Importance of Owning an Electric Tea Kettle Kitchen Appliance

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Every kitchen looks incomplete without an electric tea kettle. Since most households can afford electricity, they can easily use this gadget. According to recorded facts, a kettle is one of the oldest types of metal cooking appliances. In the past, manufacturers would use pressed steel or wrought iron to make cooking kettles. The kettles were mainly for the same use as today. Teakettles or tea kettles developed from the ancient iron cooking kettles. However, in USA, the teapot evolution has a closer link to that of stoves.

They are chiefly for boiling water that you require for making beverages, such as tea or coffee. Steaming hot tea is good for you to drink it in a chilly morning or evening. Unfortunately, without a reliable gadget, you cannot enjoy drinking cups of tea every morning. As a result, you should get yourself a good kettle that uses electric power supply. All you have to do is to connect it to an electric socket after filling it with cold water. 

You can expect to have boiling hot water in minutes. The kettles are made of materials such as aluminum, steel, iron, silver, copper or plastic. You can choose any style that pleases your eyes. The shapes of the electric tea kettle body, brim, and base differ a lot. Thus, you can get round bottomed and flat-bottomed styles among other shapes. If you give yourself a chance to view the online kettle images, you would notice how elegant they look.

The handles are in particular, very attractive, as they feature different decorations. Rust is ugly and some metals such as steel are vulnerable to developing it. Even so, the manufacturers of teakettles perform a coating procedure called anodizing. Through it, they manage to give you high quality kettles whose parts are safe from corrosion. They treat and paint the metal in very special ways to make it durable.

Thus, when buying an electric teakettle, you should be keen not to buy a replica. A genuine kettle should not feature any scratches, discolorations or any stains on it. This explains the reason why you should not buy the items from just any buyer. If you will be doing your shopping over the Internet, a web store such as Amazon is perfect. This common shopping spot even allows previous users to post product reviews. If you are into flavored teas, then you probably want to make them at home.

In this case, the electric teakettles will suit you a lot. They are very quick and reliable, not to mention their high degree of safety. Many brands such as Braun, T-fal, Alessi, and Cuisinart are very popular. You only have to find the written reviews about them on the Internet to realize it. Do not be surprised that many previous shoppers think highly of them. Stores that sell excellent electric tea kettle styles are very many, but ensure that you choose them cautiously. Pay more attention to the quality than price, as you could prevent another shopping task soon. Look for a store that provides a range of products.

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Source by G. Smitty

Top Ten Mistakes Made in Masonry Repair

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When you have settling cracks in your brick walls, you need to get them repointed. This process is known as tuck pointing. However, before you make any attempts at repairing this yourself or hiring the repairs done by a contractor or handyman, you should know the top ten most common mistakes made in repointing mortar.

The first mistake is having the repairs made before checking for additional problems. Repairing the cracks in the mortar and brick before checking the foundation or other problems that occur can result in more damage to your home and to your masonry siding.

Settling cracks occur due to the foundation settling and applying stress to the bricks. This makes them a common symptom of foundation repair and can help in understanding where and how much movement of the foundation has occurred.

To tuck point the mortar and replace broken brick along these settling cracks limits the ability to accurately repair the house foundation. Performing these repairs often results in damage to the brick walls when the foundation is repaired. Any mortar or bricks placed in these cracks to fill the gap become a wedge and force the opposite crack to form in the area and the brick tend to push out at corners of the house causing brick walls to crack, lean away from the house, or come off the foundation entirely when the house is lifted.

It cannot be stressed enough to check for other problems with the structure or foundation of the home before repairing mortar cracks.

The second most common mistake made in fixing settling cracks in brick is choosing a foundation repair company to level your foundation. There is a difference between leveling your foundation of your house and fixing your foundation problems.

There has never been a house foundation built perfectly level that I am aware of, and to level the foundation under your house would apply stresses to your home and cause more problems with your foundation. This in turn would create more cracks in the bricks and mortar joints around your home. When they stress the word level and use a computerized level for their readings, it is a strong indication that they intend to try leveling your foundation even if it causes more problems. If they focus on lifting, stabilizing, adjusting, and use the cracks in the mortar and brick to acquire their range of movement in the house slab, then they are likely taking more accurate details about the movement and have a better chance at providing quality foundation repair services.

The third common mistake in brick repair is using these tubes of mortar repair caulking in an attempt to repair the cracks yourself. While caulking is used around doors and windows and in expansion control joints to seal the wall and still allow movement, they are not intended for use as the mortar and can cause other damage to the brick.

The caulking will never look like the mortar and tends to be difficult to clean off of the faces of bricks due to their texture. The same is true of many other masonry repair products. They contain adhesives, epoxy, and other add mixes that can be hard to work with and difficult to remove. It often requires removing all of the brick in areas where these products are used to repair the brick. If you want to repair the mortar cracks yourself, you should use a proper repointing mortar with the same composition as the original. These are not bulk items they are custom made for matching your mortar composition, and require a mortar matching analysis of your existing mortar samples.

The fourth masonry repair mistake is how you match the mortar. This is not to be confused with matching mortar color. Mortar matching is the process of analyzing samples of the mortar to identify their composition, performance, and formula. As the color of sand and other materials in the composition effect the color, they are related, but the base formula of a mortar composition must be matched before any attempts are made to match the color of an existing mortar.

The mortar composition and formula are the guide to making a proper repair mortar and maintaining the formula. This is important because if the mortar is mismatched and has a different composition than the original mortar, it can have complications that make the color more difficult to match, cause damage to the bricks, prevent the new mortar from bonding with the old mortar, and could allow the wall to fall if the mortar crumbles.

The fifth most common mistake in repairing masonry is matching mortar color. Most of the time the mortar composition analysis of the original mortar is skipped and general assumptions are made in its place. This causes difficulty in …

How to Start Your Own Pond Building Business

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You can start your own business, and be your own boss, and work your own hours, when you are building and maintaining water ponds and garden ponds for yourself. You can start out building small ponds, and work your way up to bigger, more fancier ponds. You can buy small water ponds at some home improvement stores, and you should be able to find enough accessories, to start your own pond business.

You can also go all out, later on, buy having your own tractor to use to dig out the ponds. You can rent tractors and bobcats to dig out large ponds. For extra large ponds, you might even need a crane. But most average size ponds, can be done by hand, with a shovel, or several people digging at once. You can buy pond liners, and materials, from local suppliers, you can find in the telephone book, or on the internet. You can pick various rock designs, to form your pond. As with any pond, your imagination is the only thing stopping you from building a beautiful pond.

The pond business can be a form of art, as no two artists, will view the building of a pond the same way, you don’t really want to build your customer a square no frills pond. You want to think about it, and create a piece of art, for your customer, and that is how you should think of it. People love ponds with Lilly pads, goldfish, water fountains, etc. You can make good money putting in nice ponds.

You should take a picture of each pond job you complete, so that you have a nice portfolio to show potential new customers. You should make up fliers, and pass them out to landscape suppliers, home & garden stores, hardware stores, nurseries, feed supplies, and more. You can offer them a commission, or lump sum payment, for any pond jobs that they send your way, and you do. You should have nice signs on the side of your vehicle made up, saying you build ponds. You could take some digital pictures of some of your completed jobs later and print them out in color, and turn them into magnetic signs, to also put on your vehicle as a sales pitch, and a picture is worth a thousand words, they always say.

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Source by Vince Stead

Small Bathroom Remodel Tips

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When you do a bathroom remodel on a small bathroom some of the things that you want to make sure that you include is giving it a feeling of being bigger, easier to move around, and having it more functional. To start with, you need to look at the bathroom and determine what specific areas you want to update or change. Then you will need to figure out what updates and changes will fit into your small bathroom remodel budget. Yes, even though you may have a small bathroom it can be expensive. Sometimes just a change in the color of paint will help to change the look of your bathroom. A bigger impact can be made if your budget allows replacing your fixtures and flooring.

When doing a small bathroom remodel one thing that you should do is try to maximize what space you have so you can create an illusion of having more space than there is. Choose paint in a light color such as mint green, baby blue, lilac, etc and pale time for the areas around the shower or sink and for the floor. You can use bright or dark colors for accessories but it is best if you keep the colors light, neutral, and serene.

Another good place to invest some of your small bathroom remodel budget money is in the lighting for the bathroom. To help make your bathroom appear bigger and brighter without taking up space is too used lighting that is recessed into your ceiling or have fixtures mounted above your sink. You can also place a large mirror above your sink. If there is a window in your bathroom use light colored or thin curtains to let in the daylight.

If your bathroom has a large tub, you can free up some space by replacing it with a standup shower or a more modern smaller tub. If there is a large vanity sink, replace it with a pedestal sink that is smaller. You can install a corner shelf to make up for the cabinet space you would be losing when you replaced the vanity. Remove all the clutter from the bathroom that you do not need. Behind the toilet, you could put a shelving unit where you can store some extra towels, toilet paper, etc. You could also have colorful small baskets on one or two shelves with your family’s personal grooming items like shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, or gel, and more. Use a towel rod to hang up colorful towels that compliment your décor. Put up a toothbrush holder. So many little changes can make a big difference.

Most of these small bathroom remodel ideas can be worked into a small budget.

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Source by Lora Davis

Choosing Floors For Elderly People

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Special flooring is advisable for the elderly for a number of good reasons. First, seniors are prone to stumbling and falling, so they need floors that reduce slipping to help prevent these accidents.

The elderly can also have problem backs, knees and hips that will benefit from flooring that reduces impact to the skeletal system when walking. Older people can also have incontinence problems, so the flooring should be easy to clean in order to maintain healthy hygienic conditions in the home.

Flooring to help prevent falls

Elderly people can suffer from problems with balance and depth perception. Weak knees, back and hips can often lead to some very serious falls. In addition, seniors can suffer from stroke and other sudden attacks that can lead to falls.

Falls that result in serious injuries to the hips and back can have devastating consequences. In some cases, the person never fully recovers and there is a high mortality rate for such individuals in the years following such accidents due to complications from the injury.

For this reason, it is a great idea to install special flooring for your elderly parents, relatives or clients. One possibility is to use non-slip tiles specially designed to provide an extra degree of traction. Modular rubber flooring is another great option. You do not have to remove your current floor with some of the rubber flooring options.

These rubber floors come in modular tile form that you attach together and simply lay over your current floor. Rubber provides an excellent non-slip surface, and it also helps cushion impact to the body while walking. You can choose rubber flooring of extra thickness for elderly people who have particularly painful conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis, or for those recovering from hip or knee surgery. Thick rubber can also help reduce the severity of an injury in case of a fall.

Many people already use rubber mats in the shower or bath to prevent slipping on the wet surface. Rubber and other types of non-slip tiles can fit together seamlessly, which is an important safety feature. Seniors often slide or shuffle their feet as they walk, so you want as smooth a surface as possible to prevent tripping.

Benefits of a soft floor

For elderly people who fall frequently, a hardwood or ceramic tile floor offers no cushioning. Even if the older person is able to break their fall, they can still suffer hand and wrist injuries.

Rubber flooring provides a softer landing, and you can add additional padding under the floor tiles for extra cushioning. Seniors often have porous bones that can break with just minor impact so every bit of protection can mean the difference between a serious and minor injury.

Do not think of the rubber mats you have in your showers when visualizing rubber floor tiles. They come in varieties that look similar to regular carpeted, hardwood or ceramic tile floors.

In addition to providing protection from hard impacts during falls, soft floors are also great for seniors who suffer from sore joints and similar ailments. You can select padding of various thicknesses depending on the severity of the condition. The soft surface helps ease pain caused by simply walking down the hallway, especially during periods of cold weather when rheumatism can be at its worst.

Modular floors are easy to clean

Older people have trouble with incontinence and this can lead to messy accidents. To help ease the process of cleaning and maintenance, modular tile floors are simple to install and remove.

You can easily detach any number of the tiles to wash and dry separately. Once cleaned, they are just as easy to reinstall. By removing the tiles, you can also thoroughly clean the surface below to ensure that no growth of bacteria, mold or mildew occurs.

Modular carpet, vinyl and rubber tile are relatively easy to clean and dry. For urine stains in fabric, you can apply vinegar before soap and water to breakdown the odor-causing urea. Some floors have stable color fabrics so that you can wash them using bleach to completely remove all stains and odors.

Bleach and vinegar are also excellent in destroying unhealthy microbes that can grow on both soft and hard surfaces.

Low or no VOC flooring

Many people may not have heard of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). However, studies show that these compounds can lead to a number of health conditions from asthma to headaches and pneumonia. Some VOCs may even cause cancer.

According the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), VOC levels in the home can be substantially higher that they are in the outdoor environment.

Since elderly people already have enough to deal with in terms of health issues, lowering the VOC concentration in the home can be of great benefit to them. In particular, …

How Professional Garage Door Repair Services Can Keep Your Home Safe

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Among the many ways we try to protect our homes and keep it safe, one way is to keep the garage safe. Yes, most of us often do not consider the safety of the garage and are casual about it. But contrary to this, a garage is one place or part of the house which needs a lot of maintenance, care and proper safety measures. If your garage door is not working properly, then that might prove as a threat to the safety of your vehicle. Thus it is really important for you to opt for professional services and get your door repaired as soon as you can.

The following are some of the ways through which a professional garage door repair service provider can keep your vehicles and home safe:

• The services providers have expertise of repairing door openers and torsion springs, which means that your garage will no longer be at a threat of easy unwanted entry. After getting the openers repaired, you can be rest assured that the door won’t open without your attempt to open it and hence will remain secure.

• Another way in which a professional service provider or garage door service provider can make your home or residential premises more secure is by installation of safety sensors. These safety sensors detect unwanted or forced entry and inform the owner of the garage about it.

• Garage door repair service providers also install and repair your remote controlled doors and this is another way your garage and the vehicles parked inside can remain safe and secure at all times. Having a remote controlled mechanism means that intruders won’t be able to open the door in any other way and only you, with the remote control will have access to it. So if you are worried about the safety of your garage or home, you must too contact a garage door service company now to avail these wonderful benefits.

• Professional companies have a lot of expertise at installing all necessary anti-burglar equipments and hence make your home and garage absolutely ‘theft proof’. Once you hire a service provider or an opener installer, you won’t ever have to worry about the security of your home, even when you are out of the home or city for a few days. The advanced equipments and technology make it possible for you to avoid any kind of outsider entry or intrusion.

So what are you waiting for? It is time you started paying as much attention to your garage and its door as you do to the other parts of the house.

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Source by Michael K Hussey

History and Features of the Cast Iron Mailbox

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The very first cast iron mailboxes were used in Russia in the 19th century. Russia was the first country to provide public post boxes and they started with letter boxes made of wood. However these were lightweight and frequently stolen. In response, Russia introduced the considerably heavier cast iron boxes that could weigh up to 45 kilograms.

The United States postal service began employing mailboxes during the late 1800s. They purchased these mailboxes from the Danville Stove and Manufacturing Company, which was also known as Beaver Stoves. During the turn of the century and the early 1900s one could see post boxes with the Beaver logo around the country.

One of these antique mailboxes is still in use at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Wall mounted letterboxes made of cast iron were also popular for home use during the first half of the twentieth century. Today mailboxes are seeing a resurgence in popularity, both for their sturdiness and their aesthetic qualities. Many neighborhoods have encountered repeated attacks on mailboxes from people driving by wielding baseball.

One response has been to purchase letterboxes that can withstand a hit, such as those made out of cast iron. Besides standing up to brute force, cast iron wall mounted mailboxes can hinder theft. Many have letter slots and hinged lids that lock. As long as the lock is as sturdy as the rest of the mailbox, personal correspondence and the information within is safe from mail theft. Others prefer it for its non-utilitarian features. They are usually black and generally more ornate than a typical mailbox, embossed with designs. In addition, it lasts for years.

So, those looking for antique mail boxes as authentic finishing touches to their period homes should have no trouble finding the right wall mounted letterbox. However, if they have not been properly cared for, these antique boxes will likely be rusty. To restore the mailbox first rub down all surfaces with steel wool to remove the rust. Then wipe down the mailbox to remove any dirt or dust. Finally, dip a cloth in oil or unsalted fat and rub it into the mailbox. This last step prevents rust and adds shine and will need to be repeated periodically.

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Source by Ray B Spencer