Landscaping: Myths vs. Truths

Landscaping: Myths vs. Truths

The art of landscaping is difficult and demanding because it requires creativity, skill and mastery. If you’re planning to enhance your home’s landscape, be aware of some myths about it so that you can effectively map out your landscaping project.

landscape1. Myth: Every residential landscape must have a lawn

Truth: Landscapes do not always need grass. Landscape architects at TDL say that modern homes are leaving the traditional grass lawn and revamping their landscape with rocks, shrubs, wooden furniture, lighting fixtures, water fountains or ponds. You may want to veer away from the traditional and try grassless lawns because they are more cost-effective and easy to maintain than the traditional ones.

2. Myth: You can do landscaping on your own

Truth: Even though there are a lot of guidelines and tips over the internet on how you can improve your landscaping, it is not a simple DIY project. You need the expert services of landscape artists to make it beautiful and functional. Professionals have special tools and equipment that will do the difficult tasks of digging up, pruning, dethatching, installing electrical wiring for lighting, constructing new decks and patios, among others. They also file the permits as some cities or states require some before starting on the project.

3. Myth: You should put decorations to beautify the landscape

Truth: Excessive decorations some times make the landscape look cluttered and mixed-up. They also distract the viewers from the natural beauty of the setting. If you have a hundred garden gnomes and frog decorations, it’s a sign that you must cut down on ornaments. Carefully choose pieces that will suit the design. It’s best to consult a landscape artist regarding this.

Know the myths to avoid committing mistakes on your home’s landscaping. Consult the experts so you will make informed decisions on how you will go about the project.

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3 Things You Never Knew Could Cause Severe Bad Breath

3 Things You Never Knew Could Cause Severe Bad Breath

oral careOccasional bad breath is quite common and is a reality for many people, especially after consuming foods heavy in garlic and onion. But if it happens on a regular basis, you might be facing a bigger problem: halitosis.

Many are quite aware that halitosis or a severe case of bad breath is usually caused either by bad oral hygiene or gastrointestinal health. There are certain bacteria in your mouth that release smelly, sulphuric compounds. Good thing, though, that the appropriate oral healthcare practices can help keep these bacteria at bay.

Be extra diligent, though. If you want to make sure you do not fall victim to the malodour curse, you should keep an eye out on these other factors:

Mouthwash

Some Australians complain of stinky breath even after they have rinsed their mouth with mouthwash. The problem here is that most mouthwash brands available today contain too much alcohol content. They can leave your mouth extremely dry, which is the perfect condition for bad bacteria to thrive. According to reliable Applecare dental care centres, it is best to consult dentists on which mouthwash to use, for good measure.

Stuffy Nose

When you have a cold, there is a greater tendency to breathe with your mouth. This, however, can cause your mouth to dry out rapidly and cut the flow of saliva. This can result to potent odour-causing bacteria running wild and producing smelly sulphur compounds.

Skipping Meals

Whenever you skip a meal, you are in greater danger of having bad breath. This is because of the chemical process in your body called ketoacidosis. This causes you to develop a fruity but unpleasant mouth odour. If you experience this regularly, you may want to consult a doctor immediately as it is a sign of a potentially life-threatening condition.

You can prevent bad breath from ruining your social life and your self-confidence. By adopting good oral care practices, you can keep your mouth fresh and free from odour-causing bacteria. It also pays to see your dentists regularly, so you would know of any oral health concerns immediately.

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Virtual Assistant: When Regular Office Work Can Be Done Virtually

Virtual Assistant: When Regular Office Work Can Be Done Virtually

virtual assistantEverybody is starting his or her own business. It’s a very tough, competitive world, that it’s no longer advisable to wait until your business grows enough to hire real employees. Look around you. There’s a pool of talented virtual professionals you can tap, and with them you can build a team with little risk, but with great rewards.

Dedicated Member of the Team

This virtual talent is within reach, even to the smallest start-up businesses. Thousands of virtual assistants are offering support in a range of industries and fields, with the same set of skills and professionalism you would expect from any traditional office employee.

The only difference is that a virtual assistant is most likely willing to give big chunks of services for a few hours at a time.

With virtual assistance, the person answering your phone is no longer a faceless call center employee, but a dedicated member of your team who just happens to be a few continents away.

Reduce Costs

You’re an entrepreneur, and an entrepreneur constantly finds ways to reduce costs. You are probably trying to save money by doing everything yourself. A bit of SEO, customer support, clerical work — a virtual assistant can do all of that.

There are also specialized tasks you need others to do. A PR firm, for example, can quickly make you go over your budget. PR firms today are so expensive; you can’t even afford to hire in-house.

“A La Carte” and Scalable

Finding employees is like ordering food at a fast food joint. You only want the burger, but you tend to waste money on a whole meal with fries and everything else you won’t even eat. With virtual assistants, it’s “a la carte”. It’s scalable, as you’re only hiring someone with the skills you need for a few hours at a time, instead of hiring a full time employee.

With the useful Internet, gadgets, and ease of communication with people half the world away, there is not much difference between speaking to your assistant across the room and getting on Skype to talk, plan, and share files with them.

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4 Myths about Newly-Constructed Homes: What Stops You From Getting Your Own?

4 Myths about Newly-Constructed Homes: What Stops You From Getting Your Own?

Houses serve as a great investment for some, but others don’t think the same.

This is because several misguiding concepts about newly-constructed homes have been prevalent. They have clouded the reasoning of many homebuyers who choose practicality, leading them to the wrong direction.

framing constructionHere are some of the myths about new home construction:

1. If you want a new house, find it elsewhere.

Some homeowners have simply outgrown their houses, and want a total makeover. Others even prefer the demolish and build concept. According to Novus Homes, this concept allows homeowners to rebuild their home in the same land area. It helps you to capitalise on the value of your land by constructing new structures.

2. Renting a house is more practical.

Some people prefer rental houses, as they are low-cost and require minimal maintenance. What they don’t realise is that getting your own home is more practical. You can explore different financing options and new deals on the market. Plus, you would have to maintain a house that you can call your ownhome. You wouldn’t regret spending enough to modernise and enhance its appearance.

3. Know the right time to buy a house.

There’s no really a “right time” to buy a house. The market continues to fluctuate, making it unpredictable. Even the experts cannot provide a definite statement when prices would start to rebound. When you feel the urge or need to buy a new house, don’t let the market situation stop you. Don’t wait until next year to get your dream house.

4. A new house does not need any home inspections.

Everything is new, so there’s no reason to worry, right?

Wrong! You still need to consult code officials who can identify the areas that aren’t working for you. They need to check if your builder has qualified for the basic health and safety measures, ensuring a safe construction and completion. Your home inspector may also save you from costly repairs that may come just a few days upon completion.

Save yourself from regret, and turn your dream house into a reality. Don’t let your dream remain a dream because of misconceptions.

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Easy Ways to Storm-Proof Your Home

Easy Ways to Storm-Proof Your Home

roofing servicesNew York is one of the places in the U.S. prone to hurricanes. Although the cyclones that hit the state are normally not as huge as those that hit the Gulf states, New York is occasionally visited by devastating tempests. Take Hurricane Sandy for instance. For this, it will be wise if you invest in things and reinforcements that will keep your home intact as much as possible the moment the winds and the waters surge.

Modifications may cost some money, but you’ll realize their worth once you see your family safe and your home has only sustained minor damages. Here are some tips that will help you improve your home’s foundation.

Stabilize Your Roofing System

Most of the time, homeowners overlook their roofing systems. Your roof sheets or shingles are prone to be sent hurling in the wind, which may harm people and damage other properties. Also, check your roof for leaks and missing shingles. You may work with contractors specializing in roofs.

Reinforce Your Garage

Hurricane damage usually starts at the garage of your home, as garage doors and barriers are usually made of light materials. Once the doors are ripped apart, strong winds, water, and debris may make it inside the garage and damage your car or the walls that protect the interiors of your home. Replace your garage doors, but if it’s not ideal at the moment, put some reinforcements such as steel locks.

Clean the Gutters and other Drainage Systems

Other than wind, water is the second most difficult element to deal with during hurricanes. Once they accumulated in your roof, the pressure and weight may be enough to push everything down. Clean your gutters and see to it that nothing obstructs the flow of water. The same rule applies to the drainage systems around your home.

Other than reinforcing and fixing the parts of your home, make sure the modifications can withstand the impact of falling and leaning objects during the storm, such as trees and posts. When repairing your residence, always work with a reliable service provider.

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The Dark Side of Your Teeth: Why Teeth Die

The Dark Side of Your Teeth: Why Teeth Die

teethThat’s right—teeth die. A dead tooth is something that, after many years of neglect, has turned black and is beginning to chip away and rot while remaining attached to the root. This means the nerve has died and shrivelled, leaving a small space behind.

You might think it is okay to not have a nerve in a tooth, because then you can’t get toothache. You will not be able to sense hot and cold anymore, but there is a problem with the space left behind in the middle of the tooth.

You may develop abscess, which may lead to bleeding gums, canker sores, bad breath, and even heart attack or stroke. Here are some reasons teeth die.

Tooth Decay

If a tooth has cavities and eventually decays, the bacteria will start to irritate the nerve. This causes extreme pain in the tooth nerve. When left untreated, the bacteria will reach the nerve, it becomes infected, and it will start to die. This is difficult to stop or reverse, and the nerve will die completely.

Soon after it dies, you can prevent the tooth from becoming darker if you immediately get a root canal. Perth dentists also say that having the treatment right after may prevent chronic illnesses, such as heart attack and stroke, as mentioned above.

Blunt Trauma

Blunt trauma to the jaw area may damage the nerve. If the blow is severe enough, it may squash the tiny blood vessels at the tip of the root, completely reducing or cutting the blood supply to the nerve. This usually happens because of injuries from sports, such as basketball, horseracing, and cricket. It also happens from altercation with another person or any other accident.

Bruxism

Sometimes a tooth dies if it carries a lot of the “weight” of your bite. Others suffering from bruxism, clench their teeth at night when they sleep, compressing the tiny blood vessels at the tip of the root. If this happens all the time, surely enough, the nerve will eventually die. Some patients are unaware of fractures until the tooth exhibits symptoms, such as toothache and bad breath.

If you think you have a dead tooth, go straight to the dentist. Getting it treated soon will help prevent it from darkening, and prevent infections, abscess, and many other types of chronic diseases later on.

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Kitchen Renovations: What You Must Know Before Removing Those Tiles

Kitchen Renovations: What You Must Know Before Removing Those Tiles

kitchen renovationIf you’re planning to renovate your kitchen, it pays to know the important aspects of the space you need to focus on. Identifying these aspects will help you wisely budget your money.

Flooring

People do not pay much attention to flooring, but according to experts from The Renovation Company, it is one of the kitchen features that set the mood for the entire area. If you want a soft colour for your flooring, go for bamboo floors. The intricate details of the bamboo add accents to the kitchen ground. If you want to achieve a more contemporary look, choose black leather tiles. Install marble floor if you want your kitchen to appear sophisticated. Remember to ask for professional help before removing former floors and installing new ones.

Countertop

A countertop is an important piece of the kitchen and you should carefully consider your options before buying one. While you are eager to buy that cute, small countertop, you should first assess if it is durable, affordable, easy to maintain and functional.

Granite countertops are durable and cannot be scratched or smeared. The problem with this type of countertop is its surface absorbs water so it needs to be sealed regularly. Solid surface countertops are sturdy and cheaper than granite, but be careful not to place hot pans on the surface as this may damage the countertop.

Functional spaces

The kitchen does not need to be just for cooking and preparing food. Ask home renovators how you can incorporate other functional spaces. They can advise you on excellent storage solutions that will not only organise things, but also maximise the space and provide more areas for other activities. You never know, your kitchen may accommodate a home office or an entertainment area.

Plan well before making any major renovation; coordinate with professional home renovators and make your dream kitchen a reality.

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Let There Be Light: Bringing More Light into Your Home

Let There Be Light: Bringing More Light into Your Home

window shuttersNatural light does more than improve your mood and health and reduce utility bills. By maximising the amount of natural light that gets into your home, you can create the illusion of a bigger space and add more value to your house.
Bring in more light with these suggestions:

Window Treatments/Modifications

Avoid heavy curtains and thick drapery, as these window treatments can keep out much needed natural light. Boardwalk.com.au suggests using shutters or lighter-weight fabrics so that sunlight can get in. Basswood louvers or hardwood shutters are an ideal choice, as they create a stunning look in any space.

Reflective Surfaces

Reflective surfaces bounce light around the room. Well-placed mirrors and pale white ceilings can make the room seem brighter and bigger. You can also use white windowsills – any light that bounces off of it will illuminate the space.

Skylights

Skylights are a great way to introduce more natural light into the home. These can brighten up a room and can be opened for ventilation during hot summers. To bring more light into a room, you can use a tubular skylight. This gathers light through the window on a roof and reflects it downward.

Light Fixtures

If skylights are simply out of the question, you can use lighting technologies to brighten up your home instead. Choose eco-friendly products such as LED fixtures and compact fluorescents to bring in more light. You can also use chandeliers with crystals that reflect and diffuse light.

Furniture Arrangement

Avoid placing bigger pieces of furniture in front of a window, as it can block the light from coming in. Use smaller pieces to enhance the flow of light and to create a bigger sense of space. Keep the windowsills free of clutter and any obstructing bushes and trees.

The amount of light that enters your home can make a big difference in the overall atmosphere of your house. Try to incorporate any of these ideas and see how it can change the mood inside your home.

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Management Rights: Applying for Resident Letting Agent Licence

Resident ManagersResident managers fulfil the role of a caretaker, which makes them responsible for keeping the peace and order of the complex units under them. They work under a body corporate to keep the vacancy rate low through different marketing methods, like advertisements.

If you’re planning to pursue this field, you need to find a suitable property and buy its rights. After buying its management rights, Brisbane resident managers need to apply for a license to operate legally. Here’s how you can do it:

Resident Letting Agent Licence

The Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 explains that anybody performing the functions of a resident letting agent in Queensland should hold a resident letting agent licence. This allows you to let and manage units in a complex, collect rental fees, and operate your own trust account. It’s also possible to let multiple complexes if these are in common boundaries and not separated by a road.

Eligibility for Letting Licence

Before applying for a licence, you shouldn’t have criminal involvement in any unlawful activity or convicted of a serious offence. If a government body disqualified you from holding a licence or registration certificate, you won’t have a chance to apply. You’ll also need to present at least one place of business in Queensland.

Property Services Training

Aspiring resident managers need to learn six core competencies to qualify for the Office of Fair Trading’s requirements to apply for a resident letting agent’s licence:

1. CPPDSM4007A – Studying the legal and ethical requirements of property management
2. CPPDSM4015B – Reducing agency and consumer risks
3. CPPDSM4010A – Leasing the property or complex
4. CPPDSM4006A – Establishing and managing agency trust accounts
5. CPPDSM4016A – Monitoring and managing tenancy agreement
6. BSBSMB406A – Managing big or small business finances

To complete these competencies, applicants need to finish at least 239 hours of education. These could last for about two to four weeks, but applicants are encouraged to take their studies longer if possible.

A resident letting agent licence is a guarantee to tenants that you have the necessary knowledge regarding the units you handle. Find out if you’re qualified and prepare the requirements to start letting your complex as soon as possible.

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The Beauty of Learning: 3 Secrets to Resolve Common Problems Experienced By Students

The Beauty of Learning: 3 Secrets to Resolve Common Problems Experienced By Students

Many teachers have great plans for their students, be it about improving their teaching methods or making learning fun. The problem, however, is that those ideas just remain between adults. Some people love to plan, but don’t take steps to make it happen. The real challenge for educators is to help their students be successful in the future.

libraryTime spent at school is a fun and memorable experience for most students. Change is part of life and going to school is no exception. Ups and downs are normal, but not all students have the patience and courage to get through challenging times.

Here are some common problems experienced by students that you need to focus on:

Self-esteem

Some kids don’t interact with others and choose to be left out. Teachers play a significant role in strengthening a student’s self-confidence. When students have healthy self-esteem in school, they have a greater chance to be successful in their career and make smart decisions. Praising what your students do and establishing a positive atmosphere are a great way to help build their confidence.

Schoolwork and grades

Studying is never easy, and it requires great effort. The problem with some teachers is that they seldom ask the students what they think about their education. Many students fail because they don’t participate well in class. Lack of motivation and loss of interest may reflect on your students’ grades.

Mathematics, for instance, has always been one of the most hated subjects. Start making learning fun and effective by buying interactive mental maths resources. It’s a great way to create an environment that fosters trust, creativity and collaboration.

Concentration

Students love to learn something when the subject is interesting yet still relevant. To make science, math and history subjects easier for the kids, make it hands-on. It’s a great way to challenge your students to learn, while having fun and collaborating with others.

Some kids hide their problems and find it difficult to talk to you about them. When school issues arise, it’s important to quickly recognise them and come up with solutions.

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