Must-Have Features for Today’s Kitchen Cabinets

Today’s kitchen cabinets are more functional than ever before; they are no longer just a box with shelves inside, but can be custom made to suit your needs in particular, or may come with a number of convenient features that make food prep and storage much easier. Before you start shopping for cabinets or work with a cabinetmaker to have something custom made, note a few of those features to consider.

Interior lighting

There’s no need to turn on an overhead light or struggle to see what’s in the back of a cabinet when you can easily add LED lights. These don’t emit much if any heat, and they offer a soft glow that is perfect for cabinetry. You can find LED lights that work like a refrigerator light, coming on whenever a door is opened, and they may be installed overhead or in a rope along the back of the cabinet.

Pull-out tables

A cabinet can easily double your work space or offer a place for eating with a pull-out table. This is a sturdy board that slides under the benchtop when not in use.

Shallow drawers

Your drawers in a kitchen cabinet may be wasting space if they’re very deep, as you may not need all that depth for cutlery. Shallow drawers allow you more storage, as you can fit two shallow drawers in the same space as one drawer of standard depth. This gives you more space for flatware and many cooking utensils while still keeping them organized.

Hook and shelves inside the doors

The inside of your cabinet doors is often wasted space, but trying to add hooks and shelves to these doors yourself can just damage them. You can instead opt for cabinets with hooks for utensils and small shelves for items like envelopes of seasoning or spices. This maximizes your kitchen storage space while also helping you stay organized.

Specialized shelving

Are you a wine buff? Then choose cabinets with slots for wine bottles. Are you very eco-conscious? Look for cabinets with rollout drawers that hold recycling bins. If you use a lot of vegetables like onions and potatoes in your cooking, choose cabinets with bins that have fronts that fold down; you can store the vegetables there and have quick access to them without taking up space on the benchtop. A built-in shelf that holds a television with space for a power cord in the back can mean staying entertained while cooking. Consider your specialized needs for your kitchen and have these built into your cabinets.

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Tips For Employee Loss Prevention

When you run a business, you want to ensure nobody else steals from you, since this affects your business assets. Not only do you need to be concerned about shoplifters, but thefts from your own employees as well. Here are some tips for reducing employee thefts.

Have Strict Consequences For Employees Who Steal

Make sure that when your employees are hired, they are informed of the consequences of employee theft. Make it very apparent that any type of theft, whether it is a pen from the office or cash from the register, will not be tolerated. If you are too flexible, such as letting minor thefts slide, it becomes too tempting for an employee to steal, assuming they can use the defense of not knowing what is okay or not okay to take. If an employee is caught stealing, fire them immediately and inform all other employees of what has occurred; that way they understand you mean business.

Start an Inventory Management System

There are some employee thefts that are hard to catch, such as taking a small item when there are several of them, or pouring their friend a fountain drink without charging them for it. Have a strict inventory system no matter what type of business you run so that you know immediately if something is missing. For example, if you run a small movie theater and have noticed there always seems to be one or two fewer popcorn buckets than what the receipts claim you sold, and it always occurs on Friday nights, you know to ask the person working the snack station on this night each week. It is likely they are giving it away for free to friends or taking it themselves as a snack. This is still a theft that requires punishment.

Upgrade Your Entry System

If you currently have doors with locks that all your employees have keys to, it is time to upgrade. This makes it difficult to know when the employees are accessing certain areas of the building and when. A better option is to use an electronic entry system that either requires a key card or a numeric code. If using a numeric code, make sure it is unique to each employee. The same goes for the key card. That way, you can actually see which employee uses their number or key card to access the building after hours or over the weekend when they should not have been there. Not only does it track down a thief, but it can help prevent thefts since employees know the likelihood of getting caught. A locksmith can help you find the right locking system and install it for you.

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Window Blinds | 3 Attentive Considerations When Making A Comparison Between Horizontal And Vertical Blinds

Apart from their aesthetic appeal, window blinds offer privacy and efficient functionality for regulating the level of sunlight flowing into a room. While there are several varieties available in the market, vertical and horizontal blinds are most popular because of their classic allure. Deciding between them requires careful consideration based on your specific home situation.

Size And Positioning Of Your Windows

Vertical blinds are typically more suited to larger windows, while horizontal blinds are ideal choices if you have small or regular-sized windows. For larger windows, vertical blinds permit seamless air movement and enable effective light filtration. From a positioning perspective, horizontal blinds are better for north and south facing windows, while vertical blinds are ideal for east and west facing windows. This is because both vertical and horizontal blinds can be adjusted to specific angles for protecting the interiors of your home by effectively filtering light for different window positions. For instance, vertical blinds are more effective for blocking out the low morning and afternoon sun on east and west windows when shut. Once you establish the size and positioning of your windows, you will be in a better position to make a choice between vertical and horizontal blinds for your room.

Desired Functionality Of Your Blinds

If you’re looking for pure privacy, then horizontal blinds are the ideal choice. When they are completely shut, they are in no danger of moving open or blowing and act as excellent barriers from any kind of outdoor light. If you have sliding windows, then you may prefer vertical blinds. Vertical blinds open sideward in comparison to horizontal blinds that open upward, allowing them to shadow the same movement as your sliding windows. Once you establish your desired functionality, you can make your choice between vertical and horizontal blinds.

Style And Size Of The Room

The choice between vertical and horizontal blinds will essentially depend on the style and size of your room. Vertical blinds give the room a sleek and modern finish, while horizontal blinds are more conventional and fit perfectly into a classically decorated room. From a size perspective, horizontal blind slats widen a room to make it look bigger. If your ceilings are short, then vertical blind slats add height to the room to make it seem taller. You can use blinds to create your desired room appearance.

Choosing between vertical and horizontal blinds for your home requires careful thought. Keep these factors in mind and make the right decision for your particular needs.

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How to Make Your Backyard Deck More Appealing and Inviting

If you have a backyard deck that you don’t always enjoy, you might need to think of how to make it more appealing and inviting. Simply adding some wood planks and stairs behind your house isn’t always going to be enough for you to actually enjoy that space, whereas a few simple touches can create an area your whole family will love. Note a few of those simple touches here.

1. Add shade

How much shade do you get from the hot sun? If you didn’t think about adding something over the deck itself when you had it constructed, it’s time to think about shade sails. These are pieces of canvas attached to poles that you can adjust by pulling on cords, just like real boat sails. They have a great outdoorsy look and go with any style of home and, because you can adjust them with their cords, are very versatile.

2. Upgrade your cooking and food storage

If you don’t like to go out to your deck because it’s a hassle to bring your meals with you or get up every time you want a fresh drink, you can upgrade your cooking and food storage capacities on your deck. You can create a built-in cooler that holds ice and beverages and a built-in cook top that works with propane. These can be covered with a wood front that matches the wood of your deck so they’re not very conspicuous. This can keep you comfortable when outside and allow you to use the deck for actual cooking and not just relaxing.

3. Paint the surface

Even a lighter color of wood may mean a surface that is very hot during those long summer days, and this can make the deck uncomfortable for you. Painting the surface can not only add some color but it can also keep the deck material from holding heat. Choose a paint meant for outdoor decks and opt for a white or eggshell or even a light grey shade so that the deck doesn’t feel uncomfortably warm under your feet.

4. Add sound insulation

If you don’t like hearing your neighbors when you’re outside or worry that they can hear you, add glass panels to one or both sides of the deck for sound insulation. Thick, outdoor curtains can also absorb sound. You can even add a lattice wall to one side of the deck and hang plants or put tall trees on one or both sides, and this will cut down on sound traveling between your properties.

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Necessary Precautions To Keep Your Rainwater Clean And Safe For Consumption

The quality of water from your rainwater tank will be determined by how well you’re able to carry out proper maintenance. If you have a rainwater tank, there are some key precautions you should observe to ensure your water is clean and safe. Below is an outline of key care and maintenance precautions for your water.

Proper Filtration

Proper filtration aids in the removal of bacteria, dirt, metals and chemicals among other water contaminants. The most important thing is to have the water in your rainwater tank tested by a certified specialist. The specialist will help you know the type of contamination you’re likely to encounter. Therefore, you’ll be able to get the most appropriate filtration system for your home. Remember that filtration significantly contributes to making your water safe for consumption.

Proper Gutter Maintenance

You should not let dirt, debris and leaves accumulate in the gutter that is collecting and directing rainwater to your tank. Remember that the dirt also often has droppings from birds and insects, and may at times hold a dead rodent, hence leading to severe contamination of your water.

It’s advisable you clean your gutters twice a year. However, if you have tree branches hanging above the gutter, you should clean your gutter more often. It’s also advisable you have the gutters cleaned after a storm because a lot of dirt accumulates in the gutters. Also, you may want to have a gutter mesh fixed on the gutter so as to reduce the rate of dirt accumulation in the gutter.

Timely Desludging

It’s important for you to remove the sludge in your water tank to ensure that the quality and safety of your water is ideal. Sludge buildup in the tank may affect the freshness of your tank water and also harbor bacteria and other disease-causing pathogens. To control the rate of sludge buildup, you may want to use a filter at the water inlet valve to trap any loose dirt that may be in the water.

It’s recommended that you desludge your water tank every two or three years. Call a desludging specialist to inspect the amount of buildup in your tank and get to know when to have the desludging done.

It’s important for you to observe necessary precautionary measures needed to ensure that collected rainwater is clean and safe for consumption. Hire professionals when necessary and get expert advice on the do’s and don’ts of rain water tank safety and maintenance.  

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3 Judicious Strategies To Prevent The Occurrence Of An Electrical Fire In Your Home

Electrical fires in homes are more common than you think, especially when you are dealing with issues like faulty wiring and ageing appliances. Electrical home fires not only result in significant asset losses, but they could also pose severe danger to your family. Following certain judicious strategies can typically prevent most of these types of fires, so make sure you hire electrical contractors to take care of any small problem before it becomes a catastrophe.

Conduct Home Wiring Inspections

This aspect is particularly important if you have old wiring in your home. Old or faulty wiring is one of the leading causes of electrical fires, so it may be a prudent idea to hire electrical contractors to undertake an inspection of your home’s wiring every few years ­–– especially if you notice signs of fraying and tattering around the wires. Wires in poor condition can overheat and cause sparks, which will ultimately lead to an electrical fire if left unchecked. If your home wiring is in danger of causing an electrical fire, your electrician may recommend certain repairs or replacements to keep your home safe.

Avoid Overloading Electrical Circuits

Electrical circuit overloading is another common reason why electrical fires start in homes. Modern appliances consume more electricity than the existing capacity of older electrical circuits, which eventually causes overloading. This overloading typically happens when you place too many heavy-duty appliances like laptops, mobile phones, tablets, computers, lighting devices and lamps into the same power strip or electrical outlet. The best way to avoid overloading electrical circuits is to plug appliances into different circuits within your home. Alternatively, you can get your electrical contractors to replace existing circuits with higher capacity versions if possible.

Keep Electrical Appliances At A Safe Distance From Flammable Fabrics

Electrical appliances like irons, powerful lamps, hair straighteners and hairdryers generate a tremendous amount of heat while they are plugged into live power sockets. If these electrical appliances are left unattended next to flammable fabrics like towels, curtains, bed sheets, rugs, carpets and blankets, the entire room could catch fire without your knowledge. Similarly, many homeowners like to hide extension cords and power cables below carpets to sidestep a cluttered wiring appearance. But this could present an even larger problem when frayed cables and extension cords overheat and start an unprecedented electrical fire in your home.

These judicious strategies will help you prevent an electrical fire in your home. Keep in mind that any repairs, replacements or modifications of electrical systems are best undertaken by qualified electrical contractors for your safety.

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April 2017
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