14
Sep

All News About President Trump

I have been reading a lot of Trump news ever since that incident happened in Charlottesville this past summer. I in no way condone any acts such as what went on there, and I was surprised to hear that there was a lot of anger toward the president of the United States because of comments he made, claiming that both sides were to blame. I felt that surely that must have been taken out of context, because I could not see how both sides were to blame at all in this unfortunate event that caused the death of a young woman. Continue reading

8
Jun

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26
Feb

News For This Month Renovations

Maintenance should be proactive, unobtrusive to guests

A hotel’s preventive-maintenance operations start with building a good team and effective communication, sources said.

The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Charleston – Historic District designates jobs to team members for exterior and interior maintenance objectives, such as touch-up on furniture and lighting fixtures. (Photo: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Charleston – Historic District)
By  Dana Miller

REPORT FROM THE U.S.—During the busy season, hotel engineering staffs on a preventive-maintenance schedule face the additional challenge of reducing interference with guests or when unexpected issues arise.

Darren Hills, area director of engineering at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Charleston – Historic District, said he and his team work through that by effective communication.

Guests are top priority
Starting from the basics, a guest’s privacy and managing around the guest is the biggest concern, said Chris Steele, GM of the Courtyard by Marriott Jacksonville Flagler Center in Jacksonville, Florida.

“That’s what it’s all about, making the most impact on the hotel in a positive way, yet while making the least amount of impact to the guests’ inconvenience,” he said.

The 120-room Courtyard Jacksonville Flagler Center is primarily a corporate hotel, Steele said, and the average length of stay is one to two days. At the hotel, it’s common to do what he calls “flipping the house.”

“… (With) probably 90 check-outs and 30 arrivals (in a day) … we are able to get in the morning during check-out and have the vast majority of our hotel open to us to (conduct maintenance). And it’s all a relatively quick process,” he said.

Ghee Alexander, GM of the Hilton El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort in Tucson, Arizona, and VP of operations, Southwest, for Prism Hotels & Resorts, said larger maintenance work is really planned, but if there is an unexpected inconvenience, they will let the guests know through signage or sending them letters.

Steele added that if a GM or the front-desk team are not following up with guests during a time when preventive maintenance is occurring on-property, they are missing a golden opportunity to add a personal touch.

Prioritize and manage the maintenance schedule
The goal, Steele said, is to get in front of maintenance issues so things aren’t breaking.

“By the time something breaks it’s already an inconvenience to the guest, it’s already going to cost money,” he said. “So really the true measure of success for an engineering team is to prevent things from breaking, not just fix things that are breaking.”

That’s a common misconception, he added.

Tom Kibler, director of property operations at the Hilton El Conquistador, which has 17 people on the preventive-maintenance team, said while some things are set to be checked weekly, monthly, semiannually or annually, sometimes routine checks need to be revised.

For example, kitchen equipment is scheduled months ahead of time in the team’s preventive-maintenance rotation, but is subject to change.

“There’s certain codes that dictate how often you’re supposed (to check kitchen equipment) but if it’s used 16 hours a day, you don’t necessarily want to follow (that every-six-month schedule) … maybe plan to do that one every other month,” he said.

Hills said prioritizing items on the maintenance schedule is based on what needs immediate attention, in which case it would be either a failed or inoperable piece of equipment that has an impact on operation, such as a plumbing fixture.

“That is escalated to immediate attention,” he said. “We also have opportunities to record items (through an asset-management system) that are important (but) aren’t immediate and can schedule a later date.”

Form a good team
Hills stressed that hotels need to invest in the asset of building a professional team of maintenance personnel.

Currently Hills’ team consists of six people to cover the 212-room property with more than 10,000 square-feet of meeting space.

“It’s quite a bit of area to cover (but) that number is right where we would need to be to make sure that everything is maintained on a daily basis,” he said.

Both Hills and Steele said their teams have welcomed the housekeeping staff to take part in some preventive-maintenance actions. Hills said his hotel’s housekeeping employees are not cross-trained per a schedule, but are still engaged and working side by side.

Maintenance teams also need to be flexible or adjust their schedules, Kibler said.

“I have painters and I bring them in early in the morning before most people are even waking up,” he said. “When (we) move into the kitchen areas, we’ll find that we need to alter our schedules to make sure that we get some repairs done prior to (the kitchen staff) starting their breakfast shift. They get here at 5:00 a.m., they may have a stove down, so we’ll bring the guys in around 3:30 a.m. to make sure they can do that prior to their opening.”

While Steele’s property only has a two-man engineering team, it’s about quality over quantity, he said. When a team manages a good maintenance schedule, emergency fixes become less of a hassle, he added.

“It’s important to say, anybody in the hotel industry knows this, there’s always things that happen, there’s always a fluke, but at this hotel, in particular, because it’s all managed in-house, there’s less hands in the pot,” he said. “Everything stays to a schedule (and) it does minimize our exposure to fluke things.”

Steele said his property rarely gets caught behind the eight ball thanks to a good schedule.

“That goes back to the whole (preventive maintenance) schedule,” he said. “That’s the whole purpose of preventive maintenance. It might sound so elementary but a lot of hotels lose sight of that.”

23
Jan

A Simple Plan Pianos

Children can easily learn faster than adults, although their attention span is shorter. This means that your children could learn many artworks and instruments quick and easy. Maybe your child will be the next piano celebrity in the world of music industry.

If you observe that your child shows interest in piano playing, support his talent. Maybe you could teach him yourself to play the piano or have someone close that can spend quality time with your child sharing with him knowledge in playing the piano. Or you could enroll him to some professional piano lessons or music school.

Make sure your kid is enjoying himself while learning the piano. They get easily frustrated and bored if you try to impose boring lessons. If you want to get his full interest, buy a piano or a keyboard and place it in a place where he can easily access it. Even better, if you can play some songs on the piano like a pro while your child watches you, his interest will skyrocket and he will be curios to try himself to play.

Ok, so you got your child’s interest, now it’s time to gather the resources and materials needed to start teaching him. Usually, you will need the following: a piano (or electronic keyboard), a music sheet and lots of time and patience. Even when he loses his interest or is very stubborn you need to invest a lot of patience to make him learn the right way.

Before starting your lesson, you have to take into consideration the following factors…

Time
Kids these days are very busy with a lot of activities. They have school time, homework, playmates and playtime. It is hard to insert a new chore to their schedule. But it is easy if you plan ahead and insert the piano lessons a few days apart into their busy schedule. Let them know their full schedule for the week ahead so they have time to take in the new information. Schedule at least 2-3 lessons a week with 1-2 hours per lesson.

Fun
You must make your lessons fun for your child. Do not make them seem like an obligation or punishment. Teach him that playing the piano has many benefits. Give him rewards each time he gets a chord right and plays it correctly. Don’t be too strict during practice if you don’t want the lessons to become stressful for him. He will start to regard the piano lessons as a chore and a bore and will start to hate them. If you see him playing around with the keys, let him be because he is getting the hang of it.

Support
Demonstrate first to your child that every piano lesson is very important. He must understand this before even memorizing a single key. After that let him learn at his own pace then ask him to identify the keys that have been pressed. This way he will memorize the lesson by the end of the day. Always give him a “Bravo” for a job well done.

11
Jan

What has Changed Recently With Renovations

How You can Improve the Living Space Through Home Renovation Though it is actually said that the food is the most basic requirement for the human beings to be alive on earth, there are other important things as well which are equally important in sustaining the life of mankind. Two of the very important things for being alive in the modern world are clothing and also a home or such place of shelter where one may come at the end of the day and be able to rest. The home has to be one in which the human beings can come to at the end of a really tiring day at work. It must let one take a rest and be able to prepare oneself for the next day’s activities full of vigor and vitality. When the home is certainly a necessity in life, then it is definitely your job to make sure that such is kept in the best way possible. It was more prevalent in the earlier times too and home renovation has taken such completely new dimension in the modern world. You should know that home renovation has surely become a scope for a huge business with newer and better aspects getting connected to such and so many people and especially the younger ones, seeing such lucrative career option and going for this eventually.

The house had been built a long time and this would need much renovation to keep up with the more modern designed homes and this comes with the importance of home renovation. You can give a facelift to an old-looking house with home renovation.

The home renovation may bring a change not just in the interior of your house but the exterior also. Home renovation is going to entail a really aesthetic process of the doors, floor walls, windows and several others and other issues which are required to change the home. At such time of home restoration, the people of the house are being asked to stay away from it until the work is actually completed. This is due to the work that is taking place can bring health hazards to people because the chemicals are also required in some processes as well as situations. Through having that full home renovation, then you can surely get a complete makeover of your house and this means that the home could follow the modern aesthetic as well as appeal rules. However, an aspect of the home renovation process is the large cost that is actually involved in the process and this would make a lot of people think twice before opting for such. There are a number of things that you need to factor in when you go for the full home renovation and it is essential that you are financially ready.

9
Jan

Roof Insulation Captures Escaping Energy

Roof Insulation Captures Escaping Energy

Attic insulation

 

When you turn on the furnace, your HVAC system is not the only thing keeping your house warm; proper insulation keeps this generated heat inside the home. Even though your walls, floors, and ceilings should all be equally padded, don’t forget that your roof is also responsible for maintaining temperature control. Like wearing a stocking cap on a cold winter’s day, the top of your house is what holds in the heat. And since heat always rises, it is critical that you have adequate roof insulation in order to keep your energy from escaping.

Bundle Up

By adding roof insulation to your home, you will be able to save money because your furnace will no longer have to run as often, keeping your energy bills low. Although you may already have installed attic insulation, it doesn’t hurt to inspect this area occasionally. The padding may have become packed due to moisture or aging, and therefore its R-value (a particular scale of thermal resistance: higher values equal more insulating power) may have decreased over time. So it never hurts to “bundle up” and add to your pre-existing padding so that it can maintain its proper strength.

First, measure the amount of attic insulation you already have installed and then convert that particular height into R-value. Most old homes have about a half-foot which would be an R-value of about 10-20, and should be then supplemented so that this value hits between 20-40. Much of this depends on your regional climate; colder areas of the country should shoot for higher R-values. As you measure, always make sure you wear proper protection (gloves, glasses, long sleeves) to guard against skin irritation. Also, for comfort, avoid hot days so that the task doesn’t become a chore; and for safety, always make sure you watch your footing to avoid falling through unsupported areas of the attic.

So Many Choices

This material comes in many forms, so make sure you choose the best type for you and your particular roofing system:

  • Fiberglass Batts: Arrives in long blankets that can be laid over rafters and is often used in sloped structures due to its ability to fit into tight corners. It usually has an R-value of 3 per square inch.
  • Fiberboard: Rigid squares of fiberglass great for flat roofs since they are easily able to fit next to one another on a level surface.
  • Loose Fill: Available in either fiberglass or cellulose form (cellulose has an R-value of 3 per square inch), these smaller fragments can be dropped by hand or blown-in. It’s great for sloped roofs that have hard to reach areas. It can be a bit difficult to install, so this will probably need to done by a professional, but it is extremely efficient because it can cover any tiny space as it settles.

If you have an upstairs storage space, attic insulation can be added to it at any time and with minimal effort. However, for homes without an attic it may be difficult to add roof insulation without extensive re-construction, so consider all your options and always consult a professional for further advice. The installation itself may be somewhat expensive, but in the long run you’ll actually save money. Remember: if you invest in the preparation now, you’ll always reap the benefits later.

9
Jan

Attic Fans Cool the Entire Home

Attic Fans Cool the Entire Home

Attic vent

During the hot summer months, attic temperatures can reach up to 160 degrees, and even though passive cooling systems, such as ridge vents, can certainly disperse the heat, more efficient ventilation can be attained through the use of attic fans. Though these fans can certainly cool down your attic, they have a much broader function: whole house ventilation.

In the Attic

During the summer, your attic acts as a giant radiator, retaining heat which can end up ruining your stored possessions. This built-up heat can also spill over into the rest your home, causing your utility bills to steadily climb. In the winter, although the attic is certainly cooled off, moisture can eventually build up on the interior of the roof, creating havoc on your household structure (mildew, mold, peeling paint, decaying shingles, warped beams and floorboards). Since you don’t want to waste energy by heating or cooling your attic, the most efficient way to solve these problems is simple ventilation.

Even though natural ventilation can alleviate a lot of problems, attic fans can increase the air flow by pulling in air outside of your home and pushing it out through attic vents. Just as with central air conditioners, when the air in the attic hits a certain pre-set temperature, the fan will pull in cooler external air and push out the warmer air at a faster rate than passive ventilation systems that normally have to wait until the air gets so hot that it expands and slowly floats out through the vents on its own. For the winter months, these fans can also come with a humidistat that can pull moisture out of the air in order to prevent dampness.

Whole House Fan

These fans not only cool off your attic, they can be designed to ventilate your entire house. Central air can be very expensive and inefficient. Plus, if you live in an older house without central air, why spend all that money on new units and duct work when attic fans can to the job for you. These fans are often installed in hallways and work on the same principle: by opening up your windows, they pull in the cooler outside air, move it quickly throughout your home, and release it through your attic, thereby cooling the entire house without all the extra costs. Of course it takes electricity to operate the fan, but it uses substantially less than central air; and if you want to avoid additional energy costs, you may want to look into the newest innovations in ventilation systems.

Solar Attic Fans

A solar attic fan is the newest invention in the heating and cooling industry. They are installed on the roofs of most homes and by collecting natural energy from the sun they can power a whole house fan with the same efficiency as electrical units. Since they run on natural resources, they cut down on utility costs, are more environmentally friendly, and don’t take up as much room in the home. They only operate when the sun is shining, but since removing excessive heat is usually the number one task of any attic fan, this is usually not a problem.

When it comes to ventilating your attic, always consult a professional. Though one fan is usually sufficient, it all depends on your personal priorities: cost, efficiency, and function. Do you want additional energy savings? Do you have a bigger attic to ventilate? Are you concerned about just the upstairs or the entire house? Are solar attic fans right for you? These questions can be better answered by consulting an experienced contractor who can impart expert advice and ensure quality installation.

9
Jan

Insulating an Attic

Insulating an Attic

Attic insulation

If you’re looking for your next home improvement project and want to do something sensible that has immediate returns on your investment, consider installing or upgrading your attic insulation. More than any other place in the home, quality insulation in the attic promises to give you the most benefits. Studies show that most homes will pay for the cost of installing attic insulation within 3-6 years. It may not sound sexy, but attic insulation is one of best functional home improvement projects out there.

Insulating an Attic from the Heat and the Cold

More heat is lost through poor attic insulation than from any other place in your home. If you think about it, it makes sense. Heat rises and when it rises through your home, it ends up leaking through the attic. On the other hand, many attics are the farthest place in the home from the central air conditioning and can be the hottest room in the house. Thus, attics need to be insulated from the heat and the cold. Whether you’re trying to improve the energy-efficiency of your home or make your attic space comfortable, attic insulation is almost universally a great idea.

Attic Insulation Installation

Blown cellulose or fiberglass insulation tend to be the insulating materials of choice in most areas of the home, and the attic is no different. This especially holds true when laying new insulation over the old. If you have an older home, you’ll need to make sure there’s no asbestos in your old attic insulation. (If in doubt about asbestos, consult with an insulation contractor for advice.)

Blown insulation generally covers better in an existing house and is more economical—just be sure you get quotes by R-value—not in inches, as that will vary among many different products. Also, be sure your quotes include the minimum depth in inches and that the number of bags to be used match the manufacturer’s specifications.

Naturally, the cost of installing attic insulation varies greatly depending on your situation. Current insulating values, desired insulating values, size of your home, attic accessibility, and other local factors will all influence the total cost. Installing attic insulation can be as cheap as a couple hundred dollars or expensive as several thousand. Be sure to get multiple, clearly-stated, written estimates to gauge how expensive the project will be.

Vapor Barriers and Attic Ventilation

Attics and roofs are much more complicated than simply sheltering your home’s interior from the harsh elements of the weather. Along with proper insulating qualities, a well-constructed attic must keep moisture from forming on your roof but allow air to circulate, bringing in fresh outside air. Attic insulation should include a vapor barrier between the insulation and the interior surface to prevent condensation from infiltrating your roof. Condensation can ruin the insulation itself, cause rot in your roof framing, and blister paint.

The hot air that accumulates in your attic must be allowed to vent to keep your air conditioner from over-working. In the winter, temperature differences can cause the formation of ice dams that threaten serious damage to your roof. Covering existing attic vents with insulation can be a catastrophic mistake. If your attic doesn’t already have vents, they may need to be added with installing the attic insulation.

9
Jan

Gable Vents: Let Your Attic Breathe

Gable Vents: Let Your Attic Breathe

Gable Venting

 

Gable vents are usually installed on the exterior wall of your attic in order to create proper air circulation during extreme climate conditions. In months of intense weather, the inside of your house can be regulated with heating and cooling systems. But since you don’t bother to heat your attic and hot air always rises, this roof space is often left alone to bear the brunt of significant temperature shifts. In the summer, humidity can build up in your attic, overheating this storage area and damaging your possessions. Plus, excess heat can seep into other parts of your house, making your utility bill rise. During the winter, stagnant air can cause condensation to form in your attic as well, once again putting your house at risk for mold, mildew, and leaks. Therefore it is always important to ventilate your attic in order to keep the air moving and the temperature regulated.

A Touch of Design

Unlike other passive venting systems, such as soffit or ridge vents, gable vents are meant to be seen. They are made visible on the front of a house or roof and add an architectural element to an otherwise invisible opening. Most venting systems are placed along unseen areas of the roof, but these particular vents offer all the functional benefits of these other exhaust openings and add an interesting accent to a home’s exterior. Most of the time, these large openings are centered in the area where two slopes of a roof join into the triangle, and they are framed to come in many different sizes (depending upon the size of your attic) and shapes (octagon, circle, triangle, cathedral, diamond). They are then covered with elegant, horizontal slats (often called louvers) constructed of wood, vinyl, or metal for an elegantly traditional look. Inside, a mesh screen is usually attached to keep out insects or other vermin, but outside they create an attractive accent for your home’s exterior. And since they can come in any shape, color, or material, you can match any product with your own tastes and styles.

Is One Enough?

Though gable vents are nice to look at and serve the same function as other ventilation systems (keeping out the rain, preventing leakage, avoiding deterioration of materials in attic, lowering utility costs), they may not be able to do it alone. Depending on the size of your attic, they may need to work in conjunction with soffit or ridge vents in order for your attic to be truly aerated. The nice thing about passive venting systems is that they are cheap, easy to maintain, save money, and maximize the area in your roof since you won’t have to waste space and money running a whole-house fan. However, if you don’t want to invest in supplementary vents, then you have the option of buying a ventilator for your gable vent. This small fan attaches to the opening and pushes the stagnant air in and out, creating an air flow and saving you from installing additional ventilation.

9
Jan

Ridge Vents Can Help Let Off Some Steam

Ridge Vents Can Help Let Off Some Steam

Attic vents

 

You probably only enter your attic when you need the occasional memento or when you retrieve your Christmas decorations. Therefore, you probably rarely get a sense of what goes on up there all year long. Since roofs are designed to keep out external forces, such as rain, snow, and wind, they are sealed weather-tight. Of course you want this for your roof, but this air-tight seal can also trap hot and cold air in your attic if it is not properly ventilated.

You may be asking yourself: Who cares if my attic gets hot or cold? It’s not a habitable part of your home and you’re certainly not going to air condition it in the summer and heat it in the winter. However, like any part of investing in your house, you have to make sure everything is being maintained properly. The attic is no exception; and ridge vents are your answer.

Problems to Avoid

If your attic is not properly ventilated, several problems can occur. In extreme climate months (summer and winter), the possessions in your attic may be at risk. Can you imagine what your photo album looks like when the temperature in your attic hits 160 degrees? In the winter, frost can form on the underside of your roof, causing condensation and eventual dripping, putting everything you own at risk, not to mention damage to your roof joists and floorboards. And though you’re not intentionally heating or cooling your attic, the hot and cold air that this space takes on will eventually seep over into the rest of your home’s interior, making your utility bills increase unless everything is correctly ventilated.

How It Works

Ridge vents are also excellent in that there will be no holes in your roof for turbines or other ventilation methods. This makes for a nice, smooth continuous roof, which can be quite striking.

To avoid long-term repair costs, a simple way to circulate air through an attic is with ridge vents. By installing soffit vents behind or above your gutter system, air is then able to enter your attic, and through the natural forces of wind and thermal convection this air then circulates through your attic and exits through the peak of your roof through ridge vents. This floating exchange of air keeps your attic cool in the summer and dry in the winter, and the wind outside can even expedite this process by sucking out any warm air and moisture more quickly. These vents work all year long and are often designed to blend in with your roof so that they become invisible to onlookers.

Don’t Break the Seal

Though these ventilations systems allow musty air to escape your attic, they are also specially designed to keep precipitation out. They often come with external baffles or weather stripping to continually deflect any rain, snow, or other outdoor threats. So though you are opening your attic to fresh air, you’re not welcoming unwanted intrusions.

Some Helpful Tips

If you already have a ventilation system, yet your attic still makes you want to pass out from the heat, you may have to re-invest in new vents. Plus, if you have an older home, you’re system may be out of date. So always consult with a roofing contractor to see if your system is up to code. Also, when it comes to installation, it’s best to leave it to the professionals: ventilation systems use complicated laws of physics so all the parts have to work in unison. Everything has to be put in their proper place, otherwise it won’t work. Therefore, to relieve any additional worries or stress, leave this job to the people who know what they’re doing.