Spring Maintenance Checklist

Gutters and downspouts: Pull leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts. Reattach gutters that have pelled away from the house. Run a hose on the roof and check for proper drain. If leaks exist, dry the area and use caulking or epoxy to seal the leak.

Siding: Clean siding with a pressure washer to keep mold from growing. Check all wood surfaces for weathering and paint failure. If wood is showing through, sand the immediate area and apply a primer coat before painting. If paint is peeling, scrape loose paint and sand smooth before painting.

Exterior caulking: Inspect caulking and replace if deteriorating. Scrape out all of the eroding caulk and recaulk needed area.

Window sills, door sills, and thresholds: Fill cracks, caulk edges, repaint or replace if necessary.

Window and door screens: Clean screening and check for holes. If holes are bigger than a quarter, that is plenty of room for bugs to climb in. Patch holes or replace the screen. Save bad screen to patch holes next year. Tighten or repair any loose or damaged frames and repaint. Replace broken, worn, or missing hardware. Wind can ruin screens and frames if they are allowed flap and move so make sure they are securely fastened. Tighten and lubricate door hinges and closers.

Drain waste and vent system: Flush out system.

Hot water heater: Lubricate circulating pump and motor

Evaporative air conditioner: Clean unit, check belt tension and adjust if needed. Replace cracked or worn belt.

Heat pump: Lubricate blower motor.

Foundation: Check foundation walls, floors, concrete, and masonry for cracking, heaving, or deterioration. If a significant number of bricks are losing their mortar, call a professional. If you can slide a nickel into a crack in your concrete floor, slab or foundation call a professional immediately.

Roof: Inspect roof surface flashing, eaves, and soffits. Check flashings around all surface projections and sidewalls.

Deck and porches: Check all decks, patios, porches, stairs, and railings for loose members and deterioration. Open decks and wood wings need to be treated every 4-6 years, depending on how much exposure they get to sun and rain. If the stain does not look like it should or water has turned some of the wood a dark gray, hire a professional to treat your deck and fence.

Landscape: This is a natural for spring home maintenance. Cut back and trim all vegetation and overgrown bushhes from structures. Limbs and leaves can cut into your home's paint and force you to have that side of the house repaired. A little trimming can save a lot of money and time.

Sprinklers: Check lawn sprinkler system for leaky valves, exposed lines, and improperly working sprinkler heads. If there is an area of ​​your yard that collects too much water or does not get enough, run the sprinklers to figure out the problem. If it's not something you can fix yourself, call a professional before your lawn needs the water.

Cleaning Your Home Without Any Use of Chemicals

We have gotten used to relying on a whole range of chemical products for the cleaning of our homes and offices without paying attention to how harmful such substances can be for the health or the environment.Every household actually uses stain removers and all sorts of solvents to get clean clothes, impeccable kitchens and germ-free bathrooms. However, with the development of the environmental awareness, some companies have started producing eco-friendly cleaning products. Most spot and stain removers in the eco-category are now derived from natural resources, with plant or vegetable ingredients in organic solvents.

It is false to absorb that eco-friendly cleaning products can not eliminate resistant stains and stains such as nail polish, wax, ball-point ink, glue, resins or dyes from solid or textile surfaces. If we manage to eliminate such prejudices and actually try some eco-friendly cleaning solution, we may be pleasantly surprised by the results. It is paradoxical how we soil and litter our planet while making efforts to remove the dirt from daily life. Why switch to eco-friendly cleaning? First of all your home will be clean from toxic fumes and chemicals, you will sleep better and enjoy a great sense of well-being.

There will be less health hazards for children and babies who may come in contact with toxic cleaning residues. Nor will there be any more fumes from spray bottles. Poisons should be a no-no in our lives. You can eliminate the hazardousous substances by using household pickup days, and replacing them with safer versions. Eco-friendly cleaning provides a safer environment for your children. Moreover, the fewer chemicals you use, the fewer toxic materials will be evacuated in the waste water stream. If you do not have eco-friendly cleaning products ready-made for a certain task, there are homemade solutions available too.

The Internet abounds with eco-friendly cleaning tips, you just need a bit of time, interest and patience to see how to deal with the issue. Not only the cleaning agents should be changed with eco products, but the cleaning accessories as well. Sponges, mops and rags should be all reusable and natural. A responsible human being living in the 21st century should mind the durability, health and environment impact of the products he / she purchases for home use. This kind of changes will also bring considered savings.

Find a Professional Graphic Designer

The condition of graphic design can advert to an array of artistic and professional corrects which centre on optical communication and display. Various methods are used to create and combine symbols, images and words to create a visual representation of ideas and messages. A designer can use typography, visual arts and technical layout to produce the final result. Graphic design frequently adverts to both the action by which the communication is created and the harvest fathered.

Common uses of graphic design are magazines, advertising and packaging. For example, a product that includes for a logo or other artwork, organized text and pure design elements such as shape and color as one piece. The composition is one of the key elements of graphic design especially when using existing equipment or parts.

A design project may include graphic style and format of existing text or photographs or images developed by graphic designers. For example, from a newspaper with reporters and photographers and then becomes the graphic designer responsible for organizing this to be a reasonable layout and determine if other graphic elements should be mandatory. In a magazine article or advertisement, often a designer or art director for the Commission, photographers and illustrators to create original pieces just to be part of system design. The contemporary exercise of design accepts equaled covered to latest computers, specified the use of WYSIWYG exploiter ports, often adverted to as synergistic design, multimedia or graphic design.

In addition to important content, the type of presentation in May is also important for graphic design. The exterior design is manufactured according to traditional editing tool or digital imaging. Choosing the proper development and presentation of each project is fundamental to how the project will be perceived by the public.

In the mid-1980s brought the advent of desktop publishing and graphics software to a generation of designers, computer art of image manipulation and creation that has been done manually. Computer graphics enabled designers to instantly see the effects of the typographical arrangement and simulate the effects of traditional media, but a lot of space. But are traditional tools such as pencils or markers are often used to develop ideas even when computers are used for finishing. Some of these drawings, you can get a single customer for approval early stage before they develop the idea of using a computer and software for graphic design.

New ideas can come through experimentation with tools and methods. Some designers explore ideas with pen and paper to avoid the limits of what computer fonts, clip art, photos, or rendering filters are available in a given configuration. Others use many different brands making tools and resources from computers to sticks and mud as a means of inspiring creativity. One key feature of the graphic design is a tool for selecting appropriate images to convey meaning.

Translation Services Metrics and Averages

When requesting a translation quote the result can be a total mindfield. Translation quotes can be quoted per word, per hour, per character, per page, rates differ from language to language and translation company to translation company, some companies use translation memories and within this we get differing metrics for matching and repetitions, some rates include revision by a third party, rates differ from subject matter to subject mater while some companies charge project management fees. The list goes on and on and can often leave the client in a very confusing predicament. However in this article we hope to clarify some of the issues of translation quotes especially in the area of translation metrics.

Requesting a quote

The standard measurement of translation cost is by word or translation rate per word. This has many advantages in that it`s easy to measure and suits most world languages with the exception of some of the Asian languages. A translation quote per page is very unreliable as the word count per page differs depending on size of page, font size, graphics etc… A translation quote per hour also tends to be unreliable as some translators tend to be faster than others and a metric based on words has to be established to plan the work anyway. Also, both quotes per page and per hour do not fit into the analytical reports of translation memory tools. Most reports are based on raw analysis and manipulation of word counts. If a translation quote is based on time there is a huge and unnecessary degree of trust placed on the sub-contractor. In some cases a translation quote will be based on the character count. This is a reliable method to quote on translations however, leads to more complications due to higher character counts and more complicated calculations. In some cases, especially in the case of Asian languages it is more logical to base the quote on the character counts due to the nature of some of the Asian languages.

So far so good, we have reached our first concrete decision, the measurement value of our translation quote will be in words or in the case of Asian languages, characters. We now have to request an itemized quote from the translation services companies based on the word counts. After doing this we notice that some documents are translated at a higher rate than others. A general rule of thumb is that specialized fields such as legal, medical and technical tend to be 20% more expensive than general and business fields.

How so, you may ask and the answer is that there are fewer suitably qualified translators for the subject matter which tends to drive translation prices up. Other factors that contribute to a higher translation rate per word are as follows:

· Unusual language combinations with few translators

· Language combinations where the pool of translators have high living costs

· Highly specialized subject matter

Great! so we can now compare the word count and the rate from translation agency to translation agency but we then start to notice that some translation agencies are offering lesser rates for previously translated text or repeated text, while the rate for untranslated text may be slightly higher. These translation agencies are offering Translation memory services which stores previously translated text. It may be a first job with the agency so there is no previously translated text however there may be what we call in the industry repeated text which only needs to be translated once. This type of text may be offered to the client at say 30% of the normal rate. Translation Memory systems complicate the translation process and require investment on the part of the agency but they ensure consistency and cut costs in the long run. This is why translation services companies offering these services often have higher rates but in the long term the investment in higher rates is worth it

Here is a summary of the key decisions we have to decide on when analyzing translation quotes:

1. Translation Quote measurement (Words)

2. Understanding differing word counts

3. Understanding translation rates and why

- Degree of difficulty and expertise

- Language combination

Hopefully this article helps you to facilitate the translation quote process. Remember to ask the translation agencies to provide their quote in the same format. Ask them for a quotation per word with each document/text itemized. This will ensure you get an easy to compare breakdown of rates and word counts which should help the decision process easier! Happy outsourcing!