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.

22 May 2015
Medical Standard

Seeing Eye to Eye with LASIK Surgery

Lasik EyeLASIK eye procedure has continued to gain popularity since its beginnings. This surgery is the most common laser eye procedure for corrective vision treatment. Millions of patients have undergone LASIK procedures and returned home with great results.

LASIK surgery also bears long-term effects following the procedure. Aies.com.au says of the results: It is possible that results could last a lifetime. Once refraction has stabilised (usually by 3 months after LASIK surgery), the reshaped cornea is permanently modified – your refractive error corrected.

If you are considering LASIK, get to know the basics.

Characteristics of a good LASIK procedure candidate

LASIK surgery isn’t for everyone. Patients who undergo this without proper consideration might experience fatal consequences. Good candidates for LASIK surgery should bear the following characteristics:

• Must be at least 18 years old. Other procedures require patients to be 21
• Must not be pregnant or nursing
• Must not be currently under prescription drugs
• Must have eyes in healthy condition
• Must be in good health

How does the procedure work?

LASIK surgery stands for Laser In Situ Keratomileusis. The surgery uses a laser underneath the corneal flap to reshape the eye’s cornea. Surgeons use a highly specialised laser to improve vision, correct refractive errors and eliminate the need for glasses.

LASIK surgery changes the cornea’s shape. The surgeon creates a thin corneal flap with a microkeratome. He pulls back the flap and uses laser to shape the cornea in unique patterns for each patient. The procedure typically takes less than 30 minutes to perform.

Advantages of LASIK eye procedures

LASIK gained popularity in the past years due to its numerous advantages. With this surgery, vision is corrected almost immediately or a day after. Other advantages are:

• Freedom from glasses and contact lenses
• Elimination of risks leading to visual impairment
• Treatment minus the pain

LASIK surgery opens numerous opportunities by correcting visions. Before you undergo the procedure, consult your physician. Know the expectations before, during and after the surgery. Make sure that you are a good candidate for the procedure to prevent risks.

Life without glasses and contact lenses is possible. Say hello to clearer vision immediately with LASIK surgery.

21 May 2015
The Daily News

Don’t Miss a Near Miss: 3 Strategies to Prevent Close Calls

workersIdentifying near misses is important. The disturbing thing about these incidents is the “almost” factor. You ‘almost’ trip over an extension cord and break your arm, but break the fall by grabbing corner of a desk. You ‘almost’ slip from scaffolding and experience a hundred-foot drop, but manage to hold on to the railing.

When it comes to industrial operations, you can never afford ‘almosts’ in safety. Safety should be certain. That’s a duty the law requires and precisely what employees expect from you. Close calls, like near misses, require you to take action. Reduce the chances of such incidents happening by following these strategies:

Define a Near Miss

Near misses are untoward incidents that do not lead to injury or serious damage, but may have had the potential. Though clear, this is a broad understanding of what near miss is. It’s important to have an established, agreed-upon meaning that’s unique for your business operation.

Call a safety meeting and gather stories about near miss incidents happening within the work site. Encourage workers to speak up and talk about encounters. From there, conduct training to refresh your knowledge about safety. Top rigging companies like ConsolidatedRiggingandLifting.com say that an educated workforce is an efficient work force. Education is the first step in preventing near-miss incidents.

Create a Safety-First Culture

A safety-first culture starts with collaboration between employees and employers. In most cases, these things happen because employees don’t report them.

Employees don’t report such incidents because they are either indifferent or too embarrassed to tell their story. You have to do away with the doubts and encourage employees to report near misses. Again, safety culture starts with open communication—remind employees that reports are a priority.

Reduce the Risks

Use the near miss reports to assess the risks involved in the work site. Eliminate the hazards immediately, if possible. Get rid of fractured hand tools, damaged forklifts, loose handrails, and other malfunctioning equipment. Replace them as soon as possible. Manage risks effectively if you have no way of eliminating them. For instance, use safety hooks to keep cables and cords off the work floors.

You can’t afford a near miss. Know about such incidents in your work site to improve safety.

20 May 2015
The Daily News

The Yoga Craze And Why It’s Going To Stay

yogaThere are as many types of yoga as there are many forms and positions. Earlier known as a niche exercise for the most flexible and well meditated, yoga has fast become one of the more household names that can rival the likes of aerobics due to the number of benefits it provides. But, what are the reasons yoga has become widely popular as opposed to other forms of fitness routines? Here are the most notable ones.

Yoga is a Flexible Recreational Exercise

Yoga has as many types as there are many forms and positions. With the many options to choose from, it is almost impossible to get bored of it. There will surely be a type of yoga for every person to get into.

Yoga is Enjoyable and Easy to Get Into

Yoga, unlike all other rigorous sports and exercises is very enjoyable and easy to get into. It can be tailored to fit the needs and even the flexibility and abilities of a person. In yoga, your instructor will be able to tell if you are ready for certain positions or if it is still too early for you to venture into another form.

Since it is a personal exercise, it is also possible to jump from one type to another. It is a type of exercise where you can decide on your pace and your own time. If the routines get boring, you can incorporate more things to keep it interesting. For instance, you can get into fire yoga or air yoga, you can incorporate the use of an aerial hammock or an exercise ball. AntiGravity Fitness believes that with the use of items such as an aerial hammock, you will be able to challenge yourself more and push yourself to the limit; thus, opening another world of yoga for you.

Yoga is a Holistic Discipline

From breathing exercises to posture improvement, flexibility and inner peace of mind, yoga is a holistic discipline that really brings out the best in its practitioners.

Yoga is truly one amazing exercise. Enroll in trials and you will surely find a routine fit for you.

19 May 2015
The Daily News

Potent Power-Up: 3 Additions to Supercharge your Morning Protein Shake

Protein ShakeProtein shakes have gone to become a popular supplement among people riding the fitness wave. And for good reason. Most protein shakes contain up to 22g of protein per serving. These portions can help an athlete meet his performance and physique requirements.

Apart from simply mixing the powder with a glass of water from a cooler, here are three additions you can infuse in your blend to supercharge your protein shake.

Milk and Dairy

It is a no-brainer that milk and other dairy products pack a lot of not only protein, but calcium. For athletes looking to build muscle and strength, this is a one-two combo to reach that goal. Adding milk to your protein shake complements its whey protein with all these other goodies.

The casein protein in the milk can help muscles repair and grow during downtime or sleep. And the added calcium makes for strong bones – reinforcing your knees and other parts of your skeleton that carry a lot of weight during training and performance.


Of course, your basic protein shake is already flavoured, but you can always enhance this with sweeteners. To get fit, ditch the sugar. Look for sweeteners that impart a new flavour as well as bring nutrients with them.

Honey is a good addition, as it is a nutritious sweetener packed with energy. A tablespoon of honey on your pre-workout shake can give you that extra boost in energy to keep you functional throughout your session.

Fruits and Vegetables

For a really filling protein shake, you can also add your food into it. Fruits and vegetables make for great additives in a protein shake. The added food mass helps fill your stomach. And consuming the fruits and vegetables in liquid form also helps your body absorb it faster, adds Purity Water.

The added nutrients of sugars from the fruits, and vitamins from the vegetables make your shake quite a hearty cocktail.

Protein shakes are just the beginning. It is an open canvas where you can still modify to your liking. Just use your imagination, and you can have great shakes every day.