Just How Important is a Simple Can Opener in Your Daily Life?

No matter how small or big the kitchen is, always the housewives will complain that there is no proper place in the kitchen to place all the utensils, electrical appliances, and some small tools in the kitchen cabinet. Usually the less used appliances will occupy a lot of place, giving no room for the small tools.

These can openers play an important role in the kitchen as nowadays most of the food products are now available in cans only. This kitchen should definitely consist of this tool as it is safe to use this product.

Various types of can openers are now available in the market. So before going for this product one has to consider the need and place of the kitchen table. Of these various types, under counter can opener is really easy to handle and also it does not occupy much of the kitchen space since it is fitted under the cabinet.

This can opener works like all other can opener and it is also very easy to clean as the blades can be removed easily. But one should be sure that the kitchen cabinet can be drilled for fixing this tool, and it can be mounted near an outlet. Those who feel can opening an ordeal can very well use this product. It is also safe, and the children will not come to any harm in using this tool.

Some contains built in knife sharpener and a bottle opener thus solving all purposes. One can open big tall cans also by using this tool. Since it is coming in different models and sizes, and designs it attracts more people to go for this product. There are smooth edge openers and it opens the can without any harm.

Those who are not comfortable in opening the cans with old style can opener can go for this opener which saves the space and still gives the convenience of an electric can opener.

Source by Simon Kendal

Landscaping of Hindu Religious Places

Traditionally Hindu tepmples were located either on hills or forests or river banks.In ancient times, the temples were constructed in such locations faraway from human habitations for providing a calm, peaceful and pleasant environment and also for ensuring a close bond between man and nature.Hindu temples are generally associated with trees such as Ficus benghalensis, Ficus Religiosa, Aegle marmelos,Azardirachta indica, Temple tree, Bauhinia spp, etc, Herbs such as Vinca rosea, Nerium spp etc.The gigantic trees like ficus spp and some other trees are closely associated with temples since time immemorial.The mixed fragrance, the flowers and the leaf litter on the ground gives a pleasant experience to a pilgrim or tourist.

But contemperoray gardeners and landscapists fail to appreciate this aspect while attempting gardening at these places, which have become tourist and mass pilgrimage centers in modern times.Most contemporary gardeners design symmetric gardening with huge lawns and tiled floor surrounding the tree bases.The representation of trees is very poor in comparison to the lawns and plants.

Assymmetry should be the rule while designing landscaping near these temples.The asymmetric garden should have abundant representation of Tree species such as Ficus, Neem, Wood apple,Alexandrian laurel, Jack Fruit, Mango atc spread in a random manner.

The most depressing aspect of modern temples – they do not have space for gardening at all, leaving such, wherever there is enough space for gardening, care should be taken not to tile or concrete the entire floor touching the tree bases! scientifically too the tree base should have enough soil surrounding it either to water or manure and for aeration.Apart from these the soil surrounding or that beneath a tree has its own microclimate that supports particular flora and fauna.Let only the footpath be tiled while keeping the floor untiled to the maximum extent possible.

Small patches of herbs like Ocimum, Vinca, Jasmine can be grown for the daily usage of pilgrims needs for praying to the god.Another beautiful attraction to the temple garden can be artificially created pool for growing nelumbium spp which is considered the flower associated with gods.

Lawn grass be selected such that the grass species be tolerant to tree shade,and avoid designing open lawns with few plants..try to intersperse the lawn with trees randomly planted in between.

The asymmetric style and a large representation of trees is ecologically significant as these support and house numerous birds and other organisms.Birds like parrots, cuckoos, woodpecker and occasional monkeys, squirrels all add to a natural feeling and oneness with nature.

Source by Ravikumar Uppaluri

The Dangers of a Fireplace For a Projection Screen

With a fireplace in the room, you have the perfect place for a screen. From the perspective of the room’s layout. There’s no need to rearrange the room / seating to accommodate the screen.

Two things make the placement of a projection screen near an open fire less ideal.

The one that would concern me most is smoke. Heat would be a concern too, though to a lesser extent. I’ll explain that later.

I have had a woodburning stove in my house for many years. With a nice big mirror above it. When we built an extension, the stove was taken out. And so was the mirror. What remained was a bright spot on the wall, where the mirror had been. The surrounding area was completely discoloured.

That will happen to your projection screen as well. Especially when you are using the screen with the fire on. It’s a gradual process of course, but over time, the projection screen fabric will no longer be white. At that point, your image will no longer be the best. But, it’s easily resolved by buying a new screen of course. The second issue, heat, doesn’t need to be a big one.

It all depends on how close the screen will be to the fire. In other words, the intensity of the heat. In general projection screens perform better in a warm than in a cold environment. I have seen more than a few screens that look horrible when they come straight out of storage. After half an hour or so, they look great. That’s when the fabric is at room temperature.

With intense heat, it’s a different story though. The fabric will melt or deform. This should be avoided, because it’s irreversible.

So how do you know whether your projection screen will be at risk? Simple, light a fire in the fireplace.

Then, after an hour or so, hold your hand in the position where your screen fabric will be. If you can hold your hand in that position comfortably, the fabric will be safe.

Yeah, I know. Not exactly science, but a simple way of keeping your screen safe.

Good luck,


Source by Otto Tromm

Why Does My Clothes Dryer Vent Tube Keep Clogging?

On more than one occasion, in the course of performing a home inspection, I’ll ask the homeowner if they’re having trouble with their clothes dryer and if it seems to take very long to dry their clothes. Most of the time they look astonished and ask me how I could possibly know that. I’m told that the dryer started out fine then just seemed to take longer and longer to completely dry the clothes, and they’re on the brink of calling a technician or buying a new appliance. Then I take them outside and show them the dangerous condition that exists and the cause of the problem… a dryer vent tube that is completely clogged with lint at the exhaust hood.

Not only does this condition prevent the appliance from drying properly, it’s a severe fire hazard. Then I show them the reason for the clog – a screen installed on the end of the exhaust hood. “This screen is not supposed to be there”, I tell them, “and not only is it a fire hazard, but it’s against building code”. To make matters worse, they tell me they previously brought up the issue with their builder, and was told that the screen is needed to keep “critters” from entering. What a completely incorrect statement. A properly installed vent will have a flap (damper) on the end that opens when the dryer is operating and closes when it’s off. This prevents any critter entry.

Having a screen, of any type, on the end of the vent tube is good for only one thing… stopping lint from venting and causing a clog in the entire tube, period”. Anyone who states otherwise is ignorant to the potential hazard as well as the building code. The IRC (International Residential Code) is very specific regarding the installation of clothes dryer vents and states “dryer exhaust ducts for clothes dryers shall terminate on the outside of the building and shall be equipped with a backdraft damper. Screens shall not be installed at the duct termination. Ducts shall not be connected or installed with sheet metal screws or other fasteners that will obstruct the flow. Clothes dryer exhaust ducts shall not be connected to a gas vent connector, gas vent or chimney. Clothes dryer exhaust ducts shall not extend into or through ducts or plenums.”

There are others that are just as ignorant to the code requirements. On a recent stucco inspection, I happened to notice a severely clogged vent hood. I asked the homeowner my standard question about their dryer and was told that the tube clogged regularly. They had it cleaned out twice before, and were getting ready to have it done a third time. The company they used never mentioned the screen on the end of the tube. I’d like to think it was just an oversight and not conveniently overlooked for job security.

I also noticed my neighbors’ newly installed roof with a brand spanking new vent hood installed. Needless to say it was the wrong type and should never have been used for a clothes dryer vent. And guess what, it was already starting to clog and the roofing company would not repair it.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates there are 24,000 clothes dryer fires each year in the United States, amounting to $96,000,000 in estimated property damage. Lack of maintenance and improper installations are the leading causes, and LINT is the leading material to ignite. These fires can also be caused by failure of mechanical and/or electrical parts within the dryer itself, improper materials being put into the dryer, and insufficient airflow as a result of improper installation.

A regular inspection of your dryer components and installation material should be performed as part of regular homeowner maintenance. Be sure to check your dryer vent and vent hose regularly for lint accumulation, and make certain there is no screen on the end of the tube. If the tube terminates on your roof, be certain to have a professional inspect the end for a screen if you’re not comfortable going on the roof.

Source by Lou Prinzi

How to Avoid Being Swindled by a General Contractor

As an executive in the construction industry, I have witnessed some shady dealings and have seen how some contractors try to swindle clients. I find this offensive on so many different levels. There is no reason to be dishonest, it always comes back to bite you where the flesh is tender, it hurts others, ruins one’s reputation and soon ruins one’s entire business.

I have consistently found that honest dealings with clients have expanded our business and created long-lasting friendships.

Plus, I firmly believe in the reaping of what one sows adage, and that what goes around comes around.

I don’t know about you, but I much prefer to create a happy and enjoyable future, than one where I have no friends, my reputation (if I have any left) is in tatters, and where I am possibly facing some bad-tempered magistrate.

Our general contractor (GC) ran across yet another dishonest contractor this morning and came back to the office in quite a state, and so decided that I needed to do a bit more, use my knowledge to warn unsuspecting homeowners. Someone warned me that I might make more enemies than friends in my business. I don’t believe that for a second for I know many more honest people than dishonest ones, and if the later decide to dislike me I would tend to think that I have successfully forewarned some homeowners and save someone a heartache and money.

There are several ways that a dishonest contractor can try to swindle you.

1- Give the home owner a very low ball estimate.

A perfect example of this is the story of this morning I referred to earlier. We had turned in an estimate for building a kitchenette in an unfinished basement. The homeowner told our GC she was absolutely stunned that our estimate was three times higher than that of another contractor’s.

Let me just say that there is absolutely no way to do this job for a third of the price we gave her. Included in our estimate for a kitchenette were demolition of an existing room, framing the walls, rough and finish electrical, plumbing, HVAC including all the fixtures, insulation on exterior walls, drywall, paint, tile floor, tile backsplash, kitchen cabinets and an island, granite tops, all appliances, labor and material for all listed. You get the idea.

But this “low balling” is not a new tactic. Its purpose is to get the job and then start adding cost while the job is going on, claiming unforeseen expenses, change orders or situations.

Once a homeowner finds himself in the middle of a project it is very hard to fire an existing contractor and take the time to find a new one.

Solution: When you see a large price discrepancy between two estimates get a couple more bids. This will give you a very good idea of what the job should cost. There is absolutely no doubt that every project must factor unforeseen circumstances, i.e., mold is found in the walls during demolition, the house is old and electrical wiring is not up to code, previous work is shoddy and isn’t known until looked at newly. The list is unfortunately long. But more often than not an estimate can give you a very good idea of what the cost will be.

2- Not paying the sub-contractors and keeping the money.

While this scenario may not be as prevalent as the first one described, it does occur. The general contractor hires sub-contractors and keeps all the money for himself. This leaves the homeowner holding the bag and liens get filed against the house. It can result in costly and drawn out legal battles, and stress levels going out the roof.

Solution: Ask your contractor for a few references of previous clients. Find out if there are any complaints filed against him with the licensing department of your state.

3- Outrageous remodeling estimate.

This unethical practice is used by contractor who seek out clients who have no idea of construction costs. This method doesn’t work with most people, but it is done enough to be lucrative for some companies, similarly to a car mechanic swindling someone who knows nothing of car repair.

Solution: get more than one estimate.

4- “The friend and family discount”.

The work is offered to be done on off-hours and weekend as a favor and at a reduced price by someone who is not licensed or insured. Under this scenario, rest assured that no permits will be pulled and no inspections will be done. Beside the fact that this practice is outright illegal, it hits the safety issue directly, electrical is shoddy and is a fire hazard, plumbing is sub-standard and results in pipes breaking and flooding, to name but a couple of possible ramifications. This can also negatively affect the resale of your home and drive down the value of the property.

Solution: Hire a licensed and insured contractor with a good reputation. It takes very little time to look your contractor up on the internet and contact the licensing department of your state to find out if the company is duly registered and if any complaints have been filed.

5- Causing damage to create more work.

The unethical contractor damages something in the home and claims that it needs to be repaired at an extra cost.

Solution: Any damage caused by a contractor or a sub-contractor is not your financial responsibility. A contractor is legally expected to fix and pay for any damage caused during the job.

Additional signs that a contractor is dishonest:

1- Refuses to sign a contract

2- Accepts only cash as a form of payment

3- Refuses to give references, or refuses to provide a copy of his license and insurance.

4- Tells you that you will need to pull permits yourself.

Most contractors are law-abiding, decent, and do good work. The few who fall in the category of dishonesty can be avoided by following the above advice.

I wish you an easy and happy experience while remodeling.

Source by Sandra Lucas

Beauty From You to Me – Acknowledge That Beauty Is in Everyone and in Everything

Everyday as I awake, I eagerly anticipate what beautiful things God has in store for me. Sometimes life sends us curves that need silence and introspection. I am content to learn the lessons that the universe gives me, even though I am sensitive and easily affected by pain and suffering of myself as well as the pain of other people; sometimes I feel the pain of people who I have never met. I realize that as I patiently wait for the universe to open doors and opportunities for me, that I still must do the normal, not-so-fun things of daily living. I decided a long time ago that I would find beauty in every activity until the day that I take my last breath. There are many activities completed daily in our daily lives, far too many to even list that are taxing and make us forget how beautiful life truly can be. My best course of action is to enjoy the journey and to seek and find beauty in EVERYTHING!

I enjoy listening to music from various genres, writing songs or poetry, especially while engaging in two or more other activities. Sometimes I am vacuuming and I start dancing and enjoying the rhythm of the music.

While gazing at the sunrise, I usually decide what household chore I need to do first.

As I watch the waves of the nearby lake, I imagine that I am swimming in a clear,emerald-green ocean.

If I am watching television, and I notice a beautiful product or family style commercial is when I admire the beauty of people doing mundane things everywhere.

Reading has always been an amazing escape to visualize another setting and learning about the splendor and beauty of other people’s’ cooking styles, habits, practices or ideologies, there is beauty to be found EVERYWHERE!

There are so many gathering areas where you can discover new people and places, all you have to do is have an open heart and decide that you’ll seek and meet beautiful, new people. Meeting new people or engaging new activities is like discovering new frontiers or enticing a new adventure. Time alone, time on the phone, or taking time to have a great conversation is amazing and a beautiful discovery that you’ll appreciate for decades!

Enjoy your garden, take in the full scenery, notice the flowers, or the birds that fly to your yard or garden.

Beauty is everywhere, it’s simple to attract, and a great way to notice something different, uncommon or beautiful.

Enjoy the simple things, tasks or chores, it’s never a bore when you work around your home.

You’ll find adventure or uncover the beauty in simple,yet subtle ways if you pay attention to beautiful things around you throughout the course of your day.

If I cook, or clean or do my laundry; it is in the simplicity that beauty surrounds me.

As I wash my clothes and witness dirt and grime get washed away, it is similar when compared to life. Life is allowing the old concepts, ideas or beliefs to go away, get washed out or cleansed. Giving room for new experiences is giving new life to clean, freshly laundered clothing and a beautiful new way of living.

In life, it is ourselves who decide what we need to release, purge, cleanse or omit to uncover beauty under the surface; like the caterpillar and butterfly story.

In the newness comes the beauty in appreciating the unknown from you to me; from me to you. If you and me have argued, then I must apologize, the reason is not important, the time lost and the beauty of our friendship is more important than who’s right or who’s wrong.

Like soap suds, from the washing machine, going down the drain; I allow myself to release the pain; as clean, rinse water cleanses my clothes. I allow light to cleanse, and energize my life in the light of wisdom and appreciation.

I enrich my life and enjoy the beauty from you to me from me to you, as we discover new ideas and different principles of conduct or engaging in great verbal energy exchange. The smile that you send to me is amazing, comforting and beautiful and has made my day so much happier!

As I mop and dust and remove the rust, from around my appliances, doors, and floors in my home, it’s as if I removed the mask that once covered the beautiful view from my eyes. My perceived ideas that were once deluding me and rendering me unwilling or unable to see beautiful friendships established between friends that choose to be friends is no longer hampering my vision of beauty to be found during the course of life events.

Understand that by allowing yourself and others to engage in dreams, judgement-free,there is beauty; the beauty from you to me; from me to you..

Discover beauty in daily living..

~I enjoy learning from you and from others offering me knowledge continuously.

Source by Lorie Ann Jermoune

Are All Central Vacuum Attachments and Accessories the Same? Not Quite

So know you have a central vacuum system, or your planning on having one installed in the near future. This means you are aware of the many benefits this system can bring and most likely can’t wait to get to work with it. In actuality most of use could think of a million things we would rather be doing than cleaning, but using the correct tools can make it easy, if not all together enjoyable.

One thing that still amazes me about central vac systems are all the specific cleaning tools available for them. This is one of the main differences between a central vacuum and a traditional portable vacuum. There are bare floor brushes for tile, marble and wood floors, electric and non-electric carpet heads for carpeting and area rugs, blind tools, car tools, stair tools and even pet tools. With all these tools in hand, cleaning is done fast, efficient and right the first time.

Something else you may like is the fact that almost all of the tools are interchangeable from brand to brand. There is a common myth in the central vacuum world that all attachments must be made by a certain brand to fit that brand and that is false. In all honesty the best available central vacuum attachment kits and tools are made by companies such as Wessel-Werk, Cen-Tec, Lindhaus and others who do not make or supply central vac systems. This makes it easy to shop for the best central vacuum accessories regardless of your central vacuum brand. Just one more benefit that comes with owning a central vacuum system.

Source by Michael L. Johnson

Curtains and Draperies With Perfect Pleats

If you are like me you may think that gathered curtains or draperies look so much better if each pleat is uniformly equal. Accomplishing that is easier than you may think. There are actually three different ways to approach the problem and I guarantee that, one way or another, you can achieve it. Sometimes even pleated draperies need coaxing if the fabric is springy or stiff and, of course, the best way is to pick a soft pliant fabric in the first place. This is not always possible so lets talk about how to create perfect pleats regardless of what fabric is used even including lace curtain fabric or a stiff antique satin.

If the curtain or drapery material is fairly pliable the easiest first attempt would be to install the window treatment, pull each panel to one side and physically arrange the pleats evenly. Then tie them back fairly loosely both near the top and at the bottom hem. Once this is done you can spray the front and back of the pleats lightly with a solution of water with a small amount of alcohol added. Do this using a very fine spray without soaking the fabric. You just want a mist on the surface. You might also rub your fingers lightly on each pleat while they are still moist forming them into a nice round shape. Leave them for a couple of days. The shape of the pleats will greatly improve hopefully to the point that they are fine without further fussing.

If the pleats are still flaring the next approach is to use what in the drapery trade is known as “shot tape” or in fabric stores as “leaded weight tape”. It consists of a long very small diameter cotton tube that is filled with a single line of approximately 1/8 inch lead balls to form a continuous cord. Place this cord in the bottom hem from one side of the panel to the other. That adds weight to the curtain. You can now arrange the pleats much more easily. Once you have arranged them evenly they tend to stay where you have placed them because of the additional weight and the relative unwillingness of the cord to straighten out.

If you still have a problem with flaring my final suggestion works no matter what. The solution is what we call a “memory stitch”. As a professional decorator I have had to use this method more than once. Pull the panels back to the sides and again tie them in place. You then just run a clear poly thread through the back side of the bottom hem of each pleat making sure that the thread is long enough to reach when the curtain is fully extended in place. This forces the back side of each pleat to stay to the rear. You can even fasten the thread on each side to the window jam and pull it taut additionally forcing perfect pleats. This is my final answer and it always works. Check out curtains on our web site to see how attractive a well pleated curtain can look.

We wish you the best of luck in your decorating endeavors

Source by Allen Nelson

How to Start a Profitable Home Improvement Referral Service

Home improvement referral services are cropping up from New York to California. They are taking the time to do the legwork to find reputable and reliable contractors and these businesses are reaping profits from good work.

It really doesn’t take much to start. A home improvement referral service business takes only a little money and not more time than a regular 40 hour a week job. They can actually start making money within the first year of business.

The first thing to consider is what types of home improvement businesses your will refer. This can include gutter cleaning and replacement, remodeling, building additions, fencing, lawn maintenance, and many others. Remember, all though you may like to paint a client may not like it or have the time. Therefore, no business should be overlooked.

Once you have an idea of the types of contractors for your referral service business, you will need to call the local, county, and state government offices. Get the regulations and requirements regarding licensing, bonding, business registry, and insurance for each type of contractor. This is the first step to building your list. Any contractor that does not meet government regulations should not be on your referral list.

By knowing these requirements and using them, your home improvement referral business will gain credibility with your clients. They will know that if the contractor doesn’t meet these requirements, they will not be on your list. It makes the client feel more sure the job will be completed professionally and correctly.

Another way to ensure creditability of your referral service business is to only look at contractors that are recommended by their past happy customers. But this is not the end of the screening process. Recommendations are not enough.

Once a contractor is recommended to your home improvement referral business, you need to check out his or her service. Talk to them, explaining your referral service business. Many contractors will give you the needed information happily. Ask to see their licenses, bonding information, and insurance to ensure they are current and up to date. Ask for a list of services they provide and the cost for these services. Finally ask for references you may speak to.

Now you have gotten your contractor referral list started. While working on creating this list, you should have started thinking about a name for your referral service business, advertising, office area, office equipment, and ordered a phone line for the business. You may want to use a computer right away, but an index card or file system could work just as well and for a fraction of the cost, until your company grows. Keep in mind that as your company grows, the office space, office equipment, and referral list system will probably need to become computerized to save time and money.

Since your referral business is going to begin locally, check with local newspapers and periodicals to see if they would be interested in doing an article about your business. Make some flyers and ask local hardware stores if you could leave some there to advertise your service. You may also want to send letters to realtors announcing your business, they can be great advertisers for you.

Make your services free to the people calling into your business looking for referrals. Many home improvement referral businesses charge the contractor anywhere from 6% to 15% depending on the size of the project. You put the customers in touch with the contractor, and upon completion of the project, the contractor pays you a fee.

Advertise that no contractors pay you to get onto your referral list. If clients or contractors ask how they get on the list, explain to them the only way for a contractor to get on the list is for a customer to recommend them. You may want to explain the whole screening process to let the person know the exact qualifications the contractors need to have before being accepted.

A referral service business can expand easily and rapidly. Once your business starts to grow, create a business plan to set goals. Decide how much you want to expand and consider starting franchises in other locations or expanding the list to include contractors that were not included originally. This is your home improvement referral service business and you can take it wherever you want.

Source by Randy Wilson