How to Design a Zen Gazebo

August 31, 2018 by  
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Summary: A gazebo is a great centerpiece that can enhance the ambiance of your backyard.

 

When decorating your house, whether interior or exterior, it is always a good idea to keep both form and function in mind. The warmer summer months are perfect for outdoor barbecues, parties, and get-togethers. If your backyard is looking a little bare and you are looking for ways to spice it up, a peaceful gazebo could be just what you need.

 

Buying or Building

 

When it comes to getting a gazebo set up in your backyard, you have two ways you can go about it. The simplest way to add one to your backyard is to have commission it and have it built from scratch. A professional could take notes on what you want yours to include and then get to work on making it a reality. If you would rather build it yourself, you can either buy all of the pieces individually or purchase a kit that already includes the main pieces you will need to put it all together.

 

A kit for a gazebo around six feet tall can cost over $2,500. If you haggle or find a good deal you could actually have yours commissioned for around that much. If you are interested in customizing your gazebo and want features beyond what a standard kit could give you, then commissioning could be the way to go.

 

Decorate Around the Gazebo

 

Wherever you decide to place the gazebo, make sure it is on a flat and level surface. If you want your gazebo to remain as bare as possible you can still decorate around it to add to the ambiance. Simple pieces like flowers, stone walkways, or Zen sand gardens can all to the welcoming and peaceful environment that the gazebo represents.

 

Blog submitted by The Foam Factory: If you need new sofa cushions or a custom cushion, visit The Foam Factory for every foam-related product.

Different type of mailbox options for residential use

August 18, 2018 by  
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Mailboxes are necessary and indispensable for every home. Electronic mail may be more convenient in many situations, but it cannot replace traditional mail. For your letters, bills, catalogs, magazines or newspapers, there is a wide variety of mailboxes you can choose from. Designed to suit every need, mailboxes come in all shapes and sizes, styles, unique designs, from different materials. Whatever preferences you may have, there is one for every style. There are thousands of different models available on the market, but they all come from four basic types of mailboxes: post mount, wall mount, post office boxes and mail slots. Here is a quick description of each from California Mailboxes

Column mailboxes

They are considered essential in any household throughout the world. It does not only protect mail and packages and prevent identity theft but they also undeniably, enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of the home. Column mailboxes will certainly add some additional style and class. They convey elegance and stability. 

Post mount mailboxes 

They are also called curbside, are placed in the front of your house, along with the side of the road. They are practical, and the postman can reach them quickly, and they are most commonly used in the countryside or suburban areas.  

Wall mount mailboxes. 

Mostly found in urban areas, their main advantage is proximity, as they do not take up much space. They can be either horizontal or vertical, and both types are equally practical. 

Mail slots. 

You’ve undoubtedly seen them, generally with big houses. Mail slots are those small horizontal openings in the front door of a house. Instead of going to a mailbox, the postman inserts the envelopes through the opening, and your mail falls straight inside your home.  

As mentioned above, these are the four main types. From these, thousands of styles and designs are available, to combine their functionality with aesthetics and elegance. You have plenty of mailboxes to choose from, pick the one that matches your style.

How to pick a decorative mailbox

November 7, 2017 by  
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The mailbox is the first thing that anybody sees when they approach your home, and it says a lot of about the appeal of your home. Now, to add more curb appeal to your house, you can move the mailbox from the street to your garage, porch, or your outer wall. Here are some tips for moving and selecting decorative mailboxes for the house:

First of all, before you physically relocate your mailbox, contact your local post office and request permission for the move. You can change your mailbox as long as it is USPS approved, however, you will need permission before you move the mailbox to another location on the same property.

Next, think about where you want your mailbox. For a lot of people, getting mail is an exciting prospect. Do you want to walk to your mailbox in the morning as part your morning ritual? Or do you prefer to have your mailbox on your porch for a quick grab-and-read?

When it comes to size, it depends on your mail volume. When you get a lot of package deliveries a larger mailbox, with a locking feature is more practical. However, if you only get letters and small parcels, then you only need something smaller. You can order from a variety of sizes from stores like California Mailboxes.

Quick tip: Before you place your order, pick one out on the site and use tape to mark out the size of the mailbox on your wall (or garage). You will then see if you need more space for the mailbox.

How Choosing the Right Mailbox Can Significantly Raise Curb Appeal

April 19, 2017 by  
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Summary: Your ideal mailbox should complement the exterior design of your home.

Adding the right mailbox to your home can create significant curb appeal. But, with so many different models and styles out there, how can you choose the right one? There are several factors to consider which is why this guide will help you choose the perfect mailbox for your household.

Style Guide

Whether you’re looking for brass mailboxes for a vintage look or aluminum for that modern appeal, know that whatever you choose should reflect the style of your home. Now, mailboxes are typically categorized by either contemporary or traditional, depending on the overall shape of the mailbox. There are some styles that combine both styles for a modern fusion type of feel.

Mounting

Mounted mailboxes are usually installed at your home’s front curb. These types of mailboxes require a post and a mounting board for installation. Wall mounted mailboxes, on the other hand, are usually installed near the front entry door of a home. These require mounting screw and anchors when installed. Prior to choosing your mailbox, be sure to consider the requirements of both styles – you don’t want to purchase the wrong hardware. California Mailboxes, Orange County’s premiere mailbox supplier, can provide you with all the assets you need to decorate your home’s exterior.

Finish and Color

As you’re most likely aware, mailboxes differ in color and finish. Painted finishes are categorized by flat, semi-gloss, high gloss and textured. Take the time to visualize your preferred mailbox in front of your home as it should complement the external appearance. The last thing you’ll want is a mailbox that sticks out like a sore thumb. Choose wisely and carefully.

Valentino Chair, a Romantic Shape

March 24, 2017 by  
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To create an expressive home decoration that offers more than tasteful sight, what you need is the Valentino Chair. But what is most noteworthy feature belongs to this synthetic rattan furniture is combination between brown and black coffee color, a nice configuration that results in pleasant and awe-inspiring sight to look at than just one color. The romantic shape is the reason why it’s called the Valentino Chair, synthetic rattan furniture to make your entire home warmer and more comfortable. And above all that, whenever and wherever you put the Valentino Chair, it can produce a feeling of free-flowing and uncluttered space.

A Few Finish Carpentry Tricks Anyone Can Use

January 27, 2017 by  
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finish-carpentry-miterWhen you’re working on finish carpentry, presentation is everything so you want to make sure you’ve done all you can to get the look just right. The more you do it, the more you’ll find that being good at it just involves care and precision. With these tips, anyone with the proper tools can make the cuts or adjustments they need.

Tightening Up Miters

Misaligned door jambs and uneven drywall can lead to gaps in your miter. If this has been a consistent problem for you, then try to slide a shim or a pencil below the miter as you make the angled cut. That additional support will help you get a back bevel on your cut, which should tighten up the cut and bring it closer to the wall.

No Stud to Nail the Baseboard

Sometimes, you’ll find yourself in a situation where there isn’t a gap to nail the baseboard to. Sometimes, it’s a matter of too much joint compound on the board itself, which requires re-application and some cleanup work. Other times, all that’s needed is for you to drive a nail into the board at an angle. You can do this with either a hammer or a nail gun, just make sure you angle such that you aim into the stud at the base of the wall.

Final Thoughts

The most important rule in carpentry is patience. Practice patience and your skills will grow exponentially. Take your time with each cut, and be as careful as you can when applying joint compound. Also, make sure you thoroughly clean the surfaces you’re working with.


Since his retirement from the Church, Archbishop James Provence is a volunteer docent for the California State Railway Museum in Sacramento. James Provence resides in Vacaville, where he practices furniture making.

Moving Your Gelato Business Outside the Home

September 13, 2016 by  
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Lots of businesses start out as home businesses and grow into something great. Gelato and ice cream businesses are no exception. There are many American households who bake goods and make ice cream or sweet treats on the side. The fun comes in building that business to expand outside the house. You’ll need a business plan, some basic funding (can be bootstrapped), gelato supplies, and a space to rent.

920x920

Step One: Finding a Space

The minimum space requirement for most gelato stores is about 600 square feet, but can be as high as 1200 square feet. As you’re looking at a space to rent, you need to be conscious of expenses and potential for foot traffic. Rent will cost most people a minimum of about $40,000 per year. Bear that number in mind as you’re considering your potential expenses, like the costs to order ice cream spoons or pay employees. There is also interest to consider if you plan to take out a loan to cover these costs.

Step Two: Calculating Supply Costs

The most crucial step in moving from a home business to a store front is in managing your inventory, which is the single biggest factor in determining whether you sink or swim in the retail world. Order in bulk to cut costs, especially on non perishables like frozen yogurt cups. You shouldn’t order your ice cream stocks too far in advance, as it could spoil the final product either with frostbite or expiration dates.

Step Three: Employees

The single biggest cost you’re likely to incur running your own operation is the cost of hiring others to work with you. Your best option to lower these costs is to take a direct hand in managing day-to-day efforts at your shop. You’ll need three people at any given moment to run the store effectively, but two can do the job on non-busy days (such as weekdays). You’ll also need to hire part timers to cover the odd shift here and there. All of these expenses quickly add up, especially if you have employees in reserve.

Final Thoughts

Once you’ve calculated your costs, you should factor about $1,000 in sales per day. It’s a modest goal for a 70-80 hour work week, and you should be able to hit that on most days. Failing to hit that goal isn’t the end of the world, but it will reduce your revenues from the business.
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Gelato Products helps small and mid-sized businesses with gelato supplies at discount prices. To get free ground shipping on all orders for your business, contact Gelato Products.

Deciding Whether a Claim is Worth Legal Action

August 30, 2016 by  
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construction-delay-claimsConstruction delay claims can be as costly to recoup losses from as the losses you incurred to begin with, if you’re not careful about which ones you pursue. Deciding whether a claim has a good basis to pursue is what construction consultants specialize in. These insider tips should provide a good measure to work with. If you’re unsure, you should consult a professional. As always, retain an attorney for legal advice before making any serious decisions with legal repercussions.

Calculate the Costs

What are the true costs of pursuing the claim? Do you have someone on your team who can actively fight a claim, or will you need to hire a construction expert witness to testify on your behalf? Is your recordkeeping meticulous? Can you document everything you’ve done, and compare it to the work order?

If you’re unsure about any of these, you might be looking at a claim too expensive to pursue. If your losses were substantial, it might make sense, but construction mediation might be a better, more efficient route to resolution.

Resolving the Claim

Another concern is whether you can prove your side of the claim, and get the full resolution you seek. What you document as your losses may not sync up with what the opposing side is ordered to pay when the claim is settled. Make sure you’re evaluating your real losses properly, and documenting those losses in connection with the claim.


Lyle Charles has been helping businesses of all sizes to navigate complex construction delay claims; acting as a mediator, witness and consultant as needed.

Business Consulting for a Commercial Construction Project

July 18, 2016 by  
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Commercial construction projects require many moving parts to complete on time, and under budget. Often, there will be delays and other problems that can threaten to cost the construction crew money and serious lost time. Construction advisory services can fulfill a number of those challenges, from filling in for key personnel to project management or advisement.

Project Management

One of the most important roles for a consultant to fill is that of project manager. The loss of key personnel can be devastating for a project, its budget and all stakeholders involved. Project managers will need to determine how to respond to these challenges, schedule personnel accordingly, and ultimately get the project back on track. That requires experience and expertise.

Dispute Resolution

Disputes are common, but construction claim preparation requires a great deal of careful bookkeeping. You’ll need all documents related to whatever incident is at hand, and if your office isn’t organized that’s quite a task. Hiring a consultant can alleviate some of that anxiety. They understand the forms, which documents are necessary, and how to expedite claims so you and your crew can get back to work.

Other Duties and Roles

Consultants are well versed in all aspects of construction, especially the legal side. As a result, they frequently fill the role of mediator for disputes. They are usually able to provide a ruling that works for both parties, and helps get the project started again. Mediators also save both parties from the costs and time of going to trial.

A consultant may also have expertise, such as a structural steel expert who can help to verify and analyze materials. Such a person on staff helps safeguard against disputes as much as working to resolve them.


Lyle Charles is a commercial construction project consultant, mediator and expert witness with more than 30 years of experience helping to resolve disputes.

Shopping for Used Safes Online: Tips to Buy or Sell

June 30, 2016 by  
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biometric-home-safeSafes can be expensive, so one way to cut your costs is to look for used safes for sale online. If you do decide to go that route, there are a couple of tips you should follow.

Make Sure it Meets Your Needs

When you are looking for a secondhand safe, it can be hard to get the information you need. If you are looking for a safe online, make sure you pick one that meets your needs. For example, if you need high security safes, make sure that is what you are getting. The same goes for a fireproof safe. You also want to make sure that the safe is the right size for your needs. If any of these aspects are not clear from the ad, ask the seller questions, and if you can’t get your questions answered satisfactorily, don’t buy.

Another commonly overlooked criteria is whether you want your safe above ground or buried in the foundation of your home. Installation costs can add up, but a floor safe offers a great deal of security.

Think of security first

If you buy used safes over the Internet, you should make sure security is your first priority. If you are buying a safe with keys, ensure the safe can be re-keyed after you buy, or, if it is a safe with a combination, make sure you have the ability to change the combination. While it’s unlikely someone would sell you a safe online and then try to track you down to break into it, it’s better to be safe than sorry.


First Security Safe specializes in high security safes. Order online, or visit their Los Angeles location for more information.

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