Month: June 2016

How to Write a Restaurant Review

The point of writing a review is to give information about the good & bad aspects (if any!) about the dining establishment.

What should be the style of the review?

It should be in a chatty style to make it fun to read & not in a boring formal style.

What aspects should be emphasized in a review?

All aspects are important – the location, the exterior, the ambience, the decor & furnishings, the menu, the table settings, the service, and, of course, the food.

What are the ways to describe the various aspects?

* The location: Is it easy to locate with some major landmark nearby? Is it a busy commercial area? Is it primarily a residential area? Is there parking space?

* The exterior: Does the restaurant have indoor & outdoor space? If only indoor space, is there seating space outside for waiting diners? Is there any overhead awning? Is a staff member outside to take reservations or parcel orders?

* The ambience: Is the atmosphere a cheerful one or is it a dull depressing place?

* The decor & furnishings: What is the lighting system – soft/dim/harsh/garish lighting? Are the walls covered with some kind of paintings or other decorative designs? What is the seating arrangement?

* The menu : Was the menu design anything extraordinary? What is the least expensive & the most expensive item listed in the menu? What is the variety of cuisine listed? Is there a separate wine list?

* The table settings: How is the table top – glass, wood, Formica, etc? Were glasses, & table napkins already set?

* The service: How was the attire of the staff (e.g. if a festival is on-going, then the waiters could be in traditional clothes matching the festival)? Did the waiter come quickly to take your order? Did the food come to the table quickly? Was any food item not ordered brought to your table? Did the waiter hover around the table in an irritating manner?

* The food: Was it bland, spicy, salty, too sweet? What exactly did you / your group eat? Were the prices worth it?

Additional Tips:

Be creative: Basically in writing a restaurant review you should use different kinds of words when describing the decor and the food. You cannot use the word ‘nice’ and ‘tasty’ or ‘delicious’ repeatedly! To find different kinds of words and not sound like a parrot, type out your review in a Word doc. on your computer; check out other similar words by using the computer dictionary [Tools-Language-Thesaurus].

Enhance your review with photos if possible. If you have a digital camera with you, you can take photos of the food too. It is very important, however, to always ask for permission to take photos inside the restaurant. Some establishments are very strict about taking photographs and you must always respect rules & regulations. If at all you are asked why you are taking a …

The Importance of Regular Home Improvement

Home improvement, by definition, is making changes to one’s home by making improvements on the house’s looks. Home improvement is usually done by professional contractors, handymen, and even the house owner himself. Home improvement is important because real estate’s value appreciates more if a property is well-maintained. Home improvement is seen by many as unnecessary cost. However, losing value of a real estate is usually caused by neglect in a property’s maintenance. Therefore, in the long run, regular maintenance is crucial for the property’s value to appreciate.

Regular home improvement jobs and renovations will surely make your current living conditions more favorable. People do not easily notice that some areas of the house need improvement. In the long run, regular maintenance will reduce the serious structural damages to your property. It is also important to note that there are different maintenance schedules for different areas of your house. For instance, plumbing should be checked monthly. Ovens, heating systems, smoke detectors, and the like should also be checked monthly to prevent unfortunate disasters. The garden area should be maintained regularly and should undergo rigorous maintenance every four months. This is to prevent insects and termites infestation which can cause significant damage in infrastructure. The landscape of a house should also be in good appearance to help preserve your property’s value. Refrigerators should be checked every three to four months. Check for faulty or loose wiring and avoid energy overload. The roof, on the other hand, should be checked at least every six months. Check for shingles and leaks and take care of them right away. Watch out for blocked gutters as this can lead rainwater to go inside your house. If your house is made mainly of wood, have a regular termite exterminator team visit your house.

Aside from these standard areas in the house that need improvement, remodeling or renovating is also a good idea. It can also add value to real estate. Remodeling can be as simple as changing the paint color in your living room or laying a different color of carpet in your bedroom. Something this simple can make significant changes in your house’s ambience. Renovating can be as major as tearing down the common wall of two rooms to make them one big room. Tearing down walls creates a bigger space which can be used for many purposes. Additional extensions can also be done. Additional space that can be used as garage space is useful. Home improvement tasks that require massive construction should be done by professional contractors. Make a list on what you want changed inside your homes and consult with a team of contractors. This way, you will have an idea on the costs that will be incurred as well as the extent of the repairs and improvements you can do.

Home improvement is important because essentially, it is considered taking care of your home. Aside from the additional value it gives your property, preventive maintenance and remodeling is always good to decrease future …

Building a Dog House? – The Type of Wood to Use

Despite the fact that many families provide their dog with a wooden dog house in their backyard, only a few people realize there happens to be quite a few various kinds of wood offered on the market.

Cedar is definitely the most popular kind of wood used nowadays. It is a very common choice for wooden dog house simply because of its resistance to corrosion, rotting and insect devastation.

This type of wood is simple and easy to work with as well as being resilient, reputable, and low maintenance.

Pine and hemlock are among other kinds of wood that are chosen in constructing a dog house although they do not tend to be as popular. It is attributed to the fact that they are lacking resistance to decay, rotting and destruction by insects as opposed to cedar wood. Whenever in contact with the yard, these two types of wood will get rotten rather fast so they are hardly ever used to construct the frame work of a dog house as well.

If you decide to build your own dog house, be weary of utilizing pressure-treated timber. Even though they resist rotting and damage from bugs, they carry dangerous chemical substances that may possibly present a threat to your dog.

Also, you should decide on a wooden house over a plastic one simply because they keep a lot warmer throughout the winter season. Additionally, a wooden dog house will help to dissipate warmth the natural way during the summer time.

Furthermore, wood is less of a challenge to work with when compared to plastic material. All you need to have is a hammer, a saw, and a good quality woodworking plan to construct your dog house. In case you are eco-conscious, then making a wooden house is actually much more environmentally friendly in addition to being conveniently recycled for various other uses.…

Standard Closets – Making the Most of Your Room Space

Closets can be created with a number of materials. You’re very likely to get several sorts of closet in your residence. You need an organized room in order to have sufficient space to move about. You need to be sure that there is sufficient space left for you to prevent accidents while walking within your room especially in the middle of the night. You’re going to be in a position to have more space within your bedroom if it is possible to take out a few of your previous stuff.

Storage is a big problem for every room in a home, especially closets. This is your choice, your space and your budget. The available space can help make the most of your wardrobe an excellent area of storage and organization. While looking for an organizer, you need to make enough room space available for hanging baby clothes.

The drawers and frame of a closet storage needs to be solid. Storage drawers are available in various materials and sizes, so it is easy to find something that is suitable for your requirements. It has several drawers, and storage shelves, in addition to a rod for hanging your laundry. Plastic drawers supply a terrific long-term storage solution. Stackable drawers provide a simple means to keep a lot of files and documents in a little area, assisting you to maximize the size of room that is available. If you’re searching for a sturdy drawer that can withstand daily usage, cardboard storage drawers are a fantastic option.

With some Standard Closets, the room looks uncluttered, easy and refreshing. A little room cannot put restrictions on the vertical use of space. There will be enough room space for hanging clothes, shelf space and drawers.

Sliding doors are incredibly useful in saving space. In addition to the many styles and colors that are available in these closet doors, there are numerous shapes you can find to match your room settings. You can also go for framed closet doors.

Storage space may sometimes seem tough to find in a workplace. You need to figure out what ought to be inside this space. Obviously, you might want to provide priority-hanging space to work and distinctive occasion apparel to lessen the possibility of wrinkling them.

There are a number of other critical things which are quite important when choosing a closet. Every closet has a specific storage criterion. On the other hand, in the event the closet is a focal point, select your material and style carefully – allocating a bigger budget might worth it.

There are many ways closet organizers help to organize your closet. They will help you easily track down the ideal solution for your house’s closets. In the event, the closet isn’t located in a prime area of the house. Though various closets have various needs, closet organizers focus their attention on the most fundamental wardrobe storage problems. Wooden closet makes a residence appear cozy. A freely standing wardrobe closet is great for those who …

How Heat Can Escape Your House and How You Can Prevent It

As the cold season approaches, energy bill goes up. This is mainly because of the need for heating systems on winter months. But not all the heat generated by your heating device stays in your house. Some, or in certain occasions, most of them escape from your house. As a result, your heating device has to work harder resulting in unwanted increase in energy consumption and cost.

This can be avoided by effectively seeking out the root cause of the problem, and dealing with them accordingly. Follow these simple do-it-yourself methods and save hundreds or perhaps even thousands of dollars on energy cost.

Doors and windows

Doors and windows usually have gaps and spaces on them where heat can escape. Although they may not be that much, if you consider how many doors and windows there are in your house, they collectively result in a huge loss which will reflect badly on you next month’s energy bill. A simple remedy to this problem is covering the gaps with curtains, drapes and/or sheets. You can also use rugs and door sweeps to cover the gap beneath your door.

Electrical and cable ducts

Electrical wires, telephone wires and internet cables and others of the like enter your house through holes and/or ducts. And through these channels, heat can escape. You can easily remedy this by installing outlet gaskets or stuffing the holes and ducts with certain materials such as foam.

Cracks, gaps and leaks

First, you need to find where they are, but looking for them just by sight can be very tricky. You can use a lighted candle and move it near suspect places. The flame of a candle is sensitive to airflow and will sway at the minutest air movement. When you see the flame swaying at a certain spot, there must be an air leak there. Once you have found the cracks, you can seal them by using a caulk. But make sure to apply it both on the inside and the outside.

Attic and ceiling.

A popular physics law states that “hot air goes up”. This is also true inside your house. The heat produced by your heater is likely to accumulate on the ceiling and you attic. This will only result in wasted energy because people don’t normally stay on those places. You can prevent this by making sure that the gaps and cracks to your ceiling and attic are sealed. You may want to check your folding attic stairs if you are using one. You can use weatherstripping and caulk to remedy the problem.

Heat only certain areas

You may ask yourself: “do you really need to heat the entire house?” Maybe there are areas in your house that are not frequented by people and do not need to be heated. If you can manage to limit the range of your heater only to places that are frequented by people, and avoid places such as hallways, storage rooms, attic, and others of the like, you can …

What Are The Different Types of Fireplace Mantel Shelves?

Fireplaces, heat providers aside, are great to look at. They live up to their status as the focal point of your room, if not your entire house. How you accessorize your fireplace, however largely affects the overall look of your interior decorations. This is the reason carefulness is needed when you decide to spruce up your hearth like for instance, adding a fireplace mantel.

When deciding on a mantel shelf, there are many elements to take into account, starting off with the material. Here are four common materials used and how each of them fair, both functionality and decorative wise.

Wood

Among the fireplace mantel shelves, wood types are the most common. They work well in traditional looking homes and blend really nicely with almost any interior designs. Wood mantels offer many options when it comes to decorating. Oak, a superior type of wood, for instance is both classy and versatile.

Typically wooden mantels are affordable. Its cost is one of its main attractions. Even expensive solid wood shelves like those made of oak don’t cost as much as those made of stone. Wooden mantels come in different wood types which include maple, cherry, Douglas, hemlock, alder, pine, just to name a few. They come in different finishes like black, distressed cherry, and primed. There are also unfinished wood fireplace mantels which are great for people who have yet to decide the best shade for their mantel to match their home interiors.

However, one major drawback for wooden mantels is that it’s highly flammable. If you’re thinking of a wooden mantel shelf, make sure that you consult with your local building officer and fire safety code department for the safety regulations specifically on the desired measurements allowed from a wooden material to your fireplace.

Stone

Stone mantel shelves whether made of limestone, marble or granite are great for aesthetic functions. Home builders prefer stones simply because they give many options as they come in a variety of colors and textures. They are both beautiful and functional. Moreover, they can also be treated in several different ways providing more diverse choices that will surely match any discerning taste. It is likewise fireproof and durable, making it the best material for a mantel shelf. It is also relatively low on maintenance. It usually just takes a soft cloth to wipe it clean.

On the other hand, stone mantel shelves are generally more expensive than other options. It can also be difficult to install which makes installation cost higher than normal. For those who prefer stones but can’t afford it, there are actually cheaper alternatives which will give you the same stone façade. There are kits that you can buy in many home improvement stores or even through online shops. They look like the natural stone mantels but are much easier and cheaper to install.

Metal

Metal is best known for being versatile. It goes well with almost any kind of designs most especially the modern or contemporary look. You don’t have to …

Why You Should Seriously Consider a Ventless Bathroom Fan

A ventless bathroom fan is the answer to your humidity problem if installing a wall or ceiling ducted model is not a practical option. For example, if you have a bathroom in the basement or if you live in a rental home that does not currently have a fan, why should you have to deal with the odor and the mold that is associated with all of that extra moisture from your shower? It is fair to say that no bathroom should be without some type of fan.

Features

With these types of fans, you do not have to worry about cutting any holes or fitting into walls. Ductless systems require no outside vent and can be installed either on the wall or the ceiling. They feature 12v motors that are traditionally removable so that they can be easily cleaned.

You will also find that installation is a breeze with these units as they usually have tension spring mounting. Not to mention, they often weigh less than five pounds.

Why You Need One

While you may be able to live without a bathroom heater fan, you still need some type of unit in there to help with humidity. When you take a shower, you create steam which leaves you with an abundance of moisture left in the air. Where exactly do you think all of that water goes? It actually has no place to go besides to be absorbed by your wood molding, cabinets, cloth shower curtains, rugs, towels, decorative items or any other absorbent material that you have in the room.

Moisture that lingers in a bathroom that has no ventilation promote the growth of mildew and mold and you should know that these are living, growing organisms. Additionally, moisture from your shower creates another serious problem with your wood in the room being that it rots it which will cause a larger home improvement project in the long run when you have to start replacing moldings, etc. Not to mention, the smell of mold as it continues to get moist and grow over time is anything but pleasant.

Whenever possible, your goal is to install an extractor fan that is manufactured by a trusted company such as Greenwood, Silavent or Xpelair that comply with all building regulations. However, if you absolutely cannot add the duct work to your bathroom, a ventless bathroom fan is your next best option.…

Top 10 Methods for Advertising Your Home Improvement Business

People often ask us the same question: “What’s the best way to advertise my Home Improvement business and gather leads?” We’ve compiled a handy list of the 10 most useful tools to advertise your business and see results.

1. Build a Good Online Presence

For what may seem like an obvious necessity for most, some companies still don’t value the importance of a good website. While most companies do have an online presence, it may not be attractive or user-experience optimized. A good website should convey the businesses’ goals, experience, qualities, and services in an easy to read way. There should be a blatant call to action, and sufficient information for the viewer. If the potential client can glance at your page and get all the important information needed, you are that much closer to reeling them in.

 

2. Search Engine Optimization

Many people think that SEO is solely related to building links and advertising your website link. A large part of search engine optimization is related to the way your page is set up. Are you taking advantage of meta keywords and titles? Are you using headers properly? Does your site have a large amount of unique content optimized for targeting certain keywords? These are all important things to consider.

3. Craigslist

Craigslist is a great way to advertise your services. You can hire a designer to create a small ad for you to embed into your Craigslist post, or simply use HTML to format a nice, easy to read, eye-catching advertisement. Re-post as per Craigslist’s guidelines and keep your business’s name out there.

4. Adwords

Google provides a great PPC (pay-per-click) advertising system which will target related websites that use Google Adsense to display your ads. You can target your chosen demographic, choose how much you’d like to pay for every click, and modify the appearance of your ad. They offer text ads, image ads, and rich media ads (flash, animation).

5. Social Media

These days social media is becoming the leading the way for advertising and creating a “friendly” relationship with your clients and fans. Create a Fan page on Facebook, establish a Twitter account, or create a blog. these are all great methods to attract your customers.

6. Blog Commenting

Find blogs related to your industry. Search them out, and post meaningful, relevant comments in the comments section. Be sure to add a link to your website, with a keyword that you’d like to target in the search engines. Slow and steady is the key to seeing results; keep at it on a daily/weekly basis and in due time you’ll see results.

7. Local Advertising

If your business is based locally, an ad in a local magazine or newspaper is a great option. Some companies provide direct mail advertising, which allows you to localize your advertisement in a demographic of your choice.

8. Content is King

Creating and publishing unique content will provide your website visitors with an interesting read, a potential link-back, and will improve …

Things to Consider When Buying a Copper Vessel Sink

When you are in the market to buy a copper vessel sink for giving finishing touches to your bathroom or kitchen décor, you need to keep few things in mind to make an informed decision. With growing demand for sinks, many manufacturer’s are offering their products, so there is a vast selection of sinks to choose from.

Let’s discuss few important things that you should consider when buying a copper vessel sink.

Types:

You can get copper vessel sinks in either “hand hammered” varieties or the ones that are mass produced by machines. The sinks that are hand hammered are produced in small artisan shops and their unique texture gives them a rustic look.

Their hammered texture not only adds beauty and character, but also strengthens the surface of sink and helps camouflage all those small marks that occur due to daily use. On the other hand, machine made sinks have a smooth finish and are available in factory produced standardized and rectangular shapes.

Quality:

Copper Purity

Ideally, copper vessel sinks should be manufactured from 99 percent pure copper with 1 percent zinc for ensuring its integrity and strength. You should check the purity of sink that you are considering.

Copper Gauge

The thickness of copper (both hand hammered copper vessel sinks and those made in factories) varies and have significant effect on how sink wears over time. Copper gauge is measured by the thickness of copper and is sometimes referred to as weight per square foot.

You will find bath copper sinks from 20 to 16 gauge and most of the copper vessel sinks used in kitchens from 18 to 14 gauge. A copper sink with lighter gauge will make a tinny sound when water drums on the sink surface when faucet is turned on. Aside from this, copper sinks with thin gauge will dent easily.

Manufacturing technique

A good copper vessel sink is properly shaped. Even hand made that are perfect are never “out of round” or “out of square”. Therefore, you should avoid that appear misshapen. Most of these sinks are often sold as second.

You should also watch the drain hole, which should be of correct size to meet the code of your application. Many homeowners prefer the sinks that have drain hole in the center. Large copper vessel sinks have drain hole to the side to allow use of water at one end while pans and pots to be washed are stacked on the other side. Irrespective of the position of the drain, its bottom should slope gently towards the drain.

Surface – Which is the Best, Smooth one or Hammered?

When deciding on a sink with a hammered finish and one with smooth finish, you should keep two things in mind. First is your own preference. A smooth copper vessel sink usually has contemporary or modernist styling. On the other hand, hammered sinks have hand-crafted and warm appeal that fits well in traditional, ethnic, and rustic décor.

Patinas and Finishes

Copper vessel sinks are …

Advantages Of North Facing House Plans

North facing houses are ideal for all members of the family. Researchers have found that magnetic forces of the earth are usually generated from the North Pole; therefore, if your house faces north, your house will receive a lot of positive vibes through the entrance door that faces north.

There’s a belief that north represents water elements and since water resembles wealth, there’s a belief that if your house faces north you will enjoy more wealth and prosperity. According to the Hindu culture, Kuber (god of prosperity) resides in the north; therefore, if your house faces north you have high chances of prospering in life. There are also high chances that your business will prosper when your business premises face north.

Features Of North Facing Houses

These houses tend to have sun almost throughout the day which means that you don’t need to leave the lights on. This saves you a lot of money that you’d have spent on your energy bills.

When you are designing the house you should ensure that there are no obstructions that will prevent the house from receiving the right amount of sun. This means that you need to get rid of trees, land and anything else that might be distracting the house.

As rule of thumb you should ensure that the open area is left on the east and north sides of the house. You should build balconies in the northeast corner. To maintain the original size of the house you should avoid extending the corners of the house.

You should ensure that the main entrance faces the northeast corner. Experts believe that when the entrance faces this direction it symbolizes the flow of positive energy.

When it comes to the kitchen you should ensure that it’s located at the southeast corner of the house. If it’s impossible to build the kitchen here you should consider building it at the northeast direction.

If the house has a stair you should ensure that it’s located in the northeast or northwest corner. The garage, security room and the electricity meter board should be located on the northeast corner of the plot.

Conclusion

Whether you are building a residential or commercial house, it’s wise that you construct the house using the north facing design. For ideal results you should ensure that the architect that you choose to design the house has experience in designing north facing houses.…