Category Archives: Blogging

Foam Board Insulation Fire Protection

Foam board insulation is a type of building insulation that is based on installing closely spaced foam core boards, made of polystyrene or polyisourethane foam all around the building, either on the inside or on the outside, in order to reduce thermal exchange and prevent unwanted heat losses.

Foam board insulation proves to be highly efficient in it’s role of insulating buildings, with numerous advantages over other previously used types of insulation, yet it still has some inherent problems which must be dealt with if one wished to achieve as close to perfect an insulation as possible, not only from a thermal point of view, but also, regarding the comfort levels provided by it, and not lastly regarding some common sense safety provisions that are of concern for every homeowner.  foam board insulation lowes

Among others, one matter that is of utmost concern is the foam core board fire protection. While some buildings, like those made mainly from wood are obviously more vulnerable to fire hazards than concrete or brick buildings, and therefore require more serious preparative and certain materials applied over the structure or insulation, fire protection must be taken into account by any homeowner.

By itself, foam core board insulation is quite difficult to ignite, but when that happens, the foam core board keeps burning steadily, while emitting a dense, toxic smoke, which proves to be full of harmful chemicals.

Before attempting to fireproof your house’s foam board insulation it is a good idea to check local fire protection codes and requirements that are required in your area. Sometimes these can vary from very strict one to nonexistent ones, yet they should not be ignored when dealing with insulating your house.

There are various methods to achieve an efficient fireproofing of the foam board insulation, depending on the building and the type of foam core board. Some metal faced foam core boards are designed especially for areas where the fire risk is higher and are designed such as to act as their own fire proof barrier. In other cases the most common methods is applying one gypsum wallboard at least half inch thick over the foam board insulation.

 

Build Your Own Vuvuzela, Annoy Your Friends on a Budget

World Cup fever has taken the world by storm and a topic of huge controversy is the South African Vuvuzelas that have all but drowned out the crowds at every stadium. The lengthy horns are selling out at any shop that sells them and the droning noise once unique to South Africa is spreading like wildfire.

Despite being little more than cheap plastic moulded tubes, they are flying off shelves at ridiculous prices. If you fancy being part of the atmospheric drone but don’t fancy the price tag, there are other ways of creating that authentic vuvuzela tune. Get more information about best drones under 500

If you are feeling creative, you just as easily make your own vuvuzela with a few simple household items at a fraction of the price. One of the cheapest options is to gather up around 10 toilet roll tubes, an A4 sheet of thin card, some tin foil and plenty of duct tape.

Slice each of the tubes lengthways and roll the first one in a thin conical shape with the smallest end around half the original circumference and secure with a strip of duct tape. Do this with each tube gradually getting wider each time and attach them all together to they make long tapered conical tube, similar to the shape of a vuvuzela, funnily enough. With the A4 sheet of card, fold it in on itself to create a large cone with an angle of around 45 degrees or more, cut out the centre to match then widest end of the toilet roll tubes. Secure to the tubes with tape and you’re good to go. You can protect your vuvuzela from the elements with more duct tape, tin foil or anything else lying around the house.

Some people aren’t so keen on the noise and if you aren’t looking for any unwanted attention, there is another way of making the noise; you will need a balloon and some hex nuts. Insert several small hex nuts inside a balloon and blow it up to a decent size, tie off the end and begin to move the balloon in a circular motion to spin the nuts. The contact between the metal and the rubber will create a similar noise to the vuvuzelas but when everyone turns around to see who to punch, there’s no horn in your hand!

 

Do Clouds Affect Solar Panels?

Cloudy Weather. Harsh Winters. Rain. If this sounds like an area you live in and want to install solar panels, you may be asking yourself, “should I even bother”. The general perception is the weather has a direct correlation to the output of your system. Or in other words, cities such as Columbus, Pittsburgh or New York won’t benefit from solar power like Miami, Las Vegas or Los Angeles. The general perception is wrong.

There are many advancements in solar technology and other factors that allow solar to work just as well for areas that have poor weather as areas that bask in the sun. Let us take you through some of those facts.

Cloudy areas are a good match for Solar South Carolina solar panel quotes

The solar superpower of the world, Germany, is one of the cloudiest countries in Europe Last May, it covered more than 95% of its power needs via solar energy. It is interesting to note that Germany only gets about as much sunlight as the state of Alaska, but it still manages to produce around 25 Gigawatts of power through solar. Amazing, right? That’s because cloudy days don’t matter as much as the total amount of sunlight you receive per year. Cities such as Cleveland, Portland, and Boston have cloudy weather but are great matches for solar!

Winter and the performance of your solar panels

It is important to remember that solar energy depends on light, not heat. It doesn’t matter how cold the weather is, as long as you receive sunlight your solar panels will be up and running in good shape. The key is to make sure your panels receive as much sunlight as possible and to limit/remove shading.

Effect on energy output

How much energy will your solar panels produce during cloudy weather? Your solar panels will give only 25%-45% of the energy they produce during a sunny day. However, Solar panel producers such as SunPower and LG produce panels that hold efficiency and high production even during low light conditions.

So, what’s the final verdict? Does solar work in cloudy weather? Yes, it does- even in cities such as Ohio (a small 4kW solar energy system can cover the majority of the electricity bills). Clouds and harsh weather are no reason to not go solar. But, it is important to keep in mind that your roof is solar ready and receives no shading!

 

Is Blockchain the Latest Revolution in Technology?

The blockchain is more like a digital ledger to store financial transactions just like a book that contains what comes in and what goes out. Unlike traditional ledger, the digital one is a lot more vast and secure with no intermediaries involved. About

In Blockchain, each block contains, but not limited to, a cryptographic hash of the previous block along with the transaction data. It can be used by two parties to record transactions in a secure and permanent way. It is managed by a peer-to-peer network and allows the safe transit of digital information.

Why is Blockchain the latest revolution in technology?

Blockchain technology was originally designed to deal with Bitcoin but now it has become the talk of the town, a revolution. During its earlier stage, the technology confronted heavy criticism and rejection but after a thoughtful revision, it came out to be more productive, more useful, and more secure. It has now become a practical way to store data in a digital form that is reconciled from time to time.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits:

Authenticity – The information is stored in blocks that are further stored on Blockchain that cannot be controlled by a single person or identity. It simply means that there are no or very fewer chances of failure and the technology can serve as a reliable space for a business transaction.

Transparency – The tech-savvy people claim that the Blockchain technology is totally transparent. As the blocks are recorded and added to it in chronological order, the participants are able to keep track of the transactions with a lot of ease and without recordkeeping.

Quality – In case of any irregularity, a Blockchain system makes it easier for concerned partied to investigate any issue as the system can lead them all the way to its point of origin. The quality assurance makes it an ideal technology for sectors where tracking the origination and other crucial details are necessary.

No Tampering – As the transactions and records are verified every single time they are passed on from one block to the next, there are less or no chances of error. The accuracy of the process protects the data from tampering, making the technology more user-friendly and efficient.

Agile – In the era when the time is money, Blockchain can play an imperative role by allowing faster dealings. As the system does not require a lengthy process of verification and clearance, it can be used by different industries for closing the deals fast.

Cost Saving – Last but of course not the least, Blockchain is a cost-effective technology because it does not involve any third-party. It makes the system an ideal one for both startups and established organizations.

 

Ready To Start A Kitchen Remodeling Project? Read This First

Everyone has heard the saying, “There’s no place like home”, and understands that it elicits a sense of peace and tranquility that’s safe from the perils of the world around us. But as much as home can be the place you want to retreat to, you might just look around and think that a change is needed, much like kitchen remodeling.

A remodel is often looked at as a way to make what is old new once again, thereby bringing some more life into an area of your home that perhaps has lost a bit of its luster. Kitchens are certainly places where most of our lives come together. We’re talking about the places where homework is done, report cards are read, teachers’ letters home are discussed, and major decisions as a whole are made. Our fridges take a battering from kids and adults alike, and depending on how much your cabinets are handled, you may be looking at some dingy cabinet doors that need updating.  Read more about   kitchen remodeling mckinney tx

All told, your kitchen takes a beating, so needless to say, embarking on a kitchen remodeling project seems like the logical thing to do. That is, of course, if you know a thing or two about remodeling any room. There is no such thing as a ‘routine’ project. Granted, your favorite DIY programming does its best to make everyone feel as though they can handle just about anything that requires some elbow grease. Kitchen remodeling, however, is an entirely different ballpark.

However, if you still feel that your kitchen needs a remodel in a big way, here are a few things you need to keep in mind:

You Must Have A Budget – It is imperative to know how much you are choosing to spend from the start. This will keep your project as financially honest as possible.

Think About Functionality Prior To Starting – You might get sucked into the fun & excitement of choosing cool new things to install in your kitchen, but have you thought about where your dishes will be stored?

Consider Keeping Your Current Layout – The more you physically change the way your kitchen is laid out, the more time and money will be sunk into your remodel.

Changes with Gas & Plumbing? Be Warned – If you’re thinking about dealing with gas lines or moving your current sink & dishwasher placement, you’ll likely need building permits from the city & will require the hiring of licensed individuals to do the work. Again, that’s time & money you’re losing.

Resale Value – You may not be actively thinking about selling your home, but you need to think about how your kitchen remodel will impact the resale value of your home down the road. What appeals to you & your family may not be anyone else’s cup of tea, and that could translate into a home that sits on the market for longer than it should.

Kitchen remodeling projects are no joke, and the purpose of getting information across regarding their potential pitfalls is done so for your sanity. New and shiny is exciting & wonderful, but is it all really necessary? You may just find that keeping things the way they are and making smaller changes may be easier. But if you still feel that you want to go the remodeling route, be sure to connect with local, trusted tradesmen who can steer you in the right direction and get the job done right the first time.

 

Editorial Guidelines for Submitting To EzineArticles.com

We reserve the right to determine what content is suitable for publication on our website. We will not accept content determined to be overly controversial, having a questionable legal status, or anything not consistent with the nature of the website.  Justfog

Articles containing content relating to the following topics will not be accepted:

  1. Hacking/Cracking Content – Examples of hacking/cracking content include:
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What TN Home Buyers Need to Know About THDA Loans

Some of the best loan programs in TN are right under our noses, and THDA loans (TN Housing Development Agency) are one of them. A few reasons why there isn’t a ton of press about these great loans is because 1) not all TN lenders can do them, 2) THDA loans tend to be smaller loan sizes (on average) and coupled with the limitation on allowable fees, many loan officers who could do them choose not to, and 3) many loan officers do not offer them because they believe that THDA loans are a lot harder to get closed, which is not true at all as long as they know the program guidelines. For brevity’s sake, this article will provide an overview for the THDA program rather than detail each of the 3 loans THDA offers (Great Rate, Great Advantage, and Great Start).

The THDA loan programs were designed to offer help to low to moderate income buyers in TN seeking to purchase an affordable home. Here are the main things to know about THDA loans: funders corner

  • these loans can be used only for primary residences in TN from one to four units
  • the loans are always 30 year terms with fixed rates.
  • the borrower must qualify for an FHA, USDA Rural Development, or VA loan program before the loan can “become” a THDA subsidized loan program. The vast majority of THDA loans are FHA, since FHA loans have the broadest in eligibility requirements. Minimum credit score for any THDA loan is 620 as of right now.
  • THDA loans can effectively make FHA loans near-100% or 100% financing when combined with available THDA grant money, a “community” 2nd mortgage program like The Housing Fund, or THDA’s “Stimulus” 2nd mortgage program.
  • THDA loans are made generally to first time buyers (including people who haven’t owned a home in 3 years); the exception to this rule is when a buyer is purchasing in a “targeted” county; for example, middle TN “targeted” counties include Cannon, Clay, Dekalb, Franklin, Giles, Grundy, Hickman, Houston, Jackson, Lawrence, Lincoln, Macon, Marion, Maury, Stewart, Trousdale, Van Buren, Wayne, and White.
  • THDA essentially sets its own subsidized or below-market rates, which are dependent on how much grant assistance one might need. There are 3 basic loan types: Great Rate (0% assistance), Great Advantage (2% assistance), and Great Start ( 4% assistance)
  • since THDA loans are intended for “modest” homes, properties must meet eligibility requirements; for example, the sales price cannot exceed the county’s limit. There are only 2 limits in the whole state of TN- either $226,100 or $200,160 (these limits are actually fairly liberal by TN’s standards). The counties which have the higher limit are the following counties: Cannon, Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Hickman, Macon, Robertson, Rutherford, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, Williamson, and Wilson. All other counties in TN fall under the lower limit.
  • the household income of the borrower(s) cannot exceed the median income limit for the county, based on the number of persons in the household; for example, in Davidson County (Nashville), for a 1-2 person household, the total household income limit is $64,900 right now. For a 3+ person household, the limit is $74,635. The lowest limit in TN is $54,500 for 1-2 persons and $62,675 for a 3+ person household.
  • THDA loans limit origination fees to 1% and discount points to.25%, which simply protects the buyer from getting overcharged. And since all THDA rates are the same regardless of the lender used, the main things a borrower needs to do is to make sure they feel the loan officer knows this program well, and that they feel comfortable working with that person.
  • a homebuyer education class is strongly encouraged on the Great Rate program, and required for the Great Advantage and Great Start programs; this class (if applicable) must be completed prior to the purchase, and must be done in-person. It only makes sense for these subsidized loan programs that borrowers know what they are getting into, how to budget, etc. The last thing THDA wants is for a borrower to lose their home.
  • all THDA loans are subject to a federal recapture tax provision if the purchased home is sold within the first 9 years. This tax sounds much worse than it is, though. A very small percentage of people have to worry about this, and even if they do, it’s typically because their income or home value have gone up a good bit since the purchase. That’s certainly not a bad thing!

THDA loans are a great way for first time buyers in TN in get into a home with little to nothing down, with a low interest rate and reasonable payment. Just knowing some of the basics of the program will hopefully help you know if you might be a good candidate for a THDA loan before you even speak with a lender.

 

Characteristics of Universal Life Insurance

As we mentioned in the previous article, universal life (UL) was introduced in 1981-82, in response to a historically high interest environment and a consumer awareness of the value of self-directed investments because traditional insurance could not compete with short-term interest rates.  http://intl-medical.com.my/
Here are some characteristics as follow
1. Account Value
The account value of a universal life plan is the sum of the gross values of all the investment accounts within the policy, including income, after deductions for the current month expenses.

2. Cash Surrender Value
The cash surrender value of a universal life plan is the current account value, less outstanding loans and surrender charges. Surrender charges are usually based upon a multiple of the minimum required premium for the policy back-end charges are larger than front-end charges.

3. Premiums & Contributions
Premiums are those amounts needed to pay the cost of insurance charges and other expenses for the policy. Deposits are those excess amounts that are of a pure investment nature.
4. Death Benefit Options
The amount of death benefit payable under a universal life policy is based upon 1 of 4 different options
a)Level death benefit: Level coverage throughout the lifetime of the policy.
b) Level death benefit plus cumulative gross premiums: Death benefit increases by the amount of each gross deposit to the policy.
c) Level death benefit, indexed: The amount of death benefit increases, yearly, by a predetermined percentage.
d) Level death benefit plus account value: The total amount of death benefit is always equal to the initial face amount, plus the gross account value. This is the most popular chose by 90% of universal life insurance policies’ owners because
the gross account value is tax free.

5. Premium Flexibility
The premium deposits, plus accrued investment income, must be sufficient to pay for all expenses and deductions, so as to keep the policy in force, tax exempt life insurance contract, flexible premium.
Universal life is not for every consumer
It’s flexibility tends to be reflected in much higher administration costs than are found in traditional whole life plans and the variable nature of the plan may make it unsuitable for those clients wanting guarantees

I hope this information will help. If you need more information, you can read the complete series of the above subject at my home page:

 

Have Bad Credit? How to Use FHA 203k to Purchase Distressed Real Estate

A hot topic here in Miami is distressed real estate. With all of the foreclosures and REO (real estate owned) properties on the market for sale, there are good deals to be had. The FHA 203k loan, sometimes called energy efficient mortgage or EEM for short, is a program that is available to help you purchase a distressed property and rehabilitate with energy-efficient “green” improvements.

It’s no secret that many of the foreclosures or REO properties have deferred maintenance. So it’s possible the electrical system does not work as it should, the hot water heater could leak, the air conditioner may need to be serviced or replaced with an energy efficient unit. Maybe the paint is dull and needs to be freshened up. All of these updates or repairs (and many more!) can be added into the cost of your mortgage, making your home more energy efficient and helping you to reduce your carbon footprint. Although there are tight lending guidelines that banks and lenders are required to follow, luckily enough there are still funds available to lend and bring these distressed properties back up to modern living standards with the FHA 203k loan. Even if you have less than perfect credit, FHA is on your side to help make your home ownership dream come true!

FHA loans are flexible when it comes to bad credit. If you have premature credit, FHA can approve a loan based on a single trade line and a single credit score, whereas conventional lending requires no less than two of the three credit scores. FHA is also great for first time home buyers who may have limited funds in the bank. The FHA 203k program allows buyers to put as little as 3.5 percent as a down payment (even though it’s a good idea to put down more). Another bonus of FHA is that you may still qualify whether or not you can demonstrate consistent work history over the previous two consecutive years. FHA loans are really forgiving.

Even prospective borrowers with more seriously damaged credit still have hope. Those with judgments, liens, collections, foreclosures or bankruptcies, who are interested in taking advantage of the distressed real estate market may still reach home ownership dreams. Here are some guidelines to follow: Green Improvements

–Collections – Not all collection accounts will be required to be paid prior to closing. Each collection trade line will be reviewed on a case-by-case base. If the collection still shows on your credit report, satisfaction might be requested in order to remove the negative trade lines prior to closing.

–Bankruptcy – Chapter 7 discharge of bankruptcy should be two of more years from loan application and show reestablished credit on all recent trade lines. Chapter 13 must show at least 1 year of payments to the courts after the restructure. No late payments are allowed since the bankruptcy started.

–Foreclosure – Foreclosures will not disqualify you from obtaining a FHA loan. However, buyers must typically wait a minimum of three years from the foreclosure date prior to purchasing (possibly less if you have extenuating circumstances and have established good credit).

–Liens – Federal liens are not eligible, such as a tax lien. Liens must be paid off or at minimum, a repayment plan must be established. Federal loans, such as student loans cannot be delinquent and must be brought current prior to application.

So, if you have been daydreaming about taking advantage of a good deal in the Miami real estate market, chances are that you might be in a better position than you think. You don’t need to be a bench warmer. You can play too!

 

Healthy Living – Using Mindful Eating and Technology to Get More From Your Meals

Mindful eating is the practice of thinking about what you are eating and why you are eating it. It requires…

  • deep thought,
  • appreciation of food, and
  • self-awareness.

Many people use mindful eating to check in with themselves before eating to make sure they are hungry or if they are just bored, tired, sad, etc. Others use mindful eating to appreciate where their food came from and how it got to their dinner table. However you use mindful eating, it can be incredibly eye-opening and life-changing. It may even help you realize you are not hungry for that unhealthy food you thought you wanted.Mindful eating asks you to identify your emotions before digging in. The intention is to increase your awareness of the present. Doing so eliminates worries and the possibility of overeating the wrong foods. Mindful eating activates all the senses. Touch and feel your food. Smell and taste it. Spend time examining how it looks. Doing so will not only slow down your eating, it will teach you to appreciate what you are about to consume. You may even enjoy it more!

So, are you ready to try but unsure where to start? There is an app for that. And it’s brilliant…

  • Headspace is a free app created by meditation and mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe to help you slow down and think about your food. The Headspace app was designed to reduce stress and anxiety, and promote creativity, focus, and health. more about  healthy living

The free app guides you through different meditation techniques in as little as 10 minutes a day. It can be downloaded onto your phone or computer. You can choose from the topics of…

  • health,
  • performance, and
  • relationships.

Let us face it – these three topics have a great influence on the foods we chose to eat. Get these under control and your eating habits will also improve.

The Headspace app transforms your brain by teaching it how to relax, which can help increase focus and manage…

  • stress,
  • unhealthy eating,
  • sleep patterns, and
  • toxic relationships, including the relationship you have with yourself.

The app features a quick start-up guide, all the technical support you may need, as well as fun visuals and an exciting website. Have a question? You can even ask Andy himself!Meditation and mindful eating go hand-in-hand. Use the Headspace app to teach yourself how to connect with your emotions. Doing so will show you about yourself and how to work your way out of less than ideal situations. Headspace users have claimed to have…

  • a better sense of gratitude,
  • an increase in athletic and career performances,
  • managed to rid themselves of cobwebs and empty thoughts,
  • managed to sober up,
  • to better cope with illnesses such as cancer,
  • gain control of their mind again, and
  • promote calmness.

Imagine using your new found brain control to assist with your food intake. We could all stand to be a little more patient, a little less anxious, and be somewhat more appreciative.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.