15 September 2020

Luxury Tile Guide – Questions to Ask Yourself

Most new homeowners are very aware of how they want their homes to look and feel, where things go and what colors they prefer on their walls. From the biggest things such as the paint on the house, the furniture, and the floor selections, to the smaller more intricate things such as the type of tiles you want on your bathroom or kitchen area is a very important decision to make, because once they are laid out, there’s no going back. It’s for the world to see. So careful consideration is key in this department. Other information about this can also be found online

However, there is no need to worry about your options and what to go for, as this guide below has some great quick advice for you regarding this to help you make sure you choose the one that’s a perfect fit for the house, so you enhance the rooms as opposed to making them look dull or boring. 

The idea is to ask yourself a few important questions and then play the field. Let’s look at the things to consider. This is an important initial step that will help you set the tone of the overall room in question. 

Things to As Yourself When Choosing Tile Colors

Here’s a tip – before choosing on the hue to go with, look around for any existing colors that may already be there, such as the tones of the furniture as well as the mood you want to set because the bathroom will be different from the kitchen and any other areas in the house. 

1. What Size Is the Room? This is an important question to ask yourself.  As the logic goes, the lighter colors typically make a room look big and vice versa. If it’s a small bathroom and you want it to look bigger, use whites, creams, and pastels colored tiles for the walls and floor. Large kitchens, for instance, can get away with luxury tiles of a dark chocolate hue and burnt sienna.

2. What Kind of Tile Type Do You Desire? From glazed tiles to matte ones, the choices can be confusing, however when going for kitchen tiles, be it luxury of not, it’s best to keep it glossy, and stain-resistant due to obvious reasons or splashing and food going everywhere. This would be great for the countertops and the walls surrounding the stove and backsplash areas. If opting for a flooring choice, the denser porcelain types are your best bet, in both areas. 

3. What Hue Are You Going For? Ever heard of a color wheel or a color circle / spectrum? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_wheel this could be your best friend in any color situation. You can go with vibrant colors, that are from the opposite sides of the color wheel. Rich blue walls make a luxurious statement in any home and give the place a sense of positive energy, so for your lounge areas, entertainment rooms, and perhaps even your bedroom, selecting these hues, darker and slightly lighter, would make a significant gorgeous impact.   

Unless you want a more relaxing atmosphere, then you can go with the paler tones such as the lighter ones on the wheel, like the yellow, creams, and lighter blues. 

4. Pattern or No Pattern? Some tiles have brilliant patterns on them that stand out from the crowd and enhance any space when placed correctly. Mottled patterns or Carlanto luxury tiles, for instance, make for a nice layout in the entranceways and any high-traffic areas. Go with slightly darker tones here for a more luxurious feel. One can also opt for the terrazzo tiles with elegant motifs displayed on them, like lace, zigzag, or swirls. Mix this with browns, golds, and tans and you will be the envy of the neighborhood in no time.   

In the end, when choosing the types of tiles, you want to adorn your home with, treat it like a piece of art. Which ones do you want to stand out more and which ones not so much? Look at it through the eye of strangers, and ask yourself what would they think? Although, we would highly recommend, doing what is best suited for you and your family, as you will be living in the home and you need to be happy with the decision. Guests will appreciate that too. 

09 September 2020

Learn How to Do Steaming With Frozen Vegetables

Health guidelines suggest that people should consume as few as 2.5 and as many as 6.5 cups of produce daily based on your calorie requirements. There’s no stipulation that these need to be organically grown from a garden or freshly purchased from a health market.

Many people today are either budget conscious or aren’t really sure how to prepare a fresh vegetable for cooking, preferring the prepping already be done as with the frozen variety. But can these prepackaged selections be cooked using the same methods as their naturally bred counterparts?

In most cases, the packaging offers basic cooking instructions for the array of choices inside. But many people like to get creative in the kitchen and use various methods or styles in an effort to produce different flavors, which is absolutely a possibility. When roasting vegetables, it is a more extensive process, but it is worth the effort because the flavor is incredible and differs from other techniques.

Styles For Cooking Frozen Vegetables

For frozen vegetables, you should not defrost the package prior to cooking. The contents will lose their nutrients through thawing along with the overall texture and flavor, especially for those who choose to thaw them overnight.

As with most frozen items, none of these products are meant to be consumed until they have been fully cooked. You should avoid the desire to toss some into a breakfast shake or put them in a cold salad. These are nothing like frozen fruit products, unless they state they’re “ready to eat.”

Everyone has their preferred style for cooking. It’s actually subjective. There’s not necessarily any single best way that would suit everyone universally. So, let’s go over a few of those techniques that are among the most popular:

Stove top Steaming

The suggestion with this method is however you’re doing it, you’re most likely doing it incorrectly. But there are many people who are anxious to learn the process for steaming frozen veggies. In order for them to be of optimum taste and texture, this method works the best, so they say:

  • The bottom of your pot should be covered by no more than three inches of water.
  • Cover the water once it begins to boil with a steaming basket ensuring that it is above the water - may need to eliminate some water.
  • After placing the basket, place the veggies in the basket and cover the entire pot over with a lid.
  • These need to be closely monitored because they might cook quickly as the times for stove top steaming tend to vary depending on the items you’re cooking.

Some individuals attempt to use a food and vegetable steamer DIY in the microwave. Along with boiling, these methods are strongly frowned upon. In using both of these styles, the suggestion is that the nutrients are being depleted from the array of goodies found in the bag. The end result in each case is a soggy, limp, and flavorless product that’s basically not providing any health benefits for you.

These are merely suggestions. If you’ve been successfully boiling or microwaving your products with no poor results, thus far, you should continue to use the style, technique, method, that brings you the results you enjoy.

Sauteing On The Stove

This is a favorite noted to offer incredible flavor and texture with the array of products in the packaging. Sauteing is done in a skillet, making for fast cooking time which allows the veggies to keep their taste and maintain the crunchy texture, not to mention the nutrients are preserved.

  • The skillet will go on a medium-high heat on the stove top with the contents poured in. 
  • A tablespoon of whichever cooking oil satisfies your dietary plan needs to be added to the ingredients. 
  • These will remain uncovered cooking for approximately 7 minutes or until they have been thoroughly heated with your stirring frequently throughout the process.

Grilling In The Backyard

If you enjoy a good barbecue, this will be the best method of cooking frozen vegetables for you. These are ideal for summer family get-togethers that even the kids might enjoy, and there are no dishes to be cleaned up after.

  • Using a vegetable basket or perhaps some aluminum foil for wrapping the veggies, add some cooking oil of your choice over the ingredients and seal them.
  • The grill should be placed on a medium heat where you will simply place them on the rack. 
  • You don’t want them to char, so it’s important to continue to flip while they heat.

Roasting/Baking In The Oven

This is an easy technique, but it is one that will take a bit longer than most of the other methods.  Waiting on roasted vegetables can often take as much as a half hour. But these offer a delicious flavor unique again from the other styles.

  • The oven should be preheated at 400 to 450.
  • The roasting pan will be coated with cooking oil of your liking in a thin layer. This pain will go into the oven to heat up before the packaging will be emptied into it. The hot pan allows the ingredients to thaw and cook nicely.
  • Use cooking oil to toss the packaging contents and then place them in a single layer to the hot pan. Halfway through cooking time - about 15 minutes, you should flip.

Final Thought

There are daily nutritional requirements, or more so recommendations, for people in order for the body to function at its optimum level. Produce is a big component in that process. It doesn’t matter if they’re organic, store-bought, frozen, steamed, as long as you’re indulging yourself. Learn here the variety of steaming methods you can incorporate for the ultimate in veggies.

It might seem challenging to get the recommended allowance, but if you think of produce as merely a side dish, it can prove challenging. You can do so much more with veggies and fruits than dessert or a tag along. These can be front and center if you get creative and investigate new recipes. Just have fun with it.

08 September 2020

How to Find Affordable Contractors General Liability Insurance

Every contractor and their business is susceptible to certain risks which may be beyond their control. Although most will put up safety measures and precautions to ensure they are protected against any of such risks, the best form of protection or precaution to have is insurance. This is because even with the best safety measures, you cannot determine or tell what will happen.

While an insurance policy does not particularly prevent an incident from happening, when and if it does happen, it mitigates the effects on you and your business so that it is not adversely affected.

Having contractors' liability insurance is therefore something that every contractor needs and cannot do without. Examples of claims that this type of policy will cover include:

  • Bodily injury 
  • Damage to property 
  • Personal and advertising injuries
  • Product and completed operations as well as 
  • Medical payments. 

A common mistake companies tend to make is to assume that general liability covers all their insurance needs. This is not the case. It does not cover:

  • Negligence
  • Theft
  • Automobile accidents
  • Criminal prosecutions
  • Intentional damages or 
  • Contractual liabilities. 

Also, workers on the project or those that belong to the company are not covered. It is strictly for third party claims. That is, claims involving people not directly related to the company or project. All of these are covered under different policies.

Why You Need a General Liability Insurance as a Contractor

Anyone can be sued for any reason and at any time. As a business owner, you do not want to be in a position where your company is sued and you have to pay legal fees and damages that may run into several thousands of dollars or much more from your company resources.

Below are some reasons why it is critical for your business:

It Protects You and Your Business

As mention above, you or your company can be sued for any damage or injury to a third party not related to your business. Getting a general liability helps take care of any legal fees, medical treatments, or repair that may need to be done so that you can focus on your business. In essence, it safeguards your business against going bankrupt or getting into financial trouble and debt.

It May Be a Requirement by Law

Some states require that contractors in certain industries must have various kinds of insurance of which general liability may be one. So depending on the state where your company is located, it may be compulsory that you own a general liability coverage. Also, when bidding for a project, it is almost always a requirement.

It Is Always Required by Clients and Vendors

You will always have to work with different clients and other companies. Most will request for your policy before they sign a contract or work with you. They do want to protect themselves too in the event that any accident happens.

You can read more about general liability here.

Buying Affordable General Liability Insurance

General liability is more affordable than many contractors and business owners think. The cost can vary based on factors such as the kind of business that you do and its size or even your location.

Some companies give flexible options depending on the financial standing of your business. Whether you have good or bad credit, you will be able to find a program that will suit what you need. This is especially true if your cash flow is good. With this, you can always find competitive financing from such insurance companies.

You should also know that if a situation arises where the policy you purchase is not enough to cover the claims against you, there is the option of purchasing extra coverage to add to the main policy.

Sometimes, all your insurance needs can be bundled into a business owner's policy (BOP) which makes it more affordable than buying each policy separately. It is up to you to decide if you prefer this or if you want to buy them separately. All you should do is ensure that whatever policy you purchase does cover all the risks that you will likely face.


The importance of an adequate insurance cover, especially general liability to a contractor, cannot be overstated. It comes with several advantages for your business and you do not have to break the bank to get one. Talk to your insurance company or agent and find out the various options that are available to you based on your company size. You may be surprised at how affordable it can be.

06 September 2020

Halfway Through the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season - What's Still to Come

As we enter into September this marks the halfway point for the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. This season includes all areas of the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. And for anyone that lives in this region, it’s been a very busy season so far, with Hurricane Laura just having made its way through the Gulf and then on land last week. 

Royalty Free Photo

But what does the 2020 season still hold for the region? Will residents be in for a bit of a break or is there still a lot of unpredictable and volatile weather to come? Let’s take a closer look.

Predictions Have Now Been Updated

It was back in May that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its initial storm season forecast stating that there was a 60% chance it would be an above-normal season. A month earlier the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project team seemed to have that same finding, as they predicted 16 named storms in the season. So how have the predictions changed?

Well they haven’t changed for the better if you’re one of the millions of residents in the path of the Atlantic hurricanes. Just last month on Aug. 6 NOAA updated its predictions and said the remainder of the season would be "extremely active", upping its prediction to 19 to 25 named storms, and seven to 11 of those becoming full-blown hurricanes.

Looking back at how the season has played out, the first named storm of the season was Tropical Storm Arthur back on May 16, which was before the official start of the season. 

At the time of publication there have been two new named storms - Nana and Omar, that are both forming and could threaten the coastline yet again. They have now become the 14th and 15th named storms of the 2020 season. In fact, they have now become the "earliest 14th and 15th named storms ever formed". That certainly doesn't bode well for anyone hoping the season would calm down and wind down a bit early.

What's even more unsettling is that even though the storm season is at its peak, some experts believe it may get worse before it gets better.

Homeowners Are Urged to Stay on Top of Repairs

Of course for any homeowner that has suffered storm damage, as Advantage Construction points out, it’s important to stay on top of repairs and not allow them to go by unaddressed. Leaving something in rough condition means it’s that much weaker come the next storm. Whether you're dealing with missing shingles, water damage, downed tree limbs, or any other damage, it's important to deal with it as soon as possible following the storm.

A Season that Will Go Out with a Bang

So it appears as though the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is far from over and doesn’t have any plans of fading quietly into the night during the back half.

03 September 2020

Routine Garage Door Maintenance: 7 Things You Should Be Doing

Image source

A garage door can provide decades of use if it is properly maintained. As a frequently used item, garage doors depend on the extra care to prevent wear and tear and breakdown. Keep the garage door on your home in tip-top condition longer by following the seven routine maintenance tips below.

1. Observe the Garage Door

Sit back, look, and listen to the garage door. Strange, unusual noises indicate trouble with the garage door. Don’t ignore the unusual noises. Observe the way the door opens and closes. Does it open and close smoothly? Are all of the garage door parts in place and free of damage? Listen, observe, and learn so much about your garage door.

2. Tighten up the Hardware

With the average garage door opening and closing more than 1,000 times in a single year, the hardware is bound to loosen due to movements and vibrations. Every few months, examine the hardware and tighten all bolts and rollers with a socket wrench.

3. Replace Weatherstripping

Examine the weatherstripping on the garage door. If it appears cracked, ripped or torn, or has other signs of damage, replace the weatherstripping. Sold at home improvement stores, weatherstripping is inexpensive and easy-to-install on the grooves of the door. Weatherstripping ensures the garage door easily opens and closes.

4. Lubricate the Door

Lubricating the moving parts keeps the garage door functional for many years ahead. It takes minutes to oil the garage door and can be done by anyone. Talk to a garage door professional to learn more about the types of spray lubricants available to coat the overhead springs and door.

5. Clear the Tracks

Dirt, pests, leaves, and other debris accumulate inside the tracks over time.  Clear this debris from the tracks to prevent difficulty in opening/closing the door.  Use a level to check the plumb while clearing the tracks.

6. Check the Cables

Cable lifts attached to the garage door allow it to open and close. The doors are extremely heavy and on the left and have a significant force that can cause great injury if they fall on top of someone. Visually inspect the cables, but leave any repairs to professionals.  Many problems may cause the cables to work improperly, in turn causing the garage door to malfunction.

7. Keep it Clean

Garage doors are a part of the home’s aesthetic appeal. Keep it clean and tidy to ensure maximum curb appeal. Clean doors with a mild all-purpose cleaner and a sponge the same way you'd clean your vehicle. Steel doors and wood doors alike may have spots, stains, or discolorations that wipe away with a little effort.  Removing spots and stains voids wear and tear and garage door breakdown.

If your garage door endures damage despite your best efforts, find the best garage door maintenance and installation in Beaverton, OR as soon as possible. Professional garage door repairmen bring the skills and expertise to your home that ensure thorough repairs.