are simple, while others are elaborate. Customise your stairs depending on the house layout and your preferences. Transform traditional floating curved stairs by adding certain features.

Go for a more ornate design that uses a combination of building materials such as wood and metal. You may also renovate the entire structure and install stairs made from glass, which brightens the interior and makes the property look more elegant.

Choose from suspended stairs, spiral stairs, helical stairs or customised stairs if you want an artistic design. Add a personal touch by changing one aspect of the structure or introducing a different material. For instance, create a staircase design using brass fabrication for balustrades and handrails.

Avoiding pitfalls

Stairs vary not only in style, but also in the type of construction material used. Utilitarian stairs may have a generic design. As long as it links the different levels of the house, it works.

Some experts do not like structures that are too utilitarian, though. For urban properties, a staircase that looks modern and sleek seems to be the popular choice. The staircase connects floors, but they can still contribute to the architectural appeal of your property.

You have the freedom to go with the design you think is ideal, but make sure the staircase remains functional. It should fit into the overall concept of the house or building.

It should also be safe. Falling on and from stairs and steps can cause death. Choose only high quality wood, steel or glass and make sure that only expert builders install the stairs.

When choosing designs, find options that are functional and aesthetically appealing. Imagine how it will look as a part of the house and think of any problems the residents might encounter. In the end, family safety is still the most important factor.

4 June 2015
The Daily News

Bicycle Motocross or BMX: What You Need to Know

BMXBMX is short for “Bicycle Motocross” that began in the 1970s when kids ran their Stingray bicycles on
dirt tracks, pretending they were motocross superstars on their motorcycles. The film On Any Sunday
showed this exact scene that inspired future major figures of BMX.

Since then, BMX has evolved into one of the most intense and rigorous sports. In fact, BMX racing was
recently included into the Olympics, from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

You may be an enthusiast who is just about to enter the BMX scene. Of course, you have to acquire your
own bike first.

The Only Bike for You

In the former days of BMX, if you wanted to have a top quality bicycle for BMX, you had to start from
nothing, building up your dream bike piece by piece. Today, complete bikes with quality parts are
increasingly becoming available on the market.

Considered the best brands of BMX bikes are WeThePeople, Fit, Sunday, Haro, and Odyssey. You better
keep an eye out for these brands if you have the money.

Serious Business

In buying your first bike, you have to choose very carefully. Here are some tips in helping you choose the
right and best bike for yourself.

1. Do you want to race? Are you more a trick rider on the street or on the ramp? Certain bikes are
optimized for one type of BMX riding or the other.

2. Chromoly is the alloy metal you will want for your high-end bike. The more of this alloy in the
bike of your choice, the better.

3. The proper size is important. Complete bikes with 20.5” to 20.75” top tubes are best.

4. Things don’t last forever; that includes BMX bikes, but don’t let that discourage you. Save
enough money to keep you going.

In the end, it’s all about how much you want to be successful at BMX and not the bike you are riding.
Once you have enough determination, you can become one of the best.

2 June 2015
The Daily News

Neglect is Not an Option: Maintaining Your Garage Door

Typical garage doorA typical garage door weighs about 300 to 400 pounds—that’s more than enough weight that you can lift. If your garage door system goes into disrepair, you can have expensive, dangerous and even fatal consequences on your hands. This is why you must do your part and show your garage door some attention, just like how you treat the other parts of your home.

There are a number of simple things that you can do to enjoy a fully functional, problem-free garage door:

1. Inspect

Inspection is the first step for a thorough garage door tune-up plan. If you notice the garage door is making unusual noises or operating slowly, this could indicate that there is something wrong with it.

Take the time to thoroughly inspect every part of the door – from the hardware and rollers, to the weather stripping and cables. This can help you detect problems that require your immediate attention.

2. Lubricate

Your garage door comes with many movable parts, such as the chains, screws and the garage door motor system. Do not forget to lubricate these parts regularly to avoid malfunction or premature wear.

3. Replace

Worn out, cracked or damaged rollers, weather stripping and cables require immediate replacing. It is best to hire professional garage door repair services in such situations to ensure proper installation of replacement parts.

4. Repair

Repair problems as soon as you notice them. This is important if the garage door is showing signs of damage, such as unbalanced panels, unusual sounds and malfunctioning parts.

You can do some of the maintenance steps by yourself, but it is best to leave the handiwork in the hands of professionals. With regular upkeep and professional assistance, you can avoid the costly repairs, prevent accidents and make sure that your garage door is always in good condition.

31 May 2015
The Daily News

You Can Get Richer with Your Garage Door

Garage DoorWhen people begin the process of selling their homes they consider several factors—first the bedroom and bathroom, then the kitchen, and so on and so forth. There is, however, one neglected element of the house that can cause a significant difference in the value of the property – the garage door.

Small Things Can Go a Long Way

Replacing a garage door right before the house gets listed can allow the owners to bump the asking price by as much as one to four percent. These numbers don’t look like much, but with the kind of figures houses go by these days, a single percentage point can easily translate into thousands of dollars.

For example, the original value of a house was around $360,000, simply changing the garage door can add as little as $3,600 or as much as $14,400 to the price. These figures look like they’re too good to be true, and most people will definitely think that. Does a new garage door really add that much to the value of a home?

One of the few things that people don’t realize about their own garage doors is the amount of space they take up. After all, they need to be both taller and wider than a car before they can even be considered fit for their job. An implement with that size will definitely have an impact on the visual appeal and security of the house.

No Sounder Investment

This is what people are looking for when they agree to pay more for a house with a new garage door, even if they don’t realize it. In fact, real estate agents often advise their clients to contact services like A1 Garage Door Repair to change their garage doors before selling a house anyway because of the state many of them are in. Broken, rotting, and ugly garage doors remove a lot of the curb appeal many houses definitely have going for them.

The best part about the whole deal is that the new door almost immediately pays for itself if the style fits the architectural style of the rest of the house. There are very few investments in the world that can promise the kind of gains a garage door can bring, and anyone on Wall Street would jump all over those odds.

27 May 2015
The Daily News

Awnings Aren’t Canopies, But Sometimes They Are

CanopiesLooking at some of the things people fight over, it seems that humanity is just content to find the difference in everything. But sometimes the differences that look like nit picking have real reasons behind them.

The Difference Between Awnings and Canopies

One of the most vivid examples is the difference between an awning and a canopy. People use both terms interchangeably to describe a cover that usually adorns restaurants and hotels to provide additional shade for door spaces. What most people do not know is that they are wrong, at least half the time, since awnings and canopies aren’t the same thing.

The main difference between the two is the orientation of the object in relation to the building. The awning is a protruding roof-like cover that’s attached to the building, while a canopy is a free standing similar in appearance to a large umbrella. People use canopies when they need to gather or relax in an outdoor area far removed from any structures. Awnings, on the other hand, shelter limited spaces near entrances to buildings or window displays.

Another important distinction between the two is that canopies are often collapsible and mobile, while awnings remain in place. The most awnings can do with regards to mobility is if they have retractable arms, such as the ones seen on Action Awnings, which allow greater flexibility for different events and functions.

Blurry Lines

The main point of confusion between the two is that there’s a level of crossover wherein an awning can turn into a canopy. One of the best examples is when an awning is so large that it requires supports on the side opposite the building attachments. The reason for this may be because people want to avoid the confusion of calling something that has the same coverage area as a canopy to still be called an awning.

The difference may not be significant enough for people to take note of, but it can mean the difference between getting a successful garden party, and a stylish entrance.

25 May 2015
The Daily News

Being Updated on California Home Ownership

buying a homeDo you want to live in a place known for superb gourmet dining, excellent wine, and a great quality of living? You should consider having a home in California’s Napa County.

GatesEstates.com notes that owning real estate in Yountville, CA is a great opportunity to experience the serene life in this world-famous wine region. Still, before you have the chance to live there, you will have to go through the usual home buying processes such as needs assessment, consultations with property managers and lenders, house searching, and issuing offers to sellers.

Before closing any deal, however, it pays to know what buying a home in California would mean for you. Familiarizing yourself with the state’s practices will save you a lot of trouble later on.

Put Everything on the Negotiating Table

After making an offer for the house of your choice, you should expect a tough battle on the negotiating table. Anticipate a counteroffer that would demand a higher price that is more advantageous to the seller.

With enough time to think well about the offer, you can agree to the seller’s conditions, issue another proposal or completely decline the offer without having to pay any fines. Then, you can move on to the next house you are thinking about buying.

Do Not Forget Your Homeowner’s Insurance

That house cannot be officially yours unless you first settle your property insurance. You also can’t take out a loan without this.

Your insurance should give you enough protection in cases of robbery, fire, earthquakes and the legal responsibilities that go along with such incidents. Your real estate professional may suggest insurance companies that would be best for you.

Close the Deal the California Way

You need to get used to hearing the word “escrow” when you are finalizing your home purchase in California. The usual escrow period is 30 days, but you can negotiate for a longer or shorter time depending on certain situations.

Final evaluations are done like checking of official documents for errors, settlement of taxes and additional claims, and signing of title and loan papers. You will also have a chance to do a final check of the house to make sure that it is really in good condition.

After the escrow period, you become the new owner of the house. With your new home in your possession, take the time to explore what Yountville offers and get a feel of what it’s like to live in Napa.