Best Trees for Indoors

Trees are great things to have in your yard. They clean the air, they give shade and privacy, they are great for climbing and they are beautiful to look at as well. While many trees are just too big to think about growing inside, there are many trees that make wonderful accents to the inside of your home. Here’s just a few:

If you are a fan of the Victorian Era you may have seen pictures or seen movies of the time with parlour palms sprucing up the, well, parlour. The adapt well to low light and humidity and they are on the list of NASA’s 50 Plants That Clean the Air. And face it, they’re breezy and fancy and who wouldn’t want one in their living room in a large ceramic pot?

If you want a touch of Christmas in your home year round, what about a Norfolk Pine? They are essentially baby Christmas trees that love bright light and moist soil. At Christmas time you can decorate them with little bows or fairy lights, but they make a great addition to any room year round.

If you like big bold statements you’ll want a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree in your living room. These trees have large sculptured leaves that give the air of the tropics without being weepy or wispy. These trees love light but don’t like drafts so keep them away from windows and doors and you’re good to go.

The Ficus is perhaps the most popular indoor tree there is, heck, they even make a fake version that you just dust once in a while and forget about. The real version is actually a weeping fig tree if you want to get technical, and they come in different textures and heights so they’re perfect for any room, any where.

Love the tropics but live where there seems to be perpetual winter? Then what about adding a Majesty Palm to your home? They are fan shaped and have that tropical feel to them and best of all they are slow growing if they aren’t getting strong sunlight. Throw on the heat, watch the palm tree and pretend you’re on the beach, even if it is January and there is a blizzard waging outside.

If you like more of a desert type tree then the Yucca is for you. They have thick woody stems and pointy leaves that come in a variety of blue to blue green colors and have yellow, cream or white tones to them too.

Personal Injury Should Be Well Taken Care Of

If there is ever a situation where a person is suffering terribly from an injury, disability or in worse case scenarios, even death, mostly due to a careless negligence of an individual, in such cases, the personal injury law covers these instances and extends its hand for help.

A severe injury can cost an individual to shell out a lot of money, sometimes an amount that the individual might not even be capable of paying, if you opt for a personal injury claim in such desperate moments then you are eligible to seek some compensation for the injury you have faced and the payment gets taken care of because of the claim.

Mostly this law covers all the kinds of injury that can possibly take place, these injuries can be of any type. It can either be something that can cause a lot of harm to your body or it can make you face some kind of emotional trauma as well. It can be anything and at anytime and having a claim especially for these kinds of injuries will help you in emergencies.

Be alert and be careful of every step you take.

Let us have a look at some of the tips that can help you get this claim:

• DO NOT DELAY TO GET SOME MEDICAL ATTENTION

The first and foremost step that you need to take when you get an injury is to seek out for medical help immediately and instantly. Do not under any circumstances delay that step because the more you delay it, the more serious it can get, therefore seek out for some medical help as soon as you find yourself in such a situation.

• BE CAREFUL OF THE STATEMENTS YOU MAKE

Be absolutely confident and clear in what you say in the accident scene. Do not say anything that might make the situation much more complicated than it already is or give rise to some kind of a conflict. Be clear in what you have to say and keep it straight when asked about it. This will help in dealing with the process much quickly.

• KEEP A CHECK ON ALL THE EXPENSES

This would include all the bills in the hospital. Be it expense bills; diagnose bills, medical bills or any other tests that you might have undergone. Have a record of all the expenses because it might be asked for when you go to claim for compensation. You can also keep a record of some lost wages that you might have faced due to missing work. Keep a track of everything.

The Truth About Home Repairs

We strive for larger homes but the fact remains that larger the home, greater the number of home repairs. There are several jobs that will need to be attended to around a house, either big or small. Over the years, there are several phases that you will have to go through as part of your home maintenance routine. This is exactly why a lot of homeowners feel that ‘Do It Yourself’ or DIY plans are better than calling in a contractor for every job that needs to get done around the house. But stop that thought right there and think again.

A Stitch In Time Saves Nine

When it comes to repairs within your home, this saying is a very apt one. That carpet that needs to be repaired, that leaky tap that needs to be fixed or that hole in the drywall that needs to be patched up should be attended to on a priority basis. It doesn’t take too long for the carpet to get worn out or torn further, the leaky tap to turn into a miniature Niagara or the tiny hole in the wall to turn into a gaping one. If the issues are not too glaring it is more feasible for you to wait for a bit and then call in a handyman and have him handle more than just one job in a single visit.

Easy On The Pocket

Most handymen charge for their services by the hour and it becomes more cost-effective for you to bunch up the tasks rather than have them come in for individuals ones. If you decide against calling in for specialized help for these jobs around the house and decide to handle them yourself, chances are that you will put them off for later. Jobs like this have a tendency of piling up and can prove to be a bigger drain if they pile up or the issues get aggravated due to the delay. Apart from this, some issues are too tricky for you to handle all by yourself. In most cases you will find that a handyman can handle certain jobs as skillful and efficiently as specialized contractors can and the latter charge close to three times the amount that the former will charge you for the same job

When To Choose The Handyman Over The Contractor

The cost-effectiveness factor comes into play here as well since once a handyman is called in, he can also attend to other small issues around the house. However, it is important to understand that jobs such as plumbing and electrical ones are best taken care of by licensed and trained personnel. Some companies provide you with comprehensive services and packages. Check the credibility of the person who will be handling the work and preferably use the services of a reputed home improvement company for all your repair and renovation needs.

Finding a Great Job

Many businesses have high turnover rates due to unhappy, unsatisfied, and/or unappreciated employees. There are several ways a company can create loyalty, happiness, and more positive attitudes towards employee’s jobs. One such approach is through increased company functions and gatherings that help develop office friendships throughout the company. Also, the creation of management teams and developing a teamwork mentality will help employees gain the feeling of ownership in their company. Instead of an us versus them attitude between departments, friendships throughout the company will also help build a complete team attitude. Many prominent companies create outlets for their employees to volunteer, fundraising, and help their community. The following suggestions will also increase employee pride, happiness, and ownership of their responsibilities at work.

• Family Atmosphere – This type of environment creates a climate of fairness, equality, respect, and makes it safe to express dissent. This atmosphere is welcoming and creates a friendly environment to introduce new ideas. Employees teams may encourage a challenging but supportive environment and strengthen loyalty and teamwork throughout the organization.

• Recognition Programs – Company programs that recognize hard work, commitment, effort, and contributions breed organizational success and loyalty. The recognition program should include monthly awards and gift cards or a free lunch. Recognition from a supervisor at least two ranks above an employee makes a meaningful, engaging difference in employee morale.

• Organizational Pride and Belonging – Promote activities that development and establish pride and loyalty which is the backbone of any businesses long-term success. Employee turnover is extremely expensive and productivity and product or service development suffers. An engaged employee is a person who is enthusiastic about their work. Improving employee engagement directly impacts measurable business outcomes. Employees who are committed to success, emotionally attached, and socially involved with a company demonstrate qualities that business managers thirst to have. Engaged employees are more productive at work, take less sick days and exhibit other favorable behavior, promote the business to others and show their happiness to customers.

• Mentor Programs – Thinking long-term for future company success. A mentor is an experienced and trusted adviser that assists in developing competent employees and future leaders. Mentoring program train and encourage seasoned employees to be mentors. A mentoring program can facilitate dynamic skill growth throughout an organization. Informal learning can be as important as formal learning programs.

• Volunteering Options – Look for opportunities for your company employees to get involved in the community. Allow your employees to volunteer their time or fundraising for a good cause. It is good public relations for companies to show their communities they care about their customers. These activities will create good-will among the local community and your employees. Create a team to decide what cause your company will offer financial support for a charity or cause.

Employee engagement can be improved by aligning the goals of individual with the goals of the business. Employee motivation should be associated with traditional rewards, such as pay and compensation, but also with emotional rewards such as personal growth, working for a common cause, being part of a high-performance team, and being recognized for achievements.

Architects Versus Engineers: Who Leads the Project?

Architects and engineers are essential members of nearly every construction project. There are very few projects where you won’t need the skill sets from both. The division of labor between architects and engineers is a well-known and accepted concept, but have you ever considered, who leads the project?

For anyone in construction, this may seem obvious, but it occurred to me that it may not be as obvious to everyone else. So Today I wanted to take a moment to discuss the differences between an architect and an engineer and explain why one is exceptionally qualified to lead the other.

Before I jump into the meat of this discussion, I want to share an experience I had several years ago. A higher education client was modernizing their university’s central power plant. Given the substantial engineering this project required, the Owner selected an engineer who was exceptionally skilled with the various building systems impacted by the project. The firm was hired directly by the owner and setup to lead the project. The engineer, realized that while the project was primarily an engineering project, there were several architectural elements that would also be impacted. Not having any in-house architects, the firm turned to an outside architect and hired them as a sub-consultant with the principal engineer in the lead.

The firm I was with at the time received the award to provide the architectural services. I was assigned the project and worked with the engineer to complete this project. This was the one and only project I ever worked on where the architect did not have the lead role.

It was the single worst project experience I have ever had.

I’ve got a lot of friends who are engineers. My wife is one. Many of my closest friends are engineers. This means that I have endured decades of jabs about architects and typically being the only architect in the room, I have no recourse but to laugh along. The truth is that architects do push the boundaries of engineering. Often to the point of mockery. We tend to do so out of ignorance. After all, we certainly don’t understand each system the way our engineer colleagues do.

Despite this, there is one thing my fellow engineers don’t fully appreciate. Without proper coordination and alignment between all of the engineered parts, the entire project would fail to come together.

Coordination between the various building systems is a critical part of every project. If left undone, a deficiency in coordination stands to wreak havoc throughout construction and subject the owner to change orders, additional costs, and delays.

It may surprise some to hear that architects are responsible for coordination of engineering systems.

In order to better understand this, it’s important to review the education, training, and examinations required of architects and compare that to the education, training, and examinations required of engineers.

Engineers begin their academic careers in general engineering classes but soon concentrate their education in one of several major disciplines. An engineering student may choose a major in Mechanical, Electrical, or Civil engineering (just to name a few). Each of these concentrations focuses education on a specific set of physical properties in which students specialize. After graduation, those who choose to go into construction, learn to apply those concepts to specific building systems aligned with their engineering major. When it comes time to become a licensed Professional Engineer, the examinations required by licensing boards are tailored to the engineering discipline. In short throughout an engineer’s career, the concentration they choose stays with them throughout their lives. I won’t make a blanket statement stating that engineer’s don’t know more than one discipline, but I will say that I have encountered very few who either practice or even dabble in another.

On the other hand in addition to core design and architecture theory classes, architecture students are required to attend several years of classes in structures, building systems, and construction practice. When a student graduates, one of the first duties (pun intended) assigned is detailing bathrooms (where all building systems come together). When it comes time for license, an architect must pass a series of examinations (seven at last count) that include building systems and structural systems.

In short, the only licensed professional in the design team that is educated in all of the major systems of a building is the architect.

On my disastrous old university project, the engineer did such a poor job of coordination, that his own people would come to meetings often uninformed of the impacts that changes in another in-house engineering discipline had on their work. Often these guys sat just across the aisle from one another.

I certainly did not know it at the time, but the Owner’s mistake of hiring the engineer as the project lead doomed that project to failure.

It seems like a reasonable assumption that on a project that is primarily about replacing building systems, the engineer would take the lead, so I don’t fault the owner for making that assumption.

I now know what a folly that decision can be and hope I’ve helped some of you avoid this mistake.

Now, every time I am forced to hear another architect joke from one of my brazen engineer friends, I take solace in the fact that without me, the various systems they are such experts in would fail to suit their intended purpose.

I hope you now have a better understanding of the interplay between engineers and architects. Next week we will discuss whether it’s better to hire each one directly or have one subcontract the other.

What about you? Have you ever worked on a project with an engineer in the lead role? Was the project successful? Did construction go smoothly? Tell me your stories.

How Can SEO Help Your Online Marketing Strategy?

Search engine optimization is arguably the most effective online organic search marketing strategy currently in existence. It is hardly surprising that now more than ever many business establishments and even individuals are increasingly embracing this technique to achieve both their short term and long term business objectives.

Indeed, according to a Comscore survey that was conducted in May 2014, 18.5 billion people made searches utilizing the top 5 search engines in the US alone. While another related study revealed organic search accrues 85% of SERPs clicks and pay per click (PPC) searches accounted for only 15% of this share.

SEO benefits

SEO can offer a multitude of advantages that most other online marketing techniques would be hard pressed to deliver. This includes enhanced visibility, brand awareness, credibility and traffic generation that when combined lead to exponential revenue generation growth. However, many website owners sadly deem SEO merely as an inevitable expense to their online marketing campaigns, much the same way they would deal with a mundane household expenditure. The truth is in fact very different; this strategy can be an extremely rewarding investment. An investment, which can bring about a substantial ROI in a very cost effective manner. This is self evident when you compare it to pay per click (PPC). When you, for one reason or the other, halt a PPC campaign, you will automatically lose visibility, and relinquish the traffic generated by this online marketing strategy. On the other hand, search engine optimization is an ongoing strategy. It is characterized by a remarkable continuity that lets business entities to solidify their web presence, and drive quality traffic to their sites.Achieving top rankings in the major search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo! culminates in more leads that can be easily converted. Essentially, you should think of search engine marketing as a long term client acquisition funnel that has no bounds. Taking a case study of Google SERPs, it has been proven that the top rated sites account for 36.4% of all clicks. Hence managing to be on position #1 to #3 suggests to users a solid credibility of your firm and the products or services it offers.

How to formulate an efficacious SEO campaign

Despite all this, formulating and ultimately implementing an excellent SEO strategy is not as easy as it may seem at face value. There are numerous pertinent factors that usually come to play in achieving top rankings and maintain them. To begin with, virtually and if you fail to keep abreast of these changes you can easily lose your standing on SERPs. Also, your competition can at any time formulate and implement a superior strategy and topple you from your advantageous position. So, it pays a lot to enlist the services of a professional SEO agency that can handle this critical aspect of this online marketing campaign. These experts can be invaluable in assisting you to lay a firm SEO foundation as well as offering the prerequisite guidance in implementing and managing the very best techniques that concur with you business objectives.

As would be expected, there are numerous facets of this online marketing method that are categorized as either on-page or off-page SEO. This includes impeccable keyword-optimized content creation and submission and link building. A reputable search engine optimization firm will integrate these and other factors, which will enable your site to achieve top rankings. In turn, this will drive more quality traffic to it, enhance your brand awareness, and in extension snowball your online revenue generation. Undoubtedly one of the best attributes of search engine marketing is the fact that its results can be accurately measured by web analytics. To this end virtually all companies that offer these services have devised a wide range of metrics that let them accurately analyze the effectiveness of this online marketing strategy at any time. This enables their clients to easily gauge the viability of the various techniques they implement. While, at the same time, determining better techniques to realize or even exceed the desired ROI in a stress-free manner.

SEO web analytics

Granted, each SEO company has its own web analytic s parameters. Still, most of these metrics can be broadly categorized into 2 groups. Which are reach and action metrics. The first variety are designed to determine just how much traffic a site may be receiving as well as its SERP ranking based on the same. This goes a long way in allowing clients to establish the performance baseline of any SEO strategy. Some of the most critical reach metrics include crawlability (how visible a website is to search engine crawlers) along with branded and unbranded keywords. The last metric enables these experts to identify hot keywords and pinpoint potential problems that may arise from a flawed keyword integration technique.

Action metrics on their part, are designed to ascertain just what actions visitors to a given website perform while there. Most search engines assess sociability and content interactivity to effectively rank the sites that are submitted to them. Bounce rate is an excellent instance of action metrics. Ideally, it tracks the number of visitors that leave a site after viewing just one page. The higher the bounce rate a website registers, the lower its ranking on SERPs will be. When it comes to content interactivity SEOs have the necessary tools to establish the most popular pages and even menu items. More to the point, those that possess the highest conversion rates. Yet another vital action metric is referred to as social visitor flow. This metric allows search engine marketing firms to determine just which social media platform drives the most traffic to their clients’ sites. While monitoring all the actions such visitors perform too.

Conclusion

Thanks to these and many more metrics, these experts are always in an excellent position to prove the effectiveness of the strategies they endorse to their clients. It is consequently very easy to realize the immense benefits SEO can present to all business entities for both the short term and long term basis. You can never go wrong with enlisting professional SEO services in your online marketing efforts.

The Important Pros and Cons of Vinyl Siding

If you are on the market for new home siding, it is no surprise that you are considering vinyl. Vinyl plastic exterior has been a long-time favorite for both residential and commercial properties, and for many reasons. Although there are a few drawbacks you need to think about, this material is almost always a safe investment. Continue reading to review some of the common pros and cons of vinyl siding.

Pros

Vinyl siding is mostly admired for its extreme versatility. It comes in a wide range of colors, styles, textures, and more, which makes customizing the look of your home an easy task. Aside from versatility, vinyl is very low maintenance. Caring for it is simple, and there is very little you need to do to make it last a long time. Furthermore, installation is quick and easy, and the cost comparison to other options on the market is very low. It is one of the most affordable choices for residential siding you can buy.

  • Very durable;
  • Lasts between 30 and 40 years with good care;
  • Endless color options and schemes;
  • Very low maintenance;
  • Easy to clean and care for;
  • Insulated options increase energy efficiency;
  • Cheapest siding option on the market;

Cons

There are not many drawbacks to vinyl siding, however, there are a few attributes that are important for you to know in order to make an educated decision. For instance, it is not waterproof. Although it is water-resistant, poor installation can let water leak behind the panels and cause rot, mold, and mildew. Also, many homeowners have complained that the color option is too permanent with vinyl siding. Whatever color you choose, it will always be that color. That is because plastic exterior siding cannot be repainted like other siding materials.

Another common con to this material is the potential for the boards to warp, bend, or dent. This can happen from a string impact or extreme summer heat. Homeowners also complain that whole panels must be replaced because there is no patchwork in vinyl siding. Some additional common complaints about vinyl siding include:

  • 90% of homes have vinyl siding, so it’s not always the most unique;
  • Lawn mowers, weed trimmers, and even high winds can rip panels off;
  • Faulty installation can lead to water leaks, rot, mold, and decay;
  • It can crack in extreme cold weather, and warp in hot weather;

5 Benefits of Raising Pets With Children

Pets Are Constant Companion

Your child is bound to get bored and lonely. This happens most when you are raising a single child. However, having a pet around helps your child to have a constant companion in the house.

Pets also can match the energy and excitement level of a child. A human adult can never match the energy and enthusiasm a pet, in the form of a dog, has. The pet can keep your child busy and engaged. It can be your child’s constant playmate without getting bored.

Increase Your Child’s Activity Level

In the era of smart-phones and tabloids there are chances that your child might become less active. However, a recent study has shown that the kids, who own a dog, exercise eleven minutes more on average, than non-dog owning kids.

Eleven minutes might sound quite less but also when you add up the figure in terms of weeks and month you realize the benefits. A pet in the form of a dog really helps your child to walk the extra mile and keep him/her active.

Grows Responsibility

Children with pets become more responsible than the others. It keeps them alert whether the dog or the cat got their share of food or water. They also tend to share more than the other kids.

The kids learn to be accountable of someone else. In that way they grow up to be more responsible adults. They learn fast that how the pets are dependent on the human beings and from that understanding, the attachment develops.

Makes them Empathetic

Pets also teach your children to become empathetic and kind towards others. Kids without any kind of pets tend to become cruel or repulsive towards other animals. However, kids having pets like dogs or cats tend to care more for others.

The responsibilities of owning a pet makes them accountable and their self-esteem also increases. They grow-up to be dependable adults than kids who don’t own a pet. By keeping in mind their pet’s feeding and grooming routines, they also learn to keep track of their own routines.

Makes them Healthier

Studies have shown that there are also certain health benefits of having pets. Babies who are being raised near pets tend to fall less sick than the babies who are not. Pets, especially dogs, carry certain microbes from outside into your home. These microbes tend to help your baby by improving their immunity.

Interaction with pets also helps in releasing the dopamine hormone in your child. This makes them more cheerful than the others.

Cheap Atlanta Apartments

It isn’t difficult to find many affordable apartment homes spread across Metropolitan Atlanta. You will have to spend depending on your location, work or recreation requirements. Average monthly rent is less than the national average but the apartments still offer consumers more amenities than one would expect.

Since 1991, the total number of housing units authorized in metro Atlanta is the largest in the United States. It is generally observed that used homes often find their true value in the marketplace, while new homes offer attractive amenities and repair costs are usually much less there.

Some of the more affordable rental apartments in Atlanta start range from $399 to $499. Ashton Place at Memorial Drive offers cheap 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats with rent starting from $455. Cascade Glen has 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats with rent starting from $499.

Constitution Hill Apartments at Constitution Road offers 1 and 2 bedroom flats where rent starts from $499. Gates Park Crossing Apartments at Peyton Place offers 1 and 2 bedroom flats with rent starting from $440.

Hidden Oaks Apartments at Springdale Road has 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats for rent where rent starts from $499. Highland Circle Apartments at Northwood Drive offers 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats and town homes with rent starting from $475. Parke Towne North Apartments at North Cliff Valley Way offers 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats where rent starts from $435. Regal Heights Apartments at Campbellton Road has nice 1 and 2 bedroom with rent starts from $479. Stone Ridge at Vinings Apartments at Cumberland Club Drive offers inexpensive 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats and lofts where rent starts from $399.

The Cliffs of Dunwoody Apartments at Roswell Road has 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats in which rent starts from $495. Valley Oaks Apartments at Johnson Road offers cheap 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats where rent starts from $422. These apartments offer various amenities like dishwater, mini-blinds, ceiling fans, and more.

Health Is Wealth, So Take Care of Yours

Health is what can be defined as the general condition of a human being concerning all aspects of his life. In general good health is acquired by means of a combination of physical, mental and the social comforts and securities. You have to realize that maintaining good health is a never ending process and you have to constantly be on the lookout for ways and means to stay healthy.

Hygiene is one of the main factors that constitute to good health. Keeping yourself clean and tidy which involves brushing, bathing, washing hands especially before a meal etc. The list is endless and all these contribute to your well being and health. If hygiene is a factor that helps improve health, stress can affect your health adversely. Stress management is imperative to remain in good health. If you are in a job that often has you completely stressed out, then give some relaxation techniques a try. They can help to relieve stress.

Health care can be described as the treatment and the management of the various illnesses both physical and mental that you may contract through the years. Today more and more people are becoming aware of the fact that health and fitness are of prime importance in life. This improves the health and fitness industry that come out with various types of fitness equipment that promise to keep you healthy and fit.

To live a healthy life you may have to make some changes in your lifestyle by consuming a nutritious diet, drinking more water everyday, increasing your intake of foods that can give you more roughage, putting a brake on the fried and processed food intake and incorporating a regular exercise regime like going for a walk daily. Remember you are not required to carry out any hectic work-outs. It is just to ensure that all parts of your body remain supple. This is especially necessary as you grow older and various aches and pains start getting you down.

Health is such a significant matter that you simply cannot let things just be. You have to make a deliberate attempt to be healthy and remain so.