The Advantage of Building a Carriage House

Keep Your Cars Clean, Secure & Dry in a Timber Carriage House

When it comes to living in the country many homeowners experience the problems associated with not having a lot of space. Another thing that really annoys people is that there are a lot of birds that live and fly around in the area. In these cases what happens is that people constantly have their vehicles covered and bombed with bird droppings. This can become an unnecessary and annoying problem with having to clean off the dust and bird droppings every single time you choose to leave your home and go out and drive to a different location. Because of this problem carriage houses become a natural remedy and make this problem disappear and they are an essential item to any home. We will discuss the advantages and how to build a wooden carriage house within the following article.

A carriage house is a stand-alone structure that offers your vehicle the protection from the elements and weather as well as animals and bird droppings. They are typically freestanding buildings that are built on a secure concrete foundation. If you find that the weather and elements impacting your car or bird droppings cause problems for you and your vehicle then investing into a parking structure like a carriage house would be a more then likely good idea. It increases the lifespan of your cars paintwork and protects you from the rain and sun as you get in and outside of your car. They can also add value to your home for when you decide to sell your home or put it on the real estate market.

A humble carriage house will increase the lifespan of your vehicles. Image credit: Pinterest

There are two common options when it comes to implementing a carriage house with those being buying a prefabricated carriage house or building your own out of wood. You have to make the appropriate design plans and know what kind of structure you will need to build. You will have to check in with local authorities to make sure you follow local building regulations and also be sure you will not be impacting any water, sewage, gas or electrical lines below ground. We will discuss the various details that you need to know about building your own do it yourself carriage house project below.

The first thing you will need to do is find out the building permit requirements and different rules within your municipality. You will need to know whether or not you are allowed to build timber carriage houses on your property. Next, you will need to have a plan to use. You can draw up the plan yourself or a get a builder to design it for you. There are also predesigned packages available online as well as prefabricated wooden kits available on the internet too. You can also choose to hire a local contractor.

When you purchase the materials you will want to buy pressure treated lumber for better longevity and resilience. They are very durable and are an effective medium to build your structure with and they are incredibly sturdy. The next thing you will have to do is prepare the ground you plan on building on. If you have a bigger car or truck you will have to make the proper adjustments to make sure your structure is big enough. You will need to level the ground and cover it with either gravel or you can always use a concrete slab.

A Carriage House requires a suitable concrete slab before construction. Image credit: About Civil

You will need to dig holes around the perimeter and build the beams. You want the holes to be between 2 and 3 feet deep. Set the posts on a side at 9 feet with the posts on the other side being 11 feet which allows for a natural decline which will allow for drainage and runoff from rain and snow. You will then want to pour concrete into the holes and plant the posts in the middle of the holes surrounded by the concrete. Afterwards fasten the beams together with crossbeams. You will then want to build rafters and place them around 3 feet apart. Next will come building the actual roof. You will want to fasten plywood across the rafters and you want to have a 6-inch overhang from the front to the back of the structure for runoff as we mentioned earlier in this article.

Finally, you will want to finish the overall job by caulking the plywood roof joints. You can also place shingles on the top of the plywood roof to make it last longer. You may also want to reinforce the joints with metal plating and lastly don’t forget to stain the wood elements to make it last longer and not suffer damage from weathering.

Article Credits

The author acknowledges and thanks the following sites for use of their material:

How to transform a tired kitchen with replacement doors, drawers & countertops

Many different people have said throughout the centuries that the kitchen is the heart of the home. When it comes to rebuilding and designing a new kitchen, we will look at how replacing doors, drawers and countertops can update and transform an older kitchen. Our ultimate goal of this article is to help you to find ways on how to increase the overall value of your home by updating and upgrading your kitchen and improve your lifestyle, as well as make it more attractive to prospective buyers if you ever decided to put it on the market for sale.

The first thing we would always suggest is to update your old kitchen cabinets. Changing the look and feel of your kitchen by switching to updated cabinetry will make your kitchen more modern and fresh. Changing your cabinets is cheaper than doing an entire restoration and you can sometimes even do the work yourself. It will add value to your home to have a more updated and modern functioning kitchen if you choose to sell your home. This isn’t the only method that we outline within this article. I will share you with more kitchen remodeling pieces of advice below.

A Granite Worktop Can Transform a Kitchen. Image credit: Glasgow Granite

When it comes to home renovations we are only limited by imagination and cost. One way you can add value to a kitchen is by changing over the kitchen countertops. We will discuss how this impacts you and the value of your kitchen when it comes to increasing the value of your home.

Kitchen countertops are an integral aspect of every single home kitchen. Even if you change your cabinets and add a new dishwasher, your kitchen will still look plain and unpolished if you do not replace the countertops of your kitchen. Changing your kitchen countertops is something we suggest you do if you want to update your entire kitchen and add greater value to your home.

You must plan the blueprint of the kitchen and overall design to figure out your budget when it comes to updating your kitchen countertops. Updating your countertops is an investment and will add resale value to your home. You should invest time looking into the different options available and what you are able to afford within your budget. Once you update the countertops your home will gain added resale value which will put more money in your pocket if you decide to sell your home.

Another suggested addition to your kitchen makeover is what is called pot drawers.” They resemble ordinary fronts of drawers and when they are fully pulled out they are deep shelves. You can use these for larger pots that usually get stuck in the far back end area of kitchen cabinets. These pot drawers give you addition of storage space and more usability in your kitchen. Why struggle to get the big pots that end up in the back of cabinets? Try the pot drawers strategy to add value to your home if you choose to sell it one day and come out ahead with a profit.

Fitting Kitchen Cabinets Yourself is Relatively Easy. Image credit: HGTV

Lastly, we would like to point out the benefits of changing the style of your kitchen layout by simply replacing kitchen doors cabinet drawers and cabinet doors! Replacing the kitchen doors is a simple way to give your home that extra flare you want for your cooking area and will be an upgrade that will remain valid for a long time to come.

Replaced kitchen doors are a much more cost sensitive method compared to if you were going to completely re-fit the kitchen.

If you are choosing to completely change the style of your kitchen, when you decide to replace the doors as well as the drawers can give your kitchen a look as if it had been completely transformed. It doesn’t have to cost a large amount of money to do this task sufficiently. Look into the measurements and what you can work with and go to the house and home hardware type businesses to find yourself doors, drawers, handles, and pullies. You can do this on your own if you have knowledge of home construction but we recommend you use professionals. The difference between an amateur hook up compared to being done by a professional is high. Be sure to speak to a professional kitchen facelift company. We suggest this with all of our construction ideas on making your home’s kitchen that much more modern and to increase the value of your house.

The trends within Interior design change week by week but you can pull up the value of your kitchen by using some of the ideas that we shared with you above. Give your home’s kitchen a new updated designer look by using the methods we have outlined above for you to use.

Got Wide Feet? Here’s How To Choose Suitable Running Shoes

Wearing running shoes that fit isn’t just key to comfort, it is also important for the prevention of injuries and for the proper support of your feet during your run. However, finding the proper running shoes can be quite a challenge.

Women tend to have wider feet than men because of their wider hips which make them tend to overpronate or roll inwards. In fact, people who over-pronate often have wider feet than those who do not. When shopping for shoes, it is important to shop for width, not just size

Common Foot Injuries. Image credit: Community Chiropractic

Other common causes of wide feet

  1. Obesity – increase in weight puts pressure on the feet and eventually flattens out the ligaments and muscles.
  2. Ageing – feet tend to widen with age as a result of a stretch in muscles and ligaments of the feet
  3. Excessive standing – people who spend long hours on their feet like nurses, restaurant workers, and security guards often have wider feet due to constant pressure on the feet over the years which makes them
  4. Pregnancy – there is increased weight which puts more pressure on the ligaments and muscles. In addition, the body also releases a hormone called relaxin which makes the muscles relax. Some feet may go back to the normal size after giving birth but in other cases, it is a permanent change in size.

Tips to guide you in buying shoes for wide feet

Determine the size and width of your shoes

You may assume that you know your shoe size, but it is important to have your feet measured every time you want to buy new shoes. Your feet change over time, and different shoe models may fit differently from others. Have your feet measured later in the day, that is in the late afternoon or early evening when they are at their biggest.

You will realize that you may need a running shoe that is half a size larger than your regular shoes to allow room to flex your foot and for the toes to move forward with every stride.

When you stand with both shoes on, make sure that there is at least a thumbnail’s space between the end of your longest toe and the tip of your shoe. You can also ask to be allowed to do attest run around the shop, sidewalk or a treadmill.

The New Balance 860v6 running shoe is specifically designed for runners with wide feet. Image credit: GreyWolf

Find shoes with a wide toe area

It is key that you avoid shoes that a pointy toed if you have wide feet. If you find yourself having to squeeze your foot into a shoe, brace yourself for injuries and other foot conditions. Always ensure that your feet have enough space to move.

Some shoe brands may also have a wider than usual toe box in their standard size widths, so you can consider these too. This is why it is important not to rule out the usual sizing just because you have wider feet.

Look for shoes with removable linings or insoles

The insoles or linings can be removed to create wider room for your feet or for orthotics if needed. Orthotics will provide support for your feet problems that could be as a result of wide feet. Alternatively, if you select a suitable pair of shoes, this shouldn’t be necessary. Manufacturers such as New Balance running shoes offer specific models for wide feet such as the 860 2E. Try these out first when you go to your local running store. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Pick shoes with laces or straps

Shoes with straps or laces are ideal for people with wide feet. They allow you to set them as wide as you would wish, which allows maximum space for your feet.

Longer laces or changing the lacing pattern to from crisscrossing to feeding up the sides will make a standard shoe fit better on a wider foot.

Avoid shoes with slip

As much as possible, avoid shoes with slip even if they fit in width. This is because your feet tend to slide forward and your toes are squashed up in the toe box. Shoes without slip will keep your feet at the right place with enough space between the tip of the shoe and the tip of the longest toe.

The upper

Look for a shoe that is made with a mesh or fabric that stretches. A hard plastic or leather will restrict the normal expansion or swelling of your feet during a run, which can lead to injuries.

Look for shoes that have a fabric or mesh that stretches, rather than plastic or leather which is hard and restricts as your feet swell during exercise

In case you are having issues finding the right size at your regular shoe store, look for a store that specializes in wider sizes. If you wish to buy online, make sure you have your feet measured by a professional and pick familiar brands that you have used in the past. You may also need to check on their return policy in case the shoe does not fit as expected.

How to build a console table with MDF or plywood

Make your own MDF masterpiece with our simple guide

A console table is a practical and aesthetically pleasing addition in a living room or dining room. Sometimes you notice that one of the walls appears empty, and it would thus be a good idea to have a side table placed there. Console tables take various forms, the simplest being a simple table top supported by brackets, and then there are others which include different sections in the lower parts. Simply placing a mirror over it, and decorating it with a lamp and some family photos could work wonders in a room or entrance hall, or even in a corridor. Most probably if you were to take a look at your home you will be able to identify various areas where a console table would look great. So, why not try building one yourself? It is really quite easy.

Tools & Materials

First you will need certain tools, including a circular saw, a drill and a pocket hole. If you own a mitre saw or a table saw it will be even simpler to build. You will need 18mm sheets of plywood or better still, have some 18mm MDF boards cut to measure. You’ll also need shelf brackets, screws, and stain or paint. To acquire all the materials you will need to decide on the dimensions of your console table first. So measure and design it on a sheet of paper, so as to visualize well how it is going to look once done.

Then, you are good to go!

Using a table saw will give you perfectly straight cuts. Image credit: Start Woodworking

Let’s Get Started

Cut the top in the dimensions you decided upon, and then cut the legs. Then, mark at least a 1 inch inset on each of the corners. Make sure you line up the squares with the top of the table. Put glue on the top of each leg, line it up with the marks and attach it. Screw it in place for additional security. Repeat for the other legs.

If your console table is going to be in a simple design, you are basically done, as you have the top and the legs, and all you need to do is sand, paint or stain. However, we are going to go into a bit more detail for those who prefer to add one or more shelves in the lower part of the console table. This allows for more storage space, as well as a more elaborate design, which might appeal to many.

Having at least one shelf at the bottom is not only aesthetically pleasing but also better for stability purposes, since the shelf can actually help to hold everything together. You will need to see that the dimensions of the shelf or shelves are slightly smaller than those of the table top. You will need to buy L brackets or shelf brackets to attach the shelves. These generally come with screws. As a general rule of thumb about 23 inches from the bottom of the legs is a good level for an upper shelf. This will depend on whether you will have one or two shelves though, so try to be realistic so as not to have it too low. Attach the brackets, cut the shelf panels, and attach them. Finally screw them up.

Sanding is an important part of this project. The more you sand the smoother the finish will be. Generally starting with an 80 grit sandpaper and finishing off with a 220 grit one is a good idea. Sanding off the corners or gouging the top could give your console table a weathered look that complements antique furniture.

Basic Console Table Frame. Image credit: Jen Woodhouse

If you are going to stain the table it may be best to put some pre-stain conditioner first. Stains will need to be applied according to the respective instructions as these may vary from one brand to another. Besides different colors might have different processes. If you want to get the French country look, use furniture wax which works really nicely on a console table. Staining is often preferable to painting, but both will work out fine if you try to ensure a neat application. If you decide to paint instead of staining it, make sure to apply the first coat and then leave it to dry well before applying the subsequent coat. Two coatings of paint are recommended.

As you can see it is really simple to build a console table on your own. There are no complications when it comes to attaching the different sections together as it is a simple table, but one which could look really great in various parts of your house.

How Beginner Astronomers Can Observe Star Constellations

Getting to grips with what’s in the night sky

One of the most confusing things novice amateur astronomers have to deal with is trying to make sense of the about 3 000 stars that are visible with unaided vision. It’s gets worse; a pair of binoculars will let you see about 200,000 stars, while upgrading to a 3-inch telescope will let you see about 5 million or so, and that is not even under totally dark skies.

As a novice you probably have no clue how to start looking for something among the multitude of stars, but there is an easy way to make sense of it all- just learn the constellations, and especially the constellations that never sets for observers in the northern hemisphere. These are called circumpolar constellations, and there are several of them visible from the UK, such as Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Draco, Cepheus, Cassiopeia and Camelopardalis. Here is how it will help you…

All celestial objects have “addresses”

Except for the Sun, all celestial objects can be found by looking for them within a constellation. For instance, if an object’s coordinates places it in say, Ursa Major, all you need to do is look for Ursa Major, which narrows down the field of search considerably. Once you have found the right constellation, you can easily find the specific object you are looking for.

However, finding the constellation might not be as easy as it sounds, since some stars that make up a constellation are sometimes too faint to be seen with unaided vision. Fortunately though, many constellations contain well known asterisms, which are groups of bright stars that trace out a figure in the sky. In the case of Ursa Major, the Plough (Big Dipper) is very prominent, and easy to find. The image below illustrates this very clearly.

Image credit: Sky & Telescope

Image credit: Sky & Telescope

In this particular image (that consists of a photograph and a line drawing from a star chart), it is clear that the other stars that make up Ursa Major are not clearly visible in the photograph; however, a star chart (Fig.2) will show all the stars and other objects within any given constellation. Note the series of black dots at the bottom of the star chart; in a chart of this type the size of the dot is related to the magnitude of the star as seen from earth. Therefore, the bigger the dot is, the brighter the star is.

Image credit: Image credit: IAU/Sky & Telescope

Image credit: Image credit: IAU

Learn the sky one constellation at a time

With a bit of practice, the entire Ursa Major constellation will jump out at you as soon as you look the Plough, since the human brain is very good at making, and remembering patterns. Nonetheless, recognizing the constellation is not enough. While the stars that make up the constellation cannot be resolved into discs, they can serve as markers from which to “star hop” to galaxies, star clusters, nebulae, and other objects within the constellation that are visible to amateur equipment.

However, note that the figure of a bear is only a small part of the constellation. The entire white area in the Map of Ursa Major comprises the constellation proper, so do not confine yourself with just the stars that make up the Bear. The same is true for all the constellations, so take your time to learn the 68 constellations visible from the UK one by one, starting with the 5 that never set.

Buy an atlas of the stars

Star atlases and charts come in many flavours, but getting one, and learning how to use it to identify constellations by their principal stars is an absolute requirement if you want to learn to enjoy exploring the heavens. However, star charts are not for everyone, because some charts can be more confusing than the sky itself, especially if you do not have general sense of how the sky is arranged, and how this arrangement changes throughout the year.

A simpler approach that works well for many beginners is to use one of the many free planetarium programs available online to print out a chart for a specific day. Most, if not all such programs have the ability to present the sky from any point on the planet, which makes it easier to relate the chart to the sky as it appears from the observers’ point of view.

Moreover, planetarium software can also be set to show only the brightest stars in any given constellation, or to only show a particular constellation and its boundaries, which makes learning the constellations a whole lot easier.

One more thing

Do not attempt to see an entire constellation with a telescope. Telescopes reduce the visible field, effectively rendering most of a constellation invisible, so first identify the constellation without optical aid before trying to locate an object within the constellation. If you ar eunsure of what equipment to use, then there are many guides online that detail a list of recommended stargazing products for beginners.

Weight Loss Protein Shakes: Which Whey is right for you?

Whey protein is the most popular protein supplement among athletes and gym regulars. It is also used to make one of the most effective weight loss protein shakes. There are various types of whey proteins available on the market and each has a specific purpose – weight loss, muscle building, or repair. So you should know which whey protein supplement is right for you before you start gulping down weight loss shakes.

Whey protein for weight loss

Whey protein isolate has been proven to be effective in losing excess fat in the body, thus aiding in weight loss. Whey protein isolate is almost 90% protein and goes through several filtering processes that removes fats, carbs and other nutrients from it. Whey protein isolate therefore has less fat, cholesterol, lactose, carbohydrates and calories than most other proteins on the market. Moreover, isolate heightens the metabolism of the body, thus helping you burn the excess fat. Also whey protein isolate can increase the feeling of satiety and thereby reduces your trips to the fridge.

Whey protein for muscle gain

Protein is an essential muscle building element. Whey protein is one of the most efficient and easily digestible sources of protein that you will find in the market. Since whey protein is sourced from dairy products, your systems can digest the protein easily giving you access to first class protein. Whey protein consumption gives you a positive protein balance. If you want to build a lean and muscular body, you should go for the whey protein concentrate. It is about 80% protein with a little amount of fat and carbs. Living on an all-protein diet will only cause you to lose muscles as your body will not have the adequate carbs and will burn fat at its source. Thus for growing muscles whey protein concentrate is the best option.

Whey protein babies and recovery

Whey protein is also a great important source of protein for babies. Since it is sourced from dairy, it is also good for their health. But the type of whey protein that should be given to babies should be the hydrolysed one. In hydrolysed whey protein, the amino acids are broken into simpler amino acids called peptides. These can be easily digested by the babies. Hydrolysed whey protein is also good for repairing damaged muscles as it helps to shuttle nutrients to the muscles.

Cheap Reading Glasses: How & Where To Buy Your First Pair

So you’ve hit that 45-65 age group. You’re eyesight isn’t what it once was. You’ve noticed recently that you hold books, magazines and all types of printed material further away from your face to aid focusing and legibility yet it’s not getting any easier.

At work, you find it hard to focus. Headaches, muscle pain and tension have become the norm. Your computer monitor doesn’t seem as sharp anymore and everything is just a little bit hazy. Don’t worry. This is normal. It’s all a part of ageing.

If you’re in this position, you need to seriously start thinking about investing in a pair of good quality reading glasses, at a power that suits your condition. And that condition is called presbyopia. Sounds scary doesn’t it? But it’s not life threatening. In fact, it’s simply about wear and tear. After several decades of constant, intense use, muscles, joints and ligaments start to deteriorate and their elasticity and suppleness starts to fade away. Well guess what? The same can be said for your eyes.

With age, the lenses on your eyes loose elasticity, flexibility and the ability to react to different tasks. So as a result, your focal range lessens and objects that you could see clearly in your youth suddenly are a great deal blurrier because the lenses in your eyes can’t perform as they could years before.

At first, this is hard to accept and many of us want to try to sweep it under the carpet but as the days and weeks pass and nothing improves, we know we have to make that inevitable decision to go see an eye doctor, get our eyes checked and find out what strength reading glasses we need. Yeah it sucks but hey, there’s a pretty quick and easy solution and that’s to go shopping at the mall or go online and find a pair that’s right for you.

So are you sat at home reading this and wondering if it’s time you stopped being in denial and get this situation sorted out? Today is that day so here’s some sound advise on the steps you should take if you really believe that your eyes need some love and attention to help them focus better:

1. Get an eye exam
First and foremost without question, go see an eye care professional. If you’re registered with an optician or optometrist, then pick up the phone and make an appointment. If you’ve never been to see one before, it’s about time. There’s a whole bunch of great eye health professionals all operating in practically every city and town and they can be found by checking the Yellow Pages, searching online or ask a friend if they can recommend someone. The fact is, you need to have your situation diagnosed correctly and professionally first. If it is presbyopia and you simply have an age related condition, they’ll tell you and they’ll advise what power strength lenses you’ll need and the best places to find them nearby.

2. Get to the mall
Okay, so many of us can’t stand the mall but this is a must. You can’t carry on fumbling your way through life, struggling to read books, focus on your computer or get behind the wheel of a car in your situation. You have to take decisive action now. It’s the responsible thing to do.

There’s some good stores out there that have some amazing ranges of reading glasses for both men and women. Even some ranges are unisex so you can let your partner borrow yours too! But in all seriousness, this should be a fun process. For some people who’ve never worn glasses before, seeing yourself in the mirror with a set of frames for the first time is a little weird but you’ll soon get used to it and after a period of time, you’ll find you actually grow to like them.

So use this time wisely and don’t rush in and buy the first pair you try. Check out as many frames at as many stores as you can and perhaps, even get a friend to take pictures of you using your phone to see how you look. Then take those shots home and decide for yourself what style you feel comfortable with and then you have a clear idea of what lens strength you need, what shape of frame you prefer and now all that’s left to do, is buy the best value pair you can find. And that’s where the web comes in…

3. Get online
The internet is filled with some great stores that specialise in nothing but cheap reading glasses. So if you thought going to the mall was the best and only option, then think again! Now that you know the exact type of frame shape and style you want, the online stores now give you a much, much wider range to choose from within your preferred criteria. And to top it off, the prices should be better too. So where you could have purchased a single pair at the mall, by going online, you could probably pick up two or three pairs for the same money.

To find some of the best internet stores, simply go online and type in some typical searches like “good quality affordable reading glasses” and you’ll be presented with at least two to three pages of great search results. So have some fun out there and use this as an opportunity to create a new look and a new you. This is not a make or break situation, this is a makeover. So stay positive and follow the three simple steps above and you’ll be seeing everything as crystal clear as you used to in no time at all!