Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Due to the ever-growing world trade fluctuations between the values of the currencies around the world also increased significantly. To do this, follow the countries have different exchange rate systems are available currencies against a foreign currency and the foreign currency market.These regimes are closely related to the monetary policy of the country. They both are actually dependent on several common factors. These regimes have proved to be beneficial particularly for developing countries as they can avoid serious fluctuations in their currency value.


Due to the ever-growing world trade fluctuations between the values of the currencies around the world also increased significantly. So follow the countries have different exchange rate systems available are currency against a foreign currency and the foreign currency market.These regimes are closely related to the monetary policy of the country. They both are actually dependent on several common factors. These regimes have proved to be beneficial particularly for developing countries as they can avoid serious fluctuations in their currency value.


Due to the ever-growing world trade fluctuations between the values of the currencies around the world also increased significantly. So follow the countries different exchange rate systems available, its currency in relation to a foreign currency and the foreign currency market.These regimes are closely related to the monetary policy of the country. They both are actually dependent on several common factors. These regimes have proved to be beneficial particularly for developing countries as they can avoid serious fluctuations in their currency value.


Due to the ever increasing global trade, the fluctuations between the values of currencies across the world have also increased considerably. Thus the countries follow different types of exchange rate regimes available in order to manage its currency with respect to a foreign currency and the foreign exchange market. These regimes are closely related to the monetary policy of the country. They both are actually dependent on several common factors. These regimes have proved to be beneficial particularly for developing countries as they can avoid serious fluctuations in their currency value.


Often the US is said to be a bully, and I'm not sure if that is a fair comment, because it seems as if the rogue regimes around the world are so often poking and prodding us, testing us, and pushing their way in international negotiations. Not only that, but if they, often immoral, for reasons to do, while you continue to dismiss the concepts of freedom, of freedom and of human rights in their own country. The United States must stand for something more and stay with our ideal.


Often the US is said to be a bully, and I'm not sure if that is a fair comment, because it seems as if the rogue regimes around the world are so often poking and prodding us, testing us, and pushing their way in international negotiations. Not only that, but if they do, they do for reasons often immoral, while you continue to dismiss the concepts of freedom, of freedom and of human rights in their own country. The United States should stand for something more and stay with our ideal.


The problems in Iran, on the surface, are the result of a disputed election, but when you dig a little deeper the real difficulty, at its core, is a conflict of beliefs. To change regimes then, there must be a change of ideas. Since the street protests are to be truly effective, must begin with a different kind of campaign. The violent suppression of violence by attempting to justify the position of the current regime. They are constantly a threat as a force for order Gekantheid a system to public actions to thwart change? The only way to fight against the current regime is discover that ideas and beliefs, which are at the root of the problem and the attack at this level.

Friday, November 29, 2013

everything has problems

I own gold and silver and precious metals. I own all commodities, which is a better way to play as they debase currencies. I own more agriculture than just about anything else in real assets because of the reasons we discussed before. 

We were talking before about the risk-free or worry-free investment. Even gold: the Indian politicians are talking about coming down hard on gold, and India is the largest buyer of gold in the world. If Indian politicians do something -- whether it’s foolish or not is irrelevant -- if they do something, gold could go down a lot. So I own it. I’m not selling it. But everything has problems.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

dental onlay

A dental inlay is a very complete, except that to chew on it within the bumps on the surface of the tooth. A dental onlay stands for multiple spikes or bumps and are larger than inlays. Deposits or inlay, are smaller, but larger crowns, fillings. These are made of composite resin, ceramic or gold and can be connected to set. They are long lasting, and their life span is variable, depending on the need for the usual teeth, the treatment materials, chewing pressure, where is located, and passed the patients oral hygiene habits

Thursday, November 7, 2013

car accident lawyer reno

In general, car accident lawyer reno who advertises has ‘volume’ practices. This means they handle a large number of relatively uncomplicated cases. Large numbers of people respond to their ads; then they choose the cases that look the easiest (and most lucrative) to handle. If your situation is uncomplicated, you may get good service from someone who advertises. However, you are less likely to receive personalized, detail- oriented service from a lawyer who has a volume practice. Such a lawyer may (as a result of the volume) charge less. Put any candidates who interest you on your list for further investigation, but do not let that be the limit of your search. Do not be afraid to interview the lawyer.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

How to win an election

I have to confess, as a blogger I have always loved city elections the most. Yea, they aren't as fun in terms of policy as state and federal elections where I can feed my inner wonk, but everyone loves a good train wreck. And candidates for city elections have a tendency to be walking train wrecks. Its the place where the ankle-biters, weirdos, nutcases, and the eccentric try their hand a politics. But since this is the holiday season, I feel like being generous so I'll tell you exactly “ How to win an election” in this town. This is a total freebie people. And don't worry, I'm not giving away the nuclear launch codes here. I'm just telling you what has worked for WINNING campaigns.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

positive thinking

To start right off, it is good to describe what positive thinking is all about. Basically, positive thinking involves just what the phrase implies: having a positive attitude towards things. By thinking that you will have good, better and more favorable results whenever you encounter a difficult situation, positive thinking will work by 'attracting' the positive outcome that you are thinking about.

Monday, September 30, 2013

used portable buildings

Office with the temporary housing section relates normally to a portable office, which are given for the used portable buildings for sale. The use of cellular acclimation address can accession a safe activity ambiance and comfortable, and complete for about any location. They may able acclimatize from acclimation to acclimation circuitous connected, some huts, and they can activity rooms, bathrooms, accession and cafeteria. Workplace acclimation amidst over a amphitheatre attic or added attic with a soft-sided stainless steel. This allows the layers sink, hall, worksheets, and harder floors durable. The showers and toilets are developed to accommodated the requirements of education, the a lot of from the acclimation industry, and health.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

reo rockstar review

reo rockstar reviews – Legit or Scam? 

REO Rockstar is a new program being promoted by Preston Ely which claims to give anyone the ability to flip foreclosed homes each month, without using any money or credit, and without any risk. Traditionally, the term “flipping houses” comes from a real estate investment concept centered on buying cheap homes, fixing them up, and then quickly turning around selling them for a profit. Unlike the traditional method of flipping houses, Ely says that you will not need to do any work on the houses you acquire – in fact, according to his presentation, with the REO Rockstar system you can get a house and flip it for a profit in less than two hours.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Interesting Facts About Culinary Arts

Want to know some interesting facts about culinary arts? Well, as most people know, the culinary arts revolve around culinary arts and food, and they include everything from restaurant management and hospitality management to food science and food safety. Someone who works in any of these areas is called a "culinarian," and that includes everyone from food service workers to creators of the fantastic pastry arts.

Monday, August 19, 2013

interesting facts

If you are not from, have no relative in, nor have yet visited Jamaica, I would at least assume you have heard of Jamaica, right?. Whether it is from the internet, television, your work or in some movie? Is my assumption correct? But even if you are familiar with Jamaica, I can probably bet you (and win) you never knew half of these interesting facts on Jamaica.

Friday, August 16, 2013

How To Make A Great Success Of A Blind Date

In many ways blind dating is no different than any other type of dating. The basic elements of dating still exist but you do need to exercise more caution in a blind date. Like any other date you want a blind date to go well so that you can ensure yourself a second date. However, while it is important to exercise caution in all types of dating it's even more important in blind dating. Another factor unique to blind dating is getting set up with a great date. While this may not always be in your hands there are some ways that you can take some initiative in this area.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

insurance coverage

Making sense of car insurance can be daunting given the various different coverage options available. What does each one cover, when do you need to get it and when is just not worth the money you pay. Well they say knowledge is power and we'll be giving you some today. This article will talk about a few of the most popular car insurance coverage and (hopefully) help you decide whether you need them or not. When you compare auto insurance quotes online, it's important that you pick a company not just on the basis of the rates they give you, but also whether the amount of coverage they give you is worth the price.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

leads for roofers

I know I need to consult with all kinds of legal experts before this article written. But if they said that we probably this anyway would have written. Why? leads for roofers, roofing contractors and the contractors that actually we are very proud trade and industry on our. We are working hard to credibility in an industry that has to struggle with problems, and if something is so far that it borders mainly from the age old trusted sources... in misleading, Well, have we just say. 

They must be for something in this life, which they say. Well, to start, it is not, we could have some dramatic conspiracy, have uncovered a committed or even lies, but we worried about the perception or the understanding that some of the different information in our media specifically read opinions or reviews for gravel. Enough of that and further to what is at stake here. It depends on the presentation of real roofing more specifically in this case reviews, reviews, gravel, which are obvious, and let not the potential consumer thinking something that is actually wrong.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Log Home Basics

As we start to research log homes, it quickly becomes apparent that there is much more variety than one would ever think. Not only do log homes come in all shapes and sizes, but the logs themselves come in as many variations as you can imagine. Once you decide on the look you want, you can start eliminating manufacturers that don't provide your system.

There are two categories of log homes: handcrafted and milled log homes. Initially, you may not realize what you are looking at, but there are some basic guidelines that will clarify the differences. A handcrafted log home is just that; the logs are peeled by hand, notched by hand, and in many cases, each log is scribed to fit exactly on top of another log. In many handcrafted homes, the logs are stacked alternately, so the large end of a log is stacked on top of the tapered end of the log beneath. A milled log home will feature logs that are uniform in shape, and the logs will be cut to fit together, such as with a tongue-and-groove or Swedish cope, so that they stack easily and evenly. There is a big price difference between a handcrafted and a milled log home. This is mostly because of the intense labor required to construct a handcrafted home, and because of the larger diameter logs that are normally used. The vast majority of homes built today are milled log homes.

If you see a log home with round logs and chinking, that is a first indication that this is could be a handcrafted log home. Chinking was historically a mortar-like material that filled the gaps between the logs. Modern science has created an acrylic compound that expands and contracts with the wood; it is applied as a wide white stripe. If a handcrafted log is not scribed, then chinking is a must because the logs leave gaps along their length. Some people do use chinking as a design feature even when it's not necessary, though for the most part milled log homes are not chinked.

The characteristic corner of your log home will speak volumes to the person who knows how to read it. The profile and joinery system of the log will usually be reflected on the ends. For instance, on a handcrafted log home you'll see the different diameters of the stacked logs. To stack them, these corners will be notched so that each log sits directly on the log below it (like a Lincoln Logs(TM) toy). A milled log that is saddle-notched will stack the same way (of course, every log will look exactly the same). Because saddle-notched logs are staggered, course to course, the log ends will be visible on the interior corners of the house as well as the exterior. This gives a very rustic look. A butt-and-pass corner gives you an end where there is a space between every other log. This is because one log butts up against the intersecting log, which runs past it. These logs are all laid on the same course, so that with the interior corners of your home, the logs will come to a squared edge.

On milled logs, there are many joinery systems to choose from. Today, the most popular joinery is called a "Swedish cope". This is where each log is scooped out to fit snugly on the curve of the log beneath. It gives a very smooth and natural look. Another joinery system is the tongue-and-groove, or double tongue-and-groove depending on the manufacturer. The tongues are cut into the top of the log and corresponding grooves at the bottom. These create a tight fit and stack easily. A more traditional, early American notch is called the dove-tail, which is a mortise and tenon notch usually cut into squared timbers. There are many other corner systems available, but these are the most commonly used.

The shape, or profile of your log is another feature which will help you decide what kind of package to purchase. Many people prefer a "D" log, which is round on the outside and flat on the inside. This gives you a horizontal wood-paneling look, and is easy to hang pictures on. Others prefer a round log, which is a little more rustic and presents many challenges - such as how to join the logs to the sheetrock. Squared timbers, which give a more Appalachian look to the home, tend to be tall and fairly narrow, and are often grooved for the application of chinking.

The average milled log home will use pine logs in 6" and 8" diameters. You can also find them in 10" and 12" diameters. Anything larger than 15" will probably roll you over to a handcrafted home. Cedar logs are an upgrade, and can be found in 6", 8" and occasionally 10" diameters. Some manufacturers more rarely use oak, cypress, fir, hemlock, larch, poplar, spruce, and walnut. These rarer woods will be a price upgrade. Because of the superior log care products on the market today that protect all the logs effectively, the wood species largely becomes a matter of personal taste. The best rule of thumb when choosing log species is to stay with a wood that is native to your area. The logs will adapt to the environment more comfortably.

Newcomers are continually amazed to discover that the logs are their own insulation. To compare a stick-frame wall to a log wall by using the "R-value" is not comparing "apples to apples". Logs have a lower "R-value" than insulated 2x4 walls. However, they work on the principal of thermal mass. Because of the cellular structure of logs, they tend to absorb the heat and hold it longer than traditional walls. The logs will actually absorb the heat from the interior of the house (or from the sun, if facing south), and when the temperature drops at night, the walls will generate that heat back into the house until the temperatures equalize. They take longer to warm up, and stay warm much longer. Conversely, they stay cooler in the summertime.

Some producers feature a half-log system, where the logs are attached outside-and-inside to 2x4 or 2x6 stick-frame walls. This adds the extra R-value of an insulated wall, along with the beauty of the log, and also makes it easier to install electrical wiring. Ultimately, these systems are a bit more expensive than full-log, because of the additional cost of the lumber. But they do give the added ability to vary the interior of your house, so that some interior walls could be sheetrock, stone, or tongue-and-groove. In any case, many modern manufacturers use the half-log system on their second floor, to compensate for the huge windows, which may displace so many logs that the wall's integrity could be compromised. Also, because the large windows settle at a different rate than logs, the stick-framed second floor equalizes the overall settling. With the best manufacturers, you won't be able to tell on the outside where the full logs end and the half logs begin.

Once you've chosen what kind of log you want, you will discover that manufacturers each specialize in their own unique fastening system. Almost all manufacturers use double-sided foam tape between log courses. Some companies use lag screws, threaded bolts, or spikes to add integrity to the walls; others use fancy spring-loaded through bolts that compress the logs. Once again, the choice becomes a personal preference.

It would save a lot of work for the buyer to get a "turnkey" price on the logs, the lumber, the windows and doors, and the roof - what is commonly known as a "weathered-in shell". However, this complete system only makes sense if you are local to the manufacturer; otherwise, you'll be spending thousands of dollars to ship ordinary lumber across the country. After all, there is no difference between a roof used on an ordinary house and a roof used on a log home. You choose the kind of roof you want, but it'll come from the same manufacturer. The same goes for the floors, the doors, the kitchen, and the heating system. Windows can be a little tricky; you'll have to find a manufacturer that is willing to make a extended window-sill (or jamb) to accommodate the thickness of the logs. Most major window companies are able to do this.

Remember that log homes are completely custom. No log home company will offer you a choice of kitchens or bathrooms like a development builder. You will have to shop for these yourself, and the possibilities are limitless. Your builder may make some decisions for you, but you will be better served to pick your own flooring, light fixtures, faucets and even door knobs. Most manufacturers do not want to have anything to do with the foundation; that is not their business. You can use any kind of foundation you want, but you'll need to contact a local contractor to do that job, or have your builder do so.

Almost all log home manufacturers have an in-house architect who will configure your plan to fit their own particular system. Unless you have a lot of money to burn, don't hire an outside architect to design your house, because the manufacturer will have to rework the plans anyway. If you want a quick start, the manufacturer will have a set of stock plans for you to choose from, and alter to fit your needs. Or you can design your home from scratch, and give them a rough set of drawings from which they will devise a set of building plans. This service is usually offered at no extra charge; there may be an up-front fee that is credited toward the final cost of the package.

Log homes are not maintenance-free - nor are they overwhelmingly laborious. Although the products on today's market do a fantastic job of protecting the logs from sun, rain and insects, they do need to be re-applied ever three to five years depending on the wall exposure. This "maintenance coat" is much easier to apply than the original coats of stain, and no, you don't have to strip off the old coat first. So it's not as bad as it sounds! However, you must inspect the logs at least once a year for excessive cracking (or checking) - especially when the check opens upward, creating a water trap. These need to be caulked on the exterior walls. Also, do everything in your power to direct rainwater away from the house; if you have an overflowing gutter, deal with it at once. A damp log attracts rot and insects.

Expect your milled log home to take anywhere from 4 to 8 months to construct, depending on your weather, the availability of the crew (are they sharing your job with others at the same time?) and your planning. The most important thing you have to plan for is protecting the logs and the lumber from the elements. Set aside a large space (preferably covered with gravel) exclusively for the logs; you don't want them sitting in the mud. Cover your gravel with a tarp, and bring extra tarps for the logs. The logs are going to get scattered as the crew picks through them, and they're going to get stepped on and tossed around. They're going to get rained on, and you'll be amazed how quickly the logs weather. You'll have to immediately remove the plastic wrapping when the logs are delivered, or they'll get covered with mildew. The tarps will do the job. If your windows get delivered with the log package, you'd be best served to rent an enclosed trailer to store them in (FRAGILE is the operative word).

But I'm getting ahead of myself. As you may have gathered, people who build log homes tend to be more hands-on than with other kinds of construction. Log home customers are usually very well informed by the time they break ground - and they need to be! Cost overruns are often caused by unforeseen difficulties, and since your house is a one-of-a-kind, you're in for quite a challenge. Luckily, the industry has matured quite a bit, and you are no longer completely on your own.

Monday, May 20, 2013

8 Signs Your Home is Out of Control - And What to Do About it

It happens without warning. One day you notice your home has turned into a collage of papers, junk, and stuff - everywhere. You're not alone. Today more than ever it seems that the flotsam and jetsam of living, like the waves of an ocean, continually beat at our doors, flooding our houses with all manner of stuff until our homes are bulging at the seams. A typical home is now cluttered and dirty to the point of exhaustion -- yours.

All this accumulation also makes going home, or being at home, fill us with a sense of dread because we're overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things surrounding us. Once islands in the stream, many homes are often now just as jumbled, crowded, dirty, and chaotic as the public places we try to escape from. Housekeeping and cleaning house is not the greatest of fun, but it is vital to our well-being.

Recently a study by the UCLA Center for Everyday Lives of Families found that families are overscheduled, child-dominated, and cluttered. The study touched on something that's become a common problem in most households today: too much stuff. And all that stuff, makes us feel out of control.

Could your home be out of control?

If you have a perfectly ordered home or just don't care about the state of your surroundings, then having an out of control home isn't a problem. But, if the thought of your home raises your blood pressure to an unhealthy level or spending time there would make you rather have your teeth drilled, then you do have a problem - and you may have a home that's out of control.

An out of control home is a source of frustration, embarrassment, and tension. So where do you start if this describes your home? The first step in learning how to cope with an out of control home is to recognize the signs. Only then can you address the problem.

The 8 Signs You Have an Out of Control Home (OOCH)

1. It's messy.
Anything that can be straightened up in five minutes or less does not qualify as messy. A truly messy house has been hit by more than its fair share of bombs: toy bombs, clothes bombs, paper bombs (magazines, mail, and other piles of paper), dirt bombs (general dirt and debris), pet bombs (hair, smell, food), collectible or hobby bombs, etc. And, the mess is everywhere: the kitchen, the bathroom, the living room, the bedroom.

2. It's disorganized.
No one can find anything, from the car keys to last year's tax returns. A disorganized home is one where too much time is spent looking for things, and where you have doubles or triples of everything because when you couldn't find what you were looking for, you went out and bought another to replace the one you couldn't find.

3. It stinks.
The smell can come from the puppy training on the new carpet, the moldy smell from the roof leak, the cat box that's never changed, or the trash that everyone forgets to take out.

4. It's dirty.
This is that garden-variety filth that makes you hope no one will ever come to visit. It's the ring in the toilet, the dust bunnies the size of Dallas, and the cobwebs hanging from the ceiling that wave gently in the breeze. The dirt is pervasive and ground in.

5. It doesn't work.
This is a home where the furniture is broken, the bed sags in the middle, things don't work like they should, and repairs that need to be made drag on for months or years. It's not truly functional and lots of things have "work-arounds," such as pliers to turn on the washing machine because the knob fell off.

6. It's anxiety-producing.
Does the thought of going home make you feel anxious? If you're happier at work or in places other than home, then chances are it's because your home is out of control. It makes you uptight because it's dirty, disorganized, or messy - or all three. And, when you're there, you can't relax and you often find excuses to go somewhere else to unwind, such as at the movies or driving in the country.

7. You avoid having visitors.
If you feel panicked when the doorbell rings then you're living in an out of control home. Guests should be a welcome sight in the house and you should feel confident enough to invite visitors in.

8. It's cluttered.
If every square inch of your home is covered with something, then you've got too much stuff. There's got to be some open space somewhere in your home because open space give us a "visual rest." Look at interior design magazines and you'll notice the homes pictured in them because there isn't stuff everywhere to distract you.

Most houses have out of control areas
Of course not all homes are out of control, but many homes suffer from one or more Out-Of-Control-Home (OOCH) symptoms, or they have an Out of Control Area (OOCA). These are areas such as the laundry room or garage that tends to get out of control, and most every home has one. But, regardless of whether your home is truly OOCH or OOCA, it doesn't have to stay that way. You can take steps to bring your house back to order and get it under control.

The 8 Steps to Get Your Home Back in Control

1. Declutter and straighten first.
Take a trash bag with you to each room, throwing away anything you no longer want or that doesn't work. Take another box with you from room to room for items you want to donate.
If you have paper bombs, clothes bombs, and toy bombs that have gone off in your house, get these under control. Handle the paper by throwing it away, recycling it, or filing it. Get the clothes picked up and put in the wash, folded or hung up. Next, corral the toys, throwing away what's broken. And practice saying "When in doubt, throw it out."

Next, don't forget to contain yourself. It's easy to work in the living room, pick a toy for your child and wander into that room and then start working there. This is important: Stay focused on the task and the room at hand or you won't get anything done.

2. Clean second.
Now that the mess is handled and everything is picked up, it's time to get down to serious cleaning. Thoroughly clean each room, including the kitchen and laundry room, and don't forget to sweep porches and walkways outside. Get kids to clean the baseboards, windowsills, and clear the cobwebs from the corners of ceilings. Go from one room to the next and don't leave until each room is completely cleaned.

Lastly, schedule some hired help and have your carpets and upholstery steam cleaned. Steam cleaning does not use soap, which can make carpets get dirtier faster and actually attract more dirt. This will also make your home smell better, too. Schedule this at least once every year. If your house still smells musty, air it out or consider having your heating and air conditioning vents cleaned.

3. Repair what's broken.
The house is decluttered, clean, and now it needs to work. Fix broken panes of glass, leaking faucets, or repaint water stains on the ceiling. Put your husband on the job while you're cleaning or decluttering.

4. Edit your stuff.
Collections and knick knacks everywhere is what's classified as clutter. Clutter is a problem because of the emotions associated with it. For instance, many people feel guilty about getting rid of things because certain items were gifts or were inherited.

But the first rule of clutter-busting is that you have to absolutely drop-dead love something in order to keep it. If you just can't part with something, then don't. Put all the items you can in a box and then put it into storage. Then once you've forgotten about all those guilty feelings, you can put the items in a garage sale, donate them, or just throw them away.

In short, if your house is overrun with family pictures on every inch of wall space, an explosion of sports memorabilia, or a porcelain pig collection that won't end, for example, pare them down and then find one central spot to display these items rather than spreading them all over the house where they can make you feel overrun.

5. Create visual space.
Clear as many items as possible off the floor, off the tops of dressers, countertops and nightstands so your home will have plenty of clear space. You know how a hotel room makes you immediately want to go flop on the bed? That's because it's clean and clear. Clearing away excess stuff will give your eyes -- and your mind -- a rest.

6. Get pets under control.
If possible, evaluate your pet's impact on your home. Do what you can to create a living situation where both you and your pets are happy, but not where one of you is at the expense of the other. Many homes are controlled by pets to the point that woodwork is scratched, the home is damaged, every surface is covered with hair, and there is an unpleasant odor in the home.

7. Organize your home.
Create areas for coming and going where keys, backpacks, purses, wallets, mail, and other needed items can be placed. This area should have a trashcan where you can sort mail, and a small hanging basket where bills that need immediate attention can be placed.

Then, work on organizing bill-paying, files, warranty booklets, and all the little areas of your home that get cluttered, such as medicine cabinets, home offices, desk areas, pantries, laundry rooms, garages, spice cabinets, and so on.

8. Keep at it and involve everyone.
This is probably the most important step for getting - and keeping - a home under control. A home that's under control is not something that happens once and then it's done, like taxes. Keeping your home in order is more like exercise or taking vitamins. You have to keep at it. Keeping a home in control is a process, not an event. I have to tell myself all the time don't put it down, put it away.

It also takes commitment on everyone's part. My pantry is an OOCA in my home mostly because an orderly pantry is important only to me. But, a family meeting was called so that everyone does their part at keeping the pantry orderly. It will also keep us from having five boxes of raisin bran or three bags of marshmallows.

Bringing your home into control is a wonderful way of bringing a sense of accomplishment and order back into your life. It will also save you money because you won't purchase multiple items because you can find what you're looking for. It will also help you create a home that is your refuge and where you enjoy spending your time. Lastly, it will make you proud to live there and have guests over. Now, let's get to work!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Home Equity Loans - There's Gold In That There House

To paraphrase an old familiar quote that goes "there's gold in them there hills, you could say, there's gold in that house. As Martha Stewart would say, "it's a good thing".

A home equity loan can be a very good thing if you formulate a plan and stick to it. Home equity loans are becoming much more common and most banking companies have specific re-financing plans available for today's consumer.

Read on and you will see that a home equity loan used for the proper purpose and managed correctly can indeed be a "good thing".

A Home Equity Loan - Just what is it?Types Of Home Equity Loans HEL or HELOC?

There are two types of home equity loans. A regular home equity loan and the home equity line of credit or HELOC. A regular home equity loan is a fixed sum borrowed at a fixed rate over a period of time. A HELOC allows the client to borrow various sums up to a fixed amount over a period of time. A line of credit works in a similar way as a credit card; you use it when you need it. Different States set their own laws on limits you can borrow against your house.

The Financial Plan - Making your home equity work for you

For a home equity loan to work best for you, it's a good idea to have a budget and a financial plan. Having a budget will help you decide how big a loan you need and a financial plan will be the map to accomplish your goals within that budget. Here are a few suggestions on ways to use a home equity loan.

1. Home Improvements

You may want to build up the equity in your house by making home improvements. The first and best place to visit is a home improvement warehouse store. These stores, especially the large ones have whole rooms set up and priced. Use caution however, husbands and wives have been known to have gone into these rooms for days and when they came out they were muttering "but I liked the blue room best."

2. Debt Consolidation

Pay off all the nagging little balances that seem to have accumulated on various store and gas cards in your wallet.

3. A holiday in the sun or snow!

It's a matter of interest, if you shop around; you may find a couple of percentage points on a home equity loan that can make a world of difference. Consider a holiday South of the border or North to Canada.

Mexican or Caribbean destinations are very attractive during the winter months but if skiing and winter activities is more to your liking then consider Vancouver, Canada. Whistler, British Columbia is one of the locations that will host the 2010 Winter Olympics. Shop around for the best rates and dream on.

4. A retirement Savings plan

It's not an easy fact to accept but one day we will all need to retire. Planning for retirement requires good financial decision making. Many banking and financial companies offer free retirement planning advice. Some home equity loans are designed to be used for investment purposes. Talk to a trusted Financial Planner before signing the dotted line on this idea.

Loan Terms - Points To Ponder

Now you have a plan and are ready to talk with a lending company. You may want to do this on the Internet to save time and maybe a few dollars. If that is the case then it is a must to know these terms. Before you proceed to do some serious web surfing here are a few you will want to become familiar with before you consider a home equity loan. These points to ponder are:


Equity is the appraised value or Fair Market Value of your home less the outstanding mortgage balance.

Mortgage Broker

A mortgage broker is the "go between" whom you pay to negotiate the best deal. This person has access to current financial information and can be very important if financial savvy is not your strong suit.


A HELOC is a Home Equity Line Of Credit. This term is discussed under types of home equity loans.

Debt Consolidation Loan

Over the years as you have paid off your home, you may have also acquired a few credit cards along the line. These credit cards include gas cards, store credit cards, and some bank credit cards. The interest rates on these cards vary and you may find that you are paying through the nose for the convenience of a store credit card. That is where a home equity loan can be very handy. You can borrow the amount you need to pay off each card and make one payment each month. With current financing plans, one payment at the end of the month is less than the minimum payment that was required on each card. Once you have done this, get out your scissors and cut up all of the cards except one bank credit card for emergencies. Remember the plan!

Balloon Loan

This type of loan can be difficult. The first few payments are low with low interest rates. The last payment however is exactly as the name describes; a balloon. It is a very large payment at the end of the repayment period. It is essential to stick to your financial plan because in this case you may need another loan to pay off the balloon amount.

Interest Rate

The periodic fee charged for a loan. This is expressed as a percentage point and some financial institutions are offering approximately 5.6% on a thirty year fixed $150,000.00 home equity loan. The lower the interest rate the better the deal, just make sure you aren't negotiating a balloon loan though.

Transaction Fee

Unfortunately no matter how good the deal on the loan you get, there is no free ride. In the business of credit management someone has to make money in order for home equity loans to exist. There will be some type of transaction fee built into the loan application. Lenders have costs and these costs are passed along to the consumer as a transaction fee. Depending on the loan company you decide to use, a transaction fee can be lower or higher, so make sure you shop around.

FICO Score

A sliding scale based on a point score created by the Fair Isaac Corporation. This score is used to determine a borrower's behavior and potential risk factor.

Credit Rating

Using the point system based on the FICO score, a credit rating can be anywhere from poor to excellent. With a good to excellent FICO score, a person's credit rating can determine how much money can be borrowed and what interest rate will be charged.

Re-Financing - Finding A Gold Mine In Your Home

Many people consider their home to be their castle but few consider that they could be living on a potential gold mine. If you have lived in your house for 10 years and have been making payments, especially bi-monthly payments, you have built up a considerable amount of equity. Pair that with a good FICO score and there is indeed gold in that there house.

What's Your Fico?

Mortgage Brokers use a FICO scale to determine the amount of money you can borrow against your home and at what interest rate you can borrow this money. This number is between 300 - 850 points and showcases a person's credit history.

This scale was developed in California by the Fair Isaac Corporation, a global decision management company. A credit rating of 700 points is considered "good" and based on a $150,000.00 fixed thirty year mortgage, your rate of interest would be 5.7 percent VS 9.3% if your FICO score was below 600 points. Having a high FICO entitles you to borrow more money at a better rate.

Improving Your Fico

You've taken the test, (which is available at most lenders websites), and your score is not as stellar as you had hopped it would be. There are a couple of ways to improve this score:
1. Pay all your bills on time.
2. Keep a small balance on one credit card to keep it "active".
The FICO website gives you all the "who, what, where, when and why" of the two above suggestions. You can read about the rationale in great detail at that site.

Buyers Beware

With today's credit options and a good credit rating, you can borrow a lot of money against your home. This ability if not used responsibly and with a good solid financial plan can be ruinous. Some borrowers have gotten over their head and ultimately had to file for bankruptcy. So beware of potential risks.

Home Equity Loans - A Golden Opportunity

As you can see, a home equity loan is a great way to improve your living space, go on a holiday, plan for retirement or pay off some debts. With the right combination of a good FICO score and proper planning, there really is gold in that there house.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tax Advantages In A Home Business

Every year, several thousand people develop an interest in "going into business." Many of these people have an idea, a product or a service they hope to promote into an in come producing business which they can operate from their own homes.

If you are one of these people, here are some practical thoughts to consider before hanging out the "Open-for-Business" sign.

In areas zoned "Residential Only," your proposed business could be illegal. In many areas, zoning restrictions rule out home businesses involving the coming and going of many customers, clients or employees. Many businesses that sell or even store any thing for sale on the premises also fall into this category.

Be sure to check with your local zoning office to see how the ordinances in your particular area may affect your business plans. You may need a special permit to operate your business from your home; and you may find that making small changes in your plan will put you into the position of meeting zoning standards.

Many communities grant home occupation permits for businesses that involve typing, sewing and teaching, but turn thumbs down on requests from photographers, interior decorators and home-improve ment businesses to be run from the home. And often, even if you are permitted to use your home for a given business, there will be restrictions that you may need to take into consideration. By all means, work with your zoning people, and save yourself time, trouble and dollars.

One of the requirements imposed might be off-street parking for your customers or patrons. And, signs are generally forbidden in residential districts. If you teach, there is almost always a limit on the number of students you may have at any one time.

Obtaining zoning approval for your business, then, could be as simple as filling out an application, or it could involve a public hearing. The important points the zoning officials will consider will center around how your business will affect the neighborhood.

Will it increase the traffic noticeably on your street? Will there be a substantial in crease in noise? And how will your neighbors feel about this business alongside their homes?

To repeat, check into the zoning restrictions, and then check again to determine if you will need a city license. If you're selling something, you may need a vendor's license, and be required to collect sales taxes on your transactions. The sales tax requirement would result in the need for careful record keeping.

Licensing can be an involved process, and depending upon the type of business, it could even involve the inspection of your home to determine if it meets with local health and building and fire codes. Should this be the case, you will need t o bring your facilities up to the local standards. Usually this will involve some simple repairs or adjustments that you can either do personally, or hire out to a handyman at a nominal cost.

Still more items to consider: Will your homeowner's insurance cover the property and liability involved in your new business? This must definitely be resolved, so be sure to talk it over with your insurance agent.

Tax deductions, which were once one of the beauties of engaging in a home business, are not what they once were. To be eligible for business related deductions today, you must use that part of your home claimed exclusively and regularly as either the principal location of your business, or the place reserved to meet patients, clients or customers.

An interesting case in point: If you use your den or a spare bedroom as the principal place of business, working there from 8:00 to 5:00 every day, but permit your children to watch TV in that room during the evening hours, the IRS dictates that you cannot claim a deduction for that room as your office or place of business.

There are, however, a couple of exceptions we will note to the "exclusive use" rule. One is the storage of inventory in your home, where your home is the location of your trade or business, and approval for your business, then, could be as sour trade or business is the selling of products at retail or wholesale. According to the IRS, such storage space must be used on a regular basis, and be a separately identifiable space.

Another exception applies to day care services that are provided for children, the elderly, or physically or mentally handicapped. This exception applies only if the owner of the facility complies with the state laws for licensing.

To be eligible for business deductions, your business must be an activity under taken with the intent of making a profit. It's presumed you meet this requirement if your business makes a profit in any two years of a five-year period.

Once you are this far along, you can deduct business expenses such as supplies, subscriptions to professional journals, and an allowance for the business use of your car or truck. You can also claim deductions for home related business expenses such as utilities, and in some cases, even a new paint job for your home.

The IRS is going to treat the part of your home you use for business as though it were a separate piece of property. This means that you'll have to keep good records and take care not to mix business and personal matters. No specific method of record keeping is required, but your records must clearly justify any deductions you claim.

You can begin by calculating what percentage of the house is used for business, either by number of rooms or by area in square footage. Thus, if you use one of five rooms for your business, the business portion is 20 percent. If you run you r business out of a room that's 10 by 12 feet, and the total area of your home is 1,200 square feet, the business-space factor is 10 percent.

An extra computation is required if your business is a home day care center. This is one of the exempted activities in which the exclusive use rule doesn't apply. Check with your tax preparer and the IRS for an exact determination.

If you're a renter, you can deduct the part of your rent which is attributable to the business share of your house or apartment. Homeowners can take a deduction based on the depreciation of the business portion of their house.

There is a limit to the amount you can deduct. This is the amount equal to the gross income generated by the business, minus those home expenses you could deduct even if you weren't operating a business from your home. As an example, real estate taxes and mortgage interest are deductible regardless of any business activity in your home, so you must subtract from your business' gross income the percentage that's allocable to the business portion of your home. You thus arrive at the maximum amount for home-related business deductions.

If you are self-employed, you claim your business deductions on Schedule C, Profit (or Loss) for Business or Profession. The IRS emphasizes that claiming business-at-home deductions does not automatically trigger an audit of your tax return. Even so, it is always wise to keep meticulously within the proper guidelines, and of course keep detailed records if you claim business related expenses when you are working out of your home. You should discuss this aspect of your operation with your tax preparer or a person qualified in the field of small business tax requirements.

If your business earnings aren't subject to withholding tax, and your estimated federal taxes are $100 or more, you'll probably be filing a Declaration of Estimated Tax, Form 1040-ES. To complete this form, you will have to estimate your income for the coming year and also make a computation of the income tax and self-employment tax you will owe. The self-employment taxes pay for Social Security coverage.

If you have a salaried job covered by Social Security, the self-employment tax applies only to the amount of your home business income that, when added to your salary, reaches the current ceiling. When you file your Form 1040-ES, which is due April 15, you must make the first of four equal installment payments on your estimated tax bill.

Another good way to trim your taxes is by setting up a Keogh plan or an Individual Retirement Account. With either of these, you can shelter some of your home business income from taxes by investing it for your retirement.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

"So You Want To Build A Home Gym"

I walked into the commercial gym yesterday after a long day of work excited to begin my workout. After warming up I proceeded to the squat rack to start my resistance training workout. I unfortunately ran into a bit of a roadblock. I was planning on starting with some Back Squats but there was a young man in the power rack performing barbell biceps curls with horrible form (a definite no-no!).

I decided to go to Plan B and rearrange my workout only to find that the flat benches were all occupied as well. This trend continued and everywhere I turned the equipment I desired was being used. I was happy that so many people were working out but at the same time I was frustrated that my well-laid plans were spoiled. I learned a long time ago that it is wise to have a back-up plan in place for situations like this so I decided to head home and revert to Plan C, which was my home workout routine.

I have found that having the option to workout at home is essential for people with busy schedules, for others who do not like going to crowded gyms, or for people who need a contingency plan for just-in-case situations (that's me!). Another reason to have a home gym is that warmer weather has finally arrived and you may be less likely to go to your commercial gym.

I have helped people design expensive, well-equipped home gyms and I have helped others design very cost-effective, space-saving workouts areas. My personal home gym consists of a Stability Ball, 5lb to 95lb Dumbbells, some Kettlebells, an adjustable Weighted Vest, Adjustable DB Handles, Elastic Bands, 2kg to 10kg Medicine Balls, Ankle Weights, an AB Roller, a variety of Exercise Videos, and a minimal amount of space!

Anyone can have a Home Gym and there are many reasons to have one. The following list of questions should help you design a Home Gym that will suit your needs, your space, and your budget!

Questions To Ask When Building Your Home Gym:

The First Step: Ask Yourself Why?

Why do you want a home gym? What will it give you that you do not already have? What is your empowering vision of your ideal physique or athletic accomplishment? What are your short and long term goals? Always begin with a vision of the end results in mind, as this will guide you in your efforts. If you have not developed a vision of what you want to accomplish at this point, then that is the first thing you need to do. Develop a plan of attack for building your body and building your home gym.

Without a plan you might end up disappointed with the lack of results and frustrated that you bought the wrong equipment. Ask yourself what kind of results you expect your home gym to deliver? Is your home gym going to supplement your commercial gym membership (as a contingency plan)? Will you be doing your cardiovascular exercise outside or inside on a machine? Will you be doing stretching, strength training, or both? Is your home gym going to be the only place that you work out? Think about these things when designing your home gym.

I. How much are you willing to spend ($$$$$$$)?

How much do you want to spend, plain and simple? If you are just starting out with an exercise program, you might consider starting small with a simple, yet very effective, pair of Dumbbells. You can perform a full-body workout with a pair of dumbbells, some bodyweight exercises, and with a little knowledgeable of proper exercise technique. If you want to do it inexpensively, hire a knowledgeable fitness professional to design an individualized exercise program that you can do with a pair of Dumbbells in the comfort of your home. I have listed a variety of items that you might consider adding to your home gym.

Equipment Considerations:

A. Cardiovascular Machine

If you insist on performing your cardiovascular exercise routine at home be prepared to spend some money! Be aware, a gym quality treadmill, stationary bike, rowing ergometer, or elliptical trainer is going to cost you. You can buy used or refurbished gym quality equipment for a discounted price and if I wanted a cardio machine for my home this is probably the route that I would take. If you are thinking, "I'll just save a few hundred dollars and buy an inexpensive treadmill at the mall," make sure you do some research and ensure that you will buy something that is going to last and that will fit y our needs. I know many people who have purchased flimsy treadmills and regretted it soon thereafter. There are quality treadmills out there you just have to know where to look. I would recommend talking to my friend Bob McKinnon at McKinnon Technical Services (603-644-7539) who knows gym equipment like the back of his hand. He can point you in the right direction if you want to!

B. A Multi-Purpose Home Gym Machine

There are numerous multi-purpose gyms on the market and some are better than others. Chances are, if you turn on your television late at night and flip through the channels, you will be exposed to clever marketing using beautifully sculpted fitness models promising results in six weeks or less if you purchase their machine! Guess what. You can get results without a two thousand dollar machine that will most likely be collecting dust in a year anyway! Why not begin your quest for improved fitness with a modest investment in a pair of Dumbbells? Why not purchase a $20 book on how to get into shape? How about meeting with someone who specializes in coaching people through the process of positive physical change such as fitness professional or Registered Dietician? Infomercials are notorious for clever marketing and they can be very compelling. Avoid impulsive buying and do some research first before purchasing an expensive multi-gym. I recommend consulting a qualified fitness professional about the usefulness of such a machine, interviewing people who have that machine, and possibly even test-driving one before you make this decision. I have to mention that every Spring and Fall I see countless multi-gyms sitting out on someone's lawn as part of the annual yard sale. I wonder why that is?

C. Barbells

If I had the room in my apartment, I would go out and buy a Barbell today! With a 45 lb. Olympic Barbell you can perform a wide variety of exercises in a variety of different ways. If you are an athlete, you have the space available, and you want to improve your sports performance, learning how to correctly perform the Olympic Weightlifting movements (Clean and Jerk, Snatch, and all the variations) can take your performance to the next level! To name a few, exercises such as Squats, Overhead Squats, Deadlifts, Bent over Rows, Bench Presses, Overhead Presses, and Upright Rows can be performed. I would recommend having an adjustable Power Rack and adjustable bench to augment the versatility of the barbell. Space and total cost are big factors when considering purchasing a barbell.

D. Dumbbells

If you want to save money and space, dumbbells are the way to go. You might consider two to three sets of dumbbells (they can be purchased at a sporting goods store for any where between $.35-$.75/pound (In Concord, NH, Check out Olympia Sports in the Mall, Sears, Target, Walmart, Northeast Fitness, or check out the newspapers for the least expensive way to go!). I prefer the metal dumbbells but there are also rubber coated and adjustable dumbbells available. "Power Blocks," (perform a search on the internet to learn more about these) are adjustable dumbbells and are a great tool that take up a lot less space in your home gym, offers great versatility, and offers adjustable resistance to suit your needs. There are also other forms of adjustable dumbbells that consist of two handles, collars, and series of different size weight plates.

When selecting weights, it wise to start light and gradually purchase heavier dumbbells as you need them. I am able to perform wide variety of exercises with Dumbbells. If your goal is fat-loss, then a properly designed resistance training program that incorporates multi-joint Dumbbell exercises will help you achieve your goals more efficiently than many gym machines that "isolate" certain muscle groups. Remember, the more muscle groups that you incorporate, the more energy your body burns, and the better your results will be! Exercise technique is a factor but I'll happily let you know that I have taught 90-year-old women and 11-year-old boys how to perform the most "difficult" Dumbbell exercises with pristine form.

E. Medicine Balls

Medicine Balls are a great tool depending upon your fitness goals and your current training level. For an athlete in search of sports performance enhancement, Medicine Balls are a great tool because they can be accelerated in a rapid fashion through many planes of motion. If general fitness is your goal, you can perform many traditional gym exercises with a Medicine Ball as well. Medicine balls come in all shapes, sizes, weights, and colors. Be sure that the ball you pick suits your needs. By the way, these are also great for outdoor workouts on a sunny day!

F. Benches and Stability Balls:

A bench can be a great tool that will allow you to perform more exercises during your home workout sessions. Some benches are adjustable and offer great versatility while others are just fixed benches. Space is a concern for many people and that makes the Stability Ball (a.k.a. Swiss Ball) a great alternative to a bench. With a Stability Ball you can perform inclined, seated, prone, supine, floor, and a number of lower body exercises. A knowledgeable fitness professional could teach you how to perform a full-body workout with a Stability Ball and a pair of dumbbells. There are a number of different ways to use it in order to maximize your home workout routines. Not only can it replace a more expensive exercise machine or bench, but it can also double as a chair, take up less space, and challenge your body's balance in ways that a stable bench/machine cannot.

G. Resistance Bands/Tubes:

The cable pulley system at your local gym offers a number of exercises that can increase the variety of your workouts tremendously. An alternative to the cable pulley system for your home gym could be resistance bands or tubing that you can tie to a pillar in the basement of fix in a closed door. You can buy tubing that comes with handles already attached in some fitness catalogs or you could just tie a loop in one end to make your own makeshift handle. It is important to mention that elastic resistance training has many benefits and many inherent flaws. If you understand how to properly combine elastic resistance training with inertial (free weight training) you can maximize your results! A knowledgeable exercise professional can help you design your home gym to take advantage of these tools.

H. Exercise Videos:

There are many great exercise videos out there (and a lot more bad ones!). There are videos for Yoga, Step Aerobics, Tae-Bo, Pilates, Strength Training, Stability Ball Training, and every other imaginable fitness topic out there. Check out your local sporting goods store or Borders for a selection of exercise videos. The key is to find a couple videos that you enjoy and that give you the workout that you are looking for.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Prefabricated Home Packages

This is by no means an exhaustive list of what's available in the area of prefabricated homes and buildings. This article is to introduce you to the world prefab. If you're in the industry, you'll probably be cringing about now at the word "prefab". But, the word is one that has become synonymous with homes and buildings that have been partially or fully assembled in a factory setting. 

I for one am excited to see the latest versions of modern prefabs emerging globally. They're well thought out, beautiful, and energy-efficient.

And to anyone who has any doubts about the quality of today's prefab homes, I'd ask, would you rather buy a house whose parts have all been crafted outdoors exposed to the elements -- by hand. Or, would you rather buy a house built in a factory setting to tight specs exceeding that of site-built homes. I say exceeding, because a normal site-built home doesn't have to endure the rigors of transportation.

1. Manufactured

Single-family residential dwellings consisting of one, two or more sectional units and constructed to Federal HUD code. Zoning regulations and ordinances of the local Municipality or County might not permit use of mobile and manufactured homes in all areas of their jurisdiction.

2. Modular

Modular refers to a method of building a home, rather than a type of home. A modular home can be built in a factory from a stock modular home plan or from a customized plan, to the state, local or regional codes of where the home will be set up. Modular homes have not typically experienced the zoning restrictions and discriminative ordinances applicable to manufactured and mobile homes.

3. Panelized

Panelized homes are factory-built homes in which panels -- whole walls with windows, doors, wiring, and outside siding -- are transported to the site and assembled. Panels are made from insulating foam sandwiched between two layers of structural material. The panels are lightweight and might already be filled with insulation when they arrive on the site. The homes must meet the state or local building codes of where they are sited.

4. Steel-frame

Steel framing is an equivalent to conventional stick frame or post & beam home design where the structural lumber is replaced by steel studs and trusses or steel posts and beams. Light-Gauge Framing System features screw-together, galvanized stud-and-truss, grid-type construction system built on 4-foot center.Red-Iron Metal Post & Beam Systems features bolt-together, pre-engineered post-and-beam-type framing system that uses the red-iron steel "C" beams on 8-foot center. The prefabricated home built with this method can be single-story, two-story, and even tri-level home.

Unlike conventional wood framed home that requires interior walls to support the roof, the higher strength-to-weight ratio of steel house allows to span greater distances with less material and fewer supports. The result is higher floor layout and interior design flexibility.

Unlike wood, steel won't shrink, rot, warp, buckle, split, or be attacked by insects. This results in greater durability, lower long-term maintenance, higher energy efficiency and overall greater quality of this prefabricated home.

5. Precut

This category includes wood-framed factory-built houses or cabins where building materials are factory-cut to design specifications and transported to the site to be assembled. presents prefab building kits designed as wood-framed (also known as balloon-frame, 2 x 4, 2 x 6 or stick-built construction) as well as prefabricated home kit / cabin kit using post-frame method. The homes or cabins must meet local or state building codes of the area where they will be sited.

6. Cedar

According to Katahdin Cedar Log Homes, cedar is aromatic to people, and problematic to insects: The heartwood of northern white cedar produces organic compounds called thujaplicins - which create that fresh, pleasant cedar aroma. But to insect pests, such as moths and termites, cedar just plain stinks. They'll avoid cedar homes and instead search out inviting, tasty pine structures.
Cedar home kits include everything you need to build the home, itself. That is to say, the walls, the floor, the ceiling, the windows and doors. But your foundation, plumbing and electrical system are not usually included in a kit.

7. Timberframe

Timber framing is a specific type of post and beam construction in which a frame is created from solid wood timbers that are then connected by any one of the following wooden joints: mortise and tenon, dovetails, or scarfs secured with hardwood pegs. The frame is covered with any one of a number of enclosure systems. Normally the timbers remain exposed to the interior of the building.
Timber frame structures exhibit a strength and aesthetic quality not found in conventionally framed houses. The timbers are pre-cut, shaped, and finished at the factory, then sent to the construction site, where they can be quickly assembled by a crew, routinely using cranes to lift the bents and beams into place. The use of quality wood, enhanced by joinery that compares with fine cabinet making, maximizes the strength of the timberframe structure. Joinery is the heart of the entire structure.

8. Log

Log homes provide their owners with a comforting and relaxing sense of informality and simplicity. The mass of logs produces heating and cooling benefits, and reduces noise transmission into and throughout the home. These are very attractive characteristics, but there are also challenges in construction and limitations in decorating. These aspects require special design considerations and have unusual maintenance requirements.
Basic Kits Are...

WALLS ONLY: The walls-only log home package includes all the logs for the outside walls, including fasteners. Roof beams and staircases may be added.

STRUCTURAL SHELL: Shell This package includes everything that's in the walls-only package, plus all components necessary to keep the weather out, such as exterior doors, windows, and the roofing system.
THE COMPLETE PACKAGE: Complete packages also includes interior components required to finish log homes. Such items include interior walls, stairs, closets, interior doors and trim.

9. Circular

The circle is the strongest geometrical shape we recognize, and this factor likely influenced builders of circular homes for thousands of years. Prefabricated circular buildings have been built as cabins, studios, homes, offices or community halls and convention centers.

Most of today's prefabricated circular homes and cabins offered across the country use conventional wood-frame or post & beam construction method. These homes and cabins are ideally suited to take the full advantage of locations offering exciting panoramic views, and to incorporate factor of the surroundings into the home design.

10. Dome

Geodesic Dome is using triangular networks forming hexagons and pentagons and creating a free-span, spacious environment of spherically shaped structure requiring no internal supports. This results in large flexibility for utilizing interior space to implement floor designs not limited by structural restrictions. Because of the structural strength of the shape, the domes have a far better record of withstanding tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes than cube-shaped structures of conventional homes.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Difficulties, Challenges and Problems Of Teleworking, Telecommuting and Working at Home

Working at home, from home, in your pajamas, in the nude, at the beach, working from bed or the easy chair - these are all the images and joys of home working that Kate and I enjoy and many others too. Kate and I sell Real Estate; that is perhaps the most popular telecommuting, work at home; pick your own hours job, in the country.

There are some difficulties that go with working at home. Perhaps half of the people who start working from home don't succeed, mostly due to lack of personal discipline or family discipline.
There are freedoms of working from home and along with freedoms go responsibilities. Those freedoms of working at home can also be challenges to responsibility which will lower your production and moral as you fail to meet deadlines and quotas.

I have been telecommuting or teleworking; since we imported the term teleworking from the Brits and it's now used by our Federal Government; and believe me I would rather work from home and my car than from a cubical. Since I entered the work force, I prefer me as my boss and get more done that way. I get to decide importances and have seldom found a boss that is not prone to wanting sillier busy-work than I'm willing to do.

One boss I had, my brother, had over 150 pieces of paper to fill out for selling a mobile home. On my own, I used two - the sales contract and the certificate of title. In the 8 hours it took me to fill out the 150 pieces of paper, I'd get "interrupted" by sales calls and showings of homes, so the paperwork of one sale took a week at times.

As a home-worker I get to determine what works and what doesn't. One boss I had, a client who bought about 50 properties from me, was convinced that I should advertise her properties for sale with no price - so I would get calls. That was, and is, stupid. I did not want calls. I wanted prospective purchasers.

One of my clients wanted me to run these blind ads, ads with no price and I wouldn't do it. So, he placed an ad in the New York Times and another in The Wall Street Journal. "Waterfront home, 3 BR, 2BA, Fireplace, Boat Dock, Scrn Prch, at the Beach -- $39,000" and put my phone number on the ad. I got several hundred phone calls and not one, that's right not one, was a prospective purchaser. Why? Because it was a trailer on a rented lot in a trailer park and it was 500 miles from New York City. His idea was to make the phone ring; an altered priority. Now, when you go to my web site you will find properties for sale that tell everything about the property and usually with a map.

You see I don't want calls that are not interested in what I have to sell at the price I need to get. As my own boss I do the ads my way and not based on somebody else's "idea" of what is right or workable. These freedoms, chief among them the freedom FROM idiocy of bosses, are precious. However, I also have to find out what works and take chances without a boss to blame the errors on.

Working at home is great, but not easy. To excel; to make it even, you must have exceptional personal discipline, organizing skills and persistence. Those who work less at home than in the office will certainly make far less working at home than working in the office. In the office you may take a thirty minute coffee break and not get caught. At home, with that sort of discipline, your coffee break may go on for hours or even days. Or you may just sleep in and not even get up to make the coffee. for hours, days or weeks. And there goes the rent or mortgage payment and there goes the house.

Working at home is freeing. There is no dress code. You can work in your pajamas, your shorts, or even work at home in the buff - naked. However, we all know that when we dress up, at least some of us act more professional. And with no bosses slipping by the cubical to check over your shoulder - what are you working on?

I will tell you this: when I did some work as a business consultant for a large consulting firm - the PRIMARY CAUSE OF BUSINESS FAILURE WAS COMPUTER GAMES. Believe it or not, almost every one of the businesses that was going under and had to hire us had one or more people playing Solitaire or some other computer game dozens of hours a month. Most of the time it was the boss, his wife, his girlfriend, or all three that were bankrupting the business with solitaire or Doom. When no one else is forcing you to produce - some people won't. Here are some reasons that those who have failed at telecommuting have failed.

Lack of Family Discipline: When you work at home you can also tend to family and that is great. I love it. However, it also allows for magnified interruptions. Child care can easily consume more than an entire day, if you don't learn to discipline your children in an effective and nurturing way. If you just yell "Be quiet I'm working." They will find a way to get your attention - no matter what - and it will often be at just the wrong time - like when Mr. Big is on the phone, or when you have procrastinated and the deadline is NOW.

If you must fix dinner for your husband, change the baby, take the other three kids to all those dozens of lessons, meet them at the bus, do the dishes, vacuum the floors, do the laundry, wax the floors, oil the antiques, sweep the driveway and talk to your several unemployed friends on the phone. then you won't likely succeed as a telecommuter.

Older kids are even more of a challenge if you are not willing to raise disciplined kids - and there are very few of those these days. If you have no kids, but have dogs, parrots, hobbies, books, TV shows, and all sorts of other interests that take you away from production - you won't make it either. How would you like to employ someone who could only work when there was nothing else taking a senior priority in attention?

Food: Snacking, gourmet cooking, coffee making, refrigerator door swinging and ice-cream eating can take a huge amount of time in a day. And, then you either must set aside twice as much time for exercise, or set aside money for the new and larger wardrobe. Many people, who work at home, could be said to be working Chip-Side. Chips, dips, sodas, candy, a few extra snacks beside the computer and soon you will need a larger, wider, more powerful chair and reinforcing slats under the mattress. The upside is that your social life will die and you'll have more time to work and pay for the food and larger clothing. Can we say Tent Clothing?

Sloth: Laziness, slow motion, procrastination and self-interruption are killers of the home worker. If one of your motivations is to sleep in, you had better be similarly motivated to work late. You will need to learn to produce, to promote yourself, do market yourself and your product and procrastination is self-destructive. Snooze and loose. One of my very productive friends sleeps until 2:30 pm every day. He calls me on his way to his first cup of coffee and I welcome him to the day with "Good morning Lee!" he chuckles but in about 7 minutes he is off the phone and planning his day over his next cup of coffee. He allows no interruptions from any phones until 5:30 pm and works every night through until about 3 am when he answers his e-mail and then goes to bed a little after 4 am. He is a home designer and his clients are builders who take care of building during the day and talk with him from their home to his, at night. He is not sloth. He just works the night shift and does it well.

My youngest son is an artist, a very successful one: He works best from afternoon to early morning as well. There are many who work at home that work the graveyard shift and find that working when others sleep, allows them to be more productive and creative. So sleep in if you will or take off early if you will, but doing both will knock you out of business. When you work at home, you work from to-do lists, appointments scheduled, and goals set. But, if you don't get enough work done in a unit of time, you won't get paid well. You must learn to plan your work and work your plan, or else.

Communication Sins: If you spend any time on frivolous e-mail, phone calls, faxes, meetings, stops at the coffee shop, golf, tennis, poker - and they are not planned to produce income - you will soon chat, gossip, play and fritter your income, savings and life away.

Yes, I WORK at a coffee shop nearby. They have high speed network lines for my laptop. I also wear my Logo hat, my business name pin on my chest, and have a large name and business card taped to my computer lid, so that it can be easily read from a distance as I work. I also make a couple of phone calls a day to those in related businesses, such as my friend the home designer.

I do a lot of e-mail and anyone who sends me forwarded junk is chastised, every time. Anyone who sends me hoaxes is sent back the hoax reference and I send it to "Reply All" as the sort of people who send that stuff send with everyone's address visible about 99% of the time.

I also get quite a little bit of email, unsolicited, from some of my contacts about things which I'm not interested in. I thank them and let them know what I AM interested in and that I only want that, in a nice way. I get a few hundred SPAM a day. My filters handle all but a few. The rest; I speed read most of it and often find something I can use for my own marketing, not often, so I spend an average of about 2 seconds on each mailing.

I stopped by another home-worker a few months ago and he was playing solitaire, taking calls about jokes and gossip, and was constantly involved in frivolous e-mail. Last week he got a salaried job, at just about minimum wage, he made almost nothing working at home.

Communication sins include incoming and outgoing communications. Television, talk radio, music, telephone, entertaining web sites, porno, dating sites and chat, social calls coming or going, are all time stealers and production killers.

Slovenliness: When you work in a multi-tiered, hyper managed, upper-management, middle-management, worker bee, hierarchy and each level checks and double checks all the levels below and edits everything on the way up the line or out the door - you may find much of that missing when you work at home. You must learn to be your own editor. You must learn to be your own manager. You must learn to be your own Quality Control and Efficiency Expert. If you let slovenly work out your door, off your desk, in the mail or e-mail; you certainly and simultaneously send a bad message about your worth and professionalism. Doing slovenly work will result in slovenly pay.

Home Sweet Home Syndrome: If you are accustomed to turning off the productivity switch when you arrive home, it may be nearly impossible to learn that home is where the job is. If you are used to kicking off your heels, slipping on your robe, lounging in a hot tub with a book and candles, lying on the couch with the paper or any of the myriad activities of a leisure home life; you may not be able to work at home productively. And we get right back to the crux of it all - self-discipline.

Drugs, Alcohol, Tobacco, Sex and Even Music: A glass of wine at home, after work, can be wonderful. A glass of wine while you work at home can be horribly anti-productive. A smoke break at work is at worst embarrassing, at home, you can easily develop a two, three or four pack a day habit and you slide into chain smoking and larger and larger ashtrays. If you are a "recreational" drug user and work at home, you can easily get "hooked on that feeling" and that feeling is not one of accomplishment.

And, oh the wonders of staying in bed with your lover, of afternoon delight and hot nights - but it can soon eat up the day. Many, many folks enjoy relaxing to music, dancing to a tune or otherwise letting good music of their choice take their mind into the sublime. That is not where work gets done. If your mind is on the music, it is not on the job. Concentration is a primary requirement of working at home and without it you will soon be incompetent and unpaid.

Workaholism: Workaholics are often stressed out and need to go home once in a while for a break, or perhaps a break-down. If you are driven to work day and night, as I am, make certain that you love your work so much that you'd do it as recreation. Fortunately I love my work so much that it is not work to me at all. Part of the reason is that I only do the kind of work I love and not any other kind; there are a few things that other Realtors do that I don't do. But, I take the energy that I could use doing those things I don't like and put that much more energy into the other 99% of my profession that I love.

Yes, I'm up before dawn and work often past midnight - today is one of those days - but there is no part of today or many other days that I do anything I don't love. Yes, I was out with a prospective client from 5 pm to 9 pm, came home to 83 e-mails and now I'm pounding out another article and NOT ONE SECOND of that time was I unhappy about what I was doing. I love it all. Darned good thing!!!