3 Popular Home Improvement Projects for Homeowners

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countertopsHomeowners love improving their property and adding to their house as much as they can. Whether it’s major renovations to their landscaping or even the simplest of kitchen or bathroom projects, homeowners will always look for new ways to increase property value.

If you are working in the home renovation business or are selling to homeowners, it’s important to know what trends are becoming more and more popular. If you’re aware of what homeowners are doing, you’ll be able to capitalize on your sales. Here is a list of popular kitchen trends that homeowners are focusing on.

Custom Countertops

Custom quartz countertops are becoming one of the most popular home project additions. Since 2004, quartz countertops sales have increased 60%. Homeowners are sick of staring at the same bland counters and appliances that was there the time they purchased the house. They are looking to improve the look and feel of their kitchens and homes at all times. Staying in contact with quality countertop manufacturers can help provide homeowners with great countertop material.

Kitchen Islands

When people think of improving their kitchen, pretty much the first thing that comes to mind is adding an island. Although islands might take up a little more space, they provide a tremendous amount of extra storage, an area to cook and prepare larger meals, and look amazing. Homeowners can simply add a few stools around the island to create a great seating space in addition to their kitchen table.

Retailing Floors and Walls

Although people love islands and countertop improvements, the majority of homeowners still will not enjoy their kitchen layout if the floor and wall tiles are not as visually appealing. New floor tiles can actually improve the overall quality of the air in the homeowner’s house and can surprisingly lead to health benefits.

Help your clients get the dream home they deserve. If you want to learn more about improving your business and keeping homeowners happy, contact The L.E. Smith Company today.

Planning Your Dream Backyard

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Many Americans enjoy entertaining and spending time outdoors. Yet, many Americans are unsatisfied with the condition of their backyard living spaces. Remodeling a backyard can be intimidating and overwhelming. It can be difficult to even know where to begin. Designing and remodeling a backyard is much different than remodeling an interior living space. This is why many homeowners leave the landscaping duties to a professional landscaper. However, even with the services of a professional landscaping company, the homeowner should still have an idea of their ideal backyard entertainment space.

Visualize your dream backyard. It can be helpful in the design process to visualize what your ideal backyard would look like. Would there be ample seating for all of your guests? Would the backyard be illuminated by twinkle lights or hardscape lighting for nighttime entertaining? Would there be a firepit or fireplaces to warm up by on a chilly, fall night? Considering all of these factors prior to contacting a professional landscaping process can help you to make decisions and narrow down services.

Consider layout. Adding too many exterior entertainment features to a small yard can quickly busy up the yard and make it feel too crowded. Always consider the size and layout of your backyard. If you have a smaller space, narrow down your requirements. Seating should always be a priority. A backyard with beautiful views and many entertainment properties can be pointless if you and your guests have nowhere to sit. Experienced craftsmen, however, can often create unique hardscape designs, creating seating in unique places. Also, installing fireplaces in your backyard can provide a great location for additional seating.

Consider return on investment options. Remodeling your backyard living space can increase the value of your home, depending on the types of additions that you make to it. Future home buyers may be willing to pay more for your home, if your backyard living space is also ideal for their entertainment needs. In fact, Money Magazine wrote that landscaping can bring a recovery value of 100 to 200% at selling time. This means that, depending on your additions, you could receive more money back than what you spent in the sale. It is important, however, to consider making backyard improvements that other homeowners may also want. Unique ideas, such as backyard ovens, may not be beneficial to others, and may not provide as much of a return.

Plan landscaping carefully. Some landscaping tasks can actually be beneficial for the home. Planting trees in carefully selected places can reduce the amount of sunlight that makes it into the home, also reducing the cooling costs of the house. Landscaping can reduce air conditioning by up to 50% by shading the windows and walls of a home, according to the American Public Power Association. Large bushes or shrubs placed around the property line can provide additional security and noise cancelling properties, making the house more attractive to buyers and reducing the need to install a fence.

Keep up on your new outdoor living space. Some homeowners may not fully realize the care and upkeep that may be required of their new outdoor living space. The new outdoor living space may require special lawn care or trimming. The fireplaces may need to be cleaned out regularly. The new lawn,flowers and fireplaces may need to be watered and provided with special plant food. It is important to consider any upkeep and to learn of proper upkeep techniques.

Water during the coolest parts of the day, preferably in the early morning. Watering in the middle of the day increases the amount of water lost to evaporation by as much as 40%. Conversely, late evening overhead watering may contribute to insects and fungal diseases because foliage does not have time to dry before night, when fungal spores germinate.

The possibilities of remodeling an outdoor living space are endless. However, many things should be considered before beginning your outdoor remodel. You will want to keep in mind things that future home buyers will be interested in, the size and layout of your yard, and the upkeep of any requested projects. With the right preparation, you can transform your backyard into a place you are excited to spend time in.

The Importance of Jack Pads in Construction

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jack padsWe are right in the middle of summer, and as some would say, right in the middle of construction season. The spring and summer months bring a lot of construction projects because of the warmer weather. It is easier to do these construction projects when the temperatures are warmer and there is no risk of snow covering the ground. The projects get completed faster and alternate routes are safer for drivers, because there is no unplowed snow or ice to be worried about.

You will probably notice a lot of construction equipment set up on the side of many roads. These construction equipment are necessary for the projects and for the protection of the roads and land that they sit on.

Construction equipment is very large, very heavy, and very dangerous pieces of machinery. They are only handled by professional and qualified construction professionals to reduce the risk of injury and mistakes. In addition to the safe handling of these construction machines, they must also be safely transported and then placed onto level land.

Inaccurate placing of these large pieces of machines could cause damage to the construction machines and more risk of injury to the construction workers operating the machine. Jack pads are necessary in protecting the workers, the machine, and the ground that it sits on.

The jack pads, or outrigger pads, provide a level and solid surface for the heavy construction machinery to sit on. It acts as a barrier to the ground and the surface that it sits on. There are also different types of jack pads to choose from, varying, depending on the specific construction project and the specific type of machine being used for the project. There main purpose is to protect the ground and the equipment.

Overall, three factors must be considered when selecting an outrigger pad: ground conditions, size of outrigger foot, and outrigger load of the equipment. These jack pads reduce the risk of damage to the ground that it is placed on, the chance of it tipping and provide an easier way of using and transporting the equipment.

OSHA states that cranes must be assembled on ground that is firm, drained, and graded sufficiently, in conjunction with supporting materials, such as blocking, cribbing, pads, and mats to provide adequate support and levelness. The crane pad is made of highly durable and effective material that protects both the equipment and the ground. This is why different camper jack pads are used for different jobs.

One material of a poly crane mats may be more useful for one type of job with one type of equipment, whereas a different material may work best for another construction project. Safety Tech outrigger pads are made from an engineered thermoplastic material seven times lighter than steel and four times lighter than aluminum. This specific pad is extremely light and durable. It allows for easy movement from one project to another. It also allows for easy transferring by a human, being light enough to carry. However, do not let the lightness of the jack pads fool you. They still provide a solid and level basis for the heavy construction equipment to sit on.

Construction season is upon us and you have probably noticed many construction projects going on all around your city. You have also probably noticed numerous construction equipment placed around these projects. Each of these heavy construction equipment have some type of jack pads underneath them. The purpose of these jack pads is to protect the ground that they sit on, to level the ground for safe handling from employees and to protect the equipment. The jack pads come in all different sizes and types of material, depending on which machine and which project they will be used for.

4 Reasons For You to Buy a Propane Forklift

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propane forkliftPropane is one of the most versatile energy sources we have access to. It is used by more than 9 million families inside and out of their homes to fuel furnaces, appliances, standby generators, and even farm equipment. In fact, more than 660,000 farmers use propane for agricultural purposes, such as irrigation pumps and grain dryers.

Although 60 million people in the U.S. use propane or gas products, many people have little knowledge of the propane accessories and their benefits for residential propane customers. Propane forklifts, for example, are used by many, but others may have trouble deciding if they need one.

For those who are unsure of the benefits of propane forklifts, here is some useful information to help you decide if you need one in addition to the cost efficient fuel.

What is a propane forklift?
It is first important to explain what a propane forklift is in order for you to understand its benefits. It is already a known fact that propane is a fuel source that’s commonly used to heat homes and water, cook food, and dry clothing. It is also used to power industrial machines like forklifts — hence the name.

Now that you know what it is, here are some benefits of the propane powered forklifts.

Cost Efficient Fuel Source
With these type of forklifts, they are often times more affordable and can be used for both indoor and outdoor use. Refueling them is simple, as is it only takes an average of five minutes to change tanks. As a result, productivity increases, because people aren’t waiting around for things to charge.

Environmentally Friendly
Propane is less harmful on the environment than other fuel sources because it has fewer green house gas emissions and lower carbon content than gasoline. It is a clean source of fuel.

Maintain Power
These types of forklifts are well known for their ability to maintain consistent power through day-long operations. They can also handle full-capacity loads and steep inclines easier and for longer rates than electric forklifts.

Maintenance is Low
Forklifts powered by propane tend to have lower maintenance costs and longer life spans than battery operated or electric forklifts, making them more reliable. They are also very safe as they have automatic shut-off sensors that can cut the flow of fuel if an accident occurs.

You can do more than simply heating your home with propane to get the full benefits of it. Propane can follow you into the workplace with forklifts powered by it. Not only are these forklifts overall more efficient, but they are safe and affordable, which should be appealing to just about everyone. Consider propane forklifts for your next project or for your business. It is an investment you’ll never regret.

An Interview With Jeremy Holladay of 3D Air Services

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Jeremy Holladay is the general manager of 3D Air Services, an HVAC company that serves residents of the Pelham, AL area. Mr. Holladay has been in the HVAC trade for more than two decades and has worked for three different companies. We sat down to talk about his experiences and what running a business is like for him.

Mr. Holladay, how did you develop the skills and experience you need to run this type of business?

Field experience and various training terms.

Do you have a specific business plan, and has it always remained the same?

Yes. We’ve made several adjustments.

Have you run into any particular challenges that have made it tough to succeed?

We are not the only ones doing this.

Competition always makes things difficult! Were there times you have wanted to give up? And how did you overcome them?

Yes, stick to my work ethic.

3D Air Services is located at 1001 Yeager Parkway in Pelham, AL. To learn more about the company, visit www.3dairserve.com. 3D Air Services can be contacted via email at service@3dairserve.com or by phone at (205)-664-3501.

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