Catching Criminals in the Act

Channel Master CM-7000PAL Antenna HD DVR CHNCM7000PALThere has been a lot of criminal acts happening in my neighborhood. People are getting their homes broken into, while they’re still inside their home. I got a security system to protect myself against these crimes, but I still didn’t feel completely safe. I wanted to be able to see anyone that came near my home. I did some research on cctv security systems and found various websites that sold them. I bought a system and installed it myself during the day.

That same night, I decided to stay up and see what my system would catch. I had a monitor that would display a visual feed from all of the cameras. Any movement would be shown on the visual feed, and recorded on a hard drive for archive purposes. For the most part, it was a pretty dull night watching the cameras. Nothing happened for hours. For all the crime that was happening in the neighborhood, none of it was happening at my home.

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Posted by author - December 25, 2013 at 5:41 am

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Getting Familiar with Homeowner’s Insurance in Italy

Italy homeowner insuranceOwning a house is often the biggest investment you will ever make and most people will do anything to protect it. Homeowners insurance is essential to securing your property as it will assist you in repairing your home in the event that something has happened to it. Simply put, while it seems as though you may be paying out considerably more than you have used in the past, it is the most important insurance that you want to have. You never know when something might occur and repairs may be needed or items may need to be replaced.

In Italy, homeowners insurance is not required and as a result many people go without it unless you are still paying on a mortgage, then, the lien holder will require you to have building insurance. This, however, only applies to the structure and does not include any of your belongings.

Italy does have some special stipulations in place regarding insurance policies.

1. Italian law states that if you are going to be leaving a property vacant for more than 24 hours the water must be shut off to prevent burst pipes or freezing while you are not home as this can cause significant damage to a house.

2. You must let your insurance company know if you are using a bottled gas as your rates will be higher.

3. In Italy, you must insure each individual electrical system or appliance against lightning strikes. It they are not covered separately then most companies will not pay.

4. You absolutely cannot have an earthquake policy. In the event that there is an actual earthquake that causes damage the Italian government will step in and assist you. The amount will be based on the value according to the land.

5. Italian policies, generally, exclude tree damage.

It is important that you insure your belongings as well in case of a disaster or theft. Italy, once again, has policies in place that should be followed.

1. Certain policies require different safety measures. They must all be adhered to or your clain will not be paid.

2. Valuables, such as jewelry, cannot be insured unless they have been valued by an Italian expert and then they must be stored in a safe. Also note that valuables are only insured when you are present and as such, claims will not be paid if you are traveling abroad.

Italy, thankfully, is not known for being struck by many natural disasters on a regular basis. Nevertheless, you never know when a bad storm may crop up, a fire might break out, a pipe may burst, or someone may break into your home. It is vital to be prepared.

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Posted by Admin - June 19, 2013 at 2:56 am

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Why I Wanted to Hire a Professional Electrician

Disused Stations: Wrexham Central StationMy wife and I got into an argument not too long ago because she felt that I was splurging by wanting to hire local electricians in wrexham to help us with a remodeling project. She has a cousin who wanted to help us, and she wanted to give him the money that I had earmarked for a professional electrician. I was not about to sacrifice safety, but I had to think of a way of showing her why I was right.

I decided to look up some statistics and other information concerning qualified electricians as compared to an untrained handyman. I am so glad I did that, because I wasn’t even aware that it was as dangerous as it is. I showed her the statistics first, including fires and injuries because an untrained person had tried to fix a wiring issue. I then showed her why electricity is so dangerous, and one mistake can be minor but it can also be fatal.

I think I got my point across to her, and she finally conceded that we could hire a local electrician.

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Posted by author - April 30, 2013 at 4:38 pm

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Planning a Long Distance Move

So my wife and I have both made arrangements to find jobs in West Virginia, working for the State in the state capital. Right now we are living in South Carolina and I am planning upon picking out a company to help us make the move. I have a pickup truck and I could rent a cargo trailer to pull up there, but that would not really get us very far. In fact we have to figure out how to get all of my toys up there, or how to get rid of them in such a way that I do not take a huge loss. I have a good number of things I shall have to take along, for instance I have a touring motorcycle. It is a big Honda Goldwing that we take down to Daytona for bike week, that really is not a very long ride from Columbia. Some times we go up into the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is always nice or we will ride up to Myrtle Beach State Park to spend some time on the beach. Then I have a bass boat, an all terrain vehicle and an old dirt bike.

The dirt bike is probably not worth keeping and I could probably sell the ATV at a reasonable price. It is not something that could not be replaced very easily, since I have had it for about a whole decade and I only really use it when I go hunting. My bass boat is a completely different story, but I think that I can put an trailer hitch on the car and it will be able to pull it just fine. It is not that heavy. I can probably get the rest of it in a trailer or the bed of my truck, which leaves everything else for the movers.

Posted by author - March 14, 2013 at 12:33 am

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Remodeling Tutorial: How to Install Blinds

Even if you have never picked up a screwdriver before you can never go wrong in installing blinds. It’s very easy to install all kinds of blinds; whether you are working on bamboo shades, wooden blinds, pleated shades, vertical blinds, mini blinds or other types of blinds you can finish this simple project in less than an hour.

  1. Prepare all the materials that you will need for the project. You have to prepare the blinds by measuring the exact length and width of your window; this is done as soon as you are selecting the type of blinds to use. Ask a hardware store clerk to help you determine the correct size. Prepare the tools that you will need like a Phillips screwdriver and a hand or a cordless drill, drill bits and a lead pencil.
  2. For installing regular type blinds, you need to read manufacturer’s instructions on how to fasten and fit the blinds onto the bracket. The packaging usually comes with an instruction manual as well as complete accessories to use; make sure that you have everything ready.
  3. What type of wall do you have? You need hex head screws to fasten blinds on to wooden walls while alternative fasteners must be used for concrete or aluminum walls (these are not usually included in the packaging).
  4. Install the brackets. There are surely two to three brackets that hold all the blinds together. The number of brackets may depend on the width of the blinds.
  5. Decide where the brackets will be placed; it should not interfere with the cord mechanism of the blinds and must be equally spaced to ensure that the blinds are held together in place. Use a level to make sure that the brackets are correctly in place, use a pencil to mark the drill holes.
  6. Drill the holes with a hand held or corded drill. Screw the brackets in place with a screwdriver. Always use a level to ensure that the brackets are in place.
  7. Place the blinds inside the brackets; close the bracket gate to secure the blinds. Practice lowering and opening the blinds. Everything must be smooth with no moving brackets that will affect the movement of the blinds.
  8. Attach the hold-down brackets according to the lowest rail of the blinds. Use a pencil to mark the position and then drill a hole for screws to fasten. With a screwdriver, place the screws in to fasten the hold-down brackets. Hold –down brackets are useful especially when blinds are placed behind doors preventing the ends of the blinds to hit the glass doors.

Always follow manufacturer’s instructions on how to lower and raise the blinds as well as open and close the panels of the blinds. Ensure that your blinds are clean and free from dust and grime to ensure smooth and seamless operation. Other types of blinds may have different instructions for installation but most will have mounting brackets that holds the blinds in place.

Posted by Admin - October 24, 2012 at 4:33 am

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Baseboard Chronicles: How to Install Molding

Molding makes the room appears finished; it creates an illusion of where the wall starts and where it ends. It also accents the ceiling as well as a window or a doorway. Molding is not an essential part of a room or a building but it adds value and protection to a home. Here are steps to install molding in a room:

  1. Prepare all the materials that you need for the project. Determine which type of molding you want to use; you may want to use a wooden molding made of a combination of wood and resins. These are easy to paint and are flexible to use in social areas of the home like the living room, dining area and even the bedroom.
  2. Prepare the molding by cutting the pieces to fit your wall. You may need a special saw called a coping saw to cut effortlessly in an angle. You may also want to have a professional cut these out for you. Measure your wall and bring your molding to a hardware shop to be cut expertly.
  3. Molding will only come in a limited length so you need to measure how much you need for a wall. Cut the piece using a power saw and cut through and through in a 90 degree angle.
  4. Cut all the moldings and understand how each piece attaches to another before you permanently place them on your wall. Arrange the pieces and make appropriations for angles, corners and in any irregular area that you may meet.
  5. When you are sure that all the pieces fit, it’s time to place your molding on the wall. With the use of a caulk gun apply enough for the molding to attach to the wall. You may need to use a power hammer to nail the molding in place. With the use of the caulk hammer again, place caulking in between panels to secure the ends together.
  6. When placing moldings in protruding corners you may want to use corner blocks to cover where moldings meet. If corner blocks are not available, you may want to use a mitering method to securely fit the end pieces of molding together.
  7. You may paint over your molding so you can protect the wood from chipping or warping especially in areas where there is too much heat like a kitchen or in a bathroom. Paint the molding a different color than the wall and the ceiling however, many homeowners prefer to paint these white especially when the molding is placed in between ceilings and walls.

There are also molding that are placed underneath and surrounding windows and door frames. There are even moldings that are placed in the middle of the wall before the flooring which is a very creative way to add wall imperfections like holes, stains and scuffs. When you are installing these, it’s important to ensure that the moldings are level before you nail or caulk them permanently to the wall.

Posted by Admin - September 2, 2012 at 1:56 am

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Flooring Master Class: How to Refinish Hardwood Floors

Maintaining hardwood floors could be a chore but will absolutely bring out the beauty and shine of your old floors. Refinishing wooden floors is more practical than totally replacing floors; it takes a little bit of patience and elbow grease to be able to remove dirt, grime, stains and scuffs off hardwood. But remember that the more you refinish wood, the more you take layers of wood off your floor; your wooden floors will only take as much refinishing before it is totally replaced so take care of your floors as a preventive measure. Here are steps to refinish hardwood floors:

  1. Prepare all the materials you need. For this project, you need to rent a floor buffer or a portable sander that will buff or sand the floor clean. You also need several buffing or floor scouring pads to fit underneath the buffer. Be very particular of the abrasion levels of the pads; consult your tool rental shop for the appropriate size or gauge and buy as many as you can. Its best to buy pads in three abrasion levels (from heavy, moderate to fine pads), you will need these in the course of the project.
  2. Clear the room with furniture and begin loading the machine with the first floor pad; use the heaviest or the roughest gauge first so you can work on the toughest dirt and stain on your floors. You will start working at the far end of the room and will finish at the door. Work the buffer in the direction of the boards; you will be scouring the top most layer of the floor which has the existing glossy layer. Vacuum the area completely or use a soft broom.
  3. After finishing the entire room, reload the buffer with a medium gauge pad this time and work on the floor again starting from the far end of the room again. Vacuum the area again or use a broom to remove dust and dirt.
  4. Finally, use the finest floor pad on your hardwood floor, vacuum thoroughly. You will notice that your floor is now a dull-looking floor but with no stains, spills or scuffs anymore.
  5. With an applicator, it’s time to place a urethane finish on your floor. Pour a small puddle in an area of the floor which is farthest from the entrance. With the applicator, spread the finish over the floor, covering the entire area. When you have finished placing the gloss, allow the floor to dry for 10 hours.
  6. With fine sandpaper, gently buff the entire area by hand. Vacuum to remove all dust that you have created. Place another coat of polyurethane with the same manner as you did on the first coat. Allow the area to dry for 48 hours and then lightly sand again.
  7. Apply a third layer of gloss but this time allow the area to completely dry for 48 hours. You may now replace the furniture back; protect your floors by placing area rugs and doormats to prevent tracking dust, grime and creating scuffs.

Posted by Admin - August 9, 2012 at 4:53 am

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Cut out the Contractor: How to Tile a Floor Yourself

Do you want to cut down on contractor costs and tile your own floor? If you have never done this before, get ready to take a few weekends off so you could plan, prepare and tile your floor. It takes more than a day to completely tile an area of your home regardless of the size and complexity of the room. Here are the steps:

  1. Prepare all the materials that you are going to need. If you are using stone tiles like granite or marble for your floor, measure the room area so you will have more than enough tiles and materials to use. Prepare all these BEFORE you start your project.
  2. Clean the area and ensure the floor is completely level. Remove dust and other forms of debris by sweeping and vacuuming. You may need professional help in leveling your floor so you can ensure that your tiles fit perfectly.
  3. Prepare the area to be tiled. Draw a chalk line that will divide the entire room into four equal squares. You will be able to locate the center of the room with this method.
  4. With tile spacers, dry run the tiles. Lay the tiles out in order with spacers in between them. This method will allow you to measure all your materials and make appropriations for uneven areas of the room. Continue laying all the tiles with the spacers in between until you have covered the entire room.
  5. When the tiles have been set, mix the setting mortar to install the tiles. Follow manufacturer’s instructions on how to mix with water and how to use the thin set.
  6. Apply the mortar by working on one section of the floor. Used a notched trowel to ensure that you have an even layer of mortar underneath each tile. Place each tile on their specific places.
  7. If you have odd areas like irregular walls and panels, you may use a tile cutter to cut your tiles in shape. If you don’t have one, take your tiles and measurements to a hardware store or to the tile supplier to expertly cut them out.
  8. Place the spacers in between the tiles and finish tiling the entire area. You need to allow the tiles and the grout to completely dry which may take several days.
  9. After making sure that the tiles are fixed, you may remove the spacers and apply the grout. Grout come in different colors, you can choose the one that will match your tiles. Use a rubber trowel to ensure that there are no air spaces in the grout as you even it out.
  10. With a damp sponge, wipe away the excess grout. Be careful not to remove the grout in between the tiles. Leave the grout to completely dry which can take more than a day. When everything is dry, you may scrub and clean your tiles with a sponge or a scouring pad. Use detergent soap or dishwashing liquid to remove dirt.

Posted by Admin - June 13, 2012 at 5:01 am

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